Sunday, July 13, 2008

the new downtown

if you aren't prepared to see the big bold plans for what is coming to those massive parking lots and warehouses along and behind MLK Avenue, you might want to click the Back button now. What you are about to see is will completely transform the look, feel, and life of downtown Anacostia as we know it.

these plans (Click Here for description) by Four Points LLC and the Curtis Companies are from their PUD application, which is available for public viewing at the department of zoning. The developers are seeking approval for approximately 855,000 square feet of offices, 500 residential units, 165,000 square feet of retail, an eight- to 10-screen movie theater, and a grocery store.

Click on images to view larger

aerial of site, Now:

aerial of site, Future:

notice the realligned V Street!

general building uses:

ground-floor retail:

At present, the development is planned to happen in two phases. The first phase includes everything south of W Street, and the second phase will involve everything north of W, including the demolition of the existing Anacostia Professional Buildings.

phase 1:

The Buildings

Note: architectural drawings are conceptual, and the final designs for each building will likely be shopped out to separate architects after zoning approval.

corner of MLK and Chicago Street:

and in its place, residential over retail:

just south of MLK & W now:

and in a few years, offices over retail:

the same location, but looking south from W Street:


between Shannon Place and Railroad Ave, from W:

and in the future, offices over retail:

this building is the proposed location of a grocery store, which would likely be on two levels

same location, but from Railroad Ave looking east:

unfortunately it is physically impossible to stand far enough back for some of these shots to be completely accurate


corner of Railroad Ave and public alley just before Chicago Street:

planned for residential over parking and retail:

current view from Shannon Place, looking east:

future, all-residential building:

this warehouse, now home of the MPD's Evidence Warehouse:

redeveloped into office space:

from Chicago Street looking north:

new townhouses will be located on an alley just behind those houses:

And some interesting perspective renderings...

looking down MLK from intersection with Pleasant St:


and looking down W Street from MLK:

the same view, Future:

notice the relocated Big Chair

The project has been submitted to zoning, where the general concept is awaiting approval. Clearly this is a huge undertaking, and I will stay on top of any and all public meetings or opportunities for comment as this moves forward.


Urban_Architect said...

Thanks for the information! This is very exciting.

IMGoph said...

big question: are they going to get all those power and cable lines buried or not?

daplushman said...

When are we going to have Verizon FIOS on this side of town??

Damien said...

I think this is going to be great for Anacostia. I can't wait to see what it will look like once all the changes take place.

The only unfortuate thing about change like this is that it does push some people out of the area. I hope all of the residents will be able to stay and enjoy the benefits of the redeveloped Anacostia!

ward8sown said...

This is great news! I hope Elenor Holmes Norton looks at this and rethinks her position on St Eves west. The DOHS hqtrs is a terrible idea. Just think if we applied the Curtis bros/Poplar Point philosophy to St eves! Southeast would be one of the hottest destinations in the country.

Matthew Mann - Pittore said...

Developing is great, but do they HAVE to make it look like Clarendon?!

AnacostiaQUE said...

This is great. Big Chair to the rescue!

DCEmily said...

I'm glad Anacostia will be experiencing some improvements, but I am not thrilled with what the plans look like. As someone else mentioned, it is reminiscent of Clarendon (and many other NOVA neighborhoods). I hope they retain some of the uniqueness that makes Anacostia so special.

What are you talking about? said...

Yah, it would be horrible if Anacostia became anything like Clarendon, which has been a national model for smart growth and become one of the most sought after places to live in the metro area. They should definitely retain some of the old warehouses and run down housing stock. Developing new, energy efficient buildings designed for the 21st century would be terrible. They need to mix in some dilapidated housing in there too. Maybe it could be like that old Saturday Night Live skit where they spoof a luxury car commercial with a car that is rusted and dented on the outside, but with a state of the art interior.

Anonymous said...

This is extremely exciting. But as Matthewman said, the best part of Anacostia is the fact it still has the skyline, open space and views without big ugly brick buildings blocking the water. But, like the poster "What are you talkg.." said, these buildings can only improve downtown compared to those wire gated empty parking lots and the dilapidated apartment buildings. I welcome the evolution.

DCEmily said...

That's exactly what I meant - I really hope they keep the run-down buildings and the unused land. There is absolutely no option other than keeping it the way it is and recreating a NOVA suburb.

Come on now.

Matthew Mann - Pittore said...

It doesn't have to look like NOVA to look like progress. I don't like the "off the shelf, Crate and Barrel architecture" that serves as revitilization in other parts of our city. Especially in the case of Anacostia, which is such a historically relevant area, whose relevance,in part, is expressed through its architecture.
Besides, these designs are sooooooo 2001.

Anonymous said...

Read the post:

"Note: architectural drawings are conceptual, and the final designs for each building will likely be shopped out to separate architects after zoning approval."


Anonymous said...

Anacostia will transform into a community of young socially conscious professionals as well as retain the current residents who are invested in living in a great neighborhood. Do the architects even communicate with the residents to see what we would like? I pray that is nothing like the big Robotron Salvation Army building.

How do we as residents communicate our vision to the guys with the big bucks?

Anonymous said...

oh Damien...with the way this game of residential musical chairs has been in play.....the current residents will be so far removed from this area before the paint dries in the last condo built.

Anonymous said...

"Anacostia will transform into a community of young socially conscious professionals as well as retain the current residents who are invested in living in a great neighborhood. "

Is it possible to transform Anacostia for the better while keeping many of the current residents? It would be easy to conclude that Anacostia is in the shape it is in because of the current residents. They are the ones that litter, commit crime, and have made the area unlivable for decades.