Democracy Dies in Darkness

Realestate

River Terrace is a modest jewel tucked away in NE Washington

By Audrey Hoffer

June 14, 2017 at 6:30 AM

by Audrey Hoffer

Audrey: audrey@ahoffer.net

River Terrace in Northeast Washington is a modest, under-the-radar neighborhood of neat rowhouses, duplexes and a few rental apartment buildings.

It's quiet because the streets are exclusively residential, with no through traffic and limited entry points, and it is one of the few places in the city where you can find a home for less than $300,000.

"It's really an oversized cul-de-sac," said Patrick Hughes, a resident since 2002 with his partner, Chris Quinones.

The lush grounds of Anacostia Park and River Terrace Park and well-designed trails along the Anacostia River are neighborhood perks that provide residents with exceptional quality-of-life benefits — green space, fresh air, shade under the trees, a playground and water vistas.

"We walk the dog along the trails. I ran there this morning, and I often bike there. We have season tickets to the Nationals and pick up a bike share and ride to Eastern Market and Navy Yard," said Jessica Jones Capparell, who moved there with Richard Capparell a year ago. They were recently married in their back yard.

"I love our proximity to the park and trails, which I take to the H Street corridor and Stadium Armory. I feel totally connected to D.C. and not trapped as far as walking and biking," said Quinones. He bikes everywhere.

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There's a mix of ages in the neighborhood, but the age profile skews older. "Many people are here for decades and some were born in their houses," said Jones Capparell.

Helping each other: Hughes, a dentist at Whitman-Walker Health in Northwest Washington, said he learned that the father of one of his staffers is from the neighborhood. "She said to me just last week, 'You know, my father grew up in River Terrace,' " he recalled.

Many houses have front porches, are up a few steps from the sidewalk and have colorful flowers decorating small yards. Capparell and Quinones were watering the lawn on a recent hot Sunday. "There are quite a few fancy gardens here," said Quinones, after a guest admired his. "People take pride. They have a sense of ownership, and they're nice, too."

"We cut everyone's grass in the four houses down from us," said Hughes. "The yards are so small — how could I not when I have the lawn mower out? My neighbor shovels our snow in the winter. Another neighbor gave me tickets for the National Museum of African History and Culture, which are impossible to get."

Justin Tanner, an agent with the Real Estate in D.C. team, has been selling in the neighborhood for years. "The first home to break $300,000 was in fall 2015," he said. "In the past 20 months, 10 homes have crossed that barrier. I predict within the next year the $400,000 mark will be broken."

"River Terrace is definitely worth keeping an eye on," he said. "One house under contract now was listed for $285,000 last month. It received 15 offers."

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What's nearby: Langston Golf Course & Driving Range is on Benning Road. Northeast Performing Arts Group, also on Benning Road, offers after-school classes and summer camp in the arts, dancing, singing and acting for local children ages 3 to 18. A pedestrian bridge provides access to Kingman Island and Heritage Island Parks, which are being upgraded by the District.

Safeway is at 322 40th St. NE, and Whole Foods Market and Giant are on H Street NE. Hechinger Mall has a couple of chain stores but needs a facelift.

The Capparells shop at the Saturday farmers market in the RFK Stadium parking lot and at the Costco Wholesale store at 2441 Market St. NE. But, Jones Capparell said, "it would be great if there were more grocery stores" in the neighborhood.

Living there: River Terrace, Zip code 20019, is at the southernmost tip of Northeast Washington. Its borders are Benning Road on the north, Anacostia Freeway/D.C. Route 295 on the east, East Capitol Street on the south and the Anacostia River on the west. Only rowhouses are for sale. There are no condos in the neighborhood.

According to Tanner, the agent with the Real Estate in D.C. team, three rowhouses are for sale — ranging from a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $188,000 to a three-bedroom, one-bathroom model for $365,000.

Six rowhouses are under contract, ranging from a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house for $180,000 to a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $285,000.

In the past year, 31 rowhouses sold, ranging from a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $152,500 to a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $375,500.

Schools: Thomas Elementary, Kelly Miller Middle, H.D. Woodson High.

Transit: Route 295 and Benning Road run downtown and out to the Beltway and suburban Maryland. The glossy red DC Streetcar leaves from Union Station and traverses H Street and Benning Road to Kingman Park.

Metro's X1 and X3 buses operate on Benning Road and make stops across downtown, Foggy Bottom, Adams Morgan and the Duke Ellington Bridge. The Minnesota Avenue Metro station on the Orange Line is a transport hub with several bus lines, eight bike racks and four lockers. Daily parking is $4.60, reserved is $65 monthly.

Crime: According to crimemap.dc.gov , two assaults and one robbery were reported in the past six months.

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