A Development Grows in Brookland

by Michele Lerner

Brookland was once known as “Little Rome” for its Catholic connections, but as it becomes a mecca for artists it may need to change its nickname to “Little Florence”. To accompany Abdo Development’s Arts Walk, which is slated to begin construction in 2011, the Northeast DC neighborhood will also see the arrival of Brookland Artspace Lofts, a four-story, 57,000-square foot arts campus to be built on Eighth Street SE.

Brookland Artspace Lofts will have 41 affordable apartments all reserved for artists. The complex will include a dance and music rehearsal studio with some space reserved for Dance Place, a modern dance arts and education organization that is in the process of renovating their theatre space on Eighth Street. The Brookland Studios, a warehouse where artists can currently rent work space, will be razed to create room for Artspace Lofts.

Rendering of Brookland Artspace Lofts

Hickok Cole Architects designed the new building, which will include a green roof and a mosaic tile installation by community volunteers. The Lofts will have open interiors, performance areas, underground parking and wide hallways with oversized elevators so that large art can be transported easily within the building. The majority of the units will be available to artists in households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income. Groundbreaking is set to take place on April 9th, with construction on the housing phase expected to complete by July 2011.

Abdo Development’s Arts Walk project is a slightly more ambitious plan that will include construction of 27 art studios and a public square with retail space for smaller shops, cafes and restaurants. Several hundred residential units will also be built on the nine-acre site located along Monroe Street and Michigan Avenue within walking distance of the Brookland Metro station. The plans are meant to create a pedestrian-friendly community with amenities that will serve the needs of college students at Catholic and Trinity Universities, local artists and Brookland residents. Abdo Development is donating money to support community programs in Brookland, including Dance Place.

New development in this neighborhood does not end there. Additional homes will be available when presales start later this spring at Chancellor’s Row, an EYA development of 237 town homes near the Brookland Metro station. These four-level homes will open for sales in May, with homes ready for move-in during the spring or summer of 2011. They will be priced in the $400,000’s and include a loft level with a rooftop terrace with an optional indoor/outdoor fireplace.

Brookland’s reputation as a sleepy little secret village may change once all these developments are complete. Artist studios and an eclectic mix of retail shops and restaurants will naturally bring more attention and visitors to this part of town.

See other articles related to: eya, brookland, abdo

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_development_grows_in_brookland/1831


  1. Les said at 12:24 pm on Wednesday March 3, 2010:

    This area is NOT called Brookland. It’s called Edgewood. It’s cheaper to live in Edgewood than in Brookland. Catholic University has just given its students immediate notice who live in the dorms where the Abdo development will be constructed to find housing elsewhere for the Fall. In the meantime the Brookland Community will be holding a meeting March 13 with Harriet Tregoning of the Office of Planning to discuss this project and others around the Brookland Metro stop. Clearly, somebody’s not happy with the density all this housing is going to create!

  1. Fred said at 2:29 pm on Sunday May 16, 2010:

    I have lived in the Brookland neighborhood for five years.  (Okay, my street is where Woodbridge starts if you want to get technical!)  I would welcome change to this neighborhood, if it means having more to walk to than CVS and Subway.  Especially with the added support of the Arts community…that’s a great thing.  We have adequate roads, buses, and a metro stop to handle more people.  While some might not be happy with this development, I imagine there are more people (like myself) who will welcome this change.

  1. Sandra said at 3:40 pm on Monday August 23, 2010:

    As another Brooklander who eagerly awaits more services and retail options nearby, I cannot wait for the Abdo development to be complete—DC does not really have a traditional “university district” anywhere, with cheap foreign eats (burritos, Indian, Thai,Iindonesian, health food—think Berkeley!), bookstores, art supplies, yoga studios, all the traditional university town stuff.  And God knows, we nowhere need that stuff so much as in Edgewood/Brookland/Woodridge.  It should be good for Brookland, and good for D.C.

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