Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
February 10, 2007
August 20, 2016 
1st at K, Looking Northwest (see more)

Diverse Markets Management, the company which was overseeing the "market" portion of the new Fairgrounds shipping container market and events space on Half Street, alerted its vendors and other exhibitors via e-mail that "[a]fter much deliberation, DMM has concluded it must drop out of this project, effective immediately."
In the e-mail, DMM executive director Michael Berman said he was sorry that the plans didn't work out, having had "high hopes for the venue," but: "Taking a hard look at the site, I believe it cannot support retail, vending, artists or farmers as we had imagined that it might. I think the space is well designed to serve alcohol products and that the stage, sound, and food trucks compliment that use, but the vending and retail aspect does not fit in at all, without a complete redesign, which is not envisioned."
In what is probably related news, the Fairgrounds web site now says that it will be open "daily" (i.e., operating on non-game days in addition to game days) beginning May 4. The food, drink, and entertainment portions of Fairgrounds's operations were not being handled by DMM and presumably will be continuing. I've reached out to Fairgrounds developer Bo Blair to find out whether another vendor will be brought in to try to revive the market aspect of Fairgrounds' plans, and will update with any information I get.
UPDATE: Describing the Fairgrounds team as "disappointed" that DMM pulled out after only five days of business, Bo Blair had this to say via e-mail:
"From the beginning of the Fairgrounds concept, we all were very aware that the retail aspect was going to be a difficult task. Unfortunately, DMM was not the right fit. We are fully committed to moving forward quickly with a host of other vendors, artists, real estate brokers, and entrepeneurs who see the incredible potential to create something unique and interesting on the site. We did not go out and spend over $350,000 and waste an incredible amount of time and effort to have the containers sit empty. We will fill them soon. The other aspects of Fairgrounds, such as the food trucks, The Bullpen, games, and live music have been very well received. We have many events planned for the summer and will be open daily starting May 4th. We look forward to new ideas and concepts to fill the container stores as soon as possible and are excited for the great season ahead."
Comments (15)
   
 
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PJY03 says: (4/18/12 3:00 PM)
I'm not totally surprised by this, having just visited on Monday night. Regardless of their best-laid plans, the Bullpen is still the Bullpen. The crowds that go to the site are going to drink, they aren't going to shop. Let's face it -- its kind of fratty, and you're not going to sell hand made jewelry to that crowd.

I was an initial proponent, and still don't think a container market is a bad idea. You just can't be both The Bullpen and craft market at the same time.


lester says: (4/18/12 3:24 PM)
*Shock.* It's not the least bit surprising that a seasonal "fairgrounds" a 20 minute walk, 10 minute bike ride, and 3 minute car ride from Eastern Market, one of the largest, most established daily (except Monday) venues in the area (with a weekend flea market, year around) would fail.


Bruce says: (4/18/12 4:24 PM)
They apparently didnt think that they could overcome the site's reputation as a drinking establishment. Oh well.


Robert says: (4/19/12 8:47 AM)
I didn't support the idea originally but thought I'd give it a try. It does make a great impression at first glance, but once inside it’s just the bull pin. The vendors there were selling $300 paintings of the DC flag; you could still see the pencil marks in the painting where they traced the stars. If that was their idea of retail then maybe DMM wasn't a good fit. Those vendors seemed to be part of that annoying Sober/non-drug-using hippy movement, who will by anything (bad clothes, bad paintings, etc.) at any cost to come off as counter culture. There is potential for retail but it has to complement its primary function as a drinking venue. Maybe a coozy outlet, hand spun shot glass stand, neon colored sun glasses container, and a custom bean bag table for corn hole...



Bob says: (4/19/12 9:16 AM)
How odd and disappointing. You’d think retailers would flock to a location that looks like a dumping ground for discarded CSX equipment. I mean, what could be more inviting than rusting and dented shipping containers piled one on top of the other?


Maelstrom says: (4/19/12 9:50 AM)
You know, I thought the site was 'rusting and dented shipping containers' at first, then they welded on window ends and did some fairly inventive stuff with wood palets. I agree with Robert that they should just sell stuff that goes with the theme of the bullpen.


58Model says: (4/20/12 11:11 AM)
Welcome to Near Southeast. Have a drink.


Westnorth says: (4/20/12 2:35 PM)
I was curious to see what vendors would appear, and a bit disappointed to see so few there. However, they're charging the equivalent of $200/sq.ft., with a full month commitment -- for a space which only reliably gets crowds at game time, and then only because there's a bar.

The other shipping-container markets appeared as more-permanent alternatives to already successful craft fairs; events like Brooklyn Flea established a market before DeKalb, and Shoreditch is around the corner from the thronged Brick Lane Market. Their concept could probably work as an adjunct to Eastern Market, but this location's just not on most residents' radars yet.


TheJCG says: (4/20/12 11:57 PM)
And we get lester and Bob with snarky comments that add nothing and are just more trolling from angry people with nothing going for themselves.

The choices of retail did seem really odd. Things don't have to be gameday/drinking oriented, but they do have to be quality for good prices. This is an idea that is going to have to build up and gain a reputation, the retail vendors need to know that.


MJM says: (4/21/12 1:06 AM)
TheJCG - what do yo want people to add to a failed concept? This thing was billed as the next great "If they build it they will come project" - I'd like to think the folks did their business/marketing plan and came to the conclusion that it would draw people as a retail spot. I would have liked to open something there but really outside of game day what is gonna drive traffic over there on the end of the neighborhood w/o an event?

Maybe Akridge can sell the land to someone who will actually develop a pretty prime piece of real estate and make it more than a booze destination?

$200/sq ft - is that right? The avg DC rent is in the $48/sq ft range...


JD says: (4/21/12 10:02 AM)
For a bit more detail, and ruminations on retail in a place that's mostly sports fans, read Housing Complex: link


lester says: (4/23/12 7:28 AM)
@TheJCG, If I were trolling, how on earth is a comment about trolling any more productive to the conversation? And honestly, leveling a personal attack at two individuals after accusing them of trolling? Brings me back to grade school.

I'm not an angry person at all, and I've got a lot going for me. Thanks for your concern regarding my well being.

For the record, I was attempting to add some market analysis, and was questioning why on earth Georgetown Events thoughts this concept would work here. Several others have made similar comments, and understood where I was coming from.

Have a nice day.


JD says: (4/23/12 10:29 AM)
Okay, seriously, leave the comments thread policing to me. Just talk about the topic(s) at hand....


Westnorth says: (4/23/12 4:01 PM)
The $200 figure comes from DCRE's listing, which is visible at their DCMud blog; it's not entirely comparable to the $50/foot you'll find nearby since (a) it's not for an entire year and (b) it's not triple net [appears to include utilities].

One 8x20 container is $3000 per month, or $5000 for two months. That, plus staff and inventory costs, is a lot of money for a small retailer to put at risk.


Robert says: (4/25/12 9:44 AM)
The link below is a great example of container retail done right! If Akridge, a very prominent developer, wants this to be a more respectable venue to be patronized by more than your baseball pre-gamers, I believe it will require more than they a currently willing to invest. You can't take an epic idea, execute it with mediocre precision and expect great results.

link

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 08/17/16
1000 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
 08/16/16
700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 08/15/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 08/14/16
16 B/O M ST SE   ROBBERY  08/12/16
1000 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 08/09/16
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (shoplifting)
 08/08/16
50 B/O M ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 08/02/16
600 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 08/02/16
700 B/O L ST SE   ROBBERY  08/01/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/29/16
700 B/O L ST SE   ROBBERY  07/28/16
1100 B/O K ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 07/25/16
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   BURGLARY
Burglary Two
 07/24/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/23/16
900 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/23/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/22/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 07/20/16
900 B/O 4TH ST SE   ROBBERY  07/20/16
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/19/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 07/19/16

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1004 1ST ST SE   
08/04/16 
SQ. 740 LLC / N/A SQ 740 LLC JOHN AKRIDGE DEVELOP COMPANY; ECC, INC.
SB1600325 / CONSTRUCTION
Due diligence investigation. Installation of six 3-inch diameter direct-push geoprobe soil borings to depths of approximately 30 below grade. Soil borings will be abandoned on the same day as drilling by tremi-grouting using a bentonite slurry composed of 2 pounds of bentonite powder to 1 gallon of water. IDW will be properly managed.
1212 4TH ST SE 120   
08/04/16 
FC 1212 LLC / CLARK S FULLER
M1603023 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1150 5TH ST SE 20002   
08/11/16 
ALAN J PHELPS / DOUGLAS FOSTER
B1509540 / CONSTRUCTION
1. Renovation of existing first and second floor of the academic wing of the Van Ness building. 2. Square footage is approximately 26,000 SF ,For phase 1 3. Cost of construction is 11.5M 4. Scope of work details a. Convert existing space in to 6 new classroom space. These classrooms will be two PreK -3, two prek-4, and two Kindergarten classes. Also for phase 1,...
1150 5TH ST SE   
08/12/16 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / JOHN HOMICK
E1609156 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/12/16 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1608656 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/12/16 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / ORLANDO M CATANA
E1609149 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1220 HALF ST SE   
08/05/16 
NA BUFFALO WILD WINGS / NA BUFFALO WILD WINGS; BELA X-PEDITERS PLUS, INC.
AH1600921 / CONSTRUCTION
Work after hours 7pm - 7am
82 I ST SE   
08/15/16 
GDCV EYE STREET LLC / GDCV EYE STREET LLC; KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
B1611941 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST EXTENSION TO PERMIT B1507990 TO EXPIRE ON 3 / 17 / 17
   
08/15/16 
CSX TRANSPORTATION INC / BEDCO MOBILITY INC.
EN1602806 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : One (1) vertical wheel-chair lift / steel / garage level 2 / handicap lift (13th floor)
150 I ST SE   
08/05/16 
MAXIM CRANE WORKS MAXIM CRANE WORKS
AH1600933 / CONSTRUCTION
after hours to place mobile crane to take down tower crane with mobile crane and stage trucks from 7am 8 / 8 / 2016 to 1159p-m 8 / 9 / 2016
125 L ST SE   
08/11/16 
CRANE SERVICE CO / CRANE SERVICE CO; CHRISTINE LONG
AH1600945 / CONSTRUCTION
An after hours permit is respectfully requested from 4AM Saturday thru 9PM Sunday
80 M ST SE 1   
08/10/16 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / THOMAS B. STEG
P1608566 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE 2   
08/10/16 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / THOMAS B. STEG
P1608568 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE 3   
08/10/16 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / THOMAS B. STEG
P1608569 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE 7   
08/04/16 
SQUARE 743 INC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1608667 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE PT OF 4TH   
08/11/16 
QUARE 743 INC . / QUARE 743 INC .; JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1611810 / CONSTRUCTION
renovation to parts of an existing 4th floor office space, tech marine business as shown on the attached mech., plumb., elect., fire protection, demolition, and arch. dwgs. interior work only. no change in use. no struct. work. 800 sf.
300 M ST SE   
08/05/16 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
F1600517 / CONSTRUCTION
   
08/06/16 
FGSF TEST
PC92978992 / POST CARD
Installation of 1 temporary construction trailer on private property.
   
08/06/16 
SDS SDSDS / LAVANYA SIKHINAM; SDS SDSDS; ENRIQUE LYON
E90011839 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/07/16 
XVB XVBX / FSGVSF SFGS; XVB XVBX; DAVID FARMER
E77515115 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 1311   
08/11/16 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP1690902 / HOME OCCUPATION
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/09/16 
NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1600944 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities.
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/02/16 
null / ALLISON HINES
PC66310814 / POST CARD
Replacement of not more than 1 gas appliance, on a residential, commercial or industrial project.
1017 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/04/16 
1021 NEW JERSEY AVE LLC / N/A 1021 NEW JERSEY AVE LLC POTOMAC DEVELOPMENT; ECC, INC.
SB1600326 / CONSTRUCTION
Due diligence investigation. Installation of one 3-inch diameter direct-push geoprobe soil borings to depths of approximately 30 feet below grade. Soil borings will be abandoned on the same day as drilling by tremi-grouting using a bentonite slurry composed of 2 pounds of bentonite powder to 1 gallon of water. IDW will be properly managed.
1029 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/04/16 
MESERET DEGEFU / HAILU TEKLEBERHAN; ECC, INC.
SB1600327 / CONSTRUCTION
Due diligence investigation. Installation of two 3-inch diameter direct-push geoprobe soil borings to depths of approximately 30 feet below grade. Soil borings will be abandoned on the same day as drilling by tremi-grouting using a bentonite slurry composed of 2 pounds of bentonite powder to 1 gallon of water. IDW will be properly managed.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/11/16 
null / THOMAS P MCGUIRE
E1609117 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
08/04/16 
JOHN LECKER, FOREST CITY WASHINGTON, INC / JOHN LECKER, FOREST CITY WASHINGTON, INC; RACHEL DOERY, PSI
SB1600337 / CONSTRUCTION
Site is located south of N Pl SE, 500ft east of intersect with First St, SE in Washington, DC. Drilling soil borings at site for future development of a 4-story concrete parking garage with 331 parking spaces at street level. A 2-story theater will be constructed above the parking garage totaling approximately 95,000 sf.
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
08/03/16 
RIVERFRONT INVESTMENT PARTNERS / RIVERFRONT INVESTMENT PARTNERS; JASON BENTLEY
B1610683 / CONSTRUCTION
Revision to Issued Permit Number B1408697.
741 SICARD ST SE 20374   
07/29/16 
US NAVY NAVFAC WASHINGTON / US NAVY NAVFAC WASHINGTON; RPS INC
SB1600239 / CONSTRUCTION
ADVANCEMENT OF UP TO 22 SOIL BORINGS AND 4 MONITORING WELLS TO SUPPORT INVESTIGATION OF FORMER PETROLEUM UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS AT BUILDING 71 AND SITE 111 / 225 AT WASHINGTON NAVY YARD. SOIL BORINGS WILL BE ADVANCED TO A MAXIMUM OF 15 FT BELOW GROUND SURFACE. WELLS WILL BE INSTALLED TO A MAXIMUM DEPTH OF 13 FT BELOW GROUND SURFACE. SOIL BORINGS WILL BE BACKFILLED UPON COMPLETION. WORK PLAN HAS...
329 VIRGINIA AVE SE   
08/01/16 
CLAIRE C SCHAEFER / JOHN C. MYERS
P1608301 / SUPPLEMENTAL
385 WATER ST SE   
08/12/16 
FC 385 WATER LLC / STEPHEN J. EXELBERT
P1608654 / 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;

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