Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
July 17, 2008
March 17, 2019 
4th at River St., Looking North (see more)

Just like the perennials that begin popping up in springtime, the process to find a site for a new Marine Barracks has once again reappeared, with a Draft EIS released late on Friday that provides a deep study of five potential locations but does not identify the usual "preferred alternative."
For those lucky readers who have not been traveling on this path since it began in 2010 (!), the Marines are desperately wishing to move out of the antiquated and not-removed-enough-from-the-streets Building 20 at 8th and I streets, SE. (No, not the historic buildings that run along 8th Street where the Friday night parades are held--this is that lovely midcentury modern monolith on the south side of I Street.)
After the initial round of public workshops failed to magically come up with a solution that met the requirement that any new barracks be within 2,000 feet of the main post, an Environmental Impact Study was announced in 2012 and launched in the fall of 2013 (during my hiatus, so apologies for the hole in my reporting).
This draft EIS identifies five alternatives that meet the requirements that include constructing a 191,405 sf Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) complex that complies with anti-terrorism/force protection setbacks as well as finding spaces for various support facilities currently housed in Building 20. But, in an unusual situation for a draft EIS, no "preferred alternative" has been identified--the Marines apparently don't have a (publicly stated) preference, and "each of the action alternatives involve trade-offs among economig, technical, environmental, and Marine Corps statutory requirements."
As for the five alternatives, they include:
* (Left) Taking 3 acres of privately held land on the two blocks bounded by Virginia, 8th, 9th, and Potomac, which would include acquiring 24 privately held properties, demolishing 14 buildings, and closing a one-block stretch of L Street, to build a five-story building with underground parking;
* (Left center) Taking two acres of former Southeast Federal Center land within the footprint of The Yards immediately to the west of Hull Street and the Navy Yard to build an eight-story building with an attached above-ground garage, a move that would necessitate an agreement with both Forest City and the GSA to transfer the land to the Marines and which apparently has already engendered Forest City's "formal opposition" (page 2-21);
* (Right center) Taking 1.67 acres within the walls of the Navy Yard, just south of M Street between 9th/Parsons and 10th, to build a 5- or 6-story building, while demolishing a building currently used by the Marines (Building 169) as well as tennis and basketball courts and a parking lot; and
* (Right) Using .89 acres nestled between the existing BEQ site at 7th and K and its lovely above-ground parking garage on L Street to build a 6- or 7-story building that would wrap around the existing Building 25, while still keeping the footprint of the large soccer/marching band field untouched. Parking would be in the existing underground garage at the old Building 20 site for both this alternative and the Navy Yard one.
(Why am I only mentioning four of the five? Because the Alternative B site is now newly spoken for, though I guess if the Marines really really want it....)
I am of course just scratching the surface of the 300-page document. If you want to learn more, and/or want to provide comments on any of these plans, there is going to be an open house public meeting on Wednesday, April 22, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Tyler Elementary School (1001 G St., SE). Comments can also be submitted until May 26, either through the mail or the EIS web site.
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202_cyclist says: (4/13/15 11:57 AM)
Sites A,B, or D would help encourage development of the lower 8th Street corridor. This area has great potential but suffers right now from public safety issues-- loitering and drug dealing.


JHUGrad says: (4/13/15 2:06 PM)
Doesn't Site A include some private residences? Seems like that would be a major obstacle for building on that site if it does have some private residences.


Andrew in DC says: (4/13/15 7:20 PM)
Uh, @202_cyclist - Site A would pretty much nuke any chance of development along a lower 8th street corridor. There'd be virtually nothing left to develop.


@JD - any chance the Marines are going to give the Bldg 20 site back up for development? To me that was always the most insane part of the last time this all came around. Marines can't use it, but won't yield it to anyone else.

Site E might be useful if thehy took out the above ground parking garage. Either that, or go with Site D.


JD says: (4/13/15 8:39 PM)
Sites D and E depend on at least the underground garage of Building 20 to work (according to the EIS, anyway).

Building 20's fate seems to be outside the five-year scope of the EIS. (I'd copy text on this point, but for some reason they made the PDF un-copy-able.) "Principal among these projects [outside the scope] is the potential reuse of Building 20 or the Building 20 site by both federal and non-federal entities (aside from the possible retention of below-grade parking to support the replacement BEQ parking requirement)."




Andrew in DC says: (4/13/15 10:00 PM)
How does one calculate the "parking requirement" for a cadre of predominantly enlisted Marines who are in the middle of a city at 212 spaces when you only require 125 rooms (i.e. housing for 250 people)? That's an awfully high car-per-Marine count, isn't it?

In fact, in total, 350 of the aggregate parking spaces support 500 enlisted Marines. I'd be interested to know how that compares with some of the high rises in the neighborhood. (page 2-3)


Gamble Rogers says: (4/13/15 10:34 PM)
@Andrew in DC: I was trying to think of the name of the local Business Improvement District on 8th Street? It relates to the current use of the street, but I can't recall it.

PCP and Empty Stoli Bottle Row? Naw.

Solicitation and Urination Alley? Nope.

Ahhh! Barracks Row! And the Marines want to build where? Que ridiculo!


Gamble Rogers says: (4/13/15 10:38 PM)
In all seriousness, looks like both Options A and B are longshots, dependent only on retaining Building 20 for the below-ground parking. (?) The weird thing about this Draft EIS is the Marines' continued insistence that they just don't know where to build -- there are so many good options!

Surely at this point they must know which site is the favorite. Why not simply say "Alternative X" is the preferred alternative and move this forward? Gnashing of teeth will occur no matter which alternative they choose; might as well get going.


JNB says: (4/14/15 1:29 PM)
Pretty sure the most northern piece of land in option A is under contract for condo development.


E. Masquinongy says: (4/15/15 8:23 PM)
I don't understand why the Exxon site is out; thought the Marines have the power to take it by eminent domain. While that may upset the city council (as well as the dog folks), DC has put up with far larger slights.

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03/14/19 
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03/13/19 
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03/18/19 
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03/04/19 
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One illuminated building sign and one double face illuminated blade sign
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03/12/19 
null / MIKE BOONE
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03/19/19 
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150 I ST SE   
03/15/19 
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AH1900647 / CONSTRUCTION
afterhours to take down tower crane with mobile crrane saturday 3 / 16 / 2019 and sunday 3 / 17 / 2019 from 4am tp 1159 pm
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03/06/19 
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03/04/19 
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INSTALL NEW FIRST FLOOR SUITE ENTRY DOOR WITH CARD READER TO VACANT TENANT SPACE. INSTALL INTERIOR CONCRETE RAMP WITH 4 INCH ELEVATION CHANGE. PROVIDE EXIT LIGHT AND EXTERIOR LIGHT FIXTURE. 100 SQUARE FEET.
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An environmental assessment will be conducted at the parcel located 861 NJ Ave., SE involving installing 10 soil borings, 7 soil borings will be drilled to a depth of approimately 20 feet bgs and hree soil borings will be drilled to a depth of approximately 50 feet bgs. The soil borings will be drilled and the soil sampled using direct push technology (DPT) dual tube tooling 3.75. All cuttings ...
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03/01/19 
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