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The District’s big real estate projects need a lot of money to get done, and D.C. doesn’t have it. You know who does have it though? The Chinese.
They’ve been investing in high-visibility cities like New York for a while now, after all—-the Chinese government wants its rich people to invest overseas, the Times reported, to “diversify China’s foreign-exchange holdings, develop business partnerships and improve the country’s leverage in international affairs.” D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins knows this. As Maryland’s Assistant Secretary for Business and Economic Development, he set up an International Maryland Office in Shanghai to reel in cash.
So it only makes sense that on a visit to the country this past week, he’d be talking up the District’s big money holes to the people who are in a position to fill them—-30 of them, to be precise, in the areas of office and residential real estate, power infrastructure, and transportation. The potential investors will be here on April 9th and 16th checking out big D.C. real estate projects, Hoskins said at a D.C. Building Industry Association breakfast this morning. That’ll likely include McMillan and Walter Reed, but focus more heavily on the St. Elizabeths East Campus, where the District is also trying to attract tech companies like Siemens, Microsoft, and General Dynamics.
Hoskins also says he visited the offices of the information technology company Huawei, which has its North American headquarters in D.C., and is trying to get them to set up a research and development facility in the District. They could even be part of the financing equation for the streetcar, Hoskins said, as I suggested months ago.
Mayor Vince Gray may be taking a trip east as well, since he’s received an invitation for himself and two aides to attend an international sustainability conference in Beijing. Maybe he’ll bring International Trade Center dreamer Alfred Liu.