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Mayor Bowser Prioritizes Government Leasing East of the River

Thursday, September 5, 2019
Mayor’s Order Underscores District Government Leasing as a Tool to Catalyze and Sustain Neighborhood and Economic Development

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a Mayor’s Order directing the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Department of General Services (DGS) to first identify potential relocation properties in Wards 7 and 8 neighborhoods when considering office space for District government agencies. The order focuses on the District government as a powerful tool for investing in the economic vitality of communities currently experiencing underinvestment and needing retail, including grocery stores.

“We have a responsibility to consider how we can best support our neighborhoods and communities. No longer can we wait for these opportunities to be identified when we can use the District’s leasing power in underinvested areas to attract retail and provide services, and encourage others to do the same,” said Mayor Bowser.

In the order, Mayor Bowser calls for DMPED and DGS to develop scoring standards for the District’s Requests For Space (RFS) that consider suitability of the space, cost, and benefit to the local community. The order also requires the agencies to produce a report on April 15 and October 15 of each year that outlines forthcoming RFS received from District agencies within a five-year window.

“Building on the success of the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund and the progress on attracting retailers like Lidl at Skyland, government office leases have the potential to push forward retail and fresh food options that residents deserve,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John J. Falcicchio. “Mayor Bowser has challenged us to identify every tool we can to ensure residents in all eight wards have retail options.”

At the direction of the Mayor, DGS will release a RFS this month for up to 200,000 square feet of office space for a government agency. The RFS will be the first volley under the Mayor’s Order and will prioritize East of the River locations with grocery store anchors.