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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