One main takeaway from last night's meeting of the Walter Reed Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) committee meeting was that the city is considering moving the Georgia Avenue streetcar project along more quickly than we expected. This is due to developer interest in the site, and the fact that the 25 or so developers that have met with planners Perkins + Will have all mentioned that the streetcar will be an essential economic development catalyst. LRA director Eric Jenkins said that this could result the Georgia Avenue streetcar being moved from Phase 2 to Phase 1 in the streetcar rollout. Read Housing Complex's report for more information.
Councilmember Bowser pointed out that since residents in the area surrounding Upper Georgia Avenue have thought that the streetcar was such a long way from happening, there's been little public dialogue about them, as there has been in Ward 8. Though I've never been to any of the Ward 8 streetcar meetings, from what I've heard some have been quite heated. Time to start discussing streetcars, Ward 4 residents.
The other subject that came under much discussion was concern for how long the site will be vacant before we see the major redevelopment projects begin, particularly since the LRA will cease to exist once the planning phase ends. The LRA made a motion that will require the city to provide an analysis of how the development phase will be implemented; the analysis will be due in one month, in time for the next meeting of the LRA. Victor Hoskins has his work cut out for him.