The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District
held its annual meeting and luncheon on Thursday, on the ninth floor of 55 M Street
. Stan Kasten of the Nationals opened the festivities with some brief but energetic remarks about how excited the Nationals are about the neighborhood's continuing development. He was followed by Tommy Wells, who is equally enthusastic about the neighborhood as a prime example of a "liveable, walkable community," saying that people are increasingly choosing "five-minute living." But, he added that if this area ends up looking like every other neighborhood, "then we've failed."
After making presentations and awards to the BID's Clean and Safe team members, BID executive director Michael Stevens presented his State of the Capitol Riverfront report
, chock full of statistics, including my perennial favorite, the number of bags of trash collected during 2009 (7,526!). The BID estimates there are now about 2,500 residents in the area, with another 500 expected to arrive in 2010. He also spent some time comparing the size and scope of the plans for "the Front" to other waterfront redevelopment projects such as Battery Park City in New York and Mission Bay in San Francisco, and of course detailing the many ways the BID works to publicize and advocate for the neighborhood.
Stevens was followed by Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution, who discussed "The Structural Shift in Building
." This area and DC as a whole, he said, are the model for the sort of development that cities want to emulate going forward, as he described the pendulum swing from the suburban model of the second half of the 20th century to the new "walkable urbanism," being driven mainly by the Millennial generation, empty-nested retirees, and the growth in the percentage of child-free households.
Leinberger's presentation slides
are definitely worth paging through, and folks who are big fans of public transportation will especially appreciate his feeling that the slogan going forward should be "The Green Line is the New Red Line," since the biggest opportunities for development around transportation hubs exist near those stations, and that the BID should actually consider expanding its consulting and other offerings to the smaller emerging neighborhoods along the Green Line that need those types of services. (Perhaps this is what Michael Stevens was alluding to in his report, where a Green Line Research Project was mentioned. And, by the way, next year will mark the 20-year anniversary of the opening of the Navy Yard metro station.)
Finally, BID chairman Eric Siegel announced that the BID is planning an environmental summit in May 2010 (perhaps at Nationals Park
), to focus on the cleanup of the Anacostia River and other environmental issues with the many public and private stakeholders along the river.