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Nats Flats


Population: 16,412
Percent Black: 73.2
Percent White: 20
Percent Hispanic: 3.9
Percent Foreign-Born: 8.2
Percent Children: 20.4
Poverty Rate: 29.9 percent
2005 Median Home Sale Price: $540,982
2007 Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 16.1
2007 Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 51.6



Arena Stage, inarguably the busiest cultural attraction of Southwest Waterfront proper, is undergoing a massive renovation and is currently splitting its shows between the Lincoln Theatre and a temporary space in Crystal City. Shows will return to Southwest in 2010, when construction is completed.

More Touchstones

Southwest, Navy Yard, Buzzard Point
Southwest is getting more visitors than it can handle, and they come bearing credit cards and $20 bills instead of vehicle papers and singles. The new ballpark's neighbors, however, aren't doing much to help separate subway tourists from their disposable income.
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Arbitrary Rankings

Kid-Friendliness: 5

Not only does Nats Flats have a nature center, a brand new, state-of-the-art rec center, and a ballpark, but most of the apartment and condo complexes have their own backyards: green spaces with grass, and sometimes even playgrounds and swimming pools.

Housing: 4

While the new ballpark and attendant development has the potential to kill all remaining affordable housing in the area, if youre looking to live near the water, its still a lot cheaper than Georgetown. Condo prices range from the mid $200s to the mid $600s. There are still rentals to be had in the $800 to $1,000 range, too.

Eats: 4

The conventional wisdom that a restaurant with good views usually serves bad food holds true in Southwest, for the most part. Still, the quadrant gets major points for housing one of the best fine restaurants in Washington: CityZen, inside of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The variety of eats available at the ballpark raises the Flats culinary profile somewhat, too.

Consumer Goods: 2

Apart from the stadium and the slim pickings inside of the federal employment area and LEnfant Plaza, which isnt really considered part of the Waterfront/Navy Yard area, there is not much retail to be found in Southwest or the M Street section of Southeast.

Nightlife and Culture: 7

Well, again, youve got the stadium. And, although most of the museums are on the Northwest side of the National Mall, the Hirshhorn, Sackler, and Freer galleries, Air and Space, African Art, and American Indian museums are all technically on the Southwest side of the mall. Plus, there is Hains Point and the East Potomac Golf Course. On the nightlife front, there are mega-clubs H20 and Zanzibar, but the Waterfront after hours is best known for cruises on the Odyssey, which isnt that cool of an outing, unless its prom night.

Intangibles: 4

Theres WATER. And you dont have to climb over the crowd at Sequoia to get to it.

Nats Flats in the City Paper Archives

Inside Baseball
Nationals Park, set to open in a month, promised to have a big impact on the neighborhood.
It already has.

The Cost of Leaving
Left in the rubble of the Arthur Capper exodus: bags of clothes, rusting grills, children's toys, and a cautionary tale.

'Hood Winked
Making public housing livable is as simple as getting rid of the people who live there.

Rich Fan, Poor Fan
Washington was once a sports-stadium innovator. Not anymore.

Losing the Rat Race
At the Arthur Capper apartments, the residents are on the run and the rats have made themselves right at home.

The Battle Over Heavy T
For as long as social workers chase him, Terrell Hunter says he will stay away from school, hide out, and eat whatever he wants. If he gets caught, hell escape. I just want to stay home.

Decades after urban renewal blasted Southwest into the Space Age, a new plan aims to reconstruct the neighborhood.