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    New Development Divides Neighborhood

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    By Peter Granitz

    The H Street Corridor in Northeast D.C. could be the site of a massive new condo complex, but residents on both sides of the street have different opinions.

    Anwar Saleem, the executive director of H Street Main Street, says revamping a neighborhood that's struggled since the 1968 riots takes time. And yet in the past five years, H Street has added nearly 130 businesses.

    "You don't have that in any other neighborhood in D.C. except Columbia Heights," he says.

    Saleem says any development that brings more people to H Street, which serves as a business district for both Wards Five and Six, is good for the neighborhood.

    A local ANC recently gave its blessing to a developer to raze a strip mall. In its place: a mixed-use building with up to 400 apartments. But not everyone wants to see the neighborhood change so drastically. And Robel Kinfe, who lives in Ward 5, says he worries long term residents won't be able to afford to stay.

    "For the lower neighborhood people that are struggling, they're going to see this as the white men coming in and pushing us out," he says.

    The development still needs to go before the zoning commission, which could happen as early as this summer.


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