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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action

Over the years, several ambitious—-and often exciting—-plans have been conceived for our neighborhood and its surroundings. Some have been implemented in part, some have not. Several are the result of extensive community input, some are not. As evidenced by the recent news regarding the upcoming utilization of the Bundy School property by SafeShores, these plans aren’t always reliable indicators of what to expect. No less, it’s interesting to see what our government-endorsed planners have in mind to make our neighborhood a better place, as often these plans guide future development.

Here’s a brief listing of some of links to plans aimed at bettering our neighborhood (and areas nearby), with a few highlights of things that grab my attention for each:

1. Draft Convention Center Area Strategic Development Plan - Of note, proposals to redevelop Shaw Junior High School, Seaton Elementary, and Shaw Recreation Center through public-private partnerships that include new schools, new recreational facilities, mixed-income housing, and a restored 10th and Q streets, ideas I LOVE.

2. Great Streets Initiative along 7th Street - This recently received in depth review by the Washington Post (check out the cool map feature!). Of note are the major, high density development projects along the corridor.

3. Draft Development Framework for a Cultural Destination District Within Washington DC’s Greater Shaw/U Street - Outlines specific development and use targets between the Shaw-Howard University and U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo metro stations. Of note is its contemplation of the redevelopment of several key public-owned buildings and land, like the Howard Theatre, Grimke School, Parcels 33 & 42, Metro's Shaw Parcels, the Housing Finance Agency (“HFA”) site, and select private parcels in the 7th Street/Georgia Avenue and U Street/Florida Avenue commercial corridors.

4. Mt. Vernon Triangle Action Agenda - Interesting document discussing placemaking in Mt. Vernon Triangle; of note is its emphasis on the retail corridor on 5th Street between New York and Massachusetts Avenues, and the plaza at 5th and K as a focal point for the neighborhood.

5. Mount Vernon Triangle Transportation and Public Realm Design Project Final Report - Of note are the significant roadway improvements, proposed greenscape additions/improvements and other amenities (like bike lanes).

6. DOT's U Street/Shaw/Howard University Transportation and Parking Study - Of Particular note are streetscape improvements (e.g., wider sidewalks, interesting brick patterns, lighting), replacement of trees in tree boxes, and creation of an Eastern U Street Gateway at 6th and Florida.

7. The NoMa Plan - Mt. Vernon Triangle is part of this study, although most of the emphasis seems to be east of North Capitol. Of particular note is its focus on the development rights over the tracks behind Union Station and the connectivity that will bring, and its emphasis on placemaking.

8. Old Convention Center Redevelopment - My impression is that the fate of the old convention center sight is still unknown; it seems safe to say that it will be a mixed use development with green space, re-opened streets, and an anchor destination of some sort.

Know of others I'm leaving off? Chime in!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can see the final plans for the old convention center site (made final in 11/06) at www.oldconventioncenter.com - groundbreaking (according to the DC BID) is scheduled for '08...

si said...

anon you beat me to it :) they had a public comment period for about a year, now its in the permitting phase.

MVSNA is having City Planners from Wards 2 & 6 to our next meeting. DDOT is unable to join us, but they are sending info with the planners.

Shaw Rez said...

Thanks, Anon and Si! Great link and good to know about the Planners attendence at the next MVSNA meeting. When/where/etc. is it? Are they focusing solely on the old convention center sight or all plans for MVS?

Happy Tuesday!

si said...

Meeting info:
http://mountvernonsquare.org/meetings/

still finalizing agenda (having officer elections too) but we will be discussing mvsq & surrounding area...i imagine most of it will be about the triangle - it has the most vacant land. But there is also OCC, 7th & 9th corridors, the CC Hotel site, NOMA, Sursum Corda, giant, radio one...

Ray said...

We can rest assured that the Shaw Slum Theme Park on the 1500 block of Ninth will continue in its deteriorated state if Shiloh and the Park Service continue to have any say over development. I still think we should take over Lake Woodson (the construction hole on 9th and Q behind the fence) as a neighborhood beach and yacht club.

Shaw Rez said...

As it *seems* that Lake Woodson might become two row homes in my lifetime (given the mention of the same on the HPRB agenda for the Feb 22 meeting), we might have to give up on our dream for a neighborhood waterside retreat (nothing says relaxation like malaria, and nothing says malaria like the mosquitoes that breed rampantly in Lake Woodson's tepid, stagnant waters).

Councilman Evans has some new legislation pending that will SUPPOSEDLY make vacant real estate holdings less desirable investments. Given the unverified rumor that Shiloh hasn't had to pay property taxes on its vast vacant real estate holdings in the past, I'm skeptical about the bill's reach to our neighbor.

Ray said...

It took Alejandro Soriano about three years to get his wife's plans (she's an architect) through Historic Preservation, Zoning, Permits. Don't worry, we have time to create a nice in-town lake-side resort. Johnny's already thrown in his surfboard. I'll bring over my kayak. The existing lean-to has great makings as the yacht club tiki bar. All we need to do is plant grass, set up umbrella tables, mix cocktails while takes its city dysfuncting. BTW, Jack is great at toothless legislation. Just look at his great law banning cell phones while driving in DC. What a joke!

Ray said...

[errata] ...while the city takes its time dysfunctioning...

Anonymous said...

i kind of like dysfuncting better. it sounds like what it is.
I also like your beach idea.