“We’ve been through the bad times; we’ve been through the good times; we’ve been through the sometimes,” said Clark. “Now, we’ve seen a tremendous transformation in the community in the years that we’ve been here.”
Now, Clark said, they “wouldn’t move out for nothing, and now the people who didn’t want to move in here, they wish they could be in here.” Although violent crime does still occur, some Edgewood residents say the quiet, tree-lined community now has a more family-friendly tone.
Chalandra Carter moved to Edgewood with her family when she was in her midteens. Now, at 30, she still lives in the house she grew up in with her two young daughters and her mother.
She calls it a “pretty good neighborhood” with “family-oriented schools” and teachers that she and her children love. The convenience to downtown and the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station is also a bonus, she adds.
Carter also looks forward to more events and activities at the Edgewood Recreation Center, which opened in late 2019 along the neighborhood’s western edge, once pandemic restrictions ease. That center — which has a rooftop community garden, numerous sports facilities and a “tech lounge” — is the result of years of community engagement and support, according to Clark.
Elsewhere in Edgewood, construction moves forward on the Bryant Street project, residential, retail and entertainment buildings being developed by MRP Realty. Towering above most of the brick rowhouses along Edgewood’s streets, at least one of the apartment buildings has begun leasing.
Business additions “like these major redevelopments have changed the face of the community in many ways,” explains Clark.
But for all its strides, Edgewood remains overlooked. Clark and other neighborhood leaders say the neighborhood is frequently misidentified as Brookland, denying it the name recognition that residents and business owners want.
Clark says he has addressed the problem with D.C. Council members, but he believes Edgewood’s outdated reputation as a violent, low-income community with a drug problem leads developers and the city to promote nearby neighborhoods with seemingly less baggage.
“The city seemed like it took upon themselves to consider Brookland to be Edgewood so that when people buy a home, they can identify with a better community,” Clark said. “So the city was [complicit] in misidentifying this community.”
James Warner, a former Senate staffer on climate change issues, recently opened City-State Brewing, a kid-friendly microbrewery, taproom and event space in Edgewood. He aims to start an incubator for residents to learn more about brewing, receive mentorship and even test out their own small-batch brews. He hopes that the incubator can help create new hometown brands for the District as a whole but also for Edgewood.
“Part of our goal is helping elevate stories about the city and parts of the city that get overlooked, that don’t get as much attention to them,” Warner said.
Ryan Snedaker is a real estate agent who has lived in Edgewood since 2004.
“A lot of times in the past, [clients would] be like, ‘Where’s Edgewood?’, ” he said. “But now I say, ‘What about Edgewood?’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’ve heard good things about that neighborhood.’ ”
From May 2020 to last month, 76 single-family homes were sold in Edgewood, in addition to 43 condos, according to Snedaker.
The highest-priced single-family house sold was a 1,700-square-foot, four bedroom, four-bathroom rowhouse that sold for just over $1 million. The lowest-priced single-family house sold for just under $400,000, but it was in disrepair, according to Snedaker.
The lowest-priced condo, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit, sold for just under $200,000. A three-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment for $905,000 was the most expensive condo sold.
“Edgewood, as you can see, is becoming as expensive as so many other parts of the District but we still have a lot of affordable housing still in the neighborhood, which is a huge plus,” Snedaker said.
Fourteen years ago, the primary drivers to move to the neighborhood for Sally Hobaugh, now one of Edgewood’s advisory neighborhood commissioners, were transit proximity and price.
“I wanted to buy a house, and there was no way I could afford where I lived near the Metro in Bethesda,” explained Hobaugh.
Joey Golinker had similar house-hunting requirements when he and his partner decided to buy the Edgewood rowhouse that they moved into in mid-May. They considered homes in neighborhoods such as Logan Circle, but were priced out.
“The more time we spent looking at houses that we didn’t end up buying here, the more we liked it,” said Golinker. “We hadn’t spent any time in this neighborhood up until now, and we actually really like it even though we don’t know a ton about it.”
Although Golinker doesn’t find Edgewood very walkable, he sees plenty of positives such as the closeness of friends in Logan Circle and Brookland and the easy access to restaurants and other attractions downtown. Being able to enjoy peace and quiet surrounded by friendly neighbors is also a plus, he said.
“We like that this is a smaller residential neighborhood, that if you just look at this block and just live in the house, it doesn’t feel like you’re living in the middle of a city,” said Golinker. “But it still has 99 percent of the conveniences that we looked for in the city.”
Living there: According to the Edgewood Civic Association, the boundaries run along Michigan Avenue NE to the north; the western side of the train tracks between the Brookland-CUA and Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metro stations to the east; Rhode Island Avenue NE to the south; and along Lincoln Road NE to the west.
Schools: Langley Education Campus, Noyes Elementary, McKinley and Brookland Middle, McKinley Technology and Dunbar High.
Transit: The Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland-Catholic University Metro stations mark the neighborhood’s eastern edge. Numerous Metrobuses run through Edgewood. Capital Bikeshare has several rental kiosks.
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