DC Ballpark Neighborhood
SuperNoVa and girlfriend made a loop around the site of the proposed D.C. Ballpark on New Year's Day, hoping to find some plots of land or existing housing stock for the purposes of possibly moving to the neighborhood around the ballpark.
Here's what we found: nothing. And I just came across this Web site, which pretty accurately portrays how run down this area is. One of the pictures describes a "surprisingly well-tended house on the southwest corner of Half and N streets." Yes, I saw that house, too - it's pretty much the only house I saw in decent condition in the stadium area....and this is the neighborhood that put up so much opposition? I think the better answer is that the night clubs / gentlemen's establishments in the area were the real opposition.
Across South Capitol Street in SW D.C., the housing stock is a little better, but is largely smaller apartment buildings and what appears to be public housing stock. (As a side note, concentrated public housing is a really, really bad idea...let's put all the poor people in one place, so that we can blame them for not making the social connections necessary to move up the ladder!). The proposed move of Fannie Mae to Southwest should help, but this area still needs a lot of work. It's underserved by the Metro rail network (which runs along M street and ignores SouthWest otherwise). An extra stop on the Yellow Line in SouthWest (if feasible) would be useful.
All in all, the DC Stadium, when it opens in 2008, will be in an area that needs a lot of work. I really hope that the Stadium is the impetus for that change and the rewards from the Stadium as a catalyst to growth flow back to the City. But the Stadium area is a 20-year project, not a quick turn around like Baltimore or Cleveland.