A Park in NoMa? Eventually

by Shilpi Paul

A Park in NoMa? Eventually: Figure 1
A potential park in NoMa. Courtesy of the NoMa BID.

The redevelopment of NoMa has been successful in many ways, but walk amongst the shiny new high-rise residential and office buildings, and you may notice one glaring absence: parks. If you want to sit on a fountain with a cup of coffee or lie on the grass with a book, you’re out of luck.

Due to a rezoning tactic used during the rapid development — outlined here by Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert — there was virtually no incentive for developers to include parks and public space in their plans.

Now the city is trying to rectify the situation. The NoMa Business Improvement District (BID), along with other stakeholders and city officials, have been staking out possible sites for public gathering places. In April, they released a rendering of a potential park, and revealed their hope to create a modern gateway at the intersection of New York Avenue, Florida Avenue and First Street NE (map).

In September, Mayor Gray threw support and money towards the project, allotting $490,000 towards the design and development of the parks.

UrbanTurf was interested in where the project stands now. We learned that it is still hypothetical.

“We still have to purchase land and/or work with property owners to get some spaces we can build and then manage,” Rachel Davis of NoMa BID told UrbanTurf. “I’m afraid there is nothing going up just yet.”

The BID is hoping to eventually create a series of parks. Readers, where do you think they should go?

See other articles related to: parks, noma

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_park_in_noma_eventually/6430


  1. Les said at 9:27 pm on Wednesday December 12, 2012:
    Make sure the put a dog park in the NoMa park area, too. It is sorely needed.
  1. Ellen said at 9:29 pm on Wednesday December 12, 2012:
    I would absolutely LOVE to see a park of some sort in the area, and as a dog owner, I fully agree with Les!
  1. JohnDC said at 9:50 pm on Wednesday December 12, 2012:
    "In April, they released a rendering of a potential park, and revealed their hope to create a modern gateway at the intersection of New York Avenue, Florida Avenue and First Street NE" What land is available at 1st & Florida NE? As for the dog park peace. There isn't even room for a people park, let alone a dog park.
  1. Jon said at 10:07 pm on Wednesday December 12, 2012:
    What about a POPOS (privately owned public open spaces) requirement, like in San Francisco? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/san-francisco-popos_n_1595175.html
  1. justin s said at 10:26 pm on Wednesday December 12, 2012:
    there might not be room for a dog park at 1st & Florida, but I'd love to see one at the nearby former site of the Sursum Corda library! (Kirby St & NY Ave)
  1. Mike A said at 11:22 pm on Wednesday December 12, 2012:
    As a homeowner in NOMA, I have recommended that the buildings open their rooftops to the public. A rooftop lounge/restaurant/park could even connect across a street to another, with views of the tracks and their hypnotic rolling stock, it would be unique to the neighborhood. An attraction to rival Navy Yards waterfront. The horizontal space hasn't been eliminated, just moved up 10 stories.
  1. xmal said at 5:42 am on Thursday December 13, 2012:
    The best site: the parking lot across the street from the Harris Teeter. Is this important enough for eminent domain? If not, then maybe a land swap? I hear there's some city-owned land by Shaw Metro.
  1. A said at 3:04 pm on Thursday December 13, 2012:
    I like Mike A's idea! A little like the highline park in Manhattan, although a bit higher up.
  1. Nearby NoMa said at 3:22 pm on Thursday December 13, 2012:
    I agree that the city needs to explore land swap opportunities. The city failed to think long-term when they incentivized development in the area, and now they need to get creative. Another parcel that would be an interesting park/square is the undeveloped section of Constitution Square that abuts the metro.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »