City Paper is not for tourists
What a difference 10 years and a Metro station can make.
In 2004, NoMa—-at least the section of it studied in a report released this week—-had no offices, no residences, no hotels, and no retail. Ten years later, there’s 3.8 million square feet of office space, 3,057 residences, 622 hotel rooms, and 183,000 square feet of retail, plus much more on the way.
What happened in the interim? In November 2004, an infill Metro station opened on the two-mile stretch between Union Station and Rhode Island Avenue.
On Wednesday, developers, city planners, and officials with the NoMa Business Improvement District gathered to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the neighborhood’s Metro station, which first bore the unwieldy name New York Ave–Florida Ave–Gallaudet U, before becoming NoMa-Gallaudet U in 2012 to reflect the new neighborhood that had sprung up around it.
According to a study, commissioned by the NoMa BID and Urban Land Institute and conducted by RKG Associates, that was released to coincide with the anniversary celebration, the Metro station has led to $4.7 billion in total economic output, $330 million in tax revenue to the city, and nearly 30,000 jobs (half construction and half permanent). The growth is expected to continue: RKG projects that between 2015 and 2019, annual city revenue from the study area (north of K Street NE) will rise from $68 million to $152 million.
A full 95 percent of residents of the NoMa study area have college degrees, according to the report, and more than 60 percent earn more than $80,000 a year. The average age is just north of 30.
The NoMa Metro station was funded by a joint effort of the District, which contributed $54 million, and the federal government, which chipped in $31 million. An additional $25 million came from a 30-year tax assessment on local property owners, and adjacent landowners donated $10 million of land.
In his introduction to the report, ULI Washington Chair Matt Klein praises the “forward-thinking partnership” between “property owners and developers…, business leaders, and forward-thinking government officials,” that brought about the “neighborhood’s revitalization.” Klein has an incentive to promote this model: He’s president of Akridge, the developer at the center of the deal to build a D.C. United soccer stadium through a public-private partnership. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser‘s announcement this week that she would not trade the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center to Akridge as part of the deal upset the developer and threatened to delay or complicate the city’s plans.
Federal funding for heavy rail may be harder to come by now than it was in the 1960s, when the Metro system was planned. But the economic benefits of stations are clear, and as D.C.’s population grows, new stations would surely facilitate transportation for new residents and promote development. So, readers: What infill stations (or, if you’re feeling ambitious, new lines) would you propose for the system over the coming decades? Drop your thoughts in the comments.
Images from the report