Huge H Street Corridor Apartment Complex Breaks Ground

by Will Smith

The Flats at Atlas District

Yesterday marked the official groundbreaking of The Flats at Atlas District, a 257-unit apartment building situated at the eastern edge of the H Street Corridor. Originally called Arboretum Place, the massive new complex is expected to accelerate development of what is already a rapidly-changing part of the city.

The Flats sits on Bladensburg Road between Neale and K Streets NE (map). It will be a Class A building with amenities like a fitness center, pool, indoor basketball court, an outdoor lounge with fireplace, and a courtyard. The project will feature studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments that will be available in a range of finishes. There will also be a 5,000 square-foot retail space on the ground floor, where builder Clark Realty Capital hopes to have a convenience store or cafe for residents.

Future site of The Flats

Those familiar with the site where The Flats will be located might find it a curious location for an upscale apartment complex, as it is two blocks northeast of the eastern edge of H Street and across the street from the eastern border of Trinidad. Bladensburg Road at that location is spotted with empty lots, auto service businesses, and a Yum’s Chinese takeout.

At yesterday’s groundbreaking, Mary Ann Henderson, a director with HUD who was instrumental in financing the project, acknowledged the transitional nature of the area, but was also firm in her vision for the future. She compared it to The Ellington on U Street, an apartment project with which she was also involved.

“When we looked at U Street a number of years ago, there were clear signs of positive change in the neighborhood,” she recounted. “We said to ourselves, ‘This is a community we should put some investment into.’” The Ellington is now considered one of the premier apartment buildings in the U Street Corridor, and among commercial real estate insiders it is revered as a grand-slam investment — rents have nearly doubled since it delivered in 2005.

With a cost of $100 million, The Flats is a similarly significant investment in H Street. The neighborhood has already seen tremendous redevelopment in the last few years, economic crisis notwithstanding. Anwar Saleem, executive director of the H Street Merchants Association, noted that over 40 businesses have opened in the corridor since the beginning of 2009, and that attendance at the annual H Street Festival doubled from 15,000 in 2009 to 30,000 this year.

And all that is before the streetcar has even started service, which is scheduled for 2012 and coincides nicely with The Flats’ delivery that spring. As large as it is, the building is only the first phase of what Clark hopes will be a two-phase project. In total, the plans call for over 450 units, so if things goes well, presumably Clark will develop the rest of the available lot adding another couple hundred high-end residences to the area.

See other articles related to: renting in dc, h street corridor, h street, bladensburg road

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/huge_h_street_corridor_apartment_complex_breaks_ground/2619


  1. ?? said at 12:17 pm on Thursday October 28, 2010:

    “The Ellington is now considered one of the premier apartment buildings in the U Street Corridor, and among commercial real estate insiders it is revered as a grand-slam investment — rents have nearly doubled since it delivered in 2005.”

    I didn’t realize HUD changed its mission of helping to support safe and affordable housing for all persons??

    Inform the yuppies, we will get a Pottery Barn and Starbucks nearby.

  1. N18 said at 1:19 pm on Thursday October 28, 2010:

    Actually, HUD’s mission statement is:

    “HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.”

    But that doesn’t make as nice a class warfare slogan, does it?

  1. business on H said at 2:43 pm on Thursday October 28, 2010:

    What in the world is the H Street Merchants Association?  No address, no phone number, no website, no Facebook.
    Do any of the “40 new businesses” that opened in the last two years on H Street belong to Anwar Saleem’s group?  Who does he represent?
    H Street businesses were not notified of this event although that could have easily been done through the ANCs, local blogs, CHAMPS, H Street Business Task Force, Twitter and Facebook. They were conspicuously absent from this important event.  Even the local media didn’t know about it.
    The Flats needs to re-examine their marketing strategy if they’re hooking their wagon to Anwar Saleem.

  1. ?? said at 9:57 pm on Thursday October 28, 2010:

    N18, I think I hit the nail on the head with my abridged version.

  1. DT said at 5:12 pm on Friday October 29, 2010:

    FYI, looks like Mr. Saleem is part of H Street Main Street.  Found via a minute or less of googling.


  1. Tracey Thomm said at 4:49 pm on Friday November 5, 2010:

    Hi All - In an effort to involve community members, merchants, and potential residents in the development dialogue, we’ve launched our property website, http://www.FlatsAtAtlas.com.  The site provides general information about this exciting new addition to the H Street corridor, as well as a contact form (http://www.flatsatatlas.com/Contact.aspx) to reach our development team and receive periodic email updates.
    Renderings, video remarks, development updates, and other up-to-date information for the community can also be found on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FlatsAtAtlas) and via our Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/#!/FlatsAtAtlas). 
    We are excited to be a part of the Atlas District and look forward to engaging with the community.

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