Housing Complex

NoMa Looking For a Few Great Public Spaces

Joining the crowd of D.C.'s next High Lines. (AECOM)

NoMa, as has been amply documented, is on fire with residential and office development. But as the new neighborhood's planners realized in 2010, they're missing something pretty critical: A central gathering place to hang out. And as sites get built out, opportunities to lock one down are disappearing fast.

To fix the problem, the NoMa Business Improvement District has gotten creative, identifying a handful of places that can be carved out of the surrounding developments. One is on L Street as it emerges from underneath the railroad tracks: The median could be widened to create a linear public plaza. Another is a small triangle park on Florida Avenue (it appears that they've also envisioned a sidewalk cafe outside a storage warehouse). Perhaps the most ambitious is a parking lot elevated above the sidewalk on 2nd Street NE, which pedestrians wouldn't even notice, since it's on top of a giant stone wall. Saying the magic words, BID Director Robin-Eve Jasper called it the city's answer to New York's High Line at last night's unveiling—a place to hang out and watch the trains go by.

It's still very much a vision, though. Adjacent property owners have been apprised that the BID wants their cooperation, but no deals have been signed. And as for the money: Councilmember Tommy Wells is still trying to set up a special purpose fund with an as-yet-unidentified revenue source. For now, enjoy the pretty pictures after the jump.

[scribd id=90327025 key=key-5vri45e65n0d4bmwl22 mode=list]

  • Nearby NOMA

    The most obvious place for a central square in NoMa is the remaining parcel of land at Constitution Square adjacent to the metro entrance. Probably no chance that the owner would part with it as there is yet another building planned for the site. Again though it'd be an a great site. Wonder if the city could offer some kind of land swap/tax deal that would be tempting enough.

  • been there

    how about the Douglas wasteland at nya/n.cap? It's not like he's gonna build anytime soon

  • Tieron Biggums

    Hey can Noma take over the other side of northcapitol n florida? it'll be great if it did.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    It's not clear, but the rough plan here looks like it would cut the unit block of O Street NE off. I realize it's not really "open" now, but that part of the grid should be re-established in the long run.

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  • David

    link from front page today 10/12/12 goes to this post from april?