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Program aims to attract new neighborhood stores

(Published January 28, 2002)

The Williams administration has launched a new citywide program, developed in cooperation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, that aims to revitalize neighborhood commercial areas in the District.

"My goal is to bring economic development to every corner of our city," Mayor Anthony A. Williams said at a Jan. 25 news conference announcing the new program called ReStore DC.

The mayor said the program will emphasize promoting and marketing business districts, improving the appearance and economic health of neighborhood business districts and strengthening the internal capacity of government agencies, along with organizations such as community development corporations that are engaged in revitalization activities.

The program will focus on forming partnerships among the local government, civic and professional organizations, residents, and business owners and managers to facilitate commercial growth, the mayor said.

To encourage these partnerships, the mayor said four program components have been developed:

D.C. Main Streets will consist of a comprehensive package of technical and financial assistance for neighborhood business districts. This program component is funded at $1.1 million for fiscal 2002.

Commercial District Technical Assistance Pro-gram will offer direct assistance to any commercial district in the city. Four times every year, the Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development will award grants through this program, which is funded at $400,000 for fiscal 2002.

Commercial Property Acquisition and Development Fund would provide matching funding for nonprofit organizations to acquire, redevelop or build commercial properties. This program component is funded at $5 million for fiscal 2002.

Small Business Development Program will help fund training, workshops, conferences, technical assistance and access to capital. This program component is funded at $1 million for fiscal 2002.

Applications for the initial round of funding are due March 25. Pre-application workshops will be held throughout the city. Attendance at a workshop is mandatory for an organization to apply for local designation. No registration is required.

Workshops are as follows:

Feb. 4, 5 - 8 p.m. at Juanita Thornton Shepherd Park Library, 7480 Georgia Ave. NW.

Feb. 5, 1 - 4 p.m. at the Department of Housing and Community Development, 801 North Capitol St. Ninth Floor Conference Room.

Feb. 6, 6 - 8:30 p.m. at the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, 3939 Benning Road NE.

Feb. 7, 6 - 8:30 p.m. at the Department of Housing and Community Development, 801 North Capitol St., Ninth Floor Conference Room.

Feb. 9, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Anacostia Professional Building, 2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.

Feb. 9, 3 - 6 p.m. at O'Connor Hall, Trinity College, 125 Michigan Ave. NE.

Feb. 15, 6 - 8:30 p.m. at Cada Vez Restaurant and Conference Center, 1438 U St. NW.

Feb. 16, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW, Building 44, Room A-03.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator