Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: 2 Mount Vernons, many visions


Photo from Trammell Crow/CSG.
Spa in NW, poor in Anacostia?: A vacant lot will become a gateway to Mount Vernon Triangle. Options include a residential building, mixed-use complex, and office building. But one proposal, by Don Peebles, would include a doggie day spa but place required affordable housing in Anacostia, instead. (City Paper, CHOTR)

Mount Vernon v. urban blight: Residents of Mount Vernon in Fairfax County want to revitalize Route 1 with "high-end, family-oriented businesses." Instead, title loan companies, which current zoning allows, fill the corridor. (Post)

Expanding transit beyond Metrorail: 25 corridors could support high-capacity surface transit as part of WMATA's proposed 2040 transit network. High-capacity transit could mean bus rapid transit, light rail, and/or streetcar. (PlanItMetro)

Nonprofit tax exemptions fading: As local governments try to make up for lost revenue, many are eyeing nonprofits for extra cash. Nonprofits often fill gaps in government services, but should they remain tax-exempt? (Post)

MGM casino coming 2016: MGM was selected to build a casino overlooking National Harbor in Prince George's County. The development will include a hotel, theater, meeting space, high-end retail, and at least 4 restaurants. (WBJ)

Surge into the New Year: Uber riders will surely see surge pricing on New Year's Eve. Surge pricing makes a lot of people angry, but is it really unfair? (City Paper, Post)

And...: Mayor Gray wants DC to be the hippest city in America. (City Paper) ... Take a survey about what you think about historic preservation. ... A sewage treatment plant in Montgomery County will use solar power to cut electricity costs. (Post)

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Kayla Gail Anthony is a project analyst in DC. She has a Masters in Community Planning from the University of Maryland and a BA in Communications from The University of Alabama. She lives in Mt. Pleasant. Posts are her own viewpoint and do not represent her employer. 

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Tying two of those breakfast links together, getting some sort of rail (or at least dedicated-lane) transit along Route 1 in Fairfax County would be a boon towards revitalizing the corridor. It's also highly supported by the civic associations and residents.

As for the focus on the auto-loan company moving in at Route 1 and Huntington Ave, this has been a sore spot for weeks. Sunoco originally owned a gas station there, but the land was needed for a staging area for the Wilson Bridge project. Sunoco had first-right once the land was no longer needed, but as the article notes, rebuilding a gas station there languished due to "zoning issues". From my own days on the MVCCA Transportation Committee, the main concern was really cut-through traffic. IMO, that plot will be needed for the eventual interchange at Huntington Ave anyway....if Huntington redevelops the way area residents desire, there will be enough traffic demand to warrant the interchange. The light's a mess anyway, especially for bikes/peds (have personal experience of this).

by Froggie on Dec 23, 2013 10:00 am • linkreport

Great comment by Dan Reed on the PlanIt Metro blog re: some of the omissions in MD (which has higher bus use).

by h st ll on Dec 23, 2013 11:03 am • linkreport

I hope the Va transit corridors list starts serious discussion - its got all the crucial ones - all the key routes out of Tysons (to NE to MoCo, SE to Baileys, S on Gallows, SW on 123) plus the radials from the ends of the blue, yellow and orange lines, as well as over the Wilson Bridge and on Lee Highway in N Arlington

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 23, 2013 11:11 am • linkreport

Surprised there's been no mention of the huge meeting on the Reeves Center where there was a strong unanimous "no-more-condos" message. (not my opinion)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/wp/2013/12/18/reeves-center-concerns-could-complicate-soccer-stadium-deal/

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 23, 2013 11:14 am • linkreport

The reeves center is the item that is offered for the land for the soccer stadium. Place limits (beyond existing zoning) on it, and its less valuable. Which might cause the Akridge to decide that land at Buzzards Point is actually worth more (that they could make a profit on an office building is not the point, its whether its value for offices matches the value of the land they are giving up) DC might have to sweeten the pot. The "free" soccer stadium may look more costly.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 23, 2013 11:24 am • linkreport

I think the greater significance of the Reeves Center meeting was it was the first large expression of a new "no-more-housing" opinion in what is probably the most development-friendly portion of the city.

I know from past experiences here what this comes from. It's the businesses and cafes who are open in the daytime and have few customers. Even though the Reeves Center employees aren't big spenders, they do provide a minimal lunchtime presence.

Of course what isn't realized is that forms of work, ie: flexplace and other working from home are providing more daytime customers. And also that the prices of most of these places are too high for lunch. If the lunch prices were reasonable people would come from a little further away.

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 23, 2013 11:45 am • linkreport

Between Wallach Place NIMBYs, the proposed liquor license moratorium, the attacks on removing parking etc I would not call that area pro-development at all.

by h st ll on Dec 23, 2013 11:48 am • linkreport

I don't see the big deal with condos on U st, lots of downtown is quiet after working hours/happy hour when they do most business. Very few places in the city will be hopping 24 hours a day. Seems a bit frustrating that the city might let itself make long term decisions based on the few businesses that located there in the first place precisely because it was a nightlife hotspot. I am certainly not opposed to the city working to diversify office space opportunities further around the city, but it seems like that's not what the market wants here right now.

by BTA on Dec 23, 2013 12:01 pm • linkreport

I noticed in the Mt Vernon Triangle story Trammell-Crow is pitching an office building instead of housing because it provides more income to the city than condos.

The affordable-housing 20 units on-site vs. 100 units off-site controversy continues with Peebles.

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 23, 2013 12:23 pm • linkreport

The whole Anacostia thing always seems overwrought with emotion. Besides I think the smart move to redevelop St. E's with mostly government footprint (good jobs Marion Barry?!)there isn't going to be organic development there until Navy Yard and the rest of the waterfront area toward RFK is built out. The historic district just makes it all that much more complicated to redevelop.

by BTA on Dec 23, 2013 12:48 pm • linkreport

It is interesting that the metro corridors map assumes the purple line is going to be built.

by Richard on Dec 23, 2013 2:25 pm • linkreport

Because it will, Richard.

by Cavan on Dec 23, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

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