DC’s Near Northeast Neighborhood- Devasted by the 68′ riots but has seen new life

There is some ambiguity and crossover between Near Northeast and NOMA & Stanton Park. To avoid overlap in this evaluation I included the areas between 4th Street NE, Florida Ave., H Street (from 4th NE-8th NE) and Maryland Ave. (from 8th NE to Florida Ave).

The Near Northeast remained undeveloped and sparsely populated through the end of the 19th century. Development picked up in the 1890s with the construction of a streetcar line down H Street. Commercial development then began to fill in incrementally during the early 20th century.  Demographically the Near Northeast evolved into a mixed ethnic district becoming a major center Afircan American center of DC. The district also attracted many  immigrants form Ireland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jews from Eastern Europe. Sadly the Near Northeast was devastated by the race riots that ripped Washington for three days following the death of MLK in April 1968. It experienced some of the worst looting, vandalism, and arson in the City. This setback the neighborhood for several decades as it become a very poor African American enclave. Things began to improve in the Near Northeast in the early 2000s starting with the revitalization of H Street followed by increasing residential rehabs. By 2020 most of the district had been stabilized other than a couple missing teeth and vacant storefronts on H Street.

From an urban perspective this is another solid DC neighborhood with good density, walkability, great public transit access, convenience to Dwtn, and wonderful bike infrastructure. Improvements certainly include more affordability but the neighborhood could use more park amenities, and a local public library and post office.

Click here to view my Near Northeast Neighborhood on Flickr


* Good density and public transit access.
* Convenient access to Downtown among all modes. Great bike infrastructure.
* Excellent connectivity and less confusing diagonal roads than most DC neighborhoods.
* Great racial diversity and decent economic.
* A fair amount of public housing remains in Near Northeast.
* Good cultural amenities in Near Northeast include a great array of bars, decent # of restaurants & cafes, a couple live music venues, a performing arts center in an old Art Deco theater, a handful of art galleries, a couple of local museums, and the cultural amenities available at Gallaudet University.
* Good retail amenities including 3 full-service grocerias, Union Market vendors, a couple drug stores, several boutiques & consignment stores, a book store, several banks, many gyms & dessert joints.
* Good array of many well rated schools.
* Solid historic and modern-infill architecture. More ornate historic bldgs on the neighborhood’s western and southern borders.
* Great tree canopy.


* Not many families with Children here.
* For sale housing is expensive but still some moderate priced hsg. Lots of 1-bed flats sell btwn 350-500K. Also some more expensive. 2-beds sell anywhere btwn 450K-1 M but some product is more expensive. 3-beds generally sell btwn 750K-1.5M. 4 & 5 beds sell for a bit more, maxing out at around 2M.
* Studios lease in the high 1Ks, 1-beds high 1Ks and 2Ks, 2-beds lease btwn the high 2Ks-4K, and 3-beds lease for 3-4s. Some 4-bed product leasing in the 4 & 5Ks.
* Good access to many small parks/parkettes and a recreation center. But no medium or large parks here.
* No public library of local post office, several churches. No local hospitals either.
* Generally a safe neighborhood but some gritty spots remain along H Street and eastern edge of the district.

NoMa- DC’s boomtown neighborhood

My evaluation for NoMa includes both the Sursum Corda and Union Market subdistricts. Thus I used New Jersey Ave as the western border, Massachusetts Ave as the southern, 4th St as the eastern and New York/Florida/Penn St as the northern.

“NoMa” is a moniker for the area North of Massachusetts Avenue located north and east of Union Station. Historically NoMa was a mix of the Sursum Corda projects, Union Market, industrial/warehousing uses around the rail lines, the Union Station area, and historic DC rowhouse fabric. NoMa was created in the 2000s after significant planning for its redevelopment and the opening of the  NoMa-Gallaudet U station in 2004. These set in motion the rapid redevelopment and densification of the neighborhood. By 2020 the NoMa district was mostly filled in and is a hot district for young professionals to reside. Fortunately the redevelopment of NoMa has come with great urban form, mixed-use development, and some affordable housing set asides (although probably not enough). It is poised to become a great DC neighborhood although it has a couple missing pieces before it becomes one of DC’s best districts. These pieces include a lack of park and plaza space, a central hub to the district, and more affordable housing. Other than that I’m very pleased with how NoMa has developed. 

Click here to view my NoMa album on Flickr


* Excellent public transit service here and highly convenient access to Dwtn.
* Very good bye infrastructure including several dedicated bike lanes and many dedicated bike stations including both electric and non-electric. Overall great walkability here.
* Great racial diversity and decent economic diversity.
* Fortunately a decent # of new units in NoMa are being developed affordably.
* Lots of walkable schools across all grades and generally good ratings.
* Lots of modern in-fill and of a very high and urban quality.
* Culturally lots of good restaurants, bars, cafes, the Union Market,  several breweries & art galleries, a small independent theater,  a live music venue,  a couple night clubs, and several federal museums in Noma’s SW corner. Also easy access to all the Smithsonian’s museums on the mall.
* Good retail amenities including several supermarkets, clothing and food vendors at Union Market,  an REI Store, an urban Walmart, several drug stores, a small shopping mall within Union Station, plenty of banks, a couple book stores, decent # of boutiques & home good stores,  plenty of gyms, a local post office and public library, and a decent # of churches.
* This is generally a very safe area.
* Very good urban form and massing throughout all of the district except Sursum Corda (the old projects site undergoing redevelopment).


* Good but not great connectivity largely thanks to the extensive urban renewal that occurred in NoMa.
* Very families live here.
* Rentals are expensive but lots of supply and some moderate smaller units. Studios lease from the mid 1Ks to low 2Ks, 1-beds in the high 1Ks and low 2Ks, 2-beds btwn mid 2Ks and mid 3Ks, and some 3-beds lease in the 4K & 5Ks.
* For sale condos are expensive too. Some 1-beds sell in the 200Ks but most in the 400Ks & 500s, 2-beds sell generally btwn 600K-800K but a few older ones sell btwn 300K-400K, 3-beds also sell btwn 600K-800K.
* Historic in-fill is limited to the Eastern Edge of NOMA. What is exists is attractive.
* Park space limited to a couple small plazas within NoMa but some larger Mall space south of the district.
* Tree canopy is decent for a very dense area without much grass.