Rhode Island Ave FALL FEST!

Looking for something to do this Saturday? Stop by the Rhode Island Avenue Fall Fest!



10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Rhode Island Ave. NE, between 20th and 24th Streets NE

As described by the Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street:

For the last 3 years, the Rhode Island Avenue Fall Fest has showcased our beautiful tree-lined commercial district in one of the hottest real estate markets in DC, and has attracted hundreds of visitors for a day full of shopping, food, and entertainment for the whole family. Fall Fest 2014 promises to be bigger and better – more music, more art, more food, and more fun!

Come check it out!

And if you want to check out some details on the previous years’ Fall Fest, look through the Insider’s coverage here and here.


4th Largest Development Coming to RIA NE

One of the largest redevelopment undertakings for Rhode Island Ave NE has just been submitted to the DC Zoning Commission. In fact, the project would be the fourth largest project in DC currently, and will take years to plan and approve. According to this article from the WBJ, Mid-City Financial Corporation has submitted plans to completely redo the Brookland Manor apartment complex and the adjacent Brentwood Shopping Center.

The property is spread across 18 acres, and has been owned by Mid-City since 1977 under a 40-year fixed rate mortgage with the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development, and mainly used for Section 8 housing. This all expires in 2017.

What’s being proposed?

  • 2.3 million square feet of new development
  • 2,235 residential units
  • 201,680 sq ft of retail (including a 56,000 sqft supermarket
  • Parking below grade
  • Acre of community green and an acre of pedestrian walkways

Here are some pictures of what is proposed and what it currently looks like.


Zekes Launching Espressos, Lattes, and Even More

We all knew that Zeke’s DC was a great place to stop in and grab a cup of coffee or bag of their beans to enjoy but now java drinkers will have even more reason to stop by starting Wednesday. The owners of Zeke’s DC recently acquired an awesome Faema E61 espresso machine, which is a REAL espresso machine (not that automated crap at some big name coffee place..Star-something). The baristas at Zeke’s will be using their 1812 Espresso beans for your order, so get on in there and order up some goodness from one of RIA NE’s local coffee shop!

Check out some photos of the machine below and learn more about the E61 here.


RIA Business Chosen By Microsoft

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Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, an “annual, global convergence of Microsoft’s top partners”, launched in Washington, D.C. at the Verizon Center in mid-July and a local Rhode Island Avenue NE business was selected to help keep the hundreds upon hundreds of conference-goers caffeinated for two of the conference days!

Zeke’s Coffee was contacted by the Verizon Center a few weeks before the conference and asked to provide the coffee since Microsoft requested that their java come from local roasters.

“We know that the tech community takes their coffee seriously, so we were excited to caffeinate the event,” said John, Zeke’s DC owner.  “That quantity of coffee was a logistical challenge, but we’re happy to say it was a great success.”

Zeke’s DC brewed more than 1,000 gallons of coffee (540 gallons each day), and had to bring in reinforcements from their Baltimore shop to roast and brew.

As all of us already know, those Microsoft attendees were treated to some great coffee! This is a big congrats to Zeke’s on such a great feat and for being chosen!

John Kepner (l), owner, and Brian Bovard

John Kepner (l), owner, and Brian Bovard


Zeke’s Coffee of DC

2300 Rhode Island Ave NE


Good Food Market Coming to RIA NE

Attachment-1Last month, the Mayor’s office for Planning and Economic Development awarded several local businesses with financial grants to assist with their business needs (like signage, etc). One of the winners was Good Food Markets LLC, located at 2006 Rhode Island Ave NE. I had a chance to catch up with one of the partners of Good Food Markets, Kris Garin, and as you will see, we should all be excited about them joining our community!

Good Food Markets will be an oasis in a relative food desert on that end of Brookland and for the Woodridge community, providing produce and some other perishable foods at competitive prices as larger grocery stores. One thing they do want to get across to the neighborhood is that they are there to serve everyone in the community, so there isn’t a sole focus on their produce or perishables being organic or locally sourced (although local will definitely be their first choice), as they want to make sure the price points are within the scope of everyone’s budget.  As for other items, such as meat, they do plan to have a limited selection but the community feedback and response will drive the selection. With their small footprint (1,000 square feet), they need to ensure that they have what the community will buy.

In addition to their grocery selection, Good Food Markets will also sell prepared meals that are cooked offsite, fresh, by one of their partners. These meals will be prepared with fresh, top quality ingredients, and can feed a family or an individual. The price point for a family meal will be, as Kris mentioned, around the same price point as a Popeye’s Family meal, which will hopefully entice people to eat a freshly cooked, healthy meal instead of fast food. The menu will be chosen based on feedback from the community, so the more you let them know what you want the better the selection will be! The Market also plans to sell prepared lunches that folks could pick up on their way into work in the morning and will be cheaper or at the same price as lunches that are bought downtown. The owners are also hoping to roll out a system where people can pre-order their prepared meals for pickup and offer a delivery service for convenience at a later date.

The location is in the middle of the Main Street portion of Rhode Island Ave NE, taking over an old Soul Food restaurant (see below). This location was chosen as their first location due to complaints they kept hearing from area residents concerning their lack of access to fresh food nearby. Kris, who once lived in New York City, wants to bring the small market concept that addresses specific needs of a neighborhood, that is so popular in the Big Apple, back in style throughout the District.

They are currently in the construction phase of their build out but are making progress every day, and have a target time frame to open some time soon after Labor Day. Their hours of operation, which will depend on the feedback from the community, will start out being from late morning to early evening hours. They promised to let The Insider know when they have pictures to share, and more news about their selection and opening date, so stay tuned!

TL/DR: Good Food Markets will bring fresh produce and prepared meals to Rhode Island Avenue NE starting after Labor Day. #GoodWard5News


Good Food Markets’ location at 2006 RIA NE


Brookland: A Home Flipper Haven

Redfin released an analysis today about flipped houses in major markets and found that DC had several of the hottest neighborhoods for home flipping in the country last year. Petworth ranked #1 in the country with average gain of $312,400 per flip. Brookland/Catholic University ranked 3rd with an average gain of $271,900 per flip. Fort Totten and Stadium Armory ranked #6 and #7 respectively. This gain is the difference in value between purchase price and sale price for homes bought and sold within a year; it does not factor in remodeling or other costs.

In our metro, the average gain for a flipped home was $104,100 in 2013.  Last year 4,260 homes were flipped in the DC metro – according to our analysis of MLS data – with a median flip time of 172 days.  And 73.2 percent of these homes were flipped for a gain. The analysis shows that our market continues to see high levels of flipping activity this year.





Steel Plate – First Look

Thanks to some awesome neighbors (Tim and Mary), here are a few first looks at Rustik owner Diton’s new restaurant in Brookland, Steel Plate. No word yet on the menu or when they plan to open (they are saying next week, though) but as I get more information, I will pass it along! Keep an eye on here for more updated information!

Exciting to see so many options right off of RIA NE for the residents to enjoy!

Check out more photos on their Facebook page.

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