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Looks like District residents are slated to get a bit more green space along the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
The NoMa Parks Foundation announced this week that it will acquire a third parcel of land, about half an acre in size, that will provide extra park grounds in addition to two other sites partly designated for such a use. Earlier this year, the affiliate of the NoMa Business Improvement District revealed that it had acquired a couple acres of adjacent land from Pepco, for a sale price of $14 million. The third parcel is located at the intersection of R Street NE and the MBT; the BID hopes it’ll enliven NoMA and Eckington.
“No funds from the [NoMa Parks] Foundation’s original $50 million NoMa Parks grant [from the D.C. Council, in 2013] will be required to close on this important parcel,” the foundation explains in a release. “Instead, Foulger-Pratt will donate the parcel and will also provide the NoMa Parks Foundation with certain design consultation rights as well as other community benefits. Ultimately, the new park will be transferred to the District of Columbia Government.”
NoMa Parks Foundation President Robin-Eve Jasper says the group will partner with local residents to plan the green space and its amenities. Foulger-Pratt is developing a residential and retail site next the the half-acre; it will back up to Harry Thomas Way and R Street NE. As part of its design, this new parcel will require realigning a sharp curve along the MBT, which a 2015 study found could bolster safety in the area.
“Bicyclists must slow down in this segment of Trail to navigate the tight turns, making themselves vulnerable should anyone be waiting there looking for an opportunity,” the study reads. “Bicyclists who continue rapidly thorough this section risk sliding on the gravel or other Trail debris typically present around the curve. The angle of the turn also truncates sight lines, preventing clear observation of the Trail north and south of the turn.”
The NoMa Parks Foundation plans to produce over three acres of public space in the next several years.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery; screenshot via 2015 study