The Regional Development Committee, as part of its ongoing efforts to track regional development, recently visited the Washington offices of the Capital Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID).  The BID advocates for the development and up keep of the area roughly bounded by 395 on the North, South Capitol Street and Fort McNair to the west and the Anacostia River.  More specifically it is home to Nationals Park, the Navy Yard and the headquarters of Federal Department of Transportation.

Michael Stevens the Executive Director lead the presentation off with a review of a large scale model of the BID and the surrounding area of the District followed up with a power point featuring the history of the area, where it is today and what is in store for the future.  The Riverfront area was heavily industrial dating back as far as 150 years and home to the Navy Yard since 1799.  Overtime and with the evolution of the nation and the city the area deteriorated greatly and was known for its alternative entertainment venues and high crime.

Redevelopment efforts began with the first BRAC and the consolidation of the Naval Sea Systems Command, into five new office buildings at the Navy Yard in the mid-1990’s, relocation of the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters, and the District’s Housing Authority receiving a federal grant to redevelop public housing into a higher density mixed-income community.  Currently there is 7.25 million square feet of office space, 223,000 square feet of retail, 2,760 residential units with nearly 4,000 residents.  Planned future development will include more than 8.0 million square feet of office, 564,000 square feet of retail, 1,051 hotel rooms and 6,176 residential units.  The area has four parks including the three block long and highly sustainable, Canal Park which has a seasonal skating rink and the Riverwalk Trail which is over 1 mile long and provides connectivity to the parks, which host public events as well as providing for general recreation.

Recently completed projects of note include the Foundry Lofts—apartments—The Boilermaker Shops(Retail) and The Lumber Shed which is office over first floor retail.

A partial list of major players in the redevelopment, with projects in progress or in development include: Monument Realty, Florida Rock in partnership with MRP, Forest City, William C. Smith, Akridge, Toll Brothers and Skanska.

The Committee would like to thank the Capital Riverfront BID for hosting and Steve Kenton for arranging this highly informative session which presented many future business opportunities for the WBC membership.