D.C. Has $8 Billion Hopes for Streetcar Development

For the first time in over 50 years, streetcars are on their way back to the nation’s capital, where long-term, the city will build 37 miles of tracks. D.C. planners are citing Portland as the model for an expected rush of development investment.
January 29, 2014, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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D.J. O’Brien reports on the high hopes of planners and advocates for D.C.’s under-construction 37-mile streetcar network—especially for the wave of new development that they hope will result in the areas around the new tracks.

“The District’s Office of Planning expects up to $8 billion in new development within 10 years after completing work on the eight planned streetcar lines,” reports O’Brien. That includes investments in every type of use: “District officials forecast demand for office space would increase by 3 million square feet and retail space by an additional 1.3 million square feet, supporting up to 1,200 net new households in the District each year.”

Supporters point to the recent development proximate to the 2.2 miles of track already installed along H-Street. There, “[a] 215-unit apartment building completed construction last year at 360 H St NE, along with a new Wal-Mart at 77 H St. NW.”

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Published on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in The Washington Post
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