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Temporary Urbanism is all the rage these days for languishing developments, but interim uses haven’t made their way east of the river in the same way as Rosslyn or Georgia Avenue or the waterfront. That may finally change soon, as the Office of Planning is looking at ways to activate the giant parking lot and lackluster retail outlets in Ward 7 that will eventually become Skyland Town Center.
Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins has told Mayor Vince Gray that he needs 22 months to unravel the legal clusterfuck that has held up movement on that site for years now—which still means that there are a couple years to go before actual construction happens. In the mean time, Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning is working on programming the parking lot with things like a concert series, a “food garden” with food trucks, and even a pop-up Walmart store that could sell home and garden goods underneath a tent or temporary building (Walmart will likely become the tenant in the new shopping center, so this could be a taste of what’s to come).
Plans are less advanced for temporary uses at Walter Reed after the Army moves out and the District’s construction begins, but since the mayor expressed a desire to see the fences torn down sooner rather than later, OP may be tasked with finding ways for the public to enjoy that space as well.