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The Difference A Decade Makes: Images Show Rapid Growth Of 7 D.C. Neighborhoods

The growth of commercial development in D.C. over the last decade has made some neighborhoods nearly unrecognizable. From H Street to Shaw to the waterfront, many of the most bustling commercial corridors in D.C. today had little to no development as recently as 10 years ago. Comparing the earliest archived Google Maps Street View images with the most recent ones, Bisnow took a look at seven neighborhoods that have undergone drastic transformations. 

H Street

The view down H Street NE from the Third Street intersection in June 2008 and June 2017

H Street, a once-thriving corridor that was destroyed by the 1968 riots, has just re-emerged as a booming area over the last decade. The opening of new restaurants and bars on the eastern edge near the H and 13th Street intersection, such as The Argonaut, Granville Moore and the Rock and Roll Hotel, brought retail traffic back to the corridor, and then larger developments on the western edge near Union Station brought new residents and grocery stores.

The 215-unit, Giant-anchored 360 H apartment building, built by Steuart Investment Co., delivered in 2013, and Capital City Real Estate completed a 25-unit condo building across the street in 2015. Large-scale development then moved down the corridor to the 600 block, where Insight Property Group in late 2016 delivered The Apollo, a 431-unit Whole Foods-anchored apartment building. 

Across the street from that, Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners completed the 307-unit Anthology building in 2016. The development wave is now continuing down the corridor with the Avec, Rappaport and WC Smith's 419-unit mixed-use building under construction between Eighth and 10th streets. 


The view down M Street NE in NoMa, near the First Street intersection, in November 2007 and July 2017

The rapid growth in D.C.'s NoMa neighborhood began after the opening of the NoMa/Gallaudet Metro station in 2004 and has been largely driven by government agencies, both federal and local. The one building visible in the November 2007 image was developed on spec by Stephen A. Goldberg Co. in late 2006 and was then leased by D.C. Public Schools and the D.C. Department of the Environment in late 2009.

The federal government brought 1,100 employees with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2007, and has since leased large blocks of space for the Department of Justice, Federal Election Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Peace Corps

The DOJ and Peace Corps leases were at Constitution Square, the massive complex Stonebridge Carras developed with four office buildings, the last of which is currently under construction, and the 643-unit, Harris Teeter-anchored Flats 130 apartment building at the corner of First and M streets NE. Flats 130, built in two phases in 2010 and 2013, has been followed by the development of a host of new apartment buildings with thousands of units. The 469-unit building on the opposite corner of the First and M intersection was built in 2012 and acquired the next year by AvalonBay, which last year delivered a 438-unit building next door.

Several other apartment buildings have been developed and are currently under construction in NoMa and the nearby Union Market area, and the neighborhood is also experiencing a growing condo market. 


Shaw's Florida Avenue NW and Eighth Street intersection in September 2007 and July 2017

Shaw, the Northwest D.C. neighborhood south of Howard University that includes much of the U Street corridor, has seen rapid development over the last five years thanks to The JBG Cos., now JBG Smith. The developer in 2015 delivered The Shay, a two-building project on Florida Avenue straddling Eighth Street with 245 units and a host of high-end retail offerings.

Also in 2015, JBG delivered the first two buildings of the Atlantic Plumbing development, one block north of The Shay. Next to the popular 9:30 Club, Atlantic Plumbing's first phase featured 310 apartments, 62 condos and 22K SF of ground-floor retail anchored by a Landmark Theaters

JBG Smith is now developing the next phase of Atlantic Plumbing, which will include two 10-story residential towers totaling 256 units connected by a walking bridge above a pedestrian-friendly woonerf street. Also in Shaw, Monument Realty is building a 69-unit condo project next to the historic Howard Theatre, and Ditto Residential is planning a 126-unit apartment building at Seventh Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. 

14th Street

The view down 14th Street NW from the U Street intersection in July 2009 and July 2017

JBG was also responsible for much of the large-scale multifamily development on the bustling section of 14th Street NW near the U Street intersection. The corridor, which was also ravaged by the 1968 riots and then became a red light district, has emerged in the last decade as one of D.C.'s top dining destinations. Many of the restaurants are in low-rise buildings, but 14th Street has seen a good deal of new mid-rise apartment buildings fetching some of the highest rents in the city.

Near the 14th and U intersection, JBG in 2014 delivered Louis at 14th, a 268-unit, Trader Joe's-anchored apartment building. Across the street, Madison Investments in 2016 completed the 56-unit Elysium Fourteen apartments. The Harper, a 144-unit micro-unit project from Level 2 Development, delivered one block south of that in 2014.

Two blocks south at 14th and S streets NW, JBG in 2013 completed The District, a 125-unit apartment building with Ted's Bulletin in the ground floor. 

Capitol Riverfront

The view down M Street SE from the Half Street intersection near Nationals Park in November 2007 and August 2017

Some of the development on M Street in Capitol Riverfront had already begun by 2007, given the anticipation of Nationals Park's 2008 opening. But since then, the neighborhood has experienced substantial growth in multifamily, office and retail development. Monument Realty and McFarlane in 2013 delivered the 276K SF office building at Half and M streets SE, anchored by the D.C. Department of Transportation. The Homewood Suites across the street, developed by an affiliate of Englewood LLC, was completed in 2016.

The Half Street corridor leading up to the Nats Park remains largely under development, with JBG Smith and Jair Lynch constructing major mixed-use projects on either side. JBG earlier this year completed the 1221 Van apartment building just north of the ballpark, the latest apartment delivery in the multifamily boom that is bringing thousands of units to all corners of the neighborhood.

Capitol Riverfront has also grown its office market in recent years, with the National Association of Broadcasters in 2015 deciding to move from Dupont Circle and with Skanska drawing office tenants from other parts of town to its 99 M spec development. 

Southwest Waterfront

The view down Maine Avenue from Seventh Street SW in August 2007 and November 2017

The transformation of D.C.'s Southwest Waterfront had been in the works for over a decade, but was just finally unveiled in October with the grand opening of Phase 1 of The Wharf.

The first phase of the 24-acre waterfront site brought 1.4M SF of development online all at once. It features three hotels, two office buildings, two apartment buildings, two condo buildings, three live music venues and over a dozen restaurants and retailers. It also has outdoor public spaces along the waterfront spanning the entire development and four piers jutting into the water. 

The Wharf brought in crowds of people to see the revitalized neighborhood in the weeks after its opening, and the buzz around the waterfront only increased when the warm weather came this spring.

The transformation is only half complete. The Wharf's 1.2M SF second phase will feature three office buildings, a hotel and a residential building, plus plenty of retail and outdoor space. The Hoffman-Madison Waterfront development team hopes to break ground on Phase 2 by year-end. 


The view down Monroe Street NE near Michigan Avenue in October 2007 and July 2017

Brookland, a largely residential Northeast D.C. neighborhood next to Catholic University, has seen major development on its Monroe Street commercial corridor. The growth has taken place over the last five years thanks to Monroe Street Market, a mixed-use project from Bozzuto, Abdo Development and Pritzker Realty.

The first phase of Monroe Street Market completed in 2013, and it now features 562 apartments, 45 townhouses and 57K SF of retail. Its food and beverage offerings include Busboys and Poets, Brookland Pint, Chipotle, &Pizza and Fox Loves Taco. The development's outdoor public plaza, lined with artist studios, hosts the neighborhood's farmers market. 

The Monroe Street Market team in April filed plans for the project's final phase, a 156-unit project with 23K SF of retail on the southeast corner of the Monroe Street and Seventh Street NE intersection. Five blocks east, Brookland has experienced a growing restaurant scene on its other major commercial corridor, 12th Street. A planned 220-unit development that would serve to bridge the two corridors has been stalled by more than five years of zoning appeals.