Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
December 2004
January 6, 2008
Hull at M, Looking West (see more)

While I was on the roof of F1rst earlier this week, the view to the west was striking. Immediately north of Nats Park, with the long-forlorn block of Half Street between the Center Field Gate and the Metro station running down the middle of the frame, my camera spied:
* The first piles being driven for JBG's West Half residential and retail project;
* Some evidence of initial activity at Monument Valley, where Jair Lynch's 1250 Half Street residential and retail project is set to finally fill in the hole that has existed on the east side of Half Street since 2007; and
* Shoring/sheeting/excavation underway on the southern part of Monument's combination project of the new headquarters for the National Association of Broadcasters and a residential building at 10 Van Street (here's a closer shot).
Here's what West Half, 1250 Half, and the NAB HQ will look like when they are finished, perhaps in very late 2018 or probably 2019:
These three projects join the other buildings that complete the N Street lineup across from the ballpark--JBG's under construction apartment building at 1221 Van (at the upper left of the above photo) and the Hampton Inn that's been open at 1st and N since late 2015.
What this means is that we will now move from nine years' worth of complaining about how nothing has been built directly north of Nats Park to two years of complaining about construction noise and ickiness, leading into the inevitable future complaining about how these new buildings with all of the retail people have complained about not having end up ruining what views remained of the Capitol dome from inside the ballpark.
Progress!
And these are not the only projects just getting started. Piles have also been driven for the DC Housing Authority's latest Capper Hope VI mixed-income apartment building at 3rd and L, and digging is well underway for the new apartment building at the old McDonald's site at 2 I St., which I don't actually have a recent photo of and so one from February will have to do. I suck. Plus, digging sloooowly continues at the Yards Parcel O apartment/condo dual project.
On the bright side, we're about to have a long-watched hole finally graduate to above-ground construction, as Skanska's 99 M office building is at last reaching street level.
With the completions in 2016 and early 2017 of eight apartment buildings, and with eight more buildings looking to join them in the next two years, the neighborhood now has what can not-so-charitably be called a "glut" of new apartments, as Bisnow reported last week in its story on how the city is seeing a record number of residential units deliver in the second quarter of 2017. (I should of course give you hard numbers of total units, but see my earlier comment about my current state.)
However, if you are looking for a place to live in Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards, having multiple buildings vying for your business is certainly good news for you.
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On Monday the JDLand camera took another spin in the neighborhood, this time heading to 1st Street SE to visit the F1rst apartment building and its sibling the Residence Inn, which both of which are now open.
The photo gallery is a big one, with so much newness for me to capture. The official F1rst web site and the Residence Inn site has all of the details you probably want, and so I am just let the photos do most of the talking.
But before I get to those, there is some news, which is that it's been announced that fitness studio Solidcore is the latest retail tenant now signed, joining Chop't, Taylor Gourmet, Chipotle, Roti, Rasa Indian Grill, and Declaration. Solidcore is expected to open in the latter stages of 2017. (For those of you salivating at the rest of the lineup, it looks like Chop't will be the first to open, perhaps next month, followed by Taylor, Chipotle, and Roti in late summer/early fall.)
With that, onto the photos of both the apartment building and the hotel. This is a sampling--see the gallery for the full narrated tour.
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Word filtered out last week, and was confirmed to me a few days ago, that Arris has landed another restaurant: the Shilling Canning Company, centered around mid-Atlantic cuisine, is expected to open by early 2018.
Chef Reid Shilling is at the helm of this "rustic combination of Mid-Atlantic cooking and Californian finesse," according to the press release, and will be working with "local growers and purveyors to source the best in fresh ingredients from the Mid Atlantic, from proteins that will be butchered in house, to seafood carefully selected from local fishermen."
The restaurant is named for the small canning business that Shilling's family operated in Maryland from 1935 to 1958.
It will have 75 seats, and additional outdoor seating as well. There will also be a wood-burning grill and wood-fired brick oven, allowing for pizza to be on the menu. There will also be a raw bar.
Chef Shilling has previously worked at numerous restaurants, including Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro and most recently at The Dabney here in DC,
The Shilling Canning Company joins the Arris coming-soon offerings Chloe and the Juice Laundry, and a slew of neighborhood-wide eateries expected to open in 2017 and 2018.
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Using Opening Day as a lure, JBG provided a hard-hat visit to the roof of its under-construction 290-unit apartment building 1221 Van, which is directly across N Street from the Nationals Park and is expected to begin move-ins this fall. The panorama above, while showy, is a wide-angle shot, giving a sense of the full vista from the roof, but at the expense of making everything look farther away.
This image at right is a more accurate representation of the size of the field as your eyes see it. A good chunk of far left field is obscured by the parking garage, but right field is mostly visible.
While you can't see the outfield scoreboard's display, those with good vision can see the scoreboard above the Nats dugout, and perhaps people with good hearing (i.e., not me) could hear the public address system. I did hear the organ a few times.
As for the other views from the roof, you didn't expect me to just take ballpark views, did you? The full gallery of photos is here, but here are a few previews.
Also, I couldn't resist one photo of the workers taking a break to catch some of the action. And a JDLand friend couldn't resist a photo of 1221 Van from inside the ballpark, unaware that the shot also captured a rare glimpse of the official JDLand photographer in action. (The yellow blob. Trust me.)
Check out the full gallery for more shots of the surroundings, and for what the view from the "infinity pool" will look like. And see my 1221 Van project page for renderings, before-and-after photos, and more information. The official web site is 1221van.com.
Comments (9)
 More posts: 1221 Van, Development News
   
 

Here's a fresh thread, in case there's some trepidation about chattering in the previous comments section.
And, if you haven't gotten the news yet, Shake Shack is now open for business at 54 M St. SE. Have some crinkle fries for me.
I really, truly, appreciate the many wonderful messages I've received in the past week. I hope to have information soon about where to make donations in Bill's memory, and will update this post when I have it.
In the meantime, my vista does not currently include any buildings under construction.
UPDATE: I can now pass along the link for (tax-deductible!) donations to the newly created American Copy Editors Society Bill Walsh Scholarship. (There's a checkbox to specifically target your donations to this scholarship.) I'm so proud to honor his memory in a very tangible way like this, to support students interested in a career in news copy editing. And it was something he was very much wanted to see done.
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The news seems to be well known at this point, but I will still note here officially that Bill Walsh, known colloquially in these parts as Mr. JDLand, died on Wednesday of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, a rotten cancer of the bile ducts and liver made more rotten by the frequency with which it isn't found until it has spread.
I won't run down his biography here, especially since the fabulous Washington Post obituary does a great job sketching the portrait of the "rock star" of copy editors. And my grief-soaked Facebook farewell gives a hint of the heartbreak I am not only now facing, but have lived with for the past nine months, knowing that it was highly unlikely this cancer was going to be beat.
But I wanted to ruminate for a moment or two about the part Bill played in JDLand, and not just as the chauffeur on that fateful day in January 2003 when I took the series of photos that really started this adventure.
When Bill moved to this area from Phoenix in 1989, he lived in Alexandria at first, but with a commute to the Washington Times building on New York Avenue, NE, he was soon drawn to Capitol Hill, and found a place not far from Eastern Market. The Hill of the 1990s, of course, had a very different feel than today, as did the entire city, but he fell in love with the walkability, and even the slight edginess of the time.
While I had been born on the Hill, my family had left the area when I was a toddler and when we came back we settled in Chevy Chase, so while I very much considered myself a Washington-area native, I was pretty firmly ensconced in the world of Upper Northwest, Bethesda, and points west and north. Sure, I had spent more than my fair share of time at the original 9:30 Club on F Street, drank yards of beer at the old Tiber Creek Pub (where Bistro Bis now resides), served two summers as a Hill intern, worked at a couple of jobs near 16th and K, and wasn't a-feered of going downtown in the late 1980s and early 1990s as many of my cohorts were, but it still just really wasn't part of my orbit.
Until in April 1993, when I met a guy living on Capitol Hill.
By 1995, we had bought our house on the south side of the Hill, much to the chagrin of many people who thought we were crazy to buy in such an "unsafe" place, a feeling that intensified for many who came to our housewarming party via the 6th Street exit off the freeway who were not happy to be greeted by the boarded up shells of the old Ellen Wilson Dwellings and the only slightly less foreboding, not-yet-boarded up Capper apartment buildings.
But we loved it. We loved walking the neighborhood for hours. We loved Eastern Market. We loved walking to the Hawk n Dove or the Tune Inn or La Lomida Dos. We loved going to open houses just to look. We loved the House and Garden Tour. We loved being 10 minutes from National Airport. We loved seeing the Capitol just as part of the neighborhood landscape.
And we loved watching it change, as it really began to in the early 2000s. Somewhere on his hard drive is actually a running list, going back to well before we arrived, of which businesses occupied which addresses on Pennsylvania Avenue and on Barracks Row. He loved telling people about how 8th Street had transformed from "our little slice of Queens" to the restaurant row it is today.
Then I extended the boundaries of our interest when I started hearing about the various plans to transform the blocks south of the freeway, an area we rarely ventured into and in fact would sometimes jokingly subreference Bonfire of the Vanities when telling people how to get back to the freeway and "safety": DON'T GO UNDER THE OVERPASS.
When I get asked to tell the story of how I began to follow the neighborhood, I almost always mention how Bill and I used to stand on 3rd Street and look southward under the freeway to catch a glimpse of the Anacostia River, and how we used to say to each other, "Wouldn't it be great if someday we could walk down there from here and then along the river?" (which was usually followed by loud ironic guffaws) And then I was off on my one great hobby, watching Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards grow from nothing to what it is today.
Of course, through all of this, the rest of DC was changing too, and we became even more intensely in love with our city and what it offered. We ate at as many of the city's restaurants as we could. He began biking to and from work at the Post. We would walk to Caps games at the Verizon Center and then home. We Bikeshared. We Car to Go'ed. We Ubered. We waited for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to be extended. We walked to Nats games on a whim. We rode the H Street Streetcar on the first day. We reveled in referring to ourselves derisively as urban hipsters.
Much of our daily running messaging commentary to each other was news of what we had seen and heard--did you hear Hank's is opening on the Hill? The weird florist at 8th and E is gone! Matchbox is almost open! Wait, let me guess, you want to go to Morini again.
And in 2015, when he began a walking regime to combat a bit of fatigue that was probably a missed early sign of his cancer, his route covered all the bases--down 8th Street to the freeway, back up to Pennsylvania Avenue, down New Jersey under the freeway, over to 1st Street, down to the ballpark, along the river, and home. And I received bulletins all along the way of whatever he saw that was new. He became the first and only official JDLand stringer.
We just loved living here. Every minute of it.
A few weeks ago, I felt he was stable enough to allow me a little time to go take some Hood pics for the first time in a few months. It was a beautiful day, I was doing what I have loved doing for more than a decade now, and was on autopilot--until I looked at the large as-yet unleased corner retail space in one of the new buildings. And then I couldn't breathe. Because I knew it would be a restaurant, and would be a restaurant that he would never know about. That we would never eat at.
When my brother brought me home to the Hill after leaving the hospice center for the final time (I can't even believe Bill died in Arlington and not DC), we came across the 14th Street Bridge. I caught sight of the Wharf construction, and burst into tears.
We may not have been activists, or preservationists, or even particularly involved in the culture of the Hill and surroundings, but our neighborhood(s) infused every part of our days. These streets and buildings and businesses and history united us as much as our life at the Post, our love of travel, our cats, and our expert-level pop-culture referencing.
Now I just have to figure out how on earth to watch it all alone.
I will continue to pop in and out in the coming weeks, because he would not be pleased if JDLand was collateral damage in all of this, but it will take a long while before I return to full steam.
However, having moved through the aftermath of my mother's heartbreaking death three years ago, I do know that time heals, and what feel like machete strikes to my chest today will eventually be wistful pangs. There will come a time that roaming these streets will not smack me with what he is missing, but remind me of everything we shared and enjoyed so very much.
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City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
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1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
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400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 04/12/17
1200 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   THEFT
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 04/10/17
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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 04/09/17
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
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400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
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 04/06/17
400 B/O M ST SE   BURGLARY
Burglary Two
 04/05/17
400 B/O M ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  04/05/17
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
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 04/02/17
900 B/O 3RD ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/01/17
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 03/28/17
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/27/17
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/27/17
900 B/O 3RD PLACE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/26/17
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Project Directory
Completed
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)


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