From the Forum – Wondering about Deanwood

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Park 7 rendering via Donatelli Development

Wondering about Deanwood:

“I’m buying in DC and have seen a lot of cute homes listed in Deanwood, near the Minnesota Avenue train. I know it’s a “dangerous” area and kind of a commercial desert, but I was wondering if anyone knew of real invesment that is happening in the area in the next 2-4 years. I am seriously considering buying there because the prices are right, but I’m concerned about the lack of amenities. I know no one can predict the future, but I guess I’m just looking for some signs. Thanks.”

Ed. Note: From

“A new $67 million mixed use project is being developed at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road NE in Ward 7 next to the Minnesota Avenue Metro station. It will offer 346 affordable residential rental units available at 60% area median income, 30 market rate residential rental units, 20,000 square feet of retail space that includes a 5,000 square foot restaurant and an allocation of 4,000 square feet for local and small businesses and 255 parking spaces.

A partnership of Donatelli Development and Blue Skye Construction was awarded development rights at Minnesota-Benning. The team anticipates a construction start in the summer of 2012 with a winter 2014 expected delivery date.”

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25 Comment

  • This would be what you call a “long-term” bet. Can’t imagine that much is going to happen there anytime soon.

  • brookland_rez

    They’ve got metro there and it’s technically in DC (but has more in common with adjacent areas of PG county).

    I would say it will revitalize probably when inner-beltway PG county revitalizes (I believe it will eventually adapt into transit oriented development centered on the metro stations.)

    I wouldn’t buy there expecting anything to change for at least 10 years, possibly much longer. I would say buy there if you like it the way it is now, because that’s what you’re going to deal with for a while.

  • Yes, definitely long term. Honestly, the OP sounds new to, or unfamiliar with, DC’s neighborhoods and is latching hope on to a place just because it’s cheaper.

  • Many parts of DC are kind of dangerous aren’t they? Probably more likely to get run over by a car than mugged over in that neighborhood.

    • Someone tried to mug me at gunpoint onboard a Metro train at 10:00 AM on a Saturday at the Deanwood stop. I’m going to go with the area being more dangerous than normal.

  • I watched a friend of a friends dog for two weeks a couple months ago out in Deanwood and I thought I was Howard County. I would never, never live there unless it was absolutely the last place available. I got depressed to leave work and was in agony everyday I spent there!

  • From what I have seen… anything east of the river is a no go right now. However, everyone is getting priced out in the rest of DC, so I can see it start growing sometime in the near future. This is only if the community gets organized and shows that they want and need growth.

    • brookland_rez

      Except historic Anacostia. They just got the H St playhouse. There’s a metro there and it’s one stop from all the excitement in the Navy Yard area. But there’s still a large amount of public housing. I think Anacostia will turn around in the next 5-10 years.

      Hillcrest has some nice single family homes and is pretty quiet. But there’s no metro.

  • Deanwood is the next Trinidad. You heard it here first! Word is bond.

  • jim_ed

    Fun story:

    A few years ago I was at a Nationals game and realized Tommy Wells was sitting behind us. As Ward 6 residents at the time, we said hello, and ended up talking with him over a beer. When I mentioned that I loved Capitol Hill but was being priced out of it, his advice was for me to move to Deanwood. Thanks Tommy for that superb advice.

    Anyways, if you’re looking at Deanwood, you’re probably better off looking in Hyattsville, since they both have similar suburban feels and price points, but at least in Hyattsville there’s a lot of development going in around the metro, and far less violence.

  • Minnesota and Benning Road may not be the next U street but the property values in that area are increasing and there’s been a lot of development in the area. The city is spending money over there and a lot of private companies are as well as more people move to the city and want to live near a metro. Additionally, Minnesota and Benning is just down the street from H Street and will be connected via the street car project very soon. DC is rapidly becoming unaffordable to younger people and this is an area where you can still get in on the first floor. Click on the link up top to see what U Street used to look like…sometimes you have to be willing to take a leap of faith on an area. I think this is a good area for that leap.

    And just a point these projects are restricted to 60% AMI…the Area Median Income in Washington, DC is over $100k so it’s not like it’s people that make $18k living there…you have to have a sizeable income to even qualify to rent.

  • This will probably get removed, but here is the link for the market statistics in 20019 (Deanwood)

    • brookland_rez

      RBI is a great source. What stands out to me about those stats is that inventory is falling and days on the market went from 150 last year to 50 this years.

      Inventory and days on the market are leading indicators. Just like the large amount of inventory and high days on the market in 2012 led to a fall in transaction prices this year. Falling inventory this year will likely lead to rising prices next year.

      • Except the confluence of a slowing local economy and rising interest rates are likely to put those trends in reverse, and places like Deanwood are going to be the very first to get hit. The chances of that area becoming the next hot thing anytime in the next decade, at least, are slim to none.

  • I live in Capitol View, which is a neighborhood just south of Deanwood near the Benning Road Metro station. My husband and I bought a nice home there about a year and a half ago and love it. It’s true that that area of the city is lacking in some amenities (at least compared to Capitol Hill where we used to live), but it us just a short trip to Capitol Hill, H St, or Prince George’s County for coffee shops/movie theaters/more grocery store choices. The new development at Minnesota and Benning, plus the new library/rec center, will and are making the neighborhood nicer. I work on Capitol Hill and the 15 to 20 minute bus commute was a big selling point for us. There is talk of the street car coming over the river there as well, which would be a nice addition.

    I would just suggest you see the houses, walk the neighborhood and see how you feel. You’ll be able to tell if you could feel good about living there. Don’t buy for some future time when you think the neighborhood would be nicer; buy if you like it now, but the neighborhood is someplace that is growing and changing in mostly good ways.

  • If there’s something that is close to materializing there, it already has been factored into the housing price, based on how remote it is in time and all other aspects. If you’ve been around DC long enough, you recognize that every neighborhood has been, at some point, “up and coming” or otherwise perceived as a value-buy. But those same neighborhoods today are stocked with people willing to complain about something that didn’t happen or change still being just around the corner as long as some distant contingency happens. It’s a condition of living in the city, and there’s no magic wand to wave. So I’d recommend buying the place if you could feel comfortable living there now, and taking a pass if you wouldn’t — without having to take some degree of comfort from an illusory notion that big things are about to happen. Read the post today about U Street back in the day for some perspective in this regard. It’s as likely as not that change is coming, but you may be long gone by the time it gets there.

    • brookland_rez

      I agree. Also have to keep in mind that the people that bought in U St helped make it what it is today. Wherever you buy, you have to take a stake and help things change if that’s what you want.

  • Deanwood is a fairly large area and so it’s difficult to generalize. I’d take it block by block in terms of deciding whether to buy there. Or you could just take that money and buy a parking space in 20007.

  • Huh? I agree that Deanwood is not going to be hip in the next five years, but prices are very reasonable. I don’t own a car and own a property over there and have always felt safe. Its cool if you don’t like the area – its not for everyone – but it does have some nice houses, it was originally founded in 1850s (not much housing stock there is that old) and it is very close to much more expensive areas. There is a large price disparity in say Kingman Island/Rosedale area vs Deanwood. Which is not to say Deanwood will jump, but an absolute collapse seems unlikely. Rents are comparatively strong, also.

  • Onboard the Metro train… So you weren’t walking around the neighborhood. Might as well say you were at the East Falls church station and got mugged and think that area is more dangerous than normal.

    • That’s some asinine logic right there.
      I’d say, based on the crime stats of the surrounding areas, that you’re significantly more likely to be held up at gunpoint at the Deanwood stop than East Falls Church. And yes, the local area does make a difference. There’s a reason why you see more crime on the Blue/Orange/Green lines and stations that as transfer points to those line – the perpetrators can easily flee back to their own neighborhoods.

  • That was for Brian’s comment way at the top

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