Coming to Nationals Park, or Just to the Neighborhood? A Guide
Mar 20, 2012 11:24 AM
Do you know what's two weeks from today? The Nationals' first home game of 2012, an exhibition against the Boston Red Sox. And the home opener is a mere three weeks and two days away, when the Nats play the Cincinnati Reds on April 12.
This means a lot of people will be returning to the Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards neighborhood for the first time since last summer, or might even be venturing in for the first time ever thanks to the buzz around the team's potential. So I've created a new page: Visiting Nationals Park
, which brings together links and information both about the ballpark itself and what's available and interesting outside the stadium.
I'm sure it'll be updated with more items as Opening Day approaches, but I figured I'd go ahead and get it out there
now (especially to help everyone in the media getting ready to write their annual What Is/Isn't Happening Near Nats Park pieces!).
March 28 Meeting on Potential 11th Street Recreation Bridge
Mar 19, 2012 3:16 PM
This was mentioned last week when the news first came out
, but now there's confirmation via a flyer from the Office of Planning
that an "informational meeting" will be held on March 28 at 6:30 pm about the "Potential Recreation Reuse of 11th Street Bridge, SE."
If you missed the hullabaloo, the city is looking at the notion
of reusing the structure of the soon-to-be-abandoned downstream/outbound 11th Street Bridge
as a recreation destination, linking both sides of the Anacostia River "in a unique and dramatic way."
And there's also now a page on the OP web site
about the project, noting that no decisions have been made or even committted to on the project. The page also makes sure to mention that "actually seeing this project realized will be very ambitious and challenging." A design competition will be held later this year, and apparently the process will "involve local youth in generating ideas." And, as Lydia DePillis noted
, there will have to be a "significant level of partnership with the private and non-profit sectors" in order for this to work.
will be held in the DCRA office space at 1100 4th St., SW. Bring your ideas!
Tidbits: Miles Glass Raze Permits, Navy Yard-Ballpark, More
Mar 19, 2012 11:57 AM
Couldn't leave all these morsels until the normal Tuesday Tidbits slot:
* More Demolitions Coming
: Raze permits have now been approved for the Miles Glass building at 8th and Virginia
and its next-door neighbor, the closed auto repair shop at 7th and K
. National Community Church
, which owns the lots and others on the same block, said back in January
that a temporary parking lot and "community green space" will be coming to the site 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.
* Bike to Work
: May 18 is DC's Bike to Work Day
. One of the pit stops
is the Yards Park
, from 7 to 9 am, and you get a t-shirt if you register and then stop at your designated pit stop.
* Bridge Recreation
: If the notion of the "11th Street Recreation Bridge
" captured your fancy, you can see some additional stories on the idea by Lydia DePillis
, and WJLA
notes that the city isn't intending on paying for this entire thing itself, and a decision needs to be made by May whether or not the new 11th Street Local bridge
will have the bulb-out viewpoints built (they'd be unnecessary if the current downstream bridge was being kept). WJLA
, on the other hand, mentions that "some" are concerned it "could become a hotbed for crime"--which led to a fun Twitter back
that devolved into using the new bridge for a Jason Bourne/James Bond-type chase sequence.
* Mobile 'Hood
: The Capitol Riverfront BID has launched a mobile version of its web site
, which uses your phone's GPS to give you information on food, developments, and events near your location.
And, of course, if you want to know what your current location looked like before all the changes started happening, you can go to my mobile site (m.jdland.com
) or jdland.com/here
on your phone and you'll get my oldest photos looking in each direction from the corner nearest to where you're standing. (Read more about how that works
: DCMud looks
at the plans for the Half Street Fairgrounds
(which I broke the news of
back in February), with a few neat new renderings. And then the piece drops a mention at the very end that "DCRE Real Estate" is handling the retail leasing for the project--that's DCMud's company, and the writer of the blog post is also the agent handling the leasing. (Just in case you like to be aware of those sorts of things when getting your news.) In the meantime, a few shipping containers were spotted
on the site last week.
Ward 6 Dems Holding At-Large Candidates Forum Tuesday
Mar 19, 2012 8:27 AM
Unless you live and breathe politics (and who in DC does THAT?), you might not even be aware that DC is having its primary election day on April 3
, and while Ward 6's council member Tommy Wells is not up for reelection this time around, Ward 6 residents do have the at-large council race to vote in (in addition to the presidential election and the DC delegate/shadow rep races).
To help get to know the candidates, the Ward 6 Democrats are hosting an At-Large Candidates Forum tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20, from 7 to 8:30 pm at Brent Elementary School at 301 North Carolina Ave, SE. The forum will be moderated by WTOP's Mark Segraves, and the event is free and open to the public.
Running are Vincent Orange (the current seat holder), E. Gail Anderson Holness, Peter Shapiro, and Sekou Biddle (all Democrats), Mary Brooks Beatty (Republican), and G. Lee Aikin and Ann C. Wilcox (Green Party).
Early voting for all races
starts today (March 19) at One Judiciary Square. From March 24 to March 31, early voting expands to seven additional locations, including the King Greenleaf Rec Center at 201 N St., SW. For more information about the election, go to the Board of Elections web site
New Boilermaker Shops Brewery to be Called Bluejacket
Mar 16, 2012 9:44 AM
The Washington Post reports today
that the Neighborhood Restaurant Group has now decided on a name for the brewery it is bringing to the Boilermaker Shops
at the Yards: Bluejacket
, which it says is "historically a term for sailors in the US Navy."
The brewery also now has a web site
, a Twitter feed
, and a Facebook page
. And an "Established 2013" tagline, so that's another confirmation that they don't look to be opened before the end of this year.
The brewery will be located on the eastern end
of the Boilermaker Shops building, fronting 4th Street SE.
Navy Yard Security Exercise May Impact Navy Yard
Mar 16, 2012 9:44 AM
Something to keep an eye out for
next week in the areas right around the Washington Navy Yard
"Exercise SOLID CURTAIN-CITADEL SHIELD 2012 will be conducted on naval bases and installations throughout the National Capital Region from March 19-24, 2012.
"This annual exercise is designed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy Security Forces to respond to threats to installations and units. Exercise SOLID CURTAIN-CITADEL SHIELD 2012 is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly-scheduled exercise.
"Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to normal base and station operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access. Area residents may also see increased security activity associated with the exercise."
[And yes, I'm making a point with that headline.]
Tuesday Tidbits: Best Evaluated by Volume, Not Weight
Mar 13, 2012 9:19 AM
So many Tweets
recently, such small items. Let's see how short I can keep them:
* Justin's Cafe is looking to have a block party
on Saturday, April 14 (when the Nats and the Reds play at 4:05 pm), and ANC 6D has supported the request to close 1st Street between K and L. (Thanks to SWill
for, once again, picking up my slack.) Still probably some bureaucratic hoops to jump through before all is confirmed. This was moved from
Opening Day so it would be on a weekend, Will says,
* New striping and bike lanes were installed Monday on I Street SE between South Capitol and New Jersey.
Anything else going on these days? Besides that sandwich shop opening?
Let's add the elephant parade
! Starting tonight at 8 pm, on the southern edge of Garfield Park at the train tracks where Virginia crosses under New Jersey, says WTOP
: I sent a lackey
down to Potbelly to get a few opening-day shots
. Hope he's not expecting to get reimbursed for his lunch.
Could Old Outbound 11th Street Span Become Recreation Bridge?
Mar 12, 2012 12:15 PM
, the city is apparently looking at the concept of transforming the downstream, soon-to-be-abandoned outbound 11th Street Bridge
into an "11th Street Recreation Bridge
," calling it an "opportunity for a destination linking river trails and recreation amenities."
This PDF from the Office of Planning
(interestingly, it has the file name "Constituent Request.pdf") has a couple of concept drawings, some graphs about development in the surrounding areas, and keeps mentioning a "proposed design competition" to generate ideas for how the span could be used after the new 11th Street Local Bridge opens this summer.
There's been back-room chatter for a while that Office of Planning director Harriet Tregoning has been interested in preserving one of the existing bridge spans as a potential "High Line
" for Washington, DC, and there have also been calls from various residents (including Near Southeast's own Man About Town David Garber
) to build some sort of pedestrian bridge linking the two shores of the Anacostia River.
that DPW (? maybe OP?) is holding a meeting on March 28 at 6:30 pm on the concept, though I can't find any press releases or anything about it on dc.gov.
I'll be interested to see how it's proposed to get people up to it from the western shore, given that the approach to the old bridge is supposed to be demolished in order to complete the new 11th Street Local bridge's "arrival" at street level near 11th and O
, and then allowing two-way traffic to run on 11th Street by the Navy Yard.
I'm guessing there will be plenty of chatter about this to come!
Potbelly Opening for Business Tuesday at 10 am
Mar 11, 2012 10:03 PM
Unless things fall apart in the final few hours, the Potbelly Sandwich Works
at 301 Tingey St. SE should officially open for business on Tuesday, March 13, at 10 am. (At least, that's what the sign says
!) On Sunday afternoon workers were on site getting training, and on Monday there will be a dress rehearsal/dry run for "friends and family
It will be open from 10 am to 7 pm seven days a week, and, if you're unfamilar with Potbelly's menu, you still have a little time left to bone up
Canal Park Construction Issues Push Back Opening Date
Mar 8, 2012 2:50 PM
There's been a lot of positive news in the neighborhood of late, but news today from Canal Park
will be disappointing to many residents and observers: Because of "major underground obstacles" that weren't found until workers started digging, the park's underground storm water system is having to be completely redesigned and then approved by DC Water.
According to Chris Vanarsdale of the Canal Park Development Association
, this has bumped the schedule by about four months, and November 1 is now the expected completion date. (Just in time for ice skating!)
Canal Park is of course also where Xavier Cevera's Park Tavern restaurant
is anticipated to open, which means that its opening would be pushed back as well.
Harry's Reserve First Anniversary Events This Weekend
Mar 8, 2012 1:09 PM
Harry's Reserve, the "fine wine and spirits" store at the corner of New Jersey and I SE, is celebrating its first anniversary (how the time does fly!), and are getting out the word about some events over the next three days to mark the occasion.
Tonight and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday), they are having wine tastings from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Then, on Saturday (March 10), they are throwing a barbeque out front from 1 pm to 5 pm, and tastings until 7. They are also raffling off more than 15 bottles of the good stuff.
Details on all the offerings will hopefully be up on their Facebook page
--I'd reel off the entire list of wines and spirits they are making available during these tastings and for the raffle, but then we'd just have a conflagration in the comments about how the Ruca Malen Malbec is soooooooooo much better than the De Martino Legado Syrah, and how the Three Saints Pinot Noir was so much better until the hipsters discovered it, and then I'd have to start suspending people, and there'd be rioting.
A (Virtual) Walk on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail's Western Side
Mar 7, 2012 9:48 AM
What a gorgeous spring day we appear to have on tap today! Wouldn't it be a lovely day for a nice stroll along a riverfront? Near Southeast, Southwest, and Capitol Hill denizens (plus a lot of the #bikedc crowd) are familiar with the neighborhood's portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
, but now that the bridge
between the Yards Park
and Diamond Teague Park
is complete, giving the main portion of the trail a connection to Nationals Park
, non-residents should get a reminder to experience what is a path unlike any other in Washington.
So I've put together a new page
covering the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (Near Southeast Portion)
that acts as a sort of virtual walk along the river, from 1st Street SE to the 11th Street Bridges and a little beyond. (If I weren't so lazy, I'd take on the entire trail, but maybe later.) There's also a few before-and-afters to remind people of how far the trail has come in a relatively short time.
A lot of the photos on this new page
may be familiar from my other project pages, but I think it was worth it to give this amenity its own home. And there should be some updates over the next few months as the 11th Street Local bridge is opened and the work begins on the portion of the trail that runs beneath the bridges, not to mention the paths on the new bridge itself that will make for an even easier link to the trail's eastern side that runs through Anacostia Park. And I'll try to get some newer photos of the section from 11th Street to the Sousa Bridge, and perhaps beyond.
Tuesday Tidbits, Getting Closer to Opening Day Edition
Mar 6, 2012 10:18 AM
Cleaning off the digital desk:
* Readers are reporting that the fence is coming down around the Bullpen on Half Street. This would be in preparation for the new Fairgrounds offering
. Designs show
that the new "fence" will be shipping containers, which makes sense given that the venture is centered around a shipping container market. Their intent is to have it up and running by Opening Day. (Read my Fairgrounds post
from a few weeks ago for much more detail.)
* Residents won't exactly be interested in this news (except maybe from a parking/traffic angle), but I'll still pass along that a new venture called Ballpark Bus
is getting launched this season to bring fans from five northern Virginia locations to the stadium. (More to be announced soon, the web site says.) The blog Let Teddy Win has more about the service
* If you'd rather get to the stadium by sea, Potomac Riverboat Company is once again running its Baseball Boat
for the 2012 season--boats leave Alexandria and take about a half-hour to get to Diamond Teague Park,
right across from Nationals Park. Price is $24 for a round-trip voyage or $15 one way. (You can also set sail from National Harbor by taking PRC's service from there to Alexandria and then hook up with the baseball boat, for $30 round trip or $20 one way.)
* Also getting ready for another season of operations is American River Taxi
, whose owner tweeted on Monday
"See you for Cherry Blossoms." The boat stops at Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Teague Park--and now that pier is a lovely riverside-bridge
-walk away from the Yards Park
(rather than having to walk up 1st to Tingey, over to 3rd, and down).
* Still haven't heard of an official opening date for Potbelly
(though it's expected to be next week
), but a press release says that the hours will be 10 am - 7 pm seven days a week, along with delivery service Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. The store's general manager will be James Carpenter, who previously worked at their Union Station shop. Trivia fans will also note that this location at 301 Tingey (in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts
) will be the 45th Potbelly to open in the DC area.
Is a Deal on the Way for Empty First and M Lot?
Mar 4, 2012 6:51 PM
There is no official announcement of this, but after finding a detail buried deep in some public records that jibes with some whispering I heard a few weeks ago, I'm going to pass along the rumor
that a deal is in the works that would bring developer McCaffery Interests
to the empty Willco Companies
lot on Square 701 along 1st Street south of M, where Nats Parking Lot F currently operates.
The chatter I've heard says that McCaffery has the land under contract, but no transaction has shown up so far in online property records to confirm this. However, a number of just-issued permits for soil borings on the lot have McCaffery Interests listed as the "agent," though not the land owner. Perhaps due diligence before completing a deal, or....?
has been owned by a mixture of long-time DC development families for many years (some since 1948
!), and longtime observers may also remember it as the block where the old Normandie Liquors stood
along with a number of other small buildings until 2008. Willco has been marketing the site since 2006
as a 700,000-square-foot mixed use development that would have had an office building at M Street, a residential building at N Street, ground-floor retail, and underground parking.
is the developer behind the Market Common
residential/retail project in Clarendon, Georgetown Centre
, the renovation of Mazza Gallerie
, the big Potomac Yard redevelopment
across the river, and other local developments, but also has a number of big projects
in Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere. Its web site says the company's purpose is "to add value through the opportunistic acquisition and subsequent development or redevelopment of land or buildings in high quality urban locations," and that McCaffery's typical properties are characterized by "high pedestrian traffic; within or adjacent to vibrant shopping districts; proven residential and/or office appeal; access to public transportation; and proximity to cultural or sporting activities," all of which would certainly seem to describe a one-block-long empty lot directly north of Nationals Park
and right by the Navy Yard Metro station.
Any designs for the site would need to go through a zoning commission review because of its location in the Capitol Gateway Overlay
, and I've heard that there has been a recent meeting with at least one city agency, so *something* is afoot with this site. Whether the previous design concept of office/residential/retail is in play or something new is coming remains to be seen.
is one of the four "strips" of land directly north of the ballpark between M and N and 1st and South Capitol that have seen little movement since the stadium opened four years ago. Monument Realty's Half Street project
abuts it to the west across Cushing Street, with Akridge's Half Street project
to the west of that across Half, and then the final strip across Van along South Capitol that Monument owns most but not all of. Akridge has hinted
that they may begin work later this year on its side of Half Street, but there's no firm announcements from either developer.
If the chatter turns out to be accurate, it will be interesting to see what's in store....
100 M Office Building Up for Sale
Mar 2, 2012 10:48 AM
I'm hearing that 100 M Street
, the 220,000-square-foot office building on the northeast corner of 1st and M, is up for sale. This is the building that was completed in late 2008 by Opus East, then spent some time in limbo
during Opus's Chapter 7 liquidation. It was picked up in foreclosure for $57 million
in fall 2010 by Northwood Investors
I know little about this other than the fact it's on the market and being marketed by CBRE, so I don't know if this is a sale of just the building, like last time, given that the land is owned separately
Anticipating the next question, there's been no news lately of a deal to rent the corner retail space, despite rumors
last year that restaurant/brewery Gordon Biersch was interested.
Tidbits: K Street Closure; Potbelly Opening Date; Brewers Ball; More
Feb 29, 2012 11:14 AM
* The portion of K Street SE within the Canal Park
footprint will be closed through March 31 after workers found "major unmapped utilities" that have caused delays to the construction. Park head Chris Vanarsdale says that in order to meet spring planting requirements, it was necessary to close K now. (A little bit of hassle in exchange for purty plants this year, otherwise the planting would have had to wait until next year.) This means that to cross Canal Park drivers and pedestrians need to either use I Street or M Street.
* If you can't wait until the Nationals finish Spring Training to drink beer at the stadium, there's the 2012 Brewer's Ball
on March 13 at Nats Park
, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Guests can sample "a variety of handcrafted microbrews from more than a dozen of the region's best microbreweries and brewpubs, while also enjoying the cuisine of several popular restaurants." Individual tickets
are $115, and deadline to purchase is tomorrow, March 1.
Photos from All Over, Feb. 2012 Edition
Feb 27, 2012 11:34 AM
Take a gorgeous Sunday, add an obsessive-compulsive need to document all the change underway, and what do you get? Nearly eight miles of walking and a shameful number of new photos.
The Foundry Lofts
building is all but done, with only the retail spaces left to be built out, so I took a bunch of "after" photos that will probably last for a while. But that new Potbelly sign sure stands out! I also pressed my nose against the glass to peek inside the sandwich shop's space--it sure doesn't look far from opening.
Embarrassingly, I haven't had a camera in hand on the Navy Yard's portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk since 2004. (I'm always worried they're going to toss me in the brig as a security threat, especially after a run-in a few years back where I was chased down by both a gate sentry and the DC police after taking photos of the Hull Street gate from across M Street.) But I pushed forward yesterday and got a bunch of new shots that I've added to my Navy Yard page
, taking care to demonstrate to the many security cameras that I was photographing the river and not the installation. (Don't miss the especially cool before-and-after of the gate to the Yards Park.)
I will probably be creating a separate Riverwalk page before too long, but not today.
Then there's Canal Park
, where I mainly took some new photos of the pavilion under construction near M Street, since photos of digging and ground work don't quite rise to the level of "interesting." I also hit most of the angles for the Boilermaker Shops
, as well as for Capitol Quarter Phase II
, where the security guard expressed concern about my actions (I need a laminated Photography Approved card or something). And I wandered the 225 Virginia/200 I
11th Street Bridges
, 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I
, Boilermaker Shops/Yards
, Canal Park
, Capitol Quarter
, Foundry Lofts/Yards
, Navy Yard
, The Yards
Thursday Tidbits: Wagtime, Potbelly, Ballpark Taxis, More
Feb 22, 2012 10:33 PM
[Yeah, yeah, the title says Thursday but I messed up and pulled the trigger before midnight.]
For those not following my precious prose on Twitter
, some tidbits:
: "The D.C. Taxicab Commission will allow so-called 'shared riding' outside Nationals Park
to manage the chaotic jumble of pedestrians who leave in search of taxis and sometimes engage in what the agency calls 'aggressive behavior.' [...] The commission says shared riding, in which separate groups of passengers may get in the same taxicab if they are heading the same way, is needed to quell disorder and stop the use of unlicensed cabs from surrounding areas that are 'illegally pilfering' fares from the District's licensed drivers." There is already a taxi stand at Half and M; it sounds like the one the article mentions as where riders will need to queue up in order to get cabs.
* Forest City's Deborah Ratner Salzberg has been named co-chair
of Mayor Gray's new task force on affordable housing.
* The Coalition for Smarter Growth looked at 2010 census figures and determined that Near Southeast has one of the city's higher totals of households without a vehicle
, at somewhere between 53 and 67 percent.
Tidbits, Capper Edition: Trailers Leaving, New Curbs, More
Feb 22, 2012 8:05 PM
It's not often I have enough content for a location-specific tidbits post, but there's a few items of note from the Capper
neck of the woods worth passing along:
The trailers are scheduled to be hauled away sometime next week; I hear that the Housing Authority folks are looking into keeping the fence that CHDS put up and laying down some additional sod in order to create a small playing field for kids.
There's still no word on when the community center itself may get built, though DCHA is (still) working on getting the financing.
* If you've seen new granite curbs and gutters going in along 3rd, K, and L in front of Cornercopia and the "legacy" houses around which Capitol Quarter has been built, those are being installed by the Housing Authority as a small community benefit for those homeowners who have been surrounded by a whole lot of construction over the past few years. New brick sidewalks will be coming as well; new street lights are also a possibility, though that's not confirmed.
* Foundations are being poured for the townhouses along 3rd Street south of L that are part of the last block of Capitol Quarter construction. Didn't see framing underway when I rode by on Saturday, but perhaps that's started since?
* There's also apparently some kerfuffling these days within the CQ homeowners association, sparked by working on the community's response to the plans for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction
(the project that continues to put a smile on everyone's faces!). I mention it here because I wouldn't want to be accused of sweeping such important news under the rug, but I'd really prefer that my comments section not become a place for the battle to be litigated.
Ruben Companies Planning 400-Unit Apartment Building at Half & I
Feb 20, 2012 12:36 PM
Another large apartment building for Near Southeast appears to be on the boards, with word filtering my way that Ruben Companies
has begun working with Shalom Baranes Architects
on designs for a 400-unit rental building on Half Street between I and K.
With the working name of "20 K," this building would be on the eastern portion of Square 697N
, which Reuben picked up via foreclosure
when JPI gave up on its plans for "23 I" on the site. There would be retail along the entire Half Street frontage, and Ruben is apparently looking around for any "organic markets" that might be interested. (Cue stampede of "OMG! OMG! OMG!" in the comments, but don't get ahead of yourselves, since there's no indication that That Particular Organic Market is displaying any interest in the site.)
Ruben owns the rest of the block
as well, and envisions an eventual Phase II project along South Capitol Street (where the Exxon used to be) that could be residential, commercial, or a hotel, depending on what the market will bear.
No timeline at this point, so don't start packing up your things for a move just yet.
The up-tick in the development of mutlifamily residential properties in Near Southeast after a three-year lull during the Economic Difficulties is obvious: Forest City's 220-unit 1212 4th Street
is just underway at the Yards, William C. Smith's 430-unit Park Chelsea
is on the boards to get started later this year, Akridge is "hoping
" to move forward in 2012 with the 280-unit residential part of its Half Street project
, and Florida Rock's developers have replaced a planned office building with a 300-unit residential offering for the project
's first phase, which could get underway in 2013. (And it's worth noting, as mentioned in the comments, that every one of these is planned to be a rental building, not condos.)
And I wouldn't be surprised if there were more to come.