Organizers pulled out all the stops for the official start of construction at CityCenterDC, a 10-acre, mixed-use development at the site of the old Convention Center in downtown Washington.
Apartment buildings, condos, hotels and retail shops will eventually share the space when it's completed in two years, but city leaders, such as D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, say its economic impact will be felt right away.
"This is one of the most valuable pieces of property in the world," Brown says. "It's going to create thousands of jobs and we have local equity participation, which means local business will own a piece of the development."
The initial financing for CityCenterDC, $700 million, was put up by a real estate company based out of Qatar.