Category Archives: Beyond Brookland

End Of An Era – After 37 Years, BET Closing Its Nearby Headquarters

BET Headquarters Building in Brentwood

As if anyone needed a reminder that DC is losing its status as Chocolate City,  this news is another blow. We learned from this story in the DCist that the headquarters of BET Networks, the parent company of the Black Entertainment Television network will close up shop this summer and move to New York. The headquarters has been a landmark in the area, located nearby at 1235 W St. NE in Brentwood.  From the story:

…the cable network’s central operations are moving to Viacom’s new hub in New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The D.C. office is slated to shutter on July 7.

Former CEO Bob Johnson launched BET in the District in 1980. After becoming the top black-focused cable network in the country, Johnson sold it for more than $2.3 billion in stock to Viacom two decades later.

The closure of the D.C. office impacts about 20 full-time salaried staffers and 40 freelancers, who don’t know yet if they’ll transition to New York or Los Angeles or lose their jobs with the company…

We will keep our eyes on the location to see what will happen to it next.

Nearby NewCityDC Development Moves Forward With $66 Million Land Acquisition

NewCityDC Site Plan courtesy of Antunovich Associates/Douglas Development via Washington Business Journal

We like to keep an eye on major developments going on in the neighborhoods near Brookland, since the they will impact us in one way or another. We first wrote about NewCityDC in February 2016. At that time we were just getting the first look at the 15 acre development which borders New York Avenue, Bladensburg Road and Montana Avenue NE. We recently learned about a major investment in the development, via this story in the Washington Business Journal. Douglas Development recently acquired 9 parcels of land for $66 million to complete the development site (they spent  $8.25 million already acquiring other parcels). From the article:

Within the triangle, the developer intends to build NewCityDC, a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use project just down the road from its Hecht Warehouse District. According to Douglas’ marketing materials, the vision for NewCityDC includes 422 apartments, 18 townhomes, 550,000 square feet of retail, 156 hotel rooms and 2,900 parking spaces.

The site plan includes a 130,000-square-foot grocery store, a separate 100,000-square-foot retailer, a five-story hotel, a host of restaurants and junior anchors and a movie theater.

We will continue to follow this development and let you know when we learn anything major.

Upcoming Events This Winter And Spring At President Lincoln’s Cottage

Although not in Brookland, one of our local gems worth checking out is nearby President Lincoln’s Cottage. The Cottage is the only public place where one can get a glimpse into Abraham Lincoln’s public and private life. Lincoln lived and worked for over a quarter of his presidency at the Cottage, where he visited wounded soldiers, spent time with self-emancipated former slaves, and wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. From their latest newsletter, here are some upcoming events that neighbors may find interesting:

  • On Friday, February 24th at 1:30 PM, join President Lincoln’s Cottage for the annual Black History Month Commemoration Program at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, featuring Cosby Hunt. Mr. Hunt is the Senior Teaching & Learning Officer at the Center for Inspired Teaching, and is also the course creator and instructor for Real World History . CLICK HERE for more information and to register for this free program.

  • On Thursday, April 13th, we’ll be hosting the 2017 Lincoln Ideas Forum. Stay tuned for event and speaker details.

  • On Thursday, April 20th, join us as author Jonathan White and Michael Bishop of the George Washington University’s National Churchill Library, discuss White’s book, Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams During the Civil War. CLICK HERE for more info on the program and how to RSVP.
  • Save the date – Sunday May 7th- Bourbon and Bluegrass event.Stay tuned for details and information about tickets.

President Lincoln’s  Cottage is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

Development Update: Dakota Crossing – Big Box Anchors Open, Smaller Shops Coming

It’s been a while since we checked in on the Dakota Crossing development (the development with the Costco), so we thought

Dakota Crossing under construction, view from New York Ave/Rt 50

neighbors would like an update. By now, all the big box anchors, Costco, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and PetSmart are open.

According to this story in the Washington Business Journal:

The latest tenants to sign long-term leases at The Shops at Dakota Crossing are Starbucks, Five Below, Vitamin Shoppe, Panda Express and T-Mobile, making the development nearly 90 percent leased, according to its owner.

Smaller shops under construction. View fro the Costco parking lot.

These stores should open by early 2017. We haven’t heard any more info on the “upscale” TGIFridays that was supposed to be in the works about a year ago, but one full-service family friendly restaurant and a few other eateries are expected in any case. We will keep an eye on things and let you know when we learn anything new.

Trader Joe’s Supermarket Coming To NE DC, Near Union Market

TomatoBrooklanders love to discuss grocery options in the area, or rather, the lack thereof. From time to time there will even be a petition passed around urging a grocer to locate in or near Brookland, and there are the occasional unsubstantiated rumors of one coming. So, we suspect fans of Trader Joe’s will be delighted to hear that one is planned in nearby Trinidad, close to Union Market. From an article in DCist:

The company announced today that it has signed a lease for a new location at 1240 4th Street NE, and it is slated to open in the second half of 2017. The store will occupy 15,000 square feet in the ground floor of a mixed-use project called The Edison…It will be Trader Joe’s third or fourth store in D.C.

Our household is divided in our enthusiasm. Personally, I miss the old Burger King that was once there. Perhaps I would be more excited if it were actually coming to Brookland. After all, this location isn’t much closer than my favorite supermarket, the Harris Teeter on M and 1st NE. But the other (better) half of the Brookland Bridge is SO SO SO excited for the new TJ’s, because it is her go-to grocer, and now it will only be a short drive away as compared to the TJ locations she frequents.  What do you think? Are you excited or meh?

REI Hosts ‘100 Days Of Outdoor Recess’ Ahead Of NoMa Flagship Store Opening

Take the MBT right to the REI store

Many ourdoorsy Brooklanders are eagerly awaiting the opening of the NoMa REI store at First and L Streets NE.  The store, which will occupy the location of the former Uline Arena, is hosting a series of events to get folks excited about the outdoors – like campfires, outdoor movies, and classes related to hiking, backpacking and kayaking.  Check out the 100 Days Of Outdoor Recess REI website here for more details. Some activities are free and some have a fee. Check out the Uline development project here.

(Hat tip to Hill Rag.)

Memorial Day Wreath Laying And Cemetery Tours At Old Soldiers Home And Lincoln’s Cottage

Lincoln cottage old soldiers home memorial day flagHere is a great way to commemorate Memorial Day- and just around the corner from Brookland. Sign up here for guided tours of the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery and experience a wreath laying ceremony. The cemetery was visited by President Abraham Lincoln, and is notable for being the first national cemetery (est. 1861) and for serving as the final resting place for John Logan, who formalized Memorial Day celebrations in 1868. Both the tours and the wreath laying are free.

  • The wreath laying ceremony will be at John Logan Mausoleum at 10:00 am.
  • The cemetery tours will be at 10:45 am and 12:30 pm and tours last approximately 30-45 minutes

From the event page:

Registrants are asked to gather at the bandstand adjacent to President Lincoln’s Cottage 30 minutes prior to each scheduled event, so that Cottage staff can lead them over to the nearby Soldiers’ Home Cemetery.

President Lincoln’s Cottage is located at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.

SCRAP DC Teams Up With ReCreative Spaces For Spring Pop-Up Events

SCRAP DC logo courtesy of
SCRAP DC logo courtesy of

A lot of neighbors were dismayed to learn that SCRAP DC closed up shop in Brookland in November 2015. Now we were happy to learn that they are doing pop-up events in the area for those who want to get their craft on. From a recent SCRAP DC newsletter:

SCRAP is shaking off the winter doldrums and coming back with new activities to welcome the spring and get on our way with rebuilding our operation. We do not yet have a new space, but we are happy to be partnering with ReCreative Spaces in Mt. Rainier so that we can maintain a presence in the area. We want to thank all of you — our diehard customers, cheerleaders and donors – whose support keeps us going and working towards the next phase.

Our first order of business is to have a pop up store and the first of a series of classes. Yes, you heard it right – a chance to find treasures for your projects and nourishment for your creative hunger. The inventory will be a treasure trove of beads and jewelry making supplies (mostly mid-higher end), some paper and general craft supplies, fabric and sewing supplies, collage packs, and kits for making banners, hot rods, robots and other kids crafts. We may find a few other things along the way, so if what you crave isn’t on this list, there’s a chance it might show up.

What better way to begin classes than to commemorate Mothers’ Day? Read on for more details and registration information. anyway! Our hope is that we will be able to prime the pump and continue these activities until such time as we generate sufficient funding to cover the costs of a new store. Therefore, your continued patronage is most important and appreciated.

The upcoming events are as follows:


Saturday & Sunday, April 23 – 24, 12 – 4 pm, Location; ReCreative Spaces, 3501 Perry St., Mt. Rainier, MD 20712 (at the Rhode Island Ave. circle, across from the Mt. Rainier City Hall)

  • Mother’s Day Cards Making

Why buy a card?? Make a fabulous Mothers’ Day Card that will be a gift unto itself. With an enticing assortment of papers, buttons, fabrics, lace, ribbon and other embellishments create a card any Mom will want to frame. Personalize your card with copies made from images of your own. Date: Saturday, April 30, 2-5 pm Location: ReCreative Spaces, 3501 Perry St. Mt. Rainier, MD 20712 Cost: $15 per person; $25 for two or family up to 4 — includes materials. Recommended Ages: 5 and older

What to Bring – 1-5 laser copies of anyone whose image you would like to use (e.g., Xerox or made on other commercial copiers –not inkjet); any personal items you wish to incorporate Note: Parents must accompany children up to age 12.

  • Mothers’ Day Sachet – Mingle and Layer your Love with a Scented Pillow fit for a Dove

Date: Sunday, May 1, 2-5 pm, Location: ReCreative Spaces, 3501 Perry St. Mt. Rainier, MD 20712. Cost: $25 per person; $35 for two or family up to 4 — includes materials. Recommended Ages: 10 and older

What to Bring: 1-5 laser copies of anyone whose image you would like to use (i.e., Xerox or made on other commercial copiers –not inkjet) any personal items such as charms, buttons, old jewelry, etc. that you wish to incorporate

REGISTRATION: To register and pay for classes, complete the form on their website. Payment will also be accepted at class. Check out their Facebook page to keep up with their plans.

Evening Tours Of President Lincoln’s Cottage Tonight And Next Wednesday

Lincolns Cottage Evening Tours (photo credit Bruce Guthrie)
Lincolns Cottage Evening Tours (photo credit Bruce Guthrie)

Many thanks to Curtis for letting us know about special evening tours of nearby President Lincoln’s Cottage happening this Thursday, March 17, and next Wednesday, March 23, at 6:00 pm both days. The cottage was President Lincoln’s beloved summer home and where he developed the Emancipation Proclamation. The evening tour provides a different perspective for folks who have been before, and provides people an opportunity to see it for the first time if they have trouble coming during business hours during the week.

Each tour will last an hour and space is limited to 20 people per tour, so purchase your tickets now for this unique opportunity before they sell out. Check out the event page for more information and to purchase tickets.

Celebrate Valentines Day With Cheese, Chocolate And Champagne

union market dc opening 090912 1We thought readers would appreciate this Valentine’s date idea from the folks at Righteous Cheese, located at nearby Union Market. From the event page:

February is not just for lovers, it’s for Cheese Lovers! And what pairs better with cheese than elegant, bubbly wine? For our annual soirée, we’re opening up some extra-special, extra-fancy bottles of Champagne that you just can’t find by the glass anywhere else. Paired with unique, artisanal cheeses & chocolates – including handmade chocolate truffles from CoCo Sala, hand-dipped chocolate figs and more – this line-up is an extraordinary way to spend Valentine’s Day and makes a great gift. It’s a sure-fire way to warm up your February!

Spend an evening with Righteous Cheese in an intimate class discovering and savoring seasonal, artisanal cheeses. We’ll explore the world of cheese pairing by tasting 4 cheeses and 4 unique Champagnes along with a bounty of chocolate accompaniments. Fromager Carolyn Stromberg will delve into the story behind each cheese, as well as give advice about selecting, serving, pairing, and more.

Tickets are $74/person. Class requires advance ticket purchase, as seating is limited to 30 attendees.