CHAMPS Spearheads New Retail Mix Taskforce for Capitol Hill
by Larry Janezich
According to Restoration Society Board and CHAMPS Board member Chuck Berger, CHAMPS has convened a Retail Mix Task Force, comprised of representatives of 14 neighborhood businesses and community groups in the Eastern Market Metro area – including ANC6b, Barracks Row Main Street, and Capitol Hill BID. Councilmember Wells’ office is also represented. The mission of the Task Force is to attract and maintain a healthy retail mix to Capitol Hill commercial corridors.
ANC6b’s Retail Mix Taskforce is in the process of writing a final report for the ANC, including recommendations addressing the immediate issues of dealing with liquor licensing on Barracks Row and establishing desirable operational principles required of new businesses, especially those serving alcohol. That taskforce has referred consideration of long term solutions to the retail mix problem to the CHAMPS group.
The goals of the latter are broad in concept. They include the establishment of “best practices between neighbors and commercial strips,” area branding and promotion, destination identification; and administration of what are called “hospitality zones.” Other issues to be addressed include quality of life, density, streetscaping, and parking.
Julia Christian, Executive Director, CHAMPS, recently reported to the ANC Retail Mix Taskforce, that the first steps will be defining the market area. The next steps will be collecting reliable data on local demographics, shopping trends, existing business patterns, and building inventory/rent costs to provide a clear picture of the market area. This information will be shared with the community at upcoming forums in the next 60 – 90 days. Information will also be shared and feed back from the community sought through a blog: http://capitolhillretailmix.wordpress.com.
One of the outcomes of the effort will be better coordination and communication among the stake-holding interest groups: CHAMPS, ANC6b, BRMS, Capitol Hill BID and the real estate community. An early suggestion for a way to accomplish this is a listserv for all involved groups.