Housing Complex

Deputy Mayor Hoskins Woos the Chinese

The District's big real estate projects need a lot of money to get done, and D.C. doesn't have it. You know who does have it though? The Chinese.

They've been investing in high-visibility cities like New York for a while now, after all—the Chinese government wants its rich people to invest overseas, the Times reported, to "diversify China’s foreign-exchange holdings, develop business partnerships and improve the country’s leverage in international affairs." D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins knows this. As Maryland's Assistant Secretary for Business and Economic Development, he set up an International Maryland Office in Shanghai to reel in cash.

So it only makes sense that on a visit to the country this past week, he'd be talking up the District's big money holes to the people who are in a position to fill them—30 of them, to be precise, in the areas of office and residential real estate, power infrastructure, and transportation. The potential investors will be here on April 9th and 16th checking out big D.C. real estate projects, Hoskins said at a D.C. Building Industry Association breakfast this morning. That'll likely include McMillan and Walter Reed, but focus more heavily on the St. Elizabeths East Campus, where the District is also trying to attract tech companies like Siemens, Microsoft, and General Dynamics.

Hoskins also says he visited the offices of the information technology company Huawei, which has its North American headquarters in D.C., and is trying to get them to set up a research and development facility in the District. They could even be part of the financing equation for the streetcar, Hoskins said, as I suggested months ago.

Mayor Vince Gray may be taking a trip east as well, since he's received an invitation for himself and two aides to attend an international sustainability conference in Beijing. Maybe he'll bring International Trade Center dreamer Alfred Liu.

  • RT

    Hoskins has actually far surpassed my expectations. He is a good mix of practical with a touch of visionary... like a Anthony Williams pick. But good job, Gray, for picking a keeper.

    If you want to keep up with the Joneses, you may have to throw your country pride aside and suck up to the new Emperor (China). We should be trying to get foreign multinationals to locate here. It'll create jobs, a tax base, and most of all a diversified corporate base. The govt is clearly not going to grow much anytime soon. Better get back to the drawing board.

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  • http://letschange.org Respected Citizens

    Taking into account what RT states, then why in the hell did he agree with Lisa Mallory, a very unskilled Director at Employment Services to give 3 million to the Goodwill, a non-profit federal funds via a Sole Source contract to avoid revenue going back to Labor.

    This decision indicates the lack of expertise about the use of federal funds from our Mayor and At-Large Independent Candidate, Michael Brown.

    Since surplus of this kind exist in DC, why wasn't this agency allowed to expand their workforce contractors, so that more DC youth could earn services year-round, who meet the income guidelines.

    This administration and Council needs to be immediately overhauled, as DC employees from the Fenty's administration still exist with incompetence, while services for the disenfranchise continue to decrease and not increase.

    Look, Economic Development does not even give jobs to our city's Black population, but valids employment of the Hispanic.

    When will the truth unfold about the real needs of our city curtailing for all people, those who have been here vs those that just arrive being given first class treatment.

    A change is about to come, and it will soon include the needs as well as the elite goals and objectives.

  • DC Resident 2

    "Respected" Citizen, Mallory did not give Goodwill $3 million - that far predates her. But I guess it would be too easy for you to check the facts...

  • http://westnorth.com Payton

    One advantage DC has in the contest for foreign money -- especially from China -- is that companies from countries with more heavily state-directed economies (like France or China or Japan) tend to think of the national capital as a business capital as well. Even though Chinese policy is explicitly to focus business and financial growth in Shanghai and Hong Kong, a whole lot of companies still set up shop in Beijing in order to be near the government.

    I don't know to what extent this factor, regardless of the local workforce's exceptional credentials, explains the local presence of so many American HQs (VW, Airbus, Siemens, etc.), but it's surely a factor.

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