Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Big Plans for Brookland

After an 18-month dialogue between various city agencies and community organizations, the District of Columbia's Office of Planning yesterday unveiled their final draft of their Brookland/CUA Metro Small Area Plan. Written with the express "purpose of guiding the growth, development and revitalization of underutilized areas within in a quarter mile, or ten-minute walk, of the Metro Station," this is the public's first glimpse into city's development bible for the predominantly residential neighborhood surrounding Catholic University.

The areas that fall into the "underutilized" category include whole swaths of Monroe Street, 12th Street and the commercial areas that border Perry Street to the North and Kearny Street to the South. Using the ever-increasing cost of transportation to their advantage, the Plan cleverly devises using increased foot traffic to the Brookland/CUA Metro Station as a means to draw residents to their planned “new mixed-use transit-oriented civic core”: 200-250 new residential units, 30,000-35,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and approximately 250 parking spaces.

Additionally, the Plan foresees the integration of the 168-year-old Brooks Mansion and its grounds into the “reestablished street fabric” of Brookland, in order to accentuate underutilized civic and green spaces. Residents can also look forward to additional bus lines and new Metro portals in their area.

While the blocks immediately surrounding the Metro will be the most directly affected by the changes, Monroe Street, “the primary gateway and connector between the East and West sides of Brookland,” will be specifically targeted for extensive redevelopment. One component of the proposed overhaul includes its conversion into “a tree-lined mixed-use street with neighborhood-serving retail, restaurants, arts and cultural uses on the ground floor, and residential above.”

The conversion of Monroe into Brookland’s main drag will also include a massive addition of between 750-900 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space and up to 850 new parking spaces.
The same expansive strategy – albeit on a smaller scale – is also in play for 12th Street and the aforementioned commercial enclaves north and south of the station.

Beyond purely commercial endeavors, the Plan also makes several recommendations for making Brookland a cultural draw. These include the establishment of a Brookland Arts/Cultural District that would offer incentives to local organizations, such as Dance Place and the DC Film Alliance, for their participation.

At this preliminary stage, no developers or retailers have laid claim to the Brookland project and no firm timeline has been established for redevelopment efforts. With the Plan’s proposal for extensive restructuring of the neighborhood's basic infrastructure – from extending key roadways to altering traffic light times - it’s a safe bet that any proposed construction should be considered “coming soon” until further notice.


kk said...

What happens to the bus traffic when wedevelop these areas around stations we always seem to forget about the buses do we expect everyone there to just turn and not ride the bus and just say f u to the bus riders who dont live in the walking distance area, are we just going to send all of the bus traffic on to side streets and expect for the riders to find a route to the station around the buildings when we could just build a stop for the buses that is close to the station entrance.

Legible said...


What happens to the bus traffic when we develop these areas around stations? We always seem to forget about the buses. Do we expect everyone there to just turn and not ride the bus, and just say f*** you to the bus riders who don't live in the walking distance area? Are we just going to send all of the bus traffic on to side streets and expect for the riders to find a route to the station around the buildings, when we could just build a stop for the buses that is close to the station entrance?

Mackey said...

For those not familiar with concept master plans keep in mind you will not see exact locations for bus stops. The facility indicated adjacent to the Brookland-CUA metro stop may in-fact provide the requisite number of drop-offs.

I applaud this effort and can't wait to stop venturing out to Chinatown, Cleveland Park, and the Hill for a decent bite to eat (I still love Col. Brooks but choice is nice too).

Cavan on Sep 12, 2008, 10:18:00 AM said...

for what to do about the bus bay... look at Bethesda and Friendship Heights and the plan for Wheaton Metros. The bus deck is at the ground floor, underneath a building. It's there and accessible to street level, and it has a roof over it. Good deal.

Douglas A. Willinger on Sep 12, 2008, 10:12:00 PM said...

I agree with Cavan that places beneath buildings are good for transportation.

But where in any of these plans are provisions for entry-exit points?

Douglas A. Willinger on Sep 12, 2008, 10:13:00 PM said...

However these plans subvert transportation by building too close to what should be a truly multi model transportation corridor for the many.

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