NoMa Nears a ‘Mind-Shift’

Brief article in today’s Business section about NoMa and its current status regarding attracting tenants. The whole “chicken-egg” dilemma regarding NoMa (and its amenities) may be holding back the explosion of private business (as well as the overall economy). This may not change anytime soon—the area around Union Station/Mass Ave/North Capitol has been developed for quite awhile, yet food selections are still limited to Au Bon Pain, Subway, deli/convenience shops, the horrendous Union Station food court, and a sprinkle of restaurants closer to Constitution Ave.

The key difference-maker could be the development of residential and hospitality properties between New York and L St.

Article snippet below:

Yet the law firms and other private companies that account for most of the District’s commercial leasing are not ready to make the leap to the still-developing area, said Tom Fulcher, a broker with commercial real estate firm Studley.

“Well, if you just imagine being in a building there, you’re not going to see too many other people,” Fulcher said. “They want their employees to feel comfortable, to feel safe.”

Amenities and security are issues. The area has few restaurants, shops or grocery stores, and new sidewalks, lights and trash bins have been installed only recently.

Price has begun work to combat the image of an isolated, dangerous part of the city with a neighborhood cleaning campaign, led by the BID. The organization removed 2,400 bags’ worth of trash in October alone, with part of that effort providing employment for the homeless, she said.

While Price agreed that higher-end tenants were likely to wait out any move to the area, the relatively low asking rents and close access to the new Metro stop at New York Avenue made it a competitive area for others, she said.

“NoMa Nears a ‘Mind-Shift'”

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