Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Poplar Point (whew!)

There was a collective sigh of relief going around for a lot of eager watchers of all things Poplar Point yesterday. Fenty announced that they've decided against awarding Victor MacFarlane's company (MacFarlane Partners) sole development rights to Poplar Point, East of the River's (EOR's) future jewel of an urban park. Instead, they're making up an RFP for the land that should be out in August. No word yet from Councilman Barry, who had finally decided that, yes, a soccer stadium Was good for the people of the Costia. Here's the frightfully ugly and anti-park presentation that MacFarlane tried to push. United stadium page

From the Examiner article:
District officials had been negotiating with D.C. United to build a $150 million soccer stadium, but the talks reportedly fell through after investors with the Major League Soccer team asked for $200 million in subsidies.

City officials say Poplar Point could accommodate more than 3.5 million square feet of development during the next 15 years.

At least 30 percent of all the housing built on Poplar Point must be affordable for moderate and low-income families, officials say.

Under the terms of the agreement with the federal government, the District must reserve at least 70 acres of the property for a waterfront park. The District also has promised to restore nearby wetlands, including Stickfoot Creek.

This is big.

I'm pulling for some real creativity on the part of every developer to submit a proposal. Just because you haven't stepped foot in Anacostia before doesn't mean that it doesn't have an urban and architectural legacy worthy of respecting and taking design notes from.

Poplar Point represents a Major project that will either Attract or Discourage people and investment to our streets. I know a lot of people, myself included, that prefer the former.

image* by DG-rad
*yep, that is the Anacostia River, not the Thames.

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