Fort Totten is just one of the many neighborhoods in Ward 5 that is grabbing the attention of prospective buyers because of its proximity to metro and affordable housing stock. What is more, development projects are underway that promise to bring some much needed retail and services to the area. One of the highly publicized projects is a sleek, urban-designed WalMart. There’s lot of controversy about WalMart coming to DC, but one thing that can’t be debated is that this part of NE is currently a retail desert. At least in a few years, residents will have some more options.
Another highly touted project is Art Place at Fort Totten. Art Place will be a mixed use facility that will include both retail and housing, including senior housing, a Children’s Museum and space for performing arts/theater organizations. The project, conceived and funded by the Cafritz Foundation, promises to respond to the needs of and strengthen the very close knit community in the area. The Neighborhood Farm Initiative also has its main garden at Fort Totten. The Neighborhood Farm Initiative is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to cultivate a resourceful community of adults and teenagers working together to engage in small-scale food production in the DC area”. The best part is that they offer adult gardening classes. For a fee, they give you a small plot of land in their main garden and provide all the necessary tools and knowledge.
But apart from these great projects, why are people so drawn to the area? One recent buyer, Denise, was considering small one bedroom apartments downtown and decided that she wanted more space, maybe even a yard, and began to investigate houses available in her price range. She found a beautifully renovated row home in Fort Totten and is still within walking distance of the metro and can quickly and easily get downtown. Another buyer, Steve Dowdell, was drawn to the area because of the housing stock and strong sense of community. He found a gem of a house that was owned by one single family since its construction in 1952. It had been immaculately maintained and preserved and is a great investment. He discovered that Fort Totten is the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbors and has grown up together. An avid biker, Steve also found that he could still conveniently bike to his work and to visit his friends across the city.
As more and more people decide that they want to live in the city and belong to and invest in a community they care about, neighborhoods like Fort Totten, once overlooked b/c they lacked hip restaurants and stores, are becoming more and more popular. They offer the perfect compromise for those wanting to be in the city but with some extra space to grow and at a price they can afford.