The newly formed Southwest Business Improvement District is now live!
Photo courtesy of Kea Prather of Imagine Photography.
Have you seen the new “blue crew” working throughout Southwest? Since the beginning of October you may have noticed one of 12 gentlemen working throughout Southwest to help make it a better place. The SWBID and its blue-clad Clean Team are set to work within the boundaries (pictured below in orange) of 15th Street to South Capitol Street, Independence Ave to Maine and M Streets SW, to include both sides of M Street. This is an area of 851 acres, an area that is larger than either the Downtown BID (639 acres) or the Capital Hill BID (476 acres).
Photo courtesy of SWBID.
During the chairman’s breakfast at Arena Stage on Oct. 7, the chairman of the bid, Geoffrey Griffis, listed off a number of stunning facts regarding the SWBID and Southwest in general. Some include the fact that the SWBID’s annual budget for fiscal year 2017 will be the second largest BID budget in the District, exceeding $4 million. The SWBID is tracking 36 development projects in SW, including five hotels, two museums, three new churches, a 6,000-person music venue, 13 residential projects totaling 3,365 residential units, a new public library, and a yacht club. Only the Central Business District has more hotel rooms than the SWBID. Currently, there are 845 hotel rooms, which will more than double to 1,750 by Jan. 2018. There are 26 national headquarters for federal agencies within our borders. Nearly 60,000 people come to work in Southwest every day. That number is projected to increase to 69,000 by 2018. This is a daily workforce second in size only to the Central Business District, per the DCBID Council.
The SWBID’s Board of Directors consist of Geoffrey Griffis, chair; Jessica Schoen, vice chair; David Smith, vice chair; Monty Hoffman, treasurer; and Thomas Cicotello, secretary. The key companies involved with SWBID are Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, Forest City Washington, Vornado, GSA, JBG Companies, Boston Properties, and MetLife, among others.
SWBID Goals 2016…
- Launch a new widespread effort to clean, maintain, and program the public realm of these 850 acres.
- Partner with District and federal agencies to ensure that this quadrant is walkable and easily accessible.
- Convene and support our hospitality partners and attractions here to achieve their occupancy and attendance goals.
- Direct the launch of the SW EcoDistrict.
- Ensure that the Southwest is perceived as a safe and top-of-mind choice for business attraction and an attractive choice for new residents.
All that great news aside, the best moment of the breakfast came at the end when Steve Moore called Reverend Ruth Hamilton of Westminster Presbyterian Church to the stage. Mr. Moore recounted how Rev. Hamilton said many months ago she had a potential candidate for the BID’s Clean Team. After an onslaught of phone calls and messages, Moore was able to secure local SW resident Terrance Matthews a place in the hiring process. After passing the different tests and processes needed, Terence Matthews became the first hire of the SWBID’s Clean Team. During the event, Chairman Griffis presented Mr. Matthews a framed certificate of recognition reading:
The Board of Directors of the Southwest Business Improvement District recognizes Terence Matthews for the extraordinary effort he demonstrated in applying for and earning a position on the SWBID Clean Team. His determination is an inspiration to all of us.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. We can all learn from the dedication and persistence of Terence! Congratulate him and all the other members of the Clean Team when you see them around the neighborhood.
By: Shannon Vaughn
Editor-in-Chief, The Southwester