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Massive Mixed-Use Wharf And Waterfront Station Transform Southwest

Rendering of The Wharf's Hyatt House and Canopy

Two projects, immense in scope and ambitious in vision, are elevating Southwest’s image. The Wharf and Waterfront Station, when they deliver, will turn the oft-overlooked quadrant into an enticing live/work/play environment.

The Wharf

The first phase of the $2.2B, 24-acre, 3M SF Wharf project PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette have partnered to bring to Southwest is nearing completion. Phase 1 will open in October, with a six-month grand opening period introducing an eclectic mix of boutiques and attractions, four piers, a boardwalk and two parks. Encouraging maritime recreation along the mile-long stretch are the new yacht club, 500 boat slips and access to entertainment cruises and water taxis.

The Wharf’s thoroughfares, imbued with European charm and scaled down to be navigable and unimposing, will be dotted with small cafés and shops.

The city contributed $198M to the project, specifically to enhance the site’s infrastructure, in an attempt to revitalize an area historically neglected by tourists, residents and even District officials. The Great Recession and regulatory hurdles stymied the project, which PN Hoffman won the development rights to in 2006. Zoning, planning, a lengthy approval process and financing difficulties combined to delay groundbreaking until 2014.

Aerial view of construction at The Wharf

Perkins Eastman will oversee a collective of 11 renowned architects Hoffman-Madison Waterfront hand-picked in March for the 1.2M SF Phase 2, which includes office, hotel, residential, retail and park space. The assembled team boasts a range of design styles and talents so the resultant Phase 2 will look like a neighborhood, not just a development. It is expected to be complete by 2021, and will break ground next year.

Waterfront Station 

Rendering of Waterfront Station II at dusk

The impetus behind Waterfront Station’s 2.1M SF of residential, office and retail space is similar to The Wharf’s. Forest City Washington, Vornado (soon to be JBG Smith) and Bresler & Reiner comprise the group of owners enlisted to build it. The comparably high-end center’s ample shopping, living and working space will help catalyze Southwest’s urban renewal and change the perception of the neighborhood.

Parcels on 375 and 425 M St. SW will add an additional 625K SF of office and ground-level retail to the development site that already encompasses seven new buildings with over 1.1M SF of office, 110K SF of retail and 900 residential units.

Rendering of Waterfront Station II

Waterfront Station II is the planned 59K SF sister development located across the street at 1000 4th St. SW. It will add over 400 new residential units, roughly a third of which are designated affordable.

The project features a 10K SF black box theater and 22,500 SF of community-oriented retail, which have helped win praise for a project that caters to Southwest’s current residents while seeking to attract new ones.