Mary FitchCity Grill

Mary Fitch
Executive Director
Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Despite the “drain the swamp” stance some are taking in Washington, D.C., Fitch is bullish on the nation’s capital.

“People often overlook the fact that only 14% of D.C.’s workforce is employed by the feds,” she says. “D.C. has a much more diversified economy than people often give it credit for.” Architecture and engineering are among the biggest local business sectors, Fitch says.

One sign of local economic health is a number of large developments. For example, The Wharf, a mixed-use project, is replacing nearly 50 acres of car-oriented facilities along the waterfront with a new neighborhood. The $2-billion plan’s first phase, which features retail, apartments, hotels and a water taxi, will open in October. Phase 2 will break ground next year.

Several more mixed-use projects near the Navy Yard in the Capitol Riverfront district are drawing more residents and development to a neighborhood that has already seen 10 new residential, retail and office buildings open in the last five years. Fourteen other projects are underway in that area and 17 more are in the works. With so much development in the pipeline, Fitch says, D.C. “will continue to thrive.”

Firm in Focus

DPR Construction
11109 Sunset Hills Rd., Ste. 200, Reston, Va.
Mid-Atlantic Business Unit Leaders: Camilo Garcia & Lisa Lingerfelt
Founded: 1990
What's New: DPR is completing a historic renovation in Washington, D.C., for the Arizona State University Foundation. The project involves a complete interior renovation and includes removing and re-installing interior columns and slabs while maintaining the exterior’s 1910 facade. The project is being completed by DPR’s special services group, which specializes in quick-start, complex projects located in occupied facilities on tight sites. Founded in 1990 in California, DPR is a privately held, employee-owned company that has grown into a multibillion-dollar organization with offices around the country. The firm has been working in the MidAtlantic region since 1996. It completes approximately $500 million in annual regional revenue and has offices in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Va., and Baltimore.