St. Elizabeths, Congress Heights

An EcoDistricts Target City

Congress Heights is a primarily low-to-middle-income residential neighborhood located just south of the historic St. Elizabeths Hospital Campus in Washington, DC. Set to attract over $58 million in infrastructure investments, these two districts come together to form the St. Elizabeths – Congress Heights Ecodistrict.

Congress Heights is an active community comprised of many educational- and faith-based institutions. Frank W. Ballou High School, Hart Middle School and the SE Tennis and Learning Center collectively serve the community. Additionally, Congress Heights is located near Oxon Run Park and in close proximity to the historic St. Elizabeths campus. According to the 2006 Comprehensive Plan, the neighborhood’s present population is 96.1 percent African American, compared to 92.8 percent for Ward 8 and 60 percent for the city as a whole.

An historic gem in the middle of the nation’s capital, the St. Elizabeths campus is located adjacent to the Congress Heights community. The 350-acre campus was previously occupied entirely by the St. Elizabeths Hospital. The District government is actively working to redevelop St. Elizabeths East into a vibrant mixed-use campus. Plans for the redevelopment of St. Elizabeths East feature an “Innovation Hub,” highlighting the co-location of community, universities, technology businesses and technology-focused amenities focused on cultivating globally significant economic opportunities.

In addition, St. Elizabeths East will soon be home to the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center. R.I.S.E., a name selected by the community, stands for Relate, Innovate, Stimulate and Elevate (Rel8, Innov8, Stimul8 and Elev8). The Demonstration Center will include flex meeting, tech and demonstration space designed to build community interest in the campus redevelopment efforts and solidify St. Elizabeths East as an innovation hub. The East campus is adjacent to the Congress Heights Metrorail station and is easily linked to the entire metro region.