Blog Post

Mayor Gray and Councilmember McDuffie Announce Ward 5 Industrial Land Transformation Task Force

Thursday, January 31, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie today announced the formation of a 13-member task force charged with developing a strategic plan for the modernization and adaptive use of the industrial areas in Ward 5.

Building on the goals of the Mayor’s One City Action Plan, the District’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy and the Sustainable DC initiative, the Ward 5 Industrial Land Transformation Task Force will develop a strategic and forward-looking plan to transform these industrial areas into a magnet for green and creative businesses that can help diversify the District’s economy, create jobs for different skill levels and provide the amenities and services desired by Ward 5 residents.

“With the creation of this task force, we are signaling the start a new day for these often neglected and underused industrial areas,” said Mayor Gray. “We can find better and smarter ways to make them productive not just for Ward 5, but for the entire District’s economy by leveraging the demand for green, technological and creative services in our city.”

Councilmember McDuffie, who has spearheaded the initiative to re-envision Ward 5’s industrial areas, joined Mayor Gray in noting the crucial nature of the panel’s work. “It is important that we take a balanced approach to land use in Ward 5,” McDuffie said. “The Industrial Land Transformation Task Force will assess the feasibility of diversifying the industries using Ward 5’s industrial land to stimulate economic development and job creation. Industrial land, when approached creatively, could be the key to a more vibrant Ward 5.”

The 13-member task force will be chaired by D.C. Office of Planning (OP) Director Harriet Tregoning, and Councilmember McDuffie will serve as a member. In an acknowledgement of the importance of industrial areas in supporting critical municipal services, the Task Force also includes District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy; Department of Public Works (DPW) Director William O. Howland, Jr.; District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Keith Anderson; Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon; Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi; and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) Victor Hoskins.

Mayor Gray also appointed to the task force four members of the public with deep ties to Ward 5 neighborhoods and expertise in public-private partnerships, environmental sustainability and economic development. These members include Jaime Fearer, Secretary of the Trinidad Neighborhood Association and an urban planning professional; Eric Jones, resident of the Bates-Truxton neighborhood and Associate Director of Government Affairs at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington; Victoria Leonard, long-time Ward 5 resident and Economic Development Advisor for the Mid-Atlantic Laborers’ Cooperation Trust; and Peta-Gay Lewis, newly elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 5D01.

Although industrial land accounts for less than 5 percent of the District’s land area, it plays a very important role in contributing to the District’s economy by directly providing products and services, highly needed well-paying jobs, housing and municipal facilities that provide necessary services for D.C.’s rapidly growing population.

The task force is charged with developing a plan that includes:
– An inventory of current industrial uses;
– A set of goals, recommendations and analysis for how to modernize and adaptively use Ward 5’s industrial land;
– A projection, utilizing data from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, of the amount of tax revenue that could be generated through the expansion of industries;
– Recommendations for various measures and tools to facilitate and incentivize the modernization and adaptive use of industrial land; and
– An implementation strategy, with a projected timeframe and recommended implementing agents.

“Since 2006 – the last time we comprehensively looked at our industrial land – our city and its needs have continued to evolve, offering choices in transportation, housing, retail and services that attract new people, jobs and businesses,” said OP Director Tregoning. “Through this task force, we can develop an approach to our industrial land assets that further builds on the District’s position as an emerging leader in the green economy, the creative sector, entrepreneurship and cutting-edge technology.”
The task force is expected to submit a draft report to the Mayor and the D.C. Council by January 31, 2014.

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