We thought readers would like to see photos from this year’s Brookland “Celebration of Lights”, which took place last night, on Sunday, December 11th. The highlight of the annual event is the trolley tours, driving past Brookland’s best and most elaborate light and decoration displays. This year the trolley tours departed again from the Mekiti Group Plaza, where neighbors mixed and mingled, enjoyed holiday treats and a fire pit, and kids watched holiday movies. We took the photos below – enjoy! (You need flash to see the photos, if you can’t see them, click here.)
The 22nd annual “Celebration of Lights” will be Sunday, December 11th. From 5:00–8:00 pm there will be trolley tours, driving past Brookland’s best and most elaborate light and decoration displays. (Check out the photos we took on the tour in 2014.) This is always a super fun neighborhood event and in recent years the trolley runs have sold out very quickly, so we recommend that you buy your tickets in advance. The trolley tours will depart from the Mekiti Group Plaza at 3401 8th Street NE. Check out the Celebration of Lights website for more info and the link to purchase tickets. From the website:
Come early or stay after your tour to enjoy the community reception courtesy of the great Brookland restaurants and businesses.
Trolley tours depart at the following times: 5:00 PM, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, and an adults-only trolley at 8:30 PM (Last-Call Trolley tickets are $5.00 each)
NOMINATE YOUR NEIGHBORS to be included on this year’s tour map. Each person who nominates a neighbor or has their home nominated will be entered to win fun prizes! Washington Capitals tickets, movie passes, etc.
Tickets are $3.00 each (Last-Call Trolley $5) and will go on sale at 9:30 AM on DECEMBER 1, 2016.
The outdoor movies series in Brookland sponsored by the Menkiti Group continues this Thursday, July 21st with a showing of Star Wars. The movie will be shown at the DCTV campus at Brooks Mansion (901 Newton St NE). The movie will begin at 8:30 pm and don’t forget your blankets or lawn chairs, any snacks or picnic items, some bug spray and flashlights. Check out the tweet below for more info.
Brookland Movie Night is Back! Come One, Come All! Enjoy Complimentary Popcorn, Glow Sticks & Light Sabers!! pic.twitter.com/8EOMSQlPOs
— The Menkiti Group (@MenkitiGroup) July 8, 2016
The outdoor movies series in Brookland sponsored by the Menkiti Group starts up again this Saturday, June 18th with a showing of Zootopia. The movie will be shown at the DCTV campus at Brooks Mansion (901 Newton St NE). The movie will begin at 8:00 pm and don’t forget your blankets or lawn chairs, any snacks or picnic items, some bug spray and flashlights. Check out the flyer below for more info.
We 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.
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.
We plan to move forward with our 901 Monroe St project, despite a disappointing DC Appeals Court decision overturning DC’s Zoning Commission
— The Menkiti Group (@MenkitiGroup) May 26, 2016
You can read the DC Court of Appeals decision here. We will let you know when we learn anything new.
It has been a year since we have had an update about the 901 Monroe development at Monroe and 9th Streets NE (site of the former Colonel Brooks’ Tavern).
One thing to note is that the developer, the Menkiti Group, has re-named the project The Ravenna at Brookland Station. We first noticed the name change awhile back on the now defunct website, Elevation DC, and the new name appears on the Menkiti Groups’s webpage about the development. Since the battle over this development stretches back to 2010, I could see the rationale behind trying to re-brand the effort once it gets going. After all, since Colonel Brooks’ Tavern and some of the surrounding houses were demolished in 2013 to prepare for the development, the site has been a fenced-in empty lot, and an eyesore for passerby.
The last update we had about this saga was about the continued the back and forth between the Office of Zoning and the Court of Appeals in an ongoing legal battle with the “200 Footers” – a group of residents who filed a court case seeking to overturn the Office of Planning’s decision to allow the development.
Thanks to reader Kristin who passed along the news that the case is going before the DC Court of Appeals this coming Thursday (Durant v. D.C. Zoning Commission). The frustrating thing about this case, to me at least, is that the Zoning Commission, Office of Planning or Court Appeals have no issue with the development itself, but that the issue is that the court is not satisfied with the way the Zoning Commission has handled the case.
Ever since we posted about the Brookland Celebration of Lights, coming up on Sunday, December 13th, folks have been asking me about how to buy tickets. We received the message below from organizer and neighbor Lavinia Wohlfarth who let us know that tickets go on sale today and you can buy your tickets here. From an email:
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015Celebration of Lights Trolley Tour, 5:00–8:00 pm
Trolley leaves this year from the Menkiti Group Plaza
3401 8th Street NE (8th and Monroe Street NE)Ooo, Ahh, Fa la la! Revelers sing along !and the Trolley Driver seeks out the most spectacular lighting displays in Brookland!Those waiting for the trolley enjoy holiday music, a bonfire, hot chocolate and cider, and other holiday treats donated from our local restaurants, and Yes Organic Market.
Ticket Sales start December 1 for all trolleys
First Trolley leaves at 5:00 PM, and return every 35 minutes.
Not interested in the Trolley Ride? Visit, relax and enjoy!
Questions By Phone: 202-297-1125
The outdoor movies series in Brookland sponsored by the Menkiti Group winds down this Saturday, September 5th with a showing of Shrek. The movie will be shown at the DCTV campus at Brooks Mansion (901 Newton St NE). The movie will begin around 8:00 pm but folks are welcome to come early and picnic.
Don’t forget your blankets or lawn chairs, any snacks or picnic items, some bug spray and flashlights. Also, in the case of inclement weather, check this site on the day of to see if movie night will be on or off.