Van Ness Main Street Board Members: Mary Beth Ray, Zach Friedlis, Eun Yim, and Sally Gresham
On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Van Ness Main Street held its first Friend-Raiser at the Park Van Ness Apartments. Over 150 neighbors and friends attended and were treated to great foods from Sfoglina Restaurant and Soapstone Market and great drinks from Calvert Woodley and Republic Restoratives.
Board President Mary Beth Ray gave attendees an overview of how far Van Ness has come in the past four years:
“Just four years ago, we went on a walk. It was easy to see what was wrong with VN, concrete canyon of outdated architecture, traffic of 40,000 cars/day, a lack of good retail options, and no management structure.
But we also saw what good bones we have. A unique combination of Metro access and pristine hiking trails. Great institutions like UDC, with its Theater of the Arts, Hillwood Museum, the Levine School, and Howard Law School. Wide sidewalks and plazas perfect for events. Lots of smart and friendly neighbors.
And we had a dream. A dream of making VN a cultural destination where our businesses thrive. A dream of activating our streetscape, using environmentally thoughtful designs, and public art, to make this a place people love living.
And so, just four short years later, we’re making progress toward that dream:
• Bread Furst, WAMU, the UDC Student Center, and Park Van Ness were all powerful catalysts for Van Ness;
• A management structure with a skilled Executive Director who is expert at using the arts to foster economic development; and
• A community of supporters who together believe in smart growth, and that VN is open for business.”
Check out the Forest Hills Connection for more about this event.