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What's Missing From Crystal City?


It’s not difficult to identify the amenities up-and-coming Crystal City still lacks. It is tough to find needs that the recent spurt of development won’t address and sate.

For nightlife and shopping, residents traditionally had to cross the river. 

Popped collars hit up Georgetown, GW students frequented Foggy Bottom, and an eclectic mix of Millennials visited Shaw and Dupont Circle to eat, drink and shop. This detracted from Crystal City’s important yet unquantifiable coolness factor, rendering it a business hub and little else.

Its lack of grocery stores and great restaurants left residents hungry.While recently there has been some great programming for adults, there is less for kids and families. The introduction of a Crystal City community center (quadruple C?) might draw more families with children.

But, according to Robert Mandle, COO of Crystal City BID, which was launched in 2006 to counteract the blow of the 2005 BRAC legislation, the neighborhood's future is as bright as its namesake. 

He has high expectations for the transformative new construction, and has been working to update the perception of the area from drab commercial district to vivacious community. The new Whole Foods, new bars like Highline, from the owners of Buffalo Billiards and Penn Social, and projects like the 35k SF Earth Treks climbing wall—which will be the largest climbing gym on the East Coast—all combine to help Crystal City with the live and play parts of its live/work/play ambitions.