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“I’m torn as to whether their plans are a good thing or not.”

by Prince Of Petworth January 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm 44 Comments

rfk-rendering
Stitch Design Concept courtesy OMA

“Dear PoPville,

I am interested to hear what the community thinks. Tonight at the convention center EventsDC is hosting an open meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the RFK site. I’m torn as to whether their plans are a good thing or not. What are the pros or cons of their plan? Any other thoughts on the matter?”

RFK Stadium-Armory Campus Redvelopment Recommendations: Community Meeting

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Room 146ABC
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place
Washington, DC 20001

After extensive planning, outreach, public input and involvement, Events DC is proud to present two concepts for the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus. Our vision for the Campus’ future is to create a revitalized site that celebrates its iconic beauty and history – while also acting as a first-class example of urban living that can attract residents and visitors and at the same time maintain a strong local identity.

Acting as a catalyst for the city, the RFK Campus future project will also make a substantial economic impact on the District, by reinvesting into the city through job opportunities, youth programs, local business development and ample community benefits and neighborhood serving amenities for residents to enjoy.

rfk-plans

  • Alex

    As a resident of Kingman Park, I think the plans are a good thing. Right now it’s a decrepit parking lot that 4 mayors have unsuccessfully tried to make appealing to the DC football team. In the meantime, the space is unused/used for illegal activity. Events DC has consistently been told by he people who actually live here that the space needs to be reworked. There are many kids and young families who could use the space if either of the proposed plans actually happen. Instead, we neighbors spend our time calling the police for drug activity and prostitution…oh and we get to clean up mattresses set up by sex workers and their clients just feet from the playground.

  • Ally

    I live in Hill East, and most of us would prefer to not have the NFL stadium included in the plan. That being said, I’ll be happy with anything new coming to that space. A little mixed use retail and some green spaces/parks would be fantastic.

    • Alex

      +1

      Plus it seems like the remote possibility of a stadium has kept the city from moving forward with any new use of even part of this space for years.

    • Anonymous

      An NFL stadium is considered an anchor site option. That it is being de-emphasized in the graphic showing all of the potential new buildings, but still shows up on the website, should set off warning bells.

      • Guillermo Brown

        You guys mean the Redskins stadium, right?

        • Anon

          Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.

    • I don’t think you’re going to get retail, NPS doesn’t have a lot of interest in operating it.

      • Wait, I keep seeing retail lined parking structures in these comments and now I’m confused, it’s not in the graphic and I don’t see it on the website.

        • Anonymous

          It’s on the website. Scroll down to “Gallery” and look for the picture showing the big “anchor site options”. The “retail-lined parking” detail is just to the left of “Hill East”, and points to the gray boxes underneath “Permanent Market”. Looks like four fairly sizable parking lots. Also, at the top of the image there is a “Flexible Market Plaza”, which, coincidentally, also contains covered parking. So lots of parking, just stacked rather than spread out.

          • Thanks for the help.
            Ugh to lots of parking.

        • Anonymous

          It’s on the website. Scroll down to “Gallery” and look for the picture showing the big “anchor site options”. The “retail-lined parking” detail is just to the left of “Hill East”, and points to the gray boxes underneath “Permanent Market”. Looks like four fairly sizable parking lots. Also, at the top of the image there is a “Flexible Market Plaza”, which, coincidentally, also contains covered parking. So lots of parking, just stacked rather than spread out.

    • TinkerTaylor

      Looking only at the design concept, there appears to be no stadium involved. Clearly this is going to be Disney DC. Hopefully it’ll include a monorail to streetcar transfer station.

  • Khris

    I see a lot of things that would be nice to have but that we don’t really need. And local residents have stifled development in the neighborhoods surrounding RFK for decades. I don’t expect that to change.

  • kgw

    I would love to get rid of existing the parking lots. At previous meetings we have been very vocal in advocating for the site to be high frequency use, and not for special occasions only. I also would love to see more/better use of the flood plane with fields, a dog park, and pic-nic areas.

    • Anonymous

      The existing parking lots will be replaced with multi-level, “retail-lined” parking lots. This is a step up from what’s there now, but these new lots will be empty most of the time because they would be built specifically for the NFL stadium that the developers want to put in.

  • MadMax

    Urban beach? What are we, Rio? No thanks, I’ll fight this endlessly like the maniacs at McMillan!

    • marv

      Sarcasm I hope? What in god’s name could be wrong with an urban beach? One of the things that DC is sorely missing is clean, swimmable lakes/rivers without having to drive hours. This would be a game changer for the city and the tens of thousands of people that would welcome swimming in natural water and looking for a connection w/ nature.

      IMO the urban beach is the one thing that makes me fight to make sure this gets done.

      • KingmanParkRes

        I would also love to see the Anacostia River swimmable and fishable, but this project can’t work miracles. It will take much more remediation before I grab a towel and head down to the river for a swim. Also, any “urban beach” concept on this river will be covered in mud and silt within days. Best case scenario would be concrete terraces/steps, like in Georgetown.

  • Anonymous

    It is immediately clear that the developers are trying to throw a couple of shiny objects – “flexible market plaza”, “family sports & entertainment complex”, “urban beach” – to the public when the main goal is to build a football stadium. This has to be their goal considering that an NFL stadium is considered as an “anchor site option”. Note the “retail-lined parking structures” taking up acres of land, rather than, say, thousands of homes. We should fight this proposal tooth and nail.

    • Alex

      The “thousands of homes” argument is brought up constantly and ignores a fundamental issue – the federal lease restricts use of the land to stadium purposes, recreation and parking, and NPS has already stated last year that is its not inclined to renew the lease to the city which expires in 22 years (see WaPo article on May letter to the Mayor from Robert A. Vogel).

      Housing can’t happen on most of the site anyway, so why fight a plan that might actually make some of this area usable to the neighborhood? You kill this plan and get to what, keep decrepit parking lots? I don’t want a stadium either, but I hope one of these plans works out because at least we won’t be repeating the position of the last 3 local administrations of doing absolutely nothing beneficial with this land.

      • Anonymous

        While I agree that empty parking lots aren’t a good use of land, forcing through a proposal just because nothing has been done in several administrations is not the right move. DC should reject every single proposal that includes the option of a pro sports facility. There is no reason why DC should pay a single dollar to move Snyder’s team back here, let alone the Capitals or Wizards when their Verizon Center lease runs out in 2027.

        • Alex

          There is a no-anchor site option. The issue is that the Mayor and some Councilmembers are pushing for a stadium, and EventsDC is hoping that people don’t show up to meetings to oppose a stadium (moving the meeting out the neighborhood furthers that goal). Seems to me that the best course of action is showing up to support the no-anchor option, not to “fight these plans tooth and nail” and end up with the status quo yet again.

        • kittycatbob

          +1 billion. Why this administration wants to

          • kittycatbob

            …build a new stadium for Snyder so badly is beyond me. He has shown no interest in moving his organization to DC nor does he live here. Let him use his own money to build a new stadium–not my tax dollars!

      • Alex

        Forgot to add that the changing the lease would require lobbying Congress to amend it or to transfer the land to DC . Seems highly unlikely with 1) the incoming administration and 2) the fact NPS already doesn’t want to renew the lease.

        • Anonymous

          I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on what the Interior Department will do. Not renewing the lease doesn’t mean that they won’t come up with a new lease with new terms.

          It’s also important to note that the site owned by the federal government doesn’t include Hill East’s Reservation 13, which can most certainly be mixed-use and include residential.

          The NCPC proposal (way back in 2006) is a much, much better proposal.

    • no

      Respectfully, NO! I am from here and desperately want a football stadium inside the city again.

    • MadMax

      Why should I care if there’s a football stadium in the plans? There’s already a football stadium there. I’m only going to care if they say tax payers are the ones paying for the stadium, rather than the billionaire team owner who takes all the profits.

      • no stadiums

        Because even if a stadium is paid for without any tax dollars (it won’t be), it still designates a huge chunk of land that would otherwise be of great use to the DC residents. A football stadium is really of use for 8-12 days a year. Any outdoor concerts or events can be done at Nationals Park, or wherever in VA or MD a new stadium is built. Plus, if we’re not happy with empty parking lots 365 days a year, we shouldn’t be happy with empty parking lots 355 days a year. There is no reason why we should have a new football stadium in DC, and including it in the plans is just gonna show Snyder that we’re willing to pay for it.

    • Khris

      Pick your battles carefully. Opposing this development because it contains a football stadium could result in no development at all. It’s not hard to picture acres of empty parking lots surrounding a decrepit, abandoned RFK Stadium for years.

  • Anon

    I’m a Kingman Park resident and a Redskins fan, and I want a new stadium in the space.

    • Anon2

      I’m a Kingman Park resident and not a fan of football in the slightest, but I too would love to see a new stadium in the space, and think it would be great for the area.

    • Anony

      Utilized 8 days a year while 346 days (besides a few events) it will sit vacant. Great usage IMO

      • JohnH

        Agreed – at least with the Verizon Center, it is used several times a week (it’s almost amazing how much it is used). We know Snyder isn’t a cooperative guy nor concerned about the community, so why cater to him when there’s other options without the Redskins leaving to another region of the country? I particularly find it amusing based on the name issue – which DC seems opposed to yet doing as much as they can to build him a stadium?
        .
        As others mentioned, it’s ridiculous for this giant parcel of land to be redeveloped and not include any residential. I understand the lease situation, but there also hasn’t seemed to be any effort to make it possible (which if they’re cool with it being developed with retail, not sure why residential would be out of the question – this area is not exactly densely populated).

  • MtP

    Somewhat unrelated, but sparked due to the graphic: I really wish DC had a more robust water taxi/ferry system than it currently does. Between Georgetown, Roosevelt Island, SW Waterfront, Nats Park, Barracks Row, Alexandria, National Harbor, Kingman Island, etc., you would think there would be sufficient demand for consistent and regular water taxi service. Particularly b/c some of these areas aren’t well-served by public transit, and are certainly not easy to get to from one another. I’m not talking about just one or two boats an hour on peak times, but I’m talking about regularly-scheduled little boats designed to actually move people from place to place. They do it in Chicago, Boston, NYC, and I’m sure elsewhere, and I think it would be a good idea here.

    • MtP

      Add to the list Roslyn and Hains Point, and I’m sure other locations I am forgetting. I just think it would be a very useful and productive addition to our infrastructure.

    • maxwell smart

      You keep Roosevelt Island out of this – it is a secret treasure of DC and I’d like it to stay that way.

    • JohnH

      There’s not much foot traffic along any of the waterfront in DC. Chicago, for example, has rivers through the very dense city that’s mixed residential/commercial. NYC is not remotely comparable. And I don’t know Boston, but again their city is built up against all of the waterways, DC’s is not.

  • neighbor

    This is all a moot point until NPS is onboard, right?
    .
    I highly doubt there will be movement on the issue from their end anytime in the next few years, and if there is I imagine plans would be re-opened. They’ll break ground on this project about 10 years after McMillan and Walter Reed are complete.
    .
    This meeting is about as useful as the DC state constitutional convention. I feel sorry for the neighbors from Kingman Park who waste their time thinking this will have any effect.

  • ET

    I live close but not too thankfully, and I am not in love with the stadium idea. Mostly, the acres of parking that will be required won’t be much different than things are now in many ways. Sure they can throw in a few other “attractions” and put some parking in garages but given that football culture is tailgating don’t see how that works well. As someone within walking distance my neighborhood will get overflow for people how can’t or won’t park in official parking. Yes I know it is only a few Sundays a year (for game), but as someone who works – Sunday is a big errand day for me and being trapped and at the mercy of tailgaters irks me. I hate to be that person. However, some of that is somewhat dependent on how they cite it.

    One of THE main things I would like to be considered regardless of what they actually put in the space, is the highway on/off situation. The current configuration is a clusterf**k.

    And honestly, I just don’t see that a football stadium really gets the city all that much given how few football and other events will happen in any one given year. Sure there are a few jobs and taxes to be collected but again it isn’t like it any big stadium will be used 50% of the year or more. Maybe the city can ran a car garage during the week for all the commuters that drive in? I want someone to make a much better case for a big football stadium than has been made because I have yet to hear a good case for it. Mostly it feels like they just want the team in DC because of prestige. That is hella expensive prestige. I still feel like DC idea of the space for a stadium and parking is going to be very, very different than Snyder’s and he isn’t going to be interested in moving the team back unless HE gets exactly what HE wants in terms of stadium size AND parking configuration.

  • SF

    I live nearby. It seems like Events DC is just throwing up tons of stuff that sounds good without focusing on anything of real substance. My primary preference would be for the city to focus on a lobbying effort to re-allocate this parcel to allow for a large portion of this to be residential. There’s simply no earthly reason for all of this to be parkland– especially if “parkland” really means “parking lots”. I know this isn’t possible under the current situation, but give me a break– everything can be changed with an adequate amount of political will and the right incentives. What they’re offering here– some sort of urban Disneyland– is destined to fail without integrated residential spaces.

  • marv

    URBAN BEACHES EVERYWHERE PLEASE

  • Ally

    Oh, and is it too late to put in a vote for a neighborhood pub somewhere in there (I know…never going to happen..but we can all dream).

  • Lindsay

    I don’t understand why there isn’t a 2nd metro stop–at the other end of the parking lot where the trolley line ends. That would make sense to me. It’s 3 miles between metro stops there and a mile to the backend of that parking lot. Would help connect the area with transit better and reduce the need for parking.

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