09 November 2010
While construction has begun on Rhode Island Station, an mixed-use infill development that is replacing the former parking lot at the Metro station, a smaller, adjacent development has not received much attention.
In the parking lot of Rhode Island Place, a large strip mall that was plopped down on top of what used to be a city impoundment lot (and a cemetery before that), TD Bank is about to begin construction on a new branch. This was first reported by a commenter on the Rhode Island Ave NE Insider blog in March, but was not widely circulated.
Judging this is a tough call. On one hand, this land is a completely unused piece of asphalt. Look at the map here—the location is in the part of the parking lot furthest from both the Giant and the Home Depot. I never see any cars parked there, even during busy hours at the stores. The land will be better utilized than before, but it will still be a car-centric drive-to and -through location.
It's somewhat ironic that, while we are encouraging transit-oriented development on the old WMATA parking lot next door, we're moving further away from that goal at Rhode Island Place.