April 9, 2006


The strip on Wisconsin Ave. in DC between Friendship Heights is a disheveled waste that only flat-earthers who eat bologna sandwiches could love. Its the ultimate expression of the idea: "Its good enough, so don't change it God damnit."

According to the WaPo, development has been blocked at:

  • The former Babe's Billiard Cafe site at 4600 Wisconsin Ave NW where IBG Investors gave up trying to build condos and sold the property; and
  • The current site of the Martens Volvo dealership where a group has rallied a nine-story mixed-use building;
Explaining her opposition, activist Jane Waldmann said "How many people say, 'I love to walk in Van Ness'?" Can you get any more cynical and disingenuous? True the stretch along Connecticut Ave. in Van Ness is lackluster, but why not compare upper Wisconsin in DC to lower Wisconsin Ave in Chevy Chase Md where the rich and famous now shop at Jimmy Choo, Barney's, Gucci etc. Or to high-rise-centric Dupont Circle, Kalorama, Cleveland Park and Woodley Park. People like to stroll there, but certainly not in your neighborhood Ms. Waldmann.

The real fight is over the comprehensive plan and proposed changes that would open upper Wisconsin Ave. to more development. Running for DC Council is ANC 3F Chair Kathy Wiss, who is trying to prevent change and retain the desolation. Aesthestics aside, we guess Kath has not heard of transit oriented development, nor the efforts to wean the nation from oil because the people we import it from support terrorists, nor global warming. Density can be a good thing.

But we digress.

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