What You Need to Know About the Proposed Eastern Market Main Street
On Wednesday, August 24th, the principal organizers for the application of an “Eastern Market Main Street” held their second public meeting to discuss the project. The meeting, at Mr. Henry’s was well attended by members of the local business community. Most notably, there was a large turnout from permanent Eastern Market vendors. For many, this was the first chance to learn about the application.
The proposed Main Street designation would be for the 200 and 300 blocks of 7th Street SE and the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The application allows for extending the designation as far as the 200 block of Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Many of the retail business, particularly on Pennsylvania Avenue, were very vocal in their support of the application process noting that the block could greatly benefit from new streetscape and additional lighting. Similar wishes were successfully addressed by the Main Street project that covers Barracks Row. The project, which has funding in the 2016-2017 DC Council Budget, could be approved as early as mid-October. Once approved the city would provide funds that would be used to hire an executive director and begin the real work.
Martin Smith, the Executive Director of Barracks Row Main Street, was on hand to answer many questions from the audience. Questions focused on budget size, expenditures, and income. Audience members expressed some concern over additional fundraising requests as many of the same business and community leaders are repeatedly asked for contributions. Co-organizer, Mary Quillian-Helms, was quick to point out the potential for economies of scale with combining some resources for the various Main Street and other community organizations.
With CHAMPS’ mission to represent and support the interests of the Capitol Hill business community, we strongly support the creation of an Eastern Market Main Street. We believe that it will enhance and strengthen businesses on Capitol Hill; it will create opportunities for promotional efforts; and it will contribute to improving our area’s infrastructure. With the growing number of new businesses and new building developments nearby, such as Capitol Riverfront, Union Market, the H Street corridor and Downtown DC, our long-standing business community is in need of the programs and structure a Main Street can provide. We expect the Main Street program to assist with promoting existing and new businesses, organizing annual community events, accessing programs designed to help us improve building facades, and retaining and attracting new successful businesses that provide a balanced commercial mix to the historic Capitol Hill/Eastern Market neighborhood.
For additional information regarding this project please contact co-organizer, Manuel Cortes, at email@example.com