DC buzzes with new developments, renovations and neighborhood enhancements.
With $9.3 billion in development, investment in the city continues to surge. Learn more about upcoming projects across the city.
The shuttered Georgetown Market will get a new life in 2024. Partners Stephen Starr (of Le Diplomate and St. Anselm’s) and Michelin-star chef Nancy Silverton open the new 20,000-square foot Osteria Mozza restaurant and market. The market will have a pizza grill and bars dedicated to granita and juice, mozzarella, salumi and cocktails, as well as a produce and grocery area. Seating is available throughout at tables, bars and in the solarium lounges.
Clare V - bags, accessories and clothing boutique owned by Clare Vivier. The brand sells classic designs made in Los Angeles with a Parisian charm, and it’s set to open in December 2023.
Steve Madden - the popular shoe and fashion retailer used to have a location in Georgetown but closed five years ago. The brand will reopen in Wisconsin Avenue in late 2023.
Skims - Kim Kardashian’s $4 billion underwear brand is planning to open a brick-and-mortar store on M Street in 2024. Skims sells shapewear, intimates and loungewear that have become increasingly popular online.
Other retail that has recently opened in Georgetown:
Away - contemporary luggage store.
MANSE – A houseware and lifestyle store that sells artisan-made linen, glassware, garden accessories and more.
UpWest - A digitally-native, direct-to-consumer fashion and lifestyle spinoff of Express, UpWest sells men’s and women’s clothing with an emphasis on comfort and sustainability.
Mugsy - The brand was born after the founder, Leo, learned a hard truth from his coworker, who told him his baggy jeans looked horrible. Mugsy jeans use a super-stretch denim and the store carries other men’s fashion from swim trunks to blazers.
Fangyan – The company’s first brick-and-mortar store in DC features high-end clothing inspired by Asian culture. The store includes collections from more than 15 Chinese designers in addition to its own brand of silk, wool and cashmere pieces.
Plans are underway for a reimagined Pennsylvania Avenue. DC and federal agencies are launching a new effort to replan a famed stretch as a livelier urban corridor. Reimagining Pennsylvania Avenue was an objective of the city's five-year "comeback plan" for downtown, and the agencies hope to finish renovations by 2026.
The Center for Environmental Justice at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum opened its doors in April 2023. Respecting the legacy of community-based, environmental action, the Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum draws on the museum’s mission of collective power and history of environmental justice work to serve as a catalyst for social change. The CEJ is a research hub that will center community, raise awareness of systemic injustice and craft community-driven solutions for environmental issues. The Center will convene community experts, researchers, and Pan-Smithsonian teams to document histories of environmental justice work and develop solution-based models by and for the people most affected by environmental injustices. The Center is guided by the Anacostia Community Museum’s mission and vision to work with local communities and amplify collective power for a more equitable future and encourage others to see their own power in creating a more equitable, healthy and just environment.
Intended to be the downtown for the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, Yards West includes plans for 1.8 million square feet of office and 33,000 square feet of waterfront park space. Taken with the first phase, the full development encompasses 1.8 million square feet of office, 500,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 3,400 residential units and 7.5 acres of public green space. Phase II of The Yards has added new tenants including Foxtrot Market. Maman, Playa Bowls and Jungle and Loom growing to more than 40 bars, restaurants and retailers.
11th Street Bridge Park (Opening 2026)
Washington, DC’s first elevated public park (130,0000 sq. ft.) is being built on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge spanning the Anacostia River. Visitors and locals will enjoy an amphitheater, picnic gardens, interactive art and waterfalls among many other attractions and events that help create a public gathering space. The park, designed by Oma + Olin, is a project of nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River. Once complete, it’s expected to draw 1 million visitors a year, while connecting the Anacostia Park and Navy Yard banks of the river. DC-based artist Martha Jackson Jarvis and her daughter, Njena Surae Jarvis, have been commissioned for a piece of artwork entitled “Anacostia’s Sunrise/Sunset Portals.” The portals artwork is the largest of five total that will be part of the 11th Street Bridge Park’s opening in 2026.
The Wharf continues to add new retail and restaurants. Recent openings include Philippe Chow’s Beijing-style restaurant, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, Bartaco, Kinfolk Southern Kitchen, Limani and Wharf Morning DC.
In July, Circuit, a leading sustainable transportation provider, launched its electric shuttle service in DC’s MID. Rides will be available to request on demand through Circuit's app. DC’s first MID will improve equitable access to transportation for residents and visitors in Southwest and create a global innovation hub to show how mobility innovation can make a city more equitable, sustainable and safe.
Union Market, NoMa
A wave of new tenants have signed lease agreements for Union Market, expanding the 45-acre area with three new restaurants from New York including Starr Restaurant Group’s Pastis, a storied Manhattan restaurant, Minetta Tavern and Maman, a French bakery chain. Seven new shops planned include a furniture store, a wedding dress shop, an international clothing store and an eyeglass retailer.
The People’s House (Opening fall 2024)
A new interactive replica of the White House will offer visitors an immersive educational experience about the executive mansion. This project from the White House Historical Association will be set across 32,000 square feet inside the Mills Building at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s expected to open in the fall of 2024, and it will be free to the public.
The Museum of Failure (Opened September 2023)
Opened in Georgetown Park on Sept. 7, The Museum of Failure showcases funny fails from familiar brands including Coca-Cola, Google, DeLorean, Nokia and more.
Go-Go Museum and Cafe (Opening February 2024)
Located in Anacostia, the 3,000 sq. foot museum will include digital and interactive exhibitions to guide visitors through go-go’s roots, pivotal moments, best songs, landmark music venues and community impact. Go-go’s history will also be woven into the cafe’s offerings. The food will be a blend of African, Caribbean, Latin, and mumbo-sauced dishes. It’s slated to open on the four-year anniversary of when Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the law making go-go the official music of DC.
National Museum of American Diplomacy (Opening date to be announced)
The National Museum of American Diplomacy will be the first museum to give visitors access to the untold stories of how diplomacy has been instrumental to our success as a nation, and how it continues to influence our lives today. The new museum will highlight the power of peaceful negotiations and diplomatic ventures for Americans at home and explore the paths to becoming a diplomat. The Discover Diplomacy Hall introduces visitors to the principles of diplomacy. The Art of Diplomacy Hall invites visitors to develop their diplomatic skills through exhibits and interactive experiences. The Founding Ambassadors Concourse Hall is a dynamic space for students, special programs, exhibits and other visitor amenities.
Capital Jewish Museum (Opened June 2023)
The new Capital Jewish Museum juxtapose the story of Jewish Washington with exhibits on the American Jewish community’s history of activism and the struggle for civil rights and racial justice for all Americans. The building itself merges old and new, incorporating the original brick building of one of the DC’s oldest synagogues, Adas Israel, into a more modern structure of metal, glass and concrete. A glass sky bridge connects the new construction and new museum galleries across to the historic building. It is designed by the Smith Group, the same architecture firm that designed Washington, DC’s Museum of the Bible and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. An education space features hands-on objects and activities for school groups and families. There are also event spaces available. The museum occupies 31,000 square feet on the corner of 3rd and F streets, a few blocks from the Judiciary Square metro.
National Museum of Women the Arts (Opened October 2023)
The world’s only major museum solely dedicated to championing women artists closed to the public for a two-year renovation of its historic building. The building’s first full renovation since 1987, the $70 million project preserves the structure’s history while transforming its interior spaces. Key improvements include enlarged gallery space, a new Learning Commons, featuring an education and public programs studio, an improved research library and reading room, and an updated 200-seat performance hall. There are also upgraded technologies, enhanced amenities and accessibility for visitors. The museum now includes more exhibit space, a studio for educational programs and a library center with a reading room. The performance hall also has accessibility upgrades. The building's Great Hall — a popular event venue has been preserved throughout the renovation process. The museum's inaugural exhibit, "The Sky’s The Limit," features large-scale sculptures by contemporary women artists.
New Smithsonian Museums: The Smithsonian Institution has narrowed its search for a pair of new museums, the American Women’s History Museum and American Latino Museum, to two sites on the National Mall. The exact location is pending Congressional approval. In February, the Smithsonian Institution revealed that it has raised upwards of $55m towards the development of the American Women’s History Museum (AWHM). According to The New York Times, while the AWHM is still without a site, it is running with a staff of 14 and an annual operating budget of $2m.
Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden Revitalization
The nearly 50-year-old Hirshhorn Museum (2024) is undergoing a multi-year renovation of its sunken sculpture garden designed by artists and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto. The new garden design is anticipated to open in 2025.
National Air and Space Museum Renovation
An extensive, multi-year renovation of the entire museum includes a new learning center, ground-floor restaurant and a third-floor terrace with views of the National Mall and U.S. Capitol. In 2022, eight revamped galleries and 23 reimagined exhibitions opened, including two with themes new to the museum. Of the 1,240 artifacts on display, 55 percent of them have never been on display in the museum before. The entire project is expected to be complete in 2025.
A Jeff Bezos-funded addition will add a 50,000-square-foot learning center to the museum. The futuristic Bezos Center will house programs and activities related to innovation and careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. It will include a ground-floor restaurant, second-floor space for programs, and a third-floor terrace (with space for 100-150 people) with views of the National Mall and U.S. Capitol. The center will open in 2027.
National World War I Memorial (Opening 2024)
The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission finished construction on a dedicated U.S. WWI Memorial. The memorial commemorates the 100th anniversary of the war’s end and honors its 4.7 million servicemen and women. Years in the making, the centerpiece of the National World War I Memorial is a bronze sculpture entitled A Soldier’s Journey by Sabin Howard. When complete, Howard’s immense frieze will tell the story of an American reluctantly answering the call to war. Across five scenes and 38 larger-than-life-size human figures, it will be nearly 60 feet long and 10 feet high. Located in Pershing Park in front of the Willard InterContinental Hotel, the memorial’s massive sculpture will be the highest free-standing bronze sculpture in the Western hemisphere and is expected to be installed in 2024.
U.S. Park Police Horse Stables and Education Center (Opened Spring 2023)
The Trust for the National Mall, along with the National Park Service, has created a state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable horse stable for the U.S. Park Police Horse Mounted Patrol Unit. Located near the Lincoln Memorial, the project includes 14 new stalls for the horses, a medical paddock, covered shelters, a heated wash ad tack room and an office building with meeting space. A new visitor and education center welcomes the public to meet the horses and learn about their history on the National Mall. The project created a new path to connect the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial directly to the National Mall.
Folger Shakespeare Theater (Opening 2024)
The Folger’s 1932 building is undergoing an $80.5 million renovation to expand public space, improve accessibility and enhance the experience for visitors. The renovation project will add a 12,000-square-foot public pavilion under the Folger’s front lawn with fully accessible entry plazas for all visitors on both the east- and west-facing sides of the building. The landscaped entry plazas will connect with walkable gardens on either side of the building. Its inaugural permanent exhibition will showcase the library’s 82-copy collection of First Folios, the first published copies of Shakespeare’s works. Produced in 1623, the books represented the first time that roughly half of the Bard’s plays appeared in print; Folger’s collection of copies is the largest in the world. When the Folger reopens this fall, it will display its entire collection of folios for the first time in a 20-foot vault. The Great Hall will transform from an exhibition space to a public gathering place. A new Education Laboratory will provide a flexible space for hands-on demonstrations and interactive workshops. Visitor amenities will include café services in the Great Hall and an expanded gift shop.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has selected two dozen new retail and restaurant concessions to fill spaces at Reagan National and Dulles International airports. The phased concessions redevelopment program will provide a greater sense of place, more variety and more healthy options for the traveling public. By the end of 2026, more than 80 new retail and restaurant options will be open at both airports.
- Connector between Terminals 1 and 2: Atlas Brew Works, Zeke’s Coffee and Inside the Beltway, a grab-and-go convenience and souvenir shop
- National Hall: BOSS, The Neighborgoods DC gift shop and DC Arts District Market (travel essentials and local products)
- Concourse B: Half Moon Empanadas
- Concourse C: Compass Coffee, Cava Mezze and Dos Toros Taqueria
Plans are underway for a 1,500-space, three-story modular parking garage, which would be built on the existing economy lot at DCA. It's estimated to be operational in 2025.
- Concourse A: Sfoglina, Hudson/Hudson Nonstop (travel essentials, grab-and-go), Union Kitchen grab-and-go
- Concourse A/B: Starbucks, Rappahannock Oyster Co., Brookstone
- Concourse B: Ink by Hudson (bookstore concept), Freshii
- Concourse C: Gatsby (full-service “reimagined American diner" and bar with desserts by Mah Ze Dahr bakery), Auntie Anne’s, Hudson
- Concourse D: Potbelly, Market 1962, Hudson
Dulles Metrorail Project – Silver Line
The 11.4-mile extension of Metro’s Silver Line opened to passengers in November 2022 connecting Dulles to downtown DC. Washington Metro riders now have access to six new stations stretching between Fairfax and Loudoun counties: Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn. The Silver line is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
MWAA has also recently approved a plan for a $675 million concourse at Dulles. Construction begins in 2023 with an anticipated completion by 2026. The 400,000 square-foot, 14-gate concourse will include new retail and dining options, more seating, airline lounges and other amenities. It also improves the backend operations for servicing planes and moving baggage. Officials hope to build it to the eco-friendly LEED Silver standard.
Union Station Expansion Project
Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Union Station Redevelopment Corp. have joined efforts to expand and modernize Union Station, the landmark transit hub and Amtrak’s second busiest location. The $10 billion project as currently envisioned includes a new east-west train hall and new passenger concourse. The project area is spread across 53 acres and includes the station building, as well as infrastructure such as a parking garage, rail terminal, bus facility, railroad infrastructure and the H Street Bridge. The environmental review and approval process for the expansion is expected to be done by November 2023. Construction is expected to take from 11 to 14 years.
Navy Museum (Breaking ground in 2025)
Five major architecture firms have given the U.S. Navy their designs for a new National Museum of the U.S. Navy. The new facility is meant to replace the Navy’s aging museum in a massive warehouse across the street from Willard Park in Navy Yard. The 270,000-square-foot museum campus will include a new building, 100,000 square feet of gallery space, a ceremonial courtyard, and a marque gallery space. Development is slated to cost around $475 million.
Therme Spa Resort
In May, plans were shared by Therme, an Austria-based operator of well-being resorts, to identify a space somewhere in Washington, DC for a spa/waterpark resortfacility ranging in size from 450,000 to 600,000 square feet. Described by Therme executive Omar Toro-Vaca as “an urban oasis housed in extraordinary architecture and beautiful surroundings,” the planned resort would include a spa, “next-generation waterpark,” and dining options. Currently there are Therme facilities in Romania and Germany. Toro-Vaca said the one in D.C. would create more than 5,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs and add $1.1 billion in tax revenue to city coffers over 25 years.
National Geographic Society – Base Camp (opening 2026)
The global science organization recently broke ground on extensive renovations to its headquarters campus near Scott Circle. The $250-million rehabilitation will modernize the three-building block that serves as a headquarters, museum and event space. The future of "Base Camp," as it calls the campus, will tell the story of National Geographic and be an inviting destination for visitors and residents alike. Renovations will include a 23,500-square-foot entry pavilion and plaza that would give the three buildings a more cohesive identity and allow for more outdoor presentations and gatherings, plus an attraction for the museum's users. There will also be a new educational center and interactive displays and media. Green efforts include using recycled materials from the existing buildings, solar panels that provide 25 percent of the campus power and a "gray water" HVAC system that will lessen its environmental impact. National Geographic built its original headquarters, Hubbard Hall, at 16th and M streets in 1904, followed by a 10-story addition around 1963 and a large M Street building in 1984.
Connected DMV Hydrogen Hub
The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (the DMV) are in the early stages of a major energy transition. Fueled by climate change, technical and process innovation, and a population committed to responsibly stewarding our natural resources, the result will be a healthy and prosperous environment for all who live and work in the region. The DMV can demonstrate strong regional and national leadership in meeting climate goals and objectives by delivering the next generation of the energy ecosystem. The plan will create economic growth and establish thousands of high-quality jobs and safer environments throughout the region, including for the most distressed communities. Deploying hydrogen in the DMV region can abate almost 1.5% of regional carbon emissions in less than a decade, the equivalent of taking 700,000 cars off the road, with greater gains from 2030 and beyond (Source: hydrogengreenprint.org)
Brooklyn Bowl (Opening in 2026)
With locations in Las Vegas New York City and Philadelphia, Brooklyn Bowl will develop an all-in-one entertainment venue with bowling lanes, a restaurant and a concert venue next to Audi Field. The two story, 38,000 square foot complex next to the soccer stadium will have a 1,200-person capacity, 14 lanes of bowling and a bar with a Southern-inspired menu overseen by New York City’s Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group. The space is available for group rentals. At the 80,000 square foot Las Vegas location, Nike once converted the space into a basketball court.
photo credit: National Museum of Women in the Arts