Dear PoPville – Why Aren’t Investors Showing Kennedy Street Any Love?

by Prince Of Petworth July 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm 1,590 75 Comments

Photo of Taqueria Distrito Federal at 805 Kennedy St, NW by PoPville flickr user rockcreek

Dear PoPville,

This morning, I learned of yet another hot new spot opening up on H Street NE. As a former Capitol Hill renter and professional city planner, I am excited about new development in this historic commercial corridor. However, as a new homeowner in Manor Park, I have to say that I’m just plain jealous.

Located directly south of Takoma, north of Petworth, east of Brightwood, and west of Fort Totten/Lamond Riggs, the sleepy neighborhood of Manor Park has solid, affordable housing stock and lots of green space. It is connected to other parts of the city by various bus routes, is walking distance from two Metro stations, and is on the interim Met Branch Trail bike route. Some say it’s the last frontier of affordable housing in NW DC where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. I got a grandma special, and wall-by-wall, appliance-by-appliance, outlet-by-outlet, my partner and I are transforming our recent investment into a comfortable and contemporary home. One we plan to raise our daughter in, not flip.

Despite its solid housing and green space, the one major drawback to Manor Park is its lack of commercial vitality. Kennedy Street is steps away from several evolving neighborhoods in NW DC — Brightwood, Brightwood Park, Manor Park, and upper Petworth, yet it is has received NO LOVE from the restaurant/bar/coffee shop community. Just as the Argonaut sparked development along H Street in 2005, Kennedy Street needs just one hip spot to prove that there IS a viable community itching to support a restaurant/bar scene.

Recent  investment in upper Georgia Avenue is definitely promising, but with several storefronts along Kennedy up for lease or sale, I beg — Investors! Where’s the Kennedy Street love?

Comments (75)

  1. Just wait for BRT on Georgia? And the lights in Sherman Circle (Ha!)

    It’d be nice if 4D could get a handle on KDY and CRT!

  2. Honestly, I’m not even sure I could find Kennedy Street on a map. But give it time– eventually every corner of DC will be gentrified IMO.

  3. I’m a fellow Manor Park homeowner who moved here in February and I couldnt agree more. H street received a lot of city And private investment and support (,+NE+Neighborhood+Investment+Fund+Plan+Main+Page). I wonder if a group of local residents spanning the various neighborhood could convince the council and private sector that Kennedy St. Is worth investing in. I think there have been efforts in the past, including a city development plan for the Kennedy st corridor - – but I think in the Kennedy case the plan wasn’t backed up by investment, maybe impart due to the timing of the plan coming out around thesametimeastheeconomic downturn in 2008.

  4. I’m not sure what the professional planner here means by “showing love,” but I would assume this person is well aware of the general rules of demand and how density affects business viability.

    Manor Park is not a very dense neighborhood, when compared to H Street/northern Capitol Hill, Petworth, or Columbia Heights. Kennedy Street (which is down at the edge of Brightwood Park) is actually denser than Manor Park, and certainly will see more business investment over time. There is more money to be made in denser neighborhoods, though, and until those opportunities are full and make investment in other peripheral neighborhoods more appetizing, I wouldn’t expect to see a rush to Kennedy Street right now.

  5. My running trail takes me through this neighborhood. Beautiful trees and houses that are a steal. But, there are some problems. Manor Park is isolated. A mile from the nearest metro, no major east/west corridor except Missouri which can be a mess through here. I’m not sure the density is enough to support much retail. Takoma, Riggs, and Hyattsville pull most of it there ways. You might be getting a Wal-Mart though. Rejoice.

  6. Isolated? I ‘m so frustrated with people who feel like this neighborhood is isolated. I’ve been living near Kennedy St for over 8 years and one thing it isn’t is isolated. Are telling me that a neighborhood that is only 3 miles from downtown DC with multiple express bus lines to the downtown (which are faster and cheaper than Metro) and 3 metro sations within a mile(Red, Yellow, & Green lines) is isolated. The problem here in DC is that everything revolves around the metro stations. If you can’t afford to live within a 1/2 mile from one, your pretty much living on Mars when it comes to development. Real cities like San Fransisco, Chicago, and New York value all modes of public transportation. Bus lines are just as coveted as a rail station when compared to spending 2 hours of your day in a car commuting. Eventually, more development will come, but it will be slow. More businesses looking for cheaper rent who are being pushed out by higher rents other places will discover good retail strips like Kennedy St and upper 14th Street, especially near Colorado Ave. People just need to realize the urban living available in this area.

  7. I’m not exactly sure where you’re measuring from, but assuming the intersection of 5th NE & Kennedy is in the middle of the action then the nearest metro station is Ft. Totten which is 1.3 miles away. Next is Takoma at 1.8 miles, and then Petworth at 1.9 miles. There are no metro stations within 1 mile of the heart of the Kennedy corridor.
    Would I call this area isolated? No, probably not, but I would argue that it poses some commuting challenges for many people. I would place 12th Street in Brookland ahead of Kennedy as a commercial strip worthy of the developers’ attention (and it seems as if its starting to get it).

  8. Not sure what your using to measure distance, but I’d place the heart of Kennedy at 5th & Kennedy NW, not NE. NE is in the middle of a Residential area no where near the commercial district. Both Ft. Totten and Takamo are about a mile away, give or take a few tenths. Even Petworth is only 1.3 miles from this intersection. Sorry I didn’t provide exact measurements. Just trying to make a point.

  9. Sorry, meant NW not NE. Using Google Maps (walking not driving mode) for my mileage.

  10. Subway aside, there are still several bus lines that service the area. The intersection of 5th and Kennedy is a hub for traffic East-West (E2,E3, E4) and North-South (62, 63)…there are several lines at the further ends of the corridor as well. Like someone else noted the subway is not the only form of public transportation.

  11. Unfortunately, the 62 line has suffered draconian cut-backs in service during the critical weekend-night period that would be helpful in turning this around. The potential of the 62 to serve as a shuttle between the burgeoning development around the Petworth Station and Kennedy Street could make this possible.

  12. 3 miles from downtown? Crystal City is also 3 miles from downtown. Also, what are you talking about? Kennedy and Georgia to 7th and Rhode Island is exactly 3 miles. Kennedy and Georgia isnt in Manor Park and 7th and Rhode Island isnt in downtown, so Manor Park to Downtown is more than 3 miles. Its at least 3.5 miles just to get to the edge of downtown, 4 miles to really get into the heart of it and further to get to places like Farragut, Foggy Bottom, and the Hill.

    So basically, Manor Park is one of the furthest places away from downtown in the entire city. Exceeded only by the neighborhoods north of Missouri/Military. I think its fair to call it isolated. I just dont think thats necessarily a bad thing.

  13. Anon X, you make it seem as if those are the only places of interest in this area…the fact is Manor Park is not isolated at all, you can jump on North Cap and be downtown and/or H St in 10 minutes, you can hit U st in about 8 minutes, and the 11th st & 14th st stretches in less time than that. Not to mention downtown Silver Spring is also less than a 10 minute drive. And these are all just the existing areas of interest. When the GA Ave stretch, Walter Reed, and Fort Totten Square/Arts Place projects are realized I would imagine Manor Park would probably be considered a perfect location

  14. Its isolated not because of its absolute distance. Its isolated because of its relative distance compared with just about everywhere else in DC. Its like saying Woodridge is a great neighborhood because its a mere 15 minute drive to Capitol Hill.

    I have no opinion on Manor Park – in fact, I can see a lot of benefits to being further removed from the desirable social/work centers of the city. But its disingenuous to claim its not isolated, or be miffed when someone calls it isolated.

    Then you go on to say: “When the GA Ave stretch, Walter Reed, and Fort Totten Square/Arts Place projects are realized I would imagine Manor Park would probably be considered a perfect location”

    Ok… and when the moon is colonized it’ll be a great place to live too.

    When all of those places are finished, I imagine more will have happened even nearer to Manor Park and it wont be isolated anymore. But the question was about investment now… and the answer is isolation and low density.

  15. The structure of the street is set up for it similar to H St. It could be a nice string of bars and restaurants and eventually retail. H St was spurned by Joe Englerts vision and investments in 8 or so properties. Without metro rail access it’s might take something like that to get it started. That’s unlikely but I do think in 10 years you’ll see a lot of progress on that strip

  16. Fatty’s exactly right. The Kennedy strip today looks (and is zoned) very much like H St. NE before Englert started buying stuff up and opening bars/restaurants. There isn’t great density, so business viability will depend on these being destination operations. Like H St., probably bars and restaurants. And however fond one may be of buses, in this city people will not take them to go out for an evening. So folks will probably have to drive (or have a shuttle bus provided from a Metro station, or (hey, it’s the thing, right?), take a new streetcar). I have no doubt, though, that the neighborhood and this commercial strip WILL become gentrified and vibrant; the current prices and proximity to downtown are just too tasty to ignore.

  17. The crime around KDY is less than it ever was in Trindad before the H St. development. Rent is low and regardless of what some people say, it isn’t even close to being as truly frightening as H St. was just a few short years ago. And H St. was never convenient to any Metrorail station.

  18. As posted above, The center of this area is 1.2 miles from one metro station, 1.6 miles from another, and 1.8 miles from a third.

    Similarly, 12th & H (though, with the development on the west end, arguably the center of H street has shifted) is 1.1 miles from Union Station, 1.2 miles from both NY Ave and Eastern Market, and 1.6 from Stadium/Armory.

    Do you have any statistics to back up your assertions about crime? I disagree that H St just a few years ago felt measurably less safe than this neighborhood now.

  19. Well, as a matter of fact, I do have hard numbers. If you check DC crime map for the 1200 block of H Street NE in full year 2007, 50 violent crimes/163 property crimes. Full year 2011 for 500 Block of Kennedy Street NW: 28 violent crimes/79 property crimes. Both using 1000 foot radius. Roughly half as much crime.

  20. I think you found a business opportunity. Draft a business plan, round up your friends and relatives, and start scoping out some commercial property owners ready to sell.

  21. DC planners have put some focus on upper 14th, at 14th & Colorado, near one end of Kennedy.

  22. I wish they would bring that love down 14th a little further to the strip across from the bus depot. I know, I know, they’re planning it, but still….

  23. petworthnewbie

    A little of topic but is Taqueria Distrito Federal good? Its a few blocks from my condo and unfortunately I dont wander down Kennedy too often and have not noticed this.
    I wish someone would open a coffee place on Kennedy or anywhere in upper Petworth/Brightwood-it would be a nice addition to that area-wish I could! I do wish they would rip down the buildings on Georgia between Kennedy and Longfellow…looks like a trash heap. I just think its a waiting game.

  24. it’s good. I like the columbia heights location better but even the kennedy st location serves some of the best tacos in the city.

  25. I disagree. The first time I went there — the server wouldn’t take my order and sneered at me every time I asked for something. I tried them again, and the pork tacos were riddled with gristle. I likely won’t be going back.

  26. Yes, yes, it is good. I usually get the tostadas which are quite filling and quite inexpensive. I highly recommend the place.

  27. TDF is pretty much the best taqueria in the city. I may be in the minority, but I actually like the Kennedy St. location better than the one on 14th. I may need to call in a dinner order from there tonight!

  28. You ever take a walk from North Capitol Street due west down Kennedy until you get to Georgia Avenue? I’m afraid your need for investor love is going to take some time my friend. I do wish the situation was more positive, but Kennedy needs a few other injections prior to viable business interest.

  29. I share sentiment w/ the OP since im technically a manor park resident(though i tell ppl either Brightwood or Petworth since almost no one has ever heard of Manor Park), I think it may be a while before the area turns into the place that both you and I are looking for. Take a look at some of the wording in the Revitalization plan linked below. The focus, at least when the plan was created, was on senior citizens and lower income citizens. I dont see too many investors drooling over those two groups. Our best bet is to hope the revitalization of GA continues north and maybe we get lucky with a pioneering establishment such as Argonaut. The Jackie Lee space (which is for sale) might be a good starting point, as would a renovation of that god awful CVS on 2nd and Kennedy.

  30. I live in Manor Park since 2004. I have to admit I am moving soon. There are several reasons why this area sucks. First, the Takoma folks which is a short distance from Manor Park (burned out hippies) have stopped smoking weed and moved on to crack. The Takoma folks continue to fight development at the Metro Station and will not allow the Takoma Theater to be torn down because they want a Mom’s and Pops Theater…Really??! Also, there ANC’s can actually write a memo to scare our Council Member…

    Second, the ANC’s near Kennedy Street our Ghetto!!! and outta touch they prefer chicken wings and carry outs..

    Third, Muriel are council member loves Walmart and she’s from Fort Totten doesn’t know better…

    That said, we are still doomed over here… See u at Safeway…

  31. not really sure what Takoma’s residents preventing development at the Takoma Station has to do with the KDY corridor, thats about a 15-20 minute walk…If anything I would think that would push development south to Kennedy

  32. Wow. If you’re that unhappy, then go ahead and move to Columbia Heights already. The people who believe in Manor Park will help it grow.

  33. Why is it so hard to understand why the people in Takoma Park like a locally-owned theater?

  34. Don’t let the door hit you on the a$$ on your way out.

  35. Good one! Did you make that up yourself?

  36. I’ve never been to Kennedy Street and had to look it up on a map, so I’m just speculating. However, the challenge for KS may be exactly what drew you to it: affordability. That word, in DC parlance, can equate to low-end, ghetto, high-crime, etc. I’m not saying that’s the case with KS, but I do know that investors look at the median income and home values in an area to gauge how much people in an area are going to spend and on what. The higher the home prices, the higher the income and the higher the spending. You’ll probably see investment when home prices rise beyond being “affordable.”

  37. Over the past 10 years, there have been some efforts at development, at least at the eastern end of Kennedy St., but they have met with mixed success. One problem, IMHO, is the inexperience of some of the people involved. For example, beginning in 2003 “developers” demolished an old apartment building on First Pl. NW and attempted to erect a new condo building. As far as I know, that building is still unoccupied after having gone through an auction and years of sitting empty.

    Other buildings in the unit block of Kennedy and the 100 block of Missouri have been rehabilitated or converted from apartments to condos more successfully, which has stabilized the neighborhood, but not led to new commercial development.

    I was optimistic that the new Jackie Lee’s could be successful and lead to other restaurants entering the neighborhood, but with the still uninviting storefront, Jackie Lee’s was not able to consistently attract a large and diverse clientele.

  38. I am currently a professional urban planner as well. there is a Planning study for Kennedy Street but ultimately it comes down to demand. First, more development needs to happen on lower GA at Petworth metro which is slowly but surely happening. The next side street to develop will be Upshur. The next node will be closer to moroni bros etc. the future redevelopment of Walter Reed will help on the north end. the bottom line is you need either 1) heads in beds (density) 2) or a significant./specific income level (ie cleveland park or palisades) to support a smaller non premium transit commercial district. The single biggest assist will be the city moving forward wtih streetcar on GA avenue as a signal to the business community of massive city investment. On H Street, despite the complaints of a a few about the construction hurting their businesses, over 60 NEW businesses opened during streetcar construction. When interviewed the majority of owners said the streetcar was a huge factor in choosing that location. Having said all this, I have love for Kennedy street too and when I bike there I can picture how cool it must have been decades ago. hang in there for a few more years…you will be glad you did.

  39. This is dead-on

  40. As someone who lives on Upshur, I selfishly (and wishfully) agree with this opinion. Investors, come to Upshur!

  41. When house hunting in 2004, we almost purchased a house on 7th st NW between Jefferson and Kennedy. It had been completely remodeled and was really nice, but we went with a smaller house in “original” condition on Quincy St just a block East of the Metro. Our reasoning was that we wanted the access to Metro, as I don’t drive, and could see that Kennedy was going to take forever to turn around. I pass that house occasionally and am so grateful I’m not up there waiting for the Kennedy St development to come along, but would love to see that area blossom!

  42. I was also thinking about the redevelopment of Walter Reed which, even though it is further north than this, would help put that part of NW DC on people’s radar screens (especially if they’re able to attract a grocery store like Wegman’s and, dare I say it, a Circulator going up and down GA Ave?) I think Kennedy Street has a lot of potential but investor’s attention has been understandably focused in recent years on sections of the city closer to the downtown core.

  43. While you wait for investment to take hold, you should consider teaming up with other interested people in your neighborhood (start an email list) to do things that send signals to investors that things are changing. For example, pick up trash together, plant trees and flowers, have safety walks, etc. These things alone won’t spur development but they do send a signal to investors while having a positive impact on the community. Plus, you won’t feel powerless and frustrated while you wait.

  44. I just think it will take time. I moved to Petworth in 2005 and there were few restaurants, Columbia Heights was still a construction zone with little open, and I got a lot of blank stares when I said I was moving here. it’s changed drastically since then. But I’ve found that the development of the business corridors often lags behind the rest of the neighborhood…but I do think it will eventually come to Kennedy St. It might be overlooked by some of the big investors, but there’s great potential for small businesses. I for one love that so many clothing stores, consignment shops etc. seem to be coming to Petworth – I hope that Upshur Street will remain friendly to these types of small stores. I could see the same for Kennedy Street.

  45. Give it time. Commerical development lags residential.

  46. Because it’s blighted?

  47. I live right over the line on the north side of Petworth…. There is a lot a creew crime that goes on in between Petworth and Manor Park. Not to mention all the section 8 houses filled to the brim with non contributing citizens. My house has been broken into once, attempted a second time, crew members gettinng shot on my block… And I live one block from Kennedy. On the upside, plenty of crazy gentrifiers moving in everyday are making it a little more peaceful. Only a matter of time before some businesses move in. Maybe once the Walmart comes to town.

  48. Funeral home… liquor store… liquor store… latin market… check cashing… tax prep… market… funeral home… asian carryout… computer sales… laundromat… liquor store.

  49. Hello, Yes, I agree Kennedy St needs some development. It will take more actively engaged residents in the neighborhood to assist in getting the needed development on Kennedy St. I served on the ANC a couple of years ago and it was hard to engage new and old residents. We need the city to increase funds for store front improvement program. We currently have small businesses that provide a great service but residents maybe afraid to enter because of the look on the outside. We have a great MPD Commander Missouri that makes sure their is a police presence on Kennedy St. We need the residents to push the City for programs similar to H st. Last year they had a new business grant assistance program that has assisted with all the new small businesses poping up on H st.
    Kennedy St is a major corridor for transportation, you have the E2 & E4 that cosses from Fridnship Heights to Ft. Totten and the buses that cross from uptown to downton at 5th and Kennedy St. Let’s all give more involved in making Kennedy St a better place to invest.

  50. Lamont, good to see you on this string. How is life now that you are no longer ANC?

    Richard Lambert
    VP, South Manor Neigbhorhood Association

  51. petworth baker

    I live at 5th & Jefferson. Love this neighborhood! There are several available storefronts near 5th & Kennedy. We just need some risk takers to join in and invest in the community. I am looking for a space now to open up a bakery/cafe. I would love to open it nearby. Rents are still reasonable. Don’t wait for a developer or the city for that matter. Sometimes it just takes the neighborhood.

  52. I also live at 5th and Jefferson (hi, neighbor!) and would love, love, love a bakery near here. Please open a place on Kennedy!!!

  53. If you open a bakery/coffee shop on Kennedy, I’ll visit it at least 3 x per week!

  54. Would also visit every day… especially if you sell gluten-free goods.

  55. Mini online block party! :p We’re two blocks away at 8th. Often on the porch. With two hounds. Y’all should stop and say hi!

  56. If you build it, I will come.

  57. petworth baker

    What a great comment thread! So many good ideas. bakery/cafe needed for sure. I’ll post when there is more progress.

  58. HaveFunNotStuff

    I’ve been toying with the idea of opening a bagel shop in the neighborhood and hanging up my “business casual” for good. Tweet me if you’re interested in a business partner @havefunnotstuff

  59. Please open a bakery! I just moved to Kennedy Street (and 13th). Sell coffee too, and you will be a huge hit! I will certainly be there a few times a week as well!

  60. Petworth Baker,

    Great to see an interest. Have you had any discussion with commercial owners along Kennedy as of yet? If so, what are your experiences with them. A number of business have left the area because of unreasonable and unfair demands on commercial rentes. I am curious if you’ve noticed anyting of the sort.

    Richard Lambert
    VP, South Manor Neighborhood Association

  61. I live on the west end of the corridor near the intersection of 14th, Kennedy and Colorado. Maybe this comment string could be the beginning of some sort of Kennedy Street neighborhood investment fund. The fund could partner with banks so that investors would get more favorable terms on the loans necessary to start a business. The upside for neighborhood investors would be a more appealing neighborhood and higher property values. This is certainly not a new model. Who wants to put this thing together?

  62. Woops! Don’t know how that happened! Anyway…

    Very glad to see this thread and the positive comments re development along Kennedy (no thanks to the haters). We bought at 8th and Jefferson in January 2011, so barely a block away. There are currently four houses a few doors from us in either direction under major renovation, and a new construction house that was just completed. Several others with a block radius have been reno’d and bought in the last year.

    The area has changed dramatically since we moved there. But yes, Kennedy is still a dead zone. Which is a shame because we have fantastic bus service and lovely wide sidewalks that are in great condition. There are several empty storefronts perfectly suited to a variety of different businesses. It’s a lovely avenue and could really be a focus of activity for the area.

    We’d love to have SOMETHING to go to on Kennedy (aside from the Rocket) for obvious reasons, but…I think some investors/business owners may be holding off to see what happens with WalMart. Then there’s also the density issue and the average age of residents–but as I said that’s changing. Big time. We were out out on the porch one day and saw a 30-something couple, jogging, with a baby stroller, and a dog–we both looked at each other and said “Well there goes the neighborhood.”

    Re proximity to metro, as closer properties increase in price (both purchase and rental) residents will have to consider these “isolated” areas. Though we don’t feel isolated whatsoever. Not everyone WANTS to live right on top of a metro (we didn’t) and not everyone can afford to (we can’t). I like the feeling of a real neighborhood, very close to everything, easy commute, etc, but not having to deal with all the negative aspects of being near a metro.

    Things are certainly different and evolving, and we do need that one good solid appealing businesses to open on the street and spur other development. Several realtors have told me we have some of the best housing stock in the city. I hope there’s never a Starbucks, never ever, and I hope future businesses integrate themselves into the character of the neighborhood. I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, you can get a good (and cheap) cup of coffee at Tony’s. :)

  63. For what it’s worth, I think you have the right attitude, by and large. As I see it, investing in real estate is like any other investing. Low risk=low reward and high risk=high reward. I suspect that your investment will pay off eventually, and you’ll see a high return on that investment. The “price” you’ll pay, however, is several years of frustration and inconvenience, kinda like the people who moved into desolate and horrid (and I remember it) Logan Circle. They took a big risk when no one else wanted to live there. So stay positive and become active in your community, if you aren’t already. It sounds like there are others in your neighborhood who are interested in working with you, and you’d be surprised at how a little civic engagement has a spillover effect. A lot of people do want to make their community better but don’t start until they see others doing it, too.

    And in the mean time, come eat at (soggy) Bloomingdale’s restaurants!

  64. Excellent point about people becoming more involved as they see others doing it. I’m like that. So somebody go first. haha :p Sorry about all your flooding. :(

    Incidentally, I haven’t found it to be frustrating or inconvenient at all. We’re close to pretty much everywhere we want to go and we have (for now) ample street parking. Between 5th, KDY, GA, and 14th we have primo bus service, and if the train is your thing we’re a mile and a half from both the Petworth and Ft Totten metros. Last time I took metro I got on the bus about a 20 second walk from my house and was at Ft Totten in about five minutes. Easy peasy.

    Honestly, I think we’re one of those little hidden gems that when it does get discovered–and developed–it will become a very attractive neighborhood, especially for families who don’t want to live in a condo in Columbia Heights with kids.

  65. Good for you!

    Just to clarify, when I said frustrating, I was referring to the lack of businesses and not really proximity to metro or any other particular transit. Living in Bloomingdale, I’m used to hearing people say they think we’re far from the metro, even though 1.) that’s not true and 2.) not everyone takes the metro.

    As the city becomes more dense with businesses, I believe neighborhoods that are near to, but offer some distance from, the action are going to be very sought after.

  66. these comments have prompted me to google earth this street and check out listings on redfin.

    who knows?

  67. Someone should sell Joe Englert on Kennedy Street. He was an important catalyst for H.

  68. I have to pipe in to say that, as someone who is actively looking for a house in upper Petworth, this thread was awesome to see. We’re looking there specifically because of the neighborhood’s charm and the fact that we are hopeful that the development (neighborhood restaurants, coffee shops, bars, retail, etc.) will come eventually. It’s great to see that we share our hopes and beliefs with so many others. Can’t wait to meet all of my amazing (future) neighbors soon!

  69. RM, move up here! We just bought up here after renting in Logan Circle for 8 years, and we are crazy about it. Sure, I can’t walk to work anymore, but in 20 minutes by bus I’m downtown. Rock Creek park is my new gym. All of my neighbors introduced themselves within a week of us moving in. Carter Barron has free concerts. Oh, and I have a back yard – now with vegetables! I think that shops and restaurants will follow in a few years. The more the merrier!

  70. YES YES YES! This! Please, someone redo that beautiful theater. Bring us some restaurants! Little shops!

  71. Richard Lambert

    Good morning Manor Park neighbors. It is great to see so many individuals with opinions and earnest concern about our neighborhood. This blog is an excellent jumping off point and the activity suggests that this fantastic conversation is worth in-depth face-to-face discussion. I am a current professional urban planner (with a Master is planning, concentration in Econ Development) and 4 yr resident of Manor Park. I am out of the country as I type this, so I must be brief. Will post more later. In the mean time, Malaika Abernathy is the community planner leading the Kennedy St Commercial Revitalization study. contact Malaika Abernathy, Ward 4 Neighborhood Planner, at 202-442-7600 or by email at [email protected]. The Plan is at

    Also, one primary civic organization exists for Manor Park called the South Manor Neighborhood Association.

    A 501(c)(3) also is working actively to bring development to Kennedy St and Georgia Ave. Emory Beacon of Light, Inc and its affiliate, Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance are the two active players along kennedy st.

    Emory Beacon of Light, Inc. is a faith-based, nonprofit community development corporation. Its support for local businesses includes storefront improvements, the Beacon Clean, Green, Safe Initiative, and the Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance. The Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance meets at 8:00 am the second Thursday of each month at Emory United Methodist Church. The Executive Director of EBOL is Mr. Nkosi Ayize and he can be reached at 202-326-8674 or at [email protected]. Visit

    Please free to contact me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter @Live4theCity

  72. H Street has numerous advantages over Kennedy for investment, so although it seems to be a good comparison, it isn’t an apples to apples comparison. “E” does have a great idea regarding residents banning together. A number of organizations are active in the communities that border Kennedy Street which can be utilized. Only two, the Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance and Emory Beacon of Light Inc, have capacity (although limited) to engage investment AND policy makers because of prior grants and legal status as 501(c)(3)s. The DC Office of Planning is actively engaged in a redevelopment plan, but, as one mentioned ealier, it is a land use plan and not an investment plan.


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