Once complete, Reunion Square will offer approximately 950,000 sq. ft. of office space, 130,000 sq. ft. of retail and 480 multi-family residences. (Rendering via Four Points)
Washington, D.C., is not the same city it was 10 years ago, and it will not be the same in the coming years either. Along with the rest of the nation, the District has made, and continues to make, substantial changes to its cityscape.
WTOP News recently compiled a list of 10 large or otherwise notable projects that are likely to have a major impact on the city and those who live and work in the area in 2023 and beyond.
The research for the all-news radio station's overview, released Dec. 30, was released in a report created by the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership (WDCEP), a nonprofit public-private organization whose purpose is to promote and support economic development and business opportunities in the District.
(Rendering via Four Points)
The multi-phase Reunion Square project on 7th Street NW in Washington's Anacostia neighborhood spans a whopping 1.5 million sq. ft. on 8 acres of land. Once complete, it will offer approximately 950,000 sq. ft. of office space, 130,000 sq. ft. of retail and 480 multi-family residences.
Its first phase, at 2235 Shannon Place, was finished in 2014 and now serves as the headquarters for D.C.'s Office of Lottery and Charitable Games, and the Department of For-Hire Vehicles. The next phase, at 2201 Shannon, is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2023 as the headquarters for the D.C. Health department.
In an interview with WTOP, Chad Shuskey, vice president of programs at WDCEP, noted that Reunion Square is a good example of how the District sees its agencies as good "anchors" for developments.
Four Points/Curtis Development is the joint venture developing Reunion Square.
(Rendering via Donohoe Development)
Located right by D.C's City Ridge development, Upton Place is one of the top retail projects currently under construction, with an estimated completion late next fall.
At 4000 Wisconsin Ave. NW in the Cathedral Heights neighborhood, the project will transform an office building formerly occupied by Fannie Mae into a mixed-use destination with 689 multi-family residences topping about 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space, in addition to a new Lidl grocery store.
Of the residences, 455 will be apartments in the six-story East Tower, and another 234 units will encompass the eight-story West Tower. A total of 65 affordable apartments will also be made available by the development group Donohue Development/AIMCO.
Amenities will include a fitness center, rooftop entertainment space, outdoor cooking areas, two pools and a co-working space. A below-grade parking garage will house 825 spaces.
"Upton Place is kind of an example of the city … adapting to the current market," since the site previously housed an office building, but will soon be a mix of residential and retail space, Shuskey said.
Waterfront Station II
(Rendering via Hoffman & Associates)
Another project slated to be ready for occupancy at the end of 2023 is Waterfront Station II, at 1000 4th Street SW. The 12-story, 400,000-sq.-ft. building will serve Washington's Southwest Waterfront with a mix of retail and residences, as well as a performing arts/theater space, and the D.C.-based early childhood education provider AppleTree School.
As far as housing, the project will offer 449 rentals with 136 affordable units. Half those affordable apartments will be set aside for households earning less than 30 percent of the area median income.
Shuskey said the planned performing arts/theater space will be a nice complement to the other arts spaces in the neighborhood, such as Arena Stage and The Anthem.
The developers for Waterfront Station II include Hoffman & Associates, CityPartners, Affordable Housing Developers, Paramount Development Corp., and D.C.'s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED).
(Rendering via Akridge)
Spanning about 6 acres with two million sq. ft. of space, this mixed-use project directly south of Audi Field at 101 V St. SW in Buzzard Point will include 2,000 multi-family residences, 80,000 sq. ft. of retail, two hotels, 250,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 15,000-sq.-ft. park. Up to 10 percent of the residences at The Stacks will be dedicated to affordable housing.
Another key part of the development is a pedestrian-only road, dubbed "The Corso," that will run from Audi Field to the Anacostia River waterfront.
"The Buzzard Point area is going to be kind of the next wave of development" for the Southwest quadrant of Washington, Shuskey told WTOP News, adding that The Stacks is one big example of that wave.
The first phase of the project should be ready in 2025, he said.
Akridge/National Real Estate Development is the group building The Stacks.
Skyland Town Center
(Rendering via Akridge)
With an estimated delivery in either 2024 or 2025, Skyland Town Center, at 2834 Alabama Ave. SE, has been dubbed "the first town center development in Southeast D.C." by Washington-based developer WC Smith.
The project is a mixed-use development that was stalled for several years, but has since made great progress as the first two phases of the Skyland Town Center are already complete. A Lidl opened at the site in September, and a CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks are already open. Other tenants include three restaurants and a café.
The third and final phase, however, should remain a hot topic. In December, Washington Business Journal reported that the final phase is getting a residential makeover, with Rappaport/WC Smith planning to seek a modification to their planned-unit development to allow for 126 townhomes on the northernmost part of the site. The parcel of land also would feature a 75-unit senior center with 10,000 sq. ft. of retail.
Once complete, the entire development will total 18.5 acres, making it one of the largest real estate projects ever in a D.C. neighborhood east of the Anacostia River, WTOP News noted.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Renovation
(Rendering via Smithsonian)
One of the nation's grandest museums, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at 600 Independence Ave. SW in downtown Washington, has been undergoing a massive renovation to its exterior and all 23 exhibition spaces since 2018.
The seven-year-long project was designed as a two-part effort, with the first phase completed last October, when eight new galleries were opened to the public in the building's west wing.
Plans call for the second phase to finish in 2025.
11th Street Bridge Park
(Rendering via Building Bridges Across the River)
Since winning a design competition in 2014, the international design firms OMA and OLIN have spearheaded the vision for the planned 1.45-mi. 11th Street Bridge Park project.
Once complete, the elevated landscape will connect Washington's Anacostia and Navy Yard neighborhoods with an amphitheater and public plaza, along with public art, a hammock grove, a kayak and canoe launch area, as well as an environmental education center staffed by the Anacostia Watershed Society.
The entire bridge park will be the length of three football fields and built on the existing piers that held the former 11th Street Bridge. It is expected to be complete in 2025.
This will be the District's first elevated public park, Shuskey told WTOP News, adding that the local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) have engaged with the community to mitigate any impact the project could have on the surrounding communities.
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
In December 2022, venerable RFK Stadium, east of Capitol Hill in the Kingman Park neighborhood, received heartfelt goodbyes from city leaders and sports luminaries. The venue opened in 1961 as D.C. Stadium before being renamed in 1969 in honor of the assassinated New York senator.
If all goes according to plan, the former NFL and Major League Baseball stadium will be demolished in 2023.
Following that, the options under consideration for the 190-acre site include a new NFL stadium, an indoor 20,000-seat arena, or an open-air multi-purpose space. Several local lawmakers, including D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, believe the site is best suited for the next Washington Commanders football stadium, although some D.C. council members and locals think otherwise.
While RFK Stadium is owned by the city, the land that it currently stands on is the property of the federal government, meaning there are limitations on what can be built, Shuskey told WTOP. A stadium site redevelopment study reports that the land is currently leased to the District for stadium use only.
St. Elizabeths East
(Photo via Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)
The D.C. government is currently revitalizing the long-abandoned, 346-acre St. Elizabeth's hospital campus in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8, and there is a lot to anticipate about this project, located at 1100 Alabama Ave. SE
In July, a groundbreaking was held to build Sycamore & Oak, a 22,000-sq.-ft. community-led "interim" retail space near the new Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA). Eight Ward 8-based businesses — including restaurants, retail outlets and artistic spaces — will eventually operate there.
The apartment community on the campus, called the Residences at St. Elizabeths East, was completed in 2019 with 252 units, 202 of which are affordable. Amenities include a fitness center, clubroom, secured parking, a playground and outdoor grilling area.
Washington Business Journal reported that Whitman-Walker Health is set to establish a 116,000-sq.-ft. health center on the southern edge of the campus, with an estimated completion later this year. The building will house a pharmacy on the ground floor.
The developer behind this project is Redbrick.
In December, the Journal also noted that Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development selected a development team led by The Menkiti Group to construct a headquarters office up to 225,000 sq. ft. in size for the District's Department of Behavioral Health.
Additionally, it will have 277 multifamily units affordable at 30 percent to 80 percent of area median income, as well as 18 for-sale townhomes, 30,000 sq. ft. of retail and 90,000 sq. ft. of community space, which will replace Washington's RISE Center.
McMillan Sand Filtration Site
(Rendering via EYA)
After years of controversy and legal challenges, the 25-acre McMillan Sand Filtration Site at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue NW finally began a redevelopment with demolition work in October 2021, five years after its groundbreaking.
In describing the project to WTOP News, Shuskey called it a "testament to perseverance from both the city and the development partners" since it had taken about 15 years to get progress moving to plan the 2.1-million-sq.-ft. site.
Though a solid delivery date is still unknown, the plan for the property includes a grocery store, 467 apartments, 146 townhomes, 860,000 sq. ft. of medical office space, a community center and an eight-acre park. The four old regulator houses, 20 sand silos, sand bins and two underground filter beds are expected to be preserved on the site.
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