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After unveiling a draft Environmental Impact Statement back in April that did not name a "preferred alternative" out of any of the five sites studied as a new barracks location, the Marines have now apparently made their choice: .89 acres of land at the existing "MBW Annex" site on L Street SE between 5th and 7th Streets.
Quoting the EIS web site:
"The Draft EIS comment period concluded on May 26, 2015. The Marine Corps received comments from 14 agencies and individuals, most of which indicated a preference for one of the two alternatives that would construct the BEQ Replacement Complex on Department of Defense-owned land (Alternative 4 - Site D at the Washington Navy Yard or Alternative 5 - Site E at the MBW Annex). The Marine Corps identified Alternative 5 as the preferred alternative based on this agency and public input, as well as its proximity to the MBW Main Post and Annex, the elimination of the need for land acquisition, and the mitigatable environmental impacts of locating the replacement BEQ Complex at this site."
As described in the draft EIS, the choice of this location means that the Marines are expecting to build a six- or seven-story building that wraps around the BEQ that opened in 2004. They also expect to retain the underground parking at the 8th and I/Building 20 site they are trying to move out of (though there is already that nice big four-story aboveground garage at the L Street site that neighbors are so fond of). The playing field along Virginia Avenue is expected to be retained, however.
There is no mention of any possible closures of L Street between 5th and 7th, as had been discussed back in 2010 when the Marines were eyeing Square 882, where the Lofts at Capitol Quarter are now being built. And it was in 2012 that the Department of Defense relaxed its Force Protection Requirements, meaning that any new quarters would need only a 66-foot standoff from the street, compared to the 82 feet the original land search had been operating under.
This would seem to bring to an end the long, long road from when the Marines first launched the public process to find a new site back in 2010, which initially focused on various privately owned properties south of the freeway where the Corps though it could perhaps create a "public-private" location that would provide some services or benefits to the public. But as it became clear that businesses, officials, and residents weren't particularly excited about seeing blocks near Lower 8th Street and the Virginia Avenue Park being turned into secure, fenced locations (especially once the phrase "federal land acquisition will be unavoidable" cropped up), the Marines' choices seemed to narrow to the two federally owned sites, and now to the site that they have controlled all along.
The final EIS is expected in the fall, with the Record of Decision in early 2016.
Comments (7)
   
 
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JES says: (7/2/15 5:01 PM)
Excellent news from a land use perspective


rpyxyz says: (7/2/15 5:18 PM)
This sounds like the right pick for all people involved.

That "nice, big, four-story" garage, though, is already over-full. If you've ever noticed Marines guarding the lot under the highway on 7th street on weekday mornings, it's because the garage is already full from the cars owned by Marines who live in the Annex. There are no spaces left for the Marines who live off-post and commute in.


Local says: (7/6/15 3:32 PM)
You write that the playing field is expected to be retained, but the map shows the proposed building taking up a substantial part of the existing field. I believe the Marine Corps had to promise to provide community access to those fields when the city gave (or sold) them the land. I wonder how this will work out?


BillP says: (7/7/15 9:57 AM)
Great news for the neighborhood! Seems like the new building could also include underground parking to replace the parking at 8th and I, especially if they are looking to fully redevelop that site. Underground parking is expensive but they will likely be saving tons of money by not having to acquire additional land.


JD says: (7/8/15 1:28 PM)
For those who don't either follow on Twitter or don't scroll down a smidge on the JDLand home page to look at the Twitter box, Buffalo Wild Wings is now advertising managerial jobs for a new location on M Street in Washington DC:
link



Packinblackandred says: (7/8/15 1:51 PM)
Very cool! Also, Scarlet Oak has taken down most of the paper blocking their windows and put up a "Now Hiring" sign.


JD says: (7/9/15 10:30 AM)
Scarlet Oak also got its permit yesterday for its "real" sign.

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1300 4TH ST SE RU-2   
06/18/20 
AP BOWER RETAIL LLC / MELISSA BRENT
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Install 1 illuminated wall sign & 1 illuminated blade sign - JENIs ICE CREAM
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SQUARE 737 LLC / BOB BIROONAK; NA; NA
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two illuminated building sign
151 M ST SE   
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BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / CHRIS CRESCI; NA
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WSP will be advancing approximately 50 soil borings to 30 feet, and an additional 8 borings to 4 feet via direct push. A water sample will be collected from 3 of the deep borings. All borings will be abandoned via bentonite grout mix. Investigation derived waste will be stored in DOT 55-gallon steel drums. Private and public utility locating will take place prior to the work beginning
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WILLIAM C SMITH / null
E2008622 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/24/20 
SQUARE 769 LLC / null
M2002834 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/24/20 
SQUARE 769 LLC / null
P2006931 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
06/16/20 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
E2008501 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/18/20 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
E2008587 / SUPPLEMENTAL
111 N ST SE   
06/16/20 
BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / NA; CHRIS CRESCI
SB2000293 / CONSTRUCTION
WSP will advance 22 soil borings to 25 feet and 8 soil borings to 4 feet via direst push. A groundwater sample will be collected from 2 of the deep borings by installing a temporary well to be in the ground for just a couple hours. Borings will be backfilled with bentonite / grout mix. IDW will be stored in DOT 55-gallon drums. A private and public utility mark out will be completed prior to b...
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/10/20 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / ;
P2006604 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/19/20 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / ;
P2006843 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/22/20 
GREYSTAR GP LLC / KIM MITCHELL
B1903035 / CONSTRUCTION
The proposed project is three structures which are connected by a shared below-grade garage, which is one story deep on the east half of the site and two stories deep on the west half of the site. Two structures will be residential, with a total of 756 units, and the third will be a 225-key hotel. The west residential structure (Building 3) is planned to be 13 stories with ground and roof level am...
   
06/25/20 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / ;
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SQUARE 742 LLC, C/O SPAULDING & SLYE/STE 100, / PAUL WHITLEY
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PROJECT CONSISTS OF: REMOVING: (2) EXISTING EQUIPMENT CABINETS, (3) EXISTING ANTENNA'S, (1) EXISTING RRU'S AND ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT / CABLE AND INSTALLING: (6) PROPOSED ANTENNA'S, (3) PROPOSED RRU'S, AND(2) PROPOSED EQUIPMENT CABINETS ON AN EXISTING TELECOM FACILITY
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GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / TRACIE CLAXTON; NA; NA
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BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / CHRIS CRESCI
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