Category Archives: Development

Howard University School Of Divinity Development Moves Forward

HUSD Howard University School of Divinity
HUSD building

The roughly 20 acres of grounds surrounding the Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD), located at 1400 Shepherd Street, NE have been rumored to be developed for years. Now several recent community meetings have shed some light on the planned development and the process moving forward. As for the HUSD building itself, it closed last summer and needs renovations estimated at over more than  $20 million.

Howard University has partnered with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to engage community stakeholders about the development which has already included interviews with community stakeholders and residents. As part of their outreach, the community is invited to take this survey to give feedback on what they would like.  Thanks to the commenter below who let us know that the community survey is now closed.

The property is located in the 5B-02 Single Member District of ANC 5B of which Commissioner Ursula Higgins is the single member district commissioner. If you would like to get on her email list about the development sign up at

We will let you know when we here anything new.

Mayor Bowser To Attend Girard Street Senior Residences Ribbon Cutting Thursday

Senior Housing on GirardWe have been following the affordable senior housing building called The Girard Street Senior Residences from initial discussions through the groundbreaking last summer. The building is located at 1545 Girard Street NE and consists of 25 one bedroom apartment homes specifically designed for seniors. The building was developed via a partnership between local development firms the Menkiti Group and Dantes Partners and financed by utilizing a combination of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), gap financing from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and private first trust debt.  From a press release:

Each apartment home offers a generous open floor plan and energy-efficient, individually-controlled heating and cooling systems. Unit kitchens are equipped with energy efficient appliances and granite countertops. Residents will have access to a wide variety of amenities including a large community lounge featuring a sun room and library. A wellness area provides recreational space for exercise and yoga. The lobby level features multi-functional seating areas for gathering and relaxing as well as free WiFi connectivity. A landscaped courtyard provides opportunities to enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comforts of home. The Girard Street Apartments’ location adjacent to the Rhode Island Avenue NE commercial corridor places public transportation, shopping and dining options all within easy reach.

The Grand Opening and ribbon cutting for the Girard Street Senior Apartments will be Thursday, June 16 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM and will be attended by government officials like Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and others.

If you are interested in the apartments contact Dantes Partners at (202) 536-5777.

901 Monroe Development Faces Major Setback In Appeals Court

901 monroe brookland dc 1
901 Monroe Rendering

After over 5 years of public discourse, the neighborhood has been divided over the proposed 901 Monroe development project. So, readers should need no introduction to the ongoing legal battle between a handful of Brookland neighbors and the development team led by the Menkiti Group over what will happen to the barren fenced lot adjacent to the Brookalnd Metro known as 901 Monroe. At the heart of the issue is whether the development is a moderate or medium density project and whether the Zoning Commission did its due diligence when it gave the go-ahead to the development three separate times . We recently learned from this Washington Business Journal story that:

 The court found the commission’s justification “lacking in several respects.” While it will “normally defer to an agency’s decision so long as it flows rationally from the facts and is supported by substantial evidence,” it wrote, it will “not defer, however, to an agency interpretation that is unreasonable or contrary” to regulatory provisions.

“We conclude that the Commission has failed to justify a conclusion that the proposed PUD would be a moderate-density use,” the ruling states.

This decision effectively overturns the Zoning Commission’s approval of the project.  Despite the setback, the Menkiti Group Facebook and Twitter accounts had messages suggesting that they will press on with the development.

You can read the DC Court of Appeals decision here.  We will let you know when we learn anything new.

Meeting To Discuss The Future Of The Monroe Street Bridge

Monroe street bridgeDC’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the Rehabilitation of the Monroe Street Bridge  this Thursday May 12th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  At the meeting DDOT will present design plans and schedule for the upcoming project. It will be interesting to see how things shake out, whether the updated bridge will keep our local character or be updated to more of a cookie cutter style bridge. What are your thoughts? The meeting will be held at the Brooks Mansion (901 Newton Street, NE).

Dakota Crossing Development Update: Starbucks, TGI Fridays, And More

The Lowe's at Dakota Crossing opened in November 2015
The Lowe’s at Dakota Crossing opened in November 2015

Back in January 2015 we wrote about the big box retailers coming to the nearby Dakota Crossing development in Fort Lincoln. (The development with the Costco.) At that time we knew Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lowe’s (already open), Marshall’s and PetSmart were coming. We recently saw on the Gateway To The City DC blog that Starbucks, Chipotle, TGI Fridays “New Upscale Concept ”, and Burger Place are coming to the development, as well as retail stores T-Mobile, Vitamin Shoppe and 5 Below. According to the blog, all of these stores and restaurants will be open within the next 12 months.

More Details Of St. Paul’s Campus Development Emerge

Chancellor's Row
Chancellor’s Row

Earlier this month we wrote about the coming development at nearby St. Paul’s campus, a large portion of which has already been developed into the Chancellor’s Row  community in 2012. According to this recent story in the Washington Business Journal the development will:

…retain the college building for use by a pair of charter schools — Lee Montessori and a start-up high school — and for teacher housing. The Paulist Fathers will be relocated on the campus to a new building, likely in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 square feet. The northwest portion of the property will be developed, in partnership with Elm Street Development, as roughly 80 large, family-friendly townhomes. And the remainder of the site will be left as open space in perpetuity, to preserve the viewshed across Fourth Street.

As with most large developments like this, there will be many hoops to jump through (zoning, etc.). St. Paul’s College is located at 3015 4th St NE. We will let you know when we hear anything new.

901 Monroe’s New Name, ‘The Ravenna’ And Court Date Thursday

Colonel Brooks' development Brookland NE Washington DC
901 Monroe Street/The Revenna at Brookland Station Development Rendering Courtesy of Esocoff and Associates

It has been a year since we have had an update about the 901 Monroe development at Monroe and 9th Streets NE (site of the former  Colonel Brooks’ Tavern).

One thing to note is that the developer, the Menkiti Group, has re-named the project The Ravenna at Brookland Station. We first noticed the name change awhile back on the now defunct website, Elevation DC, and the new name appears on the Menkiti Groups’s webpage about the development. Since the battle over this development stretches back to 2010, I could see the rationale behind trying to re-brand the effort once it gets going. After all, since Colonel Brooks’ Tavern and some of the surrounding houses were demolished in 2013 to prepare for the development, the site has been a fenced-in empty lot, and an eyesore for passerby.

The last update we had about this saga was about the continued the back and forth between the Office of Zoning and the Court of Appeals in an ongoing legal battle with the “200 Footers” – a group of residents who filed a court case seeking to overturn the Office of Planning’s decision to allow the development.

Thanks to reader Kristin who passed along the news that the case is going before the DC Court of Appeals this coming Thursday (Durant v. D.C. Zoning Commission). The frustrating thing about this case, to me at least, is that the Zoning Commission, Office of Planning or Court Appeals have no issue with the development itself, but that the issue is that the court is not satisfied with the way the Zoning Commission has handled the case.

Movie Theater, Gym, Grocery, Planned For RIA NE Development

Rendering courtesy of MRP Realty
Rendering courtesy of MRP Realty

Back in July we wrote about a massive 13-acre new development in nearby Edgewood that will span a 6 block area currently occupied by the Rhode Island Center (the shopping center with Big Lots and Forman Mills). We recently learned from this story in the Washington Business Journal  that the development may include a multiplex movie theater. According to the story:

MRP, according to its latest filings with the D.C. Zoning Commission, is negotiating with a theater chain to bring in a nine-screen multiplex with table service during screenings. The theater will be accessible only to those 18 and older unless accompanied by an adult. MRP declined to provide the name of the theater operator.

The development will be built in seven phases, and theater is planned for the second phase. Within the nine buildings planned, there will be 1,500 residential units, a central pedestrian plaza and full service gym and grocery store. We will let you know when we hear anything new.


Huge Development, Eckington Yards, Coming To NE DC

Rough Boundaries of the development
Rough Boundaries of the development

Based on the positive feedback we have gotten on our blog posts about development projects happening in other parts of Ward 5, we figured we would keep them coming. After all, these developments, although not in Brookland, will have impacts, positive and negative, on our quality of life.

We recently learned about a huge development planned for nearby Eckington, that runs close to the MBT/MetroTracks, bordered by Q Street NE, Eckington Place NE, and Harry Thomas Way NE, (close to the New York and Florida Avenue NE intersection) . We thought neighbors would appreciate an overhead shot of where this would be so we created the above pic (yes, we know it’s not great, LOL). According to this story in the Washington Business Journal, the 3 acre development, called Eckington Yards:

… is proposed to include 695 residential units in four connected buildings, up to 77,184 square feet of retail (with an optional mezzanine level), 331 underground vehicle parking spaces and 237 bicycle parking spaces.

You can see renderings of the development here. The proposed development will:

  • Target “craft” businesses like distilleries and artists/artisans
  • Feature green roofs and roof top pools
  • Have a pedestrian walkway/central plaza through the whole development

So  far, we don’t know if the residential units will be apartments or condos. We will follow up with updates when we hear anything big.

More Development Planned For St. Paul’s Campus

Chancellor's Row
Chancellor’s Row

Back in April 2014 we wrote about the potential sale of St. Paul’s College.  While we don’t have an update on whether the college has actually sold yet, or to whom, we have heard that there are potential plans for the development of the remaining grounds of the campus. Area residents may remember that a large portion of the campus was developed into the Chancellor’s Row  community in 2012.

Thanks to reader Ed who passed along a meeting notice from ANC 5E01 Commissioner Steiner, which read, in part:

Please be advised that the Developer, Boundary Companies, who intends on developing the rest of St. Paul’s property is on the ANC’s Public Monthly Agenda for March 15th.

The meeting location is Friendship-Armstrong Public Charter School in the cafeteria – 1400 1st Street NW [1st & P Street]; we start at 07:00 pm.

St. Paul’s College is located at 3015 4th St NE. We will let you know when we hear anything new.