A new store of 9,000 to 10,000 square feet and “38 or 39” homes could be complete by spring 2017, Roadside Development Founding Partner Richard Lake told locals at a community meeting last night (Wednesday).
Roadside sought neighbors’ input on the 1111 Pennsylvania Ave. SE project as the company and architect Demian Wilbur begin to envision the layout, size and location of the residential units, which could be condos or apartments. They stressed that they’re seeking community input to achieve a project locals like.
The development will be no higher than 50 feet, as current zoning allows, Lake said. Roadside wants to build larger units of at least two bedrooms, and is looking at possibilities for including affordable units.
Construction would likely start in mid-2016 and be complete by mid-2017, Lake estimated. Roadside would seek to reopen Frager’s as soon as possible, likely before the homes are complete, he said.
Company representatives and Wilbur said they seek to retain the historic charm of the beloved store destroyed by fire in June 2013.
“We’re absolutely committed to saving the facades as much as possible,” Lionel Lynch of Roadside said. The company will seek to keep Frager’s multiple entrances and bay windows, too.
Neighbors asked Roadside and Wilbur — whose own office above Frager’s was destroyed by the blaze — to control environmental impacts of construction and create adequate parking. Roadside would create separate parking for shoppers and residents of the new building, Lake said.
Frager’s co-owner John Weintraub spoke in support of the redevelopment.
“I think they’ll do a project that we’ll feel good about and also our customers will feel good about,” he said.
Weintraub still owns the property, but Roadside expects to take the reins in early 2015, Lake said.
A part of the old Frager’s that won’t be restored is its narrow, crowded aisles. They’ll need to be built wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
“It will have to be code,” Lake said.