Letter to the Editor: Superfresh project appropriate for site

Valor Development tweaked the architecture for the Ladybird, shown here at the corner of 48th and Yuma streets NW, to reduce the project's visual bulk. (rendering courtesy of Valor Development)

The back-and-forth between our neighbors regarding the redevelopment of the Superfresh site has illuminated some of the issues that development proposals often spark, not just in D.C. but in neighborhoods across the country. Change is hard.

In this case, I have to side with Michael Kent, who in his July 12 letter outlined the reasons that he favors the proposed project. I found many of Debra Barry’s arguments in her July 19 response to be red herrings.

Nobody is proposing to replicate Bethesda, Adams Morgan or U Street in this leafy location. The proposed project would fit nicely into this location: a moderate-density commercial node in a largely single-family neighborhood, adjacent to an existing large office building and on a major corridor, Massachusetts Avenue.

The mix of proposed uses would bring value to the neighborhood in the form of a new, small grocery store as well as tax-paying, retail-and-restaurant-spending residents who could take advantage of residential choices not currently in abundant supply in this part of the city. And the urban design and architecture (by the same firm that designed the outstanding new Park Van Ness building) are terrific — appropriately scaled and sensitive to the context of the adjacent Spring Valley shopping center.

In short, the project is appropriate for the site, is fiscally beneficial for the District, would bolster nearby businesses and would bring new life and vibrancy to our neighborhood. I, for one, can’t wait for it to get approved and underway.

Patrick Phillips, American University Park