Friday, September 12, 2008

the other Poplar Point

well, not really - but there there is development coming to another part of Poplar Point that rarely gets media attention. The stretch of land along Howard Road between the Metro station and the South Capitol Street Bridge is privately owned, and its owner, Urban-City Ventures LLC is seeking major development of his own.

The WBJ headline reads "Developer Seeks Big Box for Poplar Point" ..Just the thought of which gives me a sinking feeling, knowing that that is the exact opposite of the kind of development we need in this prime location. But with the housing market where it is and the developers eager to build, Urban-City's position is that an initial retail-only phase is their best chance for success. The article suggests that offices and a hotel could come later, and that the site could handle around 3 million square feet of development.

Acknowledging that this is all still very vague and that no plans have been submitted, I hope it becomes plain that suburban-style big box isn't the best use of this land, even just a portion of it.

I mean, we aren't some out-of-the-way, random no-name rivertown. This site is at the heart of the capital of the free world, and certainly deserves a less "any ol' highway exit in Anywhere, USA" development approach.

For the full article, Click Here


Chris L said...

This is really bad news. Isn't the South Capitol St. Bridge supposed to be a "gateway" to Anacostia? I'll have to take a look at the DC Comp plan, but I'm sure this isn't the kind of development the DC Office of planning would like visitors to see first thing as they cross into Anacostia.

I say organize NOW, be vocal and nip this in the bud before it gets any further. We don't want this to shape up like the big box shopping center on Rhode Island Ave. When they built that thing I suppose they were thinking "any development is good development", but now its a scar on the NE DC and god knows how many years we'll be stuck with it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Chris. They have already tried big box developments in Anacostia (the Freeway Center behind the big blocky thing facing the the river behind the Anacostia Business Center). I think there isn't enough vocal citizen involvement when deciding the architecture and future landscape of the community. DC has enough Any-ghettowns, USA. How do we let our voices be heard?

Darrin said...

I agree. I sell real estate in Anacostia. Looks like it's up to the politically active residents in Ward 8 and those moving into Anacostia to speak up. We've got to demand that our representation listen to our concerns and needs or else let them know that their services are no longer required.

Darrin Davis said...

Anacostia is far underutilized in my opinion. It's tough, because Anacostia has NOTHING other than its rich history that doesn;t seem to be helping us today! IMO, big box stores seem to generate a lot of much needed traffic, if there are other beneficial stores or businesses that sprout up around it. Big box stores are the type of job opportunities needed for individuals lacking advanced education. The new Giant on Alabama Avenue hired most of their staff directly from Ward 8. To offset Big Box coming to Poplar Point, Skyland in Ward 7 needs to step up. They've been dragging and not sure where they are with that.

Otherwise, I personally feel it's only a matter of time. The DC Government can't seem to make any significant strides with respect to DC United at Poplar Point and the community seems to always express some type of opposition to DEVELOPMENT.

Get Anacostia right and the ENTIRE DMV will benefit as a result. Give DMV residents a destination to go to in Anacostia. Just like folks come from all over to go to Georgetown. Geographically, Anacostia is bigger than the residents who live there. It has that much potential if we don't blow it.

I tend to feel that NW is okay. it is the river in Anacostia and Poplar Point that offers the most upside potential...

IMGoph said...

this is tough, because you look obstructionist for trying to block development in your part of town, but it is insulting when this is the kind of uninspired crap that developers throw your way.