The above quote is not a reference to crime along the Metro, but is an explanation by Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront business improvement district, which promotes development in the new Nationals Stadium area, as to why tenants are not flocking to the newly developed buildings. More:
“…the Lerners have been looking for a high-paying law firm for their building. But with no sit-down restaurants or other amenities nearby, big-name firms have not been willing to move to an area that is off the beaten path
‘People are scared to get off the Red Line,’ Stevens said of the Metro line that runs through downtown, along K Street. ‘We think the next generation of workers will live along the Green Line, and that’s how we’re promoting it.’
All around the Lerner building are new projects with few people.”
NoMa, in contrast, is serviced by two Red Line Metro stations–one of which is the train station that is visited by 20 million people each year and serves as the terminal for Amtrak and the commuter trains from Virginia and Maryland.
The U-shaped Red Line route allows workers from established residential areas in the upper-west as well as emerging areas in the upper-east direct, sans transfers or shared-track congestion, transportation to business communities such as Dupont, K-Street, Downtown, Chinatown, and, now, NoMa. For those living along the Red Line (e.g. residents of Brookland, Eckington and NoMa), there is easy access to food, entertainment and other amenities, such as events at the Verizon Center, Amtrak at Union Station, food and nightlife at Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan, and the National Zoo.
That is why, despite the economic downturn, NoMa has still landed major tenants–NPR, Justice Department, Sierra Club–as well as a key attractant for residential occupants: grocery store (Harris Teeter).
And, as the tenants during the day, and the residents during the night, begin to grow, amenities once sought at other stops along the Red Line will begin to appear in our own backyard. Eckingtonians will soon feel closer to the Red Line once the Metropolitan Branch Trail completes its section through the neighborhood next spring–one will be able to walk (or bike) to the Metro station via the off-street greenway that will have connections at T Street, S Street, R Street, and (after the development of the open field next to FedEx) newly opened Q Street. A half-mile of unobstructed (i.e. no stop lights or traffic) walking takes 8.5 to 11.5 minutes.
The prognostication, and sales pitch, that “the next generation of workers will live along the Green Line” may be a little further in the future than developers had anticipated.