D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau at an event on Saturday meant to drum up support for a planned mixed-use development near the 9:30 Club.
Developers MRP Realty, Ellis Development and JBG Companies are set to begin construction on the building soon, provided that the D.C. Council gives its approval during a vote tomorrow. If constructed, the building would bring 106 affordable housing units, retail space and a new Whole Foods to a long-debated parcel of land just north of the U Street corridor at 965 Florida Avenue NW.
Dozens of local residents and several ANC 1B and 2F commissioners flocked to the empty lot before noon for free coffee, breakfast sandwiches from Whole Foods and tunes from local band Brass Connection.
Nadeau took the microphone to voice support for the forthcoming development.
“It’s taken a while to get this through the council,” Nadeau said. “You don’t have to write to me and say to vote for it because I’m going to vote for it.”
“This mayor has been fighting for this parcel since she got into office,” Nadeau added. “She took a good deal and she made it better. Because of her, this site is going to have more affordable housing than it did in the original plan.”
Nadeau said that squabbling among councilmembers was to blame for the delay in approval.
“The reason this deal hasn’t moved forward as quickly as we’ve wanted it to is not because of your mayor, it’s not because of your councilmember, it’s because of some other dissent on that council,” Nadeau said.
Mayor Bowser focused on the forthcoming development’s affordable housing units in her speech.
“Because we work very hard, we’re able to make sure that this project will not only include Whole Foods, but it will have 106 units of affordable housing,” Bowser said. “I look forward to not only breaking ground, but also cutting the ribbon on this very exciting project.”
MRP Realty, along with Ellis Development and JBG Companies, will host the free event at the proposed future site of a mixed-use development at 965 Florida Avenue NW on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
During the event, which will feature appearances from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly, attendees will be able to dine on free breakfast sandwiches from future tenant Whole Foods and listen to live music from local brass band Brass Connection.
Despite the pomp and circumstance slated for Saturday, plans for the new store looked murky as recently as July. An MRP spokesperson said the D.C. Council will vote on whether to approve the plan to build next Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of MRP Realty