JBG Smith Announces Cancellation of 9 Million-Square-Foot Potomac Yard Entertainment District in Metro D.C.

by Hayden Spiess

Alexandria, Va. — JBG Smith has announced the cancellation of Potomac Yards, an entertainment district project that would have comprised 9 million square feet within the National Landing neighborhood in Alexandria, roughly eight miles south of Washington, D.C. A partnership between the developer and Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) first proposed the development — which would have been anchored by a new arena for the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards — in December of last year.

Completion of the project, including a global corporate headquarters for MSE, a media studio, a practice facility for the Wizards, performing arts venue and an e-sports facility, was scheduled for the end of 2028. According to JBG Smith, “discussions between Monumental, Alexandria and the Commonwealth of Virginia have been terminated.”  

Shortly after JBG Smith’s announcement, MSE and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser inked a deal to keep the Capitals and Wizards at their current home, Capital One Arena in D.C., until at least 2050. In a press release, the developer says that “the opportunity was derailed largely due to partisan politics.” About a week before these announcements, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb wrote a letter to MSE informing the organization that it would be in breach of a contract to end its lease at Capital One Arena before its termination in 2047, even if the organization prepaid its outstanding bond debt. According to multiple media outlets, the District of Columbia provided $50 million to MSE through municipal bonds for arena renovations.

JBG Smith is the master developer of roughly 55 acres surrounding the site of the proposed project, including the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. According to the release, JBG Smith plans to “continue to pursue alternate uses and amenities to further develop [its] sites adjacent to the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.”

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