D.C. Suburb Redevelopment Plans Lack Guiding Vision

<p>Local government has big plans for redevelopment in the inner suburbs of Washington D.C. But some say the approach is too segmented and lacks a greater vision for many of the region's smaller towns.</p>
August 9, 2007, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Seven Corners, the shabby and sprawling commercial district in eastern Fairfax County, is showing small signs of new life. Work will begin soon on a pedestrian bridge across Route 50, and a bus depot will grace one end. A Chipotle Mexican Grill is nearly complete, and its new parking lot looks brilliantly fresh next to the cracked, dusty expanse of pavement all around."

"Seven Corners is among a handful of aging business districts targeted for revitalization by county officials. But the effort there, in one of the county's most densely populated areas, is barely underway. The smaller improvements occurring now aren't part of a larger vision for Seven Corners, which has left some to wonder whether the county is serious about pumping new life into its declining areas."

"What's happening at Seven Corners also reflects the fate of older districts across the Washington region, such as Wheaton in Montgomery County and Langley Park in Prince George's. Every inner suburb of Washington is plowing extravagant time and effort into some type of revitalization, from Tysons Corner to Chevy Chase to Landover. But in every one, other commercial cores -- such as Seven Corners -- remain in the shadows."

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Published on Sunday, August 5, 2007 in The Washington Post
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