All about the Edgewood Neighborhood of Washington, DC

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Friday, April 20, 2012

New neighbor? Welcome and here are some tips...

When I first moved to Edgewood (almost 4 years ago now- time flies!) I set about researching many things about DC, my house and the neighborhood.  I thought I would share some of them now since I keep meeting new neighbors that say they read the blog.

1) Homestead Deduction - If you don't know what this is and you have purchased your house/condo please complete this paperwork as soon as possible.  If you live in your house/condo then you qualify for a significant reduction on your property taxes in DC.  All you need to do it complete this form and send it in- easiest way I know to save hundreds of dollars a year! 

2) District Department of Environment (DDOE) Programs - This DC government office offers an array of programs and grants for weatherization, storm water, and alternate energy.  DDOE has a whole list of programs under their RiverSmart Homes program.  They offer grants, rebates and advice for trees, pervious pavers, rain barrels and many other outdoor projects.  They also offer free home energy audits which can help you determine what you can do to save energy and money.  And the biggest thing that they offer are grants for adding renewable energy to your house such as solar.  I have added solar to my house and now generate over 85% of my own power.  It is much more affordable than you think and ends up making you money after a few years.  I highly recommend looking into and getting your name on the grant waiting-list.  Please also look at the DC SUN group for advice. 

3) Casey Trees - Casey Trees is a great organization in this city that plants trees to help increase the overall city tree canopy.  They offer rebates for homeowners that would like to add a new tree to their property.  If you don't have the space for a new tree you can volunteer on one of their many tree plantings around the city - I have done a few in Edgewood and Eckington with them and it is always a great time.  You can also adopt a new tree to make sure it gets enough water to survive the summer. 

4) Voting - In case you have not noticed the campaign signs all over Ward 5 we have an election coming up on May 15th for our new council member.  The Edgewood polling place has been moved to Noyes Elementary (2725 10th Street NE, Washington DC, 20018) since Shaed Elementary was closed.  There is also early voting at Turkey Thicket and downtown.  Please remember to vote!

Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
1100 Michigan Avenue, NE
Saturday, May 5 and Monday, May 7 - Saturday, May 12
8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Old Council Chambers
One Judiciary Square
441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 250 North
Saturday, May 5 and Monday, May 7 - Saturday, May 12
8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

That is all of my tips for now.  If I think of some more I will post them or feel free to add your own in the comments!

Welcome to the neighborhood!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

REMINDER: Edgewood Community Garden Building Starts TOMORROW!

We are looking forward to seeing those who can make it out to the building day at Edgewood Community Garden tomorrow morning!  We plan on being there from 8 am - 5 pm, so come on down whenever you can to say hi or lend a hand, no matter what amount of time you might have!  3rd and Evarts St NE!  Should you need to contact either Cassie or myself for directions tomorrow, please feel free to call us at: 202-365-4347 or 919-641-7092.

If you are able to come tomorrow, we encourage you to bring water, shovels and wheelbarrows if you are able to, but by no means is it required.  We'll have water and have lunch available as well. 

Thanks so much!  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!  If you're unable to make it tomorrow, don't forget to that our planting day is on EARTH DAY - Sunday, April 22nd, from 8 am - 5pm.  Should be a fun time!


Cassie Phillips & Karin Bleeg
Edgewood Community Garden*


Like us on Facebook!
Twitter: @EdgewoodGarden5
*sponsored & supported by the Public Service Grant Commission, a program of The George Washington University's Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service

Friday, April 6, 2012

DC Tree Canopy Fact Sheet

REMINDER: Edgewood Neighborhood Cleanup TOMORROW!

The weather is looking amazing for the cleanup tomorrow! I have asked the Ward 5 candidates if they are coming and I think we may see a few. Please join us in making our neighborhood a better place.

Just wanted to send out a reminder that tomorrow is the Edgewood Neighborhood monthly cleanup. The group meets in front of the Edgewood Rec Center at the corner of 3rd and Evarts NE at 10:30 a.m. The cleanup is sponsored by the Friends of Edgewood Recreation Center and occurs the first Saturday of every month same time and location. The group picks up trash around the neighborhood including the rec center and has a cookout afterwards.

This is a great way to meet your neighbors and show pride in our neighborhood!

If you cannot come try and cleanup around your block today or tomorrow morning so we can cover more areas!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Mint Condos in Eckington

I stopped by and toured the Mint Condos this afternoon and thought I would share my findings. There are 21 units in the building and they are about to put their 8th unit under contract leaving 13 left for sale. All of the remaining units are 2 bedrooms with anywhere from 1 to 2.5 bathrooms. The building is cute and I liked some of the decorative features. Some of the layouts were a bit awkward, but they all have lots of windows and light. They are priced between $319,900 and $379,900. The rooftop deck and gym are really nice and will be great for the 4th of July!! The retail space is a total of 3,000 square feet and they are selling it not leasing. They are open to having it be one space or splitting it into 3 spaces. They said that they are looking for the right fit for the space and quality retail for the neighborhood which I appreciated.

They will build it, do you care?

Over the last few years many new projects have taken off and are close to being completed in and around Edgewood. In each of those cases a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) was negotiated years ago and let's face it many of them do not truly benefit the community despite their name. Now as I have mentioned H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC) is now ready to move some dirt on the empty lot they have been sitting on for quite a long time. They have owned the property for at least 8 years according to the DC Property Tax Database and it does not say how much if anything they paid for it while it is currently valued over 2 million dollars. The amount of taxes that they have paid over the years had varied greatly from thousands to hundreds of thousands and I am not sure why it changed so much. They currently owe $42,483.92 in taxes. I pulled their payment history and pasted it below.

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Source ID**

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Tax Year

Deposit Date

Tax Collected

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Penalty Collected


They have gone as far to schedule a hearing before the Zoning Board for zoning exceptions that they would like to have made for their project. That said they have only come to one community meeting and I was there and not impressed.

They are proposing a a six story building with 40 off-street parking spaces. The building will have 155 affordable residential units available for rent to tenants that make between $40,000 and $60,000 a year and the rents will be from the $400s to the $1200s (Units are studios (5) One Bedroom (85) and Two Bedrooms (65)). They are only proposing 3,000 square feet of retail space and over 30,000 square feet of underground parking space. They do not have financing at this time and no timeline for the project. They do have a zoning hearing scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th at 441 4th Street NW, Suite 220-South from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. I asked them and the DC representative from the Office of Planning/Real Estate why there is so little retail in the plan and so much more space given to parking. I was told "we're just happy that something is getting built." I am sorry, but that is not an acceptable answer. We should make sure that whatever is built in our neighborhood is the best possible project for the best possible addition to Edgewood. We do not just have to be happy that a vacant lot is being developed. That is demeaning and destructive to the community that is already here.

This building is being built in the shadow of the Edgewood Terrace complex that encompasses almost 800 affordable housing units which range from Section 8 to to people earning 80%-115% of the area median income. This is a very high density of affordable housing in the Edgewood neighborhood and the trend now seems to be to build mixed-income housing instead of 100% affordable housing projects like Edgewood Terrace was built in the past. My question is why is this project bucking that trend.

That said I am not against it being affordable housing if it adds to our neighborhood. I do know that some neighbors I have talked to would prefer it to be mixed income and if that is your opinion you should let the people listed at the bottom of this email know. I think the small amount of retail space is ridiculous as retail is a missing commodity in Edgewood and that section of 4th Street should have street facing retail. I also think that while I am okay with subsidizing housing I am not okay with subsidizing parking. Their plan calls for over 30,000 SF of parking and only 3,000 SF of retail!!! The parking would be for the tenants in the building and would create more traffic on a road that already has more than its share of commuter traffic and accidents. If people need affordable housing to live in DC then why should they get affordable parking as a bonus? The building is directly in front of a bus stop, a short walk to the metro station and across the street from a bikeshare station. Many other buildings on the corners of Rhode Island Ave and 4th Street NE do not have any parking- Mint Condos for example- and they are market rate buildings. It makes no sense to me why we should be creating so much more parking space instead of retail space!!

The other item that is important to me is the addition of a green roof to the project. Anyone who lives in this area knows the dangers of flooding that we have in low-lying areas. Currently this lot allows for some of the storm water to be absorbed and that will change when the lot is fully developed. I think it is important that this is added to the design of the building to ensure the least possible impact to our current flooding problems.

In the Rhode Island Avenue Great Streets plan it was recommended to change this location on 4th and Rhode Island NE into C-2-C zoning from its current zoning of C-3-A.

Here are the definitions of those in DC:


Permits matter-of-right higher density development, including office, retail, housing, and mixed uses to a maximum lot occupancy of 80% for residential use and 100% for all other uses, a maximum FAR of 6.0 for residential and 2.0 FAR for other permitted uses, and a maximum height of ninety (90) feet. Rear yard requirements are fifteen (15) feet; one family detached dwellings one family semi-detached dwellings side yard requirements are eight (8) feet.


Permits matter-of-right medium density development, with a density incentive for residential development within a general pattern of mixed-use development to a maximum lot occupancy of 75% for residential use and 100% for all other uses, a maximum FAR of 4.0 for residential and 2.5 FAR for other permitted uses and a maximum height of sixty-five (65) feet. Rear yard requirements are twelve (12) feet; one family detached dwellings and one family semi-detached dwellings side yard requirements are eight (8) feet.

The plan also recommends minimal parking to encourage public transit use, mixed-income developments and mixed-use developments. I am not sure why we are not using this plan to help steer the development that is now starting on Rhode Island Avenue NE.

So, what can we do to make sure that we are getting the type of development that we want in our neighborhood? We need to speak up and write the following people to let them know what you want and why it is necessary for our community!!! We do not have to take whatever is given to us!

Here are all the people to copy on your emails:

Eric P. Jones, HSCDC -
Vincent Gray -
Kwame Brown -
David Cantina -
Phil Mendelson -
Michael A. Brown -
Vincent Orange -

Edgewood Home Sales

Here is the updated data on homes for sale in Edgewood. I am using Redfin because it allows you to search by neighborhood, but if you have any other ideas or ways to get listings or open houses please let me know!

Here is the link to the data in Redfin:

Edgewood has a very diverse housing stock with a wide range of sizes and prices. Right now the most expensive places listed is a new home on Lawrence Street listed for $2,000,000 while the least expensive listing is a condo listed at $139,900. It seems that there continues to be a steady number of houses selling across the price ranges and there are quite a few pending sales that have yet to be posted. The overall number of houses in the neighborhood for sale continues to be low.

There are new sales posted.

2402 3rd Street NE sold for $305,000 on March 14th
312 Bryant Street NE sold for $283,000 on March 30th

The Chancellor's Row development continues to be a high seller in the neighborhood having sold 132 homes to date. The prices have gone up again for some of the models as their listings have been recently updated.

There is one open house currently listed for Edgewood at 513 Montana Ave NE on Sunday, April 15, 2012 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. If you know of any more please add the information to the comments section.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Excel Pilates Special Offer

Hey neighbors! Our new session of classes begins today, and we're excited to involve our community! Our Pilates, Yoga, Mat and 1-on-1 training sessions provide strength, wellness, and overall health to all participating, so to give more people this opportunity, we're offering a discounted offer of 50% off a second class with the sign-up of a first class, offer ending this Friday, April 6th.

Please feel free to contact us via phone (202.269.3020), or email ( Also, please visit our site for more information about our studio: