Hood Happenings…..

Real Estate? Whats new? While rates remain near record lows, Urbanturf predicts that rates could go as low as 3.4%, right now they are 3.95% so if you haven’t yet, you better refinance. If you are selling, sales volume has been better than expected in DC which is proves the positive market.

An interesting new study shows that 24% of DCers are paying more than half of their income for housing – 2% rise from 2008. The old formula used to be a quarter to a third of income should go towards housing but the recent recession and economic hardships has caused that to go up..

Looking for an up and coming neighborhood?  The new “Fight Club” building at 9th / N will be pretty hot when it delievers. With the new CityMarket at O and the eastern Mt Vernon building boom that area will do well. Borderstan

AND…. Matchbox construction continues quickly, so we ‘ll see if they can make an August opening. The Howard Theatre nears its opening in April. DCist has a list of upcoming dates. PoP  In Shaw DCist Just look at the view of Progression Place as it goes up on 7th.

Funny article on neighborhood bloggers. It’s hysterical and I am sure if you subscribe to a condo or neighborhood list serv you will identify the players. Interesting to note that while the population of Washington increases, the number of cars has not which says something for car sharing and public transport. On the topic of transport, Metro is switching it’s buses to alternative energy. I was surprised to see that Alt fuels do not get better gas mileage, but they do have fewer emissions.

BTW thanks to my neighbor checking to make sure I’m alive after hearing about the big accident on U Street. Several sources reported on the Capitol Bikeshare  rider who was hit this morning at U and 11th. I hope he / she is OK. Borderstan PoP

On Crime, a woman was stabbed outside Bistro Tabaq on Saturday which has resulted in its closure by ABRA. I hope this is only temporary,

A new blog I’m following, We Love DC has a rundown on the best bar food in the area. U Street did quite well!

 

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More posts!

I was red hot last week for the first time since before Christmas so I hope I am not annoying. Speaking of hot, and I am hoping I don’t jinx it, we have not really had a winter. It’s been so moderate. Maybe that’s why we are 24th in the US for snow. We are at only 17% of what we normally get.

So I am always complaining that we don’t have a grocery store. I still want one, but here is an idea: Peapod is copying a Korean idea, where they set up a virtual shop inside a subway  stop. Customer scan what they want in an app and then send to Peapod. Peapod then delivers later in the day, It’d good for those who need to be motivated to shop….

Business: Lovely Yogurt is coming to U Street between 10th & 11th as previously announced but let’s hope it comes before HOT! Aroma Cafe, U Btw 13/14, has closed. 😦

More details on the Howard Theater opening in April including pictures from back in the day.

OK I am all for unique names BUT do you really have to be so blatant as to promote to Hipsters? Avalon is trying for the Urban and Hipsters as their target market but given how sterile someof their buildings are, isn’t that the antithesis of Hipster?

Did you know that DC ranks #1 in martial infidelity on Ashley Madison? There are 38k registered users on the site in and around DC. But did you know that most users log on when travelling? DC being the convention and business town that it is, I am sure not all the 38k live here.

OK always save your work…..and Louis

I had a 3 page blog entry last night which of course didn’t upload and didn’t save. Lost it all so I am going to try and re-creative it.

The Louis (pronounced Louie as in Armstrong) has finally been announced. The building will have 268 units for rent, not condo, and 150 parking spaces, 40 of which will be reserved for retail outlets in the building (Perfect for a grocery store!). The residential part will have many conveniences so not low end: rooftop pool, 24 hour concierge, roof BBQ, gym, etc. BorderstanDC MudUrbanTurf:

The design is a little more neighborhood friendly than the last design we saw. The building will have more brick and wings to it and the roof looks great with lots of amenities like the Ellington.

The worst news is that the restaurants on U will have to close for a year while building starts. They are expected to break ground next week and will start renting in mid 2013.

As for the rest of the many things I commented on, I think they may be lost but I will try and add them into other posts.

 

 

Goings on…..

I noted this when i heard the proposal and WAMU is now covering it. The Black Family Reunion mural at the corner of Florida and U Streetwill disappear behind a 6 story building later this year. It’s been there for 25 years: http://wamu.org/programs/metro_connection

http://www.meridianhilldc.org/home/2012/1/28/wamu-story-on-the-black-family-reunion-mural.html

Here is a concept that AARP has been pushing in DC and looks like Mt Vernon is implementing. The concept of a Village has been used to raise children (thanks Hillary), now they are taking it to the other end of aging. The Village idea lets people in a given area share resources or ideas and look after each other. Check it out: http://lifein.mvsna.org/index.cfm/2012/2/7/A-Mount-Vernon-Square-Village

The Park Service is having a meeting tonite (Feb 22) on the future of the Carter G Woodson building on 9th just south of Rhode Island. I am hoping they come up with a plan appropriate to the future growth in the neighborhood:  http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/umACs/~3/rcyd_FCVT5A/tonight-nps-woodson-site-public-meeting.html

Two quick plugs for U Street

I have office duty tonite so I’ll be doing a big post but since I’ve been violating my rule to post everyday I thought I’d include 2 quick plugs:

1. Thursday March 8th at 7pm The U Street Neighborhood Association will be hosting a Meet and Greet with all the candidates for the At Large City Council Seat. We have 5 of the 6 candidates so please come meet them and bring your questions. The meeting will be upstairs at the Source Theater 1835 14th Street NW(Btw S & T, U Street Metro). I’ll be moderating with a stopwatch so please stop by it will go no later than 8pm.

2. U Street Movie Series – I have been put in charge of the U Street Movie series for this summer. We are shooting for 4 movies from May to August. If you want to help us raise money (all proceeds go to the Harrison Rec Center on V Street) and choose the movie, come to our first meeting on Wed Feb 29th at 7 pm at the Saloon, 1205 U Street (@12th)

Still catching up but . . .

U Street Dirt has an interesting article comparing DC to Detroit. His blog posts are always thoughtful and thought provoking if I don’t always agree. This week he compares DC’s current boom to the boom years of Detroit 50 years ago. While I agree with his conclusions I am not sure if the comparison is apt. DC is a one industry town yes – government and its hangers on – but it is an industry that will need a fundamental change in work practices to wane. Unless Ron Paul is elected and starts dismantling the federal government – entirely possible for some Republican voters – DC will remain the seat of government and a necessary city.

Building on Dirt’s idea of booming, I would say the city went through what Detroit did and is now coming out of a malaise. After the 1968 riots, downtown was almost abandoned. It was not until the 1980s that downtown was rebuilt which is why you can see in all the 1980s architecture. U STreet did not come back until the late 1990s.

I think DC is benefiting from the continuing re-urbanization of America. If you don’t have kids, why do you need to live in an

First a plea……

As part of my duties with the U Street Neighborhood Association, I will be organizing this summer’s film series in Harrison Park. If you are interested in helping to pick the movies and organize, please leave a comment below and I will contact you with the details of our meeting on Wed Feb 29. We are building on a lot of great work by Jon Kardon so it should be a lot of fun. Second point, I am doing this at my real estate office with a really old version of explorer so I have to insert all the links instead of hyperlink pages. Please be patient. BUT there is lots going on….. 

Real Estate: For those of you reading this blog from outside the neighborhood wishing they could move into the neighborhood, here is Borderstan’s selection of the cheapest properties around: http://www.borderstan.com/02/the-10-least-expensive-logan-circle-homes/

Building? DC has the second highest level of construction activity in the country.  http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanTurf_DC/~3/86S28dcekB0/5149 It’s not a surprise if you look out over the city and see a dozen huge cranes building the new City Center, Homeland Security at St Elizabeths, etc. Urbanturf also dubs 9th Street as the new “It” zone.http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanTurf_DC/~3/ea-w_RkmxDw/5112

 I think it will more likely be closer to us: CityMarket at O,  and all the buildings on 14th Street.  http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2012/02/today-in-pictures-citymarket-at-o.html

While I’m on 14th, the ugly building at 1728-36 14th Street is up for sale. I have to saty I have no idea what purpose this building served. It looked like a urban monastery. It coudl house another 65 condos! http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanTurf_DC/~3/MD2fbAAL_D0/5146

On newly built construction, the U Street Town Residences at 1900 Vermont will have an open house this weekend. It seems a bit over priced and over built for the neighborhood but I’ll be stopping by on Saturday to check them out: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanTurf_DC/~3/MD2fbAAL_D0/5146

Anyone dying to live in a converted church (which has always be a fantasy of mine) should look at the Church at 13th & Irving. It’s on sale for a paltry $1.2 Million which is half what they were asking for it in 2008! http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/church-at-13th-and-irving-st-nw-for-sale-again/

Looking to rent on U? PoP has a rental option near 17th but it seems kind of dark: http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/thurs-afternoon-rental-option-u-street-2/

So the media (http://www.borderstan.com/02/competitor-to-bens-chili-bowl-stirs-up-spicy-discussion/ WTOP was playing it up too not just Borderstan) has been playing up that a former employee of Ben’s Chili Bowl is opening up another hot dog joint on H Street near where Ben’s is opening its first franchise. Battle of the hot dogs!  The Ex is saying he wants to expand the menu. I think the reason Ben’s does so well is that its a DC institution that draws lots of tourists. H Street locations would not be drawing tourists…..

Exciting news! To follow up on yesterday’s article about the new Howard Theater, they have announced Wanda Sykes will open the venue on April 13th! Some may remember Wanda filmed a comedy special at the Lincoln a few years ago so it’s good to have her back: http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/wanda-sykes-to-headline-opening-of-howard-theatre-april-13/

Business news: The Pig, coming to 14th street,  will serve vegetarian options though I am not sure how many vegetarians woudl want to go to a place clled the Pig. http://www.borderstan.com/02/yes-the-pig-will-have-vegetarian-options/ 

Nearby, the District rentals will have a Southeast Asian restaurant from the owners of Estadio. I hope they have take out for the renters upstairs: http://www.borderstan.com/02/estadio-proof-owner-bringing-southeast-asian-cuisine-to-14th-street/

Italy Pizza is now serving coffee whcih they have piled in the window. Hopefully its a yummy Italian expresso blend: http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/italy-pizza-now-serving-coffee-in-shawledroit-park/ 

Yummy! While the I Scream shop on U/13th (formerly Maggie Moos), is debating whether to convert to a liquor store, we will be enjoying a new frozen yogurt place behind Bohemian Caverns formerly a clothing store: http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/frozen-yogurt-coming-to-1017-u-street-nw/

Local Art: Has anyone seen the new mural at 7th & Florida? I walked by last night and didn’t see it: http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/new-mural-going-up-on-florida-ave-nw/ Thanks to the artist who put up the pictures on the former future Utopia buildings on 14th south of U. http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/02/serious-street-art-on-14th-st-nw/

For the ‘Mos in the crowd, an interesting tidbit. Apex, (Nee Badlands), is reopening as a Lesbian Bar! The bar / disco of 1980s fame at P and 23rd went out of business last summer. Phase 1, formerly the only lesbian bar in DC located down near the Marine barricks on 8th Street SE, will be moving into the new space. I wish them well.http://www.borderstan.com/02/phase-1-in-dupont-opens-this-weekend-in-former-apex-location/

Sad news: The Mid City Business Association is going “dormant” The MCBA which organizes the Dog Days festival in August every year has been having problems financing itself. A few board members are going back to the drawing board to come up with a feasible business model for the association: http://www.borderstan.com/02/midcity-business-association-goes-dormant/

Good Idea: Check your voter status in the District. Since we are already disenfranchised, you better make sure that your vote counts when you do cast it: http://feeds.gothamistllc.com/click.phdo?i=edd959cd4bc085863eac6d1ea74d80f8

Interesting concept: Living Social, the DC based deal aggregator, has opened up a storefront where they can offer classes and host events. It’s at 9th & F: http://feeds.gothamistllc.com/click.phdo?i=8342d72a44c6c79f82d7651f4762b945

Also interesting: H Street will get performance parking. $.75 per hour during the day and $2.00 per hour at night with residents excepted: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=13747

Proud Fact: Despite having super long commutes, DC is third in Public Transportation use: http://feeds.gothamistllc.com/click.phdo?i=c40bf190cf398cbb8b4fa6db4d2bdb4c

Teaser for next month: U Street Nghbd Assn is hosting a meet & greet with all the candidates for the At Large City Council seat. It’ll be 7 pm on Thursday, March 8th at the Source Theater. Read up on Sekou Biddle: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=13701

Also…. DC may be tempted to move the Redskin training camp from Ashburn to a new development near the waterfront in DC: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=13746