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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  
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 12/18/14
700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 12/17/14
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft F/Building
 12/08/14
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
 11/21/14
900 B/O 5TH ST SE   BURGLARY
 11/21/14
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
 11/21/14
1200 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
 11/20/14

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
to
02/10/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1025 1ST ST SE   
12/03/14 
NA NA NA
EHOP1590134 / HOME OCCUPATION
   
12/10/14 
KAREN NZAKIMUENA
PC74349112 / POST CARD
INSTALLATION OF NOT MORE THAN 1 NEW AIR CONDITIONING UNIT UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 10-TONS OF EQUIVALENT REFRIGERATING EFFECT.
1016 3RD ST SE   
12/15/14 
ANAMARIA R MOTTOLA / DIXON
B1502438 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATIONS MINOR MEP
1212 4TH ST SE   
12/10/14 
FC 1212 LLC / SCHINDLER ELEVATOR CORP
ER1500593 / SHOP DRAWING
REPLACE MAXTON UC2A VALVE EST. COST OF WORK $ 2 2120. 00
927 5TH ST SE   
12/15/14 
AARON LORENZO
PC25919394 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT IN KIND OF EXISTING FENCE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. REPLACEMENT IN KIND WHEN APPLIED TO ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES MEANS REPLACEMENT WITH A FEATURE OF LIKE MATERIAL THAT REPLICATES THE EXISTING FEATURE IN PROPORTION APPEARANCE TEXTURE DESIGN DETAIL AND DIMENSIONS.
1000 5TH ST SE   
12/04/14 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WALTER T JONES
E1501598 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 HALF ST SE   
12/10/14 
HALF STREET LLC / ART DISPLAY; BOB BIROONAK ART DISPLAY CO.
SG1400465 / CONSTRUCTION
ONE ILLUMINATED NEWS TICKER SIGN
1201 HALF ST SE   
12/10/14 
WEST HALF 1 LLC / MARK W GIBSON
E1501746 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/12/14 
JASON YORK
TN1500036 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLING SMALL TENT ON DEC 29 2014 FOR THE BRIDGESTONE WINTER CLASSIC ON 1-1-15 WITH GENERATOR TENTS REMOVED ON 1-2-15
808 L ST SE   
12/10/14 
NAVY YARD ASSOCIATES LLC / KE-MAURELLE PREDDIE
B1412006 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW OFFICE USE FOR 1254 SQ. FT. EXISTING TWO STORIES PLUS BASEMENT STRUCTURE ON SE / C-3-A ZONING DISTRICT. MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING REMAIN AS IS.
80 M ST SE   
12/10/14 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1501724 / SUPPLEMENTAL
14 M ST SE   
12/16/14 
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON / PHILLIP B. MOBLEY
FB1500047 / SUPPLEMENTAL
20 M ST SE   
12/04/14 
TRANSWESTERN JEFFREY GROSS / OLLIE READ; TRANSWESTERN JEFFREY GROSS; CHRISTOPHER SCHULZE
AR66514546 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/04/14 
TRANSWESTERN JEFFERY W GROSS / ANDREW ARNTSON; TRANSWESTERN JEFFERY W GROSS; ANDREW ARNTSON
P96600069 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
12/03/14 
MARY JACKSON
PC44081129 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 1 GAS APPLIANCE ON A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
   
12/05/14 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC /
P1501746 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
12/03/14 
SQUARE 743 INC. / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
B1502037 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION TO 4TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE. SUBDIVIDE TENANT SPACE AND ADD PANTRY. PARTITIONS MEP AND LIFE SAFETY. NORTHWOOD INVESTORS LLC
202 M ST SE   
12/10/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / WOODY WICKLIFFE
TN1500035 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL 50FT X 100FT TENT NO GENERATORS NO COOKING NO SMOKING NO STAGES 10FT X 70FT TENT INSTALLED DEC 11-15 2014 EVENTS DEC 12-14 2014 12:01PM - 9:00 PM
1201 M ST SE   
12/11/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500149 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
75 N ST SE   
12/11/14 
CRANE SERVICE CO / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500150 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 2:00AM THRU 11:00PM
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
12/08/14 
SQUARE 737 LLC / GLENNWOOD ROGERS
P1501673 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
12/02/14 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC C/O ECC INC. / ECC INC.
UT1500007 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVAL OF ONE 100-GALLON UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK DURING MASS EXCAVATION ACTIVITIES FOR SITE REDEVELOPMENT.
   
12/03/14 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / WOODY WICKLIFFE
TN1500032 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL 40FT X 80FT TENT NO COOKING NO SMOKING NO PROPANE NO LIGHTING 40FT X 40FT TENT 2 GENERATORS 25KW EACH 20FT X 20FT TENT 8FT X 20FT PLATFORM 40FT X 40FT PLATFORM 20FT X 20FT PLATFORM INSTALLED DEC 8 -9 2014 EVENT DEC 9 2014 9AM - 4PM
   
12/05/14 
FLORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / ROBERT S. WATTS
E1501658 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/05/14 
RIVERFRONT INVESTMENT PARTNERS / JASON BENTLEY
B1408697 / CONSTRUCTION
CONSTRUCTION OF NEW 9 STORY BUILDING. THIRD PARTY REVIEW
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
12/18/14 
NATIONALS PARK / MARK W GIBSON
E1501975 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
12/15/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / GREGORY BIRCKHEAD; FC BOILERMAKER LLC; MICHAEL BELL
E55526822 / 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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