16 Comment

  • I’m really surprised that the lower portions of 9th and 7th streets haven’t developed more by now. I would have thought the new convention center hotel and the o street market place project would have been the spur needed to turn the area into an auxiliary 14th street or at least a Barracks Row type drinking and dinning destination. Sure there are a few places around, but lower Shaw/Mt Vernon Square is always so desolate and devoid of street life.

    • The critical mass just isn’t quite there at the moment. Much of that new development remains empty at the moment. Give it some time.

    • It’s not a lack of critical mass. It’s that whoever is in charge of retail leasing at the convention center is terrible at their job. The convention center is in the business of bringing conventions to the city. They never wanted to manage retail space, agreed to incorporate it into the building design as a “concession” to the community, and have basically done everything in their power to ensure that it fails.

      • THIS. They have tried. There was a car rental service on N street (enterprise i think?) they closed. there was a beauty shop, also on N that was completed inside, but never opened due to legalities with the convention center. There was a baker on 9th, a jeweler on 9th.
        I just don’t think the convention center people wanted to be bothered with the businesses. And honestly, in my dealings with the convention center (i use to work for a DC gov’t agency that would sometimes team up with the convention center people) it seemed like they just thought like the stuff would just fill itself.
        In my opinion, they relied on other people to offer up creative solutions but were too ridged to really let anything happen there. I hope (it look like anyway) they’re working with a management company to fill the spaces.

      • Indeed. I walk PAST the Convention Center daily on my commute to go to bars, restaurants, drugstores, dry cleaners, bakeries, coffee shops…every day. When there are large conventions there, you see throngs of conventioneers having to walk 3-4 blocks South to get breakfast, lunch, souvenirs and sundries. I’d like to blame the architecture too. Just something about it that screams cheap strip mall instead of vibrant city block.

      • That may be true for retail in the convention center proper, but that doesn’t really explain why there’s not much going on on 9th street. Sure, there are a few of solid businesses that seem to prosper, but it’s far from being a destination. There’s not a whole lot of foot traffic there outside of conventions.

  • Old Dominion closing is not a reflection of the neighborhood. That place was horrible and never tried to be anything more than a convenient option for convention goers who don’t have time or desire to find a real place for a meal or drink.

  • The place closed because it was overpriced and had terrible, terrible food. It was a really large venue with very expensive beer and the ambiance did not match the prices. Sad it’s out of business, but I only went there when dragged by other people.

  • That place was awful, good riddance. It would be nice to get something better in that spot though.

  • clevelanddave

    No retail on the convention center side has any street presence. There is no parking. The Convention Center probably has certain requirements of leaseholders- DC residents or diversity mandates etc. As others have said they’ve outsourced this and don’t really have a strong incentive to care. Of course there is no access to the businesses from the inside (indeed, they are competitors in many cases with the F+B vendors inside). It seems that companies that would have products complementary to the convention center would make sense for these spaces- a uber or other car rental retail drop off location; a transportation service for people/packages; support for convention services, such as packaging/boxing/supplies or a OfficeMax ministore; or even a CVS/Walgreens would probably do well for basic supplies needed both by the community and by those in the building for conventions. Just sayin’

  • Isn’t this actually IN the Convention Center building?

  • I felt like i was in Herdon Virginia whenever I drank beer here.

Comments are closed.