The average home price is $276,719, down from $320,851 in 2008. The average sale price last year in neighboring Brookland was $345,263.
“It’s like living in Cleveland Park Northwest, but for a third of the price,” said Dreyer, who added that the average home in Cleveland Park is $733,489.”
But you don’t see many for-sale signs hanging in the front yards. The neighborhood had only about 100 home sales last year.
Though Woodridge Civic Association President Anthony Hood says he regularly receives phone calls from people expressing interest in the neighborhood, he adds: “There’s not a lot of moving in and out,” Hood said. For that reason, he describes the neighborhood in three words: “stable, consistent and predictable.”
The affordability that most residents boast has also attracted investors looking for a quick profit, as shown by the homes currently on the market with refurbished insides.
But there isn’t nearly as much investment in Woodridge as in its denser neighbors, Capitol Hill North, the Atlas District and Trinidad, which are, as a result, experiencing more rapid appreciation.
Many residents attribute the low sales activity to the strip of dark, metal-cased storefronts along the main artery that cuts through the community, Rhode Island Avenue.
“It’s like a ghost town,” said longtime resident Carol Fleming, a retired community supervision officer. The only visits she would make to the Rhode Island strip were to get her hair done. The businesses along the busy, wide road are mostly salons, storefront churches and a few liquor stores. Residents praise the subs at Carl’s Foods, one of the few eateries on the strip, but it closes before 5 p.m.
The lackluster business presence frustrated one newcomer, lawyer Stephanie Liotta Atkinson, into action. She and her partner moved into their Woodridge bungalow in 2010 after outgrowing their one-bedroom brownstone condominium in Dupont Circle.
“When driving along Rhode Island Avenue, it looks uncared for,” she said. “But it doesn’t reflect the people living in the neighborhood,” whom she describes as welcoming.
So she galvanized a few neighbors, creating the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue, an organization that wants to revitalize the community by attracting businesses such as pet-food stores, coffee shops, banks, sit-down restaurants, curbside cafes, dry cleaners and entertainment attractions.
In the meantime, as the organization courts developers, other residents have come together to build community amenities such as the Langdon Dog Park in the heart of Woodridge. It was started by residents, most of whom moved into Woodridge or neighboring communities in the past 10 years.
“I would say Woodridge is being shaped today by those who participate, engage and express interest,” said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Corey Griffin, whose constituency includes parts of Woodridge.
A new brewery, DC Brau on Bladensburg Road, attracts residents on the weekends with beer tastings, tours and barbecue. Plans to refurbish the community center and the Woodridge Neighborhood Library have also stirred excitement.
“Woodridge is a community that has a varied past but an evolving future,” Griffin said.