14 Responses to “Douglas Development presents concept for Squares 450/451”


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  1. si

    nice rundown & you read my mind about HOB. that would make jackie C. so happy ;) And it seems as though they intend to put whatever it is underground.

    i didnt see anything so far that would be especially contentious, its good that they want to keep the 24hr activity off of L street as there are apts right across the way there but it would be nice for them to strike a balance between 3am madness & a dead block. we have enough dead blocks in dc. I'm happy to hear Marrakesh & the Eritrean cultural center are likely staying around and im not surprised about 628 NY. I like K a lot. But i was surprised about the the Doctor's lots not being in play. guess we will have to work on him improving it beyond the flower box on the iron girder – a nice touch by K.

    i'm definitely excited to finally see movement on this project, its been many moons of vacant property. we cant stare at those broken windows for another 2 years, i hope they fix em in the interim. this is an easy way to build some goodwill.

  2. fourthandeye

    @Si – yeah, I don’t think anything ambitious can be pulled off on L Street. Retail works better when it can be on both sides of a street segment. Plus, I don’t think this view is what retailers want across the street. Like Millstein said, if any retail could go on L street it would have to be service related. I don’t know that a dry cleaners that closes at 7pm will make much impact to promoting activity on the block. The only thing coming to mind might be a Kinkos that’s open late (provided there isn’t one already planned in or around the Convention Center).

  3. si

    hmm not a dry cleaner or a copy shop, they are both around the corner up 7th…something though besides truck loading, garage entrances…view is not so bad. there are nice mature trees & UHOP dows a decent landscaping job usually.

  4. fourthandeye

    The landscaping isn’t so bad. All those red fences around the terraces and Central air units really stick out to me though…

  5. Anonymous

    Did Marriott do a presentation on the Marquis hotel?

  6. SG

    Whoops, that last one was me.

    By the way, the plans for the 450/451 sound fine, if not exciting. I’m sure Douglas will do a good job on it.

  7. si

    no, marriott has been holding separate meetings for a while regarding the hotel. we brought a copy of the plans to mvsna. Cary has the meat on his blog:

  8. Cary Silverman

    We don’t need another copy center On L — We already have a Kinkos at 7th and Mass, Miller Copying on the 1000 Block of 7th, and a business center located across the street from Miller in the Convention Center.

    Something needs to be done with the 600 Block of L Street. The garage and warehouse-type historic buildings would seem ideal for residential — it reminds me of the 1400 Block of Church Street in Logan Circle where they built Rainbow Lofts in an old car repair shop.

    I wouldn’t want that block having nothing but a parking garage entrance and loading dock for the retail and offices that open onto NY Avenue.

  9. fourthandeye

    @SG – I think the concept for 450/451 is exciting. I really like their preservation concepts. Douglas, while they notoriously take a while to fill retail with tenants, will incorporate significant space to retail, entertainment and restaurants.

    Everything is relative. What’s not exciting to me is the DuMont having a gigantic 550+ unit project, with extensive Mass Ave frontage, and only allocating one tiny corner of about 900sf to retail. If the DuMont had a greater commitment to retail that block could have been more lively and it would have benefited not only residents but the retailers who will one day occupy 455 Mass, 400 Mass and Mass Court.

  10. fourthandeye

    @Si & Cary – When I suggested Kinkos I was just trying to think of a business that is open fairly late while still being quiet. Also a business that probably wouldn't care about being across from UHOP and next to loading docks. I don't think a fine dining restaurant or Apple store wants that location/view. But perhaps a small fast food place like Quiznos wouldn't care.

  11. Anonymous

    Yes, I would be ecstatic if House of Blues moved to our neighborhood. I love that place. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Jackie C

  12. si

    you’re right on there :) hmm…it’ll be interesting to some up with things that would fit the bill. a good discussion…flower shop?

  13. fourthandeye

    @Si – yeah, it’s hard to nail down the perfect fit. I tend to focus my suggestions on things that might stay open until 10pm. Shops that close at 6 or 7pm don’t have the activity when I think it’s most needed.

  14. RobA

    I agree with 4th (and the others) that businesses need to be open past 7:00 pm if you want to bring any life onto that block. I’m not that concerned with the lack of residences in the proposal given that we will soon have more residential property in the area than we will need in the near term down New York Avenue. In addition to Yale II and the two Bozzutto buildings at the corner of 5th and New York, we will also have 1500+ units at the NW One development crossing all income levels. Let’s create more places for all those new residents to go to.