19 Comment

  • Feels very “design by committee” – bland, boring, uniform… I’m actually very disappointed. Not that it matters – I don’t live or shop there – but it feels like the orgs involved tried the absolute minimum. I bet someone got some nice consulting fees too.

    • “Wah-wah.”

      Sure, the design could always be better. But I think it’s a great improvement over what the street looked like just over a year ago. I’m always happy to see development and efforts enhance the neighborhood.

      • Agreed. Those facades used to be hideous. This is a great improvement.

      • Yeah, these updated facades make such a huge improvement. The businesses behind them are like 1,000x more appealing to anyone walking down Park Road now.

  • unfortunately you can only do some much with this block short of starting from scratch. haven’t seen the signs yet in person so can’t judge – though i will. they do look a little cheap but overall a vast improvement so won’t complain any further

  • I used to walk this block daily before I moved just two short years ago. The entire stretch was very depressing. I cant believe how good the street is looking these days. I’m impressed.

  • I think that, considering the city stepped in and used taxpayer money to improve the facades of privately owned buildings, basically giving each building owner ~100K in increased building value, it looks fine.

    So the real question is who do I call at dhcd to pay for the new porch I want to put on my house? As long as the city feels that paying for improvements to private real estate, I might as well have them pay for mine.

    • DCUSA received a boatload of taxpayer subsidies, didn’t it? including a peruvian chicken place on this block that i believe benefits from lowered rent for a small-business owner. just a couple storefronts down from a longstanding neighborhood peruvian chicken place. it would have been a shame to see the small businesses on this block get squeezed out due to this. i have no problem whatsoever with the city doing some facade improvements.

      • DCUSA is owned by the District, all of those businesses pay rent to us.

        Big difference from a bunch of privately owned buildings that suffered from purposeful neglect. Even 3 years after DCUSA opened and the foot traffic on this street increased 100 fold, they still were whining no one was patronizing their businesses. Their business failings had nothing to do with economy, but everything to do with being general slumlords.

        Fear not…the taxpayer is here to give you lots of money to improve your private property with absolutely no strings attached.

        • If you have proof that they are useless slumlords.. please post it.

          The luxury hotel is getting a huge tax abatement to build a private hotel in adams morgan. The privately owned nationals got a brand new stadium paid for by taxing businesses 9which was passed down to the people), developers get tax breaks to build private condo’s.

          Yep, businesses get bonuses paid by the taxpayers dime. Boohoo that this small stretch of storefronts was cleaned up on the same dime. Small businesses are good aren’t they?

        • Yeah, what planet do you need to be from to believe that th dc government is in the business of owning shopping malls?

  • Slightly off topic, I know, but I think the DCUSA facade could be made to look a lot less hideous if they just put some decent banners up in the existing frames, instead of those tacky things with the stars on them.

  • sure, the facades look great, but the BANNERS look terrible. they cheapen the craftsmanship of the buildings.

  • I agree with the previous two comments regarding banners. I’ve disliked DC USA’s banners since they went up. They look like they’re the wrong size for the supporting posts and seem to be rigged with ill-fitting bungee cords. With a facade as bland and imposing as that, the crappy banners are like a final aesthetic slap in the face. The banners on park road look cheap and are superflous given that each business already has its own signage. In each instance, details matter.

  • DC USA is NOT owned by the district. Its Grid Properties, among other entities. The city provided a ton of subsidies (including paying for that freakin huge parking garage that was demanded by Target) but no, Panera, target etc are not paying rent to the district. Property tax yes, rent no. The smaller store fronts were guaranteed set asides (part of the contract that DC entered into) for small and local business. This aspect of is “managed” by the Col Heights Dev Corporation. What they actually do is anybody’s guess. Clearly they are not out marketing or else we might be able to snag some of those local businesses that pop up on H street every three weeks into a subsidized spot. But CHDC has very specific ideas of the type of business owner they want, very specific, and if you don’t fit the description then good luck.

  • The banners seem fairly useless. The facades themselves already look really nice and the signage is already pretty visible.

  • Pollo Sabroso makes amazing sandwiches.

  • Any word on whether CoHi is every going to get an actual BID?

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