Who does not like a shorter commute? Communities throughout Metropolitan Washington have worked diligently to create a network of Activity Centers that dexterously increase livability –including less time spent on congested roads and packed Metro cars- while enabling our economy to grow. Activity Centers are places that concentrate jobs housing retail and amenities. This approach helps each community get more benefit out of major investments like roads transit service development incentives and public facilities.
A strong office market is a key element in the success of many Activity Centers. Since 2000 more than 80 million square feet of office space has been constructed in Activity Centers- this is equivalent to adding more than 20 new Pentagons to our region. This predominantly private sector investment in real estate development has added tremendous value to the network of Activity Centers by adding more jobs to the communities already connected by the region’s highway and transit networks. For example new jobs added in the Rockville Town Center also benefit connected communities such as Gaithersburg Bethesda and Tenleytown by increasing the number and diversity of jobs accessible by road and rail. Extensive access to employment is becoming increasingly important as dual income family households become increasingly common. Many households seek to live near major employment areas so that each adult has access to plentiful employment options that will help the household meet its earning potential.
Additional analysis of CoStar data indicates that this trend has strengthened considerably in 2013 where nearly 95 percent of office space under construction was located in Activity Centers helping ensure that our region’s network of Activity Centers continues to grow stronger. Looking farther into the future developers have already proposed an additional ninety five million square feet of office in Activity Centers. Taken together these data points indicate that Activity Centers will continue to strengthen the prosperity and livability of Metropolitan Washington.
Building in Activity Centers is one of the targets of Region Forward. Read more about our targets and goals here.