The team behind one of the largest developments in the District’s pipeline has added a high-end theater to the mix, in addition to the 1,500 residential units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail it had already proposed.
MRP Realty, with Sandrock LP and B&R Associates (the landowner), is approaching the end of the review process for its proposed redevelopment of the 13-acre Rhode Island Center in Edgewood. The existing collection of big-box and smaller retailers, a self-storage building and surface parking is generally bounded by Fourth Street NE, Rhode Island Avenue, the Metrorail tracks and the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Edgewood Terrace apartments.
In their place, the team is pitching a six-block, seven-phase project with 1,500 residential units (8 percent set aside as affordable) and up to 250,000 square feet of retail and commercial. There will be nine buildings, as many as 2,300 parking spaces, a central plaza and multiple, smaller parks. MRP and Sandrock submitted the planned-unit development application last July.
The latest project detail to emerge is a standalone theater, scheduled for Phase 2. MRP, according to its latest filings with the D.C. Zoning Commission, is negotiating with a theater chain to bring in a nine-screen multiplex with table service during screenings. The theater will be accessible only to those 18 and older unless accompanied by an adult. MRP declined to provide the name of the theater operator.
High-end multiplexes are proliferating in D.C. and its suburbs in chains such as ArcLight, iPic, Landmark Theatres, Angelika, Cinepolis USA and Kerasotes Showplace Icon. Angelika has already locked down a spot at Edens’ Union Market and Landmark at JBG’s Capitol Square in NoMa, so the Edgewood theater is likely one of the other four, or a new player.
“The primary goal of the retail strategy is to develop an interactive, urban, streetscape experience, anchored by a regional entertainment draw, full-service grocery store and full-service gym, supplemented by community-serving tenants, and merchandised with an enticing mix of retail and restaurant uses,” according to the filings.
The project’s first phase, slated to get underway in 2017, will include three buildings — up from two originally proposed — with two fronting Rhode Island Avenue and one immediately north of the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station, fronting the MBT. They total 412 units and roughly 60,000 square feet of retail. The yet unnamed full-service gym is part of Phase 1. The architecture, designed by SK& I, is described as “masonry materials with metal panels to create a warehouse feel.”
Phase 2 is the theater only. Phase 3 is a mixed-use building, with residential atop a full-service grocery store. The remaining phases are generally residential over retail buildings.
The project, as planned, features a major plaza on the western edge of the site along Bryant Street NE, which will be extended through the development. A new half-acre park, proposed for the northeast corner of the property, is “intended to serve as a respite for cyclists using the MBT, neighborhood residents, and visitors.”
MRP and Sandrock will contribute $5,000 to Rhode Island Main Streets to explore the feasibility of a business improvement district, install security lights and cameras to its buildings at the request of the Metropolitan Police Department, install one security call box along the MBT, preserve, restore or replace in-kind several murals and sculptures currently on the property, and fund a Capital Bikeshare station on the MBT.
The Rhode Island Avenue corridor is booming. Less than a mile to the northeast of MRP’s project, Mid-City Financial Corp. has plans to redevelop 20 acres comprising the Brookland Manor garden-style, affordable housing complex and the Brentwood Village Shopping Center with 1,760 residential units, 181,000 square feet of retail and nearly 1,600 parking spaces.
Michael Neibauer, bizjournals.com