WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said one of her major economic development initiatives will culminate with the grand opening of Phase I of The Wharf tomorrow, Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., at 690 Water Street SW. The developers of the project adopted the name “The Wharf,” which is what the Southwest Waterfront was called when Norton’s great-grandfather came to Washington in the 1850s as a runaway slave.
Norton introduced two bills in 2011 that were necessary for the Southwest Waterfront development project to begin. One bill clarified the District of Columbia’s ownership of the Southwest Waterfront and removed use restrictions on the land. The other bill redesignated part of the water designated by the federal government as the Washington Channel, for increased boating and waterside activity. Norton worked with two different committees on a parliamentary maneuver to combine the two bills into one bill, which was signed into law (Public Law 112–143) on July 9, 2012.
“None of my infrastructure projects were as complicated or as difficult to get through the House and Senate as the Southwest Waterfront bill, but tomorrow I believe everyone will agree that this new waterfront neighborhood was worth it,” Norton said. “I invite residents to imagine what the total Southwest Waterfront development will mean in amenities, housing and jobs, considering that tomorrow’s opening represents only Phase I.”