DC Mayor’s ‘Comeback’ Plan Includes 7M SF of Residential Development

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday unveiled D.C.’s Comeback Plan, a tool for setting the District’s economic development goals for the next five years that includes adding millions of square feet of housing. 

The goals of the plan center around boosting incomes, job opportunities, and housing and retail options.

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“This is a comeback that is focused on equity,” Bowser said at a press conference. “This is about making sure we have the revenues to support our world-class city services, our robust network of social programs, and the resources — like our schools and rec centers — that keep people in D.C.”

The Comeback Plan features six goals that Bowser hopes to meet by 2028, including creating 35,000 new jobs in high-growth target sectors, which could be done by increasing apprenticeship programs and filling gaps in training and credentialing. The plan also calls for increasing the share of minority-owned employer businesses to 33 percent of all businesses, and increasing access to opportunity for residents by eliminating key amenity gaps such as food, housing and internet across all neighborhoods.

Additionally, Bowser’s goals include adding 15,000 residents to the Downtown population by adding 7 million square feet of residential units, where the city will collaborate with developers; retaining current residents to reach a population of 725,000; and increasing economic prosperity in D.C. by lifting the median household income of Black residents by $25,000. 

“People stay in and come to Washington, D.C., because they want to change the world, because they recognize D.C. as a place where you can bring big ideas to life,” Bowser said. “Our comeback is about unlocking the full potential of our people, our neighborhoods and our businesses.” 

Achieving these goals, she noted, will require building better education-to-workforce pathways, bringing amenities and assets to all eight wards, and attracting new businesses.

One new tool the District is using to attract businesses is the Vitality Fund, a multiyear, performance-based incentive program designed to support existing companies in target industries actively planning to relocate, expand or retain their physical location in D.C.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.