Update of 2 February 2017
Actual construction at the Frager’s site may begin about March 2017. The first task is to shore up the remaining brick walls and clear out all the debris from the fire.
Update of 1 March 2016
Perseus Realty LLC, which purchased the Fragers property last Fall, revealed its plans for developing the site at a community meeting on February 25, 2016. Details are in my posting The Return of Frager’s Hardware Plus …
Update of 10 December 2014
Roadside Development, which is currently under contract to purchase the Frager’s Hardware property at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue hosted a community meeting on December 10th. Richard Lake, founding partner of Roadside and Lionel Lynch, Director of New Development, were rather (intentionally, I think) vague on their ideas for the renewal since the purpose of the meeting was to elicit ideas from the community. There did seem to be a firm commitment to save what’s left of the brick facade, if possible. And, obviously, one major component of the new building with be a lease back to Frager’s Hardware with sufficient space to rejoin its current split up operations (hardware, lawn & garden, paint) back into one. Roadside did say they plan to include a residential component with larger units (“we don’t build micro units”) and Lake, when asked, tossed out “38” as a possible number of units.
Roadside does, however, plan to build “by right” (within the C-2-A zoning rules*) which limits the project to a maximum height of 50 feet (4-5 stories depending on individual floor heights). Designing “by right” means no zoning relief will be sought but the plans will have to win approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board. But, that process–which will come through ANC6B–won’t occur until mid-2015, according to Roadside, with 14 months of construction initiated a year later.
Because it always does, parking rose as a major concern of those who spoke up at the meeting. Roadside says it will provide the required number of onsite parking spaces for the residential units. Parking for Fragers customers is another issue as are location of a loading zone and trash handling. Ideas suggested: LEED status, bike racks, electric charging station, placing the garden center directly off Pennsylvania Avenue as it was pre-fire, and maintaining the current store front design. Roadside plans to hold another community meeting in January 2015. At that meeting I expect they will provide more of their ideas for the project. Closure on the sale of the property may happen in the first quarter of 2015.
*Note: Depending on when this project is formally initiated, it may fall under current C-2-A zone rules or the new rules that the Zoning Commission is considering as part of the citywide Zoning Regulation Review.
HillNow’s report on the meeting is at: http://www.hillnow.com/2014/12/11/fragers-hardware-could-be-joined-by-39-new-residential-units/
You can send comments and suggestions to Roadside via email email@example.com or call 202-375-7942 and/or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Update of 11 October 2014:
There will be more, much more to come on the new Frager’s building to be developed by Roadside. In the meantime, you can ask questions, make suggestions etc by sending an email to email@example.com or by calling 202-375-7942.
Update of 26 September 2014:
This is the best [understatement] news since the Fire! Frager’s has decided to return to its original location under a deal with Roadside Development. The property will be sold to Roadside, who will then develop the site within the current zoning parameters. Frager’s will have a long term lease for its hardware, paint, rental, and garden departments in the new building.
Read all about it at the Hill Rag.
There will be more to come as the project moves through the process. Chiefly, there will be a Historic Preservation review as the site is within the CH Historic District. Roadside plans to preserve the existing walls of the building if structurally possible.
Update of 8 August 2014:
Frager’s has now installed a high iron fence along the 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue site and plans to use this space for bulk items and its Lawn & Garden center when it has to move from the Pad at Eastern Market. A fence has also been installed on the rear of the site to create a barrier between residential properties on the 1200 block of E Street and any operations at 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Frager’s has purchased the building at 1323 E Street, the current temporary hardware store. Once the 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue site is re-built, Frager’s plans to use the E Street building as a warehouse.
Update of 16 May 2014:
I received the following statement from Fragers: “Frager’s has reevaluated its decision about building a large structure at 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue to house all its current operations. Instead, a small portion of the site will be modestly developed as a back-up location and the future home of Frager’s Garden Center. The existing four separate locations for hardware, paint, bulk items and lawn & garden will remain in place until such time as when a new building can be designed for and constructed at our original location, 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
To recap, here’s where you can find Frager’s: Hardware (1323 E Street SE), Paint (1229 Pennsylvania Avenue SE), Bulk items (Gate at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue SE), and Lawn & Garden (the Pad at Eastern Market).
Update of 26 March 2014:
The Garden Center at the Eastern Market pad is now open 7 days a week and is fully stocked with all your Spring planting needs.
Plans to construct a temporary building at 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue SE to house most of the hardware store is underway. I understand that the permitting process is in its last phases. Estimate is that it will take about 11 weeks from ground breaking to get the store up and running.
Update of 27 October 2013:
Frager’s. Open & Stocked at 1323 E Street SE. What a joy to see the aisles and aisles of familiar products at 1323 E today! If you haven’t checked this out yet, do so before you make another trek out to that “HD” place.
I saw plumbing and electrical supplies, cleaning products, trash bags, batteries … just about a whole selection of the types of products we remember from 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue. Even nuts & bolts (although it’s linear now rather than in a room of its own). And, there is a Screen and Glass repair booth. The rear of this converted warehouse building is the domain of Just Ask Rental.
OK. It doesn’t have the ambience of 1115; no creaky wood floors and no tin ceiling. But, the same great staff is there to help. Entering the store today I encountered some friends exiting. And, it reminded me of one of the things we all lost when 1115 burned down. Frager’s has always been a place where you run into friends and acquaintances while roaming through the aisles. It’s a place to chat and catch up.
Open Monday thru Friday 7am to 6pm; Saturday 7am to 555pm; and Sunday 8am to 5pm.
Update of 22 September:
Update of 3 September: The temporary Paint Store opens on Sat 7 Sept with a celebration from 10am to 3pm. Hot dogs cooked on a Big Egg will be served for lunch and many prizes available.
Update of 28 July: Good news included with my Frager’s bill … The temporary location for the Paint Store will be 1129 Pennsylvania Ave SE (most recently the site of a restaurant that has closed). The windows of this corner building are papered over right now so I assume “build out” work is underway or will be shortly.
Just Ask Rental is now located at 1323 E Street SE with most of the items they had for rent before the fire. Eventually, this location will have “an expanded selection of electrical, hardware and plumbing.” And, you can still get mulch, soil amendments (such as potting soil, Leafgro, etc.), Virginia Lime, propane at the old Garden Gate at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
At the Lawn & Garden pop up on the pad across from Eastern Market, another tent was being raised today. It will contain more hardware and lawn & garden items. And, if you can’t find it there or at one of the other locations, try the True Value website for thousands of products you can have shipped at no charge to Frager’s for pick up. (Select the “ship to store” option.) Still can’t find it? Call Frager’s at 202-543-6157 and let them know what you are looking for.
Frager’s is continuing with plans to rebuild at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue but that’s a multi-year process. In the meantime, they are working on getting a large temporary location to house all departments “under one roof”. This may be in place in the Fall.
Update of 19 July: As I mentioned last week, you can now Buy More from Frager’s by doing a “ship to store” order on the True Value website. I have now tested the system. Placed in order on Sun 14 Jul and picked it up at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Thu 18 Jul. These “ship to store” orders have no shipping charge and Frager’s gets the credit for the sale.
Shopping on the True Value website is like most online shopping systems. Select your items, put them in a “cart”, and check out and pay. You get an email confirmation of your order and cost and another email when the items are shipped. The difference is that you need to be sure to select “ship to store” option on the website (just right of the logo on the home page) and then select Frager’s.
Once Frager’s receives the items, they notify True Value and True Value sends you an email to let you know you can now pick them up at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. A Frager’s employee at the pre-fire lawn and garden gate will hand you your items and ask you to sign a receipt. You do have to present the email confirmation and an ID, though.
You can also Buy More at the pad across from Eastern Market because Frager’s is adding more products there in the tents along the 8th Street side of the pad next to the Key Shop. In addition to the garden related items in one tent, in the other I saw a myriad of hardware items yesterday such as fuses & electrical switches, hammers & screw drivers, Meyer’s projects & brooms, coolers & fans, picture hangers & door knob sets. And more.
Update of 12 July: At the ANC6B meeting on 9 July when asked what more the community could do to help, John Weintraub said Frager’s needs customers to purchase products so the business can generate revenue. The Garden Center and the Just Ask Rental components are in business. There is a key shop on the pad at the Garden Center. The Garden Center seems to add products daily, many of the items that were housed inside the store.
And, at the 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue yard, you can buy mulches of many varieties, propane, plywood, 2×4’s (8 and 10 ft lengths), charcoal, and other products that were stored in the “garage” in the rear of the yard and were not affected by the fire. This location is open Sunday thru Wednesday, 9am to 5pm; Thursday & Friday 9am to 7pm; and Saturday 9am to 555pm. Note: The Garden Center hours are the same.
And, you can find many other products you used to get at Frager’s by going to the True Value website and placing a “ship to store” order. (Select Frager’s!) There is no shipping charge and Frager’s gets the credit. All the logistics may not yet be worked out but I am placing an order today to test the system.
According to the Hill Rag, $90K of the over $130K that the community donated through the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, have been distributed to Frager’s employees and small businesses afffected by the fire. John Weintraub told us at the ANC meeting that they have had to let go 25 of their pre-fire 64 employees. It was clear when he talked about it that this had been a painful process; some of these employees had been working for Frager’s for a decade or more. In response to a question, he said that the insurance is paying for some of the employee salaries but Frager’s has to prove monthly that these employees are actually working at productive tasks.
The warehouse building at 1323 E Street SE that Frager’s has secured on a short term lease will not be open for business until they get through the arduous process of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy from the DC government.
Finally, John Weintraub told us that rebuilding the store at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue is 1.5 to 3 years away. So far, the site is still in the hands of the insurance company.
Update of 8 July: John Weintraub, owner of Frager’s, will be at the Tue 9 Jul ANC6B meeting to give the community a status update and answer questions. The meeting starts at 7pm at the Hill Center.
The open air Lawn and Garden pop-up across from Eastern Market is adding products daily. Yesterday I saw a new houseplant tent and the addition of some gardening tools, sprays, and fertilizers. And, the Key Shop is open for business.
Is a place with hardware coming next?
Update of 28 June: According to the Washington Post Metro section today, the Frager’s fire was likely started by a cigarette butt in a plastic tub. But, caution, the Fire Marshall has not yet issued an official report.
The Garden Center has added hoses, mouse traps, and other popular items to its Pop Up shop across from Eastern Market. I also saw BBQs and plant stakes.
Update of 27 June: I was away for a week and missed what I hear was a fabulous fundraiser at Eastern Market on Fri 21 June. There are two upcoming fundraisers that I know of:
Fri 28 Jun, 6p to 730p at Christ Church (620 G Street SE) where you can support Frager’s by enjoying a Buffet-Style Spaghetti Dinner featuring Mama Sousa’s famous sauce. Suggested donation is $30 for adults. All proceeds go to the CH Community Foundation’s Fragers Fund.
Sat 13 Jul, 630p to 930p at CHAW (545 7th Street SE) … a Mixed Media Workshop. Minimum donation $55. For details to go the Friends of Fragers Yahoo Group (see below) or http://chaw.org/index.php/events/details/hardware_hill_home/
Business Unusual: Frager’s is busy trying to open more temporary shops (in today’s vernacular “pop-ups”). The latest firmed up is a warehouse in the 1300 block of E Street SE (across from PeterBug) for which they have taken a short term lease. As of today, the rental business will be at this site. Other decisions pending.
Meanwhile, you can buy mulch, get propane tanks for your BBQ, and pick up rental ladders at the Frager’s yard next to the burned out building on Pennsylvania Avenue SE. And a key shop is being set up in a hut on the Garden Center pad across from Eastern Market.
This week, a salvage company was hauling out and hauling away (in 53 ft trucks) damaged goods from the interior.
To stay in touch and get information, go to these places:
- Fragers website: http://www.fragersdc.com
- Friends of Fragers Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FriendsofFragers/
- Friends of Fragers website: http://www.friendsoffragers.org/
DONATIONS are being collected by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation. [Click on the Donate button and write Frager’s in the dedication section. Visa, Mastercard, and Amex accepted.] Or, you can send a check to CHCF, 419 East Capitol Street SE, DC 20003. Be sure to note it is for Frager’s. Contributions are tax deductible. There isn’t information yet on how these donations will be used as Frager’s is still in the process of figuring out what its insurance will cover. Gary Peterson, who coordinated a similar effort for CHCF after the 2007 Eastern Market fire, has stepped forward to manage this Frager’s effort.
With Mayor Gray officiating, Frager’s Garden Center reopened for business on 9 June across the street from Eastern Market, 7th & C Streets SE. [The fire on 5 June did not reach the plants outdoors.] The Center plans to be open from 9am to 5pm, Mondays through Sundays.
Garden Center Update 12 June: Frager’s is considering whether or not to make their hours more consistent with those of Eastern Market, which would mean staying open later some days. The pad is being filled up with more items; I saw mulch, Leafgro, a full range of clay and plastic pots, lawn chairs, and post-fire plants there today.
Just Ask Rental is back in operation, although with a limited inventory. Tables, chairs, and shelters are plentiful, however. Hours are 7am to 6pm, daily. Telephone: 202-543-0100. Location: Rear alley at 726 1/2 11th Street SE. Access is through an east/west alley in the 700 block of 11/12 Streets SE.
One has to wonder if this is the model for Frager’s temporary operations; a series of small shops around the Hill. For instance, will we see a key machine set up somewhere? How about a Tools shop? … a Paint Store … and, so on.
- Hill Center’s DC Jazz concert on 12 June attracted more than 50 people. All proceeds from the ticket and concession sales will go to the CHCF Frager’s Fire Fund. Hank’s on the Hill created a (delicious) new Frager’s Fire punch for the event and Spring Mill Bakery donated baked goodies.
- On Fri 14 June: Tabula Rasa, 731 8th Street SE, hosted a Happy Hour for Frager’s and Neighboring Businesses from 6pm to 9pm. Proceeds will go to the CHCF Frager’s Fund. Several Barracks Row restaurants (Cava, Zest, LPQ), DCanter, and Schneider’s Liquor contributed food and drinks. A good crowd showed up, several speeches were made. And, in my personal opinion, the food offered was delicious.
- The DC Rollergirls are hosting a fundraiser at The Fridge on Fri 21 June. The event with bands, DC Brau, and Dangerously Delicious Pies starts at 630pm. Proceeds will go to the CHCF Frager’s Fund. Event details at the Friends of Fragers Yahoo Group and advance tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/404927
Beat26 Newsletter Notes of 9 June: (1) Frager’s hopes to have its telephone service 202-543-6157 back in operation soon. Actual day depends on Verizon, of course. Employees will staff the phone line and be able to answer questions and take comments ETC. (2) You can mail bill payments and whatever else to Frager’s, 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Post office is forwarding all its mail to 409 4th St SE. (3) Frager’s email systems are jammed with hundreds of emails. (4) Frager’s may have had a querky interior and piles of paper in its office but they had modern systems and were backing up daily into The Cloud. (5) The architectural firm that was burned out has found alternate space on the Hill and is busy designing a “new Frager’s” building. (6) If you have a fundraising event to offer, please post a notice about it on the Friends of Fragers Yahoo Group. If you want to organize a fundraiser, I suggest you contact CHCF to find out how to collect funds and provide them through CHCF.
OTHERS BURNED OUT: We need to keep in mind that it wasn’t just Frager’s that lost their business on 5 June. Those in the 2nd floor of the corner (Paint Store) building–such as demian/wilbur/architects–also did, as did Well Dunn that operated out of 510 11th Street SE. And, the two residences at 512 and 514 11th Street SE were also affected. The interior of Well Dunn’s building (510) was gutted and decisions will have to be made about whether to rebuild it or not. The 512 residence suffered water and smoke damage throughout and the basement of the residence at 514 was flooded.