To follow-up on the story we ran earlier today, we now have the closing day of Colonel Brook’s Tavern, as announced on their menus. No word yet on whether there will be a grand finale party/event. We will keep you posted!
The DCmud blog reports that the stage is set for demolishing the Colonel Brooks’ Tavern within the next month, during which time the raze permit is expected to be approved by the city. The joint Horner Brothers/Menkiti Group/Esocoff and Associates project will begin construction immediately on their 901 Monroe project after demolition, and the building should be delivered in two years. It will contain over 200 residential units and the ground floor will be devoted to retail, including what the developers hope is a strong restaurant to replace the Tavern.
However you feel about Colonel Brooks’ Tavern and the new development, now would be a good time to get a last meal at the Tavern before the curtain drops.
A neighbor recently told me that the photos we posted that placed the rendering of the future Arts Walk development next to the construction in progress really helped him visualize how it will look. So, I decided to do the same thing with the other side of the development. Unfortunately, you would literally have to hover over the Metro tracks to get a photograph at the same vantage point as this rendering, but I tried to come close. What is pretty cool is that this end of the Arts Walk is super Metro accessible. Once you get to the top of the CUA side Metro escalator, you are there. One thing I didn’t notice about the rendering until today is that it depicts a transformation of the side of the bridge into a “green wall”. I wonder if that is still in the plans, and how they plan on achieving this. It would be great of it was something more creative than a cover like ivy.
Since I was at it, I also thought it would be pretty cool to see a before and after of this end of the Arts Walk from the Michigan Street bridge as well. No going back now!
A lot of people have asked me what is going on with the commercial property on the southwest corner of 12th and Jackson. I don’t have a lot of answers, but what I know, I’ll share. My wife and I have been keeping an eye on the property for years. When we first moved to Brookland about three years ago, it was one property split down the middle. One half was a Pentecostal church that met sporadically. The other half was a defunct dry cleaners that was being used as storage space and parking for some type of backhoe company. Last fall we convinced the owner to let us plant two honey locust trees on the property as part of a 12th St. tree planting effort. To the left are pics of how the property looked in 2009.
One day this spring a construction crew showed up and started working on the property; first breaking down the wall separating the property. We found out that it was sold to a Brookland resident. The new owner told my wife that he is looking to lease or sell the property, perhaps to a restaurateur. At this point it is basically a shell (see current pictures below). We are encouraged to see that it looks like they are making way for large windows, and seem to be doing something the roof, which looked rotten to the core when they removed the shingles.
Here is the property listing description courtesy of DC Mud:
Retail building for lease ($3000) or sale ($650,000) in the heart of Brookland’s 12th Street retail corridor. The build-to-suit building is 1800 s.f. with up to 5,000 s.f. in buildable space on a corner lot, perfect for a small restaurant or specialty retailer. Current configuration offers ability for large patio space or windowed street frontage with historic detail in the middle of Brookland’s burgeoning retail and residential developments.
Not being an expert in real estate, much less commercial property, I set out to find out if $3,000 a month for a shell is reasonable, and what you could get for that kind of cash in other parts of the city. According to this listing, the 12th and Jackson property is going for $20 a sq foot per year. So how does that stack up?
Hope this has been informative. At any rate, we will keep our eyes peeled and report any developments.
Last night there was a panel discussion and a question and answer session about the various development projects happening around Brookland. The well attended event had about 30 people in attendance, and was a rare opportunity to interact with the major players in Brookland’s future. The following developments were represented:
Jennifer from the EYA/Chancellor’s Row development started the evening off. The development will be made up of 237 townhomes. Sales have been brisk, so far 65% have sold. The development is about 50% complete. There will be affordable units available. As part of the development’s amenities package, there will be an overhaul of the 4th and Lincoln triangle park, for more information check out the Life On The Edgewood Blog. Also part of the package is $50,000 in grant money available to local businesses and a scholarship program for Ward 5 high school seniors. There will be a Zipcars location on premises. She also noted that the townhouses are being built to comply with the “LEED Certified” eco friendly standard.
Mike of ABDO development spoke about the various projects within Phase 1 of the Catholic University development. Right now the Monroe Street Market website provides development updates, but there will be a new website launched around Labor Day that will provide regular updates on the development. The Artswalk area, featuring 27 artist studios and retail space are expected to be delivered about a year from now, in the summer of 2013. Additional retail along Monroe St. will be delivered in the fall of 2013. There will be over 600 parking spaces total in phase 1. The developers will also re-do the sewer and power lines, and will be under-grounding the power lines along Monroe St., parts of Michigan Avenue and near the Metro. There will be a ‘call to artists’ around the end of September for the artists spaces. A panel will select artists for the spaces in a 6-8 week process. The artists studios will be roughly $10 a square foot, or about $600 – $800 a month. In total, the phase 1 of the development will produce over 500 rental units, ranging from studios to 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms with dens. It is expected that the rent will range from $1,500 – $2,600 a month.
Bo Menkiti and Mark spoke about the 901 Monroe development. The development is Metro-based and will have 13,00 square feet in retail development. The key piece to the retail offering will be a high-end restaurant to replace Colonel Brooks’ Tavern. The development team has just started the leasing process with retail brokers. However, there were no announcements of retail commitments other than to say that they will be securing local “mom and pop” type businesses. 901 Monroe will have 212 rental units. They will break ground this fall, and they have an 18 month timeline, meaning a summer of 2014 delivery. Mark stressed that the building has been designed to serve as a transition from the ABDO development to the heart of Brookland, the hope being that it will draw traffic across the bridge and thereby help businesses on the 12th Street corridor. Architecturally, the building is designed to blend in with the lower density development east of the bridge.
Carla of Dance Place was the last to present. She described Dance Place’s Moving Forward Campaign, which is an overhaul and upgrade of the current facility. The renovation includes a remodeled backstage, office space and theatre with improved sight lines. The Dance Place team also described the development of an Arts Plaza in the between Dance Place and the Artspace Lofts. The Arts Plaza will be a multi-purpose area for community events such as live music and outdoor movie showings. The exterior improvements to the area will produce a walkable cultural center. Currently, the Dance Place team is planning their offerings as far out as 5 years from now, and made it clear that they would like the community’s feedback on the types of programming we would like to see. The project will cost over $2 million, of which they have raised about $1.8 million. All donations are tax deductible, and you can donate directly on their website. If enough funds are raised, they will break ground in August of 2013, with plans to be complete by January of 2014. Dance Place will utilize temporary spaces while the development takes place.
Ever wonder what our new neighbors in Chancellor’s Row, the new Brookland EYA development project, will be like? Meet Marc. He has purchased a home in the development and we are going to follow Marc’s journey as he becomes a full-fledged Brookland resident. So far, the dirt patch pictured here is Marc’s home as of mid July. We will check back in a few months to document the progress.
As you probably gathered from the photo of Marc above, he is an MD. He works with children in need of emergency mental health evaluations and referrals; a job that is both challenging and rewarding. I asked Marc why he chose to live in Brookland, and here’s what he had to say.
“Well, I was looking for a “neighborhood” within the city where I could get to know folks, know the folks the who own the business, etc. Brookland offered that. Everyone I have met in that area has been really cool. It is also very diverse. I like that. The reason I decided to move there at this time was just timing. I had been considering it for a while and everything just sorta came together to make it a possibility.” Marc likes to sing and recently took voice lessons to further that side of himself and hopefully will be doing some cool projects in the near future. Perhaps we’ll see him belting it out at the karaoke nights at San Antonio B&G or Optimism soon.
There will be a panel discussion and a question and answer session about the various development projects happening around Brookland. This is a rare opportunity to interact with the major players in Brookland’s future including:
The event will be August 17, 6.30pm – 8:30 at the 12th Street Gallery, 3500 12th Street NE, Washington DC 20017. For more information click here.
Can’t make it? No worries! We will be there and will bring you coverage.
The City Paper and the Rhode Island Avenue NE Insider are reporting that Douglas Development maybe preparing to develop the rather dilapidated warehouse properties they own just off Rhode Island Avenue along the Metro.
If I remember correctly, the first I heard of this development was via some chatter on the Brookland Yahoo! listserv in May and June. I believe this development was also discussed at an ANC 5B04 meeting recently. The photo to the left was taken from the City Paper article. While I am certainly not against transforming blighted buildings into housing, I am not exactly enthusiastic about this development yet.
First, why apartments? Between the recently completed Rhode Island Row development and the recently approved 901 Monroe development, it seems like our corner of the city is getting a lot of new apartment space as opposed to condominiums, rowhouses and single family homes. Secondly, it appears that the plan calls for an awful lot of flat parking lot and really no green space to speak of. The City Paper article indicates that Douglas is in the very early stages of planning, so there should be time for the community to address these issues.