Downtown Real Estate Analysis

Location






Farragut Square Park, in downtown Washington, D.C., with office complexes visible behind.



The boundaries of the Downtown district are irregular and difficult to define. Historically, downtown was bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue NW, New York Avenue NWMassachusetts Avenue NW, and Indiana Avenue NW. This area includes the Penn QuarterMount Vernon SquareChinatown, and Judiciary Square neighborhoods. With the growth of the city, “downtown” is now considered to include Federal Triangle, the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site, the K Street NW corridor west to Connecticut Avenue NW, and the Connecticut Avenue NW corridor below the Dupont Circle neighborhood.


However, in 2004 Frommer’s defined downtown’s boundaries as 7th Street NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 22nd Street NW, and P Street NW. This definition includes the neighborhoods listed above, as well as Foggy BottomWest EndLogan Circle, and the lower part of the Dupont Circle neighborhood. This more expansive definition of downtown is due to extensive construction of major new office buildings around Farragut Square, west along K Street NW, and along Connecticut Avenue NW. Similar construction in the area east of 7th Street toUnion Station (bounded on the north by Massachusetts Avenue NW and to the south by Constitution Avenue NW) was, by the mid 2000s, beginning to push the boundary of “downtown” eastward. Cassidy & Pinkard, a real estate commercial services company, defined downtown in 2004 as extending from P Street NW south to Constitution Avenue NW, and from 15th Street NW east to 4th Street NW. This is mostly concurrent with the definition adopted by Frommer’s.

Character, attractions, and services


By the 1990s and continuing into the 2010s, the core of the downtown district was almost exclusively commercial, and its primary commercial use was as office buildings. The area also featured a number of attractions, including museums (such as the International Spy MuseumNational AquariumNational ArchivesNational Building MuseumNational Museum of Women in the ArtsNational Portrait GalleryNewseum, and Smithsonian American Art Museum) and theaters (such as Ford’s TheatreNational TheatreShakespeare TheatreWarner Theatre, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre). The Penn Quarter and Chinatown areas in particular are home to many bars and restaurants, and the observation deck in the tower of the Old Post Office Pavilion is known for its spectacular views of the city. 7th Street NW between H and F Streets NW—a short commercial strip known as “Gallery Place”—has become a major hub of bars, restaurants, theaters, and upscale retail shops.


However, even as late as 2010, most of the core area tended to be empty of pedestrian foot traffic at night, except for streets immediately around theaters and restaurants. Downtown D.C. has been adding residents, however, and pedestrian traffic at night is increasing. In 1990, the area had about 4,000 residents, but this had increased to 8,449 by 2010. Such increases appear small, but are more significant than they seem because the city’s height restrictions limit population density. The completion of the $950 million CityCenterDC project in late 2013 is estimated to add another 1,000 or more residents. One exception to the low nighttime foot traffic is Gallery Place. Large crowds gather day and night at Gallery Place, especially after sporting events at the Verizon Center. Crime and street brawls in the area skyrocketed in the area and its adjacent Gallery Place Metro station between 2008 and 2010, primarily due to the large groups of teenagers (from throughout the metropolitan region) gathering there.


Several notable restaurants exist in the downtown district, including Fogo de ChãoKinkead’sLoeb’s NY DeliOld Ebbitt Grill, and Wok ‘n’ Roll (located in the Mary E. Surratt Boarding House). Chinatown and Gallery Place are noted for being geographically small but also having a very large number of restaurants.


The Verizon Center (originally named the MCI Center), a major basketball, hockey, and events venue, opened in the Chintaown neighborhood on the eastern edge of the downtown district in 1997. It proved to be a major attraction, drawing more than 20 million visitors in its first decade of operation.

Cityscape


The majority of downtown Washington is composed of office buildings of varying architectural styles. The oldest tend to be of the Federal school, as are the White House, the Treasury BuildingBlair House, and the rowhouses that lineLafayette Square. Others run the gamut from Neoclassical (such as the buildings at Federal Triangle) to Second Empire-style (the Eisenhower Executive Office Building) to postmodern (One Farragut Square South and Franklin Tower at 1401 I Street NW).

Height restriction


Unlike other large cities in the U.S., Washington’s downtown has a low skyline. With the advent of the skyscraper and the construction of the Cairo Hotel, residents were concerned that the city’s European feel might be dwarfed by high-rise buildings. Congress therefore passed the Heights of Buildings Act in 1899, limiting any new building in Washington to a height of 110 feet (34 m). The act was amended in 1910 to allow buildings 20 feet (6.1 m) higher than the width of the adjacent street.


As of 2006, the tallest building in downtown Washington—excluding the Washington MonumentU.S. CapitolWashington National Cathedral, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, all of which are outside of the downtown district—is the Old Post Office Pavilion, whose 315-foot (96 m) tall clock tower looms far above other nearby structures. The tallest commercial building is One Franklin Square, at 210 feet (64 m).

Parks and public squares


A number of public urban parks exist in the downtown area. Among the more prominent are: Farragut SquareFranklin Square, Judiciary Square, Lafayette Square (the portion of President’s Park north of the White House), McPherson Square, Mount Vernon Square, Pershing ParkScott CircleThomas Circle, and Washington Circle.

The largest paved square in the city, Freedom Plaza, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 13th and 14th Streets NW.

Governance


Two business improvement districts cover the downtown D.C. area. The Downtown DC Business Improvement District (Downtown DC BID) is bounded by 16th Street NW, Massachusetts Avenue NW, and Constitution Avenue NW, and is funded by a voluntary tax provided by 825 businesses in the area. The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (Golden Triangle BID) is bounded by 16th Street NW, Massachusetts Avenue NW, 21st Street NW, and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Both BIDs work to enhance the diversity of business in their respective jurisdictions as well as the quality of life by providing directions for tourists, improving street and sidewalk cleanliness, and advising police about potential or existing problems.

Various federal (Federal Protective ServiceFederal Bureau of InvestigationSecret ServiceUnited States Mint PoliceUnited States Park Police, etc.), city (Metropolitan Police Department of the District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia Housing Authority Office of Public Safety), and regional (Metro Transit Police Department) law enforcement agencies have concurrent, overlapping jurisdiction in downtown D.C. Both BIDs in the area also provide semi-uniformed unsworn police forces, which help to maintain order and provide street intelligence by communicating via cell phone with the Metropolitan Police Department and Metro Transit Police. D.C. Housing Authority Police do not have jurisdiction outside public housing, but do patrol Gallery Place to pick up and provide intelligence on the activities of youth congregating there who live in city-provided housing units.


For more information on Downtown Washington DC, visit its Wikipedia page.

Downtown, Washington Real Estate Listings

Active Listings in Downtown, Washington

1150 K ST NW, Unit 702 Washington, DC 20005
Photo of 1150 K ST NW, Unit 702, Washington, DC 20005 (MLS # DC8431472)
2 beds 2 baths 888 sqft $519,000
1150 K St Nw #711 Washington, DC 20005
1 bed 2 baths 1,061 sqft $0
910 M St Nw #406 Washington, DC 20001
Photo of 910 M St Nw #406, Washington, DC 20001 (MLS # DC8205321)
1 bed 1 bath 735 sqft $0
555 Massachusetts Ave Nw #416 Washington, DC 20001
Photo of 555 Massachusetts Ave Nw #416, Washington, DC 20001 (MLS # DC9003358)
1 bed 1 bath 738 sqft $0

Sold Listings in Downtown, Washington

1150 K St Nw #711 Washington, DC 20005
1 bed 2 baths 1,061 sqft $0
910 M St Nw #406 Washington, DC 20001
Photo of 910 M St Nw #406, Washington, DC 20001 (MLS # DC8205321)
1 bed 1 bath 735 sqft $0
555 Massachusetts Ave Nw #416 Washington, DC 20001
Photo of 555 Massachusetts Ave Nw #416, Washington, DC 20001 (MLS # DC9003358)
1 bed 1 bath 738 sqft $0

Walk Score for Downtown, Washington



Downtown, Washington School Data

Washington School Districts

District Of Columbia Public Schools
PK-12 & ungraded
http://dcps.dc.gov/portal/site/DCPS/
Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy
9-12
http://www.chavezschools.org/
Community Academy Public Charter School (Capcs)
K-8
http://www.capcs.org/
The Next Step Pcs
9-12 & ungraded
Carlos Rosario International Pcs
K-2 & ungraded
Eagle Academy Pcs
PK-3
Two Rivers Public Charter School Agency
PK-8
Appletree Early Learning Center Pcs
PK
Bridges Pcs
PK-1
Early Childhood Academy Pcs
PK-3
Youth Build Pcs Layc)
10-12 & ungraded
The William E. Doar, Junior Public Charter School for the Performing Arts
PK-5
http://www.wedjschool.us/
Education Strenghtens Families Pcs
PK
Washington Latin Public Charter School
9-12
http://www.edline.net/pages/Washington_Latin_PCS
Septima Clark Pcs
PK-6
Arts And Technology Pcs
PK-5
Booker T. Washington Pcs
9-12 & ungraded
Capital City Pcs
PK-12
Cesar Chavez Public Pcs
6-12
http://www.chavezschools.org/
Community Academy Pcs
PK-8
http://www.capcs.org/
D.C. Bilingual Pcs
PK-5
D.C. Preparatory Academy Pcs
PK-8
http://www.dcprep.org/
E.L. Haynes Pcs
PK-10
Friendship Pcs
PK-12
http://www.friendshipschools.org/
Hope Community Academy Pcs
PK-8
http://www.hopecommunitycs.org/
Hospitality Pcs
9-12
Cedar Tree Academy Public Charter School
PK-K, 7-8
http://www.howardroadacademy.org/
Howard University Middle School Of Math And Science
6-8
Perry Street Preparatory Pcs
PK-12
Integrated Design Electronics Academy Idea)
7-12
Ideal Academy Pcs
PK-8
https://www.iapcs.com/
Kipp Academy Pcs
PK, 1-12
Latin America Youth Bilingual Montessori
PK-5
Mary Mcleod Bethune Pcs
PK-8
Maya Angelou Pcs
6-12 & ungraded
Meridian Pcs
PK-8
Nia Community PCS
PK-6
Options Pcs
6-12
Paul Jhs Pcs
6-9
Potomac Lighthouse Pcs
PK-7
Roots Pcs
PK-8
Sail PCS
K-8
Seed Pcs
6-12
St. Coletta Special Education Pcs
PK-12 & ungraded
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Communtiy Freedom Pcs
PK-6
Thurgood Marshall Academy Pcs
9-12
Tree Of Life Pcs
PK-8
Two Rivers Pcs
PK-8
http://www.tworiverspcs.org/
Washington Latin Pcs
5-12
http://www.edline.net/pages/Washington_Latin_PCS
Washington Math Science Pcs
9-12
William E. Doar Jr Pcs
PK-8
http://www.wedjschool.us/
Achievement Preparatory Academy Pcs
4-8
Center City Pcs
PK-8
http://www.centercitypcs.org/
Imagine Southeast Pcs
PK-7
National Collegiate Prep
9-12
Washington Yu Ying Pcs
PK-5
Dyrs
7-12 & ungraded
Excel Academy Pcs
PK-5
Inspired Teaching Demonstration Pcs
PK-5
Shining Stars Montessori Pcs
PK-1
Richard Wright Pcs For Journalism And Media Arts Pcs
8-12
Basis Dc Pcs
5-9
Creative Minds Pcs
PK-2
Dc Scholars Pcs
PK-3
Mundo Verde Bilingual Pcs
PK-1
Ingenuity Preparatory Pcs
PK-K
Sela Pcs
PK-2
Somerset Pcs
n/a
State Operative Agency
n/a

Washington Schools

Murch Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/murch
Moten Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.motenes.org
Montgomery Elementary School
PK-6, public
Miner Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/miner
Meyer Elementary School
PK-5, public
Merritt Middle School
PK-8, public
McGogney Elementary School
PK-6, public
Roosevelt High School @ MacFarland
9-12, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/roosevelt
M.C. Terrell / McGogney Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/mc-terrell
Takoma Education Campus
PK-8, public
http://www.takomaec.org
Stanton Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/stanton
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
9-12 & ungraded, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/ellington
Sousa Middle School
6-8, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/sousa
Shaw Middle School @ Garnet-Patterson
6-8, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/shaw
Ron Brown Middle School
6-8, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/ron-brown
Shaed Education Campus
PK-8, public
Shadd Elementary School
n/a, public
Seaton Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/seaton
Savoy Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/savoy
Rudolph Elementary School
PK-6, public
Ross Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/ross
River Terrace Elementary School
PK-5, public
Randle Highlands Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/randle-highlands
Shepherd Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/shepherd
Marie Reed Elementary School
PK-5, public
http://www.dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/mariehreed