Saturday, August 25, 2007

Uline Arena to Get the Douglas Touch

The has-been Uline Arena is once more, thanks to Douglas Development. The old skating rink, located at the corner of 2nd & M Streets, NE, adjacent to the Amtrak lines, seems to have been used for just about everything, but as we reported last year, developer Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development purchased the property back in 2004 with the intention of making it a thoroughly modern mixed-used facility, including condos and office space. Now the Washington Business Journal reports that Jemal has teamed up with the Wilkes Company to develop the area. Wilkes owns the land on the north side of M, and the two will apparently work in concert to develop the properties. Wilkes is the midst of redeveloping a sizable chunk of Mt. Vernon Triangle, with Madrigal Lofts, The Sonata (now complete), and Mount Carmel all on its resume.

Jemal, love him or hate him, has been the force and inspiration behind much of DC's development, including Cleveland Park and Penn Quarter, and most notably the new Convention Center. Counting cranes in the area may soon become hard to do, with the new Marriott scheduled for construction soon, the recent groundbreaking of Union Place at 1st and K, MRP's $350m Washington Gateway project at the intersection of New York and Florida, Constitution Square on 1st Street, the New Yorker going in soon one block south of the Uline Arena, and of course the massive would-be development of the Florida Avenue market and Burnham Place, Akridge's long-term plan to build above the tracks north of Union Station.


Anonymous said...

Thought I was pretty familiar with Jemal's history. How has he been responsible for development in Cleveland Park? I didn't think he was into residential development in the late 1800s and early 1900s? Or commercial development along Conn. Ave in the 1920s and 30s?

poo poo said...

i would suggest visiting their website. you're clearly not very familiar with jemal's history.

see this (for example):

Ken on Aug 28, 2007, 5:50:00 PM said...


Okay, Jemal wasn't the first in Cleveland Park, he definitely post-dates Grover Cleveland, but he is responsible for turning around the strip mall on Connecticut, which had a large impact on the neighborhood. I do appreciate your sense of sarcasm (really), didn't mean to overstate his influence.

poo poo said...


you didn't say that jemal was the 'first'.

he has indeed been responsible for some of the developments that transormed the neighborhood in the 1990 era developments of the aforementioned areas.

between the 1800s and 1990, there was a bunch of derelict properties that literally spurred a bunch of development in the area.

that's what i assumed you were referring to.

if you read this blog, it's pretty obvious that you're not giving credit to jemal for TOTALLY DEVELOPING THE AREA.

imho, HJMcK just has some beef to grind re: Jemal. (sorry HJMcK if you're just trying to be a cynical, funny poster - kudos to you if that's all you were trying to do).

truth is, he did indeed spur a bunch of development in recent history. if it wasn't for him, you'd have a bigger lag in development than what dc experienced thanks to him.

he did stuff in the barry years that took guts.

in my book, he gets tons of credit.

call him an opportunist or a visionary, but he's done more than you or i could have ever accomplished, and accelerated development wherever he laid his hat.

ken's a diplomat. i'm not.

although i appreciate your attentiveness to historical perspective, your lack of pragmitism since the ... ummmm... 1800-1900's is kinda silly.

unless of course you can say more for yourself, or someone else that's done more....

ball's in your court.

Chris L on Oct 23, 2007, 8:56:00 AM said...

Gee wiz I hope they turn it into a bank when they're finished. One thing DC doesn't have enough of it is old historic buildings restored to their original splendor and then given over to Chevy Chase or Commerce Bank. Can we have more of that please?

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