Rendering for Uline Arena.
Few things get DC in more of a tizzy these days than the possibility of a famous eatery coming to the city. So, in mid-2011, when the talk started of the much vaunted Eataly expanding to DC, the tizzy started.
Eataly is an Italian food lover’s dream. Located in New York City, it is 50,000 square feet of Italian restaurants, wine bars, bakeries and food stands that has become a favorite destination of foodies and tourists alike.
Of course, the excitement surrounding Eataly’s arrival in DC was matched by the difficulty in finding a location suitable for such an establishment.
So, when Douglas Development announced their redevelopment plans earlier this year for the historic Uline Arena — 50,000 square feet of retail and 150,000 square feet of office space — it seemed like there was an answer to the puzzle. A Douglas representative even announced that plans would ideally include an “Eataly-like” vendor, with a market, restaurant and bar concept.
Inside Eataly in New York. Courtesy of andersc77.
In recent years, a number of redevelopment ideas have been tossed out for the Uline Arena, famous as the site of The Beatles’ first US concert. Among those ideas were a music museum and a massive mixed-use project with 225 residences.
To bring the excitement to its most heightened state, UrbanTurf heard from two separate sources in recent months that Eataly had narrowed its DC search down to two locations — Uline and the Capital Crossing project planned for above I-395. However, no move would be made anytime soon by Eataly owners, largely because their focus was on a Chicago expansion for the time being.
Alas, it looks as though Eataly could now be a long shot for Uline, as the new plans are for a 35,000 square-foot REI store to anchor the redevelopment. With the way DC’s food scene has been growing, though, don’t assume that dreams of a DC Eataly are completely dead.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_rumor_urbanturf_heard_in_2013_eataly_to_uline/7931
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