For those of you that have been distracted by the massive road construction project at the intersection of Riggs and South Dakota in NE, or who haven't ventured up into this quiet section of the city, the demolition has finally begun on the former strip mall that sat on the project site. In a city feeling the economic strains shared with most of the country, the project will give a much needed economic boost to the City and Ward 5 economy. This project will not simply create a temporary boost for blue collar jobs, but more importantly will create long term sustainable jobs in the massive mixed use project. When we sat down with Ward 5 City Council Representative Harry Thomas last month, he noted the fact that Ward 5 job set asides are always at the top of his priority list when it comes to discussions with new commercial establishments. Second on his list would be assisting locally owned business, especially restaurants, acquire the funding they need to gain a foothold in the new neighborhood markets.
While the new time line has not yet been revealed (both Lowe and Cassidy Turley had been contacted serveal times but provided no response), the future surely looks bright for the FTS project. The coming retail and culinary additions to the neighborhood landscape will be closely followed, and hotly debated (most exciting of which could be the new full service grocery slated to anchor the retail side of the development). But only time will tell how the project pans out, and what direction the project ultimately takes. One thing for sure is that the project is moving forward at a brisk pace, and regardless of the final product it has removed a growing eyesore from the neighborhood.
|Artist's rendition of the finished Ft. Totten Square project|
(Ft. Totten Metro and S.D. Ave at top right of image)