Big Changes Ahead for Georgetown Below M Street

At the BID brainstorming session Oct. 3.
Robert Devaney
At the BID brainstorming session Oct. 3.

If three recent community and business meetings are any indication, look to see the Potomac waterfront, C&O Canal, K Street and Wisconsin Avenue and side streets south of retail-dominated M Street undergo some serious upgrades in the years ahead.

The Citizens Association of Georgetown hosted a panel at the Potomac Boat Club Sept. 26. Moderated by Bob vow Eigen, CAG vice president and president of Georgetown Waterfront Park, the others at the table were Scott Fleming of Georgetown University, Tara Morrison of the National Park Service and Erik Meyers of the Potomac Boat Club as well as vice president of the Conservation Fund.

The four spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in boat club's main hall as the sun set over the Potomac. After many decades, the time appears to be finally at hand that a new boat club will be built on the shores of Georgetown. There are at least three variations as the NPS has issued its 2013 Non-motorized Boathouse Zone Feasibility Study. Meanwhile, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority may need to built run-off tunnels, disturbing the shoreline and delaying any new construction.

The Georgetown Business Improvement District held a brainstorming session for its Georgetown 2028 initiative Oct. 3 at Washington Harbour. Topics included enhancements along the C&O Canal, a Georgetown Metrorail station, transportation choices, restaurant and retail, K Street and the waterfront and collaboration among community groups. The ambitious ideas ranged from widening the towpath of the canal to building a pedestrian bridge to Roosevelt Island as well as a gondola to transport people from Georgetown to Arlington. Visit GeorgetownDC.com and click on the tab, "Georgetown 2028," for details.

The group reconstructing the West Heating Plant and designing Four Seasons condominiums on 29th Street held a community get-together Oct. 8 to go over plans for the exterior of the formerly government-owned property. It was sold in June for $19.5 million to a development group, now known as Georgetown 29K LLC, made up of Georgetown's Levy Group, the New York-based Georgetown Company and the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. South of the C&O Canal and the Fours Seasons Hotel, the plant -- which was completed in 1948 and generated heat for federal buildings -- will be partially demolished and converted into space for about 80 condominiums.

Ignacio Bunster, landscape architect of Georgetown Waterfront Park, showed plans for a new park space around the West Heating Plant that will link the Waterfront Park with Rock Creek and the C&O Canal. The property at the canal will offer a new pedestrian bridge. Along Rock Creek, bikers and joggers will be able to loop around to Georgetown Waterfront Park. An elevated park will be built over the old storage yard.

Another meeting, set for Oct. 22, will focus on the changes for the huge building. The group, headed by Richard Levy, will call for more than half of the structure to be demolished.

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Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:58:27 -0400

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