Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Executive Office of the Mayor
Menu Button

Mayor Bowser Cuts the Ribbon on Sycamore & Oak at the St. Elizabeths East Campus

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
New Retail Village, Which Houses 13 Local Businesses, Is the Latest Project to Deliver Jobs and Opportunity to Congress Heights

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, District officials, and community members celebrated the grand opening of Sycamore & Oak on the St. Elizabeths East campus. Sycamore & Oak is a new, 22,000-square-foot retail village that houses 13 local businesses – all owned by residents of Wards 7 and 8, many of whom are opening their first brick-and-mortar shop. 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:

  • Black Bella Spa & Wellness Center
  • Soufside Creative
  • Chris Pyrate & Friends
  • LoveMore Brand
  • Paradyce Clothing Company, Inc.
  • Vaya Beauty
  • The Museum DC
  • WeFitDC
  • Dionne’s Good Food
  • Glizzy’s DC
  • Triecy’s DC
  • Buna Talk Café
  • The Fresh Food Factory Market

The Sycamore & Oak retail village offers emerging Black entrepreneurs and local business owners access to an “Incubate the Eight” program, which provides 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. 

During the event, Mayor Bowser announced the release of a Request For Proposal to develop Parcel 6 on the St. Elizabeths East campus, which sits on the other side of the newly constructed 13th Street across from the historic Maple Quadrangle complex. The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) is looking for proposals that promote economic activity along 13th Street while transforming the site into a multi-use development with homeownership opportunities. The deadline to submit a RFP to develop Parcel 6 is August 14. For more information about the RFP, visit
“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 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.” 

Mayor Bowser also announced the DC Public Library (DCPL) has selected Perkins+Will and Turner Construction as the design and build team for the new Congress Heights Library which will also be located on the St. Elizabeth East Campus. The new Congress Heights Library will replace the existing 4,952 square-foot Parklands-Turner Library with a 20,000 square foot library. The new full-size library is expected to open in late 2027 and will include quiet reading spaces, spaces for collaborative learning, and a collection of books for all ages. 

DCPL has been conducting extensive community engagement regarding the new Congress Heights Library. Residents interested in providing feedback can attend an upcoming in-person listening workshop on Thursday, June 15, from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Parklands-Turning Library (1547 Alabama Avenue SE). Residents can also provide input by participating in an online community survey that is available HERE
Sycamore & Oak is the latest project delivered as part of the transformation of the St. Elizabeths East campus. In 2018, Mayor Bowser opened the Entertainment and Sports Arena on the campus, and since then, the District has broken ground on and completed several projects, including:

  • The Residences at St. Elizabeths East; 
  • 750-space parking garage located behind the ESA; 
  • New 801 East Men’s Shelter replacement facility; 
  • District Towns at St. Elizabeths East townhome project; 
  • A new Whitman-Walker Health facility; and 
  • The Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health – opening in 2025. 

To learn more about Sycamore & Oak, visit

Social Media:
Mayor Bowser Twitter: @MayorBowser
Mayor Bowser Instagram: @Mayor_Bowser
Mayor Bowser Facebook:
Mayor Bowser YouTube: