NoMa Unveils Vision for Public Parks
Washington, DC, April 20, 2012 – At NoMa’s snazzy Annual Showcase last night, the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID) unveiled a strategic vision for creating a network of parks in NoMa, now the fastest growing neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The need for parks, gathering spaces and green spaces has become even more critical as NoMa shifts from an office-dominated submarket to a lively and livable neighborhood, with more than 3,500 apartment units completed or under construction now.
For the first time in public, NoMa BID President Robin-Eve Jasper unveiled the conceptual designs for three new parks in NoMa and the early concepts for a modern, monumental gateway at the New York Avenue/Florida Avenue/First Street intersection. NoMa stakeholders have collaborated for the last few years to identify sites and financing approaches for this initiative. That public input culminated in an October charrette led by the American Planning Association and the BID, attended by Councilmember Tommy Wells, APA Chairman Paul Farmer and a number of neighborhood residents, stakeholders and city officials. With the results of that charrette, the NoMa BID hired international design and planning firm AECOM to conduct additional stakeholder interviews, then create a more concrete vision for this much-needed parks network.
“Simply put, the vision is inspiring,” said Jasper last night. “Everyone knows that this great NoMa neighborhood needs great parks, and taking these ideas to the NoMa property owners and city leaders has created a lot of excitement already.” Jasper cautioned that these ideas are a vision, and there are many details to be worked out. However, all the property owners adjacent to the affected parcels have been approached, and many are considering ways they can incorporate the NoMa parks ideas into their own future developments.
In short, the Public Realm Vision Plan focuses on the four following sites:
1. The Plaza: A public gathering space at First and L Streets, NE
2. The Tracks: A recreation and train-watching venue between the railroad tracks and Second Street, NE at K Street, NE
3. A casual neighborhood park at Florida Avenue and N Street, NE
4. The Gateway: To enliven and add color to the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues and First Street, NE, the plan envisions large, colorful obelisk-type structures greeting residents and visitors on their way to and from NoMa and Washington, D.C.
Legislation has been introduced by Councilmember Wellsin the DC Council that would provide the needed funds. NoMa is grateful for the support of Councilmember Wells and members of Mayor Gray’s administration, including DC Department of Parks and Recreation Director Jesús Aguirre, who attended last night’s event. View additional images of the vision plan.
NoMa is a vibrant, growing neighborhood north of Union Station and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the last seven years, private developers have invested more than $6 billion in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID, and have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space. NoMa is now home to 45,000 daytime workers, with 4.5 million SF leased in the last 4.5 years. More than 3,500 apartments have been recently completed or are under construction. NoMa has 15 modes of transportation, including two Red Line Metro stops, and the best biking facilities in DC, with the only East Coast Bikestation, the 8-mile Met Branch Trail, and access to eight Capital Bikeshare stations. NoMa is the most connected neighborhood in Washington, D.C. For more information about NoMa, visit www.nomabid.org and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @NoMaBID; or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nomabid.
For Immediate Release
News Media Contact: Rachel L. Davis