City Ridge Development Opens Across From Sidwell

For over four years, the view from Sidwell Friends overlooking Wisconsin Avenue has consisted of cranes and construction trucks for the City Ridge development. The project’s partners, Roadside Development and North American Sekisui House (NASH), set ambitious goals with their plan to open an all-inclusive residential and retail area where the old Fannie Mae headquarters was once located.

The project began in 2016, when the property was purchased for $85 million after Fannie Mae announced plans to relocate its headquarters to Reston Town Center in Virginia. Inside the former Fannie Mae building, the nonprofit educational foundation International Baccalaureate will open its Global Centre for the Americas.

Valued at $725 million, architects of the new City Ridge development faced a difficult task: building a new property in the center of a desirable neighborhood without impacting or changing the look of the area in the process.

Shalom Baranes, the architect of the City Ridge project, utilized the space below and behind the Fannie Mae property to design the new community center without disrupting the area. The development sprawls across 10 acres and includes nearly 1.1 million square feet of residential and retail properties. City Ridge offers 690 new upscale residential units between its four buildings: The Branches, The Coterie, Crescendo, and Botanica.

Living in the development gives residents access to much more than a spacious apartment. Project engineers also sought to create a community that provides tenants with a plethora of amenities. Families with young children will be pleased to learn of Pin Oak Park, a private residents-only playground near the Crescendo building, as well as the new retail property KinderCare, a daycare center for parents to leave their children. Also opening up is Industrious,  a company that provides co-working spaces to companies and individuals, allowing some workers to avoid the hassle of having to travel far for work.

Moreover, while the apartment buildings will include fitness centers, an Equinox Fitness Club will also operate in the area. Aside from new retail properties that are open to the public, the City Ridge apartments will offer resident-only amenities including six rooftop spaces, such as a greenhouse, a creator’s studio for workshops of various sorts, and a game room.

Located at 3900 Wisconsin Avenue, the City Ridge development is situated between Tenleytown and McLean Gardens, offering its members convenient access to nearby restaurants, metro stations, and fast food.

Furthermore, the development plans to open other dining options including Tatte Bakery and Cafe, King Street Oyster Bar and Taco Bamba.

The City Ridge project seemingly offers it all: places to live, eat, work and exercise. With the addition of the first-ever Wegmans in Washington, there is now a place to shop for groceries as well. Built twenty-two feet below the Fannie Mae building, the 84,000-square-foot Wegmans opened this past summer and has proven a popular new attraction for the neighborhood.

Sidwell students have long awaited the arrival of the market and are thrilled with the new variety of lunch options at such a short distance. While Tenleytown and McLean Gardens have been favorites for students in the past, the new Wegmans offers a wider selection of healthy foods without having to catch a bus or drive.

Sidwell students are especially excited to have a new close-by alternative for lunch off campus.

“I’m excited for the taco stand and all the other lunch options,” junior Simra Javaid said. The new property brings some challenges of its own to the Sidwell campus, however.

Since 2018, ongoing construction has resulted in congested traffic on Wisconsin Avenue as large trucks block lanes.

With students and faculty already in a rush to beat the morning traffic, the City Ridge construction has only added to the issue.

Furthermore, the addition of a new traffic light just before the left-turn into the Sidwell garage has added an extra delay and further crowded the road.

The project is scheduled for completion in early 2023, and as the construction begins to wrap up, traffic concerns are projected to ease.

City Ridge introduces a new, lively community that offers many new attractions to the public. Many Sidwell students eagerly await its opening.