WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A new retail village, which will house about 13 businesses, is the latest project that promises to bring more jobs and businesses to Congress Heights. 

“Sycamore & Oak will be more than just a retail space—it will serve as an anchor and commercial hub for Parcel 15 as we continue to add mixed-use commercial, retail, hospitality, open public space, and residential development to the neighborhood,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Keith Anderson. “We are particularly excited to keep the momentum going by issuing the RFP for Parcel 6, which will enable us to bring additional office, housing, retail, and food options for the Congress Heights community.” How the Golden Triangle BID is helping DC’s businesses head back to the office

On Wednesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser, District officials, and community members celebrated the grand opening of Sycamore & Oak on the St. Elizabeths East campus. Sycamore & Oak is the new, 22,000-square-foot retail village that houses 13 local businesses, which are all owned by residents. The celebration featured a variety of performances, including a fashion show with streetwear brands whose apparel and merchandise will be exclusively sold at Sycamore & Oak. 

“Today, we celebrate 13 businesses that are all owned by residents of Wards 7 and 8. We celebrate keeping a promise to bring jobs, opportunity, and amenities to Ward 8 — right here on the St. Elizabeths East campus,” said Mayor Bowser. “Now, when people come to the ESA to watch the Mystics, or for boxing, or high school graduations, or any of the fantastic events we have going on, you can also eat, shop, and support local businesses while you’re here.”

The 13 locally owned businesses at Sycamore & Oak include:

The Sycamore & Oak retail village will offer emerging Black entrepreneurs and local business owners access to an “Incubate the Eight” program, which will provide technical and marketing support and training to help business owners sustain and scale up their food and retail businesses.

The retail village also offers a “Chefs-In-Residence” program, where the food and beverage operators receive operational support and mentoring from the José Andrés Group. Of the 100 jobs created at Sycamore & Oak, 60 are going to residents who are participants in workforce programming offered through the Department of Employment Service. The Department of Parks and Recreation is also supporting the site through a Rec for ALL Community Grant, which supports bringing recreation to nontraditional spaces.