JPI Residential Projects ("Capitol Yards")
70 and 100 I Street, 909 New Jersey Ave.

Residential developer JPI is developing three properties along I Street, grouped together as "Capitol Yards." 70 and 100 I Street (dubbed the Jefferson and the Axiom at Capitol Yards), a $210 million project with two towers containing 448 and 246 units, respectively, opened their bottom floors in summer 2008, and across the street at 909 New Jersey ("909 at Capitol Yards"), has 237 units and 6,000 square feet of retail, on the former site of the Nexus Gold Club. JPI had planned a fourth project, 23 I Street ("23 Eye at Capitol Yards"), with an additional 421 residential units and up to 35,000 square feet of retail space, but defaulted on the loan in 2009, and the property went to Ruben Companies.

Links:
Official Capitol Yards Web Site: CapitolYardsDC.com (among others)
Now Leasing: Jefferson | Axiom | 909 New Jersey
6/7/07 Capitol Yards Groundbreaking | Press Release | DC16 Video (6/14/07)
Architects: The Preston Partnership (909 NJ) | WDG Architecture (70/100 I)
JD's JPI Projects News Items & Additional Links
 

The three JPI projects are located along I Street;
23 I at left, 70/100 in the middle, and 909 New Jersey at right.

            70/100 I Street            909 New Jersey Avenue            23 I Street            JPI News and Links            

JDLand Blog Posts on this Project
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Sales Apparently Pending on Three JPI Apartment Buildings
Jan 30, 2012 9:10 PM
Residents at three of the neighborhood's "new" apartment buildings--the Jefferson and Axiom at 70 and 100 I Street, and the 909 New Jersey Avenue building, branded together as "Capitol Yards"--are reporting the posting today of public notices, along with e-mails from management, announcing that the buildings are under contract to be sold.
Who is (are) the buyer(s)? As of now I've only seen the paperwork for 100 I (thanks to reader B.), which says that it's "100 Eye Street Acquisition LLC c/o J.P. Morgan Investment Management." UPDATE: Plus, via reader S., I hear the buyer for 909 New Jersey is, as suspected, "909 New Jersey Ave Acquisition LLC," and reader M. says that the buyer for 70 I is, you guessed it, "70 Eye Street Acquisition LLC."
So, as required by DC law, the buildings are now being offered for sale to the tenants, which happens "after the owner has accepted (ratified) a third party sale contract for the housing accommodation."
That paperwork says that the price of 100 I for any tenant organization that may form to purchase the 246-unit building would be $93,879,000; readers report that the number for 70 I (448 units) is about $165 million, and 909's price (237 units) is around $95 million, which presumably are all somewhere in the neighborhood of the contract sales prices.
Apparently the buildings went up for sale sometime over the summer (can't believe no one blabbed!), joining the Onyx on First apartment building a few blocks south on the sales block.
JPI East, which developed the three buildings during the high-flying mid-2000s, was already a wounded casualty of the Economic Difficulties when two of its executives took what was left of the company and partnered with folks from Akridge to form the Jefferson Apartment Group. But 70/100/909 apparently remained part of JPI's holdings, as did the empty lot at 23 I Street where JPI's fourth apartment building had been planned, until it was foreclosed upon and picked up by Ruben Companies in late 2009. The three buildings, completed in 2008 and 2009, have been managed by Greystar ever since JPI sold its property management division to the company.
I'm sure there's much more to be told, and I'm hoping this barebones blog post (written by a very bleary blogger back from an unexpected 36-hour road trip) will shake out a bit more info. If anyone from 909 NJ or 70 I wants to check the paperwork to see if the buyer listed is some similar variant to 100 I's LLC/JP Morgan entry, that'd be fab.
Also, if any tenant groups are planning to form and shake out their collective sofa cushions in search of $95 million or more, be sure to let me know.
UPDATE: I've reworked the opening of this post a bit after getting some additional information. And an e-mail going out to residents about the sale reminds tenants that "your tenancy, including your rent, lease term, and the services and amenities you receive, are governed by your lease."

Harry's 'Upscale' Liquor Store on Track for Fall Opening
Aug 23, 2010 5:21 PM
Today was the day that the city's Alcohol Beverage Control board was to have had its hearing on a liquor license for Harry's, the new "upscale wine and spirits" store looking to open on the southwest corner of New Jersey and I, SE, in the ground floor of 909 New Jersey. However, there were no protests filed, so all systems would appear to be "go" for this store to open. I talked with one of the owners, and she told me that they are looking toward somewhere in October-November time frame to open, and that construction work should start to be visible within a few weeks, and some "Coming Soon" banners should appear before long as well.
I wrote in detail about their plans for the store a few months ago--the owners are the same people who currently own Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE, and previously they ran the Harry's liquor store that was in Waterside Mall until about five years ago. The hours would be 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday (or possibly 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), and closed on Sunday. They would sell beer, wine, and liquor, as well as milk, sodas, juice, cheese, and other "quick stop" items, and are very much wanting to emphasize that this is going to be a "community" store, with higher-end products, wine tastings, and other offerings beyond what people normally think of when they hear "liquor store." This is a similar path to that being taken by the owner of the soon-to-be Parkway Wine and Spirits at Second and K (on the site of the late lamented Little Red Building), which is also looking to open by the end of the year.
Whether the neighborhood in its current incarnation (and size) can support both stores plus Cornercopia remains to be seen, although each store's location could be said to have its own "sphere": Harry's will be positioned to serve the foot traffic to and from Capitol Hill/Capitol South along New Jersey Avenue as well as the residents from the three I Street apartment buildings; Parkway will have the Courtyard guests, nearby office workers, and Canal Park visitors; and Cornercopia will have its existing loyal clientele as well as the ever-growing Capitol Quarter population (and also Capitol Hill foot traffic and Canal Park-goers).

Discounted July 27 Nats Tickets for Jefferson Residents
Jul 23, 2010 9:21 AM
If you're feeling like taking in a Nats game soon, and you live at the Jefferson (70 I), the Nats are offering discounted tickets for the Tuesday, July 27 game against the Braves [*cough*Strasburg*cough*]. Details are here; tickets start at $7.
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More posts: jpi, Nationals Park

Justin's Applying for Sidewalk Tables; Additional Info on the New Liquor Store (and the Little Red Building)
Jun 3, 2010 10:49 AM
The report from Wednesday night's ANC6D ABC Committee meeting:
* Justin's Cafe is seeking to add four tables, with umbrellas and four chairs each, on the sidewalk directly in front of the restaurant. They would be available the same hours as the restaurant itself, until 1 am Monday through Thursday, 2 am Friday and Saturday, and 10 pm Sunday. There were concerns from a commissioner or two about whether people might walk away from the outdoor seating area with alcoholic drinks, about the additional noise brought by 16 or so people outside, and about whether cigarette smoke from the tables would waft up and bother the Velocity units directly above. Justin Ross replied that a sign would be posted about alcohol only being consumed on the premises, and that smokeless ashtrays would be available for the tables (and that since people can't smoke inside the restaurant, there's already a lot of smoking going on outside on the sidewalk). Velocity's management had sent along a letter in full support of the plan.
The committee voted 4-0 in favor of recommending that the ANC support the application, and that vote should come at the ANC's June 14 meeting, if Justin's voluntary and community cooperation agreements are revised in time.
* The owners of Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits on Pennsylvania Avenue SE came to talk with the committee about their plans for a new "upscale" liquor store at 909 New Jersey Ave., SE, which they will be calling Harry's SE & SW. (For about nine years they ran the Harry's liquor store at Waterside Mall in SW, which closed about five years ago.)
They have signed a lease agreement to take the two retail spaces on the north side of the building, at the corner of New Jersey and I, and they will be knocking down the wall between them in order to end up with about 2,200 square feet of space. The hours would be 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday (or possibly 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), and closed on Sunday. They would sell beer, wine, and liquor, as well as milk, sodas, juice, cheese, and other "quick stop" items, but would not sell sandwiches as had been mentioned on the meeting agenda. They hope to open in September or October.
Much of the discussion centered around whether they will try to get an exemption in order to allow sales of "singles," which is a very hot-button issue. The owners said that they want the exception so that they can sell "high end" Belgian beers, which come in single bottles, and have no intent to sell the cheaper singles that can attract a somewhat less desirable element. However, ANC 6D chairman Ron McBee said that he imagines it would be very difficult to get support from the full ANC for the exception, and that there would also be concerns about any attempts to amend the singles law that might make it look like the law was targeted toward one socioeconomic class and not another.
Also discussed was the possible impact of this new store on the long-held plans for a similar high-end liquor store at Second and L SE on the site of the "Little Red Building." The ABRA rules state that liquor stores can't open within 400 feet of each other, and these two would be more than 500 feet apart as the crow flies. But Mr. Park, the owner of the LRB, is clearly concerned about whether the neighborhood can support two very similar operations. He is moving forward with plans to demolish the LRB and put up a new structure, and is also looking at an October-ish opening date. (He said he'd send me the building plans soon.)
In the end, the committee voted 4-0 in favor of recommending that the ANC support Harry's license application. A voluntary agreement and a community cooperation agreement will now need to be hammered out, and those involved weren't sure if one could be ready by the June 14 ANC meeting, in which case it would probably come up at the July 12 one.

Near Southeast Residents Demand a Grocery Store! (The More Things Change...)
Jun 1, 2010 8:49 PM
I'm just now coming across a Washington Post story entitled "Housing Area Pushing for Supermarket," which says that a group of residents "in a small triangle of Southeast Washington launched a 'supermarket project' yesterday to persuade a grocery chain to build a store in their neighborhood," with a planned petition drive looking to get 1,500 signatures.
But, of course, I'm yanking your chain, since this Post article is dated Dec. 16, 1965.
The group, the "Community Commitee Group," planned to visit the regional offices of Safeway, Giant, and Kroger to present the case that the residents of the area bounded by 8th, Virginia, M, and New Jersey had only two corner groceries, with the closest supermarket being at Seventh and G, SE, which was too far for the "aged who live in the Carrollsburg Dwellings project at Fourth and M." Also, because many of the residents in the area qualified for food stamps, they needed to be able to shop at a full supermarket, where the stamps would stretch farther.
The group "also hopes to interest a chain drug store and a combination dry cleaning-shoe repair shop to locate next to the proposed supermarket." Their suggested locations? "The west side of New Jersey Avenue between K and L Streets to replace some condemned buildings [ahem], the Washington Navy Yard parking lot on 2nd Street between M and I Streets [ahem], and the Lennox School annex at 4th and M Streets [ahem]."
In the meantime, while you're mourning the fact that no progress has been made in the brief 45 years since this article was published, you can think about another big development that Near Southeast missed out on: In the early 1990s the Federal Bureau of Prisons was looking for a location for a new 1,000-bed federal detention center, and one of the spots it considered was on the north side of I Street between South Capitol and New Jersey, the spot that's now home to the Axiom and Jefferson apartment buildings. And McDonald's. And Splash. (The other possible locations were in Northeast, but after battles with the National Capital Planning Commission and thanks to some pretty staunch opposition by city officials and residents, the Justice Department scrapped the plans in 1993.)

Liquor Store Coming to 909 New Jersey?
May 25, 2010 2:31 PM
Some potential retail news might have just come onto the radar screen: on the agenda for ANC 6D's next ABC Committee meeting is a proposed Class A license at 909 New Jersey Avenue for an entity called "Harry's SW & SE". They are proposing apparently to sell beer, wine, bread, milk, cheese, and sandwiches (and no "singles"), which is in line with a Class A/liquor store license. If anyone who lives at 909 has heard any rumors, or if anyone else has some scoop, drop me a line. I'm trying to find out more, and will update as I can. (Though the last time I started asking questions about a license application when one appeared on the ABC agenda was a few months ago for 55 M, and it disappeared from the lineup almost as soon as I hit "send." So be forewarned.)
Also on the ABC agenda is a change to Justin's Cafe's license, with Justin now seeking to add a sidewalk cafe.
The meeting is on June 2 at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Recreation Center.
UPDATE: There was a Harry's Liquor Store at 401 M St., SW back in the old Waterside Mall--I don't think it's reopened in the new building(?). I imagine this is the same owner.
UPDATE II: It is indeed the same owner as the old Waterside Mall store, and he also owns Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE.

Links Roundup (Evergreen Media Coverage, Justin's, Nexus Gold Club Memories, Marines Meeting Reminder)
Mar 23, 2010 9:46 AM
* WBJ is first out of the gates with what I expect to be an avalanche of whats-new-around-the-ballpark stories, tied to Opening Day and now a March staple for all DC media outlets. Nothing new in it, and a few quibbles (Justin's Cafe isn't open yet, the water taxis also ran late last year, Sayres lease is 20k), but I guess it's a decent quick roundup if you're not keeping track. Which, if you're reading this blog, you are. :)
UPDATE: Ah, now I know where WBJ got the idea--the BID's State of the Capitol Riverfront Spring Update. Basically a straight copy-and-paste. (Not the end of the world, of course, but never a bad idea to be straight with readers about your sourcing.)
* Speaking of Justin's, ABRA said yesterday that there were no protests filed for its liquor license application. A reader reports that Velocity is telling residents that the restaurant will open April 16, but after watching rumored opening date after rumored opening date come and go for other places in the past, I remain skeptical of any rumor other than "it's opening tomorrow." (That isn't to say that the dates that get floated are necessarily propaganda--just that the final road to opening a business has a lot of potential pitfalls, especially in the permit process.) On the other hand, a reader passed along an electronic version of the menu, if you want to whet your appetite while waiting; though note that the web site listed hasn't launched yet.
* From the Post: the nude dancing license that used to belong to the Nexus Gold Club--on the site of what is now 909 New Jersey--is now being rebirthed as the "Stadium Club," a strip club getting ready to open on Queens Chapel Road, NE.
* Don't forget that the second public workshop in the Marines' project to build a new barracks, focusing on potential development sites, is tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Van Ness Elementary (1150 5th St., SE), with a repeat tomorrow from 8:30 to 10:30 am at the North Hall of Eastern Market. The agendas are here (and if you're trying to figure out how to get into Van Ness, the project web site says: "Enter through the main doors on the eastern side of the building (where the parking lot is) and follow the signs to the auditorium downstairs"). If the discussion going on in this comments thread is any indication, it's going to be an interesting meeting.

Near Southeast Assessments, Down 1.8 Percent (Or Up 1.9 Percent, Depending on Your Point of View)
Mar 2, 2010 9:52 AM
It's assessment season again, and the Examiner reports that, citywide, commercial property assessments are down 10 percent, with residential numbers dropping between three and four percent. So I fired up the database I keep of the numbers for Near Southeast, added the new data as I do each year when the new numbers come out, and came up with a total assessed value for all properties of just under $5.9 billion, which is a 1.8 percent drop from the $6.01 billion tally reported in March of 2009.
But, wait! As I dug a little further, I found a flaw in my methodology that hadn't quite occurred to me before this year (though it probably hadn't been an issue too often before now): 11 of the big commercial buildings in Near Southeast had apparently appealed their initial 2010 assessments (sent out last year), lowering their tax bills by between 2 percent and 38 percent, from a combined $1.13 billion in the initial assessments to $909.36 million post-appeals. (Ten other buildings are showing no change in those assessments, and one--909 New Jersey--actually saw an 8 percent bump upwards, which was probably more of a function of the initial estimate being from before the building was completed.)
Taking these changes into account, the total assessments for 2010 for the neighborhood is closer to $5.88 billion, meaning that tally of the 2011 numbers just released of $5.89 billion would actually be a 1.9 percent increase. Except that I imagine that some property owners will be appealing again (since some of the 2011 numbers go right back to the original 2010 numbers that were appealed), and the $5.99 billion number will come down again.
Not all property in the neighborhood took a hit--with the opening of the first portions of Capitol Quarter, the blocks between Fourth and Fifth Street saw an increased value of $33 million, and the completion of Velocity raised the assessed value of its block from $99 million to $162 million.
And, since everyone will want to know: the behemoth of the area--Nationals Park--has an assessment unchanged from last year, at just a hair under $1 billion.
I'll check the numbers again later this year to see how many proposed 2011 assessments get altered.
Here's a quick table of the big properties that saw their 2010 assessments change from the original number released early in 2009:
Property Original 2010 Revised 2010 % Diff. Proposed 2011
300 M $132.26M $82.00M -38% $74.69M
55 M $162.60M $110.66M -32% $110.66M
80 M $124.08M $92.75M -25% $111.27M
100 M $90.98M $68.18M -25% $90.98M
1201 M (Martime #1) $87.97M $72.57M -18% $64.74M
1100 NJ $142.79M $121.40M -15% $139.16M
100 I $85.20M $73.00M -14% $85.20M
70 I $132.28M $119.00M -10% $132.28M
1000 NJ * $84.46M $81.06M -4% $79.75M
770 M (Blue Castle) $23.93M $23.17M -3% $23.93M
1220 12th (Maritime #2) $66.99M $65.57M -2% $47.57M
909 NJ $68.05M $73.58M 8% $79.93M
* This is for the residential portion of Capitol Hill Tower; the 2010 assessments on the Courtyard by Marriott show no change.

Sunday Football Get-Together for Residents
Nov 16, 2009 10:52 AM
Now that the Redskins are on a massive winning streak, the BID is hosting an afternoon of football watching this Sunday, Nov. 22, starting at 12:30 pm in the lounge at the Jefferson (70 I Street). Snacks and sodas will be provided.

No Bids at 23 I Foreclosure Sale; Land Now Owned by Ruben Companies
Oct 13, 2009 10:40 AM
I attended my first-ever foreclosure sale this morning (yay...?), where the two lots at 23 I Street (the old Wendy's site) that JPI had purchased in 2007 for $28.6 million were to be auctioned off after JPI defaulted on its $25 million loan. However, there were no bidders for the 47,000-sq-ft piece of land (which doesn't include the Exxon next door), and so the property is now owned by Ruben Companies, which bought the original note from Key Bank earlier this year.
Ruben Cos. also owns the 1100 South Capitol lot (plus 1101 South Capitol, across the street and outside of my boundaries), and had at one point been working to purchase the St. Matthew's Church land at New Jersey and L before opting out.
The company has no plans to build anything soon on the 23 I lot--but if anyone's interested in renting the land for some interim entertainment use (a la Akridge's deal with the Bullpen on Half Street and even the trapeze school at the Yards), Ruben says they'd be willing to listen. Maybe the neighborhood could get a putt-putt course or something!

Foreclosure Notices for JPI's 23 I Street Lots, and Nine Potomac Ave./9th St. Parcels Owned by ICP
Sep 22, 2009 10:28 AM
On Sept. 10 a Notice of Foreclosure Sale was filed for the two now-vacant parcels of land on the southwest corner of Half and I streets where the Wendy's used to stand. (Note that this doesn't include the adjoining Exxon land.) The lots, totalling about 47,000 square feet, were bought in July of 2007 by JPI for $28.6 million, with the intent of building 23 I Street, the fourth of JPI's "Capitol Yards" residential buildings (along with 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey). JPI owes $25.1 million on the loan, which came due on Aug. 1 and which is held by Ruben Companies, owners of 1100 South Capitol Street and 1101 across the street. The foreclosure sale is scheduled for Oct. 13.
JPI East pretty much fell apart over the past two years, with its principals taking what was left and forming a new company in June with bigwigs at Akridge; stories at the time mentioned their continued stake in 70/100/909, but said nothing about 23 I.
Another, smaller commercial foreclosure is happening further east, where nine parcels owned by ICP Partners along Potomac Avenue between Eighth and Ninth (including the brown boarded-up apartment building at Ninth and its parking lot) received a notice of foreclosure on Sept. 4, with a debt of $2.3 million on the properties. ICP tried hard earlier this year to drum up interest in these lots plus the gray building at Eighth and Potomac that houses Quiznos (which is not part of this foreclosure), after a previous sale attempt in 2008 went nowhere. ICP paid $9 million for all 10 properties in 2006; this foreclosure sale is scheduled for Oct. 6. (The properties are also on the city's September Tax Sale list.)
Whether the properties will actually go on the block, or if deals will be struck or lawsuits filed in advance of the sale dates, remains to be seen, but foreclosures are about to be a big part of the commercial real estate landscape throughout the US. (Spend a few days reading Calculated Risk if you want some insights into the predicted onslaught.)
As for the neighborhood's other "distressed" properties, Opus East's 100 M and 1015 Half office buildings are part of the company's liquidation proceedings, with rumors flying but no news of new owners yet. And the empty lot in the 1000 block of Seventh Street (across from the Marines), where a developer had been planning an apartment building, was sold in late July for $400,000 after a foreclosure; it had been purchased along with the two townhouses alongside it for $1.25 million in 2004. One townhouse was subsequently sold, the other was foreclosed on as well, though so far no evidence of a sale has turned up.

Graffiti (or is it Street Art) in the Neighborhood
Jul 13, 2009 10:46 AM
I am passing this message from a reader along without comment (though I may try to get some photos of the panels in question later today, which are on I Street between Half and First), to throw open the floor to the folks who live and work in Near Southeast (or who are thinking about it). What's your opinion of this reader's concerns? Leave your thoughts in the comments:
"Just wondering what is going on with the grafitti panels across from the Axiom/Jefferson building. I am trying to convince a couple of friends to move into the building, but this is making it difficult. Yesterday, one of these friends and I walked over to the Jefferson building. We immediately saw these panels since they are very prominent and look like grafitti on NYC subway cars back in the late 80s. My friend then said that she feels unconfortable moving to an area where there is grafitti all over the place. I am also noticing more and more grafitti in the neighborhood and this doesn't help with convincing people to move to this area."
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More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

New 'Where's My Bus?' App for Circulators; Q2 Residential Numbers; Square 701 Not Starting Soon
Jun 26, 2009 2:05 PM
* Just out from DDOT (press release now online), a new "Where's My Bus" app for the Circulator buses. Go to circulator.dc.gov (it's formatted for cellphones and PDAs, but works in any browser), pick your line and stop, and find out how far away the next bus is. (Here's the information for the 4th and M stop, heading toward Union Station.) They say an iPhone app will be coming will be coming later this summer.
* From the BID's newsletter (which I'm not finding on their redesigned web site), the latest update on residential leasing and sales for the second quarter of 2009: The buildings known as Axiom and Jefferson (at 70 and 100 I) and Onyx on First are at a combined 60 percent leased for the 960 units in the three buildings; 909 New Jersey (which opened in early April) has 25 percent of its 237 units leased. The Capitol Quarter townhouses are listed at 88 of 113 units sold (though I'm not sure how the public housing rental and for-sale units figure into that number), and Capitol Hill Tower is reported as being 80 percent sold. No numbers are reported for Velocity Condos, which according to a presentation by Michael Stevens last week is supposed to open in late August or September. All told, the BID says there are an estimated 1,863 residents in the Capitol Riverfront.
* A WBJ piece from today's print edition on Willco Cos.'s new $100 million fund says that the company "does not plan to dip into the fund for development projects in the pipeline, such as its 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project adjacent to Nationals Park, at Square 701, the intersection of M and First streets SE. That project is in pre-development mode right now without a major tenant; Willco doesn't expect to kick off construction until it sees 'signs of life in that neighborhood,' Goldblatt said." This lot is probably better known as Nats Parking Lot F, and the former home of Normandie Liquors and other small businesses.

JPI East, Akridge Principals Form New Company
Jun 12, 2009 10:25 AM
From today's Washington Business Journal (subscribers only), news that Jim Butz and Greg Lamb of what was once JPI East have taken over what was left of that company (down to 22 employees from 380 a few years ago) and are partnering with Matt Klein and other principals at Akridge to create the Jefferson Apartment Group. Butz and Lamb "continue to hold a partnership stake in JPI [Multifamily]'s holdings," which includes 70 and 100 I and 909 New Jersey. The article says that Jefferson Apartment Group is "already targeting five properties" in DC, Philadelphia, and Boston, and "is in the early stages of planning and zoning new developments in Fairfax Count and Philadelphia," but doesn't mention what may be happening with 23 I, the fourth JPI property in Near Southeast on the Wendy's site at Half and I.

North End of Canal Park Cleared; Wendy's Gone
May 23, 2009 5:45 PM
The clearing of the northern block of Canal Park is now pretty well complete, so I had to go get some photos, from both the east and west sides (you'll see the new ones paired with their "befores", in case you've already forgotten the fences and overgrowth). I also scooted past Wendy's, where the demolition was continuing and is probably done by now, making it #155 in my Demolished Buildings gallery--as soon as I get around to actually adding it.
I also swung over to 12th and M to check on the demolition of the ramps to and from RFK, but the first few days of work appears to have been on decking (not viewable from street level), so no before-and-afters from there yet. Maybe next week.

Pre-Holiday Roundup of Tidbits and Links
May 22, 2009 12:47 PM
For those of you still in town....
* As Twittered yesterday, reports are that the Wendy's on I between Half and South Capitol was being demolished yesterday (haven't gone to look for myself yet). This is the site of JPI's proposed 23 I Street apartment building, though I've heard nothing about a timeline since its original Sept. 2008 start date came and went.
* If you didn't make Tuesday's Anacostia Waterfront Forum on "Waterfronts and the World's Great Capital Cities," here's Harriet Tregoning's presentation slides.
* If the demolition of the RFK ramps has you all excited about the new 11th Street Bridges (and I'll note that "excited" can connote either positive or negative energy), here's a new schematic from design/builders Skanska/Facchina showing their plans for the project. It says that 70 percent of the five-year project will be built "off-line," meaning away from the existing travel lanes. (UPDATE: But I should note that, upon closer inspection, this schematic seems to be missing a few components, such as the eastbound flyover and approach to the new bridges from the SE Freeway as well as the exit to I Street from the new inbound span.) In the meantime, I'm going to try to go get some photos of whatever's left of the RFK ramps this weekend.

Scads of New Photos: Bullpen, Fence-less Canal Park, 1015 Half, Capitol Quarter (Again)
May 10, 2009 6:02 PM
With thanks to Mom for decreeing that my Mother's Day responsibilities had been taken care of last week, I was able to take not one but two treks through Near Southeast on this beautiful Sunday, and have uploaded a pile of new photos. Some--like the ones I took at 909 New Jersey and 55 M--are the last ones I expect to take of certain angles for a long time to come, but I did get some good "change" shots:
There's now a sign up at "The Bullpen" at Half and N (opening Friday?), and I also snuck a shot of the tent and piled-up picnic tables, which you can see on my Akridge Half Street page (scroll down a bit if the link doesn't jump you down). You'll also see updated shots of the garage-less Half and M corner.
It's not very easy to take a picture that well-represents the lack of cyclone fences, but I gave it a shot with a few different angles of the south end of Canal Park. I have to admit that was I was surprised by how much wider the block now seems; when it becomes a real park, with tall buildings on all sides, that extra width will be welcome.
Next up is 1015 Half Street, the 400,000-sq-ft office building now topping out on the old Nation nightclub site. With Half, K, and L being so narrow, it's not a bad idea to step back a block or two to see 1015's impact on the skyline, so check out the Expanded Photo Archive. The next phase of construction should be the hanging of the exterior glass.
It's pretty hard to stay away from the goings-on at Capitol Quarter, as brickwork is all but complete along Fourth between I and K. The Expanded Archive shows all the CQ shots I took today, along with the ones from two weeks ago showing the first completed stretch of homes, on the south side of L between Fourth and Fifth.
You might also see a few new shots of Onyx, 100 M, and Velocity if you visit those pages, and some other images in the random shots at the top (and bottom) of the JDLand home page, since I took a pretty complete set of photos from New Jersey to Half and from M to I. And, without much new construction going on, I don't anticipate taking many photos other than at Capitol Quarter and 1015 Half (and I guess Teague and Canal parks) over the next few months. (I'll also be ready if/when Akridge demolishes the buildings along First between K and L.) So, enjoy these, and take the time to really compare them to their "befores."

Design Ideas for South of the Capitol
Mar 31, 2009 7:50 PM
(h/t reader M.) Last week, the Congress for the New Urbanism named the winners of its 2009 Charter Awards, and one of them is the "House Office Buildings Facilities Plan and Preliminary South Capitol Area Plan." I won't go into too much detail, since the majority of the area that the plan looked at is north of the freeway, but it is worth noting that, while it's a very neat plan that looks forward to both 2025 and 2050 and takes into account the vision of the NCPC's Extending the Legacy (no more freeway!), the designers of the HOB facilities plan perhaps didn't do a lot of research as to the reality of the land ownership south of the freeway. If you look at the maps of their proposed 2025 and 2050 implementations, you see all sorts of new government buildings on the block now dominated by 70 and 100 I Street, as well as a big park at Second and H, which might come as a surprise to the William C. Smith Co., which owns the block and is planning a 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use project on that square. And yet the Post Plant remains, 41 years in the future, which probably is not what city planners would consider an optimal solution. And the Capitol Power Plant is still there, too!
All this aside, if you live or work on the Hill, you might be interested in what the future could bring for the parking garages, House Office Buildings, and other structures that are part of the Capitol Complex. And, if I'm missing something about how this plan is approaching the privately owned land south of the freeway, I'd love clarification....

New Photos: 909 New Jersey
Mar 22, 2009 9:31 AM
Part of my trek(s) on Saturday included getting a slew of updated photos of 909 New Jersey, the 237-unit apartment building between I and K that's now all-but-completed. The landscaping is done, and the fences are down from most of the sidewalks--which will make baseball fans walking to and from the Capitol South subway station happy, I imagine. No word yet on any tenants for the ground-floor retail spaces.
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More posts: 909 New Jersey, jpi, Retail

The $6 Billion Neighborhood (Better, Stronger, Faster)
Mar 15, 2009 10:38 PM
It certainly doesn't feel like it's the case, so you might be surprised to find out that the District of Columbia thinks that Near Southeast is worth about $1.5 billion more than it was a year ago, at least in terms of the latest tax assessments now available. With a total assessment last year of around $4.5 billion for the blocks bounded by the SE Freeway, South Capitol Street, and the Anacostia River (to just west of the Sousa Bridge), this bump up edges the neighborhood's "worth" to just over $6 billion.
A chunk of that change is coming from the first official assessment of Nationals Park, valued at $999,982,800 (geez, Mr. Tax Assessor, just round it to $1 billion and be done with it), a rise of nearly $650 million from the assessed value of just the land last year. Blocks that saw projects get completed in 2008 (70/100 I, 100 M and Onyx, and 55 M) got hefty bumps in their valuations, while other spots (20 M, the Capper blocks, USDOT, Maritime Plaza) saw their assessments go down.
I created a report comparing 2008 and 2009's numbers overall and by block, though I wouldn't swear to the exactness of each number down to the penny (but they're probably close enough).
As for the trend of the overall valuation of Near Southeast over the past nine years, it's still *up*:
2001: $221,096,652
2002: $428,312,487
2003: $640,209,280
2004: $771,006,345
2005: $894,123,520
2006: $1,781,481,650
2007: $2,539,618,280
2008: $4,467,137,880
2009: $6,004,334,490
UPDATE: Here's a link to a map of the square numbers, in case a bit more visual assistance would be helpful.

Catching Up With a Few Small Items
Mar 8, 2009 11:05 AM
I've been out of town for most of the week, so posting was kind of haphazard. Here's some additional items, starting with news from just this morning:
* Reader atweber passes the news via Twitter that workers have told him that the Third and K Market will be opening next month. So, those wishing to stay in the neighborhood to shop won't have to use CVS as their "supermarket." (And the new windows and door are so pretty!)
* Not officially confirmed, but the WashTimes is reporting that President Obama has agreed to throw out the first pitch at the April 13 Nationals home opener.
* Via the BID's latest newsletter: the little beige building at 900 M Street that once was a Hudson car dealer (and more recently a dialysis center) is scheduled to open in April in its new incarnation as a retail building. It's said that the owner has received one letter of intent from an undisclosed tenant. (Just speculating, but maybe it's the Dunkin Donuts franchise that was reportedly looking in the Navy Yard area?)
* The BID has also announced the lineup for this summer's lunchtime concert series at the plaza behind USDOT, though you have to page through their calendar to see the schedule of artists. It runs on Wednesdays at noon from May 20 through Sept. 16.
* When I posted about FiOS internet at 70/100 I and asked "is this news?", I should have referenced this post from last summer, about the "First Community to Offer FiOS" sign on Half Street, where we discussed that FiOS internet was already listed as available at those addresses on the Verizon web site.
* The day after I posted about the calls from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to convert the Capitol Power Plant from coal to natural gas, ABC7 reported that "several thousand demonstrators "urged Congress to pass legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, and they targeted the government's own Capitol power plant as a symbol of the problem. An enthusiastic crowd of mostly young people marched from a park near the Capitol to the power plant several blocks away, where they planned to block entrances and were prepared to get arrested. The group chanted along the way, 'We don't want the world to boil, no coal, no oil!'" Darryl Hannah and Robert Kennedy Jr. were among the protestors. When they arrived at the power plant they were met with "about a dozen" pro-coal counter-demonstrators.
* On Thursday the Post looked at how the office building development biz in DC has all but ground to a halt: "Not a single office building has been started in the District since October, a sign that the slowdown that began in the far-out suburbs has now reached prime city locations." The Hood (surprisingly) isn't mentioned, though WBJ reported a few months back that Donohoe was looking for (but unable to secure) funding for 1111 New Jersey.

FiOS Internet at 70/100 I (TV to Come)
Mar 4, 2009 12:07 PM
I didn't think it was actually news that 70 and 100 I Street have FiOS internet, but this announcement today from Verizon could be read like it is. "Residents at two new apartment buildings in this city's revitalized Capitol Riverfront neighborhood now have access to Verizon's FiOS Internet, the most advanced broadband service available." Maybe the real lede is this: "The service also will be available this spring in a third building [909 New Jersey] currently under construction in the same neighborhood." As for the more desperately awaited FiOS TV service, no word on *when*: "JPI's buildings in Washington -- and other single- and multifamily residences throughout the District -- will also ultimately have access to Verizon's award-winning FiOS TV as the company rolls out the service over the next few years under a recently approved franchise agreement."
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More posts: 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, jpi

Scraping the Barrel for News
Feb 25, 2009 9:37 AM
I'm still here, though perhaps you can't see through the large tumbleweeds currently blowing across the JDLand.com landscape. There just hasn't been hardly any news of late, and in a strange way, the less news there is, the harder it is for me to carve out time from real life (where a couple big projects are consuming much of my time) to do the deeper digging. Plus, I'm on strike from taking photos until the weather gets warmer.
That being said, I can report (h/t to reader E. and the 55 M construction cam) that the new sidewalks around 55 M are starting to go in. There's also some utility work being done across Half at the bus garage to prepare for its demolition. The web cam also has a view of the back of the Red Porch restaurant at the ballpark, where I'm keeping an eye on when the upgrades might start to that space.
Speaking of sidewalks, there's some very nice public space work being done at 909 New Jersey, with a combination of concrete and brick sidewalks being put in along New Jersey (along with the front steps to the building). And anyone who's been close to Near Southeast at night has now seen the blue lights that run along the top of the building's "bow." (They match the color of the lights on the Douglass Bridge.)
And Capitol Quarter framing work has now made the turn up Fourth Street north of L.
If the lack of news is bumming you out, you can always go back and read what was happening this time last year. It was *slightly* busier, as we were hitting the final weeks before the opening of the ballpark. Then again, if we go way back, to February 2004, I posted one entry for the entire month. (I'm just now realizing there's no easy access to the monthly archive of blog entries from the home page--but if you look down the right margin of any "interior" page on the site, you'll see the "Browse by Month" links.)

Groundbreaking at Diamond Teague on Friday; 909 New Jersey Soon; Occupancy Numbers; More
Feb 12, 2009 7:38 PM
* On Friday at 10:30 am the mayor will be hosting a groundbreaking at Diamond Teague Park; construction started back in December (photos on my project page from a few weeks ago show the piers and ramps around the pumphouse have already been dismantled). The timeline as described to me at the end of January is that the new piers are to be ready by Opening Day, with the landscaping and land-based improvements to be completed by July; we'll see if those dates are still operative at tomorrow's event.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID newsletter says that JPI's 909 New Jersey is "set to open ahead of schedule in April." The "909 at Capitol Yards" official web site has floor plans and more information.
* Also from the BID newsletter (which isn't posted on their web site, otherwise I'd link to it), some occupancy numbers for the three buildings participating in this weekend's "Luck of the Draw" art extravaganza: Velocity has sold 52 of its 200 units (which is still right around the 25-percent mark reported back in July of last year); 100 I Street is 25 percent leased (it was reported at around 16 percent leased in December), and Onyx on First is 27 percent leased (after having been 8 percent leased in December).
* The BID also has the list of public events over the next few weeks at the Navy Yard. (I used to be on a mailing list for these and would add them to my calendar, but that ceased a while ago and the Navy Museum's own web site calendar hasn't been updated since last year.)
* Off-topic, but DC United says they're moving to Prince George's County.
* And Now, Anacostia has more on the legislation introduced today by Tommy Wells to place a five-cent fee on paper and plastic bags with the goal of helping to clean up the Anacostia River. (There's also a web site, trashfreeanacostia.com.)

Details on 'Luck of the Draw' This Weekend
Feb 10, 2009 12:37 PM
From a just-sent-out press release, more details on the "Luck of the Draw Art and Music Event" being put on by Artomatic, Pink Line Project, and the Capitol Riverfront BID in the neighborhood this weekend:
"Luck of the Draw will transform selected units, lounges, courtyards and the parking lots at Velocity Condominium, Axiom at Capitol Yards and Onyx on First residential buildings with photography, installation art, graffiti artists, live music, DJs and dancing to create a threeday neighborhood art and entertainment event. Start the night at the Velocity Condominium's entertainment tent on Half Street between L St and K St SE, and then head over to Axiom at Capitol Yards at 100 I (Eye) St SE and Onyx on First at 1100 First St SE. Draw playing cards at each location and, in traditional Washington, DC style, barter, trade and negotiate with others for the best 5-card poker hand to enter a raffle and win an iPod Nano. Beverages and snacks will be available at the venues as well."
It's free and open to the public. Hours are 6 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday (the 13th and 14th) and 2pm to 6 pm on Sunday the 15th.

Roundup: NatsFest, Wendy's, Yards Park, Teague Park, Lower Barracks Row
Jan 22, 2009 1:53 PM
Pulling together some reminders and other recent Twittered tidbits:
* This Sunday is NatsFest at the ballpark, from 1 pm to 5 pm. It's being held indoors in the various club areas, so if you've never gotten to see some of the lounges, or the conference center, or the clubhouse, this might be a good opportunity. Season-ticket holders get four free tickets; for the rest of the world it's $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
* Last week a raze permit was issued for the defunct Wendy's on I Street. No word on when demolition will actually occur. This is where JPI is planning its fourth Capitol Yards apartment building, 23 I Street, but there's been no recent intelligence on when they might decide to get underway.
* Construction hasn't yet begun on the Park at the Yards, but some additional information and more detailed renderings should be coming to light over the next month. Forest City is scheduled to make presentations to the National Capital Planning Commission on Feb. 5, and the Commission on Fine Arts on Feb. 16, and possibly ANC 6D on Feb. 9.
* A reader is reporting this morning that a derrick crane is going up at Diamond Teague Park--perhaps that's to begin work on the water taxi piers. (Though note that there was already a crane of some sort there back in December when I took these photos.)
* Apparently the various property owners surrounding the section of Eighth Street south of the freeway have gotten together along with the Capitol Riverfront BID to start working on plans to perk up the area, using the Connect Barracks Row report by University of Maryland Urban Studies and Planning students as a jumping-off point. Look for public meetings in February-ish.

Images and Updates from the Last Photo Trek of 2008
Dec 29, 2008 6:26 PM
I don't dare tally up how many photos I've taken over the past 12 months, but suffice to say it's a lot. That didn't stop me from a quick lunchtime trek around the neighborhood to grab my final pictures of 2008, with a starkly blue sky as an end-of-year gift. Here's a boatload of before-and-afters for your perusal:
I started at Capitol Quarter, where the first three townhouses at Fourth and L are already framed, wrapped, and window'ed (I imagine the developers are trying to get those units finished as close to "on schedule" as possible). Here's the before-and-afters for the intersection's southwest corner; be advised that taking southward-facing photos in winter is no fun at all, so apologies for all glare, skipped angles, etc.

I next ventured to The Yards (USDOT security guards be damned!) for updated photos of the Foundry Lofts construction, where most of the framing of the two new top floors appears to be finished. And both Third and Tingey streets are now nicely paved and curbed, which you can see along with the Foundtry Lofts construction in these Third and Tingey photos, and also in shots from one block west, at what someday will be Second and Tingey. And, for the heck of it, here's a few new New Jersey and Tingey images. (Remember to look for the icon, as always.)
And, acting on tips from alert readers, I checked out the Third and K Market, which is now being gutted. There was no one around to answer any questions as to what is up, but seeing work getting done a few months after a For Rent sign went up (and quickly disappeared) would seem to be a good sign....?

I also went to First and M, where workers at 100 M have now given back one lane of M Street and told me that the median east of First will be rebuilt soon (as the one west of M recently was). The silver bullding against the unbelievably blue sky makes for a nice tableau in these updated photos.
There are also a few updated shots of 909 New Jersey, taken mainly from the First and I intersection, which is also notable for the nice little fence and landscaping that's now gone in across the empty lot to the east of 100 I, visible in many of these new photos.

Will that tide everyone over until the new year? I know I'm now good for a while....!

Near Southeast Gets an Inaugural Bash
Dec 22, 2008 2:20 PM
(It's a guarantee that as soon as I put up a "I won't be posting for a while" entry, something comes down the pike.) As part of the four-day party-packed inauguration celebration, there's going to be a Capitol Riverfront Gala, officially entitled "Sunday Night on the Hill," on January 18 at 70 I Street (the Jefferson at Capitol Yards). Food will be provided by Eighth Street's Cafe 8, and music by "international DJ TFresh." The festivities will start at 8:30 pm, in both indoor and "heated outdoor" spaces (maybe this includes the roof?). Tickets are $110 (which includes food and an open bar), with discounts available for active military members in uniform. Dress code is "creative black tie."
For more information, check the official web site, and the FAQ.
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More posts: 70/100 I, inauguration09, jpi

City Paper on the 'Capitol Riverfront', and Other Links
Dec 10, 2008 1:10 PM
Piling a bunch of stuff together, again:
* Just posted on its Housing Complex blog (and in this week's print edition), the City Paper takes a look at the "Capitol Riverfront," both in the attempts to brand the neighborhood and in how empty it currently is (the subhed for the piece says "Developing a Name for the Southeast Waterfront Is Easier Than Actually Developing It" ).
UPDATE: I should also mention that Housing Complex has also posted occupancy numbers for the new buildings in Near Southeast: 70 and 100 I are 18 and 14 percent leased, Onyx is at 8 percent, Capitol Hill Tower is at 75 percent, Capitol Quarter Phase I is sold out, and Velocity is 25 percent sold.
* Reader J. reported yesterday that interior work seems to have begun at the old dialysis building at 900 M Street. They're rehabbing the interior and the exterior to create three retail storefronts, though no tenants have been announced yet.
* The Douglass Bridge is having another early-Sunday-morning-closure on the 14th.
* Planners are trying to figure out where to put all the charter buses coming to town for the inauguration. I'm guessing that the surface parking lots all around Near Southeast are going to be pretty enticing.
* The WBJ picks up on what I reported last week about 810-816-820 Potomac Avenue going up for sale in a sealed bid.
* One more add: Dr. Gridlock reports that Metro will be testing more eight-car trains on the Green line.

JPI Renting Out 70/100 I Units for Inauguration
Nov 13, 2008 10:19 PM
Now here's some quick-thinking: "With high-end hotels completely booked and District residents renting out their homes to tourists, JPI has joined the inauguration rental frenzy and will rent unleased apartments at two of its recently delivered projects near Nationals Park. The Dallas-based developer will require a three-night minimum stay at the Axiom at Capitol Yard and Jefferson at Capitol Yards. The company did not release pricing information, but said it will offer guests a choice of furnished one or two-bedroom units. They also will receive access to 24-hour concierge service and conference rooms, gym facilities, free wireless Internet access in common areas." (WBJ)
UPDATE: Per Ed's link in the comments, the prices are $750/$1,000 per night for 1 and 2 BR units (with that three night minimum). Here's the Craigslist post.
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More posts: 70/100 I, inauguration09, jpi


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