City Desk

Adams Morgan: We’re Not Lagging!

Earlier this week, George Washington University professor Christopher P. Leinberger included Adams Morgan on a list of D.C. area neighborhoods "lagging behind" others in a list for the Washington Post. And the Adams Morgan Partnership BID isn't happy about it.

"Wrong, wrong and wrong," BID executive director Kristen Barden in a letter to the Post, asking the paper to correct or retract Leinberger's claims. According to Barden, Leinberger ignored developments in the neighborhood like the completed Adams Morgan Streetscape project and an upcoming hotel (located where Washington City Paper's offices are now). She also claimed that the figures Leinberger provided for per-square foot rents in the area were too low.

"The businesses are still recovering from the Streetscape, so any negative press like that really hurts," Barden says. She questioned the source of Leinberger's real estate numbers, real estate data service CoStar, saying that the numbers becoming less accurate when they move out of downtown commercial districts.

For his part, Leinberger's sticking by the rent numbers. While he concedes that the streetscape construction could have temporarily depressed rents, he insists that Adams Morgan is set to miss out on the boom in walkable communities that he foresees.

"If it just keeps on being Party Central, it's not going to be good for the property owners, and it's not going to be good for the properties around them," he says.

Adams Morgan faces other issues, according to Leinberger, including an overrreliance on night life that has soured its residents on relationships with businesses.

"[Neighbors] get tired of having people throw up on their front step," he says.

Photo by Flickr user Krossbow used under a Creative Commons license.

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  • AM resident

    As an Adams Morgan resident, I hate to say it, but I'm with Leinberger.

    Retail in Adams Morgan is very limited. There are restaurants and bars focused on an affluent, nighttime crowd. And there are a variety of shops aimed a modest-income shoppers. And no overlap, little in-between, practically nothing else.

    Imagine trying to shop for clothes here!

    And what about lunch? There's nothing with the sort of food that you would get downtown at places like Corner Bakery or Au Bon Pain or Chipotle (no, the options don't have to be chains, but, chain or mom-and-pop, the food just isn't there. I know -- there's So You Mom for cold cold-cuts sandwiches, the new doner place, etc. -- but it just doesn't stack up. And a bunch of the food that is around is rather sketchy. So many restaurants, so little to eat for a healthy, inexpensive lunch...)

    I shop regularly at Harris Teeter and regularly dine at a couple of restaurants. Otherwise, my shopping and commerce of all sorts is done in adjacent neighborhoods.

    Living options are also weirdly limited -- the apartments and rental row-house units are mostly in need of serious renovation. The new construction is either million-dollar condos or subsidized housing.

  • Braulio

    Meanwhile, Dupont Circle doesn't even have a BID to say anything about Leinberger's "lagging" tag, the clearest indication that it is, in fact, lagging. Aaron should cover that.

  • Typical DC BS

    Leinberger also named Dupont Circle as a lagging neighborhood because it didn't have "streetcar access". The guys a moron - Metro trumps "streetcars" every day of the week when it comes to being a real estate or area asset.

  • Talc

    tdcbs, dupont circle is still pretty bad in terms of retail. even the loft closed. bad.

  • Will

    FWIW, the last week I lived in AdMo before moving to the Hill, I woke up at 3 AM to shouting on my street, looked out the window, couldn't see anything, went back to bed. Woke up 30 minutes later when all the police and ambulances showed up. Apparently one group of drinkers was followed by another onto my street where a fight ensued. One guy got pistol whipped pretty badly, and was beaten unconscious. When I went down to see what was happening, the girls from this dude's group were all wailing, the guy was on a stretcher being moved into an ambulance with his head and neck immobilized, and it was an absolute shit-show. The next day when I went out, there was a gory trail of blood that had pooled and coagulated in one of the potholes in the street, and there was a bloody handprint on someone's car from when the victim tried to stand up after the beating.

    I can see how incidents such as this affect property values. Waking up to a bloody handprint on your vehicle and a pool of blood in the street would have that effect on people. Leinberger is spot on here.

  • Joel

    Will, when was this?

  • AM Resident

    Leinberger is a real estate developer ( What are the chances he owns property in the city, and that those interests are not in Dupont Circle or Adams Morgan?

  • Widness
  • kob

    >I can see how incidents such as this affect property values. Waking up to a bloody handprint on your vehicle and a pool of blood in the street would have that effect on people. Leinberger is spot on here.<

    And U Street, H Street and, most certainly not Capitol Hill, are immune from this?

  • AM Resident

    Er, what happened to my comment from, like, 22 hours ago? I can't believe that the language didn't pass moderation. Did you just censor a reasonable point of view?

  • AdMo
  • FWIW

    CoStar also does not accurately track commercial real estate with less than 5,000 square feet. Since most Adams Morgan businesses are less than 5,000 square feet, CoStar is not going to capture that data. Lineberger should have known that.

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