Sixth Street/Florida Avenue Gateway

Rendering of the Sixth Street/Florida Avenue Gateway

Sixth Street Open House Workshop

On December 2, 2014, the Gallaudet University Real Estate Development team and The JBG Companies hosted an open house workshop on the Sixth Street Development for the Gallaudet community. The event marked another important step forward in the Sixth Street Development, building on the Board of Trustees’ approval of The JBG Companies as the University’s development partner in October.

Campus Architect Hansel Bauman discusses the Sixth Street Development with a student.

Representatives from Gallaudet and The JBG companies teamed up at various booths dispersed across the Multipurpose Room. Each booth covered a different theme: DeafSpace, Community/Housing, Retail, Public Realm, Academic Programming, Innovation Lab, and Overall Vision. The event allowed the members of the Gallaudet community, students, staff, and faculty have the chance to directly interact with Development team members and JBG representatives. With the open house format, participants were free to walk from booth to booth and learn more about the development, asking questions and making suggestions.

Before exiting the event, participants were encouraged to fill out a survey as well as write down their suggestions and ideas and post them on a bulletin board. At the end of the afternoon, the board was overflowing with recommendations. The feedback and input from the Gallaudet community have played a pivotal role in shaping the Sixth Street Development in the process thus far and will continue to do so.

The Gallaudet University Real Estate Development team will host future events regarding the Sixth Street Development to share updates and receive feedback.

Please watch for further information.



Common Questions

There are several ways you can get involved with the Sixth Street Development process. You can attend development update presentations open to the campus, where you will be given the opportunity to ask questions and submit comments. In the near future, the RFP team will host charrettes open to stakeholders intended to help finalize the Sixth Street Development vision, from building design to space use. You can also submit comments and suggestions as well as questions for the development vision by contacting us. To receive updates, please sign up for our e-mail distribution list.
Several near-term and long-term strategies to calm traffic and improve the streetscape on Sixth Street are being considered, including narrowing the width of the street, reducing vehicular lanes, installing cycle tracks, and adding parking spaces on the curb (you can read about these strategies in the RFQ). These plans are contingent on financing, feedback from community stakeholders, and discussions with the DC government. However, the university is excited to announce that the Sixth Street traffic calming process has already begun: the University has partnered with the DC Office of Planning, the DC Department of Transportation, Sustainable DC, and the development company Edens to construct a permanent parklet, the first of its kind in DC, on Sixth Street. A dedicated bike lane is also being added to the street.
The university is prioritizing the issue of safety and security in the Sixth Street Development vision. When discussing the ‘Public Realm’ of the Sixth Street Corridor in the RFQ document, ‘ground floor lobbies’ and ‘active spaces’ are two concepts expected to instill a feeling of safety within the Corridor. Other improvements and changes, such as increased street/sidewalk lighting and traffic-calming strategies, should further contribute to the safety and security of the space. In addition, the Department of Public Safety has been well-informed of the Sixth Street Development, and will continue to be involved with the process. They are expected to play a pivotal role in maintaining a safe and secure environment: one idea is to install a security kiosk, manned by a DPS officer, at the gateway plaza.
There are no firm plans regarding the fence at this time. However, a major part of the Sixth Street Corridor transformation is the conversion of the Appleby site on the corner of Florida and Sixth into a pedestrian entrance to the campus. This will be the initial foray into physically tearing a section of the fence down and opening the campus to the surrounding community. Another part of the Corridor transformation that could lead to more changes of physical campus boundaries is the improvement of Sixth Street into a more pedestrian-friendly, safe, and vibrant area that serves as a ‘transition zone’ between the campus and the Florida Avenue Market.
Likely all of the above, with emphasis on retail and residential. The residential units will be available for leasing, and the retailers chosen will represent the uniqueness of the location, catering to the college atmosphere of Gallaudet while reflecting the gritty urbanism of the Florida Avenue Market. The goal is to establish the Sixth Street Corridor as a unique destination: a creative and cultural district that builds upon its current surroundings.
The University is currently evaluating multiple locations for the functions currently housed at the Appleby building. The University will remain steadfastly committed to meeting the service needs of the campus. We do not anticipate relocation needs for these functions to be a barrier to redevelopment of the parcel or to delay potential redevelopment timelines that may be proposed.
A portion of the residential units will be affordable, per DC Inclusionary Zoning requirements. Additionally, housing on the parcels east of Sixth Street will be geared more towards Gallaudet community members, including staff, faculty, and alumni.
The development process includes multiple mechanisms to ensure that the Sixth Street Corridor will be accessible to all those who want to come and experience the space. Accessibility has been a strong point of emphasis in choosing a developer: one indication of the university’s commitment to accessibility is the incorporation of DeafSpace guidelines into the RFQ and RFP documents. An important factor in improving accessibility within the development vision is gathering feedback from our stakeholders. In our online comments and feedback form, a category named ‘Accessibility/Safety/Parking’ has been included. Please feel free to submit your concerns or suggestions. There will also be opportunities to share your accessibility recommendations in person at various stakeholder meetings in the near future. Keep an eye out for more information about these stakeholder meetings.
Multiple steps must be accomplished before we break ground on Sixth Street. We are currently in negotiations with the JBG Companies to finalize the development agreement. Part of the process will also include gathering feedback from stakeholders within the Gallaudet community, which is intended to inform the development vision. With a complete development vision, JBG will then work with District government agencies to secure permits and ensure the development plans comply with zoning laws and building codes, a process that may take up to two years.
The development vision includes plans for constructing underground parking in parcels 2, 3 and 4, which will meet the long-term parking needs of the corridor. As for the interim period of construction, there will be a transition plan to accommodate the parking needs of the university community.

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Sixth Street Development

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