Friday, December 14, 2007

Fenty Tackles Sursum Corda

Not really in our neck of the woods, so to speak, but an interesting piece in the WaPo this morning about plans pushed by mayor Fenty for a complete redevelopment of the treacherous housing project known as Sursum Corda. I'll admit to having some degree of personal interest in this, since the 'Corda has attained virtual mythical status in our household for its highly concentrated levels off crime and general depravity.

You can view the WaPo article in full here.

People from the Logan Circle/Shaw/Mt. Vernon Square area who view the article will likely raise an eyebrow at the second sentence in the piece:

The $700 million project announced this morning involves some of the last undeveloped land on the outskirts of Washington's booming downtown.

Really? So, once they're done with the Sursum Corda project, pretty much all of downtown's close-in neighborhoods will have been redeveloped and/or reviatlized? That's likely to be news for those of you living around the Convention Center or most areas of Shaw.


5th R said...

I read that sentence to mean that the development was going to include land that had nothing on it previously. It would make sense that that area would have some of the last remaining vacant land near downtown. But I don't know that neighborhood well enough to know if that's what they meant. Shaw/Convention Center/etc. aren't UNdeveloped, just, uh, underdeveloped. Right? It would have been nice if they explained that line later in the story.

Anonymous said...

doesnt it say "some of the last" and not "the last"

Tania said...

Just to clarify. Sursum Corda is a limited equity cooperative, owned by its residents, that is located in a larger neighborhood that is called "Northwest One". Our team was successful in getting an MOU excuted with them to bring their property into the development process, as well. The properties owned by the city, plus Sursum Corda will be redeveloped through the Northwest One New Communities Initiative, the first of four such projects planned throughout the city.

Tania B. Jackson
The Jair Lynch Companies

Mr. 14th & You said...

Thanks for the clarification Tania. The article was somewhat unclear as to what areas were going to be redevloped under the proposal.

Mr. 14th & You said...

"doesnt it say "some of the last" and not "the last""

It did--and my comments said "pretty much", rather than "all". I suppose my point is that it seems an odd comment to make, when there is a great deal of land surrounding downtown--Shaw, Mt. Vernon Square, Bloomingdale, Eckington, the old convention center site, etc.--that remains un-(or unDER) developed. I think it's a positive thing that the city is turning its attentions to an area such as Sursum Corda, which has clearly been neglected for some time. But the introduction to this article would have one believe that once this project has taken hold, the revitalization of downtown's close-in neighborhoods will be nearing completion. My perception is that there is a long ways to go before we can make that assertion.

DC said...

Oh come on now, this redevelopment can only be a good thing as long as it doesn't push out the people that live there now to somewhere else.

When an area gets new development in DC like this, people that live there take more pride in the area, and generally in the past crime has been reduced. Its worked elsewhere, and this was clearly the next area that needed attention... but definitely not the last!

Amanda from

Mr. 14th & You said...

I agree Amanda, it's why I wrote that "I think it's a positive thing that the city is turning its attentions to an area such as Sursum Corda".

The rising housing costs are an issue, though...and although no one (including, I'm sure, the people who currently live there) want to see the neighborhood stay as it is, people also don't want to be priced out. Since the city is driving this development, I suspect those concerns will be taken into consideration.

But yes, this is certainly a welcome development.

OutofStep said...

So, when is the time frame for the development to start?