Wednesday, November 06, 2013

East vs. West | The "new" looks suspiciously like the old

There is a stark difference between proposed large scale housing and development projects coming west of the river and those coming east. While west of the river celebrates the news of new movie theaters, grocery stores, and hotels --- funded by private developers with incentives and tax abatements. East of the river just gets more of the same low-- income housing developments funded by low-income tax credits. It feels as if the large scale public housing projects were just torn down to build new ones, and so the cycle begins again. It is clear what we really need, it's a shame we aren't getting it.

Just another reason why I don't believe DC's leadership or government is really serious about wanting better for Wards 7 and 8. It's nothing more than lip service and sound bites. If they were really committed to change they wouldn't keep giving us the same old things. Even the "new" renderings tell a story in terms of what we are sorely lacking east of the river -- retail and amneties. It is retail light and low income heavy.

Clearly the joke hasn't gotten old.

I wish someone out there would do a survey (and a story) on new east of the river projects vs. west of the river projects. Let's just put it all out there. If "the plan" is to keep east of the river the dumping ground of the city's social service programs can someone just come out and say it? Lets stop dancing around the issue.

EAST OF THE RIVER
So Others Might Eat plans for Benning Rd in Ward 7


From WCP reporter Aaron Wiener: "Last year, the low-income and homeless services nonprofit So Others Might Eat purchased three parcels of by the Benning Road Metro station with the goal of erecting a mixed-use development. Now, at long last, we have a detailed look at what they'll be building there.
The 180,000-square-foot complex will feature 202 affordable housing units, a sit-down deli, SOME's Center for Employment Training (a school to give adults job skills, currently located in Anacostia) and administrative offices, a medical and dental clinic, and three levels of underground parking. It'll be SOME's largest project to date, dwarfing the organization's other 12 housing locations."

WEST OF THE RIVER
Hines and Urban Atlantic plans for Walter Reed


From WCP reporter Aaron Wiener: "The winning team's plan for the 67-acre site between Upper Georgia Avenue and 16th Street NW features a "town center" in the north, a commerce and science center in the middle, and a senior village in the south, with water features throughout the site. The proposal, as presented to the public in July, also includes Massachusetts Institute of Technology and George Washington University facilities, a Hyatt hotel and conference center, and an arts presence featuring Artomatic, Dance Place, and the Washington Glass School. According to Hoskins, there will be 300 affordable housing units, 75 of which are restricted to people making under 50 percent of the area median income, and 73 senior housing units."



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1 comment:

Whitney Hubbard said...

Thanks for the story Nikki! For the record, we want and NEED all the amenities that are west of the River, East of the River too! There are people with incomes who can support these businesses. Build it, and they will come!