(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) celebrated the topping out of Skyland Town Center with community members, construction workers, and the development team of Rappaport and WC Smith, signifying that Phase 1 of the 18-acre, mixed-use community has reached its final construction height. In May, Mayor Bowser and the development team announced that they secured the lease with Lidl US, a well-known supermarket chain that operates more than 65 stores across nine East Coast states, to open at Skyland Town Center. The store, which will occupy 29,089 square feet within Skyland, will be the first internationally recognized full-service supermarket to enter Wards 7 and 8 since 2007.
“It hasn’t been easy, but we have been steadfast in our determination to arriving at this day where buildings are rising at Skyland Town Center,” said Mayor Bowser. “Skyland is the culmination of our efforts to deliver a much-needed grocery store, job opportunities, quality housing, retail, and more to the area. This development will have a real impact as we work to spread prosperity to every corner of the District.”
For more than 15 years, the District has sought to redevelop the area that was once the Skyland Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Alabama Avenue, Naylor Road, and Good Hope Road in Southeast Washington, DC. Mayor Bowser moved the project forward by providing a $7 million grant for infrastructure work, as well as up to $3.6 million to Safeway to release a covenant on the site that was preventing the deal from progressing. Additionally, the mixed-use project was approved for Tax Increment Financing funding, which the Mayor restructured after the anchor tenant broke their commitment to the project.
“Since my return to the Council, I have introduced three East End bills focused on attracting more full-service grocery stores, retail amenities, and sit-down restaurants to Wards 7 and 8,” said Councilmember Vincent C. Gray. “One of my East End bills targets nine sites in Wards 7 and 8, including Skyland, for retail, restaurants, and full-service grocery stores. And so, I couldn’t be more excited to work with the Bowser administration to bring Lidl, an international supermarket chain to Skyland Town Center.”
Skyland Town Center’s first phase of 84,500 square feet of retail also includes CVS Pharmacy, which has been operating in a temporary trailer during construction, and 263 apartments to open in the fourth quarter of 2020, including 79 affordable units. Upon completion, Skyland Town Center will have up to 156,000 square feet of retail and 450 to 500 residential apartments in a vibrant town square setting.
“The Skyland project moving forward will help us continue to promote and encourage economic development and amenities in Ward 7 and surrounding communities,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “We will continue to engage residents and businesses to build on the victory of this transformative project.”
Rappaport and WC Smith, who lead the retail and residential leasing, partnered with the District Government as well as other entities such as the Washington East Foundation, Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, and Skyland DC to redevelop Skyland Town Center over the last 15 years.
“We’re very excited that Mayor Bowser has joined us to mark this important milestone for Skyland Town Center,” said WC Smith CEO Chris Smith. “The fact that we’re here today is testament to the dedication and commitment that the city, from the Mayor to community leaders, has provided to this project, and we thank all involved for that.”
“We are excited to celebrate this significant moment for such an important project to Washington, D.C. and the immediate neighborhood. Today’s celebration not only marks the completion of Phase I’s maximum height, but it also recognizes the dedicated community of men and women who helped accomplish this feat to make Skyland Town Center a reality. Soon, Washingtonians will be able to experience the much-anticipated Skyland Town Center vision in real life,” said Henry Fonvielle, President, Rappaport.
Construction of the infrastructure was completed in the fall of 2017, and excavation began in December 2017. Retail leasing for Skyland Town Center is underway with CVS Pharmacy, Lidl, and other interest from full-service restaurants and service retailers. Leasing of the residential units will begin as the project nears completion.