DMPED's Closer: March Edition

DMPED logo 2

March Edition 2019

Mayor Bowser Hosts Fifth Annual March Madness Featuring Senator Scott and Congresswoman Norton

Administration Previews Upcoming Development Projects that Will Create Jobs, Produce and Preserve Affordable Housing and Spur Economic Growth for Small Businesses

March Madness

On March 26, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) Brian Kenner hosted the fifth annual March Madness, a special preview of new and upcoming development projects that will provide more quality affordable housing, support for small businesses and job opportunities for all District residents. The event included special guests U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) highlighting the federal Opportunity Zones program, which can be leveraged to support economic growth and inclusive development in underserved communities.

“We are using every tool in our toolbox to create economic opportunities for residents and small business owners across all eight wards. Through the Opportunity Zones program and the development projects we introduced today, we’re doing more to meet the needs of DC residents right now and preparing for our collective future,” said Mayor Bowser. “These projects are about much more than just putting up buildings, they’re about ensuring that every neighborhood has an opportunity to rise and every Washingtonian an opportunity to thrive and prosper.”

A recent study by Yardi Matrix found that the District of Columbia is the most attractive opportunity zone investment area on the East Coast and the third most attractive in the country. The Administration identified 25 zones, with most East of the Anacostia River. During March Madness, Mayor Bowser announced three new initiatives to help leverage the program.

  • The OZ Community Corp., which will enable community organizations and small businesses to tap into pro bono advice from lawyers and other experts.
  • An online Opportunity Zone marketplace that anyone – project sponsors, fund managers, investors and community members – can access and where projects can be submitted online.
  • A commitment of $24 million to projects that support affordable housing, workforce development, and the growth of small businesses.

For more information about Washington, DC’s Opportunity Zones, visit

Mayor Bowser also announced the recipients of the Dream Grants, a program administered by the Department of Small and Local Business Development that supports microbusinesses owned and operated by residents in Wards 7 and 8. For fiscal years 2018 and 2019, 34 grantees were awarded a total of $300,000.

Deputy Mayor Kenner revealed more than a dozen projects soon to be available to Washington, DC’s development and construction community as well as the release of the next round of funding for the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, which supports job creation in high unemployment areas in DC.

DMPED announced two upcoming development opportunities: Engine 22 at 5760 Georgia Ave. NW, in Ward 4 and Fletcher-Johnson, 4650 Benning Rd. SE, in Ward 7. Additionally, DMPED announced plans to gain insight on the potential redevelopment of Poplar Point and the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center on U St. NW.

To learn more about March Madness, visit

March Madness

Mayor Bowser celebrates the 2019 Dream Grantees! The Dream Grants Program from DSLBD are microgrants to new or existing microbusiness owned and operated by residents of DC Wards 7 and 8. Photo credit Khalid Naji-Allah.

DC + South By Southwest (#SXSW)


During the week of March 11, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner and that his team traveled to Austin, TX to host the #WeDC House at South By Southwest's major tech event. 

In two days, the #WeDC House at SXSW hosted nearly 4,500 attendees to experience all the the Capital of Inclusive Innovation has to offer across technology, social impact, art and entertainment, while highlighting our communities and culture.  #WeDC celebrates the diversity and talent of the city's public and private sector leaders, hosted a record number of programs, and have set the tone for the future of the #WeDC campaign. 

We celebrated technology companies like TwentyTables, the first Washington, DC-based startup to be crowned a special award for "Best Bootstrap" during the SXSW 2019 Pitch.  For the first time at SXSW, the #WeDC House implemented analytic technology, adapting mounted cameras to measure the number of attendees throughout the day, via a partnership with Kerb.

Covering a variety of topics from fashion to aerospace, media diversity to smart cities, workforce development to mobility, while providing a platform for networking, the #WeDC House was the place to be. See you next year, Austin!


#WeDC house opens with panel on access to capital for diverse entrepreneurs.

Welcome to Anacostia, Busboys and Poets!

On March 12, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the grand opening of the new Busboys and Poets Anacostia, part of an innovative District project that is transforming a vacant building into the new home for the nonprofit Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative (FSFSC) and delivering new jobs, opportunity, and amenities to residents of Ward 8.

“I am a Washingtonian… and Busboys in Anacostia allows me the opportunity to work full time and go to graduate school full time,” said Damon Thompson, a recently hired employee at Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. “Life has it’s ups and down. This job is a bridge for me to stay employed, pursue my career goals and be a part of the Anacostia community.”

The state-of-the-art facility was made possible by District gap funding, including a $3 million grant funded by the Mayor, $8 million in revenue bonds from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and over $2 million from the DC Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program administered by the DC Department of Energy and Environment and Urban Ingenuity. This innovative project is the first in the nation to use PACE funding along with tax-exempt funds to drive down energy bills and lower the cost of building improvements for non-profit organizations.

This is the first Busboys and Poets restaurant east of the Anacostia River, and includes a full-service restaurant, bookstore, event space, and hospitality training center.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Ward 8 Anacostia community and we look forward to working closely with our neighbors in a variety of ways,” said Andy Shallal, Busboys and Poets owner. “Busboys and Poets Anacostia will showcase the works of local artists from Southeast DC and hire over 80 local residents. We are proud to bring good jobs with benefits and opportunity for growth for the hospitality industry in DC.”


Mayor Bowser cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the new Busboys and Poets Anacostia. Photo credit Khalid Naji-Allah.

New Housing and Retail at Walter Reed!

VU Groundbreaking

On March 29, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner celebrated the groundbreaking of The Brooks and Vale Buildings, the first new construction on the historic site, future home to 400,000 square feet of new housing and retail on the upper Georgia Ave corridor.

“Today is another celebration for the Walter Reed project, as it represents many firsts for the campus - first new construction, first home ownership opportunities and first retail on the new Parks at Walter Reed,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through transformative development projects like this one, we are taking land that was once closed off and unused into turning them into vibrant, thriving communities delivering jobs, affordable housing and community amenities.”

The Vale will contain 301 apartments, with 30 affordable, and 18,000 square feet of retail facing Georgia Avenue and The Brooks will include 89 condominiums facing the historic great lawn on the interior of the campus. The buildings will share a new 390 space underground parking structure. The buildings will be located at the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue, NW and Aspen Street, NW. 

The Start of Newest Chapter for The Wharf and Southwest Waterfront

Wharf Phase 2

On March 30, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off Phase 2 of construction of The Wharf with a community celebration on the new mile-long waterfront neighborhood in Southwest DC.

At full build out, Phase 2 of The Wharf will complete the remaining 1.25 million square feet of new mixed-use development, including office, residential, hotel, marina, and retail space, as well as parks and public places. The community celebration included a “Truck Touch” featuring DC Government and construction vehicles, live music by Pebble to Pearl and Batalá Washington, a performance by the Amidon-Bowen Elementary School Choir, kids craft activities and sidewalk games by DC Fray.

“The Wharf is one of the most transformative projects in the District creating a new waterfront destination with a full mix of uses and amenities including affordable housing, retail, restaurants, entertainment and more,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner. “The Wharf is a prime example of what we can accomplish when public and private partners come together with the common goal of expanding inclusive prosperity and providing opportunity to DC residents.”

Mayor Bowser cut the ribbon on Phase 1 of The Wharf in October 2017, the 3.2 million square-foot development that will produce nearly 6,000 permanent jobs at completion. The Bowser Administration invested approximately $200 million in tax increment financing and secured agreements with The Wharf to hire at least 51 percent of Washingtonians – 20 percent designated for residents from Ward 8 and 30 percent of apprenticeships for residents from Wards 7 and 8. The Wharf also invested $1 million in workforce training for DC residents.

Wharf Phase 2

Mayor Bowser kicked off the second phase of the District’s Wharf with a short program, community celebration and family fun day.