Construction of a mile-long stretch of prime DC waterfront territory is now in full bloom, with an initial phase scheduled to open in 2017. The Wharf is a mixed-use development and the key component of an ambitious Southwest Waterfront recreation. The groundbreaking ceremony for this massive Southwest, Washington DC development took place March 19, 2014.
From new bars and restaurants to luxury condos for sale, this historical Washington, DC community is undergoing a massive transformation. Other changes include shops, hotels, 150 new boat slips, floating retail and entertainment, a waterfront park, and a riverfront promenade.
Two prominent DC developers—Monty Hoffman and Madison Waterfront, joined forces on the $2 billion city-backed project, which was awarded to Hoffman nearly a decade ago. Hoffman waited out the subsequent real estate crash, and planned the massive undertaking over a lengthy period of time.
This is a part of the District that has experienced substantial transition over a two-century period. The waterfront was a thriving shantytown during the early years, with large mansions and elite Washingtonians coexisting with the Maine Avenue Fish Market and the working class. Four historic Wheat Row row houses built in 1794 are now part of the Harbour Square mid-century modern cooperative community, and are the oldest remaining examples of a bygone era.
The municipal fish market has been open continually since 1805, but has seen change—much of the area, including the original wharf, was razed during the 1950s and 60s to make way for new commercial development. The fish market merchants were able to retain their lease rights, however, and now sell their wares from floating barges along the pier—similar to the days when fisherman would sell their catch directly off boats.
With 27 acres of land and 50 acres of water, this post-urban renewal will include three new piers jutting out into the Washington Channel, with dockside cafes, jazz clubs, boutique shops, a movie theater and national brand retailers. And yes, the old food and fish market will be allowed to stay.
But beyond all the tourist attractions and entertainment, The Wharf will also be a place to live. Hoffman-Madison is promising upscale condos for sale, making use of the waterfront setting and featuring modern design and luxury amenities, including swimming pools, terraces, fire pits, state of the art fitness centers and gardens.
And all of this, right at the water’s edge, in a city that is rapidly transitioning to the future, while acknowledging its ties to the historic past.
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