Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Heard on the Street

Braddock Lofts: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

The Growler is hearing a persistent rumor that the residents of Braddock Lofts have recently organized and are now planning to offer their homes en masse for sale to a developer. Presumably the Lofts would be torn down for an even denser development.

Well, that's a creative way to sell your house in a down market.

Crime Wavelet

Did anyone notice the Community Market on Madison Street was robbed not once but twice in the past two weeks? From the City's Daily Crime Report:

November 20

BURGLARY: 1006 Madison Street between 11/17 at 8:00 p.m. and 11/18 at 8:15 a.m. Someone forced open a window to gain entry to the business and took cash.

November 28

BURGLARY: 1006 Madison Street between 11/26 at 8:00 p.m. and 11/27 at 8:40 a.m. An unknown suspect(s) entered the business and took cash.

The market just started offering carry-out food a few weeks ago.

Adkins Alternative?

The Growler trotted down to Ladrey Highrise last week for the ARHA board meeting on the EYA proposal for Glebe Park. The meeting was brief and was held only to ratify a resolution regarding the plans for the troubled project. Nothing relating to the plans for Andrew Adkins or James Bland surfaced.

However, the Cranky One did get a chance to chat with ARHA Executive Director William Dearman (who admits to reading the PG Growl). He said ARHA's real need is for an assisted living facility for the City's elderly impoverished. While Mr. Dearman said EYA hasn't approached him about this, the Growler seems to remember EYA staff mentioning the possibility of redeveloping Adkins into a site for the elderly and disabled.

This might be a viable alternative for the neighborhood if we can't get public housing density reduced at the Metro. But we need more information.

Mr. Dearman pointed out, an assisted living facility would not place as much pressure on parking as a traditional public housing complex since most residents would not be up to driving. But on the other hand, there's also a need for staff parking, but how much the Growler doesn't know at this point. (If ARHA got its dream of an assisted living center, Mr. Dearman said, it would be run by another government agency or a contractor, since this is not ARHA's area of expertise.)

Replacing Adkins with a facility for the elderly and disabled sounds like it might be a politically palatable alternative to multi-family housing, which frequently translates to heightened problems with crime and drugs. But as the experience with Ladrey shows, there would need to be much tighter security.

Plus, we all know that there are elderly homeowners in Parker-Gray who are perfectly respectable themselves but have family members who are heavily into drugs and crime. How would family and visitors to an assisted living facility be managed?

Return of the Wild Eyed Woman

No, that's not the title of a low budget sci-fi feature. But it's equally scary.

The Growler hears the Democrats are planning to put former City Council Member Joyce Woodson back on the ARHA board as soon as there's a vacancy. Ms. Woodson — the Bette Davis of Alexandria politicans — served on the board before her election to City Council back in 2000.

Ms. Woodson, a Realtor and a Del Ray resident (she lives around the corner from Mayor William D. Euille) has long portrayed herself as a champion of affordable housing. Funny, though. The Growler has heard affordable housing advocates talk about their relief that the mercurial Ms. Woodson was not present for the key City Council hearing on saving the Gunston Hall Apartments earlier this year. Apparently they were worried Ms. Woodson would bog down the proceedings and stomp the issue to death. Instead, a parade of passionate witnesses turned the tide with the skeptical City Council during the course of the long debate.