WBJ reports on Jemal development today

DG-Rad, of Anacostia Now, has informed me that the Washington Business Journal ran a story about Jemal and Square 450 and 451 today in their print edition. A coincidence or did our coverage prod them into contacting Jemal to see what’s up? =)

In the article it says Jemal plans for the project to include 800,000 square feet of office space, 400,000 square of retail, 500 residential units, a boutique hotel and an entertainment attraction such as House of Blues. The article hints that the city’s requirement for housing to be included, given the residential real estate market, has slowed the time frames down for the project as Jemal is “waiting for the storm to go by”.

Two take aways for me: 1) Good to hear House of Blues still being mentioned as I wasn’t sure if Live Nation’s interest had evaporated given their recent deal in downtown Silver Spring. 2) If inclusion of housing is slowing this down the city should ease up on that requirement. The Mount Vernon Triangle will still have the greatest concentration of residential units of any BID even if these two squares have none. Let’s not stall this for years over more residential units.

Near the very bottom of the article WBJ also reports bidding is underway for headquarters of National Public Radio, which NPR will be vacating in 2011. An NPR spokeswoman told WBJ a deal is expected in coming weeks.

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  1. 1

    Nathan says

    Ugh, you really want a House of Blues? I hope there are more local and independent businesses instead of generic chain stores going into that development. Live Nation is like the Walmart of the nightclub industry and will only bring acts that have been approved by those living in Los Angeles. Anyways, the community already said they don’t want a nightclub in the area.

  2. 2

    fourthandeye says

    @nathan – I don’t necessarily want a House of Blues per se. What I do want is some sort of major entertainment anchor in the Square 451 development. That’s the only Square that is isolated from other current or planned residential projects. The neighborhood needs more than a papa johns, gym, grocery store, churches and 3000 condo units to be vibrant with active streets.

    I’d be happy if Hurwitz opened a venue in the location rather than Live Nation. But it is good news that Live Nation is still interested. The D.C. music scene needs to grow. Interest from national companies may give our local music venues the kick in the pants they need to expand and fill the void. Otherwise they can remain comfortable and stick with the status quo. I do think Live Nation needs pay there own way and not be subsidized.

  3. 3

    Anonymous says

    I’m really excited about the Safeway to improve my quality of life now. But I agree. In 5-7 years having a condo next to a new grocer won’t be all that special. Other communities are on the verge of adding Harris Teeters, Whole Foods and Yes Organic markets.