Emphasis On Experience Fuels Rosslyn’s Live-Work-Play Transformation
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At its inaugural Harvest Fest in October, Rosslyn’s over 14,000 residents and 25,000 employees were bustling with fall spirit. Across three locations and two days, the growing population of residents and commuters enjoyed live music, drinks and an arts and crafts market among other autumn-themed activities.
Once a hub for government agencies and 9-to-5 commuters, Rosslyn has transformed into a live-work-play destination for millennials. Media companies, consulting firms and financial services have set up shop in the submarket’s Class-A office buildings, drawn to amenities like fitness centers, games, roof decks and outdoor spaces. Over 160 diverse events spread throughout the year have also fueled the influx and retention of companies and their employees in Rosslyn.
Hosting prime community events has become part of a collaborative effort between the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and the area’s landlords to activate the community and attract D.C.’s top businesses and talent.
The Rosslyn BID continually surveys its community members and has been targeting its events to the younger audience while also keeping in mind the growing number of families moving to Rosslyn.
Farmers markets have evolved into evening events, including pop-up happy hour activities like bourbon and wine tastings. Rosslyn Cinema, a weekly moviegoing event that drew 20,000 people this year, supplements the film with a mobile pub, games and often pre-show DJs.
At the Rosslyn Jazz Fest, now in its 27th year, 10,000 people came to Gateway Park to be part of a world-class music festival featuring an eclectic mix of big-name musicians, including some who performed at the famed New Orleans Jazz Festival. The outdoor setting also offered local food trucks and a beer and wine garden. Neighboring restaurants participated by offering discounts throughout the festival.
"It’s really this type of forward-thinking event programming that has been getting our residents and workforce excited about being here,” Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick said. “It is more than just doing an event in a beer garden. It is going to activate all of Rosslyn.”
Rosslyn landlords have taken notice. Monday Properties has worked to create spaces and social events for its tenants each year, encouraging spontaneous interactions beyond the walls of the office.
“We have successfully begun creating a sense of place within our buildings, public spaces and outdoor amenity areas, including expansive rooftop decks,” Monday Properties Senior Vice President of Leasing John Wharton said. “We have a couple of putting greens, ping pong tables and bocce courts. Our food trucks have exceeded attendee expectations.”
To help grow and take advantage of the expanding urban community, Monday teamed up with the Rosslyn BID to offer up its spaces for event programming. The Rosslyn BID also engages with potential brokers and businesses looking to make the city their future home.
Monday Properties’ buildings give the BID access to one of Rosslyn’s best assets: sweeping views of D.C.’s monuments and skyline. An upcoming rooftop cocktail series will highlight the landlord’s outdoor spaces. The series will create another opportunity for the dynamic Rosslyn community to network and connect.
The BID also works with Monday Properties to meet with its tenants and create custom events, such as new tenant welcome parties, employee information sessions, neighborhood tours and more.
“Whenever Monday is doing a special tenant event, they invite the BID to meet with employees,” Burick said. “It’s part of our partnership with Monday Properties to make sure its tenants are enjoying all that Rosslyn has to offer, and that potential new tenants look to the area as a choice for their next office relocation.”
Through the affiliation, companies are getting the best of both worlds: fully amenitized and sophisticated buildings and a neighborhood with robust and diverse community activity.
“We are collaborating to create happening and exciting events that make the Rosslyn workforce want to stay after the workday and enjoy the nightlife,” Wharton said. "This desire to live, work and play in Rosslyn was always something that was missing, but now it’s already here.”
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