Global Research Assembly


July 4, 1979



Ivy City went after a one million dollar economic development package this year and is winning with a verbal commitment at this stage. The package will provide for the purchase of a building. Those of you who have been to Ivy City will remember the old Grayline Bus Terminal. When the Grayline Bus Co. moved from Ivy City, the project office was the first place they notified of their intent and expressed their hopes that we would get that building. We have it and are in it right now. The project put up the money to acquire the right to enter the building and begin renovation. The second part of the package provides for renovating the building for businesses with interior walls, heat and plumbing. The third part of the package will purchase machines and equipment for the businesses that will be established. The fourth part will acquire a working capital. The businesses in that industry complex include the print shop, our key economic sign in Ivy City so far. There will be a major expansion, a triple fold increase in the print shop capacity including multi­color processing, and some $900,000 worth of business in the first year with the projection of breaking even in the first six months. The expansion of the print shop will include mail order business that involves direct sales mailing. An aluminum window business will be included as Joint venture with one of the current businesses in Ivy City, the Washington Plate Glass Company. Our business will have a contract with them to cut and assemble aluminum frames and install glass. The fourth business is already operating but in various places under different trees. It is an automotive repair center. We are going to pull it all together in one place and give our "shade­tree" mechanics a place to work. This has created a whole new excitement in Ivy City.

The highlight of this event was the creation of the proposal itself. It was written in five days and bound in leather looking vinyl. The proposal is a work of art. The second highlight was a young man named Jim George. Many business people have participated in the development of this package and given of themselves to see it come through, but Jim is great, he is a CPA from the Caribbean. He did the proformas charging no fee. He spent an extensive amount of time and energy putting them together and has since traveled to other projects to assist in packaging their economic development plans. A third highlight was the reality of the impact Ivy City has made on the Federal and District Government. The Ivy City Corporation, the model for a community owned corporation, is in the public eye. One of the men in the EDA office stated that if anybody is serious about doing economic development in the city this is the way to do it. Another highlight is the major employment that will be created with this complex, 85 new jobs to start. In a city that is 70% black this will be the only major black owned industrial complex in the District of Columbus. That has been quite a challenge.

The Mayor's office called one day recently and let us know that Ivy City is now designated a community development area. This means that the Ivy City Community is recognized by the city as having the priority right to do its own planning. The Ivy City project has daily visits. It's a pivotal location and a demonstration that has the capacity of being a visible sign for human development work across the world. This is immeasurable to the projects now.