Dear PoPville – What’s Coming to the space behind the BP Station at 14th and Euclid St, NW?

1421 Euclid Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Any idea what’s happening behind the BP gas station at 14th and Euclid? I see they’re tearing out the nasty park that was there. Does anyone know what’s planned for that lot?”

Back in 2010 there were plans for the Justice Apartments:

“The District has announced redevelopment plans for the former Justice Park site at 1421 Euclid St, NW. The $11.5 million project will include 37 apartment units, all of which are reserved for low-income households earning between 30 to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).”

And in July 2010 we looked at some renderings:


In May 2012 the plans for Justice Apartments were slightly tweaked:

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 10.37.09 AM

21 Comment

  • the 14st corridor, and that corner in particular, definitely needs more low income housing

  • It would be nice if this project included market rate units as well, not just low-income housing. The few blocks around this area already have a concentration of low-income housing and which is creating an island of public housing surrounded by the rapidly gentrify 14th st corridor and Columbia heights.

  • I thought they put a cap on new Section 8 housing?! There is enough of it, along with the crime it brings, in the city, esp. along 14th St. Just keep piling it on…

    • Do some homework before you post? This is not Section 8 housing, as is clearly stated in the article. It’s being financed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which is an entirely different program with an entirely different income/rent structure.

      Also, there is no cap on building new Section 8 units, there is a cap on the number of Public Housing units that each authority can build. That said, they can replace existing units with new ones in different places, so that wouldn’t rule out the possibility that there could be new construction without a net increase.

  • As a resident on this block, I have to say that I am really disappointed that this will be low income housing. The rendering look great, but we already have enough low income housing on this block (directly across from the BP) and around the corner (next to the BP).
    I also feel for the resident of the Vilaggio who will now have to look directly into this building from their [very expensive] condos.
    Additionally, the construction has taken away parking spots on an already tight street and has also added some danger to pedestrians. The makeshift crosswalk by the construction is often blocked by large trucks and construction vehicles and also leads right into a driveway. Just not OK.

    • It’s no more plain or ugly than anything else around there. If you’re going to move into an area with a substantial amount of subsidized housing you’re going to live near subsidized housing.

    • I, too, live on this block. I agree that this building, in general and that it is all low-income versus mixed incomes, is a disappointment.

      Yes, the rendering looks lovely, but this rendering also isn’t realistic. Does the area around the BP look this lovely and trash free? No. And, just the fact that 28 new apartments full of people coming to this already congested area will likely only add to the issue.

      I love the idea of the community garden that has replaced the fallow field across the street, but the picnic benches/chairs are also an area for some unsavory local characters to congregate past dark. I fear that the problem will only get worse. I wonder whether the city or elsewhere has looked into park benches that can be “locked” at night (maybe a mechanism where they lift up and link to the table?), or is that ridiculous?

      I don’t feel ALL that bad for the Villagio people, unless they were made to believe that the park would not be developed into anything other than the park

    • brookland_rez

      “I also feel for the resident of the Vilaggio who will now have to look directly into this building from their [very expensive] condos.”

      LMAO. Pity those poor rich people having to look out and see *gasp* poor people.

  • I am suprised that the community did not have any input in this situation. What is the local ANC doing about this or did they support this building. DId anyone go for the zonning meeting? Building low income housing never works, mixed income is the way to go…they are just building more projects ! Some politician is making alot of money.

  • yup, that’s what dc needs, more subsidized housing to price out the middle class out of the city

  • nice call ANC, put more subsidized housing on Euclid street, definitely not enough violence on that street right now.


  • This is the Justice Park site and has been in the works for years. I know some of the guys behind the development. The low income set aside is likely due to the source of financing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits. May have been a more financeable source when the site disposition decision was made. LIHTCs have a minimum term for low-income housing, I believe 17 years, after which the units can go market rate. Beats an empty lot, but the concerns are valid.

  • Well, I live at the other end of the street from the BP gas station. I’ve lived in the area 58 years and I don’t have a problem with this new development. Low and moderate income people need housing just like anyone else. People moved into a neighborhood that was a predominately low and moderate income area then complain about the low income people? You don’t even know what type of people the new residents will be. You can’t condemn them before they’ve even moved in. If you were to use income as the only determining factor, I’m probably one of the people that you wouldn’t have wanted to live next to. I grew up very poor, I went to D.C. public schools and worked my way through college. I was able to purchase my home in 1996 when no one wanted to venture into Columbia Heights. I’ve lived in the area all of my life, I put up with the crime, the drug dealing, the shootings. I called the police and they never came, I wrote letters and they were ignored. Most of the crime wasn’t perpetrated by the residents of the low income buildings. Those people have already been moved out of those Section 8 apartments. Once you’re convicted of a crime, you can no longer get Section 8 housing. Now higher income people have moved into the neighborhood and they want everyone else out. Living in the city entails living next to, and around, people who will be poorer and richer than you.

    I think there has been an enormous amount of high end and luxury housing built in Columbia Heights. All of the new buildings further up 14th Street near the Target Mall are luxury buildings with one or two moderate units tossed in to keep the peasants at bay. Most of the row house conversions have taken a single family row house and turned it into a three or four unit condo. Where is the outage over the added demand for parking when a single family row house now houses 6 to 10 people? Some of them will have cars and want street parking. The City needs more housing for moderate income people. Housing for people like teachers, firefighters, legal secretaries, nurse’s aides, etc. Not everyone in the city makes the $90 to $100,000 it takes to rent an apartment in a luxury building. Must less buy one of those $450,000 2-bed room condos that have been built in Columbia Heights.

    You talk about parking – the construction may have taken away a few parking spaces not that’s not permanent. It’s always OK when it’s done for the wealthy but anytime something is done for low or moderate income people some people find anything to complain about. Moreover, this development has been talked about for years. Basically the City is just tossing a bone to its moderate income citizens. They could build 20 of these developments and the demand would still be strong.

    As for the park and garden across the street, you can contact the Department of Waste and let them know that the trash needs to be picked up, I do it all the time. Just because people are sitting on the benches doesn’t make them “unsavory.” People need to stop stereotyping people that they don’t even know. Most of the time there’s no one sitting in that park at all. It’s always vacant when I pass by.

    • My problem with 14th street development is that it’s mostly brand new shiny condos from Thomas Circle to about Flroida Ave, then mostly low income housing north to about the Columbia Heights metro, then more new condos. I would have preferred better planning so that there was a better mix all along the corridor. This would promote better understanding, and a lot of the residents of low income housing would have better access to amenities. There’s basically no retail between Florida ave and Columbia Heights metro.

      • It really isn’t, though. I bought my place in Columbia Heights about 3 years ago and saw a lot of really nice condos in the area between Florida and the metro. It is just that most of them are in converted row houses. I actually think that strip has the best mix of incomes. It has really nice condos and row houses mixed in with lower income properties. Sure, the one or two blocks on Columbia Rd are problematic, but the rest of that area is pretty mixed.

    • Would you really prefer to live in the Columbia Heights of the 90s? The way you describe it, it sounded pretty darn awful. You know what made this area better? The development of more “luxury buildings” that drew in a higher tax bracket. Most people on here, myself included, are advocating for more mixed income housing, not creating more islands of poverty and crime. While I haven’t lived here for as long as you, literally all of the crime I have witnessed has been in and around the existing low income housing apartments, e.g., those lovely teenagers at Faircliff Plaza East throwing eggs at people and setting off fireworks directly into cars. Stereotype or not, it has been an observable fact for me. While you might not like gentrification, it makes the area nicer and safer for those who live here.

    • I’d be curious to know who you think is perpetrating all the crime in Columbia Heights these days.

  • Soon or later columbia heights would just be the next manhattan or georgetown

  • I really don’t get why people are so up in arms. I live in the area and this seems ok to me. Comparing this to the section 8 and public housing isn’t at all a fair comparison. People making 30 to 60% of AMI could easily be young professionals, teachers, civil servants, etc. I know when I was a few years out of law school (not at a firm) and buying my first condo, I qualified for the low income set aside housing, which was about the same criteria as these apartments. I think this could attract your lower income professionals, teachers and people like police and firefighters, and your slightly higher income blue collar workers. What is wrong with that?

    • brookland_rez

      There’s nothing wrong with it. Those people should not have to commute from places like Woodbridge just to get to a job in the city. Those just starting out should have a place in the city too.

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