Economic Development Action Agenda
A Road Map for Strong and Sensible Economic Development in
the District of Columbia
Councilmember Harold Brazil
Chairperson, Committee on Economic Development
Council of the District of Columbia
November 13, 2002
Message from Councilmember Harold Brazil
Objective I: Foster Economic Development in Our
Objective II: Preserve and Promote Affordable Housing for Low- and Moderate-Income Households
Objective III: Reduce Barriers to Doing Business in the District
Objective IV: Increase Economic Opportunities for Local Businesses and Job Opportunities for District Residents
Objective V: Make Strategic Investments to Enhance Development Downtown and In the Central Employment Area
Appendix: Membership List, Councilmember Brazil's Advisory Committee on
Message from Councilmember Harold Brazil
In these pages, I have set forth my Action Agenda for continued economic
development in the District of Columbia. This Action Agenda will be the
foundation for my leadership on the D.C. Council, and as Chairman of the
Committee on Economic Development, over the next two years.
The Action Agenda comprises a road map to guide us
toward strong and sensible economic development that benefits all of our
residents and that benefits the business community as a whole. The Action
Agenda is organized into five categories, based on five objectives for
sound economic development policy for the District.
Two general premises underlie the five objectives. The
first premise is that we must do more to make it easier to do business
successfully in the District. (It bears noting at the outset that
successful businesses provide a vast number of job opportunities for
District residents and substantial revenue to finance District services.)
The second premise is that we must do more to provide jobs and economic
opportunities to District residents and businesses. No neighborhood and no
class of residents should be left behind or left out.
On the whole, the District prospered in the late 1990s
- recovering from near bankruptcy, making important steps toward reversing
a decades-long population drain, and rebuilding respect for the Nation's
Capital as a great place to live, work, visit, and do business. Over the
past year, several factors beyond our control - the national recession and
the impact of 9/11 - slowed the District's economy. This Action Agenda
will help us regain and build momentum toward the economic goals we share.
While working to increase and strengthen the District
Government's economic development efforts, I will also work to assure that
every neighborhood gets a slice of the pie. I do not want to see
Washington as a city of "haves" and "have-nots". When
it comes to building a great city, we are all equal partners. I want to
work for a city united in the common cause of creating economic prosperity
and opportunities for all, welcoming and promoting diversity, and
generating a lively, interesting, and safe environment for those of us who
live and work here and the millions who visit from around the world. It is
my hope that the Action Agenda will move us in this direction.
Before moving on to the substance of the report, I
think it is important to point out what the Action Agenda is not. The
Action Agenda is not just another report with grand goals and long-range
plans. (We have a lot of those, and too many of them are stacked on
shelves somewhere, long ignored and largely forgotten.)
It is not a plan for the next decade.
It is not a "wish list" of actions we might all like to see,
but have no realistic prospects of accomplishing within the near future.
The Action Agenda I decided to create is a practical
agenda for needed and achievable actions. These are actions we can work to
accomplish within two years to achieve sound and visible progress in the
District's economic development environment.
As I present this Action Agenda, I want to acknowledge
and express my appreciation for the thoughtful contributions provided by
my Economic Development Advisory Committee, whose names and affiliations
are listed in the appendix to this document. Their thoughts and analysis,
expertise in their professional fields, and day-today experience with
economic development realities in the District were immensely helpful. I
thank them all for their generosity in devoting time and resources to this
Back to top of page
Objective 1: Foster economic development in our neighborhoods.
If "a rising tide lifts all boats," as some
economists say, there are Washington neighborhoods still waiting for the
rising tide of the 1990s to bring prosperity to them as it did to the
center city and nearby communities. Center-city commercial and residential
expansion in the late 1990s spilled over to Dupont Circle, Logan Circle,
Georgetown, the Pennsylvania Quarter, the East End, the West End and to a
limited extent, Columbia Heights - but has not reached much beyond that.
Neighborhoods that were prosperous before the 1990s still are, only more
so. For the most part, neighborhoods that were poor and lacking in
essential services before the 1990s still are.
There are some bright spots. Surging development is
bringing affordable and high-quality housing to Ward 8 for the first time
in a generation. The new Brentwood Shopping Center has enlivened Ward 5
with new jobs and high-quality retail services. There are one or two other
promising developments in neighborhoods distant from the city core.
But too many neighborhoods remain left behind and left
out. As Brookings Institution Fellows Carol O'Cleireacain and Alice M.
Rivlin wrote in June 2001:
"Vigorous development is transforming downtown, and both commercial
and residential investment are starting to occur in other parts of the
District. Housing demand is up, and real estate prices are rising. So far,
however, growth and development are uneven. Some parts of the city are
reviving; others are wondering whether the city's new prosperity will ever
Analyses of Census 2000 data have produced startling
evidence of the District's sharpening divisions into enclaves of the rich
getting richer and the poor getting poorer.2 Wealth rushed into some
neighborhoods, as high-earning professionals snapped up new luxury rental
apartments at $2,000 a month or more.
But poverty kept its hold on other neighborhoods where
low-wage workers feared that rising rents would push them into
homelessness. Small business enterprises near major center city developments - such as the new Convention Center - saw the promise
of future growth. But those in outlying areas have yet to see many
It is a guiding principle of the Action Agenda that
fostering neighborhood economic development is essential for healthy
citywide growth. Our citizens, business leaders, and government officials
share the conviction that a city of only the rich and the poor is not a
healthy city. A city where economic development enriches some and bypasses
many is not what any city ought to be, certainly not America's capital.
Thus, Washington's neighborhoods must be the focus of strong development
attention in both the short-term and long-term future.
We must have a strong policy to create incentives for
neighborhood investments, but with limited resources, we must make sure
each dollar spent yields the maximum return. To that end, the District's
neighborhood investment policy must encompass two complementary elements:
Catalyst Projects. Investment in one large project
can become the catalyst for spin-off developments of housing and
commercial facilities nearby. For example, the planned redevelopment of
the Wax Museum site at 5`h and K Streets N.W. for residential and
commercial use is a promising "jumpstart" for contiguous
development in a long-dormant neighborhood.
Concentration of Multiple Investments in Specific
Neighborhoods. With limited resources, we cannot develop all neighborhoods
simultaneously and successfully. Spreading resources here, there, and
everywhere may satisfy political interests, but will not lead to sustained
success anywhere. Hard political decisions have to be made to target a
critical mass of resources to the neighborhoods where the need is greater
and where supply-and-demand factors are sufficiently strong to assure
With catalyst projects blended into concentrated
multiple investments in specific neighborhoods, successful and sustainable
development can be achieved. But this also requires the strategic
integration of other components: affordable housing, commercial
establishments, effective educational centers, and consistent and
efficient provision of city services.
Within this framework, overall neighborhood planning
and development must be done in a way that enhances the identity and
uniqueness of each neighborhood. Georgetown and Anacostia are historic
neighborhoods and each is a treasure for the city. But that does not mean
other neighborhoods will, or should, develop like Georgetown or Anacostia.
Each neighborhood has its own identity and unique history and value, which
must be respected and carried forward in our revitalization efforts.
The District already has laws and regulations in place
to provide a rich array of incentives for neighborhood-based commercial
and residential development. Nearly half of the District's developable
property is located in the District Enterprise Zone (EZ), which entitles
Districtbased businesses to share in more than $1.2 billion in federal tax
credits, deductions, exemptions, and exclusions. The District Government
provides several programs to stimulate construction and renovation of
affordable housing, both for renters and homebuyers, and provides
additional assistance to individuals to enable them to buy homes.
Moreover, the District already provides a large array of municipal and
For these reasons, the Action Agenda focuses
heavily on concentrating and enhancing resources rather than creating new
incentive programs. It will also be incumbent on the Council, and
specifically the Committee on Economic Development, to continue to
exercise its strong oversight powers to guide and monitor Executive Branch
utilization of the existing tools to foster economic development in our
1. Enact legislation to designate two D.C. neighborhoods as initial
targets for concentrated multiple investments.
I propose legislation whereby the District will
designate two neighborhoods in which we will make concentrated and
sustained investments of a wide range of District resources. The
legislation will establish the process by which the neighborhoods will be
selected (along with criteria to determine which neighborhoods will be
targeted at a later stage), the types of resources which will be devoted
to the neighborhoods, guidelines for the amount of resources to be
devoted, and a timeline for implementation. This approach will reduce the
scattershot nature of past efforts and create the critical mass necessary
for significant economic development impact in each neighborhood.
As O'Cleireacain and Rivlin pointed out,
"Revitalization requires concentrated, visible effort in particular
neighborhoods and schools. Spreading resources too thinly, without the
critical mass to make a visible difference in any one place is a recipe
for failure."3 By targeting specific neighborhoods and pouring into
them a critical mass of the resources of the District Government, we can
generate solid and visible success. When development has reached a
satisfactory level in the first two targeted neighborhoods, additional
neighborhoods would be selected for the same concentrated attention, and
The City of Cleveland has successfully employed a
similar approach.4 There are also District precedents for identifying
targeted development areas by legislative action. The City Council in 1988
named four specific target areas to receive certain incentives when it
enacted the Economic Development Zone Incentives Amendment Act.5
The type of incentives and resources that will be
required will vary according to the unique assets and obstacles within
each targeted neighborhood. In addition to housing and commercial
development incentive programs, the targeted approach also will use the
tool of government-owned property. In some situations, an unneeded
government-owned property may provide the essential piece to assemble a
workable land mass for a development project. In other cases, the District may need to use its eminent domain
authority to acquire necessary parcels.6 Furthermore, the District may
need to dedicate resources for infrastructure and public space
improvements, and to expand public safety efforts and other municipal
Because a targeted effort will have financial and
political consequences, the Mayor and the Council must agree on the
selection of the targeted neighborhoods. Citizens must also have full
participation, and my legislation will include provisions to assure a full
hearing and ample opportunity for public comment.
2. Expand marketing efforts for District neighborhoods by increasing
funding for the D.C. Marketing Center.
I propose expanding the resources and activities of the
D.C. Marketing Center to attract further investment in our neighborhoods.
There are many important neighborhood business success stories that can
stimulate interest in long-ignored neighborhoods, but such successes are
not well-known in the investment community. Moreover, investors and
retailers are often unaware of the under-served nature of these
neighborhoods and of their untapped buying power. The District will need
to educate the investment community about the profit potential outside
downtown in order to stimulate further neighborhood economic development.7
The D.C. Marketing Center is in the best position to
inform developers and lenders about successful and profitable neighborhood
investments because of its focused mission on business attraction and
retention, already existing relationships with the investment and retail
communities, and its track record in producing well-researched
business-friendly documents. The Marketing Center's focused efforts on
neighborhoods will lower the cost of capital by lowering the "risk
premium" that investors seek when they are pioneers in an unproven
market, and start building greater retail and commercial momentum in the
Therefore, the D.C. Marketing Center should be provided
additional funds dedicated to neighborhood marketing with a minimum number
of their staff assigned to the task of bringing more business investment
to targeted neighborhoods.
Back to top of page
Objective II: Preserve and promote affordable housing for low- and moderate-income
Whether there is a housing shortage in the District or
not depends on one's income. For those who can afford to pay the price,
3,300 high-end rental units are under construction, commanding monthly
rents in the range of $2,000 per month.8 Moreover, while the supply of new
single-family homes is less plentiful, single-family properties in general
are found at increasingly higher prices.
At moderate- and low-income levels, however, there is
little doubt about a severe shortage of decent housing, particularly for
renters. Vacancy rates are falling and demand increasing in many
neighborhoods. The 2002 D.C. Rental Housing Survey, prepared by the
Council of Governments and the Washington Area Housing Partnership, showed
an overall vacancy rate of 3.4%, and stated that "high rents and low
vacancies are likely to continue to squeeze out those of lesser
means."9 Based on an analysis of Census 2000 date, the Urban
Institute reported, "[A]dvertised rents for houses and apartments
currently on the market in the District average almost $1,000 for
efficiencies and over $1,800 for two-bedroom units, substantially higher
than rent levels recorded across the city in 1998."10
An affordability gap also applies to home ownership,
where strong market demand, enhanced by falling mortgage rates, has driven
prices up substantially in recent years. Industry reports show average
sale prices of single-family homes in the city were up almost 10%
year-to-year at the end of August 2002 - with the more meaningful median
price rising by 20% in just one year.11 In the past four years, the
median price of single-family homes in the District has risen by more than
44% - from $187,000 to more than $270,000; during the same period, the
average price rose from $255,000 to more than $385,000.12 In short, home
prices are growing faster than household incomes and have reached prices
outside the range not only of low-income families, but also families that
were traditionally considered working class and middle-income.
I feel strongly that we must address the housing needs
of the working and middle class, as well as lower-income households.
Policies to preserve and promote affordable housing in the District must
balance two basic goals: (1) addressing the housing needs of the neediest
residents and (2) supporting the competitiveness of the city as a
residential destination of choice for moderate- and higher-income
residents. The first is important not only as a matter of social justice
but also because distressed neighborhoods diminish the economic vitality
and social cohesion of the city. The second is important because the
ability of the District to provide municipal and social services
ultimately rests on the revenue potential of its tax base. Given always
limited revenues, the two objectives are not entirely compatible - thus,
the need for a practical balance, especially at a time of budget deficits.13 The action items below allow the District to move forward in reaching
both objectives in a balanced fashion.
1. Enact legislation to establish a clear and practical standard of
ongoing project affordability for housing funded by the Housing Production
The District's Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) Act
created a permanent funding mechanism for building and rehabilitating
affordable housing for lower income residents. As the Department of
Housing and Community Development has begun to administer the HPTF
program, which only recently received significant funding, one significant
obstacle to its success has appeared.
The obstacle stems from a provision in the HPTF Act which requires the
Department to ensure that housing produced with HPTF support be affordable
on a "continuing basis." Recently, the Corporation Counsel
stated that this provision requires that housing funded through the HPTF
must be affordable on a perpetual basis.14 This standard is unrealistic
and counterproductive in practical application.
By capping any possible capital appreciation in
perpetuity, the standard undermines incentives for lenders and investors
to undertake affordable housing development. The standard limits the
number of potential developers, the number of potential affordable housing
projects, and likely limits the geographic variety of housing offered.
For these reasons, I will introduce legislation to
amend the HPTF provision to provide a clear standard that enhances the
incentive for investment in affordable housing. The legislation will set a standard such as "affordability for a
period equivalent to the term of financial assistance provided," or
for a set number of years. My legislation will establish a clear, workable
standard, to maximize affordable housing production in the District.
2. Enact legislation to encourage use of a larger proportion of funds
to promote home ownership opportunities for working class and
DHCD is currently required to expend at least 80% of
its HPTF funds on very low-income households - 40% to benefit households up
to 30% of the area median income (AMI)15 and another 40% to benefit
households earning 31 to 50% of the AMI - leaving only 20% to serve the
needs of working class and moderate-income households. There are two key
flaws to this allocation. First, it tends to channel resources to the
rental sector, doing relatively little to promote home ownership
opportunities. Second, it fails to adequately address the District's need
to attract and retain middle-class households.
Home ownership is a particularly important factor in
revitalizing and redeveloping neighborhoods because residents become more
invested in their community and a more stable neighborhood environment is
created. Moreover, homeownership minimizes household displacement and
allows lower-income residents to build significant equity, a financial
outcome that is generally unavailable through other means. The current
allocation of HPTF dollars, however, makes it very difficult to realize
these benefits. The following analysis is illustrative. The
mortgage-qualifying annual income level for a 95% mortgage on a $150,000
purchase price is above the HPTF's allowable limit for a two-person
household at 50% of the AMI. As a practical matter of markets and prices,
then, homeownership opportunities could be significantly addressed by only
20% of HPTF resources.
The second problem is perhaps more daunting. A number
of studies indicate that the District has become divided into income
extremes. As a recent Urban Land Institute study states, "The recent
demographic pattern has been said to resemble a barbell, with high-income
residents on one side, low-income residents on the other, and a big gap in
between."16 Without government incentives and intervention, this
dichotomy is likely to persist: the economics of land availability and
construction costs significantly limit the possibility of non-subsidized
new home construction being affordable to working class and
But the advantages of having an income-diverse
jurisdiction are significant. Mixedincome communities create increased
neighborhood stability and may also lead to improvements in the public
school system because of increased resources and increased household
commitments to the success of the schools.17 Further, the presence of
middle-income households strengthens and stabilizes the District's revenue
base, and increases the amount of resources available to provide needed
services. Moreover, the availability of affordable housing within a reasonable distance is a key factor in business
location decisions;18 the availability of a range of housing choices may
therefore lead more businesses to locate in the District, bringing more
job opportunities for District residents and more revenue for District
In addition, the District must be realistic in
determining its ability to provide needed services to lower-income
residents. The cost of providing those services must be balanced with the
need to bring in revenue-producing households to pay for those services.
The more disproportionate a share of the region's poverty the District
carries, the more difficult it will be to provide adequate services to any
segment of its population. A sustainable mix of lower-income,
middle-income, and higher-income households is a key to the District's
long-term financial and social stability.
For these reasons I will introduce legislation to
establish a more balanced allocation of the HPTF resources to better
support homeownership and community stability and vitality in the
District. The legislation will allow a larger proportion of HPTF dollars
to be allocated to creating housing opportunities for working class and
3. Implement employer-assisted housing purchase programs with private
businesses and organizations.
Encouraging employees of District businesses and
organizations to purchase housing in the District has wide benefits -
providing gains to the District, the employer, and the employee. The
District adds new residents, with the concomitant real estate, income, and
sales tax revenue; the employer realizes a more stable workforce and is
better able to attract workers; and the employee improves his or her
financial position through home ownership, receives an additional
employment benefit, and likely improves his or her quality of life.
The Housing Act of 2002 includes provisions to
encourage private employers in the District to provide benefits to their
employees to purchase housing in the District.19 The Act provides matching
fluids, in the form of tax credits, to District employers who provide
home-purchase assistance to employees earning up to 120% of the area median
income (AMI). For a family of four, the 120% income ceiling would be
$109,800 at the current AMI level. The tax credit is for one-half of the
amount of the assistance provided, up to a maximum of $2,500 per worker.
Unfortunately, the program has not yet been funded, nor
has it receiver' much attention. On top of that, there has been little
employer input on the benefits and burdens of the program and how it might
best serve the interests of the District, employers, and employees.
I will use the resources of the Economic Development Committee to refine
this program and make funding available at a reasonable level. First, I
will hold a public hearing on the program, as enacted, to determine
whether improvements may be necessary. In addition, I will work with the Mayor to ensure at least partial funding
in Fiscal Year 2004. (Given the District's current financial constraints,
it may not be realistic to achieve full funding next year.) I will also
work with the Mayor and large employers - such as universities, hospitals,
hotels, and accounting and law firms - to obtain commitments to implement
employer-assisted home purchase programs in the District.
Back to top of page
Objective III: Reduce barriers to doing business in the District.
The benefits of business location in the District are
tremendous. Businesses in the District provide needed retail and health
services, employment for tens of thousands of District residents, increase
neighborhood stability, promote neighborhood revitalization, and provide
directly and indirectly well over $1 billion in local revenue.
For a long time, the District reaped few of these
benefits. Businesses shied away from the District because of high taxes,
burdensome regulations, a difficult administrative apparatus, and poorly
provided municipal services. It was not a coincidence that the District
There is no doubt the District's business climate has
recently improved, but there is much more that can be done. In fact,
several consistent themes appear in various surveys of business
satisfaction and the business climate in the District. Bureaucracies are
still too big and too complex for businesses to navigate. Many regulations
are not only too costly and unpredictable for businesses, but too
expensive and burdensome for District agencies to administer
professionally and evenhandedly. As the lead agency for business
regulation, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) bears
the brunt of this criticism. DCRA's current performance, though improved,
is spotty; some units deliver prompt, efficient, and courteous service
with regularity, while others consistently perform inadequately.
Not surprisingly, then, many of the District barriers
to investment are administrative in nature and can best be remedied
through administrative action. Nevertheless, when administrators fail to
deliver prompt and effective remedies, the Council must step in with
legislative remedies and the powers of its agency oversight role.
DCRA comes under the legislative jurisdiction of the
Council's Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (CRA), chaired by
Councilmember Sharon Ambrose. Councilmember Ambrose's support is therefore
very important to the success of several of the action items below. In
cooperation with Councilmember Ambrose, and as chair of the Committee on
Economic Development and a member of the CRA Committee, I am sure we can
move these items forward.
I am committed to working to make the District the most business-friendly
jurisdiction in the region, with a policy agenda including restrained and
predictable regulation, lower taxes, and high-quality provision of
municipal services.20 As other jurisdictions have shown, following this
type of agenda reaps significant rewards in terms of a broadened tax base,
more funds for the provision of municipal and social services, employment
for residents, new investment, and economic growth.
1. Prepare a legislative package to accomplish streamlining reforms of
the permitting processes required for building construction and
I will work during the first six months of 2003 to
identify the streamlining reforms that are in the pipeline at DCRA related
to building construction and renovation and the status and timetable for
putting any such reforms in place. After this review, and based on its
results, I will introduce legislation that will:
- Mandate simultaneous, rather than sequential, DCRA unit reviews of
building and site plans and eliminate redundant reviews of phased
- Extend the time period for completion of certain work allowed under
public space permits. Typically the time period is 30 days, a time frame
which forces repeated, unnecessary renewals for large-scale projects.
Formally establish DCRA's Ambassador program (now operating by
administrative action rather than authorizing legislation) and define its
mission and authority.
- Modify the annual street-cut moratorium.
- Require implementation of a process to allow outside tracking of permit
2. Consolidate and coordinate licensing and permitting processes across
Currently, the licensing and permitting functions of
the District are housed in several agencies, including DCRA, the
Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Public Works (DPW). This
dispersion of functions has created multiple procedures which businesses
must learn and follow, an excessive number of contact points, and a lack
of coordination among agencies.
The Master Business License (MBL) program has been a
first, halting step to coordinating the licensing program - but this
program covers only DCRA. In conjunction with refining and implementing the MBL program, we should work to coordinate
and consolidate licensing and permitting functions across agency lines.
Doing this will provide businesses with a simpler, faster, and less costly
process. And by minimizing the points of contact, the licensing and
permitting process should become more accountable.
One way to consolidate and coordinate the license and
permit process is to move DPW permit functions into DCRA. This would
reduce the number of agencies a business would need to visit, reduce the
number of procedures a business would need to be familiar with, save time
and money for the business, and provide a single contact point for these
agencies' license and permit functions.
Another improvement would be to move DOH license
functions into DCRA, or to make DCRA the administrative body for the
issuance of DOH licenses. (Under the latter option, DOH's personnel would
carry out certain inspection functions.) This change would have benefits
similar to, and perhaps greater than, those of the DCRA-DPW consolidation.
To bring about these benefits, I will hold a hearing on the economic
impacts of the District's lack of consolidation and coordination in the
regulatory process. I will also introduce legislation to create an
interagency task force to set forth recommendations to coordinate and
consolidate the District's multiagency licensing and permitting process.
Based on the task force recommendations, I will introduce legislation, if
necessary, to implement administrative and legislative changes to
consolidate and coordinate the District's licensing and permitting process
3. Introduce legislation to require an Economic Impact Statement to
accompany any legislation that would impose new regulations or expand
When proposing and drafting regulations, agencies and
the Council frequently are unaware of the size and scope of the
regulations' impact. Regulations often impose significant burdens on
business, some of which may not be obvious on the face of the regulations,
and the negative impacts of establishing or increasing the regulatory
burden are not adequately considered in the regulatory review and approval
process. Moreover, agencies and the Council often do not consider
Therefore, I will introduce legislation to require that an Economic Impact
Statement accompany any proposed legislation or rulemaking that will
impose new regulations or expand existing regulations on businesses. The
purpose of requiring an Economic Impact Statement is to give the Council
and agencies accurate information about the full impact of regulatory
measures - both direct and indirect - on business attraction, growth and
retention, job opportunities for District residents, and revenue for the
District. It is my hope that this process will allow District regulations
to be as efficient as possible - allowing the greatest amount of economic
development, with jobs for District residents and revenues for District
services, while still being adequate to protect the public health, safety,
4. Establish "continuing education" seminars on economic
development strategies and principles for senior staff of the Council and
key executive branch agencies.
While the Council and executive branch offices dealing
with economic development have talented staff members, few are experienced
in every aspect of economic development. (This is particularly true in
agencies with less focus on economic development, such as DCRA.) Moreover,
many have spent most or all of their careers in public service, and lack
the benefits of private-sector experience in banking, corporate law,
construction finance and management, and related fields. A broad
background in economic development theory and practice, and the private
sector realities of investing and doing business, are vital if the
District government is to make the best decisions regarding economic
development and prosperity. Therefore, I will work with organizations such
as the Greater Washington Board of Trade and area universities to
establish a series of economic development seminars for senior staff of
the Council and executive branch agencies.
Some seminars might include lectures from economists,
financiers, and attorneys with expertise in development finance, and
officials from jurisdictions with a track record of success in reducing
barriers to economic development. Other seminars might include more
academic discussions on the theories and principles of government
regulation and economic development. The seminars will provide an
opportunity for senior staff to draw upon the experience of recognized
experts from the private sector, as well as academic authorities. With the
comprehensive background senior staff will gain through these seminars,
the District should make more informed decisions on issues that impact
Back to top of page
Objective IV: Increase economic opportunities for local businesses and job
opportunities for District residents.
Strong local and small businesses and adequately
employed residents create stable communities and stronger families,
encourage neighborhood development, and increase the District's tax base.
For these reasons alone, it is crucial that increasing economic
opportunities for local business and job opportunities for District
residents be part of a comprehensive economic development action agenda.
More than that, however, we cannot declare success in our economic
development efforts if we increase the District's wealth only by bringing
in non-District based businesses or businesses that employ only Maryland
and Virginia workers. Nor can we declare success if we increase average
income solely by attracting the well-to-do to the District without
increasing the income of current residents living on marginal incomes.
Currently, three agencies provide the foundation for
the District Government's efforts to assure that District residents and
District-based businesses share in jobs and economic opportunities.
The Office of Local Business Development (OLBD) is the
key agency which assists local businesses. OLBD implements the District's
Equal Opportunity for Local, Small, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
program, which provides preference points in contract bidding for local,
small, and disadvantaged business enterprises (LSDBEs) and provides
contract set-asides for small businesses. The LSDBE program also requires
District agencies and certain businesses with contracts with the District
to meet LSDBE contracting and procurement goals. Another key agency for
District businesses is the Office of Contracting and Procurement, which
plays a large role in meeting the government's LSDBE goals. Even with
these agencies efforts, however, LSDBEs have contended that the District
fails to provide small businesses with sufficient resources to succeed.
LSDBEs have also contended that OLBD's role is too narrowly limited to
administering the LSDBE law, rather than with providing assistance and
opportunities to local and small businesses.
The Department of Employment Services is the core
agency charged with providing employment training and opportunities for
District residents. A key component of the District's efforts to provide
jobs for District residents is the First-Source Employment ("FSE")
program. The FSE program requires that businesses engaged in certain types
of government-assisted projects consider District residents their
"first source" for hiring and that the businesses commit to a
goal of hiring District residents for 51% of project jobs. This goal is
not always met, and businesses often argue that the pool of qualified
District workers is too small. Similarly, businesses and others have
argued that the hiring of District residents is hampered by insufficient
job training for the types of occupations in high demand today.
The action items below should improve the outcomes and
operations of these key agencies and help achieve my goal of increasing
economic opportunities for local businesses and job opportunities for
1. Establish public-private workforce training programs for specific, key
To maximize the success of the District's job skills
training efforts, the District must partner with private businesses and
industry groups to establish training programs which prepare residents for
occupations in specific, key industries. The industries the District works
with should be those industries which provide the largest number of job
opportunities for District residents and have the resources and commitment
to partner with the District to provide a comprehensive training program.
By concentrating on skills training for key industries,
the District will make the most effective use of its limited resources. It
will not only be able to provide the greatest number of job opportunities
per trainee, but it will also be able to leverage the funds of private
business organizations in its training efforts. Moreover, the selected
industries will have a strong interest in the success of the training
programs and their participation will ensure that District residents
receive the training that is necessary for success in those industries.
There are a number of industries with which the
District could partner. For example, DOES might work with the D.C. Bar and
law firms to provide a training program to qualified participants for jobs
as legal secretaries, law-office facilities management and support staff,
and other opportunities in the legal sector. Another prime example is a
partnership between DOES and the Hotel Association and major hotel chains,
to provide skills training for hotel-related jobs, supplementing the work
of the Hospitality Public Charter High School. These programs would build
on the apprenticeship partnerships DOES has established with CVS and the
Xerox Corporation, and provides stronger job opportunities for District
residents. With these training programs, we will be able to increase the
number of District residents who are able to benefit significantly from
the District's economic development.
2. Create an office in the District government to coordinate and
provide education and training programs for District LSDBEs.
If the District's local and small businesses are to
grow and succeed - and if they are to be able to compete with larger or
more experienced businesses - training and education are of central
importance. Small businesses often need basic and intermediate-level
instruction on accounting issues, contract procurement, and business
administration. In addition, small businesses often need assistance to
obtain the bonding needed to bid on government contracts. To date, the
District has focused more on the administration of its LSDBE program,
rather than on providing these needed services to a wide array of small
To provide these services, a small-business Education
and Training Office (ETO) should be created in the District government.
ETO would provide education and training courses for local, small, and
disadvantaged business enterprises - and would serve as an information
center and clearinghouse on other education and training courses
throughout the city and the metropolitan area. ETO would be a key
component in improving the success of our local and small business
community, and this business community's success should also lead to a
greater number of job opportunities for District residents. In order to
ensure the establishment of this Office, I will introduce legislation to
modify the LSDBE Act and establish a small-business Education and Training
Office in the District government. This legislation will also provide for
the additional funding necessary for the operation of ETO.
3. Create an office within the District government to serve as a
public-private clearinghouse for contract and procurement opportunities
for District businesses.
Another necessary component in the District's LSDBE
efforts is the creation of an office to provide information and resources
regarding contract and procurement opportunities for LSDBEs. The office
would also work to match contract and procurement opportunities with
qualified businesses. To that end, the District should create a
Contracting Opportunities Office that would serve as a clearinghouse to
provide services such as the following:
With this office, the government and private sector can provide more
complete resources to the LSDBE community and develop mutually beneficial
- Information on specific government and private sector contract and
procurement opportunities (i.e., a continually updated list of open
- Information on access to capital resources for LSDBEs; and
- A location where private corporations, public agencies, and capital
providers can market and promote opportunities to LSDBEs.
Back to top of page
Objective V: Make strategic investments to enhance development downtown and in the
central employment area.
Washington's downtown and central employment area
("Downtown") have traditionally served as the economic
development engine for the District.21 This has certainly been the case
since 1996. During the five years from 1996 through 2001, 90% of the job
growth in the District came from the area between Georgetown and the
Capitol, and from the Southwest Freeway to Florida Avenue.22
In addition to being the source of employment for many
District residents, Downtown also provides huge tax benefits to the
District as a whole. A recent study estimated that Downtown produced in
excess of $450 million in tax benefits to the District while requiring
only about $10 million of services from the District. With over $10
billion of new development either in construction or being planned in the
Downtown, we can expect to see an increase in this transfer of funds to
the District. In short, Downtown not only provides the economic driving
force for the District's economy, it also provides hundreds of millions of
dollars to serve the needs of the District's residents and neighborhoods.
It is critically important, in the current time of
local fiscal constraints, and relatively weak local and national
economies, to maintain Downtown's momentum. The following action items will help continue this momentum without jeopardizing
the District's ability to meet other important social and economic needs
in other parts of the District.
1. Provide TIF incentives for the creation of retail
The most notable lagging sector of the Downtown economy
- behind the office, hotel, cultural, and now residential sectors - is the
apparel and traditional retail sector. A recent market study conducted by
the Downtown BID, though, indicates significant demand for this retail.23
Inclusion of apparel and traditional retail in the Downtown core will help
the District realize its long-held goal of creating a Living Downtown and
will diversify and strengthen the Downtown economy. It will also help
create an in-town shopping center for District residents, who will no
longer need to travel outside of the District for their retail needs.
Presently, retailers and developers are wary of
investing in Downtown apparel and traditional retail because there is not
a critical mass of stores or shoppers that will support a strong and
vibrant retail center. Therefore, in order to recruit additional retailers
and create this critical mass (and meet the District's Living Downtown
goal), the District will need to provide financial support. Supporting
this increased retail activity will not only help reach the District's
Living Downtown goal, but will also provide a significant public benefit
estimated at over 1,000 jobs and approximately $10 million in direct new
sales taxes per year. Tax increment financing (TIF) incentives are
proposed because the funding will come from future sales taxes and does
not deflect any existing District funds.
I will work with developers, the Downtown BID, and the
Mayor to bring forward a proposal to the Council in the near future to
create a Downtown retail TIF district to create a vibrant retail
community, and a Living Downtown, consistent with the District's long-held
2. Increase funding for the Downtown housing tax abatement.
Through a sustained effort on the part of key
Councilmembers, the Mayor, and developers, the Housing Act of 2002
includes a residential property tax abatement to stimulate the
construction of Downtown housing. The Act provides $2.5 million per year
for ten years for projects south of Massachusetts Avenue and $2.0 million
per year for ten years for projects north of Massachusetts Avenue
(primarily in the Mount Vernon Triangle area). This incentive to bring
housing downtown was included not only to create the District's vision of
a Living Downtown, but also because of the significant revenue benefits to
the District of downtown residential over office.24 The abatement has had
a tremendous impact, with over 1,900 units starting construction south of Massachusetts Avenue and
246 units in the Mount Vernon Triangle since the introduction of the
legislation. In addition, another 1,000 units are on the drawing board for
south of Massachusetts Avenue.
However, it now appears that the Housing Act does not
include enough fiends for the tax abatement south of Massachusetts Avenue
to support all the planned projects. The lack of sufficient funds for the
abatement will limit the District's ability to realize the goals of a
Living Downtown and increased tax revenue. Certain projects maybe delayed
for several years because they will suffer a risky cost disadvantage
relative to projects that have received the tax abatement. Even worse,
some projects may not go forward at all if developers change their
projects to generally safer and more profitable office buildings.
Therefore, it is important - and fiscally prudent - for the District to
allocate additional fiends to the Downtown tax abatement. Given the
District's currently tight fiscal situation, I feel it is important to
highlight the economics of the current tax abatements: in return for a
future tax abatement of taxes not yet collected by the District of
approximately $800 per resident unit, the District will receive
approximately $5,500 in a variety of taxes.25
Given the District's planning goals and financial needs, it is
important that we ensure that Downtown residential development stays on
track. Without an increase in the dollar amount of the tax abatement south
of Massachusetts Avenue, the District may lose this once in a generation
I will therefore introduce legislation to increase the pool of tax
abatements available for residential development south of Massachusetts
Avenue so that the remaining projects may go forward successfully and in a
3. Initiate the development of a plan to address parking for retail
shoppers Downtown and parking for the new Convention Center.
As the Downtown economy continues to grow, many aspects
of the transportation infrastructure will be stressed. Problems such as
traffic congestion and subway under-capacity could have adverse impacts on
various aspects of the Downtown economy. The scarcity of short-term
parking is already widely acknowledged as a major impediment to attracting
retail to Downtown. Moreover, the new convention center has no public
parking. Parking scarcity there may limit the desirability of holding
events at the convention center and may dissuade individuals and groups
from attending restaurants, entertainment venues, and cultural
Because of the critical parking needs Downtown - and
the vast impact a parking shortage could have on the District's revenue
stream and economic growth - I will introduce legislation to establish a
Downtown Parking Task Force. (The Downtown Circulator, which I fully
support, is another key element in addressing the parking shortage and
traffic congestion Downtown.)26 The Task Force will advise the Council and
the Mayor on the current state of parking downtown, future parking needs,
methods to increase parking availability, and the impacts of limited
parking on the Downtown economy. With the Task Force's recommendations, we
should be able to move closer to maximizing Downtown's economic potential.
Back to top of page
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Appointed by Councilmember Harold Brazil
Chairman, Committee on Economic Development, Council of
the District of Columbia
[NOTE: Some members serve on more than one Working Group.]
Working Group: Fostering Neighborhood Economic Development
Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow and Director of the Greater
Washington Research Program of the Brookings Institution. Ms. Rivlin is a
former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board and former Director of the
White House Office of Management and Budget, and was the founding Director
of the Congressional Budget Office.
Merrick Malone, a Principal and Executive Vice
President of the Metropolis Development Company, LLC. Mr. Malone is a
former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and former Director of the
D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development.
Bernard Demczuk, Assistant Vice President for
Governmental Relations of The George Washington University. Mr. Demczuk
formerly served as Director of Intergovernmental Relations in the D.C.
Government and was a senior staff member for the Reverend Jesse Jackson's
Linda Greenan, Assistant Vice President for External
Relations of Georgetown University. Ms. Greenan represents the University
before community, business, and government entities. She formerly served
as chief of staff for Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and as Director of
Public Policy for the Child Welfare League
William Hanbury, President, Washington, DC Convention
and Tourism Corporation. Mr. Hanbury was appointed in April 2001 and
before then served as President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee
Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Hon. Charlene Drew Jarvis, President of
Southeastern University. Dr. Jarvis served for 21 years as the Ward 4
member of the D.C. Council and, during much of that time, chaired the
Committee on Economic Development. She is the 2002 Chair of the Executive
Board of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.
Norman Jemal, Vice President/Secretary of the
Washington-based Douglas Development Corporation. He is involved in
development (including design, construction, and leasing of residential,
retail, and commercial projects) throughout the city.
Chris Knudson, Vice President of Marketing and
Communications for the D.C. Marketing Center, a public/private partnership
to promote the District of Columbia as the premier city in the region and
nation in which to conduct business, live, shop, and seek education.
John H. "Skip" McKoy, President and CEO of DC
Agenda, an independent, nonprofit "think tank" focusing on D.C.
public policy issues. Mr. McKoy formerly served as Director of the D.C.
Office of Planning and as a Lockheed Corporation executive.
Brian K. Tracey, Senior Vice President and Market
Executive, Bank of America Community Development Banking. Mr. Tracey
played a key role in the bank's support of the Harlem Park Revitalization
Corporation's community development projects in Baltimore, and worked with
the Ward 8 community in financing the Woodmont Crossing apartment complex.
David Watts, Executive Director for the President's Initiative on the City
of The George Washington University. Mr. Watts is the former Senior Vice
President for Government Affairs of the Trammel Crow Company, and former
D. C. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Director of the Department of
Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and Director of the Department of Housing
and Community Development.
Working Group: Preserving and Promoting Affordable Housing
N. Linda Goldstein, an attorney with the law firm of
Goulston & Storrs. Ms. Goldstein is experienced in real estate law and
has knowledge concerning U.S. Government housing programs and the mandates
of the Community Reinvestment Act. Prior to entering private practice, Ms.
Goldstein served in the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development. Ms. Goldstein is on the Board of the
D.C. Building Industry Association. She is a past Chair of the American
Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
and an Honorary Trustee of the National Institute for Community
Empowerment. She is co-author of the CRA Fair Lending Handbook, published
in 1996 by Warren, Gorham & Lamont.
Jeffrey H. Gelman, a Principal in the law firm of
Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs, P.C. Mr. Gelman's legal practice includes
real estate and housing finance and development law. He is a member of the
American Bar Association's Forum on Affordable Housing and Community
Development Law, a Board member of the D.C. Building Industry Association
and its Community Services Corporation, and President and a Board Member
of Sarah's Circle, which provides housing services for D.C. senior
Gail Edwards, Executive Vice President of the D.C.
Building Industry Association. She has served in this capacity for more
than 25 years.
B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., President and CEO of Industrial
Bank, N.A., the second-largest minority-owned commercial bank in the
country. Mr. Mitchell was recognized by Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen
as a banking industry pioneer in 1984, and was listed in Washingtonian
Magazine's "l00 People to Watch" in 1999. He is a member of the
Federal City Council, the Economic Club of Washington, and the 2002
Campaign Committee of the Marshall Heights Community Development
Joseph Molinaro, Manager of Smart Growth Programs for
the National Association of REALTORS®, which is part of NAR's Government
Affairs office based in Washington. He is certified as a city planner by
the American Institute of Certified Planners.
W. Shaun Pharr, Vice President for Government
Affairs/DC of the Apartment and Office Building Association of
Metropolitan Washington. Mr. Pharr formerly served as chief of legislative
and regulatory affairs for the D.C. Department of Human Services and
currently serves on the Director's Advisory Board of the D.C. Department
of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Advisory Council of the Fannie
Mae Washington, D.C., Partnership Office.
W. Christopher Smith, Chairman and CEO of William C.
Smith & Co., a real estate management and development firm. Mr. Smith
has been a leader in redeveloping distressed residential rental properties
and neighborhoods in Southeast D.C. He organized the nonprofit
"Building Bridges Across the River" to develop the $20 million
Town Hall Education, Arts, and Recreation Campus at 19th Street and
Mississippi Avenue S.E. Last year, he forged a partnership with KaBoom!, a
nonprofit playground developer, to build playgrounds for children in
Alexander Viorst, Senior Vice President of Bank of
America Community Development Banking. Mr. Viorst serves on the Board of
Directors of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers. He worked
with the Ward 8 community in financing the Woodmont Crossing apartment
Steve Earle, PN Hoffman, Inc.
Lessie Powell Evans, William C. Smith & Co.
Ted Harris. DCBIA Staff
Michael D. Huke, CIH Properties, Inc.
Kevin O'Malley, CIH Properties, Inc.
George Rothman, MANNA
Mike Seltz. Community Preservation and Development Corporation
GM Squire, Keener & Squire
Bob Sweeney, D.C. Agenda
Working Group: Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Investment in the
Mary Rudolph, Director of Regional Affairs of the Greater
Washington Board of Trade. Ms. Rudolph was Chief of Staff for
Councilmember Brazil from 1997 to 1999 and subsequently, Legislative
Counsel for the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. She
serves on the Board of Jubilee Support Alliance and has been appointed to
the Mayor's Task Force on the Comprehensive Plan Process.
Line Breaux, Executive Director of the Restaurant
Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). Ms. Breaux owned and operated
a Capitol Hill restaurant for 13 years, and formerly worked as Catering
Director for hotels in Washington and New Orleans. She serves on the
Boards of the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation and the
Marriott Hospitality Public Charter High School.
Steven Jumper, Director of Public Affairs for
Washington Gas. Mr. Jumper chairs the Mayor's Task Force on Local, Small
and Disadvantaged Business Development and serves on the Boards of the
Downtown Business Improvement District Corporation and the American Red
Cross of the National Capital Area, and the Governing Board of the D.C.
Chamber of Commerce. He formerly served as Director of the D.C. Office of
Human Rights and Minority Business Development.
Andrew Kline, Attorney at Law. An attorney in private
practice, Mr. Kline is counsel to the Restaurant Association Metropolitan
Patricia W. Marshall, Senior Vice President and
Mid-Atlantic Manager of State Government Relations at Bank of America,
covering Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of
Columbia. Before joining the bank's Corporate Affairs Public Policy Team
in 1997, she served as the Mid-Atlantic Market Manager for Minority
Business Development. As a loaned executive, Ms. Marshall served as
Interim Executive Director of the Washington/Baltimore 2012 Coalition
("Bid Committee" for the 2012 Summer Olympics) from June 1999
through February 2000.
Marianne C. Niles, Vice President and General Counsel of
Washington Sports and Entertainment Inc., which includes the MCI Center
and the Washington Wizards. Ms. Niles chairs the Convention and Tourism
Committee of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Board of the
Recreation Wish List Committee, which developed the Southeast Tennis
Center. She formerly served as Secretary of the District of Columbia,
Director of the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, and Vice President and
General Counsel of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (formerly
the D.C. Armory Board).
W. Shaun Pharr, (Biographical information shown under
the Working Group: Fostering Neighborhood Economic Development.)
David Watts, (Biographical information shown under the
Working Group: Fostering Neighborhood Economic Development.)
David Wizenberg, Partner, Passion Food, LLC, which owns
and operates the D.C. Coast and Ten Penh Restaurants. Mr. Wizenberg also
serves as secretary of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.
Working Group: Increasing Economic Opportunities for Local Businesses and
Job Opportunities for District Residents
Barbara Lang, President and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Prior
to accepting the Chamber position, Ms. Lang was Vice President and Chief
Procurement Officer for Fannie Mae and previously held various management
positions in a 25year career at IBM. She serves on the Mayor's Task Force
on Local, Small and Disadvantaged Business Development, and the Boards of
the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation, the Downtown BID, and
Washington Home and Hospice.
Malcolm Beech, Co-Publisher and Editor of Eagle Newspapers of Washington,
D.C., and North Carolina. Mr. Beech is Founder and President of the
Minority Business Coalition, a group of local businesses interested in
increasing their sales to the D.C. Government and related entities. He
serves on the Mayor's Task Force on Local, Small and Disadvantaged
John A. Boardman, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the
Hotel & Restaurant Employees, Local 25, AFLCIO. He is also a Vice
President of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International
Union and a Board member of the Washington Convention and Tourism
Cynthia Brock-Smith, Vice President/External Affairs of
the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Ms. BrockSmith formerly served as Director
of Congressional Relations for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management,
and Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the D.C. Government.
Marie C. Johns, President of Verizon Washington D.C. Ms.
Johns also serves as a Trustee of Howard University, and as a Director of
the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, the
Federal City Council, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and the
Helen Hayes Awards. She is Chairperson of the Washington DC Technology
Council, a Mayoral appointee to the Health Services Reform Commission, and
Co-Chair of the New East Capitol HOPE VI Redevelopment Steering Committee.
Steven Jumper, (Biographical information shown under
the Working Group: Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Investment in the
Deborah Royster, Vice President and General Counsel of
Starpower, Inc. Ms. Royster serves on the Boards of Healthy Babies, Inc.,
and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. She is the former
Executive Director of the D.C. Office of Cable Television and
Telecommunications, and former Vice President for Government and External
Relations of Kaiser Permanente/Central East Division.
Reba Pittman Walker, President of the Hotel Association
of Washington, D.C. Ms. Walker serves on the 2002 Governing Board of the
D.C. Chamber of Commerce and the Boards of the Washington Convention and
Tourism Corporation and Greater DC Cares. She is the former Vice
President/Sales of the Convention Center Division of Volume Services
America of Spartanburg, N.C., and a former Chief of Staff for Mayor
Working Group: Making Strategic Investments to Enhance Development
Downtown and in the Central Employment Area
Richard Bradley, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement
District Corporation. Mr. Bradley previously served as President of the
International Downtown Association, Executive Director of the Downtown
Hartford (Conn.) Council, and Deputy Commissioner of Public Transportation
for the State of Connecticut. He is on the Board of The Greater Washington
Lynne Breaux, (Biographical information shown under the Working Group:
Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Investment in the District.)
&W Jackson, Executive Director of the Center for
Transportation Excellence, an information clearinghouse for transit
proponents. Ms. Jackson is the Principal and Founder of The Urban Agenda,
an urban development consulting firm. She is a former President of the
International Downtown Association.
Ernest Drew Jarvis, Director of Corporate Affairs and
Diversity of CB Richard Ellis, an international real estate services firm.
Mr. Jarvis also serves on the Boards of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and
Greater DC Cares, and the Executive Committee of the D.C. Building
Industry Association. He is a member of the Commission on Young Black Men
and Boys in the District of Columbia, and Co-Founder of Metropolitan Access, a business
Dan Nesches, President of the Star Restaurant Group,
co-owner of the Zola Restaurant and the Spy City Café at the
International Spy Museum and a partner in the Red Sage Restaurant. Mr.
Mesches is Vice Chairman of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan
Washington, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Marriott Public
Charter Hospitality High School, and a Board member of the Washington
Convention and Tourism Corporation.
Deborah Royster, (Biographical information shown under
the Working Group: Increasing Economic Opportunities for Local Businesses
and Job Opportunities for District Residents.)
Stanley Sloter, President and CEO of Paradigm
Development Company. Mr. Sloter, a recognized innovator in urban
residential development, serves on the Boards of Lycoming College's
Institute for Management Studies and the Urban Land Institute's Washington
Joe Sternlieb, Deputy Director of the Downtown Business
Improvement District Corporation. Mr. Sternlieb formerly served as Staff
Director of the City Council's Economic Development Committee, during the
Chairmanship of former Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis.
Executive Members: Other Business Leaders Available for Overall Advice
David S. Bender. President of Blake Real Estate, Inc.
Mr. Bender joined the family business in 1983 and served in various
capacities before becoming president. He also serves as President of the
Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and a Board member of the
Jewish Community Center of Rockville.
G. Thomas Borger, President of Borger Management, Inc.,
and 2002 President of the Apartment and Office Building Association of
Joseph J. Cordes. Ph.D., Acting Director of the Center
for Washington Area Studies and Director of the Ph.D. Program in Public
Policy of The George Washington University. Professor Cordes teaches
courses in public finance and public policy.
William Couper, President of Bank of America Greater
Washington. Mr. Couper also serves as the Small Business Credit Risk
Management Executive, a national position with the bank. He is a member of
the Federal City Council and serves on the Boards of the Greater
Washington Board of Trade and Greater Washington Initiative. He is
Chairman of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Maryland
Economic Development Commission.
Matthew Klein, President of The John Akridge Companies.
Mr. Klein joined Akridge in 1998 after relocating from Portland, Oregon
where he directed a real estate services and development company and was
actively involved in Portland's business development, transportation and
urban planning initiatives. He has more than 17 years of direct real
estate experience in development, finance, operations and corporate
management. Mr. Klein is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Greater
Washington Board of Trade, DCBIA and the National Building Museum.
Harold F. Nelson, General Manager of CarrAmerica, and
Vice President/District of Columbia of the Apartment and Office Building
Association of Metropolitan Washington.
Damian O'Doherty, Association Counsel and Vice
President of Public Affairs for the Washington DC Association of
REALTORS©, the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS©, and the
Greater Washington Commercial Association of REALTORS©. Mr. O'Doherty
formerly served as Counsel to the Majority Leader of the Senate of
Maryland and Counsel to the Senate Committee on Economic and Environmental
Timothy Robinson, Chairman of the Local Business
Susan Sarfati, CAE, President and CEO of the Greater
Washington Society of Association Executives and The Center for
Association Leadership. Ms. Sarfati joined GWSAE after a 14-year career
with the American Society of Association Executives and prior experience
with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She received the Nonprofit Times 2001
Executive of the Year award for "forward-thinking and creative
Michael Stevens, President of the Washington DC
Marketing Center. Mr. Stevens was appointed to the position in 200o after
serving as Executive Director of the Center City Commission, a
public-private development partnership in Memphis, Tennessee. He is Vice
Chair of the Area Business Development Officials Committee of the Greater
Ted Trabue, Manager of Government Relations for PEPCO.
Before joining PEPCO in 1998, Mr. Trabue was Staff Director/D.C. &
Maryland Critical Issues for the Greater Washington Board of Trade. He
formerly served as Chief of Staff for Councilmember Linda Cropp. He is on
the Board of Metropolitan Access.
Anthony M. Yezer, Ph.D., Professor of regional and
urban economics at The George Washington University. He also specializes
in the effects of public policy on the location of economic activity.
Back to top of page
1. Carol O'Cleireacain and Alice M. Rivlin, Envisioning a Future
Washington. Brookings Greater Washington Research Program, The Brookings
Institution, June 2001 (emphasis added).
2. See "The Numbers Show A
City of Extremes: Population Figures for 2000 Detail Shrinkage of Middle
Class, Growth of Rich and Poor," The Washington Post, District
Weekly, June 6, 2002; Mark Rubin, 2000 Census Numbers Reveal Higher
Poverty Numbers in the Districts Ward and Neighborhood Cluster. DC Agenda
Neighborhood Information Services Research Paper, DC Agenda, October 2002.
3. Id. (emphasis added).
4. See Jeffrey S. Lowe, Building Community Development
Capacity in Cleveland: A Report to the Ford Foundation. Center for Urban
Policy Research, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, December
5. D.C. Law 7-177; D.C. Official Code § 6-1501.
6. In a report commissioned by DC Agenda last year, the
Urban Institute found: "One of the most commonly-mentioned barriers
to retail development is land assembly .... Retailers require large plots
of land for their stores, and because property is owned by so many
individuals, it is often hard to control a sufficient sized plot to entice
retailers." Mark Rubin and Kim Davis, Retail Challenges in
Washington. DC: An Analysis of Six Retail Categories, The Urban Institute,
June 2001, page 11.
The Marketing Center has already made progress in this area through its
work on the Social Compact study on Anacostia and Columbia Heights/Petworth.
See District of Columbia Neighborhood Market Drill Down, Social Compact,
8. "High-Priced High-Rises Pop Up Around District,"
Washington Post, October 7, 2002 (citing statistical data from research
conducted by Delta Associates).
9. 2002 Rental Housing Survey, Metropolitan Washington Council of
Governments, 2002, pages 7, 10. The report was prepared for the Department
of Housing and Community Development.
10. Margery Austin Turner et al., Housing in the
Nation's Capital: 2002, The Urban Institute, June 2002, page 2.
12. Statistics compiled by the Greater Capital Area Association of
Realtors. The condo/co-op market has been similarly hot. The median prices
rose from $122,000 in 1998 to $220,000 in 2002, while the average price
rose from $140,000 to over $250,000.
13. There is a sobering message found in the Alexandria
Consolidated Plan for Housing (2000-2005) regarding support for its
"regional fair share" policy on assisted housing. The plan
states: "The need for such [housing] assistance has not been, and
likely can never be, met. No matter how much assisted housing is provided,
there will likely always be a waiting list. Given the considerable
resources devoted decade after decade, the city does not consider this
need to be underserved. Providing more housing than our neighboring
jurisdictions brings more people here and puts more stress on our human
services and schools"
14. Memorandum from the Office of the Corporation
Counsel to the Department of Housing and Community Development, dated
September 17, 2002.
15. Area median income (AMl) is currently $91,500 for a
family of four. See Data Sets, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development Office of Policy Development and Research, March 2002.
Recommendations for Developing Infill Workforce Housing, in Washington,
D.C., Urban Land Institute, 2001, page 10.
17. See Mixed-Income Housing
Strategies, Atlanta Regional Commission, page 3.
18. Carol A. Bell, "Workforce Housing: The New
Economic Imperative?", Housing Facts & Findings, Volume 4, Issue
2, Fannie Mae Foundation, 2002.
19. For several years, the District has operated a
government employer-assisted housing program providing down-payment and
closing cost assistance to District employees.
20. I am also committed to ensuring that District regulations properly
protect the public health, safety, welfare, and the quality of life of
21. The terms "downtown" and "central
employment area" are used as defined in the Comprehensive Plan.
"Downtown" refers to the "original commercial area between
the Capital and the White House." The
"Central Employment Area" refers to "the core area" of
the city, including downtown.
22. The Downtown BID alone accounted for 50% of this job
growth. Unless otherwise cited, the statistics in this section were
provided by the Downtown BID.
23. The demand comes from the current office workers and
tourists and from the anticipated increase in conventioneers and the over
8,000 new residential units expected to be built over the next five to
eight years within ten blocks of the MCI Center, as well as current
residents in nearby neighborhoods such as Shaw, LeDroit Park, Eckington, H
Street NE, and Capitol Hill.
24. It is estimated that the District receives $3.14
more in tax revenue per square foot of rentable space from a residential
project than an office building. The tax break for south of Massachusetts
Avenue is equal to $0.81 per square foot.
25. This figure is based on the following assumptions:
1.2 residents per unit; average income of $62,500; and 60% of residents
are new District taxpayers.
26. Under the current plan for the Circulator, high-frequency buses would
connect residents, workers, and tourists to destinations Downtown, connect
Downtown to the Mall area, Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom, and connect the
Convention Center to key points throughout Downtown and the Mall. Despite
much progress, including identifying potential capital funding for buses
and some street based capital expenditures and fare/corporate
contributions to fund $6 million of operating expenses, the Circulator
remains about $6 million short in operating funds. With $6 million in
federal transportation funds, the Circulator would be ready to begin
operations. I fully support the Downtown Circulator, and will work with
the Downtown business community to secure the needed funding.