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Project at "The Yards" Receives Smart and Sustainable Growth Recognition | Environment

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Project at "The Yards" Receives Smart and Sustainable Growth Recognition
Project at "The Yards"  Receives Smart and Sustainable Growth Recognition

The following story was sent to us from Deborah Miness Westbrooke:

 

An independent jury formed by the Washington Smart Growth Alliance has granted Smart and Sustainable Growth Recognition to a redevelopment proposal for D Parcel of The Yards, a major urban infill project in the Capitol Riverfront District (http://www.capitolriverfront.org/).      

 

The D Parcel project site is located at 4th and M Streets Southeast within The Yards (http://www.dcyards.com/), a large-scale urban infill project in Southeast Washington along the Anacostia River.  Occupied by a scrap yard for iron and steel for the Naval Gun Factory in the early 20th century, this parcel is a designated brownfield site that must undergo soil remediation prior to construction.  The land is to be developed with 225 units of mixed-income rental housing, a full-service grocery store and additional neighborhood retail.  The project represents a unique public-private partnership between the General Services Administration and the developer, Forest City Washington (http://www.forestcity.net/offices/washington/Pages/default.aspx), with participation by the District of Columbia.    

 

Key among the many noteworthy qualities of the proposal are the redevelopment of a brownfield site in a highly sustainable manner and the provision of a high percentage of rental units (20 percent) that will be affordable to families with very low incomes (50 percent of the Area Median Income and below).  The market rate units provided in the development will also help meet the need for housing in this job-rich environment.  In addition, the project will address another urgent need by providing a full-service grocery store in an underserved neighborhood. 

 

Many elements of the proposed development demonstrate features of smart and sustainable growth, such as the additional street-level retail proposed for Tingey Street and the attention paid to enlivening the pedestrian experience along public streets through generous sidewalks, public art, and distinctive materials, street furniture and landscaping.  The creation of a grid of pedestrian- and bike-friendly urban streets connecting to existing streets, the increase in density in close proximity to the Navy Yard Metro Station, and a reduction in parking will all help to encourage the use of transit and other alternative transportation modes.  This project is well-integrated into its historic surroundings and represents a substantial advance in the redevelopment of The Yards into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood within the Capitol Riverfront district. 

 

The Alliance is a partnership among seven diverse regional organizations including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Enterprise Community Partners, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Metropolitan Washington Builders’ Council, ULI Washington and the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing. These groups traditionally held opposing views on growth issues, but now work together to promote smart and sustainable development and conservation in the National Capital Region. The region is projected to add 2 million more people and 1.6 million new jobs by 2030. The challenge is to find ways to accommodate this growth while enhancing our neighborhoods and protecting the environment.  Smart and Sustainable Growth Recognition provides a way for environmental and civic organizations to support development that is good for community and good for the environment.  As jury member Lee Epstein noted, “The more smart growth projects get built, accommodating the demand for housing and commercial space in the region while energizing already urbanized areas, the less that demand will be felt in the rural areas and on the working lands that are most important to conserve.”  

 

Smart and Sustainable Growth Recognition provides a way for environmental and civic organizations to support development that is good for community and good for the environment.  As jury member Lee Epstein noted, “The more smart growth projects get built, accommodating the demand for housing and commercial space in the region while energizing already urbanized areas, the less that demand will be felt in the rural areas and on the working lands that are most important to conserve.”