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March 29, 2015
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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  
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/15/15
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 05/15/15
1000 B/O 7TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/12/15
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1st Degree
 05/09/15
1100 B/O 2ND ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle
 05/05/15
UNIT B/O I ST SE   BURGLARY
2nd Degree Burglary (Armed Or Otherwise)
 05/02/15
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/01/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 04/26/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2 (Theft F/Building)
 04/25/15
   THEFT
Theft 2 (Theft F/Building)
 04/23/15
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 04/22/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
05/14/15 
COLIN CLARK / MICHAEL BIANCO; COLIN CLARK; MITCH PERMUY
E98099105 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 1ST ST SE   
05/12/15 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / WILL TEASS / PE TEASS - WARREN ARCHITECTS; WILL TEASS TEASS
BCIV1500073 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF EROSION SEDIMENT CONTROL FEATURES
1277 1ST ST SE   
05/15/15 
ANCHOR CONSTRUCTION
AH1500439 / CONSTRUCTION
EXCAVATION CATCH BASINS MANHOLE INSTALLATION SEWER ML TRENCH SEWER SERVICE LATERAL ABANDONMENT INSTALLATION OF VAULTS WATER LATERAL CONNECTION OVER 2 INCHES WATER SERVICE LATERAL ABANDONMENT WATER METER MANHOLE
1150 5TH ST SE   
05/04/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DOUGLAS FOSTER
D1500504 / CONSTRUCTION
SELECTIVE DEMOLITION FOR 49 500 SF.OF SPACE FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOL.
1007 8TH ST SE   
05/21/15 
CALLE OCHO LLC / ALAN W. CARTER
E1506005 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 HALF ST SE   
05/06/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / KRISTINA DELGADO
B1506055 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO PERMIT NUMBER B1501688
   
05/12/15 
HALF ST SE LLC /
P1505751 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/20/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / JOSEPH J FLYNN
E1505972 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1256 HALF ST SE   
05/05/15 
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC / ANDREW WILLINGHAM BOHLER ENGINEERING; ANDREW WILLINGHAM
BCIV1500047 / CONSTRUCTION
PROPOSED ALLEY WORK WILL CREAT A 10' WIDE BENCH ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. WILL CASUE REGRADING AND RELOCATION OF EXISTING SHEETING AND SHORING.
82 I ST SE   
05/13/15 
GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT / MARKO CZERKAS; GREYSTAR DEVELO GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT; MITCH PERMUY
E77539507 / SUPPLEMENTAL
306 L ST SE   
05/14/15 
MICHAEL THOMPSON
B1507715 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST EXTENSION TO PERMIT# B1311538 TO EXPIRE 10 / 17 / 2015
601 L ST SE   
05/05/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / EDUARDO L. LOPEZ
E1505414 / SUPPLEMENTAL
55 M ST SE   
05/21/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1507922 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATIONS FOR EXPANSION OF 3RD FLOOR OFFICE SPACE GREAT MINDS AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED MECH. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION DEMOLITION AND ARCH. DWGS. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO PLUMBING OR STRUCT. WORK INVOLVED.
80 M ST SE   
05/08/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1504197 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATION TO 5TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE TASC PHASE II AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED MECH. PLUMB. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION DEMOLITION AND ARCHITECTURAL DWGS. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE.
20 M ST SE   
05/05/15 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
B1507131 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION TO 7TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE. PARTITIONS MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY. BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON
55 M ST SE   
05/04/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / GREGORIA G. ISRAEL
E1505446 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/07/15 
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN / PATRICK BARRON; UNKNOWN UNKNOWN; ROBIN MALLEY
E92336177 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
05/12/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1505712 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/12/15 
WELLS REIT LI 80 M STREET LIC / FRED MILLER; WELLS REIT LI 80 M STREET LIC; DOMINIC TOTARO
AR28204267 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/13/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / NEIL NUTWELL; WELLS REIT II 8 WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC; NEIL NUTWELL
P21967258 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
05/07/15 
SQUARE 743 INC. / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1506295 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATIONS TO EXISTING 8TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE TECH-MARINE BUSINESS AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED THIRD PARTY REVIEWED AND APPROVED MECH. PLUMB. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION AND ARCH. DWGS. BY KTA GROUP. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE NO STRUCT. WORK.
   
05/08/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / ROB HOHL
P1505689 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/08/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / GEORGE S OWEN
M1501845 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/09/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOSE UMANZOR-ALVAREZ; SQUARE 743 INC; ROBERT LAWALL
E99685352 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/13/15 
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN / PATRICK BARRON; UNKNOWN UNKNOWN; ROBIN MALLEY
E65875186 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/21/15 
SQUARE 743 INC. / ANDREW ARNTSON; SQUARE 743 INC.; ANDREW ARNTSON
P90727311 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1201 M ST SE   
05/06/15 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / BERNARD G KALB
E1505525 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/07/15 
909 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1505667 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/06/15 
NAVY YARD 10127312 / VELOCITY WIRELESS
AN1500153 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVE AND REPLACE 3 EXISITING PANEL ANTENNAS
125 O ST SE   
05/04/15 
DC WATER / MARIA WILSON
B1507037 / CONSTRUCTION
AMEND PERMIT B1402631 TO CHANGE SOME INTERIOR PARTITION WALL LAYOUT.
   
05/06/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / JAMES A. WILLIAMS
E1505521 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
05/15/15 
BARR CONCRETE
AH1500438 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTERHOURS TO POUR CONCRETE WITH PUMP TRUCK FROM 11PM 5 / 15 / 2015 TO 1159 PM 5 / 16 / 2015
1200 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/14/15 
AMY PHILLIPS / MIKE YASEK
SB1500274 / CONSTRUCTION
FIVE 75-FOOT GEOTECHNICAL SPT SOIL BORINGS WILL BE PERFORMED WITH AN AUGER DRILLING RIG UTILIZING CONTINUOUS FLIGHT HOLLOW STEM AUGERS CREATING APPROXIMATELY 6-INCH DIAMETER BOREHOLES.
1230 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/21/15 
PUBLIC STORAGE INSTITUTE FUND / BRAD FLEEGLE
AN1500143 / CONSTRUCTION
REPLACE 3 ANTENNA SUPPORT FRAMES INSTALL 3 ANTENNAS ? 3 RRUS ON EXISTING ROOFTOP.
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/11/15 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL L.L.C. / ROBERT S. WATTS
E1505679 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/21/15 
JOHN GIUSEPPE / DONALD VEALS; JOHN GIUSEPPE; DONALD VEALS
E55177883 / SUPPLEMENTAL
301 WATER ST SE   
05/12/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC /
P1505749 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/19/15 
LUMBER SHED LIC. / ROBERT WATTS; LUMBER SHED LIC.; ROBERT WATTS
E82501860 / SUPPLEMENTAL
355 WATER ST SE   
05/06/15 
FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT SERIES / LINDSEY GORE
TN1500047 / CONSTRUCTION
SPECIAL EVENT FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT 1 16 X 24 TENT NO GENERATORS 1 16 X16 STAGE
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;

Real Property Sales Archive  
1022 - 1109 M ST SE   03/27/15
$ 5,000,000
WASHINGTON HUMANE SOCIETY
 
9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
1103 9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
1105 9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
816 POTOMAC AVE SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
0819R L ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 


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