Category Archives: Development

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.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Coming To Nearby RIA NE Development

Rendering courtesy of MRP Realty

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.

Longtime 12th Street Eyesore Development On The Market

We tweeted about the neglect at this property almost 2 years ago.

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:

What the development looks like now

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
We aren’t construction experts, but this foundation does not look good.

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.

Brentwood Village Shopping Center To Be Demolished As Part Of RIA Development

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.

Retail Space And Shipping Container Apartments Coming To Lot Next To Menomale

shipping-container-development
Container ship development rendering courtesy of Hinds Development and Travis Price Architects via Urban Turf

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.

Get Involved In Comprehensive Plan Update – Help Shape The Area’s Future

The DC Office of Planning is engaging the public on an update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which is a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development. As the flyer below indicates, the meeting for our area will be on November 14 at Luke C. Moore High School (1001 Monroe St NE). 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. For example, the zoning decisions that lead to the approval of 901 Monroe/Ravenna happen when projects get compared to what is in the comprehensive plan–so it’s important to get involved with the update to help craft the vision for the city and neighborhood. Check out more information on the Comprehensive Plan amendment process here.

Comprehensive Plan Update Flyer

‘The Violet’ Apartment Building To Replace Longtime Eyesore On Rhode Island Ave

The Before & The Future #theviolet #the #violet #dc #dcrealtor #dcrealestate

A photo posted by Jocelyngroup (@jocelyngroup) on


We recently learned that the vacant shell of a building at 1515 Rhode Island Ave NE will be transformed into a new apartment building called “The Violet”.  We have been following the tweets of the development company carrying out the project, The Jocelyn Group, and by now demolition is complete and they are getting ready to lay the concrete foundation. The 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath units will rent for $2,400.00. From the development’s website:

Beautiful brand new luxury apartment units, most with private outdoor space to be completed end of 2016. Units will feature high end finishes with a modern look. Hardwood floors, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances…Garage parking available…Large common roof deck using native plants giving the property a positive environmental impact and green feel.

12th & Allison Townhouse Development Update And Open House Tonight

EYA developers will unveil their latest updates to the proposed 12th & Allison NE townhouse development a community open house tonight. Readers may remember that this is the proposed development on the grounds surrounding the St. Joseph’s Seminary that we wrote about here and here.

According to a recent community announcement,  the number of proposed homes was reduced from 150 to 82,  3 acres of publicly accessible open space will  remain, historic preservation will be sought of the St. Joseph’s Seminary building, and  community amenities will include a Capital Bikeshare station, park areas with climbable art and sculpture for kids, and public art.

The meeting will be tonight, Tuesday July 12 from 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Seminary (1200 Varnum Street NE). Check out the flyer below for more info. If you can’t make it tonight, EYA will be giving presentations at upcoming Michigan Park Citizens Association, North Michigan Park Civic Association, Queens Chapel Civic Association, Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association, and ANC 5A meetings. You can also sign up to receive updates about this project here.  We will let you know when we hear of other significant updates.

12th and Allison Development