Development News for North Country

fort totten., originally uploaded by norbert..


Thanks to a number of readers for sending these updates. First for Ft. Totten from the Washington Post:

“The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation received final approval Monday night from the D.C. Zoning Commission to move forward with its plans to transform the landscape of a Northeast Washington neighborhood by building a multimillion-dollar, transit-oriented development in Fort Totten.

The foundation plans to build Art Place and Shops at Fort Totten — a project that will include housing, a grocery store, a children’s museum, a senior center, and cultural and arts space — on 17 acres it owns between the Fort Totten Metro station and South Dakota Avenue NE.”

And for Walter Reed from the Washington Business Journal:

“In the first solicitation, Fenty’s economic development team, headed by Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos, is seeking a consultant to help create a master plan for the site, including transportation, landscape architecture and historic preservation services.

Separately, the city is seeking a real estate development firm to provide a financial and technical analysis of redevelopment potential for the site. Both solicitations were issued Dec. 8 with a deadline of Jan. 8, 2010 and much of the work is expected to be done by the fall of 2010.”

11 Comment

  • Living just a few blocks away, this is very welcome news.

  • I am seriously worried about Walter Reed being an undeveloped wasteland for a decade at least. Not on a metro and in Bowsers Ward has meant zero development for many other plots in the area.

  • Yes! I am so excited to see some development in my neck of the woods.

  • Thanks for the update on Reed. This could be really great (60 acres , nice historic buildings etc) or it could be St E. Part 2. Living a block or two away I am hopeful

  • So much for transit-oriented development, lets all say hello to suburban type development (strip mall with Big Box retailers or a town center style development with Big Box retailers) in Ward 4. And I concur with “Pennywise” and add that the DMPED office is a joke. They only seem to have one development model for any development project in this city as this will be just another add to the long list of failed development project on Georgia Avenue while it continue its lead in the race for maximum number of carry-outs, barber shops, corner stores, gas stations and liquor stores that you can have on one street.

    Maybe one of these days the Council Member for Ward 4 and DMPED will make the hard choses and decisions that need to be made to really re-development Georgia Ave, as it will require more than free market economics to make it finally work.

  • Last time i checked, takoma metro is within a 6 block walk of walter reed, and in ward 4. Yes, i realize that for a majority of our lazy and overweight society that is more than they are willing to walk to things, but if you look at downtown silver spring, with a similar walk to the metro, it appears that yes, development can work, and might actually be a good thing. I know, shocking for several people that read this blog. Even if that means the addition of some franchise restaurants and bigger stores, which aparently are the devil in disguise. (Note, there is also a dance studio, cake love, strosneider’s hardware store, small boutique and wine store, making it a great mix of retail). And lets be honest, it is called north country for a reason. it is basically suburbia, so it would actually makes sense that a more suburban model could actually be successful up this way.

    So yes, Georgia Ave doesn’t have the best history, but why should that be a reason to not invest in it?

  • We live in North Country exactly because it is a great mix of city access (if you get off your butt, you can walk to either Domku or Silver Spring in 30 minutes, and enjoy the neighborhoods in the process) and quiet streets like the burbs. I don’t mind a Chipotle – better than the neighborhood liquor store in my opinion.

  • ma, Walter Reed is of course not far from Takoma metro, but all current major developments I know of in DC, with the exception maybe of some H St NE stuff I am not too familiar with, are all directly atop a metro stop. Don’t take my word for it, drive Georgia Ave in that area and see the blight for yourself, there’s tons of unused lots and boarded storefronts. I live up there and think its a great area, but there’s zero serious development afoot. I know major development is a tough prospect and the recession doesn’t help, but it seems to the city is unwilling to help finance projects except on top of a metro stop. Am I wrong?

  • I live 1.5 blocks from Walter Reed. While GA ave is full of those boarded up shops, going north from Walter Reed that is NOT the norm. In fact, just in the past 2 months a new restaurant opened on the strip just north of Walter Reed, Angelicos, which has been met with an outpour of support from the surrounding neighborhood. Recession and all. It joins several other successful restaurants in that one block alone (even if you don’t count the chinese restaurant).

    Yes, i realize that this does not mean that this area could necessarily support a giant big box center such as in Columbia Heights. I do think, that with the existing infrastructure, it could support a scaled version of it.

    Also, your statement regarding the city backing projects not near a metro is taken, but where else in the city, in a pretty financially stable neighborhood do you see 61 acres of land available for development? This piece of land is surrounded by a middle to upper class, purely residential neighborhood on all sides, with Silver Spring as its only close option for dining and shopping. One big difference between this area and the rest of GA ave IS the neighborhood that surrounds it. While you see a few boarded up storefronts, you don’t see many boarded up houses in the surrounding area, which the remainder of Georgia is also plagued with.

    Although the city hasn’t historically done the best job with the Georgia Ave corridor as it should have, they are clearly showing interest, and have since 2005, in this piece of land. I will stay optimistic in the development, and hope this becomes something that enhances the surrounding area. I know personally I would be happy to shop and support my own city rather than going to MD to do so.

  • I’m with you 100%, fingers crossed and gods prayed to. I’ve just been hurt so often, so bad… 😉

    Curtis Chevrolet lot comes to mind. Park East Condos (ha!!!). Carry out after carry out! Bowser the Incompetent. Ugh.

    Anyways, lets all pray for anything good. And yes, Angelicos is great, I just had them last night.

  • I love Angelicos. The hummus and shrimp pesto wrap have me craving their food on a regular basis.

    And maybe they’ll call this development Takoma West. Its all about branding 😉

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