One Year After Shelter Protest, Anacostia Moves Forward | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

One Year After Shelter Protest, Anacostia Moves Forward

Play associated audio
The facade of the Anacostia Playhouse in southeast Washington, D.C.
Anacostia Playhouse
The facade of the Anacostia Playhouse in southeast Washington, D.C.

When Calvary Women's Services doors opened in December 2012, there was little fanfare from the surrounding community. It was exactly a year ago Anacostia residents held community protests against the planned move to the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue — the neighborhood's fledgling commercial district.

At the time, residents worried the area wouldn't be able to absorb one more social service agency. Turns out, it hasn't held Anacostia back one bit.

New businesses are popping up all around historic Anacostia, with Grubb's Pharmacy opening just across the street from Calvary. That corner is also home to two Capital Bikeshare racks. Further up MLK Avenue, there's a newly opened optometrist and eyeglasses store, Eyedrop.

Kristine Thompson, executive director of Calvary Women's Services, says their move has gone as well as possible. "We have only had positive reception from folks in this neighborhood."

However, not everyone who lives and works in Anacostia is thrilled to have Calvary join he neighborhood. Duane Gautier, CEO of ARCH Development Corporation, has been working in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. He says, at this point, it's water under the bridge.

ARCH recently opened its second co-working space in Anacostia. The Hive and the Hive 2.0 have private desks and offices for small businesses and entrepreneurs getting their businesses off the ground.

Gautier says 2013 should prove to be an even bigger year for the neighborhood. The former D.C. Police evidence warehouse is being turned into an office building, the Anacostia Playhouse is building out its new space, and "almost every single vacant property that was up for rent has been rented or there's a letter of interest in renting it," Gautier says. "That is unbelievably positive."

A joint beautification partnership between ARCH and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development will give the neighborhood a new look in 2013. The DHCD has designated $750,000 to help building owners revamp their storefront, and bring them back their historic beauty.


[Music: "Shiver (Instrumental)" by Coldplay from Parachutes]

NPR

Can Finishing A Big Bowl Of Ramen Make Dreams Come True?

At his ramen shop in Cambridge, Mass., chef Tsuyishi Nishioka wants customers to follow their dreams. His philosophy? If you can finish a bowl of his ramen, you can accomplish anything in life.
NPR

Keychain Breathalyzers May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

Some of us now monitor our steps, sleep and calorie intake with wristbands and apps. So why not track blood alcohol levels? We explore the next frontier in the self-measurement movement.
NPR

As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter

There has been record low turnout among voters in the 2014 primaries so far. Is it political dysfunction that's made voters lose interest? And what might this mean for November's general elections?
NPR

Keychain Breathalyzers May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

Some of us now monitor our steps, sleep and calorie intake with wristbands and apps. So why not track blood alcohol levels? We explore the next frontier in the self-measurement movement.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.