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.
Neighbors who are familiar with the northwest corner of 12th and Hamlin Streets, NE have been noticing activity at the commercial space at 3000 12th St NE. First, the old bail bonds sign was removed from the space above Silvestre’s restaurant in August and then more recently, new windows came in. We recently learned that that the second floor of this building has been renovated and is ready to lease. From the website:
From the owner of 3126 12th Street, home to Brookland’s Finest, comes new community-serving space. This corner location at 12th and Hamlin Streets NE will set the stage for outdoor seating, large windows lining the streets, and 2nd floor and cellar space ready for new tenants. We look forward to this being the next great gathering space for Brookland.
There is also a survey on the website asking for neighbor’s input on what they would like to see go in that space. Take the survey here. We will let you know when we hear anything new.
In October 2013 we wrote about the announcement of a new restaurant coming to Brookland here. Recently we have reached out to the proprietor Miles Gray of the soon to be open restaurant “Smith Public Trust” on 12th Street, to give us some more information about this new business and to give us a sneak peek.
Here are some photos starting with how the space looked like before the renovation. They also show some of the interesting features, like the bar made out of a cut up shipping container:
Miles was kind enough to answer some questions for us:
– Please introduce yourself (Restaurant Group) to our readers. Howdy. I’m Miles Gray, I’ve been involved in food and beverage, in some capacity or another, for about eight years. Most recently as Managing Partner at Smith Commons on H St. NE. I’m also directing DC Beer Week for the 2nd consecutive year.
– What motivated you to choose Brookland as the location for your new restaurant? Brookland is one of DC’s true hidden gems. With it’s abundance of history, religious and educational institutions as well it’s diversity, artistic support and strong sense of community, it was kind of a no brainer.
– What is the new place going to be called, and is there a specific reason why? The new place is named Smith Public Trust. “The concept of the public trust relates back to the origins of democratic government and it’s seminal idea that within the public lies the true power and future of a society; therefore, whatever trust the public places in it’s officials must be respected.” We hope to be a space for great exchange of ideas, cultural learning and mixing of demographics.
– What is going to be the concept of the new place? Hours / Seats / Food / Targeted audience? In relation to the food and beverage, I can’t say that we have a “concept” in it’s most common sense. More abstractly we hope to be a place for all people from all walks of life. We hope to operate from 11AM to 11PM during the week, offering approachable creative cuisine, cold pressed juices, locally roasted single origin coffee, smoothies, craft cocktails, craft beer and free high speed wi-fi. We have about 99 seats for dining, drinking, working and hanging out, an arcade/viewing room in the back with a set of bleachers and 100 inch projector, as well as an outdoor patio space. We also have a stage for live music. Our target audience is good people who want to spread that good vibe.
During construction, we’ve really been inspired by the tae kwon do facility next door and their students. We’ve been fortunate to see the parents of all ages and students from all walks of life come together several times a week to learn together. This sort of organic diversity is rare in DC, but seems intrinsic to the landscape of Brookland. We hope to create a similar environment, which complements the neighborhood – a space where people from different backgrounds can come and converse, share ideas and enjoy each other. There are thousands of places in the city that sell food and beverage, but very few with a sense of history and desire to celebrate all people for who they are. We firmly believe in the collective power of the people. If we are fortunate, we will create a progressive space that reflects the past and present of the neighborhood, The District, and the United States while projecting a bright sense of our collective future. That is our goal.
– When are you planning to open? We hope to open within the next couple of weeks.
– Are you planning a soft opening phase or an immediate Grand Opening? We will do a soft opening phase to test out our systems. We’ll put the word out via Twitter @PublicTrustDC .
– Is there anything else you would like to share with the Brookland community? I’d like to let the Brookland community know that we are happy to be here and we are grateful for the warm welcome that we’ve been given thus farm. Please feel free to talk to us on twitter @PublicTrustDC. Cheers.
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