Housing Complex

JBG Moves On U Street Hotel, Atlantic Plumbing Sites

Local developer JBG doesn't have to go too many places when presenting about the residential developments it's got in the pipeline these days. As foreshadowed by their buying spree last year, the full-service real estate company has five large projects between 14th and S Street and 7th and Florida Avenue NW. A few quick updates gleaned from last night's U Street Neighborhood Association meeting:

  • The long-stalled 13th and U Street hotel, which has been on ice since about 2009, started moving into later design stages last year. Along with financing, the sticking point has long been the Rite Aid's long term lease, but JBG representatives say they've struck a deal to relocate the pharmacy to a trailer near the site while the thing's under construction. Now they just have to figure out a design that works financially—the neighbors, who thought the last proposal was too big, aren't going to be any easier on it this time.
  • They've engaged a design team for the three parcels they bought last year around the 9:30 Club, and are still planning a total of about 740 residential units between them, with ground-floor retail. The northernmost piece would have room for a grocery store, JBG says—putting them in competition with the slow-as-molasses Howard Town Center site right next door, which had been hoping to attract a grocer as well. Interestingly, they tried and failed to assemble the whole block, which likely means that either Howard University or the District wanted to hold on the pieces they still own in the area.
  • The as-yet-unnamed Florida Avenue project heads to the Historic Preservation Review Board this month.
  • 14th and S Streets topped out this week, and has formally announced that Estadio's Mark Kuller will be doing an Asian concept in the southern corner space (but you already knew that).
  • The 14th and U Street project, newly christened the Louis (Armstrong or XIV, take your pick), is supposed to start razing buildings within a week. JBG project manager Bryan Moll grinned as he hinted at a "limited service grocer" going into the ground floor—still taking bets!—even while shrugging that the McDonalds on the corner still has 20 years left on its lease. Studios start at $1,500, folks.

Isn't JBG worried that all these projects coming online at once will cannibalize each other's sales? A little bit, yeah. but they're trying to differentiate them enough that different types of buyers and renters will want each of the buildings. "We think we have a strategy for that," Moll says.

  • RT

    Howard U is inept and riddled with bureaucratic morass. At a time when debt and equity for residential mixed use projects is extremely easy to come by. But they've already missed the cycle. If they chose a developer like JBG, it would probably be finishing up about now with a a Harris Teeter on the ground floor.

  • JoeEsq 74

    RT - any specifics, or is development just not meeting your preferred timeline?

    Housing is growing more expensive in the area that means off-campus housing for students will be growing more expensive for years to come. Howard has to look strategically at the housing needs of current and future students' as economic realities evolve. A university may partner with for-profit developers when mutually beneficial but profit should not dictate the university’s development plan.

    Development appears to be moving at a steady pace (north) on GA avenue, the Shaw Metro station, Howard theatre etc. Sometime development takes time you need only look a few blocks away at the McMillan Reservoir site.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/03/27/daily17.html (see date no groundbreaking to date PUD just submitted)

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  • er

    sounds like great news for the area!

  • Mistr Knucklz

    Now if the city would just put the Reeves Center on the market as a teardown, the neighborhood would really start to take shape.

  • chris hauser

    who gives a shit. it's over, the glominoids and grabblers have won.

  • Dave Banick

    "Limited service grocer" sounds like Trader Joe's. Won't be a Giant (O Street Market too close), or a Harris Teeter (ditto, 17th & Kalorama). Maybe a Safeway (although 17th & Corcoran is very profitable, even if it is a hole). Maybe it'll be a WEGMAN'S!!!

  • Cynthia

    The obvious? 7-Eleven!!

  • suzane

    As always, great updates.

    Will they be relocating the bus stop that's currently in front of the McDonalds? May be a good time for the city to consider moving it as it's incredibly crowded and sits on a narrow chunk of sidewalk space. Plus it seems a bit hazardous to have it there during the construction.

    As far as tearing down Reeves Center, not so much as the awful liquor store at 14th and U where folks love to hang out and then taken away by EMT....

    Looking forward to having the hotel at 13th & U.

    What happened to what I believe was supposed to have been a Mexican restaurant across from Eatonville? Yeah that spot where the old-time card players and clients can't seem to sever ties with that corner.. Nice or maybe not so nice view for those looking out of their units.

    Any update on retail planned for 2400 14th St. Lawdy..please bring a hardware store, a clean spa and affordable clothing and home furnishings to the 14th st - U st corridor.. tired to trecking to Georgetown for decent stores.

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  • ScrewU

    More clubs and taverns! More clubs and taverns!! That's what U St. REALLY needs!!! More places to drink and play incredibly loud music! Leave the restaurants and shops to Georgetown--nobody on U St. needs that sh_t. Oh no!

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