Yesterday, I sent the following questions to Councilmember, and newly appointed head of the Committee on Economic Development, Harry Thomas Jr. If there are other questions you would like to ask, please do so in the comments and hopefully our Councilmember will take the time to interact with his constituents.
1. Where is the Rhode Island Ave Great Streets program? If it is not moving or stagnant, why?
2. What is the plan to redevelop RIA when there are so many store-front churches and liquor stores taking up valuable commercial space?
3. Why isn’t there a Neighborhood Commercial Overlay district being considered for the parts of RIA from 18th-24th Streets, which claim to be the “Main Street” part of the Great Streets program, to encourage the type of neighborhood-friendly retail/restaurants?
4. Are you associated in any way with the owners of DC Star, Lace, or any other late night club or establishment in the area? There are stories being circulated by residents that you are.
5. How and why are there so many nightclubs in this quadrant given that these are neighborhood areas next to them?
6. How will you usher in the redevelopment along Rhode Island Ave NE as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development?
7. I have personally spoken to two restaurant entrepenuers that have respectable establishments in other prominent areas of the City who have interest in Rhode Island Ave NE (between 18th and 24th) but have not seen the activity or motivation from City leaders to move forward to redevelopment along RIA. What do you say to them?