By Cathy Carter
The District's largest economic development project is renovating the Southeast Waterfront, one section at a time.
With the opening of the nearly six acre Yards Park on the Anacostia River, the neighborhood surrounding Nationals Ballpark is once again slowly taking shape. Construction stalled during the economic downturn, but Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District says the park will help change people's perceptions of the Southeast Waterfront.
"I think it's been an undiscovered area, it fell off the grid after World War II. The fact that it's on the river, that you can live, work, and play on the river. There are really six places in this region of 6.5 million people where you can do that, and we're one of them," says Stevens.
The city-owned Yards Park is just part of the master plan to convert this one time industrial area. Besides the ballpark, the neighborhood has steadily added new office and residential space. Stevens says the next piece of the puzzle is coming soon.
"We're 60 percent ready for prime time, but we need that layering of activities, that restaurants and bars and musical venues offer," he says.
That, Stevens says is approximately 18 months away.