Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

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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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft Of Motor Vehicle Parts Or Accessories
 11/11/18
700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle) - Convenience Store
 11/11/18
800 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 11/09/18
700 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
 11/09/18
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 11/08/18
400 B/O M ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 11/07/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 11/07/18
800 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/31/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/30/18
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 10/29/18
50 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/28/18
100 B/O O ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/28/18
1400 B/O M ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  10/26/18
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree - Felony (all Other Larceny)
 10/23/18
900 B/O M ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/23/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/22/18
900 B/O 5TH ST SE   HOMICIDE
Murder I
 10/20/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/20/18
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 10/19/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 10/17/18
100 B/O N ST SE   THEFT
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Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1100 2ND PL SE   
10/23/18 
null / ANDY MCKELVEY
SP1800044 / CONSTRUCTION
Construct outdoor swimming pool on 10th floor roof of new building
1013 4TH ST SE   
11/05/18 
EVA WALTER / KYLE YOST
SOL1900066 / CONSTRUCTION
5.89kw rooftop solar pv system, less than 4' above roof
   
11/07/18 
EVA WALTER / null
E1901297 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE   
10/18/18 
FC 1346, LLC / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
B1809670 / CONSTRUCTION
Parcel O-2 at the Yards. Revision to Permit B1610576 for installation of flood wall on 5th Street, SE, the reduction of roadway width, and widening of sidewalk to provide adequate pedestrian clear space between flood wall and edge of tree pit. TPR
   
11/01/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT HENRY
AH1900133 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 11 / 12 / 2018, to perform construction work with the below activities: Interior Operations: 7AM-7PM Exterior Operations: 9AM-7PM
1000 5TH ST SE   
10/31/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / JOY WILDER
B1901427 / CONSTRUCTION
Non Construction permit to change load for current Child Development Center with 26 children 3 to 6 years old +3 Staff to Child Development Center with 30 Children + 3 Staff.
2 I ST SE   
10/17/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1900080 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3573836 - M.ALLEN / BRUNO - WARD 6 - 20003 - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE WORKING #2 I ST SE - MAY NEED TO BLOCK "I" STREET ON OCCASION TO INSTALL NETWORK TRANSFORMERS AND INSTALL AND SPLICE CABLES - CREW WILL BE WORKING AT NIGHTS DURING THE WEEK (MONDAY-FRIDAYS) FROM 9PM TIL 7AM - PEPCO CREWS WILL ALSO BE WORKING SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS FROM 6AM TIL 6PM - WORK IS ONGOING
   
11/05/18 
CRESCENT CAPITAL VIEW / CASSANDRA MOSLEY
AH1900160 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of wet utility services to the new building at 4 I Street SE including fire service, domestic service, and storm sewer.
10 I ST SE   
10/24/18 
CAPITOL HILL RACQUET CLUB / BOB BIROONAK; N/A
SG1900026 / CONSTRUCTION
Relocating existing freestanding sign
110 I ST SE   
11/06/18 
null
E1901238 / SUPPLEMENTAL
200 I ST SE 20009   
10/25/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / null
M1900267 / SUPPLEMENTAL
200 I ST SE   
11/05/18 
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / null
E1901223 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/25/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / CLIFFORD DIXON
B1809410 / CONSTRUCTION
DGS OCTO BUILDING...NEW GENERATOR ON THE ROOF WITH ASSOCIATED MECHANICAL
   
11/07/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DANIEL MCGUIRE
P1901098 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 8TH FL   
10/24/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / ALFRED JORDAN 2024375067
E1900838 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 8TH FLOOR 20003   
10/22/18 
JBG SMITH - MORGAN JOHNSON-MASSEY / null
E1900736 / SUPPLEMENTAL
130 M ST SE   
11/09/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / RICHARD PLUMLEY
P1901176 / SUPPLEMENTAL
250 M ST SE   
11/07/18 
WCSMITH - BRIAN STROTT / GEORGE ARTHUR KING
SB1900025 / CONSTRUCTION
Drill and construct two 2 inch diameter observation wells 42 feet below existing grade utilizing mud rotary drilling methods. All drill spoils will be contained, tested and disposed of per DOEE regulation.
400 M ST SE   
10/18/18 
CAPPER SENIOR 11 LIMITED PARTNERSHIP / null
E1900650 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/02/18 
CAPPER SENIOR 11 LIMITED PARTNERSHIP / null
E1901156 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/31/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / BRANDON KNAPP
AH1900131 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in the public ROW with the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, concrete structure, paving, and site restoration construction activities.
   
11/07/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / RPS INC
SB1900023 / CONSTRUCTION
Per Work Plan, Geotechnical Investigation, dated October 18, 2018 (see attached), the work involves drilling 12 soil borings using a HSA rig for the purpose of collecting soil samples for geotechnical subsurface exploration. Boring depths range from 80 to 150 ft. Borings will be properly backfilled after completion.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/17/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
E1900581 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/23/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / MICHAEL PISA; PISA
SG1800505 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 2 sets of wall mounted illuminated channel letters
   
10/25/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
E1900860 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/05/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / MICHAEL B. BELL
E1901199 / SUPPLEMENTAL
227 TINGEY ST SE   
10/17/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900079 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of installing precast concrete façade panels. Work to take place 7PM to 7AM, 10 / 22 through 11 / 3.
   
11/01/18 
JOHN MORIARTY & ASSOCIATES / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900141 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of installing precast concrete façade panels. Work to take place 7PM to 7AM, 11 / 5 through 12 / 5.
300 TINGEY ST SE   
11/05/18 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / DREW PEISHEL; JOHN RANOUS
B1813340 / CONSTRUCTION
Minor interior tenant improvment including building one non-load bearing partitiion wall adding millwork fixtures including cash desk, fitting rooms. No Structural work. Some electrical updates. **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
   
11/08/18 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / STEPHEN ADAMS 2403042373
E1901337 / 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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