FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Zoe Ades, Communications Director
COUNCILMEMBER PINTO INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO CREATE A VIBRANT, SAFE, AND RESILIENT DOWNTOWN
Today, Councilmember Brooke Pinto introduced legislation which serves as a comprehensive plan for Downtown recovery and a blueprint for creating a dynamic, mixed-use city center. The Rediscover Equitable Central Occupancy Vitality and Encourage Resilient Yield (RECOVERY) Act outlines a strategy to incentivize conversions of vacant office buildings to residential and mixed-use development, encourage businesses to provide their employees with accessible childcare, and promote public safety in our business corridors. Councilmember Pinto introduced a previous version of this legislation in 2021.
Three years out from the beginning of the pandemic, it is clear that pre-pandemic reality is not returning. The loss of in-person work has taken a toll on Downtown leaving millions of square feet of vacant office space and record-high retail vacancy rates. Not only are these vacant units a missed opportunity as we experience an affordable housing crisis, but they represent lost tax revenue in a time when our CFO is warning we are facing a risky financial situation. The Recovery Act leads a multi-pronged strategy to reimagining Downtown as a mixed-use destination for residents and visitors, promoting an equitable return to the office, and ensuring public safety in business corridors.
“Downtown is the economic engine of DC and rebuilding a thriving Downtown will benefit our entire city. The RECOVERY Act will make our city center a dynamic destination for residents and visitors,” said Councilmember Pinto. “With our city facing concerning revenue estimates, one of our top priorities must be ensuring a strong tax base in our city center. It is not realistic to simply hope for a return to pre-pandemic office trends; instead, we must look to the future and catalyze other more productive uses of spaces Downtown by making it a residential and mixed-use area and this legislation outlines an actionable and practical pathway to getting there.”
The RECOVERY Act:
The legislation is co-introduced by At-Large Councilmember Christina Henderson.