Category Archives: Development

Brookland/CUA Recent Development Transformation Featured In The Washingtonian

Abdo Catholic University Development Brookland Washington DC
Before and during the Arts Walk construction

The Washingtonian followed up a recent article about relationships between DC Universities and their respective neighborhoods with another shorter article about how colleges are transforming the neighborhoods around them through development projects. Catholic University, Gallaudet and University of Maryland are discussed. We thought readers would be interested in giving it a read, from the article:

The development opened in 2014 and was a boon for a previously underserved neighborhood, adding amenities such as Starbucks, Busboys and Poets, and Barnes & Noble. Of course, those things help real-estate values, too—prior to Monroe Street Market, in 2013, the median home price in Brookland was $375,000. In 2016, it was $520,000.

Development Update: A New Chapter For Michigan Liquors

Back in January, we wrote about Michigan Liquors’ closing. Lately there has been some neighborhood buzz about renovations and activity going on at the location. So, we decided to check recent permits for the location for any clues. According to the DCRA website, in late September 2016, a demolition permit was issued to:

Remove all non-load-bearing interior doors, appliances, and plumbing fixtures. Remove existing entry door and soffit. Demolish furring around columns. Existing front window openings and detailing to be maintained and repaired as needed. Existing stairs remain. Remove sales counter and shelving.

Then in February 2017 an Alteration and Repair Permit was issued for the following work:

Alteration, within a 1,665 sf work area, on the retail beverages sales floor of an existing 2,871 gsf mixed use storage and mercantile building. Work includes refurbished walls, new fur-out at existing masonry, space reconfiguration with new partitions, all new finishes, light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures, replacement of the HVAC system, and new electrical receptacles with sub panel. Millwork includes checkout counter and wine display shelving and furniture.

We figure that the work and “checkout counter and wine display” pretty much indicate some sort of updated wine/liquor store. We will keep our eyes on this one and let you know when we learn anything new. Michigan Liquors is located at 3934 12TH Street NE.

Progress (?) On 12th Street Mixed Use Development, To Be Called ‘Brookland Lofts’

In January 2016 we originally wrote about a small mixed use development at 3733 12 Street NE (between Otis and Perry). At the time construction was moving along slowly. Now, more than a  year later it appears that some progress has been made, though it still looks far from completion.

Still, we thought neighbors would be interested to know that we noticed a banner that recently appeared on the property that says the following:

“Arriving Spring 2017 from the upper $400s! 4 Luxury 2BR/2BA Brookland Condos”

The  banner also advertises a website “”. We looked for it and various permutations of it, and could not find anything. The bannner also directs readers to Luxury We went to their site and did not find any information about the development.  Hopefully more details will be available soon.

DC’s Office Of Youth Empowerment Moves Into The 9th St. Pink Office Builiding

For a few years now, folks have been wondering what would become of the office building that was erected along the Metro tracks on 9th Street NE between Kearny and Lawrence. When construction started in 2014 there were rumors it would be used for medical offices but we never heard anything concrete. By 2016, construction stalled, the Brookland Station townhomes next to it were built, and the building simply sat with no apparent activity.

Recently  there appears to finally  be tenants: DC’s Child and Family Services Agency, Office Of Youth Empowerment. We stopped by yesterday and the name of the agency is etched on the glass door, there is a security guard and we saw a number of cars with DC Government Fleet licence plates parked in the building’s garage. According to the Child and Family Services Agency, the purpose of the Office Of Youth Empowerment is:

CFSA’s Office of Youth Empowerment (OYE) provides a host of programs and growth experiences for District teens and young adults in foster care. In partnership with social workers, foster caregivers, and the community, OYE’s goals are to teach, train, and guide these young people—and ultimately to help each one begin to recognize and develop his/her unique potential.

At this point we don’t know any more about the use of the building.

Eyesore Building At 12th And Girard For Sale

Property for sale at 2900 12th St NE – corner of Girard

FYI – this post has been updated with a new, increased sale price.

We have been following the changes at 2900 12th Street NE for a number of years (the corner of 12th and Girard NE). A re-cap: in March 2015 we wrote about how longtime Brookland business M&S Barber Services re-located because of what was supposed to be impending development. In May 2015 construction fencing went up around the property, a dumpster arrived, and internal demolition permits were posted in the window. As far as we know, no other permits were obtained. Eventually the construction fencing came down and over time the building has become covered in a patchwork of painted over graffiti.

We recently found out that the property is for sale for $1,825,000. The real estate listing simply states:

Opportunity: lot with plans for 14 units in the heart of hot hot Brookland! the existing building will need to be removed.

I would be pretty surprised if it sold at that price, but stranger things have happened. This sideshow shows the selling developer’s plans for a three story residential-only apartment building. Of course, a purchaser could always go with something else. We will let you know when we learn anything new.


Meeting To Update Community On McMillan Development

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 court’s decision vindicates the arguments of the community that the approvals “failed to adequately explain why it was necessary to disregard” certain key policies in the Comprehensive Plan, which should “guide executive and legislative decisions.” The court also found that agency approvals failed to comply with D.C.’s historic preservation law, which prohibits harming landmark sites such as McMillan except under very limited circumstances.

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.

BNCA Hosts Discussion – Comprehensive Plan’s Effects On Brookland

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.

Michigan Liquors For Sale, Zoned For Mix Use Development

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.

Large New Development Planned For 12th Street Business Strip

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.

As a side note, MILLER is the same company in the process of  building the large self-storage facility across from Dew Drop Inn on 8th Street NE. We will let you know when we hear anything new.

Former Flip-It II Restaurant Property For Sale, Zoned For Mixed Use Development

Flip-It II with Sale Sign earlier this week

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.