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Local hotspot, Union Kitchen Grocery, has it all with over 200 food and beverage products made locally in the District of Columbia, as well as national favorites. (Image: Courtesy Events DC)

Streetscape plans promise exciting changes in the Shaw neighborhood

Cities are like kaleidoscopes – the pieces and parts are always shifting and change is to be expected. Still, the changes to come in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. have residents, visitors and even Mayor Muriel Bowser extremely excited.

Events DC recently revealed initial exterior streetscape plans for the area outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The redesign will feature lighting, art, retail kiosks, digital signage, planters and other furnishings to activate the area and create a distinctive place with its own identity.

A major cornerstone of the plan is the introduction of new retailers to Convention Center retail spaces that have until recently been largely vacant. Several retailers have already moved in and are open for business, including Top Chef finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s Smoked & Stacked, a fast-casual pastrami restaurant; Composition ID, a diagnostic health center and Cuttin’ Up Barbershop.

Hungry convention attendees short on time will appreciate the new Sbarros, and Union Kitchen Grocery is already a local favorite. This unique shop stocks its shelves with over 200 products made right in the District of Columbia. Future retail tenants coming this summer include, Unconventional Diner, a high-end diner concept, Urban Athletic Club and Morris, a cocktail bar.

Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Events DC, notes that the opening of these retailers represents “another key milestone that will further propel the Shaw community’s vibrant renaissance for years to come through jobs, economic activity and amenities that the neighborhood has been asking for.”

The plans revealed to the community speak to this need. Flexible kiosks invite creative retail concepts and a 4,000 square-foot rooftop deck provides space for diners as well as additional event space, and the overall design speaks to the soul of the place.

"The design is inspired by the rich musical heritage of the nearby Shaw Neighborhood,” said Hallie Boyce, Design Partner at OLIN. “The paving is patterned to evoke soundwaves which give rhythm and a better, more pedestrian scale to the sidewalks and plazas adjacent to the building. Richly colored street furnishings provide flexible seating and places for planting that add vibrancy and seasonal interest."

Construction is estimated to start in the spring of 2018 with a phased delivery from 2018 – 2021. As development moves forward, more retailers move in and the plans on paper come to life, the dynamism of Events DC’s latest project is sure to provide an unforgettable experience to those who live – or attend events – in The District.

As the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, Events DC leverages the beauty, history and diversity of the most powerful city in the world to attract and promote a variety of events. Events DC also oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact. To stay on top of what’s happening in the District, link up with Events DC on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or visit