Nadeau Applauds Progress on Reeves Center Redevelopment
Since my time on ANC 1B, I have worked for a vibrant U Street that embodies the legacy of Black Broadway, our rich history of arts and culture, small businesses, and civil rights.
I’m thrilled to see the Mayor’s announcement that we are moving forward with the selection of a team to develop The Reeves Center site on behalf of the District government. The Reeves Center served as a hub for revitalizing the Historic U Street Corridor when it was first built. Today, as the building has reached the end of its useful life, it’s critical that the new project embody the priorities and history of the U Street community – as well as addressing the impact that revitalization has had on housing affordability.
Even before my time on the Council, back in 2014, I worked with community members to ensure their voices were heard in the RFP process. While it took longer than anyone expected, I am pleased with the result and believe the combination of housing, arts uses, community space and a hotel will benefit our community for generations to come.
One of the highest priorities during my tenure as Councilmember has been to ensure the maximizing of public land to meet community needs. As Councilmember, I have voted in favor of legislation requiring at least 30 percent of housing on sites like the Reeves Center be permanently affordable at deeper levels of affordability than that required of other projects. More recently, the Council adopted an amendment I moved to the Comprehensive Plan a change affirming the need for high density uses at this site to ensure maximum opportunities for affordable housing, specifically:
“[Creating] mixed-use neighborhood landmarks that acknowledge and continue the history of U Street as a Black business corridor. Added density at these public sites should be used to create a significant amount of new affordable housing, establish space for cultural uses, and provide for additional public facilities.”
I think the project announced by the Mayor rises to the occasion of such a landmark site and – pending more specifics on affordability – the goals set by the Council. I am glad to see the inclusion of a hotel, which has been a long, long held desire of many in the neighborhood, in order to drive more daytime activity to support established businesses, enable more neighborhood services, and promote public safety.
Including the NAACP as valued tenant and partner honors the history of SNCC organizing, civil disobedience and activism that happened at that site over the years.
Congratulations to Mayor Bowser and her team, as well as ANC1B past and present, which has worked hard to move this project forward with the community needs in mind.