Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
September 9, 2006
January 31, 2015
New Jersey at I, Looking East (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.
Comments (10)
 
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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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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
Theft From Auto 1
 02/27/15
1000 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 02/27/15
100 B/O CANAL ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 02/24/15
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1 (Theft F/Building)
 02/19/15
1000 B/O 2ND ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
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UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
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Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
02/12/15 
COLIN CLARK / MICHAEL BIANCO; COLIN CLARK; MITCH PERMUY
E98099105 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1265 1ST ST SE   
02/10/15 
CAPITAL RIVERFRONT HOTEL LLC / JOHN HOMICK
E1502866 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 5TH ST SE   
02/24/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
B1412422 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW BUILDING PERMIT FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER INCLUDING STEEL STRUCTURE BRICK AND MASONRY BACKUP
1240 12TH ST SE   
02/19/15 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / CARLTON W ROBINSON
E1503465 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 HALF ST SE   
02/25/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / DAVID MILLER
SB1500157 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION AND MONITORING OF 8 INCLINOMETER MONITORING SYSTEMS. THREE INCLINOMETER CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE K STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT. THREE CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE I STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT. TWO CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE HALF STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT.
   
02/23/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / 23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES; ANDREW DANCE
SB1500132 / CONSTRUCTION
A HOLLOW STEM AUGER WILL INSTALL UP TO 30 TEMPORARY DEWATERING WELLS BY ADVANCING A 12 OD / 8 1 / 4 ID BOREHOLE TO A DEPTH OF 65 FEET. AT DEPTH A 4 INCH PVC FLUSH JOINT THREADED WELL ASSEMBLY WILL BE SET AND SELECT FILTER PLACED. INTO EACH WELL WILL BE INSTALLED A 1 HP TURBINE SUBMERSIBLE PUMP. EFFLUENT WILL BE DIRECTED THROUGH A COMMON MANIFOLD TO A BAFFLED SETTLING TANK AND DISCHARGED TO THE LO...
1015 HALF ST SE   
02/09/15 
HALF ST SE LLC /
P1503333 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/12/15 
THOMAS AN / THOMAS AN; HYH ELECTRIC CO. INC.
SG1500156 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL ONE SINGLE FACE BUILDING SIGN AND ONE DOUBLE FACE BLADE SIGN
   
02/10/15 
EVAN OBRIEN / JOSEPH ABRESCH; EVAN OBRIEN; ROBERT HUNSBERGER
E74054014 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/18/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / STEPHEN R. HOLMAN
P1503532 / SUPPLEMENTAL
82 I ST SE   
02/09/15 
GREYSTAR RCP DEVELOPMENT / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
SH1400084 / CONSTRUCTION
SHEETING & SHORING WORK FOR NEW 13-STORY RESIDENTIAL PROJECT AT EYE STREET AND NEW JERSEY AVE SE
50 M ST SE   
02/18/15 
ENGLEWOOD LLC / FVI2020
FD1500010 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION OF GRADE RELATED TO CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOTEL
55 M ST SE   
02/24/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / ANDREW P CARAYIANNIS
M1501184 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
02/11/15 
SQUARE 743 INC. / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
TL1500062 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST TIME TENANT TO BUILDOUT AND OCCUPY TENANT SPACE ON PART OF THE 7TH FLOOR THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED THIRD PARTY REVIEWED AND APPROVED MECH. .PLUMB. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION AND ARCHITECTURAL PLANS BY KTA. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE. NO STRUCTURAL WORK INVOLVED.
   
02/13/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1503331 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/13/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1503495 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/19/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1503597 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / GREGORY E LIGON
E1503498 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/23/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1503518 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
02/19/15 
US GOVERNMENT NAVY PWC / SUMMIT CONSTRUCTION AND ES
B1504570 / CONSTRUCTION
REQUEST AND E&S PERMIT FOR WORK ON FEDERAL INSTALLATION. INSTALLING FOOTINGS AND SLAB WITH PORTCH SUPPORTS. MINOR GRADING AND SEEDING. BUILDING FOOTPRINT IS UNDER 700SF. LAND DISTURBANCE INCLUDING GRADING AND SEEDING IS UNDER 2 500SF.
100 M ST SE   
02/19/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOHN H THOMSON
E1503464 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID RAINE; SQUARE 743 INC; DAVID RAINE
P38575591 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
02/11/15 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
B1504255 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION TO 2ND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM. PARTITIONS FINISHES MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY. ICI SERVICES
1201 M ST SE   
02/11/15 
CSC / DAMON ELLIS
B1503731 / CONSTRUCTION
SCOPE OF WORK AREA IS 800SQFT TO INCLUDE MECHANICAL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL AND FIRE. NO CHANGE OF USE OR STRUCTURAL WORK BEING DONE
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/24/15 
NEW JERSEY AT H LLC / JOHN H THOMSON
E1503556 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/13/15 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500246 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 7:00PM THRU 7:00AM
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/23/15 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / SHAWN ALEX HELLER
HO1500118 / HOME OCCUPATION
HOME OFFICE (LAW OFFICE).
300 TINGEY ST SE   
02/13/15 
RICHARD CERVERA / NATHANIEL GILL
B1504014 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW SUMMER 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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