WASHINGTON — If anyone has noticed lately, signs of development are making a comeback in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood of the District. You may ask, where is the Capitol Riverfront? The “Front” as it is sometimes casually called, is the neighborhood located south of the U.S. Capitol and rests between the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the Anacostia River. Others may know of the area from their visits to Nationals Park and by the string of luxury high-rise apartment buildings and the McDonald’s along South Capitol street.
For years, this particular area of the District has been without much development, save for the activity at the Navy Yard. However, at one point the sights were set on the parcel of land hanging onto the river. If you ask those on the street how they feel about their community, most would say that they generally like it, but that it lacks entertainment, commerce, and the overall activity needed to sustain a young and vibrant community.
If one simply stands and observes the area without any historical knowledge, you may think the Front was undergoing a rather fast transformation. Having lived in the neighborhood for some time now, activity started and sadly stopped, a victim of a failed economy. If you take a closer look, you would see construction projects that have started and stalled, open plots of land with signs promising a brighter more vibrant future, and enough parking spaces to make an Adams Morgan partygoer on Friday night jealous.
However, a brighter day appears to be on the horizon. Ever since Strasburg stunned our city with 14 strikeouts, there has been a resurgence of life along the Capitol Riverfront. The cranes are breathing again and a sea of yellow-hard-hat wearing construction workers traverse the uncompleted floors of a new complex along L street SE. The once dimly lit condo building is now showing signs of life with the opening of a new café, Justin’s to be exact. All signs that summer is coming and hopefully with a bang.
If you build it they will come is the old saying, or something like that. Nationals Park was supposed to bring so much, yet that promise has yet to be fulfilled. More and more people are coming to the area, but with little reason to stay, they hop back on the metro at Navy Yard to leave our wonderful community. This area can be so much and it has so much potential. I believe in it, the community believes in it, we believe in it.
The cold “Front” seems to be passing, let the games begin!