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East Coast's 1st Starbucks Closing, Will Be Torn Down

Starbucks Cup

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/26/2012 11:50 am Updated: 01/26/2012 1:32 pm

WASHINGTON -- The East Coast's first Starbucks, at Wisconsin and Idaho avenues, will be shutting its doors for good this weekend. As WTOP -- which is located right across the street -- reports, Starbucks' building will be soon torn down.

After years of neighborhood battles over the future development of the Friendship Center site, work on Cathedral Commons will soon begin, which will include a new home for Starbucks and Giant Foods. The mixed-use development will include a mix of retail, townhomes and apartments.

The Friendship Center was built adjacent to McLean Gardens, a massive World Ward II-era residential development constructed on the former Friendship estate, once a retreat for Hope Diamond owner and high-spending D.C. socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean.

The Friendship Center was also the site of a streetcar turnaround, where some Wisconsin Avenue trolley cars would head into the shopping center's parking lot before returning downtown.

One by one, businesses have left the Friendship Center in advance of the Cathedral Commons redevelopment -- including Sullivan's Toys & Art Supplies, a barbershop and the office of Gibraltar Asset Management, which has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running a Ponzi scheme.

Wisconsin Avenue is also home to the so-called "Triple Homicide Starbucks" on the edge of Georgetown, where three employees where brutally murdered in 1997. That location, near 34th Street NW and Wisconsin Avenue, has been open since 1994, according to The Washington Post.

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