Dock79 – North America’s First Sustainable,
Luxury Mixed-Use Floating Village
Jared Jablonka, Principal (District Floats LLC)
Despite having over 40 kilometers of waterfront and being the Capital of the United States for 230 years, Washington, DC has virtually zero private marine infrastructure. Like many urban areas in the United States, the city’s 19th and 20th century development failed to see the value of its water. Development patterns historically turned their backs on the water for the past two centuries. Also like many major metropolitan areas, Washington DC is experiencing a significant period of redevelopment over the past 10+ years. For the first time in over a century, city officials and private developers are embracing, rather than turning their backs on, the city’s waterfront; and local officials have introduced numerous sustainable initiatives. Multiple world-class urban waterfront projects have recently delivered or are in the planning phase.
Despite (or perhaps because of) the extensive redevelopment and gentrification of Washington DC, the city is facing a severe housing shortage. Published reports project a shortfall of 375,000 housing units over the next 10 years, putting even further pressure on an already strained housing market, where 1 in 5 homes now sells for over $1 million USD, and the average price for a 2-bedroom flat in a suitable neighborhood is in excess of $700,000 USD.
District Floats believes that sustainable floating villages can be a partial solution to numerous problems that Washington DC is facing, and is in discussions with multiple large development firms to incorporate floating homes and floating retail components into their overall master plans. This paper will detail the extensive financial and economic analyses performed and presented to the developers for one specific project (“Dock79”), in order to convince the land owner (a multi-billion dollar, national development firm) that the economics are compelling enough to take the risk on this unproven and unfamiliar (in the US) product type.
Keywords – Financial analysis, Real estate development, Risk-reward, Regulatory hurdles
Jared Jablonka is the founder and managing member of District Floats, a privately owned and capitalized floating home builder in Washington, DC. The company was established in 2018 to become the premier floating home builder in the United States. Mr. Jablonka has secured license agreements with established floating home builders in Vancouver, Canada and Amsterdam; as well as business licenses/certifications from the State of Virginia, District of Columbia and U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Jablonka obtained a Certificate of Naval Architecture from Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and has performed extensive research and development including over 30+ visits to existing floating communities and operating floating home production facilities throughout Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. Prior to founding District Floats, Mr. Jablonka owned and managed a real estate investment and development company, having acquired, developed and leased/sold over 50 projects in Washington, DC; representing over $140 million USD of development value, as principal.