This letter from a large majority of Junction businesses has been delivered to the City:
May 7, 2018
To: Mayor Kate Stewart, Council Members: Peter Kovar, Cindy Dyballa, Kacy Kostiuk, Terry Seamens, Jarrett Smith, and Talisha Searcy
From: Business Owners of Takoma Junction
Re: Proposed plan in the Junction
We stand in solidarity with The Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op grocery store, a vital resource and an anchor business located in Takoma Junction currently being threatened by the proposed development plan by NDC. The Co-op management and members have brought up a number of safety and operational concerns to the Council. We urge the Council not to take these concerns lightly. In addition, many of these issues may also affect our businesses located on Carroll Avenue.
We want to see the following issues addressed:
- Our Carroll Avenue strip has seen a particularly promising upswing in new, stable small businesses which may be threatened by increased traffic, difficulty parking, and the potentially higher rents in the Junction that may result from the large retail areas across the street putting additional strain on our businesses.
- The parking issue is especially concerning because it is likely that with increased volume of shoppers, some will look for free parking on the residential streets instead of using the metered parking garage. Parking on nearby streets by shoppers will likely require that Permit Parking be instituted; not something that all residents wish for but will need in order to maintain sufficient parking for themselves. Those who currently come to the Carroll Avenue shops might be deterred from patronizing our businesses due to increased traffic congestion and lack of free parking.
- If this project were to be completed, the large retail spaces are likely to be expensive to rent. As a result we are less likely to attract the small businesses that now characterize much of Old Takoma and Takoma Junction, namely, unique, individually-owned and operated shops and services. Higher rents in those spaces, if not designated for local businesses, may become occupied by chain stores and national businesses instead of locally-owned enterprises. We have a long-standing tradition in this City of encouraging locally-owned and operated small businesses that lend our community charm, character, and uniqueness in a large Metropolitan area filled with big chain stores.
- Keeping in mind the scale of what is already here should be a priority, and this NDC project is out-of-scale with the surroundings. It has been noted that the renderings are misleading and that the proposed building it actually much taller than shown.
- Finally, we are very concerned about the effect such an over-sized construction project including excavation for underground parking may have on our Historic buildings, nearly 100 years old now. Heavy trucks creating a lot of vibration are hard on our antique buildings.
Please do not turn a deaf ear on the business owners in Takoma Junction that already provide (and have for many years) tax revenue for the City.
Please do not minimize the importance of a well-conceived plan for deliveries and trash removal at the proposed site. Once it is built it will difficult, if not impossible, to correct the situation of large trucks sitting in front of the building—possibly double-parked—lined up and emitting fumes. This would be both unsightly and smelly for anyone sitting out and forget dining al fresco!
Lastly, this is such an oversized complex at a time when shopping is increasingly done online, and malls and strip shopping centers are often left with vacant spaces or are closing all together. Once this two-story building is up, what will happen if it is mostly vacant? This plan is on the wrong side of what we stand for in Takoma Park, on the wrong side of a population needing and longing for more community and relaxing green areas, and on the wrong side of quieting a busy intersection.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Takoma Junction Business proprietors:
Rick and Bernita Leonard
Heritage Building and Renovation, Inc.
7334 Carroll Avenue
7216 Carroll Avenue
Spring Mill Bread Company
7300 Carroll Avenue
Urban HiFi, LLC
t/a Linear Tube Audio
7316 Carroll Avenue
Mary Newsome Yancy
7310 Carroll Avenue
With independent operators:
Jo Anne Carey, D.V.M.
Takoma Park Animal Clinic
7330 Carroll Avenue
7312 Carroll Avenue
Takoma Postal & Business Center
7304 Carroll Avenue
Kendra Blackett Dibigna
Bikram Yoga Takoma Park
7324 Carroll Avenue
Carriage House Cleaners
7308 Carroll Avenue
Bruce and Inan Philips
7211 Carroll Avenue
Nazirahk Amen, ND, L.Ac.
Wisdom Path Healing Center
Purple Mountain Organics
7120 Carroll Avenue
RS Automotive, Inc.
7224 Carroll Avenue
Rachel Hardwick, President
Board of Representatives
Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op
201 Ethan Allen