creating the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District
had its hearing on Tuesday in front of the DC Council Committee on Finance and Revenue. (Need to know what the heck a BID is? Start here
.) It was a pretty straightforward session, with BID executive director Michael Stevens giving a quick summary of the amount of investment coming to Near Southeast and Buzzards Point, repeating the mantra about how the area will eventually rival the downtowns of medium-sized cities. There were also representatives of the CFO
's office and RestoreDC
testifying in support and one concerned resident of Southwest testifying about his wish that the BID's boundaries be expanded across South Capitol Street instead of stopping in the middle of the street.
Along those lines, council member Tommy Wells expressed his concern about not covering both sides of South Capitol, given the work DDOT is going to be doing on streetscape improvements, and not wanting only one side of the street to be maintained. He also talked about M Street's importance as the "Main Street" of this part of town, especially since it will eventually be connecting the revitalized Southwest Waterfront to the revitalized Waterside Mall to the revitalized Near Southeast.
There was some discussion about how currently the new ballpark
is not part of the BID (because it is government-owned property), but that there are negotiations to see if the BID's "clean and safe services" could be extended to the stadium site during the 81 home games each year, which would cost about $250,000. The Capitol Quarter
townhome development is also not a member of the BID, even though it is surrounded on all sides by the BID; Wells questioned that area being left out of the BID's services, but the BID's executive director Michael Stevens mentioned that residents of Capitol Quarter will be paying monthly public-space maintenance fees. He also said they hope to cover the three Capper apartment buildings that will eventually be constructed east of Canal Park, but it depends on the amount of market-rate units.
The bill (B17-0208
) will be marked up on Thursday June 14 at 11 am, and is expected to have its first vote in front of the full council on June 19.