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Boosting DC's image
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This news came one day after I witnessed a DC Council hearing on the DC Bank Charter Modernization Act of 2007 where they brought in the presidents of all the banks that currently have a D.C. charter or are getting ready to gain one. This is exciting news and further illustrates how D.C. is now in the game to become a financial center in the future. Please read the next post for my D.C. Banking Industry update. D.C. is getting real serious about this, and they are now crafting legislation and revising existing laws to steer more financial institutions into the city. And, so far, it's working. Plus, they are going after new, emerging markets in the financial sector.

PNC to build new downtown HQ
Washington Business Journal - 9:28 AM EDT Thursday, June 21, 2007
by Jeff Clabaugh
Staff Reporter

PNC Financial, which gained a major presence in the Washington area with its acquisition of Riggs Bank, plans to build a new downtown headquarters building at 17th and H streets NW.

The Pittsburgh-based bank has formed a joint venture with Vornado/Charles E. Smith to develop, lease and manage a 350,000-square-foot building that will be home to PNC's new regional headquarters as well as other tenants.

The 12-story building will replace the bank's current buildings at 800 and 808 17th St. NW and 1707 H St. NW. Construction is expected to begin early next year with a 2010 completion date.

Gensler has been hired as the architect. Paladino & Co. will be the project's green building consultant. PNC says it has more LEED certified buildings than any other publicly traded company.

PNC acquired the 55 branch Riggs National Bank empire in 2005. Earlier this year, it acquired Baltimore-based Mercantile Bankshares, doubling its area presence.

"We have made a significant investment in the Greater Washington area over the past three years, and our intention to build a new PNC headquarters building in the Central Business District further demonstrates our commitment," said PNC regional president Michael N. Harreld in a statement.

PNC (NYSE: PNC) expects to have 120 Washington area branches by this fall.
 

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Boosting DC's image
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
D.C. Banking Industry Update

There are 103 banks and credit unions that operate in the District of Columbia.

There are currently 2 D.C. chartered and regulated banks in operation. 1 bank has recently been approved for a D.C. charter, but its first branch is not yet open. 1 bank, already in operation with 6 branches in DC and 2 branches in Maryland, has applied to convert from a national charter to a D.C. charter.

The first DC chartered bank, WashingtonFirst Bank, opened its first branch in 2004. As of May 2007, WashingtonFirst Bank now has 8 locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Bank of Georgetown is the second D.C. chartered bank. Bank of Georgetown opened its first branch in 2005. Bank of Georgetown now has 2 locations in D.C., and 1 location opening soon in Arlington, VA. Its corporate headquarters are at 1054 31st Street NW, Suite 18, Washington, DC 20007

The DC Council has recently approved a charter for NuAmerica Bank to open its first branch in the Columbia Heights neighbourhood of DC. This will be the third bank chartered and regulated by the DC Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB).

Industrial Bank is converting to a D.C. chartered bank. It has recently filed an application with the DISB. It now has a national charter. If accepted, Industrial Bank will become the fourth D.C. chartered bank. This is the first bank to seek conversion from a national charter to a D.C. charter. Industrial Bank is a 73-year-old bank and is already headquartered in Washington, DC. It is currently the fourth largest minority-owned commercial bank in the U.S. and has over $333 million in assets.

New DC Bank Charter Law Proposed

The proposed legislation would eliminate the D.C. Council from the approval process and let the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking make the final decision. This change is intended to shorten the approval process and to make the District more appealing and competitive as a financial center. This is good news, folks!
 

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This is great news, it will help diversify the city's economy and show people that despite the large gov't presence, it's not the only thing we can do.
 

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None of this surprises me at all: DC really is the premier financial center in the mid-Atlantic. While Richmond and Philly are still significant in terms of overall commercial heft, Washington offers a huge source of (individual) wealth and a significant pool of (industry) talent to fuel such an endeavor. It really is amazing to see how far Washington has come along...

I sometimes wonder "what if" the US didn't have the "dichotomy" of a "financial hub" like New York City and a "political hub" like Washington...what if the two hubs were actually one? (Similar to cities like London, Moscow and Stockholm.)

Can you imagine what such a city would look like, how it would function, to have the capital comprised of a cross between NY and DC? Yikes...
 

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Boosting DC's image
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
What is the difference between a DC and national charter?
With a D.C. chartered bank, D.C. regulates banks and provides the oversight with its D.C. Department of Investment, Securities, and Banking instead of at the national (federal) level. D.C. also collects fees and taxes from these D.C. chartered banks for them being licensed by the District of Columbia. The banks may do business regionally, nationally, or internationally, but the original license (charter) stays with the District as they are the regulators. The District won the right to charter banks in 1986, and it is just now in the past few years that it has gotten its act together to use that as it aspires to become more of a financial center.

Also, D.C. is now the fastest growing captive insurance jurisdiction in the country, possibly the world. D.C. attracted its first captive insurance company in 2001. Now, D.C. has licensed 73 companies including the American Society of Association Executives, General Motors and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. So, we can expect D.C. to be able to attract more banks that are chartered and headquarted in DC as well as capturing a portion of the international insurance market.
 

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None of this surprises me at all: DC really is the premier financial center in the mid-Atlantic. While Richmond and Philly are still significant in terms of overall commercial heft, Washington offers a huge source of (individual) wealth and a significant pool of (industry) talent to fuel such an endeavor. It really is amazing to see how far Washington has come along...

I sometimes wonder "what if" the US didn't have the "dichotomy" of a "financial hub" like New York City and a "political hub" like Washington...what if the two hubs were actually one? (Similar to cities like London, Moscow and Stockholm.)

Can you imagine what such a city would look like, how it would function, to have the capital comprised of a cross between NY and DC? Yikes...
It would probably look a lot like NY does now. But I prefer the separation. I'm not a fan of the way some of these European countries are one mega-city... and everything else as an afterthought.

The comparative scale of Manhattan is already so far beyond DC as to make DC a potentially small addition to the total. There are, afterall, 3 million more people in just the city of NY as there are in the entire DC metro area.
 

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Boosting DC's image
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It would probably look a lot like NY does now. But I prefer the separation. I'm not a fan of the way some of these European countries are one mega-city... and everything else as an afterthought.

The comparative scale of Manhattan is already so far beyond DC as to make DC a potentially small addition to the total. There are, afterall, 3 million more people in just the city of NY as there are in the entire DC metro area.

HAudidoody........ Yes, Mannhattan is large. But, D.C. already does have the third largest downtown in the entire country. That is not including the suburbs. And, the development of DC is accelerating, not slowing down. D.C. has a lot going for it, and it will be on the radar in a big way in the next 10 years. D.C. is becoming a place where new banks can start-up, and maybe we'll get a few already established banks to plant more substatntive roots in D.C just like PNC recently decided to do as detailed in my first post. D.C. will also be a centre for insurance and captive insurance companies through its licensing powers.

The cost of starting up a bank and liscensing a bank in DC is lower than neighbouring jurisdictions in many ways.

And, the D.C. government now has the vision and the will to do this. And, we are seeing the first effects of this new-found motivation to achieve more in the national and international marketplace. The D.C. local government doesn't just want this city to be dominated by national politics. They are showing that they have the ability to add to the economic diversity of the city. And, they are doing it.
 

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It would probably look a lot like NY does now. But I prefer the separation. I'm not a fan of the way some of these European countries are one mega-city... and everything else as an afterthought.

The comparative scale of Manhattan is already so far beyond DC as to make DC a potentially small addition to the total. There are, afterall, 3 million more people in just the city of NY as there are in the entire DC metro area.
I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but DC alone has more square feet of office space than downtown Manhattan (but not midtown). Anyone who thinks adding a second downtown to Manhattan would have little effect on the size of the city has no idea what they're talking about.

The Rayburn Building alone has about the same amount of office space as the Empire State Building. The Pentagon has more square feet of office space than the Twin Towers had.

In conclusion, you're wrong. QED.
 

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I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but DC alone has more square feet of office space than downtown Manhattan (but not midtown). Anyone who thinks adding a second downtown to Manhattan would have little effect on the size of the city has no idea what they're talking about.

The Rayburn Building alone has about the same amount of office space as the Empire State Building. The Pentagon has more square feet of office space than the Twin Towers had.

In conclusion, you're wrong. QED.
No, I'm very well aware of that.

The thing is, just adding more office space isn't necessarily going to change the character of that particular city, especially one such as NY. (Will it be bigger, sure, doesn't mean it will be any different.)

You don't have to get all defensive, you know.
 

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The comparative scale of Manhattan is already so far beyond DC as to make DC a potentially small addition to the total. There are, afterall, 3 million more people in just the city of NY as there are in the entire DC metro area.
No, I'm very well aware of that.

The thing is, just adding more office space isn't necessarily going to change the character of that particular city, especially one such as NY. (Will it be bigger, sure, doesn't mean it will be any different.)

You don't have to get all defensive, you know.

You were clearly commenting on the size of New York and not the character in your original post.

With regards to your secondary assertion that adding DC to NYC would not change the character, I think you're wrong. I believe NYC would certainly have a more political flair with the addition of DC.

Also, when it comes to someone like you, I do need to get defensive. This is because you've made multiple, negative, subjective statements about DC.
 

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Boosting DC's image
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
You were clearly commenting on the size of New York and not the character in your original post.

With regards to your secondary assertion that adding DC to NYC would not change the character, I think you're wrong. I believe NYC would certainly have a more political flair with the addition of DC.

Also, when it comes to someone like you, I do need to get defensive. This is because you've made multiple, negative, subjective statements about DC.
Exactly.

And, a few posters (well....one actually) gave me inspiration in my decision to post this thread. You know, showing actual, substantive proof of DC becoming a financial center and how the city is making the necessary commitments and changes to reach such a lofty goal. And, look who shows up!
 

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All these new developments are adding character to the city. The city is attracting lots of people who wouldn't have come 20 yrs ago; adding banking, high tech and biotech industries, etc., the city will have more culture. It may not have the older blue collar population, but we're going to have an even more thriving, vibrant, cosmopolitan and exciting city than we have now. We can't satisfy everyone, but the thing that gets lost w/ a lot of people that have negative things to say about the city and its "culture", is that the city is trying and making progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks NovaWolverine for the thoughtful comment.

It is my impression that some people among us, quite frankly, don't want to the city to become anything more than it is. That is my impression. I hope that I am wrong about that also. And, then we have the people that have not spent time in the city and then feel obliged to offer their 2 cents about our city as if.....

You did bring up another good point in that the city is trying and making progress. It sickens me to hear people try to discount that progress. And, its not just on this board.

By the way, NovaWolverine, we may get our wish about the bridge replacement for South Capitol Street. You know, the suspension bridge. I've seen that bridge show up in 2 DC Office of Planning documents in recent weeks. Maybe they've made their choice.
 

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That's fantastic news about the bridge, I was just showing my folks. My family has some good history with the city even though I personally haven't lived in the city since elementary school; and I know some of them along w/ others close to the city who are cynical about progress being made. But I do think that the city more often than not takes two steps forward for every step back. There are setbacks, news, and crimes that make us cringe, but it's undeniable the progress the city has and is making, time will change the mentality of the people who live here and more people will be proud of their hometown. Many of the people who bash the city who are close to it were able to leave and are resentful of the city, but many couldn't leave or didn't want to leave and they still love the city no matter what happens. New developments and a different mindset for the city will help alleviate the divide that's been some prevalent for so long.

One thing worth mentioning IMO is the fact that city is in better hands now than before. I'm not talking about Fenty, but the other pieces of the management puzzle for the city. We have more capable and responsible people at the helm than we've ever had perhaps.
 

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You were clearly commenting on the size of New York and not the character in your original post.

With regards to your secondary assertion that adding DC to NYC would not change the character, I think you're wrong. I believe NYC would certainly have a more political flair with the addition of DC.

Also, when it comes to someone like you, I do need to get defensive. This is because you've made multiple, negative, subjective statements about DC.
Actually, I was commenting on the character, but I was trying to be subtle about it. Just forget it though. It matters not.
 

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Excellent news for DC! I'm happy to see my city's largest bank expanding so rapidly in such fertile territory. PNC is famous for erecting so many "green" buildings. Right now they're building a 23-story 792,000 sq. ft. green mixed-use tower in Downtown Pittsburgh, also designed by San Francisco firm Gensler (in collaboration with Pittsburgh-based Astorino).

Here is the rendering if you want a taste of Gensler/PNC architecture:



I can't wait to see the rendering for this DC HQ!
 
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