Proposed Alley Development in Columbia Heights

Thompson Lofts site planAt the November ANC 1A meeting, Seven Five Three Development — the owners of an alley property bordered by Sherman Avenue, Columbia Road, 11th Street, and Irving Street — gave a brief overview of a project they hope to develop on the site. They also had a public meeting on Saturday, December 1st, to engage with the community and neighbors of the property to share details of the project.

The property in question currently has a building that was last used as an auto body shop. Many in the area may be more familiar with the building’s long history of having graffiti on it, much of it quite artistic. But the building is far from new. It was built in two phases with the oldest structure to the south built in 1909 as a private stable. The building was expanded in 1916 as a garage and eventually came to be used to store and service the dairy trucks for Thompson’s Dairy.

Thompson Lofts perspective from the southeast

Thompson Lofts perspective from the southeast

The new owners want to redevelop the property to a mixed use development called Thompson Lofts. To do this, they would add two floors onto the building, reserving the ground floor for business and the two upper floors for residential condos. As described at the community meeting, there would be a total of 5 units — three on the second floor and two on the third floor. There would be four 2-bedroom units and one 1-bedroom unit. Each unit would contain a private patio area. The ground floor business would be offices for Four Brothers LLC. The project would take approximately ten months to build. The development would also contain four parking spaces within the building and two exterior spaces to serve the business.

Overall, feedback at the community meeting was positive. Residents present agreed that allowing the building to remain vacant — or even become an empty lot — was undesirable. Some expressed concerns about the height of the building and others were concerned about adding traffic to the alley to get to and from the garage.

Overall, I find the project intriguing. There are a few of these lots in the Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods, so this is definitely of interest as other such developments could be proposed in the future.

Seven Five Three Development is expected to present again at the January 9th ANC 1A meeting.

Perspective from the west.

Perspective from the west.

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4 Comments on “Proposed Alley Development in Columbia Heights”


  1. […] A few blocks a way, a developer plans a mixed-use project in an alley. [Park View DC] […]


  2. […] A few blocks a way, a developer plans a mixed-use project in an alley. [Park View DC] […]


  3. […] Application #18511 — 1018 Irving Street. This project is the alley project between Sherman, Irving, 11th, and Columbia Rd. This project also was supported wtih 8 votes in support and 2 […]


  4. […] People may recall that back in 2012 there was a proposal to convert this former auto garage into a mixed commercial/residential space. However, alley lots are difficult and don’t really conform to zoning … and in this […]


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