H Street's gritty, scrappy texture is giving way. In its place, the northeast corridor's devotees will soon find supermarkets, condos, smart retail, upscale apartment buildings, and trolleys clanging by pricey latte vendors. Long predicted, the year 2011 looks ready to bear out prognostications of a gentrification and resurgence that had seemed, until now, like a mirage, always ahead, always retreating. With last week's announcement that Giant officials had signed an agreement to anchor the northeast corner of 3rd and H, kickstarting Steuart Investment Co's long dormant development and blessing H Street with its first full-sized supermarket, the strip has become one of the hottest sites for development plans.
The Steuart project will add 215 apartments above the Giant, along with additional retail space. Around it, development booms. The District just announced a 16-unit residential project by Wall Development at 12th and H that should kick off next year, and at the eastern end Clark broke ground on a 257-unit apartment complex in October, as did an Aldi supermarket destined for the starburst intersection next year. And the biggest project by far will be Rappaport's 400-unit residence that will fill H Street from 8th to 10th Streets, while Dreyfus' plans for Capitol Place, a 300-unit residence opposite the future Giant, are loaded and ready for the right moment. And the trolleys, of course, are on the way.
Things could have been so different. Just two years ago a New York team went bankrupt betting on H Street and lost their 432-unit building at auction. The Giant will sit on the former BP site, a plot that was intended to house an interstate truck-servicing megaplex. Akridge's dreams to connect H Street with downtown by burying the rail yard at Union Station haven't progressed, and the most consequential projects have not yet broken ground, so the volte-face is not guaranteed, but its looking like its going to be a big year for H Street.
Washington DC real estate development news