National Harbor Establishes Brisk Sales Pace in D.C. Area

Washington, D.C.--At The Peterson Cos.’ National Harbor development, more than 100 homes were sold in National Harbor between early 2010 and first quarter 2011.

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Washington, D.C.–The Peterson Cos.’ National Harbor development, one of only half a dozen planned communities in the Washington, D.C. metro area, has captured the attention of a great many home buyers over the past 18 months. In a brutally tough sales market, and in a county disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis, more than 100 homes were sold in National Harbor between early 2010 and first quarter 2011.

“We have a range of price points, and people very much enjoy the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere we’ve created,” The Peterson Cos.’ Fairfax, Va.-based Vice President of Residential Development Stuart Prince tells MHN. “One of the things we offer at National Harbor is convenience to employment in the District, northern Virginia and points north in Maryland.”

National Harbor is an upscale development of townhomes, manor homes and condominiums bearing prices of $200,000 to more than $1 million. Situated on the Potomac River about seven miles south of Washington, D.C., the property abuts the District of Columbia. I-295 runs south of the District into the property, which stands at the convergence of I-495 and the Capital Beltway, Prince says.

Currently, National Harbor features 423 condominiums, 90 townhomes, 2,800 hotel rooms, 250 timeshare units, 300,000 square feet of retail, 250,000 square feet of office space in multiple buildings, more than 4,500 parking spaces across three parking garages and a marina with twin 600-foot piers.

Design is ongoing and construction will soon to start on an apartment community, The Esplanade, developed in joint partnership by The Peterson Cos. and The Bozzuto Group. The 371-unit mixed-use community will offer 23,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and is to be LEED certified. Construction is to start early in 2012, with completion slated for late 2013.

The development of National Harbor is in its early stages. After a multi-phased development encompassing 10 to 15 years, it will eventually offer 2,500 residential units and 1 million square feet of commercial space, Prince says.

The development of National Harbor commenced in 1996, and the development opened in 2008. The Peterson Cos. sold a handful of hotel parcels, and it continues to own and manage the remainder of the development, except for parcels sold to a builder constructing the townhomes.

One of the selling points of National Harbor is its commuting convenience. “We’re multi-modal,” Prince says. “We have Metro bus service that will take you to the Branch Ave. Metro station, shuttle service to the King St. Metro station in Virginia, and water taxis that will take you to Alexandria and the District. We have bike and pedestrian trails that connect to D.C.’s very extensive, more than 100-mile trail system.”

Judging by sales momentum, buyers are finding the array of features appealing. “The pace of residential sales within National Harbor is a testament to the diversity of product type and price points available to prospective buyers in this prestigious waterfront community,” Prince says.