“345 residential units and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail” coming to Fort Totten

Renderings courtesy Donatelli Development


“Metro has selected a venture led by Donatelli Development as developer for its site at the Fort Totten Metrorail Station in Washington, DC.

At Fort Totten, Donatelli is proposing to build approximately 345 residential units and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The mixed-use project will be designed to achieve LEED Silver certification or better.

The 3.35-acre site, currently used as a surface parking lot, is located at 1st Place and Galloway Street, NE, just to the west of the station entrance. The existing 422 daily parking spaces for Metro commuters will be replaced as part of the project.

The selection of a developer for Fort Totten builds upon a series of major Metro initiatives to advance transit-oriented development projects across the region, including recent developer selections at the Brookland-CUA Station and at Metro’s Navy Yard Chiller Site; the sale of property to the District at Anacostia Station; and the ongoing development of Metro’s property at the Congress Heights Station.

The Fort Totten development agreement is subject to final approval by Metro’s Board of Directors. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2017.”


26 Comment

  • Love it. I hope a gym like Planet Fitness locates in the retail space.

  • Hooray! Definitely a better use of a 3 line metro station that just a commuter parking lot. Recoup those tax dollar investments!

  • I’m curious if there is any other development slated near there? Just wondering if in a few years the area will look more like Brookland or Petworth do now…

    • There is. There’s the Wal-mart development nearby, which will have other retail, and there’s also an “Arts Place” development. It’s probably gonna look more like Columbia Heights than Petworth or Brookland.

      • Art Place at Ft Totten is a 3 phase project that wont be fully complete until 2022. Phase 1 supposed to be completed 2017 with the other 2 phases to follow. Wal-Mart is part of the Fort Totten Square project and I just found out that is only the first phase of a 2 phase project. Phase 2 will be located across the street on the empty lot. Supposed to be more restaurants and retail across the street. Articles have said that will begin as soon as phase 1 is complete. We also have the new HellBender brewery that opened up not too long ago behind the new Wal-Mart

    • Yup! There’s a lot of stuff planned for the area, including a new 300+unit apartment complex with a Walmart on the first level, and another mixed-use development called “Art Place.” All in the same area around the station.
      I lived in FT (west of Fort Totten Park) until just last fall and it’s an area that definitely has potential for development. It was also one of the cheapest rents I have ever heard of in DC. I feel like the prices of these new developments will be more in line with the ‘luxury’ apts at Fort Totten Square than anything affordable…

  • Is this the site where the children’s museum will go, or is that another Fort Totten Metro development?

  • I’m curious who is buying/renting all these places. I live near Fort Totten. I don’t think the apartments at the Metro (Aven-something) are at full capacity, and the Walmart construction around the corner at South Dakota and 3rd NE is about to be delivered with 350 rental units and they’ve also broke ground on a large development at Galloway and South Dakota (at the other entrance to Fort Totten), that I believe will also have rental units. I’m all for the improvements, but where are these people coming from to rent these units in an area that doesn’t have any retail but the coming Walmart, a couple liquor stores and a KFC? (I know all of the developments are supposed to bring other retail too, but unless its a decent grocery store, a gym, and sit down restaurants, I just don’t get the draw for renters – and I LIVE here.)

    • If rents up there were reasonable, i.e. not $1,600 for a 585ft studio, I bet more people would consider living there. Either the apartments at the Aventine are absurdly nice or everyone involved with the building is delusional.

    • I lived in FT until just last fall. A big draw for me was the 7 minute walk to three metro lines, but mostly it was the fact that my roommate and I could afford the 2-bedroom with our combined paid internship salaries. That being said, this was at Northwood Gardens, just west of the park. I doubt that these new developments are going to be at all affordable. (though I would have KILLED for a Walmart or some other grocery store nearby when I lived there)

    • Agreed. I live here too and think there needs to be retail for the area to become something other than a Metro stop with some new apartments next to it. A real grocery store (not Walmart) would go a long way toward that. They should have put the new soccer stadium up here – three Metro lines is a huge plus.

  • Yeah, this is really the chicken and the egg question. The WaPo just had an article on new apartment glut in NoMa and up in White Flint. Part of the problem is too many buildings opening at once. But, the other issue is there just isn’t enough in those areas to make them interesting urban neighborhoods.

    I’m curious how this will pan out for Ft. Totten. Conceptually, new apartments next to the metro in a growing city is a no brainer. But, realistically, they can’t market these units to “urbanites” looking for city living. Ft. Totten is still basically close in suburban living.

    • Yeah but White Flint is farther out, the buildings are really tall and impersonal. If the FT developments can keep things more pedestrian-friendly it will be better. We could use a cute coffee shop, restaurant, etc. But not like Rhode Island Row.As for NOMA, it feels like apartment buildings next to office buildings rather than a neighborhood.

    • I agree. I’m curious to see what the occupancy rate will be after it’s built. Ft Totten is in the city, but it’s way out there, and there are no good restaurants or shops nearby. Unless the rent was really cheap, I wouldn’t want to live there.

      • Fort Totten is not “way out there.” It’s one stop from Brookland and Petworth, two from Columbia Heights, three from U Street, four from Union Station, etc., plus all the bus lines. It’s got super easy access to the city.

      • There was a time when Petworth fit that description (“no good restaurants or shops nearby”) and Temperance Hall — now Looking Glass Lounge — was really on its own.

    • HaileUnlikely

      For many without the $$$ to buy into what meets your criteria for city living, this area could definitely be an acceptable alternative if it is significantly more affordable. I considered buying a house at 11th & Hamilton a few years ago, but ultimate decided to go with Takoma at a similar price point in the interest of being closer to the 16th Street bus line, which is my primary way of getting to most of the places that I frequent. Regarding the Aventine: it’s is waaaay overpriced in relation to what it is and where it is. I have friends who used to live there – they are cheaply built wood-frame apartments with thin walls and poor sound insulation between floors. You can hear every thump thump thump of every neighbors’ footsteps, any conversation that isn’t deliberately hushed, etc. A building of such poor quality would have to be in a real prime location to get the rent that they ask for, or alternative, much better quality and with significantly better amenities to get that rent there.

      • IIRC, the siding on the Aventine was so cheaply made/attached that a bunch of it blew off during a storm a couple years ago…

      • We just purchased in the neighborhood last summer and we are very happy that we got into the neighborhood when we did. I am the door step of the metro and with all of the rentals going up I am pretty confident that other amenities will soon follow. You have to have people in a neighborhood with disposable money in order to support restaurants, bars, grocery, etc. This neighborhood has long been a neighborhood made up of the elderly on fixed incomes. Now with hundreds of new rentals coming up and a project near the station to build 40+ SF homes starting at $500k to primarily be lived in by younger workforce adults and couples bring that disposable income into the neighborhood which is what brings the bars, restaurants, etc to the neighborhood. The Art Place has a grocery store space included in the Phase 1 building(still no tenant), but that could soon change. Just a year ago the space where the Donatelli project is going was put up for bid and Metro did not receive a single bid for it. A year later Metro received 4 unsolicited bids for the space so I think this neighborhood is rapidly turning in the right direction. I didn’t really look at the neighborhood as desolate because we are a bike ride from Brookland, the new 12th street corridor, Ga Ave, Takoma Park..

        But I do agree the Aventine does look cheap and something just slapped together but when they were built there was not hot demand in the neighborhood so they didn’t have any competition. Now that the neighborhood is hot maybe they will put a new façade on the buildings to make them a little less cheap or the long shot to win the race I hope they are purchased by another developer and torn down to create something more in line with what is coming to the neighborhood and not still look like what the neighborhood used to be.

  • Glad to see some more infill development in the works.

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