The JBG Companies’ New Development Inspired by Legendary Buildings

The new community is "creating opportunities for young artists to be part of the transformation" of D.C.

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Chevy Chase, Md.—Work is underway on 13/U, a mixed-use development from The JBG Companies, at 1300 U Street NW in Washington, D.C.

Situated close to the U Street/Cardozo Metro Station, the 13/U development will feature 129 new market-rate and affordable apartments and almost 16,000 square feet of retail at street level. They will be part of an eight-story brick structure with a design inspired by the city’s most legendary apartment buildings.

The development site was formerly filled by a strip shopping center anchored by a Rite-Aid pharmacy. The retailer will return to the neighborhood with an 8,400 square-foot storefront in 13/U. The development, which also includes 48 below-grade parking spaces, will deliver in 2017.

The new mixed-use structure will put residents within walking distance to a number of art and music venues, including the historic Lincoln Theatre and the renowned 9:30 Club. JBG is particularly familiar with the area encircling the U Street Corridor. Within the submarket, the developer has more than 1,100 residential units and nearly 128,000 square feet of retail space.

The approval of 13/U included the provision that a $600,000 community benefits package be part of the deal. Funds have been designated to finance the creation of a play space at Westminster Place and a new Capital Bike Share station. Financing has also been earmarked for the founding of a business improvement district and new recreational fields at Garrison Elementary School.

At the time of the groundbreaking, the District-based Words Beats & Life organization unveiled a temporary public art installation by local artists along the temporary covered sidewalk between 13th and 14th Streets along U Street.

Students from the summer programs of Words Beats & Life assisted in the creation of the visions for the murals. Those visions inspired local artists to create the murals, which incorporate lively colors in paying homage to U Street‘s unique legacy.

“We believe the U Street Corridor is one of the most vibrant areas of the city,” said Kai Reynolds, a JBG partner. “We’re invested in its neighborhoods and committed to placemaking that lives up to their creativity, eclectic nature and historic character.”

Added mayor Muriel Bowser: “This development will strengthen this vibrant neighborhood by creating more affordable housing for D.C. residents, and by offering more job opportunities for our talented workforce. With the help of groups like JBG, we will ensure that everyone in the District shares in our city’s prosperity as we create more pathways to the middle class.”

Words Beats & Life executive director Mazi Mutafa also had positive words about the initiative. “The value of corporate citizens creating opportunities for young artists to be part of the transformation of our city is priceless,” Mutafa said.

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