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

A rendering of the Parcel 6 and 7 office buildings at The Wharf's Phase 2.

While The Wharf’s Phase 2 is bringing nearly 600K SF of office space to the city’s waterfront, companies will have to move quickly if they want to lease space there. Williams & Connolly, a white-shoe law firm whose previous clients include George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is settling in at The Wharf, moving from its longtime home on 12th Street NW. 

The firm has reportedly inked a 15-year lease for 292K SF of trophy office space at 690 Maine Ave. SW, which is set to deliver in 2022. The fact that the district has been able to draw a large client away from Metro Center-adjacent office space is a massive vote of confidence in this area’s burgeoning office market. The control the law firm was offered over the design and construction of its new home was a large draw, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Rendering of The Wharf's promenade in D.C.

The Wharf has also brought in a slew of new retail tenants to the waterfront, with dozens of restaurants and cafés opening on the first floor of both old and new buildings. New openings include salad and protein bowl chain Chopsmith, as well as the California-inspired Grill at District Wharf, which is expected to open in the spring. 

Along with the boutiques and salons, The Wharf has begun to offer fitness options. Orangetheory Fitness, a studio focused on high-intensity interval training, has joined District Yoga to offer classes to waterfront residents and employees.

500 L'Enfant Plaza

Further inland, interest is still strong at Southwest’s own transit hub, L'Enfant Plaza. The square received a new lease in 2017 from the Urban Institute, a think tank, which signed on for 121K SF at 500 L’Enfant Plaza SW. Noblis, an advisory firm for federal government clients, signed on for 38K SF at the same address. The two firms combined to lease up 74% of the space in 500 L’Enfant Plaza, a building from JBG Smith that was delivered in Q1 2019.