Housing Complex

Metro Picks Proposal With 280 Residences and Retail for Brookland Site

This site is slated for residential and retail development.

This site is slated for residential and retail development.

Heads up, Brookland: 280 residential units and 9,000 square feet of retail are coming your way.

Metro announced this afternoon that it had selected a partnership of MRP Realty and the CAS Riegler Cos. to develop two parcels of land just east of the Brookland Metro station. The development team will also provide a new kiss-and-ride facility to replace the existing kiss-and-ride lot on the site. Construction is expected to begin in 2016.

In its solicitation released last year, Metro had indicated it was seeking up to 250 residential units or a combination of fewer residences and office space. Ultimately, Metro opted for more residential density that it had anticipated. According to Michael Neibauer, the MRP/CAS Riegler proposal had more residences than the competing proposals from Donatelli Development, Four Points LLC, and a partnership of A&R Development and Urban Atlantic.

The development site will be configured slightly differently from its initial layout. The original solicitation included the green patch of land known as the Brookland Green, but amid protests from neighbors and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Metro agreed to a land swap with the city to preserve that space from development.

The Brookland Metro development will continue a process of rapid change for the neighborhood. The massive Monroe Street Market development, spanning three residential complexes that are technically on the Edgewood side of the railroad tracks, was rolled out starting last summer. In addition to apartments, it includes a Barnes & Noble bookstore, artist studios, a tool lending library, and several eateries.

The selection of a development team for the Brookland site comes just days after Metro revealed a disappointing level of interest in development sites at other stations. Only one developer submitted a bid for a project by the College Park station, one submitted a bid for a Capitol Heights parcel, and none were interested in developing at Huntington.

Correction: This post initially misspelled Kenyan McDuffie's first name.

Map by Aaron Wiener

  • Northwesterneer

    This seems like a win/win to me. Haven't heard anything negative and I think people know I'm willing to share negative stories.

  • Tom

    I'm glad Donnatelli did not win this bid. They have made a mess of the Petworth metro project. It's still vacant (while they collect city tax credits) because they have made no effort to attract retail places or have rejected proposals from locally owned restaurants. It's a shame. If you want a good story, look into the connections between Bowser and Donnatelli. It's no wonder they have been given a pass. Meanwhile, Ward 4 suffers.

  • NE John

    For someone who has lived here for over a half century, I am beyond wonder at the changes, and so glad. I remember sitting on the unfinished CUA platform with my classmate Thad Boland, drinking a bottle of wine, just before going to college, and talking about the coming "subway." About 40 years later and finally we are going places.

  • JS

    Tom - that's not really true. Donatelli partnered with Canyon Johnson out in CA for Park Place's financing and (as I understand it) CJ as the equity partner has veto power over tenants. CJ has no local market knowledge and basically is only interested in national chains with big financial backing. This has been discussed over at Prince of Petworth several times. The last discussion over there mentioned that Donatelli is going to try to buy out CJ's equity interest in the building - if Donatelli is successful in doing so, I'll bet we'll see tenants soon. It's not like Highland Park in CH doesn't have locally-based tenants.

  • Joseph Martin

    JS is right.

    Tom's assertion about the Donatelli company vis-a-vis the Park Place/Petworth Metro building's empty storefronts is flat out wrong.

    Canyon Johnson, Magic Johnson's company and Donatelli's equity partner, is the hold out and has been blocking additional retail.

    I have written about this specific issue several times on the Petworth Yahoo Group over the years.

  • Cris

    In looking at the various articles referencing this agreement, I don't see whether the residential units slated will be condominiums, rental units or a mix. Does anyone know?

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