February 1, 2023 | Update

Letter in Support of a Public Library as Part of 1617 U St. Development

Requests that Deputy Mayor Falcicchio include a requirement for a public library as part of the upcoming RFP for the development

Councilmember Nadeau and Councilmember Brooke Pinto of Ward 2 have jointly requested that the upcoming request for proposals for the redevelopment the District-owned 1617 U Street NW include a public library. Together they sent the letter below to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The site is currently home to Fire and Emergency Services Engine 9 and the Metropolitan Police Department’s 3rd District Headquarters. 

This is a great opportunity to further enhance and enrich the surrounding communities. Together with the nearby Reeves Center redevelopment, we look forward to a resurgence of daytime activities in the neighborhood, as well as the addition of important cultural, social, and other amenities that will enrich the neighborhood and elevate the continuing legacy of Black Broadway. 

As part of the amendments to the comprehensive plan passed in 2021, Councilmember Nadeau introduced amendments to the District’s Future Land Use Map that would allow high density residential uses at the site, making it possible to include the library and a substantial number of affordable housing units.  In January 2023, the Office of Planning filed a report with the Zoning Commission requesting a change in zoning for the site that would effectuate Council’s action and allow for new public facilities, affordable housing, and replacement police and fire resources to co-locate, where the current zoning would not.  

The process of public input for the redevelopment of 1617 U has only just begun – over many months to come there will be hearings, community meetings, review of proposed uses and design, and approvals at the Zoning Commission, which is an independent body, and the Council.