Anacostia Storefronts to Get a Makeover

by Shilpi Paul

A preliminary rendering of the new Neighborhood Pharmacy.

Downtown Anacostia may look a lot fresher in a few months.

On Wednesday night, ARCH Development met with the community and revealed that more than 20 storefronts throughout Historic Anacostia, mostly along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road, will be scrubbed up, restyled and brightened over the coming year.

What Neighborhood Pharmacy currently looks like.

DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development allotted funds for the Streetfront Improvement project last October. Since then, ARCH has been working to reach out to retailers and architects. So far, Streetsense and DC Historic Designs have signed on to help design the new facades. While the changes won’t involve too much heavy construction, the designs will have to go through the Historic Preservation Office.

1111 Good Hope Road, now.
An early sketch of the new 1111 Good Hope Road.

“We don’t have to do a big construction project to make a big difference — a restored awning, new lighting and fresh paint can do a lot,” ARCH’s David Garber, who is directing the project, told UrbanTurf. “Many retailers already spend money on their interiors. This is a way for them to get a street presence.”

One big change: don’t expect any metal cages. “You will not see an ARCH street front project that has bars on the outside,” said ARCH Director Duane Gautier, stressing that the “cleaner” look will be more inviting.

In other news from the meeting, the date of this year’s LUMEN8ANACOSTIA has been set for June 22nd, though it may be a less involved affair than last year’s three-month long art party that was filled with temporary pop-up stalls. Gautier explained that the formerly vacant spaces that were used for the so-called Temporiums have been largely filled up, and that other vacant spaces in Anacostia are currently owned by the government and are unavailable.

See other articles related to: historic anacostia, dclofts, arch development, anacostia

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  1. John Muller said at 6:21 pm on Thursday January 17, 2013:

    Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard does not exist in the nation’s capital city.

    Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE does.

  1. H Street LL said at 7:39 pm on Thursday January 17, 2013:

    Excellent news. Would love to see more commercial districts receive similar coordinated improvement efforts.

    Also, heard a very interesting rumor today with a precise date for a most desired franchise’s entrance to Anacostia.

  1. Shilpi Paul said at 7:56 pm on Thursday January 17, 2013:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the note. Change has been made.

  1. Deborah Crain-Kemp said at 11:29 am on Friday January 18, 2013:

    The correct name of the agency funding this program is the DC Department of Housing and Community Development.

  1. Darrin D. Davis said at 2:16 pm on Friday January 18, 2013:

    Shilpi, Thank you so much for the positive   press you give to neighborhoods east of the Anacostia! It is definitely appreciated.

    Darrin Davis, Owner
    Anacostia River Realty

  1. David said at 5:21 pm on Saturday January 19, 2013:

    Now, Rhode Island Ave NE, North Capitol Streets NE, can use funding for store front updates, etc, like the 12th street NE (Brookland) area has received, and they, 12th Street Ne, from Rhode Island ave to Michigan Ave NE, looks great!

  1. Angela said at 4:34 pm on Tuesday February 5, 2013:
  1. angela said at 4:39 pm on Tuesday February 5, 2013:

    Nevermind…I see…BLVD, not Ave wink

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