Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rhode Island Avenue Has its Day

Rhode Island Avenue's improvement is underway. Seriously. Years of planning have dragged, private development has been promised, but flopped, and even the District government has given itself a full 16 years to pull its plan together, maybe. Despite the unfulfilled promise of the boulevard, today marks a major groundbreaking for Rhode Island's most ambitious project as developers break ground this morning on Rhode Island Station, a project conceived back in 2001.

With the help of a recent promise by DC officials to allocate more than $7,000,000 to jumpstart construction, Bethesda- based Urban Atlantic and Baltimore- based A&R Development Corp will kick off work at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. The 8.5 acre, $108,000,000 project promises 274 new residential rental units above 70,000 s.f. of retail. Couple that with the opening of the bike trail, earlier this month, better connecting Brentwood to downtown, and hope for a better neighborhood seems justifiable. Just ask the residents, who in a recent survey overwhelmingly rated "variety of goods and services" as "very poor." In "physical appearance" the area received 88 votes for "very poor," 81 for "poor," 24 thought it "average," and 4 vision-impaired souls deemed it "good". None opted for "excellent."

Maybe that perception will change now that the avenue's pioneers are beginning work, having struck a fresh deal with WMATA to build a 215-car garage next to the Metro Station in exchange for putting its development on the sprawling WMATA parking lot. Instead of pavement, the design by Lessard Group Architects will add street-level retail with sidewalk cafes and apartments above, when completed in 2013. Political speechmaking is scheduled to kick off this morning at 10:30.

Washington, DC real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Great project

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