Work on southeast DC's grand Canal Park will get underway next week, as general contractors begin the construction of the 3-block urban park that will be a centerpiece for the ballpark (Capitol Riverfront) neighborhood "by February 15th." District of Columbia officials and representatives Canal Park Development Association had anticipated an earlier start date and 2011 completion date, and held a kick-off party last August, but "financing issues" have delayed construction, until now.
The 3 acres of landscaping will offer "a stunning urban park on the site of the historic Washington Canal" with a variety of water features, a large pavilion/restaurant (LEED Gold or Platinum certified) designed by Studios Architecture and two smaller pavilions, 2 large fountains, wintertime ice skating rink, rain garden, multiple lawn spaces, an electric car charging station, and bicycle racks. The park will also collect and recycle its own rainwater and that from the neighborhood and nearby buildings, filtering through its rain garden for use in fountains and ice rink.
Last summer the CPDA selected Davis Construction to build out and Blake Dickson Real Estate to locate a restaurateur for the park's pavilion. Philadelphia-based OLIN is the landscape architect. Chris VanArsdale, Executive Director of CPDA, says the financing and permitting issues of yore have been worked out, allowing CPDA to issue a work order to Davis next week with construction immediately thereafter and completion expected next spring.
The District is ponying up $13.5m of the estimated $28m development tab. William C. Smith & Co., one of the early developers in the area, is providing in-kind support and an undisclosed amount of financial assistance. VanArsdale says that the difficulty in obtaining approval was caused by financing using the new markets tax credits.
The federal government owns the land in arrangement that gives control to the District, which in turn has a 20-year agreement with the Canal Park Development Association to develop and manage the land. The canal that once ran across the site connected the Anacostia to Tiber Creek (now buried under Constitution Avenue), which ran to the C&O canal.
Washington DC real estate development news