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    Northeast DC Development

    As a resident of the NE neighborhood of Woodridge, I’ll admit I’m excited about the nearby development projects that have already begun or are soon set to break ground. Like any other major development project in the District, however, they do generate some concerns which are worth discussing. First, what’s going on? In a nutshell, there are projects slated around three of the major metro stations in NE.

    Rhode Island Station – Existing retail at the Rhode Island metro – Home Depot, TJ Maxx, Giant – has proven extremely successful and attracted the attention of developers. Construction is rapidly progressing on 274 residential units and 70,000 additional square feet of retail space. Plans are to build a cutesy downtown mainstreet with outdoor-seating cafes and restaurants, lush landscaping and ambient lighting. The retail phase is expected to be completed in 2012 and the entire project finished by 2013.

    Brookland Arts Walk – Just across from the metro, plans include a high rise residential building including 27 units for artist studio spaces. The studios, galleries and cafes will lead to a public piazza with a fountain. Monroe Street will become the main street for this project and will be renovated to include student-oriented retail like coffee shops, pubs, book stores, etc. Chancellor’s Row – an EYA townhome project – has sold out of the first phase of homes and there are two more phases coming. They’ve been a great hit and are beautifully constructed properties. Ground has been broken all around the Brookland metro and cranes abound.

    Art Place at Fort Totten – A stone’s throw from the Fort Totten metro station at the intersection of South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road will be Art Place at Fort Totten. With a similar focus on artist and cultural space as Brookland, development plans include a Children’s Museum, cultural space, senior center and neighborhood retail like a dry cleaner, gift shop and pharmacy anchored by a grocery store. Additionally, just down the street on South Dakota directly in front of the entrance to the metro is the new DC Community College campus. Construction has just begun and is projected to be entirely complete by 2017.

    All three projects promise to include plenty of affordable housing units targeted to vulnerable populations like senior citizens. All three will undoubtedly permanently change the face of each of these neighborhoods. But what could be lost?

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