All posts by Shani

Upon moving to Brookland about 8 years ago, Shani jumped into civic life, having been treasurer for the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association and lending her web development skills to the Greater Brookland Garden Club. Shani was also the unofficial coordinator of Brookland's LGBT monthly activities for 6 years. You can often find Shani and her wife Astrid watering the trees on 12th St. NE and walking their dog Frida around the neighborhood. Shani is an artist, owner of SCH Fine Arts, and an IT professional.

901 Monroe (Col. Brooks’) Development Update

Colonel Brooks' development Brookland NE Washington DC
901 Monroe Street development Rendering Courtesy of Esocoff and Associates
At a recent ANC 5A07 meeting, representatives from the 901 Monroe (Col Brooks’) Development team gave an update on the development’s progress. A representative from Esocoff and Associates (architect for the project), led the presentation, aided by representatives from Clinton and Associates (landscape architects for the project). Also represented were the Menkiti Group (Realtor/Developer) and Horning Brothers (Developers/Property Managers). The purpose of the presentation was to discuss the Public Space Plan. For those of you, like me, who have been wondering why the demolition work on the project isn’t moving along quite as quickly as expected, we now know why. The handful of residents opposed to the development (known by many as the “200 footers”) have filed an appeal in court in hopes of overturning the Office of Planning’s decision to allow the development. Still, the development team, confident that the decision won’t be overturned, is moving forward with the public space at risk while the appeal is being decided. The Public Space Plan is chock full of upgrades like widened sidewalks, new curbs, street lights and gutters, upgraded sidewalks, new alley paving (with improved grading/drainage), new and more trees, some permeable paving next to planting zones/trees – and my favorite – buried lines on Monroe and 9th streets. The development team was asked to post the diagrams from the presentation on their website, which they did. However, I find this older diagram from the Casey Trees site much easier to understand. The only big difference from this diagram and the more recent materials is that now the developers will bury the power lines on Monroe and 9th St.
Brookland NE Washington DC
Rendering (via Casey Trees) Courtesy of Esocoff and Associates
The “Cafe Zone”sidewalk will run the length of Monroe St. and wrap around a portion of 9th and 10th street. It will be brick in a “basket weave” pattern, similar to this:
I really think the brick will look much nicer than standard sidewalk, and am happy they are going with that. In general, I was pleased to see that all the sidewalks will get an upgrade in materials compared to what we have now. All four blocks will be lined with these new street lights as well.
The landscape architects are working with DDOT, and taking their recommendations on things like what trees to plant. As a tree hugger, I was concerned with what would happen to the 10 or so mature trees in the tree boxes that line the streets of the development. One in particular,  a huge, mature, Sycamore on the corner of Lawrence and 9th St., is one of my favorite trees in Brookland. I was disappointed to learn that all the street trees that line the sides of Monroe, Lawrence, 10th and 9th facing the development will be removed. However, I felt much better when I learned that they will be replaced with about 25 street trees, and about 40 new trees in total will be planted when you count the internal courtyard and alleyway trees. I am very happy about the power lines being buried so that the trees on 9th and Monroe can really flourish. Also, I am glad to see that they are incorporating eco-friendly elements such a permeable pavers and diverting the runoff from the alleyway to trees on their property. I was also curious about the types of trees that will be planted. Here is a rundown. Along Monroe St. Espresso Kentucky Coffee trees will be planted.
On 10th, Katsura trees will be planted.
On Lawrence,  Shumard Oaks will be planted
On 9th, Rotundiloba Sweetgums will be planted.
The trees planted will be 4 inch calipers trees, which will be about 8 years old, so it will be a while before they are as big as the trees depicted. The next step for the development is a full ANC 5B meeting, which is yet to be scheduled, possibly in January. There will also be a public space hearing in February, where DDOT will conduct a review of the Public Space Plan. We will keep you updated when we hear anything new.

Cool, Funky, Art And Antique Shop, Zamo’s, Opens On 12th St. In Brookland!

Check out the monkey lamp!

Today I came across a new business called Zamo’s that just opened in Brookland. The owner of the shop is an artist named Michael, and he intends to use the space at 3619 12th St. NE, formerly a Century 21 office, as his studio and a quirky art and antique shop. We are really happy to see some signs of life on that stretch of 12th St. NE. Since Cafe Sureia closed in early summer, things have been pretty quiet over there. For now the store will be open on the weekends, as Michael works to transform the space, which is pretty raw right now, into a productive studio space. This is the type of place I am hoping takes root on 12th St. – we need homegrown, unique establishments to balance the influx of new development that will no doubt bring chain stores. Wouldn’t it be cool if Brookland develops a row of funky, hip, artsy, independent stores? One can dream. We hope a lot of folks come out to support this new spot. Good luck Michael!

Real Estate Watch – Huge Brookland Craftsman Style Home Hits The Market For $538,500

I found the description for this new listing hilarious. For example – ‘So big the bedrooms have bedrooms. Moon-Bounce back yard. Rockwellian.” Rockwellian? OK. Anyway, this home at 1843 Monroe St. NE looks very nice to me. I like that it has kept defined living/dining rooms, while having some openness. Nice floors, huge backyard, and the all important off-street parking. Open house tomorrow.

RSVP Now For Brookland’s 17th Annual Celebration Of Lights!

Be a part of one of  Brookland’s holiday traditions, the Annual “Celebration of Lights”  on Sunday, December 16. From 6:00–9:00 pm there will be trolley tours, driving past Brookland’s best and most elaborate light and decoration displays. While waiting for the trolley enjoy holiday music, a bonfire, hot chocolate and cider, and other home made holiday treats. Even if you are not interested in the trolley ride, all are welcome to stop by and enjoy the Holiday community spirit.

There will be five trolley runs, the first trolley leaves at 6:10 PM, and they return every 35 minutes. RSVPs are accepted starting today, December 1, for all trolleys run. RSVP by sending an email to brooklandcommunitydevelopment( at) yahoo (dot) com or by phone: 202-297-1125. Line  up for the trolley at Wohlfarth Galleries – 3418 9th Street NE (9th and Monroe Street NE).

Snacks, Holiday Treats, Apple Cider, and Hot Food all donated from our local restaurants, and Yes Organic Market.

Turkey Thicket Playground Overhaul – Missed The Meeeting? Give Your Input Via On-line Survey By Saturday

Community Center Brookland NE Washington DC
Turkey Thicket Exterior Photo Courtesy of DC Dept. of Public Works

A couple of weeks ago we posted about a meeting to discuss the overhaul of the Turkey Thicket playground. If you weren’t able to attend Monday’s meeting, it isn’t too late to let your opinion be heard. There will be a follow up meeting on Monday, December 17th at 6:00 pm at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Ave NE. You can also submit feedback through an online survey provided by the Departmet of Parks and Recreation. The survey will be closed on Saturday, December 1. For more information on the Play DC Project, the largest playground improvement project in DC history, contact PlayDC (at) dc (dot) gov or call (202) 391-9204.

Housing Town Hall To Discuss Ward 5 Affordable Housing Needs, Solutions

There will be a Town Hall meeting to share affordable housing success stories and learn about how to advocate for more within Ward 5. The meeting is sponsored by Open Arms Housing,  the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, and MANNA. The goals of these organizations are to encourage first-time homeownership, assist tenants in purchasing their current homes, and support residents with special needs. The Town Hall meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 5th,  from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin St. NE. Refreshments, Spanish translation and childcare will be provided upon request. For more information, contact Elizabeth Falcon at (202) 745-0902 ex 205.