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New Kids On The Block: Tenants In Southeast D.C.

A rendering of MLK Gateway, The Menkiti Group's development planned in Anacostia.

With many of the largest developments East of the River still somewhat up in the air, new corporate leases have been few and far between. But in the heart of Anacostia, Enlightened Inc., an IT consulting firm, has signed on as the anchor tenant for MLK Gateway, a development underway at the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, the thoroughfare leading over the 11th Street Bridge into the heart of the District. 

Enlightened will reportedly occupy 20K SF of office space in the development, which also includes 15K SF of retail space. The Menkiti Group, the developer behind MLK Gateway, is using opportunity zone capital to fund the project, and intends to purchase more properties in Anacostia. 

A rendering of the Skyland Town Center development in D.C.'s Ward 7.

Farther east, a different kind of business is making a serious impact: Lidl, the German discount grocer, has signed on as the anchor tenant at Skyland Town Center, becoming the first new supermarket to open East of the River in over a decade. The grocery will occupy 29K SF on the first floor of the development, next to CVS, which has also signed on to the project. 

WC Smith and Rappaport, the development team behind the project, expect to deliver the stores in 2020 along with 263 apartments, forming the first phase of the development — an additional 237 units and 135K SF of retail is slated to follow in the second phase. 

The site at First and M streets SE that will be the next phase of The Yards

Across the Anacostia in the Capitol Riverfront, the big-name leases are typically a little larger. Chemonics has signed a lease for 300K SF at The Yards, the 42-acre development at the heart of CapRiv’s revitalization. The company, which manages projects for the U.S. Agency of International Development, will be the lone tenant for the first of five new office buildings taking shape at The Yards.

The other major business that has signed on to The Yards project so far is the 225-room Thompson Hotel. At its completion, the project is set to include 1.8M SF of office space, 3,400 residences and 400K SF of retail.