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Developers Propose 300-Unit, Grocery-Anchored Project On Georgia Avenue

A rendering of the proposed Georgia Crossing project

A development team is pursuing a new grocery-anchored mixed-use project on Georgia Avenue, dependent on gaining control of a former firehouse the District owns. 

Neighborhood Development Co. and Marcus Asset Group presented plans to the Brightwood Community Association Tuesday for a mixed-use development, branded as Georgia Crossing, near the intersection of Georgia and Missouri avenues. 

The project is planned to include over 300 apartments, with a portion of them set aside as affordable. It would also include up to 40K SF of retail, including up to 22K SF for a grocery store. 

"The community has been incredibly supportive of what we've had to show them," Marcus Asset Group's Colin Thomas said. "The project can be a transformative one that can add momentum for development in the neighborhood."

The development team owns a series of parcels totaling about 70K SF of land area on both sides of the D.C.-owned Old Engine Company 22 firehouse at 5760 Georgia Ave. NW. D.C. relocated the firehouse last year to the Parks at Walter Reed development, and in March it previewed an upcoming request for proposals for the quarter-acre former firehouse property. 

The proposed Georgia Crossing project would preserve the firehouse's facade, and its feasibility is dependent upon the team winning the RFP and gaining control of the site. D.C. said in March it planned to put out the RFP this summer, but it has yet to be released. 

The team's ownership of the adjacent properties on either side of the firehouse likely gives them an advantage in the RFP process. Monument Realty in July won the RFP for a 1-acre city-owned property in NoMa that sits next to a development site it already owned. 

"We think our development aligns with the city's stated goals, and we're hoping that they see eye to eye with us in helping achieve those goals with this development," said Marcus Goodwin, who joined Neighborhood Development Co. from Four Points this year after running for D.C. Council last year. 

The team has been in talks with potential grocers, and Thomas said Aldi has expressed interest in the project. Because the project would sit in the middle of a block and would preserve the firehouse facade, providing the loading infrastructure for a grocery store could be difficult, Thomas said. But there is precedent for mid-block grocery stores in new D.C. projects, such as the Trader Joe's at the Louis on 14th Street. 

The project would be the first new multifamily development of over 200 units in Northwest D.C.'s Brightwood neighborhood since the Rittenhouse Apartments in 1990, according to CoStar data the development team presented. The site is roughly 1 mile north on Georgia Aveue of the Petworth and Park View neighborhoods, which have experienced significant development in recent years.

"The community agrees with what Mayor Bowser's administration has set forth — that great corridors like Georgia Avenue should be emphasized with more retail investment and housing opportunities," Goodwin said. "We know that the high traffic along Georgia Avenue makes it an attractive corridor for retailers."