Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fairfax Village Shopping Center Meeting Re-cap

On Friday, Officer Lafrance, Kelsi Bracmont (Hillcrest resident) and I met with the property manager for Fairfax Village Shopping Center, Mr. Prentice. Kelsi set up the meeting to discuss some of the safety concerns at the shopping center, in addition to some other ideas that we had for the shopping center.

The most pressing issues are: 1) loitering in general and specifically loitering on the stairs by the Papa John's, 2) the high hedges which prevent cars existing onto Alabama Ave from seeing pedestrians, 3) minor fender benders due to people not understanding that there is a one way flow to the parking lot, 4) lack of lighting in some areas, 5) the low trees by the First Cash Advance.

Mr. Prentice has agreed to put up new "No Loitering" signs that are more visible. In addition, he informed us that MPD-6D has written authorization to police the shopping center. He agreed to look into cutting down the hedges along Alabama Ave. He agreed to adding in a "One Way" sign and also repainting the one way arrows in the parking lot. We also learned that the Dialysis Center will be expanding into the former First Cash Advance Space. As part of that, they are going to remove those two trees in front of that part of the center, add grass to give it a more open space feel, and add in pedestrian lighting.

We also expressed a desire for better retail options. Mr. Prentice expressed that he wanted the same things. He did point out that all the current tenants pay their rent on time.

All-in-all, I thought it was a productive meeting. I look forward to seeing the improvements.


  1. Am I the only one, who sees a cafe/restaurant in this 'Cash Advance' space? Look at the sidewalk space in front of it, ..BEGGING for cafe life. An UNO's, even! I'm glad to see the dialysis clinic take it over from Cash Advance--too many of those in AA neighborhoods, already. And I think taking that tree down is a terrible idea. It's a beautiful tree, and I hope the saw breaks.

    Sometimes, you look at what FV could be, and it's just sad. I see sleepy, pristine Spring Valley. I see bustling, urbane Cleveland Park. Just LOOK at that mess up there--it's awful. It's depressing. Infuriating. However, the people loitering there probably have no where to go and too little money to loiter anywhere else. I'd wager most are probably renters (as I was, a few years ago) and live in small flats that get crowded easily--so, they go out. Out, ANY-where. Where are they supposed to go? So, there they are.

    I drive past it almost every day, and most of the time, I don't even look.

  2. Fairfax Village Shopping Center has soooo much potential. We developed a list of ideas for aesthetic improvements as well. I will post them tonight. I hoping that the small steps to reduce the loitering can be a catalyst for change.

  3. Without the loitering, FVSC has a totally different feel. Unfortunately, even without it, the larger problem of the loiterers having no place to gather or feel a sense of community still needs to be resolved.

    Sidebar...I, once, dropped by the Hillcrest Community Center, which has computers, mentoring, lectures, events, and it's a great place. It was also practically empty. Has anyone here SEEN the Center? I wonder how many of our loiterers know the Hillcrest Center even exists.

  4. Even the library that is 50 feet away has computers with internet. There are places for them to go.