Brookland Development: “There isn’t a sense of place”

The Washington Post’s recent article about Abdo proposed CUA development on Monroe Street in Brookland/Edgewood is a bit lacking. The post article doesn’t really go to much into the Planned Unit Development (PUD) or any the major contentions of some residents about negative affects for Abdo’s plan. One issue that was raised by residents of Lawrence Street about the height of the proposed buildings on the south side of Monroe being a concern.

The Washington City Paper also has a number of posts about the development. Including one post quoting Abdo’s Vice President of Project Development Toby Millman saying “It’s kind of like a combo between the Torpedo Factory and Eastern Market”. While the new renderings and “Arts Walk” look nice Mr Millman’s quote is a bit of a stretch.

In the post article Jim Abdo president and CEO of Abdo is quoted with saying the “I found that many people are leaving their own neighborhood for goods and services” and “There isn’t a sense of place”.

While its true that the Brookland area is lacking in some amenities, we do have some great local gems like Brookland Hardware, the best hardware store in the city IMHO. Mr Adbo does have a point about local amenities, however not every neighborhood needs to look exactly the same. Mr Abdo’s statement that “there isn’t a sense of place” is a bit disingenuous at best. Boo on you Jim Adbo.

Whether or not residents are for, against, or somewhere in between development all of us can agree Brookland has a very distinctive “sense of place”. It fact many who moved to Brookland (including this author) did so because it was an oasis in the middle of the city with a small town feel, and love the fact that its not like other parts of the city. Development in Brookland is on its way for better or worse and while folks can bemoan the coming change, residents should instead continue to do what they can to make sure development is the best that it can be. Residents need to work with developers to make sure that both current and future residents will be able to enjoy this “progress” coming to the neighborhood.

The October 5th CUA PUD hearing was recorded and is available online at the DC Office of Zoning for those who wish to view the complete hearing.


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4 thoughts on “Brookland Development: “There isn’t a sense of place”

  1. One problem is some jerk who owns many properties along 12th street. i approached him once about some land he owned by Otis Street and was repulsed by his ideas for the property. He had no class and I would never rent from him (I wanted to purchase the property and open a REAL Italian Deli).

    Another is the crappy building structures like the few bridges spanning the railroad and Metro. These are, at best, eyesores. Really shitty looking. Makes one really feel like they are on the “other side of the tracks,” but it does not have to be this way.

    We really need politicians here different from the ones we’ve had over the past 30 years. We need clout, skill and INTELLIGENCE! No more sons of guys who cow-towed only to the old bitty complainers (reactionary only). We need forward thinking people. Planners.

    We need to clean up the area behind Turkey Thicket. There are a lot of assholes that live in that area. I am not afraid of them, but I am getting too old for that fight.

    Take care of these things and watch the area blossom.

  2. As a homeowner on 18th St, I would love to see more development on 12th st area. I do find myself leaving the neighborhood for almost everything, and I wish it did not have to be this way. Other than Yes Organic (which is a very nice store, but limited), we don’t even have a grocery store. That old strip mall behind Turkey Thicket would be a great location for a real grocery store. Little shops would be great. A nice coffee shop that is open late, bookstores, all that would be great. With all the students at CU, there is a lot of money with them being spent elsewhere. Why not keep it closer to home?

  3. @John I have heard that previously about the owner of the 12th street properties, and that is an interesting thought. I have heard also that rents on 12th high our higher when compared to comparable properties around the city. I am interesting in hearing more about it.

    I also agree with your other points. Would be nice to watch the area blossom.

    @18thStreet Resident
    Agreed with everything you said. A pre-yes Brookland was not fun, even though I may complain about Yes from time to time, I love it being here. It is pretty convenient. I also find that with Yes, Murray’s and even CVS, a lot of the little things are here in some fashion. Of course I have to drive to get to a big super market. Brentwood Giant being one close, but it has gone downhill pretty fast.

    Good thought about the old strip mall, anyone know what is happening with the Cardinal’s Nest Space?