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October 16, 2016
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(Continuing along with my posts on Monday night's ANC 6D meeting....)
StonebridgeCarras, the folks who are morphing the old Star/Post Plant at 225 Virginia into a new DC government office building at 200 I (I'm still fighting that address) came to ANC 6D looking for support for a public space permit covering the landscaping, paving, sidewalks, and other exterior improvements.
There are a number of large oak trees surrounding the building, and Jane Mahaffie of Stonebridge said that they are "going to great lengths" to save as many of them as possible, although arborists have already determined that two or three of them need to come down. (At least one of those trees, however, will be dried out and reused in the rebuilt structure.) You can see on the graphic at right (see larger version) the larger trees that denote which ones are expected to be saved. Of course, when CSX digs its trench, the trees along Virginia Avenue may not end up being quite so lucky....
The landscaping will not be on too grand of a scale, since the city will be responsible for maintaining it and isn't exactly rolling in dough.
What is also depicted on this drawing that hasn't always been obvious in the renderings of the new 200 I is the parking deck planned for the southEAST corner of the block. It's a one-story deck, with an entrance on 3rd Street for visitors to park on the roof of the deck, and another entrance on I Street for DC government staff to enter and park either on the lower part of the deck or in the basement of the building. (There are upwards of 200 total spaces, if memory serves.)
But, as anyone who has walked north on 3rd Street to the freeway can tell you, there is a considerable rise in the grade of the street, so while the parking deck will look one story tall down at I Street, it will actually be at the same level as the street up closer to Virginia, as you can see in this rendering of what the deck and its "dense buffer plantings" will look like as seen from 3rd Street:
The larger version of the above graphic has additional renderings of the parking deck as seen from 3rd and from I, showing how the designers are attempting to hide the deck as much as possible, especially as time goes on and the plantings mature.
The ANC voted 7-0 to support the public space permit.
If you haven't been following along, 200 I is expected to be home to the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, the DC Child and Family Services Agency, and the Commission on Arts and Humanities. Its new entrance will be on I Street, facing Canal Park, and the lobby will include a gallery of artwork that will be open to the public (without having to go through security). There also may be some small "incubator" service retail in the southwest corner of the building. The developers are going for LEED Gold certification, and 50 percent of the new roof will be "green." Exterior construction is expected to be completed by January of 2012, with move-ins expected to happen in late spring of '12. You can see renderings of the lobby and more photos on my 225 Virginia project page.
(And, one more 6D recap to come.)
Comments (14)
 More About 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I Home


Mark says: (3/16/11 10:43 AM)
Potential CSX tunnel, let's not count those trains before they break ground...

JD says: (3/16/11 10:50 AM)
My view on the inevitability of the CSX tunnel is quite simple: if there are those who think anything is going to stop one of the largest corporations in the country from completing what they and many others in business and government see as a critical double-tracking and double-stacking expansion of their capacity everywhere on the east coast except for a 10-block stretch in Southeast Washington (thereby negating the hundreds of millions of dollars of work they've done everywhere else), they are to be applauded for their optimism. :)

jg says: (3/16/11 11:35 AM)
My sense of direction isn't the greatest, but won't that parking deck be on the Southeast portion of the building/block?

Also, while I have no idea what the expected incremental traffic volume will be, I do hope that the city is planning some adjustments to better manage traffic flow at the intersection of 3rd and Virginia and 3rd/VA/SE-SW Freeway. In fact, I think the whole traffic management program in the area bounded by the Freeway, M Street, 3rd and NJ needs to be revisited. As others have mentioned in a different post, commuters travel at excessive speeds throughout this area, and I long ago lost count of the number of times I've seen stop signs ignored.

JD says: (3/16/11 11:38 AM)
Oops, thanks JG for the directional correction. :)

AKR says: (3/16/11 12:16 PM)
Too bad it is not one southwest corner. That entrance on 3rd is going to be a mess and will also take away more residential parking from an area already overwhelmed by illegal commuter parking (Black BMW with MD tag 8AC... and Saturn Peace sticker with MD tag - that's right I mean you). It is actually worse now that construction at 200 I and Canal Park are underway,and there appears to be a lack of police enforcement.

Bruce says: (3/16/11 2:24 PM)
Good point. Quality of life is effected by every project going on around the area and parking around 3rd Street is a good example. It is important to keep updated so that (hopefully) the effect on residents is minimal. Although the area is not fully populated, the amount of people driving here from other parts of town (and VA/MD) and taking up valuable resident parking is a real concern. With so many construction projects happening simultaneously and more coming combined with more residents getting ready to move into the area, it will only get worse. Yes, parking enforcement really needs to be stepped up.

ML says: (3/16/11 2:43 PM)
Off topic, but when I was driving home last night I noticed that all of the windows on the west side (facing S Cap Street) of 1015 Half Street building were gone...not sure if this is new or if I had just noticed and it had been like that for a while. We have been out of town for a couple of weeks but I don't remember reading anything about it....

JD says: (3/16/11 3:12 PM)
ML, it was mentioned by other readers in another thread and on Twitter this morning. I don't know what the deal is, but I will note that Skanska didn't put those west side windows/walls in (that was done before Opus crashed and burned), so either they think there was a problem with the work, or just thought it was butt ugly. ;-) (Though everyone should remember that eventually another office building will most likely go up on the empty lot, so it's not like 1015's west side will ever really be visible except from the alley and from the windows of that new building.)

BillP says: (3/17/11 10:37 AM)
Why is it not possible to use the existing curb cut and driveway on Virginia Avenue to get to the top level of the garage in lieu of making a new curb cut and creating new access to/from 3rd Street? It appears that the new parking garage will be built on the footprint of the existing parking lot which is currently accessible only via the curb cut and driveway on Virginia Avenue.

JD says: (3/17/11 10:40 AM)
The existing Virginia Avenue curb cut is going to be for the new loading dock, shown on the site plan drawing.

BillP says: (3/17/11 11:01 AM)
Ah, thanks JD. I could not tell what that was on the site plan, whether it connected to the parking structure or not.

BillP says: (3/17/11 11:02 AM)
JD - just saw your tweet on Florida Rock raze permit, how long is a raze permit valid for once it is approved? Thanks!

Mark says: (3/17/11 3:04 PM)
JD - I watched a small community in North Carolina stop the Department of the Navy from building a needed facility in their community - so I'll never underestimate the power of a small number of people to protect their property rights.

I maintain my position that CSX had a window to enlarge their tunnel which has now closed.

JD says: (3/17/11 5:33 PM)
BillP - I asked a DC government staffer, and they said that raze permits have the same time expiration as building permits -- work must happen within one year of issuance.

So, very interesting.... Have a query into the FRP folks, but haven't heard anything back.

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