FoRIA Wins Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Bid

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 in Commercial RIA, DC Council, DSLBD, FoRIA Events, News, Office of the Mayor, Press, RIA Main Street

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 18, 2013—The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) has selected Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE (FoRIA) to manage the new Rhode Island Avenue Main Street program, effective immediately. Mayor Vincent Gray and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie made the announcement today at 10 a.m., as part of Mayor Gray’s regular bi-weekly press conference. Rhode Island Avenue Main Street will be the newest of eight independent, non-profit Main Street programs in the District. The boundaries will run from 4th Street NE to 24th Street NE along Rhode Island Avenue NE, which is also a section of the historic Route 1 corridor, and one of DC’s designated Great Streets. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity,” said James Holloway, Chair of the FoRIA Board of Directors. “For a long time, the communities that surround Rhode Island Avenue NE have asked for more restaurant and retail options within walking distance of their homes. FoRIA’s goal has always been to work with the community to build the type of vibrant commercial corridor that will not only serve this amazing and diverse community, but will also be an opportunity zone where locally-owned businesses can thrive.” The DC Main Street program has been in existence since 2002, and provides resources for local organizations to leverage private investment through public and private partnerships while revitalizing existing commercial corridors and historic landmarks. The program serves small businesses, which are a driving force for the local economy. In the last year alone, DC Main Streets programs have created more than 470 new jobs in the District. DC’s program was created through the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and utilizes the National Trust’s Main Street Four-Point Approach® for commercial...

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More RIA Development Coverage

Posted on Nov 5, 2013 in Commercial RIA, Great Streets, News, Press

After last week’s announcement of 7 new Great Streets grants being awarded to RIA businesses, we are thrilled to see an increase in press coverage for our community’s commercial district. The latest is a series of articles by ElevationDC, a weekly online magazine that focuses on “the people, ideas, neighborhoods, companies and institutions that make D.C. great.” They have written several articles about Ward 5 businesses, and about the RIA corridor in particular. Yesterday, ElevationDC posted an article about DC Dragons/Dancarate. The article includes a profile of the business and its owners, as well as the facade improvements they planning to make with their Great Streets grant. Next up, the future restaurant, The Public Option, gets profiled (and FoRIA gets a nice shout-out!). Check out the article and this Facebook post: Post by Elevation...

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Newest RIA Business Gets Press Coverage

Posted on Nov 2, 2013 in Commercial RIA, Dining, News, Press

Today marks the day that Woodridge finally gets seriously caffeinated – and the press is buzzing! Zeke’s Coffee of DC is celebrating their Grand Opening today, and several local news organizations, including the Washington Business Journal, the CityPaper and the Washington Post have already published articles about the Baltimore-based coffee roastery, with emphasis on their business model and plans for their new DC location. John Kepner, the owner of the DC location of Zeke’s, lives in the area. According to Kepner, Zeke’s (named after his uncle and the founder of Zeke’s Coffee) will be serving cups of coffee for the reasonable prices of $1.50 for a 12 oz. cup and $2.50 for a 16 oz cup. But don’t go expecting espresso or fancy foamy coffee drinks – this is strictly brewed or pour-over purity. They will even host coffee tasting “labs” in the future, sampling many of the varieties they roast from mostly organically-grown, fair trade beans. The shop will feature wi-fi and some seating, and Kepner hopes to expand to include outdoor seating soon. But this is only part of what will be happening at 2300 Rhode Island Avenue. You’ll also be able to purchase bags of freshly roasted beans to take home. It’s the small batch roasting that put Zeke’s on the map, and they will use this new location to supply their DC-area wholesale clients as well as their legions of loyal farmers market customers. Today’s event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Starting tomorrow, the shop hours for November will be Wednesday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  They’ve even promised some pastries on the weekends. So get ready, folks – I suspect that with all of this good coffee flowing on RIA, we’re all about to get a whole lot more productive in our daily...

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FoRIA & Future Rhode Island Ave Main Street featured on podcast

Posted on Aug 30, 2013 in Commercial RIA, News, Press

Many thanks to WeLoveDC and writer/podcaster Tom Bridge for including FoRIA in the inaugural podcast of the popular DC news and lifestyle blog. Tom and Kyle Todd, Executive Director of FoRIA, sat down to talk about what a Main Street program is, and how it can benefit Rhode Island Avenue. We’ll be posting more information about Main Street programs soon, so be sure to check back to learn more about this exciting program for our community. The FoRIA part of the part of the podcast comes about 2/3 of the way through the show, but listen to the whole thing! Great coverage of some really interesting and talented arts and entertainment here in the District. Click here to...

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FoRIA earns a coveted technical assistance opportunity

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Commercial RIA, DC Agency, News, Office of Planning, Press

We are very pleased to announce that today we received notification that FoRIA has been selected as one of the teams to participate in the DC Vibrant Retail Streets Technical Assistance program. The DC Office of Planning, in conjunction with Streetsense, will be holding customized workshops to help selected areas throughout the District apply the retail diagnostic assessment and the DC Vibrant Streets Toolkit to retail streets. After the workshops, two technical assistance sessions will be held with each community. The workshops will also leverage the Toolkit’s research on best practices, metrics, and innovative approaches for successful management of commercial districts. This is a very exciting opportunity, and we look forward to getting your feedback along the way. Many thanks to the DC Office of Planning and the entire Vibrant Streets team for coordinating this program! We’ll be sure to keep you all updated at each stage of the project, so be sure to check back here often! And if you haven’t done it already, make sure you sign up for our email list, and you can also follow us on Facebook and...

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Cyril Crocker joins FoRIA Board of Directors

Posted on May 30, 2013 in FoRIA Board, News, Press

WASHINGTON (May 30, 2013) – The Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE (FoRIA) welcomes a prominent community member to the group’s Board of Directors. Cyril Crocker, a commercial real estate agent and long-time Brookland resident, has been an active member of FoRIA in the Business & Economic Development committee. “We are thrilled to have Cyril join the Board of FoRIA,” said Daniella Gibbs Leger, FoRIA Vice Chair. “He not only brings years of experience to the table, he also cares deeply about the Rhode Island Avenue NE corridor and is a great advocate for our businesses and residents.” In addition to his commercial real estate expertise, Crocker brings experience from his 7-year tenure with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. During that time, he participated on several large projects, including the Home Depot and Giant Food Store development on Rhode Island Avenue. He is a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, and holds certifications in both economic and housing development finance. The tenure for Crocker will begin immediately. FoRIA Board members are responsible for guiding the organization’s mission and assisting in its growth and...

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