Saturday, January 31, 2009

Get Involved!

Do you have ideas for supporting local businesses or attracting new ones? What types of businesses would you like to see develop in the area?

Get involved and have a say! Join us for an introductory meeting to learn about committees and opportunities to volunteer with North Capitol Main Street, Inc.(

Goals for this organization include:

*To help existing businesses adapt or expand to meet changing markets; and attract new businesses to provide a balanced mix of goods and services

*To create clean, attractive streetscapes that invite commercial activity and promote pedestrian foot traffic

*To increase public safety along the corridor

*To enhance the physical character and quality of the NCMS, Inc. area, with particular emphasis on preserving its Victorian-era buildings

*To generate a sense of spirit and increased activity along North Capitol Street and in the Bloomingdale Business District.

The meeting is planned for Thursday February 5th, 2009 from 7pm-8:30pm at the NCMS office, located at 1703 North Capitol Street NE, WDC 20002. For more information, e-mail Garry Clark, NCMS' Executive Director at gclark @

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 02/01/2009

Have some time before your Superbowl plans? Check out some neighborhood open houses.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Old Firehouse for Sale- updated.

ec-12. nope.
martini 2020. nope.

but now its for sale

1626 North Capitol Street NW, Washington DC 20002

Incredible space! Approx 12,000+ sq ft. This was once the old fire house. Total renovation needed. The first floor is restricted for RESTAURANT use only! All plat, plans, drawings convey with this property. Please call for appt.

i did see a new sign on the old savemore grocery store.
i guess that might be opening soon.

From the eckington yahoo group:
I would like to give the neighborhood an update on the Firehouse restaurant project. Since many people joined this list midstream I will backtrack a little so everyone is on the same page.

Several years ago Nextgen Development was awarded the Firehouse via RFP where we were to be the developer and Mike Benson (operator of St Ex bar and café) would be the operator. Near the end of a year planning stage Mike Benson and his partners dropped out for personal reasons. Over the next 14 Months we met with approximate 20+ qualified operators and while there was interest from many operators, most were frankly afraid to take the chance of opening a restaurant in an untested neighborhood. Near the end of the 14 months we met Twyla Garett of Martini 2020 who upon looking at the site and the neighborhood potential rapidly moved forward to commit to the project. Nextgen proceeded to complete the acquisition and moved forward on the project. Unfortunately for Nextgen Twyla signed that agreement just as the financial mess hit nationwide. As a result four or five months after she signed the agreement the financing she had lined up disappeared and she defaulted on her agreement.

In spite of that default Nextgen made the decision to move forward on the project while we looked for a new operator. We committed to spending between $500,000 and $750,000 of our own funds while we searched for a new operator. (Note: this does not include the $100,000 in interest payments we have made to date while we carry this project) The work performed to date on the site is as follows:

95% completion of the exterior building restoration.

We addressed some environmental issues we became aware of

We completed 90% of the non-structural demo required for the project

We spent $250+k completing the architectural and structural plans.

We initiated structural stabilization of the building

Bid out most aspects of the critical systems so we could move quickly when we find the right operator.

During the time we were doing the above work we have continued to search for operators. While we have gotten close to signing a new operator over 7 times, each time something would surface near the completion of the deal that undid it. I will share two such situations here. One operator we found was in a financial cash position to move forward however one of the conditions they were looking for some nominal help from the city for their first 5 years of operation to make their numbers work.. Unfortunately while we had every indication from the city that this would happen (including legislation being introduced to that effect) however the deteriorating local economy killed the city’s ability to deliver that help in fiscal 2008 and that deal died. Subsequent to that opportunity collapsing we signed a letter of intent with another operator, and started working through the operating agreement, however 1 week after we signed that agreement their financing partner collapsed. (Their financing partner was Lehman Brothers)

During the time we have been have been marketing the space we have gotten a number of operators that expressed interest only if they could purchase the building as part of the transaction. In the past we declined to consider that because we wanted to make sure that we could fulfill our commitment to the community of delivering a restaurant on the first level of the building.

After discussion with several bankers regarding how restaurants are currently being financed we have come to realize that in today’s financial instability that the only likely way that a restaurant will get financing on this type project is if they use the building as collateral to complete the build out. While this was not true in the past the problems banks are having has resulted in it being nearly impossible for any other option.

To that end we have changed our marketing strategy to bring this project to market. Shortly you will see a lease/sale sign appear on the building. This is also being placed in Co-star, Loop net as well as the MLS as a sale/lease. The hope is to bring in an operator that previously might have rejected it because they could not lock in their costs by purchasing part or majority ownership of the project at the time they build-out the restaurant. It may be that we may just become general contractor on this project. Our intent is to still to find a way in spite of the financial environment to try to move this project forward. We are trying to think outside the box to keep this process moving. We have also reached out to the Council members’ office for advice/options also. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Brian Brown

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

next meeting about old sand filtration site

seems the meeting wasnt last weekend........

The Neighborhoods of EYA and Jair Lynch Development Partners.


Invite You To A

Community Presentation on
the Development of the
McMillan Sand Filtration Site

Saturday, February 7, 2009
10:00am to 12:00pm
Trinity University Social Hall
125 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20017

Vision McMillan Partners, the development team for the site, includes:

• Jair Lynch Development Partners
• StreetSense
• The Alexander Company
• Smoot & Urban Service Systems Corporation



Discussion Topics will include:

• Presentation of Revised Concept Plans Based on Feedback from the December 13th Community Meeting at Trinity - Will include Open Space, Historic Preservation, Mixed-Income & Multi-Generational Housing, Community Serving Retail and Restaurants, Job Creating Office Space, Hospitality, and Community, Education, and Cultural Space

• Key Community Issues - Context and Density, Traffic/Smart Growth, Infrastructure, Community Benefits, LSDBE Participation, Job Creation, Sustainable/Green Development, and Other Community Issues

Light Food and Parking Provided

For More Information, Contact:
Vicky Chambers, Office of CM Thomas, at 202- 727- 8204
John Basile, EYA, at 301- 634- 8600

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

donate clothes to help the family displaced by fire in bloomingdale this morning

this is from anc 5C-03 commish stu davenport:

This morning there were 2 large fires in our neighborhood where the families lost almost everything.

I just spoke with Kim Stancil from 11 Randolph NW, and she and her 5 children (three of whom are students at Emery Elementary) were left with nothing but the clothing on their backs.

Most immediately Ms. Stancil and her family need clothes and funds to provide for essential needs. They have housing for the next 3 days through the Red Cross, and she is working with Ted McGinn and Stacy Jackson from Emery to get local and government help. She is also reaching out to local churches and the Ecumenical Council.

I am writing to ask for immediate help from the community.

1. Priority is Clothing
Boy 17 - Size 32W/30L pants, Med Shirt
Girl 15 - Size 16 Pants, 2XL Shirt
Girl 11 - Size 8 Pants, L Shirt
Boy 5 - Size 7 pants, Men's Med Shirt
Boy 4 - Size 6 pants, 6 shirt

2. Financial Assistance
Checks can be made payable to: Ms. Kim Stancil

All items can be left ( or shipped) at the main office of Emery Elementary at 1720 1st Street, NE 20002 (202)576-6034
or the Big Bear Cafe at 1700 1st Street, NW 20001

Thank you all for your generosity and concern.


Stuart Davenport
ANC 5C-03
there were two fires this morning in bloomingdale. sadly, there was one fatality.

article here

a blurb on

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration 2009!

I'm wondering if (this is for you, IMGoph) Bloomingdales would be interested in convening and walking en masse to the Mall on Tuesday? I was thinking we could meet in front of Big Bear and make a festive trek together.

The big question seems to be, "what time to get there?" The reports are that, even for those with tickets, the Mall will be closed off when capacity is reached. This could happen early, so I'm planning to head down in the morning.


Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale scheduled for 01/18/2009

Despite the verrrry cold temperatures (I'm a northern transplant but have become accustomed to wimpy Washington weather), several agents will be braving it to provide public showing opportunites as seen here.

On other neighborhood real estate news, you may recall a post from a while back about those yellow signs announcing 30+ DC properties going to auction. You can see additional information that I posted last week at Prince of Petworth.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

News from NoMa

info from the NoMa BID JANUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER

a restaurant?
NoMa's Courtyard will premiere Marriot's new Central Bistro concept in DC. The lobby design includes a full kitchen with sit-down meal service that is open to the public, as well as grab-and-go options and comfortable lounge seating where guests can catch up on email or have informal meetings with friends or colleagues. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, printers, fax machines, computers, and "media pods" for private meetings or TV viewing, library, and exercise room. Redesigned guest rooms offer flat-panel televisions, large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and king-size beds with plush mattresses, rich linens, and fluffy pillows.

places to grab food
NoMa will soon have two exciting new eateries. Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli and Sister’s Pizza & Mussels will open by the end of the month in the ATF Retail Building just outside the New York Avenue Metro station at 2nd and N Street, N.E. The restaurants will serve customers from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week, and offer delivery service to nearby homes and businesses. They join Pound Coffee and Five Guys Burgers & Fries, which opened in 2008.

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli features such deli favorites as pastrami, corned beef, lox, Reubens, cheesesteaks, roast beef, turkey, and BLT, along with fresh salads, wraps, soups, healthy smoothies, breakfast selections, cheesecake, and other treats. Sister’s Pizza & Mussels, named after founder Steve Naples’ two pizza-loving daughters, specializes in New Jersey-style pizza, calzones, jumbo wings, steamed mussels with various sauces, steamed clams, fried calamari, and even a pizza with mussels and other seafood toppings.

moving buildings

DCMUD has a story about moving an historic building to make room for the large St. Martins low income housing project

Monday, January 12, 2009


Originally uploaded by Scenic Artisan
i have a lot of painted wood in my house that i'd like to strip. these details were easily removable and i used a heat gun on them.
having once had a house burn down that left me homeless for three months ( during that blizzard of 1996.. yeah it freakin sucked.) , i'm totally paranoid about heat gunning piece in place. and i dont want to remove all my trim to do this.

i've used chemical strippers in a former job while refinishing furniture, but i'm not a huge fan of toxins, so i won't revisit that.

i thought i'd try this thing out:

The Silent Paint Remover™ is a high quality tool for removing paint, varnish, adhesive, silicone caulk etc. The tool uses infrared heat to soften paint and varnish adhesive, silicone caulk etc.
more info here:

any one have one ( that i could borrow???) or use one? what did you think?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale scheduled for 01/11/2009

Finally, some good Open House activity! (Of course, next weekend will be a bust again, open house-wise anyway, although I get to take a few days off).

I have two listings open, 70 Rhode Island Ave NW unit 202 and 1605 7th St NW unit 6, on Sunday from 1-4, both under $300,000. The complete list is here.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

North Capitol Street Urban Design & Transportation Study * Now with location

The Office of Planning and the District Department of Transportation, in coordination with the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC), will conduct an urban design and transportation study of North Capitol Street from Michigan Avenue to Hawaii Avenue, NE , and Irving Street/Michigan Avenue from First Street NW to their point of union, approximately one block east of North Capitol Street .

The purpose of the study is to:

1. Develop strategies to improve the gateway qualities of North Capitol Street by including civic spaces, memorials, and enhancing the public streetscapes.
2. Explore alternative intersection configurations for the cloverleaf at Irving and North Capitol Streets and automobile ramps at Michigan and Irving .
3. Develop recommendations for improving safety, connectivity and transportation operations.

The neighborhoods that are included in or are adjacent to this area are: McMillan Sand Filtration site, Washington Hospital Center, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Brookland, Petworth, Eckington, Parkview and Bloomingdale.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Pryzbyla Center
Catholic University of America
Great Room A

North Capitol Street Urban Design & Transportation Study
Public Meeting #1

Monday, January 05, 2009

a dream of a metro stop in bloomingdale

Greater Greater Washington Proposes a North Capitol Red Line branch

though over at DCist Kriston Capps posits
Columbia Heights ought to be at the center of a ring connecting Adams Morgan, Bloomingdale, and H Street NE. Come to think of it, this would invariably come to be known as the Drunk Line.

i'm no urban planner, but i do loves trains and buses to get around town. to me, the more interconnectedness the better.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

blue skies

Neighborhood 007
Originally uploaded by hipchickindc

smart bike

Walking by 7th and T street NW, i noticed a smartbike depot. walking distance from here, so thats cool.

anyone use it?

Bates Area Civic Association, Inc.


The agenda for this meeting will be largely consumed by a planning session for 2009. Please bring your
ideas of speakers, projects and programs
that you would like to see the BACA
sponsor during this calendar year.

Monday, January 5, 2009
Mount Sinai Baptist Church
3rd and Q Streets, N.W.
Rooms 1 and 2
7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

For more information regarding the meeting and/or the Association,
contact J. Berry at (202) 387-8520 or at

Community Update

As we enter into 2009, please know that the Bates Area Civic Association, Inc. acknowledges and sincerely appreciates the contribution of each and every resident to make and keep our community a clean, safe and productive place in which to live, work, worship and rear our children. Indeed, it is our hope that 2009 will be the best year ever for you and your family members.

Holiday Tree Collection Reminder: January 2-17, 2009:
Residents who receive DC trash collection service are encouraged to place holiday trees and other greenery in curbside tree boxes—without ornaments or tinsel—by January 2, 2009. Trees will be picked up during a special two-week collection from January 2 thru 17, 2009. Trees not collected by January 17th should be placed with your regular trash. DPW will collect the trees along with the regular trash, as truck space permits over the following weeks. Residents can also bring trees to the Fort Totten Transfer Station weekdays, between the hours of 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm, and on Saturdays, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, for free tree chipping. Trees collected after January 17th will not be recycled.

Inauguration 2009!
As you know, former Senator Barack Obama will be sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. By conservative estimates, in excess of 4 million visitors are expected to descend upon the District of Columbia to partake in several days of inaugural activities. Given our proximity to the U.S. Capitol and other historic locations that will certainly attract huge crowds of visitors, we thought it particularly significant to let you know that the District of Columbia has a 2009 Presidential Inauguration website that “will assist you in finding information about the events surrounding the 56th Presidential Inauguration, including lodging information, transportation, security measures and closures.” For those of you who have internet capability, this site has all types of information about Inauguration 2009 that you will likely find to be valuable. The website address is We strongly encourage you to pass this information along to your neighbors and friends in the community. Indeed, having an idea of what the city government is doing to prepare for this historic occasion should give you comfort as well as help you and yours to better prepare.

A Special Appeal to Residents of the Bates Area:
We are trying to reach out to as many residents as is possible to come to Monday’s meeting of the BACA. We will use this first meeting of 2009 to set an agenda for organizing ways to act on issues that we are confronted with, such as, but certainly not limited to –
Crime and violence on our neighbors and in our community,
Neighborhood cleanliness and beautification,
Residential Parking Permit Program,
Operation and utilization of charter school facilities,
Traffic calming on our streets, and
Economic development opportunities for North Capitol Street and our other commercial corridors.
We particularly need to hear from those of you who are new to the community and those who have never attended a civic association meeting in the past. Again, whatever your interest or point of view, we would like for your voice to be heard at the meeting, along with a recommendation as to what you believe we can do as a community to squarely address these concerns. The only way that we will make lasting inroads into these problems is for neighbors to come together to address them. You are urged to come to the meeting on Monday and share your thoughts and recommendations!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 1/4/2009

No opens posted for Bloomingdale for this Sunday but a few in nearby Brookland and Eckington can be found here.

Although there aren't any opens scheduled through the MLS, there may well be signs around the neighborhood.

I expect next weekend to be a bit more active for open houses, though, as agents are probably waiting for people to settle in after the holidays.

Washington Post Column on Eckington

"An Urban Neighborhood on the Rise"
By Mary Ellen Slayter
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, January 3, 2009; Page F01

"Those who choose to make Eckington their home say they are drawn by a diverse, friendly community, the solid housing stock and myriad transportation options. "

also included:

BOUNDARIES: Rhode Island Avenue to the north, Florida Avenue to the south, North Capitol Street to the west and Washington Metro's Brentwood Yard to the east

SCHOOLS: Emery Elementary, J.F. Cook Elementary, Shaw Junior High, Dunbar Senior High, McKinley High

HOME SALES: In the past 12 months, 19 condos sold, from $189,000 to $519,000, with a median of $305,000, according to Angela Jones of Long and Foster. There were 59 houses sold, from $167,000 to $599,000, with a median of $355,000. There are 38 houses listed for sale, priced from $127,000 to $719,000. Sixteen condos are listed, from $199,742 to $447,000.

WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE: Big Bear Cafe, Windows Cafe, Howard University, Catholic University, New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue Metro stations, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, many corner convenience stores

WITHIN 15 MINUTES BY CAR: In light traffic, U Street NW corridor, Logan Circle, Brookland, U.S. Capitol, downtown Washington

heres the kind of press Bloomingdales been getting recently.

or the gentrification type posts

Ward 5 Business Council Establishes Tawana Gantt Fund to Assist Victims and Survivors of Jackson Street, NE Fire

Office of Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr.

January 2, 2009


Vicky Leonard-Chambers
202. 727. 8204 (desk)
202. 683. 9053 (cell)
vleonardchambers @

Ward 5 Business Council Establishes Tawana Gantt Fund
to Assist Victims and Survivors of Jackson Street, NE Fire

Washington DC - At the request ofWard 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr., the Ward 5 Business Council has established the Tawana Gantt Fund at Cardinal Bank to assist with funeral arrangements for Tawana Gantt and the five other family members who perished with her in the January 1, 2009 Jackson Street, NE house fire: Ms. Gantt's daughter, Kaniya, age four; Oscar Wilson III, age 11; Joseph Wilson, age 10; Keith Nelson, age 23; and Charles Smith, age 72.

Ms. Gantt, 22, was a dedicated employee in the office of Councilmember Thomas where she worked on constituent service and Ward 5 Business Council issues.

Check may be made payable to the Tawana Gantt Fund and sent to:

Tawana Gantt Fund
c/o Ward 5 Business Council
PO Box 90918
Washington, DC 20090

Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

"Tawana was a hard worker," said Councilmember Thomas. "She had an incredibly cheerful, positive attitude and willingness to lend a hand wherever and whenever needed. We will all miss her."

PSA: North Capitol Street Urban Design & Transportation Study

North Capitol Street Urban Design & Transportation Study

Public Meeting #1

The Office of Planning and the District Department of Transportation, in coordination with the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC), will conduct an urban design and transportation study of North Capitol Street from Michigan Avenue to Hawaii Avenue, NE, and Irving Street/Michigan Avenue from First Street NW to their point of union, approximately one block east of North Capitol Street.

The purpose of the study is to:

1. Develop strategies to improve the gateway qualities of North Capitol Street by including civic spaces, memorials, and enhancing the public streetscapes.

2. Explore alternative intersection configurations for the cloverleaf at Irving and North Capitol Streets and automobile ramps at Michigan and Irving.

3. Develop recommendations for improving safety, connectivity and transportation operations.

The neighborhoods that are included in or are adjacent to this area are: McMillan Sand Filtration site, Washington Hospital Center, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Brookland, Petworth, Eckington, Parkview and Bloomingdale.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Location to Be Determined

For information on the North Capitol Street Urban Design & Transportation Study contact Howard Ways, DC Office of Planning, by phone at (202) 741-5219, or by email at


Howard Ways, AICP

Special Assistant

DC Office of Planning

801 N. Capitol Street, NE

Suite 400

Washington, DC 20002

ph 202-741-5219

fax 202-442-7638

Thursday, January 01, 2009