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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

9 Comments

  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.

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