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