Where are the "emerging neighborhoods" where I can get a good value?

Asked by Heather Fernandez, San Francisco, CA Thu May 3, 2007

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Sasha, Agent, WA,
Mon Aug 6, 2007
One of the most exciting "up and coming" areas in the District is Northeast Capitol Hill, also known as the "H Street Corridor", and the "Atlas District". A once (and still somewhat) blighted neighborhood and commercial district that was devastated during the MLK riots, it is attracting new, big name investment every day. It is already an off-beat cultural district and home of the renovated Atlas Theatre and the ever popular Joy of Motion dance studio. Neighborhood visionaries like Jim Abdo (luxury condo developer largely responsible for the Logan Circle revitalization) and Joe Englert (owner of the Lucky Bar and other well-known DC nightspots) have set their eyes on the H street NE strip. Abdo has condos coming up at 3rd and H, and Englert has opened or is opening about a half a dozen restaurants, bars, and hip spots. In addition, the neighborhood is sandwiched between other huge development projects, including a planned residential/commercial complex by the Cohen Group at 3rd and L, and the New Town project off of Florida Avenue. Both of these sites are adjacent to the new and under-utilized Florida Metro on the Red Line. The H street corridor itself starts at about .5 miles from the Union Station and Florida Ave. metros - not a far walk, but not really a pleasant walk in light of the general disrepair of the neighborhood. The bus routes are great, but the buses are unpleasant. The relative absence of nice, clean, safe reliable transportation, however, led developers, city officials, and residents to convince the city to build a streetcar connecting the corridor to NW. That plan is still a few years out though. Finally, the area is due for a city "streetscape", where its sidewalks, roads, landscaping, and street lights are scheduled to be replaced to create a more pleasant environment. Lots of real estate deals in the area right now - especially from amateur developers selling their renovated row homes and "shell" properties that need gut jobs. H street is not a 2 year "get rich" scheme. It's going to take 5+ years for the area to really improve, but if the active commitment from the residents and the business community is sustained, it will come to fruition. If you can deal with the grit of the neighborhood now, it could pay off with some patience.
4 votes
David, , 20007
Sat May 12, 2007
Capitol Hill;
Just east of the 16th St. NW historical dividing line between "good" and "bad" Washington (ie. safe/unsafe, high-crime/low-crime, good schools/bad schools);
Generally any area that is "gentrifying", and the earlier the neighborhood is in that process the more upside value there will be, but the problem is that the earlier it is in that potential process, the greater the risk is that the process will fail. U Street looks like it will make it, and most of the upside value there is already gone. But the 16th St. dividing line has largely remained for the last 20 years, and those who bought on 13th St. haven't seen it happen, even though everyone thought it would. The farther north you go on 16th the more the gentrification starts spreading eastward, so as you look to the south of that eastward bulge there are probably good values to be had. There is a lot of economic development going in there. If you are thinking about close-in Virginia that's a different story, and someone else can advise you. If you are thinking about Maryland, that might as well be Kansas, given the commuting times, at least as far as I'm concerned.
3 votes
Richard Helb…, , Bethesda, MD
Fri Aug 15, 2008
Dear Heather,

You've gotten some good suggestions below...and this year buyers definitely hold the upper hand. However, I'll add that in coming into our market, your number one consideration will be: What is our budget?

Inside the District, (and many close-in VA and MD markets), prices have moved well beyond national averages, (IE: the average for a single-family house 2007 was $689,000, condo/coops $407,000). Furthermore, with exceptions of course, prices have either held steady or risen all year!

But, take heart, its the newest "emerging neighborhoods" that have had the biggest pull-backs, and opportunitites abound. Cheers!
0 votes
Jason Prood, Agent, Washington, DC
Thu Jul 10, 2008
Right now there are alot of areas that are getting alot of renovation. SW is very quick, Shaw is getting a great market developement, New York ave. They are all getting new stores and food markets which will help the nieghborhood grow and prosper and there are alot of great deals on property especially in this market.
0 votes
Steven Dean, Agent, Washington, DC
Sat Jun 21, 2008
Many Washingtonians don't even know about Southwest DC. Located on the Waterfront, Southwest is comprised of mostly mid-century modern architecture from the early 1960s.

The area is experiencing a lot of revitalization. Arena Stage is renovating and expanding, the Mall has been torn down and is being rebuilt, the apartment buildings on both sides of where the Mall was are being renovated.

The city is planning a huge revitalization project between 12th and 6th Streets along Water Street and Maine Avenue. For more details on that project, visit: http://www.swdcwaterfront.com/
0 votes
Dave, , Historic Anacostia, Washington, DC
Thu Feb 14, 2008

true, it is more isolated, but it is not extraordinarilly dangerous at all --remember, Anacostia is just a neighborhood, Not that entire side of the city. Just google "poplar point" with "anacostia" and you will see the major projects that will transform it.
0 votes
Ck, Home Buyer, Arlington, VA
Sun Feb 10, 2008
LOL Anacostia is the worst neighborhood this side of Baltimore. It's isolated from the rest of the city and extraordinarily dangerous. There has been some development from the bubble but that's over.
0 votes
Dave, , Historic Anacostia, Washington, DC
Mon Feb 4, 2008
Anacostia is definitely an emerging neighborhood -- and one where you can still buy a decently-affordable house. Check out anacostianow.blogspot.com for information on the neighborhood.
0 votes
Chris, , Washington, DC
Thu May 24, 2007
The Petworth area around the Georgia Avenue metro is up-and-coming. Several condo complexes are planned for the area and houses are still somewhat reasonable. Assuming gentrification filters up from Columbia Heights then there might be some solid appreciation in 5 years or so.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Fri May 11, 2007
I think that the areas above the water line offer exceptional potential. As the water recedes, they offer great potential to increase in value.
0 votes
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