“Monday meeting on the ‘surplus’ designation for the Bruce-Monroe site”

by Prince Of Petworth March 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm 19 Comments

bruce monroe park
3000 Georgia Ave, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I feel like the D.C. government made the announcement so bureaucratic-sounding that it’s hard to figure out what it means. Apparently the “surplus” part is the D.C. government deciding it no longer needs a particular piece of property, and then the “disposition” part determines what then happens to the property.

This meeting is about the surplus side of it, but I imagine lots of concerned folks will also be commenting on the proposed disposition (i.e., having the site serve as the replacement for Park Morton).

The District will conduct a public meeting to receive public comments on the proposed surplus of District property located at 3012 Georgia Avenue, NW (SQUARE: 2890, LOT: 0849). Please note that written comments will be accepted until Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

Below, please find the date, time and location of the meeting:

Date: Monday, March 21, 2016
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: Bruce Monroe Elementary @ Park View, 3560 Warder Street, NW

  • Anonymous

    So everyone is clear it is not a replacement for Park Morton, it will have SOME replacement units move along with a mix of market rate (there have also been replacement units built on Georgia and PM will have its own). The language in this letter is misleading and seems to only serve to incite and mislead residents around the Bruce Monroe site.

    • questions

      Exactly how many “replacement units” is “SOME”? And what reference do you cite, what is the authoritative source backing your claims?

      I don’t think you’ve made anything more clear for anyone?

    • GBinCH

      See, that sounds much better to me. Mixed development of subsidized and market rate units, with hopefully some ground floor retail. I don’t know what any studies say on the matter, but integrating low income housing, rather than building projects, just sounds like a better approach to me.

    • jcm

      Judging by the results of the survey conducted by ANC 1A, there’s no need to mislead residents to turn them against this plan. Out of 807 responses, only 104 chose “Park combined with commercial/residential development” as their preferred use for the site, compared with 299 who chose “Park”.

  • jcm

    As far as I can tell, they still haven’t bothered to post the full plan anywhere. How is the public supposed to offer informed commentary when we don’t even know exactly what they are doing?

  • stacksp

    Curious as to what the residents at Park Morton were told as they are the ones that are soon to be losing their home.

  • AnonJP

    Here is the DC gov website on this http://dcnewcommunities.org/community/park-morton/. It provides a lot of information on what has been done and what still needs to be done.

  • Derek

    All the info on the Park Morton/Bruce Monroe development can be found on http://www.parkviewengage.com/

    None of the plans are final, so they haven’t been full posted online, but at the Park Morton Master Plan meeting in January, the designs showed that the current Bruce Monroe site would stay as 50% open/green space (mostly on the southern part of what is currently the park) and the site would also become mixed income residential (~33% each: low income, mid-income and market rate). there would be approximately (and this is still under consideration) 300 units split between a couple apartment buildings and a few rowhouse/townhouse style units, on the Bruce Monroe site. With some retail on and community space (ie. day care, elder care, etc) on Georgia Ave frontage.

    This is all part of the “build-first” plan to redevelop Park Morton, so that current residents only have to move once and can stay in they’re neighborhood. If successful this could be the first time in the country to truly achieve a build-first, stay in the neighborhood, mixed income transition for public housing paid for with public AND private funds

    I don’t work for the city or have any connection to the project other than living in the area and being very intersted/concerned in improving the lives of my neighbors at Park Morton (which is a crumbling, dilapidated building) and improving the neighborhood generally. Personally, I think the plans could still use some tweaking, and the process for over 8 years has been slow and un-communicative. But the city is finally reaching out. This meeting is the 6th public meeting in 6 months on this development, so the city is trying to listen.

    Finally, I want park space as much as anyone, but it has been frustrating to hear folks who live next to Bruce Monroe park mis-characterize what is proposed to replace it, to try to keep the park from being in anyway developed. (This happens regularly at public meetings, and is how I read this email.)

    • Georgia Ave

      It doesn’t sound like you really care about preserving the park.
      Plain and simple: There is nothing like Bruce Monroe in the area. It is a gated open-space park where people play basketball and tennis, kids play on the swings and playground, dog owners and dogs meet each other, the community plants and raises gardens, and folks sit and take in day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a place where neighbors from all ages, backgrounds, and races meet each other or catch up.

      The issue is not about denying Park Morton people a place to live, although that is how the city is shaping this debate. It is about preserving a park for the community, and that includes folks who live at Park Morton. Take a look up and down Georgia Ave at all the dilapidated, run-down, vacant buildings or lots. Do we really want to build on top of a park? We don’t need more buildings, we need city leaders who will do what is right for the community instead of developers and campaign contributors. Keep the park a park.

      • Derek

        50% of the Bruce Monroe Park would stay as Park and Open space. I fully support that. You could do just about everything you propose in a well designed, well landscaped park of that size.

        But there is no other feasible option on the table for redeveloping Park Morton with build-first, stay in the neighborhood. All the run-down, vacant buildings and lots are too small and privately owned; making them impractical and unaffordable for this project.

        And finally, the city is facing an affordable housing crisis – so yes we do need more buildings. Will this benefit developers? Yes. But building low and moderate income housing is not exactly building a stadium or a walmart – this IS about helping the community. Maybe you disagree whether it’s the best use for the space – and that’s a good debate – but again I’m disappointed in a park-only advocate mis-characterizing what’s happening here.

        • jcm

          That’s not true. The city already had a feasible option on the table for redeveloping Park Morton with build-first, stay in the neighborhood. In fact, they’ve had it for years. The idea that bulldozing a park is the best or only option to build housing on half-vacant Georgia Avenue is ridiculous.

    • hmm

      “If successful this could be the first time in the country to truly achieve a build-first, stay in the neighborhood, mixed income transition for public housing paid for with public AND private funds”

      What are the chances of “success” given the city’s track record on this kind of stuff?

    • Anonymous

      Thank you- perfectly said. And in this case, no one can make the claim that the process has been secretive or exclusive. There have been more meetings than I can keep up with!

  • stacksp
  • Eric Says

    If this park is important, then people should really make an effort to attend and let their opinions be heard. That’s still no guarantee that DC government officials will listen. The mayor and the counsel are so cozy with developers that they will likely ignore the requests of the citizens as they did at McMillan Park. The people have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to the current development at McMillan but the mayor and the counsel don’t care because of their close connections with the developers and the amount of money involved. If you don’t turn out to the meeting and fight this, it’s a slam dunk that the developers will get the land.

  • Mittens

    This could be a great opportunity for Mayor Bowser to unload some more prime public real-estate at low, low prices for her donors!

  • Irving
  • Irving

    oops! must have missed POP that day.


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