In January we wrote that the DC government submitted a zoning application in order to move forward with the proposed Ward 5 homeless shelter. The proposed shelter location is the former MPD Building at 1700 Rhode Island Avenue, NE. We recently learned from this WAMU story that the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) approved the zoning changes requested, paving the way for the shelter to move forward, and a step closer to the closing of DC General, which has housed up to 270 families at a time. From the WAMU story:
At a 13-hour hearing last month on whether the city should be granted a zoning waiver to go ahead with construction, critics that argued that the proposed buildings would be too tall and would create additional traffic in surrounding neighborhoods. They also took issue with how the sites for the shelters were selected, saying the nearby residents had not been properly consulted.
On Wednesday morning, zoning board members shot down those arguments.
You can see the Zoning request here. We will let you know when we hear anything new.
If you blink while driving down Rhode Island Ave NE between the McDonalds and the Metro Overpass, then you will probably miss The Warehouse – a funky furniture shop – which is actually huge, about 5000 square feet, once you find it. (The slide show below requires flash. If you cannot see it, go here to open the photos.)
We checked out the The Warehouse over the weekend. With the warm weather it was easy to spot because they had brought out a good amount of merchandise to their parking lot. Once you find the place, at the top of a nondescript staircase, you need to take your time to parse through the wide variety of items from different eras and styles. As you can see from the pictures, retro light fixtures, birdcages, trunks, furniture, musical instruments, mirrors, clocks, rugs, and all sorts of collectibles are side by side and on top of each other. If you are looking for that unique piece to complete a living space or just enjoy collectibles and antiques, this is the place for you. A bit of advice -the place is pretty packed full of crystal, china, and such so you probably want to leave small kids, and things like bulky purses and backpacks behind.
The Warehouse is located at 604 Rhode Island Avenue NE (on the second floor above DB transmissions). They are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 AM and 5 PM. Check out their Facebook page here.
If you are interested in the future of the Rhode Island NE corridor, you may want to check out this meeting coming upon Tuesday, February 7 at 5 PM – 8 PM. From the event page:
The District Department of Transportation will host the first public meeting for the Rhode Island Avenue (RIA) NE Streetscape Project. The purpose of this first meeting is to inform the public about the project progress and present the 30% of the design for the corridor.
The RIA NE Streetscape Project will create a pedestrian friendly environment with amenities that include enhanced paving, site furnishings, lighting improvements, low impact development strategies, street trees and other green spaces, and opportunities for public art.
The meeting will be held at the Woodridge Library, located at 1801 Hamlin St NE.
We have been writing about the proposed Ward 5 homeless shelter since last summer. (The proposed location is the former MPD Building at 1700 Rhode Island Avenue, NE.) Now we are getting a better idea of what is proposed for the location.
And here’s a rendering of the Ward 5 shelter, proposed for 1700 Rhode Island Ave. NE. Architect is R. McGhee & Associates. pic.twitter.com/RJjfh4qhBv
So, while we are not opposed to the homeless shelter at all, this concept seems out of proportion with everything around it, and not exactly cohesive with the historic MPD building it is attached to. According to this article in Curbed DC:
In the Department of General Services’ application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment, the plans are for an addition to the existing building that will house an “emergency family shelter” with 46 residential units. While the vacant building is not landmarked, the developer hopes to treat it like it is by maintaining it and incorporating it into the design.
The article also includes additional renderings and info. You can see the Zoning request here. The Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) public hearing will be March 1 at which time the design team will officially present the project and seek approval for the zoning changes requested. The design team will also present at the ANC 5B03 meeting on Tuesday, January 17th and to the full ANC 5B Commission on Wednesday, January 25th. We will let you know when we hear anything new.
The Annual Rhode Island Ave Procrastinators Holiday Market, a free event organized by the Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street, is coming up this weekend, December 16-18, 2016. The event will feature local gift and food vendors, live entertainment, activities, and a winter-themed drink bar. The market will be held at the Rhode Island Avenue Center, 680 Rhode Island Avenue NE (the former CVS, directly to the left of the Mall Entrance (at the other end of the shopping center from Forman Mills). For more information, check out the event page and the flyer in the tweet below.
We thought readers would like to know that now they will have another option when it comes to area farmers markets. The first market event will kick off this coming Thursday May 12th and the market will run weekly until October 27th. Here is the flyer from the Rhode Island Row Facebook page:
Rhode Island Row is located at 2300 Washington Place, NE (next to the Rhode Island Ave Metro stop and the Home Depot shopping center).
Porch Fest continues that tradition as local porches and stoops are transformed into stages for an afternoon of FREE PERFORMANCE – music, dance, poetry and more – that brings together neighbors, business owners, and artists in a casual and fun display of creative expression!
They are looking for a few more porches to host performances. If you are along, or within walking distance of Rhode Island Ave NE, between 4th St NE and Eastern Ave NE and have a porch – residential or commercial – consider signing up. Here is the link to sign up. In any case, we are looking forward to this fun community event.
If you haven’t checked out Zeke’s, a local coffee roastery and coffee shop, their special events are a great reason to do so. We recently found out about Flight of Fancy, a tasting event they have coming up this Saturday. Space is limited, so reserve your spot soon. From an email:
On Saturday March 5th were’re hosting a “Flight of Fancy,” a journey through some of the most luxurious flavors from around the world. We are very excited to try the much sought after Panama Esmerelda Giesha Private Reserve. The tasting will also include coffee from Hawaii, Jamaica and an excellent Costa Rican microlot. The $10 ticket includes 4 six-ounce pours, so it’s great for one or to share.
Passing along info about a crime awareness event from our friends at Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street. The event will take place Monday, November 2, 2015 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM and they ask that you bring you a light (flashlight, phone light, etc.). You can sign up for the free event here. From their Facebook page:
Please join us on Monday, November 2 for Light Up RIA, an event that is meant to call attention to the lighting problems on the Avenue.
WHY WE ARE DOING THIS:
Neighbors and businesses have witnessed an uptick in crime along the Rhode Island Avenue corridor and adjacent neighborhoods. This recent spate of crime saddens and angers us, and we are joining together to seek solutions to address this citywide problem.
And as Friends of Rhode Island Avenue/RIA Main Street, we have an interest in seeing all businesses thrive.
We feel that when other parts of DC are hit with crime waves, there is a strong proportional response. We have seen less of that here.
Civic Associations and concerned neighbors have voiced their concerns time and time again at district meetings and ANC meetings, but we aren’t hearing a plan to move forward.
WHY WE WANT YOU TO JOIN:
As community member, we are invested in the safety of our communities, and we are all committed to being forces for good in our neighborhoods.
As leaders, neighbors, citizens of Northeast, together our voices can send a powerful message. There is strength in numbers; we need everyone to be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
We want to hear your concerns and your ideas for stopping the current crime wave and how we can prevent future ones.
WHAT WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH:
We want to show our city that we too matter. Tonight, we stand here united and say – we will not be forgotten. Our neighborhood is a priority.
We want our local media to cover this crime wave like they do for other neighborhoods across the city.
The low to no lighting on the Avenue and other high-traffic parts of the neighborhood (such as Langdon Park) encourages crime as it makes the street look dark, forgotten and unattended (see recent shootings and robberies). We need a clear plan and timeline for when the city will answer our many requests for this increase in lighting. We also want to get on a path towards increased/better policing in these areas.
WHEN AND WHERE: Monday, November 2nd, at 6:30 pm in front of Art Enables (2204 Rhode Island Ave NE)
WHAT TO BRING: A light! We plan to “light up” this portion of the Avenue. We will have some electric tea lights on hand, but you can bring your own flashlight, phone light, or whatever light you have. You should also bring a neighbor. Bring 10. Bring everyone you know that is tired of all the crime.
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