There has been talk for years about the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue. Staff writer Louise A. Reid and staff photographer Margaret Thomas surveyed merchants and store owners on Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 14th Street to 8th Street about their feelings on the redevelopment plan.
Al Cohen, owner for 30 years of Al's Magic Shop at 1205 Pennsylvania Ave. "They've been talking about it so long I feel it's almost a cry wolf situation. I'll believe it when it happens this time. I only wish that we owned the property. My father started the business in 1935. I think it will be good for the city. I'd like to stay here. I just don't know what we'd do in the meantime. I think it's a shame they're tearing down so many buildings."
David Krupsaw, co-owner for 40 years of Sleep Center, 807 Pennsylvania Ave.: "It can't do anything for your business because you're going to be pushed out. The unhappy situation of the Pennsylvania Avenue idea is that nothing has been done since 1961. This area as I understand it is devoted to housing. The last thing we heard is that there are to be commercial stores at street level. For me, it's all screwed up."
Stan Hein, manager for four years of Carpel's Liquor Store at 1001 D St. NW: "This whole building is going to be an office building. It'll put us out of business for a while. We have an option to be the first to come back. But by the time they are through building this, we'll stay in the liquor business but we'll probably be somewhere else. It'll do a lot for Washington. But the building will be torn down. The Present businessmen won't be here."
Tom Linder, owner for seven years of The Price is Right at the corner of 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue: "It's going to put me out of business. If they're going to put up all this money, I'm sure they're going to tear down the building. That'll put all the small businesses out of business. Everyone is under a six-month lease because of the plan. They say we can come back, but that will be too late unless they can keep everything open. But these are old buildings. This is my life."
Tom Jones, manager for two years of Morrison's Paper Company at 1009 Pennsylvania Ave.: "I think it will put us out of business. We don't own the building. This whole block is owned by a lawyer. He's getting a fairly good rent out of here. But if they redevelop, we could never afford to move back here. But it would help the area because this is a dying district. But I like it. I hope it goes through."
Joe Piccolo, owner for three years of Souvenir World at the corner of 10th Street and Pennsylvania: "The time they take to tear down and build up again, it can't help me. It'll help my son, it'll help somebody 10 years from now. It's going to be profitable maybe for my son, if he takes over. The way the avenue is right now, it would be a good thing for it. There are no people down here after 6 o'clock at night. There's no night business down here at all."