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A press release that went out on the wires on Friday has announced that a joint venture is being structured between Patriot Transportation Holdings (through its subsidiary Florida Rock Properties) and MidAtlantic Realty Partners, LLC, to develop the first phase of RiverFront on the Anacostia, just across the street from Nationals Park.
And, in an even more interesting tidbit, the release says that the companies are going to request a modification to the existing Florida Rock PUD to make the first phase an apartment building, rather than the planned office building. They expect that construction could start in the spring of 2013, with leasing to start in the fall of 2014. This portion of the site is the eastern end, directly across from the ballpark's Grand Staircase, closest to Diamond Teague Park and the planned expanded public plaza that will be adjacent to Teague.
It would be after the PUD modification is received that the joint venture would actually be formalized, and the current Letter of Intent "contemplates no commitments or obligations between the parties with respect to Phases II, III and IV of the Master Development Plan." MidAtlantic is apparently investing $4.5 million and receiving a 30 percent interest in the venture.
This of course will be huge news to everyone who looks out from the baseball stadium at the concrete plant just to the south, and probably is a more complete explanation for the filing of the raze permit earlier this year. In late 2009 this first phase of the project was given a two-year extension of the zoning order that had originally called for construction to begin by the middle of this year. FRP's representatives cited the difficulties of getting financing to get work underway in their request.
If you're just joining us, the Florida Rock site took about a decade to wind through the zoning process, with all sorts of changes along the way (especially when a major league baseball stadium was suddenly plunked down just across the street).
The design that was approved in 2008 calls for 1.1 million square feet of development on the 5.8-acre site, which would include a 75-foot-wide promenade along the river that would be part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Originally there were going to be two office buildings, one residential building, and one hotel, along with 84,000 square feet of retail and a number of large open public spaces, but we'll have to see as the new zoning request comes through how those numbers are going to change.
My Florida Rock project page has a slew of renderings and details on the development's design as it was approved.
UPDATE: WBJ says that the new first-phase apartment building would have about 200 units.
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Andrew in DC says: (7/16/11 11:23 AM)
Interesting. Do you have a link to the press release? Phase I was going to be the East or West Office Building?


JD says: (7/16/11 11:27 AM)
As my post says, it's the eastern office building that was planned to be the first phase, next to Diamond Teague.

And, do you really want me to give you a Let Me Google That For You link? ;-) (I'm letting the rest of the media do their own research for a change.)


Andrew in DC says: (7/16/11 8:58 PM)
Hah. Fine fine - I just clicked on a couple links in your story thinking I was getting the PR, but no ... no I did not.


F says: (7/18/11 2:10 PM)
Not a bad idea considering 1015 Half St and other office buildings are awaiting occupants.

JD - This seems like a good time to ask about the status of the new South Capitol St bridge. Understand the new bridge will be needed to support later phases of development at FL Rock. The first phase should remain unaffected.


JD says: (7/18/11 2:16 PM)
F: The status is that DC will need a pile of money from the Feds to build the new bridge. Whether that's something that is likely to happen in the current environment is an open question.

The current bridge runs on the far western portion (late phases) of the RiverFront acreage (and would have one of the buildings on the new circle at South Capitol and Potomac), though apparently the design is such that the four phases can be finished without the new bridge being built. The first phase, though, is nowhere near the bridge site and so isn't impacted, as you said.


58Model says: (7/20/11 4:42 PM)
Actually, DC will need a pile of money from the taxpayers. Turns out, thats where the Feds get it from.


Ryh03001 says: (7/21/11 10:15 AM)
JD whatever happened with the story that the CHT retail had a tenant? Thanks


JD says: (7/21/11 10:32 AM)
Waiting for someone to confirm the rumor of who the tenant is, beyond just residents telling me they heard something like such-and-such. :-) There's a CHT residents meeting soon, I'm sure the details will come out then.

But, if the rumor of the tenant turns out to be true, everyone should be prepared to be not terribly excited.

(And, by the way, I don't like being cagey any more than you like reading me being cagey. But my prohibition against reporting stuff I can't confirm is pretty strong. Hopefully the news will come out soon.)



jwg says: (7/21/11 12:01 PM)
My only real vote for the space in CHT is for a place that will attract more retail and restaurants to the area. Well, that and a frozen yogurt place :)

(Probably wishful thinking, I know, but... a girl can dream, right?)


jwg says: (7/21/11 12:16 PM)
Okay, just heard the rumor myself. At least I'm telling myself it's only a rumor. If this is true, I don't think it's going to be so attractive to retail/restaurants that would consider coming here.


Scott says: (7/21/11 12:26 PM)
Well why don't you pass along the rumor, to those of us wondering what it is? You're certainly not bound to any ethical standards JD holds herself to viz. confirmation...


JT says: (7/21/11 2:17 PM)
Ann's B/S and Wigs is expanding?! That's great news!


MJM says: (7/21/11 10:54 PM)
I heard another subway is moving to CHT! :)


Eric says: (7/22/11 10:26 AM)
"I don't think it's going to be so attractive to retail/restaurants that would consider coming here."

You can't say that then not tell us. You're not JD, just tell us the rumor!


Eric says: (7/22/11 10:32 AM)
Now I'm terrified: Checks cashed place? A nightclub with no dress code? Ann's part deux? A free STD testing clinic? CASH4GOLD?


Tell me the rumor.


sdb246 says: (7/22/11 10:47 AM)
Me too, Eric. I'm picturing an OTB. Or another liquor store. Or a combination OTB/liquor store.


JD says: (7/22/11 10:50 AM)
Don't let your minds go too far afield. It's not *bad* if true, just not anything like what people have been hoping for.

I can't believe no one's posted it.


Michael says: (7/22/11 11:28 AM)
Should I?


sdb246 says: (7/22/11 11:45 AM)
I know I'd appreciate it if you would...


MJM says: (7/22/11 1:44 PM)
Why don't the CHT peeps post it - there is more than the informer who knows. And it isn't that bad, probably a place most people won't go but at least it will bring jobs/people to the area which helps the area overall.


sdb246 says: (7/22/11 3:22 PM)
Would someone - anyone - post it with the caveat that it's just a rumor?


MJM says: (7/23/11 3:25 PM)
Has Georgetown in the name....


Eric says: (7/24/11 2:11 AM)
And the second part is a bit more disappointing...


So instead, I'd like to buy "co-eds" for $40,000 please, Alex.


NJA1000 says: (7/24/11 10:12 AM)
Ok, this dancing around is pretty ridiculous. From where I sit, people on jdland are all too eager to share a rumor when there isn't any substantiation, so why not share this when there is some truth to it?

The not-so-secret secret is that, in vague terms, this space will house a Georgetown University program that will help the underserved community in some fashion.

I could have some of the details wrong, but these are the broad brushstrokes.



Michael says: (7/24/11 11:26 AM)
Because we were hoping it wouldn't be true maybe? ... Was described as an "outreach center," so if it's intended for the underserved (which I fully advocate... GU probably can't do enough of that), I'm not sure exactly what it's doing in this well-off neighborhood with few children and no (currently?) local elementary school


Eric says: (7/25/11 1:32 AM)
I, for one, look forward to dozens of homeless folk strewn about the area. (perhaps a bit hyperbolic)

They really couldn't find better tenants like some much needed non-restaurant retail? FFS.


MJM says: (7/25/11 12:17 PM)
Pretty sure its not a soup kitchen, probably a non-profit office.

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