Friday, January 04, 2013

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

This is a real product.
Happy new year! I'm finally returning from my end-of-year hiatus and still trying to get back in the swing of things. In the meantime, here's a token post with a few miscellaneous nuggets. Apologies if some of this is old news by now - I'm still playing catch-up.

- There was some concern in the comments of my last post that the lack of construction activity at the new Scion location in South Silver Spring might indicate that they had changed their mind about coming to Silver Spring. Not so, says Scion, though they can't say exactly when they will open:


- After closing nearly a full year ago as the result of a fire, Fenton Street's Sushi Jin looks to be finally be returning, as indicated by recently-posted signage.

Thanks to ML for posting on this blog's FB page.

- The new La Madeline also has its signage up.

- Incredibly, the downtown Silver Spring McDonald's was DIY on Christmas day:


- Apartment rents in Silver Spring are going up, which I guess is why rather than build commercial buildings, they continue to construct apartments like the Eleven55 Ripley, which just became the tallest building in downtown Silver Spring. Also, the post office on 2nd Avenue has now been demolished to make way for even more apartments:

Thanks to JT for the photo.
- Your car's rent is also going up, with short-term hourly parking rates in Silver Spring having risen from 75 cents to $1 effective January 1.

- Amazon Local currently has a deal for $20 at Taqueria Distrito Federal for ten bucks. It's good for the next six days.

- A six-year-old in Silver Spring made national news this week when he was suspended from school for "pointing his finger like a gun". (The suspension has since been rescinded.) The real lesson here is that teachers and staff at elementary schools should always be pointing their fingers like guns.



54 comments:

ES said...

Signage also just went up for the La Madeline on Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Pete's has announce that they'll be opening in April. Don't have the link accessible, but JUTP mentioned it a couple weeks back. Cannot wait!

Lisa said...

What is "Pete's"?

Anonymous said...

Pete's (a Pizza) is a pizza place opening up next to the new La Madeline. Why is it taking so long for these new places to open? I really need that t-shirt. Welcome back Sligo!

Anonymous said...

Taking so long? I'll be shocked if they can open that soon. The space is a completely empty box - not a former restaurant that they're simply updating/reusing. It's a massive endeavor on the utilities end before you even get to the design end. Ditto for La Madeline.

Anonymous said...

Silver Spring is packed with restaurants; I don't understand how they all can compete. I'm not complaining, I love diversity in regards to food! However Silver Spring does need a better night life with some more places that stay open late.

Anonymous said...

Walked by and the Citron Apartments office is open and now preleasing. Website is also updated.

http://www.livecitron.com/

Anonymous said...

nightlife? how dare you NOVA troll.

Anonymous said...

Bit of news. Not sure too many people care but better than rehashing yet again the nightlife argument.

8407 Kitchen Bar hires former 701 chef Ed Witt

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-gurus/post/8407-kitchen-bar-hires-former-701-chef-ed-witt/2013/01/07/c8029394-56af-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_blog.html

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 10:45:00 AM

I'm not trolling, I live in Silver Spring. There are places to go at night, but I would like to see more bars to bring crowds into downtown. I'm talking about a street full of people, potentially Georgia Ave, like you see in DC.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, no one thinks you're trolling. That guy just trolls via calling everyone else a troll. He's done it in every single comment section for years now. Just try to ignore him (and pray he finds real-life friends at some point), and welcome!

Anonymous said...

You can stand on either side of the nightlife argument everyone can agree (even the Silver Spring is perfect troll) that this area has an abundance of restaurants and eateries and not as much other stuff to do (better shopping for example) let alone nightlife and that could stand to be improved.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm getting old, but the thought of Georgia Ave. being full of people doesn't really sound all that appealing. A Ride On bus may burst into flames just to prevent that. If you want that, then go downtown. Do you really want to have to deal with that every night?

Anonymous said...

To be fair, it's not really easy to get to downtown. That's not a fault of Silver Spring but more a fault of the regions increasingly useless public transport and horribly clogged roadways.

Seems to me the DTSS is getting congested anyway. Why not have the congestion at least bring more variety rather than restaurant after restuarant after restaurant after restaurant after restaurant.

Marylanderformarriageequality said...

Who's the hottie wearing the Silver Spring t-shirt?! Gay or straight? Woof!

Anonymous said...

That's me and I'm straight as an arrow.

Anonymous said...

re: DTSS nightlife & retail...there are a ton of residential projects under construction that will bring thousands of residents living, walking and spending directly in the downtown core and Fenton Village. The library will be open in a few years and hopefully the purple line and new buildings surrounding the transit center. We are finally reaching critical mass where retailers and restauranteurs are taking notice and opening in DTSS. Yes, we have a long way to go, but if your compare the area with 10 years ago you can see the astonishing transformation that has already happened. I know the prospect of waiting another few years won't please those who insist it must happen now, now, now, but i can say from experience (have lived here since 2001), the pace of revitalization has increased dramatically in the past few years and seems to be getting even faster. As they say..."build it and they will come".

Unknown said...

Did anyone see the new Jimmy John's on the corner of Cameron and Fenton? When did that go in? And are they any good? I know one guy who raved about the one in Bethesda but had otherwise never heard of them?

Anonymous said...

I ate at Jimmy John's yesterday and had a turkey and avocado sub. They don't have wheat subs, only white (you have to get regular bread if you want wheat). Anyway, I really can't see what the fuss is about this place. Was it good? yes but no better/different than any other chain sandwich chain like Potbelly. They use lots of cutesy marketing slogans and signs to make it appear that their product is "different" than the others (it's really not). They do have some very funny signs in the men's restroom, though :)

Craig said...

I am not so sure about the flood new residents coming to Silver Spring. The rents in the new developments are approaching Bethesda-Chevy Chase level market rents. Hell, the downtown Silver Spring rents are getting dangerously close to 14th Street/U Street/Logan Circle levels.

If apartment prices in Silver Spring are in the same ballpark as Bethesda and in some District neighborhoods then why would single professionals making more than $80,000 live in Silver Spring?

You can find better quality and more variety in restaurants in Bethesda, DC and Arlington, VA.

Crime is less of a concern in Bethesda and Arlington.

Retail shopping for upper-income professionals is plentiful in Bethesda, Arlington and the trendy District neighborhoods. Not so much in Silver Spring.

Last and not least. Gotta post this but my point has validity. Silver Spring is a turn-off to WHITE professionals because there are too many black people in the downtown area. You could have a college degree from an elite university and still harbor racist views of the world. Imagine a white, yuppie couple apartment shopping in downtown Silver Spring and they see groups of black teenagers walking up Colesville. Uh-oh. You don't see that in Arlington or Bethesda. The couple would rather fork over $2,200 for a one-bedroom apartment somewhere near the Orange Line in Arlington instead of Silver Spring--thank you very much.

I moved to Silver Spring 12 years ago because the cost of living was reasonable, I was near public transit and I didn't mind having black and Hispanic neighbors. I knew the area was less safe back then and I had few night-time dining or drinking options in Silver Spring in 2001. But that's the trade off, right?

My monthly rent has increased 120 percent over the past the decade. The relocation of the Discovery Channel HQ, a few new restaurants and retail stores in downtown do not justify such insane rent hikes by property management companies. And anyone paying $2,200 for a 700 square foot one-bedroom apartment in downtown Silver Spring needs a serious psychotherapy session.

Anonymous said...

Craig, I think the basic premise of your statement is off: yes, DTSS rents have gone up over the years (and for good reason, if you compare DTSS 2001 v. DTSS 2013), but so have costs in prime DC/NoVa neighborhoods (and for good reason as well, U St. 2001 v. U St. 2013).

Yes, the Solaire is charging insane rents - for a very high-end product - but otherwise rent is still relatively affordable in DTSS compared to the other neighborhoods you mention. $2.2K gets you a 2BR in most DTSS buildings while it gets you a dank basement studio w/bars on the windows due to major safety issues in many of the neighborhoods you mention. Hence the reason why DTSS rental vacancies are very, very low compared to MoCo and the region as a whole.

I certainly agree with your smaller points: a lot of people are racist and they're more comfortable in places like Arlington and Bethesda. Then again, many people enjoy socioeconomic and cultural diversity and live in DTSS (or DC) because of it. I'm fine with racists living in white enclaves and I'm fine with DTSS remaining diverse. Sounds like a win-win for everyone.

Anonymous said...

"The rents in the new developments are approaching Bethesda-Chevy Chase level market rents. Hell, the downtown Silver Spring rents are getting dangerously close to 14th Street/U Street/Logan Circle levels."

Uh, no. Not even close, assuming you're comparing apples and apples (e.g. new Class A building in U St. v. new Class A in Silver Spring). Obviously, if you're comparing apples and oranges (e.g. 60 year old, unrenovated garden apartment a mile outside downtown Bethesda v. new Class A building in downtown Silver Spring) then you might be correct in some instances.

Anonymous said...

"Silver Spring is a turn-off to WHITE professionals because there are too many black people in the downtown area."

Funny that never stopped those same professionals from gentrifying chocolate city. If blacks give yu the heebeegeebee's, you're in for a long ride...

Anonymous said...

white, married, young professional (aged 27). I live in silver spring. i really like silver spring. i am very conservative. i still really like silver spring. it's affordable and diverse. also, my rent? ha, i have a mortgage that is less than 2gs a month. it is definitely cheaper to live here than dc or arlington

Anonymous said...

...continued from the previous comment, i suppose i should add that i live a few miles from downtown, but still. it's a no brainer.

Anonymous said...

I live 2 blocks from DTSS. My house is old. It has 4 bedrooms, a living room, a rec room, 1 and 1/2 bathrooms, a dining room, 2 office rooms, 1 very small kitchen, 1 used to be kitchen, a screened in porch, and a wrap around porch. We pay $1,400 a month for mortgage with 5 years left :) after living here for over 20 years.

We're very fortunate because we saw something in the are when there was not much here. But I doubt you could find something like that these days. At the same time, it is way cheaper than Bethesda.

One other thing. Since when is Arlington lilly white. I've been there. It ain't.

Anonymous said...

Arlington is now over 77% white (compared to 72% in 2000), so yeah, it's getting pretty darn close to lily-white. Granted, they're not Bethesda-pale yet, but soon enough it'll be that homogeneous.

Anonymous said...

Co-sign on whitey being afraid of DTSS and rents being absurd.

Although it is fun to see neighbors that pay 1/4th of what you pay because of housing benefits.

Gull said...

Arlington is full of people who want what I like to call City-lite. They like the idea of endless amenities, but don't require the organic feeling of an urban area that has evolved. Much of the Ros-Bal corridor has that pink hue brick with cream trim and green painted metal work, with the same age street trees and underwhelming experience. Clarendon has tried to go a different route and it's worked fairly well, but even it feels fake. Most of the residents in the Ros-Bal corridor are young professional whites, but just south along Columbia Pike, the demographic is much different, and with that corridor being the new targeted growth area, i'd not be surprised to see the minority population increasing in coming years - probably wealthy and educated minorities. Silver Spring (and Bethesda) feel more like real cities, because instead of 30 buildings going up at once, it's 2 or 3 at a time, so as designs change, the architecture of the urban area is able to change with it. With the new, remains the old, and hence the conflict Craig raised. I'm not sure the comment Craig made really applies to a white vs other ethnicity (at least to me), as much as it's an argument of public behavior of certain people. I also live in DT SS, and my issue is far from anyone's race or religion, but there is something negative to be said about the people (of all ethnic backgrounds) that seem to hang out along Colvesville Road between GA ave and the Metro with the McDonald's as the epicenter. The constant panhandling, the spitting, the public drinking, the loitering, the foul language... that's what gives me any negative perception with the area. I realize everyone has a right to hang out on their free time as they please, but sometimes peoples actions create a very negative external consequence. Silver Spring (and next Wheaton) are trying to urbanize and become a one stop shop housing, employment and entertainment district around mass transit, without gentrifying to a point where the existing residents and businesses are displaced. I'm just not sure both can happen. New residents and businesses seeking an urban transit accessible area want nice amenities, many of the existing businesses and residents can't afford the increased rents - some how Silver Spring has balanced (for the most part) this push and pull, but long term I think one side will end up prevailing over the other.

Anonymous said...

The other day I was meeting some friends for lunch in DTSS and the guy walking in front of me was smoking a blunt. A blunt out in the open at 12:30 pm on a Tuesday. Does this happen in Bethesda?

Anonymous said...

...is that a serious question? As a grad of BCC I can tell you, yes. Tons. Hell, speaking of McD's, there was regular smoking up right in the McD's parking lot across the street from BCC. I'd call Bethesda the weed capital of MoCo if I didn't think Takoma Park would have something to say about that. You should probably check out Olney or something if pot bothers you. P.S. you were probably smelling a black & mild or something anyways.

Anonymous said...

No it was definitely weed. Weed in general doesn't bother me, but someone walking down the street so blatantly smoking it in the middle of the day does bother me.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. I'd recommend calling the police if it ever happens again (in Silver Spring or if you ever find yourself in Bethesda, TP, Rockville, etc. - calling it in while in DC or another actual city with real problems won't get you far). I've found 3D police to be responsive for even less important things than a pot smoker.

Anonymous said...

Just throwing this out there. Another article about the Transit Center. I noted in the comments the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which we were assured would be open by November by Don Scheuerman, chief of the project management section for General Services remains gated off. How frigging incompetent must these people be if they cannot literally move some fences in a timely manner?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/commuters-demand-answers-about-silver-spring-transit-center-delay/2013/01/09/fe7bf00c-5a5e-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

Anonymous said...

It's really too bad that the DTSS McDs land is too small to be used for much else. It is a prime location, but I can't imagine that there's much interest in it from developers because of its size. Meanwhile, the McDs is Bethesda was recently demolished and is going to become an office building. So the teenagers of Bethesda now only have Chipotle and the Regal movie theater as their prime hangout spots.

Anonymous said...

"How frigging incompetent must these people be if they cannot literally move some fences in a timely manner?"

It's been properly gated off already (and has been for a couple months). I have no idea what the hold up is, but I'd assume it's either a general liability issue or red tape between State/Fed/WMATA approval.

Anonymous said...

"It's been properly gated off already (and has been for a couple months)."

I know. I was referring to the gates on either end at the entrances.

Look, something may be holding it up that the public isn't aware of. I get that. But two things: 1) Don't promise us that it will be open if you can't deliver and 2) is it too much to ask for some simple communication as to why?

Anonymous said...

I very much agree.

Anonymous said...

The MBT fence next to the metro station came down yesterday. JUTP circulated this press release: http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=9109

It sounds like the trail isn't going to be opened at Ripley until later this month. So currently it's just MARC and bike riders who want to use the bike rack right at the metro entrance who benefit (if I'm reading the release correctly and the release is accurate).

Anonymous said...

Better than nothing I guess, but it still doesn't help the folks on that stretch of Georgia. And still doesn't answer why they can't even get this simple task done without a 2 month delay.

Anonymous said...

Considering it came down immediately once a few complaints started circulating my guess is that the fence was supposed to have been taken down already and someone's oversight or miscommunication caused it to not be handled properly. Just a guess though.

Anonymous said...

Considering it came down immediately once a few complaints started circulating my guess is that the fence was supposed to have been taken down already and someone's oversight or miscommunication caused it to not be handled properly. Just a guess though.

I would guess that is exactly right.

Anonymous said...

oh joy! sub par sushi is back!

Easley St said...

LOVE the shirt.

Excited for Pete's and La Madeline.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty clear from the recent construction that the holdup on opening up the bike lane was on the end opposite of the transit center (where the new highrise is going up). They've got a big pit on their end, hence why it's still blocked off.

Shush Manchester said...

Better than nothing i suppose, however it still does not facilitate the oldsters on it stretch of Georgia. And still does not answer why they cannot even get this easy task shunned a two month delay. more info click here http://www.shushmanchester.co.uk

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