Thursday, July 15, 2010

New building facades coming to Park Road

Spotted this on the Columbia Heights Yahoo Listserve, sounds like a good idea. A lot of those facades are pretty beat up, aside from Pho 14.
Neighborhood Businesses Build New Facades on the 1400 block of Park Road

Mayor, Councilman join in groundbreaking ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC [CapitalWirePR] July 14, 2010- On Wednesday, July 21st at 10:45 am, Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilman Jim Graham will officially break ground on the long awaited construction of new facades along the 1400 block of Park Road.

In October of 2006 a group of 2 dozen business and property owners from 10 different countries banded together to protect their street from the ravages of drugs and crime and then, 4 years ago, competition from DC/USA, the commercial mall inaugurated on the corner of 14th & Park Road right at their doorstep. These small, community businesses have now completed the negotiation for a million dollar facade renovation project that promises to be the crown jewel of Columbia Heights development. Construction on the new facades begins this month.

"This has been almost four years in the making and will preserve the diversity and uniqueness of our neighborhood," explains Ramon Compres, President of the Coalition of Park Road Businesses. "Holding together our Coalition, negotiating with D.C. government and securing financing for this project has taken a great deal of time and effort. We're proud and excited that this little piece of Columbia Heights, the last remaining undeveloped strip in our neighborhood, is finally undergoing a massive face lift and that we've been able to negotiate and build it ourselves."

"Without the support of Mayor Fenty and the determined, single minded pursuit of this goal by our Councilmember, Jim Graham, we would never have achieved this remarkable feat of neighborhood led development," commented Jerome Bailey, property owner and business leader on the block.

Support for the facade improvement project comes from the Dept. of Housing and Community Development that has awarded a $526 thousand grant to complete construction. At the groundbreaking ceremony the Park Road community will also recognize Leila Edmonds, Director of DHCD and Robert Moore CEO of the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights. This project would not have been possible without their support. Keystone Plus Construction, a D.C. based, Latino owned construction firm, competitively bid the project and is the general contractor.
Hopefully this will continue to lure nice businesses to the street, maybe some of the things we're missing. I haven't seen any plans or anything, but I'm looking.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"construction of new facades" - are they tearing down the historic facades? why are we giving tax payers money for private businesses to improve their buildings? wheres my free government money to improve the front of my house?

Andrew said...

I would guess they're getting rid of the ugly crap on the front of the historic facades -- but I can't say for sure until I get the plans.

Anonymous said...

DC coordination at its finest... Are they are going to finish the streetscape project, put down all new pavers and then start construction on these buildings, damaging the new pavers? Or do they have the foresight to wait to install the pavers until the facade facelifts are completed?

Anonymous said...

i believe all the money is coming from a grant won for the project, not at all with taxpayer money. Check with Graham's office.

Anonymous said...

It's long story, but the money is related to the $2M Columbia Heights Small Business Assistance Fund, which got caught up in the Council Member's political slush and earmark funding game.

There was a great effort to coordinate with the streetscape, but delays on the city side in making the funding available killed that effort.

Interest that when a large Condo Developer(s)and/or an Organic Market in the same neighborhood gets similar support from the city there is no outcry about public money and private businesses.

W Jordan

Anonymous said...

I feel like it's going to be beautiful. Hopefully the people who restored the tivoli are involved, that place looks amazing.