Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the Gateway to get a lot stronger

gotta love the restored storefronts (although these will be all office)

Envoronmental Design & Construction is majorly expanding their headquarters in Anacostia - a pretty encouraging thing for a developing neighborhood like ours. Although they are already located at the foot of Good Hope (with a consulting office on MLK), they recently began work on their expansion into the two adjacent properties, which will fill out the northwestern corner of Anacostia Gateway (the area one block in every direction from the intersection of MLK and Good Hope).

the site, from Good Hope, as it appears today

The site has two fronts: one on Good Hope and the other along MLK. Because of its location directly on the exit into Anacostia from the 11th Street Bridge, it's highly visible and will really improve first impressions. In the model below, the red brick building is the same as the red brick building above. Although the facade is the only part of that building being preserved, the back will be built to match the historic nature of the site.

future view from the MLK side, with views of their new courtyard

One interesting thing to notice is that the mural cuts off, signaling that the beige building used to extend further into what is now MLK Ave. When the right-of-way was constructed, the building was chopped off and given a new facade, which will be given a facelift as part of this project.

could it have been "Bury's", the same guy as from the corner store at W and MLK?

fortunately EDC plans to save the mural as an interior feature on the section that will be located inside the red brick portion

designed by Rippeteau Architects, the new construction is expected to receive a LEED-Silver certification, and will be completed next year.


Anonymous said...

Any updates on the City Interest projects?

Charles said...

I wish it were restaurant/retail space. but I guess I can't complain with new office space either

Anacostiaque said...

This is great! This should also help to further spruce up the area.

IMO, Capitol Hill 8th St. is a great example of what downtown Anacostia could resemble - in its own unique way. There are some major stores like Dunkin Donuts/CVS. There are also some local joints like the Belgium Breakfast spot. We need a mix to kick things off....

The one challenge is the perceived lack of purchasing power for that type of corridor. Ward 8 has always been considered the bottom of all wards with respect to socioeconomic status and the collective income levels of its residents.

Is this changing enough in Anacostia/Ward 8 where retail and restaurants (i.e., a walkable community) can be supported? I suspect this is one reason why we don't see restaurants and/or retail coming there.

Either we need a major "game changer" or something very unique (preferred) to our area that will bring people from other places over here or we will need more higher income residents to support the higher end develop that we want to come to MLK or Good Hope. These are just my thoughts.

When visitors visit and leave Frederick Douglass house, where do they go to eat? Where else do they go to visit? Of course, if they drive, the Gaylord resorts is not that far south either....

A unique home grown place (like a Ben's Chili Bowl) would be a great compliment to a visit to Frederick Douglass House and/or Anacostia Park on the east side of the river. This could employ Ward 8 residents in the process.