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Leggett Announces Nighttime Economy Task Force

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 5/9/2013, 5:30pm  ET

Bethesda Row, Flickr pool photo by AmyMarieMooreCounty Executive Isiah Leggett today announced the group of people who will examine the county’s perceived lack of nightlife and come up with recommendations for improving its nighttime economy.

Heather Dlholopolsky, a land use lawyer and member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce Board, wil chair the Task Force.

The Chevy Chase Land Company’s Miti Figueredo, a former County Council and Executive branch staff member, will be on the Task Force. So will Bethesda land-use attorney Erica Leatham, Bethesda Row marketing rep Vanessa Rodriguez and Tommy Joe’s bar and restaurant owner Alan Pohoryles.

County Councilmember Hans Riemer (D-At large) has said the county must improve nightlife in part to pursue milennials who are increasingly headed to neighboring jurisdictions to live and work. Riemer will be a non-voting member of the Task Force along with Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin and Nancy Floreen.

Leggett said the Task Force will seek to answer the following questions by November. Its first meeting is May 20:

What kind of mix of business, entertainment and arts would make a vibrant and attractive urban center?

How do we attract businesses in defined geographic areas that appeal to multiple generations?

What are the national trends and models on nighttime economy?

How do we develop local models to enhance the County’s nighttime offerings in its urban centers?

Leggett said the initiative’s first phase will focus on Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Germantown and Wheaton.

“This initiative reflects my vision for a 21st century Montgomery that is innovation-driven, transit-friendly, connected, and multi-generational,” Leggett said in a release. “A thriving nighttime economy is an opportunity to enhance Montgomery’s attractiveness to all generations, businesses and visitors.”