Georgetown’s BID initiatives signal a year of commercial district revitalization

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By Joe Sternlieb, CEO and President of Georgetown BID

We’ve all learned our lesson from the last two Januarys: Expect the unexpected for the year ahead. Still, there’s a lot for the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) to look forward to in 2022 as our business district continues to steadily recover and reconnect with the community.

More than 35 new businesses have opened since the pandemic began; last Yo! Yoga gym, jeweler Gorjana, fashion retailers Everlane and Aerie, confectionery destinations Bakeshop and Petite Soeur and Avocado Green Mattress. Other much-anticipated openings are expected in the coming months — including a Book Hill tavern called The Fountain Inn and several revitalized spaces along Wisconsin Avenue — and there’s renewed optimism about Georgetown’s future among retailers and restaurateurs who are poised are new, exciting concepts here.

Much of that trust comes from our encouraging visitor data. In October, the business district not only saw its monthly visits rise back to 2019 for the first time since the pandemic began, but actually surpassed them. Our recovery has surpassed that of our competing markets, including Tyson’s Corner Center, 14th Street and The Wharf.

Although the Georgetown BID does not control the real estate market, oOur work in economic development research and analysis and tenant retention and acquisition has never been more important to the recovery and prosperity of Georgetown’s incredible business district.

Our new economic development team is now spearheading this task. Faith Broderick is the new Economic Development Director for Georgetown BID. A graduate of Georgetown University, Faith most recently served as a community planner for the DC Office of Planning. Peter Abrahams joined Faith and was hired as our economic development and partnerships advisor. For the last 30 years he has worked in publishing – most recently as former editor of the Washington Business Journal.

Buoyed by a strong team and promising news from the business district, the Georgetown BID will continue our recovery efforts in 2022.

Chief among them is a renewed focus on the revitalization of the C&O Canal led by Georgetown Heritage and the long-awaited official debut of our new C&O Canal Boat this spring – part of our efforts to strengthen the neighborhood’s visitor economy. If you’ve recently taken a stroll along the canal, hopefully you’ve seen the beautiful boat that docks at lock 4 between the 31st and 31stSt Road Bridge and Thomas Jefferson Street. In a few months, local residents, visitors and school children will be invited to come on board and tour the canal for the first time in ten years. Georgetown Heritage is commemorating this milestone with a cocktail party and ribbon cutting ceremony on April 28th, so save the date!

Speaking of anything under the stars, we continue to make the most of our Strateries on the Georgetown decks. Alfresco dining has saved countless neighborhood restaurants during the pandemic and will be just as important this year. Thank you for continuing to support our restaurants and for shopping locally as well.

The Georgetown BID is also looking forward to welcoming more of our outdoor signature events again this year. Following the postponement of the 2021 Georgetown French Market date, Book Hill’s annual open-air market returns to its traditional springtime roots on the last weekend of April. Our outdoor Sunset Cinema film series is back at Georgetown Waterfront Park this summer, and Georgetown GLOW will return for the holiday season in November – the latter being one of several opportunities to bring more art into Georgetown’s public spaces and activate underutilized spaces. We look forward to getting the community involved again with these—and many more—free events.

We are pursuing other initiatives with our community partners, including revising restaurant license restrictions to improve the neighborhood’s appeal to new businesses, and transportation planning for safer and more efficient streets and sidewalks, improved access – including via the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola and charging electric vehicles.

As you can see, we have a busy 2022 calendar. We look forward to better days and an even stronger Georgetown. Visit georgetowndc.com to sign up for our weekly BIDness newsletter and find out about restaurant and retail openings, events and promotions.

keywordsAerieAvacado Green MattressBakeshopBIDnessBook HillC&O CanalEverlaneFaith BroderickGeorgetown “Glow”Georgetown BIDGeorgetown French MarketGeorgetown HeritageGeorgetown Waterfront ParkGeorgetown-Rosslyn gondolagorjanaJoe SternliebPeter AbrahamsPetite SoeurstreateriesYo! yoga
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