Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is booming with new construction

October 21, 2012

The Washington Nationals season may have been cut short, but fans can expect big changes to continue to the area around the ballpark.

As is quite evident to anyone attending one of the first playoff games in Washington in decades, the Capitol Riverfront area is booming. Within a mile of the field, there is roughly 1 million square feet under construction, with another 7.4 million square feet proposed for development.

To put this amount of construction into perspective, it is useful to compare it with the total market size. With slightly more than 6 million square feet of existing space, the amount of new construction under way in the Capitol Riverfront represents 17 percent of the total market, an astounding growth rate. Only the NoMa neighborhood with its massive City Center development has a higher growth rate, based on this analysis.

Most of the new space under construction in the Capitol Riverfront area, totaling approximately 870,000 square feet, consists of new multifamily development. Major projects include Camden South Capitol, slated for 271 units. Up the road at the Park Chelsea development, there are 432 units under construction. Just outside the area, west along M Street to 4th Street SW, work has begun on what is to ultimately become a 532-unit development.

Meanwhile developers have proposed projects that call for another 1.6 million square feet of multi-family development along the District’s Capitol Riverfront.

Residents of the area are expected to welcome the 158,500 square feet of retail space currently being built within a mile of the park. The Yards development at 4th Street, SE, includes has 110,000 square feet of retail scheduled to be ready by March 2013, along with a multifamily component. The Boilermaker project on Tingey Street, scheduled for late 2012, adds 45,000 square feet more.

Other notable projects include the proposed Half Street Hotel and the District of Columbia’s first Velodrome, or track cycling facility. A pair of developers, Grosvenor and Skanska, recently finalized site acquisition on two parcels of land adjacent to the stadium where they plan to begin construction on a large mixed use project. Once complete, the development will include a 170-room hotel, 285 housing units, and 224,000 square feet of office space.

Will the home team go all the way next season? Who knows? But like the team, it is evident the area around the ball park is seeing rapid improvement.

Christian Rahe is a member of CoStar Group’s research team in Washington.

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