Category Archives: Development

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

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 5b02@anc.dc.gov.

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.