Skip to content

NoMa BID Announces Innovative Public Realm Design Process

The NoMa Business Improvement District (BID) has hired a national firm to produce a creative Public Realm Design Plan for First Street, NE and its East-West connections. The work starts at a critical time, as several infrastructure and development projects will break ground in 2012.

“This is an important time for the NoMa BID to help assure the creation of a network of lively and inviting public spaces,” said NoMa BID President Robin-Eve Jasper. “With First Street reconstruction and so many private-sector projects underway or kicking off in 2012 and the DC Council considering our parks legislation, we feel this is a moment of terrific opportunity.”

The BID hired AECOM, an internationally recognized design and planning firm, to undertake the Public Realm Design Plan project on an aggressive schedule. The AECOM team from Alexandria, Virginia, will be leading the project. The planning process will build upon past NoMa neighborhood plans and explorations, including an October 2011 workshop with the American Planning Association.

This project with AECOM will identify critical locations within the neighborhood that could become linear and pocket parks, gathering areas, playgrounds, gardens or water features. The plan will keep a sharp focus on greening the streets, sustainability, public art, and bicycle amenities. One of the design imperatives is creating strong, positive East-West connections from First Street to the surrounding communities.

Projects currently underway or starting in 2012 include:

* DDOT reconstruction of First Street, NE (in design)
* DDOT construction of Columbus Circle (under construction)
* DDOT completion of Benning-H Street streetcar (passenger service in summer 2013)
* Camden NoMa residential project on L Street (under construction)
* William C. Smith residential project on North Capitol and M (under construction)
* Phase II office for Constitution Square and new residential (under construction)
* Mill Creek Residential Trust project on Eckington Place (under construction)
* NPR headquarters on North Capitol Street (under construction)
* The JBG Companies groundbreaking on the Walmart site (winter 2012) and Hyatt Place (spring 2012)
* Archstone delivery of their project at First & M Streets, NE (spring 2012)
* Trammell Crow groundbreaking on Sentinel Square Phase II (spring 2012)
* Greyhound Bus Station transition into Union Station (summer 2012)
* MRP groundbreaking on Washington Gateway (winter 2012)

Working with NoMa BID, the AECOM team will lead a planning process to:

* Gather information from community stakeholders
* Build consensus on what types of spaces the NoMa neighborhood needs
* Focus attention on First Street, NE and its important East-West connections
* Formalize a network of public spaces
* Create renderings of potential park spaces
* Create a toolkit for private developers to use when considering and designing public realm areas

The Public Realm Design Plan process should be completed by spring 2012.

About NoMa

NoMa is a vibrant, connected neighborhood north of Union Station and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the last six years, private developers have invested more than $3 billion in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID, and have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space. In 2011, developers have broken ground on 1,900 residential units; more than 700,000 SF of office space is also under construction. NoMa has 15 modes of transportation, including two Red Line Metro stops, and the best biking facilities in DC, with the only East Coast Bikestation, the 8-mile Met Branch Trail, and six Capital Bikeshare stations. For more information about NoMa, visit and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @NoMaBID; or Facebook at


For immediate release

News media contact: Rachel Davis

202-289-0111, [email protected]

Walk on the Wild Side Pride Market | Thursday, June 13th 4-8 p.m.