We have been following the massive proposed development next to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro stop for over a year now. The 13 acre development will cover about 6 blocks and is planned for the current strip mall anchored by Save-A-Lot, Big Lots and Foreman Mills. In December the development created a lot of buzz when it was announced that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema would join other amenities such as a supermarket and gym.
The developer, MRP Reality has spent 18 months and quite a bit of money navigating the planned-unit development (PUD) process, and received approval for the PUD from the Zoning Commission in October 2016. That’s why we were surprised to read from this article in the Washington Business Journal that the developer is switching tracks, and pursuing a matter of right development approach, and forgoing the PUD process. From the (pay-walled) article:
With by-right, MRP will not have to return to the commission every time it wants to make a change, as it might have through the PUD process. And it will be largely free of legal challenges…
While building as a matter of right will allow more flexibility, according to the article, the plans for the nine building, 1,550 residential unit mixed use development are not changing (including the Alamo Drafthouse lease). The development will completed in multiple phases spanning 10 years, and is planned to begin summer 2018.
Local porches and stoops are transformed into stages for an afternoon of music, dance, and poetry that brings together neighbors, business owners, and artists in a casual and fun display of creative expression!
Maps will be available in person at each Porch location during Porch Fest or you can download the map HERE…Check out Facebook for performer details and other insider scoops HERE
If you blink while driving down Rhode Island Ave NE between the McDonalds and the Metro Overpass, then you will probably miss The Warehouse – a funky furniture shop – which is actually huge, about 5000 square feet, once you find it. (The slide show below requires flash. If you cannot see it, go here to open the photos.)
We checked out the The Warehouse over the weekend. With the warm weather it was easy to spot because they had brought out a good amount of merchandise to their parking lot. Once you find the place, at the top of a nondescript staircase, you need to take your time to parse through the wide variety of items from different eras and styles. As you can see from the pictures, retro light fixtures, birdcages, trunks, furniture, musical instruments, mirrors, clocks, rugs, and all sorts of collectibles are side by side and on top of each other. If you are looking for that unique piece to complete a living space or just enjoy collectibles and antiques, this is the place for you. A bit of advice -the place is pretty packed full of crystal, china, and such so you probably want to leave small kids, and things like bulky purses and backpacks behind.
The Warehouse is located at 604 Rhode Island Avenue NE (on the second floor above DB transmissions). They are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 AM and 5 PM. Check out their Facebook page here.
We thought readers would be happy to hear about the addition of a badly needed additional transportation option starting in March. The new express bus line, the G9, will run from Mt. Rainer to 14th Street NW along Rhode Island Avenue.
The G9 will run every 15 minutes and only during rush hours (from 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm, Monday through Friday).
Metro points out that service will run both directions during those hours, unlike some other routes that only run one direction during peak hours. The agency is in the process of developing printable timetables and maps.
The G9 is coming to Rhode Island Avenue in March 2017! We remain in close contact with WMATA on it and it remains on schedule for March 2017 pic.twitter.com/SsfH3eiMQi
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.
The Annual Rhode Island Ave Procrastinators Holiday Market, a free event organized by the Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street, is coming up this weekend, December 16-18, 2016. The event will feature local gift and food vendors, live entertainment, activities, and a winter-themed drink bar. The market will be held at the Rhode Island Avenue Center, 680 Rhode Island Avenue NE (the former CVS, directly to the left of the Mall Entrance (at the other end of the shopping center from Forman Mills). For more information, check out the event page and the flyer in the tweet below.
Back in July we wrote about how some neighbors have raised concerns about the proposed location of the future Ward 5 homeless shelter. (The proposed loaction is the former MPD Building at 1700 Rhode Island Avenue, NE.) Incoming commissioner for ANC 5B03. Henri Makembe, asked us to pass along information about a meeting Monday to discuss plans for the shelter. From the invite:
Join us to:
· View draft plans for the new buildings
· Provide input on the designs
· Learn more about family homelessness
Short-Term Family Housing facilities will be small, safe and dignified – with the services and supports that help families experiencing homelessness get back on their feet. These facilities will replace the oversized and outdated DC General Emergency Family Shelter. Each site will house no more than 50 families and include wrap-around services and supports including 24-hour staff to help families overcome barriers and move quickly into permanent housing.
For more detailed information on Short-term Family Housing, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit: www.mayor.dc.gov/homewarddc
The meeting will be Monday, December 12 from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy, located at 1404 Jackson Street NE. For more information and to register for the meeting, check out the event page here.
The location of the future Ward 5 homeless shelter has been a hot topic ever since Mayor Muriel Bowser announced plans to replace DC General Family Shelter with homeless shelters in each Ward of DC. In February we wrote about issues a lot of folks had about the original shelter location proposed for Ward 5, because of its proximity to a trash transfer station, bus lots, a strip club, a night club, and limited access to mass transportation and amenities like a grocery store. Then Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie held a town hall meeting to discuss proposed locations on Friday, May 27, although it was announced that he supported the former MPD Building at 1700 Rhode Island Avenue, NE as the site for the shelter prior to the meeting. On the heels of that meeting, on May 31st, the DC City Council approved the 17th and RIA Ward 5 location, along with the other city-wide locations.
Now some residents are raising concerns about the location and are circulating a petition to ask for a hearing. You can view the petition here. Among the concerns are that the proposed homeless shelter is for 40 families, but the lot size is only 12,000 square feet, which would not house that many people. This is also a historic building, (check out some cool old pics here) and although there has been city-wide discussions about shelter locations for many months, neighbors who were not plugged in/aware to the hearings and meetings have been caught off guard. CM McDuffie’s meeting unfortunately was announced with only a few days’ notice, and held on the Friday evening before Memorial Day weekend, so not exactly ideal timing.
This topic will be discussed at this month’s Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) meeting on Tuesday, July 19th at 7 pm at Brooks Mansion. Representatives from CM McDuffie’s office and DC Department of Human Services will be in attendance to talk more about the proposed homeless shelter, the general process, and what to expect next.
The meeting will cover a number of hot neighborhood topics in addition to the shelter, like the proposed alley closure at 901 Evarts and the Howard University Divinity School development. Brooks Mansion is located at 901 Newton St NE.
The (Up)Rising Festival 2016 returns to the neighborhood on June 26 from 12-6:00 pm. Here is some info on this free festival from the event page:
An arts-focused festival that weaves its way through Rhode Island Avenue businesses, open areas, and vacant properties. This year, we explore the theme of creative collaborations – innovative and artistic ways to solve complex problems. The day includes performing and visual arts elements, hands-on activities, local food, drink, and retail vendors, as well as a chance to hang out with your Rhode Island Avenue small business owners and employees!
Participating artists share a revolutionary vision and engage festival-goers through heart, mind and body.
Check out this video about last years’ event:
The festival is organized by ReCreative Spaces, a non-profit that transforms vacant commercial space into artist studio and exhibition space.
All about Washington DC's Greater Brookland neighborhood