Yesterday was a beautiful day to be outside, so we climbed aboard the Odyssey for a two-hour DC-led cruise of the Anacostia River to Poplar Point. The DMPED (Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development) hosted 125 real estate types, seeking Master Plan proposals for the area by October 19. Wow, suddenly what we thought of as a city of monuments seemed more like Sydney.
We were hoping for a mayoral hat contest, but Adrian Fenty was fedora-less. Marion Barry (now of course Ward 8 Councilman) has a better idea wearing summer-weight straw. Fenty says he wants developers to “think as far outside the box as possible” on Poplar Point. Barry says he loves Anacostia “because the air is fresher and the grass is greener.”
URBAN-city Ventures president Jeff Epperson, former GSA official Chris Reutershan, DC Director of Planning Harriet Tregoning, and RM Powell & Co.’s Richard Powell. Poplar Point consists of 150 acres. The Feds own 110, but those are scheduled to be transferred to the City upon approval of a Master Plan by the Secretary of the Interior. Ten are owned by WMATA, 10 are owned privately (largely by URBAN-city), and 20 will be transferred from the Navy when South Capitol Bridge is moved in several years. DC is looking for a developer of very substantial resources and waterfront experience. Legislation calls for at least 70 acres being preserved as a park. Jeff would like to see a European sort of design:pedestrian-friendly with a village feel. Maybe that’s because he just got back from Italy and wishes there were piazzas everywhere.
Neighborhood Development Company’s Adrian Washington surveys his former domain (he was AWC chairman) with MacFarlane Properties’ Zuhairah Scott, PR ace Julie Chase, and Forest City’s Alex Nyhan. Speaking of the water, Zuhairah was disappointed because hurricane season spoiled a summer trip to the Dominican Republic, but she did manage to make it to Bocas del Toro, Panama. See, we know everything.
Federal Development’s Gary Helminski is flanked by Jones Lang’s Jordan Rosenstadt and David Garber. JLL has been hired by DMPED to help evaluate proposals and negotiate the structure of a deal, which may occasion Jordan’s official-looking white shirt and tie. He spent the summer driving back and forth between DC and his place in Rehoboth. Poplar Point is a personal cause for David since he just bought a house in Anacostia two weeks ago. He’s also been busy blogging about his new neighborhood.
WDG Architecture’s Beth Ring is sandwiched between Forest City’s Vanessa Lopez-Isa and John Wallenmeyer. And whadya’ know, they’re standing in front of Forest City’s 42-acre mixed-use riverfront project (The Yards) on former Navy Yard land. When finished, it will include 1.8m SF of office space, 2,800 residential units and 300k SF of retail. WDG is working with Forest City on an apartment and condo building.
Some people remembered their sunglasses! Ellis Denning’s Kevin Sadowski, DC Strategy Group’s Claire Bloch, and Kettler’s Stephan Rodiger. But some people are never satisfied. Kevin told us he’s been pining all summer for snow—he’s a big skier. Can’t he take up water skiing?