What's next for Cabin John Village?
It’s been nearly three years since D.C. developer Edens purchased the ’60s-era Cabin John shopping center and started dragging it into the 21st century. Much has changed since 2016, from the renovated parking lot, updated roofline and crisp white color scheme to the shady new walkways, modernized lighting, outdoor seating areas and fresh dining choices. We know you have questions about what’s ahead, and we’ve been working to get the answers. Read on for our special Cabin John issue.
Are they really going to cut through the whole shopping center?
In the next phase of Cabin John construction, likely beginning in 2020, the main strip center will essentially be cut in half. Everything from CVS to Giant will be torn down to create a central thruway for cars and pedestrians. If you enter by car from Tuckerman Lane, you’ll be able to park in the front lot or drive right through to the back lot. On foot, you’ll be able to travel from front to back via sidewalks. Rebuilt storefronts will face out to the new road, much like the thruway in front of Gregorio’s and Lahinch where the string lights were recently installed.
Who's being displaced?
The upcoming cut-through will demolish the homes of four Cabin John tenants — China Gourmet Bistro, The Grilled Oyster Co., Capital One and Breadsmith — along with the empty space that once belonged to BGR. Some of these businesses may end up closing, some may find new homes at other local shopping centers, and some may reopen at Cabin John when construction is complete. The tenants we spoke with have not made their decisions yet.
What about the other side of the center?
Reconstruction of the smaller strip center is nearly finished. A modernized white roofline shows off the tenants’ snazzy new signage and provides a shaded walkway with ceiling fans underneath. The sidewalks have been widened, additional seating is on the way, and the new lighting includes string bulbs that visually connect this building to its neighbor. Carpet & Vacuum Expo is expanding its footprint, and several of the empty spaces will soon be filled by new eateries. We’ve heard some buzz about Playa Bowls, which already has a location in College Park, but nothing has been confirmed yet. (Editor’s update: Playa Bowls is indeed on the way. Click here for more.)
Any word on the dining scene?
With last week’s opening of Sisters Thai (check out our photos on Facebook and Instagram), Cabin John’s newest restaurant row is now complete. A shared outdoor seating area is still in progress, including some new greenery that was added this summer. The next group of new restaurants will likely be near California Tortilla. We’ll share more as soon as the deals are finalized.
What's up with Giant?
Given everything that’s new at Cabin John, have you wondered why the Giant supermarket still looks like it belongs in the 1970s? As an anchor tenant, Giant controls its exterior and has so far opted not to modernize. We’re betting that will change in the next year or two.
What are these buildings?
This rendering shows potential buildings that may eventually be added in front of the mini-mall. No timetable has been set for this new construction, but it’s likely that Cabin John eventually will add a home and design store.
What's happening in the mini-mall?
The mini-mall, a haven for locally owned businesses, is now getting a mini-facelift with new flooring, lighting, furniture and signage. The second-floor offices, quiet for many years, are newly bustling with fashion-oriented businesses, a music school and professional practices.
What's the latest on car and bike parking?
The parking lot is sporting new lights and new greenery, and most of its spaces have been widened from eight feet to 8 1/2. That means fewer worries about bumping your car door against your neighbors. (Does it mean fewer spaces overall? We haven’t gotten a straight answer to that question.) New bike lanes and new bike parking are on the way. Eventually, there also will be a bikeshare system.
What about the new townhouses?
Local developer EYA will start construction of 48 new townhouses behind the mall in 2020. The three-story homes with garages in the back will be built on the undeveloped area behind Lahinch. They’ll be priced around $1 million each.
What else is on the way?
A few other things we haven’t mentioned: An updated Cabin John sign is coming soon for the corner of Seven Locks and Tuckerman. Plans are in the works for more art elements like the hand-painted murals outside the new restaurants. There will be more places to walk, sit and gather. Eventually, the center will host public events. Stay tuned to Store Reporter for the latest.