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Friendship Heights Alliance to Celebrate Formal Launch With Elected Officials, Stakeholders

For Immediate Release
Rachel L. Davis

Friendship Heights Alliance to Celebrate Formal Launch With Elected Officials, Stakeholders 

WASHINGTON, DC, OCTOBER 18, 2023 — Join District of Columbia and Montgomery County officials and stakeholders to celebrate the formal launch of the Friendship Heights Alliance on October 26, 2023. After working for nearly two years with public and private sector partners in DC and Montgomery County, the Alliance finally has sustainable, long-term funding! The Friendship Heights Alliance is now one of a handful of cross-jurisdictional place-focused nonprofits in North America, representing a new level of public-private cooperation across state lines. 

“The formation of the Friendship Heights Alliance marks an important turning point for Friendship Heights,” said District 1 Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson. “This bi-jurisdictional effort reflects an unprecedented level of cooperation among property owners committed to maximizing the potential of the Friendship Heights area. I am grateful for the initiative this group has shown and believe their efforts will breathe new life into the area making it an even better place to work, live, and play for future generations. They have my unequivocal support. “

The Alliance was created to support the transformation of the neighborhood, envisioning a more vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive future for Friendship Heights, with diversity in housing opportunities and retail experiences, and a people-friendly, walkable public realm.

On the Montgomery County side, the Friendship Heights Urban District, the County’s fourth, was officially formed this spring by vote of the Montgomery County Council and signed by the County Executive.

“I signed the bill this spring to provide funding for the Friendship Heights Urban District because this is a dense neighborhood where people work, shop and live,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “We’ve invested in the work of the Friendship Heights Alliance over the last two years in a unique public-private partnership with property owners and businesses. Our goal is to make this area feel like a more walkable, exciting neighborhood. Our collective investment will help stimulate economic development, add more residential offerings, and make Friendship Heights a more vibrant place to live.”

In the District, the Friendship Heights Business Improvement District was formed this summer by vote of the Council and Mayor, along with approvals from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development. These two funding mechanisms — Urban District and BID — together support the Friendship Heights Alliance, a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization governed by a cross-jurisdictional board of directors and supported by a diverse Advisory Committee. 

"I look forward to the Friendship Heights Alliance collaborating with property owners, businesses, and community leaders to revitalize Friendship Heights,” said District of Columbia Ward 3 Councilmember Matthew Frumin. “The neighborhood is ripe for creative new uses, and I'm confident that Ward 3's first BID will reimagine it in a way that strengthens the neighborhood and supports a robust economic recovery."

“Friendship Heights is writing its next chapter,” said Alliance Chair Jad Donohoe. “With commercial landowners reinvesting in their properties, citizens advocating for change, and governments embracing these new funding mechanisms, Friendship Heights is positioned to benefit from new retail offerings, new neighbors in new buildings, and an improved public realm and quality of life.” 

The Alliance Board is excited to announce that, as of October 1, Natalie Avery has taken the helm as executive director and president. Natalie has been supporting the organization as a start-up since its inception in late 2021, and has also led the complicated BID and Urban District creation processes. “I’ve devoted my career to working with place-centered nonprofits, focusing on the intersection of community, culture, and economy,” Avery said. “I’m thrilled to be leading the organization into its next chapter.” 

Rich Bradley, who served as interim executive director of the Alliance, will continue to serve in an advisory capacity. Rachel Davis will continue to lead strategic communications, marketing, and placemaking efforts. 

The launch event will feature stunning panoramic views of the neighborhood from the penthouse level of 2 Wisconsin Circle, owned by Chevy Chase Land Company; hors d’oeuvres and libations; fun giveaways; and a dose of inspiring vision for what’s to come in the neighborhood. Speakers include Matt Frumin and Andrew Friedson. Contact to RSVP for the event. 

Place management organizations typically fund services that supplement those already provided by the government, such as economic development, business support and promotion, public realm cleaning and maintenance, placemaking and streetscape enhancements, neighborhood marketing, and more. Already, the Alliance has created a dynamic events program, a public realm and placemaking initiative, and bright, friendly branding to cohesively market the neighborhood. More about the work of the Alliance and its future plans are available at and in the 2023-2026 Business Plan. More about the legislative process on both sides can be found in this February release.

About the Friendship Heights Alliance 

The Friendship Heights Alliance envisions a more vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive future for Friendship Heights, with diversity in housing opportunities and retail experiences, and a people-friendly public realm. This place-focused nonprofit coordinates the community building needed to reinvigorate Friendship Heights, focusing on the commercial corridor along Wisconsin Avenue from Oliver Street in Montgomery County, Maryland, to Fessenden Street NW in Washington, DC. The Alliance is a 501(c)6 nonprofit created in 2021 to increase collaboration amongst property owners in both Maryland and Washington, DC, as development continues; focus on public space management and coordination; promote the neighborhood; and engage with residents and businesses. For more information or to get involved, contact, visit, or follow the organization on Instagram @FriendshipHeightsAlliance