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Renderings and info for the “20-Acre Rhode Island Avenue Neighborhood Development (RIA)”

by Prince Of Petworth January 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm 16 Comments

images courtesy MidCity

Well this is huge. From a press release:

“MidCity, one of Washington, DC’s most respected and experienced developers and property owners, has launched a new name and dynamic new website — www.riadc.com — for its ambitious 20-acre mixed-use development designed to be the future centerpiece of the Rhode Island Avenue community. The website moves far beyond a branding exercise and includes candid FAQ’s, phase-by-phase diagrams, master plan and block plan renderings and details of the meticulous and innovative approach being employed by MidCity and architect and planner, Perkins Eastman. MidCity has retained interdisciplinary and strategy collective, Streetsense, for branding, communications and retail consulting for the project.


With initial demolition of the Brentwood Village shopping center scheduled for late 2016 and groundbreaking on the first phase of this inclusive, community-design driven neighborhood set for late 2017, the RIA website and brand set the stage for the next phases of development – an array of residences, an inviting new town center, new connective streets, local shops and retailers and pedestrian promenades and green spaces.


“RIA will express MidCity’s vision of Washington, DC’s diverse and culturally rich neighborhoods at their finest – “RIAlized” – and the name celebrates the rejuvenation of the Rhode Island Avenue corridor,” said Michael Meers of MidCity. “RIA’s components, which reflect MidCity’s longstanding commitment to inclusiveness and mixed-use communities, have been designed through years of community input to seamlessly connect residents to their friends and neighbors, convenient shopping and dining and welcoming open spaces. These 20 acres, at the heart of one of the most dynamic communities in Washington, DC, will be transformed into a thoughtful, walkable and cohesive community with exceptional access, via Metro and the Rhode Island Avenue corridor, to downtown Washington, DC and adjacent communities.”


MidCity has received approval from the DC Zoning Commission for its development plan, which will ultimately include 1,760 residential units and up to 181,000 square feet of commercial space, to include an approximately 55,000 square foot full service grocery store and other neighborhood-serving retail. Residents and visitors will also enjoy a one acre community green and a half acre pedestrian plaza as well as a new, highly connective street grid that includes the introduction of four new streets to connect old and new access points. The first phase of construction will commence in the second half of 2017 with the construction of a 200-unit affordable housing building for seniors.


“We view RIA as a model for future mixed-use neighborhoods in our city,” said MidCity Chairman, Gene Ford, Jr. “World class planning is being applied to ensure that RIA is not only a superbly designed place to live but also a resource and destination for neighboring communities. MidCity has been an owner and investor in the Rhode Island Avenue for more than 40 years and respects and values the historic qualities of the Rhode Island Avenue corridor. We plan to be here for a long time to come and view the community as our partners in bringing RIA to life.”

RIA incorporates 21st century urban design principles to ensure the new community will be walkable, vibrant, and responsive to the living needs of its residents. The development will provide a variety of housing types – rental apartments, for sale townhomes, market rate options, senior living and affordable housing – all with the objective of creating economic, social, and other diversity in an aspirational 21st century community.”

  • Anon

    Pretty sure we’re getting an Apple Store here!

  • Josh

    “With initial demolition of the Brentwood Village shopping center scheduled for late 2016…” Is the Brentwood Village shopping center the same shopping center with Home Depot and Giant? Or is this another shopping center?

    • hiphop anonymous

      The shopping center being demo’d further up Rhode Island Ave on the corner of Montana Ave.

    • brookland_rez

      It’s the one with the Adventure Dental in it.

      • ThatsTheOne

        Yep, I think so. And Going Out of Business, which I presume will now be going out of business.

        • Timebomb

          That place is called Capital Discount Furniture, and I’ve gotten some pretty good deals at their perpetual liquidation sale over the years.

  • DCDuchess

    That “shopping center” is truly a sad sight. Anything will be better than what is there now.
    The potholes in the parking spots are huge and have been known to swallow children.

  • SweetEpiphany

    Sooo excited for this project, which is right in my backyard. Just hoping it continues to move forward without too many hiccups.

  • MSM

    Brentwood Liquors in center closed this week and the street behind the center will close later this Spring (14th Street) and end to the decades-old negative activities that take place there.

    • Timebomb

      Pending DC Council action to privatize the road, but yeah hopefully.

  • DM

    Looks really awesome, but a bit far from the Metro for this kind of development, isn’t it? Not being a NIMBY or anything–just saying that’s a lot of apartments and shops to be somewhat inaccessible by rail.

    • Timebomb

      It’s less than half a mile from the metro. How close did you need it to be?

      • DCborn


    • DCborn

      DM – this is ridiculously close to the metro IMO. Also the apartments are being demolished in phases as part of the new development – allowing folks that are in good standing and the seniors to stay in the new development.

  • J

    Maybe should have held on to the Brentwood house! What’s going to happen with Brookland Manor residents?

  • Caro

    I recently bought in this area so I am really excited for a grocery store. I’m glad to see the comment above about phasing of the apartments for current residents. I know there will be some displacement of longtime residents, which is unfortunate, but overall this development will hopefully reduce a dead zone on Rhode Island that did not foster improvement. My hope is the rest of Rhode Island development between this and South Dakota will be more small businesses like Nido and Zeke’s . . . but let’s be honest, more businesses are likely to come the safer the area becomes, which this development will probably do.


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