DCentric » Small Business http://dcentric.wamu.org Race, Class, The District. Wed, 16 May 2012 20:20:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Copyright © WAMU Will Chains Fill 14th Street? http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/05/will-chains-fill-14th-street/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/05/will-chains-fill-14th-street/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 17:52:00 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=15861 Continue reading ]]>

Lauren Parnell Marino / Flickr

A stretch of 14th Street NW.

The 14th Street NW corridor continues its transformation, as work on luxury condo buildings marches on and announcements of restaurant openings stream in. The older businesses that opened along the strip in the aftermath of the 1968 riots are, one-by-one, closing shop (and getting millions of dollars in exchange for their buildings, if they own them). Some newer businesses are moving, too.

Development comes in waves, from pawn shops to fancier locally-owned businesses, and eventually, to chain retailers. That’s according to a few real estate experts interviewed by The New York Times, who say that 14th Street NW could eventually see its small, albiet upscale businesses, replaced by national chains and junior-sized box stores.

People move into gentrifying neighborhoods partially because they see how it could change, but also because of the unique character of such places. If  national chains come, will a neighborhood lose its desirability among such newcomers? From the Times piece:

One [resident], Tim Christensen, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1989 and is president of the Logan Circle Community Association, wondered about the cost.

“I’ve said before that when the last pawnshop and the last storefront deli leaves 14th Street, I will leave,” he said. “It’s that mixture of the gritty and the upscale that gives the neighborhood a unique character. If one day it’s all gone, I think we will feel a sense of loss.”

Gentrification does indeed come in waves. Some of the first businesses that contribute to the revitalization of a neighborhood can get priced out when turnover is complete. This is especially true for business owners who lease space and have no building to sell; they can become victims of the success they helped to create.

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Crowdsourcing Neighborhood Changes http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/04/crowdsourcing-neighborhood-changes/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/04/crowdsourcing-neighborhood-changes/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 17:13:58 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=15488 Continue reading ]]>

Elahe Izadi / DCentric

A sign on 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW asks "What would you build here?"

Businesses play an important role in the transformation of neighborhoods. A certain restaurant or store can attract newcomers, make a block seem “desirable” or become a gathering spot.

But as it stands now, the public generally doesn’t have a say on what specific businesses open up in their neighborhoods, says developer Ben Miller. Should that vacant storefront be a coffee shop or a pet store?

That’s why Ben Miller and his brother, Dan, started Popularise.com in late 2011. They were trying to figure out what to do with the building they purchased at 1351 H Street NE, and wanted public input. So they posted the project online and asked people to vote on ideas they had already explored or submit suggestions. About 1,000 people responded, and Ben Miller says they’ll announce the final project within a few weeks.

The site is in its early stages and currently features five buildings. People sign up by providing their names and zip codes and can then comment on project ideas or suggest new ones for the featured buildings. Building owners, developers and others then use the feedback as a factor in the eventual outcome, along with economics, construction issues and other things.

“A lot of people aren’t in the process of how neighborhoods get built. They don’t know how decisions get made,” Miller says. “A lot of it can be changed by including lots of people who normally don’t get involved.”

But is targeting an online audience the best way to increase involvement? A persistent digital divide in the District means there’s a good chunk of the population who is not connected, and they’re mostly low-income folks.

Elahe Izadi / DCentric

A large sign for Popularise.com asks passersby to weigh in on what should open at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.

Miller says that his website isn’t shutting people out from the conversation, but rather widens it. Real estate development is an “opaque” process, he says. (Ben Miller, 35, grew up in D.C. and his father is well-known developer Herb Miller, whose company had a hand in Gallery Place, Potomac Mills and Washington Harbour).

Often times, few people show up to community meetings and a “very vocal group dominate the discussion. I don’t think they represent the majority,” Miller says. “Most people are busy and don’t have time to wait for hours in church basements. I think this is a much broader and more inclusive process than what [exists] today.”

Still, it’s clear that the website thus far has appealed to a particular demographic. According to the site’s data, the typical user is between 25 and 34 years old, lives near H Street (which makes sense, given their first project’s location) and likes frequenting Little Miss Whiskey‘s and Rock and Roll Hotel. But Miller says the site is essentially a self-organizing tool, and anyone can become part of the process. Community groups in other parts of Northeast have already approached him for help on revitalizing commercial corridors. United House of Prayer, which has helped build affordable housing in the city, is using the site to help develop some of its vacant properties, Miller says.

Miller doesn’t view his website as gentrifying neighborhoods since most of the projects involve vacant or blighted buildings. He calls them “win-win” properties, places people want developed.

For instance, there are few sit-down restaurants east of the Anacostia River, something residents have complained about. Miller says opening nice restaurants there would be an example of growth in an underserved area, not gentrification.

“My experience is everyone wants good schools, good services and a beautiful neighborhood,” Miller says.

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From Locksmiths To Luxury Condos: Businessman Talks 14th Street Evolution http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/04/from-locksmiths-to-luxury-condos-businessman-talks-14th-street-evolution/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/04/from-locksmiths-to-luxury-condos-businessman-talks-14th-street-evolution/#comments Thu, 12 Apr 2012 15:18:45 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=15340 Continue reading ]]>

Elahe Izadi / DCentric

Downtown Lock Co. (center) has been on 14th Street since 1910. The building has been sold to make way for luxury condominiums along a street that's experiencing rapid redevelopment.

The evolution of 14th Street NW continues with regular announcements of new upscale restaurants and residences opening up along the corridor. But 14th Street wasn’t always the epicenter of fine dining in the District; in recent decades, it was more well-known as a place where drug dealers and prostitutes congregated.

A few older businesses still remain along the strip, but they’re starting to close shop, too. Take Downtown Lock Co. at 1345 14th St. NW, the building sold to make way for five, ultra-luxury condos.

“Back when we were there, the street had a lot of drugs, prostitution, a lot of drifters,” said Downtown Lock Co. co-owner Reuben Houchens. “You had to sort of establish yourself, first of all, that you weren’t afraid to be there. Of course we weren’t. [The way] we grew up, as we used to say, we knew the streets. And you had to basically hold your ground, as far as ‘we’re here and we will only tolerate so much.’ I’m talking about the pimps prostituting the girls, and drugs addicts and drug pushers — you had to be tough.”

Elahe Izadi / DCentric

Work has already begun to transform Downtown Lock Co. on 14th Street NW into luxury condos.

Downtown Lock Co. started as a family business, and had been on 14th Street since 1910. Houchens, 70, is a D.C. native from the H Street NE corridor. He said he grew up in the shop, and recalled how celebrities would stop by from time to time because the locksmith and electronics repair store was one of the few places in the area to be an official service center for Lionel toy trains. Houcheons said senators and people like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lewis would visit during his years working there.

Houcheons and his partners bought the business in the 1970s, along with the building at 1345 14th St. NW. This was shortly after the 1968 riots that destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in D.C.

“Somebody looked [at us] and said, ‘You’re pretty stupid buying that building,’” Houchens recalled. “It turned out to be a good investment for anyone who bought property there.”

A good investment indeed; Houchens said they bought the building for $37,000, and sold it for $2.5 million. Downtown Lock Co. has temporarily relocated to Hyattsville, Md. where space is cheaper, but most of their business remains in the District.

Houchens isn’t bitter about 14th Street’s transformation (perhaps because he profited so handsomely from it). He acknowledged that perhaps some people don’t like the changes because they are afraid that D.C. “is becoming like New York City. Space isn’t available anymore.”

“After being there for so many years, you miss it,” he said. “… But the neighborhood changed for the better. It became a safer place. People thought it was safer to come there.”


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Asian Shopkeepers And The Economics Of Improving Corner Stores http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/04/asian-shopkeepers-and-the-economics-of-improving-corner-stores/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/04/asian-shopkeepers-and-the-economics-of-improving-corner-stores/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 16:53:41 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=15271 Continue reading ]]>

A D.C. shopkeeper poses by his "Healthy Corners" stand. D.C. Central Kitchen's program delivers fresh produce to corner stores.

The fallout continues over comments Councilman Marion Barry made about Asian-owned stores in Ward 8, calling them “dirty shops.” Barry has since issued an apology, but a coalition of local and national Asian American groups have called for more meaningful engagement.

Part of Barry’s follow-up comments focused on the unhealthy foods such stores sell, and he called for the owners to sell healthier foods and fix up their stores.

Gary Cha, owner of Yes! Organic Market and former president of the Korean American Grocers Association, appeared on Monday’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss Barry’s comments and relations between black and Asian communities in D.C.

Cha spoke with DCentric after the show and reiterated that a common perception of store owners among customers is that whatever goes into the register is profit. But many take home only 6 to 7 percent of sales, Cha said. If a store makes $1 million a year, the owners take away about $60,000 for their families.

“These are people who are barely getting by. I know several of them that to make ends meet, they don’t even have health insurance,” Cha said. “So when we ask them to renovate and do this and that, they probably don’t have the financial ability to do that.”

Stocking up with healthier foods, particularly fresh produce, does require investment by store owners.  Refrigeration units are needed, which can be costly and difficult to accommodate in small stores. Also, small stores may not qualify for wholesale produce prices.

Nonprofit D.C. Central Kitchen runs a program that addresses these problems. The Healthy Corners program uses a $300,000 grant from the city to regularly deliver fresh produce to corner stores throughout D.C.’s food deserts. Nine of the participating stores are in Ward 8.

But rather than just focus on the lack of health foods in such stores, Barry singled out Asian-owned stores. By bringing highlighting race as an issue, Barry took the discussion beyond pure economics. So did a number of callers to The Kojo Nnamdi Show who complained that Asian retailers are rude or treat customers poorly.

Cha said that not all Asian storeowners have bad relationships with the community, such Martin Luther King Grocery’s Peter Cho (whom, coincidentally, Barry referred to as “a good Asian” over the weekend). Cho runs a regular back-to-school event in Ward 8, giving away backpacks to neighborhood kids. He also participates in Healthy Corners.

Communication issues aren’t a problem just for “Asian retailers, but pretty much all immigrants in the community,” Cha said. “The immigrants have the same issue where there’s a language barrier, and also the cultural differences they haven’t quite grasped. It’s just a process they go through. I don’t know how to close that gap real quickly.”

One thing Cha does suggest: if you want to see a different kind of product in your store, such as multigrain bread, try asking the store owner to carry it.

“Any time there’s a dialogue going back and forth, it helps,” Cha said.

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When Early Gentrifiers Can’t Afford to Stay http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/01/when-the-first-gentrifiers-cant-afford-to-stay/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2012/01/when-the-first-gentrifiers-cant-afford-to-stay/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2012 21:52:43 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=13239 Continue reading ]]>

Michael Feagans / Flickr

Love Cafe is closing on Jan. 29 after nine years on U Street.

Businesses move to transitional neighborhoods because space is cheap and there’s potential for future growth. But sometimes the economic success of these neighborhoods leads to the demise of the early gentrifiers.

Love Cafe opened at 15th and U Street, NW in 2003, two years before Busboys and Poets moved into the corridor and signaled rapid change in the community. This week, Love Cafe owner Warren Brown announced he’s closing Jan. 29 because rent has gotten too high. H Street Playhouse on H Street, NE is closing moving after it opened along the corridor in 2002, ahead of the trendy bars, restaurants and high rents.

Of course, some businesses that moved into neighborhoods at the beginning stages of gentrification do remain. They could be at an advantage because they got their feet in the door early. But gentrification happens in stages, and just like the longtime businesses that successfully weather gentrification, newer businesses also have to keep adapting to neighborhood changes in order to survive.

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Ben’s Chili Bowl Owners Buy Longtime H Street Shop http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/11/bens-chili-bowl-owners-buy-longtime-h-street-shop/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/11/bens-chili-bowl-owners-buy-longtime-h-street-shop/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 16:58:29 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=11933 Continue reading ]]>

Adam Gerard / Flickr

H Street clothing shop George’s Place, Ltd. will soon be replaced after 43 years of business. Nizam and Kamal Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl reportedly bought the property at 10th and H Streets, NE for $900,000. The Alis aren’t set on opening another Ben’s, though; they’re conducting market research to see “what concept might best fit the neighborhood,” Washington City Paper reports.

Back in September, we profiled George’s Place owner George Butler as he was readying to sell his property after decades on H Street. He reflected upon his time on the now gentrifying corridor, and he said he felt there was little impetus to keep longtime, black-owned businesses afloat.

Ben’s is a rarity in D.C.; it’s been on U Street since before the 1968 riots, and has not only survived but thrived as that corridor experienced revitalization. Ben’s has expanded its half-smoke empire in recent years with the opening of a location at Nationals Park and Ben’s Next Door on U Street. The Alis have strong roots in the District; so if they’re the ones to buy up a longtime H Street shop to open a restaurant, should it be called gentrification? If not, then what is it?


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Cupcakes and Bulletproof Glass http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/11/cupcakes-and-bulletproof-glass/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/11/cupcakes-and-bulletproof-glass/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 14:01:20 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=11875 Continue reading ]]>

lamantin / Flickr

Nothing says neighborhood change and gentrification like a cupcake shop. But what if such a shop has bulletproof glass inside? The Washington City Paper reports that the first cupcake shop east of the Anacostia River, Olivia’s Cupcakes, has a “thick sheet” of bullet-resistant glass behind the counter:

“It broke my heart to do that, but it’s a deterrent,” says proprietor Cindy Bullock, who runs the cupcake shop alongside her husband, Bob Bullock, and their daughters, Kristina, 20, and Alexis, 18.

“Several people asked (about the glass) and said, ‘It’s a beautiful shop, its unfortunate that you have it up,’ but we had to have it,” Bullock says.

“I have owned several business in this area and we have been robbed several times,” she explains. “We wanted to make [the shop] elegant and beautiful, but because of the teenagers and having my children here we wanted to protect them.”

D.C.’s bullet resistant glass initially appeared in stores in the wake of the 1968 riots, and became much more widespread at the height of the crack epidemic. Like the Bullocks, many store owners have installed glass after bad experiences.

In gentrifying neighborhoods, the glass barricade coming down is a turning point. It’s also sometimes necessary to appeal to a wealthier clientele. Take Logan Circle, where most liquor and convenience stores had the glass for decades. Then Whole Foods opened on P Street, NW in 2000. Property values rose, and Amare Lucas, owner of Best-In Liquors on P and 15th streets NW decided to take down his glass. The more inviting atmosphere, along with new stock he brought in, attracted more customers, new and longtime residents alike. “Some [customers] told me they had been in the neighborhood for 15 years, kind of passing the store by because of the glass,” Lucas told Washington City Paper‘s Dave Jamieson in 2005. “They’re in my store now. It really gives you a satisfaction.”

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As Business Closes, Owner Looks Back at Decades on H Street http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/09/as-longtime-business-closes-looking-back-at-decades-on-h-street/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/09/as-longtime-business-closes-looking-back-at-decades-on-h-street/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 14:08:10 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=10584 Continue reading ]]> George Butler, 73, will be closing his men's clothing store after 44 years on H Street NE. George's Place Ltd. will close in a few months. No word yet on what will take its place at 10th and H Streets, NE. An employee rings up a customer at the register. Butler says he has a particular eye for fashion and takes care to stock his store with items he knows customers will like. A sign on the front of George's Place reminds passersby how long it's been on the corridor. An employee sorts through items at George's Place. Owner George Butler says he's known for his selection of hats. George Butler speaks with longtime customers about his impending closure. A customer tries on shoes, hoping to take advantage of George's Place's going out of business sale.

George Butler is closing shop after nearly five decades. His men’s clothing store, George’s Place Ltd., is an H Street NE institution, one of the longest-running businesses on a corridor now synonymous with gentrification. But the recession, online competition and H Street streetcar construction led him to call it quits.

The 73-year-old managed clothing stores on the street in the 1950s before opening his store in 1968.

“I saw a future in H Street and my being in the neighborhood, I knew a lot of my customers,” he said while sitting in the back of his store on a recent afternoon. Hats and shoes lined the walls, along with 50 percent off signs.

Through it all, he’s had a front row seat to all the ups and downs of the corridor: from the heyday when  it was “it was like Connecticut Avenue, like downtown,” to the 1968 riots. “I’m a vet, and I saw things I never saw in the war,” he recalled of the riots. “The street was unreal. Fires were everywhere. It was just burning down.”

The riots marked the commercial decline of the street, beginning decades of empty storefronts. “People left and never came back,” Butler said.

In recent years, new restaurants and bars have opened up, breathing a new kind of life into the corridor. But he feels there’s little impetus to support black-owned businesses. He said they’re being pushed out to make room for upscale restaurants and bars catering to whites.

“It was like Connecticut Avenue, like downtown, all the way down to 15th Street.” – George Butler

He said that the streetcar construction, a project meant to improve the corridor, took a toll on sales.

“Customers couldn’t park. It basically forced me out of business.”

Assistance programs are available to businesses hurt by the streetscape project. Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells even called out George’s Place in a press release about tax relief for businesses affected by the construction. But, as Butler sees it, such help came too late.

Butler admitted other factors, a declining economy and competition from big box chain stores with low prices, also contributed to the closure. “And I’ve been in retail for 54 years. I’m tired.”

Butler then stood up to greet old customers, men he knows by name. “When are you closing up?” one asked. “Not for a few months,” he responded.

“I’m going to miss this place because it made me feel good to come here and see the things I like. I can walk from where I live,”  said Marc Humphries, 56. “I was down here a few weeks ago and we were talking about the changes on H Street. I felt like it was going to be any minute now.”

Some would say that Butler is hardly a victim of gentrification. His property is now listed at $1.4 million. (There are no buyers yet, he assured me). He agreed that he stands to make money in the end, but “I don’t look at the money in my situation. I look at how long I’ve been here.”

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How to Get Money For Your H Street NE Business http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/09/how-to-get-money-to-start-an-h-street-ne-business/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/09/how-to-get-money-to-start-an-h-street-ne-business/#comments Tue, 13 Sep 2011 18:15:02 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=10507 Continue reading ]]>

Elahe Izadi / DCentric

Many bars and restaurants have opened up along H Street NE in the past few years, but few retail options remain.

D.C. has just unveiled the application for a grant program that gives money to new or existing retail businesses along the H Street NE corridor. There’s about $1.25 million available for the program, and the first wave of applications is due by Oct. 26.

As we’ve noted before, the program is intended to boost retail along the commercial strip, which has seen a wave of gentrification. Many new bars and restaurants have opened up shop while daytime foot traffic has been minimal.

Longtime businesses can apply to the grant, as long as the money isn’t for liquor stores, barbershops, hair salons, phone stores, bars or restaurants. Eligible businesses include stores selling home furnishings, clothes, groceries, books, art or “general merchandise goods,” with special consideration to those with “innovative retail elements.” There are other stipulations in the application, which can be seen below:

H Street NE Grant Application

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D.C. Program Could Boost H Street Retail http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/08/d-c-program-could-boost-h-street-retail/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/08/d-c-program-could-boost-h-street-retail/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 13:00:41 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=9476 Continue reading ]]> The corner of 7th and H streets NE has a mix of small, longtime businesses and vacancies. Anna Collins, co-owner of Metro Mutts at 5th and H streets NE, rings up a customer. Metro Mutts is located at 5th and H Street, NE, on the same block as several small business and some vacancies. Terri Hill, manager of A Fresh Look by Janice & Company at 7th and H streets NE. Michelle Jones, owner of A.S.P.I.R.E. health store at 7th and H streets NE. A number of new businesses have populated formerly vacant storefronts along the upper end of H Street. But they're mostly restaurants and bars.

Much has been made of the changes along H Street NE as the corridor continues its transformation from a primarily low and middle income black community to one that is wealthier and whiter. Trendy bars and restaurants are increasingly opening in vacant storefronts, attracting diverse patrons en masse during late night hours. But the crowds are nowhere to be seen during the day.

A new D.C. grant program is intended to draw more retail options to the street, creating an H Street that’s as bustling during the day as during the evening. That’s welcome news for many existing business owners who want more people on the streets and in their shops.

“You just don’t want it to be all bars and restaurants,” said Anna Collins, co-owner of pet store Metro Mutts at 5th and H streets.

The Fine Print

Starting this fall, the District will have $1.25 million to offer new or existing retail businesses that are “small and unique” along H Street. A grant application, currently in development, will be available in September. Business proposals that include “entrepreneurial and innovative retail element[s]” will be given special consideration, according to the District law that created the grant. And the program is slated to have more cash to offer over the next five years. The tax revenue generated from the increased retail will be invested back into H Street projects.

There are rules as to who can apply. Retail shops are eligible, excluding liquor stores, restaurants, bars, barbershops, hair salons and phone stores. The businesses must take up at least 1,200 square feet and be located directly on H Street between 3rd and 15th streets. And businesses will only get money if they create jobs that employ D.C. residents.

“Partially, it’s recognizing as a landlord you could charge a much greater rent for a business with a liquor license,” said Charles Allen, chief of staff for Councilman Tommy Wells (Ward 6). “A bookstore will never be able to compete with the liquor license.”

Although existing businesses can apply, they won’t get money offering the same exact service, Allen said. They have to propose something that creates jobs.

Open Arms

The program has already solicited some interest. Local resident Loren Copsey has plans to open the area’s first bicycle shop in February 2012 and plans to apply for grant funds to do so.

“I kind of would like the feeling of being a pioneer on the block,” he said. “It’s been under-utilized, with so many buildings that are vacant and small businesses that are hanging on.”

“The mantra we’re going with now is ‘retail breeds retail,’” he added. “The more retail you have, the more traffic you have, and in general [it] can really help businesses that are currently existing.”

Indeed, many existing businesses welcome the prospect of more retail along the strip.

“We want this district to look like 14th Street, because that’s the way it used to look here. You could get everything along H Street,” said Terri Hill, manager of hair salon A Fresh Look by Janice & Co. at H and 7th streets NE. “We’d like to see [more retail]. It doesn’t matter to me what kinds.”

Retail for Whom?

Hill questioned whether the District’s program will attract businesses that will benefit more low-income residents. Resident Darcy Kirkland, who watched Hill work on his wife’s hair, said he wants the kind of retail that “helps the poor people out.”

But new retail could serve a variety of clientele. Metro Mutts is the only pet store in the area, and Collins said her clients include longtime residents and newcomers living in nearby luxury, pet-friendly condos.

“We want this district to look like 14th Street, because that’s the way it used to look here.”

“We’ve had customers who’ve lived here 30 to 40 years who have said we haven’t had anywhere to buy cat food,” she said. “Everyone wants there to be options. We try to do a little bit of everything.”

The same goes for Michelle Jones, owner of health food store A.S.P.I.R.E. along H and 7th streets NE. Many of her first customers were seniors who couldn’t find apple cider vinegar and other health products within walking distance. Jones wants to see more clothing and groceries stores along the strip.

“Lord knows we don’t need more liquor stores,” she said.

Even if the strip’s vacant buildings don’t all get filled with retail, the grant program may help create jobs in D.C., which has a higher unemployment rate than the national average. Jones has had a number of residents ask her about jobs, but she said her three-month-old business needs to expand before she has enough money to hire.

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