Government agencies in the Washington, DC area lose out from their inability to lease out retail frontage in otherwise vibrant, urban areas.
Although there are justifiable security reasons behind the government's decision to keep their urban buildings single use, were the government to develop a metric to determine which pieces of real estate were low risk, they could save money and even generate revenue by converting street level real estate into retail space that could be leased to small businesses.
Similarly, the government should encourage employees who live and work near transit to utilize those options over driving by ending their policy of providing free parking (particularly for legislative staff) in downtown areas. This would dramatically reduce parking requirements, which could free the government to lease those lots to developers. Were the government to lease urban, transit accessible land currently used as parking lots, we could generate a serious amount of revenue with no real long term financial cost.
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