Dcist is reporting that the old convention center site redevelopment should commence in 2008. Ultimately culminating in 275,000 square feet of retail space, 300,000 square feet of office space, 772 condo and other housing units, and 1900 parking spaces, recent city council action indicates that Mayor William's plan for a new central library on the site is not going to happen.
The void left by the old convention center is a detriment to the new convention center and, accordingly, to our neighborhood. It creates a disconnect between everything north of Massachusetts on 9th Street and downtown, discouraging pedestrians from lingering in the convention center area. When this space is filled with residents and retail, the blocks of boarded up buildings across from the new convention center will undoubtedly be reborn and thrive. When they thrive, the Shaw neighborhood will, also, thrive, as those buildings and the old convention center site serve as a barrier to our neighborhood.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ambivilent Images, July 2005, photo of parking lot at old convention center site. Available here.