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Case Study: Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District

Washington, DC

Capitol Riverfront BID Case Study Photo 1000x402

Project Type:

  • Corridor Planning
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Economic Impact Analysis
  • Fiscal Impact Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Metropolitan Growth Strategy

Product Type

Development Concepts

  • Mixed/Multi-Use
  • Redevelopment
  • Transit-Oriented Development

The Challenge

The Capitol Riverfront BID is well-situated in a downtown adjacent, Metro-accessible location, without the constraints of being built out on an FAR and zoning basis. However, in the District of Columbia, investment in locations along the Green Line—including the Capitol Riverfront—has long been perceived as less competitive than investment along other primary transit corridors in the region—namely, the Red Line and the Orange Line’s Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor. For almost 30 years, development along those corridors has flourished as householders, employers, and tax dollars have clustered in these high-growth corridors. In recent years, however, significant public investment and rapid neighborhood revitalization along the Green Line has hinted of a potential paradigm shift. It was hypothesized that the Green Line was poised to become the next major growth corridor in the District of Columbia, in terms of population growth, household income, real property values, employment and fiscal contribution.


RCLCO examined historical, current, and projected economic and demographic shifts taking place along transit corridors in the District and the region, including an in-depth analysis of select downtown Green Line station areas. RCLCO also deployed its proprietary modeling, which is designed to forecast real estate growth and impacts on a regional scale. RCLCO also analyzed decades of actual residential real property transactions to estimate the income levels and purchasing power commensurate with stabilized transaction price levels. In addition, RCLCO completed a demand forecast and fiscal impact analysis, highlighting key demand drivers, which will drive commercial investment over the next 20 years along Green Line stations, particularly in the Capitol Riverfront BID.


RCLCO has successfully re-branded the entirety of these station areas and breathed economic life into their land assets. Until this study, little research had been done about the extent of the changes taking place in these areas. RCLCO’s findings debunked conventional thinking about the Green Line, suggesting that the Green Line Corridor study area has become a formidable competitor for capturing highly-prized young professional housing demand and high-wage employment. Additionally, RCLCO’s analysis suggests that the Capitol Riverfront BID— given its Green Line access at the Navy Yard Station and its significant amount of development capacity—becomes among the most competitive locations in the region for residential, retail, and office development.


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