Saturday, February 20, 2016

Happy Tenth Anniversary to the Ten Point (Year?) Plan! (Part 1)

The recent tenth anniversary of Granola Park (Ten years means tin, right?  I'll send a can of peas.  And a more appreciated bottle of gin.) has sent us all to the archives where we've all found historical gems that have added to our understanding of current city events and dynamics.  Or something.  Anyway, I did unearth this great post from the beginning of the blog that lays out the "Ten Point Proposal" for "New Hampshire Avenue Corridor Redevelopment" from then-Ward Six council member Doug Barry.  It would appear to be the antecedent of current-Ward Six council member Fred Schultz's recently proposed ten point plan for redevelopment of the area.  Well, let's see how things turned out the first time:

1. Market the area to prospective developers--with an emphasis on affordable housing (synthesize and update master plan documents and studies of the area). Organize walking tour of the area. Working jointly with other local governments including Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and the District of Columbia.

Not sure that I understand the emphasis on affordable housing unless it means developing and improving deteriorated housing stock.  The rest is reasonable but still needs to be done.

2. Proceed with creating a new business organization for the south end of the corridor to the District line. Success of CDA could be used as a model.

I'm not aware of this happening, but the CDA also needs to be expanded into adjacent and related areas of Prince George's County.  I think that Fred is working on this one.

3. Streetscape improvements and lighting for Holton Lane. This would involve city funds and would be fast-tracked to coincide with what EZ storage has done. Original proposal involves mostly new lighting fixtures.

I don't know if these specific improvements were made (Man, the city loves spending on windowdressing), but I can't imagine that Holton Lane has improved much, given its current state.  That stated, that EZ Storage building is really much nicer than one would expect for such a use.  I hope that they won an award of some kind for design of a self-storage facility in a rundown neighborhood..

 4. Continue work with the County to find an ownership solution for New Hampshire Towers, the largest apartment complex in the city. Emphasize tenant purchase options, affordable rentals, refurbishing condemned units, and improving living conditions throughout the structures.

Well, this, by all accounts, turned into an unmitigated and expensive debacle.  Hopefully, things are finally improving.

5. Generate CDBG grant or other funds to help businesses on New Hampshire improve their storefronts.

I don't know if this specifically was done, but I propose improving the abandoned storefronts on New Hampshire Avenue near the new transit center, not to mention the businesses there that don't have their entrances facing the road and instead greet visitors to our community with industrial-sized dumpsters (Yes, I know that this shopping center is in Prince George's County, hence the convenient liquor store with loitering vagrants, but the Crossroads is the Crossroads and redevelopment is redevelopment.)

Points 6 - 10:  Soon to come!