News & Politics

Goodbye K Street: Why DC’s Power Lobbying Corridor Is No More

The top-grossing firms no longer reside along Washington’s famed avenue of influence.

Illustration by Joel Kimmel.

Though K Street is known as the hub of Washington’s influence industry, few major lobby shops actually reside along the famous power corridor anymore. That’s nothing new—many law and lobbying firms moved to DC’s West End in the 1980s. Later that decade and into the ’90s, they began venturing to Pennsylvania Avenue near Metro Center. As the lobbying industry grew, so did its real-estate needs, and there was only so much room on K Street. “There was no place else to go,” says Jay Epstien, chair of the US real-estate practice at DLA Piper, who has represented numerous firms in leasing new space. In fact, of the ten highest-earning lobbying firms in Washington, shown here, only one has a K Street address.

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This article appears in the September 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.