Posted tagged ‘Park View’

Updated Park Morton Plan Could Begin by End of 2020

January 28, 2020

(Rendering of the final phase of Park Morton’s development on Morton Street)

Based on information shared at the January 23, 2020, Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting, the plan to redevelop Park Morton is being adjusted to allow redevelopment to move forward while the DC Court of Appeals considers the challenges to the approved Zoning Order for the development’s first phase at the Bruce Monroe site.

The most significant change from the original development plan is that original Phase 2 of the development plan is now targeted as Phase 1 of the plan (see the area outlined in orange below). This area is the location of the planned larger apartment building on Park Road which would replace the currently empty Park Morton Park Road buildings. The construction timeline for this area is currently scheduled for the end of 2020 or the very beginning of 2021 with completion by the end of 2022.

In order to keep the Park Morton redevelopment moving forward, the area of Park Morton along Park Road (outlined in orange), will now be the first phase of development

In order for construction to begin, housing needs to be coordinated for some current Park Morton residents who live in other buildings impacted by the construction and a new city street needs to be approved and constructed. The street is necessary both to support the development and to ensure the safety of the residents remaining on site.

The original Phase 1 of Park Morton – at the Bruce Monroe site – has been held up in court following the challenge filed against the approved zoning order by four parties from the 700 blocks of Irving Street and Columbia Rd, NW. In reviewing the docket for the case in December 2019, all materials appear to have been filed and the only outstanding item is a ruling from the judge. It is expected that a ruling could happen in the coming weeks, though appeals cases have no timetable.

Presuming the Court upholds the original Zoning Order, the Bruce Monroe site phase can move forward. It would no longer be considered a separate phase of development, but rather could move forward concurrently with the new Park Road Phase 1 which would speed up the timeline. If, instead, the Court identifies any issues those would have to be addressed prior to construction.

The proposed changes to the phasing of the Park Morton development does not alter the overall plan and will not have an impact on the number of housing units produced. The development still plans to replace the 174 units at Park Morton with 545 mixed-income units. Park Morton residents have a guaranteed right to continue living at Park Morton in a new replacement apartment. There are also plans being reviewed to make homeownership an opportunity for Park Morton residents to pursue – though the exact number has not yet been determined.

(This article also cross-posted on New Columbia Heights)

Park View Farmers Market Opens at Hook Hall this Sunday

January 8, 2020

DC’s newest farmer’s market will open in Hook Hall (corner of Georgia and Morton Street) on January 12, 2020. The Park View Farmers Market will be an indoor market which will be open year-round, every Sunday from 9am – 2pm.

According to the announcement on the Hook Hall Website, the mission of the Park View Farmers Market is to connect local farmers, growers and producers to local consumers in the Park View and surrounding neighborhoods.

The market features:

  • An indoor, year-round market, rain or shine;
  • Will be every Sunday from 9am-2pm;
  • The largest meat and seafood counter in Northwest DC; and,
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, seafood, meat, honey, bread, pastries, donuts and prepared foods that are both plant-based and meat-based.

Do You Support Adding Street Trees to the 800 Block of Princeton Place, NW?

September 30, 2019

As anyone who has lived in Park View for a while knows, we have a lot of hot, treeless streets due to a lack of planning when the neighborhood was originally building out. I have had numerous conversations over the years with neighbors who would like to see more trees, and have worked to get more spaces for street trees where ever I find an opportunity.

While out walking last week, it dawned on me that an ideal place to add more trees could be the 800 block of Princeton Place, NW. While it is a short street with only two rowhouses on it, I think every treebox we can create improves the entire neighborhood.

The 800 block of Princeton Place has conditions favorable for adding trees in public space.

What makes the 800 block of Princeton Place promising for adding tree box bump outs is its width and configuration. Currently, it is designated as a one-way street (east bound). It also currently does not allow parking on either the north or south side of the street (although I have seen people park on the south side on more than one occasion). The street is also just over 35 feet wide, meaning that is is over built for the two lanes of traffic it allows.

Measurment in ArcGIS indicates that Princeton Place is 35 feet wide, more than enough for two lanes of traffic and tree box bump outs.

An onsite visit to the street along with reviewing maps indicates that there may be utility infrastructure on the south side of the street, so that leaves the north side open to potential reconfiguration — which is actually better as southbound New Hampshire buses turn onto Princeton Place to travel north on Georgia Avenue.

Below is a rough outline of where curb bump outs could occur on the north side of the street. Depending upon tree selection and planting location, this should create room for 4 to 6 new trees.

Bump outs on Princeton Place could create room for 4-6 new trees, depending upon tree selection and planting location.

While cost is always a factor, when I mentioned this opportunity to some folks at DDOT during a recent meeting, there was some excitement about this. Narrowing the street would improve vehicular safety, narrowing the crossway at Georgia would improve pedestrian safety, and the new trees would increase the overall tree canopy — all DDOT goals.

So what are your thoughts, shall we make this a priority in 2020?

 

Hot Spots in Park View are MPD Priority; Non-police Services Need to Step Up

September 27, 2019

Violence, and in particular gun violence, in Park View is something that many residents are deeply concerned with right now and with good reason. With 4 homicides in the neighborhood compared to 1 in 2018, crime has become notably more deadly — not just in Park View, but also in Columbia Heights and other neighborhoods across the city. Many neighbors question just what is being done to restore public safety in the community, and what is being done to address longstanding problem areas like the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. In order to get a better handle on how crime in Park View is being addressed, I met with MPD’s Patrol Chief Lamar Greene and the Fourth District Commander Randy Griffin to discuss what MPD is doing, and where other agencies or services may be falling short.

For context, I am including the 2019 year-to-date data for violent crimes report from DC Crime Cards below. While it shows overall violent crime is down, it also shows significantly that homicides and robberies are up in the neighborhood. It is also important to note that shots fired with no victim is typically not a category represented in the results, so this isn’t truly an accurate snapshot of gun events.

Violent crime in Park View for 2019 year-to-date (captured on 9/27/2019)

Following the shooting on the evening of Tuesday, September 24th, PC Greene shared the following:

Our team has and will continue patrols in the very challenging areas of [the] 600 blocks of Newton, Princeton and Park Morton.  The team has made many arrests in that area working along side our citizens.  The victim has even been arrested within the block as well.  Our investigative team is working the case and will determine all facts leading up to this shooting.  I will keep you all informed as the investigation progresses.  The Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, Commander Griffin and the Fourth District members will continue their efforts in this area.

Adding to this, Commander Griffin responded:

I can assure you that there is regular patrol in the area and the officers have been very busy.  In the past 6 months my team has affected 18 gun-related and drug-related arrests specifically in the 600 blocks of Morton St., Newton Pl, and the 3500 block of Georgia Ave.  My patrol members will continue their efforts and will investigate, apprehend and arrest the individuals in the area who have shown a blatant disregard for public safety.

What is particularly interesting with the latest shooting is that the person who was shot on Tuesday night had been arrested days prior as one of the people responsible for the significant graffiti that was painted in the area of 6th and Newton Place on September 13th. He was also the target of the shooting.

This provides insight into the broader challenge that exists when it comes to public safety and violent crime. MPD has made the trouble spots in Park View a priority, they are patrolling the problem areas, and making arrests. What appears to be broken are 1) Sentencing Guidelines and the court system; and 2) The need for non-police agencies and service providers to step up and deliver on their promises.

To provide an idea on why patrols and arrests alone, while helpful, don’t seem to be making the impact many in the neighborhood expect, here are the 2018 Homicide Victim and Known Offender Statistics as pulled in January 2019.

79% of 2018 homicides were firearms-related

2018 Known Offenders

  • 93% have an arrest history in DC. The average number of arrests per offender (adult and juvenile) is 10.
  • 49% had prior gun arrests.
  • 43% were under some sort of supervision at the time of the homicide.

2018 Homicide Victims

  • 82% have an arrest history in DC. The average number of arrests per victim (adult and juvenile) is 10.
  • 45% had prior gun arrests.
  • 36% of the victims were under some sort of supervision at the time of the homicide.

In short, this indicates that a relatively small number of individuals are repeatedly involved in homicides, and those who are either the perpetrator or victim of a homicide has a significant history as a repeat offender.

In relation to this, it was noted that residents who want to see violent crime go down, and who may be frustrated with the revolving door of the court system, may want to review DC’s sentencing guidelines and advocate for updating guidelines if they are misaligned. DC has local control of the sentencing guidelines. The value of Community Impact Statements were also noted, and there is a general sense that they do make an impact at sentencing.

I think it is important to note that no one I have talked to is dismissing the value of social services and violence interrupters, but it is also important to understand that the work they do requires a significant investment of time to build relationships, they will not be able to connect with everyone, and success may be difficult to prove as success is often a non- event (i.e., a shooting that didn’t happen). It is also notable that in order for intervention to work, there needs to be something better to offer.

This is why equal effort and investment from the Department of Behavioral Health and the Department of Employment Services (DOES) (to name two) also needs to be a focus for blocks like Newton Place. Participation in DOES’s Summer jobs program has resulted in permanent full-time jobs in places like the Department of Public Works — and job training and employment is something that has come up frequently in the discussions I’ve had with community members and Park View Rec Center staff familiar with the young people that are either involved or impacted by violence in the community.

Heads Up! Kick Off Bruce Monroe Park Meeting is Tuesday, September 10, at 6:30 pm!

September 9, 2019

Tomorrow at 6:30 pm, the Department of Parks and Recreation will host their first community meeting to begin the conversation on what a permanent, 1-acre park could look like on the Bruce Monroe site located at Columbia Road and Georgia Avenue, NW. A 1-acre permanent park was one of the components agreed to as part of the overall effort to rebuild the Park Morton community which identified the Bruce Monroe site as the first phase of construction.

The build-first phase of Park Morton was challenged in court, and while the case was heard in February 2019, we are still waiting for a decision to be handed down. While that has delayed the timeline for construction of the build-first structure, other aspects of the project continue to move forward — like the permanent park.

See the flyer below for details, and I will post a report of the meeting later this week for those unable to attend.

Construction at 3622 Georgia Avenue will Result in More Housing and Commercial Space

August 14, 2019

Here’s another long-vacant building on Georgia Avenue that is now actively under construction. 3622 Georgia, next to Lion’s Find Wines & Spirits, is an active construction site.

According to the building permit, issued in June 2019, the construction is for an addition and renovation of the existing two story and basement commercial building into a new R2 condominium with 8 dwelling units and a commercial/retail space on the first floor/basement level. The renovated building will be four stories above grade with a cellar and a mezzanine/equipment platform.

For a little history of the building, it was the office of Dr. Ephraim Edgar Ruebush, a successful veterinary surgeon, from 1925 until 1941.

The Sweet Mango Property Finally Headed for Re-development

August 13, 2019


Four years after the neighborhood first learned of re-development plans for the former Sweet Mango property at 3701 New Hampshire Ave, NW, it seems those plans may finally be moving forward. Last week security fencing went up around the property. Based on a conversation with the developer a couple months ago, I initially thought this indicated that the structures would be raised and that the lot would be vacant pending a decision to move forward.

However, in connecting with the development team, I’ve learned that the current plan is to raze the buildings and then begin construction of the new building following the completion of the demolition. The development team is currently working with ANC4C and DCRA to get approved building permits.

Once construction begins, the schedule for completion of the new building will be 14 months.

Below is the rendering from 2015 on what the new building would look like.

Proposed 21-unit building at 3701 New Hampshire Ave, NW, from 2015


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