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Sat, 04 Dec 2021 04:15:57 -0600
2016-04-13 Print

Eight Years Later, a Remarkable Community Has Risen on the Banks of the Potomac

Focus, vision and determination have created National Harbor


When Milt Peterson, principal and chairman of Peterson Companies, first laid eyes on the 350-acre National Harbor site he recognized its potential. Since that time, through economic dips and stalls, the company has kept focused on its vision. Eight years since opening completing its first building—the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (on April 1, 2016), National Harbor boasts more than 150 retail shops, more than 30 restaurants, an outlet mall, six hotels (including 470,000 square feet of meeting and event space), residential housing including townhomes, manor homes, condominiums and apartments that will number 2500 upon completion; and the MGM National Harbor casino opening this year (which will include an additional 300-room hotel). What has been accomplished on this site, just across from the Nation’s Capital, is astounding and there is much more yet to come.

When completed, National Harbor will hold more than 7.3 million square feet of master planned mixed-use community with 3,300 hotel rooms (including MGM), one million square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space, and one million square feet of class “A” office space.

The Washington, D.C region has a history of prime, and sadly underutilized, waterfront. National Harbor not only takes advantage of prime waterfront space but it is also conveniently located within close proximity to Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Va. It’s easy to reach from Baltimore Washington International Airport or Reagan National Airport as well as Amtrak via the New Carrollton, Md. train station or Union Station in Washington, D.C. Or, by boat—the National Harbor Marina has two 700-foot long piers and marina with 64 slips. Marina amenities include private changing facilities, dock side power, concierge, gas and diesel fuel. Two 10,000 square foot platforms provide an ideal location for corporate entertaining or private events.

The property has been able to attract unique retail and restaurants with everything from Tanger Outlets to boutique and one-of-a-kind stores such as Peeps & Company, America!, Capital Teas, Pepper Palace Specialty Foods and others. These, and other stores find themselves interspersed with some unique nationally known brands such as Build-A-Bear and Harley Davidson—all on easily walkable streets in a charming community. From clothing to jewelry to galleries and gifts, National Harbor has quickly become a shopping and dining mecca. And it continues to grow—between January and June of this year, five additional retailers will open including Carhartt, Savannah Kitchen Candy, Muse Paint Bar—marking the first stores in Maryland for all three. Upper Cuts Salon & Spa and Upper Cuts Gentlemen’s Grooming Pace will also join the lineup. Opening in June is Local Motors, a lab and retail space for people to print off anything in 3D, including cars. With more than 30 restaurants (and expanding monthly), the dining options include everything from Thai to Italian to American—from fast casual to destination dining, and everything in between. Restaurants include Cadillac Ranch (one of only five in the country), Crab Cake Café, and Bond 45 (only location outside of New York City), to name a few. Restaurant numbers are also growing with Brother Jimmy’s, a legendary North Carolina, “slow-smokin’ barbecue” restaurant, opening this summer with its first Maryland location.

“What has happened here over the past eight years is truly remarkable,” said Jon Peterson, principal with Peterson Companies, the developer of National Harbor. “There are few places in the world that have been able to effectively plan and build out a community of this magnitude in this amount of time and on such prime real estate,” Peterson continued. “This is not only an ideal place to live and work, but also a phenomenal destination for visitors. There is so much to see and do right here and then, of course, there’s easy access to Washington, D.C. or Alexandria. This is the one location in the D.C. region where you can visit and do it all—there is something for everyone.” National Harbor is also a very walkable community where you can leave your hotel and walk to dozens of widely acclaimed restaurants as well as unique boutiques.

The waterfront includes the Carousel at National Harbor as well as the Capital Wheel, which has quickly become an iconic landmark for Washington, D.C. residents. The Wheel soars over 180 feet above the Potomac. A large screen, positioned on the waterfront, provides entertainment throughout the year with movies and sports broadcasts and a beachfront area serves as the location for a variety of concerts. The community is a multi-generational destination with wide appeal to millennials, professionals and families.

More than 11 million people experience National Harbor annually either as visitors, residents or through work. There are few places in the U.S. where you can enjoy a well-designed, master-planned community on the waterfront, within close proximity to a major metropolitan city. Many visitors to the D.C. region are recognizing the convenience of staying at National Harbor for the location’s own exciting attractions as well as serving as a hub to so much more. In order to better meet the needs of visitors as well as meeting and event planners, National Harbor has launched its own convention and visitors’ association. “We want to make sure that all of our visitors, whether they’re independent travelers or here on business, have the best possible experience,” said Peterson.

Over the years, there have been many naysayers regarding National Harbor. “There were many who couldn’t understand why anyone would build here,” said Peterson. “Today, looking at all that has been accomplished and the success of the project, it’s hard to imagine this waterfront without this community. All you have to do is to be here when the sun is setting over the Potomac and you know that this is a very special place.”

For more information on National Harbor, go to

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About National Harbor
Rising from the banks of the Potomac River, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George’s County, Md., National Harbor is a vibrant, unique community with a stellar location and a wide variety of attractions. Just a short distance from Old Town, Alexandria and downtown Washington, D.C., the 350-acre mixed-use development features seven hotels (including the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center and MGM National Harbor), offices, residential, tree-lined streets with more than 150 shops and more than 30 restaurants, iconic attractions such as the Capital Wheel and National Harbor Carousel, and much more. With so many attractions, National Harbor has become a prime destination for locals, visitors, special events, corporate meetings and conferences. The community also provides an array of waterfront activities (including a water taxi, two 700-ft. piers and 62 boat slips), special events and spectacular sunsets.

Contact Info
Vicki Bendure
210 E Washington Street
Middleburg, Va, 20118

Phone: 5406873360