Congress Heights Library Site Identification

Congress Heights Library Site Identification

Study Proposes Possible Locations for Full-Service Library

In 2019, DC Public Library undertook a study to identify potential locations to build a full-service 20,000 square foot permanent library to replace the temporary leased location for the Parklands-Turner Library.

There were two main criteria for site identification:

  • The site should be within one-half mile of the existing storefront library.
  • The site should allow for a 20,000 square foot library that would be owned by the city.
The Library hired Key Urban, a D.C.-based real estate development firm, to conduct the research. Key Urban identified a number of potential locations and then ranked those locations on the basis of several factors. These factors included:
  • type of zoning
  • distance from the current library
  • vehicular traffic
  • pedestrian traffic
  • distance from the Congress Heights Metro
  • current ownership of the property
  • lot size
Ultimately, the study identified five locations, all along Alabama Ave. SE, that best met the criteria.

Read the study results here.

Stakeholder Engagement

The Library met with several stakeholders from the community as part of the study. Overall, there was general consensus that the community is eager for a new full-service library in Congress Heights, and that a location along the Alabama Avenue corridor, with bus routes, shopping and a Metro stop, is ideal. While no one site rose above the others in terms of preference, the stakeholders did offer some helpful guidance. This included:

  • Ensure the location is easily accessible for students;

  • If the library is part of a larger, mixed use project, consider the other amenities' compatibility with community needs;

  • Create a library that is responsive to the needs of the entire Congress Heights community; and

  • Prioritize pedestrian safety

    Next Steps

    The Library will begin working with city officials on site selection and finalization. Community engagement will be a vital part of this process. Initial funding for a new full-service Congress Heights Library will become available in Fiscal Year 2022, which begins October 1, 2021.