Good news for all of you who have been waiting for-ev-er for the new Safeway project to get underway. On October 28th, the planning board gave their final approval for the project to move forward. Click here for the Gazette article, which includes an artist's rendering of the project. Courtesy of Eatin' In Wheaton, there's also a good post on DCMud with lots of info on the project.
On a side note, did you know that video links are available on the planning board's website for all of their hearings? Out of curiosity, I watched the portion of the meeting dealing with the Safeway approval. The new building sounds pretty sweet - there will be a 5th floor open-air terrace level with a lawn, pool, lounge area, and fire pit. Inside the building, there will be a fitness center, play room, and lounge. There will be an outdoor seating area at street level along the Safeway facade. The public art they have planned sounds kind of dull (little mini-figures showing people going about their businesss), but it was amusing to hear the developer and artist try to sell the idea to the planning board during the meeting...People will end up naming the statues! They'll dress them up for holidays! Eh, I don't know about that. But still, I'd rather have something small and innocuous than some sort of big, ugly public art monstrosity.
Now that the project has the planning board's approval, they'll still have to get all of their building permits for the demolition and new construction work. So, it will be a number of months before any progress is seen, but things seem to be on the right track!