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In Pictures: Development Projects Line the 14th Street Corridor

14th Street NW, Logan Circle, Luis Gomez  Photos, Borderstan

Click on the collage for the Flickr slide show of development projects underway in the 14th Street corridor. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez and Matty Rhoades

View the slide show of photos of development projects planned or underway in the 14th Street corridor. Each photo has a caption explaining the development project; click on Show Info to see the captions.

Washington’s 14th Street NW corridor was a big redevelopment project waiting to happen. As inner city and downtown living became popular again in the 1990s it now seems impossible that valuable chunks of land in the heart of D.C. would remain unused or underutilized.

The 1.5-mile strip of 14th Street from Thomas Circle to Columbia Heights had a relatively large number of empty or underutilized lots that were ideal for residential and commercial projects. Even now there are still empty lots or properties with small one-story structures that are suitable for new buildings.

Many of these properties had been vacant for decades — since riots and fires swept the area following the April 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In some locations, small one-story buildings went up in the years after 1968, but others remained empty or became used car lots.

As the city went into decline in the 1970s and 1980s there was neither the will nor the money to develop them. However, a little more than a decade ago this changed. Along with a renewed interest in downtown urban living came more people, and the money began to flow into the Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods.

As a result, the 14th and U corridor is once again a thriving shopping and entertainment district. This time, though, the area is much wealthier. It also has a different racial mix than it had several decades ago when it was a middle class shopping district and entertainment hub for African Americans.

The 2010 U.S. Census showed a population gain for D.C. for the first time since 1950, with the city breaking the 600,000 population mark. A closer look at the local Census numbers shows that a large portion of the city’s population growth occurred near the 14th Street corridor — with young people making up the primary growth demographic.

Walk the 14th Street corridor and take the time to ponder the number of new buildings along the way: a new city has been dropped into the middle of the old one, a block here and a block there. For someone who has lived in the area for a decade or more, the effect is astonishing.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1219 posts on Borderstan.

Luis Gomez moved to the neighborhood eight years ago and loves music, his dog and photographing D.C. He also has two sites of his own: One Photograph A Day and If She Only Had Thumbs. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos; email him at luis@borderstan.com.

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3 Responses to “In Pictures: Development Projects Line the 14th Street Corridor”

  1. ME says:

    Good Job! Very Informative.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] surge of new construction is helping a Washington neighborhood that was under developed for [...]

  2. [...] Borderstan has a great article on the amount of development going into U Street right now. What it doesn’t cover is the expected growth over the next 5 years. This week I heard a conservative estimate that there will be 2000 new units in the area. Most will be rentals so I am not sure what that does for the sales market. I know housing inventory is down right now but as The District building comes up for sale that may change. JBG has a lot planned for the neighborhood so please come to the September U Street Neighborhood Association meeting to hear their plans for the neighborhood. [...]