Housing Complex

City Plans Land Swap to Preserve Brookland Green

brookland green

Development, for the most part, has been kind to Brookland. The Monroe Street Market project is bringing two bookstores, restaurants, a bar, a gym, and artist studios to a neighborhood that's lacked in these things. Home prices have jumped in anticipation of these amenities.

But development threatened to claim a beloved victim in the neighborhood: green space. The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority planned a development adjacent to the Brookland Metro station that would have taken over the Brookland Green, a small field with mature trees. Neighbors launched a "Save the Brookland Green" petition, which received 377 signatures. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie came out against the plan to redevelop the minipark.

And now the city's come up with a solution. Mayor Vince Gray and McDuffie just announced a plan to preserve the green space by trading unused parcels of city-owned land for the Brookland Green. The Green would become city land and would be preserved, and WMATA would develop the remaining land around the Metro station.

According to the mayor's office, the city has reached an agreement in principle with WMATA but has not yet finalized which parcel or parcels will be traded for the Brookland Green.

“I welcome additional commercial amenities in the Brookland neighborhood; however, it is important that projects achieve an appropriate balance between development, and the preservation of a neighborhood’s character and historic features,” McDuffie said in a statement.

This post has been updated to include information from the mayor's office.

Map via Google Maps

  • Daniel Wolkoff

    Yes, the Mayor(un-indicted)supports saving the "green space". That's why he got the Council to unanimously approve Office of Planning's Brookland-CUA Metro Small Area Plan, which would have placed a big building right on that Green space and mature trees. Office of Planning was an affront to the Brookland community and abused our good intentions on "community input" for years. No neighborhood character, like the Col. Brooks Tavern, or any park, or historic preservation is going on, none. Their planning document is a fraud.
    Now he talks about his "Sustainable DC" plan, where every word says loud and clear, SAVE MCMILLAN PARK! The Mayor , as if he owns it, cause we own it, is corrupt, and he is "surplussing" the $billion 25 acres to the VMP Development Conglomerate. Time to fight this corrupt Mayor, wrestle back public control of public assets, Get your council-member to reject "surplus" of OUR park, McMillan. The adaptive re-use of McMillan by our community, for our community, can include 20 acres of amazing "indoor agriculture" in underground galleries if we stop the monster development.They plan to demolish all of this. See the video, imagine 20 acres in central DC, producing 5 times the fresh fruit and vegetables of regular farms,,and Tilappia,,and concerts, sports, and art, music classes, IT IS YOUR PARK, take it back now. http://youtu.be/ILzWmw53Wwo

  • Orange is the new gray area

    Politics sometimes picks winners and losers, and the losers have no say in the matter.

    McMillan as a modern urban farm, cool. Unrealistic, but cool.

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  • Corky

    Dude, plans for the development of McMillan Reservoir pre dated your arrival in DC. In fact, these plans were discussed in the FIRST Barry Administration, Sharan Prat Kelly and every Mayor since then. To just say it is part of some corrupt scheme by Mayor Gray is ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as a stupid fish farm on prime real estate in the middle of DC.

  • dcvoterboy

    So I'm confused - WMATA releases an RFP for development, the community raises concerns about said RFP, then our Councilmember McDuffie leads the way to work out an agreement with the District and WMATA to address the "community input" and they in turn make a commitment to save the very green space that the community says we want to have saved and change the development plans and the first comment on this story is about how everyone is ignoring community input?

  • Fearing Dysphoria

    @ dcvoterboy

    The writer of the first comment is a long-time and vociferous advocate of saving Brookland Green, but he adheres scrupulously to a single modus operandi: cursing the darkness and pointing out that a profoundly corrupt DC political class (and, by implication, a deluded electorate) consign us all to darkness forever.

    Daniel is unable to even acknowledge an apparently good outcome for the Green, much less that it was won by the Brookland community, its elected leaders, and WMATA's development team sorting out a wide variety of clashing interests to achieve that outcome. There is more darkness to be cursed at McMillan, and the only possibility of light lies in precisely the plan Danial advocates. No sorting out of competing interests, no consideration of compromise in the uses of this large site, just castigating and cursing.

    It's hard to be a zero-sum gamer in the city.

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  • dcvoterboy

    would be great if WMATA could also offer up the bus bay air rights for redevelopment, keep the bays but build on top of them - just like they've got out a couple of other metro stations. we're not losing any green space and WMATA can bring much needed housing right at the station, maybe even through in some hyper convenient retail spaces for kicks.

  • MLD

    The park in the VMP plan (that's the District's plan) for the McMillan Sand Filtration Site (it's not and hasn't been a park) is at least 4 times larger than the Brookland Green. Look at a map. So there is plenty of green space being preserved.

  • Buildbabybuild

    We'll know if this is really a win after it's detailed which "unused" parcels are being swapped and what WMATA does with that land. As it stands, we get half the development we were going to get, the inefficient concrete wasteland busbay stands, and a plot of grass with a few trees that nobody uses as a park (it's uneven, has zero amenities) still sits there.

    If the swapped land is developed and the "green" is turned into a functional park then it's a win. Otherwise it's just NIMBY status quo.