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“dang, what a change”

by Prince Of Petworth May 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm 54 Comments

Thanks to Bry for sending this jaw dropping look at the Wharf development:

“From Hain’s Point park – dang, what a change”

Ed. Note: I was just thinking how the new buildings on U Street don’t drop my jaw anymore, the development, while still huge has almost become routine but I actually drove past this one in SW on Sunday and I believe I uttered something like “holy sheeeeeet.”

  • ShawThroughtheHeart

    I drive down 9th on my way out of the city in the mornings (for my terrible, soul-crushing commute) and it’s almost a new piece of skyline where there was none before.

    • JohnH

      Bless your heart. 9th is the worst – always a hot mess even with light traffic. The bus lane is a disaster.

  • Truxton Thomas

    Washington needs a recession! /s

  • Duponter

    Yeah I was heading out of DC through the 9th Street Tunnel and it took me by surprise when I came out of the tunnel and saw all these new buildings. Not sure why I hadn’t noticed it before, but it was impressive.

  • Egad

    Are there still fish markets at the Wharf or or they closed until the development is finished?

    • Leeran

      I drove by the other day and they looked at least partially closed for development… I think they’d been open until recently.

      • StraightOuttaShaw

        fish markets will remain open

        • Egad


    • Alexander Lataille

      Fish market is still alive and completly open during construction. Parking, however, is a total cluster because they removed most of the parkinglot.

    • B

      They are open. I got crabs there last weekend.

      • boop boop beep

        Yeah, but do they still serve food?

        • Joshua


        • ackerjack


  • Leeran

    Yeah, it’s going to be pretty huge. Not sure if it was covered here, but the plan they’re submitting for phase two will be about the same size and is currently supposed to start construction next year.

    • Anon

      Yup. Imagine another set of similarly large buildings going in just south of these (so lookers right in the photo).

    • KellyKapowski

      Do you know where it is geographically? Is it to the left or the right of the development in this photo?

      • Alexander Lataille

        To the right, in the photo.

      • Leeran

        Right! I’m not sure if they’re razing Cantina at that point, but it looks like it will be in that direction.

  • KellyKapowski

    Does anyone have a pic of the “old view” for comparison? I know I’ve seen it before I just can’t remember it so it’s hard to tell just how different this is.

  • domrep

    My boss reminds me at least once a week how it was a mistake to sell my condo in SW since she drives past this almost every day to get into work. It’s a big project, I think people underestimated how much space was going unused/wasted in SW. I just hope it has character, judging from the restaurants that are coming in, I really hope it doesn’t become another soulless place.

    • NH Ave Hiker

      I’ve witnessed them go up over the last couple years since I work on Fort McNair…it’s been quite a process.

      • domrep

        Yeah I lived there from 2011 – mid-2016. There was nothing when I first moved there, I remember Z-burger opening up being a big deal. It picked up the last couple of years, I can’t wait to go down there again when Phase 1 opens later this year.

    • OP Anon

      Idk, there’s going to be a GLUT on condos on the market down there. If you owned a condo in one of the older buildings in SW with high fees, I’d don’t think you’d make a killing. If you owned a SFH rowhouse in SW, that’s another story….

      • domrep

        It depends on how much the person still owes/how much they’re selling it for, etc. I got low six figures after it was set and done. And the condo was only like 600 square feet. It just depends on the circumstances. But you’re right, I lived in one of those older buildings and its difficult to price knowing its older and has less amenities than the newer ones.

    • SW,DC

      just out of curiosity, why did you sell?

      • domrep

        Well I got married last year, and we’re trying to purchase a home. She has her share to put in the pot and I didn’t have much. We could have stayed there for a year…two would have been pushing it. I was a 10 minute ride from work, and she would have been 15-20 minutes away tho she teleworks a lot. But it’d be her and me and our dog and 600 square feet just wasn’t going to cut it. It wasn’t even a one bedroom, it was just a big studio that was laid out nicely. I looked into having a wall installed to make a faux one bedroom or “junior one bedroom” as they call it, but the costs wouldn’t have added anything to the final sale anyway. I could have rented it out sure, but based on comps I was either breaking even or making $100 a month off of it. And honestly, I didn’t want to become a landlord. It sounded exhausting. I don’t regret my decision, I had a six figure payment staring me in the face and it’s hard to say no to that. It was a good investment, we’re getting a home, saving a little as a nest egg and maybe investing in something else down the road. I still have the “what if” in the back of my mind especially with all of this development coming up, but I was happy with the decision.

  • Carey

    Most of these new buildings are of the Contemporary Boring Washington style, but the sheer square footage is certainly impressive. The area around Nats Park is similarly exploding lately, after a decade of slow growth.

    • navyard

      A decade of slow growth in the area around Nats Park? uh, okaaaaaay.

      • Carey

        Maybe you weren’t around when it was all surface lots, holes in the ground, Five Guys, Sizzling Express and mostly vacant office buildings. See: 2008, Recession of. It really feels like things have picked up quite a bit over the past 3–4 years, with all the new buildings surrounding the stadium under construction or recently completed.

        • Anon X

          You’re being snarky, but totally without merit.

          There was not a decade of slow growth around Nat’s Park. It didn’t open until 2008, so for there to be a decade of slow growth around it, there would have to be slow growth until march 2018.

          If you’re referencing a time before Nats Park, well then just say 50 years of slow growth.

          Get it? You’re wrong.

          • SWChick

            Agreed the Navy Yard has been booming for some time although i do remember the time of ONLY Sizzling Express, Five Guys, Subway. I would even walk to the Dominos for lunch when I worked there back in 2011 and 2012. After the boilermaker shops opened, everything happened so fast.

          • Carey

            Wrong, I’m not wrong. If you can’t see the difference between current rate of development right now and what was coming online in the years right after Nats Park was completed, then I’m sorry, but you can’t be helped. All you need to do is compare a photo of the skyline from the ballpark taken today, and one taken anytime between, say, 2008–2014. It’s painfully obvious.

  • Marc

    As things stand, really happy we closed on our house that is walkable both to SW and SE Waterfronts last summer. OMG I cannot believe how expensive things are about to get. I am terrified of what rents will reach for my neighbors. I love the neighborhood I live in and don’t want to see people forced out by insane rent levels.

    • Leeran

      I wouldn’t worry TOO much about rent prices… they’ll go up, but I can think of 12 large buildings that have either just opened or will be opening in SW and Navy Yard in the next year or so, which is a good amount of supply.

      • Anon

        Th problem is that these large buildings are all asking for $$$ rent, so it’s not like there’s going to be a glut of apartments in your neighbors’ price range coming online.

        • JohnH

          I still don’t get where all these people paying $2200 for a studio are coming from.

          • textdoc

            Law firms? Industry lobbying groups?

          • StraightOuttaShaw

            nyc transplants who used to pay $2,800 for the same studio w/ no amenities

          • JohnH

            There’s been hundreds and hundreds of these apartments open in just the last couple years. No chance they suddenly just started moving here – DC has been a stable market, but it’s not like law firms suddenly started doubling in size lately. I guess they are Silver Spring/Arlington trying to get hipper? As for NYCers, NY and DC salaries are not the same – DCs average montly wage is $4000 less than in Manhattan. Guess it may seem reasonable to them, but my guess is there’s little to no money being saved unless they kept the exact same salary. I know a few people that live in apartments along 14th – none of whom are lawyers or lobbyists. I have no idea where they are finding the money…to each their own though.
            I do find it amusing that people seem to take pride in bragging how much it costs to live in DC. It’s absurd how little DC has done to mitigate it.

        • JoDa

          The studies generally suggest that new class-A apartments relieve price pressure on class-B apartments, reducing rent increases in the “fine, but nothing special” market.
          Part of the reason why rents climbed so far so fast in DC is that the development pipeline lagged the population influx. I did an analysis of this at one point a few years ago, and in one of the big boom years, only ~52% of new households could reasonably be accommodated in new construction that delivered in that year. I took the growth statistics, excluded births (I assumed they were joining an established household, a conservative assumption since a household adding a child may seek a larger home) and used the general statistics for households in DC (40% of households are single-member, a conservative assumption since such a large % of new residents at that time were young and single), and was shocked. It LOOKS like construction is everywhere, but the city has added *so many* residents, so many of them young and single, that construction was barely touching population growth for YEARS. We’d cheer 300 or 500 or even 1,000 units coming online…meanwhile, the city was adding 9,000+ migrant residents/year. It was seriously imbalanced.
          We should see rents stabilize as the pipeline delivers and population growth slows some (it’s down, but we’re still adding residents after discounting births).

          • JohnH

            I understand that, but where are the “class b” apartments? Every apartment building that opens advertises itself as luxury and charges that – even if they aren’t that great. I don’t have anything against nice apartments, but that seems to be the only thing built. Not to mention there’s a lack of inventory in general. And quite frankly, I don’t think developers have a problem with that – there’s not a lot of large-scale residential projects in the whole area. They like building small, “high end” projects only. And maybe that’s all they can afford to do – but that’s where I say the area is doing nothing to help.

          • textdoc

            Agreed with JohnH.

  • Anonymous

    This is currently the largest development project on the east coast. They also said phase 2 is a mile long. Didn’t think it was that much land down there.

  • dc_anon

    Looking across the river when all the cranes were lit up it almost looked like DC had a downtown full of skyscrapers from a distance

  • soozles

    Yeah, I was pretty shocked when I biked past there on my way to a Nats game. Kinda hideous actually.

    • JohnH

      Get to overlook DCs finest golf course though!

      • BarneyCircle

        Nah – Langston is over on Benning.

    • KellyKapowski

      Meh, it wasn’t that good looking to begin with. It will look better with the boats and boardwalk.

    • RO

      Agreed. – More tiresome bulky low buildings abutted in the typical DC Magiot Line formation – can’t wait to see the HVAC ugliness on the roofs! This city is awsome, but it would work so much better with a limited number of buildings up to 40 stories to allow more spacing and a graceful skyline.


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