Nationals Park Drives Waterfront Development

By Matt Swenson, December 6, 2016

Nationals Park is establishing itself as the MVP for development Washington, D.C., officials dreamed of when the Expos moved from Montreal in 2005. If only the Nats could enjoy the same kind of postseason success as their home has.

The District’s waterfront area, particularly in the city’s southwest quadrant, can directly tie its success to the facility. The Wharf, a $2 billion mixed-use development, is set to be a home run for coaches, players and families when it opens in 2017. It will include three on-site hotels, including an InterContinental, a Hyatt House and a Canopy by Hilton, and restaurants.

Lawrence Hamm, sports development manager at Destination DC, says the business is a beautiful thing to see—in more ways than one. “One thing Nats Park does, thanks to its location, is showcase our waterways,” says Hamm, noting that D.C.’s lack of skyscrapers allows for views of the U.S. Capitol and other landmarks along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. “The Wharf is a continuation of that focus.”

By the time the MLB All-Star Game comes to town in 2018, phase one of  The Wharf will be completed. Hamm says the venue will be a prime spot for events like color runs or parades, as well as sponsorship activations. Also in 2018, the popular International Spy Museum will move from Chinatown to L’Enfant Plaza.

This winter, baseball officials descended nearby to National Harbor for the MLB Winter Meetings.

The southwest section of the city is convenient to nearby Nationals Park via Metro or taxi. It is a short distance to Verizon Center and Walter E. Washington Convention Center, too. The area is also within walking distance of the National Mall and home to many free Smithsonian museums.

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