Friday, June 26, 2015

PR | 11th Street Bridge Park Holds Equitable Development Community Meetings on June 27, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Scott Kratz
SKratz@thearcdc.org
(202) 669-0951

11th Street Bridge Park Holds Equitable Development Community Meetings on June 27, 2015

Washington, D.C. — The 11th Street Bridge Park will work with the community to help ensure this new civic space will become a driver of inclusive development through two public meetings on Saturday June 27. The meetings are part of Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Task Force, which was created to develop a series of programs and policies to encourage equitable development in the neighborhoods surrounding the park.

There will be two opportunities to join the discussion:

Saturday, June 27
Morning Session
When: 8:30 - 9 am Open House; 9 am – 12 noon Community Meeting
Location: R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center, 2730 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20032

Closest Metro: Congress Heights. Parking is available
FREE. Light refreshments will be provided
RSVP: www.bridgepark.org/events/calendar
NOTE: This is a government building - BRING I.D. to go through security

Afternoon Session
When: 2:30 - 3 pm Open House; 3 - 6 pm Community Meeting
Location: 200 I Street SE; Washington DC 20003; Multi-purpose room on the 1st floor (just past the security desk)
Closest Metro: Navy Yard Station; Metered street parking available
FREE. Light refreshments will be provided
RSVP: www.bridgepark.org/events/calendar
NOTE: This is a government building - BRING I.D. to go through security

Economic development is one of four key goals of the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of the Ward 8 based non-profit Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC. While Bridge Park’s design strategies will increase connectivity and interaction between those living on both sides of the Anacostia River, more must be done to ensure that residents living near the site will benefit on a continued basis from the success of this signature new civic space.

The Equitable Development Task Force is working with community stakeholders, government officials, business owners, and policy experts to identify actionable recommendations that the park and its partners can take in three areas: affordable housing; workforce development; and small business enterprise. The final output of the Task Force will be an Equitable Development Plan comprised of detailed recommendations and timelines for implementation to be completed this fall and announced at the November 5 Community Development Finance Summit presented by City First Bank of D.C.

Task Force Time Line
• Fall 2014 – Core Task Force members meet to collect and analyze data about nearby neighborhoods to understand the existing conditions
• February 2, 2015 – Brainstorming session with representatives from government agencies, non-profits and foundations to create initial recommendation list
• May 1, 2015 – Community stakeholder meeting to review and comment on initial recommendation list and help prioritize actions
• June 27, 2015 - Public meetings for additional feedback on policies and procedures that can ensure equitable and inclusive development in adjacent neighborhoods
• July – November 2015 – Finalize program and policy recommendations and actionable time line
• November 5, 2015 – Share final recommendations at Community Development Finance Summit
• November 2015 - Begin implementation of Equitable Development Plan




The 11th Street Bridge Park has the potential to represent more than just an innovative public space with a direct physical link between two neighborhoods. In particular, the park can symbolize a new unity and connection between a booming area of the city and one that has long been overlooked and excluded from the city’s economic progress.

The Task Force began meeting in the Fall of 2014 collecting data on existing conditions – home ownership rates, median income, unemployment – so that future recommendations are based on an accurate understanding of the adjacent neighborhoods. The core Task Force includes: Peter Tatian and Brett Theodos, Urban Institute; Ed Lazere, D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute; Kimberly Driggins, D.C. Office of Planning; Adam Kent, LISC DC; and Scott Kratz and Irfana Noorani, 11th Street Bridge Park. This initial research illustrated the stark divide among communities on both sides of the river.

West of the River (Capitol Hill / Navy Yard) East of the River (Anacostia / Fairlawn)
Total Population 18,497 21,762
Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing $653,737 $262,601
Renter Occupied Units 49.2% 73.4%
Unemployment 5.5% 20.9%
Child Poverty 23.6% 51.8%

Recognizing that signature parks can increase nearby property values, it is important to strategize an actionable plan early in the process. In early February and again in May, 11th Street Bridge Park collaborated with LISC DC to convene over 60 community stakeholders, policy experts, government officials, non-profits and foundations representatives. These discussions focused on strategic recommendations to ensure that the new park will address potential economic and housing displacement while providing opportunity for nearby residents and businesses.

Working with the community, the Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Task Force and Equitable Development Plan can become templates for how cities can invest in and create world-class public spaces that are inclusive.

About the 11th Street Bridge Park
As the old 11th Street traffic bridges that connect Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill and historic Anacostia neighborhoods have aged out, the District government and a local nonprofit organization -- Building Bridges Across the River -- are transforming this old infrastructure into the city’s first elevated park: a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts.

The 11th Street Bridge Park will be a place unlike any other in Washington, D.C. – one that supports the community’s physical, environmental, cultural and economic health. After a seven month design competition informed by more than 450 community meetings, the design team of OMA+OLIN was selected in October 2014. With the design in place, Bridge Park staff has launched a capital campaign to construct this new civic space. For more information and to see the OMA+OLIN renderings, visit www.bridgepark.org.

About Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC
The 11th Street Bridge Park is a project of the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), a $27 million, 110,000 square-foot campus located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.'s Ward 8. The mission of THEARC is to improve the quality of life for residents of Washington D.C.’s East of the River community, a key goal of the future 11th Street Bridge Park. THEARC is a home away from home for the many underserved children and adults of East of the River, enabling them to participate in dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, academics, continuing education, mentoring, tutoring, recreation, medical and dental care, and other services at a substantially reduced cost or no cost at all. On-site non-profit partners include Washington Ballet, Levine School of Music, Children’s Medical Center and eight other organizations.

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