Congress Heights Community Guide Real Estate History, culture and entertainment make this an exciting neighborhood.
History and Flavor
Congress Heights is a historic residential area in southeast Washington, D.C., with African-American roots. Though primarily a residential area, Congress Heights buzzes with energy from sporting events and live music.
Founded by developer Colonel Arther E. Randle in about 1890, the area has bluffs and beautiful views of the city. The area borders St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (built in 1855 as a psychiatric center for military and locals). The hospital still operates today but has consolidated in recent years. Its East Campus has undergone recent development with the addition of the Entertainment and Sports Arena in 2018.
The area was struggling a bit toward the end of the last century, but a lot has changed. In the early 2000s as urban developers have injected $455 million into 19 projects to breathe new life into the community.
Sports & Arts
- Entertainment and Sports Arena – 80,000 square foot arena brings professional sports right into the neighborhood. Boasting 5,000 seats, this cutting-edge arena hosts an array of sports teams, esport events, and live music. The arena is home to the WNBA Mystics and the NBA’s Wizards’ G-league team. The Wizards also take advantage of the 30,000 square foot practice facility.
- Barry Farms Dwelling Basketball Courts – The home of the ultra-competitive Goodman League.
- Southeast Tennis & Learning Center – seeks to reach the local youth with this high-octane sport. Legendary tennis champion Venus Williams had her hand in the facility’s interior design, adding a professional touch.
- The Congress Heights Arts & Cultural Center – programs and events focused on African American culture. The location also hosts pop-up shops, workshops, and artist-friendly gallery space.
- Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (ARC) – another staple of the arts community serving as the home to the Washington Ballet in its 400-seat theater.
Popular Shopping and Eats
- Skyland Shopping Center is a unique blend of urban and suburban living, shopping, dining, and gathering into one vibrant town square. From newly constructed units to sought-after upgrades, Skyland Town Center offers exceptional living with coveted convenience. Just steps from your front door are first-floor retail, restaurant, and services, including Starbucks, Chase Bank, CVS, Roaming Rooster, Maizal, Tropical Smoothie Café, Mezeh, Lidl, Skyland Nails, and Spa, Like that Barbershop, and more coming soon.
- Penn Branch Shopping Center – The neighborhood retail center was purchased in October 2016 and experienced a well-deserved makeover for this vital community asset. Some of the retail amenities include the only full-service fitness center in Wards 7 and 8, a top 10 bank, a convenience store, and many others. These businesses have been stably serving the neighborhood for years.
- Marbury Plaza – Popular convenience store.
- MLK Deli – Trying out the deli’s signature mumbo sauce is a must. According to the locals, the sauce is a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, the sauce is good on just about anything, especially on Mr. Luke’s famous fried chicken sandwich.
Best Public High Schools
- The School Without Walls High School – 592 students, 16:1 student-teacher ratio
- Benjamin Banneker Academic High School – 482 students, 16:1 student-teacher ratio
Best Public Elementary Schools
- School Within School – 313 students, 11:1 student-teacher ratio
- Center City Public Charter School – 250 students, 12:1 student-teacher ratio
Median Home Value
$432,000 as of 2021
Median household income – $37,000
Median age: 28
Families with children – 37%
High school diploma or equivalent – 45%
College Degree: 40%
93% African American
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