Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

ANCs Recommend Victory Housing as Top Pick for Hebrew Home Development

July 17, 2017

(Early rendering showing one potential design by Victory Housing.)

On July 12, at separate meetings, both Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 4C and 1A recommended Victory Housing & Brinshore Development as their primary choice for the development team to redevelop the former Hebrew Home property at 1125 Spring Road into a mixed income/multi-generational community. The two Commissions differed on their second choices.

Both Commissions felt that the Victory Housing proposal “meets the shared community priority of providing 88 units of dedicated, affordable senior housing in the former Hebrew Home. It also provides the largest number of affordable, family-sized units of any of the proposals as well with 29 three-bedroom rental units. In addition, it proposes home ownership opportunities along Spring Road NW. It also provides 75 underground parking spaces, with approximately 1.8 parking spaces for each 3 units of non-senior housing.”

The Commissions’ recommendations will be sent to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), where the final decision on selecting a development team will be determined.

The Commissions differed on their second choices. ANC4C’s second choice was the NHP Foundation, Fivesquares Development, and Warrenton Group. ANC 1A’s second choice, on the other hand, was the Bozzuto Homes proposal. ANC 1A further selected the Mission First proposal as its third choice. (read ANC 1A resolution at goo.gl/RChVH3 ).

DMPED is expected to select a development team prior to the July 27, 2017 public meeting scheduled to present the District’s intent to declare the Hebrew Home surplus. The meeting’s purpose is to receive comments on the proposed designation of 1125 Spring Road, NW, as surplus property. The surplus meeting is held in order to receive feedback from the community on the District’s finding that the property is no longer required for public purposes. Comments collected at the public meeting will be submitted to the Council of the District of Columbia for its review.

The date, time, and location of the surplus meeting is below:

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Location: Raymond Recreation Center
3725 10th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

Saying Farwell to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham

June 21, 2017

(Councilmember Jim Graham participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new field renovations at the Park View Recreation Center on March 23, 2013).

Last week, we learned the very sad news of the passing of former Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham. The DC Council has announced the following schedule for those wanting to say their final farewells — and I know there are many in the community:

Former Councilmember Jim Graham Farewell

Friday, June 23, 2017

Councilmember Graham’s body will lay in state at the Wilson Building from noon to 5PM.

Program Begins at Noon with the arrival of remains. Elected Officials, Dignitaries and Special Guests will deliver remarks.

* Bow Ties Encouraged

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Viewing and Religious Services for Councilmember Graham will be held at All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard Street, NW). The Viewing will be at 10AM, and the Religious Services will begin at noon. Immediately following the services, there will be a repast in the Church’s Multi-Purpose Room. Food and soft drinks will be available. Bow Ties are encouraged.

Flowers and cards may be sent to: Bacon Funeral Home, 3447 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20010

Many in the District knew Jim from his days as Executive Director of Whitman-Walker, and later as Councilmember for Ward 1. He was known as a fierce advocate for residents, particularly for those who needed an advocate the most. His years of service meant that there were few whose lives he hadn’t touched.

Over the past ten years in my service to the community, likewise, I found Jim extremely supportive of community priorities and someone that was eager to work with community members to achieve a better quality of life for all.

From my personal experience along Georgia Avenue, the Councilmember I knew and worked with was actively engaged with the community and MPD on issues of public safety, he was instrumental in getting the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center on Georgia Avenue, and his support was critical in securing the land for the first phase of the Park Morton New Communities effort at Georgia and Newton. These are a few examples of the progress he brought to Ward 1, with each neighborhood having examples equally impressive to add to the list.

Projects that I was proud to work particularly close with Jim on included the Park View Recreation Center and Park View School. He lent his support to ensure that the Park View recreation center would have a new soccer field, basketball court, exercise area, and playground equipment instead of just a baseball field that no one asked for or wanted. He also supported the renovation of the small historic field house at the rec center. At the school, Jim toiled to achieve a larger phase one modernization of the Park View School building than the city originally planned or wanted to provide.

His passion for Ward 1 and a love of its people, cultures, and history was something we shared and frequently discussed.

I know I speak for many when I say that Ward 1 has not just lost someone who gave his all to ensure that every resident had a brighter future, but also a close and dear friend.

What Are Your Thoughts About the Hebrew Home Development Proposals?

May 30, 2017

(The former Hebrew Home and Robeson School site at 1125 Spring Road.)

Last week, seven development teams briefly presented their ideas on how the old Hebrew Home property could be developed to increase housing, and affordable housing, to the Petworth, Columbia Heights, Park View area. Based on the presentations (and Powerpoint presentations) in the previous blog post, what are your general impressions? Feel free to leave comments and ideas not covered by the following three polls.

Architecturally, which proposal did you like best?

How many units should the project create?

What types of affordability is important to you?

Nice Touch at Morton Street Mews Project

April 12, 2017

The former Trinity A.M.E. Church on Morton Street.

While walking along Morton Street a few days ago, I noticed a very nice touch on the former church building at 777 Morton Street. The church was converted to condos as part of the Morton Street Mew’s project, and was originally constructed in 1905 by architect William Sidney Pittman. The original cornerstone for the building was moved to the church building at 625 Park Rd. M

With the original cornerstone missing from the building, the developer has created a new one to help reveal the history of the building. See photo of new memorial below.

(New cornerstone on church building documenting original architect and congregation.)

Some Movement at 3557-3559 Georgia Avenue

October 28, 2016

Though not moving forward as quickly as the Brick Lane development at Georgia and Lamont, the development at Georgia Avenue and Otis Place appears to be getting ready to begin as well. I noticed that a plywood barrier was recently constructed on Georgia Avenue to protect pedestrians from construction debris. This is a marked change from what the site looked like a year ago.

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Around Town: Nearby News of Note

September 30, 2016
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WMATA placed sandbags around the ventilation shafts at Georgia Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue to prevent flooding at the Georgia Avenue Station.

Evictions Headed for Nuisance Property on Rock Creek Church Road – Yesterday a judge ruled at landlord/tenant court that a writ of repossession be issued at 805 Rock Creek Church Road, NW, to rid the community of another drug nuisance property. The next step will be to serve the occupants with an order to vacate (Petworth News).

Woman Kidnapped from Petworth Bus Stop – A woman was kidnapped around 1 p.m. Tuesday  as she was waiting for a bus outside the Georgia Avenue Metro Station at the corner of New Hampshire Avenue and Georgia Avenue. Two men forced her into a vehicle, asked her where she lived and then drove to her Hyattsville, Maryland residence where the suspects stole valuables and cash from the residence and then fled (NBC4, WTOP, WJLA).

Union Drinkery Now Open – The long anticipated Union Drinkery has opened at 3216 Georgia Avenue. From the same folks behind A&D in Shaw and Park View’s Small Fry, Union Drinkery is a self-described “no-frills neighborhood bar”  (Borderstan, New Columbia Heights)

Concerns Over Adams Morgan Hotel Project’s Hiring Requirements Has D.C. Officials Reviewing Tax Incentives – After a week of reviewing a hotel developer’s failure to date to hire residents for construction jobs under the terms of a $46 million tax break, D.C.’s finance officials are preparing to pull the benefit if the company doesn’t make up for its shortfalls in the near future (Washington City Paper).

Greater Greater Washington Provides Opportunity to Learn About ANC Candidates and Assist Them in Their Endorsement Process

September 28, 2016

anc-mapFor those that don’t read Greater Greater Washington (GGW) on a regular basis, you may have missed a post last week on the upcoming elections for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs). In short, GGW reached out to candidates for the ANCs, asked them to participate in a questionnaire, and is not asking for those familiar with the candidates to read those responses and provide feedback to GGW to assist them in making endorsements. I think it is worth noting as races for the ANCs are often overlooked with little information published about the candidates running for the office (read full post here).

Here’s how it works according to GGW:

  1. Find your ward and ANC if you don’t know them yet here.
  2. Open up the responses for your ward:
    Ward 1 · Ward 2 · Ward 3 · Ward 4 · Ward 5 · Ward 6 · Ward 7 · Ward 8
  3. Read the responses for a candidate and give your feedback on this form.
  4. Repeat for as many other candidates as you want to do. Try other ANCs, other wards—all input is helpful!

While not every candidate participated, and not every race is contested, I agree that it is important to have good people on our ANCs for them to run efficiently and make decisions that are in the best interest of the community. With this in mind, I would encourage people to read the responses of the candidates who did participate, and send in feedback on those that you feel will work hard for the community.

Around Town: Nearby News of Note

September 2, 2016

Park View signProfile of Pablo Sierra & Walls of BooksWalls of Books opened in Park View at the beginning of 2016.  Located at 3325 Georgia Avenue, it features more than 40,000 used books and it is the first retail business Pablo Sierra has ever owned. Petworth News checks in with Walls of Books and chats with Sierra on how he has created a book store with a focus on community.  (Petworth News).

Brazen Early Morning Robbery in Columbia Heights on Tuesday – Despite recent efforts to address crime in northern Columbia Heights, a man was met with gunfire when he chased after a robber who pistol-whipped him on the 1300 block of Meridian Place, NW, on Tuesday morning about 1:15 a.m. (Borderstan).

Youth Arrested for Multiple Crimes in Area – On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 18-year-old Christian Mendoza of Northwest, DC, was arrested. He is charged with two counts of Robbery, Assault with Intent to Kill, and two counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon for cases that occurred on 16th Street, Columbia Road, and Sherman Avenue. Suspect claims to be member of MS-13 (MPD 3D listserv, Washington Post) [updated]

Bill’s Seafood Kitchen/Fish in the Neighborhood Expands Outdoor Seating – Longtime Park View eatery Fish in the Neighborhood has been slowly building out an outdoor area for customers to enjoy Bill’s great food. PoPville noticed. (Popville).

Reminder: Third Crosstown Multimodal Study Workshop is June 9th

June 8, 2016

The third Crosstown Multimodal Study Workshop is been scheduled for June 9th. It will be held in the Main Hall of Trinity University from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. This is the same location where the first workshop was held. The O’Connor Auditorium is located at 125 Michigan Avenue, NW. The results of the Crosstown Study have great potential to impact and import transportation options in southern Park View, particularly around the hospital center (high level overview here).

CrosstownMap

In addition to the third workshop, DDOT will have two Public Engagement Events on Saturday, June 11: one in Brookland, at the Monroe Street Farmers Market (716 Monroe Street NE), and one on the west side of the Columbia Heights Metro station (3030 14th Street NW).

Here are more details from DDOT’s announcement:

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host the third public workshop for the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at Trinity University and two (2) Public Engagement Events on Saturday, June 11, 2016 in the Brookland and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.  The purpose of the three events is to present refined concepts that enhance multimodal connectivity, mobility, and safety in the area and gain community feedback.

As a reminder, DDOT is undertaking the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study to identify improvements along the east-west connections in Wards 1 and 5, address safety concerns, optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor. DDOT continues to work with members of the community and key stakeholders to evaluate and develop a range of physical and operational improvements. The Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study is a key project in the 2-Year Action Plan for moveDC, the District of Columbia’s multimodal long-range transportation plan.

For more information about the study, please visit the study website at www.dccrosstownstudy.com

Kalorama Park Officially Reopened

June 7, 2016

Kalorama Park on Columbia Road officially reopened on Saturday, June 4th, after months of work that included redoing the plaza and upgrading the playground equipment. A day of activities included opening remarks by Mayor Bowser (see Tweet below).

To provide an idea of how large this project was, below are the budget details from the DGS Website:

Budget: 
  • Anti-Erosion and soil remediation: $450,000 (Complete)
  • Plaza and Landscaping Improvements: $500,000 (May 2016)
  • Playground: $800,000 (May 2016)

I was particularly interested to take a look at the grounds as I still believe the Park View Recreation Center isn’t currently where we need it to be. While they have some things in common (both include playground equipment, both are historic sites, both have recreation buildings), they are also very different. Kalorama Park is a 3-acre triangular lot that is twice as large as Park View. Also, much of Kalorama Park is just that, a park.

All-in-all, Kalorama Park looked good. As I posted when I provided an overview of the project last year, the scope of work included the following:

  • Site-work
  • Tree Protection and Remediation
  • Storm-water Management Improvement
  • Landscaping Improvement
  • Hardscaping Improvement

Storm water runoff and erosion were particularly important. I noted as I walked up the sidewalk from 19th Street that the sidewalks now incorporate a drainage system to prevent the water runoff that formerly used the sidewalks there. The video below provide an idea of the runoff issues that needed to be addressed.

I’ll have to visit it again soon when I have a little more time. Below are a few photo from my visit.

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