Green Line growth seeing new housing, business, commerce

After being open for just one week, business is booming at Le Caprice, a new French bakery in Columbia Heights and what co-owner Farhang Erfani calls a "dream of nearly 20 years coming true."

Erfani is not alone. As opening weekend lines stretched out the door, his business venture is part of a much bigger trend.

The common denominator is Metro's Green Line.

According to a report released Thursday by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO), the stretch of the Green Line between the Georgia Avenue-Petworth and Navy Yard stations is not only leading the District but the region in economic development.

MORE: Read the full report here (.pdf)

Stretching from Nationals Park along the Capitol Riverfront, through Chinatown, north to Shaw and U Street and up to Petworth, dozens of new businesses and housing complexes have opened or are being built. That's bring thousands of new city dwellers to the corridor.

"It's just amazing what has happened," one neighborhood resident says. "Houses across the street have just been redone and people are moving in."

A selling point for some is a level of diversity - both economic and cultural - that has been difficult to find in other parts of the region.

"The different languages, the different backgrounds, the different people who live there, and also modern conveniences and commerce," D.C. Councilman Jim Graham says. "It's a whole range of options, and that's what makes it extraordinary."

RCLCO, the real estate advisory firm that oversaw the study, says that this area of the Green Line captured 32 percent of all growth in households with tenants aged 18-34 than any other areas of the District over the past decade.

The Green Line has become a desirable location and an economic engine for the District and the region creating a new spine of
development that connects the city," said Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capital Riverfront BID.

For Erfani, that's music to his ears.

"It has become a welcoming place for not only commuting from or living, it's actually an exciting place to genuinely live and enjoy it," he says.