Bid Details on Old Bruce Monroe School Plot at 3000 Georgia Ave, NW

Thanks to all who sent links. Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer has the scoop:

…the bid features multi-family rental units atop street-level retail — a hardware store, perhaps, or a Yes! Organic Market — in addition to EYA-built townhouses on the western end of the 121,825-square-foot site.

Bruce Monroe was closed after the 2008 school year and subsequently razed. Graham secured $1.5 million in the fiscal 2011 budget to temporarily enhance the space with playgrounds, a tennis court, two basketball courts and parking.

…the city needs several weeks to vet the Neighborhood Development Company/EYA bid before deciding how to move ahead.

Sound like a good use of the space?

I gotta admit, every time I walk past the, now, park it makes me smile because people seem to be having such a good time. Though I haven’t forgotten that bad blood is still felt by many after the school was razed. Can YES! Organic Market save the day?

Maybe we should aim higher…?

62 Comment

  • i think the park is great, but this kind of development would really give this part of GA ave a desperately needed shoot in the arm to spur more development.

  • I’d like to see the park stay personally.

  • I’m all for development as long as it’s market rate. No more subsidized housing in this part of the city.

  • I would crap my pants if they built an “urban” Wegmans. But not going to happen. I agree either market rate housing to increase density or a really cool / innovative park … like the ones they are building near the Nationals Stadium would be great. No to the another elementary school (already several other options in the area) and no to more low income housing (already super saturated in the area).

    • saf

      Wegmans used to do urban stores. Then in 1979, they built their first superstore and gradually started getting rid of all the old smaller stores. Not even Rochester has an urban Wegs left.

  • no school = good
    park = good
    market-rate housing + retail= also good.


    • agreed. i’d rather have homeless people on the streets, sleeping in doorways and benches.
      the fresh air is good for them.

      • To the person who made that comment above – I think that is a very insensitive statement to make, especially in this economy when we are seeing more folks experiencing poverty, layoffs and homelessness. I’m talking about the middle class folks who are now in a low-income or impoverished status due to this current climate. Any one of us could experience this at any time, even you. Think about it.

        Although I would love to see the park stay to improve the well-being of the families and children who live in the community, I would personally like to see my investment grow through these (or similar) developments. It’s just sad to see $1.5 million from the city’s budget go to waste. We could have rebuilt the Parkview Rec Center with those dollars 🙁

    • New public housing hasn’t been built in decades. Please keep up.

  • Not another Yes! Market. Hardware store something like Pfieffers or Brookland Hardware would be AMAZING. And Market Rate housing please. But of course I’m cool with the park too.

    • do you really like brookland hardware?

    • I would love to see a Yes! GA Ave is a big urban food desert filled with liquor stores that have been ultimately exploiting the people who live in that community. Let’s give folks better access to healthy foods and high-quality affordable homes and keep our children out of those liquor stores. In addition to that, let’s have better incentives for small businesses to survive. We have a Target and Best Buy right up the street. Let’s see some of our small business owners succeed and build wealth in DC.

  • Keep the park. Those basketball courts are great and people are always out using them. There’s already a Yes! right up the street.

  • Isn’t there a law which prohibits new development from being 100% market rate?

    Anyways I think the park should stay, but if anything we’re to go right there I think it should be either market rate + workforce housing and/or a walmart.

  • Scratch that just keep the park. Not all green space in this city should be built on, if you want a concrete jungle move to NYC.

  • Trader Joe’s!

  • keep the park. it provides a space for the community that a retail center wouldnt. I would be angry if they built housing there and I’m sure a lot of people who had an attachment to the school would too. When they were demolishing the school, my boyfriend and I were on the bus going by it and these men were soo angry about it and said that they were going to put condos there and pointed at my white boyfriend and said he would be the one to buy it. to tear down a school and put retail space and housing seems like an abomination to me. KEEP THE PARK

  • I live directly across the street… Keep half of the park and put a Trader Joe’s in. We only have one in the city. On top of the Trader Joe’s, build market rate housing.

    PoP, please keep us posted on when and where the city would like community input.

  • Brookland hardware is great as long as you ask for what you need instead of looking for it yourself.

    • i just can’t agree. i wish i could. i love the building. i love the location.
      i don’t love their business. so “great” seems like very low expectations to me.
      sufficient, maybe.

  • I live nearby a family whose kids were significantly harmed by the school being demolished. Due to Rhee/Fenty/Graham taking the path of least resistance and killing a good, highly functioning, strong PTA school and sending the students to a rat infested, inferior school, they did a horrible disservice to the neighborhood children. Those children now have a higher chance of growing up into thug teenagers with no future in sight.

    Meanwhile, surprise surprise, only one developer bids on the project and plans on putting in yuppie friendly commercial entities, probably with significant tax breaks, and NO school.

    $ over children wins again.

    At least the kids could play in the park. Now they’ll have to dodge more cars on the way to their crappy school more blocks away.

    For what it’s worth, I’m one white yuppie property owner living on the same block as old Bruce Monroe who is saddened and depressed about this latest development. Not surprised though.

    • I don’t know why they promised to rebuild Bruce Monroe (I believe they were originally going to shut down Park View instead) but then changed their mind – perhaps it was the city’s dire budget realities (and I assume school modernization funds were dedicated to other schools)? I believe Gray indicated at the ward one town hall that, given the lack of money for a new school at Bruce Monroe, he favored renovating Park View.

      • I’m fairly certain that the intention was never to rebuild Bruce Monroe, they promised it to try to shut up the PTA and concerned neighbors, knowing full well it would be easier to just break that promise later after the kids were relocated. Business as usual around here.

  • For Park space, re-open the western side of the Old SOldiers Home for a state of the art park system in this part of DC. For the school..just renovate Park View….and please – no more “work force” housing that takes section 8 vouchers!

    • Anybody can take Section 8 vouchers. Your neighbor can lease their home to a Section 8 tenant, and so can the guy in the condo next door. So can you. Somehow, you’ve got your boogey-men all mixed up on this one.

      Good idea about Soldier’s Home, though that’s no substitute for this park.

      • No, you have to get approval to take section 8 vouchers when the development includes already subsized tax credits (work force housing).

    • Leave the Solider’s Home alone… too much history there.

      No new school is necessary. Those kids “significantly harmed,” will be all grown by the time some new goes in place.

      Sorry kids, changes happen in life. You will learn one day that is a good thing.

      Let the park go and build… this is a great city and GA Avenue needs some love and money.

      • Frankie, perhaps those kids taken out of a good school and thrown into a crappy one will grow up into teenagers that put a bullet in you accidentally as they shoot at each other. Lot more at stake here than simple changes happening in life.

        • True… like an entire community.

          Of course I live with this threat everyday in Parkview/CH/Petworth or whatever you want to call it.

          Closing one school want hurt these kids. You might have to drive a little farther but really, think beyond the walls or your home.

          Remember, your kids will have to grow up in this community.

          Get a grip. The school is not going to be rebuilt.

          Even the Savior Gray won’t go there.

    • I would love love love love love to have the Old Soldier’s Home grounds re-opened to the public and it would be even better to have some playground equiptment etc there. Park View definitely needs to be renovated. The Park view rec center also needs to be revamped. We don’t have enough good parks/playgrounds in this area.

  • Keep the park, unless keeping the park will = no money for improving the school. But ideally, keep the park and do what is needed to fund the school. There is a paucity of green space in the area.

  • I live across the street and I want the Park to stay! If that is impossible, then I would like to see some good retail that will help improve Georgia Ave.

    Workforce Housing – no way. I’m sorry, but I just don’t trust that it won’t turn into a concerntration of poverty, with little or no overisght/accountability on anyone’s part.

    The Park is wonderfull and you cna see the neighborhood unity – all races & ages doing their own thing – black teens playing b-ball, white yuppies with their toddlers on the play equiptment, Latinos kicking a soccer ball around.

    THIS is the ONE CITY that Mayor Gray says he wants to encourage!

    The School is too expensive to rebuild and the small group of parents (many of whom don’t live nearby) want to dictate to us neighbors what we’ll have in our neighborhood! Their kids are studying right now at Parkview – a school that has $20 million bucks coming to it to make it modern and good. Sory I don’t support pandering to the whims of a small group (10-12) of self-interested parents who mosty don’t even live around here!

    So Let’s see if our new Mayor (& Jim Graham) really is able to hear our community’s desire to keep a Park or at least development that can jumpstart commercial activity on Georgia Ave.

    • I know for a fact the parents live within a stone’s throw from the old school. I am neighbors with them and I can see the park from my yard!

    • The parents just don’t want to have to deal with commuting their kids to school (bus/walking/or driving them). I don’t blame them, but they need to realize that having 3 crappy schools nearby is not nearly as good as having 1 nice/modern school that is a little further away. Quality over convenience.

  • anonymous 10:42am:
    it made no sense to keep Bruce Monroe opened, it was also rat infested as well as full of asbestos (which is one reason demolition was complicated and more expensive than planned). In addition, it was around 50-60% capacity so it only makes sense to combine it with another school. Keeping open everys single school just cause its the “neighborhood” school doesn’t make any sense financially and only hurts students in the long run to be in such crappy underused facilities. hopefully that awesome PTA you mentioned will get just as involved at another school and quit fighting this wasted battle.

    • The well being of the community’s children is never a wasted battle, and never one that should be given up.

    • I don’t think there was any intention of keeping Bruce Monroe open in its former building, for the reasons you mentioned. The intention at one point (according to a document that you can find doing a google search) was to temporarily locate the students at Park View until the new Bruce Monroe school was built.
      If there were legitimate reasons to shut down the school permanently, why wasn’t it shut down during the round of school closures? That it was not, suggests to me that bidding this out for other uses was a result more of funding pressures than of school planning (but I’m just speculating).
      Building rental units/retail = future tax revenue. Building a school = depletion of tax revenue.

    • +1 – I have a little more empathy, but I agree.

  • Or, if you want to make your voice heard in a slightly more constructive manner than comments on a blog, show up in person…

    “The next meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force (GACDTF) is tomorrow, Wednesday October 27th from 7-8:30 at the Parkview Recreation Center at Otis and Warder St. The GACDTF is a grassroots community group that is actively involved in the development of Lower Georgia Avenue.”

    The Bruce Monroe site is certainly important to development on Georgia Avenue – whichever way you want to see it.

  • Sorry but if you look at the test scores, with out-of-boundary and charter options we have now, no “concerned parent” would send their kids to either one of these poor performing schools.

  • Trader Joe’s! I live 2 blocks from this park and while I love it, I hate having to trek out to Georgetown to go to Trader Joe’s. Agreed with the market rate housing on top and keep some green space too.

  • I live 2 blocks from this park and while I love it, I hate having to trek out to Georgetown to go to Trader Joe’s. Agreed with the market rate housing on top and keep some green space too.

  • Keep half the park, improve the amenities in the park by adding more swings (they only have 4), add more benches for people to sit/hang out, add trees to provide shade. The other half would be great for a Trader Joe’s (please note no more YES! Markets I think they are lame and I don’t believe everything is organic at Yes! if it’s supposed to be…) put a daycare center giving priority to the children who live in the immediate area and finally a corner pub for the adults. We’re waiting!

  • I don’t care what goes on the site. I just want what’s best for property value in the community. Increased property values are in the best interests of the community.

    • well at least you’re honest about it. most people here dance around the fact that they value money over people.

  • Park View has 21 million dollars dedicated to modernize their school. The building is well built, but needs to be updated. It has several floors that aren’t being used because of lack of students. I think enrollment is around 500 with a capacity of 700. The majority of the children that attend Park View live within a few bocks of the school. Most of the children live on the east side of Georgia Ave. The teachers and facility are working really hard and I have to say they have some really great teachers who care about their children.

    The old Bruce Monroe site is literally only a few blocks away. The students that live over by the old site have a charter bus come and pick them up and take them home everyday. As I stated above there are more kids that attend Park View who live closer to Park View. If they were to close Park View and rebuild Bruce Monroe the majority of students would be the ones crossing Georgia Ave and trust me they would not be offered a chartered ride. The cost to rebuild a school that was severely under utilized and close a school that would then sit vacant is ridiculous.

    “….sending the students to a rat infested, inferior school, they did a horrible disservice to the neighborhood children. Those children now have a higher chance of growing up into thug teenagers with no future in sight. “

    I invite you to come and visit Park View before you start stating things as fact! Park View has some great teachers and staff. All DC schools are rat infested, even though I have never seen a rat at Park View Elementary. It is not this dumpy cesspool as you state. That is drama that the Bruce Monroe parents are using to get what they want. Their kids are at no higher risk to become thugs at Park View than they were at Bruce Monroe. The Park View community is fed up with this constant putting down of our school and our children!

    Sorry for the “go- off” but I am really tired of hearing my community and kids being constantly put down!!

    • and again, if the Bruce Monroe parents were so concerned, they could direct that energy into getting involved with Park View rather than complaining. Get involved and make things better.

  • The City has bent over backwards for the parents already – a charter bus every day to go 6 blocks? No other kids in the City get this! The City promised to do a Public-Private partnership, and if the Private side doesn’t see it as doable, we as a community (not just a small pissed off PTA) should just have the $20 Million go to Make Parkview nice!

    I’d love to speak out about this at tonight’s meeting, but the Georgia Ave Taskforce is 100% Pro-school and Pro-PTA and I don’t want to get shouted down in public.

  • For all the Park View residents focused what will increase their property value more, please ponder this… Housing is sprouting up all up and around Georgia Ave. Many new inhabitatants that are moving in are childless, but one day they will likely have kids. IF there are good, clean, modern schools in the neighborhood they will stay and invest more in making the neighborhood better and therefore your property more valuable. In the short term there might not be enough children to fill two school sites, but what is the city’s long range plan as it fills neighborhoods with people? That they will all move out once they have kids? That is a TERRIBLE city model. Let’s advocate for something better. If you’re not just in this neighborhood to flip your property then start thinking long term.

  • what a disgrace to tear down a school to create a playground, waste two million for an interim park, and then sell DCPS inventory to developers.

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