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Archive: Development

The Iron Fist Of Cleveland Park's Politburo

A classic Only-In-Washington story is shaping up in Cleveland Park, where Not In My Backyard zealots have managed for years to stymie plans to upgrade a pathetic 1950s supermarket for fear that people might actually drive to it and use it. A relative handful of residents have been able to turn their opposition to Giant's expansion plans for its shop on Wisconsin Avenue NW into a virtual roadblock--and that has so frustrated supporters of the plan that some of those supporters decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Recently, they signed up as members of the Cleveland Park...

By Marc Fisher | May 27, 2009; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (28)

D.C. Lets Church Tear Down Brutalist Atrocity

In the eternal battle between the people who live in the city and an arrogant elite who think they know better, score one for the people: Mayor Adrian Fenty's representative yesterday sided decisively with members of the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, ruling that they must be allowed to worship in the church building of their own choice, despite efforts by historic preservationists to landmark the much-loathed structure. D.C. planning director Harriet Tregoning has ruled that historic preservation zealots trying to force the church to keep its concrete bunker of a building on 16th Street NW near the White...

By Marc Fisher | May 13, 2009; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (38)

Honest Bet: Put Slots At Mall, Not Horse Track

Through all the years, as Republicans and Democrats alike schemed to legalize slot machines in Maryland, politicians desperately tried to cover their big money grab with high-toned purpose. Slots, they said, would benefit our kids; gambling would save the state's elegant horses and the picturesque farms on which they were raised. Always, slots were presented as a strictly limited vice, anything but a steppingstone toward full-blown casinos. Now we're seeing how empty all those promises really were. We're learning -- as if we needed proof -- that the politicians are happy to put thousands of slot machines at a shopping...

By Marc Fisher | May 7, 2009; 08:41 AM ET | Comments (6)

Getting Vertigo Over Lost Bookstores

It's gotten to the point that even newspaper editors -- hopeless nostalgics that they tend to be -- roll their eyes over yet another Death of a Bookstore story. Like tales about dying newspapers, these lovesongs to a fleeting era and a sagging technology can be tiresome, both to younger folks who see the new media as a perfectly reasonable and even exciting replacement for what came before, and to older folks who have had it with the constant reminders that the culture that served them so well is vanishing before their eyes. So when Bridget Warren and Todd Stewart...

By Marc Fisher | April 15, 2009; 08:35 AM ET | Comments (17)

Nats Town: Empty Lots, With Sprouts Of Hope

There was supposed to be a neighborhood here -- teeming streets, happy people sharing nights of cheer and cheers . . . even, perhaps, an occasional win. Instead, the blocks around Washington's new baseball stadium remain largely empty, an eerie expanse of flattened lots so bereft of activity that they can be used for but one thing -- parking. The promise that the return of baseball brought to this forlorn part of Washington seems distant now. One hundred and fifty-four buildings have been demolished in what used to be the city's industrial zone, a back lot dotted with seedy nightspots...

By Marc Fisher | April 9, 2009; 08:55 AM ET | Comments (4)


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