Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
August 14, 2005
April 26, 2015
1st at I, Looking North (see more)

With the DC apartment market continuing to perform strongly (perhaps even too strongly), and with Near Southeast's existing rental buildings continuing to be successful in attracting tenants, it would seem to follow that developers who have been long planning new residential projects in the neighborhood would be making moves to get their projects underway. And that's what's happening with William C. Smith & Co., which has been working on the initial plans for a 13-story, 430-unit apartment building at 880 New Jersey Ave. SE, just south of the freeway on the southwest corner of their Square 737 site that they've owned since 1999.
WCS isn't ready yet to release renderings of the building, though they did show me an early design by Esocoff and Associates (who also designed Onyx and who are working on Akridge's Half Street residential building), showing a brick/masonry structure with a lot of "articulation" (i.e., not a big flat box) and with double-height windows. Some anticipated amenities include an indoor pool as part of its fitness center (which could also have spinning and yoga rooms), in addition to the now-all-but-standard rooftop pool, and a bicycle entrance to a sizeable storage room separate from the three levels of underground parking. There will also be an interior courtyard that the building wraps around.
One amenity that this building won't have is a Whole Foods Grocery store, after that plan collapsed earlier this spring. There will be a small amount of "convenience" retail (1,500 square feet), on the southeast corner of the building.
There are a couple of items that need to happen before construction can get underway, starting with the move of the Department of Public Works out of their site at New Jersey and K to a new location on Okie Street in Northeast, the construction of which can now proceed thanks to the council passing last week emergency technical legislation allowing a portion of Capper PILOT monies to be used for off-site construction (though another bill still has to pass to actually allocate the funds). Then the DC Housing Authority needs to demolish the trash transfer building (a raze application permit having been filed last week), at which point WC Smith will purchase the portion of the trash transfer site that juts across and north of the I Street footprint, as seen at right; the Smith site is on the right side of the photo.
It is hoped that DPW will relocate by early fall and that DCHA will get the site cleared by the end of 2011; WCS is targeting April 2012 for the start of construction on the building itself, with the project expected to take 24 months. (It should be mentioned here that this is not the apartment building planned for the trash transfer site itself; that will be a Capper mixed-income building, with no current start date announced.)
WCS will also be building the new stretch of I Street that will run between 2nd Street and New Jersey Avenue, as well as punching H Street through to New Jersey on the north end of Square 737. (And no, this won't drive out the horse stables nestled under the freeway just north of H.) They are expecting that the new block of I Street will have two travel lanes, two bike lanes, and two parking lanes. And this stretch of New Jersey Avenue will get the wide landscaped sidewalks that are seen in front of the other new developments on the street.
This is the first phase of Smith's plans for Square 737, seen at left from above, back in 2008. While originally the plan had been for two residential buildings and two office buildings, the current realities of both markets have the company looking toward filling the block with apartments, totalling around 1,200 units in four buildings. (And note that the entire four-building project is "matter of right," so there will be no zoning reviews or PUDs.) They are anticipating greater amounts of retail in the two buildings that will front 2nd Street, near Canal Park and across from 225 Virginia.
If you want to see more photos of Square 737 and get additional background, check my project page and previous posts. And, given that Smith's representatives say that they are "very excited to get started" on the development, hopefully renderings of 880 New Jersey and additional details will be available in the next few months.
While this will be William C. Smith's first apartment project in Near Southeast, they have been committed to the neighborhood for a number of years, having constructed 1100 New Jersey Avenue in 2004 (which is where their offices are). They have also been a big player in the creation of Canal Park, and are part of the Capper PUD team as the developers of the planned 250 M Street office building.
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F says: (6/20/11 8:37 PM)
JD- Great news all around...except for the lack of a Whole Foods. Any chance WCS will reengage on that? Without it, the only other proposed large grocery store is the prospective Harris Teeter at The Yards.

A Whole Foods would fit nicely into Near SE and would have four new apartment buildings worth of tenants just above them.


JD says: (6/20/11 10:55 PM)
F, I imagine if they thought there were still a chance, they'd be working on it. But they gave not a single hint that there's an opening for the deal to come back together.

By the way, I should just note that a purported rendering of 880 New Jersey that appeared on the web a few weeks ago is about 1 billion percent *not* what the developer showed me today: link . Don't know where they got that rendering, maybe it was for when WCS was trying to lure Homeland Security to Square 737. That drawing is clearly an office building and not a residential building (which is why I never linked to it).


Jim Ed says: (6/21/11 9:39 AM)
JD - I have a question about the land across the street from this; the open space behind the Axiom bounded by NJ ave and 395. Who owns this, and has there ever been a plan for it?


I ask because I saw a guy in a hardhat and construction vest driving around it and periodically getting out and surveying things last night.


JD says: (6/21/11 9:45 AM)
Jim--most of that land (with the exception of the sliver at New Jersey and I, where the parking lot is) is owned by CSX. No plans ever announced, and I doubt there will be anything done with any of it anytime soon.


Jim Ed says: (6/21/11 10:37 AM)
I had a feeling it was CSX related. I hope they aren't turning that area outside my bedroom window into a staging area for the tunnel work...


lester says: (6/21/11 12:27 PM)
One thought... Not having formed any strong opinions one way or the other (and with a lot of details yet announced), I would like to point out that, while the development may be "by right," seeing how some of the land that WC Smith is planning on building on top of is owned by the DC Government ("trash transfer" facility), there should be opportunity for a vigorous public discussion about the project once it is presented.


JD says: (6/21/11 12:39 PM)
The DC government won't own any of the land once the project is underway. As I said in my post, that small sliver will be sold to WC Smith. The bulk of the trash transfer site, south of what will be I Street, is part of the Capper PUD and so when its apartment building comes down the pike, there will be scads and scads of public comment opportunities.


F says: (6/21/11 1:28 PM)
JD,
Will the new section of I ST be open to traffic during construction or will they build it out, but wait until after construction to allow access?

Thanks.


JD says: (6/21/11 2:11 PM)
It won't open until after this first phase of construction is done, is what they told me.


MJM says: (6/21/11 2:26 PM)
At least with a new H and I St that should/hopefully take the pressure off L St.

Why a vigorous discussion once presented? I'm ready to see less surface parking lots and less award winning trash transfer centers in the area. If people in CHT are gonna protest because people lose their view of the Capitol....

Anyway, that area west of NJ Ave is gonna be the staging area for the tunnel. But who knows what it will look like post-tunnel community improvements.

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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   
05/08/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1504197 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATION TO 5TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE TASC PHASE II AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED MECH. PLUMB. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION DEMOLITION AND ARCHITECTURAL DWGS. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE.
   
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   
05/08/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / ROB HOHL
P1505689 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/08/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / GEORGE S OWEN
M1501845 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
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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