DC’s $2B Wharf Project Just a Year Away

The $2 billion mixed-use development will initially bring 870 residential units, 225,000 square feet of office space, 175,000 square feet of retail and three hotels.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The Wharf Countdown Clock, Washington
The Wharf Countdown Clock, Washington

Washington—The Wharf, a $2 billion mixed-use project in Washington is just 365 days from its debut, and developer Hoffman-Madison Waterfront has found a way to mark the time. A partnership between PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette, Hoffman-Madison just revealed a public countdown clock to tick off the days to the big reveal in 2017.

“The Wharf is a transformative project for the region, and is perfectly timed with the explosive growth in the District of Columbia—creating an active and exhilarating waterfront area for a rapidly expanding population base,” Monty Hoffman, founder & CEO of PN Hoffman, told Commercial Property Executive. PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette are joined on the project by ER Bacon Development, City Partners, Paramount Development and Triden Development.

Bringing the premier, 3.2 million-square-foot mixed-use community to fruition has been a decade-long endeavor, with Hoffman-Madison jumping through hoops—including the advocating of acts of Congress—to arrive at the point where the company can count the days, not years, to the opening of The Wharf’s first phase. There’s quite a bit to look forward to at the mile-long waterfront development.

The Wharf will be the very definition of a live-work-play-stay destination. The initial phase will feature 870 apartments and condominiums; 225,000 square feet of office space; 175,000 square feet of restaurant and retail offerings, as well as a 6,000-person concert hall and cultural facility; and three hotels, including the 413-key, dual-branded Canopy by Hilton and Hyatt House hotel. And, taking full advantage of a location along the Potomac River, The Wharf will be home to the relocated Capital Yacht Club, a regional water-taxi hub, four public piers and a generous five acres of waterfront green space.

Too much? According to mid-year reports by commercial real estate investment services firm Marcus & Millichap, Washington’s apartment sector continued to boast hearty net absorption numbers, and despite increasing construction, the vacancy rate is expected to drop to 4.1 percent this year metrowide. The office sector experienced robust net absorption, and retail is expected to see a drop in vacancy to 4.6 percent, with net absorption outpacing the rise in new deliveries. And metro D.C.’s hotel market recorded respectable performance gains, as new rooms continue to be absorbed.

“We have already seen great success and interest in our residential, office, hotel, and retail space, in part, because of The Wharf’s incredible accessibility to the entire Metropolitan Region, with five Metro lines and VRE (Virginia Railway Express) within blocks of The Wharf; Reagan National Airport and Union Station within a 10-minute drive; and additional connectivity through our new water taxi hub that will debut in 2017,” Hoffman said.

With Clark Construction spearheading building activity as general contractor under a $457 million design-build contract, ground broke on The Wharf in 2014. Hoffman-Madison landed $400 million in financing for the initial stage of the undertaking in 2015. And the clock on Phase one will stop October 12 of next year.

Image courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront