The State of The Capitol Riverfront: Growth in the Neighborhood around Nationals Ballpark
As baseball fans stream to the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood for another summer of sports fun, one of D.C.'s most exciting new neighborhoods celebrates a year of growth and dynamic change as well.The Capitol Riverfront has experienced a continued resurgence with thousands of new residents, hundreds of thousands of square feet of new office tenants and retail businesses, and the extraordinary amenity of the recently opened 5.5-acre Yards Park.
"This past year we saw the Capitol Riverfront represent the start to a new era for connecting Washington, D.C., and the region to one of our greatest assets: the river.With the development we are experiencing, the Capitol Riverfront continues to see residents, office tenants, and retailers discover the opportunities, high quality of life, proximity, and strong sense of community in the Capitol Riverfront," says Michael Stevens, Executive Director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District.
As the baseball season swings into gear, spring has returned to the Capitol Riverfront and Yards Park, and this special edition of FRONTpage News shares some of our highlights. For the PDF version of this email that includes a detailed neighborhood map, click here.
FRONT YARD The Yards Park is now open, providing the public and baseball fans with a 5˝-acre waterfront "front yard"-a spectacular venue to picnic, watch kids play in water fountains, read a book in the landscaped gardens, attend a festival, or enjoy fireworks after the Friday night baseball games. This unique DC public park, community gathering place, and festival location on the River is maintained and programmed by the BID. The Yards Park celebrates the unofficial start of summer on Saturday, April 2nd from 11 am to 4 pm, with Family Fun Day, produced in partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival and on Sunday, April 3rd from 10 am to 6 pm, with Marcatus Art Market and Music Fest. For a listing of upcoming events including Friday night concerts go to www.yardspark.org. In addition, this spring construction will begin on theRiverwalk Trail to connect Yards Park and Diamond Teague Park with completion schedule for fall 2011.
In March 2011, the 3-acreCanal Park went under construction. Canal Park will be a model of environmental sustainability and include water fountains, a restaurant pavilion, public art, and a seasonal ice skating rink.
Residential population increases 30% over spring 2010, with more than 3,300 residents calling the Capitol Riverfront home and an estimated 31,570 people living within one mile of the neighborhood. Residential construction continues at the Foundry Lofts and Phase II of the Capitol Quarter townhomes. Camden South Capitol Apartments breaks ground this spring.
The neighborhood remains safe and crime continues to decrease. Crime is down over 40% since the BID began operations in 2007. In addition, the BID's annual perception survey reveals positive attitudes about the neighborhood. Over 85% of respondents felt that the neighborhood was clean or very clean and over 78% rate their experience in the Capitol Riverfront as enjoyable or very enjoyable.
Office tenants signed leases for more than 290,000 SF of space this past year.Total public and private existing office space in the neighborhood is now 92% leased. New tenants include Booze Allen Hamilton, the DC Department of Transportation, Bureau of Land Management, and Federal Aviation Administration. The Capitol Riverfront is home to 35,000 day time employees in 6.5 million SF of office space. In addition, 1015 Half Street and 200 I St., SE are under construction. 200 I Street will be occupied by three district agencies and an art gallery run by the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.
Retail happenings included the opening ofJustin's Café, a full-service restaurant and bar, a new coffee shop atLot 38 Espresso, the opening ofHarry's Reserve Wine and Spirits, a second outdoor Bullpen entertainment venue, baseball game day specials at the Marriott Courtyard's Dugout Lounge, and expanded deli offerings at Cornercopia market. TheTrapeze School New York™ (TSNY) celebrated the first full year of indoor/outdoor trapeze facility operation at The Yards Park. Leasing continues at the Yards and throughout the BID. Planning and design moves forward for the neighborhood's two grocery stores.