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Over the last two decades, growth in D.C. neighborhoods from Petworth to Navy Yard has been driven by Metro’s Green Line—attracting millennials in droves—a new report published by the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District determines.
Conducted by research firm RCLCO, the study, called “GreenPrint of Growth 2.0,” bolsters urbanists’ arguments that public transit (of the reliable sort, anyway) is a primary factor in the development of cities. By looking at real estate and population data within a quarter-mile of Green Line stations, the report finds that 48 percent of new D.C. households headed by residents younger than 35 have moved somewhere along the Green Line corridor since 2010. In turn, much of this was likely driven by housing supply: Since 2000, one fourth of all new apartment units in the District have been constructed along the north-south route, the researchers note.
“While the Shaw and U Street stations have experienced their fair share, growth at the Green Line stations south of L’Enfant Plaza has been as impressive as those stations north of Gallery Place,” the report explains. “Based on construction activity to date and projects that are planned to deliver by 2019, [the] Navy Yard–Ballpark station is one of the Green Line’s biggest magnets for new households and development this decade.”
Young professionals who’ve settled on the Green Line corridor have brought purchasing power with them, furthering gentrification. According to the study, the average income for new Green Line households jumped roughly 50 percent since 2012, to $121,600 a year. The increase was even greater within a quarter-mile of the Navy Yard–Ballpark station, where the average annual income for these residents rose more than 80 percent, to $108,600, over the same period. Business along the corridor has likewise ballooned, as half of D.C.’s retail growth has taken place along the Green Line since 2010, the report says. And “between 2010 and 2016, the number of jobs located on the Green Line Corridor grew by 50 [percent] to 76,000 jobs,” most of them considered “high-wage.”
The findings dovetail with a recent report by the Washington D.C. Economic Development Partnership finding that in 2016, Capitol Riverfront and Southwest were two of the three neighborhoods that saw 45 percent of residential units being constructed or majorly renovated. (The third was NoMa/Union Market.) Nearly 15,000 were being developed as of August—11 percent more than in 2015.
“What was still seen five years ago as an emerging corridor is quickly solidifying its position as a top-tier destination for young and high-earning professionals,” the BID’s report concludes. Evidently, developers continue to build along Metro’s rail lines, despite the transit system’s chronic problems.
You can read the full study here. Highlights follow below.