City Desk

VIDEO: Is Cleveland Park Dead?

Cleveland Park is starting to look like an old steel town. Last week, Starbucks and 7-Eleven closed, adding to a growing list of shuttered shops: a Blockbuster, a Magruder's, a Cold Stone Creamery, etc. WUSA's Bruce Johnson examined the corpse last week wondering why such an elite 'hood had fallen on hard times. Councilmember Mary Cheh characterized the decline as a problem.

Colbert King recently wrote a column on the racial paranoia bubbling up on Cleveland Park's listserv. He followed up our own blog post on the subject. Whether residents there are racist or not we can not say. Those stories only prove that people still live in Cleveland Park. There are always the holdouts.

Video and more, below the jump!

With all the bad news surrounding Cleveland Park, we were a bit scared to visit its Connecticut Ave. strip. Had it succumbed to a sort of lawlessness? Were people freaking out over their 'hood losing its Slurpee machine? Would there even be anyone around to talk to? Had its residents started migrating to the hipper Van Ness, a neighborhood that can actually support a Starbucks?

One thing we did prove: You can still get a parking ticket in Cleveland Park.

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  • Joel Lawson

    Notice the older gentleman, a resident of CP for 37 years, saying that people need to wrap their heads around the need for greater density.

  • Downtown Rez

    Owners think with their pockets. I'm thinking the owners would rather gamble on having a few years of no rent followed by 30 years of great rent.
    But not every place can be a Tryst or a Madams Organ, and they've a ways to go before they've got the critical retail density AND mix to draw people to that area.

  • sara.h

    Van ness is hip now? I lived there 9 years ago. It was not hip.

  • Q™

    Weeping for Cleveland Park?!? No offense but there are OTHER areas in DC that have seen a decline and dearth of businesses far longer than Cleveland Park. Deanwood and Congress Heights immediately come to mind. Lamond-Riggs FINALLY has something in the works. H Street is slowly coming unto itself, but I can think of many neighborhoods outside of Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Shaw, and Center City, that tears haven't been shed for.

    Even as great as Union Station WAS, in about 3 years the retail will be affected. I feel for the business owners but nostalgic storefronts were killed in the name of progress after the Downtown explosion happened. All shop and NO character...but at least they get TANFs.

  • KCinDC

    I think the reference to Van Ness as being hip was supposed to be a joke.

  • charlie

    How many of these places are paying the vacant property tax rate?

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  • AG

    I live in the CP area and it is becoming ridiculous how many stores are closing. The 7-11 at Porter and Connecticut was the last straw for me -- that store was very popular and served that entire part of the neighborhood. Something really needs to be done about this.

  • JTE

    What was your parking ticket for?

  • Downtown Rez

    Expired tags on his premise.

  • Arthur Delaney

    Bless Dega Schembri, the owner of City Fitness, one of the sole surviving businesses in that crummy mall thing.

    I wonder if it's a situation similar to the one in Union Station, where the owner/management is effectively getting rid of longtime tenants to bring in more upscale stuff.

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