Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vacant building allegedly for lease, H Street NE

The City Paper has a story, "The H Street Waiting Game: How A Commercial Corridor’s Bright Future Holds Back Its Present," on the trials and tribulations of urban revitalization in commercial districts, and the difficulties of dealing with property owners and their representatives. (Also see the follow up piece, "Falling to Earth on H Street NE.")

She interviews John Formant, who whines about residents. This building of his has been vacant for all of the 23+ years I've lived in Washington.
406 H Street
Although he did paint it, after complaints about his slumlord tendencies came up when he was dealing with an issue that came before ANC6A.

She talks with a representative from Solomon Properties. Some building owners who invest their money and time into commecial districts like H Street NE argue that vacant property owners just slap on a for lease sign to evade higher vacant property tax rates. Considering that the building in the top most picture has been vacant for pretty much one decade at least (I can't remember much beyond 2000), I sometimes think that some commercial retail brokers seem more like a front than an active participant in revitalization.


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