If you build it who will come?
This week’s focus has been strategy for the available commercial space at City Vista.
A reader sent me an email of a more provocative tilt. I’ll paraphrase since I didn’t have a chance to ask his permission to print. The basic message was that businesses should be selected carefully so that they don’t attract an undesirable crowd. You often hear this argument related to nightclubs patrons but it’s a little less PC to be anti-youths. Specifically his biggest concern was that the teenager loitering at Gallery Place (700 block 7th St NW) does not migrate to City Vista. He went on to outline his reasons including the fights, noise(shouting), trash, and a general hostile environment.
At PSA 101 West forums I have heard the first hand discussions from residents about the juvenile loitering and crime. It’s an ongoing issue that many residents find to be a nuisance. The police can break up the fights but otherwise have little to enforce as congregating in public space is not against the law.
Is there much risk for a teenage loitering migration to City Vista? My impression is that the biggest draws for the teenagers to Gallery Place are the movie theatre, fast food and the visibility of the area make it a “place to be seen”. Seems to be an entirely different ball of wax. This would come more into play when considering an entertainment anchor for Jemal’s future development.
However make no mistake that the retail choices draw certain clientele. Signing on a fast food tenant like Mickey D’s will draw in a different clientele than a wine bar or Thai place. I know in my high school days we regularly made late night runs to the Taco Bell drive thru although I’ll never be able to relate to just hanging out in front of a fast food place for hours like it’s some kind of party. =)
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