Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Update on Florida Ave Market Development

Here is a Washington Business Journal article discussing a new twist in the development plans for the Florida Avenue Market.

I've actually never been to the market although we've been meaning to. We do know it's closed on Sunday and by late afternoon, which are the times we've tried to check the market out.

Change coming soon? From Sursum Corda to Northwest One

So two D.C. developers have been chosen to develop the Sursum Corda area. As the Washington Post describes the project: "The $700 million project is part of an ambitious strategy to attract mid- and upper-income families to help revitalize a struggling and once crime-ridden neighborhood, without displacing residents."

It's always comforting to see areas around your neighborhood being developed but this is an area that I would really like to see changes happen soon. During the summer, I taught at the Georgetown Law gym and would bike down 1st Street, NW to get home. Although the Union Station area is probably only a 20-30 minute walk from Eckington, I chose not to walk through the neighborhood because I just felt so uneasy in the area, even when I was careening through on my bike.

It was only after being in Eckington a couple of months that I read more about the Sursum Corda Cooperative and its crime-ridden history, which confirmed the anxieties I had when I was in the area. Hubby and I often drive by on the way home and I sometimes ask "What is going on over there?" or "What is that guy passing to that other person?" And hubby some times replies, "It's probably not a good idea to stare."

The fastest way to walk or bike from point A to B is usually just a straight shot but right now, to get to Chinatown, I take a longer route through Shaw. I can't wait not to have to plan my walking or biking routes to avoid an entire neighborhood.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Old Hecht's Warehouse to be Developed

The old Hecht's distribution center at 1401 New York Avenue, NE, is slated to become a new retail hub. Philadelphia developer, Patriot Equities, has plans to turn property into a shopping center anchored by retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and Costco. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will retain its original facade.

Also in the article are comments from District developer Jim Abdo who already has a $1.1 billion plan to build Arbor Place, a residential mixed-use planned unit development in the same area.

This is definitely a positive development for our quadrant. However, if any sort of retail (or residential use) is to take off in that area, the developers will have to make the area more accessible as it is not near a metro. Perhaps the developers can lobby for new or more frequent bus lines or provide shuttles to the metro? I believe Abdo already plans to provide shuttles to the Rhode Island Metro station.

I must admit though, because of Wal-Mart's appalling labor record (Target doesn't have a great record either), I wouldn't support any Wal-Mart moving into DC. I'd love a Costco though!

Photo by colros.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NoMa Launches New Website

Check out the redesign of the NoMa BID website launched today.