A Big Year for Capitol Riverfront

by Shilpi Paul

A Big Year for Capitol Riverfront: Figure 1

After developments stumbled during 2008’s economic turmoil, progress is now moving forward steadily in Capitol Riverfront and 2012 is shaping up to be a big year, at least from the restaurant, retail and recreation standpoint. Claire Schaefer, Deputy Executive Director of the Capitol Riverfront BID, filled UrbanTurf in on what has come or is coming to the neighborhood this year.

Restaurants and Retail

Nine new restaurants are opening/or have opened in the neighborhood in 2012: Bluejacket Brewery by Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Buzz Bakery, Kruba Thai and Sushi, 
Huey’s 24-Hour Diner, Potbelly
, Be Right Burger
, Willy’s Brew and ‘Que Sportsbar, Austin Grill Express
, and Canal Park Tavern (you can find more info and specific locations here).

In time for opening day at Nationals Stadium, Fairgrounds Outdoor Market, a temporary outdoor marketplace, will be opening up at Half Street and M Street SE (map). According to Schaefer, two food trucks (Bayou and Surfside) have agreed to set up there, and the space will be home to retailers and there will be a stage for live music performances. Fairgrounds will be open from the beginning of the baseball season until October 1st.

Parks and Recreation

Canal Park will be opening up this fall at 2nd and L Street NE (map). Taking over the site of an empty lot (over a canal that was designed by Pierre L’Enfant), Canal Park will have an outdoor cafe, an ice skating path, huge fountains, sculptures and additional public spaces. The main pavilion will be LEED Gold certified, with solar powered lamps, geothermal heating and cooling, green roofs, stormwater management and electric car charging stations. (JDLand has some great photos of the progress here.) In addition to Canal Park, the Anacostia River Walk, which eventually will include 16 miles of trail on both sides of the river, has opened up a mile walkway between the baseball stadium and Yards Park and Navy Yard.

A Big Year for Capitol Riverfront: Figure 2
Courtesy of the Capitol Riverfront BID

Residences in the Works

While no new buildings are delivering this year, several apartment projects are under construction to eventually join the 2,677 existing residential units in the neighborhood.

A Big Year for Capitol Riverfront: Figure 3
Rendering of the Park Chelsea. Courtesy of William C. Smith

Park Chelsea

This year, construction will be starting on the Park Chelsea, part of a 1.1 million square foot project at 880 New Jersey Ave SE (map) with 433 luxury apartments. Esocoff and Associates Architects designed the 13-story building. With studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms, the development will also have ground-level retail and three levels of parking.

A Big Year for Capitol Riverfront: Figure 4

Camden South Capitol

Construction is underway at Camden South Capitol, an apartment project at 1345 South Capitol Street (map), right across from Nationals Park. With an estimated delivery date of June 2013, the development will bring 276 units to the neighborhood.

A Big Year for Capitol Riverfront: Figure 5

1212 4th Street

Also under construction is 1212 4th Street, a 225-unit apartment complex at 1212 4th Street SE (map). The apartments will sit on top of a new Harris Teeter. Developer Forest City Washington’s project may take a couple years to finish, with estimated completion in late 2013 or early 2014.

Similar Posts:

See other articles related to: dclofts, capitol riverfront

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/2012_a_big_year_for_capitol_riverfront/5320


  1. RJD2 said at 9:14 pm on Monday March 26, 2012:
    FYI: Canal Park won't open this coming spring. It is scheduled to open sometimes in the Fall (possibly in November). The Park at Chelsea is part of a 1.1 million square foot project.
  1. Shilpi said at 11:17 pm on Monday March 26, 2012:
    Hi RJD2, Thanks for the comment -- you're right. We checked back in with Claire Schaefer, who tells us that Canal Park will be opening in late October/early November. We've made the correction. Shilpi
  1. Richko said at 2:15 am on Tuesday March 27, 2012:
    Wow, why the aversion to condos in this neighborhood? Several years after Velocity delivered and it's still the only condo development, with the Capitol Hill Tower co-op the only other high-rise non-rental residential property. It's as if it's designed to be a neighborhood mostly inhabited by transitional 20-somethings.
  1. Ali said at 3:19 am on Tuesday March 27, 2012:
    Just a correction. Canal Park is on 2nd and L SE, not NE per above: Canal Park will be opening up this fall at 2nd and L Street NE (map).
  1. JT said at 3:18 pm on Tuesday March 27, 2012:
    Richko: When I was condo/house searching, I looked at many condo buildings in the area (at least six), so your contention that Velocity is the only one is not accurate. There are also dozens of townhomes/condos by EYA homes in the area. The new buildings may be mostly apartments because there are still plenty of condos available and the market needs more apartments.
  1. Mr. Galt said at 7:19 pm on Tuesday March 27, 2012:
    @Richothat’s a good question with a crappy response (coming...). Developers would love to build condos over there and quite frankly all across the city but can't. They have money to do so but they are blocked by government bureaucracy. You see, FHA requires that a building be 30% presold prior to the 1st unit closing. That’s all good and well but they also have an absorption cap of 30% max loans on any given new construction building. Fannie Mae on the other hand requires that a building be 50% presold before the 1st unit can close. So, assume a 200 unit building (which is not realistic because it’s too small to cover expenses on such expensive land and will not generate enough return), a developer has to presell 60 units and complete the project in order to settle the 1st unit. That means that you -the buyer- has to give the developer a deposit of some sort to hold a unit for you which is intimidating to some as it can be 2 years until the project is complete and ready for you to move into. But that aside, assume the developer does presell the required 30% and settles all of those units. The project is now capped out with FHA and the developer has to somehow sell 20% of the project (40 units in this case) to either cash buyers or buyers getting financed through private lending so that they can achieve the 50% presale that Fannie requires in order to begin closing conventional loans. This would be a HUGE gamble for any developer to take and currently not to many lenders are willing to offer bridge financing of this kind. So the conundrum is that the market demand is there and supply is almost nil but government intervention once again hamstrings a recovery of any sort and essentially shuts down an industry. For those of you who favor a strong regulatory body, I hope you favor paying crazy rent too.
  1. Diff JT said at 9:36 pm on Tuesday March 27, 2012:
    @Mr. Galt - you make the right general point about the financing hurdles for a new building, but the percentages you are referring to are for contracts, not closed units. So, if a building achieves 50% pre-sale prior to delivery they should be in clear assuming all the other factors that go into approval are OK. And, those pre-sales could all be contingent on conventional, Fannie Mae financing. But, for the general reason you pointed out we won't see any large scale condos (100+ unit) for the foreseeable future. Probably more likely to see smaller projects with fewer amenities (to keep the condo fees down) and only in desirable locations.
  1. Richko said at 12:15 am on Wednesday March 28, 2012:
    Yet the new medium-/high-rise developments going up on 14th St., NW, between Thomas Circle & U St. are a good mix of condos and rental buildings. I visited Velocity at least 3 times over the past 2 years and kept it "on my list" of possibilities -- but now that I've about given up on buying in my chosen neighborhoods with the amenities & unit types I want, due to extreme lack of suitable inventory, I've had my agent hit up Velocity again... and they won't give her a straight answer about which units in the tier I'd be interested in are still available for purchase. Oh, well -- I'm too old for that neighborhood, anyhow, it seems.
  1. RJD2 said at 4:23 pm on Wednesday March 28, 2012:
    @Richko,you are never too old to live in the navy yard area. I live at the Velocity and it is a great building. People who live in my building are all kind of ages. There are retired people, people in their late 50's who decided to live small because their kids are grown, early 30's couples, late twenty single professional people like myself and people who just want to have apartment in the city. The units are huge compared to any other condos in the city. The one bedroom with den and 1 and half bath are very popular and they are over 900 square foot. It is very safe compared to U street (all you have to do is check the police report, it is public). Two blocks to the metro and two block to 395 and 295. I don't know what your agent is telling you but you should go by yourself and talk to the sells agent. I don't even know why you need an agent when you can do it yourself.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »