Mayor Bowser Joins WC Smith for Ribbon-Cutting and Groundbreaking at Skyland Town Center
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio on June 21 joined WC Smith, our development partners, and city and community leaders to break ground on the new phase of retail construction at Skyland Town Center. Officials also celebrated the ribbon-cutting of The Crest, a 263-unit residential property that began leasing in April 2021.
Lidl will anchor the new retail block with a 29,000 square foot grocery store, its first in the District of Columbia. Slated to open in fall 2022, Lidl will be the first full service supermarket to locate east of the Anacostia River since 2007. In March, Rappaport and WC Smith announced that fast-casual restaurants Tropical Smoothie Café, &Pizza, Maizal and Mezeh will lease in the new retail block, along with noting that Roaming Rooster will locate in The Crest residential property.
A drive-thru Starbucks – the first of its kind in Washington, DC – will complete the new retail phase.
The establishments – many of them based in the Washington, DC area – will bring new and diverse shopping dining options to the neighborhoods surrounding the 18.5-acre, mixed-use development. These will join CVS, Skyland Nails and Spa, Chase Bank and Like That Barber Shop, a neighborhood “institution” that has been serving families in Wards 7 and 8 for 30 years.
PNC Bank provided financing for the retail block through a joint effort between the bank’s Community Development Banking team, who provided a loan; and the Tax Credit Solutions group, a PNC Real Estate business, which provided an equity investment for the project through New Market Tax Credits (NMTC).
“We are so proud of the progress at Skyland Town Center as new residences deliver and food options take shape with more housing and food retail to come,” said Mayor Bowser. “By investing in housing, food access, and local retail businesses, we give more residents a fair shot. That’s why I included a $58M Food Access Fund in the budget to build upon this progress at Skyland and across Wards 7 and 8.”
Gary D. Rappaport, Chief Executive Officer of Rappaport, said: “This is a considerable milestone in realizing the Skyland dream, our vision of a vibrant mixed-use development that empowers the historically under-served community of DC Wards 7 & 8. We are proud of the work that went into completing Phase I and excited to break ground on Phase II – and there’s more to come!”
Chris Smith, Chairman and CEO of WC Smith, said: “Washington residents living east of the Anacostia River deserve the same opportunities for housing, retail, community resources and employment in their neighborhood that development has long afforded residents of other parts of the city. Our commitment to that goal helped fuel our commitment to Skyland Town Center over the past 15 years. We’re proud to deliver The Crest. And when the retail block opens in 2022, residents will have new grocery and dining options that have been lacking in this part of the city.”
“We are incredibly proud to be an active participant in the New Market Tax Credit program and the subsequent impact we’ve been able to make in low- to moderate-income communities across PNC’s footprint as a result of that work,” said Dave Gibson, SVP, Manager of Specialty Tax Credit Investments for PNC Real Estate. “The Skyland project has been years in the making and will be transformative for the neighborhood, bringing jobs and new resources to this community.”
“Through this investment, we are revitalizing a community and providing resources to populations that have been historically overlooked by developers and investors,” says D. Jermaine Johnson, PNC regional president of Greater Washington. “This investment is part of PNC’s $1 billion commitment to help end systemic racism and support the economic empowerment of Black Americans and low- and moderate-income communities.”
“We are proud to be part of the growing Ward 7 community and serve as the lead retail partner at Skyland Town Center,” said Connor Bevans, Lidl US Senior Director of Real Estate. “The team at Lidl US looks forward to opening our first store in the District and introducing residents to our award-winning quality products and reliably low prices. We thank Mayor Muriel Bowser and everyone involved who worked closely with us to locate the store and make this center a success.”
Additional retailers and restaurants will be named in the coming months.