DC’s Southwest Waterfront Wharf Project heard good news this week in the form of top Tax Increment Financing bond ratings. These ratings mean the development is on track for a 2017 completion, having broken ground in March 2014. And even better, the city will be able to finance the project at the lowest possible cost and risk to taxpayers.
Standard & Poor’s and Fitch upgraded several existing Tax Increment Financing bonds and, along with Moody’s, assigned strong ratings for its new $143 million bond issue.
Fitch assigned an AA- rating and Moody’s assigned an Aa3. Standard & Poor’s gave a senior lien rating of AA- and a junior lien rating of A+.
The Warf project will stretch across 27 acres of land and more than 50 acres of water from the Municipal Fish Market to Fort McNair. It will encompass a mile-long waterside promenade along with 3.2 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail and cultural space. The development will also include underground parking, piers, marinas, parks, a yacht club piazza, shops and more.
The Wharf expects 20 million visitor per year and hopes to reconnect the city with its waterfront. City officials say the development demonstrates growing investment in DC’s community planning, with an eye towards tourism, livability and the city’s economic strength.
“The new ratings reflect the recognition by the rating agencies of the economic strength of the District’s downtown core that is used as a backstop for important economic development projects,” said DC chief financial officer Jeffrey DeWitt.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said that DC will grow even more in the coming years.
“This is yet another indicator that the District is strong and getting stronger. The financial market recognizes that DC has a diverse and vibrant economy, and our city is a smart investment,” she said.
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