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Neighborhoods on the Rise

Trying to decide where to buy real estate? Consider neighborhoods where Andy Shallal, owner of the popular U Street gathering spot Busboys and Poets, is expanding his restaurant empire.

Shallal had the right instinct when he opened at the corner of 14th and V in September 2005; the U Street corridor is one of the District’s hottest neighborhoods. Shallal’s next three ventures also are in areas bursting with development.

In August, Shallal opened a Busboys and Poets in Arlington’s Shirlington. The restaurant is part of the second phase of the Village at Shirlington. Anchored by a new Arlington County library branch, the relocated Signature Theatre space, and a Harris Teeter supermarket, the development includes more than 20 restaurants and will be within walking distance of the Shirlington Station—a 2,400-square-foot enclosed bus station scheduled to open next year.

Prince George’s County will also claim a Busboys and Poets as part of Arts District Hyattsville, a community of rowhouses, lofts, and “live-work homes,” in which residents set up shop in the downstairs of their rowhouses.Less than a mile away, University Town Center is undergoing a large expansion. When completed, the 56-acre mixed-use development will include 12 restaurants, five office buildings, a 14-screen movie theater, a big Safeway, and nearly 1,500 residential units.Also planned: an upgrade to the Mall at Prince George’s and a new retail project called Metro Shops, both within walking distance of the Prince George’s Plaza Metro stop.

In DC, Shallal has his eyes on the Mount Vernon Triangle, bound by Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey avenues. Shallal’s latest venture in DC—a new project that likely won’t be called Busboys and Poets—will be part of CityVista, a three-acre development at the corner of Fifth and K streets that will include 442 condos, a Safeway, Starbucks, Results the Gym, and hardware store. According to the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District, neighborhood development plans include more than 1,900 condos and 2 million square feet of office space. The flagship project is Mount Vernon Place: 11 buildings of offices, condos, shops, and restaurants.

Where will Shallal go next? Maybe Brookland in Northeast DC or Arlington’s Columbia Pike corridor, areas real-estate experts say are on the verge of a boom.