Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
September 20, 2009
October 5, 2014
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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   SEX ABUSE
First Degree Sexual Abuse
 04/17/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 04/17/18
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/17/18
UNIT B/O N ST SE   ROBBERY  04/14/18
100 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 04/12/18
UNIT B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/12/18
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/09/18
150 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/07/18
1000 B/O 3RD ST SE   BURGLARY
Burglary One
 04/07/18
1200 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   ROBBERY
Assault W/i To Commit Robbery (simple Assault)
 04/05/18
UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/01/18
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/31/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 03/28/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 03/28/18
300 B/O I ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  03/25/18
UNIT B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/23/18
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/23/18
UNIT B/O I ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/23/18

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1331 2 ST SE   
04/02/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / MARK HARLOW CLIFFORD
SB1800225 / CONSTRUCTION
Application for Well Abandonment Workplan Approval for the abandonment of 8 monitoring wells and 21 inclinometers at the Main Pumping Station site for the DC Water Clean Rivers Project, Division I, installed under Permit Number SB1400419.
1100 2ND PL SE   
04/19/18 
CAPPER CARROLLSBURG VENTURE, LLC / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801710 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S 3500LBS @350FPM, Elevator 2; 13 Floors
   
04/19/18 
CAPPER CARROLLSBURG VENTURE, LLC / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801712 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 2 New G2S Elevators - 3500LBS@35FPM Elevator 1, 12 Floors
1331 2ND ST SE 20003   
04/05/18 
DC WATER / DAVE LEVINE
AH1800744 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours work for structure excavation in support of DC Water, Corrman Construction 301-343-5417.
1300 4TH ST SE   
04/17/18 
null / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1800863 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3476633-WARD 6-20003-VAETH / BRUNO - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE WORKING THE 1200 - 1300 BLK OF 4TH ST SE - INSTALLING NETWORK TRANSFORMER AND INSTALLING PRIMARY CABLES - STARTING THURSDAY 4 / 19 / 18 UNTIL 5 / 19 / 18 - MONDAY THRU FRIDAYS AT 10PM UNTIL 10AM AND ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS FROM 6AM TIL 8PM.
1346 4TH ST SE   
04/10/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT HENRY
AH1800796 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 04 / 16 / 18 from 9AM to 7PM to perform facade, interior unit framing and drywall work, and interior Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Sprinkler Rough-In.
1346 4TH ST ST SE 20003   
03/28/18 
FOREST CITY / TYLER D BARRON
AH1800712 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours for 4 / 13 / 18 to 5 / 12 / 18. Work that is to be done is quiet work of window deliveries at 5:30AM to 7:00AM by use of tower crane
82 I ST SE   
04/02/18 
GDVC EYE STREET LLC / null
FB1800055 / SUPPLEMENTAL
150 I ST SE   
03/28/18 
null
E1805313 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/29/18 
null / JOHN THOMSON 3018645080
E1805337 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 400   
04/09/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
M1801970 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE STE# 400 20024   
04/05/18 
CHARLES SMITH / EUGENE AHNS 3012811497
E1805597 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE STE# 400   
04/12/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
P1805161 / SUPPLEMENTAL
140 M ST SE   
03/26/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1804630 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
03/26/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / JERRY BETHEA
M1801846 / SUPPLEMENTAL
401 M ST SE   
04/03/18 
TETRA TECH C/O DOEE / JESSICA REICHARD
AH1800767 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours permit for manhole access to complete inspections for DOEE Anacosta River Sediment clean up project, work hours between 7pm and 7am Monday thru Friday. Rolling work zones for all manhole access under permit # PA10374319-R1
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/05/18 
SQUARE 737 LLC / null
P1804974 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/09/18 
SQUARE 737 LLC / null
E1805700 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/02/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1800715 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities.
   
04/11/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / DEVIN MURDOCK
SB1800265 / CONSTRUCTION
Drill 8 borings to 40ft. Convert 4 borings into 1" temporary wells, collect groundwater from each well and abandon borings.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/18/18 
null
E1805988 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1115 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/17/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / GARY BRENT; BRENT
SG1800260 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 1 illuminated wall sign, 1 illuminated window sign and 1 window vinyl decal sign - Peets Coffee
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 5TH FL   
04/19/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / DOMINIC E TOTARO 301-725-1998
M1802089 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/13/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / CLIFFORD DIXON
B1804348 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATIONS TO OFFICE SPACE ON THE 5TH FLOOR. **DEMOLITION, LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
   
04/19/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / PEDRO C. CASTILLO 3019219056
E1806025 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/19/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
E1806015 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1115 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/06/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / ACCUPERMIT LLC AS AGENT
B1803009 / CONSTRUCTION
Interior alterations for new tenant in existing commercial space to include partitions, mill work, electrical and plumbing fixtures, flooring and wall coverings, dining area furniture and kitchen equipment for a A-2 restaurant with 49 proposed occupancy.
125 O ST SE   
03/29/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / JAMES M. HALLER
P1804624 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801762 / SHOP DRAWING
I New G2S Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM (7 Floors)
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801763 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM (6 Floors)
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801761 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevators 4000LBS @ 200FPM (7 Floors)
71 POTOMAC AVE SE 20002   
04/19/18 
null / STEVE GRIFFIN
BP1802939 / POST CARD
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
03/26/18 
FORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / null
BCIV1800074 / CONSTRUCTION
This permit is for rough grading and erosion and sediment control civil work associated with the temporary parking lot, relocation of the dog park and construction staging area on the undeveloped portion of the lot.
   
04/17/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / JUSTIN BELLOW
FD1800020 / CONSTRUCTION
Foundation only for new residential building
227 TINGEY ST SE   
03/28/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ERICKA CLARK
AH1800760 / CONSTRUCTION
significant concrete pours and tower crane erection 5AM - 7AM and 7PM - 10:00PM
   
04/12/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / STEPHEN J. EXELBERT
P1805022 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
04/12/18 
MERCURY LLC / WILL TEASS
B1803433 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR FIT-OUT / EXTENSION OF EXISTING TENANT SUITE (APPROVED UNDER B1605215) INCLUDING NEW MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL WORK. **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
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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