Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront

The riverfront neighborhoods are two of DC’s hottest. Here’s what you should know about them right now.

About Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront


What's New


Rendering of the Stacks development coming to Buzzard Point. Rendering courtesy of Collins & Co.

Buzz on Buzzard Point


Capitol Riverfront’s Buzzard Point, the peninsula at the convergence of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers,was until recently dominated by industrial and government uses. In 2020, the first residential developments began opening there, including the condos Peninsula 88 and luxury apartment buildings Watermark and RiverPoint—where a new restaurant, the Point, is opening in March. In February of this year, developers Akridge and National Real Estate Advisers announced the largest project yet for the neighborhood: the Stacks, a 2-million-square-foot mixed-use development that promises to connect the area to the Yards and the Wharf.

When complete, the Stacks will comprise 2,000 residences, 80,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, as many as two hotels, and up to 250,000 square feet of office space, plus parks and plazas. A pedestrian path will run throughout the development. Construction will begin later this year, with the first four buildings slated to finish in 2024.

Top Chef


Acclaimed chef Jerome Grant spent four years helming the James Beard–nominated Sweet Home Cafe at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. But in 2020, he joined the modern-American spot Jackie (79 Potomac Ave., SE), which shares its outdoor space with Dacha beer garden’s Navy Yard location. There, he has developed a menu imbued with his Filipino and Caribbean heritage. You’ll find fried-chicken platters with Scotch-bonnet-pepper mustard, lumpia rolls, beer-spiked gumbo, and a cocktail menu that draws inspiration from the 1960s.

Outdoor seating at Atlas Brew Works. Photograph courtesy of Atlas Brew Works

Opening Days


Since November, the city has used Nationals Park as one of its public Covid-testing sites. But on April 1, the Washington Nationals will take over, kicking off their home season with a matchup against the New York Mets. No word yet as to whether fans will be allowed in the stadium. And at Audi Field on Buzzard Point, DC United’s season is tentatively scheduled to start in April.

Triple Threat


In 2020, chef Michael Rafidi and sommelier Brent Kroll brought a slate of new spots to Navy Yard, starting with the Middle Eastern dining room Albi and an adjoining wine bar, Maxwell Park. At the restaurant, Rafidi draws on his Palestinian roots for a wood-fired exploration of the Levant, using Mid-Atlantic ingredients in a nod to his Maryland upbringing. Yogurt-streaked manti dumplings and lamb shank with pomegranate glaze are available to go or in the restaurant’s glass greenhouses.

Later last year, Rafidi opened Yellow, a casual daytime cafe where Middle Eastern flavors are married with French patisserie techniques for treats such as croissants dusted with za’atar and honey halva lattes. (All three are at 1346 Fourth St., SE.)

A view of Yards Park. Photograph by Sam Kittner, courtesy of Capitol Riverfront BID

For Rent


Capitol Riverfront has for years been DC’s fastest-developing neighborhood, and 2020 was no exception. Fourteen new residential buildings opened there in the past year, including the first phase of the Crossing, which will have 818 apartments when it’s complete, plus a 305-unit building called 10K, designed by starchitect Morris Adjmi. But for the first time in recent memory, luxe apartment prices are doing something other than rising. The pandemic has made fancy communal amenities like pools and fitness centers a lot less communal and has turned elevators and hallways into potential health hazards. As a result, rents across the city have dropped. Capitol Riverfront—where rents were down by more than 19 percent at the end of 2020, while vacancies were up more than 12 percent—was among the areas hardest-hit. It looks like a good time for a (relative) bargain: More apartments are on the way, including Coda on Half Street and the Europa, both expected to open this year.

Bet on It


Washington baseball and soccer fans will soon be able to gamble at games. In January, the Nationals announced a partnership with BetMGM, which will open a sportsbook outside Nats Park, at N and Half streets, this summer. At Audi Field, Fan-Duel has partnered with DC United to launch an on-site sportsbook for soccer fans sometime this year.

Island Time


With actual vacations still mostly on hold, diners can at least get a taste of sunnier locales at two new Caribbean-inspired spots. Former Maydan chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan are manning the kitchen at Bammy’s (301 Water St., SE), bringing painkiller cocktails and conch fritters to the waterfront patio. Influenced by travels to Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad, the restaurant also serves its namesake bammy—a crunchy cassava flatbread.

For all-day Puerto Rican cuisine, colorful La Famosa (1300 Fourth St., SE) offers sweet plantains in sandwiches, fried as crisp tostones, and smashed into classic mofongo. You can sip tropical guava drinks on the heated patio or channel the island’s festive holiday season with spiced-coconut coquito made in-house.

Work It Out


Kickboxing chain 9Round Fitness opened its first DC studio (1105 New Jersey Ave., SE) in Navy Yard this past December. Workouts involve heart-rate training, strength-building on a bag, and an abs-and-core station. There are no scheduled classes—instead, members rotate through the exercises on their own. Trainers are available to keep everyone motivated.

New Digs


After three decades in the basement of the Federal City Shelter building near Union Station, DC Central Kitchen announced in December that it will relocate to the RiverPoint development on Buzzard Point. The nonprofit fights food insecurity and trains people who need jobs in hospitality. When it moves in early next year, its students will work in a glass-enclosed kitchen so passersby can see them in action. The space will also include a cafe open to the public.

For Your Quarantine Cut


The 14th Street corridor’s Immortal Beloved salon—long a favorite of fashionistas—shuttered for good last year. But you’ll find several alums at Navy Yard’s Blackbird salon (801 Virginia Ave., SE, Suite 101), open since August. The shop offers cuts, color, extensions, and other services.

Viral Trends


The pandemic has been hell on the restaurant industry, but it has also led to some new dining trends. Case in point: ghost kitchens, carryout-and-delivery-only spots that often set up inside existing restaurants. One of them, Side Door Pizza, has been operating out of the Navy Yard restaurant Scarlet Oak (909 New Jersey Ave., SE) since October, hawking Detroit-style pies.

Meanwhile, Swizzler food truck opened its first brick-and-mortar storefront (1259 First St., SE) next to Nats Park in November. Coronavirus limitations inspired the owners to switch to a takeout-only format, a shorter menu of burgers and fries—and, in keeping with another pandemic-era trend, contact-free ordering.

Grab a Beer


Ivy City’s Atlas Brew Works opened a second location in Navy Yard this summer (1201 Half St., SE, Suite 120). Just like at the original, the outpost by the ballpark brews lagers, IPAs, Pilsners, and other varieties on the premises. The taproom has anattached patio, where visitors can enjoy the beer and indulge in a pie from on-site Andy’s Pizza.

Sweet Spot


Beloved New York bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr (1201 Half St., SE) opened its first DC location in September, bringing cases of cookies, cakes, and croissants to the ground floor of the mixed-use development West Half. James Beard–nominated pastry chef Umber Ahmad is behind the delicacies, such as fluffy brioche doughnuts dusted with crushed vanilla bean and frosted cinnamon rolls.

Public Art


Last fall, local artists Kaliq Crosby and Rose Jaffe beautified the Pepco substation on Buzzard Point with a mural covering two sides of one of its structures. Their massive, brightly colored work includes portraits of famous Black Washingtonians Chuck Brown, Frederick Douglass, Marvin Gaye, and Eleanor Holmes Norton. You can see it for yourself at First and S, Southwest.

Things to Do in Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront

All the best things to do and places to see in Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront.

 

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Bikers and runners love the continuous 20-mile path that runs along both sides of the Anacostia River—including through the Wharf, Nats Park, and Navy Yard and stretching to the National Arboretum.

Anthem. The 6,000-seat concert hall is big (and glam) enough to host stars such as Kacey Musgraves and Lizzo but intimate enough that there’s not really a bad seat in the place.

Arena Stage. The theater where Broadway hits such as Dear Evan Hansen have gotten their start celebrates its 70th anniversary this season. August Wilson’s Jitney runs September 13 through October 20.

Canal Basin at Yards Park. Splash, wade, and chill in the über-popular, one-foot-deep pool and waterfall. (Yes, it’s chlorinated.)

Crafty Bastards. Previously held at various other sites around the city, this longtime local craft fair will set up shop this year on Buzzard Point near Audi Field, September 28 and 29.

Municipal Fish Market. Pick up bushels of crabs and oysters at the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States.

Nationals Park. Even if the Nats don’t make it past the regular season, there are still ways to enjoy the ballpark later in the year: On November 2, it will host the DC Beer Festival, with 80 breweries, live music, and lawn games. Then comes the holiday market, “Enchant” (November 22 through December 29), with light displays and ice skating.

Pearl Street Warehouse. The club from the team behind the sorely missed Cantina Marina hosts rock, R&B, country, folk, and bluegrass shows almost nightly, often for free.

TSNY (Trapeze School New York) Washington DCIf flying through the air isn’t your thing, you can also learn to juggle or somersault on a trampoline. The school is moving to its new location (given here) next to the Navy Yard in September.

Real Estate in Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront

Photograph courtesy of Homevisit

Though just south of historic Capitol Hill, the housing stock in Capitol Riverfront is dominated by townhouses (designed to look like old rowhouses) and luxury condos that have proliferated since the ballpark opened in 2006. Here’s a sampling of what has sold in the past few months.

$400,000

A 575-square-foot studio in the Bower, a luxury condo building in the Yards development.

$614,900

A 834-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo with den in the Avidian, a new building.

$852,500

A three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse, built in 2010, with modern finishes and a patio.

$909,900

A 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath condo in the new eNvy building, which has rooftop views of Nats Park.

$1,280,000

A four-level townhouse, built in 2009, with four bedrooms and baths, more than 2,000 square feet of space, and a roof deck.

Crime & Safety

Below, the number of crimes (violent, nonviolent and property) reported in 2017.

Photos of Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront

Click on a photo to view gallery in full-screen.