At long last, after five years of paperwork and negotiations, the Anacostia Business Improvement District (BID) is official. It has a board of directors led by Stan Voudrie, a real estate developer with Four Points LLC. The first tax bills are in the mail, and once the BID receives funds, members can decide how to allocate the money.
"We created the BID to supplement the Department of Public Works," Voudrie explains. The money raised through the additional property tax assessment on Anacostia businesses can be used to clean sidewalks and streets in front of commercial properties, to pick up trash, to maintain planters, and to market the Anacostia business district to new businesses that might want to locate in the historic area of D.C. "We operate as a chamber of commerce," says Voudrie.
"In the last decade, there has been a focus by nonprofits and for-profit developers for Anacostia to be the gateway to D.C.," says Ed Grandis, the lawyer who shepherded the BID through the mayor's office and the IRS for approval. "Anacostia is a low-density commercial area, so it doesn't collect a lot of funds."
Grandis also explains that while most BIDs form as 501(c)6 entities with the IRS, he made sure that the Anacostia BID was formed as a 501(c)3—a nonprofit. "This will allow them to raise more substantial funds," Grandis states. "It was an effort to get [this status]. The IRS doesn't grant it easily." The nonprofit status of Anacostia's BID means that the organization will be tax-exempt and will be able to apply for grants.
Besides Voudrie, other Anacostia BID board members include: Jeff Epperson, Urban-city Ventures; Dennis Garbis, Environmental Design and Construction; Duane Gautier, ARCH Development Corporation; Philip Hutinet, Honfleur Gallery; Stanley Jackson, Executive Director of the Anacostia Development Corporation; Dr. Michael Kim, Grubbs Care Pharmacy and Medical Equipment; B. Doyle Mitchell, Industrial Bank; Nikki Peele, The Hive + The Hive 2.0; and Alex Woldu, National Service Contractors.