Tonight's meeting at Birney Elementary was interesting. I was not wowed - but also not disheartened. Here is a very basic breakdown of the final four:
1. Archstone Smith / Madison Marquette
-includes possibility of soccer stadium.
-Has the general look and feel of a suburban lifestyle center. Not much effort to weave any sort of urban cohesive sense into the site.
Archstone Proposal (notice all the big parking decks, and how it turns its back on Historic Anacostia)
2. Clark Realty
-includes the possibility of soccer stadium.
-They do something no other team attempts - actually building a platform over 295 to physically bridge the gap between Anacostia and Poplar Point. I support the platform 200%.
-Create a central park to rival New York's, to which one woman in the audience yelled out "Oh No you can't make it as good as New York Central Park!"
Site plan looks awesome:
I really like this rendering because it shows how truly big Poplar Point is. The strange looking building on the water is the National Hall of the Environment, where "government, business", etc will meet on environmental sustainability issues...
...and also looks oddly like Calatrava's Tenerife Opera House
3. Forest City Washington
-The most realistic and forward-looking plan: they do not pretend that they own all of Poplar Point, nor any outlying areas.
-Their call to the city: "Pick a partner, not a plan. Plans change." They could not be more right. These plans will change dramatically. We are not supposed to choose the team based on the exact plan they showed tonight.
-Unique community benefits package: in addition to creating tons of jobs, they pledged to open up an office in Anacostia, as well as put $1 million towards a real estate development apprentice and summer internship program for local youth.
-also made the point that their plan can include a soccer stadium, but that, paraphrased, get real it ain't gonna happen before 2010.
FCW's preliminary plan:
4. Mid-City Urban / General Growth Properties
-kept boasting about GGP developing 200 malls across America. Thank you for effectively ruining 200 places across America, but I'd rather you not ruin Poplar Point.
-most boring presentation - nothing popped. I remember yawning.
no, Mid-City, you don't own the land at the Metro station..
- - -
At this point, I am in support of Clark Realty and Forest City Washington's plans. Based on Forest City's history, I know they would do an amazing job and the project would be world-class. I just really want that platform over 295...
Better pics and renderings when I can get them.
For more, read the Washington Post's article
NBC 4 has a slideshow of some of the plans Here
Good article from Washington Biz Journal