by Jon Banister
Edens and co-developers Level 2 Development and Trammell Crow Residential broke ground on their 1270 4th St NE development, which will combine retail and residential to help expand the community near the booming Union Market. Edens CEO Jodie McLean (right) brought in renowned Philadelphia-based chef Jose Garces (left of Jodie) to create a 20k SF Latin marketplace concept for the ground floor of the development. They broke ground Monday at the site of the development, using shovels designed by local artists.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and other community leaders joined Edens to celebrate the groundbreaking and look ahead toward DC's future. "I am very happy that you're focused on the things that are going to continue to make our city prosperous and prosperous for everyone," Bowser said. "We have come a long way in Washington, DC. We have a lot to be proud of and we have a lot to get ready for."
Level 2 and TCR willl manage the 1270 4th St project, which will have 432 residential units above Jose's Latin marketplace. The 11-story building is slated to open in late 2018. The original warehouse facade of the building is being preserved to add character to the retail storefront. "One might look at it and say this 1950s façade of brick is not really of historical significance," Level 2 principal and co-founder David Franco said. "It's just an old warehouse, but it's so important to the fabric of this community and the fabric of this warehouse neighborhood. It’s that architecture such as this one that you see here that really sets the tone for what the market is going to be."
Jose opened his first restaurant in 2005 and now owns more than a dozen restaurants in Philadelphia, Chicago, California, Arizona and New Jersey. "We’re going to be creating a dynamic culinary center right here in the nation's capital, celebrating the richness and diversity of Latin cuisine and culture," he said.
When Jodie took to the podium, she called up the two daughters of DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, who also spoke at the groundbreaking. With her arm around McDuffie's daughters, Jodie highlighted the importance of creating a sustainable future for young people. "Our vision here for Union Market is to be a part of the broader vision for DC," Jodie said. "To be a part of that growing, intellectually creative economy here that gives this group of people a home, a community of like-minded people to come together and think well beyond what they see here today." Echoing the sentiments she shared at last week's Bisnow DC State of the Market, Jodie emphasized the importance of building a strong community. She began her speech with a tribute to the Orlando attack victims, saying tragedies such as this show the importance of having a tight-knit community. Jodie said Edens has already created 450 to 500 new jobs with its existing Union Market developments, and she aims to create as many as 20,000 jobs by the time she's finished.