Housing Complex

Evans: The NCRC Was Wack, Don’t Bring it Back

After I passed on Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning's thoughts about the possibility of bringing back some kind of redevelopment authority yesterday, Mike DeBonis predicted I'd be getting a call from Councilmember Jack Evans. Sure enough, Evans rang today to set the record straight on how the last redevelopment authority died–and warn against establishing another.

Some history then: Evans helped create the National Capital Revitalization Commission back in 1998, modeled on the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, which Evans characterized as generally successful (with the notable exception of the FBI Building). But the NCRC, he says, "never worked."

"What makes these things work or not work is good people," Evans said. "And we never had good people. It became this giant collossal thing answerable to no one."

As Fenty was coming into office, Evans pushed legislation to fold both the NCRC and its sister organization, the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

"And it worked," Evans says. "It worked a lot better than having those two entities and their boards of directors."

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Evans abolished the old redevelopment authorities, and he thinks bringing anything like them back would be a terrible idea.

  • samantha

    Evans should come clean on how he and his firm have benefitted from developers as a result ofthe demise of NCRC .

  • Josh

    Thank you Samantha,

    Developers never wanted to leave anything behind.They get great deals and all the District gets is a building with no benefits for the City. Jack Evans is not telling the truth about NCRC and how the district benefited from it's work. Jack should come clean about who his clients are and who gives to his campaign. Probably some of those same developers who were put in default for not adhearing to the agreements they signed.

  • Josh

    Jack Evans need to come clean about the real reason that he wante NCRC shut down and why he is so afraid for a simuilar organization to be formed. If the District disected each real estate deal negotiated by NCRC the citizens would see what a liar Jack Evans is. How dare he say there were not good peole working there. He is saying that because he thinks no one will challenge him. The covers should be pulled off Jack.

  • W Jordan

    This one is easy. Check the facts on the ground in neighborhoods before and after the NCRC. At best the Fenty Admin completed a small portion of projects they inherited from the NCRC. Other than that Developers such as Donatelli Development used absence of the NCRC to fatten and land bank their portfolios and beg for tax abatement bailouts which they got. Even today empty parcels remain in Columbia Heights because they got rid of the NCRC. Plus, the $2M Columbia Heights Small Business Assistance Fund got highjacked for earmarks. As well the DCUSA garage ended costing neighborhoods $2M per year because DMPED dropped the ball.

  • OnaJet

    Evans was 100% correct on this one! Thank God these idiots listened!

  • W Jordan

    Name one quality new neighborhood project that was a result of Evan's moves. Not even in Ward 2.

  • Anonymous

    "It became this giant collossal thing answerable to no one." That sounds exactly like the unregulated slush fund fueling the bannering craze Jack! Why not come clean about who is pulling in the big bucks on that insane boondoggle while you are at it.

    They sure knew what they were doing when they sandbagged Carol Schwartz. She was the only one with the cajones to take on Doog Jemal, et al. "Places from Which You Can See the Douglas Development Sign District", indeed!

  • OnaJet

    @W Jordan - wow, you are really new to the hood! Here we go:

    - Verizon Center
    - Convention Center
    - Convention Center Hotel
    - O Street Market
    - Watha T Library
    - West End Library/Fire Station
    - Kennedy Rec Center

    Enough for you? I know! If only West Falls Church as awesome as Ward 2, youd be loving life!

  • W Jordan

    Convention Center, Verizon Center, Kennedy are 90's projects not relevant to this NCRC discussion. The Hotel, O Street Market, West End are paper projects early ground breaking at best. Watha T is a government project. In fact O Street Market is a good example of a project that Evans had in parallel with NCRC. Folk now live and shop in NCRC projects. You don't discredit but prove my point.

  • Josh

    Verizon was Mayor Barry's project. Go on line and read who Abe Pollen gives credit to. West End Fire Station started out Mayor Barry and passed on to Mayor Williams. Quit giving Evans credit for projects where he just jumped on board so that he could take some credit after the train had already left the station.

  • LAC

    someone should bring this stuff up at Evans' public appearances:

    http://tinyurl.com/4k8wtjx

    January 25 - 7:00pm
    Foggy Bottom Association
    St. Stephen Martyr Church
    2436 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

    January 31 - 6:30pm
    Residences at Gallery Place Board of Directors
    777 7th Street, NW

  • Anonymous, Too

    The West End project is going to be another boondoggle/giveaway to Jack's benefactors at EastBanc. Despite the neighborhood stopping the project for a few years, it was ultimately "awarded" (read wired) to EB three years later.

    Just like the West End Ritz Carlton, where Jack gave multi-millions of dollars of development rights to EastBanc by closing a public alley and in return, gave Jack's now-deceased first wife the lead job in selling condos at the Georgetown Ritz.

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