Housing Complex

Today in Realtorspeak: Anacostia Über Alles!

Anacostia itself—a small neighborhood centered around an historic core—may be having its troubles with foreclosures and vacant properties, as I describe in this week's issue. But it's still the most recognizable brand in Wards 7 and 8, and rather than fight the perception that that's what everything east of the river is called, Anacostia River Realty's Darrin Davis has decided to embrace it: He's now marketing the entire area as the "Anacostia Neighborhoods."

"Anacostia's a cool word now," Davis says. "It just makes our job easier."

Davis even thought that Fairlawn, the neighborhood in which his office technically sits, had been absorbed into the Anacostia tax assessment district. According to the Office of Tax and Revenue, Fairlawn has always been a sub-district of Anacostia's. But they do eventually respond to the creation of new neighborhoods: This year, "Redevelopment Land Agency Northeast" became NoMa, and "Redevelopment Land Agency Southwest" became the Southwest Waterfront (here's the official map).

The rest of the neighborhoods east of the river, though, certainly have more sense of self than those formerly unpopulated districts. I'm not sure this branding campaign will stick any better than calling Hillcrest "Capitol Hill Extended."


  • http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com Richard Layman

    hmm. Look forward to checking out the print edition.

  • er

    it makes perfect sense if the goal is to attract new residents from west of the river and from maryland or virginia. the "Anacostia Neighborhoods" is a better term than River East.

  • http://www.twitter.com/shipsa01 shipsa01

    It's kind of like how neighborhoods east of the Capitol building - no matter how far - have dropped their name and just use Capitol Hill. When I testified at the DC Council last year on redistricting, I was on a panel with someone from Kingman Park who claimed that she should be in Ward 6 (and not 7) because she's part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Jack Evans asked her how far east the Capitol Hill neighborhood extends and she said "to the Anacostia!"

  • Ward 8’s Gonna Get Ya…

    Uhmmm no! Fail! Anacostia is a small neighborhood just above the second "A" scripted on the map. East of the Anacostia River is preferred when talking about the land area that largely encompasses Wards 7 and 8. Darrin needs either a new marketing campaign or change the name of his realty...

  • Pingback: District Line Daily: Margaritas on Tap, Anacostia Über Alles! - City Desk

  • Dionne Brown

    All neighborhoods referenced are not east of the Anacostia River, which splits from the Potomac River right near the neighborhood which bears its name. Neighborhoods south of that are actually East of the Potomac River.

    Painting such a large area with a broad swath reduces them and eliminates any historicity or cache they may have. You don't see Spring Valley asking everything West of the Park be named Rock Creek Park. No, upper NW neighborhoods are very discrete and well-defined. There's a lot to a neighborhood name, especially where home values are concerned. Mr. Davis should know that as a realtor.

  • Anna Costia

    I'm not feeling that either. I live in Anacostia. It's a historic district. I live right on the outskirts of the historic part and actually claim Anacostia/Hillsdale. I agree with Ward 8's Gonna Get Ya..., go with East of the Anacostia River. Let's be accurate.

  • Typical DC BS

    How about PGC-DC West?

  • Jerry Johnson sr

    Anacostia for so long was a negative,I really would like to know when are the jobs and schools(good)coming?finally people begin to come over the bridge.Anacostia has always been a place of beauty,one man's Chey Chase,is another man's Anacostia.Greatest park in the city,greatest pool,great views,waterfront,and lots of history.Chic comes with a price...............before long it will be the next unaffordable market in the city.

    Peace in Southeast


  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    I agree with the remarks of Dionne Brown.

  • Cap City Records Panhandler
  • Marc

    I understand wanting to preserve the individuality of the neighborhoods, but I believe that way of thinking is from an entirely local POV. DC is(or aspires to be) a world city and people I've spoken with from around the country know of Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and U Street, and other prominent areas. If you are marketing the city to someone who might not be as familiar with it, I think Anacostia neighborhoods is a good term. It identifies that there are multiple neighborhoods which can then be later be explored.