We are always happy when we see green spaces preserved or created here in Ward 5. We have been hearing about a park from the NoMa Parks Foundation coming to the Eckington area along the Met Branch Trail for a couple of years now, and recently learned that the park design is finalized. Brooklanders who use the MBT will be happy to know that the portion near R Street NE will be realigned to soften the sharp curve and eliminate the blind turn. The new park will be located at Third Street and L Street NE and will have a playground and dog park. For additional details check out this article in Greater Greater Washington. From the article:
The NoMa Parks Foundation will build the just over two-acre park on the southern half of the empty field next to the MBT, just to the north of New York Avenue NE. The foundation acquired the land from Pepco in early 2016 and hired Nelson Byrd Woltz to design the space that fall.
Thanks to community input in the time since, the lawn, playground, and dog park spaces will be bit bigger than initially planned. The MBT where it passes the park will be wider as well.
On Tuesday, June 6th there will be a community discussion geared for the Brookland, Brentwood and Langdon neighborhoods about how to enable technology use by under-served populations in Ward 5. From the event page:
We are inviting residents and community leaders to share their thoughts about how they currently use technology and provide feedback on ways to get more people in their neighborhoods online. This community conversation will also give participants an opportunity to ask the Connect.DC team questions about current programs and join our efforts to bring tech training and access to all DC residents.
The event will be from 6:30 PM – 8:00 and you can RSVP here. The event will be held at the Woodridge Neighborhood Library 1801 Hamlin Street NE.
Now that spring is under way, one of our activities is back – guided toursof the Franciscan Monastery gardens and grounds. If you haven’t been to this neighborhood treasure, it is definitely worth a visit. The Franciscan Monastery has existed for over 100 years and the beautiful gardens and grottos have been in place for over 80 years.
While walk-ins are welcome at the Monastery gardens daily from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm, the guided tour provides a wealth of information. For example, the Garden Guild docents explain the history and significance of the statues and shrines, the architecture of Monastery buildings, and of course, all the amazing plants, trees and flowers in the gardens. Guided tours are Saturdays at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm. Check out the Monastery’s Garden Guild event page for more information, or you can schedule a tour by calling 202-526-6800.
The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE and tours are given from April through September. Here is a video describing the tour, it’s a few years old, so not all the information is up to date, but its a very good overview:
As if anyone needed a reminder that DC is losing its status as Chocolate City, this news is another blow. We learned from this story in the DCist that the headquarters of BET Networks, the parent company of the Black Entertainment Television network will close up shop this summer and move to New York. The headquarters has been a landmark in the area, located nearby at 1235 W St. NE in Brentwood. From the story:
…the cable network’s central operations are moving to Viacom’s new hub in New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The D.C. office is slated to shutter on July 7.
Former CEO Bob Johnson launched BET in the District in 1980. After becoming the top black-focused cable network in the country, Johnson sold it for more than $2.3 billion in stock to Viacom two decades later.
The closure of the D.C. office impacts about 20 full-time salaried staffers and 40 freelancers, who don’t know yet if they’ll transition to New York or Los Angeles or lose their jobs with the company…
We will keep our eyes on the location to see what will happen to it next.
We like to keep an eye on major developments going on in the neighborhoods near Brookland, since the they will impact us in one way or another. We first wrote about NewCityDC in February 2016. At that time we were just getting the first look at the 15 acre development which borders New York Avenue, Bladensburg Road and Montana Avenue NE. We recently learned about a major investment in the development, via this story in the Washington Business Journal. Douglas Development recently acquired 9 parcels of land for $66 million to complete the development site (they spent $8.25 million already acquiring other parcels). From the article:
Within the triangle, the developer intends to build NewCityDC, a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use project just down the road from its Hecht Warehouse District. According to Douglas’ marketing materials, the vision for NewCityDC includes 422 apartments, 18 townhomes, 550,000 square feet of retail, 156 hotel rooms and 2,900 parking spaces.
The site plan includes a 130,000-square-foot grocery store, a separate 100,000-square-foot retailer, a five-story hotel, a host of restaurants and junior anchors and a movie theater.
We will continue to follow this development and let you know when we learn anything major.
Ever thought about how changes in decor can effect the energy of your home? Then check out the event page for this upcoming workshop:
Join Award Winning Washington, DC area Designer, Author and Feng Shui expert, Sherry Burton Ways of SBW Aligned Expressions, as she shares useful info for getting your sacred space together! Priceless info on the ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui and how to use it to place art effectively to create good energy and personal transformations in your apartment, condo or home.
Brooklanders already depend on Salumeria 2703 for fantastic freshly made pasta, imported meats, cheese, and dry goods. Now they are raising their game by seeking a beer and wine license. Soon you will be able to grab a bottle of wine to go along with the freshly prepared items, like lasagna – perfect easy dinner. From the ABRA notice:
Retailer “B” selling Italian deli food that includes fresh pasta, cold cuts, and cheeses….Sunday through Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
If all goes well, they should have the license by early July.
Tonight ANC5E will vote on whether to support, oppose or provide no input to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA), which will meet on May 31 to decide whether to approve the special zoning exception requested by the St. Paul’s College development. The ANC Commissioner for the SMD where the proposed development is, ANC5E01 Commissioner Garnett, recently posted this summary of the history, concerns and next steps for the development. From his blog post:
Like many members of the community, I continue to have concerns about the process by which this site was divided and the parcels considered at different times by different bodies. In 2008, the Zoning Commission reviewed case ZC 07-027, which was brought by the Paulist Fathers and their partners EYA. This case only covered the land that became Chancellor’s Row and enabled 237 homes to be built.
Since then, the Paulist Fathers have vacated their building and Washington Leadership Academy and Lee Montessori Public Charter Schools have signed long-term leases to serve 800 students.
The ANC is now asked to consider only the remaining green space, which is the 5.5 acres sited along 4th St NE. The development team of Boundary Companies, Elm Street Development, and the Paulist Fathers is proposing 62 homes and a new 20,000 square foot religious building for the fathers.
It seems to me that a holistic review would not have permitted 300 homes, 2 charter schools in 100,000 square foot building, and a new 20,000 square foot religious building to be built on this site in the way that is currently proposed, especially when compared to the Josephite Site in Brookland or the Redemptorist site in Edgewood. However, the ANC is not the body to make a judgement on the legal process the Paulist Fathers chose to follow.
For more information, you can check out this recent presentation and additional information and documents associated with this zoning request are here.
This Washington Post article was published a while ago, but we thought readers who missed it would like to give it a read. The article is a profile of the neighborhood and includes interviews from two neighbors, Dan Schramm and Caroline Petti who share their observations about the increase in development in and around Brookland. Like many Brooklanders, both were drawn to the neighborhood’s “small town feel”. From the article:
What has precipitated the most recent change in Brookland? According to Petti, who was the civic association president for four years beginning in 2009, the improving economy and the 2014 opening of the Monroe Street Market, a mixed-use development near the Brookland Metro Station and Catholic University on the opposite side from the original downtown, “unleashed the deluge.”
As with any change, different reactions abound.
“There’s a lot of trepidation about all the development that’s going on in the neighborhood,” said Petti, who leads history tours in Brookland. “At the same time, it’s not necessarily all unwelcome.”
Overall, we thought that the article was pretty informative and balanced.
Third Thursday at the studios at the Monroe Street Market Arts Walk is a great time to get out into the neighborhood and enjoy the summer nights. The series of Third Thursdays kicks off this month and will take place through September. The kickoff event will take place on Thursday May 18th. From the Facebook event page:
We’re kicking off our Third Thursdays in Brookland event series on May 18th. Join us on the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market every third Thursday, May through September, from 5-8 PM.
May 18th is our Backyard BBQ Theme:
– Live music from Rob Curto’s Forró For All (Brazilian Dance Music)
– Performance from Only Make Believe
– Open artist studios
– Grab a bite from participating restaurants and enjoy dining outdoors on our Arts Walk picnic tables
– Face painting for the kids
– Pop up vendor, Kona Ice (ice cream and snowcones)
– Plus, free hot dogs for the kids, courtesy of Brookland Pint
– & more!
All about Washington DC's Greater Brookland neighborhood