Hailing a "renaissance" in the District of Columbia, incoming Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade President Oliver T. Carr released a report yesterday showing $1.3 billion of new construction downtown that is expected to create 50,000 jobs.
Carr said creating "new jobs and new employment opportunites" will be the Board of Trade's first goal next year, taking priority even over economic growth.
Carr also called for special local taxes to support Metro, a new workers compensation law for the District of Columbia, and efforts to equalize taxes in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Carr delivered the traditional Board of Trade president's message from the unfinished Green and Yellow Line platforms of the Gallery Place Metro station.
"Just as this station remains unfinished, so it is with our work," he said, as subway trains drowned out his voice, "That's a good sound," commented Carr at one point.
The cooperation among regional governments that has resulted from Metro should become the patterns for other metropolitan area problems, he said.
He said the Board of Trade "will urge local and state governments to dedicate some form of tax to Metro in order to solidfy the financing of this invaluable system."
A commuter tax on the incomes of persons who work in the District but live and pay income taxes in the suburbs is not the best answer to Metro financing, Carr said.
"We prefer that each jurisdiction determine its own share" of Metro costs, he added. "Each jurisdiction should dedicate a part of its revenues" to finance the system, and the federal government should continue to contribute to operating costs, he said.
Carr called for changes in the District's worker compensation tax system, which businesses contend adds needlessly to the cost of doing business in Washington. Other Board of Trade officials said they will seek a separate new federal law for governing the District program, which now is tacked onto a 50-year-old program for longshoremen.
Carr said he believes local governments are receptive to business-oriented economic development plans because new growth can help solve government's own need for funds. "Growing unrest about the level of taxes umposed by local governments," the high cost of housing, unemployment among youths, and the shortage of water and sewer treatment capacity are among " concerns that could weaken this renaissance" in Washington, Carr warned.
The extent of the District' renaissance was detailed in a Board of Trade report identifying 16 public buildings, 35 private developments and 2 major open-space projects whitin the one-mile square downtown.
The projects - some bulit, some about to be built, but all firmly committed - will add 2,600 housing units, 5,300 hotel rooms, 8.2 million square feet of office, 1.3 million square feet of store and almost 6 million square feet of quarters for public institutions.
Not counting the construction jobs generated by the projects, the new developments are expected to result in nearly 50,000 permanent jobs, the Board of Trade estimated.
The new Board of Trade president's own development firm, The Oliver T. Carr Co., heads the list of developers on the downtown progress list.
The Carr company has three major projects worth more than a quarter-billion dollards committed in the area: the $200 million retail and office complex to be built atop the Metro Centersubway station along G Street NW, the $57 million redevelopment of the block around the Garfinckel department store at 15th and G Sts NW, and a $14.5 million headquarters for the American Society of Association Executives at 1575 Eye St. NW. That list does not include other Carr projects in the K Street and West End areas that push the company's project list toward the $1 billion mark and make the firm the city's largest active developer.
The new Board of Trade president recently served as metro area chairman of the National Alliance of Business, a group promoting employment opportunities, is a director of Riggs National Bank and teaches in the urban planning school of George Washington University.
Other new officers of the Board of Trade are President-elect Ralph Frey, vice president and general manager of C & P Telephone co., Vice President Donald A. Tollefson, managing partner of Arthur Anderson & co.: Secretary Orlando Darden, president of Community Federal Savings & Loan; Treasure Stephen Harlan, managing partner of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & co., and Assistant Treasurer Thomas J. Owen, president of Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan.
Heads of other Board of Trade bureaus, also announced yesterday by Carr are: community development, Mallory Walker, president of Walker & Dunlop; human development, Kent Cushenberry, manager of community relations for IBM; retail, Sheldon Fantle, president of Peoples Drug Stores; business development, Robert Tardio, president ofSuburban Bankcorporation; communications, Leonard Doggett Jr., president of Doggett Enterprise Inc.; membership, Carol Highsmith, account executive, WMAL Inc.; legislative and fiscal affairs, Charles Diehl, vice president and treasurer of George Washington University.