DC mayor lays out new plan to reimagine downtown, asks residents to weigh in

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled her “Downtown Action Plan” on Wednesday, aiming to help revitalize the District’s downtown as part of an ongoing effort to bring new life to a part of the city hit hard by the pandemic.

The plan is part of D.C.’s five-year “Comeback Plan,” which calls for creating 35,000 jobs and bringing 15,000 new residents to the District. This latest plan will outline specific actionable steps and opportunities for businesses to help make the Comeback Plan a reality.

“Our Comeback Plan provides a roadmap for getting there and that roadmap is the Downtown Action Plan,” said Bowser during the announcement.

Bowser also announced plans to invest over $600,000 in Streets for the People grant funds to six business improvement districts to support the arts, outdoor movie nights and concerts.

“The world has changed, and central business districts are evolving,” said Leona Agouridis, president and CEO of the Golden Triangle BID. “There is a lot of good here that we are going to build on to reimagine a thriving and livable downtown that comes back even stronger.”

Bowser said the new plan will also help speed up the conversion of office buildings into housing.

“Our downtown is beautiful and walkable,” she said. “It has dozens of monuments and museums. It has restaurants and hotels. It also has offices, a lot of them.  In fact, almost 90% of the space downtown is office space. So, we know what we need more of: More housing, more people, and more events and spaces that bring people downtown.”

It’s an undertaking that will be grounded in public engagement through webinars and focus groups throughout the summer with the first public meeting taking place June 15, followed by a “Vision Summit” on July 13.

The summit will welcome 100 national and local thought leaders who will work together to implement the plan. City leaders say an additional set of initiatives under the Downtown Action Plan are expected to be released in the fall.

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Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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