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Could Near Southeast get a new "food destination"? Resident Nathan Alberg and new 6D02 commissioner Ed Kaminski are proposing that the federally owned warehouse at Half and L SE be converted to a market and community space called the "Half Street Market," and are now starting the process of drumming up support.
Alberg, who lives just across the street and so presumably has spent a lot of time looking out his window at the warehouse, envisions the building as a site similar to Eastern Market or the new Union Market in Northeast DC, or Milwaukee's Public Market. He hopes it could "offer independent merchants a market to sell their artisan foods and prepared food products to the public, provide a managed risk incubator for self-employment, to provide public culinary training and education in a working demonstration restaurant, drive the development of new food markets, income generation, increased economic growth." In other words, it could be a combination indoor/outdoor market, cooking school, and rentable event space.
A survey to gauge interest in the idea is currently being run (so go give them your input!), and a public meeting will be held sometime in early February to discuss the notion further. This presentation was made to residents of Velocity this week, though it's stressed that these are early concepts.
How exactly the building would go from excess GSA space to Half Street Market is a bit murky--Alberg, Kaminski, and 6D07 commissioner David Garber say that the feds are "in the process of potentially auctioning the building or possibly giving it to the city." The warehouse, built around 1924, is on a nearly 30,000-square-foot lot, which was most recently assessed at $19.2 million. Just to the south is an empty lot facing M Street where a Sunoco station once stood and is the current home to Nats Parking Lot J.* Those two lots together, creating a block the same size as the 80 M office building, directly across M Street from the Navy Yard Metro station and a block away from Nats Park, would presumably be pretty appetizing to deep-pocketed developers, so if the warehouse property were to go to auction, it probably wouldn't be sold on the cheap.
What do you think, readers?
(* Side note: The old Sunoco site has been known as 50 M Street, being marketed by Monument Realty and owned in a partnership by Monument, MacFarlane, and Lehman. But my understanding is that, with the property being worth less than the loan, and with Lehman also being the lender on the loan, this site, along with the lot on the old BP site at Half and N that had the same ownership configuration, has gone through "foreclosure" in recent days so that Lehman now is the sole owner.)
Comments (19)
 
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dereknolini says: (1/10/13 11:02 AM)
This concept sounds great. I completely support these residents. It may take some great negotiators or serious access to capital (if it goes to auction).

This neighborhood is constantly changing (all for the better).

The 5 to 10-year outlook is great for those who own property.


jacques says: (1/10/13 11:06 AM)
I like the concept, but with Eastern Market a mile away and Union Market about 2 miles, I wonder how much of a challenge the location would present for a sustainable customer base, when it comes to artisan food retailing.

I do think if they were able to get a cooking school in as an anchor tenant, then filling in the additional space with cafe, and some retail stands becomes much more appealing.


Eric says: (1/10/13 11:23 AM)
Sounds cool, but not sure SW/Near SE has the population density to sustain it.

Jacques idea sounds nice


F says: (1/10/13 1:27 PM)
OK. I'll be the first to say it: Let it be a Whole Foods!


n.alberg says: (1/10/13 2:17 PM)
Thanks JD for posting this. We'll need alot of community support to make this happen - and we've been getting alot already.

I would like to add one thing - what will potentially differ this market from others in our area would be its flexibility. By using moveable/folding stands and furniture, this market could potentially have a luxury others don't - the ability to use the main space for other community or private events. You could even have multiple events throughout the day... it could still have a number of permanant vendor stalls though.


conngs0 says: (1/10/13 2:20 PM)
First off, as this is your first post of 2013, Happy New Year, JD!

I love that the first post of the new year is one about a fairly long-term potential project, which makes it reminiscent of so many of the posts from the beginning of this blog.

I'm very excited about the possibility of a public market located in this space. It offers a great complement to the larger apartment, condo, and office buildings currently in the area or in the pipeline. It would even complement the Harris Teeter to be completed a few blocks away (you know, if something ever comes out of that hole that is supposed to be Twelve12).

For those of you concerned about population density, I just think we need to consider the likely population of the neighborhood when/if this project is complete as opposed to the current population. A lot of people are going to live down that way (not to mention those who already live north of the freeway who could easily walk down to Half and L).

Moreover, as more entertainment options open, the neighborhood will attract more people from throughout the area. I don't live in Eastern Market, but whenever I'm around there, I almost always swing by to grab something cool to cook for dinner. I could see people doing the same thing after a baseball game, trip to Yards or Canal Park, or (perhaps!) a movie.


Ed says: (1/10/13 4:45 PM)
The Half Street Market and Teaching Restaurant has a public vocational education mission to train post-high school and DCPS students in the culinary arts and food business. The restaurant area on the top of the building provides classroom space and open demonstration areas visible to patrons. Students will be trained in the arts of cooking upstarts and have small business training and first-hand food business experience in the Main Hall. The site could employ 100s of food workers and provide an incubation environment for emerging food entrepreneurs

This educational mission is significant to the project.

The Administrator of General Services, in his discretion, to assign to the Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services, as appropriate, for disposal of such surplus real property, including building, fixtures, and equipment situated thereon, as is recommended by the appropriate Secretary as being needed for school, classroom, or other educational uses.

The public benefit conveyance (PBC) allows the Federal government to lease or transfer title of surplus property to qualified entities for public uses at a substantial discount (up to 100% of fair market value). The intent of a PBC is to support property uses that benefit the community as a whole.





JD says: (1/10/13 4:56 PM)
(probably worth noting that the previous comment is from Ed Kaminski, 6D02 commissioner and one of the leaders of this concept)


Eric says: (1/10/13 6:04 PM)
So if the properties became "public use" then no super expensive usage charges, right?

In that case, sounds great!


Ed says: (1/11/13 8:53 AM)
Sharing more on the classroom space and demonstration Kitchen for Culinary Training. This concept is more than a market building or a restaurant building.

The concept will leverage emerging trends in web-based learning and demonstration kitchen trends that are underway in New York and London. Think TOP CHEF with real-time food arts streamed by cyber links to DCPS Schools like Roosevelt High School in DC also linking to the culinary programs at Howard University, GW University and University of District of Columbia. All behind glass where restaurant patrons can watch the process in motion.

But this cannot happen unless the economics of the building disposition support this non-profit mission.


Eric says: (1/11/13 10:15 AM)
Yeah I think this would be great. We need more unique draws to the neighborhood and it would be better than another empty office building.

Cooking school would be totally awesome and you don't find that in most neighborhoods in DC!


Eric says: (1/11/13 10:15 AM)
Yeah I think this would be great. We need more unique draws to the neighborhood and it would be better than another empty office building.

Cooking school would be totally awesome and you don't find that in most neighborhoods in DC!


Eric says: (1/11/13 10:15 AM)
What's the timeline on this? I'm guessing 5-10 years?


Packinblackandred says: (1/11/13 10:53 AM)
@Eric

Considering the fact that the building itself is already made, I would hope that the timeline is at least towards the lower end of your range! Although I suppose GSA's disposition process probably takes forever.


ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (1/14/13 5:07 PM)
Fantastic idea and good luck!
Hopefully, the GSA will donate the building to the city.
It would be interesting to see what exactly would happen if you sit the city and other developers in the same auction house for a building that is assessed at $19.2 million.


JD says: (1/14/13 5:11 PM)
I do think folks would be very well advised to remember that GSA is under a lot of pressure these days to not give away the farm when dealing with their excess inventory. And, as I said in the post, this is some very valuable land.

Also, this hasn't even been deemed excess inventory yet--"in the process of potentially auctioning" has a whole lot of wiggle room in it.



ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (1/14/13 6:29 PM)
As much as positive and supportive that I am, this is a far-fetched idea. GSA is under a lots of scrutiny after their $800K splurge in Vegas a couple of years ago and the government itself is under immense pressure how they are going to raise a revenue. They will never give it nor will they sell it for a fraction of what it is worth. I am not being negative. I am just being realistic.

I don't think the city is going to spend over $19 million to buy a building that will generate a little tax revenue. But, hopefully there is a loophole somewhere out there.


Ed says: (1/16/13 11:33 AM)

The $19M is not relevant to a discussion because a public market business model does not work with this kind of purchase price for land. No public market (in any city) can be instituted with land and buildings purchased at typical urban land prices. So if there is a public market in our future, the land and building will be required through special means.


ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (1/16/13 1:41 PM)
Thank you for clarifying it Mr. Kaminski.

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
M ST SE AND HALF ST SE   ROBBERY /  08/17/14
800 B/O VIRGINIA AVE SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  08/17/14
M ST SE AND 5TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  08/15/14
1400 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  08/14/14
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   BURGLARY /  08/12/14
800 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  08/11/14
HALF ST SE AND L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  08/11/14
1000 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT /  08/07/14
1100 B/O 10TH ST SE   THEFT /  08/07/14
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT /  08/02/14
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  08/01/14
200 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/30/14
L ST SE AND 2ND ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/30/14
70 B/O I ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT /  07/29/14
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT /  07/29/14
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT /  07/28/14

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
908 3RD ST SE    Rachel Frankel 
Issued
streetfixture; new  
 07/24/14
to
09/21/14
1026 3RD ST SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
09/04/14
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
to
02/10/15
913 5TH ST SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
08/28/14
410 M ST SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 07/11/14
to
09/08/14
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    WASHINGTON GAS 
Issued
excavation; new  
 07/28/14
to
09/26/14
301 TINGEY ST SE    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
Issued
new  
 03/21/12
to
11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
08/11/14 
TOLL DC LP / ALBERT J. PEARCE
FB1400108 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1259 1ST ST SE   
08/11/14 
CAPITAL RIVERFRONT HOTEL LLC / CAPITAL RIVERFR HOTEL LLC
AH1400636 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS FOR PERMIT NUMBER B1401471 FOR 8 / 12 THROUGH 9 / 11 FROM 5AM TO 7PM MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.
1212 4TH ST SE   
08/07/14 
TAKOREAN / FVI 2020
B1410615 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO TL1400052 TO INCLUDE OUTDOOR SUMMER GARDEN WITH 14 SEATS AND 7 TABLES.
1201 4TH ST SE   
08/12/14 
JBG/FEDERAL CENTER LIC / JIM CALABRESE
AN1400129 / CONSTRUCTION
PLEASE EXTEND PERMIT AN1300174 THIS IS THE FIRST EXTENSION AND PERMIT WILL BE VALID UNTIL 1 / 31 / 2015.
1212 4TH ST SE   
08/25/14 
FC 1212 LLC / MARK E. RESNICK
E1408462 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1331 4TH ST SE   
08/14/14 
F. C. 1331 LLC / FVI 2020
B1402843 / CONSTRUCTION
CONSTRUCTION OF A BRAND NEW 11 STORY BUILDING. THE BUILDING IN TOTAL IS 350 000 SQ FT. ADDING 327 RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNITS 20 000 SQ FT. IN COMMERCIAL SPACE AND 3 BELOW GRADE PARKING LEVELS.
   
08/15/14 
CLARK CONCRETE
AH1400650 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS TO POUR CONCRETE ON JOBSITE FROM 7AM TO 7PM FROM SUNDAY TO SATURDAY 8 / 15 / 2014 TO 11 / 15 / 2014
1000 5TH ST SE   
08/07/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
FD1400029 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION TO GRADE TO INCLUDE UTILITIES
   
08/13/14 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA /
FD1400132 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW FOUNDATION TO GRADE PERMIT FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER INCLUDING UTILITIES. REVISION TO FD1400029 TO REVISE STRUCTURAL DETAILS OF COLUMS.
   
08/20/14 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / BRUCE G. PICKETT
E1408304 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 HALF ST SE   
08/12/14 
HALF ST SE LLC / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
TL1400162 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR TENANT LAYOUT OF 1ST FLOOR PERFORMANCE STUDIO SPACE AND OFFICE SPACE. PARTITIONS FURNITURE MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY. CBS
   
08/15/14 
HALF ST SE LLC / ROBERT L HUNTER
M1402951 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/16/14 
SAM HOLLEN / DONALD VEALS; SAM HOLLEN; DONALD VEALS
E83010192 / SUPPLEMENTAL
200 I ST SE   
08/08/14 
DANIEL RILEY / OMAR BIAGAS; DANIEL RILEY; JOHN BIAGAS
E47247428 / SUPPLEMENTAL
41 L ST SE   
08/20/14 
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY (WMATA) / SAMIR ALQUTRI - GEOTECHNICAL SOLUTIONS INC.
SB1400402 / CONSTRUCTION
GSI PLANS TO DRILL 4 SOIL TEST BORINGS TO CONFIRM SOIL STRENGTH WITH A HOLLOW-STEM AUGER EQUIPPED WITH A SPLIT SPOON SAMPLER FOR THE SPT N-VALUE TESTS DOWN TO A MAXIMUM DEPTH OF 80 FEET BELOW EXISTING GRADES. ALL BORINGS WILL BE DRILLED TO THE MAXIMUM DEPTH OR AUGER REFUSAL WHICHEVER OCCURS FIRST. THE BORE HOLES DIMENSION WILL BE 3.25 INCHES AND SHALL BE GROUTED UPON COMPLETION.
20 M ST SE   
08/22/14 
TRANSWESTERN JEFFERY W GROSS / ANDREW ARNTSON; TRANSWESTERN JEFFERY W GROSS; ANDREW ARNTSON
P96600069 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/22/14 
TRANSWESTERN JEFFERY W GROSS / ANDREW ARNTSON; TRANSWESTERN JEFFERY W GROSS; ANDREW ARNTSON
G22130990 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/25/14 
SUBWAY / N/A; DAMON ELLIS
SG1400416 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF NON ELECTRIC SIGN 10FT 8IN LENGTH 2IN WIDE 25IN HEIGHT
100 M ST SE   
08/16/14 
NORTHWOOD INVESTERS LLC / STANLEY HUBBARD; NORTHWOOD INVESTERS LLC; STANLEY HUBBARD
E14516088 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
08/14/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1400642 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1201 M ST SE   
08/14/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1400641 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/21/14 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / ROBERT COLISH
P1407975 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/12/14 
NJA ASSOCIATES LLC / COLIN CLARK
B1308085 / CONSTRUCTION
CONSTRUCT A NEW 13 STORY APARTMENT BUILDING WITH THREE BELOW GRADE PARKING LEVELS FIRST FLOOR RETAIL A PRIVATE SWIMMING POOL PROJECTIONS OF BAY WINDOWS 324 UNITS TO INCLUDE MECHANICAL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL AND ELEVATOR WORK.
1230 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
08/21/14 
PUBLIC STORAGE INSTITUTE FUND / RAYMOND SCIANNELLA
E1408379 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/21/14 
PUBLIC STORAGE INSTITUTE FUND / CHRIS WING
B1410888 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR ALTERATION TO EXISTING SELF STORAGE BUILDING TO REPLACE FIRE ALARM SYSTEM.
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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