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Development


Will economic renewal reach Anacostia in 2013?

Farm vehicles no longer have their own parking privileges in Historic Anacostia. A weathered sign offering them special treatment is now gone; a new perimeter fence and fresh asphalt recently appeared on a site where, in 2008, a developer envisioned a $500-700 million mixed-use project.


The 2200 block of MLK Jr. Ave SE. Photos by the author.

Vacant storefronts, social service providers, treatment centers, art galleries, city government agencies, carry-outs and liquor stores, barber shops and beauty salons, cash checking spots and branch banks, small contractors and creative class incubators, a coffeehouse-bar hybrid and a progressive radio station roughly define Anacostia's commercial strip. A flower shop and faded grocery store recently shuttered.

By spring, new management plans to open a restaurant in former Uniontown Bar & Grill space. The Anacostia Playhouse, leaping across the river from H Street NE, will pull back its curtains in a former training center on Shannon Place SE.

Through fits and starts, more than 5 years after President Obama spoke nearby on his way to becoming the first black President (although widely reported as being in Anacostia, Obama spoke at THEARC, a short walk from the Southern Avenue Metro), Ward 8's Anacostia remains on the periphery of the city's economic renewal.

Will the neighborhood, more than 2 decades after its own Metro station opened, finally begin to attract sustained investment this year?

Can new retail take root?


A sleepy Sunday morning in Anacostia.

What happens to the former Anacostia Warehouse Supermarket at 14th and Good Hope Road SE will demonstrate if the neighborhood economy can move from government-subsidized service delivery, such as a dialysis center and childcare, to support places of commerce such as a restaurant, bookstore, hardware store and grocery.

The former Yes! Organic Market, now the Fairlawn Market, over on Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Ward 7, has endured many struggles, perpetuating the perception of the area as being a difficult market for retail. (Chipotle turned down free rent in 2010 to serve as the anchor tenant on the ground floor of The Grays, where the Fairlawn Market is.)


The corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, July 2011.

Ground zero in historic Anacostia remains Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE, the same corner where John Wilkes Booth met Davy Herold on his escape to southern Maryland. In the summer of 2011, renderings were released that teased at the intersection's potential. Since that time, despite the backing of Victor Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and other city agency heads, no development of note has happened at the corner.

A public art installation has been planned for nearly a year; it would replace an art installation that was previously torn down. The waiting game continues.

Stanley Jackson, now head of the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, predicted in 2005 when he was Mayor Williams' Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development that Anacostia would be "one of the hottest markets in the city" by now. Not yet.

In 2008 the Department of Housing and Community Development, whose signs adorn dozens of vacant properties in the neighborhood, moved into the $18 million Anacostia Gateway development at the northeast corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. Initial plans were to relocate the city's Department of Transportation here but that did not materialize.

Across the street from Anacostia Gateway, the iconic "ANACOSTIA" neon sign continues to light up a corner that at night is an economic dead zone.

Anacostia's Business Improvement District is slowly coming to life; the pop-up arts festival LUMEN8Anacostia will return this June and storefront renovations are planned to begin in the coming months. In December of this year will Anacostia's BID have more members than it does now?

1300 block of Valley Place SE; preservation and demolition by neglect

To walk the residential streets of the city's first sub-division is to see up close and personal a shining example of preservation and regeneration next-door to an eyesore of demolition by neglect and neighborhood decay. On the 1300 block of Valley Place SE five homes remain that were developed in the mid-1880s by real estate investor and president of the local streetcar line, Henry A. Griswold.


1300 block of Valley Place SE in Historic Anacostia.

Over the past few weeks the exterior of 1328 Valley Place SE has been fully renovated, in part through a popular grant program coordinated by the Office of Planning that targets 14 Historic Districts citywide. Next door, 1326 Valley Place SE, is one of the properties DHCD owns. The crumbling building is literally going to seed, as nature attempts to reclaim what's left.

According to tax records, 1326 was sold in 2005 at a foreclosure auction for a throw over $2,000. Local residents provided documents in 2011 from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs indicating that Darwin Trust Properties, LLC acquired the property at that time.

Darwin Trust's CEO was incarcerated while the city pursued legal action against the company under the demolition by neglect statute. Through the litigation, the city was able to get a court order to let DCRA abate the property. After half a decade of further deterioration, the city finally bought the property in a November 2011 foreclosure sale for just under $12,000. According to a 2013 preliminary tax assessment, the land is worth $116,410 and the total value of the property is $118,520.

Based on the valuations alone, the city got a steal, purchasing the property for less than 10 percent of its assessed value. But the time to take advantage of this bargain is running short. The 2013 assessment is down nearly 15% from the 2011 value of $135,900, as the building continues to crumble.

Given the home's historic character, we can hope the city finds a way to restore what's left and continue to rejuvenate this old street in Historic Anacostia.

Abandominiums abide

Keeping a watchful eye on the vacant properties around her youth center, Hannah Hawkins has seen hundreds of squatters come and go in and out of the surrounding abandominiums over the 2 decades she and her volunteers have supported the community from 2263 Mount View Place SE. On a recent morning Hawkins caught a woman going into the Southeast Neighborhood House. Hawkins asked what she was doing. "I'm looking for artifacts," the trespasser announced before Hawkins chased her off.


The Southeast Neighborhood House, organized to combat poverty is now an "abandominium."

The portfolio of abondominiums in the neighborhood is well-known both throughout circles of the city's chronic homeless as well as real estate agents, developers and city officials. While housing prices continue to rise across the city, in Anacostia they have remained flat. Abondominiums shelter the homeless and criminal class for free while suppressing property values and property tax revenues for the city.


Big K site, 2234 & 2238 MLK Jr. Ave SE.

After demolishing 2228 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE last year, DHCD selected a developer for the Big K site. According to a press release, plans are to "construct a new office building that features commercial and retail space, as well as restore the existing historic houses on the site." Time will tell when this block, first developed by coach painter James Beall in the early 1880s, finally comes back to life.

The real estate site DC Curbed recently featured listings for 8 condos, townhouses and single family homes in the neighborhood and nearby. Asking prices topped out at $229,000 with a low of $43,000 for a condo in Barry Farm.

On the fringes of each end of the Anacostia Historic District are multi-unit residential complexes, the Bruxton Condos and a cluster of 3 vacant apartments on High Sreet SE, whose development has been too long in coming. While most eyes are focused on Anacostia's exterior, its commercial strip, the interior, the integrity of its housing stock, continues to be endangered.

Based on responses the city received at a handful of Ward 8 summits and town halls in recent years, cleaning up existing vacant residential and commercial properties is a top concern of citizens, taking precedent over new development. Multiple reports released over the years by city government and think tanks list strategies to deal with the area's blight, but if there's been any implementation of these methods, the blight largely remains. A 2004 study noted, "The area's combination of natural beauty, waterfront access, transportation resources and cultural heritage is unrivaled in the city, however, it is important as well to note challenges in existing conditions."

Now that the days of old Anacostia's farm vehicles are bygone, can the neighborhood move beyond the limitations of its past and attract new residential and commercial investment?

John Muller is an associate librarian, journalist and historian. He has written two books, Frederick Douglass in Washington, DC, Mark Twain in Washington, DC, and also writes at Death and Life of Old Anacostia

Comments

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If you look at typical development in DC, it mostly radiates out from the center of the city (which is not where N/S and E/W come together but really closer to the White House/ 16th and K St. area. Anacostia is actually decently far from this area as the crow flies. Add in the fact that there is the natural barrier of the river and the fact that it is decently far from the wave of urban renewal. I really don't see near term potential for significant development when there is still much lower hanging fruit in NW SW and nearer NE and SE.

by Alan B. on Jan 23, 2013 12:37 pm • linkreport

Given that the bulk of real esate investment money right now is multiunit rentals -- and high end ones like that -- I think the answer is no.

by charlie on Jan 23, 2013 12:37 pm • linkreport

I disagree that prices have stayed flat. Do you have a source for that? This says otherwise:

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/investors_swarming_into_anacostia/5684

As for the first two commentors, I agree its not going to be a super high-priced neighborhood anytime soon. However, its extremely close to near SE. I disagree that there are a large amount of available parcels in more developed neighborhoods. I just don't see how that is the case.

More a potential negative, as I see it, is that with all these new apartments coming online (yes, in other neighborhoods) that that absorbs all the demand for a half year or year or so.

I do think it is going to be a great year for Anacostia. Big Chair Cafe Bar & Grill doesn't get its fair props either. I only go when I am down there to work on something, but the food is pretty good and very reasonable. The alcohol is a little high priced but its a great vibe and they are normally playing some good hip hop.

by H Street LL on Jan 23, 2013 12:56 pm • linkreport

How is development moving on the St. Elizabeth's campus for DHS? Also what about Barry Farm? I can see more development in the long-term especially in response to DHS's slow move, but definitely not much substantive in 2013. As Alan B. noted in his comment, there is so much low hanging fruit in other areas in the city near proven development.

by Nicoli on Jan 23, 2013 12:57 pm • linkreport

Alan B. makes some good points. OTOH, as those other areas build out, Anacostia will have more opportunity and should have in any case.

E.g., when you listed weact radio I thought about how WPFW has to find a new place to live, why not MLK Jr. Ave. as an addition to the coming "Anacostia" (formerly H St.) Playhouse, etc.

I have to read the ULI document, but I've argued for years that there isn't an Anacostia revitalization plan. (AEDC controlled the dev. agenda for so long.) Although the AWI people would probably disagree with me.

It's coming, maybe it's 10 years, maybe it's 20 years. But I see a greater preponderance of positive changes beginning to add up to some critical mass. Maybe not a tipping point, but it's building.

The challenge would be for AEDC to do a truly community initiated plan, engage the community, engage DHCD, have a program to bring abandominiums up on line (I actually talked about that with Michael Kelly).

To do a community uplift plan where to be successfully revitalized, it's not based on displacement.

And as the extant places are improved, it makes additional grayfield development like St. E's more possible.

I haven't read the plan yet, but Urbanophile did a piece on the revitalization through shrinkage plan for Detroit, led by former DC dept. director of planning Toni Griffin, who was involved in AWI too.

You should read it and think about what a revitalization plan should look like for Anacostia. There are so many opportunities, but yes, people want to be close to success not failure, which is why developers would rather build/add density in successful places, rather than build in weak markets.

by Richard Layman on Jan 23, 2013 1:05 pm • linkreport

Stifling multi-agency regulation combined with high-crime and thousands of units of public housing. Anacostia is ready to take off!

by Michael Hamilton on Jan 23, 2013 1:12 pm • linkreport

I see your point H St, and I certainly didn't mean to imply the area would stay static. Renewal to me entails a relatively significant increase of in migration, especially of higher income residents with disposal income to support broader economic activity. I just don't see the market for that at the moment. No one I know has ever mentioned seriously considered moving to Anacostia.

Also, I think 'available parcels is misleading. There are definitely plenty of parcels all over the city that would not be considered in real estate parlance "highest and best use". Maybe if the Navy Yard takes off strongly as a mixed-use 24 hour destination and the streetcar gets well implemented then Anacostia will be poised for significant changes in 5-10 years. Until then I think transit-accessible WOTR locations will continue to soak up most of the development in the near future.

by Alan B. on Jan 23, 2013 1:15 pm • linkreport

Two reasons my wife and I didn't buy in Anacostia

1) We visited a place multiple times, during different hours and we were noticeably stared at every time...and not in a nice way. We're whitey-white btw...and she compared the stares to those she got while in the Peace Corps in W. Africa, except more hostile (vs. curious in W. Africa).

2) We didn't see a potential upside for at least 5 years, probably closer to 10-15 (this was 2009), and much of that was contingent on the development of St. E's. We got the same/more house for about the same money a block outside DC.

by thump on Jan 23, 2013 1:15 pm • linkreport

Alan B. makes good points.

Good Hope/MLK intersection is 3.5 miles from the white house. Where does 3.5 miles put you elsewhere? Brookland, Petworth, Van Ness, Virginia Square, the airport. All pretty residential/quiet areas.

I see re-development in far SE happening as Waterfront and Navy Yard begin to fill up. There is still so much room for infill development there - why go across the river, where you are limited to a few congested bridges and one metro line?

by Nick on Jan 23, 2013 1:20 pm • linkreport

Great points all.

I would say the neighborhood looks fairly improved since 2009, but that's beside the point and true for most areas of the city.

But what are ya'll using as the measurement for having "arrived" or whatever? Its got great transit (metro station can and will be improved tho), a current and soon coming sit down restaurant/bar, two art galleries, a soon to open theater, has several nearby grocery stores (the closing and opening of AWS is an improvement), office space, small creative shared workspaces for the techies beautiful homes (yes some vacant but not a huge amount) etc. How much more is necessary (it's not a huge neighborhood)?

I agree it's got its problems, but still. Where else in DC can you get amenities like that at such a low price? Thump, where in Maryland did you buy? Sounds great.

by H Street LL on Jan 23, 2013 1:36 pm • linkreport

So long as developers can still build in already successful areas, they have no reason to go to Anacostia.

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 23, 2013 1:42 pm • linkreport

@H Street-Mt. Rainier.

by thump on Jan 23, 2013 2:12 pm • linkreport

I've always thought that Anacostia and all of Ward 8 is going to need some major attraction to bring people to the area, because like another reader commented - it is far from everything and there are better under-developed areas elsewhere. Mixed-use development wont be enough.

Look what The MCI Center (now Verizon) did for China Town. And look what Nats Park did for Near SE. Those are both now VERY viable, valuable neighborhoods.

I proposed that DC make a deal with PG County to switch the FBI building on Pennsylvania Ave with a new Redskins Stadium in Ward 8. Place the new stadium EXACTLY where Barry Farms is! This way it will be metro accessible and close to 395/295.

Also I could never understand why DC doesn't better utilize one of it's greatest natural resources. Anacostia as it is affectionately called, happens to sit right on a large body of water. For years this water has been thought to be toxic - and it probably is, but there are MAJOR clean up efforts in place. I think that developing the 'east of the river' side of the Anacostia along the waters edge, combined with a major attraction like the Redskins Stadium would make Anacostia a premiere neighborhood in DC.

Thoughts?

by SouthWest DC on Jan 23, 2013 2:23 pm • linkreport

Thoughts?

Let's start with plopping a football stadium down on top of people's houses. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the folks who live there now might have something to say about that.

There would also be historic issues related to that, but seriously, recommending that we boot people out of their homes for a stadium is ridiculous. This isn't Beijing, China in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympics.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 2:30 pm • linkreport

Also, it's just a dumb idea for a ten times a year use.

Anacostia doesn't need to attract people like this is South Dakota or something. People already live there, and more are coming all the time. It needs to continue to develop the resources it already has (you make a good point about the waterfront in that regard). A quality neighborhood brings in new residents, a barely used behemoth of a stadium doesn't.

It's a neighborhood, not a spectacle.

by Tim Krepp on Jan 23, 2013 2:38 pm • linkreport

@Timm Krepp: More coming all the time? http://www.neighborhoodinfodc.org/wards/nbr_prof_wrd8.html

by Michael Hamilton on Jan 23, 2013 2:55 pm • linkreport

If economic renewal refers to the largess of projects happening in other parts of our city, then no, economic renewal will not happen in Anacostia.

If it refers to the continuance of it's n'hood revitalization, then yes. I agree w/Tim but will add that Anacostia is a small n'hood so there is factually only so much that will happen. But that's a separate matter from businesses relocating EOTR..which encompasses...well..everything EOTR.

by HogWash on Jan 23, 2013 2:58 pm • linkreport

[Deleted for violating the comment policy (for using a false email address, among other reasons).]

by Shuffleboard Court Landmilloy on Jan 23, 2013 3:00 pm • linkreport

@Michael Hamilton We probably won't remember this is seven years, but I'd lay long odds 2020 will look dramatically different. The Census is a lagging indicator.

by Tim Krepp on Jan 23, 2013 3:04 pm • linkreport

@Geoffrey Hatchard - Guess you have been under a rock but there are plans CURRENTLY in the pipline to permanently close Barry Farms. Nice thought though, I guess...

@Tim Krepp - have you been under that same rock? the people that are already in Anacostia are the reason it is what it is today. Dugh. And more people are coming? You must live in Charles County. Everyone in the DMV knows people are dropping Anacostia like a bad habit - fleeing by the thousands. Nice thought though... I guess

by SouthWest DC on Jan 23, 2013 3:25 pm • linkreport

Has anyone here actually looked at rental or condo prices in Cap Riverfront lately? The same exhorbitant prices as elsewhere. There are currently three buildings UC there, but I doubt they will significantly lower prices (esp if the office market in the area ever recovers -or the nightlife scene takes off).

The only thing stopping historic Anacostia is the crime/staring.

by MStreetDenizen on Jan 23, 2013 3:55 pm • linkreport

"Also I could never understand why DC doesn't better utilize one of it's greatest natural resources. Anacostia as it is affectionately called, happens to sit right on a large body of water. For years this water has been thought to be toxic - and it probably is, but there are MAJOR clean up efforts in place. I think that developing the 'east of the river' side of the Anacostia along the waters edge..."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but DC doesn't own the majority of the riverfront property in the DC, the Feds do. And we all know how wonderful they are to work with.

Another thing: East of the River, the riverfront is largely cut off from the community by DC 295/I 295 south of E. Capitol Street. It doesn't seem, to me, to be much, if any, available land to develop along the river's ege.

by Birdie on Jan 23, 2013 4:20 pm • linkreport

SouthWest DC: Thanks for pointing out my current living conditions. Let me know if the ceiling above my head is igneous, metaphorphic, or sedimentary.

Of course I'm aware that changes are coming to Barry Farm (note the lack of an "s" at the end of it). It's not going to be "permanently closed," though. The plan is to have a one-to-one replacement of existing housing units, plus market-rate housing.

I don't mean to impugn you personally, but your ideas. They're....not well thought out or intelligently expressed.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 4:21 pm • linkreport

@Nicoli, Congress zeroed out the budget for moving DHS to St E's. They're going to finish Coast Guard HQ (which was already pretty far along) and then nothing will happen until Congress decides to pony up the dough.

by Ben on Jan 23, 2013 4:22 pm • linkreport

How do you define economic renewal? If you mean trendy restaurants and bars, that's not happening in 2013 but in my mind that's the last stage of renewal.

The first stage is becoming a hot real estate market and Anacostia is definitely in that stage. Lots of houses being rehabbed and lots of investors (both long term and flippers) are swarming the area. If you can still find a rowhouse for under $100K, rehabbing it and selling it for over $200K isn't hard.

As the stock of rehab houses quickly dries up, the next stage will be new construction. Also, as prices rise, it will force out low income renters and higher income renters or owners will take their place. Only after all of that happens will you see bars/restaurants/retail.

The bottom line is that the difference in home prices between Near SE and Anacostia is huge even though the distance between them isn't far. As someone else noted, Anacostia is the same distance from the White House as Virginia Square but a townhouse in VA Square that costs $650K can be had in Anacostia for $200K. As Anacostia's reputation for crime improves, I can see it becoming the premier place for yuppy african americans in DC or anyone else who wants the proximity of an Arlington/Brookland/Petworth at a much much lower price.

Place the new stadium EXACTLY where Barry Farms is!

I think the folks planning the $400M, 1500 unit development at Barry Farm (no "s") would have a thing or two to say about that.

combined with a major attraction like the Redskins Stadium would make Anacostia a premiere neighborhood in DC.

Right...like the stadium has made Landover a premier neighborhood?

by Falls Church on Jan 23, 2013 4:30 pm • linkreport

a major attraction like the Redskins Stadium would make Anacostia a premiere neighborhood in DC.

Just look at what football stadiums have done for the premiere destination towns of Landover, Foxboro, and East Rutherford!

by JustMe on Jan 23, 2013 4:59 pm • linkreport

@everyone who apparently enjoys Barry Farm (no s lol) in Anacostia- Ok cool. It was just a suggestion. You act as if public housing has never been closed and redeveloped as something else. As for the 400M plan that was supposed to replace the farm - I heard that fell through.

As for Landover not getting any better because of the stadium - well neither did near SE until OTHER things were placed there. But why were other things now flocking to the area. The stadium. Listen the Redskins stadium doesn't have to be the ONLY thing in Anacostia - it can be one of many but trust me, coffee shops and government building wont be enough to bring it back to life.

And yes DC is cut off by 295/395 but you see how much work is being done on the freeways? To redirect the bit that cuts off the waterfront would be costly but well worth it IMO. And DC does own a large portion of the waterfront land. Not ALL OF Buzzard Point, Blue Plains or the Navy Yard, but I believe they own most of it. i.e Anacostia park

by SouthWest DC on Jan 23, 2013 5:19 pm • linkreport

SouthWest DC: RE: Anacostia Park.

No, you are incorrect. That is federal land.

Please see the maps here and here.

RE: Barry Farm. There was a proposal for redevelopment that was put together and finalized during Fenty's term in office. That was on hold due to the downturn in the housing market, but has been updated by the Gray administration and they are apparently soliciting options to move it forward (see here).

Both of these were found with a minute or two of search on Google.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 5:32 pm • linkreport

"But why were other things now flocking to the area. The stadium. "

please lets not start that discussion again. suffice it to say GGW is divided between those who think the ballpark was ONE factor, and those who think it was not at all a factor.

by MStreetDenizen on Jan 23, 2013 5:45 pm • linkreport

For those who think a major attraction is necessary, the 11th Street Bridge Park project has the potential to attract people from throughout the city and will be complete by 2016:

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/one_on_one_the_man_behind_the_11th_street_bridge_park/6421

While its true that some abandominiums are lingering, we keep hearing that investors are sweeping through to renovate and resell.

Finally, as realtor Darrin Davis states in this article, the fact that Sheridan Station managed to appraise may encourage other developers to move forward:

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/sheridan_station_forges_new_market_in_anacostia/6365

by sp on Jan 23, 2013 6:12 pm • linkreport

Development is a long-term proposition. I left DC in '95 and Clarendon was a depressing strip straddling uninteresting Ballston and ugly Rosslyn. Now, people somewhat inappropariately make it a model for anything else, but it took a while and there are other stories that are less dramatic. Downtown SS has made some strides, but much of it is in the same sleepy or dead but eternally promising state as it was 20 years ago. H Street happened after decades of gradually northward movement of gentrification from Capitol Hill. Upper Georgia Avenue in DC has a dreary commercial district despite being next to Shepherd Park and Takoma DC and was that way 20 years ago.

Anacostia has the river, but there isn't much going on in the old business district. The areas that are real steals (nice houses that need just a little TLC for the price of Ward 3 condo) are further S in Hillcrest and those are getting snapped up. Downtown Anacostia may have to wait until things happen around it--DHS, revival of Hillcrest, etc. The football stadium is a ridiculous idea--dead space that gets used a few times a year.

by Rich on Jan 23, 2013 9:52 pm • linkreport

Managing the height limit changes in the works so they don’t create more density in western DC while encouraging nodes of development in the east would help as would familiarizing people with the eastern part of the city. Most people in the region know little about places like Anacostia unless they have reasons to be there. This article told me more than I’ve ever known and I’ve leaved in this region nearly 50 years.

by Andrew on Jan 24, 2013 6:56 am • linkreport

@Michael Hamilton Anacostia is just one of 10+ neighborhoods in Ward 8. The census tracts covering the Anacostia/Congress Heights/Bellevue neighborhoods grew by over 4% from 2000 to 2010, faster than Capitol Hill, Petworth/Brightwood, and every neighborhood in Upper NW except for Tenleytown.

Source: Economic & Revenue Trends Report for August 2012
http://cfo.dc.gov/node/232862

by PG2SE on Jan 24, 2013 11:17 pm • linkreport

I've watched DC redevelop since 1994. It's been an amazing ride--when I bought my Hill East place in 2004 my wife had to drag me to see it, since I figured it was just crack hell. But there is still plenty of crime on Capitol Hill. I know nothing about Anacostia in particular, but when reading about DC crime, sure seems like most of it is in Ward 8. It will take some real brave people to move in there with the public housing, bad reputation, etc. You are cut off from much of the developing part of the city, closer to the border with PG, where lots of crime has moved, and if not black.....would be interested to know how warm the welcome.

But I bet there is money to be made in rehabbing places and getting in on the ground floor. But you will need to be comfortable with poverty and the reality of it with you for a long time. My rehab in Colombia Heights was an adventure 10 years ago, and that was with lots of development planned and on the way. Not sure you can look at Anacostia and see stuff on the horizon.

by Bob on Jan 26, 2013 8:25 pm • linkreport

Renovation comes before development in DC. As a core of renovated homes gains significant mass others will feel comfortable renovating just out of that core.

It's only after an area is almost completely renovated that first small businesses and then large developers will want to come in.

Thinking that a certain development will "turn a neighborhood around" never happens. It's just homeowner-renovators with sweat equity.

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 27, 2013 2:26 pm • linkreport

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