Housing Complex

Takoma Park Finally Making Use of its Metro Station

Takoma has always been one of the more wooded and suburban-feeling of D.C.'s Metro-blessed communities. From the perspective of a city that needs more housing, the parking lots and auto body shops that surround it are a big waste of space. It's great to see, then, plans for sizeable housing developments on two sites just a hop skip away from the station. A double site on Carroll Avenue, by Sas Gharai and Level2 Development, got moving this spring. Another, at Spring Place, has just started its journey through the approvals process.

The new project—which you can read all about here—is four stories and 148 apartments, 50 of which will be affordable to people making below 60 percent of area median income. The development team is a joint venture between Affordable Housing Developers and the Eco Housing Corporation. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B will vote on the historic preservation application tonight. Commissioner Sara Green says they're asking for "a more appropriate design for a historic district, better landscaping and setbacks, a 'scaling down' as the buildings abut the single-family homes, higher quality materials (brick to blend with its surroundings)."

Whatever shape the project's in when it makes it through the regulatory wringer, it's a better use of the nearly-empty lot that's there now. Could the giant parking lot right next to the station be next?

  • Skipper

    That ANC never met a project it didn't want to oppose or micromanage to death.

  • Seth Grimes

    Lydia, your "if only" area is marked incorrectly. WMATA would have developer EYA build townhouses with 2-car garages and supporting roads, not only in the current Takoma Metro station parking area but also in much of the green space below and to the right of your "if only" area. It's a crappy design, inappropriate to the location, and a majority of the surrounding neighborhood objects to it.

    See the Web site of a group I've been involved in, http://DC-MDNeighborsForTakomaTransit.org .

    Appropriate development for the space would not install 2-car garage units next to a transit hub. It would avoid the extra roads the individual garages entail -- and attendant climate impact and water storm issues -- but would instead put parking underneath the units, which is exactly what Sas Gharai's project, and *every other recent, nearby project* has: Elevation 314, the Gables apartments, Cedar Crossing apartment.

    WMATA and EYA should be ashamed of their transit-, climate-, and community-unfriendly development plans for the Takoma Metro station.

    Seth, http://twitter.com/TakomaSeth

  • Lydia DePillis

    @Seth Grimes

    Oh wow, I hadn't heard about that plan, and I agree it's not the right kind of housing for that spot. Is it still alive?