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NoMa in Washington, DC

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NoMa in Washington, DC
© Sam Kittner Photography

NoMa is a rapidly developing neighborhood in Washington, DC located just north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station and named for its location – North of Massachusetts Avenue. The opening of the New York Avenue Metro station in 2004 sparked the improvement of this section of the city. In 2007-2008, private developers invested over $1 billion to begin the development of office, residential, hotel, and retail space in a 35-block area over the next 10 years.

As of 2013, NoMa is home to 40,000 daytime workers, with 4.5 million SF of office space leased in the last 5 years. More than 3,900 apartments have been recently completed or are under construction. NoMa has 13 modes of transportation, including two Red Line Metro stops, and extensive biking facilities, with the East Coast’s only Bikestation, the 8-mile Metropolitan Branch Trail, and access to six Capital Bikeshare stations. Over the last few years, NoMa Business Improvement District (BID) has focused heavily on connecting both residents and employees at exciting, fun and free events. These events bring culture, music, artists, local farmers and more to this neighborhood, while building community and enlivening the public realm. NoMa Summer Screen, a free outdoor film festival, has attracted visitors from around the region. Free summer concerts give employees a break during their lunch hour to relax and enjoy music ranging from Blues to Jazz to Reggae.

NoMa Boundaries

Massachusetts Avenue to the south, New Jersey and North Capitol Street to the west, and Q and R Streets to the north. The neighborhood also extends eastward just beyond the CSX/Metrorail tracks. See a map

Landmarks in NoMa

Projects In NoMa Currently Underway

  • DDOT reconstruction of First Street, NE (in design)
  • DDOT construction of Columbus Circle (under construction)
  • DDOT completion of Benning-H Street streetcar (passenger service in summer 2013)
  • Camden NoMa residential project on L Street (under construction)
  • William C. Smith residential project on North Capitol and M (under construction)
  • Phase II office for Constitution Square and new residential (under construction)
  • Mill Creek Residential Trust project on Eckington Place (under construction)
  • The JBG Companies groundbreaking on the Walmart site (winter 2012) and Hyatt Place (spring 2012)
  • Archstone delivery of their project at First & M Streets, NE (spring 2012)
  • Trammell Crow groundbreaking on Sentinel Square Phase II (spring 2012)
  • Greyhound Bus Station transition into Union Station (summer 2012)
  • MRP groundbreaking on Washington Gateway (winter 2012)

NoMa Parks and Proposed Greenspace

The DC government has dedicated $50 million for the development of parks, playgrounds, and greenspace to enhance this rapidly growing DC neighborhood. The parks will be designed to make the area more appealing for pedestrians and bicylists and to provide seating and picnic spaces, outdoor fitness facilities, gathering space for events, playgrounds, community dog parks and art installations. Proposed parks include the following:

L Street Plaza - envisioned as a gathering area for festivals, exhibits and outdoor dining and set up as a pedestrian street can be closed to traffic to support larger events.

The Tracks Park – the 1.7 acre site will be established as a unique setting for recreation adjacent to the railroad with overlooks for observing the trains.

The Breezeway – the space will incorporate art, play elements, vending kiosks and bicycle storage.

N Street Park – The corridor between 3rd Street and Florida Avenue may be developed as a greenspace to improves pedestrian conditions along Florida Avenue and integrate with development south of N Street.

The Gateway - The intersection of First Street and New York Avenue will act as a gateway to both to NoMA and greater Downtown area.

To learn more, see the NoMa Public Realm Design Plan.

Notable Historic Facts About NoMa

1850: Working-class Irish immigrants called this agrarian area “Swampoodle” because of the overflowing banks of Tiber Creek, which now runs beneath North Capitol Street.

1862: The Government Printing Office printed 15,000 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation for the War Department, which were distributed to troops and diplomats worldwide.

1864: President Lincoln signed the charter of Gallaudet University, the only university in the world where all classes, programs and services are designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

1907: Grand opening of Union Station. Hundreds of rowhouses were razed to make way for construction. Chicago architect Daniel Burnham modeled the front archway after the classical Arch of Constantine in Rome.

1964: The Washington Coliseum (later known as the Uline Arena) hosted the first Beatles concert in North America; greats such as Bob Dylan and Chuck Brown later performed there.

1998: DC officials recognized the untapped potential four blocks from the Capitol and coin the moniker ‘NoMa,’ for the area ‘North of Massachusetts Avenue.’

2004: NoMa-Gallaudet University (formerly NY-FL Ave) Red Line Metro Station opened. The station was funded through a ground-breaking public/private partnership that raised $120 million.

2007: Redevelopment plans began to take shape for the area.

Neighborhood Websites

NoMa BID
NoMa Blog

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