New Study: Economic Viability of Pennsylvania Ave SE Corridor

Marshall Heights Community Development Organization releases retail market analysis to attract more resources to the Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street


October 20, 2021


Tiffany E. Browne, Jade Browne Ink

(202) 276-9359

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO) announces the release of the Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street Retail Market Analysis, examining the retail environment of the corridor. The report sheds light on the retail sustainability of current businesses along Pennsylvania Avenue East, especially during the public health crisis, with affordable rent, a large customer base and additional factors, including affordable parking. The report also highlights the current traffic volume along Pennsylvania Avenue East – from the John P. Sousa Bridge to Southern Avenue SE – as the corridor sees an average daily traffic count of nearly 30,000 vehicles per day. Additionally, the report brings awareness to the critical need for more full-service grocers East of the River, particularly in Ward 7. The report finds that Pennsylvania Avenue East currently has numerous small-scale grocers and convenience stores, leaving many of the neighboring residents to venture outside of the ward to grocery shop. 

“While we have seen some economic movement in Ward 7, residents are eager for more viable retail that is not only convenient in location, but also supports local small businesses as well as mainstream retailers,” said MHCDO CEO and President, Babatunde Oloyede. “With this analysis, not only are we bringing awareness to how beneficial it is for Ward 7 to have Pennsylvania Avenue East as a Main Street, in working with the Bowser Administration and our stakeholders, we are seeking to aggressively push sound economic development that can serve as a catalyst not only for Pennsylvania Avenue East but for further economic growth East of the River.” 

Commissioned by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), the retail market analysis was conducted by Jon Stover and Associates. With the release of the report, MHCDO is able to further engage with current and potential businesses regarding their needs as well as gauging their viability within the ward. Established as a DC Main Street in 2020, Pennsylvania Avenue East currently is home to three shopping centers in Ward 7 including The Shops at Penn Branch. For more than 20 years, MHCDO has championed increasing economic resources allocated to the corridor, starting with the L’Enfant Square Market and Urban Design Analysis. This most recent study proves that Pennsylvania Avenue East is primed for a suburban-style commercial experience.




MHCDO is a non-profit community-based organization engaged in economic and housing development, job placement, senior services and health and human services in Ward 7. MHCDO purses an integrated approach to community building by leveraging public and private resources. MHCDO has partnered with government agencies, foundations and private sector investors in order to provide workforce training, housing and economic development projects, and services that increase self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life for Ward 7 residents. For more information visit

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