Suggestions for Square 450/451

Over the last week we’ve gone in depth in our coverage of Douglas Development’s plans for Square 450 and Square 451. We’ve highlighted progress on assemblage, holdouts, historic considerations, other comparables in Jemal’s portfolio, and press clippings about development possibilities.

RED=Square 450; BLUE=Square 451

With all the information presented let’s make our suggestions for what we’d like to see included in this development. Below are the assumptions we’ll work from for our exercise:

  • New construction will be 12 stories
  • A boutique hotel, restaurants and retail will be included
  • Facades of historic properties must be preserved
  • The development of Square 450 will build around Marrakesh
  • The Waffle Shop will be relocated to Square 450
  • Square 451 will include a entertainment attraction of some kind as it is uniquely positioned that it borders no existing or planned residential development.

I look forward to your suggestions.

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  1. 1

    Anonymous says

    I think the “anchor” as such should be one large 9:30 Club type of venue, preferably converted from one or more existing buildings. DC currently has pent up demand for live music venues that can accommodate larger acts. This would be a perfect place for it.

    I also think there should be a strip of bars, but knowing Douglas they will be paying very high rents and that may discourage the less corporate entrepreneurs. We already have the Fado, Hooters thing going on further down on 7th. Also, U Street has cornered the market on the jazz crowd. Adams Morgan/Dupont/Gtown has the fratty vibe. So perhaps this area can cater to an older (26-40) crowd? Again, it’s an underserved market. But it will be competing with the increasingly established Penn Quarter for this crowd, too.

    It may be a poor use of valuable property, but paintball in one of the underground spaces could work too. It would be the only one I know of in the city…

    He would be wise to bring back a group like the Warehouse as an additional anchor as well. It would draw people into the neighborhood.

    And one thing that’s definitely needed: a HUGE sports bar. Along the lines of Bailey’s in Ballston or Crystal City Sports Pubs. The proximity to Verizon Center would make it attractive before, after and during games. It would also draw well (potentially) from the Convention Center if it was strategically located/highly visible.

    The office space is necessary in order to work as an “entertainment district” as you mentioned. It will also put eyes on the street during the day and bring more lunchtime traffic to the surrounding streets.

  2. 2

    DG-rad says

    other than that article a year ago, is there any movement on this. i pass this almost every day and it’s totally dripping with potential, yet i really don’t want it to lost it’s grittyness/cool factor… then again Douglas usually does pretty great work.

  3. 3

    fourthandeye says

    @dg-rad – unfortunately there isn’t any movement that I’m aware of. We just hadn’t really discussed these Squares since the blog started so I wanted to spend a little time focusing on them.