Yesterday I wrote the piece about the H Street commercial district in response to a screed that appeared in the Washington Informer
about the changes happening there.
While I do agree that there are gaps in how the planning for the changes came about, resulting in under-formed provision of civic services and things to do that don't cost money, the reality is that cities change over time and the solution to disinvestment is investment, and that strategies that focus on keeping areas poor don't improve neighborhoods.
So I suggested that commercial districts that are improving improve in phases, and in later phases it's more possible for retail to develop.
Adams-Morgan became the more "downscale" weekend entertainment destination as Georgetown went more upscale. But over time, as the demographics of the area change, and as a new entertainment district is being created on H Street NE, Adams-Morgan has the chance and opportunity to reposition as well. This is seen in the greater variety of evening options now available there, as outlined in the Post article.
Similarly, for many years if not decades, Capitol Hill was derided as a place where it was impossible to find an upscale restaurant meal. Over the past few years, that's changed as well, as new developments, especially the baseball stadium, bring more potential customers to the area, and as 8th Street SE (Barracks Row) has developed into a small entertainment district destination as well.
Labels: commercial district revitalization planning, nightlife economy