D.C. residents successfully stopped most
of a planned "inner Beltway" from tearing apart neighborhoods in the 60s and 70s
. Part of what didn't get stopped became Highway 395, which rips through downtown, separating Chinatown and Mount Vernon Triangle from Union Station and NoMa.
As of yesterday, that rip is beginning to heal.
of Capitol Crossing doesn't just signify the beginning of one of the four biggest projects in the city right now (the other three are the Wharf, Walter Reed's redevelopment and the revitalization of St. Elizabeths), it signifies a time soon in the future when people will be able to walk where now three blocks of sunken freeway sit.
Capitol Crossing is a complicated project that will cover over three blocks of I-395
, adding 7.5 acres of essentially new land. Developer Property Group Partners will build five mixed-use buildings, adding a total of 2.2 million square feet of space, mostly for offices and retail.
A D.C. outpost of Mario Batali's Eataly is said to be coming to Capitol Crossing, and the developers have teased
that they are "in real serious discussions with not one, but two international food emporium operators."
To read more about the three
(!) Beltways that almost came to D.C., check this excellent summary in the Post
. To read more about the groundbreaking, read this City Paper article