Dear PoP – Brookland Development

“Dear PoP,

I was wondering if you have noticed the demolition of the old CUA dorm buildings taking place on the corner of 7th and Monroe St. NE? Do you or any of your readers happen to know what is going on there?

I’ve heard rumors of a new building going up with mixed office/retail space. This sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood!”

Another reader sent word about the plans from Bozzuto:

The multi-phase Catholic University South Campus redevelopment will be located on five city blocks in Washington, D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood, adjacent to the Brookland Metro station and just three miles north of the U.S. Capitol. The community will ultimately consist of a progressive mix of uses: approximately 720 residential units, 45 townhomes, 83,000 square feet of street-level retail, 15,000 square feet of artist studio space, a 3,000 square-foot community arts center, and 850 parking spaces. Approved plans also include streetscape and hardscape improvements which will greatly improve the South Campus’s walkability, creating a lively, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere and significantly improving traffic patterns and pedestrian crossings along Michigan Avenue.

It expects to be completed in 2013.

Rendering from

And while we’re speaking about Brookland, Phil Di Ruggiero has released another one of his classic neighborhood videos:

14 Comment

  • lived in Conaty my freshman year. That is a building no one will miss. I wish I could say this development is a good thing, but considering the neighborhood’s contempt for the University, it will probably do more harm that good

  • I love Phil’s videos – they do more to promote DC than any “official” DC govt. agency has ever done. (And they also kinda give me warm fuzzies.)

  • I lived in Brookland for the the past couple years and I love it. Best kept secret in dc you have big yards and great neighbors. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

    • bought a place a little over a year ago. Went to CUA and considered Brookland very seriously, but from what I remember muggings, etc were a big problem so I was a little deterred. My presumption is most of this is targeted towards CUA students, and being only 24 at the time, I could’ve easily been mistaken for a student. Am I wrong or no? I have a dog so I tend to be out with him after dark which was a big factor in my decision. Do you find crime to be an issue or is it just something more targeted?

      • I bought in Brookland in July 2009. I am a petite female who is 24 and I am often mistaken for a student. Read: I look like an easy target.

        I just take the same precautions I always do. Be alert of surroundings, don’t engage, and if something feels wrong get out quickly. Catcalling is a lot less common than when I lived in Columbia Heights.

        I love it and hope to get my own fur kid soon. I would think a dog would be a good deterrent. If it’s a big dog for size and a small dog because they tend to be more vocal.

        Thieves just want the easiest steal. If I get an odd feeling or someone starts harassing me, I find a way to let them know I will make a scene if they don’t respect my boundaries.

        I’ve come home as late as 2 AM with large packages walking alone and been fine.

        • yeah I’ve never felt unsafe walking home at night. There was a rise in muggings over xmas time but the police did bump up their presence in the area. I agree with the poster above as long as you keep your street sense you will be fine. When I’m coming home late I’ll walk down 12th st because it is better lit and a busier street.

      • I’ve lived just over 18th in Woodridge (abuts Brookland) for 7 years; muggings in Brookland are not a big problem. I think it’s because it’s not very densely populated, pretty middle class (blue and white collar), and stable; many of my neighbors have been in their houses for decades. Folks say hi to pedestrians and know their neighbors.
        You can always check stats here ( to compare areas. A quick informal and non-scientific loo at Cleveland Park (20008) and B’land (20018) shows 25 incidents in the last 7 days and 22, respectively.

  • Love the video!

  • I lived on the 2nd floor of Spellman my freshman year at CUA… Those were good times.

  • This picture startled me because it looks so much like the post-earthquake rubble in Haiti.

  • Which buildings were demolished? Was it Conaty and Spellman?

  • If the development fairy is listening and in a good mood, I would just love a grocery store that isn’t a YES! or the insane Giant on RI ave.

    Dare I ask for Trader Joe’s to be put in this development?

    • I heard the Rhode Island Avenue Station development is trying to get a Trader Joe’s. I heard (aka Colonel Brooks) is trying to get Bus Boy & Poets. I’ve heard CUA/Abdo might get Whole Foods. I work at the Washington Hospital Center. I think the Clock Tower CUA wants to build (not pictured for some reason in this article) is out of proportion. I’ve heard they are going to have a lot of artist space to exceed the quality of the Torpedo Factory. Interesting.

  • great vid. my only beef: “Great shopping?” CVS is not great shopping, Phil, let’s keep it real!! Anyway, grateful to have it there when I need it, although I do not frequent pizza boli’s or the wing place. I try to hit the Jamaican restaurant, but go early if you are plantain lover!!

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