About the BID
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) is a private non-profit organization that provides capital improvements, resources and research to help diversify the economy and enhance the Downtown experience for all. This special district, where property owners have agreed to tax themselves to fund services, encompasses a 138-block area of approximately 520 buildings from Massachusetts Avenue on the north to Constitution Avenue on the south, and from Louisiana Avenue on the east to 16th Street on the west. As a catalyst, facilitator and thought leader, the DowntownDC BID promotes public/private partnerships to create an urban environment that is So Much More. For more information, visit DowntownDC.org or follow us on social media @downtowndcbid.
Letter from the Executive Director and Chairman of the Board
Dear DowntownDC Stakeholder:
DowntownDC continues to be the economic and cultural center of the District and the region. By many metrics, DowntownDC is an enduring success, boasting a stable office market, diverse retail and restaurants (including Michelin two-star restaurant Minibar), world-class cultural and entertainment venues and many of the world’s major hotel brands, including five-star hotels. Despite our success, challenges remain. During fiscal year 2016 at the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), we refocused our efforts on a few of those challenges: keeping DowntownDC clean and safe; sprucing up our parks and public spaces; and supporting services for individuals experiencing homelessness.
In an effort to fulfill our promise to intensify efforts on the BID’s founding “clean and safe” mission, in 2016 we hired 23 Maintenance ambassadors for the Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance (SAM) team, expanding the SAM workforce to 95 employees and enabling the BID to better meet the needs of our growing Downtown. SAMs remain the valuable red-and-black uniformed caretakers of DowntownDC, connecting annually with over 300,000 guests.
During FY16, the BID’s service to people experiencing homelessness included dedicating resources to secure a daytime homeless drop-in center; refocusing the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV)/East End Neighborhood stakeholder group to make infrastructure and public safety improvements to the CCNV neighborhood; and creating a partnership with Sasha Bruce Youthwork and the First Congregational United Church of Christ to establish a weekly drop-in center for homeless and at-risk youth, which served an average of 30 youth per week.
Downtown was more lively this year. In addition to hosting the 11th Annual DowntownDC Holiday Market in Dec. 2015, the BID hosted a new, free eight-week lunchtime concert series in Franklin Park which activated DowntownDC’s largest green space and utilized the new outdoor tables and chairs we added to Franklin Park and other public spaces in DowntownDC this year.
We wish to express our sincere appreciation to Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. City Council for their support for the renovation of Franklin Park. Their appropriation of $13.9 million for the renovation will help create an essential green oasis for DowntownDC.
Finally, several major developments, including the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Capitol Crossing and the former Fannie Mae building, are underway or on the horizon in Downtown, creating an exciting time for our community and offering new opportunities across all economic and social sectors.
There is so much more to be done in DowntownDC and we invite you to partner with us in 2017.
President & Executive Director
Chairman Board of Directors
Public Space Operations: Maintenance
The DowntownDC BID in FY 2016 combined the operations department, which oversees the Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance ambassadors (SAMs), the public space department and the homeless services department under “public space operations” to optimize efficiency and formally connect these essential BID departments.
Maintenance SAMs collected 190,214 bags of trash and 41,414 bags of recycling in FY16. SAMs abated over 1,800 instances of graffiti/vandalism.
Maintenance SAMs daily serviced over 500 blockfaces and 30 parks or parklets.
Public space operations implemented an annual greening program, installing over 2.5 tons of mulch and hanging and maintaining 173 flower baskets.
Maintenance SAMs curated and managed numerous greening projects, including Freedom Plaza, the New York Avenue medians and Herald Square.
The BID piloted a sidewalk paver training program with the National Park Service to repair over 900 pavers.
The BID partnered with the Department of Public Works to replace 45 trash bins.
Public Space Operations: Safety/Hospitality
The quality assurance team, staffed by Safety/Hospitality SAMs, identified over 3,100 public space conditions in FY16, including signage replacement, sidewalk repairs and tree related issues and flagged them for the corresponding city agency, resolving more than 1,000.
The BID provided stable, low-entry, living-wage jobs with training opportunities and excellent benefits to 95 Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance SAMs.
Safety/Hospitality SAMs engaged over 300,000 patrons in FY16.
The BID coordinated and hosted U.S. Department of Homeleand Security (DHS) surveillance detection training for local and federal safety officers and participated in two DHS trainings.
Public Space Operations: Homeless Services
The BID piloted a successful homeless drop-in center for at-risk youth in Chinatown through a partnership with Sasha Bruce Youthwork and the First Congregational United Church of Christ. On average, the program served 30 youth per week and connected them with housing, medical and employment support, among other services.
Homeless outreach training was provided this year to the entire Hospitality SAM team to broaden the BID’s impact.
Through the BID’s partnership with Pathways to Housing DC, 22 individuals experiencing homelessness in FY16 obtained permanent supportive housing.
The BID revived the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV)/East End Neighborhood stakeholder group to address safety concerns and remediate infrastructure around the shelter including lighting, tree maintenance and waste management. The BID also spearheaded efforts to mitigate loitering and brokered plans for improved camera surveillance.
Marketing & Communications
The BID piloted an eight-week “DowntownDC Live,” summer concert series, enlivening Franklin Park with programming from a variety of key Downtown cultural partners.
The BID created and carried out a robust communications plan surrounding late-night Metro involving email alerts, press outreach and engagement, opinion pieces and social media campaigns.
The BID hosted: the 11th Annual Downtown Holiday Market, visited by over 200,000; the Bike to Work Day pitstop; an Earth Day meet-and-greet; Jazz in Franklin Park; Picnics in the Park; and activation for PARK(ing) Day.
Marketing and Communications defined the borders of the BID by doubling the number of street pole banners and strategically placing them and also designed new banners for Chinatown.
The department rebranded and redesigned the BID’s monthly newsletter as the “DowntownDC Pulse” adding featured businesses, partner content, and integrating social media, boosting open rates by 15%.
The BID updated the comprehensive memorandum of understanding with the District Department of Energy & Environment, enabling the BID to serve as a partner.
The BID joined D.C. government agencies, universities and other BIDs on the Smart Cities Tiger Team, lead by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer.
The BID partnered to support three FRESHFARM farmers markets in DowntownDC and supported the Capital Harvest on the Plaza (CHoP) farmers market on Woodrow Wilson Plaza.
The BID helped to water and maintain 73 new trees, planted by the Urban Forestry Administration, which improved the area’s urban tree canopy.
The BID convened stakeholders to develop a pilot office-to-residential conversion program in partnership with the Golden Triangle BID in an effort to increased mixed-use development.
The BID produced the 15th annual State of Downtown report, the definitive report on the Downtown economy, and released it at the State of Downtown Forum in the spring.
The BID’s executive director served as a founding board member of the D.C. Policy Center. The director of economic development was appointed to the Mayor’s Working Group on Jobs, Wages and Benefits (WGJWB).
The BID provided support for the first DC Cultural Plan to fund the city and Downtown’s cultural institutions.
The BID provided input for the updated DC Economic Plan.
The BID served on and provided guidance for the MLK Library Modernization Advisory Panel.
Finance, HR & Administration
The BID’s finance department completed the final stage of implementation for the automated purchasing system.
The BID collected 99% of anticipated FY 2016 revenue, ensuring adequate funds for the BID and for monetary obligations.
The BID hired 23 new Maintenance SAMs, many from underserved populations; over 80% were D.C. residents.
The BID served as a model host for the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and offered one SYEP participant full-time employment.
The BID developed and implemented a new benefit cost-sharing formula, saving money while continuing to offer comprehensive choices to staff.
The BID switched health care providers at a 50% cost savings and engaged with a new 401k vendor with enhanced investment alternatives and bundled design.
Letter from the Treasurer of the Board
I am pleased to certify the Downtown Business Improvement District Corporation’s (DowntownDC BID) audited, consolidated financial statements for fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016).
Once again, the BID demonstrated strong financial health in FY 2016 and the organization successfully operated within the budget approved by the board of directors. The BID met its financial obligations in a timely manner and remained committed to implementing a strict system of checks and balances to ensure all financial matters were handled with the utmost propriety and care.
I am pleased to report that the firm of Baker Tilly, who were engaged to conduct the annual audit, have issued an unqualified opinion on the BID’s FY 2016 financial statements, the highest possible audit rating.
I would like to thank the DowntownDC BID board of directors, the executive committee, and the staff for their stewardship of the BID’s finances during the past fiscal year.
In FY 2016, the DowntownDC BID continued to assess commercial buildings at the rate $0.16 cents per square foot and hotel at the rate of $90 per room per year.
I am honored to have served as treasurer for the past two years and I am proud of the BID’s financial solvency. The BID remains well-positioned for future years of success in supporting DowntownDC.
Chase W. Rynd
Public Space Operations
- Improve and increase services to individuals experiencing homelessness
- Pilot a sidewalk repair program
- Enhance DowntownDC with hanging baskets and new landscaping and “greening” projects
Marketing & Communications
- Provide new programming in Chinatown Park from April-August daily with support from Mount Vernon Triangle CID and the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
- Activate Freedom Plaza with a free movie series, creating a new, DowntownDC community summertime tradition
- Redesign the BID website to better promote DowntownDC’s retail, culture and entertainment
- Create and implement a strategic social media plan
- Update existing wayfinding and enhance pedestrian information
- Expand the availability of bicycle parking and infrastructure
- Provide leadership for additional dedicated transit facilities in DowntownDC (K Street transit-way, H and I street bus lanes and 16th Street bus lanes)
- Advance the renovation of Franklin Park to ensure world-class, sustainable design and ongoing high-quality maintenance
- Work with the District Department of Energy and the Environment to identify and implement programs that enhance the ability of buildings to positively interact with utility infrastructure
- Work with the District’s Smart City Tiger Team to finalize the deployment and evaluation of smart waste bins and informational kiosks and expand the quality and range of connectivity solutions
- Facilitate opportunities to pilot new innovations and technologies while helping to grow the start-up community
- Pilot an office conversion plan in partnership with Golden Triangle BID
- Create a robust retail and restaurant database
- Develop a downtown retail strategy to strengthen retail retention
- Produce and publish a 10-Year Look Ahead visionary plan for the BID
- Implement an internal Workforce Initiative to help SAMs transition into the next phase of their careers
- Create a capital replacement fund
- Identify and secure a new office location for the DowntownDC BID and begin to coordinate an office move for 1250 H Street staff
- Facilitate the creation of board of director committees to strengthen BID program areas and initiatives
Staff (As of Sept. 30, 2016)
Neil O. Albert, President and Executive Director
Eileen Andary, Senior Advisor
Andrew Axthelm, Executive Program Associate
Alex Block, Transportation Program Manager
Rebecca Cantrell, Benefits Manager
Jalal Chaoui, Business Manager, Operations
Roquois Clarke, Digital Content and Design Assistant
Jeremiah DeSousa, Administrative Assistant
DeLores Dickens, Executive Assistant
Bertha A. Gaymon, Chief Financial Officer
Brian Gober, GIS Manager
Rachel Rose Hartman, Director of Interactive Marketing and Communications
Blake Holub, Quality Assurance Manager
Angela Jones, Receptionist/Office Assistant
Ellen Jones, Director of Infrastructure
Staff (As of Sept. 30, 2016 Continued)
Ronald Jones, Maintenance Services Manager
Lulu Liu, Senior Staff Accountant
Dennis McCarthy, Accounts Receivable Specialist
Charles McFadden, Finance Assistant
David Pollard, Deputy Director of Operations
Scott Pomeroy, Director of Sustainability
Parker Roach, Human Resources Manager
Adrian Saunders, Digital Communications and Design Manager
Remi Wallace, Events and Strategic Partnerships Manager
Ebony P. Walton, Program and Experience Planner
Kristi Whitfield, Director of Public Space Operations
Gerry Widdicombe, Director of Economic Development
95 Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance (SAM) Ambassadors