We thought readers would be interested in a recent article in the Washingtonian about the relationships between DC Universities and their respective neighborhoods. The article is especially favorable towards our neighbor Catholic University, with passages such as this one:
Catholic, for instance, intentionally tried to nurture a student-friendly atmosphere around its campus, working with developers and nonprofits to build entirely new space for businesses and art studios. But it’s the exception. Around AU, as at most of the area’s campuses, neighborhood politics and zoning rules make it seem as if Washington wants students seen but not heard.
Much of the article compares CUA to American University, and as someone who attended AU (ok, a long time ago, but still) I would say that the characterization is spot on. I think it would be great to increase the “college town” vibe in our neighborhood even further. What do you think?
Earlier this week, the long awaited Starbuck’s at the Monroe Street Market development opened its doors. Check out this Tweet from Monroe Street Market, indicating that the store will start serving a full menu today.
In other Monroe Street Market development news, we are happy to report that the Busboys and Poets got their “tenant layout” license. This license is issued by DCRA and basically approves the layout of interior space for tenants in new or existing commercial buildings. From the Washington Business Journal:
625 Monroe St. NE: Tenant layout for the planned Busboys and Poets at theBozzuto Group’sMonroe Street Market in Brookland. The 7,400-square-foot restaurant, to be located in the Cornerstone building, will seat 238. It will be D.C.’s sixth Busboys and Poets, from entrepreneur and former mayoral candidate Andy Shallal, a graduate of nearby Catholic University.
Many thanks to Morgan from theBarnes & Noble College location at Catholic U for letting us know about the grand opening of the long awaited Barnes and Noble store at the Monroe Street Market development. When we broke the story about the Barnes and Noble/Starbucks in August 2012, many neighbors rightfully acknowledged it as a huge turning point for our area, and a kick start to investment and development in Brookland. Here is the announcement:
Come celebrate the newest installment of Brookland’s up-and-coming Monroe Street Market community– Barnes & Noble College Booksellers at The Catholic University of America. No longer solely a home to textbooks and CUA spirit gear, the new store boasts an expanded title selection of fiction, non-fiction, reference, and children’s books; a cafe serving Starbucks coffee, ready-to-go sandwiches, and baked goods; and indoor and outdoor seating in the lovely neighborhood of Brookland.
The grand opening celebration will occur on July 28, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 625 Monroe Street NE, Washington, DC 20017. The festivities will include an author event with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, live music, raffles, samples from our new cafe, and a promotional sale. At noon, Bret Baier, chief political anchor for Fox and anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” will talk about his new book, Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love, a behind-the-scenes look at his family’s life as they face their eldest son Paul’s fight with pediatric cardiac disease.
In conjunction with the opening day festivities, we will be hosting a children’s book reading featuring the Catholic University mascot, Red the Cardinal, who will welcome the children’s book section of the new Barnes & Noble. Red’s Reading will occur on July 30th at 11:30 a.m.
On Friday August 1st, the final event of what is sure to be a fantastic inaugural week, will be a live concert from Pop Culture Strings at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, and to RSVP for the grand opening events, check out the B&N at the Catholic University Facebook page.
Just a little bit over a year ago we broke the story here about the possibility of Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks Cafe being one anchor retailer in the Monroe Street Market (Catholic U) development. Well today the developers of Monroe Street Market, Bozzuto Group, confirmed that the contract has been signed and that the store is expected to open in the spring of 2014. You can read the official press release here. According to this story in the Washington Business Journal “The store will be a full-scale Barnes & Noble with a separate section for Catholic University students’ textbooks and branded gear. There will also be a 44-seat Starbucks Cafe within the bookstore.” The Barnes and Noble will be located in the Cornerstone building, depicted on the right.
Let’s hope that this announcement will encourage more retail information to be confirmed and shared with the community. It is surprising that at this advanced stage in the construction of the Monroe Street Market project, more retailers have not been announced. One would think that a great selection of stores and services is important and helpful to attract tenants for the hundreds of apartments that Bozzuto is planning to fill. Many readers ask us about updates regarding possible retailers or restaurants for this development, so we are glad that finally one main anchor has been confirmed. Stay tuned for more updates. We will share any new information about the Monroe Street Market as soon as they are available.
It has been a while since we have done an update on the Monroe Street Market development taking shape on the south end of Catholic U’s campus. Much thanks to the guys over there for giving us a hard-hat tour of the latest! The construction crews have kept their nose to the grindstone all winter, and that means that the apartments, art studios and retail spaces that have been set to open this summer are on pace. This is a pretty long post, and I know most readers are very interested in the retail to come, so I will just get that out of the way up front. We weren’t told any specific company names, but, we can expect at least 2 well-known DC-based sit down restaurants, well-known casual dining spots, a bike store, a coffee shop, a bank, a large bookstore, dry cleaning, and a grocery store. (While these haven’t been confirmed by Monroe Street Market, we have posted here about Barnes and Noble/Starbucks and a Busboys and Poets being tagged as in the works.) In total, there are 4 Blocks of development underway. We’ll start off with the ones that are furthested along.
The most advanced development block is the “C Block”. This building is located between Monroe Street and Michigan Avenue, at 8th Street, NE. It will have apartments, retail facing Monroe Street NE and a pedestrian walkway down the center, called the Arts Walk, which will be lined with artist studios. The apartments are called the “Brookland Works” and are described as “Industrial Chic Living”. You can check out some of the finishes for these units in the photos below. The Monroe Street Market team has started reserving leases on Brookland Works, and they are going quickly, with over 20% of the 152 apartment residences leased as of two weeks ago. The application process for the artists studios has also been a success, with over 50 applicants vying for the 27 artists studios. The apartments and artist studios will be ready for move in by June 2013. The bike store is planned for one of the retail fronts – which makes perfect sense as a stretch of the Met Branch Trail will run along side this building. There is also a coffee spot and a “well-known DC based restaurant” planned for this building. Another exciting development is that the undergrounding of the Monroe Street power lines is underway, and we are starting to get a glimpse of the improved public infrastructure like new, upgraded light poles.
As a reminder, here is how it will look when complete:
At the north end of the C block/Arts Walk, the concrete has been laid for the stage that will be near the Metro. We can expect the stage to host concerts, festivals, and the like, as the Arts Walk is envisioned as active community and artistic gathering place. It will be pedestrian-only, have a plaza, an 80 ft. decorative steel tower, a water feature, and a green wall covering the south side of the Drew Bridge. Here are present and future looks at the space.
The Edgewood Arts Building/ArtsFlex is really advancing quickly. It sits across from the C Block building at the south-east intersection of Monroe and 8th Streets, NE along the Metro tracks. This is my favorite building of the bunch because it will be purely for community and artistic use. All the exterior metal framing and insulation are complete and the exterior brick work is well underway. Sprinkler, plumbing and electrical rough-ins are going in inside the building. It will have a small kitchen, adequate for cocktail parties and such. The design calls for one large industrial space and a large front patio/plaza area. The Arts Flex building is slated to be delivered in Summer 2013. Here are some pics of the progress and how it will look eventually.
The “B Block” development is a building that will be six stories high and will house apartments called the “Portland Flats”, which are described as “Grand Boutique apartments in a Flatiron building”. We were told that they will have an upscale condo-like feel and will be the most high-end of the three apartment buildings. At this point you can really see the architectural elements coming together, like the dormer windows. Soon roofing can begin, and rough-ins for plumbing, sprinkler systems, and electricity have been well underway. While the finishes are still being selected, we were told that upgraded appliances and luxury touches like white marble and dark oak are expected. One of the biggest changes this building will bring about is the reconfiguring of 7th St. NE to provide a better entrance into Catholic U. The apartments are on schedule to be delivered October 2013. Here are some present day and future pics.
Here is a present day and future comparison of the A (left) and B (right) Blocks, looking west on Monroe Street at 7th St. NE:
The “A Block” is a roughly two block stretch along Monroe Street that starts at 7th Street and meets up with Michigan Ave NE. The apartments in this part of the development will be called the “Cornerstone” as they are described as the “hub of the Community”. This part of the development will house the majority of the amenities and retail space. Underground parking garage levels are complete, the concrete and steel floors above ground have gone up, and wood framing has begun. At the westernmost end of the development (where Monroe intersects with Michigan Avenue), you can start to see the frame out for the clock tower that will be the highlight of a public square; envisioned as a vibrant space for students, faculty, and local residents to meet and mingle. The square will also have a fountain and outdoor café seating. The traffic pattern will be improved by creating more of a 90% angle turn at the intersection of Monroe and Michigan. The apartments are slated to be move-in ready by January 2014. Here are pics:
It has been a while since we have done a development update. While the rest of us have been busy with the holiday season, inauguration activities and the like, the construction crews at the Monroe Street Market have kept their nose to the grindstone. In total, there are 4 Blocks of development underway. Here is the latest.
“Block A”- This is a roughly two block stretch along Monroe Street that starts at 7th Street and meets up with Michigan Ave NE. Underground parking garage levels are complete and now concrete and steel floors above ground are quickly going up. Still, we should expect that deck (floors) and column concrete pours will be going on for the next few months.
So here is what the A Block will look like when completed. At the westernmost end of the development (where Monroe intersects with Michigan Avenue), there will be a public square envisioned as a vibrant space for students, faculty, and local residents to meet and mingle. Highlights of the square will be a fountain, outdoor café seating, and a clock tower. Note how the traffic pattern will be improved at the intersection. Currently it is not very pedestrian friendly at all. The apartments in this part of the development will be called the “Cornerstone” as they are described as the “hub of the Community”. The apartments are slated to be move-in ready by January 2014.
The most advanced development block is the “C Block”. The exterior brick facade has been going up quickly. Inside the building, trim work, cabinets and drywall are being installed, in addition to upgraded utility lines to service the building. This building is located between Monroe St. and Michigan Ave, at 8th St. NE. It will have 152 apartment residences, retail facing Monroe St., NE and a pedestrian walkway down the center, called the Arts Walk, lined with 27 artist studios. These apartments will be called the “Brookland Works” and are described as “Industrial Chic Living”. The apartments and artist studios will be ready for move in by June 2013.
As a reminder, here is how it will look when complete:
The north end of the C block/Arts Walk will have direct access to the Metro. The pedestrian-only Arts Walk will have a plaza at the north end featuring an 80 ft. decorative steel tower, a water feature, a stage for live performances, and a green wall covering the south side of the Drew Bridge. Here are present and future looks at the space.
Another feature of the C Block is the extension of the Met Branch Trail that will run along the side of the building. Unless something changes, it looks like it will have a decent slope to it. It will connect to McCormack drive along the side of Catholic University to extend that stretch of the trail.
The ArtsFlex Building is really starting to take shape. It sits across from the C Block building at the south-east intersection of Monroe and 8th Streets, NE along the Metro tracks. The concrete deck and retaining wall have been poured and the steel structure has gone up. It’s really exciting because it hints at how high the ceilings will be and the tallest support structures help you to visualize the three tower like features. The Arts Flex building will host artist, community, and university events. The design calls for one large industrial space and a large front patio/plaza area. The Arts Flex building is slated to be delivered in Summer 2013.
As a reminder, here is what the Arts Flex building will look like when completed.
Of the four blocks under development, the “B Block” is the one that really surprised me with how far it has come in the past few months. By now you can see where the staircases and elevator towers are going to be, and the steel structure that will give the triangular-shaped building its rounded corners is up. Now that the concrete foundation is complete, wood framing is going up quickly. As you can see from one of the pictures, pipes and other infrastructure have been installed in the garage and ground floor retail spaces. The building will be six stories high and will have apartments called the “Portland Flats” which are described as “Grand Boutique apartments in a Flatiron building”. The apartments are on schedule to be delivered October 2013.
As a reminder, here is how it will look when completed.
Here is a present day and future comparison of the A (left) and B (right) Blocks, looking west on Monroe Street at 7th St. NE:
Beginning in early January, 7th street between Monroe and Michigan Avenue has been closed to vehicle traffic.This is part of a realignment of the intersection while installing new curbs and gutters. This portion of 7th street is expected to be closed for the next couple months.
Lastly, I noticed that the underside of the Drew bridge has been spruced up with a paint job.
I was lucky enough to take part in a recent hard-hat tour of the Artswalk area of the Monroe Street Market (Catholic U) Development. The “C Block” building, depicted above, is located between Monroe St. and Michigan Ave, at 8th St. NE. It will have 152 residences, retail facing Monroe St., NE and a pedestrian walkway down the center lined with 27 artist studios. The residences will be called the “Brookland Works” and are described by the Bozzuto Group, one of the developers, as “Industrial-Chic living”. The rental units will be a mix of studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. The artists studios will range from 300 – 650 sq. feet and will sport all glass garage style doors that will encourage interaction with the public. Some artist studios will have patios facing the stretch of the Met Branch Trail that will run alongside the building. Artists interested in leasing space have until February 1st, 2013 to apply and should contact Cultural DC, who will act as a liaison between artists and the developers and will assist in evaluating artist applications for studio space. The residences and studios are on pace to be delivered by the summer of 2013. I asked if there were any new retail agreements in place, and while they are in discussions with several retailers, there was nothing that they could announce. Here are some current photos of the Artswalk/Studio areas under development.
At the north end of the Artswalk there will be an Arts Plaza with direct access to the Metro. The pedestrian-only space will be highlighted by an 80 ft. decorative steel tower, a water feature, a stage for live performances, and a green wall covering the south side of the Drew Bridge. Here is a rendering of what the area will look like when completed.
Across the street from the Artswalk, at the south-east intersection of Monroe and 8th Streets, NE. is the Arts Flex building, also progressing nicely. We posted about this exciting public space back in October. It will host artist, community, and university events. The design calls for one large industrial space and a large front patio/plaza area. The Arts Flex building is slated to be delivered in Summer 2013. As a reminder, here is how the Arts Flex building will look when completed.
I am very excited about how this development is geared toward promoting the arts. We will keep you updated as things progress. Summer 2013 is just around the corner, so we anticipate rapid progress over the next few months.
Abdo and the Buzzuto Group, the developers of the Monroe Street Market (the development abutting Catholic U), are rapidly completing the Artswalk, which will contain 13,000 square feet of art space in the way of 27 artist studios. The vision for this area is a thriving arts community, with an outdoor stage for live performances, seasonal outdoor market, and a destination for art collectors to interact with the artisans in their studios. To help bring this vision to life, the developers are teaming up with Cultural DC, who will act as a liaison between artists and the developers and will assist in evaluating artist applications for studio space. They are looking for a wide variety of artists, including jewelers, photographers, painters, ceramics artists, sculptors, film artists, design and fashion artists. The application process will start with the Request For Proposals (RFP), to be released on November 26th. The application deadline is February 1st, 2013 and it is anticipated that artists will take occupancy in the summer of 2013. The studio spaces will range from 300 – 625 square feet, and will line the ground floor of the Artswalk, as depicted in the rendering above. The studios will feature garage style front doors facing the pedestrian walkway, high (17 – 25 ft.) ceilings, concrete floors, and some will have back porches facing the Met Branch Trail. The goal is to establish an anchor for the arts at below market rental prices. The rent for the studios is expected to start at $365 a month (not including utilities). For information on applying for studio space contact Rose Hagood, at (202) 315 – 1337 or email rose (at) culturaldc (dot) org.
Last week, the vegetation between the “C” block building of the Monroe Street Market (Catholic U) development and the Metro tracks was cleared. While normally I am not a fan of clear cutting in the name of development, a lot of it was overgrown shrubs and vines, and with the exception of two smaller evergreens, I don’t think there were any true viable trees in the bunch. The good news is that this area will become a stretch of the Met Branch Trail and will connect with a part of the MBT that exists now, which is routed along a sidepath of John McCormack Road on Catholic U’s campus. This will bring the trail one small step closer to being a completely off-road trail. I am hoping/assuming that there will be quite a bit of re-planting once the trail is complete, as the renderings of the development show a line of trees along the border of the property and the Metro tracks. I am not sure when this stretch of the MBT will be complete, but since the C block is slated to be delivered by June/July 2013, I am assuming it will be ready by then or sooner. So, as a reminder, here is how the MBT is supposed to look when complete (lower left of the rendering below).
Ok folks, since you are stuck at home, waiting for Sandy’s wrath, how about a Monroe Street Market/Catholic University development update with lots of pics to cheer you up? Probably the most exciting news to report is that the brick exterior started going up on the north side of the “C Block” of Monroe St. Market’s Artwalk (the buildings that will house artist studios, retail and apartments) here are some pics of how the brick work is turning out. Also, balcomies are starting to go in on the top floors. Looks pretty great to me!
So that’s what’s going on outside. On the inside of the C Block buildings, rough ins continue and insulation and drywall have already begun in some areas. Just for fun, here are some before, during and “after”/rendering pics. Here is the north side of the C Block before construction began:
Here is the south side of the C Block before, during and “after”/rendering pics. Before:
Taking at look at the other blocks, it is amazing to see how fast these other buildings are going up. Here are some pics of the “B Block”. As you can see, a lot of the concrete structural work has been done, so we should be seeing masonry stair towers and then wood framing soon. When the B Block is completed it is going to be six stories tall (!). I tried to line up the “before and after angles” on top of one another:
Every time I pass by the “A Block” there is an army of construction workers getting it done. I can’t believe how much progress is made everytime I pass by. The underground garage has been carved out and concrete laid, and now they are making progress on laying the ground level deck. Here’s how it looks now:
Lastly, I noticed something interesting under the Drew bridge. A cherry picker, and some kind of barrier. I am guessing some kind of work/beautification/cleaning is being done on the bridge. Who knows? I’ll keep my eye on it, as lingering around construction sites seems to be my new pastime.
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