Skyland Town Center’s Final Phase Underway

08 July, 2024


The third and final phase of Skyland Town Center, a major mixed-use development in Southeast Washington, D.C., that has been years in the making is underway.

During the recent groundbreaking ceremony, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser stated, “The promise of Skyland Town Center has been years in the making, and I am grateful for all the people and partners who have worked with us to deliver on that promise for Ward 7.”

“Over the past decade, we’ve delivered housing, dining options, a grocery store, and more – and we’re not done yet. With this next phase, we look forward to bringing even more retail and housing, including affordable housing for our seniors, to Skyland Town Center.”


Once complete, the 18.5-acre site, developed by WC Smith and Rappaport, will ultimately feature over 450 residences and more than 135,000 square feet of retail space in a town square setting.

Bohler’s MidAtlantic team, the site civil engineering consultant, surveyor, master planner, landscape architect, and permitting agent, collaborated closely with the development and design teams to maintain forward momentum despite a variety of setbacks and challenges throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Attainable Senior Living

This final phase will add 126 townhomes, a 75-unit affordable housing complex for seniors, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and a public plaza. The site plan also includes open space, pocket parks, and Town Center Park, designed for both residents and visitors. This phase aims to enhance community engagement through flexible-use plazas and recreation areas.


Browse Bohler’s Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Design Portfolio

The Crest Apartments

Completed in 2022, Phase A introduced The Crest, a 263-unit multifamily building with ground-floor retail space. This became the first market-rate apartment building east of the Anacostia River in over 40 years and is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the historically underserved Wards 7 and 8.


The $199 million community includes amenities such as a 24-hour front desk, pool, fitness center, bike storage, dog park, and a lobby adorned with local art. The complex has attracted residents from outside Ward 7, with teachers being the largest employment group among tenants. Retailers such as CVS, Chase Bank Community Center, and Roaming Rooster have opened on the ground floor.

Much-Needed Grocery and Retail Space

The second phase introduced additional retail and restaurant space, including the city’s first supermarket east of the Anacostia River in over a decade, supporting Mayor Bowser’s initiative to ensure 95% of residents live within walking distance of a grocery store. Known for its high-quality products at affordable prices, DC’s first Lidl full-service grocery store now serves the over 90,000 residents from Ward 7.

“We have to have more amenities in our community. We’re tired of having to cross the bridge, and we’re tired of having to go to Maryland,” said Bowser, echoing years of complaints by residents of wards 7 and 8, many parts of which are considered to be food deserts. “We want every family to have a quality grocery store near their home.”

Other retailers at Skyland Town Center include Tropical Smoothie, Chase, Mediterranean restaurant Mezeh, South American street food concept Maizal, Jersey Mikes, and the first drive-thru Starbucks in the city. Local restaurant chain Half Smoke will also open a location here.


Many of the town center’s retailers are supported with funding through the District’s Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, administered by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). Mayor Bowser’s investments in the Food Access Fund have also supported other food establishments at Skyland Town Center.

A Long Journey

Initially selected by the D.C. government in 2002, developer Rappaport faced challenges attracting retailers, including the loss of Walmart as the anchor tenant in 2016 and economic recession delays.

Development regained momentum in 2019 after a strategic approach to securing new tenants and overcoming additional obstacles, including extensive soil testing for a 75-foot retaining wall required for the retail space.

Additional site design challenges included a 125-foot elevation change across the entire site, as well as close coordination of both private and public infrastructure. Bohler’s MidAtlantic team facilitated grading, earthwork, and utility design solutions to keep the project moving forward.

Today, Skyland Town Center is revitalizing Wards 7 and 8, providing new living, shopping, and community gathering spaces. The project achieved LEED silver-level and Energy Star multifamily high-rise certifications in January 2023.

A Collaborative Effort

Skyland Town Center is a joint development project involving WC Smith, Rappaport, Skyland DC, the Washington East Foundation, and the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization. The Bohler team is proud to be part of this multi-phase, multi-year development requiring a series of strategic approaches to permitting and design that will benefit the local community for years to come.


“Skyland is a testament to the power of public-private partnerships, and we’re excited to keep the momentum going at Skyland,” said D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Nina Albert. “Under Mayor Bowser’s leadership and vision, the District continues to showcase how we can invest in economic development that creates inclusive opportunities for the community.”

Learn more.

Stay in the Know

Get our insights and latest news straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.