Introducing The Avenue

May 23, 2011

New retail establishments open as Square 54 project nears completion.

May 23, 2011 

After more than three years of construction, Square 54 is getting a new name.

The mixed-use complex nearing completion at 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue will be called The Avenue. It includes office, retail and residential space.

Square 54 is being developed by Boston Properties under a long-term ground lease from the university. The commercial project includes office space to the north along Pennsylvania Avenue, apartments to the south, and retail space on the ground floor throughout the development.

Devon & Blakely, a gourmet deli and coffee shop that opened in April, was the first retail tenant to open its doors to the public. Other confirmed retailers include Whole Foods Market, a full-service grocery store (opening in September); Circa at Foggy Bottom, a locally owned bistro; Roti, a casual Mediterranean eatery; and Sweetgreen, a salad and frozen yogurt restaurant (all opening in June or July).

The Passion Food Group has two new restaurants opening in The Avenue in August or September—District Commons, an American tavern, and Burger, Tap & Shake, a counter-service restaurant specializing in burgers, fries and milkshakes.

Other tenants of The Avenue will include child care provider CCLC and two financial institutions—Citibank and NIH National Credit Union. All are expected to be open by mid-summer. Residential tenants started moving into the complex on May 15.

“As construction nears completion at The Avenue, Boston Properties is extremely excited about its benefit to the community, D.C. and the university,” said Ray Ritchey, executive vice president of Boston Properties. “This project is a source of pride for our company since it brings opportunities for new business and job growth to the community, returns the property to the D.C. tax rolls, and provides non-enrollment-driven revenue for the university to support its academic mission.”

Stephanie Benedict, a rising GW senior and international affairs major, said she’s excited about several of the new retailers.

“I'm really excited to have both Sweetgreen and Whole Foods so close to campus,” Ms. Benedict said. “There aren't many lighter options for lunch or dinner within a block or two of the residence halls, and I think this will make a big difference in how people eat during the week.”

Mr. Ritchey said he’s proud of the outcome of several years of determined work from the university, district government and GW neighborhood community.

“This project is a shining example of what GW, the community and the city can accomplish by working together. Thanks to the vision of GW’s leadership and the collaboration of students, neighbors and D.C. planners, The Avenue is a world-class town center and neighborhood focal point for all of us.”

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