Every Development Project in DC Will Soon Be in This Database
The DC government took a big step this week to make it easier to see what development is going on in the city.
On Monday, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration quietly launched Project Pipeline Database, an online tool that allows the public to see every development project in the District that's working with the Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The database is broken down by ward, and each project’s page shows the developer behind it, the project manager with DMPED who's working on it, the address, the square footage, and the projected construction start and finish date. We’re told what is live today is a beta or pilot version, and it'll only get better.
Even in its current form, the PPD is a huge step for transparency, and will certainly make easier the lives of those whose job it is to track development in the District. The mayor was a champion of the project as well as the idea of transparency, trying to make data available to the public, DMPED chief of staff Andrew Trueblood told Bisnow today. (Andrew is the guy in the beard next to the mayor at Bowser's open house in February. Next to him is director of employment services Deborah Carroll, DMPED spokesman Joaquin McPeek, former DC Taxi Commissioner Eric Rogers, and Eric Shaw, the director of the DC planning office.) The PPD is an extension of DMPED’s internal database, and it took a couple of months to build with only information ready to be released publicly. It’s a response to residents and stakeholders in every sector of the District asking for more information in a quicker, more accessible format. “We’re making sure that people feel like their voices are being heard,” Joaquin says. “We know there’s room for improvement, and we’re constantly looking for ways to get better.”
Considering the preponderance of cranes dotting the DC skyline right now, the database will be immensely helpful in putting all the new development in context. For an enterprising individual hoping to get an update on the Parcel 69 mixed-use development on East Street SW, they can see both phases of development from the JV of City Partners DC and Potomac Investment Properties: Phase 1, with a 143k SF hotel, 1,200 SF of retail and the 17k SF fire station, is under construction and expected to deliver in Q1 2016. Phase 2, at 555 E St SW, is planned to start construction in Q1 2017 on 193k SF of residential, 15k SF of retail and 89k SF of hotel space. Construction on that's expected to wrap up in Q3 2018.
What you see above is only the beginning. In time, Andrew expects the database will add a variety of features, like photos and renderings of the project, zoning information and documents, and a development’s affordable housing component. The PPD has been live for two days, and DMPED has already seen a benefit: a resident notified them yesterday to let them know the ZIP code on a project was listed wrong. “It’s a beta, and we’re iterating and testing the waters,” Andrew says. “There’s a lot of data that could very well change, but the public can now see the name of a project, the type of project and where it is. That’s really valuable.”