NDC Partnerships Are Advanced Community Development

Neighborhood Development Company (NDC) pays equal attention to the 3 P’s of its Mission: People, Planet, Profit. We see each project as an opportunity to reinvest and revitalize the community that we join through strategic development. “We are incredibly excited about our Benning Market development, which is a part of a greater investment to benefit Ward 7” states Michaela Cancel PMP, Vice President of NDC. Coming in Spring 2022, the 12,400 square foot space provides a mixed-use, food-focused neighborhood-serving retail in the River Terrace neighborhood of Northeast Washington, DC.

To shepherd the success of the project, NDC partnered with the remarkable Mary Blackford to develop Market7, the anchor of space. As a native of Ward 7, Ms. Blackford is a visionary and innovator who brings creative, successful “pop up” based methodology to food retail. With her leadership, Benning Market will not only provide a critical oasis to a food desert in the immediate area, but also give food and lifestyle entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch their business in an incubator style environment that will facilitate long-term success.

According to Blackford, “food deserts” – locations with little or no retail space dedicated to selling food to the neighborhood – are particularly harmful to communities experiencing health-related crises like diabetes and high blood pressure. In these deserts, residents are limited to fast food and other options that are contraindicated for healthful nutrition. For Blackford, “Market7 is a chance to make it accessible and easy to buy the foods needed for a nutritious diet.”

They aren’t stopping there. Market7 will also host a regular program of activities and events designed to encourage the community to engage, learn, and adopt healthy dietary practices. Cooking demonstrations, cultural food fairs, food tourism and farm-to-table opportunities will be offered to the community residents. “We don’t just want to bring in new practices,” says Blackford. “The food tourism events will highlight the unique and wonderful cuisine developed in the area, and celebrate the existing community.”

The structure of Market7 will give micro-enterprises and other start-ups the chance to launch without costly store-front rents. The market will draw diversified consumers, expanding the reach and growth potential of the resident businesses. In addition to retail space, the tenants will have access to training in teamwork with the Greater Washington Urban League, learning skills about marketing through websites and social media, as well as business and technical training. For Blackford, “The goal is to foster a successful environment for these businesses to bring crucial resources to the community.”

According to Adrian Washington, founder and CEO of NDC, “Benning Market, and Market7 offer a resource to the community as well as an opportunity to local entrepreneurs, which will further reinvest in the area. We are incredibly excited about the potential we see in this project.” The project is well on its way to completion as the latest is a long line of NDC successes. To learn more about NDC and the opportunity to make a profitable investment in community, contact us today.

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