The Issue as told by the Washington Post in their article Developer Seeks to Give Adams Morgan a Taste of Luxury with Hotel Project:
For the past six years, developer Brian Friedman has been pushing a complex project that he says would reinvent Adams Morgan as a bustling attraction at all times of day, not just in the evenings. He has proposed transforming a historic church, formerly the First Church of Christ, Scientist, into a 174-room luxury hotel. His plan calls for preserving the church building and constructing a 10-story connecting building behind it, where there is now parking.
And he is asking for the city’s help, suggesting that the new hotel not be required to pay property taxes for 15 years after opening.
The problem as defined by the Champlain Street Neighbors:
We are largely immigrant families who have invested blood, sweat, and tears to make Adams Morgan the hip spot it is considered today.
We have lived through the rough times of this neighborhood and persevered despite crime and poverty so to forge a foundation of diversity and vitality that very few, if any other DC neighborhood possesses. Yet, despite our rich history and investments here, we have been left almost entirely out of the process and discussion of one of the biggest projects in recent Adams Morgan history. Whether purposely or not, our voices have not mattered to local decision makers at all.
The treasured diversity of Ward One and Adams Morgan has already been under attack, but now this luxury hotel project will be take displacement issues to new heights, literally, with a proposal which seems to defy logic for a residential community and threatens our very existence in the neighborhood we helped to build.
There are countless problems with a project of this size and of this proposed use for our families, some of whom have lived here for thirty years.
- A luxury hotel will increase our rents or put pressure on our landlords to evict us and sell their buildings.
- It will bring traffic of major proportions to a street full of kids who attend the two local schools within two blocks.
- Taxis will be streaming up and down our narrow residential street effectively reducing pedestrian safety while giving rise to more exhaust pollution as vehicles idle at the hotel entrance on Champlain Street.
- Hotel waste will pour into our collective sewers and other hotel uses will seriously tax our residential water, gas, and electric utilities.
- The small businesses we patronize will face increasing rents and taxes, forcing them to close and be replaced with chain stores.
- The noise of the 18th Street Party Zone will come further up into our residential community and hotel rooftop shenanigans will keep our families up at night.
- The multi-year construction will literally shut down our street and disrupt our lives in a major way — essentially harassing us out of our homes with nasty construction noise and dust.
We do not want this luxury hotel which has been discussed without any heed of the concerns for our families which will be directly impacted.
We need help! We want to protect what affordable housing and diversity we have left. Can you help us?
The local organizing group Adams Morgan for Responsible Redevelopment asks, “why has Jim Graham pushed through a $46 million tax gift for a luxury hotel, while small businesses get no help and social services are cut?!” Their list of concerns is even more extensive than Champlain Street Neighbors’. According to Adams Morgan for Responsible Development the proposed hotel:
- Won’t create jobs that pay a living wage and won’t afford workers enough money to actually live in Adams Morgan, let alone raise a family.
- Won’t bring the day-time foot traffic being touted by developers–wealthy tourists won’t likely patronize mos neighborhood-serving ‘mom and pop’ retail and commercial stores.
- Won’t provide enough revenue from hotel guests to outpace increases in commercial rents and increasing costs of goods.
- Will increase residential rents and property taxes–eliminating what is left of affordable housing in Adams Morgan.
- Will displace families and residents living in affordable rental units in proximity to the proposed hotel location.
- Will significantly increase traffic and noise and pollution on residential streets_impacting pedestrian safety, especially the safety of our kids.
- Will bring the weekend party atmosphere of 18th Street further into residential blocks of Adams Morgan.
- Will increase pressure on already limited street parking.
- Further burdens a century0old water and gas infrastructure which has had major problems in the past several years.
- Helps set the precedent for future development in Adams Morgan to go high-rise and high-riced.
We want development projects that serve neighborhood needs, not corporate greed!
We propose something that serves all of Adams Morgan–making the historic church active again by transforming this central location into a small library, community theater, job training facility and small market.
To push for better development at Euclid and Champlain Streets NW, contact us by phone 202-607-2366 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a festival this weekend to bring together the community to discuss this proposed luxury hotel project and gentrification in Ward One.
Grand Festival of Justice for the People @ Unity Park
(Champlain & Euclid Streets)
Saturday, September 1, 2012 @ 6PM
Sunday, September 2, 2012 @ 6PM
Come celebrate the diversity, history, and families of Adams Morgan.
For more information, contact the Champlain Street Neighbors at 202-670-2366.
WPFW’s Latino Media Collective from August 22, 2012 features a small business owner opposed to the proposed luxury hotel in Adams Morgan.
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