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Way back when, the Cohen Companies' plan on Square 699N was to build the Velocity condo building at 1st and L and then almost immediately start work on a twin residential building directly to the north.
Velocity went up, but the twin did not follow for nearly four years--after Cohen sold the empty lot to Toll Brothers, which is now building the River Parc apartment building on the site. And having a different developer build the twin has brought about a sticky situation.
Within recent days, Velocity residents have discovered that Toll's layout for the River Parc roof includes a wall that completely obscures the formerly expansive Capitol dome views from Velocity's roof deck.
This Facebook page shows the old view from Velocity's roof--and the photo below, provided by a resident, shows the new one.
In addition, the new building's design appears to place the building's 237 air conditioning units on the south side of the concrete wall, facing Velocity.
A recent e-mail to Velocity residents informed them that "[T]he ANC Commissioner, The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the offices of Planning and Zoning have all been contacted and we are being told that all construction is being done in accordance with all plans, permits, zoning, and easements" and that "Every avenue is being pursued to somehow make this situation better for us." Alas, "[A]s long as they are within all legal parameters of their construction of this building, there is little we can do."
Capitol Dome views are a sticky wicket in the neighborhood, since almost all of the buildings that have already gone up stand to eventually lose their panoramic vistas as newer projects continue to fill in the empty spaces. (Just ask Nationals Park!)
The exceptions are 70/100 I (aka the Jefferson and Axiom) and the about-to-be-built 800 New Jersey, all of which border the freeway and so will likely keep their views pristine, as long as Capitol Hill north of the freeway doesn't suddenly start to allow 13 stories of construction.
But an impenetrable concrete wall certainly puts an exclamation point on the issue.
Comments (12)
 
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Comments

202_cyclist says: (6/14/14 8:42 AM)
Considering all of the knuckleheads in Congress, perhaps it isn't a bad thing to lose the view of the Capitol.

I am just going to be glad when the 6:30 AM Saturday construction is finished.


Whatevs says: (6/15/14 5:53 AM)
First world problems...did you people think that you would have an unobstructed views into perpetuity? What did you think would happen when you bought a unit in a building that had SEVERAL vacant lots surrounding it on THREE sides. Your sales agent hoodwinked you if they told you that there were any guarantees of an permanent unobstructed view. You've enjoyed an unobstructed view for almost 5 years.

Wait till you lose your view on the 1st St SE side...heh heh

Get. Over. It.


JES says: (6/15/14 5:13 PM)
Of course "we people" did not expect a permanent u obstructed view. We expected the building to be a twin of ours though, as that's what everyone was told when we bought. And with that twin, there would not be a giant wall there.

End of the world? Of course not. But d**K move by Toll Brothers? Absolutely.


JES says: (6/15/14 5:14 PM)
Sorry, that was supposed to say "permanently unobstructed." Stupid phone.


Whatevs says: (6/16/14 5:28 AM)
...as that's what everyone was told when we bought.

If it wasn't in writing,you weren't told that.


JES says: (6/16/14 9:50 AM)
Actually, I'm pretty sure when someone opens their mouth and words come out, that's the definition of being told something. Not having it in writing obviously means there isn't anything we can do about it, but this is a forum that allows local residents to present opinions, and that's what I'm doing here, nothing more.


Whatevs says: (6/16/14 10:23 AM)
Even if you were told that, and if the second twin tower had been built exactly the same as Velocity, the Congressional Square/Plaza on K parcel still has the potential to block the view of Capitol dome. So, even if you were told that, or if it were put in writing by the Velocity folks, the value would have been NIL.

So, I'm confused by your comment that it was a D**K move by Toll Bros. It seems unfair to them.

Just my opinion...


JES says: (6/16/14 10:35 AM)
Yes, congressional square has the potential to do the same thing, this is true. So maybe it would all be for naught anyway, but since that building is nowhere near ready to be constructed, that becomes a "cross that bridge when we come to it" problem.

In response to the d**k move comment, Toll Brothers has done a lot of annoying things during this entire construction process like starting too early, ending too late, not securing any of their crap during windstorms resulting in our balconies getting pelted by trash every time it storms, closing parts of our garage, and on and on. This is yet another move that paints them in a light where they're completely ignoring the concerns of their immediate neighbors.

That and the wall seems entirely unnecessary. It's not serving any kind of structural need, it's only there to block noise from their AC units (and direct that noise back towards us as a result). They could knock a few feet off that wall, accomplish the same goal, and make their neighbors view them less negatively.


Whatevs says: (6/16/14 10:50 AM)
Well, all folks in the area have to suffer through something during construction. I lived at the Onyx when Velocity and 909 were both still under construction. Some of the issues that you list, are things that Onyx folks had to suffer through in the early days.

So, I guess some days, you're the statue and some days you're the pigeon...


202_cyclist says: (6/16/14 10:55 AM)
@JES:

I completely agree with you that Toll Brothers has been an awful neighbor during the River Parc construction. As you're aware, there is regularly 5:30-6 AM construction, even on Saturdays. There has been 3 AM construction at times, etc...


Pcat says: (6/17/14 11:03 AM)
We have the same problem at our condo complex on 13th St. By right developments can be built without any input from anyone. We are losing our sun and our views but apparently can do nothing about it. Good luck.


JES says: (6/17/14 2:53 PM)
Thankfully our building (and everything down here) was built to the max allowable height, so losing sun isn't a problem. Could be worse.

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
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
400 B/O K ST SE   THEFT /  07/24/14
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT /  07/23/14

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
08/26/14
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
1100 - 1199 BLOCK 1ST ST SE    tom cash 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/27/14
to
08/25/14
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   
08/06/14 
TOLL DC LP / MITCH A. PERMUY
E1407892 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
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   
08/05/14 
FC 1212 LLC / THE YARDS
TL1400165 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST TIME TENANT LAYOUT FOR NEW MANAGEMENT OFFICE 2ND FLOOR TOTAL OF 780 SQ FT RENOVATION LIMIT TO MECHANICAL ELECTRIC AND FIRE LIFE SAFETY ONLY
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.
601 L ST SE   
08/06/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / JOSEPH M MAGNOLIA
P1407161 / SUPPLEMENTAL
20 M ST SE   
08/06/14 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC /
P1407613 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
08/06/14 
SQUARE 743 INC /
P1407610 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
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
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.
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
08/04/14 
LIVE NATION / DAVID VEGA
AH1400629 / CONSTRUCTION
TO CLOSE OFF STREETS FOR LOADING AND UNLOADING OF STADIUM EVENTS 7PM - 7AM
300 TINGEY ST SE   
08/05/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / PHILLIP B MOBLEY
M1402818 / 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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