Public Meeting Garners Input from Neighbors
Washington, D.C., September 13, 2012 – Mayor Vincent Gray has dedicated $490,000 for the design and development of NoMa parks, to be handled through the DC Office of Planning. The NoMa Business Improvement District announced the exciting news at Wednesday’s community meeting, where neighborhood stakeholders and residents were gathered to provide input on the NoMa Parks Plan. The news was greeted with enthusiastic applause.
“My administration is firmly committed to the vision of a Sustainable DC – making the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States,” said Mayor Gray in a letter to NoMa BID President Robin-Eve Jasper. “Developing parks and open space in NoMa, a neighborhood whose growing population of residents, employees, and neighbors currently lack dedicated recreational amenities, is an important step in achieving that vision.”
Robin-Eve Jasper emphasized the importance ofpublic-private partnerships to creating and invigorating public spaces, andthanked the Mayor and private developers for their support.
“We are delighted with the support and leadership that Mayor Gray has demonstrated on NoMa Parks issues,” Jasper said. “This funding is essential and will allow us to continue the collaboration with public agencies and private-sector developers in NoMa who are looking at ways to enable the creation of much-needed public gathering spaces here. The NoMa parks effort will ensure NoMa neighborhood residents and workers can enjoy the public recreational amenities that are available in other areas of the city.”
The NoMa Parks Plan has also received strong support from Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who attended Wednesday’s meeting and commented on the significance of the Mayor’s action. Wells has introduced legislation that provides additional funds to create more public space in the neighborhood. “This plan goes to show how much vision you can bring to a neighborhood. Where little in the way of public space and parks existed just a few years ago, the partnership between the city, the BID and the neighborhood is turning vision into reality,” Wells said.
The NoMa BID has been working since last winter on a strategic parks plan with design firm AECOM, and the planning effort has involved continuous coordination with District public agencies, including Office of Planning and the Department of Transportation.
“The NoMa BID has used a lot of its own funds and spent a considerable amount on creating strategies and plans for NoMa parks,” said NoMa BID Chairman Bruce Baschuk. Wednesday’s meeting was an important milestone in the parks planning process, and enabled neighborhood residents to give their input into the proposed uses, design and programming of potential park spaces and green spaces in NoMa. The greater NoMa neighborhood is in dire need of such public spaces; with 45,000 office workers and 3,500 residential units completed or under construction, that need grows more imperative eachyear.
The BID will use these funds for design, and eventually hopes to purchase land and then build a network of parks in NoMa. Reprogramming these funds through the Office of Planning will enable the parks planning team to further assess neighborhood sites that have been identified for future parks, according to the Mayor’s letter.
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 $5 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, andretail 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 recentlycompleted or are under construction. NoMa offers 15 forms 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 toeight Capital Bikeshare stations. NoMa is the most connected neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The NoMa BID organizes more than 100 free community events each year to connect friends and neighbors. For more information about NoMa, visit www.nomabid.org and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @NoMaBID; or Facebook atwww.facebook.com/nomabid.
For immediate release
News media contact: Rachel Davis