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202_Cyclist Mar 12, 2011 6:31 PM

According to the Tenley listserve, Rosa Mexicano ( will be opening a location on Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Hts, where the former Bambule restaurant was.

202_Cyclist Mar 13, 2011 5:01 AM

New Tenley development
My girlfriend and I took these photos on the way back from the gym today. Although being very affluent and located on the red line, Tenley has missed out on much of the development occurring elsewhere in the region because of militant NIMBY opposition to any development. This is starting to change with the election of more favorable ANC commissioners and neighborhood groups such as Ward 3 Vision advocating transit-oriented development.

In the Tenley-Friendship Hts section of DC on Wisconsin Avenue, the Harrison ( is almost completed. There are rumors that Douglas Development may seek to build a mixed residential/retail development on the closed Babe's Billiards property. American University wants to relocate its law school from the more suburban Spring Valley location to Tenley Circle, directly next to Wisconsin Avenue. Across the street from the previously mentioned Babe's Billiards, a four-story mixed use building is under construction. Two parcels to the south, a formerly closed building is being renovated and will open soon as a bar/restaurant. Additionally, a Panera Bread is opening in the recently-constructed vacant retail space, right next to the Tenley metro station. Across Wisconsin Avenue, immediately to the south, the new Tenley library opened earlier this winter. Although the architecture has been criticized as being cold and it would have been great to see the proposed public-private partnership with the library and 6-7 floors of condos built above it, the new library is still a great improvement over the vacant lot that had been there for years.

Elsewhere in DC, all of this would be pretty unremarkable but Tenley has long been a laggard in development. This area was known as a the mattress-district of DC, with the abundance of mattress stores, fast food restaurants, low-quality retail stores, and vacant, tumbleweed-strewn lots. This, however is changing.

New Tenley bar/restaurant

New Tenley residential (with Western Union tower and radio towers visible in the background)

New Tenley residential (another view)

Tenley library

ardecila Mar 13, 2011 6:29 AM

DC's new libraries are really beautiful. I saw the one in Benning a few days ago.

202_Cyclist Mar 22, 2011 9:23 PM

American University has posted its updated 2011 campus plan. There are many projects proposed under this plan but the most significant involve relocating the Washington College of Law building from its current quasi-suburban Spring Valley location to Tenley Circle, within walking distance of the Tenley metro. Additionally, American U. proposes building new student housing, academic buildings, and retail on the current large surface parking lot on the corner of New Mexico and Nebraska Ave.

There are many renderings available on the campus plan website but be warned, some of the pdfs are very large.

MDallstar Mar 29, 2011 2:32 AM

Watkins Mill Town Center in Gaithersburg (Under Construction)

Construction has begun at Watkins Mill Town Center, a 200-acre, mixed-use development located in Gaithersburg, Maryland along I-270 in the midst of the affluent and highly-educated population of Montgomery County. Watkins Mill Town Center is slated to include nearly 4.5 million square feet of Class A office, hotel, restaurants, retail and residential product surrounded by significant forest preserves and stream valley buffers. By design, it will provide a pedestrian-friendly environment with easy access to services, restaurants and shopping. During development of this "Smart Growth" project, special attention has been paid to environmental protection and "green building" techniques.

Watkins Mill Town Center is a transportation-oriented project, and is located at the confluence of several major road systems: I-270, Route 355/Rockville Pike, Route 117, Route 124, and the future Watkins Mill Interchange. It also is bordered by the existing Metropolitan Grove Amtrak/MARC rail station, which provides access to and from both METRO Rail and Washington DC's Union Station. Finally, the project also is planned as a main station for the programmed Corridor Cities Transit (CCT) Light Rail system.

Watkins Mill Town Center is comprised of three distinct development elements: West End at Watkins Mill, a 475-unit residential community designed around "new urbanism" principles, the Urban Core at Watkins Mill consisting of 1.9 million square feet of Class A office and high-rise residential and hotel towers with a total of 225,000 SF of first-floor retail, and The Spectrum at Watkins Mill, a 40-acre mixed-use urban village with a strong emphasis on restaurants and retail complimented by residential and public uses.

MDallstar Mar 29, 2011 2:46 AM

Crown Farm in Gaithersburg (Under Construction)

2,250 units (6 Urban Neighborhoods High Rises up to 20 floors)

MDallstar Mar 29, 2011 2:54 AM

Archstone in Gaithersburg (Under Construction)

Archstone Westchester broke ground in Olde Town Gaithersburg last week. Here is the press release:

"Archstone Starts Construction on Gaithersburg Apartment Community
New development to feature 389 apartments in heart of biotechnology hub
Archstone—a leader in apartment investment, development and operations—today announced that it has begun construction on a 389-unit, transit-oriented apartment community in Gaithersburg, Md. The development will be funded primarily through an $89.9 million FHA insured Section 221(d)4 loan through CWCapital.

“We are excited to be an active developer of high quality infill apartment communities again, and expect significant additional investment activity in 2011,” said Scot Sellers, Archstone’s chief executive officer. “We are pleased to have completed our recent balance sheet restructuring, which positions us well for the future.”

The Gaithersburg community will provide much needed housing to the area known as the epicenter of the nation’s biotechnology research industry. Located just south of the intersection of North Summit and East Diamond Avenue, in Gaithersburg’s historic downtown, the 6-acre site sits directly across from the Gaithersburg MARC Rail Station, a commuter rail stop that will provide future residents with direct access to downtown Washington, D.C.

“Gaithersburg is located in the center of the Montgomery County Technology Corridor, the heart of biotechnology research in the United States,” said Neil Brown, Archstone’s chief development officer. “The area’s unique combination of a growing technology employment base, strong demographics, exciting growth projects, like the new Science City, and easy access to mass transit, make it an outstanding location for high quality institutional investment. We are excited to begin construction on another landmark project that we believe will create significant long-term value for the City of Gaithersburg, for our future residents and for our shareholders.”

When complete, the Gaithersburg community will not only feature well-appointed apartment homes, but also a host of resident-centric, quality-of-life amenities, including 15,000 square feet of street-front retail space, a beach-entry lagoon-style pool, a fully-equipped re-oxygenating fitness center, pet grooming salon, a resident greenhouse and an above-ground parking garage.

“We develop all of our communities with attention to every detail,” said Rob Seldin, Archstone’s senior vice president of development for the East Region. “We know that people have a choice in where they call home; therefore, it is always our objective to provide both prospective and existing residents with the most reasons to choose Archstone. Archstone Olde Towne will be developed with a unique combination of features and amenities that will clearly differentiate it from other apartments available in the area, along with a few surprises that we’ll announce as we get closer to the grand opening.”

The Gaithersburg project is the second major apartment community Archstone has begun developing in the Washington, D.C., area this year. In July, the company broke ground on Archstone NoMa, the newest apartment addition to Washington, D.C.’s white hot NoMa Business Improvement District. The Archstone NoMa apartments in Washington, D.C., are primarily funded through a $152 million FHA insured Section 220 loan, also through CWCapital."

202_Cyclist Apr 2, 2011 11:30 PM

Can UDC Get Its Students to Come Without Cars? (Washington City Paper)
Can UDC Get Its Students to Come Without Cars?

Posted by Lydia DePillis
Mar. 31, 2011
Washington City Paper

"Out of all the campus plans working their way towards the Zoning Commission this year, the University of the District of Columbia's is somewhat unique: None of the others are attempting to transform themselves into something entirely different. With this year's launch of the Community College of the District of Columbia–which will accommodate many of the city's non-traditional and part-time students–UDC wants to break free of its commuter-school image and become a bona fide residential campus.

To do that, UDC needs two things: A fancy student center where kids can hang out during the day, and dormitories, which it's never had before (the University currently leases about 100 units, primarily for athletes, at an apartment building across Connecticut Avenue). Nice facilities are essential to attract the caliber of students the University will need to raise its academic standing, UDC officials argued at an ANC 3F meeting on the subject last night–and it worked, sort of, with George Washington.

At the meeting, there seemed to be little concern about the new student center, which will activate a huge dead plaza in front of drab, bunker-like buildings (inspiringly named "38" and "39.") Building two new residence halls for 600 students on the southwest corner of the campus, however, puts residents on edge–primarily because the campus plan doesn't call for increasing the current footprint of some 800 parking spaces, at the Office of Planning's behest. Won't all those students want to bring their cars?"

202_Cyclist Apr 4, 2011 3:19 PM

The blog, 14th & You has a good post several developments under construction on the 14th Street and U Street corridors.

The planned City Center development where the old convention center was located and most recently used by the DC - NY buses is also under construction. I will post some photos when I get a chance.

202_Cyclist Apr 5, 2011 3:44 PM

Construction begins on project at site of former D.C. convention center (Wash. Post)
Construction begins on project at site of former D.C. convention center

By Jonathan O’Connell
Washington Post

"Development of 10 acres of land that the District freed up when it demolished its original convention center was supposed to mark a major step in drawing residents and shops into the city to rejuvenate downtown.
Image courtesy of the Washington Post

That was 15 years ago. As the project gets underway, CityCenterDC will in many ways cap off the effort to revive downtown Washington rather than initiate it.

On Monday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and members of the D.C. Council gathered to celebrate the start of construction at the site, currently part of a parking lot bounded by New York Avenue and H Street NW to the north and south, and Ninth and 11th streets to the east and west...."

202_Cyclist Apr 6, 2011 5:46 PM

The Washington City Paper ( notes that Vince Gray's recently-announced budget contains funding for a new library in Cleveland Park. This would be a great location for a public-private partnership, similar to what was proposed for the library in Tenley (hopefully with a better outcome). This location is a block and a half from the Cleveland Park metro and is on Connecticut Ave, a major corridor. There are 5-7 buildings surrounding the library directly to the south on Macomb/CT Ave and on the opposite side of Connecticut Avenue. It would be great if the District can get a private developer to pay for a modern library in exchange for the right to build new residential units above it.

babybackribs2314 Apr 9, 2011 3:30 PM

Ummmm, not to be rude, but at this point I think boom needs to be added to the thread title. :notacrook:

I'll try to put something together soon for the thread of everything going on, but in the meantime, more news! There's another huge project next to the Nats Stadium about to get underway, and they're beginning demolition of a building on-site soon. That entire area around the stadium has been one of the most dramatic urban transformations in the United States (seriously; there was literally nothing there five years ago). Everything slowed temporarily, but with the huge news out recently about several projects the region is just seeing some crazy activity right now.

I think the best thing to happen to DC was growth... formerly more like Ottawa or some other forlorn capital, DC has become amazingly more cosmopolitan, and rather more like Paris. Obviously Paris is much larger, but at the rate DC is growing/the increasing amount of urban infill, it wouldn't surprise me if the general scheme (very dense suburbs, large city core) of large European cities predominated in DC's growth patterns. Something that surprised me was Fairfax's #s for the Census, which (I thought) were much higher than expected (besides the huge gains in Loudon and PW especially... geez). The numbers out of Fairfax and Arlington especially show that you can do transit-oriented development very successfully, especially in Arlington's case so far.

My main point is that there are two areas that will be most transformed in the near future, and those are the corridor from Rosslyn to Reston and then the District in general; Montgomery's cities are seeing infill, but I don't think the scale of developments there (in general) will transform areas. Downtown DC just continues to grow and grow, and now we have the added (apparently massive) residential demand, which has increased dramatically for SW DC. Blocks and blocks of DC are just turning into European style 12ish story buildings, one after the other. Rosslyn-Reston continues to become much more dense, with the obvious implications of the Silver Line for Tysons-Reston. Rosslyn is going to be dramatically different rather soon with three new tallest buildings, although I don't think such large-scale development will occur in Clarendon or Courthouse etc. Basically, the region as a whole is becoming hugely more urban and much more livable, especially as growth allows more to move into walkable neighborhoods.

Ex-Ithacan Apr 10, 2011 1:16 AM

I'm guessing this has already been posted ref: CityCenterDC, it's the property's site, and there's a cool video as well as other info.

I took some pics of the start of construction, and hope to update the progress every once in a while.

Looking toward 9th street from H.

Looking at NY Ave from H, not much of the once huge parking area left.

11th street on the left and intersecting with NY Ave in center. Just to the right(above the construction trailers) is 10th St ending at NY Ave.
Not much happening yet, but the landscaping, parking lot light poles, and walkway which had bisected the area following 10th street's old course are now gone.

The little building in the middle of the pic the next block up was one of the taller ones above NY Ave when I started working in the area a dozen years ago.

I'll try to get some more in a couple of weeks.

202_Cyclist Apr 10, 2011 1:40 PM


Ummmm, not to be rude, but at this point I think boom needs to be added to the thread title.
This is exactly what I was thinking. The developers are partying like it is 2006. I drove up 14th Street last night and there are several large developments under construction there. As seen in the photos, development has started on the City Center site. There is residential development under construction on the H Street, NE corridor. As you noted, there is still massive development in Southeast by the US DOT and the Nationals stadium--the Foundry Lofts ( right by the beautiful new waterfront park are coming along nicely. Along Wisconsin Avenue, a place usually opposed to any new development, there are either projects planned, under construction or about to start construction.

Regarding the area by the Nats stadium, Christopher Leinberger noted in a recent discussion that land at the Southeast Waterfront sold for $7 per square foot in 2000-2002 (most likely used as gravel lots or to park vehicles) and by the height of the boom in 2007 the same land was worth $700 per square foot.

--Ex-Ithican: Thank you for posting these photos. I went by there last weekend as was going to take photos but didn't get a chance.

202_Cyclist Apr 10, 2011 1:49 PM

DC Metrocentric has a post this week about this but the Flats at the Atlas District (, a 257-unit apartment development is under construction along the H Street Corridor. Here is a link from Clark's website of construction photos:

I'll be in this area on April 20 for a streetcar forum and will try to take photos then.

RobertWalpole Apr 10, 2011 1:49 PM

DC is my second favorite US city, but this project stinks. Why hire Foster for such uninspired designs? Also, even though the buildings stink, they could have made a better central plaza like Rockefeller Center with a grandiose fountain and sculpture.

202_Cyclist Apr 10, 2011 1:56 PM


DC is my second favorite US city, but this project stinks. Why hire Foster for such uninspired designs? Also, even though the buildings stink, they could have made a better central plaza like Rockefeller Center with a grandiose fountain and sculpture.
I want to see the project when it's completed but I agree based on the rendering. I don't think you have to build on every available inch of land but it looks like it is significantly set back from the street and there is a lot of unused open-space on a valuable, growing, corridor.

202_Cyclist Apr 10, 2011 2:40 PM

I took a pair of photos of the Canal Park ( a couple of weeks ago. My apologies for the the quality of the photos. The park is directly across the street from the US DOT headquarters, two blocks from the Navy Yard metro station, and a couple of blocks from the Nationals stadium. Here are some renderings of what the park will look like once completed:

In the upper left of this photo, you can see phase II of the Capitol Corridor ( ) townhomes under construction. My friend has one of the homes completed in the first phase and it is pretty nice to drink a beer on his deck before going to watch the Nats lose.

202_Cyclist Apr 10, 2011 2:52 PM

I took these photos of the new DC consolidated forensics lab when I went out for street-meat ( the other week. This building is located near L'Enfant Plaza, between the CSX railroad track and I-395. Here is a description of the building. It will be LEED Gold certified.

MDallstar Apr 11, 2011 2:06 AM

Gaithersburg Development

Spectrum at Watkins Mill;1260;1284;

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