Thursday, March 22, 2012

Study Area Feedback

I am planning to do a land use and market analysis of the area around the Anacostia Metro station and the Downtown Anacostia retail corridor, and am hoping to get your feedback on the study area boundaries.

I want to capture the core retail market for the Martin Luther King. Jr. Ave business corridor between Good Hope Rd. and the Metro Station. That is, for whom is this business corridor the most convenient retail destination (and will continue to be the most convenient once Skyland and St. E's are built out - assuming development/retail options along MLK progress at the same pace)?

I chose the area shown below using the following steps:
1. Draw one mile buffer around the the entrances to the Anacostia metro station.
2. Exclude the Anacostia River and beyond.
3. Exclude Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.
4. Exclude St. Elizabeths campus and everything southwest of it.
5. Exclude area south of Suitland Pkwy.
6. Annex remaining properties slightly outside of 1 mile buffer but that couldn't logically be assigned to any other neighborhood.

Now here's where the cutoff points get arbitrary:
7. As you travel east on Good Hope Road, eventually Skyland becomes the convenient destination.
8. Similarly, the north side of Fairlawn is better served by the Pennsylvania Ave SE retail corridor. I tried to avoid splitting census blocks (for data purposes) which is why the proposed boundary deviates from the 1 mile buffer.
So with that in mind, should I make any modifications to the boundaries or does this look copacetic?

What is the most appropriate way to refer to this area?
It covers at least a portion of several neighborhoods:
  • Fairlawn
  • Anacostia
  • Fort Stanton
  • Hillsdale
  • Barry Farm
  • Poplar Point (future neighborhood)
Calling an area "Anacostia" when you actually mean a larger geography always offends people; calling it the "Study Area" is too boring; and calling it "PopLawnCostiaFortBarrySdale" is ridiculous.

"Greater Anacostia" seems tame enough. Any commenters have a better proposal?


  1. Great start on defining your trade area, but I am curious as to why you chose the Metro entrance as your midpoint. This would sense if your primary market was arriving via transit, but your logic otherwise indicates that potential customers would arrive by foot or car. I would use a different intersection that is at the heart of the commercial district (maybe MLK & W?)

    Also, I wouldn't worry too much about competing commercial districts at Skyland and along SE Pennsylavia. Ideally, some time in the future, MLK is differentiated enough in terms of tenant mix and experience that it attracts customers for different reasons.

  2. Can I coin the phrase "Greater Anacostia" area? I used it for a candidate forum we had a back in March. The sponsors where several neighborhoods in-and-around Anacosita. No one complained. :-)

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