On Wednesday evening, the Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street (UGAMS) hosted a Zoom presentation to discuss the current environment for retail on Georgia Avenue and the future outlook. Business consultant Jon Stover of Stover & Associates provided an overview of his findings. UGAMS Executive Director Paul Ruppert then led an engaging Question and Answer session with the community. Over fifty neighbors and local business owners participated in the meeting.
The Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street was formed in late 2019 and is in the process of establishing awareness, understanding its constituency, developing organizational objectives and programs, and building lasting relationships with a variety of stakeholders. The organization supports all businesses along Georgia Avenue NW from Missouri Avenue to the border with Maryland.
This report summarizes retail market analysis findings for the Upper Georgia Avenue area. The purpose of this study is to help Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street understand its neighborhood retail environment within a city-wide context; identify collective preliminary needs, constraints, and concerns of the business constituency; and identify opportunities for the Main Street to capitalize on retail conditions, trends, and projections to play a leading role in helping to serve local businesses.
You can download and read the complete report here: [Upper Georgia Avenue Retail Market Analysis.pdf].
The report focuses on four main areas:
- Customer Demographics
- Retail Conditions
- Retail Viability
- Future Opportunities Due to Upcoming Development
Overall, Upper Georgia Avenue offers an advantageous business environment, as well as some distinct challenges. Affordable commercial rents and high vehicle traffic helps to attract businesses of all types. Food and drink establishments tend to do well here, as well as Goods and Service businesses (i.e. banks, salons, barbershops).
There hasn’t been as much successful merchandising or retail in recent history, though the opening of the new Target and the presence of the Walmart may shift one’s perspective on that. This area is unlikely to ever become a major retail destination, but there remains an opportunity to attract some smaller retailers. The opening of the Parks at Walter Reed will expand both the customer base and the amount of available retail space.
If you want to learn more about the Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street’s plans for sparking business activity in our neighborhoods or if you’re interested in volunteering on one of the four committees (Design, Organizing, Promotions, Economic Vitality), please visit uppergeorgiaave.com.