Adam Tuss, wtop.com
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals have been creating quite a buzz on the field lately, but it's the buzz outside the stadium that has a lot of people excited now.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray Monday announced that a Harris Teeter, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Austin Grill Express and a new brew pub all are confirmed to come to the ever-changing Southeast neighborhood near the ballpark.
Specifically, seven new restaurants and the supermarket will be located in "The Yards" development. All are expected to be open for business in about two years, with many opening next year.
"The missing link in this neighborhood is amenities and street life. There are a few restaurants that are here already, a few retail shopping options, but we want to amp all of that up a lot," says Alex Nyhan, vice president of development for Forest City Washington, which is doing a lot of the development in the neighborhood.
By this point, the area around Nats Park was expected to be filled with restaurants, bars and shops. But many lots sit undeveloped.
Nyhan said the last few years "haven't been that easy for anyone" when asked if it has been hard to get the companies to sign on to agreements.
Nyhan says people will start to see new construction activity as early as next month and that by fall of 2012, people "will be able to go to a (new) restaurant and have a beer or an ice cream cone."
Asked if the hope is to eventually have a neighborhood like the Gallery Place/Chinatown section of D.C., Nyhan wouldn't draw the parallel.
"There's really not a similar model in D.C., to tell you the truth," Nyhan says. We have water, we have historic structures and we are going to have new construction as well. There's really not an easy analog in terms of Gallery Place.
"Luckily, we are blessed with this waterfront location, we're right on the Metro, and we're in D.C., which is one of the best markets in the country."
Here's a list of the expected restaurants and shops coming to the ballpark neighborhood:
At the Foundry Loft Apartments:
- Potbelly - opening first quarter of 2012
- Kruba Thai and Sushi - opening first quarter 2012
At the Boilermaker Shops:
- Buzz Bakery - opening late 2012
- New craft brewery (name tbd) - opening late 2012
- Austin Grill Express - opening fall 2012
- brb--be right burger - opening fall 2012
- Huey's 24/7 Diner - opening fall 2012
At the 401 M Street building:
- Harris Teeter - opening 2013
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)