Howard University /
Pleasant Plains



PLEASANT PLAINS SUSTAINS a core and vibrant African-American community of Black-owned businesses, innovators, and leaders. Howard University has vaulted to prominence as a remarkable institution with distinguished alumni, including Vice President Kamala Harris. Pleasant Plains and Howard University are intertwined by the community’s students, professors, administrators, and visitors. Increased interest in the area establishes this neighborhood as one to watch.

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Great Streets + Main Streets

Georgia Avenue is a designated Great Streets corridor. As funds become available, small businesses can apply for grants to cover capital improvements and certain soft costs. The corridor is also supported by the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street program through community-based economic development initiatives.

Creative + Entrepreneurial

  • In 2021, Pitchfork highlighted the 9:30 Club among “36 of America’s best independent music venues,” describing it as “best known for: the best staff in the biz.”
  • Chef Paul Yellin has brought his Caribbean street food and rum bar concept from Charleston, SC to DC at de Rhum Spot (2827 Sherman Avenue NW). Other new dining options include Capa Tosta (Italian) and Chef Skip (seafood takeout).
  • Sankofa Video, Books & Café, established by two lauded filmmakers committed to sharing “films, videos & books by and about people of African descent,” has remained a neighborhood staple for more than two decades.

Howard University’s Growing Campus

  • Construction has begun on The Oliver (on the site of the former Effingham Apartments), a Howard University campus master plan new five-story building with a penthouse that will deliver 93 apartments above 41,000 SF of commercial space.
  • Renovations are nearing completion at Howard Manor (c. 1950), an 80-unit apartment building with almost 3,000 SF of retail space at 654 Girard St NW.
  • A three-acre site (Lot 3) will be redeveloped into 430 residential units and 40,000 SF of retail space and will be anchored by the National Research Center for Health Disparities, which will provide a home to pharmaceutical companies and biomedical research organizations that specialize in chronic illnesses with an emphasis on solutions for communities of color.
  • Managed in partnership with Adventist Healthcare, Howard University’s
    new $450 million, 225-bed teaching hospital is estimated for delivery in 2027.