Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

Many of the surface parking lots around Near Southeast were carved out as temporary offerings, giving developers a chance to make some money while waiting for large-scale projects to get underway. Many of these first appeared in 2008, when Nationals Park opened, but with the recession, few projects got underway in the next few years that affected the available inventory much if at all.
However, with 2014 looking like a banner year for new development, news has begun filtering out of planned changes at existing surface lots that will constrict the number of available spaces:
* DCHA's new "Lofts at Capitol Quarter" project at 7th and L will cut the available spaces at what's known in Nats parlance as Economy Lot W nearly in half, to 186 spaces from its current 350ish.
* The lot on the old NGA site at 1st and M SE will be reconfigured when the building is demolished and a new park is built, cutting 22 spaces out.
* Just to the south, the lot on the southeast corner of 1st and N (near the little Yards pavilion) will lose 50 spaces to DC Water construction, making it a 344-space lot.
All told, that's about 236 spaces, which isn't a massive number in the grand scheme, except maybe during sellouts.
But if the big Ballpark Square project (along with the planned Hampton Inn) just north of the stadium along the west side of 1st Street between M and N is indeed going to get underway in 2014 as new fence signage is hinting, that could spell the loss of some or all of the 230ish spaces available at what's known as Nats Lot F, at least until that project is completed with what one has to assume would be some amount of public parking in its underground garages.
While three projects in the neighborhood are currently under construction, they are mainly residential developments, making it unlikely that parking for Nats games will be coming online at those sites.
There are still a few empty lots in Southeast that have not yet been made parkable. Perhaps a new temporary surface lot could appear on the old trash transfer site, once Mt. New Jersey comes down, but that would not seem likely by Opening Day. Or maybe residents or city officials or whomever will decide that the push to get fans to use transit or other options to the stadium has worked, and there's already enough surface lots east of South Capitol, thankyouverymuch.
Eventually, more developments will get built, with more public underground parking. But it is possible that Nats fans descending on the neighborhood in vehicles this spring--along with office workers who use the lots every day--may feel a bit of a pinch, unless some new inventory is going to appear.
Comments (14)
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conngs0 says: (1/9/14 10:23 PM)
JD, thanks again for the update. As always, it's much appreciated. I think you hit the nail on the head with your reference to the transit options. I think that's still the best way to get to the games. More importantly, now that more establishments have opened to complement the Fairgrounds, there will be more incentive for folks to arrive in the neighborhood a bit early or stay for a bit after games, thus hopefully reducing the crowd on the Metro a bit. But if there's a significant need for more parking spaces, I think it's possible to use the portion of the lot that is directly south of Nats Lots T and U (there's a small parking area off of M, but the vast majority of that lot has been empty for some reason).

JD says: (1/10/14 9:21 AM)
I didn't mention that the potential redevelopment of Square 767 (the Capper one with the current kerfuffle about a separate condo building) would take away Nats Lot T, because we don't know if/when exactly that would happen, so it wouldn't be imminent.

But, at heart, there isn't a surface lot in Near Southeast that doesn't have development eventually planned on it, so for all of them it's just a matter of *when.*

conngs0 says: (1/10/14 10:07 AM)
Also, speaking of kerfuffle, the hazy timeline and scope of the CSX tunnel construction makes it difficult to predict whether it will even be possible to drive, bike, or walk to/from the neighborhood from north of the freeway. So, public transit may wind up being the best mode of transportation all-around!

JD says: (1/10/14 10:13 AM)
CSX (and DDOT) have said from the very beginning that the north-south crossings along Virginia Avenue at 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th will remain open the vast majority of the time, except for brief periods when they'd have to create the temporary coverings across the ditch/tunnel/whatever.

JES says: (1/10/14 4:04 PM)
"at heart, there isn't a surface lot in Near Southeast that doesn't have development eventually planned on it"

This is a feature, not a bug :-)

202_cyclist says: (1/11/14 12:11 PM)
First, I know this will never happen but I would like to see the large surface lots immediately behind the House office buildings developed. This is a tremendous waste in a walkable neighborhood, sitting directly above the Capitol South metro station.

Again, this will never happen but Congress should make these lots available during the weekends/evenings for Nationals game parking. Who knows, the federal government could earn a few million dollars for deficit reduction that it is obsessed about.

JD says: (1/13/14 12:45 PM)
In other news, the shoring/sheeting permit was approved today for Parcel N at the Yards, which means that that parking lot can now start being dug up (the demolition permit was approved back in October). Still no approval for the foundation or building permits, though.

alpinepaq says: (1/13/14 2:41 PM)
Looking at these shots, and then exploring back through your "best of before/after" shots, I am jolted at just how terrible the architecture is down there. Just the blandest stuff imaginable. While it is impossible to compare DC to any other city, much less a part of NYC like Manhattan, I can't help but think about Chelsea (a formerly industrial area), where a lot of amazing architecture has emerged.

Tom says: (1/16/14 11:04 PM)
Who owns the large parking lot on Buzzard's Point? The one that's south of where the new soccer stadium would go and is surrounded by chain link fences. I always see a few large tourist buses parked there and that's usually it. Maybe during the day its used by someone.

I thought I read where that lot was to be used for parking for the soccer stadium so why not the baseball stadium as well?

JD says: (1/16/14 11:21 PM)
I actually know that parking lot, because of the photos I took for this Post piece last year:


(though the photos I took of that lot didn't make it into the final product, though you can see it in the photo of the corner of 2nd and T)

The lot is owned by Akridge for now, and would actually be part of the footprint of the stadium itself, so won't be a long-term parking solution.

Tom says: (1/17/14 9:20 AM)
Thanks, JD.

The only thing, as I understand it there are two parking lots, the small one and the big one, just south of T st. Looking at the overlay in the Washington Post (Tracee Hamilton, July 12, 2012, I have it in paper, can't find the link, sorry) and the stadium ends at T st. which means it would sit on top of the first small parking lot just north of T st., but the large parking lot south of T St. would still be available for parking.

Akridge owns the lot and I found out its used for tour buses. It would be perfect for parking for both soccer and the Nats.

JD says: (1/17/14 12:51 PM)
At this point, with so little development in between to make the walk seem less desolate, the south side of 2nd and T SW is pretty far away for Nats Park parking.

I don't think right now there's really so much of a pressing need for it.

KLB says: (1/17/14 1:42 PM)
I was actually just looking at that today when I discovered that DoD employees can park for free at Fort McNair, like they can at the Navy Yard. Eying it on a map, it looks like that parking lot may actually be closer to the stadium than the Navy Yard; however, desolate is right. The walk from Fort McNair does not look very comforting, especially if you have kids. I'll stick to the Anacostia Riverwalk for now.

Tom says: (1/18/14 9:42 PM)
I park over there on the metered parking spots every time I go (I have season tickets) to Nat's games. They're low demand meters so its free after 6:30pm nightly. Its hardly two blocks. I've never had a problem, even late at night. I park at 1st and S or if I'm a bit late around 1st and T. Lots of folks park there and walk over. Free parking is good, and its a short walk. If you're worried about safety, then just don't park on 2nd street.

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