September 16, 2015 at 5:20 pm EDT | by Keith Loria
Condos popping up all over
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The Wharf, seen here in a computerized architectural rendering, is envisioned as a place where D.C. residents can live, work and play. (Image courtesy Hoffman-Madison Waterfront)

It seems everywhere you look in the District, transformation is going on, as large, luxury developments are being built, creating not just places for people to live, but full live-work-play communities.

Take the Wharf for instance. Construction is underway for phase one of a one-mile-long development site on the Southwest waterfront, which comprises 27 acres of land and 50 acres of water. The development is one of the largest projects under construction in the U.S. today.

Monty Hoffman, managing member of Hoffman‐Madison Waterfront, the developer on the project, saw an untapped, underutilized area that could draw residents, visitors and businesses to the area.

As an example, the American Psychiatric Association, which took the first big lease, moved over from Virginia to be closer to Capitol Hill and have more area to expand its employee base.

When complete, this site will include a blend of retail, residential, office, maritime, hotel, park and cultural space that create a vibrant, amenity-rich 24-hour neighborhood for both District residents and visitors. It’s a $2 billion project along a mile of riverfront.

“It will be transformative to not just Southwest, but the District — if not the DMV,” says Julie Chase, a spokesperson for Hoffman‐Madison Waterfront. “We will focus on transportation around the project, as well as water transportation. The bridge will be lit, the historic Fish Market, the oldest in the country, will remain intact, we’ll have a distillery adjacent to it, several top-notch restaurants, retail, a Seth Hurwitz club/center that will also provide conference opportunities, three hotels, plus significant implementation of sustainability and water recycling.”

On the residential front, luxury, market rate and affordable units will all be combined in the properties. First occupancies are slated for 2017.

“The Southwest waterfront neighborhood has a rich history that dates back to early settlement. As the maritime front porch to the nation’s capital, the redevelopment of the Wharf will embrace a clean and active river; eliminate barriers and provide public access; produce an active urban riverfront and park system; showcase distinctive cultural destinations; and build a strong waterfront community,” Chase says. “The redevelopment of the Wharf will set a new standard for waterfront environments.”

Then there’s the Yards, in Southeast D.C., near the Navy Yard, being developed by PN Hoffman. The neighborhood itself consists of 500 acres and is considered the fastest growing residential neighborhood in D.C.

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The Yards, seen here in a rendering, is one of five condos being planned near the Navy Yard, the fastest-growing neighborhood in Washington. (Image courtesy PN Hoffman)

Over the next year, five condos are planning to break ground in the neighborhood, and the Yards is one of those five, with more than 142 residential units currently planned and 7,000-square-feet of retail.

Located at 401 Tingey St., S.E., the Yards condo will break ground next year with an anticipated completion sometime in early 2018.

“The neighborhood has the largest concentration of millennials next to Dupont Circle, so it will have a broad appeal,” says Tammy Shoham, vice president of planning and development for Capitol Riverfront. “It will have a direct, unobstructed view of the river and it has a lot of character and context.”

A third large project being planned is St. Elizabeth’s East, a mixed-use development located near the Congress Heights Metro Station, which is on its way to becoming a reality, despite some changes in developers along the way.

This month the groundbreaking on the project occurred and when completed, the overall development will consist of 716,000 square feet of commercial space, 425,866 square feet of innovation uses, 122,000 square feet of retail, 1.1 million square feet of residential and a 150- to 180-unit hotel.

“It’s close to downtown D.C. and the National Harbor, so it will appeal to many,” says Darrin D. Davis, owner/principal broker for Anacostia River Realty. “This is an important development because it will transform neighborhoods that have been neglected for so long. The development will bring sit-down restaurants, much needed office space as well as entertainment venues.”

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