The Wash
wharf construction
New buildings at The Wharf are almost ready for business after phase 2 construction.

Second Phase of Wharf development gets ready to open

The Wharf is celebrating the long-awaited end to a 10 year revitalization project.

Fireworks illuminated the Washington Channel last week as marching bands and musicians performed for visitors and residents alike. 

Tens of thousands of people came to The Wharf to look at the nearly completed phase 2 with excitement and celebration. 

After 10 years of construction, it’s almost done. 

The Wharf Community Association hosted a fifth anniversary celebration of completion of its phase one construction on Oct. 12,  which revitalized the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood into a bustling city center. 

The Wharf is anticipating the completion of phase two of construction by the end of 2022. 

The Wharf will open 20 new businesses at the end of the year.

The Wharf’s website states that 1.15 million sq. ft. of mixed-use space is almost complete at the east side of the development, towards Buzzards Point. 

Patrick Revord works with The Wharf Community Association. He said the $3.6 billion completed project is estimated to generate over $90 million in annual tax revenue for D.C. 

“The Wharf is, I’m sure, going to be regarded as one of the great waterfronts and urban developments in the world,” he said. “Already, people study and travel to this area and it’s just a tremendous honor to be part of the team that brought this to life.” 

Construction workers have been pushing to get new restaurants like Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen and Bartaco built on schedule for the end of the year. 

Construction workers make progress on the new Hell’s Kitchen chain as Gordon Ramsey looks on.

Other restaurants and stores scheduled to open are a new Matchbox pizza location and a Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream.

Shannon Batson, 31, has been a sales associate at Diament Jewelry, one of the few retail stores in the area, for three months. 

She said she thinks the new construction will help attract customers to her store. 

“It’s gonna definitely help. Because whenever there’s events, it makes all the businesses thrive a little bit more that day,” Batson said. 

Batson’s favorite part of working at The Wharf is meeting new people who may come in from out of town. 

She said Diament gets “the best customers who are always excited to visit.” 

Along with 20 exciting new businesses, The Wharf’s phase 2 will introduce over 250 apartments, a fourth hotel, and 547,000 sq. ft. of office space. 

Even The Atlantic magazine will be a new Southwest neighbor. The company hosted its Atlantic Festival in September and announced it would move its headquarters to The Wharf in the coming months. 

Tamika Jacobs, 47, is the manager at Praline Bakery, which has been at The Wharf since 2019. 

A Starbucks opened next to the store last month, which created some tension for the bakery. 

But despite feeling nervous about losing customers to competing restaurants, Jacobs said she feels the development will be positive for her business and will help bring new jobs to the district. 

“Sometimes when things are new, people kind of tend to gravitate towards them,” Jacobs said. “But at the end of the day, things will balance out.” 

After years of notoriety as one of the only active fish markets in the United States, Hoffman-Madison Waterfront began a $2 billion project to transform the waterfront into the hottest district destination. 

In 2017, it was the biggest private development project in the city’s history. 

Phase 1 construction introduced a revamped marina for boaters, three hotels, and a mile stretch of restaurants and new condominiums. 

Concert venues like Union Stage and The Anthem have hosted iconic musicians like Lil Nas X, Blondie and Lorde, making The Wharf a music lover’s dream destination. 

Revord said he is proud of his community and the work that has been done to improve it. 

“As a resident of Southwest and Ward 6 I’m really looking forward to all the new businesses that are coming,” Revord said. “There’s gonna be something for everyone.”

His favorite part of the new construction is the introduction of 17 acres of new public parks, which will change the way D.C residents access the waterfront. 

The Wharf welcomed 7 million visitors last year and anticipates even higher rates of tourism after the new locations are fully operational. 

*CORRECTION. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the development would include a D.C. branch of celebrity chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen. 

Alexandra Rivera

Alexandra Rivera is a graduate journalism student at American University. She specializes in Broadcast journalism and works with investigative data in the Washington Post Practicum class. She covers the Southwest Waterfront and Navy Yard communities for The Wash. Previously, she was an intern at North Country Public Radio in Upstate New York.

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