by Borderstan.com June 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm 1 Comment

"Pink"

The Louis at 14 and BakeHouse come together to celebrate Pink Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

I am sure you are wondering what this is about. Well, it is all about fun and wearing pink. Celebrate the color pink. This Sunday, June 23, The Louis at 14 and BakeHouse are all about pink they are coming together to give away free pink cupcakes and lollipops on the pinkest day of the year.

Yes, it is a fun neighborhood event, although it is a National Day. (Yes, the Louis at 14 is the JBG Cos. huge project at the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW.)

Sunday, “Like” the Louis at 14 on their Facebook page, get a secret code and head on to BakeHouse (1407 T Street NW) to get your choice of free cupcake or lollipop. Dress up in pink, make it fun, get your picture taken and be part of the Louis at 14 photo gallery.

by Borderstan.com May 20, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

"Louis"

Crane tower at the Louis removed this past weekend. (Luis Gomez Photos)

This past weekend JBG removed the tower crane from the Louis project at 14th and U NW — although the complex is far from done. Construction on the Louis started a year ago and reached the top floor about two weeks ago. As JBG Cos. begins work on the facade, installation of a covered walkway for pedestrians gets under way.

The historic façade of what used to be El Paraiso Restaurant has now been supported and façade restoration work is underway. Brick and window installation for the buildings will be well underway by the end of the month. The Louis project is on schedule, according to JBG Cos., and they hope to finish the entire project by the end of 2013.

The Louis will have nine floors (seven floors on the southern end of the 14th Street side) and 268 rental units, with a mix of floor plans that runs from studio apartments up to two-bedroom units — and several penthouse units on the top level. The three-level underground parking garage will have 40 spaces for retail customers and 110 spaces for residential renter.

Topping off the entire building will be a pool. The Louis has already secured some tenants for its retail space: Trader Joe’s, The Wydown Coffee Bar and Tico from Chef Michael Schlow.

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by Borderstan.com May 2, 2013 at 10:00 am 2 Comments

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.

"Borderstan" "Louis 14th"

A rendering of the Louis at 14th and U NW. (Courtesy JBG Cos.)

You’ve known it’s been coming. You’ve heard the rumors, you’ve even read the confirmations, and yet you kept wondering if and when Trader Joe’s would finally come to 14th Street NW. That much-beloved grocery store may not be open for business quite yet, but the process just moved ahead one more step.

According to the Washington Business Journal, DC has finally issued a permit for the Trader Joe’s at 14th and U Street. It was confirmed last September that Trader Joe’s would be a part of the Louis, the mixed-use complex still under construction. It is expected that construction on The Louis will be completed near December 2013, and with it, we should see the opening of the Trader Joe’s not long after.

The Trader Joe’s in West End is a regularly packed affair and if it’s any indication, the new Trader Joe’s in our community will be a huge draw. Famous for their eclectic and affordable groceries (and wine, in particular), Trader Joe’s is the perfect grocery store addition to the Borderstan area.

Meanwhile, changes and improvements to the grocery store landscape can be seen around the neighborhood. Shaw’s O Street Market will feature a brand new Giant and there is talk of a Harris Teeter possibly coming to the intersection of Sherman Avenue, Florida Avenue and V Street NW, just a few blocks northeast of 14th and U.

For an area once known for a scarcity of grocery stories, Borderstan is beginning to look flush with choice and variety.

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by Borderstan.com September 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm 1,605 0

"Trader Joe's"

Trader Joe’s will open on the 1900 block of 14th Street NW in the Louis complex. (Luis Gomez Photos)

After about two years of speculation and rumors — ever since JBG Cos. announced their plans for the Louis residential-retail complex at the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW — The Washington Post reported Sunday that a Trader Joe’s grocery store will open in the complex.

The grocery store chain will open its second DC location on the 1900 block of 14th Street NW. There is a mini-Trader Joe’s in Foggy Bottom at 1101 25th Street NW. The chain has six other stores in the DC metro area. The chain has what some might call a near cult-like following — due in part to “Two-Buck Chuck” is the nickname given to the Charles Shaw Wines sold at Trader Joe’s at low prices.

The Louis complex started in February with demolition, and the last tenants left the site a few months ago. The building, developed by JBG Companies, will include 267 apartment units in nine floors, as well as 30,000-square feet of street-level retail. The expected completion date is December 2013.

At present the closest grocery stores in the area are YES! Organic at 2123 14th Street NW and the Best DC Supermarket at 1507 U Street NW.

Will Harris Teeter Follow?

The same Washington Post article reported, “A few blocks northeast of that project, JBG and its retail arm, JBG Rosenfeld, have lined up a commitment from another grocer, Harris Teeter, but it will require winning the rights to some city-owned property on Sherman Avenue.” The possible site for a second Harris Teeter grocery store in DC would be where V Street, Sherman Avenue and Florida Avenue NW connect.

Given the huge population gains in recent years in the Logan, U Street and southern part of Columbia Heights, you have to ask, “What took so long to get more grocery stores in the area?”

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by Borderstan.com August 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm 0

"Borderstan" "Louis 14th"

A rendering of the luxury apartment building, Louis, at 14th and U NW. Construction is scheduled to finish in December 2013. (Courtesy of JBG Cos.)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

The sound of constant construction has become standard (dare I even say, somewhat soothing) along 14th Street NW. But don’t get too used to it. In just 17 months, the construction on the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW (the site of the future Louis luxury apartment building) will be completed.

I know, December 2013 is pretty far away. But here’s the progress you can expect to see this coming month:

  • Demolition of the back half of the structure will begin, as the last of the current occupants vacate.
  • The tower crane will be installed at the construction site.
  • Sheeting and shoring will be completed.

Construction on the Louis apartment building started in February 2012 with demolition. The building, developed by JBG Companies, will include 267 apartment units in nine floors, as well as 30,000-square feet of street-level retail.

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by Borderstan.com June 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,245 0

"Louis"

Construction at the Louis, southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

You’ve walked by the construction numerous times on your way to yoga, out to dinner and even en route to late night drinks. And yet, you have no idea what lies behind the dirt and crane abyss at the intersection of 14th and U Streets NW.

Well, my friends, that construction lot is the site of a new luxury apartment complex. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. (See Plans Unveiled for the Louis at 14th/U; Will Remake Famous Corner.)

The Louis, which is expected to be completed in December 2013 by JBG Cos., is currently in the initial stages of development. As of now, the initial excavation, street level demolition and the preliminary foundation work is complete.

So what can we expect these next few months? In early-to-mid July, the tower crane foundation will be installed to allow concrete foundations to begin by August 1st. And in August, the development company will begin selective demolitions of nearby U Street properties.

For more information, stay tuned to Borderstan or register for updates on the complex’s website.

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,593 0

"DC Noodles" "Stem"

On July 1, DC Noodles will close for one year while work gets underway on JBG's Louis residential-commercial complex at 14th and U Streets NW. When owner Sak Pollert reopens he will use the space occupied by Stem to increase the size of the restaurant. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

The popular U Street eatery DC Noodles will close for one year on July 1 as construction on the huge JBG Cos. project, the Louis, takes off at the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW. According to DC Noodles owner Sak Pollert, the restaurant has a tentative reopening date of July 1, 2013. Pollert also owns the next-door boutique, Stem, which will not reopen next year. (See Plans Unveiled for the Louis at 14th/U; Will Remake Famous Corner.)

“We will use the Stem space to increase the size of DC Noodles,” Pollert said. He also owns Rice Restaurant on 14th Street NW. Pollert said Stem’s closing sale begins Tuesday, with 40% to 60% off all merchandise. The two businesses are at 1412 U Street NW.

Utopia has already temporarily closed their doors due to construction work on the Louis. The 24/7 coffee shop has relocated to the northwest corner of 15th and U Streets NW under the name Mediterranean (former site of Love Cafe). However, Coppi’s Organic Restaurant will be able to stay open during the work. Certain buildings with historic facades, including the former El Paraiso restaurant building on 14th, the McDonald’s at the corner, and the stretch of buildings on U Street — the former 24/7, DC Noodles/Stem, Coppi’s Organic and Utopia — are being preserved and incorporated into the Louis complex.

DC Noodles Menu at Rice

Pollert said that beginning July 1 the DC Noodles menu will be available at selected times at Rice, 1608 14th Street NW. “The DC Noodles menu will be available at Rice every day for lunch, and Sunday through Thursday for dinner,” said Pollert.

“We are looking forward to reopening DC Noodles next year. We love being a part of the U Street community,” said Pollert.

The Louis will have nine floors (seven floors on the southern end of the 14th Street side) and 268 rental units, with a mix of floor plans that includes studio apartments up to two-bedroom units –and several penthouse units on the top floor. The three-level underground parking garage will have 40 spaces for retail customers and 110 units for tenants of the rental building.

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by Borderstan.com March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,599 0

"Borderstan" "Louis 14th", JBG Cos., U, Street

Artist rendering of the Louis apartment-retail complex that is just getting underway on the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW. (courtesy JBG Cos.)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

The real estate developer JBG Cos, has five large projects underway between 14th and S Streets and 7th and Florida Avenue NW. According to the Washington City Paper‘s Housing Complex Blog, all of them are in varying stages of development and approval by various councils and boards.

Among the stalled projects is the unnamed hotel at 13th and U Streets NW, which has been snarled by financing, Rite Aid’s long-term lease and neighborhood concern about the initial design, as well as the Louis project slated for 14th and U Streets NW ($1,500 studios that may come with a ‘limited service grocer’ and all kinds of amenities on the roof). You may have also read Alejandra Owens’ post about about Estadio owner Mark Kuller’s new Asian concept at 14th and S Streets NW.

However, yesterday local blog U Street Dirt had a post yesterday about JBG’s plans for a hotel: “Hotel at 13th and U? Naah. How About Rentals?” The post asked whether JBG is changing its mind about its plans for the spot. Emails to JBG and their spokespersons late yesterday afternoon were not returned. This morning Washington City Paper‘s Housing Complex blog had a piece on the possible switch to rentals from a hotel, with a comment from JGB’s Matthew Blocher that they are essentially still exploring mixed uses for the site. Apparently more info is to come on April 10 at JBG presentation at Busboys & Poets.

Basically, if you’re already concerned about parking in the area, things could very well get much busier in a hurry… or in a bit of time, if we know the local approval processes involved for several of the bigger deliveries. But then again, it also seems that many of the new residents in the area do not own cars. Am I right?

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by Borderstan.com February 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm 2,891 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "Brian Moll" "Louis 14th/U", Luis Gomez Photos, JBG Companies

Project Manager Bryan Moll at Tuesday’s unveiling of plans for the Louis at 14th and U Streets NW. Demolition will begin next week with a completion date of the fourth quarter of 2013. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matt Rhoades and Luis Gomez

The massive — by DC standards — mixed-use building coming to the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW isn’t really news anymore; the project has been discussed for the past two years and was originally known as the Utopia Project. However, to truly understand how it will alter the landscape of one of the city’s best-known intersections requires visuals.

At the Tuesday unveiling of the project at 14th and U Streets NW — to be called the Louis  — the artist renderings of the mixed apartment-retail complex did just that — showing how the 1900 block of 14th Street and the 1400 block of U Street NW will look when the project is completed. (See artist rendering at bottom of page.)

In addition to replacing a number of buildings on the 14th Street side, the project is also a fill-in of areas behind current buildings and parking lots. Demolition is scheduled to begin next week.

A member of the JBG public relations team concocted a “Louis 14 cocktail” for the occasion: ½ oz. crème de cassis, 1 oz. vodka, 3 oz. dry vermouth, club soda, blackberry garnish.

The name of for the complex was used for the promo signs and visuals at the Tuesday event — with King Louis XIV of France theme in evidence (check the website). What would called a high-end rental building, Louis is a joint effort of The JBG Companies and Georgetown Strategic Capital. The estimated completion date for the project is the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Project Manager Bryan Moll of the The JBG Companies.

"Borderstan" "Louis 14th/U", Luis Gomez Photos, JBG Companies

Artist rendering of the top floor of the Louis, showing the rooftop pool. (Image from The JBG Companies)

Certain buildings with historic facades, including the former El Paraiso restaurant building on 14th, the McDonald’s at the corner, and the stretch of buildings on U Street — 24/7, DC Noodles/Stem, Coppi’s Organic and Utopia — will be preserved. The Louis will be built behind this stretch of buildings on the U Street side. Moll said that these business on the U Street “will have to close for one year” during construction.”

“We are still in negotiations with two of the U Street tenants,” said Moll. He could not elaborate on which of the U Street-side businesses had or had not reached an agreement with JBG. However, he said the need for closure is related to the kitchens, which are located in the rear of the restaurants.

The Louis will have nine floors (seven floors on the southern end of the 14th Street side) and 268 rental units, with a mix of floor plans that includes studio apartments up to two-bedroom units –and several penthouse units on the top level. The three-level underground parking garage will have 40 spaces for retail customers and 110 units for tenants of the rental building.

Topping off the entire building will be a pool (see artist rendering above right). According to Moll, the 14th Street side will have anywhere from three to seven retail spaces — with no leases signed yet. There will be a total of 42,000 square feet of retail space in the building.

The building boom along the 14th Street corridor that started in the last decade has recently taken a turn from condo to rental buildings. The District Condos project — spanning the west side of 14th from S to Swann Streets NW announced in November that its 125 units (with first-floor retail) would be rentals instead of condos. JBG and Grosvenor partnered on that project. The new name is District Apartments with leasing expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Moll.

In an economy that has still not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis and housing-market bust, mortgage requirements have tightened — and people who might have considered buying are not renting.

"Borderstan" "Louis 14th/U"

Artist rendering of the Louis, which will remake the southwest corner of the intersection at 14th and U Streets NW. The main view shown here is of the 1900 block of 14th Street NW. (Image from The JBG Companies)

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