Residents, civic organizations, and small businesses along the Georgia Avenue NW corridor are poised to kick off a long-term planning group that will focus on the southern end of the avenue, including parts of Park View, Pleasant Plains, and LeDroit Park. On Saturday, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who represents these neighborhoods on the D.C. Council, will host the launch event for the collaborative, called the “Lower Georgia Avenue Equitable Development Project.” The group will work on policy recommendations for their community.
“It’s no secret that Ward 1 is home to some of the fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods in the District,” Nadeau says in a recent newsletter. “In the eastern part of the Ward, I believe we have an opportunity right now to engage in focused and community-led planning to help shape the future of Georgia Avenue before anticipated development projects come to the corridor.” Issues the group will tackle include housing, economic development, and human services. “Lower Georgia Avenue” is roughly defined as the length between Florida and New Hampshire avenues NW, and among the group’s initial partners are the Pleasant Plains Civic Association, Georgia Avenue Thrive, District Bridges, and the Park Morton Resident Council.
Park Morton, a decades-old public housing complex in Park View, and nearby Bruce Monroe Park are scheduled for massive redevelopment in the coming years under the District’s New Communities Initiative. The publicly-funded project is set to spur additional development in the area, but remains tied up in court because of a legal challenge by neighbors of the park. Nadeau’s office says a “top priority” for the new planning group will be “elevating the voices of residents of color in planning the future of Lower Georgia Avenue.” D.C.-based consulting firm Justice and Sustainability Associates (JSA) is helping to shepherd the new collaborative.
Georgia Avenue was recently the site of the city’s first-ever open streets event, during which it shut down to traffic for several hours. The kick-off for the Lower Georgia Avenue Equitable Development Project will happen November 9 at the Cardozo Education Campus from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The avenue, a commercial corridor, was once named the “Seventh Street Turnpike.”