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What's Next for Crystal City?

Washington DC Mixed-Use

Is the Crystal City evolution speeding up? Yesterday, we snapped Bedrock Bars' Peter Bayne and Geoff Dawson taking a break from the build-out of Highline, the 7,500 SF bar/restaurant/entertainment spot the partners will open Dec. 1. Geoff says the concept, which will feature 28 craft beer selections, a variety of games, and a flexible porch (that can be used as an indoor or outdoor space), is aimed at giving Crystal City a "third place" to inhabit, besides the home and office. To create a sense of community, Highline will welcome local sports leagues (bocce and croquet, for example) to use the space and will also survey patrons on their preferred beers and menu items.

Meanwhile, Vornado/Charles E. Smith has just signed two DC-based nonprofits—the National Railway Labor Conference and the National Council on Aging—to its 251 18th St property, in deals that total 27k SF. Big associations such as the Consumer Electronics Association and PBS also call the neighborhood home. (If you see a giant yellow bird, it's either Big Bird or a DHL Express plane landing at Reagan National.)

Highline (which Geoff decided on as a name after hearing the nearby Metro roll through) will set up shop above McCormick & Schmick's, joining Jaleo, Spike Mendohlson's Good Stuff Eatery, and other popular food/drink options on Crystal Drive. "It's not just government workers walking around with their name tags hanging out," Geoff tells us; the emergence of tech firms (like Paul Singh's Crystal Tech Fund) is creating a younger community. (Even the chefs are young—that's Spike in the picture.)

Along with office and retail, local events like yesterday's FRESHFARM farmers market have Crystal Drive buzzing with activity. Merchants set up shop every Tuesday (3-7pm through November) selling locally grown produce and meat. And today, the neighborhood's weekly Sparket is off and running at 1900 Crystal Dr, an offering of arts, crafts, jewelry, and other locally made products.