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‘Save Our Plaza’ Group to Hold Forum in Adams Morgan

by Andrew Ramonas July 8, 2016 at 3:55 pm 18 Comments

SunTrust plaza

Locals are meeting at the SunTrust plaza in Adams Morgan this weekend as part of a campaign to “save” the site for the community, according to an organizer.

Adams Morgan residents with the “Save Our Plaza” group are set to host a public forum on the spot at 1800 Columbia Road NW tomorrow to share information about PN Hoffman’s plan for it, 39-year-old organizer Vikram Surya Chiruvolu told Borderstan. The developer is looking to build a mixed-use building on the site and eliminate at least some of the open space currently there, angering some locals.

The gathering will come on the heels of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C’s votes against the developer’s proposal in May and Historic Preservation Review Board members’ vocal frustration about the plan last month. Members of both panels expressed concern about the aesthetics and size of the proposed building, which some of them said was too large for the property.

“After the recent ANC & HPRB victories opposing this development, we felt the time was right to hold space to bring together community and to each share what we know to this point,” Chiruvolu said in an email. “It’s not going to be fancy — just neighbors gathering and sharing and connecting in a public space.”

In a separate email Chiruvolu sent across the Adams Morgan neighborhood listserv yesterday, the local said he and his Save Our Plaza supporters want “this special corner of Adams Morgan to include an improved, green, inviting safe public space that remains public as it is now.”

As PN Hoffman has sought to redevelop the property, the developer has scaled back on the size of its planned building in an effort to address residents’ concerns. But in June, the HPRB declined to vote on PN Hoffman’s plan until the developer revises it again. The board must sign off on the developer’s proposal for construction to begin.

Chiruvolu, who has started calling the open space in front of the SunTrust building “Reparations Plaza,” said the creation of the spot resulted from a collaboration more than 40 years ago between progressive bankers and residents of Adams Morgan, where he said African Americans often had difficulties getting loans.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to share about the history of the space and call for community discussion about reasonable and respectful possibilities for its improvement,” said Chiruvolu, who has lived in Adams Morgan since 2006.

The forum starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

  • nevermindtheend

    This certainly reminded me to email my councilmember to tell her I support development of this property, including the privately owned plaza.

  • Doug Johnson

    The majority of the neighborhood DOES support development of this space and useless Pigeon Plaza going away. This group and the ANC does not represent the majority of the neighborhood.

    • Biker Mark

      Are ANCs ever representative of their neighborhoods? The so called plaza is awful as are most of the public spaces in Adams Morgan.

  • Yea, Build-baby-build. Pave over the history of racism and classism with high-priced dormitory style McCondos & don’t look at the infrastructure collapse or metro calamity. More wealthy suburbanites now please! This is just what Adams Morgan needs.

    • A

      Don’t you think more taxpayers will help with infrastructure? I mean what does developing this land have to do with metro/infrastructure anyway?

      • No. See Adams Morgan Sinkholes, And 6000 Methane Leaks, Pipes Bursting around the City. Metro eating people. The DC budget nearly doubled in 10 years (12Billion$), doesn’t seem to have affected planning analysis to include holistic development, including what’s underground. twilightzoning.org

    • John Smith 1882

      DC is not building the building, a private company is. So….. metro issues are irrelevant.

      Dormitory style McCondos? Seriously? How would you know? Also, sounds like you think any apartment building is “dormitory style”. And a “McCondo” is very much NOT dormitory style.

      that’s like calling Obama a Communist-Fascist-Neo-Nazi.

      As long as the buildings that help the poor and elderly in A-M stay (and it looks like they are owned, old, and not going anywhere), so what if some more money comes in.

      The real question is: do people want to move in to a building with all the noise and 20-something brashness of A-M? The obvious answer is: yes (though I wouldn’t personally)

  • Is there a website with details about the issues so people can learn and become informed?

    • nevermindtheend

      That depends on whether you’re looking for facts or anti-development hysteria.

      • Facts are the way to go. Proponent for development…which can be green space, commercial, redevelopment, etc…like to hear ideas.

      • nevermindtheend

        That’s the place for anti-development hysteria.

  • A

    So they don’t want to save the plaza as is. They want a developer to pay to improve it and add green space. A bunch of hypocrites.

  • Terra

    The farmer’s market is an institution in Adams Morgan and an opportunity for the neighborhood to gather every weekend, and we do. I cannot support the redevelopment without a permanent new home for the farmer’s market, not another corner that will get developed next year, but a permanent home. PN Hoffman should make that happen for us and then I think the conversation would be very different.

    • nevermindtheend

      They have already committed to doing that.

    • John Smith 1882

      the “farmers market” consists of a guy selling bread, a guy selling dips, some flower/plant sellers, AND PEOPLE WHO KEEP YELLING ABOUT JESUS AND BEING SAVED!!!

      So, not really a farmer’s market at all. And who can blame them. It’s an abysmal site, no signage for the market, no marketing for the market.

      and besides, there is a HUGE plaza area full of lovely concrete right by BBT bank.

  • I Have to Say It

    Reparations Plaza? Are you kidding me with that?

  • John Smith 1882

    Oh sweet jesus sipping on a daiquiri in the Bahamas, the loud mouths seem to always get their way no matter how dumb it is because those with more brains are often too silent.

    This fool has pushed his “I love Concrete!” agenda too far. Let’s have him live in the plaza for a few days. see if he thinks it’s still such a great place.


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