Monroe St. Market (Catholic U.) Development Update: Winter Of Progress

It has been a while since we have done a development update. While the rest of us have been busy with the holiday season, inauguration activities and the like, the construction crews at the Monroe Street Market have kept their nose to the grindstone. In total, there are 4 Blocks of development underway. Here is the latest.

“Block A”- This is a roughly two block stretch along Monroe Street that starts at 7th Street and meets up with Michigan Ave NE. Underground parking garage levels are complete and now concrete and steel floors above ground are quickly going up. Still, we should expect that deck (floors) and column concrete pours will be going on for the next few months.

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So here is what the A Block will look like when completed. At the westernmost end of the development  (where Monroe intersects with Michigan Avenue), there will be a public square envisioned as a vibrant space for students, faculty, and local residents to meet and mingle. Highlights of the square will be a fountain, outdoor café seating, and a clock tower. Note how the traffic pattern will be improved at the intersection. Currently it is not very pedestrian friendly at all. The apartments in this part of the development will be called the “Cornerstone” as they are described as the “hub of the Community”.  The apartments are slated to be move-in ready by January 2014.

Rendering Courtesy of The Buzzuto Group/Abdo Development
Rendering Courtesy of The Buzzuto Group/Abdo Development

The most advanced development block is the “C Block”.  The exterior brick facade has been going up quickly. Inside the building, trim work, cabinets and drywall are being installed, in addition to upgraded utility lines to service the building. This building is located between Monroe St. and Michigan Ave, at 8th St. NE. It will have 152 apartment residences, retail facing Monroe St., NE and a pedestrian walkway down the center, called the Arts Walk, lined with 27 artist studios. These apartments will be called the “Brookland Works” and are described as “Industrial Chic Living”. The apartments and artist studios will be ready for move in by June 2013.

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As a reminder, here is how it will look when complete:

Monroe Street Market Artswalk Rendering Courtesy of ABDO/The Buzzuto Group

The north end of the C block/Arts Walk will have direct access to the Metro. The pedestrian-only Arts Walk will have  a plaza at the north end featuring an 80 ft. decorative steel tower, a water feature, a stage for live performances, and a green wall covering the south side of the Drew Bridge. Here are present and future looks at the space.

Lots of digging and underground infrastructure going in at the pedestrian area.
Lots of digging and underground infrastructure going in at the pedestrian area.


Brookland Development NE Washington DC
Monroe Street Market C Block/Artswalk Rendering Courtesy of Abdo and The Bozzuto Group.







Another feature of the C Block is the extension of the Met Branch Trail that will run along the side of the building. Unless something changes, it looks like it will have a decent slope to it. It will connect to McCormack drive along the side of Catholic University to extend that stretch of the trail.

Portion of the Met Branch Trail under construction.
Portion of the Met Branch Trail under construction.
McCormack Drive portion of Met Branch Trail along Catholic U.
McCormack Drive portion of Met Branch Trail along Catholic U.










The ArtsFlex Building is really starting to take shape. It sits across from the C Block building at the south-east intersection of Monroe and 8th Streets, NE along the Metro tracks. The concrete deck and retaining wall have been poured and the steel structure has gone up. It’s really exciting because it hints at how high the ceilings will be and the tallest support structures help you to visualize the three tower like features. The Arts Flex building will host artist, community, and university events.  The design calls for one large industrial space and a large front patio/plaza area. The Arts Flex building is slated to be delivered in Summer 2013.

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As a reminder, here is what the Arts Flex building will look like when completed.

Catholic University Development Brookland NE Washington DC
East Side of Arts Flex , Rendering courtesy of Maurice Walters Architect, Inc
Catholic u Development Brookland NE Washington DC
Rendering courtesy of Maurice Walters Architect, Inc







Of the four blocks under development, the “B Block” is the one that really surprised me with how far it has come in the past few months. By now you can see where the staircases and elevator towers are going to be, and the steel structure that will give the triangular-shaped building its rounded corners is up. Now that the concrete foundation is complete, wood framing is going up quickly.  As you can see from one of the pictures, pipes and other infrastructure have been installed in the garage and ground floor retail spaces. The building will be six stories high and will have apartments called the “Portland Flats” which are described as “Grand Boutique apartments in a Flatiron building”. The apartments are on schedule to be delivered October 2013.

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As a reminder, here is how it will look when completed.

B Block Rendering Courtesy of ABDO/The Buzzuto Group
B Block Rendering Courtesy of ABDO/The Buzzuto Group

Here is a present day and future comparison of the A (left) and B (right) Blocks, looking west on Monroe Street at 7th St. NE:

Monroe Street facing West. Rendering courtesy  of the Buzzuto Group/Abdo Development
Monroe Street facing West. Rendering courtesy of the Buzzuto Group/Abdo Development

Monroe street Brooklnd NE  Washington dc







Beginning in early January, 7th street between Monroe and Michigan Avenue has been closed to vehicle traffic.This is part of a realignment of the intersection while installing new curbs and gutters. This portion of 7th street is expected to be closed for the next couple months.

road closure brookland monroe Street Market

Lastly, I noticed that the underside of the Drew bridge has been spruced up with a paint job.underside of Drew Bridge Brookland NE Washington DC



10 thoughts on “Monroe St. Market (Catholic U.) Development Update: Winter Of Progress”

  1. Thanks for this comprehensive coverage. The progress is very exciting!

    Does anyone have an update on the 901 Monroe Street (Col. Brooks) project?

    1. Hi Greg,

      Thanks! It is a lot to cover being that it is really 4 developments in one. But I realize that not everyone has the details of each block memorized, so I like to add some additional details about each one when I can.

      As for 901 Monroe. The last I heard is that the immediate neighbors who are opposed to the development filed a court case in the court of appeals, to try and get the Office of Planning’s decision to allow the development overturned. I did a thorough update on the Public Area plans, which are going forward (slowly and at risk). Here is a link to that update, done in early December:

      That is the most up to date information I have. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Thanks for all the info!

    Any idea as to what retail shops will be opening here?
    I know it’s early, but maybe there are some rumblings…

    1. Hi Josh,
      Well that is the million dollar question isn’t it! Everyone, including me, is dying to know. The last time I asked a Buzzuto rep (in December) point blank -what is coming? I was told than nothing has been settled yet, but there will definitely be a bank and a mix of sit down and fast food restaurants, plus other retail. (If you hadn’t caught it, we confirmed last summer that there will be a Starbucks and Barnes and Noble there.) As far as unofficial rumblings, I do know that they have been approaching locally owned restaurants in DC, and seeing if they would be interested in opening a second location at Monroe St. Market. This seems to be sort of confirmed -vaguely – by Tweets I have seen. So, I am at least encouraged that they don’t seem to be looking to fill the place up with chain restaurants. You better believe the moment I hear anything, I will pass it along!
      Thanks for reading and commenting,

  3. For what it’s worth, I do wonder whether the Barnes & Noble will actually happen. B&N has some significant pressures on it right now, and there are rumors the company may be headed for bankruptcy. Personally, I am hoping for an independent coffee shop, or at least a non-Starbucks chain.

    1. Hi Gary,
      I would like to see non- chain businesses over chains. I can’t speak about the health of Barnes and Noble, but I do know that the concept for the development is the “B&N Campus” model. This means that they will take over the CUA bookstore and have both campus facing and public facing retail, perhaps this will make the location more viable. If I recall correctly, they have a 5 year contract with CUA, perhaps this branch of the company would survive since it has a dedicated customer base.
      Thanks for your input,

  4. Thanks for the update! I heard a rumor…just a rumor that Harris Teeter was thinking of opening up a location here. Wouldn’t that be great?!

    1. Hi Frank,
      That would be so amazing! We visit the HT in NoMa a lot. I think any higher end supermarket would be very welcome and successful. There will be so many rental units constructed in the development (plus the nearby Chancellor’s Row) that its seems more of a necessity than a nice to have.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      1. I’ve been told of the grocery stores in the running HT is out…I believe Giant and Whole foods are the only two left in the running now. This is of course based on 2nd hand info, but it seems fairly well sourced.

        1. Thanks JT. I heard that Whole Foods was a strong possibility, but had not heard about Giant. Sounds like you are better connected than me on this topic. There are lots of rumors flying around, so I wait to see what is comfirmed before I post. Thanks for chiming in, Shani

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