Downtown Development Buzz

My Metrobus commute gives me a quick glance every morning and night on the continuing development of downtown, in particular 11th Street. With all the crazy construction over the past year, this has added a lot of frustration as traffic grinds to a halt around sites crammed with dump trucks and hard hats, but it’s still exciting to see the city continue to rejuventate.

My current Top Three Downtown Development Sites are:

1) The Hertz building at 11th and New York Avenue. Finally this disgusting grey eyesore has been closed and the Caterpillars are chewing it up. Let’s hope something more aesthetically pleasing goes up in its place.

2) The Ugliest Block in Town. After years of having to walk around the decaying buildings containing various tenants like Popeye’s and a martial arts store at 11th and G and F, this hideous block is now fenced off in preparation for construction. The yellowing sad giant on the 11th Street side is being gutted, the smell of mold and urine permeating my walk to the bus stop. Soon this last holdout of the old downtown will be revitalized.

3) The Old Woodies. H & M has been the sole anchor of the renovated department store for a while now, but not for long – a sign is up proclaiming that chic urban furniture store West Elm will occupy the other side at 11th and G in 2007.

With the preponderance of office buildings, downtown may never truly be a “living” city quarter, but at least it’s already a far cry from the wasteland that greeted my college self back in 1989…

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