Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
July 18, 2006
October 16, 2016
Van at M, Looking Southeast (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.
Comments (9)
   
 
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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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City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 02/22/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 02/21/18
UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/19/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/15/18
1000 B/O 3RD ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/07/18

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1100 2ND PL SE   
02/21/18 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1800618 / CONSTRUCTION
An after hours permit is respectfully requested from 5AM to 9PM daily
1331 2ND ST SE 20003   
01/29/18 
DC WATER / DAVE LEVINE
AH1800505 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours work for structure exaction and support for B1311474 DC Water. Corman Construction 202-863-0052.
1016 3RD ST SE   
02/01/18 
ANAMARIA R MOTTOLA / DAVID L. HAHN
P1803348 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE   
02/06/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT SEV HENRY
AH1800541 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 2 / 19 / 18 from 7AM to 7PM to perform concrete, framing, and utility operations.
   
02/06/18 
FC 1346 LLC / RICHARD V CAREY
P1803428 / SUPPLEMENTAL
150 I ST SE   
02/05/18 
WC SMITH / null
P1803402 / SUPPLEMENTAL
140 M ST SE   
02/07/18 
SPAULDING & SLYE/STE100 / null
E1803798 / SUPPLEMENTAL
110 M ST SE   
01/29/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / JAMES WEAVER
E1803534 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/02/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
P1803361 / SUPPLEMENTAL
140 M ST SE 20032   
02/14/18 
SYLVIA LINDSEY / null
P1803641 / SUPPLEMENTAL
202 M ST SE   
01/29/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / NURI EROL
D1800281 / CONSTRUCTION
Remove Existing flooring. Remove some of the furnitures, equipment.
300 M ST SE 53533   
02/08/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / SPENCER TEEL
BP1801893 / POST CARD
300 M ST SE   
02/16/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / STEVEN MERCHANT
B1803279 / CONSTRUCTION
New Sprint store sustainable design tenant build-out in an existing building, partical first floor. Work will consist of building a new sales floor and back of the house. New work sill consist of display fixtures, ceiling, plumbing fixtures, mechanical ductwork to diffusers, interior partitions, floor finishes, outlets and new locations of electrical panels. **CHANGE IN USE, LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
401 M ST SE   
01/30/18 
DOEE C/O DEV MURALI / JESSICA REICHARD
AH1800507 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours permit to preform manhole inspections during off peak hours 7pm - 7am for all Manhole Locations covered under permit # PA10374319-R1 for DOEE Anacostia river sediment project.
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
01/31/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1800467 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities.***TO EXCLUDE LEGAL HOLIDAYS**
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 2ND FL   
02/09/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1803534 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/14/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1803681 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/15/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
E1804057 / SUPPLEMENTAL
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
02/21/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / JUSTIN BELLOW
B1805358 / CONSTRUCTION
Address revision only for B1702971 from 25 Potomac Ave SE to 79 Potomac Ave SE.
640 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
02/05/18 
JIM LATISIS ZAYO GROUP
B1707197 / CONSTRUCTION
Addition to existing concrete telecom building.
401 TINGEY ST SE   
01/30/18 
PEPCO / BARBARA ANN STEDMAN
AH1800520 / CONSTRUCTION
UG TRANSFORMER WORK TO BE PERFORMED ON THE 400 BLK OF TINGEY ST SE. MANHOLE ACCESS. WORK TO BE PERFORMED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 7:30AM AND MIGHTNIGHT ON 1 / 30 / 18 AND 1 / 31 / 18.
227 TINGEY ST SE   
01/29/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ERICKA CLARK
TC1800021 / CONSTRUCTION
2 tower cranes
   
01/30/18 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / MELISSA DIAZ
B1802750 / CONSTRUCTION
Revision to Permit SH1700028. Sheeting and shoring for Yards Parcel L-2 project. Revision includes 10-foot precut excavation and layback on Water Street, 3rd Street and northern L-1 elevations, and removal of upper tier of rakers at L-1 elevation and upper tier of tiebacks at the Water Street and 3rd Street elevations.
   
02/20/18 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / FOREST CITY WASHINGTON; DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
FD1700057 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards parcel L-2. Construction of foundation and underground parking garage for new 11 story multi-family mixed used residential building at 227 Tingey Street SE as part of development of Parcel L at the Yards
325 VIRGINIA AVE SE 20003   
02/14/18 
JASON W GOLDSMITH / null
E1804039 / SUPPLEMENTAL
325 VIRGINIA AVE SE   
02/06/18 
JASON W GOLDSMITH / CRAIG HARTSOCK
B1804721 / CONSTRUCTION
Remove two non-structural walls on ground level of townhouse and re-frame in new configuration to create a full bathroom on ground floor.
   
02/07/18 
JASON W GOLDSMITH / MORIS O. OCHOA PINEDA
P1803462 / 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;

Real Property Sales Archive  
1001 NEW JERSEY AV SE   12/28/17
$ 687,365
WHATS ON SECOND PROPERTIES LLC
 


Project Directory
Completed
Agora ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)


Overviews
Capper/Carrollsburg
Anacostia Riverwalk
New Jersey Avenue
M Street
South Capitol Street
The Yards
Lower 8th Street
East M Street
Boathouse Row





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