Less than two decades ago, the historic O Street Market became the site of one of the worst mass shootings in a city plagued by gun violence. The March 31, 1994, attack left one teenager dead and eight more people wounded. This evening, the market, rebuilt as a high-end development, will reopen when officials cut the ribbon on a gleaming new Giant supermarket. (Marc Fisher had an excellent look back in the Washington Post yesterday.)
The development, called CityMarket at O, is transforming the late-19th-century food hall into the latest symbol of a revitalized Washington. When it’s complete, the project will include 629 apartments, a 182-room hotel, and 87,000 feet of retail. The apartments are still nearly a year away from being inhabitable, but the developer, Roadside Realty, has already leased 75 one-bedrooms at an average rate of $2,700 a month.
The supermarket is opening first, and by Giant’s standards, the 72,000-square-foot store is impressive. The wine, beer, natural foods, meat, and produce sections are all blown out beyond the chain’s usual size, and the store’s layout incorporates bits of the original market’s brick edifice that construction crews were able to salvage. The store’s opening also brings grocery shopping back to the Shaw neighborhood, which has transformed into a cluster of new apartment buildings and restaurants in the two years since Giant’s store at Seventh and P streets, Northwest, was torn down to make way for the CityMarket project.
The store officially opens tomorrow morning, and will operate from 6 AM to midnight seven days a week. Take a look around now.