Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
June 28, 2007
September 30, 2018
Half at I, Looking South-Southeast (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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1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
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1100 2ND PL SE   
10/12/18 
null / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1900071 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3585809 - M.ALLEN / A.PRICE - 1100 2ND PLACE SE - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE SPLICING CABLES AT NIGHT STARTING 10 / 15 / 18 UNTIL 11 / 2 / 18 FROM 10:00 PM TIL 7:00AM MONDAY THROUGH SUNDAYS
1346 4TH ST SE   
09/28/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT HENRY
AH1801345 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 10 / 08 / 2018 to perform construction work with the below activities: Interior Operations: 7AM - 7PM - ADVANCED NOTICE TO RESIDENTS, OPERATION CONTACT PERSON ON SITE TO ADDRESS ANY UNEXPECTED NOISE ISSUES BEFORE 9:00AM WITH CONTACT NAME AND TELEPHONE. Exterior Operations: 9AM-7PM - NO EXTERIOR ACTIVITY, TRAFFIC, NOISE GENERATION BEFORE 9am WITH ON SITE OBSERVANCE. ...
   
10/09/18 
FC 1346, LLC / null
E1900300 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/18/18 
FC 1346, LLC / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
B1809670 / CONSTRUCTION
Parcel O-2 at the Yards. Revision to Permit B1610576 for installation of flood wall on 5th Street, SE, the reduction of roadway width, and widening of sidewalk to provide adequate pedestrian clear space between flood wall and edge of tree pit. TPR
2 I ST SE   
09/25/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1802612 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevator - 4000LBS @ 350FPM
   
09/25/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1802611 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 3 new G2S Elevators - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
09/26/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / null
E1811060 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/09/18 
CRESECENT CAPTIAL VIEW / null
P1900223 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/17/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1900080 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3573836 - M.ALLEN / BRUNO - WARD 6 - 20003 - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE WORKING #2 I ST SE - MAY NEED TO BLOCK "I" STREET ON OCCASION TO INSTALL NETWORK TRANSFORMERS AND INSTALL AND SPLICE CABLES - CREW WILL BE WORKING AT NIGHTS DURING THE WEEK (MONDAY-FRIDAYS) FROM 9PM TIL 7AM - PEPCO CREWS WILL ALSO BE WORKING SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS FROM 6AM TIL 6PM - WORK IS ONGOING
4 I ST SE   
10/09/18 
CRESCENT COMMUNITIES / null
P1900221 / SUPPLEMENTAL
328 K ST SE   
09/27/18 
MARK BARRETT / null
E1811075 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/04/18 
MARK BARRETT / BJORN FALK
SOL1800999 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of a 5.559kW solar PV system. Roof mounted, 17 panels with integrated microinverters.
401 L ST SE   
10/11/18 
MICHAEL R BRICKMAN / FLOYD H. FURR
P1900299 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/11/18 
MICHAEL R BRICKMAN / DARIUS LYVERS 703-491-1234
M1900108 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 8 20024   
09/24/18 
BARBARA D HAMLETT / null
P1809404 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
09/25/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
E1811000 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/25/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
E1811001 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/25/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
E1810999 / SUPPLEMENTAL
400 M ST SE   
10/18/18 
CAPPER SENIOR 11 LIMITED PARTNERSHIP / null
E1900650 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/17/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
E1900581 / SUPPLEMENTAL
79 POTOMAC AVE SE 1ST FL   
10/03/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / null
P1900101 / SUPPLEMENTAL
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
09/28/18 
FORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / BARR CONCRETE
AH1801325 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours to pour concrete with pump truck 9 / 28 / 2018 to 10 / 28 / 22018 from 11pm to 7am
   
10/04/18 
FORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / BARR CONCRETE
AH1900029 / CONSTRUCTION
Afterhours to pour concrete with pump truck saturday 10 / 06 / 2018 from 12am to 7am
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
10/04/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / null
M1900054 / SUPPLEMENTAL
201 TINGEY ST SE   
10/09/18 
JBG/SEFC 170 LLC / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1900051 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3566756 - M.ALLEN / BRUNO - 201 TINGEY ST SE - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE INSTALLING NETWORK TRANSFORMERS AND INSTALLING CABLES - PEPCO WILL HAVE TO SHUT DOWN 3RD ST BETWEEN WATER ST & TINGEY ST SE TO SET TRANSFORMERS ONLY - WORK WILL BEGIN 10 / 12 / 18 THROUGH 11 / 30 / 18 - MONDAY THRU FRIDAYS FROM 10PM TIL 8AM AND SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS FROM 6AM TIL 6PM
227 TINGEY ST SE   
10/09/18 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900056 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for follow-up test run of the precast concrete façade panel installation. Work to take place 7pm on 10 / 10 to 7am on 10 / 11.
   
10/15/18 
GONE YARD HOTEL OWNER LLC / MICHAEL ERIC CAMPBELL 703-631-2711
FB1900011 / SUPPLEMENTAL
NO. TO BE INSTALLED (2) GROSS RATING: 999999 BTU / HR NATURAL GAS STEAM PRESSURE 160 PSI OUTPUT: 960,000 BTU / HR
   
10/15/18 
GONE YARD HOTEL OWNER LLC / MICHAEL ERIC CAMPBELL
UP1900012 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/17/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900079 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of installing precast concrete façade panels. Work to take place 7PM to 7AM, 10 / 22 through 11 / 3.
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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