Plots Open for Gardeners on Potomac Avenue

Dila Construction Will Offer 20-30 Garden Plots for Neighbors Starting This Spring

The 1200 Potomac Ave. SE site that Dila Construction wants to offer to urban gardeners. (Photo: Erin Gorman)

Green thumbs and gardeners may soon gain new ground on Dila Construction’s new plot at 1200 Potomac Avenue SE. The owners of the renovation company want to offer their neighbors a chance to cultivate on the land outside their new showroom. The vacant building they bought to accommodate their expanding renovation business includes enough front yard space to host 20-30 plots.

On Feb. 6 at 11 a.m., the Aslanturk brothers will invite anyone interested in gardening to scope out their site.

Erin Gorman, Dila’s business director and wife of one of the brother’s, said they hope enough people will show interest that they can start planting in spring 2016.

“There is a lot of demand for gardening space in the area and there is really no reason why we couldn’t convert this into a community garden," she said.

After working with the ANC 6B(07) Commissioner Daniel Chao and the DC Department of Transportation, Gorman said they obtained the permits to turn the corner yard space into an urban garden.

Dila plans to build the plots, install the water lines and unofficially donate the land to a future community membership and garden association — they won’t lease it, though. The family plans to stay involved by caring for at least one of the plots, Gorman said. 

“We’re hopeful that not only will this be good for urban agriculture, but a good social space for the community to get out and about,” she said. “It gives a sense of place, community, engagement.”

Gorman said her husband and his brother started their home renovation business around 2008. They both came from Turkey and their parents visit the District each summer. She said her two in-laws love gardening and she hopes they can keep a plot of their own in DC.

“Some gardens are on granted or purchased land,” Gorman said. “We are saying come and garden on our front lawn!”