Abdo and the Buzzuto Group, the developers of the Monroe Street Market (the development abutting Catholic U), are rapidly completing the Artswalk, which will contain 13,000 square feet of art space in the way of 27 artist studios. The vision for this area is a thriving arts community, with an outdoor stage for live performances, seasonal outdoor market, and a destination for art collectors to interact with the artisans in their studios. To help bring this vision to life, the developers are teaming up with Cultural DC, who will act as a liaison between artists and the developers and will assist in evaluating artist applications for studio space. They are looking for a wide variety of artists, including jewelers, photographers, painters, ceramics artists, sculptors, film artists, design and fashion artists. The application process will start with the Request For Proposals (RFP), to be released on November 26th. The application deadline is February 1st, 2013 and it is anticipated that artists will take occupancy in the summer of 2013. The studio spaces will range from 300 – 625 square feet, and will line the ground floor of the Artswalk, as depicted in the rendering above. The studios will feature garage style front doors facing the pedestrian walkway, high (17 – 25 ft.) ceilings, concrete floors, and some will have back porches facing the Met Branch Trail. The goal is to establish an anchor for the arts at below market rental prices. The rent for the studios is expected to start at $365 a month (not including utilities). For information on applying for studio space contact Rose Hagood, at (202) 315 – 1337 or email rose (at) culturaldc (dot) org.
Ok folks, since you are stuck at home, waiting for Sandy’s wrath, how about a Monroe Street Market/Catholic University development update with lots of pics to cheer you up? Probably the most exciting news to report is that the brick exterior started going up on the north side of the “C Block” of Monroe St. Market’s Artwalk (the buildings that will house artist studios, retail and apartments) here are some pics of how the brick work is turning out. Also, balcomies are starting to go in on the top floors. Looks pretty great to me!
So that’s what’s going on outside. On the inside of the C Block buildings, rough ins continue and insulation and drywall have already begun in some areas. Just for fun, here are some before, during and “after”/rendering pics. Here is the north side of the C Block before construction began:
Here is the south side of the C Block before, during and “after”/rendering pics. Before:
Taking at look at the other blocks, it is amazing to see how fast these other buildings are going up. Here are some pics of the “B Block”. As you can see, a lot of the concrete structural work has been done, so we should be seeing masonry stair towers and then wood framing soon. When the B Block is completed it is going to be six stories tall (!). I tried to line up the “before and after angles” on top of one another:
Every time I pass by the “A Block” there is an army of construction workers getting it done. I can’t believe how much progress is made everytime I pass by. The underground garage has been carved out and concrete laid, and now they are making progress on laying the ground level deck. Here’s how it looks now:
Lastly, I noticed something interesting under the Drew bridge. A cherry picker, and some kind of barrier. I am guessing some kind of work/beautification/cleaning is being done on the bridge. Who knows? I’ll keep my eye on it, as lingering around construction sites seems to be my new pastime.
When I talk to people about the Catholic University development, the topic of retail and restaurants always comes to the forefront of the conversation. But there is more than that in store for our neighborhood. One development that most people are unaware of is my favorite. It’s call the Arts Flex building and it will house approximately 3,000 square feet of open, flexible interior space for performances, community meeting space, and exhibits. There will also be a small catering kitchen and an exterior plaza. We were told at a meeting with a representative from one of the CUA developers, Abdo, that the Arts Flex building will be delivered by summer 2013. As someone who attends a lot of community meetings, I can attest that it is always difficult to find meeting space, so this is definitely welcome. Also, having a vibrant art-filled location will add value and quality of life to our neighborhood. I view it as yet another cornerstone of the arts district our neighborhood is turning into. Here is a rendering of where the Arts Flex will be located:
One of the great things about this location is that it is such a turn-around from what has been at this locations for years – nothing – but random garbage like discarded tires. Here are some renderings of the Arts Flex building. The rendering below is how the building will look when you are standing on Monroe and 8th St. NE looking east towards the bridge that goes over the Metro tracks.
The rendering below shows how the building will look with your back to the Metro tracks, looking west at the Arts Flex.
I checked in on the progress being made on this development the other day – here are some pics. Check back for updates on the Arts Flex as the months go by!
It seems like they just broke ground yesterday, but today it was announced that the final phase at EYA’s Chancellor’s Row is set to begin. This phase consists of 64 townhouse units, located near 5th and 6th Streets just off Franklin Street NE. With this addition, the 10-acre development of 237 homes will be complete. These units will be three or four bedroom homes, some with traditional brick and others with stone facades, and will include the final 12 Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) homes. According to the EYA blog, 65% of the homes at Chancellor’s Row have been sold and over 120 households have moved in. If you are interested in the construction of this development be sure to check out our series of posts following a new homeowner at Chancellor’s Row as his home is being built.
Construction fencing has gone up around the perimeter of the 901 Monroe development site. The only demo work I saw so far was a house on Lawrence Street. As with most homes built before the 1970’s it appears that there is some asbestos removal that needs to be done. We will keep our eyes on the construction site and update soon.
People keep telling me that when we post “before and after” photos of the Catholic University / Monroe Street Market development, it helps them to visualize what is to come. For previous posts along these lines, check here and here. Today, we will take a look at how a portion of Monroe St. NE will be transformed. The first photo is how Monroe St. NE looks today when looking west on the corner of 7th St. NE. The second is a rendering of how that same stretch will look when completed. Notice what is missing? Power lines! We were told at a meeting in August that the power lines along the Monroe Street NE portion of the development would be buried, and that my friends, is good news.
It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on the Catholic U development, so let’s see what’s new… Check out these really snazzy renderings of the common area spaces planned for the Monroe St. Market apartment complex. This is the lounge area.
This is the rendering of the game room.
This is the rendering of the Library.
This is the business center rendering.
The first apartments will be opening Spring 2013 and there will be a mix of studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments. But, right now the crews have been busy upgrading the sewer and water lines on Monroe and 7thStreet, among other things. Perhaps the most noticeable progress is in the C Block since both buildings are now wrapped with insulation, and windows have started to be installed. Pretty soon we should start seeing the brick facade installed. Inside the buildings, “rough-ins” are starting. A rough-in is a preliminary stage of laying plumbing and electrical lines prior to building, electrical, or plumbing inspections. Here are some recent photos of the C block.
As a reminder, here is what the C block is supposed to look like when complete:
Many thanks to the good folks at Casey Trees for giving us a sneak peek of their nearly completed Tree Planting Annex. Over the past two years Casey Trees has made a major investment in our neighborhood and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them as neighbors. (If you would like to check out some before and after pics of this transformation, and an interview with Mark Buscaino, Executive Director of Casey Trees, see an earlier post here.) The Tree Planting Annex is located 3015 12th Street NE and is across the street from the Casey office headquarters. We are glad to see that their operations are going so well that they need to expand! Not only is this building great looking, but it is eco-friendly in a lot of ways, here are few:
- It replaced a defunct gas station (yay!)
- Its solar panels will provide over 50% of the electricity needed to run the building
- Water run off will be directed to their rain garden
- The soils and gravel used will promote better water drainage and dispersion
- Reclaimed wood was used for the beautiful exterior wood accents
There is a tree lot next to the building, used to store trees waiting to be planted. The first floor of the building is used as storage space for tools and the second floor has offices and some nice facilities including showers and lockers for employee use. Hope you enjoy the photos.
When we moved to Brookland a few years ago, we were skeptical about the abandoned gas station at 12th and Irving – less than a block from our new home. Then, we were beyond delighted to find that not only did Casey Trees establish their headquarters at 3030 12th street, but they began turning the old gas station into a “tree annex” for trees waiting to be planted. Their transformation of the gas station is nearly complete, and we couldn’t be happier.
As you can see from the “before and after” photos below, Casey Trees has truly beautified and revitalized a good stretch of the 3000 block of 12th St NE. But more than that, their headquarters is a showcase for water retention and green design. With the help of the District Department of the Environment they have reduced water run off by capturing and redistributing water. The new tree annex, still under construction, will utilize solar electricity for more than half of its needs. Most importantly, Casey Trees provides a model for small-scale commercial development right here in Brookland that others can follow. Mark Buscaino, Executive Director of Casey Trees, was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the new development below.
Why did Casey Trees decide to be headquartered in Brookland?
Casey Trees looked in all eight Wards for over four years to find a suitable home – over 50 properties in total. We were having a difficult time locating a spot that offered convenient access to all parts of the city for our tree planting work, the right amount of space with room to grow, and most important for our staff and class and program participants – suitable public transit. Fortunately we found all that and more on 12th Street.
Now that you have settled in, has anything surprised you about the Brookland community?
The neighborhood has proven to be a great place to locate an organization like ours. Neighbors have been extraordinarily friendly and generous; people are very respectful of our work and our mission, and; many of our staffers have found homes right in Brookland – we couldn’t ask for more.
Tell us a little bit about the transformation of your tree lot on the east side of 12th St. Did the fact that it used to be a gas station pose any issues?
When you purchase a former gas station property you’re faced with some very tough choices. While restoring such a property is a huge benefit to the community and CT wanted to do its part, it’s an expensive proposition and you never know what you’re going to find. After several months of thoughtful deliberation we decided to take a calculated risk, and with a lot of pro-bono legal assistance from a lawyer who eventually joined our board, we were able to make it work – and work very well for us I might add. When I look at what that lot is like now, with our new Tree Planting Annex almost compete, and think about what it used to look like when we first moved in – I’m amazed.
When can we expect the construction to be complete and what will the space be used for?
Completion is slated for late October. Our new Tree Planting Annex will house our entire Tree Planting Department and all their tools and equipment and temporarily hold the hundreds of trees our team plants every spring, fall and winter. It will house 15 staffers, and more than 50 percent of its electricity needs will be satisfied from solar power generation. A special thanks goes to the District Department of the Environment for helping us pay for those panels!
If you could get one message across to our readers about the importance of the DC tree canopy what would it be?
In our data-driven world, we have come to think of trees in regard to their environmental benefits and that’s great. But trees are more than just energy-saving, pollution controlling and storm water management “devices”. They represent a part of our communities that enrich our lives in ways we are still only learning about. They encourage human interaction, calm our nerves, reduce stress and make our homes and streets beautiful places for ourselves, our friends, neighbors and children. Without them we lose not just cooler streets and cleaner air, but beautiful neighborhoods and inviting spaces for weekend walks and quiet moments on a porch swing. And it’s up to all of us to preserve this identity that D.C. has had since its founding. Nothing is permanent – not even a tree – and we need everyone’s help to keep them healthy and abundant for generations to come.
We heard from a Catholic U student tonight that Barnes and Noble will be taking over the university’s bookstore and will have a community-facing bookstore as part of the CUA/Abdo development. We checked it out and this B&N announcement confirms it, Barnes and Noble is coming to our town. As part of a 5 year contract, a Barnes and Noble “superstore” and Starbucks will open in 18 – 24 months as part of the larger Abdo development.