Tag Archives: hechts district

Better WMATA Engagement Results in More Bus Options in Fort Lincoln

Last year I testified at WMATA’s Public Hearing mostly in disbelief that the only options for fixing our bus ridership was to cut the B8/B9 and re-route the H6 to service the shopping center.  There was no consideration for upcoming development, changing community demographics or proximity to basic services; just a focus on return on investment which for Fort Lincoln can’t be the determining factor with the large concentration of senior residents.

However, this year was different, there was better coordination with WMATA and more residents from the community at the table to discuss their riding habits.  Although the B8/B9 is proposed to be cut again, there are a few new options which may increase ridership, continue service to Colmar Manor and finally gain access to Ivy City.

The screenshot below describes the extent of the changes. The link to the entire document is here.  071416_3APublicHearing2016BusSOGO

Proposed

 

Virginia plans to de-rail Development in Union Market & Ivy City

 

6d81b71f-a1a5-4dc5-a2de-43c49a0ef810-virginia_railway_express_606

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is a commuter rail service linking the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia and has plans to expand/relocate it’s rail-car storage capacity as an apparent result of the Union Station Expansion. VRE plans to do this by  reactivating abandoned railroad through Union Market and creating a new storage yard on New York Ave. from 4th street to  16th street.  See pictures below:

yard extent

VRE 1 Summary

VRE’s plan would expand into a developing community absent of considering the obvious impact not only to the residents of this community but to the community development efforts and livability factor of such a facility.  These rails have been abandoned for decades and New York Ave. is becoming a residential and retail destination which will connect many of the communities from NOMA to Fort Lincoln. Today, there is an  existing 70 foot buffer between Amtrak Trains & New York Ave, which is used in part by Douglas Development as well as the planned trail connection along New York Ave. which will bring safe multimodal infrastructure to the community. Removing that buffer and storing idling diesel powered trains up to the curb is infuriating and is clearly a lack of engagement and care for the lives of people who live in this community.  Moreover, Virginia has much more space to store trains within its own state lines and close Proximity of D.C. but of coarse they wouldn’t dare dump on their own development projects.  VRE could easily store their  trains at the proposed Long Bridge Park Pool Site which still hasn’t broken ground or in Potomac Yards where they have decommissioned that entire rail yard and is redeveloping.

va options

In addition to the numerous and obvious environmental & health issues that stem from  idling trains within close proximity to District residents, this plan would significantly alter, or even in some cases halt or eliminate projects that are driving economic development for the overall community and addressing livability concerns along New York Ave which includes:

Market Terminal in Union Market

Ivy City

The planned N.Y. Ave. Trail Project

Hecht’s Warehouse District Development

The planned New City DC Development

Future Transportation Plans Along NY Ave.

halted

 

As you can see in the picture below, the The proposed train storage yard extends beyond Montana Avenue.

storage extents 2

Where is VRE in the Process?

In May of this year, VRE released it’s solicitation to establish a Contract with one (1) qualified and experienced firm to provide environmental documentation, public outreach and participation, real estate acquisition, urban design, survey, geotechnical investigation and engineering design services for a midday storage facility for rolling stock operated by Virginia Railway Express (VRE).  Proposals were due on the 13th of June.  It is important that as more information about this project becomes available that we align ourselves with the residents and leadership of the  impacted areas and do our part to make light of this potential travesty.   The link to the Conceptual Engineering Documents by VRE is below.

Attachment_U.1_Conceptual_Design_Docs

 

NY Avenue Gateway Transit Alternatives

Transit Alternatives
Potential transit alternatives. Ideas are my own and do not reflect any decisions by the D.C. Government or WMATA.

2016 will be a focus on transit alternatives for the NY Ave corridor.  The goal is to create a much deserved livable place in  industrial space for the residents of the community by prioritizing access to retail, points of interests, and smart transit growth through new developments. It’s time to update our antiquated bus network to  ensure routes aren’t being discontinued for low ridership when the routes are really no longer aligned with the community’s needs.   Lets start the discussion!  More information to come.

New Multifamily Development in Fort Lincoln

MULTIFAMILY COMBINED - 11x17

For many of you who are new to the community you may be wondering why there are construction materials stored on the wooded side of Commodore Joshua Barney Drive.  As noted in the Fort Lincoln Community Newsletter, site clearing activities are slated to begin the 1st quarter 2016 for the construction 123 Townhouses and 240 Apartments.  Please note that the bridge shown in the renderings will across the wetlands as an extension of Huston Lane.  It’s important to note that the design is not yet completed so there will be further enhancements.  In addition, the construction of the homes will take place first, the apartments will then follow.

Renderings of the development are below.

MULTIFAMILY COMBINED - 11x17
MULTIFAMILY COMBINED - 11x17 - 2 MULTIFAMILY COMBINED - 11x17 - 3 MULTIFAMILY COMBINED - 11x17 - 4 MULTIFAMILY COMBINED - 11x17 - 5

Mom’s Organic Market Open’s Friday 11/14/14

Image Courtesy of Google
UPDATE: Drove by this morning and observed a NOW OPEN sign displayed at the store!

On Friday, we will have a closer grocery store option that will allow us to buy quality foods in normal quantities.  According to the store’s website, we can Celebrate the Grand Opening of MOM’s first Washington, DC store!  5% of Grand Opening sales will be donated to Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY), a youth shelter and services provider doing wonderful work in the city.  Stop by for local samples, kid’s activities, and a reusable MOM’s bag full of goodies (while supplies last), all while supporting SBY! Click the link below for further details.

Mom’s Organic Market Link

Construction Updates Along The Gateway

Construction is steadily progressing at some development sites and breaking ground at others, here’s the latest on the  Hecht Warehouse District:

Hecht Warehouse District

The Hecht District is moving full speed ahead with the structure of the 1000 Car parking Garage which appears to be nearing  substantial completion.  Updated renderings on Douglas Development’s Website suggest that a pet store  as well as other clothing retailers will join the confirmed Moms Organic Market.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Construction Update May 2014

Hechts 1

Construction Update July 2014

Hecht-Okie-Street-145x80

Rendering of Final Design(Courtesy of Douglas Development)

The conversion of the existing warehouse to loft apartments is also progressing with renderings  suggesting the Planet Fitness will occupy the Okie Street Entrance.

Construction Update May 2014 Looking West on Okie Street

 

hects 2
Construction Update July 2014 Looking West on  Okie Street

Hecht-Okie-Street-Toward-Historic-1024x645

Rendering of Final Design(Courtesy of Douglas Development) – Looking West on Okie Street

Retail Forecast Along the New York Avenue Gateway

Dicks-Sporting-Goods

In late May, The Washington Post reported that Mayor Vince Gray along with other Council Members, traveled to Las Vegas for meetings with retailers at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Annual Convention. The link below is a forecast of the types of Tenants being solicited to fill upcoming retail space throughout the city. For New York Ave.( primarily The Shops at Dakota Crossing & The Hecht District) some of the obvious retailers such as LA Fitness & Marshalls are indicated however, there were others such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Starbucks, & Bass Pro Shop that were on the list.  Click the links below for the full article and the schedule of retailers.

Washington Post – Link to Full Article

Click this link for the Schedule of Retailers

New Layout for the Shops @ Dakota Crossing? Before & After Proposals

 

Part 3 of 13.Fort Lincoln Multi-Family BZA App. Plans 05.14.2014_Part3

Construction at The Shops at Dakota Crossing has yet to restart and the proposal below may be the key reason why.  I’ve always believed that opening Ft Lincoln Drive to the Shops next toLowes would not fix the traffic problem.  The volume of Costco traffic would easily congest that portion of the road .  The new Multi-Family Development shows a new and more functional layout for the Shops at Dakota Crossing.  I’m not sure if this will be the official design, however, I was informed 3 weeks ago that the DDOT permit was not yet approved and  this could be the reason why.


Previous Retail Proposal

retail2

The previous (or current) layout for the shops features a main street with the smaller retail buildings on one side of the street.  It shows one large parking lot for Costco, and another large parking lot to serve the remaining shopping center.  Costco traffic currently creates congestion along the main street which will only worsen with the opening of Lowes and the other smaller retail.  Even with the second entrance from Ft Lincoln Drive,  Lowes would create its own congestion essentially bringing traffic to a halt.

Current Retail Proposal ( As shown in the BZA Application for the Multi-Family Development)

retail rev

The layout included with the BZA Application splits the smaller retail on two sides of the main street which is similar to proposals from 2006.  This new layout isolates  traffic for Costco, Lowes, and the other larger retail from the Main street.  It also creates smaller parking lots for the smaller retail making it more walkable.  In addition, it creates two  separate exits from Route 50; one to the “Costco” Gas station and the other to the Main Street, which would also alleviate traffic congestion.  I’m not sure if this is the official plan but I believe it is a much better layout than what’s currently designed.  Also putting shops on two sides of the main street creates a more natural street scape and doesn’t look like a staged movie set.


New Residential Development Changes

Previous Residential Proposal

res 2

The previous Multi-Family Development Proposal is more of a juxtaposition than a revision to the current proposal and may leave some residents in the Villages feeling like they’ve been mislead when purchasing their home.  The previous proposal featured a significant tree buffer with mature trees which creates a more natural separation for the new development which was a selling point to many residents when purchasing on CJ. Barney Drive.  It also only featured 6 Apartment Buildings with 352 units and a awful parking lot around the perimeter.  The previous development is a bad design however, the natural tree buffer made it palatable because no one would have to see it.

Current Residential Proposal

res revised

The current proposal indicates a much better traffic pattern and will now feature townhomes in addition to the apartments.  The townhomes appear to be a NV Product which is a luxury home builder and parent company to Ryan Homes.  They also feature both roof top and rear decks which would be a first in the community.  The apartment look to be a garden style edition of the two Towers on Fort Lincoln Drive.  They are horrid in my opinion and must be redesigned, they architecture is uninspired and is not of the same Architectural consistency of the townhomes.  It looks like government housing next to luxury homes and is situated in the most prominent location.  The natural tree buffer has been completely annihilated and will be replaced with new trees.  The Wetlands is protected so the retaining pond and wild vegetation growth will remain.  I’m sure the frogs, turtles and birds will be happy to know that. It also may worth noting that there is are no parks or open space associated with this development.  All things considered I think its a good improvement on the original proposal.

 

Gateway Development – “The Hechts District” in Photos

Pages from Hechts_Brochure_130514_Lo1
The construction of the new 1000 car parking structure and renovation of the original Historic structure by Douglas Development is well under way. According to the Washington City Paper, Mom’s Organic Market will anchor the 1st floor retail of the new parking structure facing New York Ave. Checkout earlier post for more details.

View looking New York Ave East
View looking New York Ave East
View looking West along New York Ave.
View looking West along New York Ave.
Future Entrance from New York Ave. East
Future Entrance from New York Ave. East
View looking West Along Okie Street
View looking West Along Okie Street
View looking East along Okie Street
View looking East along Okie Street
Window Mock Up
Window Mock Up
Old Thermometer Display...Hopefully  to be incorporated into the design.
Old Thermometer Display…Hopefully to be incorporated into the design.

Close up of Restoration work to be done.