An outdoor pool, a lounge with a gas fireplace and a dog-washing station are among the amenities offered to prospective buyers at the Haven, a 248-unit condominium building going up at National Harbor.
But one perk for residents who drive to work is the community’s own exit off the highway. National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., home to the recently opened MGM National Harbor, is off Exit 2A on Interstate 495 and Exit 1B on Maryland Route 295, less than 10 miles from downtown Washington. “No other development, up or down the East Coast, has its own exit,” said Jon Peterson, principal of Peterson Cos. and developer of National Harbor and the Haven.
National Harbor is a 550-acre development that has been in the making for 10 years. “At the beginning,” Peterson said, “our mind-set was, we hope, we think this will work. We’re putting all the right pieces in place, but how will the world receive us?”
That original vision was a success. “People are coming by the thousands for fun, entertainment, [the] beauty of the site, and to live,” he said.
Recreation to residential: Initially, National Harbor was intended as a commercial enterprise. “Then we added residential, and people realized, ‘Oh, people live there, too!’ ” Peterson said. “The residential buildings totally transformed perceptions from a recreation destination to a real live community.”