by Brandon M. Scott

There is a lot of opportunities for residential and commercial development in DC and nearly all of it is east of the Anacostia River. The community of Capital View is flanked by Fletcher Johnson, the 4th largest piece of undeveloped land in Washington, DC and the Capital Gateway Project. It goes without saying that both projects are significant the land itself it large. Plus, there’s a lot on the line for the community and for you as a homeowner.

I’ll give you one example, Amazon. When Amazon moved into Arlington, Virginia a few key events took place, more commercial space and an increase in home values, and we could benefit from both – commercial space and higher home values.

What’s Happened?

In May 2023, the ANC had an executive meeting with DC Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Office of Planning. There, they discussed the map amendment for Capitol Gateway Marketplace. Specifically, how the property can be used and its’ legal designation. Land, by itself is useless unless you can do something with it. In this case, the only legal use for the land is to build more residential housing. With changing community needs, the community determined the land would be best served with a mix of options (mix-use), like commercial, institutions, housing, etc. As a result, the ANC petitioned the city to change the designation during the original Wal-Mart build.

Since then, the property has set without any activity since 2012 and has now lost the legal designation for mix-use.

The map amendment process is intended to facilitate establishing the mixed-use zones (the land) where mix-use development (commercial, institutions, etc.) can be built.

The office of Planning reaffirmed that the current site designation does not allow for commercial development, which would exclude a grocery store from being built.

What’s Next?

In the Fall, look out for a public meeting notice to the community on the change of zoning and, as always, I’ll keep you posted on the activities that matter.

Also, no comment was provided from DMPED regarding the pending eminent domain litigation surrounding the property.

Below is a list of what was originally expected to be developed on the site. Personally, have your thought about what should be on the Capital Gateway site change?

(1) A 151 unit senior apartment building;
(2) A mixed-income residential community with 228 dwelling units, composed of 14 single-family houses, 136 semi-detached houses, 64 rowhouses and 28 units in 7 four-unit apartment buildings;
(3) The replacement of the former high-rise public housing site located on the south side of East Capitol Street adjacent to the Maryland-D.C. line and the Capitol Heights Metro Station; and
(4) The redevelopment of the subject property with a grocery store and other retail uses.

The senior housing and the residential development with single family detached, duplexes, rowhouses, great houses and a community center are completed and occupied. However, due to various issues, the apartments (3) and the commercial center (4) remain undeveloped.



Brandon Scott is a licensed real estate agent in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. His license hangs with Keller Williams Capital Properties in DC. He’s been involved in the mortgage finance industry for the last 16 years in various fields. You can reach him by email at [email protected]. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel at RealTeaDMV