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The dinosaur is gone, the bat is gone, the soulless brown-bricks-instead-of-windows are gone, and all that's left is just a few final smidgens of what was once Building 213.
The aforementioned smidgens:
And, in other news worth noting, TaKorean at Twelve12 has its sign up and doesn't look too far from opening, and the first hints of vertical construction have peeked out above the fence at the Hampton Inn site at 1st and N. (That's how fast things can go when you're not digging out three levels of underground parking.)
Comments (0)
 

In case you don't have these marked on your calendar, don't forget that there are two concerts at Nats Park this weekend: Jason Aldean (and Tyler Farr and "Florida Georgia Line") on Friday night and Billy Joel (and Gavin DeGraw) on Saturday night. Both shows have 8 pm start times.
The Fairgrounds will be open on both days, even if you aren't going to the concerts and you're just desperate to drink beer and play corn hole in a public setting.
If you want free music, on Friday there's the Yards Park concert series of course, with Jah Works providing the entertainment this week.
In other events news, readers have reported recent activity around the *other* little red building in the neighborhood, the one behind USDOT on the northwest corner of 3rd and Tingey, with what appeared to be automotive representatives on hand most of Wednesday. I'm not sure what is brewing, but a building permit was issued earlier this month for "ONE DAY SPECIAL EVENT FOR BMW SHOW." Anyone have the scoop? (UPDATE: Sounds like a private event.)
 

Despite it being four weeks after the fact, JDLand's strict operating requirements still dictate that I document the new exit ramp to 11th Street SE from eastbound I-695.
With thanks to Mr. JDLand for chauffeuring, here's what it's like to venture along this new route, if you haven't done it. (And sure, I could have Vined it, or YouTubed it, or whatever, but what fun would that be?)
The view driving east on the Southeast Freeway (which is now I-695, if you haven't gotten the memo). If you always get off at or before the 6th Street SE exit, this may be an unfamiliar vista to you. The left lanes head toward the outbound 11th Street Bridges, while the right two lanes are the new movement that didn't exist before this whole project got underway. (And is that hidden part of the 11th Street sign maybe an eventual pointer to Southeast Blvd.?)
Behold, the new ramp! You also get to see the two new flyovers at left that have been built as part of this project, which has been underway since 2009. Sneaking up in between is the new on-ramp from 8th Street SE, which opened not long ago. At right is Virginia Avenue Park. Note also the sign pointing toward Anacostia Park--this would take you down 11th to the new local bridge and to the park that-a-way.
And now you come to the intersection at 11th. Turning left takes you north toward Pennsylvania Avenue and Lincoln Park, while turning right takes you to M Street, the Navy Yard, and the local bridge. Note the blocked-off third lane that is striped for left turns as well--I assume there will come a time when the middle lane will be for traffic continuing straight on Southeast Blvd.
Wrapping up our little journey, here's a quick look backward at the road just traveled.
Need a reminder of what this spot used to look like? Remember the phrase "sunken freeway"? Here's a reminder, from street level and from above.

And, because I am a complete nutcase (which we already knew), here is a bunch of photos--strung together as a slideshow--that I took just as the 11th Street Bridges project was getting underway in early 2010, showing what it used to be like to drive across the Anacostia on that route. Apologies for the dirty windshield.
(I know, my archive just gets more and more alarming.)
 

The empty lot on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I with the address of 82 I Street is the latest entrant in the latest wave of residential news in Near Southeast, as public records show the 20,000-square-foot site has been sold for what the deed says is $12.25 million.
The Washington Business Journal reports that the lot was purchased by Greystar with plans for a 234-unit apartment building, with what they say is an October 2014 start date, though they'd better start filing building permit applications soon to meet that date.
WBJ also has a rendering of the building, designed by R2L and echoing its neighbors, the 70/100 I buildings and 909 New Jersey,
If it does start this year, it joins a number of other residential projects underway, including its neighbors-to-be across the street the Park Chelsea and 800 New Jersey, along with River Parc one block to the south, Arris at the Yards, the Lofts at CQ at 7th and L, and (presumably) 1111 New Jersey down the block (with Twelve12 now considered substantially completed, as move-ins have begun).
I do wonder if at some point we'll hear the story of the deeds exchanged between the previous site owners and CSX earlier this year for small plots of land, in what appears to be the wake of a lawsuit filed by CSX.
(And I'm irked because I had been hearing rumors of this for weeks, and had been checking public records religiously looking for confirmation. Then as soon as I leave town, boom.)
 

I mentioned this the other day in reporting on the new oyster bar coming to the Lumber Shed next year, but in case people didn't read to the end of that post (gasp!), I'll pass along that the 327-unit apartment building under construction at 4th and Tingey in the Yards finally has a name: Arris. And a new web site, though there isn't much there as of now.
The project is now beginning its vertical construction, and is expected to be completed in late 2015. It will also have 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
The above rendering is the angle from 4th and Water, looking to the northwest. The shorter side of the building is the one that will face the Foundry Lofts, with the taller half facing 4th. Additional renderings are on my now-Arris project page.
 

The second public meeting about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Final Environmental Impact Statement has now been scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday, July 31, at the Capitol Skyline hotel at South Capitol and I streets, SW.
The release from the tunnel folks says that this meeting "will include a presentation responsive to input by citizens from the public meeting held on July 1, 2014 with a question and answer period focused on the July 1 input."
This is the additional meeting sought by DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, along with the extension of the comment period from 30 to 60 days.
The official web site has the presentation and boards from the July 1 meeting.
I already posted the video animation released to show how the construction would go, and now I see this additional video showing the completed east and west portals (entrances) to the tunnel, along with how Virginia Avenue is expected to look after construction is finished.
 

Today Forest City Washington is announcing another restaurant for the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park--the Navy Yard Oyster Company, a "wine-centric oyster bar," will be coming to the south side of the building, between Osteria Morini and Agua 301, with a target opening date of Spring 2015.
The venture is from August Paro and Elias Hengst, founders of Beuchert's Saloon and Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar on Capitol Hill.
The menu will feature oysters from Rappahannock and the Chesapeake Bay, along with other well-known oysteries. There will also be an "extensive by-the-glass wine list," and classic cocktails "featuring selections from the burgeoning local distiller movement." Ditto the beer menu. There will be lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch service.
The restaurant will occupy 1,887 square feet on the ground floor, but its two-story ceiling will be the exposed trusses of the Shed's roof. The announcement describes the expected ambiance as "low key, laid back elegance," but is also inspired by the building's ties to the Navy, the city, and the river.
The ownership group, in addition to Paro and Hengst, has members who have been involved in various ways in other local restaurants such as Tryst, The Diner, Mendocino Grill, and the upcoming Stanton.
There is now only one remaining restaurant unit available in the Shed, on the northwest corner, which may or may not have something in the works.
(Also snuck into the oyster bar announcement is the news that the Parcel N apartment building is going to be called Arris. Plus it gives "early August" as an expected opening date for TaKorean.)
 

Some photos from Saturday, taken before I melted into a puddle. (Anything over 80 degrees is kryptonite to me.) Click to enlarge and view as a photo gallery, if you're on a desktop machine, that is.
At Twelve12, where the first residents have begun moving in and Sweetgreen is now open, TaKorean looks to be making progress toward its own launch:
Up above TaKorean, VIDA Fitness's signs have gone up, with an opening looming probably in August.
(And, no photos, but 100 Montaditos at the Boilermaker Shops appears to finally have its building permit.)
Over at 1st and L, fence signage has sprouted for the River Parc apartment building (announcing a web site at, you guessed it, riverparc.com, though there's nothing pertinent there just yet). Plus the leasing trailer is now landscaped and outside the Akridge fence.
In grocery store news, I haven't yet posted photos of the fun artwork hanging on the historic brick wall outside of Harris Teeter's space at 4th and M (below left). And below right, the Whole Foods/800 New Jersey hole in the ground is indeed being dug. (Never say I withhold important information.) Teeter is expected to open this fall, while Whole Foods is not going to be seen before 2017.
But of course, the showiest action in the neighborhood continues to be the long (LONG) farewell to Spooky Building 213, which is starting to edge into How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away? territory. But the very south end of the structure began its march into the sunset this weekend, which means that, yes, the bat is about to vanish.
Finally, given the vagaries of both Mother Nature and the summer calendar, it's possible I might not get too many more shots of St. Matthew's church at New Jersey and L, with its raze permit now approved and demolition expected to get underway in the next couple of weeks to make way for 1111 New Jersey. So, maybe a final before-and-after, comparing the view eight years apart:
 

After a soft-opening on Friday, scoop shop Ice Cream Jubilee officially opened for business this morning in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, and it didn't take long for the masses to line up, thanks to the blistering weather.
My normal edict to only use my own photos is relaxed a bit with this image that Mr. JDLand provided of his scoops from a visit on Friday afternoon--banana bourbon caramel, blueberry pie, and Thai iced tea.
The store's summertime hours will be 10 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 8 pm on Sundays.
If you wish to officially proclaim your favorite flavors, the comments are open for your use.
 

There's been enough traffic on Twitter and in my inbox to make mention of the subtle changes in recent days and weeks on the northwest corner of New Jersey and K, where the empty retail space in the 909 New Jersey apartment building has sat since 2009.
The For Lease signs that have been in the windows have come down, and there's fresh landscaping around the terrace in front of the space.
ANC Commissioner David Garber has been saying that something should be announced soon, but as of now, the powers that be are tight-lipped. Rumors aren't hard to find, though, with one report of an "American bistro" coming.
I don't have anything to hint toward myself, but will definitely be ready to post the second I hear something. (Which, who knows, might be as soon as this post goes up, if someone wants to whisper.)
Comments (3)
More posts: 909 New Jersey, Retail
 

Today's batch of approved building permits includes a raze permit for St. Matthew's Church at 1105 New Jersey Ave.
It closed a few months ago, and was bought earlier this year by Donohoe, and will be torn down so that its footprint can be part of the new 1111 New Jersey Avenue residential building expected to get underway soon. (It's this project that is the reason for the scaffolding around the east entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station.)
The project's shoring/sheeting/excavation permit was also issued last week, so the bureaucratic wheels are definitely turning.
(I will eventually start calling it the Gallery at Capitol Riverfront, but give me a little while on that.)
LATE-DAY UPDATE: Look for the razing of the church to begin in the next couple of weeks.
Also, after getting enough questions about it, I'll post confirmation that Ann's Beauty and Wigs is not part of the 1111 footprint, and so will continue to provide for the neighborhood's cosmetic needs.
 

From the Washington Post's piece on the extension of the comment period on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Final EIS, a video provided by DDOT and FHWA showing the expected progression for the tunnel's construction.
I am miffed, however, that the animation doesn't include a red-headed photographer sticking a camera over the fences.
 

With summer heat beginning to approach red alert stage, residents and visitors will be thrilled to learn that Ice Cream Jubilee is scheduled to open its "scoop shop" on Saturday, July 12, on the northeast corner of the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park.
The store's summertime hours will be 10 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 8 pm on Sundays.
The initial menu will include at least 12 ice cream and sorbet flavors, along with Zeke's coffee (drip and iced). Sundaes and other treats are expected to follow in the coming months.
Victoria Lai, Jubilee's founder, began making and selling ice cream three years ago while still working her day job at the Department of Homeland Security, and in 2013 her creations won the People's Choice Award for Best Ice Cream at the 2013 DC Scoop competition. This is the company's first shop.
Jubilee is the third eatery to open at the Lumber Shed, joining Osteria Morini and Agua 301.
See the shop's web site for more details on flavors and whatnot.
UPDATE: Here's the Post's Going Out Guide on Jubilee and some other new ice cream arrivals.
 

Interested in serving on your Advisory Neighborhood Commission? The process for November's election begins today, with nominating petitions now available. Potential candidates have until Aug. 6 to get the signatures of at least 25 registered voters in the Single Member District they wish to represent.
And with the launch of the season came the shocking tweet this morning that ANC 6D07's current representative, David Garber, will not be running for re-election. That means there's an opening for the seat that represents almost all of Near Southeast, as you can see on this map. It doesn't cover the corridor from Nationals Park up to I Street, but covers Florida Rock, the Yards, 70/100 I, Capitol Quarter, and the Navy Yard.
There is also SMD 6D02, which straddles South Capitol Street in both Southeast and Southwest, and is currently represented by Stacy Cloyd (who filled the seat after Ed Kaminski resigned). UPDATE: Stacy has confirmed to me that she will be running in this election.
For sticklers, SMD 6B04 also has a notch south of the freeway, from 7th Street to 11th Street north of M. Kirsten Oldenburg is the current representative.
And if you're embarrassed to admit that you don't actually know what ANCs do, here's part of how the official web site describes it: "The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and trash collection, and the District's annual budget."
If you're planning on running and feel like announcing it here, feel free to do so in the comments.
Comments (3)
More posts: ANC News, politics
 

The nascent Navy Yard Neighborhood Association has put together a "Neighborhood History" event scheduled for this Saturday, July 5, from 1 to 5 pm at 200 I Street, SE.
It will kick off with a showing of the 2007 documentary Chocolate City, which tells the stories of families displaced when the plans went forward a decade ago to replace the old Capper/Carrollsburg housing project with the mixed-income Capitol Quarter townhouse development.
Afterward, there will be oral histories from some of the neighborhood's former and returning residents, along with some panel discussions.
There will also be activities for the kids and refreshments.
No RSVP necessary, but there's a Facebook event page for more information and to indicate if you're going, should you choose.
Comments (1)
More posts: Capper, Events
 

City Paper's Aaron Wiener has a piece out looking at how office buildings are turning out to be a smaller part of the Capitol Riverfront development pie than had originally been envisioned.
Some numbers from the article: "As of last year, according to the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, 50 percent of the eventual office development in the neighborhood was built out. By 2017, the BID projects, that figure will be 51 percent—an increase of just one percentage point over four years. In the same time period, the BID forecasts, residential development will have jumped from 24 percent to 47 percent, hotel development from 16 percent to 58 percent, and retail development from 22 percent to 50 percent."
The neighborhood cut its teeth in the late 90s and early 00s on office projects along M Street, so much so that officials such as Eleanor Holmes Norton warned of ending up with a "concrete canyon" that would be empty at night and on weekends. By the time Capitol Hill Tower opened in 2006 as the first new residential building in the neighborhood, seven office buildings had already gone up or were under construction. Since then, four more office projects have been completed, compared to 10 new multi-unit residential buildings (plus five more currently underway).
Wiener pegs his story on the transition of Donohoe's 1111 New Jersey project from a 190,000-square-foot office building (seen above in its original incarnation) to now a 394-unit apartment building that is expected to get underway in the coming months. However, long-time observers can point to multiple other projects where offices were the original plan. Let's go to the roll call:
* Yards Parcel D: You know that Harris Teeter at 4th and M you are tapping your toes for? Originally it was going to be in the ground floor of a 320,000-square-foot office building, paired with a 170ish-unit residential building at 4th and Tingey, when plans were first unveiled in 2007. It was in 2010 that developer Forest City then announced that the entire block would be residential and retail.
* Florida Rock Phase 1: When I started following the neighborhood lo these many years ago (i.e., 2003), the project known as Florida Rock was already well into its decade-long trip through zoning, with the eastern-most building on the site planned to be a 275,000ish-square-foot office building. But after stalling out around 2008, the first phase was recast in 2011 as a 350-unit apartment building that could be getting underway Any Minute Now.
* 50 M: This never got all that far, but after Monument Realty snagged the old Sunoco site at 50 M Street in 2007, the developer did market a 135,000-square-foot office building at the site. Now, after the land was sold in 2013, it's the location of the planned Homewood Suites hotel. (Interestingly, though, my initial posts about the sale of the property in 2006 mentioned rumors of a hotel.)
I don't have any renderings, but over on Square 737, home of the Park Chelsea and the spot where the Whole Foods will be, WC Smith had plans for that block to be home to both 600,000 square feet of office space and and 600 units of residential (though the company wanted a grocery store there ever since it acquired the land in 1999). By 2011, the plans had gone to nearly 1,200 residential units and no office space.
And original plans for the Yards had plans for office buildings on the H and I parcels (on the south side of N just east of 1st, where the big parking lot is), but now it's looking like there will be residential buildings on that site, possibly even within the next few years.
There's plenty of office developments still on the boards for the neighborhood--but while a few will no doubt eventually get started, will others eventually turn into apartments, or hotels, or gather dust for years to come? Or with so many residential projects underway/about to be, is there a housing bubble in the neighborhood that may take a few years to be worked through? We shall see. Time will tell. No one knows for sure. Reply hazy, ask again later.
UPDATE: Dang it, I forgot one! There's the huge project being considered down at 1333 M Street, which was announced in 2010 as an 815,000-square-foot office/hotel/retail project, but is now all residential (673 units) and retail.
Comments (1)
More posts: Development News
 

The DC police department reports that on Wednesday afternoon at approximately 4 pm its officers responded to a report of an armed carjacking. Then, as described on the MPD-1D mailing list, "During a canvass in the area, the suspect was apprehended in the 1000 Block of M St., S.E. after he was involved in a traffic accident. The suspect was positively identified and placed under arrest for Armed Carjacking and Carrying a Pistol." The eastern blocks of M between 9th and 11th were closed for a few hours during the investigation.
Did anybody see any of this transpire?
UPDATE, 7/3: This morning's daily crime report on the 1D mailing list seems to say that the carjacking actually happened in front of the Jefferson/Axiom buildings at 70/100 I St. SE. I've written asking for confirmation as to whether this is indeed the same case. I'll post the differing police reports in the comments.
Comments (1)
More posts: crime, M Street
 

With its Capitol Gateway Overlay Review hearing now less than two weeks away, the developers of the Homewood Suites hotel planned at 50 M Street SE have submitted to the Zoning Commission new drawings of the building. Click to embiggen.
The angles are from Half Street (left) and Cushing Street (right). The site is directly across M from the west entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station.
The building is planned to be an 11-story, 140,000-sq-ft structure with one level of underground parking with a requested 40 vehicle parking spaces instead of the mandated 53, and 12 spaces for bicycles. I wrote more about the plans a few weeks back, or you can check out the project page for more details and photos of the current location.
 

A gentle reminder that the public meeting to discuss the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel is tonight (July 1) at 6:30 pm at the Capitol Skyline Hotel at South Capitol and I Streets, SW.
It will no doubt be your garden variety public meeting--residents filling the seats and asking pointed questions, public officials carefully making well-vetted statements, consultants scurrying around the perimeter consulting, and opponents protesting out front beforehand.
UPDATE: Before the meeting even gets off the ground, DC Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has announced that USDOT has agreed to extend the comment period from 30 to 60 days (though she had asked for 90) and to hold a second public meeting before the end of the review period.
 

First off, you may have noticed that Saturday was a lovely day. The neighborhood's waterfront was most definitely in use:
Not far away, at the Yards' Parcel N, concrete has appeared in the large hole in the ground (left), meaning that the digging down is almost over, and the rising up should start before too long (its tower crane permit application was approved not too long ago). And in a totally different illustration of progress (right), the sales-trailer-to-be for the River Parc apartment project appears to now be in its proper place.
(I wanted to get a photograph of the outdoor patio signage at the soon-to-arrive Ice Cream Jubilee at the Lumber Shed, but the hordes standing in line on Saturday to get into the Jazz Fest completely blocked the view.)
I recorded the current state of the Florida Rock site across from the ballpark {insert Logan's Run reference here}, because the developers have now filed applications for both sheeting and building permits for the site's first-phase apartment building. This doesn't necessarily mean the project is close to getting started, but it deprives me of my snarky "they haven't even applied for their permits yet" response whenever someone mentions that it might get underway soon.
Finally, I present to you official evidence of the new 11th Street SE exit from the freeway, which I'm doing mainly as a mea culpa for not having gotten over there to photograph the ramp and environs, and to hopefully shame myself into action.
I also deserve additional shaming, or at least parallel shaming, for not yet documenting that the Southeast Freeway signage I have griped about for years has been fixed.
 
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