The Buzz with Steve Moore, President & CEO, WDCEP

Steve Moore is WDCEP’s President & CEO. This month he put pen to paper to discuss both the city and our organization – both the present and the future. Below are his thoughts.

An Economic Transition
Washington, DC 2010

At the time of this writing, the United States Census Bureau has announced that the District of Columbia has grown in population by almost 10,000 persons in the last 12 months. This is the largest annual increase in population within the District in five decades. This one fact, among many in all of the publications, programs and events that we create here at the Washington, DC Economic Partnership seems to embody the enthusiasm we feel for the District of Columbia in the next 24 months.

The District’s economic sense of itself is in transition. The once one-dimensional government town now claims a green, creative and innovative programs, districts events and businesses as uniquely its own. This broadening of the Districts identity and offerings has aided the District’s emergence as the strong and resilient economy illustrated by $27.1 billion worth of development projects completed since 2001 and the $4.3 billion currently under construction. (DC Development Report 2009-2010 Edition)

Investor Appeal
Investors are increasingly attracted to DC. The District is ranked as the #1 national and #1 international investment market among foreign investors (AFIRE )and the #3 retail investment market in the nation ( Marcus & Millichap).

Job Growth
In addition to adding population, the District is adding new jobs. With an employment base of more than 700,000, DC has averaged of 7,100 new jobs per year for each of the last 15 years. Looking forward, the District is projected to create over 30,000 in the next five years. (Delta Associates)

Walkable Urbanity
The nation’s Capital has become a walkable city. Neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Shaw, Georgetown and H Street are widely recognized as very convenient and attractive places to live. Our emphasis on neighborhood retail both in our recruitment efforts and research support the emergence and sustainability of these neighborhoods.

Transportation Choices
District neighborhoods and commercial corridors benefit from DC’s world class public transit system. In 2008, there were 210 million Metrorail passenger trips and 133 million Metrobus passenger trips (Metro Media Guide ). A variety of transportation choices make DC a more livable city. In- District transportation accounts for only nine percent of a Washingtonian’s household annual expenses. This compares favorably with 19 percent per household cost for the nation as a whole. (DC Office of Planning)

Small Business
Retail expansion will be a major opportunity for the District in the upcoming 24 months. This market remains under retailed. With an estimated $9.9 billion in taxable retail and restaurant sales in 2007—a 47% increase since 1999—it is clear that retailers and shoppers alike have a renewed confidence in Washington, DC as a retail hot spot. Social Compact, a local research organization, estimates retail leakage from DC of $1 billion annually. This fact coupled with the high sales volumes of DC retailers suggest that there are still plenty of opportunities to both capture more sales from surrounding markets and attract to open new retail stores in the District.

Washington, DC is a creative city. It boasts more than 75,000 jobs in its creative sector that generated in excess of $5 billion in earnings annually. This sector has a range of both job types and earning potential. Most of the jobs in Washington, DC’s creative economy are in the media, culinary, and museums and heritage segments of the local economy. Media alone accounts for over 40% of the Districts Creative jobs. (Draft Creative DC Action Agenda)

The District’s “Green” development leads the nation. DC has 50 LEED certified and 416 LEED registered projects (May 2009) in its development pipeline. This is more than any other comparable city in North America and more Energy Star rated buildings per capita than any other city in the country at this time. (USGBC) Washington, DC is also making strides in its sustainability efforts. The city’s policies could produce 169,000 green job opportunities between 2009 and 2018. These new green jobs will weatherize more than 1,000 homes for low income residents and convert more than 90,000 square feet of municipal roofs to green roofs. (Green Collar Jobs Demand Analysis)

In our 2009 Annual Report, we are presenting our programs, events, publications for this last year as begin to look forward to 2010 and 2011. We thank those of you, well over 4000 businesses and entrepreneurs, for attending our programs, reading our publications and joining with us to move DC businesses forward.

Posted Under: DC News