A public meeting was held last month by DCHA, master planner Perkins Eastman, and consultant HR&A Advisors to discuss the redevelopment of Greenleaf. Unfortunately I was out of town, but slides from the October 24 meeting have become available. From what I’ve heard, over 100 people attended the meeting at Westminster Presbyterian Church, including Greenleaf residents, the greater Southwest community, and public officials.
Greenleaf stretches 15 acres across several city blocks on either side of M Street and includes 493 public housing units in 23 buildings. The majority of the units are 2BR apartments, but the mix ranges from 1BR up to 5BR units.
The purpose of the Greenleaf Redevelopment Plan is to develop a vision for the redevelopment of the Greenleaf community. It will also inform the criteria DCHA uses to evaluate redevelopment proposals from private developers. In addition the plan will establish the feasibility of different approaches based on community goals, market studies, financial feasibility, design guidelines, and the construction plan. At the meeting, there were five design principles discussed which will be used in the redevelopment of Greenleaf:
- Utilize a mix of tall and low buildings.
- Create a well-defined public green space.
- Use trees to beautify, help make place, and create a healthier living environment.
- Connect the new Greenleaf to other areas of the city.
- All new construction must first and foremost be exemplary urban architecture.
The October meeting was the first chance for the greater Southwest community to get involved in the redevelopment process, but Greenleaf residents have been engaged over the past year or so. The redevelopment plan will be created over the next 6-9 months with two additional community meetings planned in the interim. The final plan is expected to be completed sometime in mid-2016. After that, an RFP will be released, which will take another 6-9 months to receive responses, get community input, and select a winning developer. Then, developer negotiations will take a year to 18 months to complete, but design and permitting can be done concurrently. After that construction can begin on the first phases, which can take 2-3 years to complete. Other phases will be completed depending on market conditions.