Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

It would be terribly hokey for me to say something along the lines of, "It's almost Halloween, and the neighborhood is appropriately decked out with skeletons." So, I won't. But there is a whole lot of construction going on, counting not only nearly finished buildings, but also buildings getting their faces put on or heading toward topping out or now "going vertical" below ground level.
I'll go in order from newest to oldest, starting with peering down into holes that you might not be looking into yourselves.
Three residential projects that began excavating in the spring are already starting to climb upward, as you can see in the above photos from 1000 1st Street and the Maren at Florida Rock. Tishman Speyer's mystery residential project that covers all of what's known as Square 696 is a hybrid, with some excavation still underway while the eastern half is now starting to rise. (and no, we still don't have renderings.) Then there's phase two of One Hill South (Two Hill South? One Hill South Two? Return of One Hill South? One Hill South, Electric Boogaloo?), where digging is being hampered by complaints of fumes emanating from the site's past life as a gas station.
Next we turn to the neighborhood's EIGHT projects that are above ground but not yet topped out. (I could call it six, since there are two projects with two buildings going up concurrently, but let's call an eight an eight.)
Let's start with residential projects The Garrett at 2nd and I, Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, and the second phase of Novel South Capitol at 4 I, which was kind of a shocker to see go up since it was never really announced that the entire project would be under construction at once:
I'll note that the photo of the Garrett is a bit of a triumph, because it's the first one I've gotten from the northeast, now that the wrapping up of tunnel construction has given me some sidewalk access to the intersection at 2nd and H. (Which hopefully will be open completely by Oct. 18, the Whole Foods Day of All Days.)
Next, let's wander down to the Ballpark District, where the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters is a whisker away from topping out and its sibling the Avidian condo building is now well visble. One block away, 1250 Half is in its final minutes of not being completely above ground, as the portion closer to N Street is now right even with the street, while its northern portion has been skeletoning for quite some time. And at 3rd and Tingey, the combo project of the Thompson hotel and the Estate apartment building are beginning to change the feel of the western side of the Yards Park.
{Pant, pant.}
Now, a quick look at the buildings getting their faces on, since this is the stage when everyone is pretty much tapping their toes and waiting for the projects to be finished already. (There's a section of Virginia Avenue that qualifies for that, too.) May I present West Half at Half and N, the Harlow mixed-income building at 3rd and L, the Bower/Guild condo/rental buildings, and the new DC Water headquarters.
To wrap it up, there's one additional ghostly building to keep an eye on, though I don't wish to be flippant about it. Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen is holding a hearing on Oct. 25 about the fire and response, for those interested.
And that's "it." Ha. Ha. I imagine the next major update will be in December, when I will spend most of the time complaining about how the low sun angle and a decade's worth of construction has made it impossible to take photos unruined by shadows. I may have to (gasp!) go out on cloudy days until spring.
Comments (60)
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jdc says: (10/4/18 3:54 PM)
Maybe it's just me, but as much as south Half St. is being changed by all of those buildings going up, the most visually dramatic change is the construction at Yards Park with the hotel/apartment buildings.

JD says: (10/4/18 3:56 PM)
We have an official web site and social media presence for The Guild: link

Marc says: (10/4/18 4:33 PM)
Half Hill South!

RMP says: (10/4/18 4:39 PM)
In the picture of the Guild from Lot O, what is the thing that's partly covered in blue tarp in between the two buildings? Is that going to be the main entrance? I thought the main entrance was going to be on 4th, but maybe not.

JD says: (10/4/18 4:55 PM)
I think that's the walkway between the two towers of the Guild. If you look in between them, you see glass that I think is a passageway. Just looks like they are still working on the ends that connect to the towers.

David Garber says: (10/4/18 6:09 PM)
Omg. You leave for a year and the neighborhood completely evolves. Love it. :) Can't wait to see it all in person (when it's even further changed...).

Ampersand says: (10/4/18 6:16 PM)
Just want to mention that I've already eaten at Wiseguys three times.

JES says: (10/5/18 1:07 AM)
Is it odd that Avidian isn't selling yet? Didn't the Bower start selling well before reaching street level, or am I misremembering that?

RMP says: (10/5/18 8:16 AM)
The Bower started taking reservations when it was up to about floor 3 or 4 and didn't start signing actual contracts until it was about topped out.

CJBabyDaddy says: (10/5/18 9:21 AM)
@RMP re: the Guild — JD has it right. The Guild address is 1346 4th Street. (The Bower is 1300.) The Guild entry is under the bigger of the two metal canopy frames on 4th. The Guild entry has gray bricks on either side. There will apparently be a 3-story tall atrium/passageway connecting the two towers of the Guild.

CJBabyDaddy says: (10/5/18 9:42 AM)
@RMP re: the Guild — P.S.: One will be able to enter the Guild lobby/atrium/passageway from the courtyard, in addition to the 1346 4th Street entry. If I were any good at such things, I would include a link to some of the Googleable (all apologies to He Who Looks Down Upon This Site From On High) Parcel O-2 architectural drawings that were submitted for regulatory review a few years back.

RMP says: (10/5/18 10:40 AM)
@CJBabyDaddy interesting. I've seen some renderings but was never really clear what that courtyard was going to look like. If I understand your description then that means that whoever bought the 2nd floor Bower condos facing north has a view of the back of that atrium? That certainly seems less than ideal.

RMP says: (10/5/18 10:41 AM)
**Facing south.

CJBabyDaddy says: (10/5/18 10:57 AM)
On the other hand, the 2nd floor south Bower units to which you refer have relatively spacious private patios.

202_cyclist says: (10/5/18 11:11 AM)
JD-- thank you for the photos but everyone knows the building next to One Hill South is Two Mountain North.

202_cyclist says: (10/5/18 11:12 AM)
@David Garber-- we'll have to arrange an impromptu JD Land happy hour when you return.

202_cyclist says: (10/5/18 1:31 PM)
Here's an update for the lot next to the WMATA chiller site that jdc (I think) and I noticed construction activity a couple of weeks ago.


spiritequality says: (10/5/18 5:53 PM)
Any news on the ____?

CJBabyDaddy says: (10/6/18 9:22 PM)
From the article on page 3 of Real Estate section of the October 6, 2018 Washington Post:

“Living there: Capitol Riverfront is bordered to the north by Interstate 695 and Potomac Avenue SE, to the south by M Street SE, to the east by Pennsylvania Avenue SE and to the west by South Capitol Street SW.”


CJBabyDaddy says: (10/6/18 9:23 PM)
From the article on page 3 of Real Estate section of the October 6, 2018 Washington Post:

“Living there: Capitol Riverfront is bordered to the north by Interstate 695 and Potomac Avenue SE, to the south by M Street SE, to the east by Pennsylvania Avenue SE and to the west by South Capitol Street SW.”


malatesta says: (10/6/18 10:19 PM)
If we take Barney circle as the easternmost point of SoCHill, I guess that's true, but it's a weird way of delineating boundaries.

malatesta says: (10/6/18 10:19 PM)
Wait, no the M St. part is bananas.

NavyYardNittany says: (10/7/18 12:47 AM)
Chain link fence has gone up around the old brick government warehouse on the SE corner of L and Half (can’t acccess the map at the moment to remember the specific property name). Signs say “demolition area use caution”. Assume that means they will begin the tear-down soon. Did I miss any news on that site? Remember it being posted here that the GSA was selling it and that it was purchased by a development company, but nothing more.

As for the boundaries of the neighborhood, has always seemed clear to me that they were the freeway to the north, the river to the south, S Capitol to the west, and 11th Street to the east.

bdj says: (10/7/18 9:20 PM)
@NavyYardNittany. I think that building was bought by Lerner for offices. They're not tearing down the current brick structure, but building up from it and renovating.

JD says: (10/7/18 9:22 PM)
Re: 49 L, there are no real plans yet, but they are for now tearing the roof off and slicing the walls down to 4 feet high. I am guessing it will be a parking lot until plans are in place.

FromTheTurret says: (10/8/18 11:18 AM)
My prediction for 49 L is it will be the new location for the Bullpen. I thought I had heard 25M would begin construction in the off season, although I am not sure about that. And, I heard that the Bullpen would be relocating then and not shutting down. The 4 foot high brick wall sounds like a barrier wall without shipping containers that could offend people who live in the residential buildings north of M.

JD says: (10/8/18 11:19 AM)
Alas, no. 25 M is not starting soon, but it's very strongly rumored that the Bullpen is going to relocate to the two-story retail building expected to start construction before long at the corner of 1st and N where the beer garden has been this season.

FromTheTurret says: (10/8/18 11:25 AM)
Well, alrighty then.

JES says: (10/8/18 1:18 PM)
I don't think the bullpen could ever be at 49 L, given all the residential that it borders. The noise complaints would be never-ending.

spiritequality says: (10/8/18 11:32 PM)
Two stories? Seems positively quaint now. Why not build residential on top?

spiritequality says: (10/8/18 11:32 PM)
Two stories? Seems positively quaint now. Why not build residential on top?

RMP says: (10/9/18 8:34 AM)
The new bike lane on I Street seems to actually be working. I just rode in the bike lane for the 2nd day in a row with no obstructions! 1st Street on the other hand....

UpEarly says: (10/9/18 11:52 AM)
The plastic bollards make a big difference. The westbound land was almost unusable before they were installed.

JD says: (10/9/18 11:55 AM)
There were some complaints on Twitter about the narrowness of the westbound lane, but I think (hope?) that that's because of the loss of the lane on the south side of the street because of the 88 K construction, and should be rectified when the street returns to its full width.

202_cyclist says: (10/9/18 12:56 PM)
@RMP-- I agree, it is an appreciated improvement for the neighborhood. I bike to work several days per week via I Street and I have complained many times about the I Street traffic sewer. The bike lane is significantly better.

Dan says: (10/9/18 2:13 PM)
What's the process for proposing to continue the shifted bike lane across South Capitol? Would be great to have it on the other side of the parked cars all the way to 7th St.

202_cyclist says: (10/9/18 2:33 PM)

Mike Goodno ( is DDOT's bicycle coordinator. Jim Sebastian is DDOT's director of sustainable transportation. I would suggest emailing them. With the new bike lanes as part of the CSX tunnel reconstruction, it would be possible to go all the way from 7th St SW to Barrack's Row via protected bike lanes.

willinrm says: (10/9/18 2:45 PM)
@RMP i have been riding on it too, maybe it was because it was the afternoon, but on my way out i had to swerve around 2 cars parked/blocking the bike lane, and coming back west i had to swerve around another, :( unfortunately they can't block those areas off because it is entrances

RMP says: (10/9/18 3:51 PM)
@willinrm Bummer. I'm pretty pessimistic about bike lanes so I'm not surprised to hear that. The previous iteration of I St was basically useless as the bike lane always had cars in it, same goes for the west side of 1st right now as well. It's frustrating because the intention is good but the execution is often not.

202_cyclist says: (10/10/18 8:13 AM)
JD, cat-lover and time-traveler!

{Sorry, 202, I'm editing out the link, because if people click on it they are going to grind both their browser and the site to a halt! (It was basically a link showing every single photo in the archive on one page.)}

JD says: (10/10/18 2:23 PM)
Don't forget tomorrow's JDLand happy hour, at Mission starting at 5pm. Come on by and say hello!

JES says: (10/12/18 8:00 AM)
Happy hour was fun, we should do it again soon!

CJBabyDaddy says: (10/12/18 10:56 AM)
@JES: Not too soon. Let‘s first see how successful our GoFundMe campaign for JD‘s bail money goes. Was that you who talked her into swinging from the chandelier? Sure looked like all those bouncers underestimated her ground-and-pound game, huh? Good times.

202_cyclist says: (10/12/18 2:01 PM)
Agreed-- the happy hour was great. Thank you for planning.

JD says: (10/12/18 3:30 PM)
Thanks for braving the rain!

Next happy hour, Whole Foods. :)

dude says: (10/13/18 1:47 PM)
There’s a lot of buildings in this neighborhood. Factual statement of the day.

bdj says: (10/14/18 7:55 PM)
Anyone know what’s going on with that Chix on half st? Seems like someone would want to open something there.

JD says: (10/14/18 8:53 PM)
I'm guessing that any place interested in that spot is waiting out all of the nearby construction. Half Street is not especially pleasant right now.

bdj says: (10/14/18 9:45 PM)
Really? You'd think someone would want to be open, especially during the baseball season (not as good of a proposition in offseason).

GarfieldPark says: (10/15/18 12:01 AM)
This is the week we've all been waiting for. Good luck to everyone on Thursday at 9 am! Make sure you (don't) spend your whole paycheck!

202_cyclist says: (10/15/18 7:11 AM)

NavyYardGuy says: (10/15/18 11:19 AM)
I know we spoke about this at the JDland HH last week but when is the soft opening of Whole Foods is this week? I know the grand opening is this coming Thursday.

JD says: (10/15/18 11:23 AM)
@NYG, it's tonight. I imagine there might be some photos posted here afterward.

NavyYardGuy says: (10/15/18 11:41 AM)
@Jdland--Gosh, Is it open to the public or a private event?

JD says: (10/15/18 11:45 AM)
Invite only.

NavyYardGuy says: (10/15/18 12:06 PM)

Looking forward to the pictures.

202_cyclist says: (10/15/18 4:49 PM)
Folks— be careful! The temperature recently dropped below 50 degrees, so that means people are leaving dog crap everywhere on the sidewalk.

202_cyclist says: (10/15/18 5:08 PM)
My math is pretty bad, so I don't know about using fractions for an address but this is pretty significant.


202_cyclist says: (10/15/18 5:10 PM)
Also, JD, are you keeping any Amazon II news from us? I think there was someone from the BID leading a tour of the neighborhood to about thirty people in suits today.

Ampersand says: (10/15/18 5:45 PM)
I don't remember which thread I talked about this in, but JUST CALL IT FIRST PLACE FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE

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