Friday, February 22, 2013

Goodbye Velodrome, Hello Bus Depot?

DC Council members Vincent Orange (At-Large) and Jack Evans (Ward 2) have co-sponsored a bill called the "Ivy City Tour Bus Parking Restriction Amendment Act of 2013" asking the Mayor to move the site of a proposed commercial bus depot from the vacant Alexander Crummell School property in Ivy City (located in Ward 5 and CM Orange used to represent Ward 5 on the Council), to the parking lot at 1880 2nd Street in Buzzard Point (the bill incorrectly labels the address as 1880 V Street, SW, which doesn't exist in the city). According to the proposed bill, the 2nd Street lot can hold over 200 coach buses and 550 cars. Apparently, the Council members did not notify ANC 6D or SWNA before introducing their bill to locate a bus depot in the neighborhood.  I wonder if Akridge was notified?

The Buzzard Point parking lot in question is owned by Akridge and has been proposed as part of their 100 V Street project. At one point last year, DC Velodrome was going to lease part of the lot from Akridge to set up a velodrome track, but those plans have been shelved. The lot is also just to the south of the site where negotiations are underway for DC United to build a new stadium. Part of the site under consideration for the stadium is owned by Akridge and is part of their 100 V Street land assemblage. To the east of the 2nd Street lot is a partially decommissioned Pepco substation and Fort McNair is to the west. The current Coast Guard headquarters building is located to the south, as well as James Creek Marina and the site of a future residential building called Marina Place. Several uses have been proposed for this part of Buzzard Point, including the stadium, the velodrome project, a jail, and now a bus depot. A study was done in 2009 by the American Planning Association which concluded that the Buzzard Point neighborhood should be “a center for low-intensity recreational uses by area residents, visitors to the area and residents of other parts of the District, as well as an important link along the Anacostia River chain.”

What is unclear from the legislation is whether the city is looking to purchase or lease the lot from Akridge. Also unclear is whether this depot is seen as a temporary or permanent solution for the need of tour bus parking.

Buzzard Point rendering courtesy of Akridge

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