In 2019, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced that the Old Engine Company 22 firehouse along Georgia Avenue in Brightwood would be offered as a development opportunity. While a team engaged with the community and shared a proposal to deliver 300 apartments and an Aldi grocery store on the block that includes the site, the request for proposals never came out.
Now, DMPED has begun the pre-disposition process for the firehouse. On Thursday evening, the city hosted a meeting to solicit feedback from the community about whether the property at 5760 Georgia Avenue NW (map) should remain in the city's portfolio for public use. Comments were more or less united in a preference that the property return to public-serving use, noting the dearth of certain city services in this section of Ward 4.
ANC 4C Commissioner Vanessa Rubio, who represents the single-member district where the firehouse is located, said residents in her district would like to see a community center for seniors, a DMV satellite location, or a youth job training center. Other suggestions included a temporary shelter, a library, or afterschool programming. Reginald Black, advocacy director for the People For Fairness Coalition, also spoke of the need for a shelter, particularly one that caters to men as there is already a women's shelter and a family shelter in the ward.
ANC 4D Commissioner Renée Bowser echoed the desire to strengthen job training, workforce development and apprenticeship opportunities for neighborhood residents, while also pointing out the need for improved coordination between agencies. Towards that end, Commissioner Bowser suggested the site serve as a "community job training center, arts, entrepreneurship, and resource center."
The public feedback period for the disposition of the firehouse will be open until June 24th.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/neighbors-weigh-in-georgia-avenue-firehouse/18375.
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