Waterfront Living in DC

Posted by Nate Ward on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 at 8:00am.

waterfront living dcPhoto: District Wharf

It is easy to forget that the District of Columbia has a waterfront--except for those that truly enjoy it. Of course, when we hear ‘waterfront living,’ many of us would jump to waves crashing onto sandy coastlines, but the Potomac and Anacostia are no mere creeks propelling old mills. They are mighty rivers, named by the indigenous peoples who once called the area home, into which city-dwellers may escape the urban hustle by means of a single glance. Now imagine for a moment that you started every day with such a glance--from your riverside balcony, with your hot beverage of choice in hand. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it?

As anyone who has ever thought about real estate would imagine, property on DC’s waterfront comes at a premium and it’s so, so worth it--especially when you consider that Amazon’s HQ2 will be setting up shop with its 25,000-strong workforce just across the river in Arlington. Though many neighborhoods in the District are graced by the flowing waters of the Potomac and Anacostia, there are three that you’ll really want to keep an eye on:


More than any other DC neighborhood, Georgetown has a beautiful historic connection to the waterfront. Settled well before the creation of Washington DC, Georgetown has depended upon the river, serving as a trading post and an industrial powerhouse for hundreds of years. So valuable was Georgetown’s proximity to the Potomac, that the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal was siphoned from it to allow better access between ports.

Today, though Georgetown is still an area of great commerce, its industrial use of the waterfront has faded away, allowing residents the benefits of clean, unfiltered views, as well as opportunities for recreation. The best bet for waterfront living with a view, more often than not, are going to be condos. Because of the thriving industry of yesteryear, Georgetown is well known for its gorgeous conversions of factories and warehouses in to condominiums, such as The Papermill Condos. Similarly, condo developers were fortunate that chunks of the Georgetown waterfront were dedicated to large buildings rather than single-family homes, as in the case of Flour Mill Condos. Other waterfront condominiums in Georgetown include Washington Harbour, 1055 High, James Place, and Residences at Harbourside. You can expect to see newer waterfront condos such as 3401 Water St NW, 3601 M St NW and the West Heating Plant in the coming years.

Capitol Riverfront

This recently thriving neighborhood overlooks the often overlooked Anacostia River and is becoming a more and more attractive place to call home. Especially popular among young professionals, Capitol Riverfront (aka Navy Yard) is securely anchored by Nationals Ballpark and has been reaping the social and economic benefits of the ballpark for a good decade now. Not only does Capitol Riverfront host and absurd number of great spots for tasty eats, but a very conscious effort has been made to support the natural beauty of the waterfront itself. The chief component of this aesthetic triumph is Yards Park, which combines the best parts of the natural world with the built world.

Though there exists a fair stock of classic rowhomes, the rapid redevelopment of Capitol Riverfront, condos have become a residential option to be reckoned with--how lovely to share the view! As luck would have it, there are a number of brilliant new builds right along the water there, including Avidian, The Bower, and Stone Hill. Some are up and running while others are in pre-sales. Whatever the case, now is the perfect time to buy in Capitol Riverfront.

Southwest Waterfront

Is it too cliche to say that a neighborhood is experiencing a renaissance? Let’s do it anyway. If there is one DC neighborhood that is currently experiencing a renaissance, it is Southwest Waterfront without question. Not only are huge improvements being made to the neighborhood, but it is but the area is finally getting the recognition that has been sorely lacking for decades. Truth be told, it has previously been easy to forget that the District of Columbia has a southwest quadrant. Because of one monumental development project, however, the little quadrant that could has become a DC hotspot and destination. We’re talking about The Wharf here.

The Wharf is an experience in and of itself, which includes shopping, dining, entertainment and most importantly: living! In addition to the neighborhood’s long-standing waterfront condos like Harbour Square and River Park, the Wharf now features two brand new, masterfully designed condominiums in VIO and 525 Water with a third, Parcel 9 delivering in 2022. Situated right on Washington Channel and overlooking the Potomac, these condos are sure to be sold out soon. On southern peninsula of the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood, in Buzzard Point, you'll find the newest waterfront living, Peninsula 88, delivering later this year.

For more information on new construction near DC's Waterfronts, please inquire for additional details.

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