November 1, 2017

Packed house: How will all The Wharf’s restaurants survive?

No one denies the $2.5 billion, 3.3 million-square-foot project will transform the city’s waterfront. But it also has plenty of skeptics. Some retail brokers and restaurateurs think there are too many restaurants and that waterfront destinations are too seasonal to sustain all those seats — 2,200 at The Wharf’s nearly two-dozen restaurants in its first phase alone.

“They’re never going to have lunch, so what makes you think that they can pay twice as much as all the early JBG deals on 14th Street?” said Bill Miller of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, who also called the waterfront project “spectacular” and does not identify as a Wharf skeptic.