Metro Considers Developing the ‘Brookland Green’ At The Brookland/CUA Metro Station

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A recent article in the Washington Post states that:

Metro’s real estate team plans to propose leasing 11 properties the agency owns at stations across the region to real estate developers in the hopes of generating economic activity for its partner jurisdictions and new revenue for the agency.

One of those locations is none other than the 5.4 acres of Metro property at the Brookland-CUA Metro Station. This undoubtedly implies development the “Brookland Green”, an area to the east of the Brookland/CUA Metro parking lot that is the only open green space with mature trees remaining in that part of Brookland.  For those of us who are fond of the Brookland Green, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since the Brookland/CUA  Metro Small Area Plan, approved in 2009, calls for developing the space into a mixed use development. The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association has long anticipated that the Brookland Green would face the threat of development and has been working to preserve it for years. I am not anti development at all, especially public transit oriented development, but I  feel that development needs to be balanced with the preservation of green spaces for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that it would be would be a shame to see the large mature trees on the property felled.

This is not a done deal yet though, as the decision has to get past at a meeting of the Metro board’s real estate committee on Thursday. At the meeting Stanley Wall, Metro’s director of real estate and station planning, will propose that Metro solicit development agreements for the 11 properties. If that goes forward, then the Metro’s full board will also have to approve the plan as well. Enjoy the Brookland Green while you can!

6 thoughts on “Metro Considers Developing the ‘Brookland Green’ At The Brookland/CUA Metro Station”

  1. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the Brookland Yahoo! List. Please continue to keep us apprised of further developments…

  2. I likewise read about this in the Post yesterday.

    It makes no sense whatsoever to have an in-town Metro station surrounded by a sea of surface, suburban-style parking! That’s a complete waste of usable, taxable property, and I support the prospect of transit-oriented development (TOD) surrounding the Brookland station.

    That said, I also agree that the “Brookland Green” should be protected. We can start by letting WMATA know that we would support additional densities on the site of the surface parking and bus drop-off in exchange for protection of the green space. This means taller buildings, but if we preserve those beautiful trees and open space as a buffer to the adjacent, low-rise neighborhood, what’s wrong with that?

    Moreover, the green space could be enhanced as part of a community benefits package, which would require the designated developer to improve the “park”-much like the beautiful job that EYA has recently completed in the triangle park at 4th/Franklin/Lincoln Road.

    Of course, this will require some due diligence by WMATA and/or its designated development team–effectively, market and financial feasibility studies that determine the density premiums necessary to offset the loss of developable area (i.e., protection of the green space). A potential win-win for all, indeed.

  3. Green space and trees preserved should part of Ward 5’s own priorities. Trees do a lot for DC. Build up, don’t fell! Build on parking lots. If you must fell, then instead just relocate the trees–no matter the budget.

    Trees are like gracious citizens themselves, contributing to the community for years. We should protect them.

    Why is Ward 5 not more conscientious about trees like other wards in this city? Shepherd Park prides itself on its well-established verdure–but Brookland can’t?

    1. Trees are among the planet’s most valuable, contributing citizens; their benefits are too numerous to mention.

      I’ve lived in Ward 5 for 10 years (and in Adams-Morgan/Ward 1 for 17 years before that). In that time, there has been a sea-change in Ward 5’s response to trees; let me cite a few reasons why:

      First, we are blessed to have dedicated arborists at DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration who have worked very hard to get new trees planted across the ward. In fact, DDOT planted 800 new trees in Ward 5 just this spring!!! 800 new trees!!! This is in addition to 400 new trees planted last fall. These are our tax dollars at work.

      Second, our great Brookland neighbor, Casey Trees, does incredible work planting trees with community groups citywide. Brookland Bridge did a blog about their work on April 18th; check out the map illustrating all of the trees planted throughout Brookland since they’ve moved here.

      Third, Ward 5 is full of dedicated neighbors, institutions, and citizens associations focused on tree planting. For example, the Michigan Park Citizens Association has had three community planting projects with Casey Trees over the past three years. We have planted 83 new trees in two parks and two public rights-of-way. In addition, I’ve participated in several neighborhood tours of Michigan Park with our Ward 5 arborist, identifying 45 locations last fall, which were planted in December. We also identified 100+ locations for new trees in a neighborhood tour conducted two weeks ago. These trees will be planted in November/December 2013.

      Third, institutions such as CUA and the Franciscan Monastery have collaborated with Casey Trees for tree plantings across their campuses. Casey Trees staff told me that CUA alone has planted 200 new trees on the campus over the past couple of years!!

      Sadly, some of our Ward 5 neighbors think that trees are a nuisance, ignoring all of their priceless environmental benefits. For example, the arborist noted that one tree “disappeared” from a block in Woodridge after it was planted, and others die from neglect. I just wonder if the neighbor who removed that tree has any incidents of asthma in his/her family…

      So, yes, the trees at the so-called “Brookland Green” should be protected. But as I’ve noted before, it is OUR job to convince WMATA of their value, beauty and importance to Brookland. We can’t object to their destruction as part of new development on WMATA property while objecting to development, too. We must also support higher densities/floor height on the surface parking lots in exchange for protection of these beautiful trees. Let’s get started.

    2. I doubt that there is any way in reality to move trees of this mature age. That would kill them as surely as the developers chain saw. What happened to the human value of conservation, and really what is happening in DC , period, like with Mcmillan. Paarks are protected and restored for the upper income sections and paved over for developers profit here. We have our DC representatives on the WMATA board of directors. They should be attending our community meetings and represent Brookland interests. The transportation planner Don Kirby was shot to death in his home in Va, this week. He was on the Council of Governments and advocated transit oriented development that respects the individuality of each area. The fact that WMATA has put this section of the metro station up for development before the paved, and barren sections is certainly disturbing, we have to start the legal procedures immediately.

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