After about a decade of wanting a grocery store on Square 737, WC Smith was able to announce in October 2013
that it had a signed deal with Whole Foods to occupy 36,000 square feet in the ground floor of Agora, a 336-unit apartment building to be constructed between 2nd and New Jersey along H Street, SE. Construction began in June 2014, with the building expected to be completed in 2016, but the grocery store is not expected to open before 2017. At right in the rendering is the Park Chelsea
Oct. 16, 2016 -
Agora, now starting to get its face put on, seen at the same angle as the above rendering, with its sibling the Park Chelsea
at right. The first floor of the building will be the Whole Foods, then the second two floors will be parking for Whole Foods customers, hence the different-looking lower floors. (Resident parking will be underground.)
Aug. 20, 2016 - Agora as seen from the Southeast Freeway. (Don't worry, I was in the passenger seat.)
Agora, Sliding from to September 2003 to October 2016
There was no connection to H Street from New Jersey until construction began on Agora. When complete, Whole Foods will front this stretch of road.
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Aug. 20, 2016 -
The eastern end of Agora, as seen from a block to the south, at 2nd and I. This view of Agora will eventually go away when the block's third building, the Garrett
, is built along 2nd Street.
May 2007 - The fetching spot on New Jersey Avenue where H Street would intersect, if the street were built through.
December 10, 2016
- A slightly different angle of the same location (similar to the rendering above), after infrastructure work and the progress on the Park Chelsea to the south changed the landscape even before 800 New Jersey was started.
Another rendering of 800 New Jersey and the Park Chelsea, released before the agreement with Whole Foods was finalized (hence the familiar-but-not signage). This is seen from above New Jersey Avenue at H Street.
June 9, 2014 -
WC Smith announced the start of construction on 800 New Jersey on June 9, 2014, and some associated excavation work was underway that day. (Image taken from the roof of the Park Chelsea
June 21, 2008 - Looking westward along H Street at its intersection with 2nd. After the demolition of the warehouse in 2000, Square 737 spent a number of years as a parking lot.
May 24, 2015
- The same location, with the Park Chelsea topped out, and work underway on 800 New Jersey. This gives a view of site's location by the SE Freeway--note that residences won't begin until the building's 4th floor, so that no one is staring into or underneath the freeway structure.
July 18, 2006 - Before work began to redevelop Square 737, Canal Street ran on a strange northwest-then-north path through the block. Here is its intersection with H Street, with New Jersey Avenue laying just beyond the overgrowth.
July 18, 2006 - Looking north at the H/Canal intersection, at the gate into what was for many years a horse stable beneath the SE Freeway. (The stable closed in early 2013.)