1300-1600 blk of Hell, NW

Well it appears that North Capitol from New York Ave up to somewhere around Florida is doomed, doomed to heck. As far as commercial ventures go. From the BACA notes:

Comish Pinkney said the Urban Land Institute said that North Cap wasn’t suitable for development because developers would not want to invest in an area laden with so many social services.

There are several social services concentrated in that spot around NY Ave and North Cap. Because of their individual missions and management style some of those social services (not all) attracts a population whose acts are a negative force. I throw in management style because I remember the Emory Shelter on Lincoln Rd NE, which is still there. But a few years back it took in all kinds of men without checking sex offender status. It was a few feet away from the Harry Thomas Rec Center, where children congregated. Well a change was made so that only homeless men with jobs would reside at Emory and that cut down on the crowds of men just hanging out around the shelter.
A few block south of Emory back in our area, around NY Ave and North Capitol, you have several homeless services and a methadone clinic. S.O.M.E. is one of them and I do remember the really bad complaints residents had with some when I first moved around here. Homeless where littering like crazy and using neighbors’ basement apartment entryways for toilets. I’m hearing few complaints these days about meal related litter and poop at your basement door, and that has come with some back and forth between residents and S.O.M.E.
However, with the volume of people served by SOME and the other places there is a portion of that population that makes development along North Cap, ‘unsuitable’. These are the loiterers, the extortionists/ beggars, the window breakers, and the weirdos who wander up and down the street. I hear that men are begining to lay around in front of the new Subway sandwich shop. The police come and shoo them away and then they come back to block entry. Hopefully the Subway can survive and not suffer the problems that closed down Luciana Cafe with multiple window breakings, vadalism, and loitering (Jemal raising the rent didn’t help either).
It was brought up in the BACA meeting that the person who owns the building with the liquor store at FL and N. Cap, owns that whole corner of buildings on that corner, including the Subway. The owner was approached with the idea of matching funds to improve the facade, but refused because it would be like throwing money away.
So getting development along the NW side of North Cap is going to be hard.

Also forget about the old firehouse becoming a restaurant.

17 thoughts on “1300-1600 blk of Hell, NW”

  1. Mari,

    With regard to "I'm hearing few complaints these days about meal related litter and poop at your basement door, and that has come with some back and forth between residents and S.O.M.E." … it's still going on, I see the S.O.M.E. trash around Dunbar high School every afternoon while I'm walking my dogs, the public urination at the NY Avenue Park, and then we have the mess of the eviction crews blocking N Street in the morning as they wait for the homeless to pack into the back of the UHaul vans to go off and make a few dollars evicting people for the US Marshall's office.

    It's not that it's not happening, sometimes you just get fed up hitting your head against a brick wall and the only way to stop the bleeding is to stop hitting your head.

  2. Trying to work with SOME is futile. A few years ago we asked that they not serve people who were visibly bombed out of their minds and their response was that thy don't. Which we all know is a lie. Here's an idea, require each of them to bring a bag of trash once a week in exchange for free food. Something like that. Of course, I suspect all our trashcans would go empty since we know they aren't going to actually do any work. But SOME is a bad neighbor, I wish someone told me they were here before I sunk a half million dollars into the hood.

  3. Welcome to my blog. If you had bothered to read the burb under "Leave your comment" you'd see "ID your posts with a screen name or initials, and no cursing. Thanks." You failed to ID your post.

    I'm not a racist. Some of my closest friends are white people.
    Classist? Depending on my mood.

    My complaints about the social services are mild compared to some of the other middle class blacks in the area. To give a clue of who I'm thinking of let me throw out the phrases "I'm sick of it" & "We pay our taxes".

    RobA- If the impact of S.O.M.E. is reaching the high school I can see a 'possible' excuse the school may use for keeping the neighborhood residents off of the Dunbar track. Which by the way I heard Fenty declared open to the people. How true is that?

  4. Mari,

    S.O.M.E. has been impacting (in one way or another) the Dunbar property for as long as I've lived on N Street.

    Yes, several days before Mayor Fenty's visit, the track at Dunbar became available for the community in the morning from 6:00-6:30 until 8:30-9:00am. The gates have been wide open during that time period and people have been taking advantage of the opportunity. I do wonder how this will work when school starts back up in the Fall and it's still dark at 6:00 in the morning. But enjoy it while you can.

  5. You make a lot of allegations and innuendos. Do you have any proof that it was the users of social services that threw the bricks into Lucia's? Couldn't it easily have been the partygoers of the private club in back of Luciana's?

    In your blog post, you say nothing about the major drug dealing in this neighborhood. I have seen at least one major drug bust in this neighborhood in the last year and I know that they had to be others. I don't think the major drug dealers in this area are users of SOME. (Yes this is just a hypothesis.)

    Also, in your blog post, you noted that two of the landlords have made it inhospitable to local businesses (raising rent on Luciana's and not wanting to fix up the facade outside of the liquor store). Why do you grant a pass to these two landlords? Why don't you give them some of the blame? The landlord raised rent while the economy is taking a steep nose dive. Doesn't that make it impossible to keep a small business open?

    Yesterday I actually met with representatives from SOME to look at a project of beautifying one of the alleys behind their buildings that they own. (Next week I will bring a group of high school students to help with this project.) Most of the trash in this alley look like it comes from the neighbors than SOME. I am going to work with other parts of SOME to do similar projects in the near future.

    In this neighborhood, it has become a pasttime blaming SOME for all the problems in this neighborhood, instead of actually taking into account other factors and actual research.

  6. Maybe if the city shelters and group homes didn't force everyone out during the day, they wouldn't be loitering on the sidewalk and defecating in strange places? Because they would be inside, with real toilets. Or maybe they would even get decent places to live. You know, there just might be a bigger systems problem here than carryout containers on your sidewalk.

  7. You fail to present any concrete evidence that the homeless population that uses social services are responsible for vandalism.

    You also simply accept entirely the line from the developers that the social service operations are the reason they aren't engaging in development when the reality is that the current economic outlook has a lot more to do with it.

    I'm pretty disappointed in the quality of this post.

  8. Greg:
    "I don't think the major drug dealers in this area are users of SOME."
    This is the reverse of the most likely dynamic. Rather than imagine that the down and out folks who use SOME are dealers, try imagining that the dealers are drawn to the area because SOME puts a highly concentrated supply of their clients in one place.
    It's also realistic to imagine bottom rung clients doing petty crime or panhandling for their next fix, and passing out and relieving themselves in public.
    This sort of dynamic isn't unique- it can be seen in many places in DC.

  9. there will be development, someday…

    as property gets more valuable around the edges of the area, eventually places like s.o.m.e. will be squeezed out due to the fact that their property will be too valuable to remain a social services wal-mart.

    sure, it isn't happening this year, but land that close to the downtown core of the city will eventually be developed with a more valuable use. just the way it goes…

  10. Hey Greg, unfortunately, I don't have the citation handy, but I read a report from the DEA that called that into question. most of the open air drug market hot spots seem to be away from social service outfits, which makes sense. Why the heck would you do it somewhere the cops already know about?

    I think the real question we're all missing is why the hell did the city insist on developing itself in a way to dump all the social services into tiny concentrated areas to begin with? It smacks of NIMBYism and poor long-term urban planning.

  11. Meredith- Supply follows demand. It really is that simple.
    So far as the cops already knowing about it, well, can you honestly say you see a lot of cops in the neighborhood?

  12. Hey Anon, I don't actually understand what you're trying to say. You're asking me a rhetorical question.

    What I do know is that the majority of people who seek out social services are not drug dealers or drug addicts. The majority are working poor, often homeless, and with families. We're also facing a problem where shelters are operating over capacity mid-summer, meaning that if we start closing down social service infrastructure and the economy keeps getting worse, you're going to be condemning hundreds of families to the streets, possibly as the weather gets colder. If that's something your comfortable with, I'm not sure you're the kind of person I'm comfortable with.


  13. Mari,
    it won't be until after 2020 that the "Hell" blocks of North Capitol you speak of will are redeveloped. S.O.M.E is the WORST and I feel sorry for those who invested there without being told what a horrible neighborhood O and North Capitol is.

    Those is Shaw can be thankful they dont have S.O.M.E. i cant think of an area in Shaw that's as bad as the area near S.O.M.E./Big Ben and the Methodone Clinic.

    Good to know where the eviction crew has relocated too. at least they can go to Big Ben and score some crack after they get paid in cash at the end of the eviction day. the eviction crew moved from the 400 block of L St once city vista opened.

    At least portions of Sursum Corda have been demolished and Temple Courts is gone too. Maybe Georgetown University will buy more land for their expansion up North Capitol St.

    the meth clinic needs to be relocated to maryland.


  14. ?Don't question the large feeding station in your residential neighborhood or the homeless kid gets it? Meredith, don't worry SOME isn't going anywhere, it's got too many powerful friends. We'll be bitching about it for the next decade or two.

    InShaw is not a think tank, nor a news blog, nor a journalistic non-profit with a full stable of unpaid interns. Nope. This is a one woman shop run on my spare time and a budget of whatever I find in my pockets when doing laundry. In the area of history, .05 goes a long way. What I see walking from work on my home, ditto. Everything else I rely on my neighbors, community meetings and my own observations. I've just gotta trust that my Hanover/ MVSQ area neighbors' assessment of SOME is true.
    Also you don't need to be homeless to eat and get counciled or medicated around there.
    If you want to track drug dealing in the hood subscribe to the 5D yahoo group or keep track of the 5D Court Report and wade through the data. See what charges actually bothered getting to court.

    Lastly, when a comment thread starts getting too long I shut it down. 13-14 comments is a lot. 20 demands shutting down.

  15. Time to leave. 6 more months, max, and I'm moving after 20 years in DC.

    In another 20 years, when I'm elderly, I'll come back and marvel at how much the neighborhood has improved. In the meantime, I'm going to live a quality life. To do so, I need to leave DC.


  16. Mari,

    I am just trying to encourage you to start a relationship with SOME, instead of just complaining. Because this doesn't help the neighborhood at all.

    They are trying to improve the lives of people in DC by getting the down and out off the street, helping with health care needs, etc…

    People mentioned the people sitting in the park. A SOME employee told me that they are trying to help those people by convincing to SOME. It hasn't worked yet, but they aren't giving up.

    I love this neighborhood, so that is why I am working alongside SOME to help clean up the neighborhood.


  17. Gregg: SOME could reach out themselves- maybe discuss and invite community engagement at a BACA or ANC meeting. What is the extent of their cooperation with the NOMA BID? Both the Downtown and the Golden Triangle BIDs work extensively with the NGOs and the city on homeless issues.

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