Upscale Dining, Condos Head to Ward 7

Forgotten corner of Northeast is quickly changing

Chef Michael Landrum gained national attention after President Obama stopped by one of his restaurants. Now he’s putting the final touches on his latest location in one of the most unlikely of places, Ward 7 in Northeast.

The new location of Rays the Steaks will be located just off of Minnesota Avenue -- and it'll be the just second sit-down restarutnat in all of Ward 7. The other is a Denny’s.

"I couldn't be happier with the location or the opportunity I have to be here," Landrum said.

In a few years, his restaurant will be surrounded by some of the largest and fastest moving development in D.C.

A new $80 million mixed-use townhouse and retail development project is going up at the corner of Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue, right next door to the city’s new Department of Employment Services building, which is still under construction. The developer is Chris Donatelli, who built the Ellington on U Street and some developments in Columbia Heights. He breaks ground in 2010.

Ward 7 Councilwoman Yvette Alexander says she doesn’t want the updates to change who lives in this historically black community. "One of the things that I’m really excited about is the residents that live in Ward 7 now are going to stay in Ward 7, so all of this development is inclusive," she said. 

There is more than $200 million in development going into Ward 7, with the City Interest Development Group owning most of the new property. City Interest was behind the Mandarin Oriental Hotel project.

Rays the Steaks is set to open in early winter.

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