In the nearly six years since Palena, an early contributor to DC's then-burgeoning dining scene, closed on Connecticut Avenue, the Cleveland Park space has remained vacant. Now, it looks like a bank is slated for the site.
Federal Realty and Chase Bank have applied for zoning approval to bring a new location of Chase Bank to 3529 Connecticut Avenue NW (map). A special exception is required to allow for financial services use in the NC-3 zone, which is specific to the Cleveland Park commercial corridor. Popville also reported last month that a School of Rock location is coming to a separate portion of the Palena space.
The Chase bank would occupy 3,287 square feet and would have entrances on Connecticut Avenue and from the parking lot. Because there is a Capital One bank two doors down in the same retail strip, a special exception is needed as the combined square footage would exceed the 20% maximum permitted share of the ground floor for financial service uses.
Part of the application's explanation for why a special exception is needed is that there have been difficulties in leasing the space since Palena's closure.
"The Applicant has made good faith efforts over the years to lease the retail space to a use that would not require special exception relief. The tenant space has been vacant since 2014, and since that time, many letters of intent were pursued for a variety of uses, but none were successful."
These plans are the latest in a recent wave of financial institutions clustering together and taking over prominent real estate in DC and elsewhere, including the Capital One Cafés in Chinatown and Georgetown (and other banks slated for Georgetown). A bank might also replace a Starbucks that recently closed in Chinatown.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/chase-bank-will-occupy-former-palena-space/16443.
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