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A "Death by a thousand cuts" proposed in Takoma Park

  • Published in Local

WPFW TkPk townhall 7 19 2018WPFW hosts Katea Stitt (left) and David Zirin (second from left) talk with guests Andy Shallal (third from left) and Parisa Narouzi (right) PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVTAKOMA PARK — As the Takoma Park City Council vote on the Takoma Junction redevelopment project approaches on July 25, residents in the city gathered for a town hall on Thursday to discuss equity, economic development, social justice and gentrification.

“Gentrification is what happens when an area that was previously denied resources … resulting in demographic shifts and displacement,” Sabiyha Prince, Ph.D., an anthropologist for the Anacostia Community Museum, said, opening the discussion, which took place at the Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department. “Those resources I’m referring to are primarily loans in the form of home improvement, purchasing of property, improving property.”

The discussion, which was broadcast on air by local radio station WPFW, covered topics such as economic effects gentrification, worker-owned and cooperatively owned businesses, and the effect of development on minority-owned businesses.

In addition to Prince, the panel, which was moderated on air by WPFW hosts David Zirin and Katea Stitt, featured local business owner Kendra Blackett-Dibinga; George Mason University sociology professor Johanna Bockman, Ph.D.; Empower DC executive director Parisa Norouzi; Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op employees Mokie Rovner and Tiffany S.; Busboys and Poets founder Andy Shallal; local writer Sue Katz Miller; student activist Emily Kombe; and four-term Council member Jarrett Smith (Ward 5).

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Takoma Park votes to move junction concept plan forward

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK – In a meeting lasting until 1:30 a.m., the Takoma Park City Council voted to approve the concept plan Wednesday evening and continue the process to redevelop Takoma Junction.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the concept plan and move forward in the redevelopment process with Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), the contractor chosen for the project. Council member Tim Male (Ward 2) cast the sole dissenting vote.

“I’m trying to send a signal that there’s things that they need to pay attention to so that when we get to the site plan stage, we’re actually in the right place as opposed to going in the wrong direction,” Male said.

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Takoma Park residents speak out on junction development

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK – In a meeting lasting into the early morning hours of Oct. 12, the Takoma Park City Council heard comments from residents on the proposed Takoma Junction development project.

“It’s always nice to hear members of the community come out and voice their opinion,” Mayor Kate Stewart said after the conclusion of the meeting. “Later in the work session, I think a lot of the same themes came up regarding wanting more public space, more community space, concerns about the overall massing of the building.”

The proposed project, located at the junction of Carroll, Ethan Allen, and Grant avenues, would redevelop a city-owned parking lot flanked by the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Food Co-op and Healy Surgeons. The Takoma Auto Clinic, located on the lot, is slated to relocate should redevelopment plans move forward.

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Art and politics collide in Takoma Park festival

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK – As thousands of Takoma Park residents gathered for the City's annual street festival Sunday afternoon, arts and politics dominated the atmosphere.

"It's pretty remarkable, we have amazing weather and with the number of people, it's terrific," said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. "With the number of local artisans and businesses, it really shows what a great community we have."

"The event always tends to bring in a big crowd from around the area," said Maryland Del. David Moon (D-20) who represents Takoma Park and Silver Spring residents.

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Developer seeks other tenant for Takoma Junction

  • Published in Local

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Takoma Junction moved a step closer to becoming reality after the City Council meeting on Jan. 11 allowed the developer to choose another tenant.

With a unanimous vote, the council allowed the developer, NDC, to choose another anchor tenant for the Takoma Junction project.

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Takoma Park and developers deadlocked

  • Published in Local

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As the extension for the letter of intent between the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op and developer NDC wind downs once again, progress seems to be halted.

On Dec. 7, the Takoma Park City Council granted a 30-day extension for the Co-op and NDC to come up with a letter of intent for the next steps in the process but not without strain on many involved.

“I have to say, as council member [Rizzy] Qureshi said, there were moments in the last three days where I said, ‘No, we’re not going to do the 30-day extension,’” said Mayor Kate Stewart at the Dec. 7 council meeting.

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