The TPSS Co-op is an important part of the City’s brand. When people think of Takoma Park, they mention, among other things, the Nuclear Free Zone, the Folk Festival, the Co-op and Roscoe the Rooster. It swings the other way, too. For example, if you mention the Co-op, people think of Takoma Park and usually have warm, happy feelings associated with the connection. The Co-op is important to Takoma Park’s character and to the community.
When the City Council began considering the development of the Takoma Junction parking lot, next door to the Co-op, the entire Council voiced their recognition of the Co-op’s importance and the desire to include the Co-op in the development plans. We told NDC, the developer, to make reasonable accommodations for the Co-op’s ongoing operations and told NDC to work with the Co-op to minimize negative impacts during the construction. The Council even gave priority for the Co-op in the search for an anchor tenant.
I am hopeful as the Co-op and NDC move into mediation that they will both find ways to make things work. If a party feels a proposal is not going to work, I want that party to make a reasonable suggestion for what will work. The community wants two strong, successful organizations coming through this project, both prioritizing community good and making the junction an attractive and safe place to visit.