D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, joined Thursday by Events DC and the District’s convention and sports authority, participated in a groundbreaking for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center streetscape project.
The project will feature lighting, art, new retail kiosks, digital signage, planters and furnishings to reactivate the exterior of the Convention Center and Shaw neighborhood.
“It’s now been more than 15 years since our community worked together to build this world-class convention center,” Bowser said in a statement. “We have worked hard to attract businesses and amenities that can be enjoyed by both residents in the neighborhood as well as the millions of visitors who come to our city from around the world every year. With the support of Events DC, this project is going to bring in more of what our residents, visitors, and businesses like — jobs, opportunity, and places to enjoy D.C.”
The groundbreaking marks the beginning of the Convention Center enhancement project to transform the 2.3 million-square-foot building’s exterior. The project also reinforces the Shaw neighborhood as a convention and entertainment district that boasts several new retail and restaurants and an Apple flagship store at Mt. Vernon Square.
“As the convention and sports authority for D.C., it is critical for us to make strategic investments in our venues to differentiate our facilities and city from competitors across the globe — and the Convention Center streetscape project is a prime example of this,” said Max Brown, Events DC board chair. “We are creating an experience for our customers and residents that is more than a building — we are creating a vibrant space with retail, world-class art, lighting and public space that is connected with and a part of the Shaw community.”