City Paper is not for tourists
I have a different perspective on your “Exiled on Main Street” story (4/5). Two years ago I moved from a high-rise condo on Pennsylvania Avenue to Quantico with no regrets. I admit to being different from most Washington professionals. Getting off the VRE in my suit and tie, I like nothing better than to change into jeans and boots (you forgot to mention the best boot store in the area, Quantico Boots) and drive my Chevy pickup to any country bar for a beer and dancing. Quantico offers me a fast commute in and out of the city. Not to mention an affordable house just a stone’s throw from the Potomac River.
You hinted at the town’s main problem: About six very old people own everything in it and are quite happy renting old, poorly kept properties. Approached to sell the dumps they own, they ask top dollar. So there are no takers, yet. Any developer could quickly see the town’s potential to military retirees: access to all base amenities, golf course, PX, commissary, hospital, stables, ranges, etc. Fast access to I-95. The VRE for easy commutes to the city. A spectacular view of the Potomac. If property became available at a reasonable price, an initial development would be quickly followed by more.
I am optimistic there will be significant change in the next five years. In the meantime, I invite anyone from Washington who wants to feel like they have returned to the 1950s to visit Quantico, have a doughnut and coffee at Harry O’s, relax and read the Sunday paper, or take a stroll through town down to the river. I find it beats the fear of being mugged on Pennsylvania Avenue any day.