EB5 Capital’s Riverfront at the Navy Yard project (Jobs Fund 8) was a part of the overall redevelopment of the riverfront area in southeast Washington, D.C., situated between Capitol Hill and the Anacostia River. The redevelopment of D.C.’s riverfront neighborhood is a huge undertaking with multiple phases and numerous developers and sources of funding. Investors in our Riverfront at the Navy Yard project provided funds to help finance one of the first legs of this multi-stage, mixed-use development. More phases are still to come, with millions of dollars’ worth of development in the pipeline. The development of the Capitol Riverfront began in 2007, when D.C.’s City Council established the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, which Mayor Fenty approved in August of that same year. The total square footage of new development in the Capitol Riverfront includes over 35 million square feet of office, retail, hotels, and residential housing. Nearly 12,000 residential units have already been completed or are under construction, including 2,100 new condominiums and apartments that will break ground this year. As of March 2015, the area saw the growth rate of residential units more than double in the span of just three years, making it the fastest growing neighborhood in Washington, D.C., according to the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District’s statistics.
The path of development in the Riverfront area followed a pattern that is frequent of Washington, D.C. and other comparable cities. Development originated with the establishment of an official government building, which drew attention to the neighborhood. In this case, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), which is the United States Navy’s largest systems command organization, was the government building to spark the initial development of the area. In 1995, NAVSEA moved its headquarters from Crystal City, Virginia to the Washington Navy Yard. Over the course of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, five office buildings were constructed to accommodate a total of over 18,000 Navy Yard employees. Then, in 2004, construction began on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new 1.1 million square-foot headquarters, which opened in spring 2007. The addition of these government office buildings brought thousands of new workers from all different industries to the area. This greatly increased the daytime population, as well as the number of full-time local residents. The Capitol Quarter neighborhood now has 4,700 residents, and over 34,000 employees who work in the area, including nearly 20,000 at the Navy Yard. Other prominent government-based office tenants at the Riverfront include the U.S Coast Guard, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Also located in the Capitol Riverfront is the Nationals Ballpark, home of D.C.’s Major League Baseball team the Washington Nationals. The ballpark broke ground in May 2006, and had its opening day just under two years later on March 30th, 2008. It is the first LEED certified stadium in the country (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a certification granted based on the design, construction, and operation of green buildings and structures). Since its opening day, the Nationals ballpark has hosted an average of approximately 2.25 million visitors per year.