Could this be downtown Broad St’s future?:

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7th St. NW, Washington D.C.
Photo by Kmf164, used with permission.

It could be if DC developer Douglas Jemal has his way. Jemal bought the Central National Bank building at 2nd & Broad:

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And he bought the old United Way building just across the street. According to today’s TD, he wants to buy the whole block, with hopes to redevelop it.

7th St. in DC (pictured above) was Jemal’s project and also his model for what he wants to do in Richmond. From the TD:

“When we look at Broad Street, that’s exactly what we see — Seventh Street in Washington,” Blake C. Esherick, a director for Douglas Development, said yesterday in a telephone interview….

Jemal’s company is negotiating to purchase 120 E. Broad, 122 E. Broad, 200 E. Broad and 201 E. Broad…

Esherick said Douglas Development wants to refurbish the storefronts along Broad to their original state and attract high-end retail and restaurants for the street-level businesses and mixed uses for the upper floors.

“The goal is to do a redevelopment plan that puts those buildings back to how they looked when they were built,” Esherick said. “We want to create some vibrancy, create some great street-front retail.”

And here’s more on the 7th St. project in DC from Jemal’s company, Douglas Development Corp.:

Historic 7th Street was once the exuberant commercial center of Washington, DC. Douglas Development has brought life back to 7th Street while preserving the beauty of the nineteenth century architecture. The success story continues with a redeveloped Historic 7th Street that provides quality retail, restaurant, and office space. Current tenants include Legal Sea Foods, Ruby Tuesday, Radio Shack, Fuddrucker’s, Greenpeace, Away.com, NovaCare, Washington Sports, National Criminal Justice Association, Marvelous Market and the headquarters of Douglas Development Corporation.

Mixed Use Project:

  • Eight small-scale commercial buildings originally constructed between 1866 and 1881
  • All buildings located within the Downtown Historic District
  • Project awarded the 2004 The Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Merit Award under Architecture Historic Resources category

Of course, it’s been over 2 years since they bought the bank building, so as always with these projects don’t expect dramatic change anytime soon.   But hopefully, one day, maybe, downtown Broad east of Belvidere will again bustle with activity.

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