Park View Development — 2011 Year in Review
As we close out 2011 and head into 2012, it’s a good time to step back and review all the development — large and small — that has impacted the Park View community over the past 12 months.
Starting on May 17, 2010, at the intersection of Webster Street and Georgia Avenue and heading south, the most significant change to hit the Avenue is the Middle Georgia Avenue Great Streets project. The project didn’t begin to impact Park View in earnest until early February 2011. Now nearly completed, the changes included new curbs, ADA compliant ramps, the resurfacing of Georgia Avenue, new street lights and bike racks.
One development that impacted all of Lower Georgia Avenue was the Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail. The trail was officially launched on October 15th and covers the area between the Shaw/Howard Metro station and the Georgia Avenue Metro station. All in all, the 19 sign trail is about a 1.9-mile walk.
Two minor developments that will play a bigger role in 2012 than they did this year are DC Reynolds and Lion’s Liquor. Both are on the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue. DC Reynolds’ intention to turn the old Huron Pharmacy at 3628 Georgia into a new restaurant was first publicly announced at the beginning of June. They are aiming for an early 2012 opening. Similarly, Lion’s Liquor at 3614 Georgia mysteriously closed in early July. It was later learned that they would be renovating the space and become a more upscale establishment. Like DC Reynolds, Lion’s is shooting for an early 2012 relaunch. If both of these business come online as planned, this section of Georgia Avenue may start to become a destination spot since it already includes Looking Glass Lounge and Blue Banana, two businesses that already seem to attract quite a few Petworth residents.
Moving further south on Georgia avenue is “The Avenue” project at the intersection of Newton Place. This is without a doubt the most significant development to break ground in the neighborhood this year. Work began in earnest in April 2011 to demolish the existing buildings and ready the property for construction. The project has steadily progressed and should be completed sometime in 2012, making it a project that will have a major impact for a while.
One block south, the 700 block of Park Road received new curbs and sidewalks in September this year. Further south still the area got its second Capital Bikeshare station at the beginning of December. The new Bikeshare location is on the northwest corner of Georgia and Columbia Road.
At the southern end of the neighborhood the development at 2910 Georgia was completed in the fall of the year. The building was begun in June 2010 by Eric Colbert and Associates and contained twenty-two units, two of them affordable housing. The building sold well with the first two units selling in July.
Moving off of Georgia Avenue there are two projects in the very early stages of planning. The first is the on-again-off-again athletic field at the Park View Recreation Center located at 693 Otis Place. Despite early discussions with the community beginning in May 2011, the Department of Parks and Recreation has informed me that the current status of the project is that the contractor has finished the civil survey of the site and hopes to submit a schematic design of the site soon with a start in spring 2012.
The neighboring Park View School building officially began the process that will lead to a modernized facility on December 7, 2011, when the School Improvement Team met for the first time. This was followed by a working meeting where SORG’s initial December 9th proposed blocking and stacking was discussed. The first phase of the modernization is scheduled to occur during the summer 2012 school recess making the current planning for the space very aggressive. Modernization is to be completed in three phases ending in 2018, so this project is going to be in the news for a while to come.
Sadly, the biggest non-event in 2011 was the Neighborhood Development Company’s “Heights” project located at Georgia and Lamont. The 69-unit building was originally scheduled to break ground in the 4th quarter of 2010, but the financing component from HUD has been the major factor delaying the project.
While the project still seems very much alive, until the financing is squared away with HUD there is no current timetable for its start, or NDC’s Vue project at Georgia and Morton which is to follow. According to the Washington Business Journal (12/28), financing for the Heights has been secured and construction is expected to begin in January 2012. This makes 2012 look like it will be a busy year for Lower Georgia Avenue.