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Chase Bank To Open In Historic Anacostia As Neighborhood Experiences Retail Transformation

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JPMorgan Chase will replace a local restaurant in Historic Anacostia with a bank branch as part of its D.C. expansion. The deal is the latest in a series of major regional and national companies planning moves to the Southeast D.C. neighborhood that is poised for a major transformation in the coming years.

Landlord Curtis Investment Group signed the nation’s largest bank at 2200 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, the storefront where Uniontown Bar & Grill closed its business in recent months. Within three blocks of that space, national coffee giant Starbucks and regional restaurant chain Busboys and Poets are preparing to open their first east-of-the-river locations, and multiple developments are planned that will bring new housing and office space to the historic neighborhood.  Charles Wilson, a former ANC commissioner and head of multiple Anacostia neighborhood groups, first reported on his blog that Chase would replace Uniontown, and Curtis Investment Group confirmed it to Bisnow. Wilson said Uniontown was having problems and became less popular among neighbors in recent years, so people were not too disappointed to see it close, but he said many wish it had been replaced by another restaurant.  “It’s mixed feelings, because we’re losing a restaurant in a neighborhood that desperately needs more sit-down restaurants,” Wilson said.

“There are three or four banks within less than a square mile — Bank of America, PNC Bank and Industrial Bank — so you begin to ask what’s the value of another banking facility … another restaurant or café or some type of eating facility would have been great.” JPMorgan Chase announced in September it would invest $10M in driving economic growth in Wards 7 and 8, D.C.’s most historically underserved communities. Wilson said the new branch could be a positive if it helps spur more investment.  “Any time you have another banking partner who wants to make sincere investments in projects like the 11th Street Bridge, there’s definitely good things to come out of that,” Wilson said.

Busboys and Poets, a restaurant chain known for opening in parts of the city undergoing dramatic change, began constructing its Anacostia location in October 2016. The opening date has been pushed back multiple times, but neighborhood business leader Duane Gautier said he sees people working on it every day and expects it to be open by the spring. Busboys owner Andy Shallal did not immediately return a request for comment.  Gautier is CEO of Arch Development, an Anacostia-based nonprofit that runs multiple business incubators and art galleries in the neighborhood. He said Busboys will be a big step up from Uniontown and could create momentum for additional openings.  “I think it’s a positive, but it’s not going to be the savior of Anacostia, which it has been touted to be,” Gautier said of Busboys. “It will draw in people. A couple local restaurants are happy it’s moving in because people will come down and go to Busboys but not always, so we think it’s going to spur other small cafés and restaurants.”

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/washington-dc/news/neighborhood/chase-bank-to-open-in-historic-anacostia-as-corridor-experiences-retail-transformation-91855?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

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Johnson Publishing, once chronicled black life in Ebony and Jet, going out of business.

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Johnson Publishing, whose iconic Ebony and Jet magazines chronicled black life in America for decades, has filed for bankruptcy and plans a court-supervised sale of its assets.

The 77-year-old company, which sold Ebony and Jet almost three years ago, on Tuesday filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation after it was unable to restructure its operations or arrange financing or a sale.

Read full story @ The Chicago Tribune

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The Women of Power Summit

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Terrell Owens, Ricky Williams Among Founding Owners of Freedom Football League

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Football fans craving pigskin in the spring will have their answer thanks to a number of former NFL players.

Former NFL running back Ricky Williams announced Thursday on ESPN’s Outside the Lines that he is one of the founders of the Freedom Football League, per Field Yates of ESPN. Williams is joined by fellow founders Terrell Owens, Simeon Rice and Mike Alstott, among others.

The league will play during the spring as to avoid competing against the NFL and collegiate football in the fall.

According to ESPN.com, there will be 10 teams when the league starts—the San Diego Warriors, Oklahoma City Power, Portland Progress, Texas Revolution, Ohio Players, Florida Strong, Birmingham Kings, St. Louis Independence, Connecticut Underground and Oakland Panthers—with the chance for eventual expansion if it succeeds.

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