Southwest Waterfront development is taking shape as part of DC’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. This new mixed-use development, called the Wharf, will span 27 acres of land and 24 acres of water from the northern landmark of the Maine Avenue Fish Market to the southern point of Fort McNair. This swath of land has remained largely untouched since the infamous Urban Renewal 50 years ago.
The Wharf aims to change the waterfront to include cafes, restaurants, homes, office space, hotels, retail, and public spaces. Those public spaces will include waterfront parks, promenades, piers, and docks.
The first phase of development along the Southwest Waterfront includes 3 apartment buildings, a cultural venue, a condo building, a co-generation power facility, an office building with ground floor retail, a 278-room InterContinental Hotel, a church, the Capital Yacht Club, and parks. This first phase is only half of the total development planned for the Southwest Waterfront.
The Southwest Waterfront development will also excite bicyclists with a grade-separated bike path that will complete the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. In addition, the Wharf will provide over 1,300 spaces for bicycle parking throughout the development.
Retail kiosks will also be interspersed throughout the Southwest Waterfront development. These small structures aim to provide a low-risk incubator for fledgling local businesses.
Graduate School USA, which serves about 200,000 people a year in mostly non-degree courses, also plans to expand to the Southwest Waterfront development. The school currently leases 47 classrooms in L’Enfant Plaza, but desperately needs more space. So they intend to lease an additional 190,000 square feet of space in the Wharf on the corner of Maine Avenue and 9th Street, SW.
Groundbreaking on the Wharf is expected in early 2013, with the first phase of development opening in 2016. Hopefully, a vibrant, urban neighborhood will soon surface at the new Southwest Waterfront development.