Archive for urban development

New Additions to Historic Structures

Posted in Development, Renovation and Restoration with tags , on July 30, 2009 by Kent
The alley facades of many Capitol Hill homes do not look like the historic fronts

The alley facades of many Capitol Hill homes do not look like the historic fronts

Here’s a debate I’ve been having with a neighbor of mine: When you add on to a building that’s  90+ years old, do you have to keep the style of the older structure or are you allowed to depart from that style?

Historical Districts and codes aside, I’d like to know what people think from a personal perspective.

I view is that there should be truth in architecture and that construction should be of its time. If that means you meticulously restore a historic house and then put a modern addition on it, to me that’s acceptable. Unify styles with form, scale, and color.

My neighbor thinks that any construction connected to an older building should look like the older building. While I can see where some MAY want to go that route, I don’t agree that it is the only correct way to proceed.

NPR Moving to 1111 N. Capitol

Posted in Development with tags , on July 20, 2009 by Kent

NPR moving to 1111 N. CapitolI was a little surprised to see a sign outside of 1111 N. Capitol over the weekend announcing that it was going to be the future site of NPR.

Until recently, the current building there was leased to the Smithsonian Institution for several functions not needed on the Mall, such as storage for unused furniture and obsolete electronics and overflow storage for seldom used library materials.

I’m unsure what “future site of … ” means, but hope it indicates a new building will occupy the site rather than a renovated structure.

Perhaps a reader can shed more light on this subject.1111 North Capitol

… and Speaking of Bruce Monroe Redevelopment

Posted in Development, Park View, Schools with tags , , on July 10, 2009 by Kent

I’m for getting rid of the old Bruce Monroe school 100%. I think its an eye sore and don’t see how you expect children to learn in anything that even remotely looks like a prison.

That said, do we really need to spend money building a new school? Currently the Bruce Monroe school is using the historic Park View Elementary. From the neighbors I’ve talked to, we love it. Its a far more attractive building, in a more attractive residential neighborhood, with a large grass sports field across the street from it.

Why can’t the school continue to use Park View Elementary? Georgia Avenue is largely, or at least once was, a commercial corridor. Is that really where we want our children?

Out of curiosity, I’d like to know what others think, whether it is in the poll or as a comment. 


Update on the Bruce Monroe Elementary School Demolition Schedule

Posted in Development, Park View, Schools with tags , , , on July 10, 2009 by Kent

I got the following notice form the Georgia Avenue group listserv:

–Demolition of the Bruce Monroe School is supposed to start on/or around July 15, 2009. (A press conference is being planned at the site the morning that demolition starts.)

–Demolition will take approximately three (3) months. (Work will proceed every Monday – Saturday from 7 AM to 7 PM. Signs will go up around the site.)

–Solicitation of construction bids will begin on July, 15, 2009. It will take 60 to 75 after the closing of the bids to evaluate them. A contract may be awarded by the end of 2009. The contract has to be approved by the DC City Council.

–The site will be redeveloped as a school with commercial and/or residential construction on the Georgia Avenue side of the property through a public/private partnership. The school will have 75,000 to 100,000 square feet of space.

–The new Bruce Monroe Elementary School is tenatively scheduled to open in 2013. It’s educational programs will include grades Pre-K through 5 or grades Pre-K through 8 (to be worked out by the school system and the school community.)

***Active discussions are taking place between the Chancellor’s Office, DCPS, Bruce Monroe administrators, teachers, and parents, the DC Education Ombudsman’s Office, Councilman Gray’s office, Councilman Kwame Brown’s office, DC economic develpment officials, and the community.

Central Union Mission on ANC1A Agenda

Posted in Development, Park View with tags , , on July 7, 2009 by Kent

From the Georgia Avenue listserv, at tomorrow night’s ANC1A meeting,

David Treadwell from Central Union Mission will be presenting their proposal for development of a mixed income apartment building at 3510-3512 Georgia Avenue, and the lots immediately behind on Newton Street. Please come out and find out about this proposal. As you probably know, they were proposing a 170+ bed mens shelter, but have opted for something different after the neighborhood objected to such a large overnight mens shelter on Georgia Avenue. The meeting starts at 7:00pm at 3101 13th Street Northwest (the cafeteria of Harriet Tubman Elementary School).

Georgia Avenue Great Streets/O Street Market Among Possible Victims to Convention Center Hotel Deal

Posted in City Services, D.C. Government, Development with tags , , on June 23, 2009 by Kent

Northern Market aka O Street MarketThe Washington Business Journal reported on June 16th that the D.C. Council is considering withdrawing millions of dollars in subsidies from stalled city real estate projects to publicly finance the convention center hotel. You can read the entire article here>>

The article continues by stating that …

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi met with members of the D.C. Council on Monday and discussed the list of projects with $704 million in subsidies that have already been passed and could be diverted to the hotel. The list provided by the CFO’s office includes the Southwest waterfront, the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg residential development on the Capitol Riverfront, the mixed-use O Street Market in Shaw and seven other economic development incentives.

The entire list of already approved projects at risk includes:

  • Southwest waterfront, $198 million;
  • Housing Production Trust Fund, $190 million;
  • Great Streets retail priority area (neighborhood tax increment financing), $75 million;
  • Capper/Carrollsburg payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, $55 million;
  • O Street Market, $46.5 million;
  • Skyland Shopping Center, $40 million;
  • The Yards payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, $30 million;
  • Great Streets, $20 million;
  • Downtown retail priority area, $16.05 million;
  • Fort Lincoln retail priority area, $10 million;
  • Arena Stage, $10 million;
  • Rhode Island Place retail priority area, $7.2 million; and
  • Broadcast Center One, $6.4 million.

I’m particularly concerned about Georgia Avenue, as this would not be the first, but second time that funds allocated for its renewal have been redirected.

At the last ANC1A meeting, a representative from the Deputy Mayor’s office stood before the assembly and admitted that the money originally set aside for Georgia Avenue had be redirected to pay for H Street, NE, redevelopment. He continued that nearly all of the funding needed to replace that allocation had been secured so that Georgia Avenue could get back on track.

Now, it seems that those statements may have been premature. After contacting Councilmemeber Graham, he stated that he was unaware of any plans to redirect Georgia Avenue Great Streets money and that we would be opposed to any plan that did so.

This Date in History

Posted in May, Petworth, Real Estate with tags , on May 29, 2009 by Kent

May 29, 1926: A steady demand for residential property, and indications that this demand would increase as the spring and summer months advanced, was indicated by the report made by the office of D.J. Dunigan, Inc., of the recent sale of a large number of new homes in their Petworth operations.Petworth ca. 1920s