Public Hearing Testimony: Executive’s Commitment to the Union Station Redevelopment Project

On June 17th, Emeka Moneme, Deputy Executive Director, delivered the following testimony:

Good morning Chairman Mendelson and members of the Council of the District of Columbia.  My name is Emeka Moneme, Deputy Executive Director of the Federal City Council (FC2). I would like to thank you for the opportunity to join my colleagues on this panel to testify in support of the Union Station 2nd Century project.  We are one of the charter members of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC) and play an active role in shaping the direction of this regional transportation hub.

On behalf of the entire Council, I would like to call attention to your leadership in identifying the value of this project and working to retain (and expand) funding for it over the last two budget cycles. In the same breath, we would like to applaud the Mayor’s demonstrated interest and support of the project. Ongoing efforts to coordinate plans around the station, the most recent capital budget, and planned changes proposed by DDOT in the regional Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) demonstrate clear intention to advance the 2nd Century project.  We hope that this hearing will promote even greater understanding of the project and further align the 2nd Century project partners with the District to ensure the project’s ultimate success.

Union Station: 2nd Century Project
The Federal City Council believes that the 2nd Century project could be the “transit-oriented development of the universe.” It presents a once in a generation opportunity to leverage the existing regional intermodal center and create a new hub for not only transportation, but also residential and commercial development. While increases in the projected ridership for Amtrak and commuter rail services necessitate capacity improvements, we see a much larger opportunity to connect the region and stimulate the local economy though innovative land use and business development strategies. The Union Station 2nd Century project will be vital for the region’s future competitiveness.

I would also like to take this opportunity to share with the committee that efforts are underway to conduct a regional economic impact study of the project.  We believe that it is critical to analyze, refine and communicate what we anticipate to be the benefits to the entire region of this investment. We will be working with a broad coalition of business, academic and professional stakeholders to complete this work. The coalition recognizes the transformative potential of this project, and we appreciate the District’s recognition of its strategic value and commitment to realize it in the most expeditious manner.
Thank you for the opportunity to come before this committee to offer our support for the 2nd Century project. The Federal City Council stands ready to assist in any what that is helpful to its successful implementation.