Development Firm Is Picked For Library-School Project

By Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 11, 2008

The city has picked a developer for a site that includes Janney Elementary School and the former Tenley-Friendship Library, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced yesterday.

Although precise plans are not set, the LCOR development firm plans to build about 130 housing units over a new library at the Tenleytown site. Parking for the library, school and residences would be underground. The school might lose part of a soccer field but would replace the green space elsewhere on the site, the mayor's office said.

Shortly after the old library was demolished last year, the city asked developers to propose mixed-use projects for the site. But the library system had committed more than $1 million to its own design. Fenty (D) said developer fees would pay for the school renovations.

Some local residents oppose the project. About two dozen protesters heckled Fenty as he made the announcement.

"I don't like it shoved down your throat," said Amy McVey, an advisory neighborhood commissioner. McVey also complained that the time of the news conference had changed at the last minute, which she said was an attempt to avoid opposition. Sean Madigan, a spokesman for the mayor, said Fenty's schedule had changed on short notice.

Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) said she had been informed of the mayor's decision late Wednesday. She said that she had not seen the newest plans and that she opposes the loss of school green space. But she embraced the concept of mixed uses.

"I really think its going to tip in favor of support," she said. "I think fair-minded people will see that this is a net benefit."

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