Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
September 2004
August 5, 2017
2nd (East) at L, Looking East-Northeast (see more)

It was a blockbuster piece of news a few weeks ago that the National Community Church had decided to buy the Navy Yard Car Barn, aka the Blue Castle, at 770 M St. SE.
There hasn't been any official statement about the purchase from the church, but recently its lead pastor, Mark Batterson, agreed to reply by e-mail to a list of questions I sent his way about how this move came about and what the church may be envisioning for the landmark building. (Hyperlinks added by me.)
JD: How did the idea of buying the Blue Castle end up on your radar?
MB: Our team had been actively seeking ways to build out our Virginia Ave property, but we’ve been in a holding pattern because of the CSX project. When we heard that the Blue Castle was for sale, it made sense. We just had to make the math work. After quite extensive research with a development team, we came to the conclusion that it will be easier, faster, and perhaps less expensive, to build on top of the castle than it would be to build on Virginia Avenue.
We feel very fortunate to have gotten the contract. We know this is an incredibly iconic building that is interwoven into our city's history. We hope to steward it well.
JD: What are your plans for the building? i.e., Will it be purely uses for your church, or will the neighborhood see some sort of benefit as well? Also, do you have any plans to expand the building itself? How much additional square footage could that potentially include?
MB: We plan to develop the Blue Castle property by building what NCC needs on the roof deck of the existing structure. The key components of the build-out are a multi-purpose performance space with 1500-2000 seats, as well as a central location for our staff. The performance space will be designed for seven day a week use as a music venue and/or theater space. We will assess community needs to make sure the castle serves the best and highest use. We have some preliminary ideas that we think the community will be excited about, but we need to get a little further down the planning road. One thing we know for sure is that we’d like to build out another Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, like our coffeehouse at 201 F Street, NE.
JD: What about the existing tenants?
MB: The existing tenants have a lease through July of 2018. We have not made any decisions beyond that, but our goal is for the space to serve community needs. Part of our process will be listening to the needs and goals of neighbors, as well as figuring out what best compliments NCC. We will explore a wide variety of uses, along with current uses; in determining it's future.
JD: What sort of timeline are you looking at for making it into what you are hoping it will be?
MB: Until the architectural designs are completed, we can't estimate an accurate timeline. But we have already initiated some conceptual design work. So the wheels are turning. National Community Church continues to outgrow our spaces, so we need it as soon as possible. We also know that there is a timeline and protocol to follow. This is an iconic building, and we want to make sure we get it right.
JD: How does this impact your previously announced plans for your land along Virginia Avenue?
MB: We view the Blue Castle as a better path forward in addressing spacing needs because development of the property is not directly impacted by CSX. The building is also three times larger than Virginia Avenue. This will help us move toward our 2020 vision of 20 expressions of NCC by 2020.
Ultimately, our goal is to master plan both the Blue Castle and Virginia Avenue. Because we own both properties, it positions us to have a more coordinated development.
JD: And, finally... What. About. the. Blue?
MB: Honestly, we hope that someday the Blue Castle will just be the Castle. Of course, we have to factor in the financial impact. And we'l obviously need to work with DCRA and HPRB to make a determination on any changes to the exterior of the Blue Castle.
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Comments

SWag says: (12/3/14 12:41 PM)
take my earlier comment back about not wanting anything built on top. I can see it now...


Capitol Hill SE says: (12/3/14 5:21 PM)
NCC made vague promises about neighborhood benefits when they bought the theater on 8th Street, but it hasn't functioned as anything other than a church. So I'm not holding my breath on this. Another Ebenezer's would be nice though.


JD says: (12/3/14 11:05 PM)
Not speaking pro or con or anything, but I imagine the Castle needs a whole lot of work to do what they want, which I would imagine will require city approvals, which will require hearings, meetings, etc.


Tom says: (12/4/14 10:30 PM)
No mention of who exactly is occupying the castle now. Must be an evil charter school.


JD says: (12/4/14 10:32 PM)
I don't think there was any malice in not mentioning the schools.


Blue says: (12/4/14 10:55 PM)
Are there any security restrictions with vertical growth directly opposite the Navy Yard?


JD says: (12/5/14 12:36 PM)
@Blue, I imagine the Navy Yard gets to, ahem, weigh in on any plans, but because any vertical growth of the Blue Castle can't go up very high (and I think only on the side facing L), I imagine it's less of an issue.

Speaking of the part of the Castle facing L, I came across this photo from when I was up on top of the old Capper Seniors building before it was demolished in 2007. Interesting to see the windows from the true old building peeking out above the roof of the addition (which if I remember correctly is not historic):

link



JD says: (12/5/14 12:41 PM)
Actually, though, I'm looking at the 2010 "Lower 8th Street Visioning Process" document, and on page 19 there are some massing studies of what could be built on that 7th Street side of the Blue Castle. However, I don't think those heights are allowed yet--it's just what the study process looked at in terms of what maybe could be submitted to the Office of Planning for rezoning (see page 16).

link



Tom says: (12/6/14 11:24 PM)
JD, no not at all.

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1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 12/15/18
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 12/14/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
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400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 12/13/18
900 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 12/11/18
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 12/09/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 12/09/18
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
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900 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 11/26/18
1255 1ST ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  11/25/18
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Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1300 4TH ST SE 1ST FL   
12/12/18 
null / WAYNE DAUGHERTY 7035247911
E1902414 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1300 4TH ST SE   
12/11/18 
PARCEL O 1-LLC / N/A
B1900015 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel O1 - Revision to Base Building Permit B1609947 to incorporate minor design changes including converting a residential unit to a fitness center. TPR
1300 4TH ST SE B1   
12/12/18 
null / WAYNE DAUGHERTY 7035247911
E1902413 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1331 4TH ST SE CU   
12/10/18 
FC 1331 LLC / null
P1902045 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1300 4TH ST SE PENTHOUSE   
12/12/18 
null / WAYNE DAUGHERTY 7035247911
E1902412 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1300 4TH ST SE   
12/10/18 
PARCEL O-1 LLC / RICHARD V CAREY 301-424-8899
FB1900032 / SUPPLEMENTAL
(2) NEW INSTALL Gross 1,840,000 BTU / HR Natural Gas HW
1346 4TH ST SE   
12/07/18 
FC 1346 LLC / null
FB1900031 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 5TH ST SE   
12/11/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / null
E1902394 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/11/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / BRANDON WILSON; BRANDON M WILSON
B1902777 / CONSTRUCTION
Kitchen Area: -Interior only Frame about 7lf around one column as per 2 / A030 -Add 260 SQF bulkhead as per 1 / A030 None Load bearing wall on first floor and second floor.. M,E,P, will be provided on another permit. IT Lounge -Add 194 SQF bulkhead as per 3 / A030
2 I ST SE   
12/10/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / KIM MITCHELL
B1814290 / CONSTRUCTION
The submitted drawings are a revision to those approved under building permit #B1703907, and include the incorporation of a new corridor connection at the roof level between phase 1 and phase 2 buildings, and corresponding revisions. Revised Mechanical / Plumbing / Electrical drawings are included to reflect the change of Engineers of Record. Interior Design Drawings are also included. Various...
   
12/14/18 
CRESCENT CAPITAL VIEW, LLC / ERICKA CLARK
AH1900295 / CONSTRUCTION
Dismantle of tower crane. Minimal noise impact and required for reduction on impact to traffic.
250 M ST SE   
11/28/18 
SQUARE 769 LLC. / CONOR LAW
BCIV1800147 / CONSTRUCTION
New construction of erosion and sediment controls, domestic water service, fire service, sanitary sewer service, storm sewer service, curb & gutter, street trees, misc. landscaping, sidewalk, storm water management.
   
12/05/18 
null
E1902214 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE STE# 420   
11/27/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / JAMES W LASHER
E1901850 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/20/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
E1901715 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/26/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1901600 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/26/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
M1900652 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/29/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / JOE SAFFER
P1901753 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/04/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / PAUL WHITLEY
AN1900004 / CONSTRUCTION
This project consists on installing (9)proposed antennas , RRU's, and hybrid cables on an existing building, and removing (9) existing antennas, RRU's, TMA's, and hybrid cables.
   
12/05/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / JOHN M. GIUSEPPE
B1900960 / CONSTRUCTION
renovations to 3rd floor office space SUITE 300 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AREA AGENCIES ON AGING as shown on the electronically submitted mech., plumb., elect., fire protection, demolition, and architectural dwgs. Interior work only. No change in use. NO structural work involved. 7000 sf. **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION, DEMOLITION
125 O ST SE 2-6FL   
11/28/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / ANDREW KLEIN 2408991526
E1901923 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
11/27/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / MICHAEL P. LYONS
E1901853 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/27/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / WILLIAM H. JONES
E1901854 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/29/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / WESLEY R. DAVIS
E1901951 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/29/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / null
P1901748 / SUPPLEMENTAL
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
11/27/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS LLC / null
AH1900270 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS 7PM TO 7AM FINAL CONNECTION OF RELOCATED 8” SANITARY LINE
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
11/26/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / JUSTIN BELLOW
B1804337 / CONSTRUCTION
New 264-Unit 13-Stories Apartment House
   
12/03/18 
RIVERFRONT PROPERTIES LLC / null
P1901813 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/13/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS LL, LLC / PARKER HARRELL
SB1900071 / CONSTRUCTION
Abandoning 20 temporary wellpoints and 3 gravel packed wells originally installed for dewatering during construction.
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
12/13/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / null
E1902479 / SUPPLEMENTAL
227 TINGEY ST SE   
11/30/18 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900285 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of installing precast concrete façade panels. Work to take place 7PM to 7AM, 12 / 5 / 2018 to 1 / 5 / 2019.
300 TINGEY ST SE   
12/04/18 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / STEPHEN ADAMS 2403042373
E1902120 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
12/06/18 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / GARY BRENT; N/A
SG1900027 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 1 illuminated edge-lit wall logo sign, 1 illuminated halo-lit letter sign, 1 double-sided push thru edge-lit blade sign - LULULEMON
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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