News

NEWS THAT IMPACT WARD 7- (Click on the News Item to Read More)

  1. June 15, 2020 - "OUR VOICES HAVE BEEN SILENCED" Community leaders fight plan for new halfway house in Ward 7. A halfway house to replace Hope Village is set to open Oct. 1 despite a community protest. WUSA 9, By Delia Goncalves. Nearly 2,000 people have signed a Change.Org petition against the plan by CORE DC to move to the old site of DC Eagle nightclub on Benning Road, NE (3701 Benning Road, NE). But according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, CORE DC was granted a contract earlier this month. It replaces Hope Village, D.C.'s only halfway home for men -- and the country's largest -- which was in Ward 8 for 42 years. Hope Village shut down in April amidst concerns of resident safety during the pandemic. More than a hundred men were released to home confinement and 31 were bused to another halfway home in Baltimore.


  2. June 18, 2020 - "D.C. AGENCY MOVE SEEN AS "TIPPING POINT" FOR WARD 7's DEVELOPMENT WASHINGTON DC NEIGHBORHOOD," by Jon Banister, Bisnow, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced May 28 that her administration plans to move the 700-person Department of General Services agency from U Street NW to anchor a new development near the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road NE.


  3. June 24, 2020 - "WARD 7 OFFICIALS ENCOURGAGES DISCOURSE ON HALFWAY HOUSE," by Sam P. K. Collins, Washington Informer. Two weeks ago, not long after the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOE) awarded a five-year, $60 million contract to CORE DC LLC — a provider of services for individuals and families — ANC Commission Chair Tyrell M. Holcomb and the other commissioners of ANC 7F released a statement in opposition to the move, saying that it threatened the possibility of economic viability along Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue. Their sentiments echoed that of Ward 7 Council member Vincent C. Gray, who reportedly described the FBOE contract as another instance of federal encroachment on local matters.


  4. July 10, 2020 - "DC ENTREPRENEUR RECEIVES $150K GRANT TO BRING FOOD HALL TO DC," by watchmyblack. The big winner is Mary Blackford, a DC native and resident. She is the founder of Market 7, that has a mission of "revitalizing and restoring the economic stability, holistic health, and the social needs of the residents in Ward 7 by developing sustainable commerce within the community." The ground for Market 7 was broken in December of 2019 at 3451 Benning Rd. NE. Market 7 is set to open in 2021.


  5. July 23, 2020 - PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE EAST COMMUNITY COALITION (PAECC) PRESS RELEASE - DC COUNCIL APPROVES $200,000 FOR A PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE EAST MAIN STREET PROGRAM AND $250,000 TO UPDATE THE SMALL AREA PLAN FOR PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE EAST (Penn Ave East)

  6. July 25, 2020 - NEW HOSPITAL AT ST. ELIZABETHS SITE AND OTHER WARD 7 BUDGET WINS! - Vincent Gray, Ward 7 Councilmember announces that the DC Council has unanimously voted to approve the “New Hospital at St. Elizabeths Amendment Act of 2020,” thereby officially approving the construction and operations agreement for a state-of-the-art, 136-bed community hospital that will catalyze a comprehensive health care system for Wards 7 and 8 for the first time ever! This new hospital will serve as the catalyst for an interconnected health care system of emergency care, urgent care, specialty care, ambulatory care, primary care, medical offices, independent physicians, and dentists for the 150,000 residents that live east of the Anacostia River and who have never had a real health care system.


  7. July 27, 2020 - SHOPS AT PENN BRANCH. Jair Lynch Summer 2020 Project Update.


  8. July 30, 2020 - JOY EVANS TR COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATIONS- Project Description: Renovation and repurposing of the Joy Evans Therapeutic Recreation Center located in Ward 7, 3030 G Street, SE. This includes renovations of the therapeutic pool, locker room, activity / therapy spaces, kitchen, bathrooms, lobby / meeting areas, in order to accommodate the heavy use load on the building. Also included are renovations to the adjacent campus for outdoor sports and activities. The idea is to turn this building / area into the premier therapeutic center in the District. Construction is scheduled for completion in October 2022. The project is currently in the schematic design phase and will be discussed at the next community meeting scheduled for October 2020.


  9. August 4, 2020 - "MINNESOTA AVENUE SITE TO HIT THE MARKET WITH 250K SF OF DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL IN AN OPPORTUNITY ZONE," By Jon Banister, Bisnow Washington, DC. Investor interest has surged in the area around the Minnesota Avenue Metro station, where D.C. is relocating a 700-person agency, and the owner of an apartment property with significant development potential is now looking to sell. Courtesy of Greysteel The apartment property at 4069-4089 Minnesota Ave. NE Greysteel is preparing to bring to market the 83-unit apartment complex at 4069-4089 Minnesota Ave. NE on behalf of the owner, a group of private investors operating under 4069 Minnesota Ave. NE LLC. The property sits one block from the Metro station and one block from the Minnesota Avenue-Benning Road intersection, which some developers have begun calling "downtown Ward 7."


  10. August 8, 2020 - COUNCIL MEMBER VINCENT GRAY ANNOUNCES PENNYSLVANIA AVENUE EAST MAIN STREET PROGRAM.


  11. August 14, 2020 - "CAPITAL ONE TO BRING CAFE CONCEPT TO ANACOSTIA," Bisnow, by Jon Banister. The Menkiti Group announced Thursday it signed Capital One Café for a 3,700 SF lease at MLK Gateway, its under-construction project at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE and Good Hope Road. The Capital One Café locations feature a full-service coffee and tea bar, free WiFi, workspaces, meeting rooms, ATMs and financial professionals on hand to offer banking services to customers. The Anacostia location plans to offer free meeting space for neighborhood associations, nonprofits and students.


  12. September 1, 2020 - "DEVELOPER LANDS FINANCING FOR SENIOR AFFORDABLE PROJECT IN WARD 7, PLANS TO BREAK GROUND THIS MONTH," by Jon Banister, Bisnow Washington, D.C. The project, first proposed in April 2019, will be built on a vacant lot at the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue NE and Eastern Avenue. The site is roughly a half-mile from the Deanwood Metro station, and it is the latest in a series of projects to move forward in the neighborhood.


  13. September 25, 2020 - "WE DECUDED TO BUILD OUR OWN: WARD 7’s SOUFSIDE MARKET IS CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES," DCist by Aja Beckham. Malik Sneed has lived in Ward 7 all his life, but says he’s never seen a market in the ward or in the region specifically for Black-owned businesses. He says that some markets and stores are not welcoming of Black businesses, which is why he decided to create Soufside Market. “Instead of begging for a seat at the table, we decided to build our own,” says Sneed, 25. Every Saturday since its August 1 launch date, Soufside Market welcomes Black D.C.-area businesses to Ward 7’s Dupont Park to sell products and build a new customer base. Organizers vet about 100 vendor applications each week and select 15 new businesses to feature their products at the market. Location 2510 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020.


  14. September 29, 2020 - "THE 3,000 UNITS NEXT UP FOR WARD 7," Urban Turf by Nena Perry-Brown. Although many projects are beset by financing- or procedure-related delays, there is a lot of residential development in the works in the Deanwood, Lincoln Heights and Kenilworth neighborhoods, particularly due to replacement of older public housing units leading to phased mixed-use, mixed-income development.


  15. November 25, 2020 - "THE 2 MILLION SQUARE FEET OF DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED FOR BENNING ROAD AND MINNESOTA AVENUE," Urban Turf by Nena Perry-Brown. Earlier this year, DC’s Department of General Services (DGS) committed to a 20-year lease off Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue as part of a new development by Cedar Realty. Now, the developer is moving forward with a proposal for the entire project. Cedar Realty and Trammell Crow have filed a Large Tract Review application with the city's Office of Planning for a project that would REPLACE THE EAST RIVER PARK SHOPPING CENTER AT 322 40TH STREET NE AND SENATOR SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER on the other side of Minnesota Avenue NE with roughly 1.97 million square feet of mixed-use development.


  16. December 9, 2020 - "LACK OF GROCERY STORES IN SOME DC WARDS HIGLIGHTS RACIAL WEALTH INEQUITY, REPORT SAYS." WTOP by Valerie Bonk. A severe lack of full-service grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8 is one of the contributing factors for food insecurity, according to a report entitled Still Minding the Grocery Gap in D.C. report released Wednesday by D.C. Hunger Solutions. The report found the disparity in access to healthy and affordable food has taken a toll on the health and well-being of residents, as well as the economy of the wards, while shining a light on racial wealth inequity in the District, according to a release.


  17. December 22, 2020 - "WHY DC COULD SEND $6 MILLION IN STRAND THEATER TAX CREDITS TO LA INSTEAD." Greater Greater Washington by Libby Solomon (Writer and Editor). For more than a year, DC Housing Enterprises, a subsidiary of the District’s Housing Authority, had $6 million in federal tax credits set aside to help redevelop the Strand Theater, a historic, now-abandoned movie theater that was once a focal point for Deanwood’s Black community. Officials want to turn the space into a restaurant with an arts and entertainment program. But in mid-December, DCHE asked the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for permission to direct those tax credits to a hospital project not in the District, but in Los Angeles.


  18. December 23, 2020 - "MAYOR BOWSER AWARDS LONG-AWAITED FLETCHER-JOHNSON CAMPUS REDEVELOPMENT." The Fletcher-Johnson Campus is located at 4650 Benning Road SE in Ward 7. The project, which will be known as Fletcher-Johnson at the Park, will deliver approximately 816 units of rental and for-sale housing consisting of condominiums, townhomes, multifamily rental apartments, and affordable senior assisted living units, targeting families at various levels of affordability. The units will include studios as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom options. The campus size and proximity to the Benning Road Metro Station makes it a prime destination within the Marshall Heights neighborhood. The proposal also includes green space for outside recreational and community activities, retail-commercial space for neighborhood serving retail, and a wide-range of community programming space along the campus.


  19. December 29, 2020 - "A NEW DC BILL THAT WOULD GIVE ANCs GREAT WEIGHT IN COMPREHENSIVE PLAN." At-Large Councilmember Robert White introduced a bill on April 2, 2020, which would give the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) "great weight" in amending the Comprehensive Plan during this upcoming process. The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Participation in Planning Amendment Act of 2019 would also require that ANCs receive notice prior to final decisions on grant awards and prior to: "The transmission to the Council of a proposed revenue bond issuance, comprehensive plan, amendment to a comprehensive plan, or element of a comprehensive plan; or The formulation of any final policy decision or guideline with respect to grant applications, requested or proposed zoning changes, variances, public improvements, licenses, or permits affecting said Commission area, the District budget and city goals and priorities, proposed changes in District government service delivery, and the opening of any proposed facility systems." The bill was transmitted to the Mayor and a response is due on Jan 13, 2021.


  20. January 3, 2021 - "COMMUNITY LEADERS ADVISE NEW DC COUNCIL ON PRIORITIES." Washington Informer By James Wright. The District of Columbia Council’s latest legislative session got underway Jan. 2 but the ceremonial flourish of council members being sworn in was greeted by the voices of elected community leaders imploring the first majority female council in two decades to focus on key priorities. ...Gray talked about how Ward 7 has progressed since his re-election to the council in 2016. He noted success toward building the St. Elizabeths hospital and the development of a health care system in Wards 7 and 8. Patricia Malloy, the 7C06 commissioner in the Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings area of Ward 7, said Gray should pay more attention to the economic development projects in the ward. She specifically pointed out the lack of funding for the Strand Theater restoration project for which funding was snatched away recently and sent to an out-of-town project. ...Former D.C. Citizens Federation President W. Earl Williams, a resident of the Hillcrest neighborhood of Ward 7, said the council members should address urgent issues adversely affecting residents of color.


  21. January 15, 2021 - "ANC 7B COMMISSIONERS." East of the River By Elizabeth O’Gorek. On January 2, 2021, 19 newly-elected representatives were sworn in for the five Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs). The ceremony, like much of the campaign, took place virtually, with Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray (D) administering the oath of office. The large incoming class means that many Ward 7 ANCs will meet in January with a majority of their seven seats filled by new commissioners. They come to a difficult job in a difficult time, meeting virtually to help residents confront the all-too-real issues raised and, in many cases, exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues of health, public safety, education and housing. Commissioners serve two-year terms without pay. Each commissioner represents a Single Member District (SMD) of approximately 2,000 residents. The ANCs’ main role in the District is to be their neighborhood’s official voice in advising the District government (and Federal agencies) on things that affect their neighborhoods. Meet your newly elected representatives below. Learn more about ANCs by visiting anc.dc.gov.


  22. January 27, 2021 - "MAYOR PROPOSES NEW GROCERY STORE INCENTIVE FOR WARDS 7 AND 8." Urban Turf By Nena Perry-Brown. DC may soon have another tool available to incentivize grocery stores to open in Wards 7 and 8. Mayor Bowser's office has proposed a bill aimed at helping kickstart the city's "reopening" efforts, starting with its alcohol consumption. The Reopen Washington DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2021 includes, among other things, a provision that would make it easier for grocery stores located in Wards 7 and 8 to apply for a Class A retailer's license, enabling them to sell beer, wine, and alcohol as long as it only totals up to 25% of annual gross receipts.


  23. January 28, 2021 - "URGENT CARE CENTER TO OPEN IN WARD 8 LATER THIS YEAR, HOSPITAL PLANS MOVE FORWARD." The Washington Post By Lola Fadulu. The District’s effort to bring a new hospital to Southeast Washington has moved into the design and construction planning phases, with the city awarding a multimillion-dollar architecture and engineering contract. The contract will go to HOK/McKissack & McKissack, officials announced Thursday. District officials also said one of two new urgent care centers planned for historically underserved Southeast Washington will be located on the Maple View Flats property in Ward 8 and will open later this year. The location of the second urgent care center, scheduled to open next year, will be announced in the spring. “We know what this new state-of-the-art hospital and its supporting services will mean to our residents — it represents hope and the promise of better care and health outcomes,” D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said in a statement. The hospital is slated to open in late 2024.


  24. March 25, 2021 - "FIVE NEW RESTAURANTS COMING TO SKYLAND TOWN CENTER IN WARD 7." dcist By Aja Beckham. "...Five new restaurants will provide more selections to Southeast patrons. Roaming Rooster, a Black-owned fried chicken sandwich business, is slated to open in Skyland this fall. &pizza, Tropical Smoothie Café, South American street food eatery Maizal, and Mezeh, a Mediterranean restaurant are expected to open in spring or summer 2022.


  25. April 7, 2021 - "D.C.’s REVISED COMPREHENSIVE ZONING PLAN THREATENS BLACK HOMEOWNERSHIP."District Dig OPINION By Laura M. Richards. "I am a long-time resident of Southeast who is deeply concerned that the amended Comprehensive Plan pending before the D.C. Council will increase racial inequity under the guise of ending it. Among its most damaging and unexamined aspects, the Plan will restrict home ownership opportunities for African Americans and accelerate our ongoing displacement. It also will further disempower all D.C. residents from meaningful participation in the future development of our communities. Brian McClure, the Council’s Director of The Office of Racial Equity is uniquely positioned to identify these significant drawbacks in time for the Council to cure them.


  26. April 16, 2021 - "THE EPA LOANS DC $156 Million TO REPLACE OUTDATED PIPES, IMPROVE WATER QUALITY." dcist By Elliot C. Williams. D.C. will use a $156 million federal loan to pay for new water mains, with the goal of improving the city’s water quality and reducing service problems caused by breaks in the city’s century-old water pipes.


  27. April 16, 2021 - "D.C. SHRINKS FORT DUPONT ICE ARENA REBUILD AS THE PROJECT FINALLY ADVANCES. By Michael Neibauer, Washington Business Journal. The $21 million project has shrunk significantly since it was first proposed in 2014.


  28. April 24, 2021 - "DECADES OF SETBACKS STALL THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LANDFILL - TURNED - PARK IN WARD 7. By Will Lennon, The DC Line."...The area — administered by the National Park Service (NPS) as part of National Capital Parks-East, a collection of NPS lands situated east of the U.S. Capitol in DC and Maryland — is frequently strewn with garbage. Abandoned athletic equipment sits unused as mud-caked relics of an attempt years ago to turn the area into a viable recreation space despite approximately 4 million tons of waste lying beneath it."


  29. May 5, 2021 - "THE 3,000 UNITS IN THE ANACOSTIA AND SKYLAND PIPELINES." Urban Turf By Nena Perry-Brown. The Anacostia area is one of those east of the River neighborhoods in DC where development is being hastened by the relocation of city agencies and investments in public infrastructure. The second phase of MLK Gateway is an example of the former, with the Department of Housing and Community Development expected to move there, and the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and the 11th Street Bridge Park are examples of the latter. UrbanTurf takes a look at the status of residential developments in Anacostia and Skyland.


  30. May 6, 2021 - "CEDAR REALTY SECURES CONSTRUCTION FINANCING FOR MAJOR WARD 7 DEVELOPMENT." Bisnow By Jon Bannister. A major Ward 7 mixed-use project anchored by a D.C. agency is ready to break ground after the developer secured its construction financing. The development, branded as Northeast Heights, is ultimately planned for up to 1,300 residential units, 200K SF of retail and the office building. It is planned to replace two low-rise retail properties, the Senator Square shopping center and the East River Park shopping center. The project and its D.C. agency anchor are expected to act as a catalyst for development around the Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road intersection, with several other projects planned in the area.


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