Monday's Examiner ran a piece called "S.W. Real Estate Market Dead, Agent Says
", trying to tie what one realtor says is a soft market in Southwest to a supposed larger idea of difficulty selling near the new Nats ballpark
. Putting aside that a photo caption says (incorrectly) that the stadium is in Southwest (I'd like a dollar every time that mistake gets made--geez people, look at a frickin' map), I think people should be aware that the Southwest and Near Southeast markets are vastly different, even if they're only separated by a single (albeit wide) street. Near Southeast is now an emptied-out neighborhood basically being rebuilt from scratch, while Southwest is an established residential community with a lot of (somewhat dated) housing stock and not many amenities, at least not until Waterside Mall
and the Southwest Waterfront
get redeveloped. So it might be hard to entice people to buy in the area of Southwest close to the stadium where the homes are older and the neighborhood slightly sketchier when on the horizon they can see brand new townhomes
or condos surrounded
by retail spaces coming down the pike in 18 months or so. Southwest has gotten many raw deals in this city's history, and right now they may continue to see the ballpark-related redevelopment rush pass them by somewhat--but if the developers of the new Southwest Waterfront
and Waterside Mall
can navigate the sometimes treacherous road of getting buy-in from Southwest residents, the possibilities are certainly there for Southwest to have its own renaissance, completely separate from a ballpark that many of its residents didn't want as a neighbor anyway.
UPDATE: A correspondent rightly notes that a distinction should be made between the residential area of Southwest and Buzzards Point, the gritty industrial area south of R Street SW; Buzzards Point actually has more in common with Near Southeast (old industrial, no residential, scramble by developers looking to redevelop and bring in condos, mixed-use, etc.) than it does with its brethren directly to the north.