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Residents anxious to see the construction get underway on the planned Showplace Icon movie theater will be displeased to read this, but...:
Earlier this month Forest City filed a two-year extension request with the Zoning Commission, as the continuing bureaucratic machinations to move DC Water's fleet maintenance and customer care operations off of the site at 1st and O SE have moved slowly enough that Forest City has been unable to file for a building permit by the date required in the zoning approvals received in early 2014.
While there have been steps that have moved the process forward, including the official execution of a lease with Showplace Icon theaters back in July, Forest City writes in its letter to the Zoning Commission that the lack of a building permit filing "is due to continuing challenges in identifying and developing appropriate relocation facilities that are acceptable to DC Water. DMPED and DC Water have worked diligently--with continued assistance from Forest City--to identify appropriate relocation facilities [for the operations], but substantial work still remains."
Land in Prince George's County has been acquired for the fleet operations, but Forest City says that DMPED and DC Water "are currently negotiating an agreement on the scope of improvements to be built out at the new site," and that once those are completed, "the improvements must be designed, permitted, and built."
As for a potential new customer care operations site, there is apparently work underway between DMPED and WMATA "to acquire a property that would serve as a new location." But, while "the parties are actively discussing the terms of the site control with DC Water," there would still need to be design and construction before a move could happen.
The letter goes on to say that DMPED and DC Water--the entities with "sole responsibility" for the moves--"estimate that the relocation of one of the two operations could be completed within 10 months," but that "out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of the complex negotiations and construction required" for either or both of the operations to be relocated, Forest City is requesting the two-year extension, because even after relocation, the movie theater parcel will need environmental remediation before construction can proceed.
There are also plans for two residential buildings to be built along 1st Street, once both sets of operations are moved and the construction of the movie theater is finished.
(For those zoning fanboys out there, I'll be a bit more precise and say that technically Forest City is requesting a two-year extension of the consolidated PUD approval for the movie theater parcel and the first-stage PUD approval for the remaining parcels, plus a two-year extension of the original first-stage approval, because doing that would reset the clock on the twelve-year time frame originally approved for filing for a second-stage PUD for the remaining parcels. {pantpantpant})
Finally, while only tangentially related, I'll remind readers that not all of DC Water's operations will be leaving this plot of land between Nats Park and the Yards, and that DC Water's plans for its new headquarters to be built on top of the existing O Street Pumping Station immediately to the south of the movie theater site received final approvals from the Zoning Commission in recent weeks, and construction should/could be underway there this summer.
My DC Water and Yards at DC Water pages give more details and background on these projects, should you so desire.
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JES says: (2/24/16 3:43 PM)
Is there a reason the theater has to go there? I know it's not that simple, but last time I checked, forest city isn't lacking for empty developable parcels in that part of the neighborhood...


conngs0 says: (2/24/16 8:21 PM)
There's a lot of land out there for the DC Water folks to go. It doesn't seem like they're working all that diligently to me. Maybe the DC Water HQ needs to be held up until the space for the movie theater is cleared.


dude says: (2/25/16 8:27 AM)
Am I the only one that's happy? I'm not terribly excited for the movie theater.


Packinblackandred says: (2/25/16 10:51 AM)
This is disappointing, but not too surprising given the coordination required. Hopefully they can get this together, I'm really looking forward to a nice theater here.


JD says: (2/25/16 11:45 AM)
On perhaps a "happier" front, my calendar has finally cleared up enough to where I can begin thinking about a JDLand happy hour, but would love some input before I make an official invitation.

A Thursday in March would be what I'm shooting for--but I see Easter is March 27, so I probably wouldn't do the 24th. I was about to suggest the 17th, but of course that's St. Patrick's Day. So maybe the 10th?

And where--I know BWW was the original discussion, but I'm not necessarily wedded to that, unless folks think that's a fine choice.

Something like 5:30-??



MarkinDC says: (2/25/16 1:04 PM)
I like the 10th!


NavyYardGuy says: (2/25/16 1:05 PM)
The 10th would be good--why not try out Due South, Scarlet Oak, a place w/ some ambience and a larger bar area.


JD says: (2/25/16 1:10 PM)
Scarlet Oak might be a nice location (and close to my house!). Bonchon is another one with a sizeable bar area. And Big Stick.



CJBabyDaddy says: (2/25/16 1:13 PM)
I vote for whenever, wherever at 5:30pm.


JD says: (2/25/16 1:20 PM)
One other question--as hostess, I'm not expected to do anything other than name a place and time and tell y'all to be there, right? :)


SWag says: (2/25/16 2:13 PM)
how about a VERBAL update on the n'hood? lol


202_cyclist says: (2/25/16 2:16 PM)
Agua 301 or the Big Stick.


CJBabyDaddy says: (2/25/16 5:20 PM)
JD says: One other question--as hostess, I'm not expected to do anything other than name a place and time and tell y'all to be there, right? :)

Correct, but just be sure that whenever one of us buys a drink, you give the server whatever wink or nod makes it clear to them that it's on your tab.


JD says: (2/25/16 5:24 PM)
I'm not so think as you drunk I am!


Westnorth says: (2/26/16 12:26 AM)
@JES: The theater is meant as a draw to get people to the innermost block of the site, rather like how the movie theaters at Gallery Place and Tysons Corner Center are on the uppermost floors of their respective malls. Since cinemas are usually a destination, and don't require windows or much walk-by foot traffic, they're usually used to draw people past restaurants/shops on their way in, and those shops pay the big bucks.

This is not exactly an old trick: most 1920s single-screen movie palaces, like the Uptown in Cleveland Park, also were loss leaders for their developers, who made much more in rent off the small shops up front (and from concessions).

As for Forest City's large parcel by the Metro, that's more valuable as a potential large office complex. Every so often, GSA suddenly decides that it needs a million-square-foot building atop Metro within DC. For instance, in December, GSA announced that Labor needs to move its headquarters -- and I can't think of any other shovel-ready sites that meet those criteria.


jdc says: (2/26/16 11:50 AM)
Unrelated - in a big 'win' for the neighborhood, the yearly Japan-American Society street festival will be moving to Nay Yard in 2 summers. link


JD says: (2/26/16 11:54 AM)
Not in two summers--this spring, April 16, New Jersey and M:

link



JD says: (2/26/16 11:56 AM)
(I'm waiting until they have maps and things before posting on it)


JHUGrad says: (2/26/16 1:19 PM)
@Westnorth: I agree, I think having the Department of Labor move to the Forest City parcel would be a perfect choice. It's a huge parcel that would allow for an architect to customize the building to be exactly what they want. It's sits right by a Metro Station, and you have tons of new housing units blocks away (which could attract residents who want to be close to work).


JES says: (2/29/16 4:56 PM)
Department of Labor would be fine there, but only if they can handle ground floor retail... the DOT campus is nice and fairly well integrated with its surroundings, but the only retail there is the tacked on Starbucks. Another big retail hole that close to Nats Park would kind of suck.

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null / NA NA NA
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