Capitol Riverfront Updates

1212 4th Street at The Yards is currently under construction and will feature a 50,000 SF Harris Teeter and 28,000 SF VIDA fitness in the ground floor. Image courtesy of Forest City Washington.

In February I attended the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Mid-Atlantic conference where almost 2,000 people comprised of retailers, restaurant groups, brokers, developers, and public officials convened to discuss retail opportunities in DC and the metropolitan region. I was reminded of the long process that is involved in attracting retail to any neighborhood.  It is a process that can unfold over 3-5 years and often more before a lease is signed and a store or restaurant opens to the public.

We have been in the process of attracting retail and restaurants to the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood for over six years now, and we are realizing the fruits of those labors.  The following is a summary of the most recent and the soon to be open restaurant and retail happenings in the Capitol Riverfront.

  • Kruba Thai & Sushi – this Thai and sushi restaurant opened in the Foundry Lofts building in November of 2012.  It has a full bar and ample seating with restaurant windows overlooking Yards Park.  It is located at 300 Water Street, SE and does offer home or office delivery as well as take-out.
  • Park Tavern – this 3,000 SF restaurant developed by Xavier Cervera will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.  It will have ample outdoor seating on the plaza during the warm weather months.
  • Bluejacket – located on the east end of the renovated Boilermaker Shops building at 4th Street, SE, the Blue Jacket is a 7,000 SF micro-brewery and restaurant developed by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group.  Featuring beer brewed on site and a menu developed by the same team that owns Birch and Barley on 14th Street, Bluejacket will also have outdoor seating and dining on the plaza facing Tingey Street.  They are working towards a May opening date.
  • Buzz Bakery – another concept by Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Buzz Bakery will offer coffee, cupcakes and other pastries by award winning pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac in the mornings, as well as adult beverages, cupcakes and desserts in the afternoon and evenings.  It will be located adjacent to Bluejacket and have outdoor seating with a projected opening in April.
  • Nando’s Peri-Peri – Nando’s is a Peruvian chicken restaurant that has enjoyed success in China Town and other locations.  This newest restaurant is being developed in the Boilermaker Shops building and will have outdoor seating and is anticipated to open in late spring.
  • Gordon Biersch – another regional brewery and restaurant concept that has a location in Penn Quarter and Tysons Corner, Gordon Biersch, at the corner of 1st & M Streets, SE will offer micro-brewed beers on site, as well as a full dining menu and outdoor seating, Gordon Biersch hopes to be open for the Nats April 1st opening day.
  • Willie’s Brew & Que –Willie’s is a 4,000 SF sports bar with BBQ and beer on the west end of the Boilermaker Shops building.  No opening date has been announced.
  • Osteria Morini – an Italian restaurant by New York chef Michael White, Osteria Morini will occupy approximately 4,000 SF in the Lumber Shed building overlooking Yards Park.  The restaurant will also have outdoor seating and is projected to open later this year.
  • Agua 301 – Agua 301 is the second restaurant by the owners of Zest Bistro and will be a Mexican restaurant concept in the Lumber Shed building overlooking Yards Park.  It will have outdoor seating as well and is scheduled to open later this year.

Other neighborhood support retail and services are arriving soon in the Capitol Riverfront include the following:

  • Harris Teeter Grocery Store – as part of the 1212 4th Street mixed use project currently under construction, this full service Harris Teeter grocery will be the 50,000 SF anchor of the development.  Scheduled to open in the summer of 2014, the Teeter will have dedicated underground parking. VIDA Health Club is another anchor tenant to the 1212 4th Street project and will be a 28,000 SF health club with a rooftop pool that will also open in the summer of 2014.  The health club is located at the corner of 4th and Tingey Streets, SE and will feature Bang Hair Salon and Aura Spa as a part of the development.
  • Wells Cleaners – Wells Cleaners is a full service laundry that is open in the Boilermaker Shops and located on Tingey Street, SE.
  • DCBFit – DCBFit, a locally owned and operated boxing and fitness studio, is now open at 1000 New Jersey Avenue, SE.  DCBFit welcomes members of all fitness levels, offering classes that are built around varied fighting techniques that will maximize cardio output while teaching self-defense basics. Fitness classes and boxing classes are offered during the mornings and evenings Monday through Saturday.
  • WagTime Too – WagTime Too is the second location for WagTime which provides pet boarding, daycare, and grooming services.  WagTime Too is located across M Street, SE from the Washington Navy Yard at 900 M Street, SE.   

Our residential market continues to expand with three new projects that are currently under construction:

  • Park Chelsea – the Park Chelsea is a 430 luxury apartment building being developed by WC Smith at 800 New Jersey Avenue, SE.  The project is expected to deliver in the fall of 2014 and is the first phase of a larger development plan for that entire square.
  • 1212 4th – this mixed-use project by Forest City has two residential buildings being constructed above the Harris Teeter and will contain a total of 218 apartments that will deliver in the summer of 2014.
  • Camden at South Capitol – while this project is officially outside of our BID boundaries, we consider it a part of the neighborhood.  Camden at South Capitol contains 275 market rate apartments and will deliver in the summer of 2013.

When completed, these three projects will add another 900+ residential units to our market, and several other developers are anticipating starting on additional residential projects by the end of the year.

A final update on the neighborhood’s development – Canal Park opened in November 2012 with a wonderful ice skating rink that has become a winter destination for residents of the Capitol Riverfront, Capitol Hill, SW Waterfront and other parts of the District.  Stay tuned for the opening of the Park Tavern restaurant, and for the operation of the 42 water jets in the warmer spring and summer months.  These jets will be the centerpiece of the southern block and provide cooling relief on hot summer days.  The plaza outside of Park Tavern will be available for outdoor dining and beverage consumption as well.  The BID will also be hosting our summer outdoor movies in the north block of Canal Park on Thursday evenings beginning May 30th, and our summer noontime concerts will located in Canal Park every Wednesday.

Our Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is approximately 33% built-out on its way to a total of 37 million SF of new development, and this next wave of development activity will provide many of the neighborhood retail and restaurant amenities that we have been actively recruiting for the past 6 years.  I hope that you will come join us in the Capitol Riverfront this summer to enjoy baseball, the new restaurants, and the water features of Canal Park.  Go Nats!