Family-Sized Units, Neighborhood Retail: The Priorities For DC’s Northwest One Site

by Nena Perry-Brown

Family-Sized Units, Neighborhood Retail: The Priorities For DC's Northwest One Site: Figure 1
Northwest One

On Tuesday evening, area residents met at the RH Terrell Recreation Center to discuss their priorities for the Northwest One site at North Capitol and K Street NW (map).

The Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) is spearheading development of the site through the OurRFP process, a recent initiative by the city to solicit community engagement prior to and as part of crafting a request for proposals (RFP).

Out of 11 factors identified during the first Our RFP meeting, the community members present were asked to identify a single must-have, then vote for three items that were also top priorities. By far, the creation of family-sized units was the main priority.

Neighborhood-serving retail and restaurants, including such things as drugstores and small grocers, and non-retail neighborhood services such as a daycare center or dry-cleaners were a distant but salient secondary priority. Other top priorities include homeownership opportunities, pedestrian-friendly streets, handicap accessibility and active public spaces such as playing fields.

The 3.5-acre site bounded between North Capitol Street and First Terrace, and between K and L Streets NW was previously the location of Temple Courts, which was demolished a few years after the New Communities initiative was launched. Several former Temple Courts residents were in attendance at the meeting and have been granted the right to return to the site once it is redeveloped.

Between SeVerna phases I and II and 2M Apartments, over 500 new housing units have already been delivered as part of the Northwest One project. At a minimum, an additional 211 affordable units will be created as part of this upcoming RFP.

Higher-density development will bound both North Capitol and K Streets, with the latter fashioned as a “Main Street” with streetscape that is consistent with what is stipulated in the adjacent NoMa neighborhood. The northernmost portion of the site will see development of more moderate density and L Street will be extended through the site.

First Place and First Terrace will both be closed and replaced with a new street. Any new construction will be at least LEED Silver-certified and will preserve the historic and iconic viewshed along North Capitol Street.

DMPED intends to use the community’s preferences as a blueprint for crafting an RFP, which will be released for offers in September. Finalists will be selected in early 2017, after which the community will have the opportunity to hear and offer feedback on the proposals. Final selection of a developer will likely occur in early 2017.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/what_the_neighbors_are_looking_for_in_their_northwest_one_rfp/11515

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