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NaLa Wrapped: A Look Back at 2023

By Luke Fichter

The last 12 months around National Landing have been packed full of positive energy and excitement. There’s an undeniable buzz in the air, with development underway in every direction you may turn. High profile corporate moves, curated neighborhood events, new and improved mobility options, and headline-grabbing stories made 2023 a year to celebrate all around.

The Grand Opening of the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2

In June, Amazon's HQ2 opened its doors, bringing a new heartbeat to National Landing. Jasper and Merlin, the two new office towers, became part of the local scene welcoming more than 3,000 employees. While gound-floor businesses, like Toby's Handmade Ice Cream and Celebree School, helped turn the neighborhood into more than just a workplace.

Big green upgrades

Speaking of Amazon, its new offices open directly to a brand-new, world-class park designed by landscape studio James Corner Field Operations. The 2.5 acre park is home to a dog run, playground, open spaces, and public art pieces by notable figures, including DC-based Nekisha Durrett, the talent behind “Queen City.”

Met Park was just one of two special additions to our green ribbon this year. Water Park, designed by Elkus Manfredi, is a reimagined open space that’s home to lush landscaping, a dazzling water feature (the park’s namesake), a live performance stage, bike tune-up stations, and an outdoor food hall concept with 11 restaurants.

Dozens of new eateries, stores, and apartments

From the casual vibes of Makers Union to the classic taste of Z-Burger, the neighborhood welcomed the addition of many new eateries. Water Park emerged as a top culinary experience in the region, including an exciting mix of minority and women-owned businesses. Peruvian Brothers opened their first full-sized restaurant at Metropolitan Park and the creative offerings of Surreal launched a new "dining in the park" scene. 

We said hej to IKEA, as they opened their new "plan and order" store in Pentagon City bringing their iconic furniture and creative spaces to the district. 

The Milton and Sage ushered in a wave of new apartment homes, with hundreds more on their way ensuring an even larger population will get to enjoy the vibrant offerings in the area.

Progress in Potomac Yard

We celebrated continued development at our southern doorstep. Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus is taking shape, and it's a breathtaking vision of the future. Potomac Yard Metro's opening connected us to greater possibilities, enhancing accessibility and convenience for residents and visitors. Additionally, plans were announced for a $2 billion world-class entertainment complex which would make Potomac Yard an entertainment anchor for the region.

New tools and resources for the community

Mobility Next, an annual BID publication, outlined a visionary collection of transportation improvements that are underway which will transform our community into one of the most connected places in our region and beyond, enhancing the daily lives of residents, commuters, and visitors alike. Featured projects like the CC2DCA Multimodal Connection moved forward in the public approval process to get us one step closer to walking to the airport!

June marked another significant moment with the release of the Strategic Framework. With a focus on community priorities and "Big Moves" in public art, culture, and green spaces, it became a tool to shape the identity and direction of National Landing for years to come.

Destination, connectivity, and innovation were the BID's guiding themes in the Annual Report, which celebrated achievements in these areas while embracing the transformative changes that are shaping the future.

The district's resiliency was demonstrated in the Market Impact Study, as National Landing remains on track to become the region's premiere innovation district.

Thousands of people at hundreds of events

Thousands of people from all over the world RSVPd to attend National Landing's community events in 2023. Oktoberfest returned to the beloved 23rd Street corridor, while Sunset Yoga turned into a shared experience where neighbors connected to end their weekend. Jazz @ Met and Pink in the Park added their own vibes, creating memorable (and new) moments for the community. While The Lodge, our ski-themed winter festival, ushered in winter with a touch of coziness and festive cheer. Pop-up events like Hello Yellow, which celebrated the return of Metro's Yellow Line, brought fresh energy. National Landing showcased its dedication to creating enjoyable experiences, fostering connections, and creating a destination for all to enjoy.