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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thinking about: Upping the Ante at 11th and Rhode Island

The intersection of 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue has not yet experienced the renaissance enjoyed by its surrounding Shaw and Logan Circle neighborhoods. The intersection is framed by a triangle park and three shabby looking (though seemingly well-trafficked), low density businesses: a laundromat/carwash, a cab company/auto repair shop, and a liquor store. For the most part, renovated, well-kept buildings abut these three businesses.

I think this intersection is not living up to its potential. Located just two blocks off of Logan Circle, this land is too valuable to be dominated by surface lots and low rise structures. I think that the parcels should be built out to the sidewalks and that three or four level structures should replace the existing one level structures currently. I think additional retail should be added to the ground floor mix (I envision this intersection as a hub of business activity for the area) with residences above.

Here are a few renderings of what kind of density I’m talking about.



16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any idea who owns these properties? Business-owned, developers, slumbankers?

8thQ said...

I say the same thing every time I walk through that intersection. How can a car wash business and a cab dispatch office be the highest and best uses of the land when you are a stone's throw away from Logan Circle?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more!! I can't help but think it's only a matter of a little more time...

EdTheRed said...

I'm pretty sure Diamond Cab owns the dispatch office/repair shop (or at least has a very long-term lease). My house backs up to the cab co., and for the seven years I've lived there, I've been expecting that parcel to be sold to a developer at any time. Not that I mind the taxi guys at all - they're good neighbors.

And don't mess with the liquor store! Otherwise I'd have to work up a sweat to buy booze...

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the homeowners (of the string of four wee townhouses abutting the cab company to the north on Q St.).

I'd invite any changes or improvements to the intersection...

Anonymous said...

that intersection could really rock! it could easily be the flip side of the 14th and P type strip - just on the eastern side of the circle. i think it has HUGE possibilities!

Anonymous said...

that intersection could really rock! it could easily be the flip side of the 14th and P type strip - just on the eastern side of the circle. i think it has HUGE possibilities!

Anonymous said...

i recall just before sept 11 2001 the Diamond Cab lot was listed for ! million dollars rr446

Umberto said...

I totally agree! I've long thought that the laundromat would be a great spot for a cool two story, restaurant and bar with a ton of outside seating and a hub of activity.

Anonymous said...

Nothing visually sums up gentrification like these photos. Dropping large yellow boxes out of the sky onto existing (likely black-owned) neighborhood business....

Shaw Rez said...

anon - I don't think you get the point of my post. I'm advocating for higher density, for adding uses to these parcels and for making this intersection a better hub of neighborhood commerce. These would be enhancements that would benefit the entire community.

I'm not advocating for the current owners to sell out, for million dollar condos to be constructed, or for the new developments to exclude the current businesses in the tenant mix.

tomveiltomveil said...

I would actually like this design best if you really were proposing to build three giant sticks of butter. But encouraging the existing businesses to replace their parking lots with other businesses that can complement and improve customer traffic for their own businesses, that's a good idea too.

Shaw Rez said...

tomveil - your comment made me laugh. Three giant, delicious towers of butter would do wonders for that intersection!

I'm a little dangerous with microsoft paint.

Anonymous said...

"I say the same thing every time I walk through that intersection. How can a car wash business and a cab dispatch office be the highest and best uses of the land when you are a stone's throw away from Logan Circle?"


Maybe we should allow business that have operated in the area longer than you have lived in the area continue to operate...

Anonymous said...

You might like to know that a beautiful Presbyterian church once graced the SW corner (car wash site) in the 1930s, but it burned in a fire. Ray M

Chris L said...

You've inspired me. I've been working with Google Sketchup at my internship all summer...so I might as well take your concept and see what I can do.