Lower Georgia Avenue Main Streets Program Study In Progress

The west side of the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue.

The west side of the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue.

A Main Streets study has been underway since the beginning of April for the Lower Georgia Avenue area — defined as the section of Georgia Avenue within Ward 1. The study was funded by a grant from the Department of Small and Local Business Development to determine if conditions are right for a Main Streets organization on Georgia Avenue. The final report from the study is expected to be completed by the end of September.

One of the early outcomes of the study is an effort to develop an anti-graffiti program for Georgia Avenue. The effort will consist of two parts: 1) a Community graffiti removal event that may be scheduled on August 15 and, 2) a system to make graffiti removal sustainable.

The following areas are to be addressed in the main streets feasibility study:

  • Recommended Program Boundaries. The study will recommend a geographic district which would have the most likelihood of launching a successful revitalization program.
  • Support from Business Owners and Commercial Property Owners. As the most crucial stakeholders in any commercial revitalization effort, the business and property owners should be included in any planning effort This study will demonstrate how these two types of stakeholders intend to help fund and lead a new Main Streets organization. It will also demonstrate how they will continue working together whether or not a new Main Street program is established.
  • Support from Community Stakeholders. Neighborhood residents are the indirect beneficiaries and primary customers of the commercial revitalization effort. This study will demonstrate if neighborhood residents and community groups will support a revitalization effort as donors and as volunteer leaders. The study will also demonstrate the commercial district’s ability to serve residents, including Howard University students, as customers.
  • Sustainable Funding. The new Main Streets organization should be able to operate effectively whether or not funding from DC Government is available in future years. This feasibility study will include a detailed five-year funding plan for the organization which explores funding sources such as private organizations and neighborhood civic groups, as well as commitments from business and property owners.
  • The National Main Street Center utilizes a preservation-based economic development process called the Main Street Four Point Approach®, which serves as the foundation for local Main Street initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets-from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride. The analysis will explore whether this Approach is a good fit for this commercial district and how the Approach would benefit the proposed district.
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6 Comments on “Lower Georgia Avenue Main Streets Program Study In Progress”

  1. gentrify-u Says:

    Easy-peasy. Tear down Park Morton and move all those people to Barry Farms. Close down the crappy businesses on GA and bring civic and business minded people, like Shaw did. BOOM!

  2. Cliff Says:

    I guess I’m a little skeptical. Year after year money for great streets GA kept getting re-allocated to H Street, which has left GA with about 1/3 of the money it was supposed for infrastructure and aesthetic improvements to get since 2003. Multiple market rate developments have fallen through because the city was cutting sweeter deals elsewhere. I guess I need to understand what this “Department of Small and Local Business” is all about but it seems like now that private investment is taking off independent of real support from our city that DC govt wants to have something they can use to claim success on GA. What ever happened to the “GA Technology Corridor”? Anyway, I will gladly be involved in a graffiti removal team so that in and of itself is a good plan.

  3. Angry Parakeet Says:

    GA is so unpleasant…when my parents visit I never have them walk even short distances. Friends ask, “Can’t we walk a different way?” when going to close-by establishments. I sure miss the good business Mothership with its outdoor element. I’ve lived a half block off GA since 2006 and still it hasn’t improved, although I compliment the disease-testing establishment for its perky paint job depicting germs.

  4. pru Says:

    Someone reposted somewhere a very good article about development in an NYC neighborhood, and how it made more business sense for building owners to choose to leave their storefronts empty to rot for years, and wait to lease to a big chain later rather than a small business now. If that is what’s going on here, anything, initiative, incentives, regulations, anything, to change that dynamic, is needed to keep Georgia ave from staying unpleasant and nasty for too long, and then going from nasty to …bland.

  5. […] this year, the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) initiated a process to hire a consulting team to study to see if lower Georgia Avenue would benefit from a Main Street Program. DC Main Streets is a […]

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