June 15, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Braulio Agnese, firstname.lastname@example.org
DC’s Downtown BIDs Unite to Reimagine the City’s Central Business District as a Thriving, Livable Urban Core for the 21st Century
Washington, D.C. — The Golden Triangle and DowntownDC Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), along with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Federal City Council, downtown stakeholders, business and urban planning leaders, and private citizens, today officially kicked off the planning and engagement sessions for the Downtown Action Plan. The Downtown Action Plan will serve as the backbone for DC’s Comeback Plan, the mayor’s five-year economic development strategy.
The effort comes amid renewed focus by District leaders and businesses on reinvigorating the city’s central business district in the wake of the pandemic, which shifted workers away from the office — a sea of change that has dramatically and negatively affected downtown’s economic ecology across nearly every business sector.
“We know why this work is urgent and important: Downtown is the economic engine that supports the investments we make in people and programs across all eight wards,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Reimagining our downtown is something that must happen and now, as we build the Downtown Action Plan, is the time for all of us to unleash our creativity.”
The Downtown Action Plan will guide the recovery of the District’s core and set the stage for the area’s vital contributions to the city’s and the region’s economies for decades to come. Today’s kick-off was the first step in a larger, robust engagement effort to solicit wide-ranging, visionary, and broad-based perspectives to inform the plan’s development. As the project continues, there will be multiple opportunities for public input in the process.
“Central business districts are evolving as people look for more accessibility to amenities and activity from their neighborhoods,” said Leona Agouridis, President and CEO of the Golden Triangle BID and current board member of the International Downtown Association. “There is a lot of good in our downtown that we are going to build on to reimagine a thriving and livable downtown that comes back even stronger.”
“We are excited to work together with our local community and national visionaries to determine what downtown DC looks like in the years ahead and chart a path to make this future a reality,” said Gerren Price, President and CEO of the DowntownDC BID.
Work on the Downtown Action Plan is under way, with the first stakeholder engagement session taking place next week. Development of the plan will continue through 2023.
Public feedback is an essential component in the development of the plan, and anyone is welcome to share their comments and ideas via the project’s interactive website, reimaginedowntowndc.com.
Funded in part through a $200,000 DMPED grant, the BIDs selected Trueblood.City — led by Andrew Trueblood, former director of the city’s Office of Planning — as the plan’s project manager. The project team also includes several consultants: Justice Sustainability Associates, which specializes in designing and implementing multistakeholder decision-making processes; Kyanite Partners, an economic development consultancy; and global design company IDEO. In addition, RCLCO and HDR have been selected to serve as economic development and transportation consultants. Their teams will analyze data and provide project concepts with funding and implementation strategies, exploring financial and infrastructure opportunities, as well as impacts to guide recovery and inform the action agenda.
To complement the effort, the Federal City Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization dedicated to the advancement of civic life in the nation’s capital, will host multiple public webinars, as well as a half-day Futuring Workshop later this summer. The workshop will bring together local and national leaders and decision-makers to ideate and work through scenario-planning exercises designed to elicit creative thinking and recommendations for the future of downtown.
Learn more and stay informed about the effort and future meetings at reimaginedowntowndc.com.
About the Golden Triangle BID
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 44-square-block neighborhood stretching from the White House to Dupont Circle. For more information, visit goldentriangledc.com.
About the DowntownDC BID
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District was founded in 1997 and is a private nonprofit organization that provides capital improvements, resources, and research that keep the BID area clean, safe, economically and environmentally strong, and accessible. The DowntownDC BID is a catalyst, facilitator, and thought leader in diversifying the economy, promoting public-private partnerships, and enhancing the downtown experience for all. DowntownDC encompasses a 138-block area of approximately 520 properties, from Massachusetts Avenue on the north, including the convention center at Mount Vernon Square, to Constitution Avenue on the south, and from Louisiana Avenue on the east to 16th Street on the west.