From Apollo Theatre to H St. Storage/Murry’s Grocery Store to $120,000,000 Apollo Mixed-Use Development

Crandall’s Apollo at 616 H Street, NE in 1920s via Library of Congress

Well this is awesome. In today’s ‘next up in new murals’ we looked at an Acorn on 6th and H St, NE. Thanks to a commenter for sharing some awesome info. The Apollo Theatre was located at the site of H Street Storage near Murry’s grocery store:

Murry’s in 2013 looking east on H Street

From Insight Property Group:

“Insight plans to re-develop the site into a high-end mixed-use community that would include approximately 321 residential units and 23,000 square feet of retail space. Total Project Cost: $120,000,000”

Ed. Note: You can see their Phase II plans (across the street) here.

And here’s what the acorn is set to grow into:

Rendering via Insight Property Group

25 Comment

  • Wow, this is really going to change the fabric of the ‘hood. This is BIG money.
    In 5 years, H Street NE is going to resemble 14th Street NW. For better or worse.

    • for worse imo

      yea the big money is good blah blah

      i even preferred it more 2 years ago than today (yea i know therer was more crime then, of course without that if possible)
      had a better feel to the neighborhood

      soon as i learned about thwe giany building and ava going in i knew it would be the first of many

    • I’m going with for better. But I own property a block away from this. I definitely will appreciate increased walkability and more choice of restaurants and stores.

      • Oh yea, in that case yes…
        im sure this will do nothing but help the prop value

        but as far as the neighborhood feel and aspects.. negative

        • If the buildings in the first picture were still around, I’d be all for neighborhood feel. But I think almost anything is better than 75% of the buildings between 5th and 9thish. Generic apartment buildings are the lesser of two evils here in my opinion. I just hope they all have ground floor retail, as that lends to far more walkability, safety, and sense of community.

  • all these new buildings look exactly the same. yawn.

  • Insert all swagger-jacking critiques below.

  • Phase II is actually on the same side of the street. Across the street is where the new Crate & Barrel (or CB2, it’s one of their brands either way) is going.

    • Has it been confirmed that a Crate and Barrel is going in there? The last article I read said “something like a C&B or Forever 21 will go in.” Huh?!

      • justinbc

        Correct on being on the same side (as you can see from the overhead map). C&B not yet confirmed, but that is the plot they want them to come to.

      • Douglas is talking to both retailers, and I know they already have a lease with Forever 21 on one building. My guess is both will likely end up on H Street at some point. H Street is ripe for big brands to move in. I’m still surprised that some of the typical national retailers–Gap/Banana Republic, J Crew, etc–never moved onto 14th Street.

        • Where did you find that information re: Forever21? That is definitely not the kind of retail I would like to see move in. I think it would be a detriment to the neighborhood rather than an improvement.

          • I live in the area and wouldn’t mind a Forever 21. I go to the one in Metro Center when I need a new piece of affordable clothing, and it would be nice to have on closer.

          • We’re dying for new retail. Bring on the Forever 21, I say. Crate & Barrel too. I would love a nice mixed of locally owned stores and chain stores, a la Georgetown (but leaning more local than Georgetown). The middle section of the H Street corridor is currently a ghost-town development-wise. A Forever 21 and some new residential should jump start things nicely. That would likely increase foot traffic to the cool locally owned shops on the west side, if the east side of H folks have a destination to go to other than Giant (people are more likely to walk if there are places to visit along the way and the strip looks less desolate in the middle)

          • justinbc

            The real issue is there are no major buildings with jobs in the area, so pretty much all day until 5PM it’s deserted. Even at lunchtime, I’ve walked the stretch from Union Station all the way down H St to 13th and it’s like a ghost town. Of the few restaurants that are actually open almost all are the old dumpy carry-out type places. No lunch crowd = no reason for retailers to be there. Once the trolley makes the area more accessible that might change, but it’s going to take some major incentives.

          • Urbanturf had a quote from someone at Douglas about it last month.

          • Justin,

            That logic (lunch time crowds = retail) would work if there weren’t new retailers coming…but there are. How does your theory work for stores like Hunted House and the health food store on the 400 block (forgot its name)?

            Also, there’s an office building being built at the intersection of 3rd and H (across the Hopscotch Bridge from Senate Square) if memory serves. Looks to be a big one too, judging by the amount of construction activity around there. That’ll be finished before any retail projects at 6th & H are, since they broke ground some time ago.

  • I am actually really excited about this. I live on 6th and H and there is a huge hole between 9th and 6th that needs filling. I feel fine walking home from the East end of H St till I get to 8th St. I think this project will really help clean up those troublesome blocks and spur further development in the area.
    Of course, it does make me sad that they tore down that gorgeous old theater and put awful Murray’s and a big parking lot in its place. Too bad people back then didn’t have a sense of historic preservation.

    • I agree, although that area has been slowly filling in. A few restaurants and retail have opened recently or are slated to open in that “dead zone”.

  • Does anyone have any insight (no pun intended) as to when this project will start? There are no dates on the website so I’m guessing that means in the far off distant future.

  • justinbc

    I like the proposed building. It has marginally more character than most of the new construction which I really don’t care for much at all. I do wish though that they would take some of the beautiful architecture from the old theater and incorporate that into the design, maybe as the central entrance. Hell, since it’s “mixed-use” they could even use it as an entrance for a real movie theater, even if it’s only 6 screens or something.

  • There is some partial demolition of the government building on the south side of the 600 block of H (across from Murry’s). Any word on whether this means that building is in the process of being torn down and that new development being discussed for that location will be coming soon?

  • Does anyone have an idea about the residential development prospects for Blair Shelter? It is a beautiful structure begging for creative development along with the adjacent parking lot.

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