We have all learned the lesson of the last two months of January: expect the unexpected for the coming year. Still, there are many things the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) can look forward to in 2022 as our business district continues to recover and regularly re-engage with the community.
More than 35 new businesses have opened since the start of the pandemic; more recently Yo! Yoga fitness studio, jeweler Gorjana, fashion retailers Everlane and Aerie, sweet destinations Bakeshop and Little Sister, and Avocado Green Mattress. More anticipated openings are expected in the coming months – including a tavern in Book Hill called The Fountain Inn, and several reinvigorated spaces along Wisconsin Avenue – and there’s renewed optimism about Georgetown’s future. among retailers and restaurateurs who are ready to bring new, exciting concepts here.
Much of that confidence comes from our encouraging visitor data. In October, the commercial district not only saw monthly visits rebound to 2019 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but surpassed them. Our recovery has outpaced that of our competitor markets, including Tyson’s Corner Center, 14th Street and The Wharf.
Although the Georgetown BID does not control the real estate market, our research and analysis work on economic development, as well as tenant retention and attraction has never been more important to the recovery and success of the property market. amazing shopping district of Georgetown.
Our new economic development team is now leading that charge. Faith Broderick is Georgetown BID’s new Director of Economic Development. A graduate of Georgetown University, Faith most recently served as a community planner for the DC Office of Planning. Upon joining Faith, Peter Abrahams was hired as an economic development and partnerships consultant. He has spent the past 30 years in publishing – most recently as a former editor of the Washington Business Journal.
Buoyed by a strong team and promising news from the commercial district, the Georgetown BID will continue its recovery efforts in 2022.
Chief among these is the renewed focus on the revitalization of the C&O Canal, led by Georgetown Heritage, and the long-awaited official launch of our new C&O Canal boat this spring – part of our efforts to strengthen the economy of neighborhood visitors. If you’ve been walking along the canal lately, you’ve hopefully seen the beautiful boat docked at Lock 4 between the 31st Street Bridge and Thomas Jefferson Street. In a few months, residents, visitors and school children will be invited to board and tour the canal for the first time in a decade. Georgetown Heritage commemorates this milestone with a cocktail reception and ribbon cutting on April 28, so save the date!
Speaking of all things outdoors, we continue to make the most of our streatries on the bridges of Georgetown. Outdoor dining has saved countless neighborhood restaurants during the pandemic and will be just as important this year. Please continue to support our restaurants and shop locally as well.
The Georgetown BID is also looking forward to hosting more of our outdoor signature events again this year. After changing the schedule for the 2021 Georgetown French Market, the annual open-air Book Hill Market will return to its traditional spring roots on the last weekend in April. Our outdoor movie series Sunset Cinema is back this summer at Georgetown Waterfront Park, and Georgetown GLOW will be back for the holiday season in November – the latter, one of many opportunities to bring more art into Georgetown’s public spaces and activate underutilized spaces. We look forward to re-engaging the community with these free events, and more.
We are pursuing other initiatives with our community partners, including revising tavern licensing restrictions to improve the neighborhood’s appeal to new businesses, and transportation planning for safer and more efficient streets and sidewalks, improved access – including via the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola, and electric vehicle charging.
As you can see, we have a full schedule for 2022. We look forward to better days and an even stronger Georgetown. Visit georgetowndc.com to sign up for our weekly BIDness newsletter and get the inside scoop on restaurant and store openings, events and promotions.
Joe Sternlieb is the CEO and President of the Georgetown Business Improvement District.