What do new and longtime residents have to say about the gentrification of H Street NE? A few residents talk about class, race and development in the video below, produced by the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, a nonprofit civil rights policy organization.
A few longtime residents are heartened by the changes along the corridor, while others are weary. The video closes out with a development sign on Florida Avenue NE (quite a distance away from H Street) that reads “Pretty soon, you won’t recognize the place. Promise.”
Determining the winners and losers in gentrification isn’t always so cut and dry. For example, a newer resident in the video said it’s a sign of the times that a longtime, black-owned suit shop went out of business after 40 years. She is probably referring to George’s Place at 10th and H Streets. Owner George Butler told us that the H Street streetcar construction, the recession and online competition led him to call it quits. But he is also 73 years old and owned his building, which he sold for a hefty price. Nizam and Kamal Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl — a Washington institution — reportedly bought the building.
Anyway, take a look at the video and let us know: what thoughts do you have on how race and class intersect on H Street? Do you see people of different backgrounds interacting with one another?