117 Comment

  • Question, is that second picture that farmers market that those that oppose this plan are trying to save (I don’t live over there so I don’t know)? If so that barely qualifies as a market and considering it isn’t like it is around 7 days a week what exactly are they trying to save? A big open barren spot that is hardly used? Sound like they are less interested in the space and more against whoever would be living in the building (i.e. more about the density).

    • Yes, the second photo shows the farmers market the NIMBYs keep citing. The developer has also pledged to help it relocate from the very first published plan.

    • For what it’s worth, I live in Adams Morgan, and the farmer’s market is actually really useful. It’s tiny, but it has the things you need: two good fruit and vegetable stands, a florist, and a baker. Every weekend the plaza gets very crowded with people using it. And often they have live music, which is nice. There are at least two CSA drops. That doesn’t mean the project shouldn’t go ahead: it absolutely should. But I do think it’s important that the ANC facilitate relocating the market.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Maybe I’ve lived here too long, but it seems preposterous to me how so many people are less in favor of preserving this semi-public open space and more in favor of grotesque new construction that will likely do more harm than good to the neighborhood’s character. I guess this is the new DC.

    • It’s a concrete patio on private property, used only on weekends by the “farmer’s market” that sells overpriced vegetables to hipsters, and is a open air drug market and hangout for drunks during the week.

      It won’t be missed.

      -DC native.

    • Semi-public? I’m curious what part is semi-public, I thought this is all private property, no?

      • Ashy Oldlady

        It’s semi-public in that it’s a privately-owned space that remains accessible 24-7 to the public. Sorry for assuming everybody understood this.

        • everyone understands that it’s a privately-owned space that remains accessible 24-7 to the public. but by calling it semi-public you seem to imply that the public has some greater claim to determine how the land should be used, which they do no. at the end of the day, it’s private property, and developers and landowners everywhere are now going to be less likely to let the public temporarily use any part of their land bc of this silly backlash.

          • This. It’s this type of entitled behavior that rubs me (and apparently a lot of other people) the wrong way. The developer included the community’s input as a courtesy – and now a small, annoying few are screwing it up. This selfish NIMBY behavior is way more destructive to a community than any structure.

          • It’s going to be unfortunate because the building that will be built there will be ugly as hell and add nothing except some ridiculously overpriced apartments that the people of popville will laud because it solves the housing crisis.

          • bryan, will you be providing aesthetic approval of all buildings to be built in dc? also, what would you have a developer do? build one apartment that magically houses 100,000 people to “solve” the housing crisis?

          • The building that’s already there is ugly as hell. It’s laughable that the farmer’s market there is the sole reason for the nimbyism – there are so many better farmer’s markets in the area – Mt. P, Columbia Heights, Dupont.

          • Again. It’s already ugly.

        • You don’t own it and don’t have a right to it, though. It’s amazing how many people get indignant when someone who let the public use an amenity temporarily decides to use their own property for their own purposes again.

        • so basically – as an example – if you have a lawn out front of your house, it’s ‘semi-public’ and you thus can’t deprive others from it. Yes?

    • Except it’s not a semi-public place. It’s private property. It’s also ugly.

      • Yea, I don’t get this either. Listening to the NIMBYs, you’d think they’re trying to develop over the Mall, when in reality someone’s just trying to turn this space into something more useful than a shitty skateboard park.

        • samanda_bynes

          DC needs more skate parks, bro.

        • it’s not even a skate park. I have rarely seen skateboarders there. when it’s not the Saturday morning market, it’s usually just drunks and other loiterers. (I live around the corner and pass it often.)

    • 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.

    • I will echo what others have said, this is private property. They have nicely allow people to use the open exterior part but they could always tell the farmers market to scat – and there would be nothing that anyone could do.

      Second, the new architecture is not going to be any better or any worse than that Suntrust building so any talk about the architecture seems to be a little suspect.

    • Well, the thing is it’s *not* semi-public. It’s private, and always has been. If anything, the ungrateful NIMBY behavior will do more harm to the District’s character–by telling property owners that they should fence up what’s rightfully theirs, or they’re going to lose it.

      Also, I think 18th Street’s unique character of 22-year-olds vomiting will somehow survive replacing an ugly 1960s-era bank across the street from a McDonalds with one smallish apartment building.

      • I just wanted to say that the sentence “Also, I think 18th Street’s unique character of 22-year-olds vomiting will somehow survive…” absolutely made my Monday.

    • The space at issue here is a worn out concrete plaza. Find something more appealing to fight for.

    • I lived in this neighborhood for 5 years, and it remains one of my favorite places. This site, however, has always been a blight. While the proposed design is just ok, it improves upon an underutilized urban site. When I moved out of Adams Morgan a few years back, I could see that the neighborhood was changing from a night life destination to a quieter residential area. The backlash brought against this project is evidence of that.

      I’ve been involved with multiple projects in the neighborhood, some that have been built, and some that have become paper architecture. This is one of the most unreliable ANCs, with a whisper campaign that votes can be bought. The fact that these people have no real power besides their influence makes the whole process much more trivial.

      If you oppose this project, here’s what you need to do: Propose down zoning…which isn’t going to happen because most of the property owners on this street are savvy enough not to give away their land value. There are also some back room deals in the works for MAJOR high density redevelopments in this immediate area, so projects like this might be the least of your concern in the not too distant future.

      • “There are also some back room deals in the works for MAJOR high density redevelopments in this immediate area, so projects like this might be the least of your concern in the not too distant future.”
        .
        Which location? I don’t know of a large enough area to implement a major redevelopment, unless you’re talking about eminent domain evictions. Unless, of course, the Marie Reed renovations are extended to selling the soccer field and tennis courts to a developer.
        We live across the street from this bank….it’s going to be a disaster during rush hour here for the next two years. Beware if you take a bus or commute through 18th and Columbia.

        • I’m guessing that the above poster is referencing the strip that houses that pho spot. The developer has been forcing tenants out for a while now – I guess they’re now fighting the city for the greatest density possible at that site.

          • I’m not referring to that development. Just because something looks one way today, doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. There are major developers with stakes in the neighborhood, and you wouldn’t believe how intertwined some of these people are. I’ve heard some stories you wouldn’t believe about property acquisition.

          • So much suspense, why don’t you try us and tell us these things we wouldn’t believe?

    • HAAAA HA HA. Yes, agreed – you’ve lived here too long. MOVE. Clearly you don’t or haven’t lived in Adams Morgan long at all nor do you understand property law. But you ‘seem’ to have a great eye for aesthetics (concrete plaza vs. anything better). Yep, new DC is better than old DC.

    • yes, you sound old AF and/or an entitled boomer.

  • I very rarely root for the developers, but in this case I’ll make an exception.

    It’s private property, that they LOANED to the “farmer’s market” on weekends.

    I can’t think of a more NIMBY thing than to complain about the owner of private property developing it after donating it free to the community for 20 years.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Another thing: It seems like a popular notion these days to increase the density of neighborhoods like this as much as physically possible, without taking into consideration the strains it will put on transportation systems, as well as other public and emergency services. DC can’t even provide reliable emergency response as it is. What’s it gonna be like when there are thousands more people within a few blocks of you?

    • Please show me where this project intends to build thousands of units … your hyperbole is laughable at best.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        It’s not limited to this project. I’d love to show you all the massive new developments planned for this neighborhood and beyond, but I don’t have the time to hold your hand and walk you through it all. Try going to the website google.com and doing some research for yourself.

        • Even if there were “thousands” of units within near proximity of 18/Columbia (which there aren’t – else you’d be easily able to quote me where they’re coming), I don’t see how your reasoning stands. Using your limited line of reasoning, you could also argue that DC shouldn’t have added any density after the 90s due to the rampant, out of control crime. “But if the city can’t police it’s existing population, we definitely don’t want to change anything for the better!” This is NIMBYism at its rational worst.

        • OK. “Development is planned all over, so development here would be bad.” This argument is no more valid and no less silly than the “we can’t police the people who already live here.” “Not having time” to backup your argument is no help, either.

          (I usually like your posts though, P.Lecheval)

        • DC still has 150,000 fewer people than at its peak populations after World War II. There’s a lot of underutilized urban space here. Can’t wait for it to fill up more.

          • true the population was higher. but people left as soon as they could because of over crowding. how does your quality of life increase with increased population?

          • People didn’t leave because of overcrowding — they left because of the growth of suburbia and the desegregation of housing and schools.

          • This is such a bizarre claim. I guess that explains why everyone is fleeing New York?

          • testdoc,
            yes, desegregation definitely played a gigantic part.
            Is that also an explanation of why in the 1950’s DC’s black residents were leaving in droves too?
            It may. but based on family oral histories of dc i know, overpopulation was a problem for many in the 1950’s and that’s when we first saw dc’s population drop.

            and sorry for my tangent, i have no opinion on this development either way. just curious about thoughts on population densities.

          • textdc – that’s a nice way of putting that the white and middle class and above people moved out.

          • DC’s peak population was at a time when there were more people per household. With the rise of singlehood and childfree couples there is a need for more housing even if the population is lower.

          • That’s due to larger families living together at the time. Now people will book it out to VA and MD to create their large nuclear family. Now it’s likely 1-4 people on average living in one space.

        • 911 response times? Seriously? More people = more tax revenue = more funding for emergency services. Or we could just build a wall around the city and refuse to let anyone else move here until everything is perfect, I guess

          • Ashy Oldlady

            If you think that more money automatically makes things better here, then you must be really, really new here.

        • but my hand really needs to be held and for you to explain to me – spoon feed me – an explanation. but only if you’re able to. are you? HA, love your comments – such an authority.

    • It’s a popular notion because DC desperately needs more housing. The general public recognizes this, but neighborhoods keep fighting this reality.

      Those opposing increased density constantly shift their reasons. Those opposed to the SunTrust development started off saying that the farmers’ market would be impacted. Then it was about the loss of the “public” plaza.. Then it was about the neighborhood’s character. Then it was about adding more people. Then it was about transportation. Then it was about emergency services. This is getting old.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        DC desperately needs more affordable housing, and I’ll bet that’s what most of you definitely do not want.

        • Or even just non-luxury housing.
          .
          People argue that having more housing supply makes rents go down, but I don’t think that’s accurate. Maybe they plateau or rise more slowly than they would otherwise.
          .
          For better or for worse, the more luxury housing that goes up Adams Morgan, the more we can expect to see rents and housing prices in the area go up overall.

          • Hey Textdoc, have you ever looked at what they do in Tokyo? Massive new supply, policies that make it very easy to tear down old housing to add multi-unit structures, and cheaper housing costs than in any other western mega-city.

          • JS -you do know that most “‘Mericans” would whine their whiny little heads off if the alternative to “luxury buildings” was teeny-tiny Tokyo style structures – I mean, square footage alone (or lack thereof) would make many people hyperventilate. Not that there’s not something to be said for coming to grips with our perceived “need” for tons of space and amenities, but I doubt DC is looking to do a lot of soul-searching on this one…

          • Actually, JS, I used to live in Japan.
            .
            Tokyo was devastated by fires following the 1923 earthquake and also firebombed during WWII. Not really an apt comparison to D.C.
            .
            Where do you get this bit about housing costs in Tokyo being cheap? Was it weighted according to square meters of rented area? (Japanese apartments are generally small.)

          • Sure things are different in Japan, but Tokyo is a real-life example of added supply keeping prices in check. Posters here seem to think that real estate is immune from the laws of supply and demand but that’s not the case.

            https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/japan-shows-the-way-to-affordable-megacities.

          • My point here was less about supply/demand than about the _type_ of supply. Frankly, as the owner of a condo in Adams Morgan I stand to benefit from the change — I expect that as more and more luxury housing units are added to Adams Morgan, it will encourage rents for Adams Morgan overall to go up.
            .
            I don’t buy the idea that adding lots of units of luxury housing somehow drives down prices.
            .
            If you want to argue in favor of adding luxury housing for luxury housing’s sake, fine. But I find it very dubious that adding luxury housing somehow holds rents in check.

          • Well, in the case of SF, developers built too much luxury housing and now (the admittedly insanely high) rents are dropping

            http://sf.curbed.com/2016/7/12/12163544/san-francisco-rent-price-decrease

            http://abc7news.com/realestate/experts-see-some-rents-drop-vacancy-rate-up-in-sf/1436028/

          • JS, the study that your Tokyo-related article links to appears to be using the same method that RadPad was using — the one that HaileUnlikely debunked the other day:
            .
            “By using the ‘Median Multiple,’ a measure that divides the median price of housing by the median household income…”
            .
            It also describes Tokyo housing as “seriously unaffordable.” I don’t think the fact that Tokyo’s housing rates as “seriously unaffordable” rather than “severely unaffordable” translates into a recommendation for D.C. to adopt Tokyo-style policies with regard to housing.

        • Textdoc: Rents “rising less fast” is what people mean by “rents going down”. The baseline path (or the “counterfactual”) is the benchmark to keep in mind – and that path is rising rapidly. The relevant benchmark is not the way things are at exactly this moment, because we do not have the option of adding a bunch of housing right at this moment and seeing how much rents change.
          ~~~
          There are two ways to make housing more affordable: increasing supply or making places less pleasant to live in. As a city, let’s choose the former.

          • HaileUnlikely

            If the rate at which temperature is increasing slows down, does that mean it’s getting cooler out?

          • Would you rather it keep getting hotter?

          • Sorry, with less snark: if the temperature is predicted to keep getting hotter, and you can do something to make it get hotter less fast, then saying it’s cooler relative to the predicted baseline is correct. This is a semantic point, and I don’t know why you’re arguing it. If there’s absolutely nothing you can do to bring rents down then why is “down” even in the conversation?

          • Adding luxury housing makes rents go up. Sure, it increases the supply, but it’s not a way of making housing “more affordable.”

          • Luxury housing shows up in areas where rents are rising. easy to conflate cause and effect, here.

    • I can’t tell if this is a troll account made to look the NIMBY’s look silly or if someone who is actually serious because the arguments are so terrible.

      • Based on my experience at one of the ANC meetings where this project was discussed, this is not a troll.

    • It is my understanding that this is only going to be 58 units….. How many people do think that actually is? Whatever the eventual head count I doubt it will over stress transportation systems and emergency services.

    • This is the literal CENTER of Adams Morgan. How many bus lines cross 18th and Columbia? How many HEAVY RAIL lines pass close to here? Heck, if I lived here, I could walk to work downtown. We’ve got the infrastructure here. This is not some far-flung part of DC. If we say no to density here, then where should we build new housing for our increasing population? This could be the textbook example of a good place to put an apartment/condo building. Walkable from downtown. Walkable to 2 or 3 different heavy rail lines. On both uptown and cross-town bus lines.

      I’m not sure how this protest became “a thing.”

      Again, if no housing in the literal center of town, then where? 1,000 new DC residents every month. Housing prices increasing steadily. Where are new residents to go? Way out in Charles County? What then about all those cars driving into DC then?

      C’mon, folks.

    • This is exactly the place to increase density in DC. It is at the corner of a major intersection; in walking distance of two grocery stores (Safeway and Harris Teeter); in walking distance of three Metrorail stations (Woodley Park, Dupont, and U Street); at a corner with bus service from the 42, 43, 90, 96, H1, L2, X2, and a Circulator route; and in a neighborhood with tons of restaurants and shops.

      Where would be a better place for density? And since when does a building shorter than the one across Columbia Road from this site count as increasing the density of “neighborhoods like this as much as physically possible”?

    • Agreed with the others – this is a textbook location for increasing density: proximity to transit, existing neighborhood infrastructure, and a lot that is being under-utilized. This isn’t some remote corner of DC.

    • So please go advocate for the expansion of Herndon, and let DC continue to become a more vibrant, full place to live.

  • WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!? Seriously though – where will these poor kids bank if they take the highly prized Suntrust Bank? Where else would they learn the importance of fiscal responsibility?!?

  • Does anyone know what the Save the Plaza folks’ response is to the alternative locations for the farmer’s market: one directly caddie-corner to this site, and one maybe a half block away? Seems like both are actual public spaces that may even be nicer than the current location.

    • They told me that there isn’t enough shade at the others or spots to park their trucks. I think the new spots actually have both, but that’s just what they said. They also said they didn’t want to move because this was the first DC farmer’s market.

      • Okay cool. Plant a commemorative apple tree on the corner. Somehow I don’t think the site of DC’s first farmer’s market (if that is even true) is worthy of protection.

      • I am imagining the first DC farmer’s market most certainly would have been at one of the neighborhood markets like Eastern Market or the warehouse supply area where Union Market is now – in the 1800s…

        • I don’t know the details, but I believe it is actually a cost/licensing type situation. I think the old market is somehow grandfathered into DC’s farmers market regulations, so they don’t pay/pay as much as stalls in the newer markets. My impression was that if they moved, it would “reset” the clock so that they would no longer have this grandfathered status.

  • It is not a park. It is not public. It’s a poorly designed concrete plaza in front of a bank. I lived near that corner for nearly a decade and did not find that it attracted a particularly bad element at night (which might argue for changing it) or that it attracted anyone using it as a park space during the day (which might argue for saving it). As a public space, it fails, as it is largely unused. As private development, it fails, as it doesn’t make good use of a prime location. This is simply a matter of people opposing private development because they feel they should get to decide what gets done on someone else’s property. Is this likely to be a condo development? Yes. It is likely to be expensive? Almost certainly. But increasing the property tax rolls in the neighborhood is certainly a greater value to Adams Morgan and the city as a whole than this concrete slab that no one truly uses. If this were a park space that the city was somehow handing over to a developer I’d get it. That is not the case here.

  • It’s not “our” plaza. It’s the property owner’s plaza. Enough of this silliness. Not everything in life is worth of a protest.

    Does the farmer’s market have a written lease on this space? Or have they been squatting on private property all these years? No one has the right to private financial gain on another person’s private property.

    More housing in DC’s central core, please. I’m a housing provider, and if I “voted my pocketbook,” I’d probably like zero new housing at all in DC so that my vast (ha!) holdings went up in value more quickly due to scarcity of supply. But more important than money to me is to have a dense, vibrant city core. This plaza is in center of town. Increase density, please. Add more housing, please. Replace that waste-of-space bank building with something useful–housing for those who want to live in a vibrant city.

    I’m a huge lefty, but enough with these unfair demands on private business. Any commercial venture on another person’s private property without that person’s consent is the definition of lunacy.

  • I don’t get it. This is one of the most hideous plazas in the neighborhood. Is this a proxy battle against gentrification or something? No one can argue to me that the status quo is acceptable. Id be thrilled if they tore this down.

  • Build it!!! That corner is ugly as sin. Adams Morgan is overdue for these improvements. The developer said he will keep the open sqft for the public, so there is nothing to lose, only to gain. New residents, new businesses with JOBS, and more tax money. And more buyers for the farmer’s market which I am sure will figure out a way to continue business in Admo.

  • The arguments opposing development are so laughable. They lament the loss of a “public space,” which is not public and is barely ever used. There are two prime locations within a block which are perfect locations for the farmer’s market. It’s also hilarious that the ANC is claiming that the building will be too tall when there is a 8-story building across the street and the new hotel a block away will be the same height as well.

    • I guess bored retirees need something to occupy their time?

      • It would be nice if they could find something that didn’t revolve around screwing over younger generations.

        • But they’ve had decades upon decades of training …. 😉

          • But they live here and it’s nice. New people don’t deserve nice things. Therefore, no new people are allowed.

            People opposed to sharing nice neighborhoods with new neighbors are the bad guys.

    • I mean you would think they were proposing to building luxury condos on the tidal basin, given the level of outrage over this project. It’s equal parts hilarious and also irritating.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    All of the major developers around town will surely be pleased to know that if the possession of their properties is ever threatened by eminent domain, they’ll be guaranteed to have many supporters who will form a human chain around their projects, protecting them from the public.

    • Is this an irreplaceable natural resource? Is it essential to the completion of a transportation project? No? Then yeah, I’ll probably fight pretty hard for private property rights. I don’t know exactly how our economic system works, but I’m fairly certain that private property rights play a pretty important role in the ability of people (probably even you!) to make investment decisions and plan for the future. We have zoning rules to help protect us from overzealous developments, and a lot of us would prefer to have predictable, longer-term restrictions on private property rights than to have a system in which they’re confiscated willy-nilly because some small group of residents with a lot of time decides they’ve become too attached to something they don’t own.

    • Those many supporters are members of the public too. Thankfully the public doesn’t just include crotchety old bores with nothing better to do than oppose all development.

    • Transfer of real estate between two private parties has nothing to do with eminent domain. You’re grasping at straws.

  • This is a major city. It SHOULD be densely developed and filled with people. Build, baby, build!

  • I live nearby and don’t really understand the opposition to this. It’s inconvenient to move, but it’s not that big of a deal. There are other location options for the market: the space cattycorner, the triangle at Columbia & Euclid, or even one of the parks (Kalorama, Walter Pierce, etc). Aside from being at a major intersection, I don’t even think this space is really that great.
    .
    Just curious, did the organizers of the farmers market or other neighborhood events ever approach the developer to see if there was something that could be worked out? I could see there being a benefit to a developer of having a CSA drop off right at their doorstep for residents and get some “good new neighbor” points.

    • The developer has promised to help the market relocate from the very beginning – this includes paying for necessary permits. I believe the plaza kitty corner (by BB&T) was the original proposal for relocation.

  • This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Precisely the reason that more landowners do not want to permit public use of their property and allow public “communal” use of their land is that it engenders these sort of ridiculous arguments in the public. Here a landowner was prevailed upon that simply by loaning the property for farmer’s markets nothing bad will happen and no arguments that the land now has a public character will be made in the future. This fight will now make every landlord thing 4X before ever permitting any sort of similar use on their land in the future. These “more bread for the masses” folks have caused precisely the evil they seek to remedy: fewer “public” spaces will be available now that private landowners only see risks and costs associated with providing any sort of community benefit. What incentive does a developer have now to allow any sort of community use of their property now that it is proven that the community will claim “ownership” against it? None. Just extremely short sighted. Also, a slaughterhouse or dingo farm would be a better use of the property than what it is being used for right now (and I’m a neighbor of said property).

  • No horse in this race either way, but I will just interject that plazas like this one built in front of a business are typically the result of a deal made with the city in return for some concession. I haven’t looked up old building permits or tax records, but it is very likely that the developer had to make some “air space” or “public space” or even a “setback” from the corner in order to either build up farther than would otherwise be approved, or in return for a tax break or something else.
    I have no idea what the tradeoff was, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that there was one. So I do think it’s fair to see what the public may lose out on (a promise of some sort) with the new development.

  • Lesson learned: don’t let people have farmer’s markets on your private property. If you decide to re-develop or re-purpose the land, they will act like they own it. Nice job NIMBYs.

  • I’m on the developers’ side. This plaza is horrid.

  • Lots of silly comments here. Yes, you can nitpick at the overheated rhetoric and sometimes faulty reasoning coming from the pro-plaza crowd, but it’s better to ignore the rhetoric and focus on the conflict – should there, or should there not, be a large apartment building built at that corner?

    As a longtime resident of the neighborhood, I don’t think it’s terribly unreasonable that residents have some say in this. The bored, retired hippies have a lot more ‘skin in the game’ than random PoP commenters on their fourth apartment in five years, and this also seems important to take into account.

    Not everything has to be Shaw, folks. Be glad that our city hasn’t yet become 100% Acela drones. We still have a few eccentrics left – and that means that neighborhoods will look and feel different from one another.

    • Thank goodness someone has showed up to let us know our comments – overwhelmingly in support of the project — are silly!
      ~~~
      I’ll just note that even though I’m a homeowner in Adams Morgan, I am able to see that current homeowners in Adams Morgan are not the only people with “skin in the game”, here. In fact, everybody should care about housing supply — particularly, perhaps, those renting their fourth apartment and whose longer-term ability to stay in the city is most at risk.

      • amen.
        -renter in Adams Morgan, on her second apartment in four years. even if I were a renter on my fifth apartment in four years, I’d still have just as much a right to an opinion as people who have owned homes in the neighborhood for decades since my ability to stay in the neighborhood (which I hope to do) is directly tied to the availability of housing stock.

        • whoops. switched from the third to the first person in there. how’s THAT for eccentric, Downing Street Memo?

    • i get that new developments tend to be higher end, but in what world does adding density make neighborhoods homogenous? i’ve never understood why old timers (who are lucky enough to not face rising rents that might force them to move apartments every year), think a neighborhood’s character will be eradicated with the addition of a few buildings. the people that move in will likely be drawn to admo’s particular character, just as those in shaw are interested in that neighborhood’s character. they won’t be exactly the same as you and your friends, but that’s not a good reason to keep them out.

    • So we should save the plaza not because of any value intrinsic value of the plaza, but because the long time residents (whose vote counts for more than mere renters) don’t want another apartment building in Adams Morgan?
      .
      Compelling case you make there.

    • “but it’s better to ignore the rhetoric and focus on the conflict – should there, or should there not…” I think people are focusing on the rhetoric because there has not been a reasonable argument made to support “saving” this plaza.

    • Faithful PoP reader (mostly a lurker). Lived in my current home 6+ years. 9th year in zip code 20010 (17th in the District). Plenty eccentric. Why bring “random PoP commenter” stereotypes into this when you’re trying to make a point? The comments on this blog get quite ridiculous sometimes, but not all readers of this blog are transients with their heads up their rear ends.

    • Renters have as much of a right to have an opinion about this development as anyone else. Holding a deed doesn’t give you extra say. Your opposition also seems rooted in a desire that the neighborhood remain home to a diverse community of views. Running down people who rent runs contrary to that. If you want a community that is diverse in every sense then you’re going to have to be more welcoming of people who can’t drop $800,000 on a house. Or I guess you’ll welcome them as renters as long as they have no say in the community they call home?

      I’d also like to hear an argument about how the plaza contributes to the “look and feel” of the neighborhood. It’s a concrete slab in front of a bank. It contributes as much to the neighborhood aesthetic as manhole cover or median.

  • Please don’t save that plaza! It’s not worth putting the energy into it!

  • How about blocking off the parking on one side of 18th and turning it into a farmers market there? This keeps the market, allows private land owners to fully utilize the land, and should make everyone happy?

    Why do we make it so hard?

    • Andy, this is an area filled with lawyers, consultants, and politicians. Laws of nature require DC to transform any issue that is simple & easy into a frustratingly complicated, jumbled morass.

  • I am confused why the parties that are protesting the loss of the public plaza aren’t using the logical argument. It is the site of the historic Knickerbocker Theatre tragedy! On January 28, 1922, the weight from a powerful snowstorm, later called the Knickerbocker Storm, caused the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre to collapse. On that day 98 patrons died and 133 were injured. It was a terrible tragedy that merits remembrance. I haven’t seen any comments that mention this fact. Personally, I feel that a small space accessible to the public, memorializing those that died, seems reasonable.

  • That’s the most sterile, unattractive plaza in the city. A new building replacing the ugly SunTrust with a small corner public space would be much better than what’s there now.

  • DC clearly needs to invest into more parks and public spaces. Developers can’t be expected to to make their land available for public use. The city needs to listen to people and stop developing parks into office and residential spaces – Bruce Monroe Park and McMillan Park are two examples where there is a great amount of opposition to the developments and the city really just doesn’t care. If the developer wants to develop this space that’s appropriate, but the city needs to make space available for the public. NoMa is another area where the city forgot to include public space and now they are spending 50 million to try to catch up. They are turning the areas under the metro tracks into little parks and just spent 14 million to buy some industrial land to be converted into a small park.

  • Public shared space is a valuable comments resource. The Adams Morgan farmers market is an especially precious tradition, pleasure and resource. I personally buy virtually all of my fruits and vegetables there from June through Thanksgiving. Mike, who organizes the market and whose farm is one whose, produce is featured, makes a point of keeping prices affordable–Adams Morgan isnt just well-paid singletons.

    The market is also a place for chatting with neighbors, and encountering neighbors for the first time. To argue politics a bit with Mike, and whoever gathers. It’s a community space, free from profiteering, speculation and forces that perhaps have some place in this world, but need to be kept in check, and certainly not allowed to wreck a space at the heart of the neighborhood.

    If you think the plaza could be improved, get involved and make it happen. But don’t snark from the sidelines. Many, many people in Adams Morgan love the farmers market and value keeping what’s after all a pretty modest bit of community space. Join the neighborhood–get behind the fight to keep Sun Trust plaza.

    s also one of the few places in the neighborhood where you

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