Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
July 17, 2008
February 26, 2012
3rd at River St., Looking West-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  
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 06/24/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 06/23/16
250 B/O L ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
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UNIT B/O L ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
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1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (theft From Building)
 06/23/16
800 B/O 3RD ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
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900 B/O 5TH ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  06/21/16
1000 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 06/21/16
400 B/O M ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  06/19/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
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 06/19/16
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
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700 B/O L ST SE   ROBBERY  06/17/16
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Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 06/14/16
UNIT B/O I ST SE   ROBBERY  06/13/16
250 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 06/10/16
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 06/09/16
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 06/09/16
1000 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 06/06/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 06/05/16
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 06/04/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 06/04/16
150 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 06/04/16
300 I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 06/02/16
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/31/16
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/30/16
300 B/O TINGEY ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/29/16
1000 B/O 2ND PLACE SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/29/16

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1200 1ST ST SE 20303   
06/24/16 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / CRANE SERVICE CO; CHRISTINE LONG
AH1600817 / CONSTRUCTION
An after hours permit is respectfully requested from 4AM Saturday thru 9PM Sunday
1277 1ST ST SE   
06/15/16 
MILLER&LONG MILLER&LONG
AH1600794 / CONSTRUCTION
afterhours to take down tower crane with 200 ton mobile crane saturday 6 / 18 / 2016 5am to 9pm 6 / 19 / 2016
1331 2ND ST SE   
06/23/16 
DC WATER
AH1600806 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours work for structure excavation and support for B1605659 DC Water, Corman Construction 202-863-0052.
1005 3RD PL SE FLOOR 2   
06/09/16 
PETER D TRIFU / JERONE SCOTT
P1606869 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1017 3RD PL SE   
06/09/16 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP1690733 / HOME OCCUPATION
1212 4TH ST SE   
06/20/16 
FC 1212 LLC / null
P1607144 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 5TH ST SE   
06/22/16 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / null
P1607205 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1240 12TH ST SE   
06/13/16 
AECOM TECHNICAL SERVICE / AECOM TECHNICAL SERVICE; KTT PERMIT EXPEDITER, LLC
B1609254 / CONSTRUCTION
2nd extension of existing permit B1503361 to expire 01 / 14 / 2017
1000 HALF ST SE   
06/14/16 
TOLL BROTHERS CITY LIVING TOLL DC PHASE III / TOLL BROTHERS CITY LIVING TOLL DC PHASE III; STEVE ADAMCHAK ECS MID-ATLANTIC, LLC
SB1600266 / CONSTRUCTION
We will perform a total of 1 soil boring on the proposed site to a depth of 75 feet below existing grades. The boring will be located within the bounds of the private property. The boring will be drilled utilizing 4.25 hollow stem, continuous flight augers and / or mud rotary drilling. The boring will be performed utilizing a truck-mounted drill rig and will generate an approximate 6 inch annul...
1210 HALF ST SE   
06/14/16 
HINES GLOBAL / ALAN CARTER; HINES GLOBAL; ALAN CARTER
E82561999 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/21/16 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1607182 / SUPPLEMENTAL
70 I ST SE APT 413   
06/17/16 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP1690749 / HOME OCCUPATION
70 I ST SE   
06/21/16 
70 EYE STREET ACQUISITION LLC / FUJITEC AMERICA
ER1602585 / SHOP DRAWING
Replace MRL hoist machine on elevator #2 Condition : Submit License Application EIN 22-2190685 Estimated Cost $15,000
601 L ST SE   
06/15/16 
RICHARD V CAREY
P1607063 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/15/16 
TIMOTHY S CLEMONS
M1602419 / SUPPLEMENTAL
99 M ST SE   
06/07/16 
BALLPARK SQUARE 701 LLC / NA BALLPARK SQUARE 701 LLC; LP CONSULTING SERVICES
AH1600767 / CONSTRUCTION
Work after hours from 7pm-7am Monday-Friday in conjunction with building permit B1503519 & DDOT PA97876
100 M ST SE   
06/11/16 
SQUARE 743 INC AND 100 M ST SE LLC / CHRIS HEARD; SQUARE 743 INC AND 100 M ST SE LLC; ASCHALEW ASAMINEW
E56805736 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/20/16 
SQUARE 743 INC / GREGORY E LIGON
E1607378 / SUPPLEMENTAL
0 N ST SE   
06/24/16 
null / ROBERT S. WATTS
E1607561 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 3 20024   
06/15/16 
JBG/FEDERAL CENTER LLC / MARK A. PELUSO
E1607254 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 3RD 20024   
06/13/16 
JBG/FEDERAL CENTER LLC / null
P1606958 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/08/16 
CHARLES J MURPHY / FREDERICK SAVAGE; CHARLES J MURPHY; FREDERICK SAVAGE
E11170434 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/10/16 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / RANDALL W GREER
P1606933 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/15/16 
null / JEAN FRANCOIS MEFORT
PC56593839 / POST CARD
Installation of not more than 1 new air conditioning unit, up to a maximum of 10-tons of equivalent refrigerating effect.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/22/16 
SQUARE 742 LLC / SQUARE 742, LLC SPAULDING AND SLYE, STE 100; TEMPEST, LLC
B1609629 / CONSTRUCTION
Interior cosmetic remodel to include ADA upgrade modifications, minor electrical work per installations and relocations.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/07/16 
NJA ASSOCIATES LLC / STEVE ADAMS; NJA ASSOCIATES LLC; STEPHEN ADAMS
E73763756 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/20/16 
NJA ASSOCIATES LLC / NJA ASSOCIATES LLC; N/A
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25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
06/20/16 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / ; NONE
SG1600336 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL 6 SIGNS AS PER PRINT
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
06/09/16 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL, L.L.C. / DONALD V. ELLENBERGER
M1602333 / 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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