Downtown Renewal: We Spoke with Gerren Price, CEO of DowntownDC BID 

Life’s been a whirlwind for Gerren Price the last few years. He joined the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) as director of public space operations in 2018. Two years later, the world changed with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a year after that, he was named acting President and CEO. Last summer, his leadership of the organization became official. Price is the non-profit organization’s third leader since the BID was founded 26 years ago.  

“You know, it’s been a thrilling ride, with lots of learning experiences along the way and lots of challenges, but also just a really amazing opportunity,” Price said. “Someone reminded me that August will make one year I’ve been [officially in] the role—I couldn’t believe that, because I actually felt like it had been much longer.”  

Gerren Price, CEO DowntownDC BID, and his daughters hanging out in downtown D.C. Courtesy Gerren Price.

Price is passionate about making downtown cleaner, safer, even friendlier, more vibrant and as economically viable as possible. He lives in the city with his wife Sheree and his young daughters Gabriella, 6, and Stella, 5. The family adores D.C. life, enjoying the area restaurants and green spaces (particularly Franklin Park).  “My kids are big fans — they say the park has the best slides in town,” Price laughed. For those familiar, Franklin Park is located near CityCenterDC.  

Sometimes, the family also enjoys just hanging out with a blanket and a book in a green space, delighting in an urban core. “We’re never, ever bored,” Price added.  

Price, his wife Sheree and daughters Gabriella and Stella. Courtesy Gerren Price.

Price has lived in D.C. for most of his life. He recalled visiting the MCI Center (now Capital One Arena) in elementary school with his father when it opened. “I could see how excited my dad was, and I was too,” he said. “I just felt the whole vibe of the city and loved being downtown where there are people everywhere from all walks of life and belief systems. There’s just a feeling of vibrancy, excitement, and energy.”  

Price wants every generation to feel the same about D.C., to be a place where people of all ages and stages of life want to live, work, visit, play and be entertained. “I want to make sure we’re a city that’s truly embracing everybody and a place people want to come back to over and over again,” he added.  

Of course, as we continue to climb out of the pandemic doldrums, what Price hopes for is often easier said than done. A Washington Post article in January about post-pandemic struggles labeled downtown D.C. “a wounded rendition of its once robust self.”  

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has made the reawakening of downtown an integral part of her agenda as she continues to serve in her third term.  

Earlier this summer, Bowser, along with the DowntownDC and Golden Triangle BIDs and Federal City Council, announced the launch of the “Downtown Action Plan,” which will “engage a broad set of stakeholders to envision a vibrant, equitable future for D.C.’s downtown by developing a set of recommendations that build on the goals and initiatives of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Comeback Plan.” Information on Bowser’s Comeback Plan can be found at and   

The goal of this unprecedented collaboration is to ensure downtown D.C.’s recovery and reimagine the location as a place that benefits all residents and businesses by offering jobs, various types of housing and a strong tax base. “For me, since I was young, I’ve always been conscious of place and the dynamics of place for people and what it means for their lives,” Price said. “That’s why I’ve been drawn to a lot of government and non-profits that have been focused on communities and systems that serve communities.”  

Price has experience as a teacher and school administrator and has administered programs and services in education, workforce development and housing. He’s seen cross-sections of how cities work for people. “All of that has fed into this desire I have to see cities thrive and operate in the highest function they can for all people,” he added. “Business improvement districts — that’s what we do — we try to be the intersection between people, government and the private sector to make sure all those things work in synergy and can move fast, efficiently and effectively.”  

Price feels every job he’s had thus far has led him where he is today, and he’s incredibly excited to get started on revitalizing downtown D.C. “I just feel so honored to be able to do this in my hometown in a city I love,” he said.   

In July last year, Price was named one of the Washington Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” Class of 2022.  



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