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Southwest Waterfront of Washington, DC


Southwest Waterfront of Washington, DC
© Miller Taylor

The Southwest Waterfront of Washington, DC is a 47-acre site along the Washington Channel, stretching from the historic Fish Wharf to Ft. McNair. The Southwest Waterfront was part of Pierre L'Enfant's original city plan. Over the years the area evolved into a multi-ethnic working-class community that suffered gradual decline. In 1950, the neighborhood was part of an urban renewal plan that included realigning the streets and building the Southeast/Southwest Freeway. In recent years, the waterfront area became home to marinas, restaurants and a few popular nightclubs. The area has been underutilized and feels isolated from the rest of the city.

Southwest Waterfront Redevelopment

With a prime location along the Potomac River and excellent access to downtown, the Southwest Waterfront offers an ideal setting to be transformed into a vibrant world class urban community. Plans are underway to redevelop the area into a mixed-use development with approximately 3 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and more than eight acres of parks and open space including a waterfront promenade and public piers. The waterfront will be renamed, The Wharf. The first phase of the development is projected to open in 2017. Read more about the Wharf development.

Points of Interest on the Southwest Waterfront

  • Maine Avenue Fish Market - The local landmark is the oldest continuously operating fish market in the United States, dating back to 1805.
  • Gangplank Marina - The facility offers 309 boat slips and serves as the departure point for Odyssey Cruises and Spirit Cruises. The waterfront restaurant and bar, Cantina Marina offers casual dining on the Washington Channel.
  • Washington Marina - The marina has served boaters since 1951 and is home to many house boats and public slips. Capital Yacht Charters offers cruises from the marina.
  • Arena Stage - The theater kicked off the revitalization of the neighborhood, completing a $135 million renovation in 2010.
  • Phillips Flagship Restaurant - The famous seafood restaurant is located on the Washington Channel and features large dining areas, outdoor seating, and five private dining rooms.
  • Thomas Law House - Built in 1796, the property was the home of Thomas Law and Elizabeth Parke Custis, oldest granddaughter of Martha Washington.

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