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Retail slow coming to Riverfront but future is bright

Posted by Capital Retail on January 20, 2010
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The Capitol Riverfront, the “Front” is a 500-acre neighborhood with 1.5 miles of riverfront, located in the general vicinity of the Naval Shipyard, north of the Capitol. The future is bright for the future of retail supported by an expected $1 billion dollar investment from the public sector and a $2 billion dollar infusion from the private sector. Major development players such as Forest City, Monument Realty, and Akridge promise amazing projects. The ongoing development is striving to establish the area as a destination spot leveraging the proximity to the river evidenced by green projects underway, on going clean up of the Anacostia river and space dedicated for various sporting activities.

However, with only 2,500 current residents and a virtual shutdown of commercial lending it will be years before the area will be a vibrant center for retail, office and residential use.

The potential for retailers is to capitalize upon a new and burgeoning area, which is planned to grow substantially over the long term both in residential traffic as well as overall amenities. The long term draw to the waterfront has similar growth potential as the Canary Wharf in London and Portland riverfront. Retailers should get deep discounted rental rate for going in early and should ask the landlord to defer rent increases to the latter years of the lease to mirror the expected growth.

Current retail, entertainment and hospitality tenants operating in the Front include: Courtyard by Marriott, Starbucks, CVS, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Cornercopia Market and Deli, Justin’s Cafe, Subway, Quiznos, Chicken Tortilla, The Port Cafe, Barracks Row Restaurants (including Matchbox, Belga Cafe, Cava, Starfish Cafe and more), Congressional Dry Cleaners, Sizzling Express, Chevy Chase Bank, SunTrust Bank, is a Wachovia Bank, Dogma Dog Daycare, Casa degli Angeli Bed and Breakfast, Nationals Park, and the U.S. Navy Museum.

Office tenants include: U.S. Navy Yard, NCIS, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, William C. Smith & Company, Alion, General Dynamics, BAE Systems, Computer Science Corporation, Unity Health Care, HNTB Architects, Washington Nationals, Living Classrooms, Earth Conservation Corps, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Booz | Allen | Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, Parsons Engineering, Bureau of Land Management (April 2010), Sayres and Associates (February 2010) and more.

For more information on the neighborhood check out We Love DC and JD Land.

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