Why Columbia Heights is D.C.’s coolest new neighborhood.
Growing up in Northern Virginia, the extent of my interaction with Washington D.C. pretty much boiled down to school museum field trips and fireworks on the fourth of July. Sure, there were the obligatory trips to the monuments during summer, but these usually ended in heat exhaustion and tears from both the kids and the parents. If you’ve grown up where I have, you know what I’m talking about.
This summer is when it all changed. After scoring a design internship downtown, I began to take advantage of my proximity to such a unique area. I started frequenting food trucks and navigated the metro the nonchalance of all the other smartphone-wielding, earbud-sprouting young professionals making their daily commute.
My urban-savvy ego was shattered when I realized that downtown D.C. was not all of D.C. Through mutual friends, I was introduced to the owners of CoHi Condos Washington D.C., a luxury real estate company in Columbia Heights. They alerted me to the area that is currently undergoing a major revitalization after decades of abandonment.
Columbia Heights was once a cultural hub in D.C. but fell into slow decline after the race riots in the late 1960s. In the past decade, mega-retailers like Target and Staples have moved back into the area looking to cash in on its new, young urban population.
The ideal place for recent graduates, condos and apartments are far more affordable in this area. That coupled with the many bars and restaurants cropping up along 14th street and U-street are major draws for young people moving into the city. The New York Times recently named Columbia Heights D.C.’s new “Hip Strip.” With a restaurant feature in Washingtonian, 14th St. in Columbia Heights is a well worth the yellow line trip.