Marketing Center Hosts Spring Neighborhood Retail Summit
On Thursday, April 6, 2005 the Washington, DC Marketing Center hosted its Spring Neighborhood Retail Summit. The event brought neighborhood retailers, District government officials and other economic development officials to the Marketing Center offices for a one-day interactive seminar.
The summit focused on the District’s continued growth in the retail market as well as the District Government and DC Marketing Center’s plans for retail attraction and retail opportunities in emerging neighborhoods. Speakers at the event included Michael Stevens, DC Marketing Center President and CEO; Stanley Jackson, Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development; Derrick Woody, DC Great Streets Initiative, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development; John McGaw, ReStore DC/DC Main Streets; Anthony Freeman, President and CEO, National Capital Revitalization Corporation; Burr Alt, Vice President, Lowe Enterprises and numerous DC retail business owners.
Michael Stevens opened the summit with remarks on the District’s development dynamic and new opportunities in he District’s retail market. Mr. Stevens highlighted Washington, DC’s current ranking by Urban Land Institute as the #1 real estate investment market in the U.S. and the city’s $34.1 billion investment and construction cycle, which is the biggest in the city’s history.
Deputy Mayor Stanley Jackson confirmed that the District is experiencing an upswing in its retail market and sales tax earnings. Mr. Stanley also praised retailers who decided to start businesses in the District’s emerging neighborhoods and encouraged others to look into these neighborhoods as a place to open businesses. He praised the city as being “on the front-end of the economic renaissance for the past eight years,” a position that puts the District in a competitive position with larger cities for national retailers. Mr. Stanley extended his offices’ support and that of the District Government to assist businesses in established and emerging neighborhoods.
Six DC business owners offered testimonials that further demonstrated that emerging neighborhoods in the District were great for successful businesses. The owners of Chesapeake Bagel, Rhythm and Beans Coffeehouse, Stitch DC, Frager’s Hardware and Simply Home provided testimonials on their success in locations that had been overlooked by many retailers.
Marcie Connolly of Stitch DC relayed the surprise reaction that she is met with by customers who come to her Southeast location. Ms. Connolly says, “People are always expecting a different look and feel to Southeast if they’ve never been here before.” Capel Green of Chesapeake Bagel commented on the assistance he received from the District when he decided to open his bagel shop. He believes that his business is successful because of its location and that the neighborhood was in need of a restaurant.
The summit concluded with three separate bus tour of emerging neighborhoods in Southeast, Northeast and Northwest. The tour provided potential and existing retailers the opportunity to view available properties and learn more about the neighborhoods and surrounding areas.
The Spring Neighborhood Retail Summit will play throughout the month on DC cable channel 16.
To learn more about the Washington, DC Marketing Center’s retail attraction efforts, go to the Retail Opportunities section of the website.