by Chuck Schilke
Co-chair of the Van Ness Main Street Economic Development Committee
For some time, Van Ness Main Street’ community economic development group has wanted to convey to investors, real estate developers, and others that Van Ness invites investment and development that enhances the quality of life in Van Ness, Forest Hills, and Wakefield. The open letter that appears below, and which has been vetted by the VNMS board, invites investors, developers, and others to engage with these three communities in the Van Ness Main Street service area.
The letter emphasizes that Van Ness is almost certainly more receptive to investment and development than most other DC neighborhoods, which VMNS believes is a real comparative advantage for Van Ness. VNMS is basically seeking to increase the amount of investment and development in our community, which all of us who live here know has an exceptionally high quality of life for a wide range of people. Yet, past planning has not taken full advantage of the possibilities that Van Ness offers.
As Van Ness gradually shifts from a quasi-suburban automobile-focused place with a 1950s feel to a contemporary walkable urban community with more of a 2020s vibe, the private sector can collaborate with the Van Ness community to markedly improve the public realm and the quality of resident life.
In addition to publishing the letter here in Forest Hills Connection (which is an affiliate of VNMS), we are posting the letter to the VNMS website, so that it will be available to the general public on an ongoing basis.
Van Ness is Open for Business
An invitation for commercial real estate conversation and collaboration
Van Ness Main Street (VNMS) extends from Van Ness Street, NW north to Nebraska Avenue, NW on both sides of the busy Connecticut Avenue, NW corridor. The VNMS Open for Business Project welcomes renovation and development in support of enriched commercial density and business diversity. We invite you to meet with us to discuss this exciting initiative.
Why Van Ness Main Street?
Van Ness, Forest Hills and Chevy Chase, DC are thriving residential neighborhoods with a wide range of housing options for people of all ages and incomes. Van Ness Main Street neighbors appreciate retail development that supports daily life activities as well as community, cultural and recreational engagement.
Van Ness is the “node of Northwest” – the middle cluster of the five retail real estate clusters that punctuate Connecticut Avenue west of Rock Creek Park Van Ness offers large buildings, both residential and commercial, abundant tenant square footage, and zoning flexibility to encourage optimum building development.
Residents of Van Ness Main Street neighborhoods appreciate its special combination of suburban, urban and parkland amenities.
Van Ness Main Street is unique in its confluence of cultural and educational institutions: The University of the District of Columbia and Law School; American University’s WAMU radio broadcasting hub; Howard University Law School; The Levine School of Music; The Whittle School; Edmund Burke School; The Sheridan School and embassies from 22 countries. Destination retailers and restaurants include Politics and Prose, Bread Furst, Uptown Market, Sfoglina, Muchas Gracias, Comet Ping Pong and I’m Eddie Cano.
Van Ness Main Street businesses are resilient. During the pandemic, five businesses closed and another five opened. Four businesses are slated to open in 2022 and 2023.
VNMS neighborhood statistics
Van Ness is truly open for business. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your future in Van Ness, Forest Hills, and Wakefield.