CM Graham’s Office Responds to “Re-zoning for new Buildings on Harvard between 11 & 13th, NW”

Tuesday’s discussion sparked many comments about the possibility of development on this lot. I received word from CM Graham’s office late Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been told that they will get back to me with more details Wed. afternoon. But in the meantime to clear up some people’s concerns, following is a brief update from CM Graham’s Communications Director Brian DeBose:

“This project has been a dream of the Carlos Rosario group, for about 5 years. Nothing has come of it to this point. This is a preliminary early first step. The school’s lease gives them some management control and authority over the use of the land. They have retained Holland and Knight [law firm]. And it is Holland and Knight who sent out the notice, but they have to by law make clear that the city owns the property.”

In other words, the original letter was not sent by the city but was sent by the law firm hired by the Rosario group. I will be following the proposed development of this site very closely. Should any meetings be scheduled or more details be released I’ll be sure to update.

14 Comment

  • So who is the Carlos Rosario Group? A Developer?

  • I beleIve the the Rosario Group is the organzation that runs the school which focuses on adult education for the immigrant residents of DC. Definitely a seemingly good organization with a good purpose – just not sure they need to get into the housing business. Especially with their current proposal in this area.

  • The Charter School Board should be required to review these plans and hold hearings. Expanding into housing and property management is a huge change in the schools charter.

  • Really strange!

    It seems odd that an adult education facility would apply to expand their school and build affordable housing in tandem. I wonder if the housing is intended to carry favor with Government in order to gain approvals for school expansion?

  • Fishy, fishy, fishy.

  • Until further details from Graham’s office come in: I emailed Graham yesterday with a list of reasons for opposing this project; he emailed back this morning saying he agreed and did not support it. He didn’t elaborate so I’ll be interested to hear an explanation.

    • I wonder if I emailed a list of reasons supporting the project if he’d email back saying he agreed and supported it.

  • As long as Graham is on record being against it I’ll go on record in supporting him in the next election.

  • Can we have a contest to name the new crew/gang that will accompany the new affordable housing project?

    I vote for the Rosario Ridaz.

  • The city owns the land and leases it along with the school to the Rosario Group, presumably to retain ownership for the purpose of using it again for future public needs. If Rosario Group cannot use the land in conjunction with their mission they should renegotiate their lease without the land and the city could develop it as a park or playground.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    UPDATE from School’s Attorneys:

    Dear Neighbors:

    We have heard from a number of you concerning the recent Notice of Intent which was distributed concerning a proposed planned unit development. As a result of the response, we are not proceeding further. We do want the opportunity to sit down and meet with you, either individually or in groups, to discuss your concerns with the school and its property so that areas of mutual interest may be addressed. We recognize that we should have engaged in substantive discussions with the neighborhood stakeholders before our lawyers sent out the legal notice.

    Norman Glasgow | Holland & Knight

  • Excuse my paranoia, but beware this standdown. The Carlos Rosario administration has not been transparent or responsive to the neighborhood since before they took over the building, beginning with the failure to alert the neighborhood or conduct any kind of impact assessment before the school originally opened, and continuing wiht its consistent unwillingness to address the neighborhood’s complaints. The school also has powerful allies. We have to remain vigilant until this proposal is put fully to rest. I seriously doubt the school expansion part of this proposal is going to disappear, even if the affordable housing piece does. This communication could just be a tactic on the part of the school.

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