While I appreciate the effort any person puts in to start and run a business legitimately, the owner of the Riyad Market, Osman Mohammed, never seemed to want to be a part of the Petworth community or support the neighborhood. The closed up windows, the odd store hours, the off-putting signage and lastly, getting caught selling synthetic drugs. It’s that last one that is the downfall of the Riyad.
The Riyad has been evicted and will be closing its doors in November.
I spoke with Michael Aniton, the DC Assistant Attorney General in charge of the case against the Riyad. “The basis of the eviction case against the Riyad Market was the sale of synthetic drugs. We had detectives prepared to testify to the sale of synthetic drugs and community members prepared to testify to the negative impact that the market has had on the surrounding community.”
Mr. Mohammed, the owner of the Riyad, has signed a written agreement with the landlord to vacate the property by November 13, 2015. They agreed to resolve the issue in Landlord and Tenant court on Thursday, August 20th. If Mr. Mohammed fails to vacate the property or hand over the keys, or to pay the rent for September and October, the owner can have the U.S. Marshalls carry out the eviction.
“The role of the community is extremely important,” Mr. Aniton said. "The community should continue to report any suspicious or illegal activity that they observe at Riyad Market. I would also encourage the community to try to work with the owner of the property to make sure that the next tenant is a good, upstanding business that will bring positive energy to the community.”
I hope the Dudley family (the owners of the building) do bring in a business that will contribute to Petworth.