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Cleveland Park Business Climate in Flux ~ continued from March 2018 issue pdf page 1

Positive Signs Reasons for Optimism

First, the new neighborhood branch library. Eleven months ago, on April 10, 2017, Mayor Bowser presided over the groundbreaking for a brand new building to replace the old one at 3310 Connecticut Avenue. Scheduled to open this summer, this $19.7 million building will be the 20th neighborhood

This recent view shows that the exterior construction is virtually completed. photo--Larry Ray--The InTowner

This recent view shows that the exterior construction is virtually completed. photo–Larry Ray–The InTowner

library to be either constructed or substantially renovated since the ambitious undertaking of transforming the branch libraries into first-class centers for learning and community involvement with cultural resources and as places so inviting that residents would be attracted in droves. This vision of then Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper back in 2006 has proven to be a success.

Although this interior view seems to suggest that there is a long way to go, in fact, work is nearing completion & soon this space will be clear & ready for use. photo--DC Public Libraries.

Although this interior view seems to suggest that there is a long way to go, in fact, work is nearing completion & soon this space will be clear & ready for use. photo–DC Public Libraries.

 Second is the Newark Park playground renovation that was completed in 2014. An especially nice feature is the walkway through the site and under shady trees. Parents and caregivers appreciate the stroller parking area and the seating throughout the site. Both younger and older children find especially exciting the climbing equipment and small boulders to sit or play on. The rubberized play surface brings additional color and accessibility to the playground.

Third, the transportation department (DDOT) will be starting construction on a $4.5 million streetscape and drainage project design later this spring.

One of the design presentation boards displayed at DDOT's 3rd public meeting on January 23, 2018. DC Dep't. of Transportation.

One of the design presentation boards displayed at DDOT’s 3rd public meeting on January 23, 2018. DC Dep’t. of Transportation.

Finally, the impending Comprehensive Plan updating may help with the revitalization of the neighborhood’s commercial strip. Currently, the Plan allows only commercial uses on the first floor. Based on a survey of residents, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C had submitted an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan that would  allow commercial uses on the second and third floors of buildings in those few blocks. If this change is approved, the expectation is that there would be more available office space and therefore more foot traffic.

*Larry Ray, a former ANC commissioner for both Dupont Circle and Columbia Heights, is a Senior Lecturer at The George Washington University School of Law; he also serves on the Mayor’s LBGTQ Advisory Board.

Copyright © 2018 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Larry Ray. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §§107 & 108 (“fair use”).