Thursday, September 23, 2010

In the pawn wars, Middle GA Ave's gain is Upper GA Ave's loss

Rendering of The Heights at Georgia Avenue from

The new Heights at Georgia Avenue building at Georgia and Lamont Streets NW will begin construction within the next 60 to 90 days, according to Councilmember Jim Graham.

Graham stated in an e-mail that the Heights will be built on "the current site of a vacant lot and a pawn shop". The pawn shop he refers to is Famous Pawn, which residents of Upper Georgia Avenue know as the shop that is relocating intends to relocate to 7301 Georgia Avenue (at Georgia and Fern Streets NW) following a lengthy struggle to keep them out of the neighborhood led by ANC commissioner Sara Green and championed by Councilmember Bowser. The ANC and other residents of the Upper Georgia Avenue corridor are concerned that the pawn shop's presence there will encourage criminal activity while representing a step back in the neighborhood's progress. Residents understandably are pushing for more savory businesses to open up along the corridor, but I have to note that the presence of Crown Pawnbrokers at 1726 14th Street NW has hardly hurt the development of the 14th Street business corridor between Logan Circle and U Street. Crown seems to be coexisting fairly peacefully with its neighboring businesses and residences...a neighborhood in which The Heights, with its "accessible green roof with fourteen different types of vegetation, photovoltaic panels, passive solar heating and cooling, a central water system and water conserving / Energy Star appliances and fixtures among many other environmentally friendly attributes", would fit nicely.

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