Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Can experts solve the disinvestment problem?

Outside experts focusing on a problem in a fast paced concentrated two to I've day period has been a hallmark of ULI Advisory Services since the 1940s and  just as the AIA Regional and Urdan Design Action Teams (RUDAT) it has been a successful model when it came to develop and chose development scenarios.

The model comes to its limits when the issue is the absence of development and the problems are not physical but social and economical in their nature. 

This has not deterred the Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) that ULI sent up and down the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor yesterday with a special focus on the intersection with North Avenue, the epicenter of the recent uprising. 

Most people know the corridors from driving through on those arteries. My below photo album show some of the things one can only see when one gets out of the car. They are physical things that may or may not contribute to the assets or liabilities of the communities in the area. They are the external visible manifestation of the stories residents, businesses, service providers and church leaders told the TAP throughout the day. As such they are only a small part of the narrative but they are still worth sharing: 
A busload of panelist experts and agency representatives tours the corridor

The panel meets at the St Peter Claver Church where PA Ave meets Fremont Ave

James Hamlin explains the past of the Royal Theater and his plans for its future as a theater

The area around the Royal Theater used to be a stretch of bustling shops and is mostly residential and
institutional today. Residents asked for bike paths

The Upton Station of the Metro opens up right at PA Ave at the former Lafayette Market, one of the city's public market

The Avenue Market is the worst performing city market with several vacancies and an exterior that is closed up
to PA Ave

The commercial node of PA Ave at the Metro station

Inside the market the food choices are fairly narrow

Jubilee Arts is not Jubilee Baltimore and serves 500 students a year in art after school education

Nora Howe of Jubilee Arts explains her work and the lot next to the facility

Vacant buildings still dot the corridor

This mosaic was executed by neighborhood kids under guidance of Jubilee Arts

North of North Ave in the Upton community several industrial lots still dot the residential community, some are not in active
use anymore

What the ULI TAP was told is that this was a still active contractor's lot

New affordable apartments on PA Ave in Upton

Upton community leader Anny Hall explains community concerns

These types of stores count as grocery stores, they are numerous in the area

Large lots like this in Upton near Retreat Street are ripe for redevelopment. In the background the Emerald highrise at
Reservoir Hill and Druid Park

Upton also has comfortable and leafy residential streets

A new mural supported by Jubilee Art students is going up on the side of the Arch Social Club building

The Arch Social Club and its renovated facade, an important neighborhood gathering and event spot

Panelists and agency reps get an explanation of the history of the Arch Social Club

Crossing distances across North Avenue are enormous for pedestrians. The new NDC streetscape concepts address those problems

Unfortunately, the site of the demolished former CVS site will once again boast a one story building, a new CVS which will
be very much a replica of the previous CVS, not really a intense enough use for a site directly adjacent to a subway station.

The #13 bus is the second highest usage busline in the MTA bus system with between 10,000-12,000 riders a day. It is notoriously unreliable

Very near the Penn-North intersection there is this little gem on the north side of North Ave

North Avenue has a rich architecture 

how can the subway station area and the transit interface with buses become a neighborhood asset in terms of "place-making" so that the spaces aren't taken over by drug dealers that make it uncomfortable for others to use them?

The first TAP day ended with a public listening session

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

all photos ArchPlan Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment