This is the program area steadily stoking your fear of missing out. The BID’s Marketing, Communications and Events team shapes the Georgetown narrative by promoting the area’s unique assets across numerous marketing channels, including events, public relations, digital communications, social media, advertising and publications. The team fosters relationships with media and PR outlets, builds community partnerships, and engages audiences online and through events, to keep Georgetown fresh, exciting, and top-of-mind. From free outdoor movies and fitness classes in the summer, to weekly features on the commercial district’s most interesting people, and new public art initiatives, the Georgetown story is still being written.
When one of DC’s hottest new restaurants opens in a cobblestone alleyway, Canada’s favorite leisurewear brand moves to M St, or a locally owned coffee shop finds its footing on Book Hill, no one thinks about how they all got there. The BID’s Planning & Economic Development program supports a positive business climate, business recruitment and retention, and commercial real estate occupancy. The BID collects and analyzes data about the Georgetown economy and provides information to building owners, business owners, commercial real estate brokers, and other stakeholders to help them make better-informed investment decisions.
Every day, as if by magic, Georgetown defies its age. But those sparkling streets and beautiful public spaces aren’t through the stroke of a wand, but rather the hard work of the Georgetown BID’s dedicated Streetscape & Street Services program—ensuring the commercial district looks clean, and feels safe and welcoming, all year round.
Contracted to Block by Block and overseen by BID staff, a crew of 14 full- and part-time street team members is on the street every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Clean Team sweeps 142 block faces, 20 alleys, and the C&O Canal Towpath—about five miles of sidewalk and gutter—each day, and assists with the set-up and breakdown of the BID’s many events. The Team also performs nightly power washing of sidewalks and alleys in warm weather, oversees rat abatement and control, and removes snow and ice from crosswalks and pedestrian bridges in the winter.
The BID beautifies and enhances the neighborhood through a variety of seasonal landscape and décor programs, including 300 pink wave petunia flower baskets in the spring, festive décor during the holidays, and year-round tree maintenance in partnership with the city.
Enhancing our streetscape initiatives, the BID’s Placemaking program designs, implements and manages improvements to the public spaces throughout Georgetown to provide safe, attractive, and active places for residents, workers, and visitors. Through plaza furniture, umbrellas, and plantings, Georgetown’s unique narrative is reflected into the built environment.
Spend more time in Georgetown, and less coming and going. At its core, the BID’s transportation program is focused on just that—continuously advocating, planning and making accessibility improvements, from alleviating rush hour traffic, to reconfiguring the pedestrian experience, and installing a new cycletrack for cyclists. In addition to short-term solutions, the BID continues to chip away at long-term transportation goals, including building growing support for an aerial Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola. Georgetown’s appeal is timeless, but the ways in which residents and visitors access it is ever-evolving.
Georgetown Ministry Center provides homeless outreach services in and around Georgetown for the Georgetown BID. Street Outreach services include ongoing rounds throughout the Georgetown community to engage with individuals in need, touchpoints with local businesses, and following up on new concerns within the community. Street Outreach service members are not an emergency response team, and have no authority to move or remove individuals from locations. Rather, we can engage with and encourage individuals to relocate or to clean-up their belongings, and to begin building bridges – or reconnecting them – to services.
The BID is in continuous communication and partnership with the DC Metropolitan Police Department and advocates for appropriate police coverage. The BID also provides its members with useful and relevant information on a wide range of public safety-related topics, and periodically hosts public safety meetings at the BID offices.
BID Projects & Initiatives
C&O Canal Revitalization
The Georgetown Canal Plan is reimagining the one-mile section of the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park that runs through Georgetown—highlighting its national significance by reshaping this section into a must-see destination. The project, spearheaded by Georgetown Heritage and the National Park Service, with support from the District of Columbia Government and Georgetown BID, will preserve the Canal’s history and enliven the area with appealing new features and educational programs.
Most recently, Georgetown Heritage welcomed a new Canal boat to Georgetown for the first time in nearly a decade! Boat rides are available Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm, through October 2022, offering one-hour guided historical tours along the first mile of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). Visitors will learn about the fascinating history, technology and culture of the Canal, and the surprising stories of the people who lived, worked and played here over the past two centuries.
In 2021, the BID built approximately 3,400 linear feet of sidewalk deck panels on M Street between 35th Street and 29th Street, and on Wisconsin Avenue between South Street and Q Street.
Creating more space for customers on Georgetown’s narrow sidewalks provided space for social distancing, support outdoor dining to help restaurants survive the COVID-19 pandemic, and create a more lively and inviting pedestrian experience.
Perhaps the most fantastical idea generated by the Georgetown 2028 planning process is a Georgetown-Rosslyn aerial gondola connecting Georgetown to the Rosslyn Metro station in Virginia. A 2016 recent study revealed a gondola would be feasible.
A gondola linking the two commercial districts and extending the Metro system with a high-speed transit connection could efficiently solve many transit issues for the commercial, residential, university, hospital and visitor constituencies. Our dedicated gondola website offers more on the project—as well as the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola Coalition—and the many ways in which this initiative could transform Georgetown and the surrounding area.
Contact Greg Billing, Georgetown BID Director of Transportation, with questions.
Georgetown GLOW—an outdoor light art experience with national and international reach—has demonstrated the widespread and growing appeal of interactive public art experiences and the potential economic benefits. Building on the success of programs like Georgetown GLOW, the Georgetown BID is exploring adding new interactive art experiences throughout the year to draw people to the neighborhood, with the support of grants, partners and sponsors.
In addition to temporary exhibitions and pop-ups, permanent pieces—such as the Mother Earth sculpture at the Georgetown Waterfront, and ABCDC on Book Hill—are activating previously under-utilized public spaces, making Georgetown more welcoming and vibrant.
Interested in bringing public art to Georgetown? Contact Nancy Miyahira, Georgetown BID Vice President and Director of Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Georgetown Gateways program seeks to enhance the entry points to Georgetown in a way that creates a sense of arrival for visitors, provides a familiar sense of return for residents and employees, and orients and informs those entering Georgetown.
Through a collaborative design process, the Georgetown BID is creating a design plan to enhance these gateways in a way that is complementary, informative, and reflective of the character of the neighborhood. The Georgetown BID selected Beyer Blinder Belle, a renowned Georgetown architecture firm, as the design partner. Beyer Blinder Belle has a deep knowledge of the neighborhood, demonstrated design expertise and creativity, expertise in historic preservation, and a commitment to community engagement. The firm is working with the Georgetown BID to engage the business community, residential community, and regulatory agencies to develop consensus-based designs for five primary entrances to Georgetown: K Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, M Street, Key Bridge, and Wisconsin Avenue.
Each gateway design will include combinations of design and public space elements, including entrance markers and signage, lighting, furniture and landscaping, wayfinding elements and historical information. The initiative emerged from the Georgetown 2028 15-year action plan to alleviate the uncertainty many visitors experience in identifying the beginning of Georgetown’s commercial district.
Contact Jamie Scott, Georgetown BID Director of Planning and Economic Development, at email@example.com for more information.
Water Street Staircase Rehabilitation & Capital Crescent Trail Trailhead Project
The Capital Crescent Trail and the C&O Canal Towpath are two of the most heavily traveled bicycle and pedestrian trail routes in the region. At the Potomac Aqueduct, the existing concrete staircase is in poor condition—crumbling concrete stair risers, lack of a handrail, overgrown weeds, and graffiti—and does not provide a safe or functional connection between the two trails. On the Water Street level, the existing conditions are also poor, with packed dirt, loose gravel, overgrown weeds, and ponding water. This location is the logical meeting point for many users of the Capital Crescent Trail, the C&O Canal Towpath, and the Potomac River.
The Georgetown BID has contracted with Bradley Site Design, a Georgetown-based landscape architecture firm, to design and oversee construction of the project to:
Create a safer pedestrian connection between the C&O Canal Towpath and the Capital Crescent Trail by rehabilitating the concrete staircase at the Potomac Aqueduct
Create a trailhead area for users of the Capital Crescent Trail, featuring seating, bike parking, landscaping, and improved drainage
Georgetown 2028, a strategic planning approach to build an economically stronger and more sustainable Georgetown commercial district, began in April 2013 by the Georgetown Business Improvement District. The Georgetown 2028 15 Year Action Plan was launched in January 2014, and much progress has been made since then.
The BID has completed or made substantial progress on 67 of the 76 action items, from transportation to economic development.