The Yards

Navy Yard Update: Fall 2014

Things just keep getting more and more exciting down in SE! If you haven’t paid Navy Yard and its anchor development, The Yards, a visit in the last few months, here’s a photo tour of some of the exciting new additions to the area:

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Great news for nearby pet-owners! Petco’s boutique spinoff, “Unleashed”, will be opening any day now (pictured above). Below, some shots of the recently-opened Willie’s Brew and ‘Que, which is brought to us by Chef Rock Harper. A Hell’s Kitchen Alum who has done tons of work for DC Central Kitchen (a phenomenal non-profit that is near and dear to my heart), I’ve had the privilege of meeting Rock at many a food event in the past. He is a wonderful person and a talented chef, and I look forward to checking out his restaurant. The menu offers a seriously wide variety of BBQ – from St. Louis ribs to Korean chicken wings – and the space is, well, AWESOME. Floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around, and with ceilings that high, that’s nothing to sneeze at. And you can only imagine how much trouble folks can get into at the giant wraparound bar that anchors the space!

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I love me some good BBQ, but nothing can compete with the power of my sweet tooth. That’s why the addition that I’m most excited about is this one: Ice Cream Jubilee. Opened by a fellow recovering attorney, this shop offers incredibly luscious ice creams in a variety of traditional and deliciously non-traditional flavors. I’m currently torn between the blueberry pie and the caramel popcorn flavors, but at the end of the day, it’s their insanely tasty vanilla that I opt to put into my coffee float. Any shop who can make plain ol’ vanilla ice cream taste THAT good clearly knows what its doing.

My coffee float from Ice Cream Jubilee, featuring their incredibly flavorful vanilla ice cream. SWOON.

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Across from Jubilee you’ll find EVO Furniture Gallery, which bills itself as offering “Affordable Modern Loft Designs Customized to Fit Your Living Space.” Whether their definition of “affordable” matches yours and mine is debatable, but it’s always nice to see new retail in the hood!

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As you can see from this shot, taken with my back to EVO, there is still a lot more to look forward to in Navy Yard. In the distance you can see the VIDA luxury fitness center that opened at the beginning of October, which is attached to a Harris Teeter that is supposed to open today. That construction site is “Parcel N” – it’ll house 327 more apartments and an additional 20,000SF of retail space. It’s set to delivery in 2016. And there are a LOT more residences planned over the next few years, condo and rentals.

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Interested in beating the crowds and moving to Navy Yard now? Click here to see listings in the area. And if you’re lucky enough to already own, now is a GREAT time to sell, before the area is flooded with new inventory. Your place is a hot commodity right now, so shoot me an email if you’re interested in taking advantage of that!

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Finger-Lickin’ Good News for Navy Yard!

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Bonchon, the infamously delicious Korean chicken wing chain, is FINALLY opening up shop in DC! The shops have dotted the MD and VA suburbs for years, teasing Washingtonians from across the border. But at last, it has been confirmed that Bonchon is opening up shop in the District. The news broke today that Bonchon will be opening up at Navy Yard in 2015. Hooray! You can check out the full story from The Washingtonion here.

Get Your Splash On

Splash Zone at Navy Yard!

Splash Zone at Navy Yard!

Summer is here, which means all I want to do is play in water. But sometimes getting all geared up to go to the pool is more than I have the time or energy for. And if I had little ones, I can imagine that it would be nice to have a fun (and free!) alternative to the constant monitoring required at a swimming pool. Enter: DC’s splash parks! These are fantastic mini-waterparks scattered throughout the city that feature jets of water spraying up out of the ground.

Here’s POPville’s great round up of DC Spray Parks:

14th and Park Road Spray Park – 14th Street and Park Road, NW. This fountain has a mosaic tile surface with multiple jets of water. There is seating along the low perimeter wall.

Pros: Easily accessible via public transportation and parking, close to shopping and restaurants
Cons: Very crowded at all times, no shade

Chevy Chase Spray Park (aka Livingston Park) – 5500 41st Street, NW. The spray area has a concrete surface and is within the same fenced area as the playground.

Pros: Large park with a nice playground, shaded
Cons: Can be crowded

Friendship Spray Park (aka Turtle Park) – 4500 Van Ness Street, NW. There are several ground-level fountains that wet most of the 20’ x 20’ enclosed area. There are a couple of benches that are not guaranteed to be out of the spray zone.

Pros: Large park with nice playground and sandbox, shaded, communal toys and tricycles
Cons: Small and basic spray area, tile surface broken, not convenient to public transportation

Palisades Spray Park – 5200 Sherier Place, NW. Ground-level jets, dumping buckets, and a small water slide are on a rubberized surface. There are shaded picnic tables nearby.

Pros: Brand new facility with adjacent playground, shaded, dedicated parking
Cons: Crowded, mixed ages in the same play area can result in roughhousing and little ones not being able to use some features

Petworth Spray Park – 801 Taylor Street, NW. The spray area is enclosed but separate from the playground. The spray area features ground-level jets, dumping buckets, and carwash-style run-throughs. There are several benches.

Pros: Elaborate and large spray area, adjacent playground
Cons: Not shaded

Downtown Silver Spring fountain – 916 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD. There are many ground-level jets on a mosaic surface about 20’ across. There is shaded makeshift seating along the perimeter wall.

Pros: Easily accessible by public transportation and parking, nearby shops and restaurants
Cons: Unenclosed area with many passersby

Westminster Park – 911 Westminster Street NW. Ground-level jets shoot across the area at the center of the park. The water area is in the same fenced area as the playground.

Pros: Shaded, communal toys and tricycles, rubber surface
Cons: Small park

Georgetown Waterfront – 3000 K Street, NW. The waterfront fountain is both pretty and fun. The water on the rubberized surface gets gradually deeper to about 8”.

Pros: Large water area where kids can wade and splash, duck feeding nearby
Cons: Can be difficult or expensive to park

National Zoo American Trail Exhibit – 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Ground-level jets spray at alternating intervals, and a periodic “high tide” washes over the entire area.

Pros: Kids can splash along side the sea lions
Cons: Small area can get congested, no seating

Yards Park – 355 Water Street, SE. A new waterfront facility. The spray/water play area includes a shallow pool, waterfall, and ground-level jets.

Pros: Large pool doesn’t get too crowded, shaded areas with tables and chairs available
Cons: Driving and parking can be a hassle.

What’s Happening in Southwest?

It may not seem like it to the naked eye, but there is a LOT going on in Southwest. Some major new developments are planned for the area that will change it from the slightly sleepy, slightly dilapidated “forgotten” quadrant of the city into a bustling, thriving, mixed-use center. Here’s the skinny on what’s in the works for Southwest:

The Wharf: Developers Madison Marquette have big plans for the Southwest Waterfront, and have posted a very detailed and informative FAQ on their website with information on what they have in store. The main takeaway? The infamous Maine Street seafood market will be preserved! They plan on integrating it into the final plan and making improvements to “increase the safety and functionality of the market while providing a wider range of market options and maintaining it’s [sic] historic feeling and operation.” Sweet! Learn more here.

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SW EcoDistrict Initiative: This government-led development initiative aims to transform the area around Maryland Ave & 10th Ave into a “highly sustainable mixed-use community.” The plans appear to include a new park (Banneker Park), a mixed-use community anchored by the DOE’s new headquarters, and my favorite part: a mixed-use development built OVER the Southwest Freeway. There are a few different organizations involved in this project, the plans are ambitious, and it looks like delivery is ultimately slated for 2030. We’ll see how it all pans out. Learn more here.

The Yards, Phases 2 & 3: Ok, this is technically SE, but Forest City’s development butts right up against SW and is close enough to it to have a significant effect on future property values. Phase 1 was recently completed, and included adaptive reuse of several historic former industrial buildings and the beautiful new Yards Park. The old buildings have been transformed into vibrant retail and residential spaces. Phases 2 & 3 will bring more residential space, a bit more retail, and some new office space as well. Learn more here.