Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

The shipping container market known as Fairgrounds is having its soft opening today in concert with the 3:05 pm Nats-Red Sox exhibition game, with food trucks available for not only for Nats fans but for residents and office workers, from 11 am to 8 pm at Half and M streets, SE. Red Hook Lobster Pound, DC Empanadas, Curbside Cupcakes, Tasty Kabob, and Big Cheese will all be on site.
The "official" opening is planned for April 12, the day of the Nats home opener. I'm guessing that's when the market will actually open.
UPDATE: I visited the site about an hour ago, and they were still working hard, and the food trucks weren't on site yet. It looks like they'll open up the interior up at the Das Bullpen end of the street, but as I predicted, this is really just a chance to sell some food and drinks. The market portion of the project isn't anywhere in evidence yet.
But at least I took a bunch of photos of the perimeter for you to peek at!
Comments (27)
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Maelstrom says: (4/3/12 11:18 AM)
In my opinion they need to do a lot of dressing up on the containers, especially what they are using to make them level on the horribly uneven pavement beneath. Perhaps this was temporary, but I saw chunks of broken 4x4's and cinderblock used for leveling under some container corners. That isn't appealing and doesn't seem safe either. At least they put in some colors aside from blue.

PJY03 says: (4/3/12 1:03 PM)
They have a lot of work to do before the 12th, but you can start to see the concept.

Mets and Marlins fans will be pleased at the color choices.

JD says: (4/3/12 1:07 PM)
And Gators! :)

Shogungts says: (4/3/12 11:53 PM)
"And Gators! :)"

Sounds like they need some green containers in there. Go Canes! :)

JD says: (4/3/12 11:58 PM)
Let's see, where's that suspension button....?

Eric says: (4/4/12 3:30 AM)
Gun robbery on 3rd and L two days ago? What!

Maelstrom says: (4/4/12 9:01 AM)
From the location of the two other crimes right next to it in the list, looks like some disturbed individual went on a spree.

Bob says: (4/4/12 9:37 AM)
They have a ton of work to do on the Fairgrounds because right now it's a hideous eyesore. Perhaps this will spur Tommy Wells to find some private investment money to start real development on that piece of land. It doesn't seem as anything else has spurred him.

Alan says: (4/4/12 10:51 AM)
Give it a rest, Bob. Nobody's taking the troll bait.

Eric says: (4/4/12 12:03 PM)
I went out there and even though 1/3 of it was open, it was pretty damn cool. Got me some empanadas.

TheJCG says: (4/4/12 1:02 PM)
Other than the color scheme, it already looks like a hit. The concept is very clear and what is functioning at this point was pretty cool. I hope this thing is ready to go on the 12th as I don't know how effective it will be until usage of the space is maxed out.

MJM says: (4/4/12 1:19 PM)
I'll take it Alan, it would be cool if this were a permanent fixture, filled-up 100% with vendors, etc and developed into a 8am - 2am type of place Jan -> Dec but its not - its just some guy making a buck where there is a vacuum which is fine but it is sad that Akrdige can't get the capital to develop a pretty prime piece of real-estate, right? Talk by Akridge only goes so far (maybe they should sell the land to someone who has money and will build on it) - if the Winter Classic passes on Nats stadium because of lack of development on Half St it will be a crying shame (and Monument). Until then I hope this venture works out and people do come down here to the area.

Ben in SE says: (4/4/12 1:25 PM)
I think Alan was referring to the Tommy Wells portion of the comment. In multiple threads, Bob has linked everything he perceives to be wrong with the neighborhood to failures by Tommy Wells.

Alan says: (4/4/12 1:30 PM)
I agree with what you say, MJM, but Ben in SE nailed it. Bob posts all the time about Tommy Wells and tries to stir the pot.

PJY03 says: (4/4/12 2:26 PM)
Isn't Akridge going to start developing the southern block at the end of this season? I understand folks' concerns, but the fact is that it is prime real estate, and lesser-quality lots are already being developed by Forest City (e.g., 4th and M). True, this block is a primary driver of neighborhood preception, but I think EYA and Forest City have already brought us to the tipping point. Its possible that because this is such prime real estate, it will be among the last pieces in place south of M.

JD says: (4/4/12 2:32 PM)
Akridge says they "hope to" begin later this summer. No official announcement yet.

And, as an additional aside, I don't have a lot of patience for broken record-type comments. Contribute to the discussion, make your opinions known, but if you try to just shoehorn the same opinion into any thread, I'm going to get cranky. [Well, crankier.]

Bob says: (4/4/12 2:53 PM)
Gee, sorry. I didn't know that living in the neighborhood since 2008 obligated me to join the Councilmartyr St. Tommy Wells fan club. I guess I got spoiled when I lived in a Ward where the Councilmember knew how to work with developers to attract private investment dollars to get projects done. If Tommy is actively pursuing those dollars and working with developers to find funding, then more power to him. I just haven't seen the evidence.

JD says: (4/4/12 3:09 PM)
Because private investment dollars can't see the HUGE FRICKIN BASEBALL STADIUM across the street, and so need convincing by someone in government that the area might be a good investment?

JD says: (4/4/12 3:14 PM)
(Told you I'm cranky.)

Ben in SE says: (4/4/12 4:01 PM)
Alright, Bob, against my better judgment, I'll bite.

First, as I read these comments, the only person who has expressed an opinion about Tommy Wells, positive or negative, is you. The rest of us just weren't that interested in engaging someone with a clear ax to grind (something your "Councilmartyr St. Tommy Wells fan club" crack all but confirmed).

Second, you concede in your post that you have no idea what Tommy Wells is or is not doing to attract investment in the neighborhood. Based on your lack of knowledge, you assume he is doing nothing. While that is certainly your right, it is a pretty weak basis upon which to blame Tommy Wells for anything bad that happens in the neighborhood.

Ultimately, you may be right. Tommy Wells may be an utter failure when it comes to his efforts to attract businesses and other amenities to our neighborhood. But until you come with a little substance to back up your consistent attacks, don't be surprised that no one is willing to engage with you in bashing Tommy Wells.

JD says: (4/4/12 4:15 PM)
This graph might be of interest (City Paper): link

"Last year, the Chief Financial Officer issued the first comprehensive report on where the city spends its economic development dollars—ranging from tax incentives to revenue bonds to outright grants and contracts. For fiscal year 2010, Ward 6 was the winner by several miles, landing $128.5 million out of the $326 million total.

"This year, the haul was a little more evenly distributed, with Wards 2 and 6 taking about $43 million each (taking out debt service on the Convention Center and Nationals Ballpark, which most people wouldn't think of as current spending)."

JD says: (4/4/12 4:17 PM)
(It's public dollars and not private, but still an interesting item given the discussion.)

Bob says: (4/4/12 6:19 PM)
C'mon J.D. You're better than that. Do you mean to tell me that Arab money poured into the City Center project downtown because no one from city government lobbied them? Or the fortune in foreign private money that poured into downtown DC in the '70s and '80s to spur development happened without someone from city government working with developers to make it happen?

PJY03 says: (4/4/12 7:19 PM)
Agreed, the city definitely need to work with developers to --Wait, I'm confused. Did the city put up a 600 million dollar baseball stadium or not?

Why are we focused on one specific block? There is public and private investment being poured in from all sides all around the neighborhood. This is like arguing that the sky isn't blue because its a cloudy afternoon.

TheJCG says: (4/5/12 12:35 PM)
At some point it has to be concluded that Bob adds nothing to any discussion and shouldn't be part of them.

Maelstrom says: (4/5/12 2:06 PM)
In cases such as this, refer to the following definition (with pictures): link

JD says: (4/5/12 2:10 PM)
All right, let's move on, commenting about trolling isn't any more helpful to a comment thread than trolling comments are.

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