Development Projects Underway in Ward 5

Work Impacts Brookland South of Catholic University

     Ward 5’s Brookland neighborhood is undergoing major development projects in efforts to turn parts of the residential area in Northeast Washington into a destination point with restaurants, retail shops and new housing.

     Abdo Development, a D.C. based development and construction company, is in the beginning phase of its nearly nine-acre mixed-use development project located just south of Catholic University.

     Construction on the first phase of the project, scheduled to be completed next summer, has begun with a below-grade parking garage being built on the block closest to the Brookland-CUA Metro stop. Artist and retail space in addition to 152 residential units will be placed over the garage.

     Abdo ran into opposition in its development process in October 2010 after the D.C. Department of Transportation raised concerns regarding its traffic plan. According to a report in the Washington Business Journal, the DDOT opposed closing parts of Monroe, Seventh and Eighth streets NE and removing some public land from D.C.’s long-term highway plan. However, the DDOT’s concerns were resolved, and the development group is continuing to make progress.

     Ronnie Edwards, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 5C11 near Trinity Washington University, complimented the project coordinators in regards to addressing community concerns.

     “We had concerns related to traffic flow and business involved in the project, but we were very pleased that we had a neighbor that was willing to work with the community and mitigate the concerns,” Edwards said.

     In August 2010, Adbo joined forces with Buzzuto Development Group, a privately-held, real estate developer, to complete the Monroe Street Market project.

     “We’re promoting the use of the Metro and public transportation,” said Mike Henehan, vice president of Buzztuo.

      Henehan said plans also include making Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street more pedestrian friendly. “We’re working a lot with residents to make sure they’re aware of various options,” Henehan said.

     The Market will also include approximately 83,000 square feet of retail space that many hope will attract retailers to Ward 5.

     “We’re trying to get restaurants, fast, casual-type places,” said Henehan while mentioning banking uses and fitness facilities as well. “It’s a very dynamic process.”

     Edwards expressed similar opinions regarding retailers and business he hoped would come to the Ward 5 Market. 

     “We believe this area in particular has been underserved. We’re looking for more sit-down family kind of restaurants, grocery facilities and places that are trying to make our lives easier in terms of accessibility,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be good for the community. We [previously] supported the project, and we continue to be supportive of the project.”

     The complete Market project is also slated to have 720 residential units that will attract people from across the board. “I think we have something for everybody,” said Henehan, “It’s a very unique project. I’m not sure if there’s anything like it in the city today.”

     The 901 Monroe St. Development Group is working on another new development just three blocks away from the Monroe Street Market project.

     Colonel Brooks Tavern owner Jim Stiegman along with two D.C.-based companies, Horning Brothers and the Menkiti Group, just received approval for land development project from the D.C. Zoning Commission.

     Construction on the project will not begin for another 10 months to a year, according to Stiegman.

     Colonel Brooks Tavern has been serving the Brookland neighborhood since opening in May of 1980. The new developments will force the restaurant to close within the coming months.

     Stiegman hopes to have a “nice big party” for customers, former, and current staff within the next couple of months after informing the community of the development group’s progress.