As for the Adams Morgan Farmers Market, “update concerning developer PN Hoffman’s proposed plans for the SunTrust property where we have our market”

admo
Photo by PoPville flickr user Thomas Dooley

“Dear PoPville,

Have you been following the Adams Morgan SunTrust plaza redevelopment discussions? Obviously its an eyesore as it currently exists, but it will be a real bummer if we lose the farmers market.

Here’s a message from Star Hollow Farm, which has a CSA drop off there year-round and participates in the farmers market in season.”

SunTrust Plaza – Community Meeting on April 20th at 7:00 PM
PLEASE COME AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE COMMUNITY PLAZA AND THE FARMERS MARKET

Hello CSA members,

We are writing to provide an update concerning developer PN Hoffman’s proposed plans for the SunTrust property where we have our market and CSA handouts.  PN Hoffman has submitted revised plans to ANC1C, which can be viewed here, under the “revised design drawings” link (it takes about a minute to download):

http://anc1c.org/index.php/library/category/178-proposed-development-at-1800-columbia-road-nw-currently-the-suntrust-building-and-plaza

Plans were revised based on public input re maintaining the farmers market and open space, which the developer learned there was strong interest in. While the revised plans preserve a small plaza, that space will be used primarily by PN Hoffman’s own commercial tenant, and does not leave any room whatsoever to host our weekly farmers market or the other community uses to which the space is put from time to time. As such, the revised plan fails to comply with the multi-year “Envision Adams Morgan” community planning process that included the following recommendation:

“Ensure key open spaces and focal points within the commercial corridor of the neighborhood, such as the SunTrust Bank plaza at 18th Street and Columbia Road, continue to serve as functional community gathering spaces.  Consistent with community aspirations to see redevelopment of the SunTrust Bank property, any future design should include a flexible plaza space at the intersection of 18th Street and Columbia Road for events and programs.”

PN Hoffman has requested that they be included on the April 20th agenda of ANC1C’s Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee.  The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm at Mary’s Center, 2355 Ontario Road NW.  We urge as many of you as possible to attend this meeting and tell PN Hoffman (and SunTrust)  that they need to do better.

Between now and then, PN Hoffman has requested a conference call with us farmers from the market (only the veg vendors probably) to discuss further options. All along their tack has been to move us across the street (and our of their way).

We’ll try to keep you posted!
Randy and all at Star Hollow Farm

19 Comment

  • This is asinine. The developer is even offering to cover the costs associated with moving the Farmers Market across the street. You want to protest capitalism? Fine, do that. But this is myopic.

    • Good point, and the renderings are much better compared to other condo projects going up in the city. AdMo should welcome this with open arms. It’s much better than what’s there now.

  • Comment Artist

    Yeah, I typically find myself in opposition to the usual greedy plots of developers in the District, but that huge space across the intersection is used for practically nothing.

    • Also, is it crazy to suggest that for the farmer’s market times, they close the parking spots on Columbia (even 18th, if they find it necessary), and have the vendors set up there, with customers accessing them from the sidewalk? I’ve been to this farmer’s market plenty of times, and it’s never that dense that this alternative wouldn’t work. Hell, it might even create a better sense of space and lead to a more successful market

      • I agree, the plaza across the street seems to see more foot traffic due to people coming from the metro, so it might actually work better. I really don’t understand the 100% pushback against moving across the street.

  • That farmer’s market is sparse and meager. Why is moving across the street a problem?

  • maxwell smart

    Why don’t they use the already pre-existing plaza on Columbia and Euclid – literally 50 steps away? Sure, open spaces are important, and thanks to DC’s diagonal street overlays, we have plenty of awkward, remainder triangle parks and plazas that can’t be developed and are perfect for this use. You can’t cry about lack of housing and prices and then also cry when a developable area of land doesn’t suit your interests.

    • I agree — Unity Park would be great and more practical. I don’t think the BB&T plaza is realistic — where would they pull up their trucks? But if they blocked off parking on Euclid and Champlain on Saturday mornings the Unity Park would work just fine.

      • I don’t think blocking off parking around Unity Park will be viable once the hotel is up and running.

  • What do the farmers have against moving across the street, other than it isn’t their current spot? Based on the public space design it looks like the farmers market works well across the street. It doesn’t make sense to me that there is so much opposition to move across the road unless there is something else that is at issue. It’d be one thing if they weren’t providing another solution or forcing them to move to a less convenient place, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. What does the Sun Trust Plaza have that can’t be achieved across the street?

  • I also think the farmer’s market would be much better placed at Unity Park irrespective of what happens at that corner. I also really, really like the revised design of the proposed building. This post is a good reminder to email the ANC chair and the developer to register my support as a decade long resident of the neighborhood.
    .
    My only gripe is that I would prefer the use to be office rather than residential to bring more daytime traffic to this spot, but unlike most of the neighborhood NIMBY’s, I have a basic understanding of market economics and realize that you can’t always get everything you want.

  • retropean

    The farmers market can be across the street (I can think of 3 viable spaces in Adams Morgan), and the latest renderings provided show a pretty nice section with benches and flower planters – a vast improvement to what is there now.

    • I’ve been going to the farmers market there for two decades and don’t see any reason it can’t move a few minute walk to any of the other options…

  • Oh, I’ll be coming to this ANC meeting. But it won’t be to try to block progress because of a tiny farmers market that could easily be relocated.

  • The current farmers market space at the plaza is awful. I never want to go to it. Why don’t they both move it across the street and also do what is done very successfully in Dupont — close off the street for a few hours for the market.

  • maxwell smart

    I think the real complaint here should be about the lackluster design of the building 😉

  • i’m inclined to show up at meeting in support. design is adequate and if you look at the plans it is clear they took the context of the neighboring buildings into account. the current building is a hideous dark brick and that is an awful use of space. the people of admo are being poorly represented by their leadership.

  • Ugggh…. I hate that this almost makes me want to boycott Star Hollow Farm. Unbelievable that they are so opposed to moving across the street (or another of the available spaces nearby that everyone has mentioned).

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