The neighborhood of Ivy City is nestled within Ward 5 in Washington, D.C. In the last few years, this neighborhood and others in the New York Avenue gateway area in Ward 5 have experienced some redevelopment.
Where does this neighborhood stand now? And what are its current strengths and growth opportunities?
History: The Ivy City neighborhood is fortunate enough to have two historical buildings within its neighborhood - the Hecht Warehouse and the Crummell School.
Positive examples of redevelopment already occurring: The Hecht Warehouse has already experienced some of the focused redevelopment that is occurring within Ivy City. The Hecht Warehouse area is now a mixed-use area, with apartments towering about business space. Included in this development is MOM's Organic grocery store, the Nike Store, Bikram Hot Yoga, and smaller businesses like Sip & Dry Bar, Ari's Diner, and BicycleSpace. The Hecht Warehouse mixed-use area also has wider sidewalks that are dotted with trees. More than just pleasing to the eye, these wider sidewalks help to promote walking among residents and foot-traffic for businesses.
And more development is expected to continue! Plans for the historic Crummell School will see another historical building renovated and most importantly, these plans were developed with the interests of current residents in mind. The Crummell redevelopment area will include a community center and neighborhood garden (items the neighborhood is currently missing) in addition to mixed-use spaces.
Moves to improve housing opportunities: Habitat for Humanity is active in our neighborhood, as it moves to make more affordable housing options in Washington, D.C.
Green spaces: There is some park space within the Ivy City neighborhood. However, more functional green spaces can be developed. The plans for a community garden within the Crummell School redevelopment area will help, but more green space areas will help to provide a healthy habitat for residents.
Grocery stores: With the exception of the MOM's organic market, there are not very many grocery store options within Ivy City. More grocery store options can help alleviate food deserts within city and help to improve resident health.
Access to public transportation: The Ivy City neighborhood is within DC bus routes and a bike share system has been set up in the Hecht Warehouse development area. However, more changes can be made to help residents have improved transportation options. Bike lanes can be created for those who want to take advantage of the bike share program. Additionally, Ivy City is not very close to a metro stop. However, the city currently has plans to develop street cars for some Washington DC neighborhoods. Street car options can be an interesting opportunity for Ivy City to increase their residents' options to public transportation and increase revenues for their local businesses.
Need for more businesses & more foot traffic: Redevelopment programs have already brought new business opportunities and new businesses into Ivy City. However, Ivy City streets can be quiet and there is room for more businesses. With a focused redevelopment effort and with partnerships with current residents, Ivy City can work to attract more businesses to move to redeveloped or existing areas within the neighborhood. This will help to increase foot traffic for local businesses and help to ensure that Ivy City thrives.