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Q&A: Roadside Development’s Richard Lake On What’s Next For Shaw

Q&A: Roadside Development’s Richard Lake On What’s Next For Shaw

Bisnow: When did Roadside start developing in Shaw?
Richard: We bought the O Street Market, which was four acres, in 2001. So we’ve been involved in planning projects in Shaw since late 2000. Our footprint now is big in Shaw and we’re very happy to be playing in that sandbox.

Bisnow: Describe Roadside’s current work in Shaw.
Richard: City Market at O is 80% complete. It will be 1M SF of development, including 640 residential units, with 90 of them affordable housing for seniors, a 182-room Cambria Suites hotel and nearly 100k SF of retail. We’re under construction on the last tower, which is 143 units. We’re also planning a 72-unit condo project at the corner of 8th and O streets, and redeveloping the old Grimke School on Vermont into a residential, retail and community complex.

Bisnow: Describe the Shaw market right now.
Richard: If you look at the boundaries of the city, Shaw is dead center. Unlike other markets, where it’s mostly new construction, Shaw has a lot of existing fabric with rich history and historic buildings. It’s convenient to downtown and has venues like Howard Theatre, Lincoln Theatre, 9:30 Club and the 14th Street corridor, as well as Howard University.

Bisnow: What’s the secret to being successful in Shaw?
Richard: Working with the community and making sure your vision and their vision are aligned. You have to constantly remind yourself that you’re just borrowing the real estate and trying to do great work that lasts longer than us. If the community takes ownership of our developments, then we’ve won.

Bisnow: What will Shaw look like 10 years from now?
Richard: It’ll become more vibrant as more retailers come in. What’s unique about Shaw is that the alleys in Shaw are activated with retailers, they’re not just passageways for cars. We’ll also see more of the historic buildings being converted to retail and residential. What I hope doesn’t happen is that Shaw becomes unaffordable. Shaw is unique because of its collision of affordable housing, new market-rate housing and homeownership. That’s authentic and what makes Shaw so vibrant.

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