Anyone who has been vaguely paying attention to development in the area is aware of the ongoing battle over the McMillan development project. In the latest saga of this controversial project, the D.C. Court of Appeals vacated the D.C. Zoning Commission’s approval of the project, basically sending it back to the drawing board. For a pretty good rundown of what has transpired over recent years, check out this opinion article in the Washington Post. From the article:
The District’s disregard for its own preservation and planning laws in the McMillan Park case is only the tip of the iceberg of flaws in this project.
In response, the Friend of McMillan Park have a petition that requests three things of Mayor Bowser:
(1) Immediately reopen McMillan Park so that District of Columbia residents and others may enter the park for purposes of recreation, exploration and community activities.
(2) Begin to define with full citizen participation a new scope of work for planning the future of the Park
(3) Commit to an international design competition for the future use of the Park.
You can find the petition here. Next up there will be a community update on the McMillan development on February 2nd at 7pm at Inspired Teaching PCS, located at 200 Douglas St NE.
In November we wrote about the DC Office of Planning’s update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which is a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development. The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) will host a meeting to discuss the update and potential effects it will have on Brookland. This is an important opportunity for Brookland residents to raise concerns about the current state of planning in our community, and to influence the city’s planning decisions going forward.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday January 17, at 7PM at Brooks Mansion (DCTV), 901 Newton St NE. See more at the BNCA Facebook page.
Back in October, we saw chatter on the Brookland Listserv that Michigan Liquor had closed. We stopped by a few times to see what is up, but it just looked closed, with all the bottles still on display. Then in early January we heard that all the inventory was gone and then we learned that the property is on the market. According to this website the asking price is $1,200,000. The property is zoned MU-3, which according the DC Zoning website means:
Permit low-density mixed-use development; and
Provide convenient retail and personal service establishments for the day-to-day needs of a local neighborhood, as well as residential and limited community facilities with a minimum impact upon surrounding residential development.
Michigan Liquors is located at 3934 12TH Street NE.
We have been hearing rumors that a sizable chunk of 12th Street’s retail strip on the 3500 block (between Monroe and Newton) would be developed for a long while now, but there wasn’t much to back that up. When we saw the ANC 5B02 meeting flyer below about potential development plans we did some digging around and found that a company called MILLER has plans for the western side of the block. From their website:
Located in the heart of Brookland, 3500 12th Street Northeast is a 12,350 square foot retail center. The property consists of eight retail bays with excellent street presence on 12th street. The property was acquired in 2014 based on its proximity to the Brookland – CUA Metro Station, the strength of the Brookland neighborhood, and the in-place tenant mix.
From a community notice announcing the meeting about the development:
Please join ANC5B02 Thursday, January 19, 2017 for a meeting with MILLER. MILLER is the development company that owns the properties on the 3500 block of 12th Street, NE, WDC 20017. Mr. Rob Miller will share his development design and answer any questions regarding the upcoming development that will occur on that corridor.
The building located 1544 Rhode Island Ave, NE has gone through a few incarnations. My earliest recollection of it was a casual seafood/soul food restaurant called Bubba’s Muscogee. Then in 2011 it was renovated and a new family-friendly restaurant called Flip-It II opened. I am sure many readers remember it fondly. While it had its quirks, like closing at 7 pm, it was a great place for breakfast. The meals were plentiful, yummy and affordable and it was fun to run into neighbors there every weekend (see our Tweet from 2013 below). Unfortunately, it closed suddenly in July of 2015 without fanfare or explanation. Since then there has been little to no information about plans for the restaurant or property until now.
Looks like the 14,097 square feet of property the restaurant sits on is for sale, based on signs that appeared on the property recently. The property is zoned MU-4, which according to the DC Zoning Guidebook means:
The MU-4 zone is intended to:
Permit moderate-density mixed-use development;
Provide facilities for shopping and business needs, housing, and mixed uses for large segments of the District of Columbia outside of the central core; and
Be located in low- and moderate-density residential areas with access to main roadways or rapid transit stops, and include office employment centers, shopping centers, and moderate bulk mixed-use centers.
I suppose this move isn’t too surprising, given that a new luxury apartment building The Violet is being built directly across the street. We will keep our eyes out and let you know when we learn anything new.
Back in March we wrote about some of the amenities coming along with the massive 13-acre new development in nearby Edgewood including a gym, supermarket and movie theater. We recently learned from this story in DCist that the theater will be a location of popular movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. From the article:
The 44,000 square-foot theater will feature luxury recliner seats, Sony 4K Digital Cinema projection, and “top-of-the-line” sound. Moviegoers will also be able to order in-house prepared food and craft beer from inside each theater or at the venue’s bar.
The development will span a 6 block area currently occupied by the Rhode Island Center (the shopping center with Big Lots and Forman Mills). The theater is planned to open in 2019. We will let you know when we hear anything new.
We thought readers interested in development in and around Brookland would enjoy this article from real estate website Urban Turf. It provides a listing and status of many of the development projects that are sure to shape the future of our neighborhood. Enjoy!
The development project at 3018 12th St. NE (between Hamlin and Irving Streets) has been dragging on for years. It used to be a barbershop for many years, then it was purchased about 3 years ago and the build out began. Since that time, the development has been issued stop work orders and the site has gone idle and been an eyesore for months at a time.
The last time we wrote about it, in December 2015, we cited this article in the Washington Business Journal that stated the development may finally be moving forward since it had been permitted to be an office building. After that, construction moved forward in fits and spurts. This fall, neighbors advised us that they contacted DCRA because of suspected violations with the development. We contacted DCRA in mid November to see if there was any news and they informed us that an inspector would be out shortly. Soon thereafter, the property was listed for sale for $750,000 as a residential property with the following description:
BUILD TO SUIT! Bring your imagination! Currently zoned as a C1. Building sold w/ plans & permits. Perfect for 3 large high-end Condos. Minutes to Catholic University. Perfect for Condo Conversion. Just a block from major shopping/entertainment district! Extremely high footage. Investors Dream.
Shortly after hitting the market, on December 9th, a fresh new stop work order was issued by DCRA, citing the following violations:
Work performed without a building permit (expired permit)
Failure to obtain required inspections
Zoning floor area ratio violation
It is hard to believe that this development can simply be purchased and move forward without major modifications and re-work, as you can see from the pictures, and given the stop work order. We will keep an eye on this property and let you know when we learn anything significant.
We learned in late November that the city issued a raze permit for the Brentwood Village Shopping Center as part of Mid-City’s RIA DC development project. The shopping center, located at 1301-1333 Rhode Island Ave. NE had discount stores, a liquor store and a Jamaican food restaurant. We recently learned from this Facebook post that the shopping center would be demolished sometime this week.
As a reminder, RIA is a 20-acre mixed-use development located just across Rhode Island Avenue from Brookland between Brentwood Road and Montana Ave NE. The DC Zoning Commission approved Stage One of the development about a year ago. When complete, the development will include 1,760 residential units and up to 181,000 square feet of commercial space including a full service grocery store. We will let you know when we hear anything new.
A lot of readers may already know about this development, but since the story broke while we were on our “blogging break”, we thought it would be worth posting for those who who were unaware. A lot of neighbors have asked me over the last year about what is going on with the vacant medical building and parking lot at 1201 Franklin St NE (next to Menomale) that closed a while back. For a while there were rumors that it would be yet another a 7-11 (please no) and although we were able to find an approved permit to gut the interior of the building, we didn’t know what would happen there until this story at Urban Turf. According to the article, the planned development will be retail space along 12th Street NE with 4 two-bedroom apartments made out of shipping containers behind it. From the article:
The shipping container homes will have loft living rooms, private balconies and will be passively solar heated. The planned completion date is next year.
Generally speaking, I am a fan of shaking things up, so many new residential developments are boxy condos or uniform looking rowhouses. But, it’s really hard to tell from the renderings if these will be cool and refined or something we consider an eyesore in 10 years. What do you think? We will keep an eye out and let you know when we learn anything new.
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