City elicits plans for West End Library land development

After nixing the sale of a section of land containing the West End Library to a private developer last year, the city is putting out an open call for developers to propose new plans for the area.

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development is expected to release development plans this November for the lot at 24th and L streets. The request will outline the needs of the area in order to elicit proposals from potential developers.

Eric B. Scott, deputy director of operations for the planning and economic development office, told community members at a meeting held last week at the West End Library that his office seeks community involvement and input in drafting the proposal.

“We will bring development proposals to the community to get feedback,” said Scott, whose office has already received proposals for retail or affordable housing.

The D.C. City Council approved sale negotiations with developer Eastbanc Inc. last year, but the council ended the deal last fall when members of the community voiced opposition. In the new proposal, developers will have to vie for the rights to the land.

Scott said his office will release an overview to elicit developers’ responses, and the city will chose a proposal. Developers will be able to submit proposals for Square 37 as well as for Square 50, the site of Engine Company 1’s 50-year-old fire station, located at M and 22nd streets.

Integrating the library and the fire station was also discussed at the meeting, though residents were hesitant to place a library above a fire station.

D.C. Fire/EMS Battalion Chief Christopher Jordan said, “It would be a real challenge.”

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