The NoMa Parks Foundation, an affiliate of the NoMa Business Improvement District, announced today that it has acquired for $14 million a two-acre parcel from Pepco. Bounded by Harry Thomas Way NE, the popular Metropolitan Branch Trail and New York Avenue NE, this acquisition is the culmination of two years of effort by the Foundation. It is the second acquisition by the Foundation since being awarded $50 million from the District of Columbia Government for the purpose of developing new public parks and civic spaces in the NoMa neighborhood. The District passed the NoMa Parks Grant Authorization Act in 2013. The Act provides the plan and funding for the creation of parks to serve the residents of NoMa and near northeast.
“With more than 36,000 people living in greater NoMa today and more than 7,000 new homes in the near-term pipeline, a diverse collection of parks and open space is essential,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, president of the NoMa Parks Foundation. “This park will be a fantastic space. It will provide the fast-growing NoMa community with a wonderful place to gather, play and enjoy being outdoors; all things NoMa residents have dreamt about throughout the parks planning we’ve done over the last few years.”
Charles (Sandy) Wilkes, chairman of the NoMa Parks Foundation, stated, “We have a lot to be thankful for. The acquisition of two acres of land for a park in NoMa means we have made good on our priority commitment to create a park, adequately-sized and suitable for a variety of recreational activities – and do so before the opportunity might be foreclosed forever.”
Since its formation in 2012, the Foundation’s mission has been to provide welcoming, sustainable and beautiful public spaces where people can play, refresh and connect in NoMa. The Foundation has worked with the District of Columbia Government, private property owners in NoMa and NoMa residents on this public-private partnership to create attractive public spaces where none previously existed. The two-acre parcel acquired from Pepco will serve as the backyard for the neighborhood and has the working name of “NoMa Green.”
“We were pleased to partner with the NoMa Parks Foundation to turn this two-acre site into a welcoming and attractive park that will benefit countless District residents,” said Pepco Vice President of Asset Management Mike Maxwell. “The creation of additional green spaces and finding new ways to invest in the environment is consistent with Pepco’s core values and we are eager to see this fast-growing corner of the city benefit from a great new park.”
Great parks and public spaces make great neighborhoods. The residents, workers, and visitors of NoMa have long desired parks and green spaces, and this acquisition is a major step forward in achieving that goal. NoMa is succeeding against difficult odds in acquiring land for parks and in persuading private property owners to create unique and wonderful public spaces on privately-owned land such as the NoMa Meander, a four-block long pedestrian promenade. In the very near future, a full complement of terrific new parks will be part of the remarkable list of amenities that NoMa offers as the premier neighborhood in which to work and live in the District.
NoMa is a vibrant, growing mixed-use neighborhood nestled among Union Station, the U.S. Capitol, Shaw, Union Market and the H Street, NE corridor in Washington, D.C. Already, NoMa has more than 17.6 million SF of office, hotel, retail, and residential space. Each day, 111,000 people are out and about in the commercial core of NoMa. More than 38 percent of NoMa’s office space is home to private sector tenants, including a concentration of media, tech, and think tanks such as NPR, Google, XM Sirius, and Mathematica. Through a public-private partnership with the District Government and a capital investment of $50 million, NoMa will soon have great new parks and public spaces as well. This is especially important since NoMa is now home to 3,836 new apartments, and more than 54,000 people work here each day. NoMa is the most connected neighborhood in Washington, D.C. With its unparalleled transportation access by way of Amtrak, VRE, MARC, two Red Line Metro stops, and vehicular access to Interstate 395, visitors, workers, and residents can easily travel throughout the region as well as get to New York or anywhere on the East Coast. NoMa has an enviable WalkScore of 92 and offers stellar biking facilities, including the 8-mile Metropolitan Branch Trail. The NoMa BID organizes more than 50 free award-winning community events each year, connecting more than 20,000 friends and neighbors. For more information about NoMa, visit nomabid.wpengine.com and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @NoMaBID and like us on Facebook.
Sarah Mars Bowie