Development Watch: Quincy and Georgia

DSCN5314, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is another spot being developed by the Donatelli group. It looks like they may be getting ready to assemble a crane or some sort of scaffolding. Any one know what that is in the middle of the photo? This spot is set to be a small condo building.

32 Comment

  • It apparently looks like construction equipment with boards stacked near the apartment building in the background.

  • Vonstallin

    It might be me, but it don’t seem like we need more Condos in NW DC.
    Better than a vacant lot tho.

    This use to be a 7-11 type convience store with pull in parking. I would love to see a 24 hour 7-11 (with pull in parking) vs another Condo.

  • Unfortunately, I think these are the lift supports – for the hydraulic elevators on the exterior of the building – that they have taken down from the Park Place development across the street. Since they still have a few up, my guess would be that they are keeping the truck in place until they remove the few remaining struts, and can then ship them all back to the storage facility/leasor in one load.

  • I vote against a 7-11 with parking — first of all, it is a huge waste from an urban planning perspective to have space adjacent to a metro taken up by parking. Second, 7-11’s and their ilk tend to attract loitering, crime, drug transactions, the last thing Georgia Ave. needs more of. D.C. is actually far short of what is should be in terms of apartments / condo options (this city has capacity to support tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, more people living here), even considering the recent boom. And it is crazy not to built as many high-density residential buildings as possible so close to a metro, regardless of the short-term economic outlook. We can’t have short-sighted city planning — that is what cursed DC with instantly-obsolete structures like the recently-demolished strip mall on 14th street. The Petworth metro area should follow the same model as the Columbia Heights metro with high-density residential buildings and ground-floor retail, and that appears to be what is happening.

  • Agree to disagree with New2Ch, why copycat other communities examples just to get on the bandwagon?
    I do not mind a desire for high end as long as the needs of longtime working class residents regardless of income continue to be met as Councilman Jim Graham of Ward One has intervened to preserve the stock of low income housing available, a balance of low income and high end is my vote.

  • I’ve heard a few people comment on how NW DC doesn’t need any more condos. While there are some areas where I’d agree that’s true, I think we do need more population density around the Petworth metro. We need population density to support the new businesses/services we want for the neighborhood. We’ve gotten a lot of new restaurants in Petworth, but I’ve NEVER seen any of these restaurants full: El Limeno, El Torogoz, Moroni Bros., Brightwood Bistro, Safari, Looking Glass Lounge, and Mocha Ground on 14th St. I’ve only seen Domku full a couple of times, mainly when they are holding a special event.

    Meanwhile in Columbia Heights, almost any new restaurant/bar is instantly packed: The Heights, Pete’s Apizza, Commonwealth, Red Rocks, Wonderland, etc.

    Every new development along Georgia Ave has some units set aside as affordable, and some new developments such as the apts above the new Yes Organic Market at Georgia & Taylor will be entirely affordable.

    Basically the way development appears to be happening along Georgia is the way to go–lots of new residential buildings, new affordable housing mixed with market rate housing, and lots of new businesses. We also have a lot of convenience stores in the neighborhood that seriously need a rehab & rethinking of the products they carry. I’d much rather help these businesses out than get a new 7-11.

  • I think people might want to live next to the metro. Just a hunch.

  • I agree that more condos are not a bad thing in that they add density and support businesses and when located near a Metro stop allow people to use their car less (or not own one).

    But I think there is a real disequilibrium in the condo market right now — as people point out every time a condo is featured in GDON? you can get a row house (granted only a non-renovated row house) for the same price or less than what the asking prices are for these luxury condos. And if you look at recent MRIS statistics sales of condos have really fallen, a lot more so than sales of houses. It’s not clear to me whether the prices the developers list their condos for are really what they need to get in order to profit, or whether it’s just what they hope to get, but with increased supply (which is a good thing), and tighter lending standards I think prices need to come down significantly or else the condos will just sit vacant for a really long time, which doesn’t help the neighborhood. Otherwise I don’t see why developers don’t build more rental buildings … more people are renting these days, and their really aren’t many choices for new/renovated rental units in DC, especially when you compare to places like Arlington or Silver Spring.

  • First of all, many of the new buildings are going rental, either in initial design or after being reconsidered. Look at near the CH Metro — three of the four big new buildings are all rental. I don’t see any reason why the same sort of ratio won’t happen in Petworth unless the market suddenly changes. And as others have noted, a lot of the building coming in is either mixed income or moderate income (like the large building being built on Park and Georgia which will be completely middle income units). The point I am making is that is is flat out nuts to waste incredibly valuable space within a block of a metro on single level developments or parking lots. Multi-level, mixed used buildings, under any possible model of urban development, and whether focused on environmental impact, sustaining businesses, optimal land use, viability, etc. the best use of the very rare vacant parcels adjacent or nearly adjacent to metro spaces. That every single other metro station in D.C. is being developed in similar fashion is no coincidence or accident or act of copy-catting — it is simply sound urban planning. There are zillions of other places in the cities to build other types of development, but the land around metros need to be for high-density living and commercial enterprises that will serve that high density living and/or will attract metro riders from elsewhere in the city.

  • New2CH, I absolutely agree (I’m Anon 12:24). I think there is a whole lot of wasted space around the Howard U and Mt Vernon Metro (and NY Ave as well) stations which will hopefully someday go the way U Street, Columbia Heights, and now Petworth stations are going.

  • Vonstallin

    I say Boo to population density.
    Honestly I don’t need to walk out my door and see more people. That means every time I go to the Safeway across the street to jump in and grab something real quick it will be crowded or out of sale items. I said 7-11 because I’m a night owl and they tend to carry a little bit of everything from cold meds to toilet paper to hot food.

    Most of the other convince stores around that part are smaller liquor stores. That’s the main item they carry. When im at the 7-11 on 12th and U or 14th and Columbia Rd. they are normally pack late at night. Also since 7-11 is a semi chain store I know I can get a certain thing from them. I drive or ride my motorcycle so that’s why I say parking lot 9it can only hold 4 to 5 cars). That lot use to be a 7-11 type of store with a parking lot and the issues you talk about did not happen there. I knew the owner and his daughter and they sold the lot to Metro.

    I’m not a fan of congestion and to think that nobody buying a condo is going to own a car is silly. I look at places like Cleardon , Ballston and other built up Virginia places and I don’t wan that for here.
    More condos = more people= more cars= more traffic= less parking.
    On top of that most of the condos that have been up for a good while still have vacancies.

  • Word is the vacant triangle lot south of the Metro is going to be a CVS….a one-level CVS. (buried gasoline storage tanks there).

  • Every single new development has had to respond to the same concerns about parking. Most of the new buildings will have garages. Sure there will more population density and likely more cars, but would you rather have current Petworth, with run down businesses, vacant lots and plenty of parking or new businesses and more amenities to the neighborhood? I’d choose having new businesses nearby that I can go to on my walk home from the metro and not having to get in my car any time I want to shop in a grocery store that doesn’t smell like rotting meat. I’m gonna throw a party the day they tear that Safeway down.

  • Building a metro station without density in general, and in the city in particular around is nuts. Density is absolutely vital. If you don’t like density, people and traffic around a metro station – I am sorry, I know this is tough, but you _may_ have to consider moving slightly further awy from the metro station at some point.

  • Vonstallin

    trust me I will move away. When the time is right and I can’t deal with it.
    So honestly their are alot of metro stops around DC…

    How many of you are going to move to barry farms (anicostia metro) the Rhoad Island ave metro), or others.

    So let me get this right, You all love living in a crowed area?
    is it because of Fear? the more the merrier?

    Also I never said a parking lot. I said a 7-11 with a parking lot…

    oh well it’s a losing battle….


  • Having a few blocks of density around the metro stops is just smart city planning. Metro is a high volume mode of transit, and it doest not really make sense if there is not enough density around it. Oh and if there is enough density and services around the metro stops within the city proper, parking is much less of a problem as many people living there will not need a car anymore.

    I do agree that many DC metrostop areas are under-developed and need more density around them. Fortunately there is e.g. an effort to increase density around New York Ave metro.

  • Hot food at 7 Eleven? Yuck. I rather see a Wawa.

  • Vonstallin

    So why not spread the density?
    here are some metro stops where houses are dirt cheap and the City can update.
    Lots of land, lots of cheap opportunities to spread and revitalize more of the city vs speanding alot to most of the money in a very few hip areas.

    Congress heights
    Congress Heights
    Benning Road
    Minnesota Ave

    Right now every single nuck and cranny is going towards Condo’s in NW.
    Density don’t always means good. Their are other great un tap locations to start a revival.

    Again I dont see a shortage of Condos in our area. If anything I see tons of them still available and way over priced but I heard that their is a shortage of houses.

    Almost every house thats renovated is choped up to condos also.


    Anonymous Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 2:51 pm
    Hot food at 7 Eleven? Yuck. I rather see a Wawa.

    That Works:
    But no Wawa’s in DC…or near dc for that matter.
    The only Hot food i get from 7-11 are the Jamacian Beef or Chicken pattie.
    mmmm mmm good. Followed by a Diet Cherry Pepsi.

    Jamcian patties mmmmmm

  • 7 Eleven? WaWa? upscale stores? Have one had enough of them, regardless of 7 Elevens or upscale high end stores?
    How about a Sheetz they’re like WaWa, they’re based in Altoona PA, they can be found in the outer fringes of the DC area, and give the others competition.

  • Sheetz and Wawa totally avoid opening stores in DC proper, which is unfortunate. Both have their advantages and are far better than 7 Eleven.

  • Vonstalling, because if you spread density its not dense any more and does not achieve the critical mass to attract people and business. But over time more and more of the metro stops you mentioned should be developed more to reach much higher density around them.

  • First of all, please tell me that the critical mass others have asked for is a ruse for more bars or drinking?

  • Not sure if you are “talking to me” 🙂 but no, critical mass does not necessarily mean more bars and I have no hidden “more drunken college kids is better” agenda. 😀

  • I just want a Sonic in the District.

  • I agree with Vonstallin, due to the unfortunate saturation of condos in NW.

  • Please build a Trader Joe’s.

  • I say Boo to population density

    the suburbs beckon.

  • ” I look at places like Cleardon , Ballston and other built up Virginia places and I don’t wan that for here.”

    I’d love that for here. There’s definitely places where people can live if they don’t want to deal with population density. The middle of a city is probably not one of those places. But when I visit New York, the idea that Petworth could be considered already too densely developed is a little bit laughable. We have a ways to go yet before we get to that point.

    And I’d love to see other Metro areas developed the same way. Would I move to Anacostia or some place like that if homes I could afford were there? Sure, if there were amenities and it worked in terms of my commute and all that. It becomes a chicken-and-egg thing at a certain point; people won’t come until there’s a certain amount of density, but builders won’t build until there’s a certain number of people…

    Generally, I see business investment around here as a good thing.

  • Regarding the original question, looks like Donatelli is just using this lot to house their equipment.

    Regarding the future of Petworth and GA/NH Avenues…. I almost wish I could time-travel 5 years into the future. It has the potential to be soooo nice. Look at all the little shops on Georgia Ave south of the Petworth metro. There are some very good ones for rent right now! If I were a “creative type” I’d love to nestle my office somewhere within an easy walk from home!

  • One is missing the point is people can’t compromise on population density, I agree with Bogfrog, with proper planning with all, experrts, planners, community advocates, social services agencies without regard to denomination, ‘whiners” all is what a community is about, people can agree to disagree, and still work on a just solution, even compromise, it’s all good.

  • They have loaded on that trailer the components of a mast climbing scaffolds which were used around the condo during the construction process.

  • If as many cops hang out there as they do at the Columbia Heights 7-Eleven, then sure I’ll take a 7-Eleven…

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