Guest post from Community members Dianne Chambers, Rashida Brown and David Do
On Monday April 7, an informal Park View neighborhood happy hour drew a large and enthusiastic crowd of more than 80 people who came out to hear about the redevelopment plans for the historic McMillan Sand Filtration site. The event was held at Mothership on Georgia Ave, NW Washington DC.
Supporters of the project and members of “Neighbors for McMillan,” David Do, Dianne Chambers and Rashida Brown, hosted the event and invited the Vision McMillan Partners to Park View to speak with members of the community about the proposed redevelopment plans. This event included a presentation from the Vision McMillan Partners for residents to learn more about the proposed plans currently in the process of moving through D.C.’s zoning commission. Park View community members and interested parties met the developers and asked questions throughout the night. Special thanks to Stephan Boillon and his staff at Mothership for the great venue and delicious food! Brianne Nadeau, the Ward 1 Democratic Nominee for the D.C. Council made a special appearance and remarks in support of the VMP plans.
The overall tone and feedback from the crowd was positive. Park View neighbors expressed an overwhelming amount of support for the project. However, concerns about traffic impact and congestion along the Ward 1 boarders of the site were raised that night.
Neighbor for McMillan and Park View resident, Rashida Brown, welcomed everyone and gave some opening remarks sharing her story about why she is in support of the VMP’s plans. She urged Park View to have a “seat at the table” and be more informed, involved and engaged in the process. She stressed the importance of attending the next PUD hearings throughout the month of May to share input. Historically, residents from Ward 5 have attended the VMP-sponsored community meetings and provided testimony on the proposed plans (quite often in opposition). Ms. Brown mentioned the positive impacts and benefits for the Park View community.
Aakash Thakkar, representing EYA, thanked Park View for the invitation and mentioned the plan is closer than ever to seeing it come to fruition. It has taken about 30 years to get real traction on this project, but he feels the current plan is a good fit for the community as it preserves the historical integrity of the site. Tania Jackson, representing VMP, discussed her community advocacy and organizing efforts to help move the VMP plans forward.
Anne Corbett, Project Director for Vision McMillan Partners presented a plan that includes both market-rate and affordable housing (town homes, multi-family and senior apartments). At least 10% of the units will be set aside for affordable housing. There will also be a 50,000 sf grocery store, health care facilities, a community center with pool, and an 8 acre park.
A slide displaying the new McMillan site at night showcased a new lighting design and gives the impression that this will be a very welcoming environment at all hours. One of the biggest themes of the presentation is the fact that the plan honors the site by preserving its historic integrity while at the same time, providing much needed amenities for the community at large.
The information provided was very positively received. Most of the residents seemed pleased to hear about what is on the horizon. Park View neighbor, David Do commented on the positive impact more affordable housing will have in our community. He also mentioned that the grocery store will help provide a much needed resource to the area’s food desert. The full team took questions which have been linked to this post.
If you would like to support the McMillan project, the next step is to come out and testify at the PUD/Zoning Commission hearings planned for May. You can get more information and sign up for the hearings at:
Dates for the PUD hearings are as follows:
- May 1, 2014 (Thursday) @ 6pm – Stage 1 Master Plan, Open Spaces and Parks, and Community Center (Parcels 6 and 7)
- May 5, 2014 (Monday) @ 6pm – Multi-Family/Retail Building (Parcel 4) and Townhouses (Parcel 5)
- May 8, 2014 (Thursday) @ 6pm – Healthcare Facility (Parcel 1)
- May 13, 2014 (Thursday)@ 6pm – Continuation hearing (if needed)
PUD hearings will be held at:
Jerrily R. Kress Memorial Hearing Room
441 4th St., NW Suite 220-South
Washington, DC 20001