L'Enfant Plaza

L’Enfant Plaza

We know a site with tremendous potential when we see it. L’Enfant Plaza was one of these places. A quintessential transit-oriented development (TOD), this area had all the ingredients to be a central hub. It was outdated, however, and not properly organized or spatially maximized. Our team envisioned the urban growth that would result from revitalizing the site, and are excited to have contributed to the Plaza’s new life.


JBG Companies


Washington, DC


Architecture, Interiors, Lighting Design, MEP Engineering, Mixed-Use, Retail & Entertainment


1,300,000 SF 

Featured Awards

Award of Excellence, Best Retail Project, Dining and Entertainment, NAIOP Maryland/DC, 2013

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Connecting its surrounding hubs, L’Enfant Plaza is like the spoke of a wheel. In between the National Mall and the Smithsonian Museum, the Waterfront and DC’s central business district, it serves as a center point, and even contains a Metro station so individuals can travel along its circumference.

L'Enfant Plaza

Considering its location and access to transportation, one would think that L’Enfant would represent the quintessential transit-oriented development — a lively plaza with shops, cafes, and residents in towering apartments gazing out their windows onto the scene. But the plaza was designed in the early 1970s and hadn’t aged gracefully or in accordance with how the rest of the city and its residents had evolved.

L'Enfant Plaza

Our team was brought in to complete a master plan that would reinvigorate and reposition the plaza, making recommendations for new retail, restaurants, office space, and apartment buildings.

L'Enfant Plaza

The plan was rooted in density. New retail spaces were important, however, our team knew the positive impact that density would have on such an urban focal point. The first phase of the plan was devoted to renovating the promenade retail, with density at the forefront of the design, with infrastructure accommodating high-rise buildings. Not only were we building for the current retail shops, but we were building for future buildings that would be addressed in later phases.

SmithGroup’s design transformation has greatly contributed to the huge success of L’Enfant Plaza Retail.

Britt Snider
Senior Vice President

L'Enfant Plaza

L’Enfant Plaza is on its way toward becoming a destination, once again. With new retail, office, and residential buildings reorganized around the plaza, the Metro — previously hidden — will be pronounced and prominent, and the spoke of one of DC’s largest wheels will finally be properly oiled.