On January 16th the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID) hosted over 350 attendees at its 5th Year Celebration and Annual Meeting Luncheon, and released the State of the Capitol Riverfront Report and Executive Summary of the Urban Design Framework Plan.

BID Executive Director Michael Stevens moderated a panel discussion with Former Mayor and Federal City Council CEO Anthony Williams, Neighborhood Restaurant Group Owner Michael Babin, Grosvenor Americas Senior Vice President of Development Don Capobres, Urban Atlantic President Vicki Davis and WC Smith Chairman & CEO Chris Smith. Panelists discussed their perspective on the past, present and future of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood and why they saw it beneficial to invest in the neighborhood.

Mike Rizzo, VP of Baseball Operations for the Washington Nationals Baseball Club, also attended and provided remarks on the upcoming 2013 season as well as a review of the 2012 season that saw the Nationals win the National League Eastern Division pennant.

In addition, Michael Stevens provided an update on the state of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, highlighting the following 5 major accomplishments of 2012:

1. 50,000 square feet of retail leases signed including VIDA Fitness, Osteria Morini Italian restaurant and Gordon Biersch.

2. The release of GreenPrint of Growth study about population growth, job creation and investment along DC’s Green Line Metrorail Corridor.

3. The opening of Canal Park, DC’s new 3-acre environmentally sustainable urban park with an outdoor seasonal ice skating rink and water features.

4. The completion of 200 I Street, a renovation of the old Washington Post print building into 350,000 square feet of office that is now home to 1,200 employees and an art gallery.

5. The Washington Nationals winning the National League Eastern Division pennant and hosting over 2.4 million fans during the 2012 baseball season.

Stevens also noted that the Capitol Riverfront BID had been approved for another five years of operations through the BID reauthorization process with the DC Government.

The BID honored the accomplishments of the Clean & Safe Team over the past five years, highlighting the significant increase in the neighborhood’s cleanliness and safety. Results of the 2007 Capitol Riverfront Perception Survey showed only 6% of people felt the neighborhood was ‘clean or very clean’ and ‘safe or very safe.’  Today, five years later, the 2012 perception survey results have reached 93% of respondents answering that the BID is ‘clean or very clean’ and 73% perceiving the BID as ‘safe or very safe.’ A commemorative video was shown to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of our Clean & Safe Team and crew members were presented with awards for their outstanding work over the past year.

The Capitol Riverfront BID also released an Executive Summary of the Urban Design Framework Plan (UDFP), a strategy to capitalize on the current momentum in the neighborhood and further accelerate the Capitol Riverfront’s development into a new kind of DC waterfront—a connected, vibrant neighborhood of urban density, regional attractions and distinct local amenities. The Top 5 Initiatives of the UDFP include:

1. Regional Transit—providing a direct high capacity transit link from Union Station to the Capitol Riverfront and then continuing to the St. Elizabeths campus. This transit connection can provide flexibility, redundancy, new access to where people want to travel and relief to the regional metro system.

2. Local Circulation—an interconnected and flexible grid connecting Eye Street SE, Virginia Avenue SE and L Street SE can relieve pressure from M Street SE to better distribute traffic and possibly open up new development opportunities.

3. Open Space—the open space framework seeks to better link existing parks and provide new opportunities for active recreation, relaxation and community events.

4. Civic Framework—civic destinations are as critical to a complete community as retail activators. Key opportunities include the re-opening of the Van Ness elementary school site as well as the development of the Arthur Capper Carrollsburg Recreation Center.

5. Clustered Retail & Interim Uses—retail use activates the public realm by attracting residents and visitors and is essential to achieving an urban, high density environment. Near-term interim uses and future retail should be clustered at the core of the community to create a dynamic neighborhood.

Michael Stevens, Executive Director of the BID, commented: “It has been a successful 5 years of operations in the Capitol Riverfront and the next five years will be even more pivotal as we deliver neighborhood support retail, continue to develop a high quality public realm, work to improve regional transit access and continue to build a vibrant residential base. Our efforts will also focus on the creation of a range of civic uses and temporary uses that can further animate our public realm and support the neighborhood’s ongoing development. And, Go Nationals!”

For more information visit the Capitol Riverfront website at www.capitolriverfront.org including a downloadable copy of the Annual Report and UDFP Executive Summary. The Capitol Riverfront BID encompasses approximately 500 acres between the US Capitol building and the Anacostia River. Upon build-out the Capitol Riverfront will have 15.5 million square feet of office space, 9,800 residential units, 1,200 hotel rooms, more than 1 million square feet of retail space, four new parks and a riverwalk trail.

Courtesy of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID)

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