Density & New Development on Capitol Hill

Drawing of Frager's Redevelopment on Penn Ave SE.

Density & New Development on Capitol Hill

It’s hard to go more than a few blocks in our Capitol Hill neighborhood and not come across new construction or a new development project. With calls for more housing, and more affordable housing, we enjoyed a recent article by Greater Greater Washington poses the question, “How could your DC neighborhood fit 121 more homes?”

The author, Jonah Goodman, thoughtfully explores how this might impact a neighborhood like Petworth. Joel Nelson, Team Leader at Joel Nelson Group and hyper-local neighborhood expert on Capitol Hill, offered this reflection on the same question applied to 20002 and 20003 in Ward 6.

Density and New Development Across the City

New Capitol Hill Safeway

Rendering of New Capitol Hill Safeway at 14th and D Streets SE, near Potomac Ave Metro.

“If we accept that DC will need to accommodate 36,000 additional households in the next 6 years (and that we love the economic and cultural vitality that comes with that density), we need to think creatively about how those housing units (many of them 2-3 bedroom sizes) spread across the city most logically and effectively,” said Nelson.

Density and New Development in 6B06

Drawing of Frager's Redevelopment on Penn Ave SE.

Redevelopment of Frager’s Hardware on Penn Ave SE includes residential units and a new restaurant.

“My particular neighborhood (ANC6B06) near Potomac Avenue Metro is right now experiencing the
construction of more than 1,000 new households within six square blocks in the next 18 months.  As residents, we’re adjusting daily to the changes in architectural height and massing, while preparing for the change in street and pedestrian traffic.”

Nelson goes on to offer, “On balance, I’m cautiously optimistic about the neighborhood’s ability to adapt and thrive with our new streetscapes and neighbors. Certainly not every neighborhood is prepared to increase density in such a dramatic way, but if we think creatively and plan ahead, we can identify the optimal locations for in-fill expansion, and incentivize and/or facilitate smart growth.”


Curious about how these changes in density and new development impact the value of your home? Interested in making a move in the market? Contact Joel and his team for a free consultation.