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2012 Speaker Series - April 25


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As part of an effort to aid in the redevelopment of the H Street corridor, the government invested $98 million to completely overhaul the streetscape infrastructure – among other things, to widen sidewalks, replace and upgrade utility lines, improve lighting, add public infrastructure, and lay the tracks for the first segment of the District’s streetcar and light rail system. The construction was much needed for a commercial corridor dotted with vacant and blighted buildings and a street in poor condition. A few years later, the work has led to many improvements for the public and over 70 new small businesses have opened, employing over 700 residents.  But the streetscape work also created significant hardships for existing businesses as they struggled with construction zones outside the front doors of their shops and rapidly escalating property assessments for their buildings and businesses. Mr. Allen will provide an overview of the city’s project and investment in H Street NE, and share some of the critical lessons learned during the 3 and a half year long streetscape construction project.

Date/Time: April 25, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Location: 1st Floor Media Room, County Administration Building (CAB), 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Anwar Saleem, CMSM, H Street Main Street, Inc. and Charles Allen, Chief of Staff to Councilmember Tommy Wells, District of Columbia
Speaker/Instructor’s Biography:

Anwar Saleem is the Executive Director at H Street Main Street Inc. H Street Main Street (HSMS) was created in 2002 as a part of the DC Main Streets program. The goal of HSMS is to support the establishment and implementation of lasting, comprehensive revitalization in one of DC’s most historic neighborhoods, by investing in and expanding existing businesses while also attracting new businesses. Since its inception, HSMS has acted as a voice for neighborhood businesses and residents as the District continues to invest in the corridor – representing the interests of the community, and helping bring positive change to area.

Charles Allen, Chief of Staff to Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, will share the experience and lessons learned of recent revitalization efforts of the H Street NE corridor from the perspective of the District government and legislative body. Mr. Allen has been the Councilmember’s Chief of Staff for 6 years, is the Councilmember’s lead staff contact on issues related to H Street NE, and also resides along the H Street NE corridor.