Check Out What 14th and U St, NW is Gonna Look Like Soon

Louis Rendering View of 14th and U St, NW

The project formerly known as Utopia and now known as Louis at 14th was unveiled by JBG yesterday afternoon. It was in the tent next to Taylor’s on 14th St, NW if anyone happened to walk by. The press kit says that:

Project to Break Ground in First Quarter for Delivery in Late 2013.

The nine-story building, which incorporates historic structures along U Street, will feature 267 luxury apartment units, approximately 42,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and a 148 space below-grade parking garage.

Louis Rendering View of 14th and T St, NW

Sounds like a good spot for a Trader Joe’s eh? What do you think of the renderings?

Louis Rendering Roof Deck

97 Comment

  • glad we saved the historic mcdonalds. :frode

    • From what I’ve heard, the McD’s has an iron-clad lease that they refuse to negotiate. So, it’s not like the developer wanted them there, it’s that they refuse to budget.

      Can you imagine the stink from the fry machines wafting into the new $2,400/month studios? That alone would scare me away.

    • The facade is historic, much like El Paradaiso or the U Street frontages.. Once the lease rolls, we’ll be happy that building was saved.

  • brookland_rez

    I hope they find a way to keep the historic McDonald’s in the new development. Would be a terrible loss to lose the McDonald’s after already losing the Kentaco Bell.

  • I will forever look at the corner of 14th & U as a reason to hate on historic preservation(ists).

  • Holy crap, their website is terrifying.

  • 267 luxury apartment and 148 parking space, including parking (supposedly) for TJ’s? Looks like urban nightmare…

    • Is that right? Who would buy a condo there without a dedicated parking space? And how could the planners allow it?

  • Glad that long-overdue development is coming to this prime, busy intersection with tremendous public transit access. The building looks fine, and the roof top pool is sweet. But man, the name, and in particular the website, is just god-awful. Awesomely awful, to be sure, but awful nonethless.

  • That’s gonna be a big fricking hole in the ground for a while. But can’t wait.

  • Were I a religious man, I’d say it’s ugly as sin. But I’m not, so I’ll just say it’s ugly. Is there no art left in architecture? “Hey, let’s throw in some of those industrial looking lines, and those warehouse-y touches. People love that crap. And leave the duct work exposed. They love that too. It’s so Blade Runner!”

  • I love when they incorporate current (historic?) structures in new developments like these.
    Can’t wait til all of Georgia Ave looks like this.

  • Ugly and tall. Another grab at what little sunlight is left in busy areas.

  • I love brand new buildings in the city. I hate the price tag which comes with them. Which is why I live in a brand new building outside of the city.

  • What this drab building needs is a 50 foot Ronald McDonald on top of the corner McDonalds.

  • I was excited about this, now I’m just scared! From 14th st it looks awful and out of place. Big, muted colors eating the horizon…eeeek

  • I honestly don’t think the rendering looks THAT bad. And you have to hand it to them on the name.

  • it’s ugly. i live a few blocks away and i already hate it. liked the idea of trader joes, but i don’t like this.

  • haters gonna hate. i have an idea. let’s revert DC to how it was in the 80s/90s… an ugly decrepit building followed by an ugly parking lot followed by a crack house

  • Which line will be longer: the poors waiting for section 8 in columbia heights, or the yuppies for the for the right to pay $2800 for a studio above TJ at 14th an U .

  • Ugly building, but I’ll take the TJ’s.

  • hideous absolutely hideous

  • I don’t know. I mean I think it is a great thing that I’ll have a TJs two blocks away. But it looks like the other monstrosities that have been built U St and above on 14th. No real character. And also seriously, they’re keeping the McDonalds? That place is disgusting.

  • I don’t think the TJ’s is official yet. I heard the JBG is also courting them at the development going in at 9th/8th & U/Florida. The further east location might actually make more sense for them, given the proximity of a Yes! right there, but we’ll see.

    • Also, this building I think looks pretty good. Given the angle of the sketches it looks huge and bulky, but seeing it from street level, I don’t think it will. It looks like they did well with the scale of it – kind of how the Ellington did. They sale it down on the southern side so that it’s not in total contrast to the smaller buildings there. Also, towards the street, they building is more permeable, by having breaks in it for smaller retail to take up. It’s definitely got a modern look to it, which is probably why everyone is poo-pooing it, but I think it looks pretty nice.

      • The Ellington – you mean the building that built to scale so well they had to take the U Street sidewalk to be their front stairs?

        Gee, i hope this building does that too (sarcasm)

  • Let’s just clarify: PoP said it “sounds like a good place for a TJs”, not “and it’s going to have a TJ’s”. I don’t see anywhere that says there will be a TJs there. Meh. WaddoIcare? I live 2 miles north.

  • The website looks like an MIA record.

  • AHHH that website is hilarious! Glad to know they are looking to advertise to the “avant garde” French Royalty of yore and raging rococo transvestites.

    And here I was bummed out thinking it was going to fill up with a bunch d-bag lawyers stuffed into their brooks brothers clone outfits.

    • I am a d-bag lawyer and we are d-bag business casual. You must be thinking of new york.

      • When we say d-bag business casual are we talking period ridiculous gaudiness? Because that’s what it’s going to take to make the cut at the Louis baby.

        • Most of us just look like government employees but we don’t wear badges around on long lanyards our necks and probably wear nicer watches. Also, unlike government, you will never catch a short sleeve men’s dress shirt in the private sector.

  • Well, this looks pretty soulless and lacking of detail. Ugh.

  • They should have torn down that hot mess Reeves Center and built it there instead.

  • It is going to take less than 22 months to build this but 8 months for metro to fix two escalators. Who says private enterprise is bad.

  • Death Star is right – that thing is huge. And that website is pretty amazingly bizarre.

  • i like it. i’m glad to see this going on.

  • I too wish they had built it at the Reeves Corner. And OMG did no one vet their website? Is there no shame? Let them eat cake! And guess what happens to local parking when 119 Beamer X5 driving douches get apartments without parking spots?
    On the plus side maybe more hotties will be riding the Circulator or the 52 downtown with me…

  • This place continues Eric Colbert’s long-running streak of least-innovative architect in DC. All you can say is that it’s big, it’s got lots of windows, and in about 15 years it’s going to look as dated as a goldenrod refrigerator.

    Still, I’m glad it’s replacing the block of crap food that was there. Well, except for McD’s, unfortunately.

  • The only reason people are hating on McDonald’s is because they don’t like the poor people who hang out in and around it. Nobody seems willing to admit it, though.

  • I hope this is not a done deal. This is ugly blocks out the sun and it completely outside of the motif of this corridor. What can we do to stave this off?

  • Wow, the website! With all the chatter I thought how bad could it be?… then I checked it out. It’s like a site for a gay Mardi-Gras themed rave, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    The building doesn’t look that bad and set back from the street, you won’t see much from the sidewalk, and it won’t block as much light.

  • The fabulousness of the website simply doesn’t match the cold blockiness of the building. Maybe they’re catering to all the straight-but-curious guys.

  • I grew up on p street and 14th and U was my old stomping grounds. I can’t get over how much that area changes seemingly every month. I know you all love that “city living”, but are you guys really willing to shell out that much money just to live by U street? Seems like highway robbery to me but hey there’s obviously a yuppie demand with disposable income.

    • I don’t get it either. Seems like no new development occurs without tons of commercial and retail along with it in this city, and therefore tons of traffic and noise. I don’t find it very attractive.

      • If you aren’t into expensive prices, high-density retail and commercial, and lots of traffic and noise, are you sure you should be living in a city?

        • Ha! Like you, I got sick of it all and moved out to Bloomingdale, and the lack of retail doesn’t bother me at all. I just ride my bike to all that stuff.

          • I moved to Bloomingdale to be close to it but not right in the center of it. I don’t need to walk out my front door and immediately into a bar or clothing store. I’m fine with walking a few blocks, taking metro or riding my bike.

          • Exactly, bro! I love Bloomingdale! It’s both the future of DC and a glimpse of the bad times of the 80s and 90s, all wrapped up into one beautiful, diverse package.

          • Seems we’re having a Bloomingdale lovefest.

            I’ll contribute!

            Bloomingdale is quite simply the BEST neighborhood in DC! I love it here!!

      • That is the “hip new urban lifestyle” – you can’t build a residential building without:
        –groundfloor/first floor retail
        –luxury luxury luxury condo’s on top of that retail
        –rooftop amenities (pool, green roof, roof deck, pigeon coop… oops – not that last one)

        See: every non-government building built in DC since 2000. it’s the smartgrowth/new urban/ GGW requirement, dontchaknow.

  • Looks like the plan incorporates a green roof – at least on some parts of the roof! I’m happy to see new development that manages stormwater, reduces energy demand, and improves air quality!

  • Does DC build affordable housing anymore? What if you don’t want to/can’t afford to live in a “luxury” apartment building?

    Also, 14th & U is already a cluster. A TJ? It’ll take forever to get up & down 14th St.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      From @MayorVinceGray:

      “Continuing our commitment to affordable housing. Breaking ground on The Nannie Helen at 4800.”!/mayorvincegray/status/172390478602444801/photo/1

    • 1) No, DC does not. DC does not have the $$ to bring developers in to build/manage the properties. Developers build luxury or nothing.

      2) If you cannot afford the luxury apts, you move. And keep moving.

    • You live in one of the thousands of non-luxury buildings around DC. Head up 14th Street past Military/Missouri, there are tons of them there.

    • I agree that all luxury housing is ridiculous. 267 units and they could put in a few at below-market rates for below-median incomes? I’m not talking section 8 vouchers, just something that folks who don’t make a $*!t-ton of money could afford. “Valuable” real estate in a city should be required to benefit more than just the richest.

      The development looks very generic, but not terrible, and a TJ would be nice if it pans out. I’m just sick to death of the strict development rules and luxury-only development making much of this city very unaffordable.

  • so THAT’S what all the colorful posters were for…the website is redic!

  • Sigh. I hate what this city is becoming. Overpriced, ugly housing options that cater to the very rich. It attracts pretty much yuppy, soulless d-bags, who care about social status and money above all else. Might be time to move back to Portland.

  • The web site for the property is memorable. Seems that is their point. Its a little weird by not sloppy. Contains relevant text and registration capability . The parent company site is more typical.

  • I feel stressed just looking at this building.

  • There are a lot of cool little furniture and decor/home furnishing businesses in that neighborhood. If they get priced out of 14th Street, they are welcome to move to Petworth, we could use them.

  • What is the exact location of this? North side 1400 block of U, south side?

  • As a property owner in this area, all I can say is that this building is indeed quite a monstrous building. On the same token, this prime real estate was due for a change; granted the developers are taking it a bit far and trying to price EVERYONE except the wealthy out of the area. The area was in need of development because the building were old and of no real use. Personally I would have preferred a more “muted” building that fit in a bit better with the surrounding architecture, but nonetheless this was going to happen sooner or later. It’s a mixed bag for me, my property values are going to increase, but on the same token there are not going to be many people who resemble me in the area any longer which is a far cry from the late 90’s. Oh well…what can I say, that seems to be the plan for all of NW anyway!

Comments are closed.