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Construction on the Wharf in Southwest DC to Begin in March

A long-awaited, $2 billion redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront is finally starting.

The long-awaited redevelopment of DC’s Southwest Waterfront into a massive, modern mixed-use complex will finally begin in March, the developers behind the project told residents last night, nearly seven years after the project was first announced.

The development firm PN Hoffman plans to build the Wharf, a $2 billion sprawl overlooking the Potomac River that will bring hundreds of apartments, condominiums, and hotel rooms to the neighborhood, along with several hundred thousand square feet of retail, commercial, and cultural space. Hoffman got the master contract from city officials back in 2007, but is only now moving forward after a sluggish permitting process.

The Wharf, which in renderings looks something like the steel-and-glass NoMa neighborhood, but on the water, is being designed by the architectural firm Perkins Eastman. Construction on the first phase of the project is scheduled to stretch into 2017, and several business along Water Street, Southwest, will have to close or relocate, including the Channel Inn hotel and Phillips Seafood. (But fear not, summertime happy hour participants, Cantina Marinia is being allowed to remain open through construction.) 

When finished, the Wharf is designed to include 650 apartments, 225 condos, a 280-room hotel, 140,000 square feet of retail, 220,000 square feet of office space, and 135,000 square feet of cultural space. Depictions of the future development also show wide pedestrian avenues and ample room for bikes.

“Draffiato” and “Jazz Alley.” Very clever. Rendering courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
Rendering courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.