Five new restaurants are slated to come to the Skyland Town Center development in Ward 7. And leasing for Skyland’s first residential property is also beginning.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the additions to the long-awaited mixed-use development on Wednesday.
“I know it’s taking time, but what we’re seeing at Skyland is a development that matches the vision of the Ward 7 community – a site with new housing, a grocery store, good amenities, and jobs and opportunity for DC residents,” Bowser said in a press release.
The District has tried to develop Skyland for decades. The initial plan was for Skyland’s first phase to be complete by 2017. But the project has seen several delays and setbacks, such as Walmart, an anchor of the project, backing out of plans to open a new store.
Officials now hope Skyland will be complete by 2022, hosting 450 homes as well as full-service restaurants and other amenities.
Southeast D.C. lacks full-service restaurant options, and the pandemic showed that disparity when the city awarded grants to eateries interested in winterizing spaces for guests who wanted to dine outdoors during the pandemic. Ward 7’s Sala Thai was the only restaurant out of 428 city-wide awardees to receive the city-funded grant. City officials said that it was the only restaurant in Wards 7 and 8 to apply.
But now the five new restaurants will provide more selections to Southeast patrons.
Roaming Rooster, a Black-owned fried chicken sandwich business, is slated to open in Skyland this fall. &pizza, Tropical Smoothie Café, South American street food eatery Maizal, and Mezeh, a Mediterranean restaurant are expected to open in spring or summer 2022.
“For too long Wards 7 and 8 were overlooked when restaurateurs looked to open new locations. But that has started to change,” said Chris Smith, the chairman, and CEO of developer WC Smith.