This mile-long development along the Potomac River was formerly an industrial zone populated by warehouses and boat storage, with maritime use dating to the Civil War era. The Municipal Fish Market, open here since 1805, is the oldest continually operating fish market in the United States. After harbor activity dwindled in the late twentieth century, District officials created the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation in 2003 to lead the area’s redevelopment with the goal of improving pedestrian connections to the city’s southwest waterfront and generating commercial and residential investment. By 2008 a team of developers had purchased most of the waterfront land. Perkins Eastman was hired to develop a master plan and lead a team of more than a dozen architects, landscape architects, and planners to design the project.
Phase I, completed in 2018, developed a pedestrian promenade stretching two-thirds of a mile. The design team constructed a reinforced seawall topped by a riverfront esplanade terminating in a three-acre neighborhood park and recreation pier. The promenade proceeds along a vibrant mixed-use development with restaurants and shops at the ground level on one side, opposite two rows of riparian Colombia plane trees framing a waterfront walkway and providing shade for benches. Belgian block cobblestones pave the commercial-facing pedestrian areas while smooth granite pavers delineate the waterfront space. Phase 2, begun in 2017 and scheduled for completion in 2022, extends the amenity-lined promenade and will also include a marina and new one-and-a-half-acre park.