UPDATE: Thanks to all of our loyal readers, the article below has helped spur the busiest day for the Rhode Island Ave Insider EVER! Well over
900 1,100 1,600 2,800 3,300 people have viewed this article! Keep reading!! The second busiest day: February 7′s article on…you guessed it: Rhode Island Row! This shows any potential developer/retailer…the interest for redevelopment is here!
by Greg Roberts
The Friends of Rhode Island Ave board of directors headed to the still under construction, Rhode Island Row this Sunday to take a tour of the development and look at the apartment portion of the project. This mixed-use, transit-oriented development located at the Rhode Island Metro station, has not yet been wholly completed yet but it is starting to get their letters of intent signed for the retail sections (more on that later).
The tour started next door in the parking lot of the TJ Maxx, where we met with Caroline Kenney, development manager with Urban Atlantic, co-developer of Rhode Island Row (along with joint venture partner A&R Development Corp.). The meeting in this parking lot allowed the group to get a better view of the development and learn more about the progress of this new development. This viewpoint allowed us to see the already constructed south side of the development that includes the ground-level retail and residential units over that. The new parking garage on the back of this building is a restricted garage for the building’s residents. The north side building (closest to Rhode Island Ave) is still under construction including the parking garage which will be hidden within the development. The entrance to this garage, which will be for residential and public parking, is located off of the Main Street.
The group was then led to the south building’s top floor to look at the residential model units and various other sized apartments. I was, as was the rest of the group, quite impressed with the units. The floors in the units varied from hardwood-look resilient flooring (both dark and light) to a very interesting stained concrete floor. There are three sizes of apartments (1, 2, and 3 bedrooms) available and the development has 55 affordable units and 219 market priced units. The market units vary in price as well, from as low as $1,700 for a 1-bedroom up to $3,500 for the 3-bedroom. Up to 10 units have already been occupied and are being used. Below are some of the photos from the model units.
The retail units of the development are still not completely leased but they are moving along. The largest unit, located on the north side building at the corner has been announced as a CVS Pharmacy. Next to the CVS is a 4,500sq.ft. unit that the developer believes is an ideal location and would like to lease it out to a restaurant; negotiations are currently underway with a local restauranteur but a lease has not yet been signed. Ms. Kenney is confident that she could get a chain restaurant to go into that space but they would rather the space be a unique restaurant (and I am sure we can all agree!). While several letters of intent have been executed, there are not signed leases for the other spaces so Caroline cannot say who they are talking to. She assured me, though, that she will share any new tenants with the Insider as they happen! One tenant she was excited about talking to will be a DC government agency but she could not elaborate at this time on which agency, just that it will be a great traffic driver for the entire development.
One aspect that was missing is Capital Bikeshare. Caroline is interested in bringing this to the development and metro stop but no concrete plans have been made. The development, though, will have parking for bicycles. Perhaps this development could help other organizers and DDOT to install bike lanes on RIA and make the MBT trail more accessible.
The community will also have the opportunity to use space within Rhode Island Row. Caroline reports that the development teamplans to include some space and make it available for community events, such as local art shows or exhibits to community events (did someone say, FORIA meetings?). Rhode Island Row is excited to see the residents gathering together, aka Friends of Rhode Island Ave, and the comments left on the Insider blog. Caroline uses the blog and FORIA to show potential retail tenants about the enthusiasm of this community. This is proof in point that everything positive we do does matter. So please, make sure to leave comments here and join FORIA!
Do you need another reason to join FORIA: We will be partnering with Urban Atlantic for Rhode Island Row’s grand opening in 2012 and you can be part of the fun! Join today!