DC MARKET UPDATE – Q4 2020
INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IN THE DISTRICT REMAINS STRONG AS 4.3M SF OF NEW PROJECTS BROKE GROUND DURING COVID-19
Despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19, construction began on 26 major development projects in the District of Columbia between March and December 2020. These projects will result in more than 3,600 new residential units, 189,000 SF of office space, and 470 upgraded hotel rooms. Examples include the redevelopment of Sursum Corda, Northwest One, and the former National Association of Broadcasters HQ.
There were 4.3M SF of groundbreakings in the District since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (March–December 2020).
Workforce & Economy
DC Government Provides Additional $137 Million in New COVID-19 Relief Program
The DC government has granted $137 million (M) to struggling businesses and residents during the past quarter. These programs include a $3M Small Business Resiliency Fund, $100M Bridge Fund, $10M Affordable Housing & Small Landlord Rent Relief Program, and $24M in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program funds. Since March 2020, the District government has provided $160 million in grants to support local businesses.
More to Know:
- Fiscal Note, a legislative policy tracking platform, raised $160M in funding at the end of 2020. Other successful DC-based companies this past quarter include Cyrano Therapeutics ($12.8M), which hopes to begin clinical trials to test its nasal spray for loss of smell; obstetrics telehealth tool Babyscripts ($4M); soup company Soupergirl ($2M); and Dobby ($1.7M), a home maintenance technology company.
- Commercial real estate services firm CWCapital will relocate to the District from Bethesda in hopes of moving closer to young tech talent.
- George Mason University has established its Center for Retail Transformation to guide and train retailers, convene industry leaders, conduct research, and create a talent pipeline.
- Global data intelligence company Morning Consult tripled its downtown footprint to 49,000 SF.
Real Estate & Housing
The District created or preserved 1,000 affordable housing units in 2020 in an effort to deliver at least 12,000 affordable units and 36,000 new apartments overall by 2025
DC’s Housing Trust Fund has supported 22 projects totaling $104.5M in investment this year. Individual allocations ranged from $100,000 to each of six recipients for predevelopment costs to nearly $19.7M for the preservation of 336 units. Read More
More to Know:
- Texas A&M University will lease over 47,000 SF to expand the footprint of the Bush School of Government and Public Service in DC.
- Redevelopment plans for DC Metro’s former HQ will finally move forward, with a groundbreaking for the office/retail mixed-use concept scheduled for 2023.
- 100 V Street, a 2.15 million-SF development located on DC’s Buzzard Point has submitted redevelopment plans that will include hotel, residential, retail, and open space uses on the waterfront at Buzzard Point.
- In the face of immense challenges, DC welcomed two new hotels with a combined 611 rooms in October.
Transportation & Infrastructure
Several major transportation projects this year will transform the way we get around DC
The District is getting an upgraded bridge across the Anacostia River, its first major dedicated bus lane, new Metro station platforms, and an extension of the Metropolitan Branch Trail to the Fort Totten Metro. Read More
More to Know:
- The $650M overhaul of Reagan National Airport is making steady progress, with a new north concourse and security checkpoints arriving in 2021.
- Reagan National has become the first major US airport to offer bikeshare, increasing the transportation options available to DC visitors.
DC In the News
- Recently released US Census figures indicate that DC added more than 4,500 residents in 2020.
- Deloitte’s 2020 Technology Fast 500 List includes four DC-based firms—Fundrise, Clutch, Mapbox, and Thycotic—averaging more than 250% in revenue growth over the past three years.
- Howard University’s all-female team won AT&T’s first-ever HBCU Innovation Challenge, a pitch competition for utilizing 5G infrastructure.
- A $15M contribution from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Covid testing was the latest amid a record year of donations for Howard University, which also received $40M from MacKenzie Scott, $32.8M from Bloomberg Philanthropies, and $1 M from HBO, among others.