Holy Cow – Proposed Design Renderings for 965 Florida Ave, NW

by Prince Of Petworth April 25, 2013 at 10:30 am 43 Comments

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 9.53.03 AM
Rendering via Ellis Development

Thanks to a reader for sending these incredible renderings for the huge project coming to 965 Florida Ave, NW. ANC Commissioner Tony Norman tells me that ANC 1B will comment on each proposal at the next ANC meeting May 2, 2013. 7:00 pm 14 & U NW and then DMPED could select a developer by the end of June.

You can see the full proposals here:

Ellis Development



Which one looks/sounds better to you?

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 8.17.33 AM
Rendering via JBG

The JBG one is the one that has the Harris Teeter going in as well. But either selection, this is gonna be a mind blowing transformation.

Though the small old church was demoed, in Oct. 2012 Here’s how the site basically looks today:


  • Definitely like the JBG one more, and HT is an obvious bonus.

  • Both look incredible.

    Any guesses on how long before realtors start factoring this development into the cost of all the tiny-houses for sale on Florida Ave and W? (having flashbacks of the H St. street car craze)

    • JS

      I’m pretty sure that’s already happened.

  • Anonymous

    Obviously JBG — W Street extension, development on both sides of W, Harris Teeter.

  • Amazing. Howard University has been hanging on to so much blighted space around that area for so long… They have some really cool warehouses and parking lots where a lot of great retail and entertainment spots could be placed. I graduated from Howard University in 97, there has always been a lack of quality retail and shopping in the area. Now that the market is good, they should really sell some space so that the campus can improve greatly, and so that they can have funds to improve their aging campus buildings.

    • JoeEsq74

      You should take look at the Campus Master Plan it is available on-line. Long term, I think Howard would be better off partnering with private developers rather than simply selling the land.

      • Anonymous


      • notpostingtooquickly


      • I used to work for Howard University. I don’t think the admin there has the ability to manage partnerships for development without scandal rearing it’s ugly head through misappropriated funds and mis-management. The University budgets have been in turmoil for ages now.

        I think a clean break is better for progress, Having private investment would be better because development and planning would be independent of Howard’s slow management processes and bureaucratic approach to business mgmt. Also, development plans are much more cutting edge when handled by companies rather than universities in my opinion.

        • Caleb

          The University would be better off if they retired many of the senior administration who have sat in place for way too many years…same can be said for many universities nationwide.

          • They did sort of… They bought out a lot of the senior employees there about 7 years ago. The problem is a culture that still persists in which money leaks out of the windows of the payroll and admin buildings. It has gotten better since, but with all the money that flows through that place, it should be a golden campus. The Dentistry School at Howard is probably #1 in the East Coast right now…

    • Absolutely right. Howard is sitting on a massive goldmine of underutilized real estate and real property: empty and unused parking lots, derelict warehouses and other industrial sized buildings, substandard and half-empty student housing, etc. If Howard partnered with private developers they could keep the land (which I understand why they want to do) but beautify their little section of the city, and use all of that new sweet sweet cash to dramatically improve their student facilities, fund new research grants, and bring in new big name faculty. Seems like a no brainer to me, but I must be missing something or they’d have done it by now.

  • Jeff

    Kindof giddy about the idea of a Harris Teeter right here.

  • Link Broken.

    Link to JBG is broken

  • John S

    JBG had me at Harris Teeter. This part of town really needs a full fledged grocery store.

    I am kind of curious about how JBG plans to integrate regular residences with a small scale hotel though, and what constitutes a “micro unit”. The W Street extension sounds great though, and much more logical than the proposed street in PGN’s plan, which would make an already hectic intersection even crazier.

  • Jennie

    This part of town is already getting 4 grocery stores (including a TJs!). JBG is also proposing a kind of awful superblock design.

    • Dan

      4? What/where/when?

    • Besides the Shaw Giant, have any other grocery stores been confirmed? I love the east end of U St., but lack of nearby grocery stores always seemed like a big headache.

      • John S

        Exactly, and as much as I’m looking forward to Trader Joe’s, it’s not a full service grocery store with a deli, meat counter, pharmacy, etc.

        Also, this location would better serve folks in Ledroit Park and the outskirts of Bloomingdale who also lack a large scale grocery store and aren’t a few blocks from 14th.

  • Dno

    Yeah, JBG is clearly the better urban design. Harris Teeter is a bonus and the microunits proposal is interesting.

  • JBG! If they win, though, any idea how that will impact the Howard University Town Center that’s supposed to come in to the east of this? It was scheduled to have a Fresh Grocer, but not sure they’ll go ahead w that, if there’s a HT a block away already.

    • bb

      This is an excellent question – one that has gone largely unanswered. Full steam ahead for both projects with both grocery stores is all I’ve heard so far. Has anyone in PoPville heard anything to the contrary?

    • Anonymous

      You should assume that nothing will ever happen with Howard Town Centre until proven otherwise, based on their development history.

    • dcmama

      Don’t forget that there are plans for over a thousand new residential units within blocks of this site (and the Howard Town Center site) are in the works. Not just units associated with JBG and Howard Town Center projects but also Howard University plans for more student housing and many, many smaller projects (conversions and new single plot development).

      Personally, I would be able to see the HTC building from my front door but would probably go the extra couple blocks to HT because I hate waiting in the long lines I find at other stores and HT always seems to have everything on my list (including the weird healthy stuff).

  • JBG is unquestionably the better design. There are other lots all around that same area with derelict properties or nothing at all. I wonder if they will demoed too for parking?

  • NHAve

    Ellis already looks dated. JBG hopefully will take longer to look dated. And yeah an HT in that spot would be great, especially if it’s as big as the one at NOMA.

  • Sean

    Definitely JBG. The extension of W Street is a real benefit for everyone in the neighborhood.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, definitely like the JBG project. But, they have so many other projects planned for that area (Rite Aid on U Street, WMATA parcels on Florida Ave, the Atlantic Warehouse). Not sure they will be able to pull it all of in any reasonable time line (under 5 years).

    The cynic in me wonders if this is strategic land buying on there part. Buy up these plots to fend off competition from other would be developers?

    • Anonymous

      Why have they not broken ground on the WMATA parcels yet? The liquor store at 9th and U/Florida closed months ago. I’m assuming in anticipation of demolition. The flea market has been gone as well. Anyone have any idea what the holdup could be?

      • James

        Jbg is breaking ground in June on the Atlantic plumbing sites at 8th & V

  • SS3345

    Definitely JBG. Looks tons better.

  • jcm

    Does the JBG have trees in that cutout halfway up the building? I like!

  • There’s also a survey to get feedback from nearby neighbors. From the survey:

    “Market analysis shows that the neighborhood can support up to 3 new grocery stores, which is why the development team is so excited about the commitment of Harris Teeter to the project site in addition to the planned Fresh Grocer at the Howard Town Center.”

  • JBG totally.

  • Frenchie311

    I find it interesting that both designs show a park that will be built by Howard (supposedly), but they’re both in different areas! They also both show future buildings, but one plan doesn’t match the other.

    Since I live in the Floridian, I’m more in favor of the JBG plan since it looks like it will help rebuild the street structure in a more helpful way. The Ellis plan shows a new street that doesn’t go anywhere. What good is that other than accessing their own garage?

    The Ellis building looks nice, and the “open market” could be interesting, but the JBG plan looks like it’s been fully thought out and can do the most good for the immediate neighborhood.

    Is there any way for us little people to vote on this?

  • JBG, but Ellis put more effort into their renderings.

  • JBG’s rendering looks a lot more interesting that the bore Ellis is proposing.

  • Anonymous

    Lets go JBG! Definitely want that Harris Teeter in the neighborhood!

  • Adam


  • DC Warkie

    I like Ellis proposal way better. I think the market concept of Ellis is pretty cool and would fit in much better in Shaw than the super block JBG is proposing. Plus Howard supports Ellis and that means Howard could create an awesome neighborhood.


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