WASHINGTON, D.C., NOVEMBER 29, 2018 — The Dupont Circle Business Improvement District celebrated its launch yesterday at the Ampeer Dupont Circle, with Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Jack Evans, and other stakeholders in attendance. The Dupont Circle BID was formed earlier this year to elevate the iconic Dupont Circle neighborhood as DC’s international heart, the historic neighborhood renowned as the city’s progressive, cosmopolitan gathering place.
“A BID is an organization of people who wakes up every morning focused on one particular place,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said, describing the importance of neighborhood champions and highlighting the key tenets of the work of business improvement districts. “Clean, safe, programmed and championed — that’s what this organization will do for Dupont Circle.”
Board Chair Michael Kain recounted how his work to create a place management organization in Dupont Circle started a decade ago, as stakeholders coalesced around the idea to build a new plaza north of the Circle on a platform over Connecticut Avenue NW. Now, the city has dedicated $25 million to “Dupont Plaza” and an accompanying streetscape project up Connecticut Avenue NW to California Street. Kain underscored the partnerships of existing nonprofits in the neighborhood to bring the BID to fruition, highlighting the work of Historic Dupont Circle Main Street, Dupont Festival, and the local ANC.
Councilmember Jack Evans and Mayor Bowser both expressed support for the Dupont Plaza and Streetscape project, and their intention to keep it moving forward.
“Introducing the 11th BID in the city: this is a big celebration today,” said Evans, who used to live in Dupont Circle and served on the ANC here. “BIDs have become an enormous economic development tool for the city.”
Executive Director Colleen Hawkinson announced a unique partnership with Historic Dupont Circle Main Street that will result in a threefold expansion of the current clean team. Starting next week, six Welcome Team members will be visible on Dupont’s streets daily, removing dirt, graffiti, leaves and more. The responsibilities of the Welcome Team change seasonally, and include hospitality services to welcome visitors and assist the homeless population.
Each person who spoke recounted a special connection to Dupont Circle as one of the city’s favorite gathering places. “Dupont Circle is a unique and treasured place,” Hawkinson said. “The neighborhood’s history of art, activism, international flair and social opportunities forms the foundation for the BID’s task: to reclaim the distinction of Dupont Circle as a gathering place that offers culture-rich amenities, incubates progressive thought and acceptance, and has a global reach.”
Hawkinson will hold two open house events in January for stakeholders who are interested in learning more about the upcoming priorities for the new organization. Find details at dupontcirclebid.org.
About Dupont Circle BID
Dupont Circle is DC’s international heart, the destination neighborhood renowned as the city’s progressive, cosmopolitan gathering place. The Dupont Circle Business Improvement District (BID) is a nonprofit formed in 2018 to elevate this iconic neighborhood with public space management, strategic marketing, and economic development initiatives. With more than $25 million in public investment planned for a new plaza and streetscape improvements along Connecticut Avenue NW, the BID is poised to energize the neighborhood with increased cleaning services, brand management, events and more. More than 150 restaurants, 80 shops, 70 embassies and 20 hotels call Dupont Circle home; and 22,000 people live within a half-mile of the neighborhood. The Dupont Circle BID covers approximately 11 blocks in the commercial district, including Dupont Circle, P Street NW, Massachusetts Avenue, and Connecticut Avenue from the Circle to California Street NW. To learn more about the organization, visit dupontcirclebid.org.
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Rachel L. Davis