Wharf Groundbreaking tommorow in SW Waterfront

Rendering courtesy The Wharf

From a press release:

“Hoffman-Madison to break ground on The Wharf, a world-class, mixed-use waterfront development located on the historic Washington Channel on a mile of land and more than 50 acres of water from the Fish Market to Fort McNair. The Wharf development team is led by PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette with ER Bacon Development, City Partners, Paramount Development and Triden Development.

Groundbreaking ceremony for 3.2 million s.f. of residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and public uses including waterfront parks, promenades, piers, and docks­ as part of the District of Columbia’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative.

Wednesday, March 19, 11:00 a.m.-1:00p.m.

The Wharf, 800 Water St., SW, Washington, D.C.

The Wharf site comprises 24 acres, 3.2 million square feet of buildable area along one mile of Washington’s Southwest waterfront and 50 acres of riparian rights in the historic Washington Channel. Easily accessible by every major transportation mode, the Wharf blends residential, retail, restaurant, cultural venues, hotels and open space in what will be a new community unique to both the District of Columbia and the region. To be built in two phases, the Wharf, adjacent to the historic, 200-year-old Fish Market, will be a collection of best-in-class, destination restaurants, local and international boutique retailers, high-quality entertainment venues, waterfront hotels, first-class apartments and luxury condominiums plus two premier office buildings overlooking public piers, waterfront activity and the nation’s monuments.

“This day is especially meaningful to all of us at Madison Marquette where for nearly a decade we have been uniquely focused on making The Wharf a reality,” said Amer Hammour, CEO of Madison Marquette. “When complete, this extraordinary project will inspire and engage an iconic neighborhood and destination in the nation’s capital with a compelling combination of world class experiences found in the historic cities of Europe and Asia.”

“The Wharf is a rare development opportunity. Our plan is a combination of aesthetics and activity,” said Monty Hoffman. “We want to reclaim the waterfront and transform this corner of the District. We want this to be a favorite place — a place of beauty by the water where something is always happening. Whether you come to The Wharf for work, dining, music, to enjoy the water – or, even better, to live here – it will feel uniquely authentic.”

Located on the Potomac River on a site which extends from the Municipal Fish Market to Fort McNair along the Washington Channel, The Wharf’s neighborhood will have distinct architecture and the ambiance of a village, adjacent to but distinct from the National Mall, National’s Stadium, Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian Institutions. As the maritime front porch to the nation’s capital, the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront 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. The redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront will set a new standard for waterfront environments in the region and internationally.

“This is simply one of the most important projects we’ve had in the District in a very long time, the scale certainly rivals the largest projects we’ve ever done,” said Mayor Vincent Gray. “This development will catalyze a long dormant section of our city, and I’m excited about what the future will bring for the waterfront.”

“Growing up in D.C., I have always seen the enormous potential for the Southwest Waterfront area,” said DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. “I applaud the determination of this development team in pursing the project for more than eight years, to now bring it to fruition for the enjoyment of the Greater Washington Area and beyond.”

“As congratulations are due all around, what we are celebrating is the resurgence of the greatest city on earth,” said Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “I believe the city of Washington is going to shine brighter than it ever has before.”

“Our design goal is to reunite the city with the water’s edge and enliven the waterfront with a mix of uses and year-round urban vibrancy,” said Stan Eckstut, senior principal of Perkins Eastman, master planner of The Wharf. “We’ve designed a neighborhood of waterfront places—not a project—and each is independently intended to create an inviting and memorable public environment.”


The Wharf is a world-class, mixed-use waterfront development located on the historic Washington Channel. Situated along the District of Columbia’s Southwest Waterfront, The Wharf is adjacent to the National Mall with a development area that stretches across 24 acres of land and more than 50 acres of water from the Municipal Fish Market to Fort McNair. When complete, it will feature 3.2 million square feet of new residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and public uses including waterfront parks, promenades, piers, and docks­.”

18 Comment

  • This area is going to be insane in 3-4 years.

  • GiantSquid


  • While I recognize that this area is currently severely under-utilized given its wonderful location, I can’t help but think that building mid-level concrete structure all along the waterfront is not the right direction to go in. Supposedly the developers looked at other waterfront areas around the world like Stockholm for inspiration – if that’s the case how the hell did they end up with the ugly blocky structures shown in the illustration???

    • I looked at a few of the renderings on the website and they seem much nicer than this picture… Hoping this is just one small section of the waterfront. I want something big and airy… and most importantly, GOOD WATERFRONT RESTAURANTS!

      I guess a billion dollar development is about more than restaurants but honestly that’s all I want.

  • justinbc

    When I first came to DC 7 years ago I couldn’t believe how undervalued the waterfront property was (excluding Georgetown). In Charlotte, where I’m from, the waterfront property was easily the most valuable in the area, and the same goes for most major cities across the country. It’s nice to see some progress being made to finally take advantage of that here with the multiple developments going up in SW and SE.

  • Is the fish market closing? I’d have zero incentive to ever go there again if the live seafood markets disappeared or became more expensive than they already are. There has been a poor effort to publicize this project, many of the businesses there closed way too early because the ground breaking took so long. I hope the end result is better than what Georgetown has become, hopefully this waterfront will have less guys hanging out on their 60s blaring 80s music while getting tans on their aged boats that were built in the 50s.

  • As excited as I am to see the waterfront development finally happen I agree with the post about businesses having to shut down early in anticipation of this project. It breaks my heart to see a shell of Zanzibar sit there, vacant and becoming a haven for the rodents that live along the water. This is the first ‘club’ I ever went to back in my 20’s when I moved to DC after undergrad. Good times, line dancing, good clean fun. Now it is a constant reminder/symbol of how DC club scene is dead and being razed to make room for the already over-saturated market of overpriced small plate restaurants and creative cocktails ‘bars’ visited by binge-drinking 20 somethings.

    I hope this waterfront becomes the best of them all. It’s a shame how whack Georgetown waterfront has become, how impossible it is to get to National Harbor without taking 10 different modes of transportation and Old Town Alexandria waterfront (crickets…).

  • The Potomac is not that color.

    • they are probably going to dye it that color every morning. 😛

    • I loathe architectural rendering for projects. They always make it look so much more than you know it is every going to be. The sun is always shining, the trees are full, there are always people out and about, outdoor restaurants look like they should be in France or some cool thing is supposed to be included. When in reality the many streets for some project are barren – unless they are next to several stops for Metro Buses (that weren’t in the rendering), the trees may never get that big, and the restaurants never got built, or that cool thing that was supposed to be there never got done.

    • It will be when all the construction is done

    • GiantSquid

      No, the Potomac isn’t. But that’s not the Potomac, that’s the Anacostia river.

  • Is Kastles Stadium still going to be there, or are they tearing it down? It would be strange to tear down a stadium that was built so recently, but I haven seen it in the renderings of the new development.

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