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Equity Residential/Neighborhood Development Group’s plan

When the city selects a developer for a major project, the requisite press release usually lands  in my mailbox.

But, oh no, not with the redevelopment of Stevens Elementary School, whose famous alums include first daughter Amy Carter, singer Roberta Flack, and many others, and once served as the city’s first elementary school for the children of freed slaves.

Today the Washington Business Journal is reporting that a developer has been chosen, but many involved—-neighbors in the West End, local civic leaders, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans—-are angry about the decision. And that’s why the news ended up in a newspaper first, as opposed to being announced by the mayor’s office.

The selection is Equity Residential, which is proposing multi-family housing, courtyards, and ground floor retail on the site, plus a “Memory Wall, reflecting the history of the Stevens School.”

Here’s a snippet. The rest, found here, is a good read:

A top aide to Evans, Jeff Coudriet, said the councilman was indeed unhappy with the choice and was exploring alternatives.

A hotel “clearly seemed to be the preference of the ANC and the neighborhood association. And the word on the street is that that the selection is not,” Coudriet said…

Another ANC, Rebecca Coder, said all three plans were viable but that the community preferred having a hotel in the neighborhood rather than a housing development that seemed catered to college students and not long-term residents.

Photo by NCinDC, Flickr Creative Commons