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What’s New in the Nation’s Capital
Washington, DC is in the midst of a modern-day renaissance.
As international and American investment creates more game-changing developments, and as neighborhoods sprout new restaurants and attractions, DC is becoming even more exciting and event-worthy.
NEW URBAN HUBS
Situated just south of the U.S. Capitol, this emerging neighborhood on the Anacostia River features the Washington Nationals and their gorgeous ballpark. Other attractions include the multi-use Yards Park, an ice rink at Canal Park and dining including the Northern Italy-inspired Osteria Morini and Ice Cream Jubilee. In 2018, DC United plans to move its soccer stadium to nearby Buzzard Point.
Phase I of this $2.5 billion mixed-use development opened last October. Visitors can enjoy The Anthem, a 150,000-square-foot music venue that also serves as a convention facility, with flexible capacity up to 6,000. The Wharf also offers 3.2 million square feet of hotel and retail space, rentable waterfront piers and a water taxi service to and from Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. Restaurants will eventually total more than 20, including new offerings from Fabio Trabocchi, Mike Isabella and Nicholas Stefanelli.
Spread across 10 acres downtown near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, CityCenterDC features a wealth of retail and dining options. Shops include Burberry, kate spade new york and Louis Vuitton, while restaurants like Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, DBGB Kitchen & Bar and Centrolina satisfy taste buds.
Phase 1 opening 2018
Situated atop I-395 between Capital One Arena and Union Station, the mixed-use development features five buildings with more than 75,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and cafes, including Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion
The world-renowned DC venue will add 2,500 square feet of new performance space, 7,500 square feet of pre-function and event space, new art installations and digital advancements. Outside, utilize a new video wall, terrace for up to 1,600 people and a scenic walkway to the Potomac River and nearby monuments and memorials.
RFK Stadium Redevelopment
Project completion TBD
The main tenant of this 54-year-old property, D.C. United, plans to move to a new stadium in Buzzard Point. Events DC has tapped Brailsford & Dunlavey to assist in forming short-term and long-term plans for demolition and repurposing RFK, along with the surrounding 80 acres (including the D.C. Armory). RFK has a capacity of 45,000, while the D.C. Armory has 119,000 square feet of non-military space.
HOTELS COMING SOON
Opening spring 2018
A pilot project aimed at inspiring social change, this new global hotel brand will debut with a 209-room property in downtown DC. An on-site studio, Eaton Workshop will offer a speaker series, podcasts, artists and other programming.
Opening summer 2018
Marriott International, Inc. will bring its millennial-minded concept to the District with this 200-room hotel with a rooftop lounge. Expect a chic aesthetic and affordable pricing in downtown DC.
Hilton Washington DC National Mall
Located at L’Enfant Plaza between The Wharf and the National Mall, this renovated property re-opens with 367 rooms, 23,000 square feet of meeting and event space and a grand ballroom that can accommodate over 600 guests.
The Conrad Washington, DC
A 360-room hotel from Hilton Worldwide adds more luxury to CityCenterDC. Features include two outdoor terraces, a rooftop bar, conference rooms and 30,000 square feet of luxury retail space.
Residence Inn & Courtyard by Marriott
Residence Inn will feature 140-plus rooms, while Courtyard by Marriott expects 357 rooms. The two hotels will be adjacent to the convention center.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Opened Sept. 2016
The newest free museum on the National Mall is devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture, housed in an eight-story building featuring 12 exhibitions across 400,000 square feet. The museum also features the 300-seat Oprah Winfrey Theater, as well as an education and technology center on its second floor.
East Building at the National Gallery of Art
Re-opened Sept. 2016
After a three-year renovation, the East Building at the National Gallery of Art reopened with 12,250 square feet of additional exhibition space. The I.M. Pei-designed building also features a new rooftop sculpture garden that can hold up to 350 people, as well as large and small auditoriums.
Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries
The Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art on the National Mall re-opened last October following extensive renovations. Inside, visitors can discover ancient Near Eastern art and contemporary Asian works, including four all-new exhibits. Groups of 10 or more should register a week in advance.
Museum of the Bible
A private state-of-the-art museum located two blocks from the National Mall, the Museum of the Bible features 430,000 square feet filled with some of the world’s rarest biblical artifacts and texts. Its ballroom offers special event seating for 600 and lecture-style seating for 6,000. Admission is free with a suggested $15 donation.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Expansion opening 2018-2019
Expected in 2018, the world-renowned DC venue will add 2,500 square feet of new performance space, 7,500 square feet of pre-function and event space, new art installations and digital advancements. Outside, utilize a new video wall, a terrace for up to 1,600 people and a scenic walkway.
International Spy Museum
Re-opening fall 2018
One of the city’s most popular museums will move from Penn Quarter to L’Enfant Plaza, a short walk from the National Mall. The new location will be 140,000 square feet, more than double the original space, and will feature a lecture hall/theater and event space with great views.
METRO ON THE MOVE
The 23-mile Silver Line Metrorail extension is the largest expansion of the area’s Metrorail system in over 20 years. Phase 1, completed in 2014, included new stations in McLean, Tysons Corner and Reston. Phase 2, expected to be finished by 2020, will connect DC to Dulles International Airport.