What is DC’s plan to restore an office worker-deprived downtown?

D.C.’s mayor and her revitalization task force are sharing more information about the plan to rejuvenate an office worker-deprived downtown.

“I just don’t think that the nation’s capital, the seat of the federal government, has said goodbye to office workers forever — I don’t believe it,” Mayor Muriel Bowser told business and real estate leaders at D.C.’s State of the Market event on Wednesday.

But, she said, the landscape is changing, and the downtown area will need to embrace change and a “different downtown.”

Bowser was joined onstage for a panel by the leaders of the Gallery Place/Chinatown Task Force, who rolled out their “8 Big Ideas” last month. Some of which were a beautified Gallery Square, a walk from the National Mall to the Shaw neighborhood, and revitalizing the areas around Capital One Arena to make them more fan- and family-friendly.

Jodie McLean, co-chair of the task force, said the downtown area will need to pivot from a federal office worker-focused area to a tourist-centric neighborhood.

“There is an actual untethering of the workers to the office, and the office is going to look different for a lot of us, and what is driving that vibrant downtown is 60% visitors,” McLean said to the crowd.

“Twenty-six million people visited D.C. last year with a $10 billion trail of economic activity,” added Bowser, who said D.C. needs to expand tourist-centric areas beyond the usual spots.

“How do we make the link in people’s minds that they can actually leave the (National) Mall, and when they do, there is something to do?”

Though no exact timeline for the massive projects listed in the “8 Big Ideas” were shared, Bowser said residents can expect to see changes over the next five years.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up