By Brian S.

Chevy Chase based development firm, The JBG Cos. has been very busy leaving their mark on what has been described as the center of D.C.’s music scene. The U Street Corridor has undergone pretty significant changes over the past 20 years, and there are no signs of slowing down. Close to completing a 268-unit mixed-use apartment complex at 14th & U (complete with a Trader Joe’s), and plans for a 135-unit mixed-use apartment complex at 13th & U (across from U Street Metro Station), JBG has also just broken ground on a two building mixed-use project that will boast a total of 375 residential units and close to 24,000 square feet of retail space located right next to the 930 Club (see rendering above).

Through the first half of the 20th century, U Street was defined by its rich music culture. Somewhere along the way, U Street lost its identity and landmark buildings turned into Starbucks and tanning salons. An area previously touted for its jazz, had become the center for Sunday brunch. The pendulum is starting to swing back, however, and U Street is getting back its groove. The Howard Theater, which closed down in 1980, underwent extensive renovations and now caters to artists including Dianne Reeves, Anthony Hamilton, and The Roots to name a few. Also, the city has provided funding to restore/maintain the Lincoln Theater, which now hosts concerts, comedy shows, and plays, in addition to its original function of showing movies.

With some of the best concert venues in the country, U Street has become one of the premier destinations for artists across all genres. It’s no wonder developers are targeting this hot-spot… I mean, who wouldn’t want to come home and walk down the street to be serenaded by Aaron Neville??

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