DCCH Focus Groups This Week To Discuss Current and Future Retail in Columbia Heights


From a reader:

“This is just a reminder that the Development corporation of Columbia heights will be hosting three focus groups this week to discuss the current businesses and future retail development needs of the neighborhood.

11th Street Focus Group
Date: September 8, 2009
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Red Rocks Pizzeria, 1036 Park Road NW

Park Road Focus Group
Date: September 9, 2009
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Los Hermanos Market, 1426 Park Road NW

14th Street Focus Group
Date: September 10, 2009
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: La Molienda Restaurant, 3568 14th Street NW”

27 Comment

  • Are all invited to these? Is there more info on what will be discussed? There is nothing at all on the DCCH website, where did this info come from? Thanks!

  • Not to get everyone’s hopes up, but as I understand it, residents of Arby’s will be present at all three meetings.

  • Hey, what about Georgia Ave? Regardless of the ongoing debate concerning whether Georgia Ave. is or isn’t the eastern border of Columbia Heights – the retail decisions made for this huge Avenue will REALLY impact all residents of Columbia Heights (good or bad)!

  • Amen Jay ‘O…Lord when will there be a “Remove the wig shops and bulletproof carryouts from Georgia Ave” Focus Group. The area’s only as strong as it’s weakest link, and that’s Georgia…

  • Are they REALLY putting an Arby’s in? Can you please say that you’re being facetious?

  • Let’s get an Arby’s on Georgia Ave

  • I think they should put a federal office building on georgia ave. that will help support local businesses and will help to clean up the area.

  • Everyone please push heavily for an Arby’s when you attend these meetings. Thank you!

  • “Wig shops and Bulletproof take outs”

    The passive racism on this site is golden. Keep locking your car doors as I stroll by.

  • Will someone please explain the goal of the meetings? Will our needs determine where they put recruitment efforts? Or will they have the power to reduce the lease prices for the retail we want most?

  • Sounds like free marketing services for area businesses. No thanks. I’ll pay for my pizza. Besides, if I go, I’ll likely get so angry and anti-development they’d probably have to throw me out.

  • @Jojo – you might want to click on Mr. Chamber’s link…..
    @Chris Chambers – welcome to my ‘hood – I’m on your block…..

  • I’d just like to see the senior center that was previously planned for Georgia Ave. get going … not sure what the status is there.

  • I could just as easily toss out the racism word to those who claim there’s “passive racism” on the site. As if ALL black people, or latinos, are tied to bulletproof carryouts and wig shops and other near-eyesore stuff on Georgia Ave? None of the black folks (or latinos) I know, knew, grew up with, nor their parents or grandparents would tolerate or frequented that stuff. The people who’ve lived there have allowed that to be the norm, or gone along with it, powerless while the so called leaders, activists, pastors they entrust to take of them (maybe thats the problem–no self activism) let the mess continue. Even Howard U. bears some blame.
    Weeeeeeeellllll….now that we’ve joined the ranks of folk of many races who’ve plunked down under, at or well the hell ove HALF A MILLION DOLLARS to invest in, live in, relax in a neighborhood where Georgia is our main drag, why should we tolerate it looking liek that on any level? If long standing folk are accustomed to it, that’s their problem. How you can be accustomed to stale overpriced “food,” tchotchky, rude service, broke-down facades, absentee commercial owners who may or not be utterly shady, again, well…

    …Burger King. Not Arby’s. How about a combo Burger King and Caribou at the corner of Irving and Warder (which hopefully is not currently being rehabbed as, guess what, a bulletproof carryout).

  • Yet dropping half a million and moving in does not give anyone the right to impose their culture on the dominant culture pre-existing the new one. Even if the new folks think their way is demonstrably better.

  • Just so you know, fast food stores are not permitted on georgia avenue thanks to the overlay, so I guess that one is for your bloved CH. He he.

  • “Residents” of Arby’s? Seriously? People who live at Arby’s? That sounds unhealthy.

  • Yet dropping half a million and moving in does not give anyone the right to impose their culture on the dominant culture pre-existing the new one. Even if the new folks think their way is demonstrably better.

  • I really can’t understand why Barnes and Noble hasn’t shown any interest in Columbia Heights. They have no presence between downtown DC and Silver Spring. I think they’d find Columbia Heights/Mt P/Petworth/AdMo/16th St Heights/U St and metro transiters could easily support a profitable venture by the company. Have they learned nothing from the success of the other national retailers located in the neighborhood?

  • DCzSlimmest, the area is one of the most illiterate in the country, so they are probably hoping for more significant change as book selling is a tough business.

  • @Pennywise

    The area between Silver Spring and downtown DC is “one of the most illiterate in the country”??? Which country are you referring to? The DC area has some of the highest ratios of undergrad and graduate degrees in America. The region I was referring to covers a pretty large percentage of the city. If anything, the PoP blog should convince you that this area offers a bit more than you give credit. That said, DC still has a LONG way to go with it’s public schools. Cheers.

  • Well don’t take my word for it, do complex data finding and analysis yourself! Go to:


    and locate the census tract for the area (its tract 30) and then retrieve the 2000 census data, or the 2009 American Community Survey if you can deal with samples. Look for the percent literacy, and then compare its ranking within the USA. Fun! You’ll see that yes, tract 30 is quite illiterate compared to the rest of the country, plain as day! While many literate folks are indeed moving into the area, its also the most densely populated portion of the city, and the functionally illiterate are a very high proportion compared to other areas. Note that in this case, english literacy defines literacy, thus our Spanish speaking neighbors reflect poorly on the data. While this is all fun and games for conversational purposes, and things have changes since the 2000 census, you can bet its of keen interest to something like a major book store. In fact, in general, DC has relatively low adult literacy, and why do you think the Wash Post doesn’t bother reporting DC news much? In short, why would they???

  • Actually I was incorrect previously, US Census does not produce info on literacy directly, for that you can go to:


    Census does produce info on language proficiency and linguistic isolation, which can serve as a proxy together with other data for literacy-like info. Also, there’s this article:


  • You also failed to mention that DC has one of the strongest job markets in the country with (per your reference) “47% of the jobs there require college or advanced degrees”. That’s 47% of one of the strongest job markets in the country requiring advanced degrees. Regardless, the point has not been sufficiently been made that in 2009 Columbia Heights would not make a great destination for one of the major book retailers — especially considering the major book store void stretching from downtown DC to Silver Spring. Old data and cherry picked stats did not bring all the successful development to date — development that was not targeted at the functionally illiterate. That said, there isn’t a Borders or Barnes & Noble so maybe they share your assessment.

  • Generally speaking bookstores, even the big box bookstores, are closing existing stores, not opening new ones. The bookstore I’m afraid is closely following in the footsteps of the record store.

  • VoR… that’s one fact I think we all can agree on. Amazon (and the like) is pretty much wiping out any business its products overlap. I too am guilty of purchasing from Amazon in attempt to save on both purchase price and sales tax. That’s why we need a sales tax on Internet purchases. It’s the only way to protect businesses AND jobs in our communities.

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