Huge Shaw Development Scuttlebutt: Scripture Cathedral to be Purchased by Roadside Development?

9th and O Street, NW

Back in March of last year we had heard that the Scripture Cathedral was purchased by developers. Not sure if that deal fell through but now I’m hearing that not only is the Church close to a new buyer but also other properties including the adjoining parking lot (pictured below), the two adjoining buildings on 9th as well as the air rights over the gas station on 9th. And perhaps of even greater interest – I hear the developer in negotiations is Roadside Development. This is the team that developed the nearby CityMarket at O project. If they are able to seal the deal this will be huge!

Parking lot at 8th and O St, NW looking east toward 7th Street

27 Comment

  • Bring it on!

  • If that’s true, this is the absolute best news to hit this neighborhood since the City Market project. That will completely transform this whole neighborhood!

  • Bold prediction: this could be the spark that fills the vacant convention center retail on 9th street.

    So far the east side of 9th Street remains a walking deadzone even once you get past the convention center. But this has the potential to heal that urban fabric and turn both sides of 9th into a vibrant environment.

    • I don’t know why the CC is keeping it’s storefronts vacant; if they wanted them rented they’d be rented. Concur on the deadzone and I hope Roadside or whoever developes it will not turn it’s commercial face to 8th St trying to make 8th a commercial stretch and leave 9th St for back, delivery, and/or residential entrances like it did with City Market. My highest hopes right now are for who Douglas Dev. will put in the commercial spaces of the Colonel (Kernel LOL) at 9th and N.

      • According to a long time commercial business owner that I know who operated in this area, many of the storefronts have been purposely kept vacant because the owners don’t want to give out a 5 or 10 year lease and miss the boom in commercial rent prices. They’ve been told that the tourists and new residents are coming and none of them want to sign a lease that might be ridiculously under-priced two or three years from now. For them, it’s better to keep it empty, if they can afford it.
        You have to remember that the area’s landlords have been burned repeatedly by the city. They were told the area would boom when the Mt. Vernon Metro stop opened in 1991. It didn’t happen. They were then told it would boom with the opening of the Convention Center was built in 2003. Again, it didn’t happen. Then they thought they would ride the real estate wave of 2006-2008 and everything collapsed. Each of those times, successful retail businesses in the area were forced out in anticipation of booming rents and then the landlords couldn’t fill the spaces at the rents they wanted.
        Mt. Vernon/Shaw has seen it’s fair share of disappointment over the last 30 years. More so than the rest of the city, simply because residents and businesses were promised so much and it never materialized. Maybe this time it’s different?

        • Interesting reply. As an owner of a mixed use bldg on 9th I agree that we’ve been a neglected area. I’m afraid that neglect is continuing when even the buildings who have a portion of their building on 9th St still won’t locate storefronts there. We personally completely renovated in the early 90’s (best bldgs on the street) and kept some of the same tenants for decades. Sure when somebody was paying $350/mo and $700/mo for 15 years they’re going to be forced out when the prospect of actually breaking even on the property is presented.

          There was a significant decline and we couldn’t even give our properties away in the early to mid 2000’s much less get a decent tenant. We were vying for worst buildings on the street when we began the second reno in 2009. I feel like we ‘took one for the team’ by offering longer leases at set rents in order to bring retail back to the area. From now on when a space comes up for rent I have no idea how we’ll proceed, but since we don’t have a huge overhead (except to pay us owners back for decades of carrying costs) we would like to keep it local and reasonable. We can afford to. What other landlords are doing I don’t know but your speculation sounds correct.

  • good for Roadside – they did a great job on Market at O

    • Except, why did they not put any ground floor retail on the 9th Street side of City Market? It seems like a huge missed opp.

      • +1. Pretty bad, esp. considering the large footprint they were working with.

      • Probably because there’s already ample space for ground-level retail along 9th that hasn’t been exactly thriving. I’m guessing they figured it’s better to rent out an apartment than have vacant storefront property idling ala that Georgia/Petworth location.

  • Great news! Can’t wait to see what happens next in this neighborhood.

  • yes, please

  • very cool. commercial wishlist for the neighborhood: yoga studio, Rasika Shaw, those croissants everyone talks about, The Passenger because it is being displaced down on 7th… hmm what else…?

    • Passenger is being displaced?
      My wishlist includes a normal, large, regularly-priced gym. Not vida. Not a boutique studio. Just a good ol’ Golds or WSC.

      • The only money to be made is in the “luxury” category in core DC. Especially for a gym where the costs are fairly fixed, regardless if you’re opening a Vida or a WSC (e.g. you need a big piece of real estate, equipment, good HVAC, etc.)
        You won’t see a regular gym open in this area when they can open a luxury one for similar costs.

      • lovefifteen

        There’s no way they’ll open a downscale gym like WSC or Gold’s in this area. I will be something like a Vida if it happens.

  • Greaet. More playground for gold-star millennials.

  • Great. More playground for gold-star millennials.

    • good, if it gets the gold star millenials out of the 6 year old buildings in slightly less hot areas, opening those up to silver star millenials, who would get out of the units in marginal areas, near suburban metro stations, and in 20 yo buildings, opening THOSE up to bronze start millenials and to space demanding empty nesters, who could get out of the non metro accessible suburban hi rises, the older metro accessible suburban buildings, and the basement apts in DC, opening THOSE up to ordinary folks and zero star millenials, who would no longer have to live in crappy 60 YO suburban low rises or in overcrowded basement apts in marginal areas.

      • +100, I like how you point out the counter intuitive. Even new “luxury” housing ultimately helps keep prices lower than they otherwise would be (much like the federal budget, this is all relative to hypothetical baselines) at the regional level.

        • Great. Both of you get gold-stars (on the rewards calendar) for so generously living in/supporting luxury housing in order to keep affordable housing affordable. Save the world, bruthas. Time out for both of you.

  • Sheesh. Shaw is seeing a lot of changes. 24 Hour fitness is currently looking @ DC spots, would love to see them come. On the one hand, I’m excited about the development/my property value increase…on the other I miss what the neighborhood looked like when I used to walk to school :-/

  • Quick, someone open up Be Bar again.

  • That’s great, as long as it doesn’t take 10+ years to develop.

    Roadside sat on the O St. Market properties for a very long time. They were in control of it when the roof of the old market caved in during winter 2003.

    Seemed like an eternity for them to get their ducks in a row, or maybe their tax breaks and other subsidies funded by the city, before they finally broke ground.

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