This Tuesday, the D.C. Council approved $36 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) to subsidize 600 additional parking spaces at Union Market, Washington, D.C.’s indoor market and event space located at 1309 5th Street NE. Already, there are plans for over 1,000 parking spaces, funded by private developers.
According to Greater Greater Washington, the D.C. Council turned down an amendment that would have used those funds to construct up to 100 affordable units and a new entrance to the NoMa Metro station. Not everyone was pleased by the decision to turn down this amendment.
In a tweet, D.C. Councilmember David Gross said, “There is already too much parking being built in the Union Market area ... This will be a detriment to both the city’s goals and the developer’s goals of creating a vibrant, mixed-use area.”
According to UrbanTurf, the Office of Planning (OP), District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) have argued that the amount of parking planned at the site is excessive.
In a March 2015 report, the Office of Planning wrote, “The focus should not be on providing additional parking, but on accommodating visitors by several modes of travel.” The reasoning behind this statement was that Union Market is located close to a Metro station, several bus lines, and a new bike route.
Washington Business Journal further reported that the D.C. Council agreed to subsidize infrastructure upgrades at Union Market at the cost of $46.4 million.
The bill that the D.C. Council voted on still needs a second reading and vote.
• The DC Council says it’s for a walkable city, then pays $36 million for 600 parking spots [Greater Greater Washington]
• D.C. expected to subsidize Union Market parking, infrastructure upgrades through $82M TIF [Washington Business Journal]