Southwest DC neighborhood worries about land used for Farmers’ Market and festivals – NBC4 Washington

Plans to redevelop two major lands in the district do not sit well with some residents.

The Southwest Farmers’ Market and other events take place on this lot, and a group of neighbors are calling on the city to step in and buy the properties before it’s too late.

“There’s a real sense of community here,” resident Kelley Gallagher said.

“We need a social place; we need a social space where we don’t have to spend $12 on a cocktail,” said resident Coy McKinney.

During the Friday evening market, the atmosphere is electric.

A group of concerned neighbors say they are banning together and urging city leaders to take action and preserve the space.

“A lot of kids come here, they play here,” McKinney said.

McKinney said it recently learned that the M and 4th Street lands were up for sale. He said it jeopardizes the future of important community events like the farmers market.

“We also had different fairs here. The DC State Fair here two years in a row,” he said. “We had the 202 Creates Festival here. We organized a food truck festival. So it’s like it’s a space for the community to come together.

The property is an attractive investment for developers thanks to easy access to the metro.

Neighbors say losing the space would leave a giant void in the community.

“These spaces are a place where people can come together and, you know, support small businesses, and, you know, if they leave, there’s no other identified place for those small businesses to go. ‘install,” Gallagher said.

She’s also worried about low-income families who depend on the farmers’ market for fresh produce – another reason they’re organizing and urging the city to buy the land and transfer ownership to a community land trust. .

They launched a petition which collected more than 700 signatures.

Next week they will hold a rally to make sure city leaders hear them.

“We’ve seen gentrification and displacement,” McKinney said.

“Just building more expensive apartments does not solve the affordable housing crisis, and so we really want to solve the affordable housing crisis in a real way, and in fact, more than that, we want community ownership of land allows us to determine what’s going on here rather than a for-profit entity,” McKinney said.

The rally will take place there on June 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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