For more than a century Mott’s Marketa corner market south of Lincoln Park in Washington, DC has served the surrounding community as a pantry and meeting place for neighbors of all ages and backgrounds.
The building is in 233 12th Street SEis owned by the Choi family, who ran the store until it closed earlier this year.
The family has put the 3,313-square-foot, two-story building up for sale for $1.25 million, but a neighborhood coalition is hoping to buy it to save their beloved corner market.
“From kids as an after-school snack to a critical resource during snowstorms and pandemics, our corner market has watched generations of families grow and enriched the history of our neighborhood.” Jordan lacrossea member of the Save Mott Market Coalition leadership team, told the Commercial Observer.
“Mott’s represents a way of life that’s disappearing down Capitol Hill. We have lost many similar markets over the past decade and we recognize that we cannot let this moment pass us by.”
The beginning of the Save Mott’s Market campaign can be traced back to a few casual discussions among neighbors on the porch.
“Honestly, the porches of Walter Street have spawned some of the best neighborhood ideas over the years,” LaCrosse said. “After concluding that several neighbors had dreams of saving the market, we decided to try to make this a reality.”
Although there is no concrete plan, several neighbors have expressed interest in operating the corner market and revitalizing it to maximize its impact on the community.
“Our plan as a group is to select a business plan that aligns with our community goals and our mission to maintain a corner market,” LaCrosse said. “However, we cannot begin the selection of landscaping and paint colors until we have been awarded the contract to purchase the property. We will determine the next steps once the property is secured.”
The group is currently seeking dual track support. First, they hope to get potential investor partners to help buy the property. Second, they launch a grassroots campaign to let developers know the neighborhood means business and is willing to fight to save their market.
“Over the past weekend alone, dozens of neighbors signed up to become a potential member investor, but we’re not there yet,” LaCrosse said. “We have until this Friday to submit an offer and are asking the entire neighborhood to find more people willing to help invest in the cause.”
The Save Mott’s Market coalition has also started one website where they hope neighbors, friends and corner market supporters can sign up to get more involved. Those who sign up will be invited to attend virtual evening meetings to learn more about progress and next steps.
Keith Loria can be reached at [email protected].