Last Saturday, I took a drive over to the St. Elizabeth’s East Campus in Congress Heights for the unveiling of the Gateway Pavilion development plan. When I first heard about this project, I thought it was going to be something like the temporary tent structure used by the City to house vendors during the Eastern Market renovation. Boy, I was wrong! What I learned was this will be an awesome $5 million structure that will serve as a cultural and market center. It will have cafeteria spaces to allow for more eating options for residents and government workers along with an open-air theater/pavillion on top.
Normally, when I hear about these types of projects they are always light-years away, but I was excited to learn that the City will break ground in January and plan to be complete by late summer. Additionally, "if this goes according to plan," Microsoft and other technology company anchors will begin to move in within 3-5 years. The City is serious folks!
As I understand more about the St. Elizabeth’s project, I get excited! As Mayor Gray said, this development will be the center of City activity and that soon the District will be considered a City of 8 Wards and not 6 Wards and the other 2.
And here is a not so bold prediction. Though Ward 8 has been known as a place to avoid, it will soon be considered a place where people will be tripping over themselves to get in. With the development of St E's, soon to be Poplar Point and possibly the 11th Street Recreational Bridge, East of the River will be pride of the City! Mayor Gray promises that Ward 8 Residents and Businesses will have a seat at the table, but it is going to be up to us to position ourselves and take advantage of the changes to come! There is going to be tremendous amount of business opportunity...stay tuned, I'm sure the River East Emerging Leaders and other community organizations will keep you posted on how you can get involved.
A food court on the bottom, and open-air theatre on top!
Can't forget about the food trucks...
Can you imagine seeing this structure on MLK Ave!?
Another view from MLK Ave
I think that is an iPhone 5?
Imagine the possibilities of the theatre venue!
After the event, I took my own tour of the campus. It has so much potential!
This is a one shot deal, so I hope the City puts a great plan together.
I am sure there will be some serious community convo regarding this chapel.
It was built in 1955 so it is not considered historic. It would be
great if some architects could incorporate the building into the design of
the grocery store...hint, hint...Wegmans!