Ramblings . . . .

I really have to take Virginia to task. NoVa is one of the fastest growing areas in the country if not the world. I have seen it evolve from cornfields to high tech in 20 years. Farms are not huge subdivisions. But the county and state refuse to invest in infrastructure. Not only are the roads insufficient but now they are refusing public transit. By refusing to finance the Silver Line, they show just how nearsighted Virginia Government is. A good government needs to plan 100 years into the future. Sure, a roadway may not have that much traffic on it today but in 20 years it will be an essential artery. I am really disappointed in them. Maybe it’s time DC took some of the original land we were granted BACK. Maybe we could use them for a new renovated National Mall. Check out some of the new designs.

DC Govt: Get the new 311 app. Since the Mayor’s hotline has been ineffective, the Mayor has created this app so you can propose problems in your hood. It looks like DC is going to close more schools. I am torn, I think its bad that DSPS is losing schools and worried about what will replace them but happy that the charter school experiments around the city seem to be succeeding.

Biz News: Welcome to Lovely Yogurt on U Street between 10/11th! I stopped by last night and it was delicious. And Pizzarro at 4th / Florida. Is a new Peruvian place going into 7th / Florida behind the old Tropicana space? Tropicana is rumored to be taken over by the former owners of Cafe Nema. I thought this was a Hilton Bros enterprise. It is a great building and any noise would have a limited effect on the neighbors. Darnel’s & Blind Dog Cafe will be hosting a pop up ramen noodle shop on April 29th. Fit to be Tan is coming to 16th & U. Here is an interesting idea: an Urban Outfitters at the union all on 14th between R&S. Congrats to Ginger Root for their expansion plans. Good luck to the builders at the AM/PM market on V & 14th. We are getting a great Italian place in the new YMCA building on V btw 14/13. We can’t wait for the expansion of Sollys at U /12th though we are sad to see MadJet go.

Goodbye for now: The JBG construction of the Louis means that we lose 3 great restaurants: DC Noodle, iCoppi, Stem, and Utopia on U between 14/15

JBG continues it’s mission creep into U Street. They have a new proposal for rental units where the Rite Aid is currently. I think they deserve the right to build there but 90′ is a bit high. It’s better than the 129′ they proposed for the hotel. This is in addition to the proposal for the Metro lots at Florida between 7th & 9th which is still in negotiation with HPRB. Progression Place seems to coming right along but it does have a disturbing Star Wars reference.

I mentioned yesterday that 4 marijuana dispensaries were announced but what I missed was that a permit was denied for one in Shaw, but that could still happen. Also in Shaw, the Shaw Tavern finally earned its liquor license! I look forward to trying it with a glass of wine!

Gripes: How are the bike lanes doing in DC? Closing the sidewalk between T & U on 14th. Wow here is a good example of what the riots did in the neighborhood. Look at 7th & Florida in 1968 and in 2008

Real Estate Note: The Hechts warehouse, visible on New York Avenue, is a possible future location for lofts. It could have great views but what will happen to the warehouses around there? Also do residents have the right to dictate what happens to buildings? Like the lot next to XM on Florida

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Nothing for Sale

Ok you have seen it written about but I am running into more and more anecdotal data. There are not enough houses / condos for sale. I ran into 2 neighbors this morning who were sharing their experiences. One is bidding on their third house – one that never even reached the market – and had a competing bid. They put theirs in 3 hours after seeing the house. This is a nice, well qualified couple who are finding it impossible to find a house. The second case I heard about was the Thompson condos on 10th at V. The 4 newly constructed condos sold out in FOUR DAYS. I also saw that there are no units for sale in my 163 unit building which is extremely unusual for a building that big. I guess I was premature in saying that 2000 new units of housing coming to U Street is too many.

Everything you need to know about Living on U

OK WAY behind but I will try and just list everything you need to know when you live on U Street. I love this site but check out teh cool pic of a car crash at 14th & T streets.

You may have missed it but Mayor Grey wants to extend bar hours in DC 3 an during the week and 4 am on Saturday. Needless to say there is lots of opposition. I guess a plane load of passengers is actually heavier that a Shuttle when piled onto a 747. Has anyone been to the Lincoln Summer home at the Old Soldiers Home? It’s supposed to be cool and  there were several assassination attempts plotted for his trips back and forth. Only 4 spots made the cut as marijuana medical dispensaries in the district but more may be coming. U Street and Shaw did not make the cut closest is K Street. Lots of debate about raising the height limit in DC. I think there are enough people who bought a view who don’t want to see it destroyed by skyscrapers. Does it seem like the  Mayor is doing anything to make up the budget shortfall?

Unfortunately Cab Fares will be going up and as usual the extra fees that the price increase was supposed to eliminate will still be allowed. Supposedly DC has more cabs than any other metro area in the country, why can’t we at least have nice ones…. If you have seen this guy, call the FBI. He is on the FBI top 10 most wanted for child pornography. May he rot in hell. Good news for library users, the daily fine is gone, instead the library is going to a flat fee rate. Have you seen the new car2gos around the city? I have not tried it yet but I see them around a lot.

Unfortunately it seems we have lost Italiano Cafe place at 11th & V. Check out this Ode to Shaw from an ex resident. More later

Latest & Greatest

Check out this picture of 10th & Florida at the turn of the last century. For those of you who love architecture, check out the Ruined Capitol. It has great views of Washington in the past. Here is some interesting footage of the 1968 riots in DC. The Howard had its grand opening Monday and it’s first concert last night. It looks like a fantastic time. Looks like a local deli will be expanding into the former LOVE Cafe location since the Louis has them closing for a year. The Caribbean Festival, a fixed for the past few years on Georgia Avenue will not be returning this year due to outstanding debts to DC Cops despite the City giving them $125k. What do you think of this? CAUSE, a gastropub that donates all it profits to charities. I welcome anyone who donates to charities but think this invites abuse. Contrary to what the Washington Post has written, DC is not becoming a 24 hour town. Orange & Black admit that they do not have the financial incentive to stay open that late.

More later, I have a ton to catch up on.

Population movement

I walk around some of DC neighborhoods in the process of gentrifying and wonder how and why people abandoned the, My old friend used to live in a house in Hartford built by the guy who invented the payphone. It was huge and incredible with a full Tiffany window conservatory. Unfortunately the neighborhood declined and he literally had drug dealers in his front yard. The same goes for DC. Embassies saved some of the big grand houses but there are plenty of other beautiful buildings in neighborhoods abandoned. I wonder what neighborhoods will become the new frontier for ‘pioneers’ looking to gentrify beautiful old homes.

It looks like it will be the exurbs. In recent census data, more people are moving into cities and leaving the suburbs. It will be a long time before they reach the state that many DC properties are in but the trend is away from the commute and grass lawn and more towards walkable neighborhoods.

So future pioneers start checking out the metrostops beyond the beltway for hidden gems but you may be waiting another 50 years for the trend to reverse. I’d rather just buy a condo on U Street…..

Tucker Gallagher, Licensed Realtor, Long & Foster, tuckergallagher@gmail.com, Home: 202-249-2299, Blog: https://ustreetbeat.wordpress.com/

Catch up

Sorry once again. I was swamped last week and did not have time to write. I now have a tone of things to put here so may not comment much.

Shaw Main Streets is having their Gala on April 18th at the Long View Gallery. Looking like Bistro Bohem is doing quite well. I need to stop but and check it out. Check out the new Duke Ellington statue in front of the Howard theatre which is also using an innovative idea of parking cars: reserve a spot when you book tickets. We’ll see what that means for the Lincoln which may be up for sale.  All Souls at 8th & T is having trouble getting a liquor license. The JBG development south of Florida between 7th & 9th was told to start again with more brick in the facade

Don’t forget to VOTE tomorrow. Do you know where? Borderstan can help. As predicted, the Post office at T & 14 will be moving to the Reeves Center at the end of the month. More on the Blind Dog Cafe at Darnells. More on El Rey on U between 9th & Vermont. Reincarnations at 14th / Rhode Island is closing after many years. CONGRATS to Sollys who is expanding next door into Madjet. Here is an interesting debate, should bars be located next to rehab centers? Louis has started its destruction at 14th & U