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Preview: New Kid on the Eckington Block

New Kid on the Eckington Block

Updated: 2015-09-17T00:11:23.116-05:00




quick post. next time the snow comes. I am going to convince neighbors to move all of our cars off the street, and then bribe snowplow to clear the street. this will ensure we all have a place to park.
The cool thing is, we can actually make this happen.



It has been a long time since my last post, but just wanted to mention that there is progress in Eckington.

I noticed today that the KFC is closed. What is going on there?

The firehouse (formerly going to be EC12) is undergoing renovation.

WASA has replaced lead water pipes leading into homes.

There are flower baskets on the street lights on Lincoln Rd.

There are fewer vacant houses

that is some incredible progress. If now there were less murders and assault with deadly weapons.

St. Martin's Housing Project to Break Ground in February


I am still unhappy with the development and the way Rev Kelly characterizes the neighborhood resistance. I particularly like the holier than thou attitude (pun intended) despite the projects underwriters like GE and Fanny Mae who will receive huge tax deductions for their investments.

To reiterate, I am pro affordable housing. But that housing should be done in a way that doesnt drastically change the neighborhood. Adding 4-500 people in one block is a huge change.

All of that said, the city has made their decision, and my bitching is all for naught. On to the article from dcmud.

After an onerous battle between Bloomingdale (COMMENT: Eckington really) residents and the parish of St. Martins Church, plans are being finalized for groundbreaking on the new 178-unit workforce housing development on 116 T Street, NE, projected for completion in the first quarter of 2010. The apartment complex, totaling 241,000 s.f., is being designed as a Class A apartment building. It will hold 50 junior one bedroom units reserved as public housing for residents earning 30% of the Area Median Income with the remaining 128 units being comprised mostly of two bedroom apartments, available to residents who earn 60% of the Area Median Income. The project should break ground in February of 2008.

Upon completion, the project will serve as “the largest affordable housing project in DC,” said Reverend Michael Kelley, the pastor and leader of the project. “The bad news is that no one else is doing this type of thing,” he added. The reason for a lack of affordable housing developments in the District might be due to the clamor that these types of undertakings tend to cause within the community. St. Martins serves as the perfect example: when some of the neighboring residents discovered what was being constructed on the corner of Summit and T streets, a massive amount of lawyering commenced; they found a way to get an old convent, which would have been destroyed to build the apartment complex, classified a “Historic Building” with the Historical Preservation Society, effectively halting the development process. According to Reverend Kelley, some of the neighbors had a problem with “greed, race and class.”

Most of those community problems have been assuaged thanks to some tricky engineering and cunning design strategies by project architect Grimm & Parker and development manager NorthStar Consultants, who found a way to include the now historic convent (pictured) into the project by moving the massive structure 80 feet eastward. The move will be so astounding that U.K. based documentary program Mega Movers contacted Reverend Kelley to film the convent’s relocation. If the development schedule for the project can coalesce with Mega Movers’ production schedule, St. Martins could appear on the History Channel’s new season of the hit show.

The $41 million project will take the convent, which once served as a housing complex for nuns who taught at the St. Martin’s grade school, and merge it into the design of the apartment building. In 1990, the age-old convent was leased to DC-based Catholic Charities for use as a recovery location for drug-addicted mothers. Then in 2001, Catholic Charities began using the space as subsidized housing for recovering homeless men who needed supportive services and were unable to afford rent at market price. Now, Catholic Charities and St. Martin’s parish have decided that the building, which appears increasingly dilapidated with each passing day, the parking lot and the rest of the property would bode well as affordable housing for struggling adults. According to Reverend Kelley, it fits with the church’s mission – public outreach and social stewardship. Reverend Kelley added, “This speaks volumes about how the Catholic Church is putting Gospel beliefs into practice, or how we say here, taking our faith to the street.”

Development Update


Check out this comprehensive update from DC Mud Blog on Eckington

Attracting decidedly less media attention, Eckington, its immediate neighbor to the north, has nonetheless been discovered by local developers not quite ready for an Akridge-sized purchase of air rights over railroad yards, but who view the more than 10 million square feet of commercial space being built on its southern edge as an invitation to develop the residential market.

The whole article is here

Response From DCFD on Fire Hydrants


As you are aware the DC Fire Department undertook an accelerated fire hydrant risk assessment program after the recent fires in Georgetown and Capitol Hill.

The Fire Department Testing Program was designed around the 33 Engine Companies local alarm districts throughout the city. The list just effecting Ward 5 can be broken out however it will take a few days to process this request.

I can report to you that DCFD has tested 10174 fire hydrants in the District of Columbia with 1098 were placed Out of Service. As of today there is less then 300 fire hydrants in the city that remain Out of Service. DC WASA is the agency that is responsible to schedule the repair or replacement, in 5-10 days.

With a fire hydrant that is out of service, I can understand your concern for the safety of yourself, family members and others. The District of Columbia Fire Department has trained our commanders to make tactical decisions that modify our alarm assignments to adjust for a fire hydrant being out of service. Please remember your safety is our concern!

I would like to thank Lt. Egan for this report

An Outcome Neither You or I Would Receive


Washingtongon Post article- D.C. Council member (and Mayor for Life) Marion Barry was acquitted yesterday of driving under the influence and three other traffic-related charges after he testified that he had a glass of wine and took at least five different medications on the night of his arrest.

What do you think would happen if you or I were pulled over near the White House, slurring, going in reverse on a one way street with booze on our breath? There is however something hilarious about MB rolling in a 1995 Camaro.

Review of Colonel Brooks


BROOKLAND- Area man dines at "dangerous restaurant" and survives.

The author of this blog visited COL Brooks Tavern last night after dark (gasp) to review its fare and spirits. All of the tables were full, so my friend and I pulled up a chair at the bar. We were greeted by a young hipster type, who was happy to pour us a draught beer from their selection of about 15.

Any good tavern worth a damn has to have a good burger, especially a place like the COLs. The old wood paneling and benches lend themselves to pitchers of beer and burger. I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger, which was cooked to temperature, and tasted wonderful. The bun was good too. The fries were well seasoned but limp. All in all, the burger was just what I needed, and give it a solid thumbs up. It is unlikely that I will order the seared tuna here, but that may have more to do with me, than them.

The Gridskipper article mentioned a lot about the clientèle in their piece. Mentioning specifically a grizzly murder several years back. The piece makes it seem that this pub is much more dangerous than elsewhere in the city. However, many of you may remember that the city is the city, and crime can strike anywhere including the bastion of white rich folk, Georgetown. The article also mentions thieves and drug dealers. My experience was slightly different. there was a posse in the bar. A posse of retirees who had all of the menace of a bowl of oatmeal. I didn't get too close, as to avoid any offers of drugs. These folks were less likely to be shilling crack or meth, but viagra or vioxx. Either way, I kept my distance.

As for the entertainment, the Jazz band that plays every Tuesday has been doing so for 26 years. They are really good, and the volume is not too loud, so you can enjoy chatting with the theology professor or one of the "repressed CUA co-eds" at the bar.

I highly recommend this place. Swing by and give it a chance. 9th and Monroe NE

Review of a Ward 5 Pub.



The following review was in national Gawker Media site Gridskipper

"There are some good things about Colonel Brooks' Tavern, right off the CUA/Brookland Red Line stop in DC. Those good things include fantastic burgers, cheap beers, and repressed Catholic University coeds."

The rest of the article however, mentions a murder a few years back, drug dealers and thieves who also frequent the joint. I plan on visiting this place this week, to provide another segment of NE DC business reviews.

For better info on Brookland, please visit the newly famous Brookland blogger at Stop Blog and Roll.

Update on the "New" Lincoln Apartments


The Apartment Building at 1903 and 1905 Lincoln Rd has been under demolition for the last several weeks. This dilapidated collection of apartments was sold for $4 million late last year.

their crew must have been busy yesterday, as between the time I left for work in the morning, and the time I returned home in the evening, the first building (Facing Lincoln and T) had been primed or given a first coat of paint.


Only a block away, the new Century Court condos are open after a remarkable rehabilitation.

With more development, and more people, and the upcoming construction of the St. Martin's project, this will be a very different Eckington in the years to come. So much so that Eckington has landed on the "Most Endangered List" for 2007

Friday Odds and Ends


-Neighborhood Yard Sale (Eckington - DC)

Come help us find our old items new homes!

Various items for sale: furniture, clothes, household items, etc.

Saturday, June 9th, 2007
300 Block of V St. NE (Between 3rd and 4th St. off of Rhode Island Ave. NE)
At the Greater Victory Baptist Church Yard
10:00am - 3:00pm

If you are a Eckington resident and would like to participate in the yard sale, please email Sandra Rivera at srivera009@yahoo. com.

-Big Bear Cafe is OPEN!!! Please show your support and get a latte or 3. If you are in the market for a job, they are hiring too.



"The verdict is in on strip bars and gay clubs in Ward 5.The D.C. Council weighed two issues that affect nighttime entertainment and the quality of life in the District yesterday but made a decision on only one. It voted to allow the continued operation of a handful of nude entertainment clubs, putting off a measure that would tighten controls on drinking establishments that attract minors.

The decision to allow the relocation of clubs that involve nudity, explicit dancing and private booths involved a compromise that blocks creating a strip-bar zone in a run-down warehouse section of Ward 5. Under the compromise, only two of six displaced clubs can move to any one ward."

In a great political move, the Elder Statesman Gray, brokered a deal between Thomas and Graham on the agreement. Notice that once the councilmen determined there were enough votes for the motion to carry, Thomas voted no. This allowed him to save face with his district, and building the foundation of political power.

-In other news, Kudos to MPD. Yes, you heard it right, Kudos. Last night there was a domestic disturbance that turned into a potential knifing. I called 911, and a cruiser showed up in less than A MINUTE.... yes indeed. Not certain of the outcome, but the response of 2 cruisers in so short a period of time is encouraging.

"Illegal Dumping"


This photo needs no introduction.


Racism Exists


There are very few times that I have felt discriminated against. Once I was passed over for a job because the potential employer was looking for someone older. That is pretty much it. However, there have been two events in the last few months that have really made my blood boil.

-St. Martin's informational meeting in February. I was providing an opinion and following the rules of engagement and trying to do my best to show that both sides had similar feelings and morals. I praised their convictions and faith. The next woman who spoke, took the opportunity to ignore all that i said, and instead focus on the color of my skin, and apply blatant stereotypes and generalizations to me and my character. The moderator seemed to have no problems with this hate speech. Did anyone else? A council member told me later "just let it roll off your back". There is some sage advice there; but should these types of speech and racial name calling have any place in a public (or private for that matter) meeting?

-Florida and NY Ave NE, this weekend. I was traveling home from a friends house on the hill, when I heard a horn from behind me. Unsure why this happened, i raised a hand in the air as if to say "what"? When both of us arrived at the light, we began discussing what she perceived to be the problem with my driving. She was yelling, and then swearing. Neither of these is a big deal, and neither offend me. She did however offend me when she said you are a stupid (insert color) mother_ucker. Now, she doesnt even know my mother, and may need a while to make that kind of determination. But the fact that race came into the argument really made me mad. It also made me wonder how precarious our race relations are in this city.

It is not ok to use racial slurs, or bring up race in an argument like this. It just isn't.



-Sean’s Bloomingdale blog has a great article with photos of the McMillan filtration site. I am sure that the Walmart and Olive Garden will fit perfectly in there….(sarcasm)

-Summer is back, and unfortunately so is the crime

Shooting other gang members isn’t enough, time to start firing on kids on the PLAYGROUND!

Have you seen this man
, who robbed a woman at the Bank of America on 9th and RI?

Disgruntled Youth want to find an outlet for their art through tagging Borf, Magic, Nehi and Inca on everything they can find. I say, commission a mural.


And last but not least, people still hate homosexuals in Ward 5, and have gotten Tommy Thomas to introduce “Emergency Legislation” to stop gay and lesbian clubs from opening in the vicinity of W.Virgina avenue in Ivy City.

Cool Photo from NYC



Around the Block


- An update on the proposed relocation of GLBT clubs to Ward 5 is covered by Frozen Tropics here

- (Ted McGinn) talked to a crew which starting surveying the McKinley field today. This project will bring the McKinley field back as it was in the past a premiere location for High School sports.

-The District of Columbia's longtime status as a majority-black city appears to be diminishing, even as Maryland and Virginia continue to experience a dramatic rise in their minority populations, according to census estimates released today.
The 14 percent increase in non-Hispanic white District residents and 6 percent decrease in blacks from 2000 to 2006 are probably the result of the gentrification of once-affordable city neighborhoods, demographers said.
The impact on the city's racial makeup is noticeable. In 2000, blacks made up 60 percent of the District's population. By 2006, that figure was 55 percent.

-Just a note to urge people to contact the NCRC about vacant homes in their area. If we all keep calling, our neighborhoods will be healthier and safer.

Housing Market


This article is in today's USA Today. Of interest is that median home prices in Washington DC are up 8.9%, even as sales volumes have dropped.

The house at the bottom of the page looks like it is in Eckington or Bloomingdale. Anyone know where?

Bloomingdale Farmer's Market- Take Note



NIMBYISM in Ward 5


I am quite certain that this post will get me in hot water.

The debate du jour in Eckington is the proposed relocation of GLBT clubs and strip bars that have been displaced by construction of the new Nationals Baseball stadium, to be relocated and allowed to operate in Ward 5 (specifically Ivy City).

-These were legally operational businesses that were closed and sold due to eminent domain for the stadium.

-The stadium (which I support(ed)) has been subsidized by DC residents and businesses at the cost of nearly $600M

-Creation or in this case, recreation of businesses, improves the tax-base, adds dollars to the economy and in many cases can spur growth.

-People do not want to move on this issue for a couple of reasons: its politically risky for the church-going parishioners of Ward 5 (and PG county for that matter*) and that there is still rampant discrimination toward the GLBT community.

-Provided that the area is zoned to accommodate such businesses, there is no reason for these clubs not to operate.

-Partisan politics shouldn't be at play here either. If you are a Repub, you should see the importance of business in the community and the role of Smith's laissez-faire . If you are a Dem, you need to realize that the GLBT community is struggling to have the personal freedoms that others enjoy with little to no repercussions.

Office of Tax and Revenue Sucks


This isn't really a big shocker. Most people dislike the overly competent DC government taking money from them. I certainly do. Just like I hate the fact that we pay federal taxes without having a rep, or a senator. "Death and taxes", got it.

Our friends sent out an assessment on March 1, 07 on property tax assessments. I was more than a little shocked to see how much they had raised the assessed value of my property. However, I just got around to looking at the increases in values for my street. See here


How in the hell do they figure out all of these things, and how can the range be from 7% to over 3X that amount (23%)?

I had planned on appealing the decision, but April 2 was the deadline.... Oh well.



-Development seems to be all over the place in the terribly named NoMa area. Office buildings, rumors of Justice and other agencies moving in, ATF to open soon, the Gateway hotel project on NY Ave. Its popping up all over the place. What will Eckington look like in 10 years?

-There hasn't been the huge up tick in crime that usually occurs when the weather breaks. However in the latest crime report, two suspects were arrested on the unit block of S St for kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance.

-I called the City two weeks ago about two abandoned houses in my hood, and no call back from them. I am shocked. One of the homes has been vacant for over 3 years, and houses feral cats.

-Parking. Available spaces in my hood are getting rarer. And this is before the property on 1901 Lincoln and the St. Martins project are completed. It is going to be like Adams Morgan in NE before we know it.

Bad Day


I just received word from a friend and IT Guru, that my devoted hard-drive, which has been with me since 2002, has died. It even broke the disk repair machine. So, there is more than a little sadness in losing nearly 80gigs of music and all of my photos from Iraq, Bosnia and other places......

Cue taps....

Looking for a Roommate


After a great school year, my current boarder/renter/roommate/new friend Dr. God* is moving out in a few weeks to search latin america for the next Lazarus. This means that unless my mortgage company plans to reduce my monthly payment (unlikely) I need a new roommate.

The room in the house for rent is cozy (8 x 12) with a large closet. Huge bathroom with washer and dryer is shared. Remainder of the house is furnished with free phone, wireless internet and cable.

House is close to 80 and G8 bus lines and about 15 minute walk to RI ave or Shaw metros. Close to Howard, Trinity and CUA.

Looking for a laid back, responsible, mature and clean tenant. I am a SPM who has enough spare time to blog, and a job good enough to afford bottled beer on occasion and a grill to prepare meat and veggies on.

Please email me at for more information.

(*PhD student in theology at CUA, thus the name)

(EDIT: Potential renters, obviously I am cool enough for this post to be picked up by Wonkette, so you know its a great place to live. As for the P, perhaps it is a reference to Naughty by Natures piece de resistance from the 1990's) Thanks for the shout guys!

Trash, Trash Everywhere.


Spring has finally sprung. Tulips are up, the sun is out, and people are spending time outside. In general, spring in DC is beautiful, my favorite time of year. However, there is an underside to all of this, as is usually the case. Trash. We are still beset with the following forms of trash;

-illegal dumping in the alleys off R St.
-Neighbors leaving trash cans on the streets
-unofficial bulk pickup items strewn on the sidewalks
-take out containers, cans, bottles, condom wrappers and crack bags
-campaign posters
-household demolition waste

I often wonder if people litter because the environment is already littered, or because they just have no sense of civic society. Do people really not understand that throwing your S*it on the ground ain't right?

I guess it all comes down to personal responsibility. Its the responsibility of members of a community not to litter. Until then, the civic minded have to keep things clean. It is our job to point out to our ANC leaders, council members, and the proper authorities when people are breaking the laws (think Lincoln Arms). And it is the responsibility of our lawmakers, and municipal workers to keep up with resident requests and enforcement of existing laws.

If there is any desire to make Eckington a clean and prosperous section of town, with businesses and a significant drop in crime, these steps are a good start.

The Building Went for How Much?



More movement in the NE office building market. Check this article in CPN.

Ownership of Capitol Plaza I, a new 292,000-square-foot office building in the city's blossoming NoMa submarket, has changed hands just five months after its completion. A partnership involving the Stephen A. Goldberg Co. sold the Class A property to VEF Advisors L.L.C. in a $94.5 million transaction.