Back in 2005 when it was announced that the new home of the Washington Nationals would be in Southwest, the area went crazy and because it was the height of the real estate boom, development of the area quickly ensued. Then……..the market crashed and in April 2009, the Washington Post did a piece titled, “At Nationals Park, District of Dreams Hits a Slump.” For anyone that had just purchased a home or land in this area, this was the last thing they wanted to read. Here we are in January 2010, almost five years later, the Nationals still suck, a 35 foot deep hole still sits there, the offices are still vacant and the only cool thing to develop around the stadium was the beer garden.
For a while it seemed as if this area might be doomed, but an article posted in the Washington Business Journal today, “Navy Growth May Bring New Wave of Development,” may provide the jumpstart that many have been looking for. According to the article the Navy has decided to expand its current foothold in Southeast by 700,000 square feet and hire an additional 1,100 workers by 2011 and as many as 2,400 by 2015. This could be a huge addition to the struggling waterfront areas.
What is Currently Happening
On a recent drive past the Soutwest Waterfront it appeared as if a lot was going on. The shady club known as H20 has officially gone out of business and Hogates is attempting to reclaim the space and revive the brand that so many once loved. In addition the area directly around the Southwest Waterfront Metro seems to be moving along well. Soon there should be new condos, apartments, office space, and much more. Best of all it looks like they actually have tenants for most of these properties, unlike over by the ballpark.
So it begs the question, what happens if the Navy moves forward with its ambitious expansion plan? Hopefully a lot. If this were to happen, given the proximity to the ballpark we could so a lot of the vacant retail, housing and office spaces fill up and fulfill the District of Dreams prophecy that once was. Don’t get too excited because it doesn’t seem as if this plan has been fully approved, but if you currently own a home in the area I would feel a little sigh of relief. For those looking to purchase a home in this area, continue to follow the progress that the Navy Yard is making. It is never a good idea to purchase a property with the assumption that you can make a quick return on investment, look what happenend back in 2006. But move into this area today, let five or so years go by and you could potentially reap the reward of your patience especially if this expansion plot becomes a reality and the Nationals actually win some games! Overall I do believe this area will provide a good opportunity for investors, especially with the low prices that currently exist and the equally low interest rates. The only question is how long until the dream becomes a reality.