For NoMa’s Eastern Half Density Is on the Horizon

For NoMa’s Eastern Half Density Is on the Horizon

New, under-construction, and planned residential and mixed-use buildings along 2nd and 3rd streets NE are poised to bring thousands of residents and tons of retail between Union Station and Union Market over the next several years. From the development will emerge a higher density neighborhood to the east of the railroad tracks, one that rivals or at least complements the dramatic changes already seen to the west in NoMa and along the high-density western edge of H Street.

This article appears in The Hill Rag’s October issue, available at newsstands now.

“The [NoMa] BID has always anticipated that the east-side area is an integrated part of NoMa, vibrant and growing,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, president of the NoMa BID (North of Massachusetts Business Improvement District). “These east-west connections between the east side of the tracks and the west side of the tracks have always been a critical part of the neighborhood’s development.”

As new buildings pop up along 2nd and 3rd streets on industrial or formerly vacant sites, there will also be a natural flow south to north, from Capitol Hill’s northwestern edge to H Street and up to Union Market. “I think 3rd Street is going to be one of the hippest and best streets in the city,” said Tony Goodman, advisory neighborhood commissioner for near northeast and NoMa. “You’ve got historic buildings, new buildings, tons of retail coming in, really good developers and an interesting mix of buildings.”

Goodman sees the growth coming to his community as similar to what happened in Columbia Heights. In Columbia Heights, first came 14th Street with its DC USA mall and more “useful” retail, then 11th Street began to fill in with interesting restaurants and community-serving retail like Meridian Pint or The Coupe.

Unlike Columbia Heights or even nearby H Street, the area poised for growth in NoMa did not have prior residential history, meaning there is little to lament in the loss of vacant lots and industrial sites for the railroad, noted Goodman. “The real change is that it will go from being under-used surface parking lots and industrial land to being really great 21st-century mixed-use development,” said Jasper.
What’s New and on the Horizon?

Station House,701 2nd St. NE (built). Station House is a new 378-unit apartment building that straddles Capitol Hill and H Street. The development by Fisher Brothers and Mack-Cali began leasing its mixture of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in March through Roseland, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mack-Cali. The building includes a 309-spot underground parking garage. The design team was Handel Architects and Hickok Cole Architects.

Uline Arena, 1140 3rd St. NE (under construction). The Uline Arena, under development by Douglas Development, will feature a flagship 51,000-square-foot REI. The project involves gutting the former Uline Ice Arena, where the Beatles played their first US concert, and redeveloping it to include 70,000 square feet of retail, 174,000 square feet of office space, and a new 168-space, four-level parking garage. The project architect is Antunovich Associates.

300 M St. NE. The Wilkes Company proposes a two-phased project at this site, most recently occupied by a surface parking lot often used for Metropolitan Police Department cruisers and a two-story warehouse and office building. The first phase would include about 400 units of residential and more than 10,000 square feet of retail with 187 off-street parking spaces in a below-grade garage. The project architect is Hickok Cole.

200 K St. NE. Toll Brothers recently received permits to begin the first phase of its two-phase residential and ground-floor retail project adjacent to the existing Loree Grand, 250 K St. NE. The Cohen Cos. originally planned the entire project, but after developing the Loree Grand sold the undeveloped section of the site to the Toll Brothers in 2013. Toll Brothers is developing one phase with 296 units, a second with 229 units, and a total of more than 16,000 square feet of retail. There will be 240 spaces in a below-grade parking garage. Designs are by Davis Carter Scott Architects.

Central Armature, 1200 3rd St. NE. The property at 1200 3rd St. NE, home to Central Armature for more than two dozen years, will become a mixed-use development through a partnership of Trammell Crow development and long-time owners, the Dorr family. The project is still in the planning phase but could entail a mixture of residential, retail, and hotel uses.

301 N St. NE. Foulger-Pratt Development recently submitted plans prepared by architects AA Studio to the Historic Preservation Review Board for the redevelopment of and addition to Capital Self-Storage at 301 N St. NE. The proposal calls for ground-level retail use with residential above in the existing structure and construction of an 11-story apartment building to the east and south.

More Is More

The new development under construction or in the works will give even more people a reason to come to NoMa and will add thousands of new residents and workers in the coming years, said Jasper.

Goodman envisions a future where 15,000-20,000 people live in NoMa and tens of thousands of people work and visit. “I think it’s going to be one of the densest residential neighborhoods in the city … the country probably,” he added.

Featured image is a rendering of The Wilkes Company’s 300 M St. NE.

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