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There's been a whirlwind of "big" posts as 2012 has gotten underway, so here's a few items I've neglected:
* BID Reports: At its annual meeting last week, the Capitol Riverfront BID released both its annual report and the "Green Print of Growth" study they commissioned, which showed that the portion of the Green Line from the Navy Yard station to Georgia Avenue/Petworth has become over the past 10 years a "regional leader" in "capturing highly-prized young professional housing demand and high-wage employment," just nosing ahead of the Orange Line's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and outstripping the Red Line's stretch in Northwest DC when looking at household growth in the 18-to-34 demographic. The report also says (shocker!) that "the analysis conducted suggests that the Capitol Riverfront--given its Green Line access at the Navy Yard Station and its significant amount of development capacity--is among the most competitive locations in the region for households, companies, and retailers."
You can read the executive summary, the complete version, and the slides that RCLCO's Shyam Kannan displayed during his presentation at the meeting. (Additional coverage from WBJ and CapBiz.)
This was followed by a commentary by BID chief Michael Stevens in Monday's Washington Post/Capital Business in which he argued: "It's time for business and residents to recognize and acknowledge a new reality: The Green Line corridor has emerged as a powerful economic engine for the District and the region. And it's time for Metro, the city and the private sector to invest more in the area to support this growth trajectory."
UPDATE: Also coming out of the annual meeting, the BID voted to change how it handles its taxes, which still needs to be approved by the city council to take effect. (WBJ)
* On a parallel track, though it doesn't have to do with Near Southeast specifically, the Post's Steve Pearlstein wrote over the weekend about how signs suggest "that the next phase of growth in the Washington region will focus on these underdeveloped areas in the eastern quadrants of the District and some of the region’s older, closer-in suburbs."
* New Views: While I was at the BID's meeting, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the inside of 1015 Half Street, plus one shot looking out that shows not all views of the U.S. Capitol dome are, by default, "majestic." (Alternate caption: "Would you like fries with that democracy?") One Twitterer suggested that the rock circle at far right, on the Capitol Hill Power Plant's property, is where the ritual sacrifices are held. So, if you see the Congressional leadership skulking around I Street late at night....
* Artomatic Decision: The Post's Jonathan O'Connell tweeted this morning that Artomatic is headed to Crystal City. Organizers had been looking at both 1015 Half and the old National Geospatial Intelligence building at 101 M.
* CSX: The Virginia Avenue Tunnel web site now has public comments on the Nov. 30 "concepts" meeting, as well as the transcript of that session. Comments are still being accepted through the end of January.
* Protest: A reader who lives on 7th Street just across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters has passed along that the neighbors on that block have decided to lodge a formal protest at the liquor license renewal of the 7th and L Market, thanks to having witnessed multiple examples over the past few years of public drunkenness and urination, loitering, littering, drug dealing, indecent exposure, and even one proposition by a prostitute. There's no doubt that that market is a bit of a throwback to the neighborhood's previous incarnation; it will be interesting to see how this proceeds, and also how the eventual arrival of the National Community Church on that block changes (or doesn't change) things.
* AIIIEEEE!: Don't have enough to worry about these days? How about rising sea levels inundating areas along DC's waterfronts? (WaPo/Capital Weather Gang)
* Neighborhood News Roundup: The Post's new Where We Live real estate blog has a rundown and photo gallery today on the latest progress on the development and food fronts in Near Southeast. If it all looks and sounds strangely familiar, that shouldn't be a surprise.
 

When word gets out that some new data set has been posted in an easily digestible format, I am pretty much helpless before its power. So I spent the Friday night of a holiday weekend knee deep in Bikeshare Trip History Data, culling out the nearly 30,000 more than 28,000 records for trips that either originated or ended at Near Southeast's two docks in 2011. Then I fired up up the Google Maps API to bring it all to you in interactive map form.
You'll choose whether you want to see inbound or outbound data for the dock at New Jersey and M in front of the US Department of Transportation or the dock at 1st and N just across the street from Nationals Park. Optionally, you can filter by month of the year or even a specific date. (Tip: green means starting point, red means ending point.) Then there are tables beneath the map that show, for your chosen data set, the number of registered vs. casual users and the top usage days.
It shouldn't be surprising that the docks at the Eastern Market Metro Station and at 4th and M SW (Safeway) are very popular destinations/starting points for the Near Southeast docks, but I'm surprised to be surprised that the top dock for New Jersey & M trips in both directions is Union Station.
Capital Bikeshare is apparently going to release this data quarterly, so I plan to keep the map/search app updated as long as there's data coming. And there should be a new dock in the neighborhood sometime in 2012, at 3rd and Tingey.
PS: Speaking of Bikeshare, read this fascinating piece on one man's transformation into a bicycling commuter thanks to Capital Bikeshare being a "gateway drug." (Any full disclosure I need to make about this link should be pretty clear in the second and fourth paragraphs.)
UPDATE: After reading this great post by JD Antos with scads of analysis of the city-wide Bikeshare trip data, I dug into my tables a little more closely to clear out "rides" of less than 60 seconds' duration at a single station and found that I had inadvertently doubled the records where the both start and stop stations were the two Near Southeast stations. (Argh.) Not a huge change in the data (about 1,250 records out of nearly 30,000), and most likely the data people would have been looking at today would have been for the trips outside of the neighborhood, but I have now cleaned out that boo-boo. And I've deleted 167 sub-60-second trips at a single station as well, just because.
UPDATE II: I added both Union Station and the new dock just north of the freeway at 3rd and G to my Live Transit Data page, which includes a table of the closest docks and their capacity status, along with other live data like Next Train, Next Bus, and Where's My (Circulator) Bus?
 

In March 2011, I posted on the proposed 2012 tax assessments for the 900-plus tax parcels that I track as Near Southeast properties, which valued the neighborhood at just a teensy bit under $6 billion ($5.994B). But there's a reason those are just "proposed": property owners need a chance to prostrate themselves before the city to try to get their assessments revised. In addition, new properties come onto the rolls during the year as projects get completed.
So, I can now report that the 2012 tax assessment total for Near Southeast is: $6.06 billion. Since the final assessments for 2011 came in at about $5.81 billion, 2012's number is a $248 million increase for actual assessments year-over-year.
There were 15 properties that received reductions for their 2012 bills, totaling about $148 million. The big property owners managed a few hefty cuts, with JBG's US Department of Transportation building leading the way with a $47.7 million reduction to just under $615 million, followed by CSX's empty lots near the freeway north of I Street getting a $46.3 million haircut down to $66.2 million. Many of the other shiny new-ish buildings of the neighborhood also got their tallies reduced, such as apartment buildings 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey and office buildings 20 M, 55 M, 225 Virginia, and Maritime Plaza I and II.
But these reductions were offset by $216 million in upward revisions. Most of this is thanks to 1015 Half Street finally being completed, taking that parcel's assessment from last year's $41.1 million to just a hair under $144 million. Three other buildings (80 M, 100 M, and 300 M) received higher final assessments as well. Plus, 32 townhouses in Capitol Quarter came onto the rolls as completed buildings, bringing just under $14 million in new tax revenue. (Yes, yes, PILOT/payment in lieu of taxes--don't stop me when I'm on a roll.)
And, because people always want to know, the ballpark's assessment for 2012 remains the smidgiest smidge under $1 billion, unchanged from 2011, at $999,982,800.
Alas, I can't give good year-to-year comparison numbers on final assessments in previous years because I didn't really grasp this whole revision thing until last year (oops), but I can say that proposed assessments were just a mite over $6 billion in both 2010 and 2011, after having been at $4.47 billion in 2009. My March post has the year-by-year proposed assessed values for the neighborhood, if you want those numbers.
If you feel like digging deeper (since you don't pay me enough to just post all my numbers for you to use), here's the the current assessments database, which you can search yourself. Tune in this March to see what the city proposes for 2013 values, and then in January for what the values really end up being....
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Developer William C. Smith is announcing today that the apartment project we've been referring to as 880 New Jersey will be called the Park Chelsea, and is expected to get underway sometime during the second quarter of this year. And there's even a rendering now, and an official web site.
As I reported a few months ago, it will be 13 stories, with 433 units, which I understand will be broken down as 58 studios (about 466 avg sq ft), 281 one-bedrooms (606-738 sq ft), 92 two-bedrooms (1094 sq ft), and 2 three-bedrooms (1788 sq ft). There will be a courtyard garden, club room, gym, pilates/yoga studio, Jacuzzi, and 75-foot indoor lap pool on the ground floor. Then, up on the roof there will be a second pool along with the now-ubiquitous lounging/grilling area, as well as a "community garden" and dog exercise area. There will also be 1,500 square feet of "convenience" retail space on the ground floor, and three levels of underground parking. (They previously mentioned to me a bicycle entrance to a sizeable storage room separate from the car parking areas--I'm assuming that's still part of the plans, but I haven't confirmed.)
It's easy to notice that site clearing that has begun along New Jersey--this is the start of the pre-construction infrastructure work that Smith needs to do in order to relocate some very very deep pipes beneath the block. The company also tells me that they expect DPW to be moving out of their site just to the south of 880 New Jersey about a month from now, which can begin the chain reaction of getting the old trash transfer building demolished so that lots can be split and land transferred along the to-be-built I Street axis. Vertical construction on 880 NJ can't begin until all of that happens, so that will be a pretty easy-to-watch guide to when real work on the new apartment building can begin.
Once started, construction should take about two years.
This is the first phase of Smith's plans for Square 737, seen at right back in 2008. Originally the company had planned two residential buildings and two office buildings, but now they're looking toward filling the block with apartments, totalling around 1,200 units in four buildings. (And note that the entire four-building project is "matter of right," so there will be no zoning reviews or PUDs.) It's anticipated that there will be greater amounts of retail in the two buildings that will front 2nd Street, near Canal Park and across from 225 Virginia.
If you want to see more photos of Square 737 and get additional background, check my project page and previous posts.
While this will be William C. Smith's first apartment project in Near Southeast, they have been working in the neighborhood for a number of years, and literally working here since 2004 (when they opened 1100 New Jersey Avenue and moved their offices there). They have also been a big player in the creation of Canal Park, and are part of the Capper PUD team as the developers of the planned 250 M Street office building.
UPDATE: Lydia DePillis writes about the building's architecture at City Paper, and WBJ has a piece on the project for subscribers. And it gets a mention in WaPo's Capital Business section.
 

The meeting probably isn't even finished yet, but if you didn't (or did) stop by the first of DDOT's public meetings on their nine-month M Street SE/SW Transportation study, you can browse the presentation slides and take the stakeholder survey, already posted on the new web site for the project.
There were a pile of high-powered bloggers and transportation geeks in attendance, so I'm sure there will no shortage of coverage of both this meeting and the entire study that I will happily link to, but there wasn't much news coming out of this first session--it was mainly to introduce the study, talk about the methodology (which you can see in the slides) and then break up into small groups to stand around maps and give feedback about what attendees see as issues that need addressing. (But first, just as at the 2010 meeting, one woman who is particularly anti-bike once again made her feelings known.)
DDOT's representatives say they will be using some 33 other studies that have been done on the area in question as part of this overall study, covering the area from 14th St. SW to 12th Street SE south of the freeway down to the waterfront(s), though that then brought a comment from the audience about when studying is going to stop and there's going to be action.
There will be two more public meetings, one in March-ish and another in June-ish, with the study expected to be completed in August-ish.
UPDATE: Here's DCist's report on the meeting. And SWill's.
 

Just a reminder that Thursday night (Jan. 12) is the first public meeting for DDOT's M Street SE/SW Transportation Study, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I St., SW.
As the meeting announcement says, "The purpose of the public meeting is to provide an overview of the transportation study, outline the study process/schedule and gather public feedback. Following a brief presentation, attendees will be asked to help identify concerns and issues on maps of the study area and also via a brief survey."
It isn't just about the six lanes on M Street, either: the study area goes from the Southeast/Southwest Freeway south to the Anacostia River and Washington Channel, from 12th Street SE all the way to 14th Street SW.
So, if you think there should be fewer lanes, more lanes, less parking, more parking, more bike lanes, fewer bike lanes, more pedestrian-friendly changes, fewer pedestrian-friendly changes, or just like watching people with wildly divergent views all trying to get their position to be the "right" one, come on down.
(You can also read my post on the last M Street traffic meeting, back in 2010, though note it was not part of this current official nine-month study by DDOT.)
 

Do you get excited about new windows? Then this latest batch of photos of the Boilermaker Shops rehab is for you!
But, in addition to all the new glass, you can also see that the construction of the mezzanine level has begun as well. (There's a rendering midway down the page of how the mezzanine level will look, if you're having a hard time envisioning it.)
If you're just joining us, this is the project at the Yards that will bring six restaurants to this historic building by the end of 2012: a brewery by the Birch and Barley/Churchkey Folks, Austin Grill Express, BRB burger joint, Huey's 24/7 Diner, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que.
And, speaking of restaurants at the Yards, interested parties will like to hear that construction has begun on the Potbelly Sandwich Works shop in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts building, just south of Boilermaker on the southeast corner of 3rd and Tingey. It is expected to open this spring, as is Kruba Thai and Sushi, which just received its building permit last week for its space in Foundry's southwest corner, just north of the Yards Park.
 

The news of the two freeway spans of the 11th Street Bridges opening over the past few weeks is of course the most interesting part of the current state of the project's construction, but there's plenty of work still happening on the Near Southeast side of the Anacostia River, from the new "11th Street Local" bridge that will open this summer (seen at right) to various other new ramps and flyovers.
So on Sunday I did a lot of hoofing and driving to bring you this new 11th Street Bridges Project Photo Gallery, showing the most interesting views I came across. I walked up onto the old outbound bridge (totally legal! sidewalk and everything!), I ventured down to N and then O streets, and I went north to where the new girders have been installed above 11th Street to connect the inbound freeway traffic to the Southeast Freeway and where the new ramp up to 11th Street from the old Pennsylvania Avenue/Barney Circle connector is under construction.
I also updated a lot of intersection shots in my official Photo Archive, so if you're wanting to see before-and-afters from the streets surrounding the bridges project, check out 11th & M, 12th & M, 11th & N, 12th & N, 11th & L, and 11th & the freeway (the shots above are a teaser) for all your change-is-a-comin' images. (Though not every photo was updated, so look for the icon.)
And, because I'm a goofball, I also tossed together this quick montage of the photos I took on my first trip across the new outbound freeway bridge. (Yes, that's on a JDLand Google+ page. I haven't done anything with it, but if you want to show me there's interest in my getting more active there, you can follow the page and we'll go from there.)
Plus I freshened up the photo portion of my 11th Street Bridges project page, which is the place to go if you're not up to speed on exactly what all this construction is going to accomplish. (DDOT's recent video will help you with that too.) But really, start with the photo gallery.
 

Back in February, the National Community Church applied for a raze permit for the Miles Glass site on the southwest corner of 8th and Virginia that it acquired along with a number of adjoining lots on Square 906 in 2010 and 2011. However, perhaps something was not quite right, because two new raze permit applications for 733 Virginia are now in the city's database, along with a separate new one for the car garage next door at 701 Virginia, the lot that finalized NCC's footprint.
Last week, NCC representatives told ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning Committee that they plan to have the demolitions completed by March, and will "then move to establish a temporary parking lot and community green space for an estimated two-year period" while the church continues to work on its final plans for the site, which in the past have been described as being a combination of coffee house, performance space, and church offices.
Any goings-on at the site, though, will be impacted by CSX's planned Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction, and in October NCC head Mark Batterson told the Washington Business Journal that "it doesn't make sense to do our project and then have them come through and rip everything up and make it difficult for us to even access our property."
Meanwhile, a couple blocks to the southeast, two raze permits have also now been filed for 816 Potomac, the long-closed-up brown apartment building on the northwest corner of 9th and Potomac. This property is one of the lots on Square 930 that Madison Marquette now co-owns as part of its "joint venture" with ICP Partners.
 

I have been lazy, l-a-z-y, about getting to some of my more far-flung photo spots in recent months, but the guilt of a new year finally overwhelmed me on Sunday, and I ventured up onto the Douglass Bridge and over to Poplar Point with camera in hand, mainly to get updated shots of the now-cleared Florida Rock site (above) and the Yards Park, Yards/Teague Bridge, and other waterside sites.
I pulled the most interesting of them together in an Along the Anacostia Photo Gallery, but you can also see the progression of images I've taken over the years from the Douglass Bridge and at Poplar Point looking toward Florida Rock/Nats Park and toward the Yards. I also gave my Florida Rock project page some much-needed freshening up, and you can also read my post from a few weeks ago about the latest news on the plans for the site. And maybe this year I'll head back to these spots when the ground isn't brown.
And, if you want to see almost the entire Near Southeast waterfront in one (panorama'ed) shot....:
 

* 1015 Half Buyer: On Friday the Post debuted a "What's Going On With....?" feature at their new Where We Live Real Estate blog (reminds me of my old "What's the Deal With...?" days), and the first item was on the empty office building at 1015 Half Street. One tidbit not mentioned there, or at JDLand before now, is that apparently Prudential Real Estate Investors is buying the building, with the deal supposed to be closing this month, according to Bisnow. Bisnow says that the deal was always for Prudential to buy out Bank of America's stake in the building when it was finished, even back when it was Opus East doing the developing, not current receiver Douglas Wilson Companies.
* Onyx Sale: The Onyx on First apartment building never sold when it first went on the block back in March, and a second offering apparently closed in December. Perhaps there will be news soon.
* Navy Yard Riverwalk Closure: It was announced on Twitter last week that the Navy Yard Riverwalk will be closed from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 to install fences around the piers. (What? You thought I meant the entire Riverwalk and not just the portion controlled by the Navy Yard? Why ever would you have thought that?)
* Winter Classic Rumoring: I guess if you haven't been following along for the past couple of years, the notion of an NHL Winter Classic in DC and at Nationals Park could be news to you, but at this point there's nothing new actually being reported, since no official announcement has been made.
 

New Jersey Avenue, south of the freeway, looking east, before and after the clearing of brush and trees that happened late last week:
A slightly different angle, looking south-southeast:
This appears to be the work that William C. Smith mentioned would be coming, as part of their preparations for infrastructure work in advance of their 880 New Jersey Avenue apartment project. More before-and-afters here.
(That's 225 Virginia/200 I in the background, if you're bewildered at what you're seeing in this new view.)
(This is the first in what will be an avalanche of new photos over the next few days, after I drove around for about two hours grabbing scads of shots that I have been guilt ridden about not getting to. Rather than trying to put them up in one overwhelming post, I'll be passing them along in manageable bites.)
 

UPDATE: The new span will indeed open on Saturday, Jan. 7, as confirmed Thursday evening by a DDOT tweet. Watch for detours during the day as they make the switch.
On Tuesday, DDOT tweeted thusly: "Traffic alert: if the weather holds, we expect the new outbound 11th Street Freeway Bridge to open this Saturday."
They also sent out a handy YouTube video explaining the phases of construction that the entire project has seen so far and will see before all is finished, which I urge you to watch so that I don't have to try to summarize it all for the 7,000th time.
One item in the video that I hadn't seen mentioned before (it's at about the 45-second mark): with the opening of the new outbound freeway bridge, commuters from the Southeast Freeway/I-695 who want to get into the neighborhoods just east of the river will need to exit at 6th Street SE and get themselves to the existing ramp at 11th and O SE to go across the old outbound bridge. This will be until the new 11th Street Local bridge opens this summer. So watch for some traffic tieups at the 6th Street ramp and along Virginia Avenue, 8th Street, and M Street.
Dr. Gridlock has more on the changes, and my 11th Street Bridges project page has overviews of the entire reconstruction.
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ANC 6D has sent around (and posted! yay!) the agenda for its January meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 at 7 pm at 1100 4th St., SW in DCRA's second-floor meeting room.
The Near Southeast items of interest could mostly be looked at as sneak previews, or perhaps as items that could be missed if you are better able to fit other upcoming meetings into your calendar (especially, if, say, you were looking for an escape hatch because you'd kinda rather be watching the BCS championship):
* There's a M Street SE/SW Transportation Study agenda item, in advance of the DDOT public meeting on the study coming three days later, on Jan. 12;
* There's an update on Capitol Riverfront BID doings, in advance of the BID's annual meeting three days later, on Jan. 12; and
* There's the application for historic landmark status for the DC Water main pumping station, which will be heard by the Historic Preservation Review Board at its January 26 meeting.
There's also an update on the ANC 6D redistricting outcome, various Southwest-related items (including the big Maryland Avenue SW Draft Plan, and whatnot. And, since it's the first meeting of the new year, there will also be the election of commission officers.
 

In years past I've waited until my Jan. 19 anniversary date, but this year I decided to shift my sixth annual survey of what's happened and what's going to happen to the same approximate time when everyone else on the planet does theirs, right at New Year's. (Except I waited until people are actually back from the holidays.) So here is my 2012 State of the Hood, with its characteristic torrent of words describing Near Southeast's progress over the past 12 months and also what's on the boards for the next 12 months (hint: Food, Glorious Food!).
If you've been religiously following JDLand content, there probably won't be anything new, but if you're a recent arrival or if you only check in so often, this is a good way to get caught up on developments big and small.
In a similar vein, it's become quite a trend for blogs to list their Top 10 Posts of the Year, so I figured I'd hop on the bandwagon (though technically mine is Top 10 Most Visited Posts and Non-Project Pages of 2011). If you look at this, you may not have even need to plow through all the SOTH verbiage, but I hope you do anyway:
After a number of years spent treading water, it's been fun to have some actual news to report during the past 12 months. And it appears there will be no shortage of milestones coming in 2012. Enjoy....
UPDATE: As always, as soon as I post it, I realize there's something I should have included. So if you're wondering about crime in Near Southeast in 2011 compared to other years, here's my 2011 Crime Incidents page, with all the stats broken out for you. There were 40 more crimes reported than in 2010, all of which can be attributed to a jump in Theft reports, which isn't a surprise when more people live in the neighborhood. Other crimes basically stayed the same.
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Hope everyone has had a good holiday season, and made it into the New Year relatively unscathed. I took some blog vacation time myself, but while it's looked like pure slacking, I've actually been hard at work on my 2012 State of the Hood roundup, which will be coming tomorrow.
Until then, here's a few very short tidbits to catch up on, some of which were already tweeted (so blog-only folks might have missed them) and others of which were just little things that have piled up on my To-Do list.
* In the days before Christmas, the final demolitions were finished up at Florida Rock, making the concrete tower #166 in my Demolished Buildings gallery. I didn't get down there for mid-demo photos, but DCMud has a few stylized shots.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID said last week on Facebook that construction will begin in April on turning the Lumber Shed at Yards Park into a combination retail pavilion and office space for developer Forest City. No such announcement from Forest City yet, and no details on who any of the retail tenants may be.
* Suspect fleeing from police jumps the fence into Nationals Park on Dec. 28, finally found hiding in a public restroom.
* The Examiner surveys what's coming for DC's various waterfronts in 2012.
* The Post's annual list includes "Renting in Navy Yard" as one of the "In"s. (To which the smart-ass in me replies, "Oh, you mean actually in the Washington Navy Yard, the Navy's oldest shore establishment, now 202 years old?")
 

If you're looking for an excuse to have a celebration (and who isn't in the long, seven-day slog between Christmas and New Year's), you can raise a glass on Wednesday to the 20th birthday of the Waterfront, Navy Yard, and Anacostia Metro stations, which opened on Dec. 28, 1991.
Not surprisingly, it was the arrival of DC's subway in Anacostia that was the main focus of opening day celebrations: "At long last, after two decades of planning and delays, site squabbles and legal hurdles, Metro's Green Line came to Anacostia yesterday and Anacostia rolled out a green carpet of welcome," reported the Washington Post.
But, a few days earlier, the Post published a piece focusing on what changes the new Navy Yard station would bring to its surroundings:
"Metro's newest neighbors on downtrodden M Street SE have been coping for months with the dust and shambles of tunnel construction by holding onto one hope: Maybe Metro can make things better."
"'I hope that it will stop the drug traffic,' said Ann Mose, a secretary at an Aamco Transmission shop just a few yards from the new Navy Yard stop, which is at M and Half streets SE and New Jersey Avenue. 'I know one thing: Metro and the police are going to have their work cut out for them. People are scared.'"
Then, see if this part sounds familiar: "About two years ago, the biggest names in Washington real estate bought up acres of vacant lots and ramshackle warehouses there in anticipation of a mini-boom town of offices, town houses, retail stores and recreation areas to be spawned by the arrival of the Metro. In the past year, as financing for speculative development has dried up, buyer enthusiasm has ebbed."
The article then speaks of the plans to redevelop the Southeast Federal Center with 1 million square feet of office space for 23,000 federal workers at agencies like GSA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Navy, and perhaps FEMA.
"But today, as Metro cars rumble through test runs on the new extension of the Green Line, those dreams seem obscured by drug traffickers who walk undisturbed up and down M Street, in the shadows of boarded-up buildings that neighbors call crack houses, from which Metro workers solicitously warn visitors to stay away. [...]
"Between that and the subway stop is public housing. Trash piles up on the sidewalk. Hypodermic needles are discarded in open lots.
"'You've got to be something of a visionary to see what this is going to be like in five to 10 years,' GSA administrator Dick Austin said. 'There are a lot of those who are skeptics and say it's not going to happen.... Did you ever see the movie 'Field of Dreams?'"
And, in referencing the commercial developers who had bought up much of the land in the neighborhood, the article says: "Their hopes[...]: that the lackluster waterfront from Buzzard Point to the Washington Navy Yard could be turned into the Tysons Corner of the 21st century."
 

On Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 28 and 29), watch for closures on 11th Street SE between M and K between 5 am and 4 pm as workers install girders above the street as part of the new flyover connecting the 11th Street Bridges and the Southeast Freeway (or, as we probably need to start calling all of it, I-695). Here's the details, including where the detours will run.
If you've been by that stretch of 11th Street lately, you've seen the girders making their big bend westward, stopping just above 11th Street. (This is the pier that the girders are now being placed on, as seen back in October.) It will certainly change the vista on that stretch. I'll get photos after the girders are in place, and when the sun comes out.
In other 11th Street Bridges news, you probably noticed that the new outbound freeway span didn't open this past weekend, as had been hoped. DDOT tells Dr. Gridlock it will probably now be "early January." "The earlier opening had been a long shot anyway," DDOT spokesman John Lisle is quoted as saying.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges
 

I missed out on Lot 38 Espresso's Grand Opening on Wednesday, because, well, it was raining. (How's that for dedication?) But I wandered down first thing this morning to check out the new digs, and of course snapped a few pictures. (I opted for a hot chocolate, since I am one of those heathens who doesn't drink coffee.) Here's the photos, and I included a couple of the progress on the two pavilions at Canal Park while I was at it.
I should also mention that they're now on Twitter (@Lot38Espresso) and Facebook, and I've added them to my Near SE Businesses Twitter list. Their web site is technically "coming soon," but it does at least list their hours, 6:30 am - 8 pm Monday-Friday, and 7 am - 7 pm Saturday and Sunday.
UPDATE: Here's City Paper's Young and Hungry blog about Lot 38, along with some blurry photos (dude, at least hold the camera still).
 

It looks like Monument Realty's office building at 55 M Street may be close to getting its first retail tenant, as they have confirmed to me that they are in negotiations with Bank of America for a branch office in one of 55 M's ground-floor spaces, on top of the west entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, just north of Nationals Park.
BoA is apparently leaving its swank construction-trailer digs at 4th and M SW this spring, and so is on the hunt for a new close-by home. Some workers at that branch have apparently told patrons that they are definitely moving to 55 M in June, but for now we'll go with Monument's statement that things are still in the negotiating phase.
If it comes to pass, BoA would be the fourth bank to open a branch in the neighborhood. (My own bank not being among them, alas.)
 
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