Updates on Riverfront on the Anacostia, Canal Park

by Shilpi Paul

Updates on Riverfront on the Anacostia, Canal Park: Figure 1
A rendering of RiverFront on the Anacostia. Courtesy of MRP Realty.

The team behind RiverFront on the Anacostia, a large mixed-used development on the boards for just south of Nationals Park along the Anacostia River (map), stopped by ANC 6D’s meeting Monday night to update the community on the latest plans.

The development team, represented by John Begert of MRP Realty, hope to start construction on Phase 1 of the Planned Unit Development (PUD), a 9-story, 325-unit residential building, in the next 18 months. The whole project will total 1.1 million square feet of residential, retail and commercial space.

In response to comments on the 2008 plans, which JDLand has outlined here, more retail has been added to all four project phases, the total of which will now be 18,650 square feet.

Updates on Riverfront on the Anacostia, Canal Park: Figure 2
A rendering of RiverFront on the Anacostia, Phase One.

The waterfront will be lined with restaurants and there will be several public spaces, including RiverFront Plaza, a collection of park-like areas with seating, River Garden, a terraced garden leading to the water, and a sandy beach-like area (with a beach volleyball court). A boardwalk will span the waterfront, and a marina will be accessible from the complex. The developers are planning on creating a “biofilter” — what looks like a reed-y, mini wetland — on certain sections of the waterfront to cleanse rainwater.

Updates on Riverfront on the Anacostia, Canal Park: Figure 3
The esplanade. Rendering courtesy of MRP Realty.

Marius Radulescu from architecture firm SK&I told the crowd that the architecture of RiverFront on the Anacostia will be lofty and industrial in keeping with the Navy Yard-feel. Balconies and windows dominate the facades (which also has the floating facade element that keeps popping up around DC), and the water-facing side is almost entirely made of windows to maximize the view.

The development team will return to the ANC this summer to seek approval for the plan before a hearing in the fall.

In other news from the meeting, Canal Park is scheduled to deliver in October/November. Some unexpected utilities found under the site — a former canal — necessitated a rewrite of the plan. The park will have a figure-eight shaped ice skating rink, a giant illuminated cube that will be used as an outdoor movie screen, electric car charging stations, a rain garden that will collect water to be used in the fountains, the skating rink and the toilets, and a green roof that visitors can walk up to.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/riverfront_on_the_anacostia_moving_forward/5537


  1. Kenneth said at 12:26 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    Will some of condo have 2 level and at least 3 bedroom?
  1. Shilpi Paul said at 3:52 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    Hi Kenneth, Thanks for the comment. The sizes have yet to be determined, but we'll let you know as soon as we find out. Shilpi
  1. MJ said at 8:58 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    Why are most people in the drawings white? That's not how the neighborhood looks.
  1. hoos30 said at 8:12 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    J****, another glass box. Bleh. This rendering should be Exhibit 1 in the case to repeal the Height Limit Act. Free our architects to create something more than glass and concrete boxes!
  1. Eric said at 8:12 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    Don't forget the Xavier Cervera restaurant in the Canal Park cube pavilion space!
  1. Eric said at 8:27 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    Hoos30, I don't think this type of design is what people refer to when they're talking about "glass boxes". See PNC Place at 800 17th St - http://bit.ly/L3Mq3O for a true representation. This building looks for the most part to be glass, brick, and steel, in the style of late 19th- and early 20th-century warehouses, with a modern flare. It's not original, and that's unfortunate, but the area could do a lot worse. I also doubt that any increase in the height limit would allow a developer to build much taller on the waterfront. We're already looking at a 9-story building here, well below DC's maximum heights allowed downtown.
  1. Rudy said at 9:23 pm on Tuesday May 15, 2012:
    The people in the rendering were white because that is the new perception of SE. "They" have even designated a new name for my neighborhood. CHASE. (Congress Heights, Anacostia and St. Elizabeths's.) This area, filled to the brim with black families, will soon be too expensive for us. My prediction is that this construction and development once finished, will be filled with condos that we cant afford and office buildings and federal jobs that people from the original neighborhood wouldnt be "cleared" to have access to. I appreciate the interest and concern with my neighborhood; I just wish the interest and concern about my community came from within as opposed to those that are trying to cash in. These renderings, however vague and temporary, paint a perfect picture of the inner thoughts of the decision makers; the people that use our SE streets (in the daytime) as shortcuts to and from work. These renderings tell me that the Southeast of today and the history of yesterday, will all be gone tomorrow.
  1. Z said at 12:42 am on Wednesday May 16, 2012:
    If you look at the dozen or so people in the foreground of the picture, at least 50% appear to be black - roughly equal to the percentage of blacks in D.C.
  1. Jacks said at 4:16 am on Wednesday May 16, 2012:
    @Z: I get the perecentage of blacks in DC but the percentage of blacks in Anacostia, where this construction would take place, is 99%. A percentage that I would venture to guess, makes up a large amount of that 50% you were talking about. So in my opinion the drawing is still inaccurate.
  1. DC Fan said at 11:46 am on Wednesday May 16, 2012:
    In reference to another comment: '...federal jobs that people from the original neighborhood wouldnt be “cleared” to have access to.',... What do you think should be done? Certain Federal (and contract) jobs require that a specific level of clearance be acquired, no matter where that job is located. Are you suggesting that the Federal Government lower its standards (and the safety of our nation) just because the jobs are in your neighborhood? Perhaps the residents of the neighborhood should do what they can so than they can qualify. Self improvement instead, of blame and complain, will get you further. Additionally, those who do accept these jobs and live elsewhere will bring money to your neighborhood by frequenting businesses while they are there. That can only help you. Have you though of these things?
  1. concerned said at 12:13 pm on Wednesday May 16, 2012:
    "I get the perecentage of blacks in DC but the percentage of blacks in Anacostia, where this construction would take place, is 99%" This construction site is not in Anacostia. Your statement is inaccurate.
  1. Idiotproof said at 3:59 pm on Wednesday May 16, 2012:
    Its not in Anacostia, its on the Anacostia in Southeast DC
  1. Jacks said at 8:53 pm on Wednesday May 16, 2012:
    DC FAn I was with you until the Safety of our nation comment. How misinformed. You think Security Clearances protect our country? From what? Terrorists? A security clearance has protected nothing except the "purity" and sanctity of the workplace. The Federal Government used Security clearances back in 2001 and we saw how much protection we had thad that day. Just like this new development project, clearances are simply a cog in the wheel of the newest form of racial discrimination. A caste system used to create separation and teach us our place. What those rendering say to me when i look at them is that the clock is ticking for blacks in Anacostia. @Idiotproof - Change your name.
  1. Cleared said at 8:51 pm on Thursday May 17, 2012:
    @Jacks. Apparently you have never worked in a DoD agency that requires high level clearances. I guarantee you that the percentage of minorities employed there is much higher than the average non-cleared private sector job. Just because you know someone's friend's brother who did not pass his clearance doesn't mean it's a form of racial discrimination. I will take the position that the average DoD agency STILL has a higher percentage of minority employees than almost ANY private sector company. You should be glad for these Federal Agencies.
  1. MJ said at 9:19 pm on Thursday May 17, 2012:
    @idiotproof The Anacostia River is one of the boundaries of Anacostia. Also, the people of Anacostia make up the majority of those that frequent Anacostia Park also along the Anacostia River. So they also are being pushed out of their park. http://books.google.com/books?id=q0eIiOCLM1oC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=anacostia+boundaries&source=bl&ots=CFo3a0Ft7c&sig=e_FPX8nD5IaTTNw-uMbtcj_DR2w&hl=en&sa=X&ei=G1y1T5qBJYWu6AHP0fX1Dw&sqi=2&ved=0CFcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=anacostia boundaries&f=false

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