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.