One Sunday after church I’m walking around Logan Circle heading to the Whole Foods when I ponder a question. What does Logan have that Truxton doesn’t? And lo, the heavens opened up. Clouds moved back and a strong ray of light had doth shone upon the mass of condo buildings across the road from the store of expensive healthy food.
Density, was the answer. I think. That or 21st century architecture. Signs from heaven are rarely clear. But I think density was the answer. I mean it is one thing to have one obnoxiously expensive house, or even a whole block of obnoxiously expensive houses, but a building filled with several blocks worth of condos no one can afford is a whole ‘nother thing.
Think, people who make enough money to afford these ‘luxury’ condos, and the condo fees, concentrated in a small space. People who don’t need to set aside time and money for household repairs we silly fee-simple owners have to deal with. One or two condo buildings with 100+ upper middle income residents each vs a low density block with a wide range of incomes. Those higher density ‘luxury’ condos can be like the 300 lb economic gorilla when it comes to bringing and attracting new businesses.
On my end of Shaw, we have a few condos but none of them as big as the ones along U Street and over by the Whole Foods. Many condos in or by Truxton are just converted row houses or old 4-6 unit apartment buildings, not really enough to pump up the density of people who aren’t poor. I don’t know if the Urban Land Company’s proposed Monique’s is going to bring enough people in to make a major difference with its 12 units.
Anyway, just wondering. Of course, it could still be the 21st century architecture.

13 thoughts on “Density”

  1. density is a HUGE factor. but also, the interest of developers. Logan Circle’s development has been in the works for a long time.
    i dont know when the first higher end condos went into truxton circle, but i’d bet not too long ago.

  2. I’m hoping the new Monique covers up the ugly building next to it. 😉

  3. Probably not compared to Truxton, but Logan still seems to have dearth of restaurants and bars. Forget about trying to get into most places for dinner on Fri and Sat. between 7:30 and 10… way too many people. There seems to either by a reticence by potential owners to opening new places or a resistance by the city/ANC, I don’t know. The area needs a low-key irish bar and a mexican restaraunt (something a little less “fabulous”). Sorry, I know this blog is on East Shaw, but the Logan blogs aren’t as good or entertaining.


  4. There used to be a decent Logan Circle blogger but he moved to TX.

    As far as the designed by crackheads ugly house on R St, maybe it will get eaten by the newly dug hole in the ground where the Monique will sit. Just like the hole at 9th and Q ate the building next to it, what’s up with that?

    Um, maybe a irish-mexican/ savadorian restaurant, shepard’s pie with a side of salsa. Coronas and Guiness. Everything in Spanish or Gallic. And it needs to be in the basement of a townhouse where no one can find it.

  5. I like Shaw specifically because it’s not as dense. It feels more like a neighborhood than that stretch of Logan around the Whole Foods.

    I have no problem with Monique’s, other than the fact that the construction keeps waking me up before 7 am and that it means that parking is eventually going to get more difficult. I have a feeling we’re all in for A LOT of construction noise in the next few years.

    While it would be great to have more restaurants and shops, we moved to Shaw to avoid the density. More light in our windows. Easy street parking for us and our visitors. Yards.

    I know density is probably inevitable in Shaw. There are probably still plenty of blocks in Shaw where developers can purchase and tear down several disintegrating rowhouses to build condominiums. And, compared to many other close-in neighborhoods, the prices are reasonable.

  6. MM, I think your revelation is right on…density. More people means more money to lure retail. It means more people on the street, more people getting fed up w/ the crap.

    don’t forget about the other condos, like that one on RI ave by Nicol Development…isn’t that one gonna be 20 units? I posted the link on a previous thread, & I think the density is coming this way.

  7. Yup, the lower density of Truxton/East Shaw/where-ever-the-heck-we-are is one of the nice things about the area. Unfortunately, doesn’t do much to attract the businesses we want. But we have all the pluses REL mentioned, light, yards & parking. Another plus (if you want to think of it that way) is that we are less anonymous to our neighbors, so you get that neighborhood feel. If we were overrun by a bunch of high density condos, would we lose that neighborliness?

  8. In my limited experience, I’d have to guess that we would lose a lot of the neighborliness if we’re filled with big condo complexes. I’d hardly get a “hello” from the people on my floor in my last Dupont condo. People on the street would rarely make eye contact.

    In Shaw, people greet you on the street. I’m constantly seeing and chatting with my neighbors when I’m in the yard. Another indication is how much friendlier people in the dog park are here than they were in the Dupont area.

    Okay, so this is a really limited sampling, but I truly think we have a lot of good going on in our neighborhood. I think it’s also helped by the fact that we have a lot of families and older people than the condo-filled NW neighborhoods. People are looking our for each other.

  9. Speaking of density, the corner at 4th and R was unusually quiet when I wandered home from work today; I saw very few folks out there. I wonder if that was the result of last night’s activities that someone spoke of yesterday, or the cool and cloudy weather, since it looked perpetually like it was going to rain.

  10. One advantage of density is the “feeling” of public safety. People are always walking around 14th and P, so I don’t have a problem walking down 14th at midnight. I’m afraid I can’t say the same about deserted Rhode Island Ave.
    – JM

  11. Are you guys referring to the tall, skinny 3-story brick building that currently stands alone next to the Monique construction??? You shouldn’t make fun of it…

  12. I agree with the above comments on density attracting businesses etc. I can’t help but think that the arrival of the new ATF building along with the other 2-3 million sq. feet of office construction around the NY Ave metro will atttract the opening of lunch/happy hour establishments and restaurants in the next few years.

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