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For its residents, D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood hits it out of the ballpark

Where We Live | Capitol Riverfront in Southeast Washington

September 30th, 2018 - Capital Riverfront The Yards Park in the Capital Riverfront neighborhood, of Washington, D.C. Justin T. Gellerson for The Washington Post (Justin T. Gellerson/For The Washington Post)

A few years ago, Isabella Pinto said she took one look at the housing checklist she’d written and shook her head disapprovingly.

Pinto, who at the time was living in the District’s Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood, said she wanted access to more green space and the ability to easily walk to nearby bars and restaurants. The last item on her list — being near a body of water — sealed the deal on what, in her mind, was shaping up to be an impossible search for a new home in the District, she said.

That’s why the discovery of D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood was so encouraging, she said.

“One of the things I love about this place is that we’re so close to the water but still have the feel of a neighborhood. I’ll get my paddleboard and go straight to the water after a long day,” said Pinto, who moved last October to an 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse. “This year, it’s been rainy a lot, but when I can get out on the water it’s so relaxing.”

Reasonably priced: With two stadiums for professional sports teams, a bird’s-eye view of the U.S. Capitol dome and proximity to the banks of the Anacostia River, Capitol Riverfront is a popular destination for potential homeowners and one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods, said Andy Peers, a real estate agent with Compass.

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“A few years ago, there wasn’t much here besides the Nationals’ ballpark and a lot of new apartment buildings. That was actually a good thing because it attracted renters to the neighborhood to feel it out and see how nice waterfront living could be. So, once the houses were built, there was a natural transition of those renters to homeowners,” said Peers, who lives not far from Capitol Riverfront at Fourth and G streets SW.

Peers said the neighborhood’s proximity to Capitol Hill has also served as a plus for residents who want to be close to what he termed “a top-three market” but pay a fraction of the price.

“Although there isn’t a lot of inventory in Capitol Riverfront, it’s more reasonably priced when compared to nearby Capitol Hill,” he said.

Several years ago, Jordan Riesenberg, who at the time was preparing to move to Washington from Los Angeles to take a job with the Transportation Department, remembers growing increasingly concerned by news reports detailing concerns with Metro’s reliability. Riesenberg said he remembers that the only thing he required in a new neighborhood was the ability to walk to work.

And in the Capitol Riverfront community he hit pay dirt, he said.

“I can walk to work in 15 minutes if needed,” said Riesenberg, who moved in 2016 to a two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse that’s about a half-mile from his job with the federal government.

Neighborhood turnaround: Jennifer Powers, who lives in a 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse, said she was prepared to “take a leap of faith” and move to Capitol Riverfront in 2010 because she knew that with the ballpark as an anchor, the neighborhood was destined for positive development.

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“I felt confident the neighborhood would turn around. I’m more surprised at how quickly it happened and just who these people are who can afford to pay $3,000 per month for an apartment,” said Powers with a chuckle.

Living there: Capitol Riverfront is bordered to the north by Interstate 695 and Potomac Avenue SE, to the south by M Street SE, to the east by Pennsylvania Avenue SE and to the west by South Capitol Street SW.

In the past 12 months, 90 properties have sold in Capitol Riverfront, ranging from a 562-square-foot studio co-op with one bathroom for $260,000 to a 2,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom Federal-style rowhouse for $1,300,000, said Peers, the agent with Compass.

There are 22 homes for sale in Capitol Riverfront, ranging from a 488-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $279,900 to a 2,205-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom Victorian-style rowhouse for $1,269,900, Peers said.

Schools: Van Ness Elementary, Jefferson Middle School Academy and Eastern High.

Transit: The community is served by a number of Metrobus routes along M Street SE, First and I streets SE, and along New Jersey Avenue and Fourth Street SE. Capitol Riverfront is also about a mile from the Capitol South Station on Metro’s Blue, Orange and Silver lines and less than a mile to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Station on the Green Line.

Crime: Since January, there have been 21 automobile thefts, 13 robberies, eight burglaries, six assaults and two homicides reported in the police service area that includes Capitol Riverfront, according to D.C. police.