“Only one response on top of a Metro station is pretty hard to believe,” Bowser said Tuesday. The D.C. Council will eventually have to review any final plan giving the office of the DMPED permission to transfer the land to the developer, and Bowser, who is running for mayor, said she is “very reluctant” about moving forward with only one developer offering a plan. “Not only do you probably not get the best price, you may not even get the best ideas,” she said Tuesday.
Miller said the DMPED’s office always likes “to see multiple parties interested in our projects but sometimes, for various reasons that frankly we don’t always know, it doesn’t always work out that way.”
Flahaven had many more questions for the city on Tuesday: Is there a timeline for proceeding? Is the city seeking funding for infrastructure improvements, such as extending public roads and sewer lines? He also wants to see more progress on the homeless shelter.
“The current policy of housing up to 300 homeless families in a dilapidated, deteriorating old hospital building completely separated from the surrounding neighborhood is an embarrassment to the city and completely counterproductive to the ultimate goal of ending homelessness,” Flahaven said.
Bowser expressed similar concerns, saying ultimately, “if the government doesn’t have any timelines along the way, then that vision will never be realized. I think what’s best is that the community and councilmembers put together a task force and just follow it.”
Gada noted that the office of the DMPED has listened to concerns of the neighborhood and has incorporated suggestions and recommendations as the project has proceeded.
“I think this is a good first step, but there are many more steps to go,” Flahaven said. “We’ve made it to the point where they’ve actually made the decision to award the project, which is kind of where we were stalled for so many years. I think that’s a good start; hopefully we can move on from there.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.