Selldorf Architects, Leong Leong, and more tapped for phase two of The Yards in Washington, D.C.

The Whole Nine Yards

Selldorf Architects, Leong Leong, and more tapped for phase two of The Yards in Washington, D.C.

Looking south toward N Street from Yard Place, a cobblestone pedestrian artery that will run through the Washington, D.C. waterfront neighborhood. (Courtesy Brookfield Properties)

Brookfield Properties has announced plans for the second phase of Washington, D.C.’s The Yards, a massive mixed-used redevelopment project at a former riverfront industrial site just west of the Washington Navy Yard in the southeastern section of the city.

Encompassing 3.4 million square feet of new development, phase two of The Yards will include ten new buildings, all built to LEED Gold standards, and a bevy of new landscapes designed by the likes of Selldorf Architects, SHoP Architects, Leong Leong, and SCAPE—all headquartered in New York City—along with Dutch studio Concrete, the D.C. office of international practice STUDIOS Architecture, and others. “While each of the new buildings and spaces at The Yards will have its own distinct identity, these elements will come together to create a dynamic, detailed, and textured space for all to enjoy,” wrote Brookfield in a press release formally announcing the phase two expansion of The Yards.

aerial view of a waterfront development at dusk
Aerial rendering depicting The Yards at dusk. Nationals Park is seen on the left. (Courtesy Brookfield Properties)

While some of the firms involved in The Yards’ second phase have completed other major projects in and around D.C., most did not contribute to the Forest City Washington-developed first phase of the project (Brookfield acquired Forest City 2018). That half was more adaptive reuse-centered and brought together Shalom Baranes Associates, Perkins+Will, Robert A.M. Stern, Gensler, Stantec, and others. Landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg designed the development’s multifaceted green centerpiece, The Yards Park, which opened in 2010.

Aside from new buildings that will be located either a three-minute walk away from the riverfront and/or open green spaces/community gathering hubs, a key feature of phase two is Yards Place, a curb-free cobblestone pedestrian thoroughfare that will serve as a spacious new “Main Street” of sorts for the neighborhood and connect the Navy Yard Metro station to Diamond Teague Park, a new public plaza and marina nestled on the Anacostia riverfront.

rendering of a terraced building with plants in a new development
A view from Yards Place and N Street. (Courtesy Brookfield Properties)

When fully realized, The Yards will be the largest waterfront development in the greater D.C. region, spanning 48 acres, including six acres of frontage on the Anacostia River and 7.5 acres of public green space along with 3,400 residential units, 400,000 square feet dedicated to retail and restaurant space, and 2 million square feet of office space. As part of phase two, the development will gain over 1,260 mixed-income residential units, 1.8 million square feet of office space, and over 43,000 square feet of reclaimed waterfront parkland, according to Brookfield.

Describing The Yards as a “distinctly 21st-century mixed-use neighborhood,” Toby Millman, senior vice president of development for Brookfield Properties, said in a statement that “the second phase of The Yards is reshaping the Capitol Riverfront by transforming the area into a true downtown with imaginative open-air spaces and retail, residential, and office from some of the best architects in the world.”

renderings of various building in a mixed-use development
Looking west from the Thompson Hotel. (Courtesy Brookfield Properties)

While plans for the second phase of The Yards were announced just this week, work actually kicked off last year with the groundbreaking of 1250 New Jersey Avenue, a 30,000-square-foot building that will serve as headquarters for Chemonics International, which, as noted by WTOP News, is the only signed tenant for phase two. Also per WTOP News, Brookfield expects the final phase two build-out to wrap up in ten years depending on market conditions.

The announcement of The Yards’ highly anticipated second phase comes weeks after another high-profile D.C.-area project, located just several miles to the west in Virginia, Amazon’s HQ2, revealed plans for its second phase to decidedly mixed reactions.