Will this deserve a better name than Buzzard Point?
Will this deserve a better name than Buzzard Point?

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Buzzard Point is buzzing. With the deal to bring a D.C. United stadium to the strip of land jutting into the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, the area currently occupied by such attractions as a Pepco station and a scrapyard is poised for a jolt of new development.

But as Buzzard Point transitions to a waterfront draw, there could be one thing holding it back: its name.

Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (who had the foresight to incorporate the neglected peninsula into his BID when he helped launch it six years ago), says it’s worth considering a name change. In fact, he and his colleagues have already dropped the “Buzzard” from Buzzard Point.

“We’ve just called it The Point,” he says.

Stevens says he’s done some research into Buzzard Point’s history and learned that it got its name because the waters of the Potomac and Anacostia swirled there, causing garbage to wash up that attracted scavengers. The U.S. Geological Survey appears to refer to the area as both Buzzard Point and Greenleaf Point. (The latter name might not be much better, given its association with the nearby dilapidated public housing complex known as Greenleaf.)

Stevens has some experience with rebranding: The Capitol Riverfront moniker is a new one—-and some would say a forced and overly generic one—-for the formerly troubled neighborhood, which is still better known as Navy Yard, or sometimes Near Southeast. Only time will tell if either Capitol Riverfront or The Point will stick in the long run.

Rendering via the Office of the City Administrator