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You may have noticed that it's cold.
But I managed earlier this week to squeeze in an abbreviated trek to the construction sites where recent change is the most visible. And, I have to say, by the time folks arrive in the neighborhood for Opening Day, it's just going to be a vastly different place than it was at the end of last season, even if these buildings are still quite a few months from completion.
The first shot is of the 277-unit apartment building at 82 I Street (now called ORE 82, I believe), where masonry work is speeding right along, and making that stretch of I quite the Red Brick Row.
Next, we move a few blocks to south of M Street, where the combination F1rst apartment building/Residence Inn construction is about to put an end to the Hampton Inn Grain Silo effect, illustrated here with a heavily cropped shot taken from a block away, at New Jersey and M. I'm also including an up-close shot of the spot where the apartment building and hotel converge, because the renderings haven't been all that clear in showing that there is a break above the ground floor between the two:
Next, let's take a moment to highlight the fact that Donohoe's Insignia on M 324-unit apartment building is at last truly above ground and visible, nearly a year and a half after excavation started. Here's the project as seen looking south along New Jersey from L, and looking at its M Street frontage behind the Metro station canopy:
In the Wait, Where Did That Come From All of a Sudden? category, we have the Homewood Suites at Half and M, with nine of its eleven stories almost completed, while three blocks to its north, the as-yet-unnamed 383-unit apartment project at 909 Half Street is starting to display exactly how large of a building it will be.
Finally, on the northern end of things, I'll offer a rear view of Agora, seen from 2nd Street and offering clear evidence of how the parking for the Whole Foods will be on the two floors immediately above it. (This photo is also my choice because winter sun angle and shadows make it almost impossible to get a decent shot of the New Jersey Avenue side of the building right now.) And then to wrap things up, I'll give you one hole in the ground, at Skanska's 99 M office building.
I also managed to update the before-and-after "sliders" for these locations and a few others, if you are as big a fan of those doohickeys as I am.
That's all I've got, so you'll just have to conjure up visions of the latest progress at Dock 79, Arris, the Bixby, the Capper Community Center, and 1244 South Capitol. Or go take a walk around the neighborhood yourself--just be sure to bundle up.
 

While move-ins are probably still a good two months away, the folks at the Park Chelsea at 880 New Jersey Ave., SE, have now opened their ground-floor leasing center inside the building.
So of course I had to immediately scurry over to get some photos of both this space and the one-bedroom model units that are currently available.
If you have your heart set on a unit on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floors, pre-leasing has already begun, with the "release" of units expanding upwards in coming weeks.
This will actually be the leasing center for all three buildings on this block, officially known as "The Collective." Agora (aka the Whole Foods Building) is already under construction immediately to the north, and then the Garrett will come eventually along 2nd Street. All together there will be close to 1,200 units when build-out is finished.
Alas, despite my best attempts at looking sad, forlorn, depressed, despondent, crestfallen, and miserable, I didn't get to see the amenity spaces throughout the rest of the building, as work is still in progress. And two-bedroom models aren't available just yet, either.
Check out the full gallery, but here's a preview.
The official web site has floor plans, details on the amenities, and contact information.
 

The Washington Post's Tim Carman is reporting today that the owners of DGS Delicatessen are planning to open Whaley's, a "small raw bar and restaurant" in the final ground-floor space of the Lumber Shed at the Yards, facing the Anacostia River between Osteria Morini and Agua 301.
It will have a 40-seat dining room and a 20-seat bar, and "will offer shellfish towers, crudos and seafood dishes," but won't focus exclusively on Mid-Atlantic seafood--but "will serve only sustainable seafood, wherever it may be found."
The timeline sounds surprisingly fast--"this spring"--and there's already a placeholder web site at whaleysdc.com.
This is not the first seafood raw bar attempted in this space--it was announced in the summer of 2014 that the Navy Yard Oyster Company would be opening there, but by July 2015 that venture fell by the wayside.
In the WaPo article, Whaley's owner Nick Wiseman speaks of Crisfield's in Silver Spring and its "personal neighborhood feel" as a model for Whaley's--but also is "not naive" about the "seasonal nature" of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood:
"'It's a place that, in the summer, it's booming, and we have to be special enough that people want to come in the winter,' he says. 'We're trying to design a restaurant that can do that.'"
And, just as I hit the button to post this, I received the press release from Forest City confirming the lease. It adds that the name "honors the Revolutionary War hero Zedechiah Whaley, commander of the tiny Maryland Navy. History holds that Commander Whaley was a casualty during a storied Chesapeake Bay battle while single-handedly confronting a small squadron of British ships in an effort to protect the local watermen."
The Forest City press release also has these details on other Yards projects, for those itching to know:
* Arris is to "welcome its first residents in early March";
* Philz Coffee is still planning to open in Arris's northwest corner, on Tingey, "this spring";
* The Yards Park marina is also scheduled to open in spring 2016;
* The Showplace Icon movie theater construction is expected to start "later this year with completion anticipated for 2018."
* District Winery construction is expected to start this year, with opening expected in late 2017.
* The combo 191-unit Forest City apt bldg/138-unit PN Hoffman condo bldg at 4th and Tingey on "Parcel O" to start in 2016 as well, but doesn't say when.
 

The mayor's office is unveiling today its plan to close the homeless shelter at DC General and replace it with new shelters at locations across all eight wards of the city.
Despite rumors that the Ward 6 location might be the former GSA warehouse on the southeast corner of Half and L Street, SE, the announcement today lists the Ward 6 site as being at 700 Delaware Ave., SW.
Anticipating the next question, there's no news on any plans for 49 L at this time.
Comments (16)
More posts: 49l
 

I think a couple of before-and-afters tell the story as well as a pile of words. First, looking west from 2nd Street SE on Feb. 3, 2005, and then today, Feb. 8, 2016:
And the reverse view, looking east from New Jersey on Feb. 23, 2004 and today, Feb. 8, 2016:
And here's a few more shots, because I'm a crazy woman. Note that the sidewalks on the south and west sides of the Park Chelsea are now open, meaning that you can now walk on the east side of New Jersey north of I--at least until you get to the fences that mark the Agora/Whole Foods project, at which point you'd need to cross back to the west.
In case you haven't been around, it was the former DPW/trash transfer station, demolished in 2012, that long ago was built on a diagonal footprint, created from back when the Washington Canal was dug.
And now I at last will be able to photograph the intersections of 2nd and I and New Jersey and I without having to walk down to K and back up to I. And bike to Southwest without having to do the same down-and-back.
I would note, though, that pedestrians and cyclists need to be veeeeeery careful at this intersection--I saw a lot of confusion this morning, and of course the continuing construction right up to the property line at 82 I adds to the difficulties.
 

Recent zoning filings are giving interested observers (i.e., me, and most likely you) a watercolor'ed early rendering of the new Yards Park "pavilion" expected to be home to District Winery, a "boutique" winery/restaurant/event space on the southwest corner of 4th and Water Streets, SE.
As described in the filings, the winery "will produce premium small batch wines served on the premises and occasionally sold in bottles for patrons to consume elsewhere. Guests will be able to tour the winery, taste wines at the wine bar, have dinner at the restaurant and reserve the second floor venue for a private event, such as a wedding receptions, corporate event or private function." It will have a capacity of 750 persons, with 450 seats.
The filing goes on to say that the winery, the "first of its kind" in DC, is expected to open in the fall of 2017.
The drawing above is the view as seen from the Yards Park, on the southwest side of the building (so, as if you are walking east from Osteria Morini). Here are slightly less impressionistic but still early drawings of the elevations from all four sides (click to enlarge):
There will eventually be a third pavilion positioned between the winery and the Lumber Shed--the filing says that Forest City is "working on securing a retail tenant(s)" and that it will "most likely be a restaurant."
The zoning hearing for the winery is scheduled for February 18. This plan was supported by ANC 6D in a 7-0-0 vote on Jan. 11, "contingent upon the execution of a mutually agreed construction management plan."
 

If you are wandering by Canal Park tonight (Saturday) and see the lights on in the former Park Tavern space, it's a soft opening for Il Parco, the new Neapolitan-style pizza/Italian restaurant.
The doors are opening around 5:30 pm, with a limited menu being served for just a few hours (or until the pizza dough runs out).
A passerby last night snuck a peek at the newly installed pizza oven, which apparently weighs 7,000 lbs.
Further details on additional "soft" hours, and when the "real" opening will be, etc., to come. (I don't have my own shot of the real sign yet, but here's one.)
 

With a Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing coming soon (as now advertised), the developers planning a residential project on the site where McDonald's currently provides (among other items) tubs of Diet Coke to addicted bloggers have submitted some revisions to the design first seen back in October. The original version is on the left, the new submission on the right:
While there is no change to the overall "program"--a first-phase apartment building with about 380 units and around 2,700 square feet of retail, plus a second phase with either another 170ish apartments, or condos, or maybe even a hotel--there have been some "enhancements and modifications" in response to comments from ANC 6D at its December meeting, including revising the facade facing South Capitol Street and adding glass balconies to the southwest and northwest corners of the building.
They've also revised the rendering of the entranceway (original here, new one seen below). I'm also including the floor plan of the ground floor to show where the "phases" will be, as well as how the interior driveway/courtyard is laid out.
The BZA hearing is February 9.
Comments (13)
More posts: 2i, Development News
 

I am briefly emerging from the JDLand Weather Monitoring Bunker to pass along these items--feel free to talk all things snow (or anything else) in the comments. (The photo is from Feb. 2010, between the two big snow storms, just one of many I took that day. And no, I'm not going to call it #snowmageddon.)
* IL PARCO: A reader reports this morning that a sign is being hoisted on the Park Tavern building at Canal Park for "Il Parco," with a pizza slice-type icon. I haven't heard anything about how close it is to opening, but the sign should be a good, um, sign. (I expect to have a photo as soon as the official JDLand stringer gets moving.)
UPDATE: And now the stringer has come through!
* WEEKEND HOURS: According to Twitter, Scarlet Oak will be open all weekend, while TaKorean will be open today (Friday) from 11 to 2 and then closed Saturday. Osteria Morini is closing tonight at 8 pm, then will be closed Saturday but is expecting to reopen on Sunday. The Big Stick is closing its kitchen at 5 pm tonight until Monday, but expects the bar to operate on normal hours. Justin's will be offering an "extremely limited menu" from tonight at 5 pm through Sunday. Ice Cream Jubilee is closed today and Saturday but expects to be open on Sunday. I will update if other restaurants announce hours.
UPDATES: Bluejacket is "currently open with a limited menu". Due South is open all weekend (see down in the comments for the list of their Snow Daze Drink Specials). Aura Spa is closed for the weekend.
ANOTHER: Nando's is closing all its DC locations at 8 pm tonight, reopening Sunday at noon.
MORE: Everyone will be crushed to hear that the Virginia Avenue Tunnel demolition will be on hold until Monday morning at 5:30 am. Weekend work will be limited to snow removal and "maintenance of traffic controls."
AND: Agua 301 is open tonight, with happy hour drink specials from 3:30 to close. Hugh & Crye is closed until Monday morning.
* BRIDGE PARK DEEP DIVE: WaPo's Jonathan O'Connell takes a long look at the 11th Street Bridge Park and what it might mean for neighborhoods east of the river should it ever be built.
* BILLY JOEL: The Piano Man is going to be "the first artist ever to play Nationals Park three times," with this week's news of a show scheduled for Saturday, July 30.
* RESIDENT SNOW INFO: ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett has this lineup of tidbits about city storm preparations and items residents need to know. And snow.dc.gov is another good resource.
SATURDAY UPDATE: Keep an eye on my Twitter account for retweets of openings and closings. So far, Bluejacket and TaKorean have said they are closed today, while Willie's and Due South are open. I'll keep updating when I can tear my eyes away from my window.
SUNDAY UPDATE:
Bluejacket is open at 1:30, and Morini is open at 2 pm, both with limited menus.
Agua 301 is opening at 3pm.
Due South and Scarlet Oak are open.
Justin's and the Big Stick are open for libations, but the kitchens are closed.
Ice Yards has been moved to Jan. 30.
TaKorean and Ice Cream Jubilee are closed.
The Canal Park Ice Rink is closed, too.
 

The Capitol Riverfront BID held its annual meeting on Thursday, and while I wasn't there (don't ask), both the Annual Report and the presentation slides are now available for your perusal.
It won't shock anyone who passes by here with any regularity, but the main topic was the neighborhood's current building frenzy, described as "the largest development boom in its history" (ahem), one that is expected to last at least through 2018 and that was responsible for 32 percent of all apartment construction starts in DC in 2015.
The neighborhood's population is up to an estimated 4,800 residents, with that number expected to rise above 9,000 in the next three years, thanks in large part to the nine residential projects currently under construction and at least another seven (and probably more) in the near-time pipeline.
There don't appear to have been any announcements of new retail or anything, though I do see confirmation of the rumors I've heard that 82 I Street is going to be named ORE 82.
One thing that hasn't been important up to now but will be going forward is that the Capitol Riverfront boundaries and the JDLand Coverage Area are not a 100 percent match, because the BID includes Buzzard Point and hence the coming development thanks to DC United's stadium.
Read both the slides and the report for more details, and then just keep coming back here to read about it all As It Happens.
Comments (26)
 
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