The Wharf (Phase I), 2019 ULI Global Awards for Excellence Winner

Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Developer: Hoffman-Madison Waterfront: Hoffman & Associates, Madison Marquette, ER Bacon Development, City Partners, Paramount Development, Triden Development
Designer: Perkins Eastman; Studio MB; Kohn Pedersen Fox; Fox Architects; Rockwell Group; BBG-BBGM; Handel Architect; WDG; Cunningham Quill; SmithGroup JJR; MTFA; SK&I; Landscape Architecture Bureau; Lee & Associates; Nelson Byrd Woltz; Michael Vergason Landscape Architects; Parker Rodriguez; ZGF; Moffat & Nichol; RicheyWorks
Site Size: 74 acres (30 ha)

Jury Statement: The Wharf (Phase I) is a remarkable urban development effort and public-private partnership that has reconnected the District with its waterfront, creating a lively neighborhood with a vibrant public realm and a diversity of uses, amenities, and programming.

The Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, more commonly known as the Wharf, occupies a mile-long (1.6 km) stretch along the Washington Channel in Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia had become largely disconnected from its waterfront in recent years, but the Wharf is changing that by bringing restaurants, housing, and entertainment venues to the neighborhood. The Wharf has created a sustainable, mixed-use neighborhood that honors the city’s history. It has preserved the nation’s oldest operating open-air fish market, aims to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Neighborhood Design Gold certification, and exceeds many of D.C.’s Green Building Act requirements.

Hoffman-Madison Waterfront Phase I Site Plan
The Hoffman-Madison Waterfront (also known as the Wharf), in Washington, D.C.



The Wharf has reconnected D.C. to its waterfront.






The development includes 2,340 square feet (217 sq m) of constructed floating wetlands, and handles 100 percent of stormwater on site, preventing further pollution of the channel. The Wharf includes 10 acres (4 ha) of public parks and spaces and is well connected to multiple forms of transit. Year-round events and programming such as Petalpalooza and Pride on the Pier draw in visitors, and the Anthem, a 6,000-person concert and event venue, hosts many sold-out concerts. The Wharf is an example of the dramatic transformation that public/private partnerships and reconnecting to a city’s forgotten waterfront can produce.

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