Big box retail at Poplar Point?
According to the article (most of which is behind a pay wall):
[Jeff] Epperson and [Richard] Powell, the partners behind Urban-City Ventures LLC, are in the final stages of negotiations to bring big-box retail to private land on the southern end of Poplar Point, where they say have purchased about 200,000 square feet along both sides of Howard Road SE, northwest of the Anacostia Metro station.Howard Road northwest of the Anacostia Metro must refer to this area:
But the plans we've seen for Poplar Point seem to incorporate that area:
The Howard Road area lies directly between the Anacostia Metro and the rest of Poplar Point. If and when the area is developed into the mixed-use, walkable neighborhood Clark and the DC government envision, the path from Metro to the neighborhood is one of the most important sections.
Fortunately, despite the scary "big box" term the reporter uses, the developers don't seem to be completely oblivious. It sounds like the developers plan mixed-use development that's at least somewhat walkable. Until Poplar Point really gets going, though, big-box retail may be the only viable land use to draw people to what's now a very isolated area amid freeway ramps.
Epperson and Powell are also trying to build something that will gel with the long-term vision Clark and the District have for the rest of Poplar Point... Bereket Selassie, of Clark Realty Capital, said he had been working with Epperson and Powell toward a master plan "that hopefully increases the value of the land to be transferred to the city, as well as the surrounding properties." With a stalled housing market and a growing delay for the U.S. Department of Homeland Securityís anticipated move to St. Elizabeths Hospital, retail is the best option, Epperson said.DC hopes to replace the cloverleaf in the top picture above with a narrower urban diamond interchange, freeing up more land for the future neighborhood and shortening the dead space between the Metro station and Poplar Point. If these developers are serious about building a project which fronts onto a pedestrian-friendly street, with parking behind, the project could represent a first real step toward activity in this part of the city. A bad project, on the other hand, could impede the creation of a walkable neighborhood and pin the cloverleaf land between a freeway and a cluster of sprawl. We need to keep a close eye on the evolution of this project.
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