The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited

by Shilpi Paul

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 1

In 2010, UrbanTurf reached out to a selection of bloggers, journalists, real estate agents and developers to give us their thoughts on what unsung DC neighborhood would be attracting homebuyers in 2015. Two years later, we decided to check in with the same group to see if they still agree with the choices they made in 2010.

Below you’ll find their thoughts from 2010, followed by their current opinions.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 2
Historic Anacostia

Historic Anacostia

By Nate Guggenheim, real estate agent with Washington Fine Properties


I think that the most overlooked part of the city and the one that will offer a true opportunity to the investor and the pioneer alike (over the long term) is the historic portion of Anacostia. I am talking about the lettered and numbered streets of the 20020 zip code. Where else, within minutes of downtown, with absolutely gorgeous views of the city is it possible to purchase a three-bedroom house (detached and in good condition) for well below $250,000? What could be the perfect real estate storm exists: proximity to public transport, a decent zoning plan with commercial near enough to residential, public parks and pools, easy access in and out of the city and a generally quaint form of architecture that would appeal to many. It is far riskier than a Petworth or LeDroit, but the upside potential could be huge and a movement towards the other side of the Anacostia River could lead to great things for the city as a whole. Call me crazy…perhaps 2025.


I will hold my ground that Anacostia and the historic areas, in particular, represent a potential long-term gold mine for real estate investors. Year over year, the numbers have shown statistically relevant gains in average and high sales prices. From January to June 2011, the highest sale for fee-simple homes in the 20020 zip code was $385,000 and the average sales price was $174,089. In the same period this year (1/1/12-6/1/12) the highest sale was $430,000, and the average sales price was $186,690. This is a gain on average of just over 7%, which is much greater that national or local averages.

I don’t know that the area will have the same cachet that U Street and Logan Circle have gleaned in recent years, yet the potential for growth is unquestionably there. 2015? I don’t know. Certainly soon though.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 3
Mount Pleasant Street

Mount Pleasant Street

By Lydia DePillis, author of Housing Complex at the Washington City Paper


I know, Mount Pleasant is not exactly a marginal area at the moment. But think about the contrast between how the demographics of the neighborhood have changed and how much its central artery has stayed the same: Small Salvadoran restaurants and shops with odds and ends, not much in the way of nightlife beyond the Raven, and a surplus of vacant storefronts. In part because landlords still insist on charging unrealistically high rents, it’s nowhere near the kind of vibrant commercial avenue that the young, increasingly affluent population could support. Various plans have circulated to revitalize the strip, but agreement has been elusive, and none have come to fruition.

I’m going to go ahead and project, however, that within the next five years, demographic pressures will overwhelm the malaise. A streetscape plan will widen sidewalks enough for healthy pedestrian traffic, the success of places like Dos Gringos will attract a few more high-quality restaurants, and the rebuilding of the fire-ravaged Deauville apartments will fill a hole that has haunted the strip for two years. With some work, the small businesses that have stayed for years will survive and prosper as well.


No, the Deauville apartments have not been miraculously reborn. And no, the neighborhood hasn’t acquired a swath of hip new restaurants to rival Penn Quarter or H Street. But Mt. Pleasant has undoubtedly made progress over the past few years: a dedicated coffeeshop finally arrived and an honest-to-goodness vintage boutique. A local businessman has reinvigorated the local hardware store. A couple of “temporia,” pop-up events for crafts and retail have brought life to vacant retail spaces. Perhaps most importantly, nearly all of the voluntary agreements that restricted late night music have finally been lifted, meaning that the place doesn’t shut down at 10:00 p.m. It’s still the old Mt. Pleasant—just making a little better use of its assets.

Next up: Central 14th Street, between Buchanan and Delafield, is the new lower 14th Street. Once they get rid of the bus barn, who knows what could happen.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 4
Rendering of Monroe Street Market’s Art Walk


By Jim Abdo, founder of Abdo Development


Brookland is a wonderful tight-knit neighborhood, with the same turn-of-the-century historic charm of Cleveland Park but without the price tag. It also boasts its own Metro station (just three stops to Union Station) and the cultural amenity of two major universities: Catholic University and Trinity College. Throw in an emerging 12th Street retail district, which will be further expanding with redevelopment of the CUA South Campus, and you have one of the best-kept secrets in all of Washington.


I remain extremely bullish on Brookland. So much so that since the 2010 UrbanTurf article, we have broken ground on Monroe Street Market with our partners at Bozzuto. At Monroe Street Market, we are accelerating our phasing and bringing three buildings on line simultaneously. These buildings represent nearly 600,000 square feet of development that will include about 550 residences, retail, an arts walk, café zones and more. By creating this dynamic sense of place directly at the Metro, we believe all of Brookland will benefit and become an even more desirable location for families, young professionals, students and existing residents.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 5

Trinidad and Pleasant Plains

By Dan Silverman aka Prince of Petworth


I know the question was 2015 but I’m going to say these neighborhoods are going to be popping by 2020. I’m a big fan of Trinidad. I know many people only associate that neighborhood with random police checks, but it has a stellar location and it is going to benefit from all the growth now being seen in NoMa and along H Street. If I were to buy an investment property it’d be in Trinidad.

Also, look for Pleasant Plains to be hopping in 2015/2020. Remember that Georgia Avenue is slated to get a streetcar in the second phase of deployment, and Pleasant Plains will also benefit from the continued development of Columbia Heights to the west and Petworth/Park View to the north.

Good luck to all who may be in the hunt!


I’m happy to say I stand by my predictions from 2010. I especially like the Trinidad prediction because not only will it benefit from the continued H Street NE development and the coming streetcars but it will also benefit from Union Market to the east.

I also stand by my prediction that Pleasant Plains is a good place to buy that is often overlooked. In fact, I will extend that prediction even more. I’d say all the neighborhoods from Georgia Avenue and Florida Avenue to the south all the way up to Petworth in the north continue to be a good buy. There are still many vacant storefronts on Georgia Avenue, but some new restaurants/businesses are beginning to open up and I’m hearing that good retail space is becoming hard to find. Another attractive element about these neighborhoods is the fact that they are connected by the Green Line to many other big developments including all the downtown development by the old Convention Center and even the developments by the Navy Yard and baseball stadium. And if Georgia Avenue ever gets a streetcar, we can move that line from Petworth north all the way to Silver Spring. But that might be 2025…

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 6
Row houses in Truxton Circle

Truxton Circle

By Suzanne Des Marais, real estate agent with Keller Williams


I live in Bloomingdale and when I started working over here more than nine years ago, it was definitely considered fringy. Now, I often have buyers come to my open houses or call me with specific interest in the neighborhood, but find that they are priced out. A lot of these folks are ending up in the adjacent neighborhoods of either Truxton Circle (south of Florida Avenue, north of New York Avenue), or NE Eckington (directly to the east across North Capitol Street). Given that a few years ago people bought in Bloomingdale because it was affordable, but now people actually seek the area out, I see the expansion to the close-by neighborhoods as having the same effect in a few years.


Truxton Circle continues to develop, especially in relation to the commercial activity going on in Bloomingdale and NoMa. There are several new multi-unit buildings that have recently been completed and there are still properties that can be improved. When I’m looking at and advising my clients (both residential and developers) about the next hot neighborhoods, I’m looking for possibility, not what is already completely updated or commercially developed.

This time, I would add in the Georgia Avenue and Florida Avenue Corridors. With the opening of the Howard Theater, several restaurants, and the development planned by Howard University up Georgia Avenue, I think we’ll see the Pleasant Plains and Park View neighborhoods (along the eastern side of Columbia Heights) wake up significantly.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 7
Capitol Riverfront Metro

Southeast Waterfront (aka Capitol Riverfront)

By Ross McWilliams, founder of real estate brokerage and marketing firm McWilliams|Ballard


Last year, the Southeast Waterfront seemed to be the redheaded stepchild of the development world. There was a ton of negative press out there touting vacant apartment buildings and stalled high-profile developments. Fast forward to today and you have almost 2,000 new residents between the apartments and EYA’s Capitol Quarter and two large parks that are either about to start or are already under construction. By 2015, this neighborhood isn’t going to be built-out by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s going to be a lot further along. Don’t forget, this neighborhood is probably three times the size of the area around the Verizon Center, which took 10 years to get built out and become vibrant, so it’s going to take a while before it’s fully realized. If you look at the bones though – proximity to Capitol Hill, access to Metro and major roads, Nationals Park, a potential streetcar line, a waterfront park that I think will be one of the best in the city and of course the river – this neighborhood starts to make a lot of sense as a place to live. If you assume that Half Street is finished in five years and some of Forest City’s The Yards is completed, this neighborhood is going to be really appealing to people.


On Tuesday night, I strolled down to Nationals Stadium from Capitol Hill where I have lived for 25 years to take in a Nats/Mets game. I passed under the freeway and through the nearly completed EYA Capitol Quarter neighborhood of brightly colored townhomes occupied by professional singles, couples and young families. A block or two later, I came upon the construction of the much anticipated Canal Park which promises restaurant pavilions and winter ice skating. As I walked by the DOT buildings and moved closer to the Anacostia waterfront, I saw the excavation for the new Harris Teeter and then the outdoor areas that serve as farmer markets during the day. I saw that the new Foundry Lofts apartments are now occupied, many with balconies and pretty incredible water views. I then came upon the new waterfront park that is unlike any I’ve seen in DC: illuminated benches, beautiful landscaping, water features and waterfalls, walking paths and sculpture everywhere.

My walking tour of the Southeast Waterfront neighborhood was as enjoyable as the baseball game (Nats won 7-6 in the 12th inning). At the game, I met Linda and Steve Mitchell who raved about their new coop at Capitol Hill Tower. They love their neighborhood and see change occurring every week.

As I walked home — down the new boardwalk along the river that recently opened connecting the Nationals Stadium to the residential and commercial buildings and soon the new restaurants that will front the river and waterfront park — I thought to myself that all the wait really was worth it. The vision for this new vibrant neighborhood is almost there…and probably before 2015.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 8
Fort Totten Metro

Fort Totten

By Kevin Wood, real estate agent with William Sawyer & Co.


Fort Totten is a post-war neighborhood in Northeast that should see a lot of activity over the next few years as several large-scale developments around the Fort Totten Metro get under way, including a massive 1,000-unit development that will include a new grocery store. Fort Totten is missing a core like 14th and Irving in Columbia Heights as the area now is just street after street of brick rowhouses. That will likely change with the coming development, and given the fact that there is a Metro stop on the Red Line, and that it’s close in, Fort Totten should witness a renaissance and see an influx of new residents eager to take advantage of the lower-priced housing.


I still think Fort Totten is a neighborhood to watch. That whole part of NE — including Brookland, Woodridge, Michigan Park, Fort Lincoln — is seeing a lot of new developments come out of the ground that are going to transform the area. The new Costco/Lowes project at Fort Lincoln, the Cafriz project at Fort Totten, as well as the huge new mixed-use development at the Brookland Metro are going to alter the way many new buyers view the area and its livability.

The Neighborhoods of 2015, Revisited: Figure 9
View into Rosslyn from the Key Bridge


By Ken Johnson, publisher of DCmud

I chose Rosslyn, not for the typical reasons of blight-to-gentrification, but because it was always known as being not DC – a tall, orderly, bland, homogenized, 9-to-5 refuge to DC’s busy, demographically complicated, oxidized urbanity. With a flight of new residential buildings and more on the way (pricey as they may be), Rosslyn is on the verge of developing a neighborhood. Imagine, if you will, sit-down restaurants, markets open on weekends, coffee houses, people coming to the neighborhood for dinner and a movie. If the business district can tackle middle age, and remedy its overly wide streets, walkways to nowhere, retail problem, and unbuffered sidewalks — all of which the local BID has pondered — it may yet offer more than just office space in a safe zip code. And did I mention that it’s close to DC?

Ken Johnson was unable to get back to us with his updated opinion prior to publication of this article.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_neighborhoods_of_2015_revisited/5631


  1. DDR said at 1:17 pm on Friday June 8, 2012:
    Awesome perspectives, all around. While it is already on the upward swing, I would also include Hill East. A handful of friends of mine have bought homes there for far less than what houses cost in Capitol Hill.
  1. shane said at 1:42 pm on Friday June 8, 2012:
    Very cool. I am on board with most of these, particularly my home of two years, Trinidad!
  1. Sharyn said at 2:28 pm on Friday June 8, 2012:
    We bought in North Michigan Park, just south of the Fort Totten metro in summer 2010, so I hope Kevin is right. The slump put a hold on the big projects in & around FT, but things are finally getting under way. Here's hoping for a transformation of the area. As of now it's what I like to call an "amenity-free zone."
  1. anon said at 7:16 pm on Friday June 8, 2012:
    I was skeptical in the early to mid aughts, but I have to say that I'm increasingly impressed with the SE Waterfront area (except for the stadium). The Yards Park is an absolute gem, and there's a lot of good stuff coming on line.
  1. PVres said at 1:00 am on Monday June 11, 2012:
    " ... all the neighborhoods from Georgia Avenue and Florida Avenue to the south all the way up to Petworth" -- seems like a long way of saying Park View.
  1. Justin said at 10:13 pm on Wednesday November 7, 2012:
    This all sound plausible, except for Anacostia. The other areas are all bordered by growing areas that people already want to be in. This creates pressure as overflow from those areas spills in. Anacostia has the opposite kind of pressure. It's a fringe area with potential thats surrounded by bleak, horrible, violent places were even fast food chains can barely survive. There's just too much potential in other areas to attract the kind of major forces necessary to strong arm the area into a decent neighborhood. Example: The Yes! market's pull out from the area, bailing on a $900,000 grant. Prices are low enough there that investing might turn a small profit, but the neighborhood isn't going to be a viable hub until the H St success expands all the way to the river's edge.
  1. James said at 3:36 pm on Friday February 22, 2013:
    I completely agree on Ft. Totten. Even though this area is not "sexy" and the homes are more or less brick squares and not the charming row houses, the convenience, metro access, home and plot sizes (esp when considering property prices) are hard to beat. Oh and did I mention that Ft. Totten is on red, green AND yello lines? That's priceless in DC. I am looking to buy there this spring.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »