Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
December 2, 2004
August 11, 2016
4th at I, Looking South (see more)

The weather gods smiled on the Southeast Waterfront today, with an absolutely picture-perfect day for inviting scads of dignitaries down to the Yards Park to make some speeches and cut a ribbon. Here's my quick photo gallery of the event, with photos not only of politicians wielding scissors but also plenty of shots of the park itself. I will soon update my Yards Park page with real before-and-afters, but that will take some time.
The 5.5-acre park, a $42 million partnership between the city, the feds (who owned the land until this morning), and the BID (which will be responsible for the upkeep and programming), is very simply like nothing else anywhere in DC. It not only has the pedestrian bridge and the light tower and the water features to gawk at, but it has so many different spaces for strolling, sitting, hanging out, playing, or just staring at the river, with its views all the way down to the Potomac River and further to Alexandria. There were many references during the remarks to Chicago's Millenium Park, and all involved with the creation of the Yards Park clearly see its potential as a "destination" attraction. The BID will be working hard to provide a lot of activities to draw people in, and down the road (if the reality ends up matching the vision), when the Lumber Shed becomes a retail-and-restaurant spot with river views, and the Foundry Lofts and Boilermaker Shops just to the north of the park open and become attractions in their own right, this could be quite a jewel in the city's crown.
Add to that the eventual building of a floating boardwalk that will connect the Yards Park to Diamond Teague Park by the baseball stadium, making it an easy stroll along the river to go back and forth between the two venues, and you can start to imagine the fans streaming out of the ballpark on Friday nights to watch the post-game fireworks firing off above the Anacostia River from the Great Lawn or the boardwalk. (I'm told that the boardwalk is in the design stages, though there's no timeline for when it might be built.)
As for the area east of the park, I'm hearing that there is "progress" in working with the Navy Yard to open its boardwalk (that leads to the Display Ship Barry and 11th Street), but again, no timeline on that.
There was a lot of media present today (especially since both Mayor Fenty and Vince Gray were in attendance), so I'll update this post with whatever stories appear. UPDATE: Here's the press release from the mayor's office. Also there's ABC7's report, which also is about today's other Anacostia River event, where council members (but not Mayor Fenty) showed up to sign a pledge to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up six designated toxic sites along the Anacostia, which include in Near Southeast the Navy Yard, the Yards/Southeast Federal Center, the Washington Gas site east of 11th (more on that from Fox 5, including that the Anacostia Riverkeeper and Anacostia Watershed Society groups are concerned that monies from the city's tax on plastic bags are so far not being directed toward cleaning up the river).
Also, it sounds like the fences at the park will be closed again for the next few days while they get some finishing touches done (the eastern end of the park is still being worked on), but it will then have its Grand Opening Weekend starting Friday at 3:30 pm. And then I can get some nighttime photos, because apparently the park's lighting is something to be seen.
(I've also gotten--and forwarded along--some e-mails from residents grousing about what they see as the less-than-adequate size of the dog park on the park's western edge; I've asked Forest City for more information about the current and future plans for the dog park, and will post about it when I hear back.)
Comments (14)
   
 
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natalie says: (9/7/10 3:13 PM)
Anyone know what the lumber shed project is?


Alan says: (9/7/10 3:24 PM)
Stunning. Can't wait to see it myself.


Jen says: (9/7/10 3:25 PM)
How exciting! We were among the many neighborhood residents checking out the park on Sunday evening. It is such a fantastic space, and what a huge step forward for the area! Every aspect of it seems incredibly well done. It was great to see so many couples, strollers, dogs, and happy people enjoying the park--I am definitely looking forward to the official festivities this weekend!


JD but not that JD says: (9/7/10 3:28 PM)
Hey JD, any idea where the rumored dog park/run would be oriented in the park? Or is that no longer a part of the plan? Just curious. Thanks for these great pictures!!!


JD says: (9/7/10 3:36 PM)
Yes, the dog park (currently very small) is on the far western edge, along the fence with DC WASA. If you look at the rendering on my Yards Park page, you can see it at far left.


JD says: (9/7/10 3:38 PM)
Natalie, the Lumber Shed project will be the reuse of the currently de-skinned two-story building in the center of the park--it will be given glass walls and will become retail and restaurant space on the ground floor. Will probably happen in the next few years. See renderings on my Yards Park page: link


Jay says: (9/7/10 6:15 PM)
I'm going to try and make it Friday afternoon.

I wrote down 3 pm on my calender, but see 3:30 now.

What time shall the early bird arrive?

Looks beautiful, thanks JD! I know this has special meaning to you because you've talked about this spot before, a place that didn't exactly invite one in to.


Dan says: (9/7/10 6:39 PM)
I can't help but thinking after reading about how the new park will drive development that it's all a bit like SimCity. Plant a park down in a neighborhood and watch it all develop! Perhaps SimCity is providing the secret Master Plan for development in DC!


JD says: (9/7/10 7:06 PM)
Hi Jay--I'm going to write a bit about my feelings about the Yards Park after the grand opening. While I do generally try to not pick favorites amongst the projects in the neighborhood, I don't think people would have to look real hard to figure out that I've had a soft spot for this park from the beginning.

[I also used to say to myself that once the Yards Park was done, it might be the time for me to sign off from blogging. Hmmmm. :-) ]



JD but not that JD says: (9/8/10 10:10 AM)
JD, you can't stop blogging! You're a neighborhood institution at this point...your site is invaluable. And thanks for clearing up about the dog park, now that Canal Park is underway it will be nice to have a new place to run our Lab



Misplaced says: (9/8/10 10:30 AM)
I really hope that the BID does a good job in maintaining this park, especially if they decide to extend the size of the dog park. The amount of dog owners in this neighborhood that don't clean up after their dogs is quite disgusting and it would really sadden me to see the park turn into what other areas of the neighborhood look like.

This is coming from a former dog owner in my younger days and an innocent bystander who's had some unfortunate stepping in incidents here in the Near SE.


Jay says: (9/8/10 11:39 AM)
Please don't leave us JD!

I mean, one has to look no further than yesterday. No one covered the lid lifting on Yards Park better than you.

And there's lots of stuff still to come, MLB All-Star Game in 2015 or so!



JD says: (9/8/10 12:17 PM)
Jay--2015? Ow, my head hurts! :-)


Will says: (9/8/10 12:52 PM)
May I second Jay's comments? Not blogging is not an option. In short - we need you. And, as always, great write-up on the park.

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 09/29/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/28/16
301 L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 09/26/16
16 B/O M ST SE   ROBBERY  09/23/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/23/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/19/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/18/16
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  09/17/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 09/16/16
1100 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/06/16
700 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 09/06/16
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/04/16
UNIT B/O I ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 09/04/16

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1233 1ST ST SE   
09/16/16 
NA BALLPARK HOTEL LLC / NORTHEAST ELECTRIC; NA BALLPARK HOTEL LLC; HOSSEIN ECONO SIGN INC.
SG1600390 / CONSTRUCTION
To Install four signs: -3 - Channel letters on Raceways -1- Blade Sign
1331 2ND ST SE   
09/19/16 
DC WATER / DC WATER; CORMAN CONSTRUCTION
AH1601056 / CONSTRUCTION
After hour work for structure excavation and support for building permit B1311474 DC Water, Corman Construction 202-863-0052
933 5TH ST SE   
09/12/16 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP16924112 / HOME OCCUPATION
1150 5TH ST SE   
09/23/16 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / BEDCO MOBILITY INC
EN1603252 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : One (1) vertical wheel-chair lift / steel / front cashier space / handicap / 3rd floor
1015 HALF ST SE   
09/14/16 
HALF STREET SE LLC HALF STREET SE LLC / DARIN PASQUALLE; HALF STREET SE LLC HALF STREET SE LLC; DARIN PASQUALLE
E24765056 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/21/16 
HALF STREET SE LLC / 1015 HALF SE LLC; JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1610675 / CONSTRUCTION
Construction of elevator lobby and common corridors on the 7th floor as shown on the electronically submitted mechanical, electrical, fire protection, and arch. dwgs. Interior work only. No structural work involved. approx. 2275 sf.
80 M ST SE 400   
09/15/16 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / null
P1609454 / SUPPLEMENTAL
50 M ST SE   
09/15/16 
KCG 50 M LLC / KCG 50 M LLC ENGLEWOOD LLC; TRACIE CLAXTON; CLAXTON
SG1600460 / CONSTRUCTION
2 Wall mounted Signs - Reversed Channel Letter 2 small wall mounted plague
99 M ST SE   
09/16/16 
BALLPARK SQUARE 701, LLC SKANSKA COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT / BALLPARK SQUARE 701, LLC SKANSKA COMMERCIAL DEVEL
AH1601047 / CONSTRUCTION
Place concrete mat foundation slab. Before work hours - 3AM to 7AM on 9 / 19 / 2016 and 9 / 20 / 2016, if weather or jobsite delays prevail. Permit will only be needed / used for 1 of the 2 days. (Per ANC agreement "before hours work on ONE of the following days: either September 17, 19, or 20," & "to begin no earlier than 3:00 am" )
   
09/16/16 
BALLPARK SQUARE 701, LLC SKANSKA COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT / BALLPARK SQUARE 701, LLC SKANSKA COMMERCIAL DEVEL
AH1601048 / CONSTRUCTION
Place concrete at 99 M Street SE for mat foundation slab. Saturday 9 / 17 / 2016 concrete placement from 3AM to 7PM. (Per ANC agreement "before hours work on ONE of the following days: either September 17, 19, or 20," & "to begin no earlier than 3:00 am" )
200 M ST SE   
09/23/16 
DC GOVT / ROBERT S. WATTS
E1610422 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
09/20/16 
QUARE 743 INC / QUARE 743 INC; QUARE 743 INC; PHILIP HAUHN
E14003252 / SUPPLEMENTAL
202 M ST SE   
09/23/16 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / GILLIAN JIMENEZ CBS RADIO
TN1600204 / CONSTRUCTION
SPECIAL EVENT FIESTA 201 1 20 X 20 STAGE 1 20 X 20 TENT NO GENERATORS
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
09/22/16 
NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1601069 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 8   
09/23/16 
SQUARE 742 LLC / JAMES W LASHER
E1610398 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 845   
09/21/16 
SQUARE 742 LLC SPAULDING & SLYE C/O WC SMITH / SQUARE 742 LLC SPAULDING & SLYE C/O WC SMITH; WILLIAM SNODDY
B1612012 / CONSTRUCTION
Interior Renovation on the 8th Floor on behalf of Maxim Health 5,138 sqft
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE FLOOR 845   
09/23/16 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1609686 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
09/14/16 
SPAULDING AND SLYE SPAULDING AND SLYE / HALEY HUGGINS; SPAULDING AND SLYE SPAULDING AND SLYE; JOHNNY RILING
E39166644 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
09/19/16 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DC WATER HQ; DAVID FONTANA MSC
EX1600110 / CONSTRUCTION
Site grading and demo per erosion control plan only for future new DC Water HQ building under seperate permit.
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
09/19/16 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL LLC / RONALD C. CAYTON
E1610018 / SUPPLEMENTAL
385 WATER ST SE   
09/15/16 
FC 385 WATER LLC / EDUARDO L. LOPEZ
E1610139 / SUPPLEMENTAL
355 WATER ST SE   
09/14/16 
OLIVIA DARROW RAGNAR EVENTS LLC
TN1600198 / CONSTRUCTION
SPECIAL EVENT RAGNAR RELMAY WASHINGTON DC 2 20 X 20 TENTS 25 10 X 10 TENTS 1 30 X 40 TENT FENCING FOR BEER GARDEN
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;

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Project Directory
Completed
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Hampton Inn ('15)
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Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
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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)
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