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WASHINGTON, DC-The NoMA area of Washington, DC has been approved as a new Business Improvement District by the District of Columbia Council. NoMA is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue on the south, North Capitol Street on the west, and Q and R streets on the north. It extends eastward just beyond the CSX/Metrorail tracks.

The NoMA BID has a seven-member board chaired by Bruce Baschuk of J Street Development. BID status will provide tangible benefits to developers interested in the area, according to board treasurer Douglas Firstenberg, who is also principal of Bethesda, MD-based StonebridgeCarras.

“We will be providing services and marketing to tenants and visitors, such as cleaning and safety programs,” Firstenberg tells GlobeSt.com. “We will be involved in working with the District and other agencies to help develop infrastructure and other policies affecting this part of the city.”

Charles Wilkes, chairman of local development firm the Wilkes Co. and vice chairman of the NoMA BID, tells GlobeSt.com that the first project BID will tackle will be a “clean and safe” program, which entails employing street sweepers, uniformed guards and eventually installing streetscape and plantings. That project will take up a big chunk of the BID’s $1.2 million 2008 fiscal year budget, he says.

For the 2007 budget, the developers kicked in voluntary contributions to get the process off the ground. It was money well spent, Wilkes says, as it is largely seen as an investment that will pay dividend in future development.

According to Firstenberg, there is about $1 billion of either planned development or projects underway in this area. “That is not counting what the government is doing,” he says.

StonebridgeCarras, for example, is in the design phase of its Constitution Square project, a $350-million, two-building, seven-acre project. The building at the south side of the site is a 620,000-sf, residential/retail building that will consist of 55,000 sf of retail, 50,000 sf of which will be a grocery store, Firstenberg says. The other building is a 350,000-sf office with retail on the ground floor.

The Wilkes Co. as well has a project in the planning stages: a 650,000-sf mixed-use residential, office and ground floor retail complex in between M, Third and Fourth streets, according to Wilkes.

“We expect to see tremendous new development in the coming years–1.5 million sf of office space, 1,500 apartments and two hotels will break ground this year alone,” Baschuk says in a statement.

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