Last night, the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA) Election Committee announced results of the LRCA election for the 2021-2023 term. Barbara Rogers won a decisive victory for president. Thank you to everyone who voted for decency, kindness, and respect for neighbors. More to come.
Election Results from the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association Election Committee
For President Barbara Rogers 120 votes (winner)
Rodney Foxworth 43 votes
For First Vice President LaRoya Huff 131 votes (winner)
Tanya Slade (write-in) 1 vote
For Second Vice President Sierra Dickerson 133 votes (winner)
For Treasurer Tanya Slade (write-in; winner)* 8 votes *subject to write-in candidate’s acceptance of appointment.
Karen Dickerson (write-in) 4 votes
For Financial Secretary Tischa Cockrell (write-in; winner)* 2 votes *subject to write-in candidate’s acceptance of appointment.
ONELIFE FITNESS AND PHENIX SALON SUITES JOIN ART PLACE’SGROWING LIST OF RETAILERS
National Fitness and Beauty Retailers to Open in Fort Totten in Q1 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C — MAY 4, 2021 — The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation (Cafritz Foundation) today announced Onelife Fitness and Phenix Salon Suites are joining its growing list of retailers at their mixed-use development, Art Place at Fort Totten, with 16- and 10-year leases respectively.
“As we continue with the second phase of construction at Art Place, Onelife Fitness and Phenix Salon Suites will bring valuable amenities to the growing Fort Totten community,” said Jane Cafritz of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. “Onelife and Phenix will add to the character of Art Place and further enrich the lives of our residents and neighbors.”
Onelife Fitness will open its first location in the District, joining 16 nearby locations in Maryland and Virginia, in the retail area below The Modern apartments at Art Place. This opening will bring 40,000 square feet of cutting-edge equipment and facilities to the neighborhood. The premium fitness center will be a unique, modern design, with two spacious, open levels and floor to ceiling natural lighting, and will feature three boutique studios, an indoor saltwater pool, cutting edge cardio and strength equipment, functional turf training, and more.
“We are incredibly excited to open a new Onelife Fitness Sports Club in Fort Totten, and to provide this active and growing community with health and wellness solutions to live a healthy and happy life. As we have been reminded during this challenging time that our personal health, both mental and physical, has never been more important,” said Ori Gorfine, Chief Operating Officer. “We need to keep moving and stay active, and we need to maintain bonds and connectivity to one another.”
After finishing an invigorating workout at Onelife Fitness, Art Place visitors can experience the luxury suites at Phenix Salon, a boutique concept that offers beauty and wellness professionals the opportunity to own and operate their own business. Phenix’s 10,000-square-foot Art Place location is anticipated to open in early 2022 in the retail area below The Modern.
At full build out, Art Place will include nearly two million square feet of mixed-use space, including multi-family residential, retail, cultural, art, public, educational and entertainment spaces. The Modern, which is the first phase of the Art Place development, includes 520 apartments and almost 100,000 square feet of retail space. Retailers at the Modern, in addition to Onelife and Phenix Salon Suites, include Love and Care Development Center, Ramdass Pharmacy, ShiningStars Pediatric Dentistry and T-Mobile. Art Place’s second phase, anticipated to open in 2024, will include hundreds of new apartment homes as well as more than 300,000 square feet of retail, arts and cultural spaces occupied by D.C’s largest Aldi Grocery store, a food hall, a performance venue, interactive art exhibitions, community spaces, and Explore! Children’s Museum. Infinity Prep, a Rocketship Public School, also opened at Art Place in September 2020.
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is the largest private, independent, local foundation dedicated exclusively to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Foundation is the legacy of Morris Cafritz–one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920’s to the mid-60’s–and is committed to improve the quality of life for residents of the area. Since 1970, the foundation has granted awards totaling more than $447 million. In just the last ten years, $185 million has been awarded to more than 961 organizations in Community Services, Arts & Humanities, Education, Health and the Environment.
By now, Lamond-Riggs residents who paid dues by the April 2, 2021, deadline to vote in the upcoming Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association election should have received an email with voting information (check your spam folder). As I mentioned in this post, I encourage residents to vote for Barbara Rogers for president.
Also, I am not aware of any accurate list of candidates to date published by LRCA on any of its platforms. One of the candidates for trustee, Danielle Lewis-Wright, had her name egregiously misspelled in the minutes in LRCA’s May 2021 newsletter, so I wanted to make a note of that here to let residents know she is running for trustee. I encourage residents to vote for both Danielle Lewis-Wright and Heather Rodgers for trustee.
Below, please find a final message from Barbara regarding this election.
Hello Lamond-Riggs Family,
This is my message to you before the LRCA election: VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE.
It is not my personality to run a negative campaign. You should never have to say negative things about a person to make yourself look good. I am running on integrity and inclusion. My past record will always speak for me as a person, resident, and a leader. I took on this journey after requests from many neighbors wanting to see change. I have never stopped serving my community and will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of this election.
I commend all of the past and current board members that take time out of their personal lives to give back to their community. I also encourage all those reading this to get involved. Ever since I started going to LRCA meetings over the past 10 years, there had been so much advancement. There had been an increase in membership and attendance. A goal of LRCA to become a 501(c)3 was accomplished during my previous presidency. I am not taking the credit for that happening because it was the hard work of an awesome executive board. What I most admire about the executive board when I was president, is that they challenged me and things that were on the agenda.
What I hope most to come out of this election is inclusion and respect for all neighbors. Our neighborhood deserves some positive energy. We are ONE community and we need to respect and get along with all of our neighbors.
Whether you vote for me or not, thank you for participating in the process and supporting LRCA.
2021 Candidate for President of the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association
The new Riggs-LaSalle community playground is now open in the 500 block of Nicholson Street NE. As noted in this post, this playground has been a long time coming. It really is a testament to working together as a community–former Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA) president Barbara Rogers championed a new playground during her tenure. When I became president of LRCA after her, I picked up the ball and ran with it, writing several letters to the DC Council and Mayor Bowser to secure funding and organizing parents to advocate for a playground. Mayor Bowser and former Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd came through with the funding during the latter half of my tenure as LRCA president. And finally, once the project kicked off, so many neighbors and the newly established Friends of Riggs-LaSalle Rec wrote numerous letters in support of the playground along with a number of suggestions for improvements. Kudos to the community for making this happen.
See message from the DC Department of Parks & Recreation Project Manager Peter Nohrden dated April 30, 2021, below:
Dear Riggs LaSalle Playground Community,
On behalf of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the DC Department of General Services (DGS), I am pleased to announce that the Riggs LaSalle Public Playground is now opened. The playground has passed the Playground Safety Inspection and is now ready for play. Please note that drinking fountains are still turned off due to COVID protocols, but we wanted to open the playground as soon as possible so that the community can enjoy it this weekend.
The renovations to the Riggs LaSalle Playground includes: a new 5-12 play area, a new 2-5 play area, swings, benches, a drinking fountain with a bottle filler, waste and recycling receptacles as well as new lighting and security cameras. There is also perimeter landscaping, which includes canopy trees that will one day provide great shade for the playground.
ANC 5A held its monthly public meeting on April 28, 2021. All commissioners were present. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton was on the agenda, but she did not attend due to President Biden’s address to Congress. That left a lot of time to cover other items and end the meeting at a decent hour.
There is still a vacancy in single member district (SMD) 5A04, which covers Catholic University. The university told ANC 5A Chair Ronnie Edwards (5A05) that they have identified a suitable candidate, for whenever the Board of Elections officially declares a vacancy and determines that the seat can be filled.
The ANC continues to work with its selected vendor on updating the ANC 5A website. They expect the work to take a couple of months.
The ANC voted to support a resolution from ANC 5D requesting reactivation of the Crummell School in the Ivy City neighborhood for community recreation and learning and for the building to be managed by District government rather than handed over entirely to a private developer.
The ANC voted to approve a resolution by Commissioner Emily Singer Lucio (5A03) regarding heavy truck traffic on residential streets and a request for a truck camera near Sargent Road and Allison Street NE.
Commissioner Gordon Fletcher (5A08) repeated some highlights from the public safety task force meeting: addressing gun violence and property crimes, traffic, and infrastructure concerns.
MPD Police Report
Derek Staten, MPD’s community outreach liaison, stated MPD will have a bike registration pop-up at Providence (1150 Varnum Street NE) on Friday, April 30, 2021, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, near the urgent care center entrance. If you want to register your bike (not required, but encouraged), stop by. Edit: This is being done in conjunction with Commissioner Lucio and Metro Transit Police. The first 20 people will receive bike locks.
A police officer was not available to give updates on crime stats, so Derek reiterated the usual advice MPD gives. Continue to exercise caution with vehicles. Do not leave your car running unattended. Always lock your car, and do not leave anything visible in your car at all.
Commissioner Charles Lockett (5A02) mentioned a problem with commercial trucks parking on residential streets. On that note, Mr. Staten mentioned that he is planning a community conversation about traffic with MPD’s traffic enforcement unit, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), and the DC Department of Public Works (DPW).
Ward 5 Mayor’s Office Report
Ward 5 MOCR Nokomis Hunter stated that starting May 1, 2021, DC will have 11 high capacity walk-up, no appointment necessary vaccination sites around the city. One will be located at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (note one will also be at Lamond Recreation Center and at Providence).
Assistance to help DC residents pay rent and utility expenses is available through stay.dc.gov.
DPW will resume parking enforcement and street cleaning May 1, 2021.
Commissioner Sandi Washington (5A07) mentioned that notice was sent out that residential parking permit (RPP) fees will increase starting June 1, 2021. This is the fee that residents who live on blocks zoned for RPP pay to park their vehicles on the street. The current fee is $35. The new rates are:
$50 for the first vehicle
$75 for the second vehicle
$100 for the third vehicle
$150 for each vehicle beyond the first three vehicles
There is an exemption for one resident 65 years of age or older per household. Exempted residents will pay a $35 annual RPP fee for the first vehicle registered at a legal mailing address. The fee for each subsequent vehicle registered at a legal mailing address will be identical to the tiered rates noted above.
The ANC decided they want to discuss these new rates further and talked about maybe having a special meeting to get more information about why they are going up or something. (Aside: The current fee of $35 has not changed since 2011. The government approved increasing the fee in legislation back in 2019. There was a lot of press and discussion about this with an opportunity to comment, so I am not sure exactly what the ANC is objecting to–increasing the fee during a pandemic, getting only roughly 30 days notice about the increase, or objecting to any fee increase at all). At any rate, they will decide if they want to send some sort of official communication to District officials, so stay tuned for a possible special meeting about all of this.
ANC SMD Reports
Apparently, both Commissioners Damion McDuffie (5A01) and Charles Lockett (5A02) had walkthroughs of their respective areas last week. Commissioner McDuffie will have a 5A01 SMD meeting tentatively scheduled for May 19, 2021.
Commissioner Lucio confirmed that a gelato shop/Italian restaurant/market type concept will indeed occupy two vacant spaces at the strip mall near the McDonald’s on South Dakota Avenue NE. The only shop currently open in that strip mall is the Chinese food carryout. I believe the exact address of where the new shop will be located is 4944 South Dakota Avenue NE (note this is the location where the property owner wanted to put in a liquor store, which the North Michigan Park community fought against). Commissioner Lucio mentioned this possibility at a previous meeting and stated last night that the shop is in fact coming, but I am not sure if that means a lease has been signed. No one was able to share anything about timeframe for opening, but it sounds promising. She also said they are interested in having patio seating. Apparently there might be space behind the building. I have never been behind the building, but Commissioner Lucio said the owner has been working to clear out the back of the building (apparently there’s a paper alley or something and the owner has been working to address the drainage issue there).
Commissioner Lucio has two upcoming meetings. One will be for residents near 10th Street and Varnum Street NE. A resident in that area requested a traffic safety investigation, and one of DDOT’s proposal is to make part of 10th Street that is currently one-way open to two-way vehicular traffic. This area borders ANC 5B. The 5B commissioner for that area had an SMD meeting for her residents already. Commissioner Lucio will also have a regular SMD meeting on May 6, 2021. The tenative agenda for that meeting includes Mundo Verde, McDonald’s, and EYA.
Commissioner Fletcher (5A08) held an SMD meeting on April 27. His next SMD meeting will be June 22, 2021, at 6:30 pm.
I asked Chair Edwards about making draft copies of the resolutions available prior to the meetings so that residents will know what the commissioners are voting on. I also asked if the ANC can upload resolutions to the ANC resolution portal, especially since the ANC 5A website is being updated right now. Currently, only a couple handful of ANC 5A resolutions are on that portal. He said he would consider these suggestions.
A lot of residents have asked questions about the status of the second phase of Art Place at Fort Totten, also known as the “FEZ at Art Place” or” Block B.” I have confirmed with the development team from the Cafritz Foundation that Meow Wolf (which was to anchor the second phase) will no longer be part of the project. The good news is that the development team is looking at another experiential tenant for this phase, and they will be making an announcement about that in the near future. The remainder of the previously announced tenant mix for Block B (children’s museum, food hall, Aldi grocery store, arts/maker spaces) remains the same at this point. The development team will likely submit a modification of consequence with the D.C. Zoning Commission at some point in the future to reflect the updated tenant mix. The expectation at this point is that the design of the buildings for this phase will largely remain the same as previously approved. (They previously filed a modification in spring 2020 to reflect some minor design changes. The Zoning Commission voted to approve those changes in June 2020, effective September 2020 (zoning case number 06-10E). We discussed that process here.)
The team is currently working through obtaining permits from DCRA to fully begin construction on the second phase. Meow Wolf’s departure from the project should not impact construction work/permits needed in the short term.
ANC 4B Monthly Public Meeting April 26, 2021 7:00 pm
(Editor’s note: I am pretty sure the recreation center being referred to in item 10, Resolution 4B-21-0403, is the Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center located at 501 Riggs Road NE. I am not sure why it is called the Lamond-Riggs Recreation Center in this notice.)
Instructions regarding Participation in Virtual Meeting
Consideration and Approval of April Agenda
Approval of March Regular Public Meeting Minutes
Treasurer’s Report & Approval of Quarterly Financial Reports for the Fourth Quarter 2020, First Quarter 2021, and Second Quarter 2021
Commissioner Updates (if applicable)
Community Concerns: *Please use the “Raise Hand” button via Zoom or *9 via telephone to speak during community concerns. The Commission will provide additional details regarding how to present community concerns via the virtual meeting at the start of the meeting.* This is the time for questions or statements from members of the public about issues on the agenda or other areas of concern. Please limit your statement or question to one minute. You may also contact members of the Commission before and after Commission meetings.
Anthony Mitchell, Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (3 minutes)
Tamira Benitez, Office of Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George (3 minutes)
Frazier O’Leary, Ward 4 State Board of Education Representative (3 minutes)
Metropolitan Police Department, 4th District (3 minutes)
Housing Justice Committee (2 minutes)
Vision Zero Committee (2 minutes)
Presentation: Linda K. Harllee Harper, Director of Gun Violence Prevention, Office of the City Administrator, Building Blocks DC (10 minute presentation; 5 minute discussion)
Presentation: Emily Tatro & Casey Anderson, Council for Court Excellence, District Task Force for Jails and Justice, (10 minute presentation; 5 minute discussion)
Presentation: Sayra Molina, Program Analyst – Community Engagement, District Department of Transportation, (10 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)
Presentation: Amanda Zander, Seth Charde & Eric Lienhard, DC Water, DC Clean Rivers Project, (5 minute presentation; 5 minute discussion)
Letter of Inquiry: Incident Involving the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Division of Student Transportation (Commissioner Yeats & Commissioner Palmer)
Letter of Inquiry: Follow-Up Letter Regarding Commercial Vehicles on Residential Roads (Commissioner Palmer)
Letter of Inquiry: Requesting Information regarding DPW’s Public Litter Can Collection and Zero Waste Efforts (Commissioner Palmer)
Resolution 4B-21-0401: Supporting AARP Proposal to Install a FitLot at Lamond Recreation Center (Commissioner Bromaghim)
Resolution 4B-21-0402: Supporting Renewal of Alcoholic Beverage License for Takoma Park Liquors, 6200 Eastern Avenue, NE, and Settlement Agreement (ABRA-019598) (Commissioner Brooks)
Resolution 4B-21-0403: Requesting Removal of One Storage Container and Relocation of Another Storage Container by Playground at Lamond-Riggs Recreation Center (Commissioner Huff)
Resolution 4B-21-0404: Requesting DDOT Provide Reserved On-Street Parking for Disabled Resident and Calling for Changes to Accommodate Disabled Residents in Non-Single Family Dwellings (Commissioner Palmer – 3 minute presentation; 3 minute discussion)
Letter of Inquiry: Expressing Concerns About National Park Service Maintenance and Community Coordination (Commissioner Brooks & Commissioner Yeats – 3 minute presentation; 3 minute discussion)
Presentation & Resolution 4B-21-0405: Support for the Establishment of the message establishment, Integrative Bodywork, Wellness Center Located at 6230 – 3rd Street, NW, (BZA 20468) (Commissioner Jocelynn Johnson – 3 minute presentation; 3 minute discussion)
Presentation & Resolution 4B-21-0406: Supporting Construction of a Rear Addition at 732 Tewkesbury Place, NW (BZA 20462) (Commissioner Jocelynn Johnson – 3 minute presentation; 3 minute discussion)
Next Regular Public Meeting: Monday, May 24, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Lamond-Riggs Library construction progress update 4/15/2021:
· All (151) deep foundation piers have been completed.
· Construction equipment for deep foundations has been demobilized
· Post deep foundation site re-grade is complete.
· Offsite Steel fabrication is complete.
· Temporary utility coordination is underway.
· As you may recall, from design presentations, the large (Bradford pear) tree closest to the building informed the design concept and the footprint of the new building. As shown in the design phase diagram below, this tree was intended to remain and was safeguarded during demolition. Following the removal of the building, the previously hidden root structure has been under evaluation by Arborist, Urban Forestry, & DDOT and unfortunately as of this week, they all agreed that the tree is a safety hazard and needs to be removed.
o In consultation with DDOT, an expedited tree removal permit has been filed.
o A distinct mature tree is planned to be transplanted in the proximity of the old tree to keep the design intent intact.
o The exact location and species for the new replacement tree are under consideration and will become clear following ongoing consultation with Urban Forestry & DDOT.
What to expect in the weeks ahead?
Construction will continue within the permitted hours of 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Saturday.
To make up for the lost weather days, the library has directed Consigli to work Saturdays.
All work will continue to take place within the enclosed construction fence.
Typical concrete foundations (above the completed deep foundations) are slated to start in the upcoming week and related site work will continue through the month of May.
Underground utility, electrical, and plumbing work has commenced
Excavators will remain onsite and concrete trucks & pumps, will be onsite during pour days.
Trucks will still enter and exit the site via South Dakota Avenue into the construction enclosure from Kennedy St.
Coordination of utility work in streets is underway, and an update will follow to share the traffic control plans and dates of the work.
All trucks will be completely stationed within the site enclosure to limit the disruption to adjoining South Dakota, Kennedy & Jefferson Streets.
Underground utility, electrical, and plumbing work is slated to overlap foundation work.
The sidewalk on South Dakota, Jefferson St & Kennedy St. will continue to remain open for the foreseeable future.
Consigli Construction is taking all necessary measures to run a safe operation, and as with all construction projects, construction-related noise will be part of the process as the team builds your new library.
Any general questions you receive from the community can be directed to Library’s Community engagement liaison Martha Saccocio at her email: Martha.Saccocio@dc.gov.
Any time-sensitive Construction Safety Issues can be reported to Consigli Construction Superintendent- Michael Davis at 202.570.3375
Many neighbors might notice the construction for the new playground is nearing completion. I reached out to the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation for an update and here is what they said:
Thank you for your support of the new playground at Riggs Park. You have probably seen that we are in the finishing moments. We have to install the landscaping and various punch-list items in the coming weeks, but we anticipate opening the playground around the end of the month. I will let you know once we have a confirmed date.
So, that sounds like very good news. I’ll keep ya’ll posted when that “confirmed date” is known.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B’s Housing Justice Committee will meet on Monday, April 12, 2021, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Committee will be meeting virtually. Details about participating/watching the meeting are included below:
ANC 4B07 SMD Meeting April 7, 2021 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
ANC Commissioner Geoff Bromaghin (4B07) will be holding a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, April 7th, from 7:00pm-8:00pm about a proposal to install a “FitLot” at Lamond Recreation Center.
AARP is looking to donate the FitLot, which is an outdoor fitness space featuring a combination of exercise equipment. DPR has suggested the underutilized handball court area on the north side of Lamond Rec could be a good location.