November 16, 2013 - 8:35 pm

New movie theaters are planned near LeDroit Park


Two— possibly three— new movie theaters are set to open within a mile of LeDroit Park by 2016.  All will be located within a block or two of Florida Avenue and are easily accessible by foot, bike, and 90s bus.

Atlantic Plumbing site – 800 V Street NW- unknown screens

Prolific developer JBG is starting construction on its Atlantic Plumbing project by the 9:30 Club.  The project includes two mixed-use buildings on 8th Street NW, each on opposing sides of V Street.  The northern building was supposed to include an 11,000-square-foot movie theater, but a September article in the WBJ makes no mention of a theater.  The building will probably open in 2015.

Landmark Theater – New York Avenue & N Street NE- 10 screens

Capitol Point, another JBG mixed-use project, is located on New York Avenue NE near the maddening intersection with Florida Avenue NE.  The mixed-use project is slated to receive a 10-screen Landmark Theater showing foreign and independent films.  The chain currently has a location downtown on E Street and one in Bethesda.  This new theater is scheduled to open in 2016.

Angelika Film Center – Union Market (5th Street & Neal Place NE) – 8 screens

Soon after you pass under the railroad tracks on Florida Avenue NE, Union Market appears embedded in the background on the left.  These blocks constitute a wholesale food market that is slowly being redeveloped.  The new Union Market building has met great success, featuring produce, prepared foods, oysters, meats, and dairy products along with chairs and tables for the impatient.  The market fare is definitely upscale and vendors never shy from the word ‘artisanal’.

The market building’s developer announced it will open an 8-screen Angelika movie theater on an adjacent lot.  Angelika theaters feature foreign and independent films and, as the Post described it, “culinary offerings from former Food Network executives.”  The developer expects the theater to open in 2015.

Are we over-theatered?

Another movie theater is coming to different part of the District.  In the Navy Yard, developer Forest City is planning an upscale 16-screen theater near Nationals Stadium and the Navy Yard Metro.  The theater, at N Place and the future 1½ Street SE (a terrible name for a street), may not open until 2016 or later.

Can’t wait until 2015? There are four existing theaters within a 2.5-mile radius of LeDroit Park as the crow flies.  The Landmark E Street Cinema (1100 block of E Street NW) and the Regal Gallery Place (7th & G Streets NW) are easily accessible from the Green Line, Yellow Line, and 70s buses.  To the west of us, the West End Cinema (23rd & M Streets NW) and the AMC Loews Georgetown (3111 K Street NW) are easily accessible from the G2 bus, whose eastern terminus is LeDroit Park.

Theater Screens Location Opening Distance
Atlantic Plumbing (??) ? 8th & V Sts NW 2015? 0.5 mi
Landmark – Capitol Point 10 New York Ave & N St NE   2016 0.8 mi
Angelika Film Ctr. – Union Mkt. 8 5th St & Neal Pl NE 2015 1.3 mi
Regal Gallery Place 14 7th & G Sts NW open 1.4 mi
Landmark E Street Cinema 8 1100 b/o E St NW open 1.8 mi
West End Cinema 3 23rd & M Sts NW open 2.1 mi
AMC Loews Georgetown 14 3111 K St NW open 2.9 mi
Showplace Icon Theater 16 1½ St & N Pl SE 2016 3.3 mi
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October 29, 2013 - 4:59 pm

LeDroit house enjoys an unmatched view

Axial view of the Capitol

A recent open house in LeDroit Park perfectly illustrated a great feature of the L’Enfant Plan. The house at 469 Florida Avenue sits directly on the New Jersey Avenue view corridor of the Capitol. Typically this location would be reserved for a civic monument such as a statue, circle, square, or government building, but L’Enfant drew his capital within the confines of Florida Avenue, the two rivers, and Rock Creek.


In some cases, such as Rhode Island, New York, and Maryland Avenues in Northeast, Massachusetts and Connecticut Avenues in Northwest, East Capitol Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, subsequent city officials and developers continued these avenues beyond the city’s original boundary.

LeDroit Park, however, stood right in the way of what could have been an extended New Jersey Avenue NW. Instead of terminating the avenue at a civic point, builders in the neighborhood’s rowhouse era (1880s and after), built without regard to the design principles of the L’Enfant Plan. The result is that one row house has a stunning Capitol view worthy of a monument.

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October 18, 2013 - 1:50 pm

DDOT to plant 16 trees in LeDroit Park this fall


Fall is a good time to plant trees.  DDOT has released its tree-planing map and LeDroit Park is slated to receive 16 trees.  The agency only plants trees in public space, meaning the trees will be planted in the tree boxes or planting strips between the sidewalks and the curbs.


River Birch

  • 501 T Street
  • 406 T Street
  • 324 T Street
  • 318 T Street

Swamp White Oak

  • 471 Florida Avenue
  • 1934 3rd Street
  • 1842 2nd Street
  • Opposite 1915 2nd Street
  • Opposite 1919 2nd Street
  • 1948 2nd Street

Scarlet Oak

  • 1929 2nd Street

Overcup Oak

  • 329 Rhode Island Avenue

Honey locust

  • 455 Florida Avenue

Sweetgum (Slender Silhouette cultivar)

  • 453 Florida Avenue

Goldenrain tree

  • Opposite 432 Oakdale Place

Cherry tree (Snow Goose cultivar)

  • Southwest circumference of Anna Cooper Circle
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September 04, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Seoul food comes to Florida Avenue

Korean and Japanese Food

Connoisseurs of bulgogi and bibimbap are going to get more options for Korean food.  First, the old Arthur Treacher’s at 400 Florida Avenue has restyled itself as Lunch Yaki, dropping the Arthur Treacher’s seafood menu and beefing up its Korean and Japanese menu.  Here’s what the menu looked like today (Sept. 4, 2013):

Korean Menu

  • Bulgogi – $6.99
  • Bibimbap – $6.99

Japanese Menu

  • Chicken Teriyaki Box – $6.99
  • Salmon Teriyaki Box – $7.99
  • Yakisoba – $6.99
  • Tonkatsu Japanese Pork – $6.99


  • Angus Beef Burger – $5.99
  • Cheeseburger – $5.99
  • Cheesesteak – $6.99

Lunch Yaki also advertises breakfast items from egg and cheese sandwiches to bagels, omelets, and French toast ranging from $1.79 to $5.59.  The venue is carry-out only, so be sure to reserve a table in your own dining room.


Farther up, the gray building at 639 Florida Avenue (see photo above) is being renovated to become I Ching, which, according to the banner out front, will serve “Korean BBQ, hot pots, and Asian fusion”.  There is no word on when I Ching will open.

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August 07, 2013 - 8:58 am

Construction on Florida Avenue apartments begins next month

Designs for the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue

Designs for the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue

Shortly after Labor Day, construction will begin on the two JBG apartment buildings on the former WMATA sites on the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue.  The project involves constructing two new apartment buildings flanking 8th Street at Florida Avenue.  The project, which already received Historic Preservation Review Board approval, will include 242 apartments above 29,000 square feet of retail.

The buildings, designed by Seattle-based Miller Hull, are six-story structures— five floors of wood stick construction over concrete podiums for the garages and retail areas. This hybrid construction type is cheaper and faster to build than concrete-only highrises.

Construction is expected to take 20 months and should be completed in May 2015.

August 06, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Pharmacare closed; owner indicted for fraud


PoPville reports that Pharmacare, the pharmacy at Florida and Georgia Avenues has closed permanently after its owner was indicted for fraud.

The U.S. Attorney alleges that the owners of the Pharmacare and several affiliated pharmacies in Maryland and Pennsylvania billed $2.6 million to Medicare and Medicaid for prescriptions they never actually refilled.  A sign posted on Pharmacare’s door says the store has closed as of August 2.

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July 31, 2013 - 8:17 am

Is something like Eastern Market coming to the U Street area?

The Griffith as seen from Florida Avenue

The Griffith as seen from Florida Avenue

There’s some big news over on Florida Avenue by the 9:30 Club.  The District has chosen the MRP-Ellis Development team to develop 1.45 acres of city-owned land at 965 Florida Avenue.  The site sits on the east side of Florida Avenue at the intersection with Sherman Avenue.  The MRP-Ellis proposal, dubbed The Griffith*, is a 370,000-square-foot building with 35,000 square feet of retail topped with several floors of residential.

I haven’t found the apartment unit count, but the retail component is envisioned as a market somewhat like Union Market and Eastern Market.  Furthermore, The Griffith proposal extends Bryant Street from 8th Street to the intersection of Florida and Sherman Avenues.  East-west connectivity is a goal of the DUKE Small Area Plan and something that the city has been seeking as that area is redeveloped.

Site plan and surrounding streets for The Griffith development

Site plan and surrounding streets for The Griffith development

Part of the story for this award is who didn’t win.  Both MRP-Ellis and JBG competed for the site.  Many people following the competition thought JBG had the upper hand, since it controlled an adjacent site on Florida Avenue (see the big blank area above).  JBG’s plan involved connecting W Street instead of Bryant Street.  The JBG plan also included a Harris Teeter, 125 hotel rooms, 30,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of retail, 150 condos, 250 apartments, and 200 micro-apartments.

According to the Washington Business Journal, the District preferred The Griffith’s program for several reasons:

What put MRP over the top, according to [the District], was an offer to build more affordable housing, an agreement to submit to the District’s planned-unit development process (ensuring community coordination) and its willingness to pay more for the land.

Don’t expect shovels in the ground just yet.  The details of the deal will have to be finalized and then approved by the Council.  Then the project will go through a Planned Unit Development (PUD) process that involves a few months of community input and zoning hearings during which the developer will likely negotiate a community benefits agreement.  After that’s finished, the permits will need to be approved and construction can finally begin.  It may be four or five years until we see a ribbon-cutting.

In the meantime, JBG may build a smaller project on the land it owns immediately to the south of the awarded site.  No plans have been released, but whatever it is, says JBG, it won’t include a Harris Teeter or a W Street connection.

View the proposals:

* “The Griffith” is an homage to Griffith Stadium, which once stood where Howard University Hospital now stands.

July 27, 2013 - 10:52 am

It’s now a little easier to cross Florida Avenue at R Street

New Crosswalk and Signal

After much neighborhood lobbying, DDOT installed a new traffic signal at Florida Avenue and R Street NW in Bloomingdale.  The light includes a pedestrian signal that will make it easier to cross Florida Avenue. Before DDOT installed the light, pedestrians had to pray that drivers on Florida Avenue would obey the law and yield at the crosswalks.

New Crosswalk and Signal

In unrelated news, two vintage transit buses are parked on the vacant lot at the northwest corner of the intersection.




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August 21, 2012 - 7:31 am

Mayor Gray announces a task force to address area flooding

Post-flooding debris along the 100 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW

Later this morning, Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D – Ward 5), and representatives from DC Water and District agencies, will announce the creation of a task force to address the flooding that has occurred in numerous basements in LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale since July.

The mayor and councilmember will hold the press conference today at 11:30 am at the park at triangle park at First Street and Florida Avenue NW.

During several downpours in July, the overtaxed sewers below Florida Avenue in LeDroit Park and below several streets in Bloomingdale backed up into residents’ basements.

DC Water, the semi-independent agency that manages the drinking water and sewer infrastructure, says the completion of new diversion sewer tunnels in 2025 will solve the problem for good. Waiting 13 years is little consolation for residents whose basements have flooded with diluted sewage.

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May 27, 2012 - 4:26 pm

Street closures for Chuck Brown’s viewing

Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-go, died on May 16. That night a crowd of fans celebrated his life and mourned his death in front of the Howard Theatre.

Brown’s viewing will be held at the Howard Theatre on Tuesday, May 29, from 11 am to 10 pm.  To accomodate the expected crown of mourners, DDOT will close several streets to private automobiles on Tuesday. T Street from 7th Street to Florida Avenue will close from 3 am to midnight. The following streets will close from 9:30 am to midnight:

  • T Street between 9th Street and Florida Avenue
  • 7th Street between Florida Avenue and S Street
  • 8th Street between Florida Avenue and S Street
  • Wiltberger Street between T Street and S Street

You may still walk or bike along these streets, but if you’re driving, it will be best to avoid the area.

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