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Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. facts for kids

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Coordinates: 38°52′37.21″N 77°0′5.86″W / 38.8770028°N 77.0016278°W / 38.8770028; -77.0016278

DC Neighborhoods - Navy Yard
Map of Washington, D.C., with Navy Yard highlighted in maroon.

Navy Yard, also known as Near Southeast, is a neighborhood on the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, D.C. Navy Yard is bounded by Interstate 395 to the north, South Capitol Street to the west, and the Anacostia River to the south and east. The neighborhood is named after the Washington Navy Yard. The Navy Yard fills about half of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is in D.C.'s Ward 6, currently represented by Tommy Wells. It is served by the Navy Yard Metro station on the Green Line.

History

Latrobe Gate, Washington Navy Yard
Latrobe Gate, the ceremonial entrance to the Washington Navy Yard

Historically, the Anacostia River was once a deep water channel with natural resources and home to the Nacotchtank Indians. In 1791, Pierre Charles L’Enfant designed the plan for Washington D.C. and, recognizing the worth of the Anacostia River, set up the city’s new commercial center and wharfs there. In 1799, the Washington Navy Yard was built in the area and for many decades was the nation’s largest naval shipbuilding facility. Today, the Washington Navy Yard has been run by the Navy longer than anywhere else.

The Navy Yard was a busy center in the 19th century and was important in the development of the area. The lively wharf was a center for jobs, serving ships with lumber and raw materials for the growing city. It also played a key role in defending the city from the British during the War of 1812. Surrounding the wharfs was a large commercial district, light industrial businesses, and one of the city’s most notable neighborhoods. As the city and nation developed, the Navy Yard changed from ship building to making finished ship products and weapons ammunition. By the mid-1940s in wartime the Navy Yard and the expanded Annex area were making the most ammo with 26,000 employees in 132 buildings on 127 acres (0.51 km2) of land.

Washington Navy Yard aerial view 1985
Washington Navy Yard and area, around 1985

However, during the 20th century the river got worse. The pollution of the river made it less valuable to the city. After World War II, the Navy Yard moved everything to a smaller campus, slowing commerce in the area. For this and other reasons the riverfront neighborhoods became overrun with crime.

Redevelopment

Aerial view of Nationals Park
Aerial view of Nationals Park and the surrounding Navy Yard neighborhood

For many years, the neighborhood was an industrial district The area was formerly home to a large commercial and adult-entertainment district, which has now been displaced. Since 1990, the building of a new U.S. Department of Transportation office complex and Nationals Park, the new USD$600 million stadium of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team, caused quick changes in the neighborhood. Most of the neighborhood's land and businesses have been purchased by companies and is currently being developed into commercial and residential projects.

Projects

  • Florida Rock is a 5.8-acre (2.3 ha) site that will consists of 1,100,000-square-foot (100,000 m2) project in four buildings. It will contain 470,000 square feet (44,000 m2) of office space, 84,000 square feet (7,800 m2) of retail, 320,000 square feet (30,000 m2) of residential units, and a 236,000-square-foot (21,900 m2) hotel. There will also be two underground levels of parking with 1,087 spaces and green roofs and biofiltration systems. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2009.
  • A new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge on South Capitol Street has been proposed. The bridge would be shifted slightly to the south from its current location, possibly terminating in a new traffic rotary to be called Potomac Circle at South Capitol, R, and Potomac Streets.
  • The Yards is a public-private partnership spanning 40 acres (16 ha), 1,800,000 square feet (170,000 m2) of office space, 2,800 residential units, 160,000 to 350,000 square feet (15,000 to 33,000 m2) of retail space, and a 5.5-acre (2.2 ha) riverfront park. The first construction (400 residential units) began in 2007 and the entire project is to be completed in three phases over 10–20 years.
Usdot headquarters
New United States Department of Transportation (USDoT) headquarters on New Jersey Avenue, SE
Building 170 - Washington Navy Yard Annex
Building 170, behind the USDoT headquarters
  • In 2007, The United States Department of Transportation (USDoT) moved to the area with a new 1,350,000-square-foot (125,000 m2) facility on 11 acres (4.5 ha), housing 7,000 workers. Building 170, a former electrical substation used by the Washington Navy Yard, is now owned by the USDoT.
  • Opening for the 2008 season, the new Nationals Park seats 41,000.
  • The Ballpark District will contain 465,000 to 785,000 square feet (43,200 to 72,900 m2) of retail/restaurant space, 350,000 to 1,600,000 square feet (33,000 to 149,000 m2) of office space, 1,900,000 to 3,600,000 square feet (177,000 to 334,000 m2) (1570 to 2980 units) of residential space, and 7,000-8,000 parking spaces.
  • Capper/Carrollsburg is a 23-acre (9.3 ha) redevelopment of the Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project as mixed-income residential units. The 700 Capper public housing units will be replaced one-for-one, and added to them will be another 700-plus market-rate and workforce-rate rental and ownership units. There will also be 730,000 square feet (68,000 m2) of office space and 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of retail space. The first townhouses will begin construction in early 2008.
  • Capper Community Center is replacing the current one at 5th and K Streets, and will include a daycare facility for 66 children, recreation center, computer laboratory, gymnasium, game room, and meeting/classrooms.
  • In 2003, New Marine barracks were built in the area. In 1999, the DC Housing Authority transferred to the Department of the Navy about six acres of the Arthur Capper Dwellings site at 7th and K Streets, SE, for the development of Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, parking, personnel support and recreational facilities.
  • The 8th Street Historic District is a sub-area including the greatest remaining concentration of historic structures in the Near Southeast, and provides a strong connection between Capitol Hill and the Navy Yard. The rebuilding of this area is just starting, but at least one property has been bought by developers for USD $25 million dollars, and will be a new building containing 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of office space.
  • Maritime Plaza is a new development on East M Street. The first two phases (Buildings 1 and 2) have already been completed. The first building contains 345,000 square feet (32,100 m2) of office space, while the second houses contractors working with the Navy. Phases 3 and 4 are each 175,000 square foot/7-story office buildings. There are also plans for a 250-room 8-story hotel at the southwestern edge of the property.
  • Washington Canal Park is named for the historic Washington Canal, which provided a water-borne connection between the Anacostia River and the Potomac River via the National Mall. Designers envision "trees, grass, plants, a splash pool, aquatic garden and fountain. Officials say runoff from area buildings will be filtered and recycled and used in the water features."
  • Diamond Teague Park is a planned $16 million 39,000-square-foot (3,600 m2) public plaza (also referred to as the "First Street Plaza" or "First Street Landing") at the terminus of First Street envisioned as the principal "window" between the new baseball stadium and the river. It is expected to be constructed in phases in coordination with the redevelopment projects at Florida Rock.

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