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WeWork President Tells WDCEP Why The Company Is Bullish On DC

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WeWork co-CEO Artie Minson

WeWork's rapid growth in the DC area has made Washington the co-working provider's second-largest market in the country, behind only New York. 

On Friday, after announcing its next DC location at 80 M St SE, WeWork President and CFO Artie Minson told the Washington DC Economic Partnership's annual luncheon why his company is so bullish on the District.

"Washington, DC, has always been a city of creators, which made WeWork's decision to increase our investment in DC the easiest of my career," Artie said. "The scale of our investment here is the clearest indication in our confidence in the future of this great city." 

Artie named some of WeWork's DC members like the Malala Fund that are focused on making global change and have chosen DC as the place to launch new initiatives.

"Washington DC’s brand is an impressive thing to behold," Artie said. "If I want to affect change not just through government but by making something new, increasingly this generation comes to Washington, DC." 

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Mayor Muriel Bowser, speaking at the luncheon, addressed some of the concerns and uncertainty DC residents and businesses face as the federal government transitions to a new administration. She says one of the first lessons she learned as mayor was to prepare for uncertain times and to always stay fiscally responsible. 

"We are very fiscally fit as we move forward in uncertain times," Bowser said. "We know that there are things that we have to prepare for. We don't know, for example, what changes there might be to federal support in our safety net, so we have to be focused on those things." 

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D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner

Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner called the last two years one of the most robust periods in DC's history. He also said he has heard uncertainty and fear from some DC residents, but he assured the audience the District will continue its economic development momentum no matter who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

"We will continue to focus on large-scale projects that make a significant impact in communities here in Washington, DC," Kenner said, "as well as focusing on the neighborhood-focused development projects which equally provide amenities and showcase the unique character of DC."

Coinciding with the luncheon, WDCEP also released its annual economic development report on Friday. DC developers will complete 14M SF of commercial construction this year and an estimated 13M SF next year, the report said, the highest rate of delivery per year since WDCEP began tracking development in 2001.

Fifteen thousand residential units are under construction, the report said, with an estimated 8,000 of those slated to deliver next year.