Robin-Eve Jasper taking the helm in NoMa

Two months after announcing that Liz Price was leaving the NoMa Business Improvement District, the organization’s board announced her replacement: Robin-Eve Jasper, an attorney and former head of the D.C. Department of Real Estate Services and senior director at Fannie Mae.

Jasper left the D.C. government after Adrian M. Fenty lost the mayoral election last year and has been working in the private sector on housing development. Having managed the city’s real estate portfolio and played a small role in the creation of the NoMa BID in 2007, she knows the area well and, in an interview, said she wants to continue much of the work Price has done. Her first day is Oct. 3.

“Coming out of its industrial past, NoMa is really a place that has come out of the imagination of Washington, D.C.,” Jasper said.

As the BID’s second president, Jasper inherits a neighborhood that has a wide range of development, including offices, apartments, hotels, a grocery store and a smattering of other retailers, but still needs to “further diversity” or “vary the fabric” of its offerings through public art installations, streetscape improvements and other additions.

Although NoMa has been most successful as a draw for major office tenants, she said the area needs to continue to grow as a place for residents, shoppers and visitors. Among her top priorities, Jasper said, will be bringing green space and entertainment options to the neighborhood.

One of the complaints about NoMa is that unlike one of its competing neighborhoods, the Capital Riverfront, near the Nationals’ Park, it lacks a central park area, and planners have been considering how best to address that now that the area has matured.

Jasper said she will be looking at those plans and considering how to, “incorporate green space through the neighborhood.”

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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