Bids to purchase the dog park property were due on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 and WMATA is now reviewing them. Among the bids are two that could save the park.
First, one bid is from the District, which has promised to preserve the entire park. This bid meets WMATA’s requirement to sell the land for its fair market value—indeed, WMATA itself set $2.1 million as the fair market value—and would meet the community’s need for a full-sized dog park. We have urged WMATA to choose this bid, and if it does, we will move forward in improving our park.
A second bid, by Outlier Capital Realty, includes a plan to build housing as well as a community dog park of about 4,000 square feet in size. The design would provide housing, retail and an important community green space: a public dog park. Outlier's design calls for a concrete podium 15 feet above the ground, with most of the park underneath that podium. We asked WMATA to select the Outlier bid if they reject the District’s bid so that we can ensure we will have a dog park on the property.
Of course, WMATA might also accept another bid entirely.
You, like us, probably have a lot of questions about what the Outlier plan’s dog park would look like if their bid is accepted. While their plan is at its beginning stages, here are the answers we have so far:
Would the dog park be for residents who live in the community or just people who live in the building? The dog park would be a community dog park open to the public.
Would there be running water and trash cans (for dog poop)? Yes. Outlier has promised to work with us to create the amenities in the park that we want.
Who would maintain the park? Outlier would maintain ownership, but they'd like to have a partnership with 11th and Bark, the District, or both. With the current District dog parks, neighborhood groups are tasked with some of the maintenance of those parks, so it wouldn't be unusual for the nonprofit to take on some maintenance.
How does it work to have a dog park under a building? It could be the first of its kind. But Outlier recognizes that the area will need lighting and ventilation. Also, at least a section of the park would be open to the sky.
What would the surface be? We don’t know yet. If they win the bid, they promised they will work with us to figure out what surface works best.
Outlier has offered to spend some time at the park, answering questions about the design. Please email us and let us know if you would be interested in that.
What can you do? Contact WMATA. Ask that it select the District's bid, and if not, to at least select the bid that saves most of this valued community space.
Email WMATA: firstname.lastname@example.org Nina Albert, director of the Office of Real Estate & Station Planning
Tweet at WMATA: @wmata