Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Hive - Coming This Month

The Hive is coming to main street Anacostia (2027 MLK), and it's opening later this month. What is it? The name says a lot: a place buzzing with creative energy. More specifically, The Hive is a creative and shared workspace for freelancers, satellite offices, and small businesses.

Why join? A lot of you work for yourself yet don't have a great place to "legitimize" the business side of it. Having a place where you can fax & print, hold meetings, and get out of the house is an important way to boost business.

What's available at The Hive? (all services not available at all membership levels)
• Professional Receptionist
• Phone with voicemail
• Free High Speed cable Internet access
• 16 hours a Month Free Conference Room Access
• Fully equipped break area
• Video Conferencing Capability
• Mail and package delivery
• Receiving e-faxes and local e-fax sending
• Dedicated off Street car parking at monthly rate of $75. Hybrid cars $60 a month
Space at The Hive is available at three levels: Full Member (private offices, only one still available), Shared Space, and Virtual Memberships.

Full Member - ($525-575/month)
This option works for individuals and companies who need a dedicated work space, but do not need a full office suite. This option provides the general infrastructure for an organization to carry out its day-to-day operations. Full members have 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, and 365-days a year use of the facility.

Shared Space - ($400/month)
The shared member option is for those who spend a good portion of time outside of the office, yet also require an office space. With this option, individuals or organizations have a desk space and a voicemail. Shared members have 24/7/365 access to the building.

Virtual Member - ($250/month)
The virtual option is for professionals with full-time jobs or those that work out of their homes and but are interested in having a space as a receiving point for packages and mail as well as a company meeting point. Virtual Members may use the common areas and resources) of The Hive.

For more information, download the full Hive membership info page here and go to the Hive's not-quite-ready website at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anacostia on Aljazeera

This summer, Aljazeera English filmed a documentary feature on the changes coming east of the Anacostia River, specifically in the Anacostia and Barry Farm neighborhoods (although there is some footage of Congress Heights as well).

The feature, called "There Goes the Neighborhood", is an interesting look into the current state of Anacostia, and shows it from a few different angles and perspectives (including my own) on different sides of the economic and racial spectrum.

What do you think? Is this an honest portrayal of these communities?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

EDC HQ Expansion Finally Underway

The headquarters expansion project for Environmental Design & Construction (on Good Hope Road just below MLK) has finally started back up! The company had outgrown its current building on the site, so acquired the two adjacent historic structures and is now working to completely restore the exteriors and build it out as one space on the inside.

you can see where they have begun connecting the two buildings on the inside

my favorite signage mural, which will be preserved as an interior wall

the back of both buildings will be restored/rebuilt along MLK

I love projects like this because they are exactly the type of development that will bring Anacostia into a greener and functional future. Here's a professional company that has chosen Anacostia as its home base, and is retrofitting existing vacant buildings to do so.

The Rippeteau Architects-designed project is expected to receive a LEED Silver certification.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eat ★ Shop ★ Live : Anacostia

Today was reSPIN Public Relations, ARCH Development, and DHCD's Big Reveal of Historic Anacostia's new "Eat ★ Shop ★ Live : ANACOSTIA" marketing campaign. Meant to bring new legitimacy, branding, and connectivity to Anacostia's somewhat scattered but very lively group of main street businesses, the campaign has been heralded as "the biggest thing to happen in Anacostia since the Big Chair". And that's big.

The brainchild of Nikki Peele, a Ward 8 entrepreneur who also runs the blog Congress Heights on the Rise and has been a force in recent years towards a renewed image and perception of communities east of the Anacostia River, ESL:A is is the first major event for Peele's firm reSPIN PR, a company she began earlier this year to help outside companies and agencies market their visions, plans, and wares in the typically misunderstood River East half of DC.

ESL:A is similar to a Business Improvement District in that local businesses pay to participate, but is free rather than there being any sort of levied tax on the owners. Businesses are given marketing and inclusion into the membership program designed to build their customer base. Window decals and flags mark the participating local shops and eateries, and customers are able to flash keytags to receive discounts.

I think this is a great idea. It has a clean brand, it brings a fresh life and unity to Anacostia businesses, and it enables increased patronage from people who might typically pass these places by.

On a somewhat unrelated note - two of Anacostia's newest spots were advertised at the event: The Hive, a shared office & creative work space (post coming soon); and Blank Space, a new "permanent pop-up gallery" that will be rentable for privately sponsored shows.

Come on out and Eat ★ Shop ★ Live : ANACOSTIA. Seriously.

For more, check out TBD's article on the Big Reveal - with some more background and interviews.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

opening up 1357 Good Hope

1357 is now completely gutted and cleaned, and the exterior is starting to show new signs of life. Long-ago boarded up windows are finally going in!

ghost remains of old first floor windows and doors

Unfortunately, not all the first floor windows are being opened up. I am thankful, however, that the new owners - a high-tech firm that recently redid the White House's Situation Room - decided not to demolish the building, as it is one of (if not The) oldest commercial buildings left on Good Hope Road.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Deli Coming to MLK and V Street

I was walking around the neighborhood the other day and ran into some news about 2026 MLK Avenue, the building just to the left of Fireside Restaurant: a new deli and convenience store called 2nd Chance is moving in.

The owner wants to differentiate from other options in the neighborhood, so it will be interesting to see if their sandwiches and "convenience" items are different from those offered at other places just up the block.

From what I understand, permits are being sought for interior improvements, and the owner is open to the idea of not using bulletproof glass inside (although apparently had a bad experience at another shop he owns in the District).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New "mural" for Good Hope / MLK

you know the horribly depressing blue plywood at the corner of Good Hope and MLK? It'll be gone soon, thanks to the Department of Housing & Community Development, the Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and Billy Colbert - artist extraordinaire.

the new look

the corner as it appears today

The plywood will soon be replaced by a collage composition of recycled wood blocks and shiny orange metal that celebrates the gateway to Ward 8. The piece is intended as a temporary art installation, as DHCD is currently in the process of deciding how to best develop the property. Installation should begin this month.