To me, the interesting thing about Philip Kennicott’s recent architecural polemic “The Mediocre Mile,” isn’t his architectural criticism but the sheer volume of construction he’s writing about. The Post’s Dana Hedgpeth described the construction in the Mount Vernon Triangle (its southern boundary is Massachusetts Avenue) in this story from April: “120,000 square feet of retail, more than 1,700 apartments and condominiums and 234,000 square feet of offices are under construction … And much more is planned.” Her story was accompanied by this stunning graphic illustrating exactly just how much construction we’re talking about. Also interesting from Kennicott’s story is a description of the specific tax break mechanism used by the city to spur development in this area.
In addition to Mount Vernon Triangle, this style of rapidly constructed high density development is planned or underway at the old Convention Center site, surrounding the new baseball stadium in Southeast, and along the Southwest waterfront. (Where 2 million square feet of new construction is planned) Perhaps when they’re done with all this, developers and city officials will be forced to tackle the powerful churches, historic district regulations, cranky neighbors, and crime and redevelop the myriad of vacant structures in my neighborhood in Shaw.