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Office Freedom
Office Freedom
  • 3 Minute Read
  • 04th March 2010

Washington DC City Guide

Population & Landmark...

Washington DC is the capital of the United States. The city is situated in the District of Columbia. George Washington created this special district as a federal power hub to avoid the problem of establishing the capital city in any one state.

Article one of the United States Constitution provides for a federal district, distinct from the states, to serve as the permanent national capital. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are located in the District, as are many of the nation's monuments and museums. Washington, D.C. hosts 172 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The headquarters of other institutions such as trade unions, lobbying groups, and professional associations are also located in the District.

The District's population is estimated at 588,292 residents. The Washington Metropolitan Area, which includes the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia, is the eight-largest in the United States with more than 5 million residents.


Washington DC has a growing, diversified economy with an increasing percentage of professional and business service jobs. Many businesses such as law firms, independent contractors, non profit organizations, lobbying firms, national associations, and administrative services companies are directly or indirectly sustained by the federal government.

Washington is thought to be relatively immune to downturns in the national economy because the federal government, and those who work with it, continues operations even during economic recessions.

Washington DC has become a leader in global real estate investment, behind London, NYC and Paris. It also has the third largest downtown in the US in terms of commercial office space, directly behind NYC and Chicago. The city is also the headquarters for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Office Rental Levels...

After years of a rising landlord-favorable real estate market, the tide is turning in favour of the tenant. The economic slowdown has given tenants, especially smaller and mid-sized tenants, a stronger bargaining position for office space in Washington DC.

The District's overall availability rate is 10.6%, an increase by 0.4 pp from last quarter and grew by 4.5 pp from last year.

The Washington market is becoming increasingly difficult to forecast as it shifts more in tenants' favour. All market signs are pointing to rents flattening or declining as the District shifts from a supply-driven commercial real estate market to a demand- driven one.

The developing submarkets within Capitol Hill's NoMa and Southeast areas are likely to see activity, as the federal government gravitates to areas of the city with the most affordable rents. Washington's professional services firms are likely to remain downtown and renew in current locations whenever possible to avoid the cost of relocating.


There are 3 different airports serving Washington DC. Washington Dulles International Airport is located 26 miles west of the city and operates both domestic and international flights. Over 23 million passengers use the airport each year.

In the south of the city along the Potomac River is the Ronald Reagan National Airport, only 3 miles away from the center. The airport's three terminals serve over 60 domestic destinations and three Canadian/ Caribbean ones.

The last airport is Baltimore/ Washington International Airport. The airport is located 34 miles northeast of downtown Washington and serves both domestic and international airlines. Just over 20.7 million people passed through BWI each year.

Tourism, Attractiveness of the city...

After the federal government, tourism is the capital?s primary industry. Over 15 million tourists explore DC each year. Washington DC is drawn by all the impressive monuments and museums.

With the exception of George Washington, the White House, home to the first family is a must seen in Washington DC. Other fascinating places are also open to the public such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

Useful Links:

Washington DC City Guide:

Chamber of Commerce:

City Council: