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Developer Lays Out Vision for 2,200 Units Near Rhode Island Avenue Metro

by Lark Turner

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In zoning documents filed Wednesday, developer Mid-City Financial Corporation lays out a sweeping vision of a planned-unit development called Brentwood Park that would create eight new city blocks near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro.

The first stage of the project includes a staggering 200,000 square feet of retail space and 2,200 residential units, 20 percent of which will be designated as affordable. The development is roughly bounded by Rhode Island Avenue to the north; Brentwood Road to the west; Montana Avenue to the west; Downing Street to the southwest; and Bryant Street to the south (map).

Michael S. Meers, the developer’s executive vice president, told Washington City Paper that the company’s founder, Eugene Ford Sr., was looking to make an impact on affordable housing at the end of his life. Mid-City currently owns the 535-unit Brookland Manor that sits on the site. Though the project coincides with the expiration of Mid-City’s Section 8 contract with DC, the City Paper’s Aaron Wiener reports, the developer plans to renew its Section 8 contract on the property after construction is finished. (Residents would have to relocate in the interim.)

According to zoning documents, the 20-acre site won’t begin redevelopment until at least 2017, when the loan on the property matures. The residential units will include both rental and for-sale units spread across different types of buildings, including multifamily, senior housing, townhouses and two-over-two buildings.

The retail will include a 56,000 square foot grocery store and ground-floor retail fronting main streets and there will be a central community green space envisioned as the “heart and soul” of the community. Heights will max out at 90 feet and go down to about 60 feet, according to the developer’s application.

Here’s the summary of the vision from Mid-City:

The new Brentwood Village will be a safe and inviting mixed-income and mixed-age community with ground-floor commercial uses along Rhode Island, Saratoga and Montana Avenues NE. The proposed new street grid system creates eight new blocks that have been carefully studied and laid out in order to allow the development of vibrant streetscapes and active pedestrian experiences, a significant amount of housing, and attractive open spaces.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/in_pud_developer_lays_out_vision_for_2200-unit_brentwood_park/9038

7 Comments

  1. JQH3 said at 1:48 pm on Wednesday October 1, 2014:

    Save Brookland Manor Park!

    Friends of Brookland Manor Park

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 5:34 pm on Wednesday October 1, 2014:

    The marketing blurb at the end of the writeup is blandly pleasant, but largely bypasses the main point:  This development promises to replace a classic “failed housing project” with something less mired in poverty and dysfunction.  Much less mired, one hopes.  And with better architecture and urbanism than the current sad errors, which, whether or not their original promise once bloomed, nowadays have reached the end of their useful lives.  Section 8 rents don’t cover the operations & maintenance costs of old buildings, much less any serious capital improvements.  Something has got to give.

    One also hopes, however, that the positive aspects of the community which exists in Brookland Manor are not destroyed by the transformation.  That’s been an Achilles heel for these types of starting-overs, necessary though they may be.

    It appears that the owners see this as a legacy project, and as a result there’s a better chance that the community side can be addressed.  That would include the parkland (which is what I assume JQH3 wants to “save”). But in both cases, one cannot expect the end result to match the current situation—nor SHOULD one, except for those hopelessly pessimistic and visionless.

  1. JoDa said at 6:11 pm on Wednesday October 1, 2014:

    skid, I assume JQ was joking, riffing on McMillian’s opponents.  There is no park there currently to save.  In fact, this plan creates a park the community currently lacks.  I live (and have for a number of years) just a few blocks from this complex (less than 3), and I LOVE this proposal.  In fact, over the years, we discussed what redeveloping it would look like, and this is exactly what my group of neighbors and I came up with: buy the strip plaza, densify, bring in big retail, step up from the residential community on Downing up to large apartment building and retail along the main streets, mix incomes and owned units while bringing back all or most of the subsidized units, and improve the now-confusing street grid.  The owner/developer hit it out of the “park” with this proposal.

  1. Daniel Wolkoff said at 7:44 pm on Wednesday October 1, 2014:

    This is exactly the point that community opposition is making on Save McMillann Park. We need outdoor recreation and “great places”. Visionless McMillan Partners and the corrupt DC government after wasting 10’s of millions and McMillan for 28 years, they should be developing the sensible alternatives. The industrial tract on the Red Line, the alley behind R and Lincoln for a super market, etc.

    If the VMP plan is so wonderful, why do they illegally hire a Baltimore PR firm to fake grass roots support. Bowser is co-conspirator, she doesn’t even know what is going on at McMillan, providing miserable oversight. She facilitates lies by Jeff Miller the VMP project mananger and now Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. She said “city money paying for PR campaign looks bad to the public”, DMPED oversight City Council Committee on Economic Development, Feb, 11, 2014. He lies to her and says DMPED didn’t pay for the PR campaign that’s goal is “neutralize opposition, and “create the appearance of community support for VMP”.
    This was Unethical PR campaign to subvert community opposition to VMP,
    Please see the City Council hearing video below, Brookland residents landscape architect Mary Pat Rowan and historic restoration artist Daniel Wolkoff testify to Muriel Bowser Chair of the City Council Committee on Economic Development. This link goes to the testimony on McMillan Park from February 2014

    http://youtu.be/uXkOgHV7Lhw

  1. Gforce said at 8:55 pm on Wednesday October 1, 2014:

    *Jaw drops* Would never think that such a project would ever occur. This failed attempt at urban renewal is a blight to upper Northeast and cesspool of criminal activity that ravages the surrounding areas. The sooner this development can happen the better. Rhode Island Avenue NE will be a true destination in the city.

  1. RI Ave - Brentwood DC said at 8:15 pm on Thursday October 2, 2014:

    The developer web site for the new project is http://www.newbrentwoodvillage.com

    They have asked for comments, questions, and contact info for informational updates about public hearings.  Change is coming….

  1. MsNikki said at 5:52 am on Sunday January 25, 2015:

    Wondering how much the town homes would cost once redeveloped and how many bedrooms would be offered

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