A lot more Ghost Kitchens Seem in Clarendon Parking Lot Eyed for Redevelopment

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A kitchen area trailer in Clarendon that popped up last summer time in a vacant ton has due to the fact been joined by two other individuals. And now they are generating meals from much more than a half-dozen “ghost kitchens” accessible on food shipping and delivery platforms this kind […]

A kitchen area trailer in Clarendon that popped up last summer time in a vacant ton has due to the fact been joined by two other individuals.

And now they are generating meals from much more than a half-dozen “ghost kitchens” accessible on food shipping and delivery platforms this kind of as DoorDash and Grubhub. Out of these kitchens come fried hen sandwiches, asada fries and Asian avenue food items, among other dishes.

The 3 trailers concerning the Clarendon Total Foods and the PNC Financial institution are owned by REEF Technology, a firm concentrated on turning underutilized, urban parking a lot into foodstuff and logistics hubs. The food stuff services arm of Reef is called NBRHD Kitchens.

In complete, according to signage on the residence, these three trailers develop meals for 7 restaurant concepts. They’ll be bringing activity the vacant ton though Arlington County embarks on a particular research to determine if the zoning codes for the assets, close to the border of the Clarendon and Courthouse neighborhoods, ought to let for a new condominium developing.

“REEF released its shipping and delivery dining establishments in Arlington in June 2020, remaining the 1st municipality in which the company establishes its functions,” the corporation tells ARLnow. “REEF’s delivery dining places in Arlington are amid the maximum performing.”

The organization also has two kitchen area hubs in D.C. — at P Street NW and K Avenue NE — and just about every can assist among four and 6 makes. But REEF did hint at possible growth.

“As Arlington continues to be a terrific executing place, REEF continues to appear at alternatives to mature its footprint in conditions of supply places to eat and other organization verticals,” REEF said.

REEF’s development and growth mirrors the trends that the meals shipping platforms DoorDash and Grubhub explain to ARLnow they are observing. Spokespeople for the companies reported shipping-only kitchens have proliferated notably in the final calendar year in response to pandemic problems and the rising expenditures of developing a physical location.

“Delivery-only digital (or ghost) kitchens on Grubhub have been a rising pattern around the previous year, symbolizing a adaptable way for cafe house owners to experiment with new menu principles, model a subset of current menu items, or capture unmet buyer demand with out incorporating overhead,” a Grubhub spokeswoman claimed.

DoorDash does not obtain knowledge on the breakdown between delivery-only dining establishments and all those with storefronts, but the pandemic blurred that line anyway, as standard eating institutions turned to distinct models to keep working when dine-in wasn’t an choice.

“For numerous cafe proprietors, ghost kitchens give a far more price-helpful way to increase their enterprise — achieving new marketplaces and customers — for the reason that they really do not require the normal overhead costs connected with opening a new cafe,” reported Emily Tung, the director of DoorDash Kitchens. “Many impartial organizations have been profitable in their ghost kitchen area endeavors and our purpose is to assistance our associates throughout all their places and enable speed up their online achievement.”

But the ghost kitchen action at this place is destined to be non permanent, as the organization that owns the large amount aims to redevelop it.

Dubbed Courthouse West, the lot at 2636 Wilson Blvd is bounded by N. Danville Road, Clarendon Blvd, N. Cleveland Road and Wilson Blvd. The property’s operator, CRC Businesses, has asked the county to transform the land-use designation — which now allows for a single- to 4-story properties — to one particular that will allow for motels or taller flats.

The Ballston-based mostly genuine estate developer proposes a mix of for-rent housing selections and retail, linked by landscaping featuring redesigned pedestrian spaces to hook up Clarendon and Courthouse.

“CRC has been intently working with Arlington County for above two decades on a system to transform this great deal into a vivid, mixed use enhancement regular with the eyesight of the County’s scheduling documents,” a spokesperson for CRC Businesses claimed. “In the interim, CRC has supported by-ideal uses this kind of as food trucks and ghost kitchens to activate the web site.”

The county is set to embark on a distinctive study known as the Courthouse West Distinctive Normal Land Use Approach (GLUP) to examine CRC’s ask for. A “scoping document” for the research was printed very last 7 days.

Staff will review the web page ailments and the Extended Selection Planning Committee of the Scheduling Fee will come to a decision if the modifications would be proper, according to the doc.

A community study, an on line engagement session scheduled for this December and an LRPC assembly following January are slated to happen ahead of the closing review is introduced to the LRPC in April, the document mentioned.

“This operate will, in turn, advise future web page program programs,” the planning doc mentioned.

The further steerage is essential simply because the Courthouse Sector Approach paperwork that utilize to the great deal “lack enough organizing assistance for the subject matter assets to advise a County Board choice on the asked for GLUP changes,” it mentioned. The whole lot is about equidistant to the Clarendon and Courthouse Metro stations, and has sat generally vacant — help save the trailers, a community parking lot and a applied motor vehicle dealership — for decades, in spite of the central locale.

The study system will entail CRC, nearby property homeowners, associates of nearby civic associations as properly as advisory commissions, and county staff members, the doc mentioned.

But in the brief expression, the food stuff will continue to be, and far more trailers could come.

“There is potential for more food items vans pending our continued functioning conversations with Arlington County and local community leaders,” the CRC spokesman explained.

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