Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NPR writes about Howard U.: the changing neighborhood and connecting with neighbors


NPR has an interesting article today about Howard University about the changing neighborhood and the university's relations with the community. The article, "When A Historically Black University's Neighborhood Turns White" talks about rising property values in the area, the increase in white residents, the decrease in crime, and more.

It also talks about the university re-connecting with the neighborhood -- for many years it was more inward-focused, but lately they've been trying to engage the community more with events and others. They're also interested in connecting with Georgia Avenue from a planning and development side as well -- physically being part of the street.

Last year, for example, I attended the Georgia Avenue Community Review, where officials from Howard talked about how they wanted to make Georgia Avenue more of a focus for the university. Currently, the university has a lot of blank walls on the street and is separated from it. Howard officials mention this in the NPR article too, saying they were more insular. The officials at the community review event talked about making it more of a main street for campus, especially as more shops and restaurants have gone in. Did you know there's a Barnes and Noble there, as well as Potbelly and lots of other food?

The NPR article also talks about Howard's land holdings in the area, a number of which were bought in the 1970s and 1980s, and many of which are vacant. A number of residents have complained about this, and at the community review, a number of locals said something similar (as did I.) In many cases though, Howard is working on redeveloping them, such as the vacant and burned apartment building on Georgia near Fairmont. That building is currently going through a request for proposals. 

Another example is the large vacant warehouse complex on the west side of Georgia across from the hospital. Last I heard redevelopment was held up by a dispute with the purported developers. 

They also discuss the increasing land values, but not in depth. 

One thing I've had a tough time with is finding out about events at Howard -- I'm sure there are talks, performances and such at the campus that would be of interest to local residents, but the calendar page isn't too detailed. (Then again, it's the summer.) If anybody is reading from Howard, I'd be happy to write about events there! Let me know!

Photo by Ted Eytan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew - Do you have any more information about those new Sherman Avenue apartments? I've noticed them going up over the last year or so, but haven't heard much about them until I read this NPR piece.