More Than Cookies at Stake: Demanding Fair Play in Development Plans

"Preserving the Sweet Legacy: The Unforeseen Challenges of Bates + North Capitol Street Development"

In the heart of Washington, D.C., where the aroma of freshly baked cookies has long been a staple, a group of local businesses is facing unexpected challenges that threaten their very existence. Uncle Chip's Cookies and neighboring establishments find themselves caught in the whirlwind of the Bates + North Capitol Street Development, a project that promises growth but brings with it a set of unforeseen complications.

The Promise of Collaboration:

Back in 2019, the community rallied behind the promises of Mark James from Urban Green, LLC, who secured a 100-year lease from the D.C. Government for the North Capitol and Bates lot. A commitment was made to collaborate and ensure the prosperity of existing businesses. Fast forward to November 27, 2023, when the reality painted a different picture.

The Abrupt Changes:

On that fateful day, Shannon Boyle, owner of Uncle Chip's, received startling news—construction plans that would not only impact her business but also pose a threat to the vibrant local community. A construction staging area was set to take over essential spaces, leaving businesses grappling with sudden and severe operational challenges.

Unanswered Questions:

The lack of communication and transparency regarding these changes has left business owners in a state of uncertainty. How can they continue to serve the community when vital elements like trash storage, loading zones, and emergency egress are under threat? The city owns the land, but did anyone consider the rights of the businesses that have been part of the North Capitol Street fabric for years?

Business Operations at Stake:

For Uncle Chip's Cookies and others, this isn't just about cookies; it's about the fundamental ability to operate. Delivery logistics, trash management, and even emergency access are at risk. The construction plans, as they stand, could jeopardize the livelihoods of businesses that have contributed to the area's charm and character.

Advocating for Fairness:

In response to these challenges, Uncle Chip's Cookies and its fellow businesses are rallying for fair treatment. They support the development project's goals but insist that the city intervene to ensure that small businesses aren't collateral damage. The community should have the opportunity to contribute to the success of the North Capitol Street Corridor without sacrificing its heart and soul.

As we indulge in the sweetness of Uncle Chip's Cookies, it's crucial to recognize the bitter challenges faced by local businesses. The Bates + North Capitol Street Development could be an opportunity for growth, but not at the expense of those who have been the backbone of the community. Let's stand together to preserve the sweet legacy of North Capitol Street.

For more information, please read through the supporting documents here.

Call to Action

We've started a petition urging the city to consider the rights and well-being of small businesses. Sign and share the petition to amplify our collective voice.