Anacostia itself—-a small neighborhood centered around an historic core—-may be having its troubles with foreclosures and vacant properties, as I describe in this week’s issue. But it’s still the most recognizable brand in Wards 7 and 8, and rather than fight the perception that that’s what everything east of the river is called, Anacostia River Realty’s Darrin Davis has decided to embrace it: He’s now marketing the entire area as the “Anacostia Neighborhoods.”
“Anacostia’s a cool word now,” Davis says. “It just makes our job easier.”
Davis even thought that Fairlawn, the neighborhood in which his office technically sits, had been absorbed into the Anacostia tax assessment district. According to the Office of Tax and Revenue, Fairlawn has always been a sub-district of Anacostia’s. But they do eventually respond to the creation of new neighborhoods: This year, “Redevelopment Land Agency Northeast” became NoMa, and “Redevelopment Land Agency Southwest” became the Southwest Waterfront (here’s the official map).
The rest of the neighborhoods east of the river, though, certainly have more sense of self than those formerly unpopulated districts. I’m not sure this branding campaign will stick any better than calling Hillcrest “Capitol Hill Extended.”