Mayor Bowser Highlights Economic Development East of the River at the New DGS Headquarters Grand Opening
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Administration officials, local business owners, and community members celebrated the grand opening of the new Department of General Services (DGS) headquarters located in Ward 7 at 3924 Minnesota Avenue NE. During the event, Mayor Bowser also announced the awardees of $3 million in funding from the Greet Streets Retail Small Business grant program.
“We understand how powerful the District’s leasing power is for spurring economic growth. In fact, we know that the previous home of DGS – the Reeves Center – was one of the original driving forces behind the transformation of the U Street and 14th Street corridors,” said Mayor Bowser. “Mayor Barry had that vision, and now we’re building on that vision to attract business and amenities to neighborhoods East of the River.”
In 2019, Mayor Bowser signed a Mayor’s Order directing the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and DGS to identify potential relocation properties for District government agencies in Wards 7 and 8. The new DGS headquarters is the first government office building to open utilizing Mayor Bowser’s East of the River leasing strategy. The headquarters will have 500 workers operating out of the facility and include shops and dining establishments on the ground floor when completed. The new DGS headquarters cost $52,500,000 and is part of a larger “Northeast Heights” community development. By the end of June, the Department of Corrections will also be relocating to the new headquarters.
“On every work day, the new DGS Headquarters will bring 500 people to Ward 7 in support of their mission to build and maintain the District of Columbia. Beyond performing their important duties, these hardworking people will contribute to the revitalization of the Benning retail district. Not only will the new headquarters have shops and dining establishments on the ground floor, but when this project is completed we will see new homes, outdoor recreational spaces and additional commercial offices,” said Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray. “The resulting commerce will be a tide that lifts all boats.”
The 49 Greet Streets Retail Small Business grantees includes the largest cohort of Ward 7 businesses to receive Great Streets grants. The Ward 7 businesses include:
- Best Nails
- Justina's Hair Gallery LLC
- PENN WAY MARKET INC
- Nashrah LLC
- E Market
- Global Government and Industry Partners, LLC
- Powell Manufacturing Inc
The Great Streets grant program supports existing small businesses, attracting new businesses, and transforming designated commercial corridors into vibrant neighborhood centers. The program awards up to $80,000 to eligible businesses to be used towards storefront renovations, equipment purchases, interior design, or infrastructure that improves customer experience. Eligible businesses include small and independently owned brick-and-mortar businesses and art-based nonprofits throughout Great Streets corridors. Since 2015, Great Streets has awarded over $30 million to 500 businesses, helping to create more than 2,000 jobs.
“Throughout her time leading the city Mayor Bowser has taken a whole of government approach to create vibrant thriving communities East of the River,” said Interim Deputy Mayor Anderson. “Today we celebrate the opening of the first government building delivered under the East of the River Leasing strategy, the largest class of Great Street recipients in Ward 7, and release the FY23 Small and Medium Business Fund. These investments are essential in supporting entrepreneurs and creating job opportunities for residents living within those corridors.”
The Mayor also announced that later this month DMPED will launch the second round of applications for the Small Medium Business Growth fund. The program includes $2 million in funds to support small and medium sized businesses that propose to innovate projects that will create a lasting impact in their industry and regionally for the District. The funds provided assist medium and small business owners with retaining and expanding their business by supporting large-scale capital improvements, equipment purchasing, and technological advancements. Applications for the program will open on June 23 and close the week of July 21st. Businesses can find more information on the program and how to apply on obviouslydc.com in the coming weeks.
“DGS is excited to bring its nearly 500-member workforce East of the River to support Mayor Bowser’s strategy to bolster the Ward 7 community.” said DGS Director Delano Hunter. “Our team stands ready to continue to build, maintain and sustain District communities in all eight wards, from our new location and are pleased we have made this major step in moving forward economic development.”
Asland Capital Partners led the development and construction of the new DGS headquarters in partnership with GIS UIS, who acted as an investor. Asland continues to support investments that focus on spurring economic development that supports opportunity and growth for underserved communities and families.
“Today marks a significant milestone for the transformative Northeast Heights redevelopment,” said Asland Capital Partners CEO & Founding Partner James Simmons III. “We are immensely proud of our contribution and grateful to the project’s many partners, and especially Mayor Bowser for her innovative policies. Together, we have brought new life to the exceptional first phase of the project, which is poised to revitalize the entire community. The development of the state-of-the-art Department of General Services headquarters will not only relocate 500 District jobs to Ward 7 but also serve as a catalyst, driving economic activity and fostering growth. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact it will have on the community’s residents.”
To learn more about resources and grant funds available for business owners, visit. obviouslydc.com.