UrbanTurf Reader Asks: What Do You Know About the SW Waterfront?

by Mark Wellborn

Southwest Waterfront by Mr.T_in_DC

This week, an UrbanTurf reader inquires about the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood. Despite our growing knowledge of the DC area and the residential real estate market, we are not very familiar with this area. Below is her email, and if you can offer your two cents, please do so in the comments section. As you can see, she has already done some homework.

I am considering purchasing a condo in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood, but I am curious how much investment is being made to make the waterfront area more akin to Seattle or Vancouver rather than what it is now. If you have any useful links to articles or specific information – I would really appreciate the tip. Here are some websites that I am already familiar with:

  • The Washington Post overview of SW Waterfront future development plans. Click here for link.
  • The Southwest DC Blog that posts updates on new developments, renovations, and events in the area.

See other articles related to: urbanturf reader asks

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/urbanturf_reader_asks_what_do_you_know_about_the_sw_waterfront/822


  1. Tom A. said at 3:27 pm on Tuesday April 21, 2009:

    Only comment I have is to be prepared for development that is happening “soon” to never happen- or to have major delays.  One of the reasons I bought where I did two years ago was the H street streetcar which I was told was “coming soon.”  Now it’s at least 5 more years away.

    I’d never buy a place in DC hoping for future development or neighborhood ammenities.  It’s why the area around the new ballpark is slow to develop.  Buyers know that talk is cheap!

    One example: Check out http://www.halfstreet.com/  and then go down there!

  1. Tim said at 3:44 pm on Tuesday April 21, 2009:

    Not sure about new developments, but one thing I have noticed about condos in this area is that although prices may seem affordable compared to other areas of the district, the condo fees in most of these buildings are SKY HIGH. Not really sure why…

  1. Michelle Buckman said at 6:07 pm on Tuesday April 21, 2009:

    In my opinion, SW Washington, DC is an under discovered residential area. It is a pedestrian friendly residential area located on the South Riverfront.  Residents and visitors can walk to the famous Maine Avenue fish market, Arena Stage Theater, parts of Potomac Park, restaurants, and the new Nationals baseball stadium.

    The SW area is close to 4 metro stops: L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center Southwest, Waterfront/SEU and the navy yard.  The metro lines are the green, yellow, orange and blue lines.  There is a large Giant supermarket located on Maine Avenue, SW not far from the Fish Market.

    SW’s location is very convenient.  It is close to Capitol Hill, L’Enfant Plaza, the Smithsonian Museums, National Mall and downtown DC.  If you need to get out of town, I-395 is right there. National airport is minutes away.

    The housing makeup is a mixture of co-ops, condos, and many townhomes.  Some of the condo and co-op buildings are River Park, Carollsburg, Tiber Island, Potomac Place Towers and Harbor Square.  SW is the area to buy if you are searching for a magnificent view.  Many of the residences have lovely views of the river, monuments and baseball stadium.

  1. DCBuyer said at 6:57 pm on Tuesday April 21, 2009:

    I found a lot of condo units (or even town homes that are part of the coops) that are priced very competitively. The only issue, as Tim mentioned, the condo fees are pretty ridiculous! A two bed-room is reaching up to 1,000 per month in condo fees (which includes utilities, cable, and property tax).

    Are there any condo units that are located near the SW Waterfront Metro that are part of developments with more reasonable prices? Harbor Square and Tiber Island were high on the scale of condo fees.

  1. Theodore said at 10:41 pm on Tuesday April 21, 2009:

    Try Potomac Place Condo (potomacplacecondo.org) or Potomac Place Tower (potomacplacetower.com).  These are condos, not co-ops, and their monthly assessments are normal (i.e. not $1K/month).

  1. Joseph said at 8:03 am on Wednesday April 22, 2009:

    Often Co-op buildings have underlying mortgages, and part of a high co-op fee actually represents a portion of your mortgage payments, reducing the amount of money you need at closing.  Property taxes are also paid through those fees, and often all utilities…so a high co-op fee can be misleading.

  1. David said at 11:19 am on Wednesday April 22, 2009:

    I am also considering SW/Waterfront (as compared to Arlington) and had also noticed the low prices and high fees.  Anyone out there live in the area?  Is it safe?

  1. Michelle Buckman said at 1:39 pm on Wednesday April 22, 2009:

    What Joseph said is true about co-op fees.  Some co-ops have underlying mortgages.  Some do not.  Property taxes are part of the monthly fees and many times, all utilities are included in the fees.  The fees also cover the building amenities such as 24 hour front desk, pool, exercise room.  A purchaser needs to bring less money to the settlement table when buying a co-op.

  1. SWLover said at 2:03 pm on Wednesday April 22, 2009:

    I rented in SW for 5 years until just purchasing a condo 2 weeks ago at Potomac Place.  The SW Waterfront is a really lovely, quiet area.  It is sort of a hidden gem in DC.  My condo has a view of the Washington monument.  As another poster noted, the location provides easy access to everything.  Many residents enjoy the convenience of the fish market.  I have always felt safe in the area and have never experienced any incidents.  I would highly recommend SW to anyone considering the area.

  1. Maria said at 2:57 pm on Wednesday April 22, 2009:

    I bought a condo townhouse on 3rd and G Sts SW in 2004 and lived there for a year before moving to the west coast.  Having lived in Capitol Hill prior to moving to SW I was impressed at how quiet and peaceful my new neighborhood was.  It is close to everything, has access to several metro stops, there is a police station in the neighborhood with regular patrols and being a 10 minute walk away from the waterfront and wharf was grand!  As a single gal living alone, I never felt unsafe.

    My condo fee was only $450 which included water and A/C as well as regular upkeep and maintenance of the exterior of the units and the common areas.

    I am now moving back to the DC area and SW is definitely one of the neighborhoods I will look into.  Prices are more reasonable than Capitol Hill and there has been much development since 2005 when I moved away.  It’s a great neighborhood!

  1. Morgan Gable said at 3:32 pm on Wednesday April 22, 2009:

    From what I’ve heard, it’s not quite true about “bringing less money to the settlement table when buying a co-op.”  I just learned that co-ops do not take FHA loans.  Therefore, instead of needing a 3.5% down payment, you need a 15% down payment for a co-op.

Comments are closed.

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