If everything goes according to plan, the team behind DC's 11th Street Bridge Park (map) believe that the city's first elevated park will be complete in four years. UrbanTurf recently checked in to see how the project has stayed the course while a lawsuit against the city for alleged displacement-encouraging policies plays out and the prospect of Opportunity Zones looms in the surrounding neighborhoods.
At the close of 2017, the design concept for the park received unanimous approval from both the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. This past spring, the project also completed a feasibility study that revealed no fatal flaws or major obstructions to the Park's completion. These strides brought the first phase of pre-development to a close.
In December, the project will appoint a contractor to complete an environmental assessment, an endeavor which will run concurrently to permitting and to ongoing design refinements. Once this is complete next year, the project will reach a record of decision on the environmental assessment; in 2020, the goal is for the design of the entire project to be completed to the point that there are blueprints. By 2021, BBAR will solicit a general contractor and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will solicit a builder team, enabling the project to break ground. If everything stays of schedule, the park could be complete in 2023.
As for fundraising, the project has enjoyed strong results, according to Director of BBAR Scott Kratz.
"We have all the funds that we need to take us all the way up to the point of construction," Kratz told UrbanTurf. "We've been very fortunate to raise some significant money...and we're very confident we're going to get across that finish line."
The equitable development component of the project has also had measurable success thus far, with a homebuyers' club in partnership with Manna leading to 61 Ward 8 renter households becoming homeowners, and with this summer's announced appointment of a director for the Douglass Community Land Trust. The land trust has dedicated several million dollars, including $3 million of a JPMorgan Chase grant received last year, toward property acquisition for affordable housing, and is also working toward a 110-family pilot program with Capital Area Asset Builders to initiate children's savings accounts.
"Working with LISC, we're investing [more than] $57 million in the local community; that's about the same amount of money that it'll cost to build the park," Kratz said. "It's become so much more than a park."
All renderings courtesy of OMA+OLIN.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/11th-street-bridge-park-will-deliver-in-2023/14657.
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