Lamond-Riggs (Fort Totten) Vibrant Retail Streets

The Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA) is partnering with the DC Office of Planning (OP) on the Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit, a neighborhood Technical Assistance Program initiative to strengthen and grow retail in neighborhoods throughout the District. In 2015, Lamond-Riggs (Fort Totten) was selected as an area for participation in the ​ Vibrant Retail Streets (VRS) initiative  (pdf), a partnership of Streetsense and DC's Office of Planning. The Toolkit is intended to evaluate an area’s retail vibrancy and offer solutions for helping retail areas progress.
 
An initial workshop was held in July 2015. There, Streetsense representatives provided participants (community representatives, developers, and District officals) with the Vibrant Retail Streets toolkit, information about the VRS process, and data about the Fort Totten area. The Fort Totten area provides a unique opportunity for Streetsense and District officials to work with residents and developers to shape market-appropriate, desired retail in an area that is largely absent of retail.
 
Initial focus will be on the commercial corridor around South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road NE, identified by OP as the heart of the commercial node for the neighborhood in the 2009 small area plan. A second area of focus will be South Dakota Avenue between Galloway Stret and Kennedy Street NE, site of the Art Place at Fort Totten development.
 
On September 24, 2015, The Lamond-Riggs Development Task Force hosted a meeting at which OP and Streetsense shared information on the application of the Toolkit to this neighborhood. If you missed that presentation, it is available at this link: Fort Totten - Application of DC Vibrant Retail Streets Presentation
 
For general information and FAQs about Vibrant Retail Streets, visit http://vibrantstreets.com.
 
 
Highlights from the July 2015 workshop:
 
Representatives from JBG and Metro and community residents attended this initial workshop.
 
  • Fort Totten is unique in that retail development is being established at a rapid pace, changing the market in a very short period of time.
  • The presence of Walmart to jumpstart this retail activity is unique and will need to be studied to determined its effect on the retail market and what is achieveable.
  • In the short-term, market research is needed to prove the viability of retail tenants.
  • In the long-term, residents should continually strive to get better quality retail.
  • There needs to be a mechanism to communicate with all stakeholders about getting and maintaining desired retail in the neighborhood, including residents, developers, LRCA representatives, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) officials.