The resurgence of the western end of Upshur Street in Petworth is a somewhat new thing, having really taken off only in the past 5 years or so. Early businesses like Domku, Bentley’s, Fia’s and Cuzzins have helped to shape the street, while established businesses like Philip’s Shoe Repair at 808 Upshur have helped to anchor the street for long-time and newly arrived residents alike.
One of the people who came to Petworth and decided to make Upshur the focus of his business is real estate broker Marc Dosik. Marc is a supporter of the Celebrate Petworth Festival and backed the festival this summer on its Indiegogo funding campaign. His “perk” for that support was an article on Petworth News. I’ve met Marc a few times now, and I’m happy to spotlight a local, good-natured businessman who is focused on contributing to the Petworth community.
In May of 2011, Marc moved his business, Help-U-Sell Real Estate, from the H Street corridor on Capitol Hill to Petworth. He bought the vacant building at 843 Upshur St (it had been an office space for Habitat for Humanity prior to that) and converted the building into two usable spaces.
“I moved my business into Petworth because I wanted to be part of, and contribute to, a diverse community with economic opportunity,” Marc said.
He put his real estate business on the second floor of the building, and Willow Fashion opened on the first floor. Then the transformations started. The security bars were taken off the front window and the paint color changed from a two-tone pink to muted green and cream shades.
Then this past year, Willow Fashion was awarded a Great Streets grant from the DC government, which helped fund big improvements to the façade of the building. Those grants made a very positive change to the front appearance (and gave Willow a wonderful full-glass front display). Marc then renovated the second floor and expanded his offices, squaring off the top floor and making the building look “complete.”
When area residents Rob Mandle and Tom Pipkin approached him last Fall about using the side of his building for a Petworth-inspired mural, Marc was happy (and quick) to agree.
“It’s really fun being part of this neighborhood and watching the transformation as it continues to be a nicer and nicer place to be,” Marc said. “The city put in new sidewalks, street lamps, and landscaping right after we moved into Petworth.” (Ed note: the effort to get the city funding for streetscape improvements was spearheaded by Kera Carpenter from Domku.)
It’s been over four years since Marc bought his building, and he’s been excited to see the other new businesses that have opened. In fact, Marc is doubling down on Upshur Street by investing with partners Hunter Campbell and Chef Alex McCoy to bring a southeast Asian restaurant at 845 Upshur, the building next door to his own. Marc is looking forward to extending the restaurant outside into the back lots of 843 and 845 Upshur, meaning the new restaurant will be able to create something different and unique with its outdoor space.
“There are a lot more options for eating out and shopping now, and a real sense of community. We’re happy to be here,” said Marc.
Marc’s business, Help-U-Sell, has been working to save Petworth-area home sellers thousands of dollars through his low flat fee, full-service concept. Marc has sold lots of homes in the Petworth community, most recently 509 Webster Street. As a result of Help-U-Sell’s marketing, the house sold in 7 days, with multiple offers. Ultimately the house sold for $25K more than the list price and the seller saved $19,000 over traditional real estate by using Help-U-Sell. Marc is happy to offer a free home evaluation to see how much you can save.