Tue 5/31/16

McLean, Va.–A new mixed-use building, called The Signetbroke ground last week, at 6900 Fleetwood Rd. (near the center of town).  It will have 123 one-bedroom (plus den) residential units on six floors above the ground level of retail.  Here is the location, currently with a big parking lot and a smaller 4-story building.  The development is slated to be completed Fall of 2017.  This nearby 8-story building on Elm St. should feel more at home next to the new construction.

White Flint, Md.–This is the first “time stamp” I’ve seen on Streetview.  Here’s new development (under construction) “Pike and Rose“.  It’s referred to in this GGW article from 8/31/15.

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Tue 5/24/16

Streatham, London, England–Some supermarkets in London are building residential housing above their stores (link goes to article).  Here is one example, Tesco in Streatham. (Streatham is a district of 51,000 people centered 5 miles south of London’s center).  This taxicab joint (right next to the Streatham train station) is called Goooglie Cars (trying to fool people into thinking they’re associated with a certain search engine).  Just a bit beyond is where the district’s long nice-looking downtown commerical strip begins, on Streatham High Rd (a.k.a. “A23“).  In the 1950s Streatham had the longest and busiest shopping street in south London (per Wikipedia article).  Look at this marvelous old church just off the main road.  Here is the Streatham Hill train station!  Heading the opposite way from the Tesco, here is another old church right across from Streatham Common (a local nature reserve).  Heading up the gradually rising hill next to the Common is Henry Tate Mews, an exclusive swanky gated development.

Central London–The “Walkie-Talkie” skyscraper located at 20 Fenchurch St., is a post-modern behemoth that gets larger as one heads up, with a bulky top.  From an article in the Guardian:

First proposed in 2004, the design was criticised by both English Heritage and Unesco. The former declared it an “oppressive and overwhelming form” and a “brutally dominant expression of commercial floor space”; the latter threatened to add the Tower of London to the World Heritage in Danger list, because of the detrimental impact the skyscraper would have on its setting.

Here is a view of it from Botolph Lane.  This is the view from the Tower Bridge.  Here is a photosphere at night from the bridge.

 

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Fri 5/20/16

McLean, Va.–Went through downtown McLean, which comprises what Fairfax County has labelled a Commercial Revitalization District (CRD).  The back side of the town’s grocery store (Giant) doesn’t look like it belongs in the richest zip code (or thereabouts) of the region, especially considering it’s right across from a nice new brick hotel, Staywood Suites.  On Laughlin Ave. (actually fronting Emerson Ave.), is The Palladium at McLean, a lovely new condo building with underground (or at least first floor) parking.  Note the water sculpture out front.  Heading further down Laughlin is this beautiful newish brick house with good landscaping.  It’s right across from what appears to be a very buggy Bryn Mawr Park.  Back on Chain Bridge Rd. is this nice brick commercial building which appears to be historic.  Per the marker out front, it was actually built in 1989, but there is a story behind it.  Also note the underground parking at the back of the building.  The downtown area has plenty of little strip malls, considering how upscale it’s supposed to be.  Maybe one day it will actualize its revitalization (story from 2012).  This building appears pretty outdated (maybe from the ’50s?).  Quite a hodgepodge of different styles.

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Wed 5/18/16

Washington, D.C.Here is the smallest residential unit for sale in all of Washington (723 Longfellow St. NW, Unit 304).  It’s in the small neighborhood of Brightwood Park.  Top floor studio apartment at 264 square feet.  Price is surprisingly low (for D.C.) $150,000.  The neighborhood doesn’t appear to be that great, though.  (Scroll down on ‘price’ link to see crime stats).

I also went around the nearby area of Kennedy and Jefferson Streets, which appear to be the center of crime locally per the referenced map on Trulia.  It doesn’t seem to be any worse than Longfellow St.  In fact, it may be better as there are fewer chain link fences. Here is a nice home on a corner lot with a wrought iron fence.  Heading further west on Jefferson St., (west of 13th St.), the area becomes rather suburban and affluent.  This turns into Sixteenth Street Heights neighborhood.

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D.C. Developments

“Crane Watch”–a listing of all major developments currently being built in D.C.  (As of 5/18/16, there are 85 total.)  This will be updated and expanded to eventually include inner suburbs and beyond.

Maryland Ave. SW Plan–dated April 2012 (added 5/2/18).  Planning to restore the L’Enfant street grid and change an area of office buildings for 60,000 workers into a mixed-use residential neighborhood.

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Fri 5/13/16

Dunn Loring, Va.–started at International Dr. in Tysons (at intersection with Rte. 123) and headed south, crossing Rte. 7, onto Gallows Dr.  Dunn Loring has 8800 people over a tiny 2.0 square mile area, with an average household income of over $200,000.  It might be the oldest subdivision in all of Virginia.

Bearing left on Science Applications Ct., we come to quite an interesting neighborhood. The Reserve at Tysons Corner (which is in Dunn Loring) is an apartment complex.  Here is a beautiful green courtyard surrounded by townhomes.  This courtyard, enclosed by the apartment building, contains a pool.  Here we have a walkway between the impressive brick townhomes.

Off of Gallows and Oak St.(Harithy Dr.) is a small neighborhood of brick mcmansion homes on postage-sized lots.  This neighborhood (Tysons Executive Ct.) has larger lots, but it’s right on top of the Beltway.  Further along Gallows is a Vietnamese Christian church (offering up vacation bible school).

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New York Developments

Long Island–Discussion of area smart-growth developments.  12/15/16

New Rochelle–Why some suburbs are trying to be more like cities.

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