Photo by PoPville flickr user jleathers
Office of Planning Study Highlights Innovative Approaches to Successful Commercial Districts
WHAT/WHO: Mayor Vincent C. Gray will announce the release of the District’s Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit, which evaluates the essential elements required to create and maintain outstanding retail areas and offers a customizable toolbox of strategies and implementation steps to improve retail corridors.
WHEN: Thursday, March 29, 2012
WHERE: Yes! Organic Market
4100 Georgia Avenue NW
(Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station)
BACKGROUND: The Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit, developed by the D.C. Office of Planning (OP) and its consultant partner Streetsense, incorporates research on best practices and innovative approaches to managing successful commercial districts. The document also uses metrics that assess the level of retail demand, accessibility, location, mix and format. The Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit is a follow-up to OP’s Retail Action Strategy and Retail Action Roadmap, released in 2010.
The District’s evolving retail economy is an opportunity for the city to grow its tax base and become more fiscally sound. Retail can create new jobs, enhance neighborhood amenities, provide convenient access to goods and services for residents, generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue and reduce the phenomenon of residents leaving the city to buy what they need or want. Investments in emerging commercial corridors are bringing new retail energy to neighborhoods; however, as with retail areas across the nation, retail streets in the District face a variety of challenges. The Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit is a guide designed to take advantage of renewed interest in urban markets by retailers as well as the District’s growing population who choose our increasing number of walkable, bikeable, transit-rich neighborhoods to shop and access services in the city.
The study evaluates the essential elements of outstanding retail areas and offers a customizable toolbox of programs, incentives, and implementation steps to improve retail streets. The toolkit incorporates research on best practices and innovative approaches to managing successful commercial districts and also uses retail metrics that assess the level of retail demand and accessibility and location mix and format. The study offers guidance on key retail issues such as retailers’ site location considerations and decision-making processes, as well as how neighborhoods can measure, gauge and spark retail vibrancy. The analysis and toolkit will equip retailers, landlords, business and neighborhood associations, nonprofits and government agencies with the tools needed to support more dynamic retail streets.