Category Archives: Press Releases

Public-private partnerships created 1,200 jobs, 30 businesses in Columbia Heights, according to SC

Partners Including Citi, Development Corporation of Columbia Heights,
Former Mayor Anthony Williams, NCRC and the Washington, D.C. Economic Partnership Helped Revitalize Once-Blighted Neighborhood

Washington, D.C. (February 20, 2009) – More than 1,200 jobs and 30 new business have been created in Columbia Heights since 2002, the result of a public-private partnership that has helped transform a struggling inner-city community into a thriving neighborhood. And an additional 30,000 square feet of retail development is in the pipeline. These figures were reported by Social Compact, a coalition of business leaders from across the country who are promoting successful business investment in lower-income communities for the benefit of current residents.

The most prominent evidence of the neighborhood’s revitalization is DC USA, the 500,000-square-foot retail complex anchored by leading retailer Target and home of national retailers such as Best Buy, Marshall’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Children’s Place, and Payless. DC USA officially opened its doors in March 2008.

DC USA is the result of a public-private partnership that worked to revitalize the community, including Citi, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, then-Mayor Anthony Williams, NCRC, and the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, and has become a shining success story for inner-city development.

In 2006, Citibank helped pave the way for DC USA by providing the $88.6 million construction loan and purchasing $46.9 million of tax-exempt bonds issued by NCRC. Today, a new Citi branch sits proudly across the street from DC USA.

“At Citi, we are strongly committed to supporting community organizations dedicated to revitalizing underserved communities across the country,” said Shamina Singh, deputy director and chief operating officer of Citi Community Relations. “We are proud to support Social Compact and DC USA, which has transformed the Columbia Heights area of Washington, D.C. into a safe and thriving community.”

In 2002, nonprofit community development organization Social Compact released a groundbreaking Neighborhood Market DrillDown analysis revealing that Columbia Heights was home to 51% more people and 34% higher incomes than reported in the 2000 Census, stimulating support for a wide-spread revitalization effort.

“Our data showed that the struggling Columbia Heights community was home to opportunity, and that it could sustain new development,” said John Talmage, president and CEO of Social Compact, a national nonprifit whose mission is to promote investment in underserved neighborhoods. “Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our partners, we’ve been proven right. The neighborhood now boasts new housing, sit-down restaurants, and small business startups. It’s a truly remarkable transformation.”

In a neighborhood devastated by riots in 1968, Columbia Heights’ burned out buildings and high crime statistics not only drove away residents but also kept private development at bay for decades.

“Where there used to be no options for residents in this neighborhood, now Columbia Heights is a shopping destination, stemming the leakage of commerce and jobs from the District,” said Bob Moore, president and CEO of the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights.

About Social Compact

Social Compact is a not-for-profit organization that is nationally recognized for breaking down barriers to private investment in inner-city neighborhoods. By applying its cutting-edge methodology across available economic data for underserved communities, Social Compact uncovers overlooked economic indicators and provides detailed analyses that translate into new tools to support community development.

Through this groundbreaking process, Social Compact is able to redefine the business profiles of some of the most investment-neglected but potentially rewarding urban markets. Working with municipalities and private investors, Social Compact is at the vanguard of targeted and catalytic urban development, opening America’s underserved communities to new and life-changing investments.

Social Compact urges cities to review census estimate

Billions in federal funding affected by just-released census numbers

(July 9, 2008, WASHINGTON, DC) – With hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, Social Compact President and nationally recognized expert John Talmage is urging city leaders to closely examine the annual population estimates being released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday in order to ensure that their residents are being counted accurately.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the decennial count directly impacts the yearly allocation of more than $200 billion in federal funding to states, cities, and municipalities. “A majority of private investment decisions are based on these numbers,” Talmage noted. “For this reason, it is critical that cities take a close look at their own data as well as the census calculations derived from it.

“The U.S. Census Bureau is gearing up for the decennial census and is working with local governments to improve the accuracy of the 2010 Census,” said Talmage. “Their desire for the best count ensures that every person is counted and counted correctly.”

Social Compact is providing technical assistance to several cities to attain a more accurate count. In Detroit, Michigan, 47,000 residents have been added back to its population since 2006.

“The Census’s annual estimate is based on a city’s or municipality’s housing unit counts,” Talmage added. “This data is housed and managed by the localities themselves, so the cities are their own best sources to ensure the accurate count of their population.

“Social Compact encourages cities to take a proactive approach and helps them not only standardize their data to submit a successful challenge to the Census Bureau, but navigate the process and facilitate communication with the bureau as well,” Talmage said.

Cincinnati, Ohio successfully challenged the city’s 2005 population estimate, resulting in an additional 22,582 people. This 7.3% increase over the original estimate negated the population decline that was projected from the 2000 Census.

“Our successful challenge had a dramatic effect in the perception of Cincinnati. The negative number had been a dark cloud over the city, but our challenge made people recognize all of the new development and progress throughout our city,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. “Mayors need to lead the way and actively work with the Census Bureau to get the most accurate population estimate for their cities.

Since challenging the estimates, Mallory has established the Cincinnati Complete Count Committee, with the dual purpose of improving its counting system and raising public awareness on the importance of being counted.

The Census Bureau encourages the active participation of local governments through its Complete Count Committee program (CCC) and Local Update of Census Addresses program n(LUCA). LUCA helps the bureau develop its Master Address File, which will be used for the 2010 Census.

Social Compact encourages local governments to work closely with the Census Bureau throughout the census process by providing the data the bureau needs and encouraging residents to respond to Census surveys in order to ensure a more accurate count of their

About Social Compact

Social Compact is a national not-for-profit organization, led by a board of business leaders, whose mission is to help strengthen neighborhoods by stimulating private market investment in underserved and undervalued communities. Social Compact accomplishes this through its Neighborhood Market DrillDown analytic tool, developed
to accurately measure community economic indicators, and provides this information as a resource to community organizations, government decision makers and the private
sector. Social Compact is at the forefront of identifying the market potential of underserved neighborhoods.

Report Finds Detroit is Ready for New Investment

The DrillDown estimates the total population in the City of Detroit at 850,259. That’s 11 percent below the Census 2000 population estimate of 951,200 and 7 percent below the 2009 traditional market estimate of 912,615.
In total, the DrillDown finds an aggregate household income of $17.4 billion, of which roughly $650 million or 4 percent may be attributed to informal economic activity. The DrillDown aggregate income exceeds Census 2000 and 2009 traditional market estimates by 24 and 27 percent, respectively.
Market Strength

Average household income in Detroit is estimated at roughly $57,000. That’s approximately 37 percent above the Census 2000 estimate of $42,000 and 32 percent above the 2009 traditional market estimate of $43,000.
The DrillDown estimates median income in Detroit at roughly $42,000. That’s 36 percent above Census 2000 figures and 27 percent above the 2009 traditional market estimate for the study area.
Income density in Detroit is calculated at $198,087 per acre, which is 4.2 times that of the greater metro area ($47,255), according to STI: PopStats.
Sizable average income change is seen among new homeowners (those who purchased in 2008), especially in key neighborhoods such as Downtown Central Business District, where the DrillDown estimates income at $144,290, Indian Village at $117,833, and Midtown at $156,656. Those estimated household incomes are more than twice the average of new homeowners’ citywide, or $54,000.
Market Stability

The DrillDown estimates 50 percent of residential units in the city are owner-occupied. In the Rosedale master plan neighborhoods, the owner-occupancy rate is as high as 77 percent.
Market Potential

Retail leakage describes the gap between retail expenditures occurring within the neighborhood and the retail spending of residents themselves.

Detroit residents spend an estimated $4.9 billion on retail services annually. Approximately 30 percent of that, or $1.5 billion, is spent outside of the city.
The existing 81 full-service grocery retailers currently capture 69 percent of Detroit households’ grocery expenditures. Annual grocery leakage, estimated at $200 million, could potentially support an additional 583,000 square feet of additional grocery retail space.
Similarly, the DrillDown analysis reveals sizable demand for apparel retailers and restaurants. Apparel leakage, estimated at $321 million, represents roughly 60 percent of all expenditures on apparel retail services. Restaurant leakage, an estimated $162 million, represents roughly 21 percent of residents’ restaurant expenditures.
The DrillDown study was managed by Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and funded by the generous support of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the Hudson Webber Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan. CoreLogic, SAS Institute Inc., and ESRI also contributed data, software and expertise.

“Data Driven Detroit is pleased to be a partner in this effort, as it truly symbolizes our mission of providing accurate and innovative data products to the community,” said Kurt Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit. “The DrillDown’s unique methodology allows Detroit neighborhoods to represent themselves through information that is unavailable elsewhere. Furthermore, the willingness of Social Compact to share its methodology with D3 will allow Detroiters to receive DrillDown profiles for any user-defined neighborhood in the city.”

The full 2009 DrillDown Report can be downloaded from any of the partner websites:
Organizations that would like a customized DrillDown report may request one by visiting and clicking on the “AskKurt” button.

About Social Compact

Social Compact is a national not-for-profit corporation led by a board of business leaders whose mission is to help strengthen neighborhoods by stimulating private market investment in underserved communities. Social Compact accomplishes this through its Neighborhood Market DrillDown analytic tool, developed to accurately measure community economic indicators, and provides this information as a resource to community organizations, government decision makers and the private sector. Social Compact is at the forefront of identifying the market potential of underserved neighborhoods and believes that a public private partnership that involves community members and leverages private investment is the most sustainable form of community economic development.

About Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit. DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its 35 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. Among them: the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). The DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit.


Contact for Social Compact:
Alyssa Lee, Interim President and CEO
202-547-2581    |

Contact for DEGC:
Bob Rossbach
313-402-9831 |

Social Compact Launches Exciting New Online Tool in Washington DC

WASHINGTON, Mar 11, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Social Compact announced today the launch of its Washington, DC-based ‘CityDNA,’ a new easy-to-use web-based system that will serve as a one-stop-shop for visualizing and analyzing local market data. CityDNA aims to help local governments, investors and community groups understand and respond to the unique market characteristics of their communities.

CityDNA is made possible through support from the Citi Foundation and marks a giant leap forward in the technical capacity available to stakeholders working toward sustainable community development in the District. “The Citi Foundation’s support of Social Compact’s innovative technology will help Social Compact achieve its mission, which is to enable community development practitioners and private investors to drive investments and revitalization in underserved communities in Washington, DC, and ultimately throughout the United States,” said Ron Guggenheimer, Global Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Global Transaction Services, Citi and Executive Vice Chairman of Social Compact.

Developed in partnership with Universal Mind, a cutting-edge web-design and data-management company, CityDNA allows both experts and novice users to easily create their own data solutions, including customizable reports, maps, charts and tables based on their queries about specific communities in the city.

“The launch of CityDNA today heralds the arrival of a new era of information-led development for our community development partners in Washington, DC. Local governments, investors and community development organizations–whatever their size and capacity–will now have access to the very best local market data and information management technology,” said Social Compact’s President and CEO, John Talmage. “Developing tailored, localized data solutions for attracting investment or responding to mortgage foreclosures will now take a matter of minutes rather than days or months,” says Talmage.

CityDNA, a resource for informing market stabilization and revitalization strategies, will store a multitude of data including comprehensive real estate information provided by First American CoreLogic Inc.

“We are delighted to continue our long-standing support of Social Compact with the launch of CityDNA today. CityDNA will collect data generated by First American CoreLogic and is the perfect platform for the community development field to respond to the current real estate challenges and opportunities in Washington, DC,” said Karen Collins, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at First American Corporation.

The Washington, DC-based CityDNA hosts a wealth of information, including:

— A comprehensive database of neighborhood economic indicators resulting from Social Compact’s 2007 citywide DrillDown neighborhood market analysis;

— The recently-completed 2009 District-wide Business Environment Scan assessing the presence and health of the District’s small businesses; and

— A wealth of indicators pertaining to the District’s housing market, including foreclosures, market sales, home values and more.

Social Compact is a coalition of national business leaders committed to catalyzing investment in underserved urban neighborhoods. CityDNA marks a major step towards achieving this mission. The Washington, DC-based CityDNA, followed by Miami, FL, will pioneer the next generation of data tools designed to support sustainable community development. Social Compact plans to expand CityDNA to other cities later this year.

The Washington, DC-based CityDNA launch is marked by an introduction and training session for local District partners to be held Friday, March 12, 2010 from 9:30am to 12:30pm at the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership, 1495 F Street, NW. Among the attendees are representatives from the District Department of Small and Local Business Development, the District Office of Planning, Enterprise Community Partners, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Citi.

The Washington, DC-based CityDNA will be made available to a select pool of registered users. For a nominal monthly fee, additional users can gain access to the tool. For more information on how to access Social Compact’s CityDNA, please contact Carolina Valencia, Director of Research at 202-547-2581 or


Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at or

Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families, particularly those in need, in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving on its priority focus areas: Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, Education, and Financial Education and Asset Building. In the United States and Canada, the Citi Foundation also supports Community Development programs. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, and Community Development to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at

Social Compact

Social Compact, launched in 1990, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of business leaders from across the country committed to promoting successful investment in lower-income communities. Working in close partnership with community and corporate leaders over the past decade and a half, Social Compact has successfully pioneered its unique “DrillDown” methodology as an accepted analysis of inner-city markets based on accurate, business-oriented profiles of “emerging” neighborhood markets. Drawing on business disciplines and community strength, these DrillDown profiles have a strong track record of catalyzing sustainable, private investment, benefiting communities and businesses alike.

To date, Social Compact has conducted DrillDowns in 20 cities across the country and has consistently found these communities to be larger, safer and with far greater buying power than previously thought. Cumulatively, Social Compact has identified: an aggregate household income $35 billion (22%) higher than census trend projections; 350,000 more households than census trend projections; and 1.25 million more residents than census trend projections.

For more information on Social Compact, please visit our website:

SOURCE: Citi Foundation & Social Compact