Jodie McLean made an observation during a 2005 cross-country trip that defined her vision for Washington. “Whether I was in Florida or Texas,” she recalls, “everything felt very similar.”
The president of the real-estate developer Edens returned from her trip with a focus on creating distinctively local gathering places featuring home-grown retailers, and she debuted two such projects last year. Union Market, a 45-acre marketplace of local purveyors and restaurants, is already a foodie destination in a formerly desolate part of Northeast DC. And Fairfax’s Mosaic District is a multi-use community with everything from residences to an art-house movie theater. McLean plans to build a similar development in Old Town Alexandria.