Southeast DC is the area south of East Capitol Street, and east of South Capitol Street (think of the Capitol Building as the center point of a compass). It continues beyond the Anacostia River and includes the area known as “East of the River.” Southeast has a rich African American history and vibrant culture and has undergone significant revitalization over the past few decades.
After World War II, the Navy Yard scaled back operations and the commercial heart of the District moved downtown. Abandoned warehouses and divestment in the community, not to mention a once heavily polluted river, left the area ripe for crime and neglect. As with any urban city, you’ll find pockets of crime and areas with bad reputations, but we encourage you to look past that. There are many new highrise buildings near the water and the Capitol Hill neighborhood has quaint, treelined streets with pricey rowhomes and local shops on every corner.
The construction of Nationals Park in 2008, home to the Washington Nationals professional baseball team, has helped the area tremendously by attracting restaurants, grocers, parks, and public-use amenities to the Southeast Riverfront. Two fantastic parks, the Yards Park and Capitol Park, are right on the river and constantly abuzz with activity. The Eastern Market is a very popular food and arts market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and lies only a mile north of the Navy Yard.
Southeast is home to people of all ages. Young working couples and singles gravitate here for the affordable apartments, townhomes, and English basements (lowest floor of a townhouse or brownstone). It is also an eclectic and diverse community that has embraced a number of different immigrant groups with rich cultures. Most of the area is walkable and the residents tend to be very active.
Close to the Riverfront, you’ll see highrise apartment buildings with new restaurants, parks and community spaces to enjoy. As you go farther north into Capitol Hill, the homes get pricier, and the neighborhoods become more affluent. Young families gravitate near the Eastern Market for walkable restaurants, parks, and shopping; and they love the quieter pace and lack of raucous nightlife. As with any urban city, you’ll find pockets of crime so we encourage you to do your research before renting or buying in Southeast DC.