Progress of Gentrification

| 3 Comments

The Editor of the BaancBlog mentioned something interesting:

The gentrification of Logan Circle began in the 70's and the gentrification of the Blagden Alley and Naylor Court environs began in earnest in the early 80's. That doesn't mean population increase, but the renovation of (often abandoned) housing. With the accompanying decline in drug dealing and murder in the territory, it became safe to build the available zoning envelope. That is, a lot of condos and multi-unit rentals. That's the population spike relative to the rest of DC. That's mostly over.

Back when I was researching buying a house, 10 years ago, I looked at how gentrification moved. I can't remember if it was "Upscaling Downtown: Stalled Gentrification in Washington DC" by Brett Williams or another book (I read a lot) that noted the flows of gentrification and what stalled it. From where I was sitting at the time the flow was going from Dupont, into Logan, and heading east, but how far east, who knew.

Also I realized as, the Editor has pointed out, gentrification can be slow. Logan's gentrification began in the 70s, say late 70s and it's now 30 years past. 30 years, that's older than some of you reading this. 10 years ago when I moved out of my 12th and Rhode Island Ave apartment near Logan Circle, there were only homeless guys hanging out in the circle. That's changed. There is stuff that hasn't changed. That red wood blighted eye-sore on the 1400 blk of 11th was a blighted eye-sore 11 years ago. It survived gentrification, the real estate boom, and unless the city or the owners do something, it may still be a red wood eye-sore in the next 10 years. There are other vacant and abandoned houses just off 9th, which also managed not to get touched during the great housing boom. However, around these eye-sores are some pretty nice houses and businesses that slowly, over the past 30-20-10-5 years have come up. But lower on 9th, near Blagden Alley and Naylor Court the cool businesses are surrounded by vacant store fronts and bordered by a fortress known as the Convention Center. Housing is nice around there though.

The gentrification that is occuring east of 9th is slow. Near the Convention Center I'd say it is about 20, getting to 30 years old. Over here in the TC? I don't know. There was a slow change in the past 10 years. Turnover has favored those who want to be homeowners, and when those homeowners decide to become landlords they tend to rent to people of the same class. There are still plenty of people in the TC who were here over 10-20+ years ago, homeowners, folks in the co-op, and renters with landlords who haven't bothered selling or improving the place enough to justify a price hike. The old-timers.

In the next 10-20 years who knows what will happen in the TC as there is much more room for improvement and change. Maybe something will happen with Slater, Langston, and Cook. Who knows what impact the change with MM Washington into Senior housing will have in the area around S.O.M.E. Maybe commerical pressure from NoMa will leap on to North Cap and it becomes attractive to business, or not. Maybe Joe Mamo will do something with his lot on the corner of FL and N. Cap that the neighborhood approves of, spurring development near by. Maybe something will get built at NJ and P. Maybe, something will happen with various vacant and underused properties in the TC, changing the place for the better.

3 Comments

Ugggh...To start off, I'm a white guy that's lived in Shaw for 30 years. I think it's really disgusting that on the front page of the blog it states "An historically gentrified blog"...in other words, what the person said that wrote that is "this blog is for white people that have moved into the neighborhood"...

Let's get clear about the word "gentrification". In the 60's black people would move to neighborhoods that were "historically white". Of course the white people fled quicker than if their houses had been set on fire. It was called "block-busting". Not nice.

Gentrification is the EXACT same thing, except in reverse. It's a racially charged word and it's white peoples way of saying "we're moving back into the neighborhood"...it goes to heart of the twenty-thirties-something sense of entitlement and white superiority. As a white guy living in Shaw for 30 years I had no problems living in a all black neighborhood. Dogs never crapped in my yard first of all. People didn't have bar-b-cues and drink and have parties in the front of their houses. White girls didn't lay in bathing suits during church hours on Sunday to get a sun tan. People were friendly, spoke to you and took your mail in. As opposed to walking by with I-Pods on and never glacing your way or acknowledging someone exists.

People can start by bringing something to the neighborhood and making a difference in the life of the neighborhood rather than thinking that they've done me and my friend a favor by moving to the neighborhood because they're white. I'm not willing to let my neighborhood become another Dupont or Logan Circle.

Yeah, that doesn't make any sense. People had parties and BBQs in front of their houses all the time -- they do that LESS now. It was wonderful, and I wish that trend would come back. Seeing people on their stoops really makes for a wonderful community feeling. I also don't get why you're upset about people tanning. If anything, your objections on gentrification just trivialize it. You are inconvenienced and annoyed by the things you see, but you are not actually affected by it -- again, judging by your list of complaints. Low income individuals and families are being forced to move away from the neighborhoods they grew up in and away from where they make their livelihoods. Hello! Do you think BBQs and bikinis are on their list of grievances? Unlikely.

Leave a comment