Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
October 12, 2003
April 26, 2015
4th at L, Looking South (see more)

Developer Jair Lynch's plans to finally get development going on the site at Half and N just north of Nats Park known in some parts as "Monument Valley" or the "Half Street Hole" went before the Zoning Commission on Thursday night for a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review.
I went into detail on the updated designs a few weeks ago, but the quickie summary is that there will be somewhere between 350 and 445 residential units (including condos!) in two buildings, and as much as 68,000 square feet of retail on two floors. (There could possibly be a small hotel as well, which would bring the residential count to the lower end of the proposed spectrum.) There would also be 231 parking spaces and bike parking in three underground levels, the hole for which, as we all know, has already conveniently been dug.
Both Jair Lynch and project architect Chris Harvey of Hord Coplan Macht talked about how the building is designed to bring the "indoors out, and the outdoors in," with huge windows for retail spaces and with the upper floors designed to take in views not of the surrounding skyline but of the street below, especially as the festive gameday atmosphere unfolds. "We believe it will define the ballpark entertainment district," Lynch said, calling it a "unique destination" for the three million people who visit the ballpark and the neighborhood every year.
The comments from the zoning commissioners were uniformly positive*, with the discussion going through especially zoning-y zoning issues, such as the design of the roof, the status of LEED certification (they're going for Silver, apparently), the lack of affordable housing (short version: this project is expensive!) and the location of a lobby entrance at the corner of Half and the new pedestrian-only Monument Place.
Much of the remaining discussion ended up centering around the streetscape plans, with commissioners agreeing that a curbless street being a wise decision with thousands of people walking through and not watching where they are going, but with DDOT needing to work with Lynch's group to decide exactly how to approach, since as of now DDOT really has no guidelines for such a design.
DDOT also appeared to be putting the kibosh on the idea of "catenary lights" across both ends of Half Street (which has been in the drawings for the site for many years), as well as wanting planned bollards ditched and wanting a different layout for sidewalk trees, since the lack of overhead wires on Half means that there could be a substantial tree canopy if the proper trees are used.
In response to a question from commissioner Robert Miller, who described the project as "very long-awaited and dynamic and exciting," Lynch said that the expectation is to break ground in 2016 and be finished in 2018 (presumably in time for a certain all-star event). Cushing Street would be used as the route for construction vehicles (though work would stop three hours before any Nats game), but Lynch also said that the fact that the excavation is mostly complete "should help tremendously."
With the Office of Planning and DDOT each supporting the plan as long as a few items are addressed, and with ANC 6D having voted to support it as well, there appears to only be the need for some mopping up submissions (renderings from street level for Cushing Street and Monument Place, better roof plans, the fixes for OP, yadda yadda), it sounds as if this project should be voted on favorably, perhaps at the June 29 commission meeting.
My page for this Half Street project gives additional details on the site, as do my previous posts.
And maybe before too much longer we'll see some details of JBG's plans for the other side of the street.
* Or, in the case of Peter May, not actually negative.
Comments (4)
   
 

A missive from CSX just now:
"CSX today started the major construction phase of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project. The support of excavation work now underway consists of drilling 42-inch holes for steel and concrete pilings that will support a temporary retaining wall necessary to construct the first new permanent tunnel elements. This work is taking place at the west end of the project site in public space near 2nd and H Streets, S.E."
It goes on to say that similar work will get underway at the eastern end of the tunnel near 11th & M SE "within the next few weeks."
As always, to get more information, check out my Virginia Avenue Tunnel page (which probably needs a bit of freshening) or the official VirginiaAvenueTunnel.com web site, where you can also sign up to be on the project mailing list.
Comments (0)
   
 

As the city's FY16 funding process reaches its crunch time, the council late this afternoon released its amended budget.
And deep in the multitude of documents and words is the "11th Street Bridge Park Funding Limitations Act of 2015," which states that "no funds allocated for the Park may be awarded or disbursed for purposes of construction until at least 50 percent of the total projected construction costs of the project have been raised from private donors."
The act also "prohibits the use of District funds for the purpose of operations or maintenance" of the planned park.
The piers left from the now-demolished downstream 11th Street Bridge span would be used to build this park, running from just east of the Navy Yard over to Anacostia Park, has a $40 million price tag attached to it, according to published reports.
The District has previously committed to providing $14.5 million of the $25 million construction costs, and a fundraising campaign is underway to fund both the $10.5 million construction funding gap and the estimated $15 million in operations funding.
The council will be voting on its proposed budget tomorrow, Tuesday, May 27.
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 More posts: bridgepark
   
 

I wrote a few weeks back about the release of the draft EIS in the ongoing search for a site for a new Marine barracks, and about the five sites the document analyzed, three of which are on privately held land or privately-controlled land (at 8th & Virginia, 11th & M, and in the northeast corner of the Yards), and two of which are at sites under federal control, within the walls of the Navy Yard and on the current Bachelor Enlisted Quarters land at 7th and L.
Today, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton released her comments on the study, saying that the private sites "should not be chosen because of the significant negative impacts on District residents, District business owners, and the District economy" and that the Marines "cannot now swoop in and take these prized sites in a city that has almost no land left for development for the benefit of its growing population and businesses."
In comparison, she says, the two sites on federal land "will protect private landowners and lessees in the District while at the same time providing the opportunity for increased economic development at the current Building 20 site" (at 8th and I).
The period for commenting on the EIS ends today, May 26. so if you are desperate to add your voice, I would hope you can submit via the web site until midnight.
My post on the draft EIS is far more detailed than this quickie update, so I suggest reading it for further background.
Comments (6)
 More posts: Barracks
   
 

Today Judge Christopher Cooper has denied the Committee of 100's appeal of his April ruling denying the group's request for an injunction to prevent CSX from moving forward on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction while the C100 lawsuit works its way through the process.
Quoting from the order: "The Committee contends that new information gleaned from the recently-produced administrative record demonstrates that the federal and local agencies involved in the environmental review of the reconstruction project unlawfully predetermined its outcome. The Court concludes, however, that the Committee’s new evidence does not satisfy its burden to demonstrate that the agencies failed objectively to consider the environmental impacts of the reconstruction. Accordingly, it will deny the motion."
The Committee of 100 had filed their appeal in May, saying that new access to the "full record in the case," all 130,000 pages of it, showed "persuasive evidence of improper predetermination that was not available to the District Court" at the time of the initial injunction denial. But Judge Cooper wrote that "the portions of the administrative record provided by the Committee do not support its position that DDOT unlawfully predetermined the NEPA outcome or that FHWA failed to independently consider the environmental effects of the tunnel reconstruction."
You can read the full opinion/order for more detail.
(And, whaddya know, C100 is still using my photo on their web site! UPDATE, 5/27: It took a bit of back-and-forth, but the photo is now taken down.)
Comments (4)
   
 

If you've been feeling like your baseball experience is lacking in Texas barbecue, you are in luck, with the news that Hill Country Barbecue will be running a gameday sandwich shop called "The Home Stand" on the JBG/1244 South Capitol site on the northeast corner of South Capitol and N streets, SE, immediately north of the Nats Park western parking garage.
There will be picnic seating for 200, with a rotating lineup of sandwiches ranging from their Chopped Beef, Pit Smoked Turkey and Hot Link Sausage sandwiches as well as a "daily Pitmaster special." Each sandwich will come with your choice of cucumber salad, baked beans, or pasta salad.
There won't be beer and wine offerings to start, but those libations should be part of the lineup eventually.
The Home Stand will be open two hours before and after the game on home game days.
The Post says that it could open this Friday, or "if not this Friday, then by the next homestand," according to a Hill Country rep.
This site is slated to become a 290-unit residential building with 26,000 square feet of retail, but it hasn't been expected that work would begin on that project until after baseball season at the earliest.
UPDATE, 5/24: "The Home Stand" started operating on Friday, and is now duly photographed, as you see above, and here.
Comments (6)
   
 

The neighbors are coming home after quite the road trip, and to welcome everyone back, the team has announced that the new Virginia Country Kitchen stand at Section 113 will be debuting on Tuesday.
Both the Virginia Ham and the Old Dominion Chicken biscuits were teased at the April ballpark tour (and received the JDLand Taste Bud seal of approval), and there will also be mac-and-cheese, a housemade version of Cracker Jack called "Virginia Crunch," and a "Blue Ridge Bourbon and Tea" made with Filibuster Bourbon, peach schnapps (sold!), iced tea, and mint.
Also debuting on Tuesday will be the new home for the main team store, now located inside the gates in the ground floor of the eastern parking garage and nearly double the size of the old outlet facing N Street. No announcement yet as to what will be going into the old space, though it was said back in 2014 that the plan is "to convert the old space into a restaurant that fans will be able to enjoy throughout the year."
The Yankees will be the visitors on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 19 and 20), followed by a weekend set with the Phillies, which also includes the second Pups in the Park on Saturday, May 23. There will also be tote bags for the first 25,000 fans on Tuesday, a 10th anniversary poster for the first 10,000 fans on Sunday, and a number of presentations and ceremonies honoring the military as part of this Memorial Day weekend series.
And as if that's not enough, the team and MLB are partnering with the American Academy of Dermatology on Friday, May 22 for the "Play Sun Smart" initiative that is promoting skin cancer awareness. (As a freckle-faced fair-skinned lass of Irish descent, I fully endorse this project.)
The entire lineup of activities, ceremonies, and giveaways is available here.
And, the Capitol Riverfront BID has put together this roundup of gameday restaurant specials outside the ballpark, in case you need additional sustenance before or after the game.
Comments (7)
 More posts: Nationals Park
   
 

With a May 28 Capitol Gateway Overlay design review on the calendar, the Jair Lynch/Half Street Hole project has within the past few days submitted additional materials to the Zoning Commission. And since I know how much everyone loves renderings....
The one I know will be of most interest is above left, showing what the new skyline would look like just to the northeast of Nats Park as seen from home plate, where Lynch's planned residential project will be situated. (They seemed to have tried to go for some sort of tilt-shift look, so it's not your eyes or my image file that's blurry, it's the original.) At right is a sharper/snazzier view of the building as seen from ground-level at Half and N, with the glass-walled corner portion of the planned 60,000-plus square feet of retail space a definite focal point. The darker façade facing N Street delineates the planned condo portion of the project from the rental units (and possibly a hotel, or possibly not) around the corner on Half.
I wrote in detail about the plans for the site a few weeks ago, or you can check my Lynch Half project page for additional details.
Meanwhile, in other Ballpark District 2.0 news, I see an indication of forward progress on JBG's planned 290-unit residential project just north of the ballpark at 1244 South Capitol: an application was filed last week for a shoring/sheeting/excavation permit (got to dig down before you can build up!). The company has said they are looking to begin construction in late 2015 or early 2016.
Comments (8)
   
 


 

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
0 B/O POTOMAC AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 05/27/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 05/26/15
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1 (Theft F/Building)
 05/26/15
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/24/15
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/15/15
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 05/15/15
1000 B/O 7TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/12/15
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1st Degree
 05/09/15
1100 B/O 2ND ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle
 05/05/15
UNIT B/O I ST SE   BURGLARY
2nd Degree Burglary (Armed Or Otherwise)
 05/02/15
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/01/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
05/14/15 
COLIN CLARK / MICHAEL BIANCO; COLIN CLARK; MITCH PERMUY
E98099105 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 1ST ST SE   
05/12/15 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / WILL TEASS / PE TEASS - WARREN ARCHITECTS; WILL TEASS TEASS
BCIV1500073 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF EROSION SEDIMENT CONTROL FEATURES
1277 1ST ST SE   
05/15/15 
ANCHOR CONSTRUCTION
AH1500439 / CONSTRUCTION
EXCAVATION CATCH BASINS MANHOLE INSTALLATION SEWER ML TRENCH SEWER SERVICE LATERAL ABANDONMENT INSTALLATION OF VAULTS WATER LATERAL CONNECTION OVER 2 INCHES WATER SERVICE LATERAL ABANDONMENT WATER METER MANHOLE
1007 8TH ST SE   
05/21/15 
CALLE OCHO LLC / ALAN W. CARTER
E1506005 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 HALF ST SE   
05/22/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / ROBERT L HUNTER
M1501993 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/12/15 
HALF ST SE LLC /
P1505751 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/20/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / JOSEPH J FLYNN
E1505972 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/22/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / RALPH E. JACKSON
E1506049 / SUPPLEMENTAL
82 I ST SE   
05/13/15 
GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT / MARKO CZERKAS; GREYSTAR DEVELO GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT; MITCH PERMUY
E77539507 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/22/15 
CSX TRANSPORTATION INC / GLENNWOOD ROGERS
P1505766 / SUPPLEMENTAL
306 L ST SE   
05/14/15 
MICHAEL THOMPSON
B1507715 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST EXTENSION TO PERMIT# B1311538 TO EXPIRE 10 / 17 / 2015
55 M ST SE   
05/21/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1507922 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATIONS FOR EXPANSION OF 3RD FLOOR OFFICE SPACE GREAT MINDS AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED MECH. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION DEMOLITION AND ARCH. DWGS. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO PLUMBING OR STRUCT. WORK INVOLVED.
80 M ST SE   
05/12/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1505712 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/12/15 
WELLS REIT LI 80 M STREET LIC / FRED MILLER; WELLS REIT LI 80 M STREET LIC; DOMINIC TOTARO
AR28204267 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/13/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / NEIL NUTWELL; WELLS REIT II 8 WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC; NEIL NUTWELL
P21967258 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
05/09/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOSE UMANZOR-ALVAREZ; SQUARE 743 INC; ROBERT LAWALL
E99685352 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/13/15 
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN / PATRICK BARRON; UNKNOWN UNKNOWN; ROBIN MALLEY
E65875186 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/21/15 
SQUARE 743 INC. / ANDREW ARNTSON; SQUARE 743 INC.; ANDREW ARNTSON
P90727311 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
05/15/15 
BARR CONCRETE
AH1500438 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTERHOURS TO POUR CONCRETE WITH PUMP TRUCK FROM 11PM 5 / 15 / 2015 TO 1159 PM 5 / 16 / 2015
1200 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/14/15 
AMY PHILLIPS / MIKE YASEK
SB1500274 / CONSTRUCTION
FIVE 75-FOOT GEOTECHNICAL SPT SOIL BORINGS WILL BE PERFORMED WITH AN AUGER DRILLING RIG UTILIZING CONTINUOUS FLIGHT HOLLOW STEM AUGERS CREATING APPROXIMATELY 6-INCH DIAMETER BOREHOLES.
1230 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/21/15 
PUBLIC STORAGE INSTITUTE FUND / BRAD FLEEGLE
AN1500143 / CONSTRUCTION
REPLACE 3 ANTENNA SUPPORT FRAMES INSTALL 3 ANTENNAS ? 3 RRUS ON EXISTING ROOFTOP.
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/11/15 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL L.L.C. / ROBERT S. WATTS
E1505679 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/21/15 
JOHN GIUSEPPE / DONALD VEALS; JOHN GIUSEPPE; DONALD VEALS
E55177883 / SUPPLEMENTAL
301 WATER ST SE   
05/12/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC /
P1505749 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/19/15 
LUMBER SHED LIC. / ROBERT WATTS; LUMBER SHED LIC.; ROBERT WATTS
E82501860 / SUPPLEMENTAL
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

Real Property Sales Archive  
1022 - 1109 M ST SE   03/27/15
$ 5,000,000
WASHINGTON HUMANE SOCIETY
 
9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
1103 9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
1105 9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
816 POTOMAC AVE SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
0819R L ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 


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