A Downtown DC Action Plan was unveiled Wednesday by Mayor Muriel Bowser, with the goal of helping revitalize the downtown District, as part of an ongoing effort to bring new life to that part of the city hard hit by the pandemic.
The initiative is part of the five-year “Return Plan” that he launched in DC, which contemplates the creation of 35,000 jobs and the incorporation of 15,000 new residents to the District.
The mayor said in her message that she will outline specific, practical steps and opportunities for businesses to help make the program a reality.
“Our Return to DC Plan provides a roadmap for achieving that goal, and that is precisely the Downtown Action Plan,” Bowser said during a ceremony at City Hall.
The Center's Action Plan will also invest a new round of grants, totaling more than $600,000, to be awarded to six of the eight DC Wards that promote the arts, outdoor movie nights, and the concerts.
“The world has changed and central business districts are evolving,” said Leona Agouridis, President and CEO of Golden Triangle BID. "There's a lot of good stuff here that we're going to build on to re-imagine a thriving, livable downtown that makes the city even stronger."
Muriel Bowser said the new plan will also help speed up the conversion of office buildings to housing.
“Our downtown area is beautiful and walkable,” he said. “It has dozens of monuments and museums, restaurants and hotels, as well as many offices. In fact, almost 90 percent of the space in the center is dedicated to offices. So, we know what we need most urgently: more housing, more inhabitants, and more events and spaces that attract people to the center of the city.”
She defined the plan as an undertaking that will be based on public participation through webinars and focus groups throughout the summer. In this regard, she announced that the first public meeting will take place on June 15, followed by a "Vision Summit" on July 13.
The summit will welcome 100 national and local opinion leaders who will work together to implement the plan. City leaders said they expect an additional set of initiatives under the Center's Action Plan to be released, possibly in the fall.