Tag Archives: Brookland

901 Monroe St NE Development Update

We are currently in a holding pattern, awaiting changes to the District of Columbia’s Comprehensive Plan, for updates to the Future Use Land Map, which would allow for our proposed ‘Ravenna at Brookland Station’ project to be built.

In the interest of providing a transparent and factual understanding of what has happened with the project over the last 10 years, the Menkiti Group and Horning Brothers team provide the following detailed overview of the 901 Monroe Street NE project. 

A description of the project and proposed renderings of the design may be found here.

Initial Phases/Background

  • The existing zoning designation at 901 Monroe Street NE is inconsistent with current urban planning and transit-oriented development concepts which are expressly designed to enhance American cities and neighborhoods. The existing zoning designation is especially problematic when considering the site’s proximity to Metro and its position along a major commercial corridor.
  • Members of the Brookland community and DC Office of Planning spent 3-5 years developing the Brookland/CUA Metro Station Small Area Plan which was approved by the DC Council in 2009. This plan called for increased density on the 901 Monroe Street NE site along with greater connectivity between the east and west sides of the rail tracks. The plan contemplates buildings of greater density and height than allowed by existing zoning.

Timeline/Progress + Milestones

  • Over the course of more than 40 community meetings in 2011 and 2012, the Menkiti Group and Horning Brothers team proposed a project designed in keeping with the Small Area Plan. Any proposed development exceeding one-story required modification of the underlying zoning designation. In this case, we pursued approval of a Planned Unit Development process (PUD) by the Zoning Commission, which is a public process designed to ensure that neighborhood residents and the surrounding community are thoughtfully considered and provided with tangible community benefits.
  • Over the course of many additional meetings and conversations with community members, the Menkiti Horning team significantly modified the proposed PUD to accommodate neighborhood feedback.
  • The PUD was approved unanimously by the Zoning Commission in 2012.
  • The PUD was appealed, and the Court of Appeals requested that the Zoning Commission clarify the published PUD approval order regarding medium vs. moderate density projects.
  • The PUD was again approved unanimously by the Zoning Commission in 2013.
  • The PUD was appealed a second time, at which time the Court of Appeals suggested that the Zoning Commission process was broken, and that the Zoning Commission needed to be more thorough and clearer in its process of writing PUD approval orders.
  • The PUD was once again approved unanimously by the Zoning Commission in 2015.
  • The PUD was appealed a third time. The Court of Appeals appeared to be moving to remand the PUD to the Zoning Commission yet again. However, our attorney specifically requested that they not remand the case but render a final decision.

    In 2016, The Court of Appeals responded by overturning the Zoning Commission’s Order, thus vacating the original and all successive PUD approvals.
  • Since 2016, a wave of similar appeals has swept across the District, affecting other significant development projects in the city, including the nearby $720M McMillan Sand Filtration Plant redevelopment. See this July 2017 article from BISNOW.

What needs to happen for the 901 Monroe project to move forward?

  • Also in 2016, a formal Comprehensive Plan Amendment cycle was initiated by the Office of Planning. As part of this process, more than 3,000 public comments were submitted. In March 2018, the DC Council held a hearing to capture public testimony regarding the Comprehensive Plan and nearly 300 members of the community testified in a record session that lasted more than 13 hours. Members of the Menkiti Horning team testified in support of proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments.
  • In the Fall of 2018, the DC Council delayed the Comprehensive Plan Amendment discussion that would in turn update the now outdated Future Land Use Map. The DC Council has committed to address the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process in an upcoming legislative session in 2019. See this January 2019 article from Washington Business Journal.
  • Through all this a vacant property lies wasting away at a key location in one of DC’s great neighborhoods.

Happening at the site now:

  • For the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Monroe Street Bridge Project to be completed efficiently, the DDOT contractor required an adjacent staging location for construction equipment and materials. The Menkiti Horning team has temporarily leased space to Fort Myer Construction for the duration of the bridge reconstruction project.  We have no information on the duration or

The Menkiti Horning team remains committed to turning the vacant property at 901 Monroe St NE into a vibrant project. Future updates will be posted here and on our Facebook page.

24th Annual Brookland Lights Trolley Tour

The Annual Brookland Trolley Tour Celebration of Lights took place this past Sunday, December 16th and broke all previous attendance records. With almost 500 friends and neighbors joining in to celebrate the holiday season, joy was all around!

Relive the magic in the video below, and be sure to join us next year for the 25th Annual Milestone Tour!
More Photos Available Online

Thank You to our generous sponsors and jolly volunteers who made the event possible.

Annie’s Ace Hardware
Brookland Pint
Chipotle
Good Food Market
Potbelly
Right Proper Brewing Co.
San Antonio Bar & Brill
Smith Public Trust
Wardman Wines
Yes Organic Market
Zeke’s Coffee

Community Partner Profile – Annie’s ACE Hardware

In our first of a series of community partner profiles, Kymber Menkiti and Jen Frewer visited our Brookland neighbor, Annie’s ACE Hardware. Store manager, Alex Pettiford, discussed preparing for extreme weather and how Annie’s ACE is a one-stop-shop for emergency supplies.

Annie’s ACE Hardware in Brookland opened in 2015 and has quickly become a fixture in the community. Visit them at 3405 8th Street NE – Annie’s incredible staff will be there to help with all of your home and hardware needs!

MG COMMERCIAL SIGNS CALABASH TEA & TONIC IN BROOKLAND

THE MENKITI GROUP’S COMMERCIAL TEAM SIGNS CALABASH TEA & TONIC TO 2701 12TH STREET NE
Award-winning teahouse prepares to open second DC location with large outdoor patio.

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2018 — The Menkiti Group’s commercial division, MG Commercial announces the recent signing of Calabash Tea & Tonic, an award-winning teahouse based in Washington, DC, to its property at 2701 12th Street, NE, in the heart of the Brookland neighborhood.  The 900 square foot location will be the second for Calabash and will feature a large outdoor patio with medicinal plants and culinary herbs and is slated to open later this spring.

Proposed streetscape and outdoor patio for Calabash’s Brookland location.

The first Calabash location in Shaw has been voted “Best Tea” five years in a row by the Washington City Paper, and the Brookland location will feature over 50 organic tea blends based on founder Dr. Sunyatta Amen’s Cuban-Jamaican great-grandmother’s time-tested formulas. The teahouse will also serve direct trade pour-over coffees, vegetarian food selections, and will host community meetups and wellness-focused events.

“We are very pleased to include Calabash Tea & Tonic as one of our neighborhood-serving retail tenants in a space that is very special to us and to the Brookland community,” said Bo Menkiti, CEO and Founder of The Menkiti Group.

Existing 2701 12th St NE location. owned by The Menkiti Group.

The high-visibility site (left) once housed Menkiti headquarters and is ideally suited for activation with retail and community engagement offerings. The same block includes MG Commercial tenant Italian deli Salumeria 2703 (2703 12th St. NE). Rob Foa represented MG Commercial in the transaction.

This location will also allow Calabash to expand its rapidly growing wholesale business, which currently serves Shop Made In DC, Baked & Wired, WeWork D.C., Cove, and Culture Coffee businesses in the area, among others. The new jobs created in Brookland will allow Calabash to continue its commitment to hiring single mothers, veterans and returning citizens.

“This concept is just what the neighborhood needs, and we recognize the deeper impact that Calabash can make with hiring from the community, and be supporting ongoing engagement and activity there, too. We strongly support any businesses that operate from a similar perspective,” said Menkiti.

Amen, a fifth-generation master herbalist and naturopathic physician, says, “We have this incredibly dynamic and diverse community of staff and guests at our Shaw location and we’re excited to expand to my neighborhood of Brookland. Because of its creativity, history, and vibrancy, Northeast DC is the perfect place for our next home. We look forward to contributing to the commercial invigoration of the 12th Street strip.”

For information on MG Commercial leasing opportunities, contact Rob Foa. To learn more about The Menkiti Group, visit MenkitiGroup.com and follow on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

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2017 School Lottery Mixer – January 9th

Have you successfully (or perhaps not-so-successfully) navigated the world of the DCPS educational lottery system? Do you have a child or grandchild who will be school-aged in a year or two and are curious about the process?
We’re kicking off the new year by inviting parents of current and rising DCPS and charter school students to the Menkiti Group office (3401 8th Street NE) for the 3rd Annual Brookland Parents Lottery Mixer, scheduled for January 9th from 6-8pm. It’s a very informal way to meet other parents, ask and answer questions, and prepare yourself for the application process.
If you haven’t RSVPed, please mark your calendars and do so here:  http://www.tinyurl.com/lotterymixer
We are fully subscribed on wine, plates, cups, etc.  Bring a snack if you would like, but otherwise, we are set.  Babies in arms only please.

JANUARY 2017 | SEMI-ANNUAL KIDS CLOTHING SWAP

So nice, we have to do it Twice! Semi-annual kids clothing swap begins January 2nd to help kickstart your 2017 purge! 

Have your little ones grown by a size or two? Do you have a few bags of clothing after Christmas you can’t use any more?

Please bring your gently worn clothing to the Menkiti Group office (3401 8th Street NE) starting Monday, January 2nd

Porch Pickups are BACK! Send us an email HERE to let us know that you need your clothes picked up from your porch. Please provide name and address of pickup.

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We’ll assemble and organize all donations, and then welcome you back on Saturday, January 7th from 11am-1pm to pick out new threads for your children.
Are you expecting? Please come by and get started on your infant wardrobe! No donation of clothing or money required.

Did you JUST donate those old clothes but can still use the next size up? Come anyway! Nobody will be turned away, and any leftover clothing will be donated to a local charity.

2016 School Lottery Mixer – January 6th

Have you successfully (or perhaps not-so-successfully) navigated the world of the DCPS educational lottery system? Do you have a child or grandchild who will be school-aged in a year or two and are curious about the process?
We’re kicking off the new year by inviting parents of current and rising DCPS and charter school students to the Menkiti Group office (3401 8th Street NE) for the 2nd Annual Brookland Parents Lottery Mixer, scheduled for January 6th from 6-8pm. It’s a very informal way to meet other parents, ask and answer questions, and prepare yourself for the application process.
If you haven’t RSVPed, please mark your calendars and do so here:  http://www.tinyurl.com/lotterymixer
We are fully subscribed on wine, plates, cups, etc.  Bring a snack if you would like, but otherwise we are set.  Babies in arms only please.