“To most people, this is the site of housing that has long been of condition that is unfit and unsuitable for residents of the District of Columbia, our own neighbors,” said Fenty. “Northwest One [will be]…the first place where you’ll have new communities with all different levels of housing and all different income levels – mixed with great retail, great community centers and great schools.”
The Northwest One project will bring $700 million worth of new development to a five-block chunk of the NoMa corridor – an initiative that will include the construction of 1600 new residential units, 200,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of ground-level retail and a one-acre public park. The District has pledged that nearly 25% of the on-site housing (570 units) will be reserved as affordable – an amount that Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority, Michael Kelly, assured the public would be “one-for-one replacement” of all affordable housing lost in demolition. The 172 families initially displaced by the closing of Temple Court were relocated at city expense and will be offered new units in the completed Northwest One complex.
“Today, we're celebrating the demolition of what is –without any kind of exaggeration – a symbol of isolation and socio-economic despair,” said Kelly. “In its place…will be a vibrant mixed-income neighborhood. A neighborhood that will have the lawyer next to the school teacher next to the welfare recipient – and from the outside you can’t tell who’s who.”
Fenty said that he expects a groundbreaking ceremony to be scheduled for early 2010 with construction expected to wrap up the following year. The Temple Court site is the second component of Northwest One currently in some phase of development – the $47 million Walker Jones complex (which includes a 100,000 square foot elementary and middle school) is currently under construction and is scheduled to be open by next August, just in time for the 2009-2010 school year.