Georgetown BID Initiatives Signal Reinvigorating Year for Commercial District
By January 12, 2022 0 514•
We’ve all learned our lesson from the past two Januarys: Expect the unexpected for the year ahead. Still, there’s a lot the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) can eagerly count on in 2022, as our commercial district continues to steadily recover and reengage with the community.
More than 35 new businesses have opened since the pandemic began; most recently Yo! Yoga fitness studio, jeweler Gorjana, fashion retailers Everlane and Aerie, sweet-treat destinations Bakeshop and Petite Soeur, and Avocado Green Mattress. More highly anticipated openings are expected in the coming months – including a tavern in Book Hill called The Fountain Inn, and several reinvigorated spaces along Wisconsin Avenue – and there is a renewed optimism about Georgetown’s future among retailers and restaurateurs who are ready to bring new, exciting concepts here.
Much of this confidence stems from our encouraging visitor data. In October, the commercial district not only saw monthly visits rebound to 2019 counts for the first time since the pandemic began, but surpassed them. Our recovery has outpaced that of our competitor markets, including Tyson’s Corner Center, 14th Street, and The Wharf.
Although the Georgetown BID doesn’t control the real estate market, our work in economic development research and analysis, and tenant retention and attraction has never been more important to the recovery and success of Georgetown’s incredible commercial district.
Our new economic development team is now leading that charge. Faith Broderick is the Georgetown BID’s new Economic Development Director. A Georgetown University graduate, Faith most recently served as a community planner for the DC Office of Planning. Joining Faith, Peter Abrahams was hired as our Economic Development & Partnerships Consultant. He has spent the last 30 years in publishing – most recently as the former publisher of the Washington Business Journal.
Buoyed by a strong team and promising commercial district news, 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 effort to bolster the neighborhood’s visitor economy. If you’ve taken a walk along the Canal recently, you’ve hopefully seen the beautiful boat docked at Lock 4 between the 31st Street Bridge and Thomas Jefferson Street. In a few short months, residents, visitors, and school children will be invited to come aboard and tour the Canal for the first time in a decade. Georgetown Heritage is commemorating this milestone with a cocktail party and ribbon cutting on April 28, so save the date!
Speaking of all things al fresco, we’re continuing to make the most of our streateries on the Georgetown Decks. Outdoor dining saved countless neighborhood restaurants during the pandemic, and will be equally important this year. Thank you for continuing to support our restaurants, and shop locally, too.
The Georgetown BID is also eager to welcome back more of our outdoor signature events this year. After shifting the timing of the 2021 Georgetown French Market, the annual Book Hill open-air market will return to its traditional spring roots during the last weekend in April. Our Sunset Cinema outdoor movie series is back this summer at Georgetown Waterfront Park, and Georgetown GLOW will be returning for the holiday season in November – the latter, one of several opportunities to bring more art to Georgetown’s public spaces and activate underutilized spaces. We look forward to reengaging the community with these – and many more – free events.
We are pursuing other initiatives with our community partners, including revising the restrictions on tavern licenses 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 electric vehicle charging.
As you can see, we have a full calendar for 2022. We’re looking forward to brighter days ahead, and an even stronger Georgetown. Visit georgetowndc.com to sign up for our weekly BIDness newsletter and get the scoop on restaurant and retail openings, events and promotions.
Joe Sternlieb is the Georgetown Business Improvement District CEO & President.