Bummed about the closure of the makeshift dog run at Bruce Monroe Community Park? Want to splash around in a water park in Park View?
District officials working on the redevelopment of the Park Morton public housing complex want to hear from you.
The New Communities Initiative, the D.C. government entity spearheading the redevelopment project, has launched an online survey that allows locals to share their ideas for recreational and park space at Bruce Monroe and Park Morton. The public housing complex in the area around Park and Morton streets NW in Park View is slated to close in the coming years and become part of a mixed-use and mixed-income development on Bruce Monroe’s land at 3000 Georgia Ave. NW.
Another community meeting on the redevelopment of the Park Morton public housing complex is coming up soon. But this time, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 is behind the talk, her office has announced.
Nadeau is set to host a discussion on the project next week, coming after a series of public meetings the New Communities Initiative held on Park Morton. The D.C. government entity is spearheading efforts to revitalize Park View, where the public housing complex is located.
The councilmember’s talk is scheduled for Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Howard University School of Architecture (2366 6th St. NW).
D.C. officials have no plans to change a Park View redevelopment project that would bulldoze a temporary park in the face of locals’ renewed frustration yesterday over the green space’s future.
Bruce Monroe Community Park’s land at 3000 Georgia Ave. NW is set to hold a mixed-use and mixed-income development intended to include residents of the Park Morton public housing complex, Angie Rodgers, director of the District’s New Communities Initiative, told dozens of locals at a community meeting last night. Park Morton is slated to close in the coming years.
During the meeting, several neighbors of the park expressed concerns about losing the space’s community garden, playground and areas to play sports — worries that prompted a petition to “save Bruce Monroe Community Park” earlier this fall. Rodgers said the redevelopment plans retain those features, but in a “different configuration.” A new park also would go up on the Park Morton site on the 600 block of Morton Street NW, she added.
“We made a determination that the Bruce Monroe site was our best opportunity to achieve this development without displacing Park Morton residents from the neighborhood and on the fastest timeline,” Rodgers said.
Many locals suggested that D.C. officials should consider vacant properties on George Avenue NW and other sites for the redevelopment project, instead of the park. In the locals’ Bruce Monroe petition, they said the old Hebrew Home near Park Morton could be an option.
“We love the park,” said Anne Laffoon, a federal auditor who lives near 11th and Girard streets NW. “We love the green space.”
Photo via Facebook/Save Bruce Monroe Park
According to the group’s MoveOn petition, the group aims to “stop the proposed redevelopment of the Park Morton public housing community at Bruce Monroe Community Park.”
As of 2:36 p.m. today, 288 people had signed the petition.
The redevelopment as proposed calls for the construction of new affordable and public housing units, retail space and an area for recreational purposes at the Bruce Monroe site. According to city officials, the redevelopment would allow current Park Morton residents “to move directly from their current public housing unit into a newly built, mixed-income apartment home within their neighborhood.”
But Steve Seuser, a petitioner and one of the original founders of the community garden at Bruce Monroe, said that paving over the park to redevelop Park Morton would deprive locals of a popular gathering spot, and would be a “huge loss for the community.”
“It’s busy all day,” he said. “On the weekends, there’s always kids playing basketball. There are adults playing tennis. There’s always smaller kids using the playground.”
“There are gardeners there almost all the time,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity for people to meet and greet. Everybody is there.”
Instead of Bruce Monroe, Seuser said, the city should look at the old Hebrew Home or another site along Georgia Avenue NW as a location for proposed redevelopment.
Seuser said he and his fellow petitioners aren’t sure if they’ll be able to change the city’s mind.
“I’m quite convinced that the mayor and her development team will put up a solid front saying this is the only option,” he said. “It will take a huge political move to stop this.”
The group will share concerns with Mayor Muriel Bowser tonight during a Park View United Neighborhood Coalition meeting at the Park View Recreation Center (693 Otis Pl. NW) tonight at 7 p.m.
But the “most important” discussions regarding the proposal will occur during at community meeting at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School (3560 Warder St. NW) on Nov. 16, Seuser said.
Photo via Facebook.com/savebrucemonroe