Dear PoP – Has Bus Barn on 14th St, NW Sold?

“Dear PoP,

One of my neighbors told me the bus barn at 4615 14th Street has been sold to a developer, who is going to build shopping and condos. Is this more than a rumor? Can’t seem to find anything about it on the interwebs.”

My gut is telling me that this is a false rumor. I know this bus barn is heavily used so it doesn’t make sense to me that the city would sell it. I’ll see what I can find out – but I’d be really surprised if it has sold. Of course stranger things have happened… Has anyone else heard this rumor?

We looked at the bus barn back in April ’09.

18 Comment

  • Holy crap, I hope it’s not true!

  • This wouldn’t surprise me, because the city’s plan has been to build a new bus barn on the portion of the walter reed site that the city is receiving.

    TSM- Why on earth would you hope this is not true? there doesn’t seem to be a lot of quality retail and restaurant options for those that live in 14th/16th st heights.

    • Because it’s a beautiful building (on the outside, at least. It may very well be a grease pit on the inside due to all the buses), and I see a vision of a Bed Bath and Beyond (or IHOP!) on the ground floor and crappy cookie-cutter, over-priced, no-character-havin’, steel and glass condos above.

      Developers aren’t exactly known for their attention to the preservation of historical architecture, unless of course, they’re forced to do so.

      Also, the place is so big that the most likely development would be too big for the tightly knit (geographically speaking) neighborhood.

      Also: Parking already sucks there and it’s nowhere near a metro.

      • It is an attractive building for a bus barn. But. It’s. A. Bus. Barn. You can’t be serious.

        I don’t care how cookie-cutter new development is, i’d rather have that than a freaking garage full of buses. am i crazy?

        • If the bus barn is serving it’s purpose as a bus barn, fine. Let it stay that way. (and btw, as bus barns go, this one is beautiful).

          I realize this isn’t Lincoln’s log cabin or anything like that, I’m just afraid of what the alternative would be if the only incentive were to make a buck, get warm bodies into some condos, and stick a Jack-in-the-Box on the ground floor.

          You said it yourself: it’s an attractive building. What’s wrong with wanting it to stay that way, regardless of how much money some developer can make off it?

          • What does a bus garage add to the neighborhood? a jack-in-the-box would be an upgrade for sure.

            and to address your comments about metro access and parking: The area is serviced by both the 14th and 16th st bus lines which run very frequently to get people downtown. it’s a mile walk to the closest metro, or just a few minutes on the bus to the CH metro. And I have never seen a lack of street parking there, so i don’t know where that comment came from. The area can support a bit more density and some retail.

  • Not true. WMATA has talked to the group in charge of Walter Reed and requested space for a replacement Northern bus garage there. No decision has been made.

    In order to sell the Northern bus garage, the WMATA board and the Federal Transit Administration would need to approve the sale. It would never happen ‘in secret.’

  • While I think this would be cool I don’t think there is really a need for additional retail there. Its kind of supply and demand. There is a lot less density up there where it’s mostly single family homes. Maybe if the bus barn was to be developed with a lot more residential it would warrant more shopping.

    • I agree with the supply and demand theory. I think the existing retail there is a result of the neighborhood shopping demographics. Why would anyone put a business there when there’s so much foot traffic 1 mile down the road at the Target?

      • um, because it would be a lot less expensive. Clearly if a developer is willing to put his cash on the line then someone thinks there is “demand” for additional retail. Where else will the all-organic-living-wage-coop-pancake-house open up?

      • I think the popularity of Highland’s has shown that there is a demand for places a step above chinese/seafood/subs/bulletproof glass. The area is only increasing with the amount of people that will frequent nicer places. i think new places will be popular with what a mess it can be to get to DCUSA these days.

  • saf

    I bet the person is thinking of the old bus barn, later car dealership, now indoor dog park, in Brightwood.

  • My understanding is that the parking lot across Buchanan St. from the bus barn (backing up to the Ethiopian church) has been sold. WMATA had it for bus drivers to park their cars, but for some reason that I can’t remember, that plan was a no-go.

    I think there’s a long-term idea of moving the bus operations out to Walter Reed or Silver Spring, but this is separate.

  • My vote for retail in that space – chuck e. cheese for the kids!!!

    No young adults allowed! Bwahahahahaha!

  • Major environmental cleanup (underground fuel storage, etc.) makes this site unattractive to developers. Without a grant from the feds, I wouldn’t be looking for development any time soon.

Comments are closed.