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Metro to negotiate with D.C. over Columbia Heights dog park parcel

The transit agency is offering to sell the land to the District for more than $2 million

The unofficial dog park on the Columbia Heights Metro parcel, at 1100 Park Road NW
The Washington Post/Getty Images

The District may get its paws on a Metro-owned parcel that hosts an unofficial dog park in Columbia Heights after all. In a letter sent to D.C. officials Tuesday, the transit authority’s general manager Paul Wiedefeld wrote that Metro had removed the approximately 7,000-square-foot parcel from the open market and would offer the District the chance to buy it.

The price? $2,150,000—equal to the fair market value of the property, according to Metro. Located at 1100 Park Road NW along a strip of restaurants and homes, the parcel has been used as a dog park since 2009, but it is not managed by the city’s parks department. Metro put it up for sale in January—along with other properties it no longer needs—soliciting bids from developers. D.C. had previously discussed acquiring the site but a deal did not emerge.

Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who represents Columbia Heights and had pushed for Metro to negotiate with D.C., released a copy of Wiedefeld’s letter on Twitter Wednesday. She and community group 11th and Bark, which had distributed a petition, praised the news.

Wiedefeld said both the Federal Transit Administration and Metro’s board must approve of the sale. Before this, he added, Metro expects to enter a purchase agreement with the city by June and execute it by July, after which stage the transaction would move toward a closing.

Some residents criticized the idea of a dog park being preserved on a developable plot of land as wrongheaded in a city that suffers from a dearth of affordable housing. But in a series of tweets, Nadeau defended the potential purchase, saying “this part of Ward 1 is both one of the densest residential areas of the city and also a neighborhood with some of the poorest access to open space.” She also noted that Metro land is not subject to affordable housing requirements in the same way that District-owned land sold to private developers now is.