July 9 Community Update

Dear community members,

Metro continues its work to advance the planning and design phases of the Northern Bus Garage Replacement Project. While the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way community engagement takes place, we are providing a written update at this time and will hold the next community update, whether in-person or virtual, later this summer or early fall.

As you know, Metro engaged a retail advisory firm, Streetsense, to complete an updated retail market analysis with community input. In the first half of 2020, Streetsense conducted four community workshops and a meeting with adjacent business owners - including two virtual meetings after the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted in-person gatherings. The May 26th virtual workshop was attended by 54 community members and major topics discussed included the retail marketing strategy and how the anchor tenant will impact that strategy, as well as the community’s vision for the streetscape, which focused on safe places, gathering space, and ways to unify the district.  The meeting encouraged community dialogue with many Q&A opportunities.

In addition, Metro is engaged in the District and federal historic preservation review and approval processes for the project.  At its May 28th concept review hearing, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) requested design adjustments for certain aspects of the project.  Metro is working to incorporate those recommendations.  The project subsequently will be reviewed by the Mayor’s Agent as a proposed project of special merit.  In parallel, Metro is participating in the federal review process under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Both review processes are open to the public and provide opportunities for the community to comment.

Due to the ongoing design review process, the project timeline has changed and the start of demolition will be determined upon conclusion of these external review processes. Finally, we are pleased to share that a new project website has launched at wmata.com/initiatives/plans/northern-bus-garage.  There you can find an overview of the project and current project timeline, history of the garage, information on Metro's sustainability efforts, and presentations from Metro's community engagement activities.

We thank you for your engagement and will continue to provide timely updates to the community as the project advances.

Metro’s Northern Bus Garage Project Team