It doesn't take an expert to see that Northeast is growing.
New buildings and repurposed industrial spaces are being snapped up and repositioned faster than you can say "pop-up."
To help everyone get a handle on the development, the Urban Land Institute
's Young Leaders Group offered the Tour De D.C.: a bike tour Saturday of new and forthcoming developments in Brookland and NoMa.
Participants visited completed projects such as the recently opened Filter Coffee/The Bike Rack store in Brookland as well as proposed projects like The Ravenna at Brookland Station, a mixed-use development from The Menkiti Group that has been on the boards for a decade. Participants also saw inside the Uline Arena
, which is currently being gutted so that Douglas Development can turn it into offices and a flagship REI store.
At The Bike Rack, whose Brookland location opened a month ago, owner Chuck Harney said he was pleasantly surprised by the number of young families he sees in Brookland. "On opening day, I was blowing up balloons for kids for 2-3 hours." He compared Monroe Street Market, the huge redevelopment of mostly Catholic University-owned land that has brought artists
, restaurants, and more to the area, to the Logan Circle Whole Foods, which spurred redevelopment in that area. "I see this as the next part of D.C. to really take off," he said.
At 901 Monroe
, Mark Rengel from The Menkiti Group described the developers' plans for the space, which is currently a vacant lot as the project's approval moves through the appeals process. The project will bring 213 apartments, a mix of studios, one- and two-bedrooms, to a lot directly across from the Brookland metro station as well as 13,000 square feet of retail, including a restaurant. It is now known as The Ravenna at Brookland Station, after the region in Italy, and design touches inside and out will reflect that name.
Tour attendees next stopped at the future Dew Drop Inn
, a project planned by the owners of Wonderland Ballroom, and Mess Hall
, a commercial kitchen incubator.
In NoMa, the tour visited the future site of The Highline at Union Market, a planned 320-unit apartment building at 320 Florida Ave NE from Level 2 Development. A unique feature of The Highline, which may receive approval from the DC Zoning Commission as early as June 4, is a park/pedestrian walk that improves connectivity from the NoMa metro to Union Market. (The park is shown in the left side of the rendering.)
Then attendees visited Uline Arena, where demolition is currently underway. The historic building is set to become two floors of offices as well as a 52,000-square-foot REI, the largest on the East Coast. That store should open in November 2016; in the meantime, look for an REI "community space" where outdoor enthusiasts can take classes or test gear. The space will be located at the soon-to-open Wunder Garten
Much of what was in the space is now gone; Drew Turner of Douglas Development shared that they have saved some of the historic seating, which REI will use when designing its store.
If you missed Tour de D.C., we put together a map so you can take a self-guided tour. Or just view our Uline pictures below.