says: (9/23/10 4:04 PM)
JD, do you know when the housing construction is supposed to start on square 882? If I remember correctly (which may be a big IF), the office of urban planning or something like that said the Marines can't build on square 882 because they are staring construction there very soon. I always assumed this was just a bunch of hot air. I was wondering if my assumptions are correct.
says: (9/23/10 5:22 PM)
The more I learn about this process the more I think that the best place for the Marines would be the community center/ current Marine parking garage land (saves Virginia Ave Park and keeps the Marines together) - just so long as it doesn't mess with the USMC sports field.
says: (9/23/10 6:09 PM)
BBC, the last I heard was that they were talking about "after the baseball season" for the start of any work on Square 882 (they can't do anything until the Nats' use of the parking lot is over), but I haven't heard anything recently. Will see what I can find out.
says: (9/23/10 10:14 PM)
Thanks for your great reporting as usual, JD. Despite the Marines' objections otherwise, I think there are closed-door machinations taking place where developers are vying for the possible building contract. I don't foresee the Marines bulldozing Virginia Avenue Park in the end when square 882 remains an open lot, the Marines could pave over an athletic field and developers along 8th Street would love to unload properties.
As for the city, why would they turn down a Marines suitor for at least part of square 882? Where would financing for their "mixed-use" development come from? Unless the city wants the former Cappers site to remain a parking lot, I can't see them turning down the option to build here.
Finally, what no one -- including the Marines -- mention is the "taking" of property from the residents along Potomac Avenue. I live across the street from Virginia Avenue Park and assume that a) the Marines would need to buy out the only block of residents directly affected by these plans; or b) ask the city to use its Fifth Amendment powers to "take" the properties and turn them over to the Department of Defense. While the scenario is possible, the Marines would a) piss off hundreds of community gardeners; b) disappoint the new dog-lovin' crowd; and c) have a fight on their hands with residents who don't want to move.
In sum, there are too many interests at stake to begin a convoluted "taking" of private property and bulldozing of a public park. That begs the question -- which landowner really wants the Marines' money? Whoever has the most to gain financially will end up selling the land that becomes the new Marine Barracks.
says: (9/24/10 10:59 AM)
@Mark- So, let me get this right, you think it is fair that the entire neighborhood would lose an all welcoming community center which has been years in the planning while the USMC will lose a poorly planned/designed structure that is already there. I drive by the USMC field several times a week, and I have to it is rarely used. Put the barracks where the field is!
This is a neighborhood that is being revitalized, and new barracks does next to nothing to benefit the residents. If they want one so bad, and believe it is necessary to be in this area, put it on USMC land so as not to disrupt the new found enticement of living here.
That being said, I respect what Marines do for this Country, but please stop being so selfish about this.
says: (9/24/10 11:36 AM)
- The developers are looking for the big bucks on what they can get for their land - no surprise there. Maybe I should buy some of what Sealander has for sale.
- Community center - wasn't that a promised piece of the redevelopment of the area (1:1)? Or will that just be another broken promise this area has seen/heard since the 1940s?
- Sq 929/930 and the Park. Is Square 952 included in that land grab? 929/Dog-Ma - locally owned business that employees local peolpe - lost jobs. Not to mention the people that take their dogs there - community impact. 930 - local business and residences (homes from the early 1900 - check out the LOC pics for 817 L St SE) - lost community/impact. VA Ave Park - we know enough about the park - people from SW use that garden too not to mention the community plans of expanding the use of the park - community lost/impact.
- If 952 goes then those homes from the early 1900/late 1800s will be gone just like the rest of what used to be SE - they preverse old homes like that w/in the Capitol Hill Historic District. So more people who have lived here since who knows when we will forced to move again - community lost/impact.
- Squre 906 - new church - community gain for the area.
- Barracks - please explain what that will do for the community (spare the good men/women, fight for country, anti-military, etc). Capitol Riverfront/SE is not a military base. So by adding more barracks south of the freeway will swallow-up more homes that the freeway didn't.
Side Note - there was park space where the current Marine Barracks are located south of the freeway. That site used to be the site of the "first" Eastern market. Then it became open space and then eventually Marine barracks. So there is a history of taking park land/open space.
- Have the Marines looked at Joint Base Anacostia? Is it too far away? There is a big parking garage on L St to park the POV cars the Marines own which means they can drive from JBA. If they don't have a car - then the Marines can get a shuttle bus - just like the ones they have that go to the Pentagon or other DoD locations around the NCR.
says: (9/24/10 1:18 PM)
1) the USMC fields are utilized nearly every night by members of the community - local kids teams play there all the time. You obviously aren't paying much attention if you think this is not the case - the fact is that the Marine field is the best athletic field on the Hill for kids and adult teams alike. What could be more selfish than to dictate what happens to a sports field used by hundreds of community members - especially kids - every week?
2)Why couldn't the community center be in a Marine building? I'm not even sure what purpose the community center serves - I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just I've never lived in a community that had one - and heck, why not have it in a USMC building - it might help to bring the community closer together?
3) I am so sick of the "NIMBY" argument many have made: specifically "the barracks does nothing to benefit the residents" argument. First of all -you are incorrect. Even if you don't care about giving the Marines a decent area to live in, the barracks provides a ready source of consumers in our community who are reasonably well paid - and are ready to spend $$ at local businesses. Second - the barracks brings other guests into our community to spend $$ (twilight parade, sunday afternoon concerts, tourists). Third - why are some so ready to shut the Marines out of our community? I really want to hear an explanation that makes sense - I hear claims of support negated becaue they are quickly followed by a "NIMBY" caveat - why wouldn't we want them as our neighbors?
says: (9/24/10 2:43 PM)
No one is telling them to go elsewhere (the historic barracks are staying). Just find a better place that doesn't take away from the re-developing community.
Can anyone who is not military just walk up to the gate and use the facilities? I don't know - I wish someone would answer that. The guards didn't even know the answer at first if active duty military non-Marine could use the facility when I asked if I could use the facility last week.
You haven't been in a community center? Go check one out - here is a link: link
The reasons why the Marines are looking to move is because of Anti-Terrorism - lets put a civilian full access place next to/on-top of a place that needs to be walled off and surrounded by 9ft security fences???
Whether or not those new barracks are built all those things you mentioned will still go on. Do we need to build Air Force dorms on the mall or Capitol Hill because the Air Force band plays summer concerts on the west steps of the Capitol? There is a difference between the historic barracks and the sleeping enlisted barracks. Tourists only spend money near one and not the other. They won't visit the new barracks.
What about the residents who pay property tax or spend their money in the businesses that could lose out? Or put food on their table from the garden? Are you willing to uproot more people (homes) and businesses in our community to build a walled off fortress where you can't spend money, take your dog for boarding/day care or eat at Levis Port Cafe? Or is that just too bad so sad, go cry in your warm glass of milk?
Reasonably paid? Go check out out the E-1 thru E-4 pay - far from it.
Junior enlisted don't make that much - that is why dorms are built for the junior troops. Not one of those Marines in the dorms pays property tax unless they own property in DC and probably close to 100% (probably 100%) don't pay DC income tax either because their home of record is in a tax free state like FL or TX nor do they vote here in DC unless they are DC residents but they probably vote in FL or TX, etc. And if they are smart and have a car they shop at the commissary for most of their food. But yes the do spend money at businesses on 8th St and other places in DC so they do contribute but not as much as you might make it out to be.
The difference between this "NIMBY" and your hatred for CSX is the CSX project is temporary and will be an inconvenience for all involved but it will be back to normal in three years (or so). Further, CSX is looking at upgrading community related facilites as a result but the Marine barrack is permanent - you can't rebuild homes from the 19th century or just uproot businesses and expect them to survive (its tough enough to survive these days).
The Marines are here - they aren't going anyway - don't think people object to that. For those who object it is probably about the location of the proposed barracks - that is the issue. Whether it is the area in question or over in Anacostia or where ever the end up - they will always be a part of the community, they just don't need to keep taking the places that make a community they are so much a part of as they expand.
says: (9/25/10 11:47 AM)
I second Mark, this is "NIMBY" plain and simple. Try going into a private office building and sitting at someone's desk and see how long it takes security to kick you out. Oh yeah, you would never get past the lobby because you do not have the proper swipe card. So the secuity guard argument is a rouse. The 9 foot fence argument is also a rouse because the current Marine barracks is more attractive that a vast majority of the buildings in the neighborhood. The iron fence is also very well done and fits in well. Did you know that the Barracks hosts orchestra's in the fall that are open to the public? As yes, that soccer field is a blessing for this community. I am also quite tired of the displacing people argument. Many renters in the neighborhood were displaced when house/apartment owners sold there properties to office building developers and nobody here is kicking a fuss. Some were displaced by the stadium. Marines are simply at the bottom of the priority list for some of the residents here ...and that is a shame.
Andrew in DC
says: (9/25/10 11:40 PM)
Not to stir the pot here but.. Mark's let off a few wild red herrings.
I'm just going to grab one:
"Second - the barracks brings other guests into our community to spend $$ (twilight parade, sunday afternoon concerts, tourists). "
This is ridiculous. We're not talking about relocating the whole of the historic 8th & I facility. We're talking about a barracks building where, while they might conduct some parade training in the basement on crummy days, no one's coming to see a concert.
JBAB Anacostia has heaps of room. Fort Mcnair does too. And both of those solutions would allow a single marine to do bus-driver/van duty as opposed to the manning it would take to guard the doors and gates. I'm not opposed to the military - I was military and they employ me now as a civilian - but for God's sake, they should use the huge tracts of land they've already got.
Andrew in DC
says: (9/25/10 11:49 PM)
And just to show I'm not wholly one-sided, MJM's protestation that E-1 thru E-4 are poorly paid is equally silly.
Consider the fact that, by and large, those ranks are 18-21 yr olds who hold jobs and whose food/housing requirements are already met. Barring a family situation, the money you see there for a lot of these marines (single, no kids) is disposable income. Compare that to your average college students. Trust me, they get paid just fine - and they've got plenty left over to contribute to local businesses.
....which, Mark, of course they will even if their barracks isn't located directly in the neighborhood, since they'll still have to report to work each morning.
says: (9/26/10 8:10 AM)
At the end of the day - many of the people writing here want to push the young Marines off to less desireable areas. I don't know why, but that is the bottom line. Rather than letting the Marines live in a nice community with bars and restaurants - where they will and do spend $$ - folks here want to send them to Annacosita or Ft. McNair - places I question whether the authors of those pieces would choose to live themselves.
What I find truly amazing is that the Marines were here during all the bad years - and now that the area is developed/ developing - now some people want to say thanks and kick them out.
I say we treat them as good as we would like to be treated.
As a final point - you are wrong that the CSX issue will only be a three year issue (which is three years of a disaster in this community - three years of dust, dirt, rats, noise - three years where I will have to question whether I can allow my children outside - three years where it will be difficult to walk to the Hill or to take my kids to the parks on the Hill - God help you if you want to sell your home during those three years) - once they are done the pain will not be over - CSX will be running more trains, more frequently - and the trains will be much heavier - you will notice the increase in traffic. They can go around the city. Bottom line: I find it quite amusing that you would defend CSX's scheme but won't speak up for the rights of junior Marines.
says: (9/27/10 8:19 PM)
Andrew, silly? If you were military I would love to hear you tell your troops E-1 to E-4 their pay is "just fine" - that pay is the reason most of the 2000s saw a huge increase in military salary to close that civilian military pay gap. I would never tell my junior troops they make enough.
BBC - you are right people were displaced but when does it stop? Its been going on for 70 years here in SE. So lets keep it going? But maybe you can answer my question - can you just walk up outside of scheduled practice and use the soccer field or 'track'?
Mark - rats? The rights of the Marines? C'mon Mark, this is not about rights, this about taking more community land when there is plenty w/in existing military bases near by. The reason in case you missed it is not to run more trains - it is to run nearly the same amount because they will be double stacked. BTW - CSX is not building a moat - I'm pretty sure the trench will be fenced off, maybe covered with something but the roads will be passable. The trench will be no different than a road - you don't let your kids play in the road? Besides the whistle can you hear the train? If so, why did you buy in Capitol Quarter - you knew there was a train tunnel? Okay, I've said my piece until the next barracks / CSX update :)
Andrew in DC
says: (9/28/10 9:45 AM)
If you were military I would love to hear you tell your troops E-1 to E-4 their pay is "just fine"
I was military, and very recently, so it's fresh in my mind. And an E-4 for a couple years. In a pricey area, to boot. I never hurt for cash, nor did most of my colleagues. And also, you don't stay E-1 for very long (unless you're being punished) so that doesn't factor in to our equation. So really, we're looking at E-2 and up.
And you're right, in the 90s and prior, they made a pittance. Fortunately they DID see that relatively huge increase in salary and right now we're not talking about E-2s to E-4s who had to suffer through those years. Odds are, most of them don't even know how bad their now-senior sergeants had it.
Most of the trouble I had with my junior enlisted wasn't that they made too little, it was that they had no sense of proportion of what they actually made. Buying gaming systems, audio systems and 42" LCDs for their dorm rooms and getting themselves into hock buying a souped up Mustangs. And then getting dinged for late-charges and finance charges because they can't or won't pay their bills on time. But credit problems are not unique to the 18-22 yr old military demo... that's a more broadbased national problem.
Andrew in DC
says: (9/28/10 10:00 AM)
Mark -- "folks here want to send them to Anacostia or Ft. McNair - places I question whether the authors of those pieces would choose to live themselves. "
It isn't that I *want* to send them there. The DoD rules state that they require a certain amount of space. That isn't our fault. At present, they would have to seize more land to meet their requirements. That isn't *their* fault - it's just a reality of the current community situation and the land which already belongs to them. And another reality is that the DoD already owns an awful lot of land in the NCR... so do they really need to take more?
I offer to split the difference -- stick the new barracks on the Navy Yard and move the MCI over to Bolling. Near as I can tell, the MCI is mostly offices and classrooms, not a place where people live. Meanwhile the new barracks will be behind the walls of the Navy Yard (resolving the security issue) and the marines themselves will still be here in the neighborhood.
says: (9/29/10 8:10 AM)
How is not letting them have any more land "splitting the difference?" This shuffling between the Navy Yard and Bolling is a completely bogus compromise. The issue here is that some people have no problem with others moving here but all of a sudden have a big problem with more Marines moving here. I have another "compromise." How about telling the office building (southern) half of block 882 to find someplace else in the city. Close off 4th Street between 4th and 5th. Let the Marines expand southward into the northern half of square 882. Then move the houses to be built on the northern half of square 882 to the southern half. You can even have ground floor retail on that new southern half housing. No company is even interested in occupying square 882 office section yet. There isn't even anyone to kick out. The office part of square 882 is a parking lot and will continue to be a parking lot for the foreseeable future. This was one proposal brought up at the CIMP. I said that I liked that proposal and was verbally attacked by BID chairman. He said that I was trying to stop displaced residents from coming back (in a fairly nasty voice.) He didn't even take the time so see that the proposal that I was complementing only displaced a phantom office building because the returning residents were still coming ...to the southern end of 882 instead of the northern end. He was just in attack mode and didn't let silly things like facts get in his way. That was not actually a big deal to me because he does do a lot of other work that is actually good for our community ...I have to give him credit for that. What is more disturbing to me is that many of my neighbors seem to rally around telling the Marines to take a hike when expanding into square 882 only displaces a phantom office and only moves residents to the other side of the same block.
says: (9/29/10 9:49 AM)
MJM - you obviously haven't been listening to what CSX wants to do. Yes, there will be an open trench for three years with trains running day and night mere feet from some parts of CQ - which means that there will be noise, dust and pollution - and it will not be covered - and that means that I and my kids will have to walk by an open trench - with all the negatives that entails to get to the Hill/ the parks on the Hill - and yes, they have been clear that they are going to run more trains when all is said and done (it wouldn't make financial sense otherwise) - and they will be running trains in both directions at the same time, and yes the trains will be heavier (double stacked) - and thus will be felt, and yes one of the problems with working in a train tunnel is that it displaces rat nests - thus sending the rats into the community (although in fairness to CSX has stated that they will attempt to deal with the rats). CSX can go around the city.
This isn't about there being military bases nearby - this is about quality of life for these young Marines - and it is about some resident's NIMBY attitude towards these young men and women.
says: (9/29/10 1:58 PM)
Mark/BBC - check this out and let me know what you think?
I would like your thoughts on that - is it based on convenience to build on the Va Ave park/area as it was to build Bldg 20 on its present location 40 years ago? Quality of life? You don't join the military to be next door to bars and restaurants. Or is there is a different type of quality of life you are talking about? If they wanted to increase their quality of life w/in the community maybe they could go get a plot in the community garden and grow their own food and learn about gardening in the process?
Please anyone tell me if you can go up to the Marine Annex and use the soccer field? Apparently lots of people use it at scheduled practice time but what about outside of that time?
CSX - I have been - to the point of maybe making VA Ave a 'park' south of the freeway and making it a two-way street north of the freeway. And do you really think you will be able to walk up to the trench and climb in without having to go over a fence? I'll bet ya $1 they cover the trench with something to cut down on the noise. It would be outright dangerous/stupid to leave a train trench open without keeping people out. Plus if you want good reading on the history of the tunnel there is a great 'engineering' book on how sound/sturdy that tunnel is.
Even though 882 is not part of the discussion anymore (nor was it part of this post) - there is a reason why DCHA put that off limits. Go read the legislation of the 1:1 relocation/displacement and why CQ exists today and SE has been redeveloped.
says: (9/29/10 5:03 PM)
There seems to be a clear divide in the community about the CSX tunnel project.
Community Improvements: Those that support CSX for the purpose of possible community improvements to the area.
Threat of Lifestyle and Security Risk: Those that do not support CSX Tunnel due to 3 years of unlivable conditions that risks their community growth, their investment, and their families.
I honestly think these groups should consider working together as it would potentially result in both objectives being achieved together in the long run.
Just a thought....
says: (9/29/10 5:17 PM)
Mark: If CSX tunnel project is of interest to you and you are a resident of Capitol Quarter. There is a Capitol Quarter HOA committee working together for the interests of the community. Contact the board to find out more information and to help. The email is: cqboard "at" gmail "dot" com. There is a meeting tonight: Wed, Sept 29 at 7.
Anyone else affected by CSX: If you are working in another community group and want to share notes about your CSX tunnel concerns, also please contact the cqboard "at" gmail "dot" com to connect with the committee.
Andrew in DC
says: (9/29/10 5:38 PM)
BBC: "The issue here is that some people have no problem with others moving here but all of a sudden have a big problem with more Marines moving here. "
It isn't MORE marines moving in. They're shuffling around the ones they already have and asking for more SPACE. That's why I think they ought to use the land they already have, especially when it meets their criteria.
Why on earth would you want to close down streets in the area to give more land to DoD which already controls significant chunks of land within walking distance of their current site?
How is sticking tehm behind the walls of the Navy Yard telling them to take a hike? No matter where they go, they're going to be behind walls. I just don't see the point of erecting more.
And Mark - the same thing. It's not a NIMBY thing (at least, my POV isn't). I want them to stay. I'd love for them to stay where they are, but that was DoD's call. I'm just asking them to stay in the space they already own that falls within the guidance provided by the AT reg.
Andrew in DC
says: (9/29/10 5:41 PM)
Oh, and regarding "This shuffling between the Navy Yard and Bolling is a completely bogus compromise."
Putting office space on Bolling... which already holds quite a bit of office space for the military and which some residents (myself included) make the grueling SEVEN MINUTE commute to every day is a bogus compromise?
I think you need to reassess that argument.
says: (10/5/10 9:22 AM)
Some folks here obviously came from well to do families ...since they cannot even imagine people not owning a car. I seriously doubt anyone can WALK from Bolling to here in 7 minutes! Hay, how about relocating the Community Garden across the river in Annacostia. Andrew said it only takes 7 minutes for these few rich Capitol Hill residents ...most of whom I am sure drive to their plots anyway. Also, I just learned that those plots have only been around for 6 years. With all that moaning, I thought they were there since the beginning of time.
The military taking away land argument also seems very silly since the DOD turned over all this land for the city to build The Yards projects. Now they need a little new land and get all this grief. They gave us nice waterfront land and are asking for a block inland. Seems like the city still comes out way ahead.
So now gates are walls ...so any CQ or Capitol Hill house with an iron gate is now considered walled in! The current BEQ is an IRON GATE. Hyperbole at its best!
Also, taking the northern block of square 882 does not displace a single person. It only displaces an office building that nobody is even thinking of renting anytime soon. I mentioned above that residents could be moved to the southern end of the block. However, some still feel the need to pull that "displacement" card. Selective amnesia at its best!
I don't comment about many other issues (like CSX) because I can understand arguments on both sides, even if I heavily lean to one side. This Marine BEQ request is different. I still have yet to hear a REAL reason for this Just Say No to the Marines mentality. The only argument that holds water is NIMBY. I sure hope this anti-military sentiment is just limited to a few folks in the neighborhood.
says: (10/5/10 11:38 AM)
BBC I'm active duty military - does that make me anti-miitary. Not sure about others but def did not come from a well do to family!
Did anyone say anything about walking from Bolling? Some of those young Marines have cars - why else would they build a multi-story parking garage? For bikes, skateboards, segways? If they don't have a car you set up a shuttle bus. I don't walk to the Pentagon - I take a shuttle bus. Go to the Pentagon and check out the number of shuttle buses they have to get people all over the NCR.
Why don't you go down to the garden and see how many people drive there (all the time). People actually walk from SW and the Hill to go to the garden after picking up their dogs from Dog-Ma (which would go away too). Where should Dog-Ma move? Its just not a Near-SE garden. Actually it was farm land before the Marines were there - (William Prout family) so maybe it was just big break between the 1790s and 2004. So where would you plan to relocate the businesses and garden? This isn't Hawaii - we aren't making new land around here these days.
It was actually GSA that turned the land over not the DOD - GSA has had the land since 60s when the Navy transfered it to GSA. There are some great articles around the 1988/91 timeframe and later (to include JD's page - timeline) that talk about the land transfer and President Clinton for allowing GSA to do land transfers and work with local BIDs (nationwide and eventually the Navy Yard land). Or maybe my selective amnesia got in the way of facts rather than made up stuff. You also saw when you don't use facts or new data - you wind up living in the 9th most dangerous hood in the US.
What was your take on the barracks article from 1969? Would love to hear what you think. Since you seem to have some inside info on the office building at 882 - do you have an answer on whether or not you can use the Annex anytime you want or just during kids soccer practice?
Andrew in DC
says: (10/5/10 1:14 PM)
BBC - I actually used to jog to Bolling from my apartment on I St to get to work on a fairly regular basis. Right over the South Capitol St. Bridge! Took me less than 30 minutes. But we're not talking about putting living quarters there, just office space. I understand that conflicts with your preconceptions and really ruins your argument, but please try to understand the difference between the MCI and the lower enlisted quarters.
Also please ignore that the city, not the residents was the one that told the Marines that 882 was out of the question.. but that ruins your context of everyone-opposed-to-this-hates-the-military.
The only reason you don't hear the other side's arguments is because you aren't listening to what they're actually saying.
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