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The Northeast D.C. Neighborhood Guide

Commercial development in Northeast Washington, which had stagnated since the riots triggered by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., is back. 

H Street in Northeast Washington

The tentative trickle of investor capital may turn into a steady stream as investors see each other activate the area with master planned mixed-use and render it a destination with retail and restaurants.

The new influx of capital comes from big players with strong presence in other D.C. neighborhoods, like JBG, MRP Realty and Douglas Development. Their teams sensed opportunity in the embattled quadrant and committed to a few, very large-scale endeavors.

“It was a very transitional, low-cost environment because there were no amenities,” JBG principal Andrew VanHorn said.

He said the success of Union Market and NoMa — also in Northeast but much farther along in their development cycles — are positive indicators for Northeast, as are consistent job growth, a robust residential market and interest from high-profile private companies seeking lower rents.

Placemaking efforts by developers can provide the two things Northeast needs: attractive retail and public spaces, which combined can attract people to the area and foster a sense of cohesion.

Northeast would also benefit from enhanced transit and some trophy office space. The latter could entice some prominent corporate tenants, as a significant portion of the existing stock caters to cost-conservative government agencies.