Since January, 2003
            
 Page Through from Before to After

For, oh, about 14 years now, people have been asking me when the 1st Street SE facade of Nationals Park might ever be "activated," as the kids say. Well, I might place a bet on that time finally arriving.
The Washington Business Journal reported late last week that there are now plans by the team for a 35,000-square-foot "entertainment venue" attached to the stadium--an actual addition, not just opening some eateries in the existing ground-floor retail spaces--as seen in these first renderings:
It *could* be a space for a sportsbook, a notion which the team has said it is "exploring." But in the meantime, it is "expected to offer three restaurants: one white tablecloth restaurant just shy of 2,800 square feet, and the two others, and the main and mezzanine levels, totaling nearly 19,000 square feet--and 742 seats." There would also be a "large main bar" on the ground floor.
The Nationals would be the developer, and would pay for the "expected to be substantial" construction costs, except for the $2.6 million that Events DC has contracted to contribute--if the council allows the contract to move forward. (Why Events DC? Because back when it was the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, the ballpark's zoning order required DCSEC to build 36,000 square feet of "retail, services, entertainment or arts uses" at the ballpark, of which only about 11,000 square feet has been completed.)
The Nats would also get to keep all the revenue from the space.
The 1st and Potomac intersection, after being a pretty lonely spot for the first years of the ballpark's life, is now reaping the rewards of the outdoor bars at Dacha and the Salt Line, along with there now being actual residents living along Potomac Avenue, in Dock 79 (and the Maren before too much longer).
Will it happen? Will it end up looking like this? Will there be betting? We Shall See.
And, just for the fun of it, here's what the angles depicted in the two drawings looked like Before the Ballpark, in February 2006. Truly. I'm not kidding.
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G Street says: (9/10/19 9:13 AM)
"entertainment venue" = future casino?


G Street says: (9/10/19 9:13 AM)
Great pix from back in the day, btw, JD. (-:


jdc says: (9/10/19 12:49 PM)
1st St and Half St really will be party central. I wonder how much that will detract from/pull patrons from restaurants around/on Canal Park and further to the east....Also, they're moving ahead full steel with Sq. 696 - windows are going in at a good clip, which I expect is motivated by wanting to have it buttoned up for winter so they can work inside during cold months.


walt says: (9/10/19 1:11 PM)
The Brig's ABRA notice requests "one teller, two self-service kiosks, and **geo-fenced applications for phones while on the premises".

Shows hours extending until 3am on weekends.


jdc says: (9/10/19 2:06 PM)
From my vantage point, I can report that two excavators have arrived for the 1000 S. Capitol St. construction. I can also report that 37 L Street has reached ground level. Lastly, two large dumpsters are filled with old office furniture right outside of the two trailers used for Metro's offices on the chiller lot. Maybe Metro bought all new furniture, but maybe it means we're getting close to work beginning on that parcel?


RMP says: (9/10/19 3:06 PM)
Hella Mega Tour concert coming to Nats Park next summer: link


conngs0 says: (9/10/19 6:13 PM)
Not too keen on the sports book aspect, but the increased traffic from Dacha, Salt Line, and All Purpose certainly create an opportunity for the Nationals to get in on the restaurant scene in that portion of the stadium. I just hope the restaurants are managed by folks other than those who have run the Nats Park concessions this year - the food quality has gone way downhill, and I'm not just bitter because they got rid of Jammin' Island BBQ.


202_cyclist says: (9/10/19 7:12 PM)
@conngs0— I agree, I couldn’t care less about sports betting but I am glad there will be more activity on that section of First Street.


GarfieldPark says: (9/10/19 11:42 PM)
ORE residents received a notice that the sidewalk will be closing on NJ avenue (across from Whole Foods) from the garage back towards H ST within a couple months. Will certainly be an inconvenience for C Hill folks.


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/11/19 7:24 AM)
@conngs0: I thought the Nats’ recurring playoff collapses were the worst things to happen at the ballpark, but then Jammin’ Island BBO disappeared. Both locations! The soul can take only so much.


conngs0 says: (9/11/19 12:31 PM)
CJ, I am willing to go to Nats Park in October even after an inevitable playoff collapse just for some jerk chicken and ribs with those awesome fried plantains. Maybe they'll bring Jammin' Island back to occupy a portion of the "entertainment space"!


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/11/19 1:20 PM)
@conngs0: And let the church say “Amen.” You and I need to storm Lerner HQ and make it happen. Have your people check with my people to arrange something.

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