Washington, DC has made a commitment to greater equity in its redevelopment efforts. The core part of the city has seen remarkable new development, revitalization, and economic growth. Neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River have largely been left out of this renaissance. Tax increment financing has been an important tool to implement the city’s goal of greater equity in the city’s economic development efforts.
There are several major projects east of the river now under development spurred by tax increment financing. One of these projects is Reunion Square. Reunion Square is a multi-phase, 8-acre, 1.5 million square feet master planned development located in Historic Anacostia. Reunion Square is expected to include approximately 950,000 sf of office space, 130,000 sf of neighborhood serving retail, and 480 apartment units, of which a significant portion will be affordable. Historic Anacostia is well situated between the Navy Yard, the new Homeland Security Headquarters, and St. Elizabeth’s. Reunion Square is located proximate to the Anacostia Metro Station. The development fronts on Interstate I-295 with dramatic views of Anacostia Park, the Anacostia River, the new sports stadiums, and the U.S. Capitol.
Washington, DC is helping to foster its commitment to greater equity with both tax increment financing and by placing DC agencies in these redevelopments. Reunion Square will include a new 200,000 SF headquarters for the District of Columbia Department of Health, the Office of Lottery and Charitable Games, and the Department of For-Hire Vehicles. The office buildings will be built to LEED Gold certification standards for core and shell and LEED silver certification for commercial interiors. The District of Columbia approved $45,800,000 in tax increment financing bonds for the redevelopment. These bonds will primarily fund the costs of structured parking. After being passed over for redevelopment for decades, the first-ever tax increment financing in Ward 8 will build a new economic engine fulfilling the vision for equitable development east of the river.