Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DC Walmarts

Today's Examiner has an article, "Report slams Georgia Ave. Walmart plan," about the report submitted by the ANC4B "Large Tract Review" Committee, concerning the development proposal for Square 2986 (5900 block of Georgia Avenue NW) submitted by Foulger Pratt, which calls for a big box Walmart on the site.

-- Large Tract Review Committee Final Report and Summary Recommendations

The headline is a bit more "direct" than the report. The report does "slam" the site plan development proposal for a single use big box store on the site, rather than for a mixed use development program that incorporates both retail and housing.

But the report doesn't say that Walmart specifically is "bad"--it's a matter of right project so there is no real way to "stop" the store from opening there and in my opinion not accepting that would be a waste of time and energy, at least in the context of producing that report--although a part of the report not discussed in the article concerns the probable economic impact of the store, and calls for a more formal economic study, and the development and funding of mitigation measures if it is determined that there would be significant negative impact (e.g., "D.C.'s mom 'n' pops afraid of Walmart" from the Examiner).
Georgia Avenue-Missouri Avenue intersection
Dogleg intersection, looking southeast from Missouri Avenue, west of Georgia Avenue.

The report calls for addressing the problems with the Georgia Avenue-Missouri Avenue intersection, suggests a variety of transportation demand management measures, including shuttle service to the subway and home delivery of purchases over $50, and states that the transportation impacts have to be addressed, especially considering that one mile away, at the Walter Reed site, 60 acres of land there will be redeveloped, further adding to traffic woes.

(It makes me look even more longingly at Dave Murphy's proposal for a separated yellow line subway.)

While the report only considers issues concerning the project in Ward 4, sections of the report on transportation demand management, neighborhood economic impact, and gaps in DC planning and zoning processes and regulations are relevant to the other Walmart projects proposed for DC.

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