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Joule
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The Garrett
Capper/Square 769N
2 I Street
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1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Square 696
SC1100
Completed
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
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Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
 
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CSX has announced (now posted on the official web site) that the two-year closure of the remaining eastbound lane of Virginia Ave. east of 6th will begin after the morning rush hour tomorrow, Sept. 22. Because I'm a little pressed for time, I'm just bringing this post that I wrote back in August on the change to the top of the pile.
Original post from Aug. 22:
The biggest disruption to traffic flow so far* near the Southeast Freeway in connection with the Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion is now on the horizon, with CSX's announcement on Friday that it expects to close the one remaining open eastbound portion of Virginia Avenue, between 6th and 8th Streets, SE, sometime in mid-September.
This closure is anticipated to last until the completion of the tunnel project in mid-2018.
During this closure, the stretch of Virginia between 6th and 8th on the north side of the freeway that is currently one-way westbound will become two-way traffic, as shown in my alarmingly nifty graphic below. Traffic coming off the 6th Street exit ramp will all turn left to go under the freeway and then have the option to turn right on Virginia to continue eastbound, or to turn westbound or to continue northward.
The streets that cross Virginia will remain open during this time, so north/south traffic will continue to move in its current configurations on 3rd, 7th, and 8th Streets, with 4th remaining a southbound-only crossing and 5th/6th a northbound crossing.
(It is expected that the 5th Street intersection that has been closed for the past few weeks to install the temporary decking will reopen this week, allowing traffic to once again come north on 5th from K and cross under the freeway.)
If you don't trust JDLand's high quality graphics, here's the announcement from CSX and its own map of the new traffic flows.
The most recent "Coffee with Chuck" meeting to update interested parties was on Aug. 17, and the presentation slides are here. The next Coffee with Chuck will be on Sept. 21, followed by the quarterly Open House on Oct. 20.
* At some point there will be the most disruptive closure of all, when the freeway exit ramp is closed temporarily for some few weeks to be reconfigured to allow the tunnel construction to expand northward under the current ramp footprint. But that ramp closure is not part of this change in September. BIG UPDATE: Or not! CSX has contacted me to say that while they will "have to temporarily narrow the [6th Street exit] ramp late this year or early next," they "expect that at least one lane of the ramp will remain open at all times."
 

First, two photos of now-open Chix, to correct yesterday's out-of-date image:
Residential tidbits:
* 1244 TO 1221: The JBG apartment project going up across N Street from Nats Park, known up to now as 1244 South Capitol, has been rechristened as 1221 Van Street (the little street on the building's east side, in case you think someone just made it up). There's now a web site to boot, announcing that leasing will begin in the summer of 2017, which is probably about when the building will be finished.
* NEW JERSEY SIDEWALKS: At some point in the recent past (I'm only just now seeing it), WC Smith built and opened the sidewalk along New Jersey in front of Agora, meaning that you can now walk not-in-the-street-or-behind-a-barrier from I Street all the way to the freeway on the east side of the street. Meanwhile, on the west side of New Jersey, the ORE82 sidewalk is looking close to being finished.
* ORE82 LEASING: Speaking of ORE82 (or ORE 82 or Ore82 or Ore 82 or 82 I or 801 New Jersey), it's now leasing, and even offering building tours. That official web site is here.
* JOULE: The 440-unit apartment building slated to be built upon the Half Street Hole just north of Nats Park is going to be called Joule, which I think I've mentioned before but shockingly people don't always remember every word I've written, so why not mention it again? That official web site is here, with the spiffy marketing brochure for the up-to-70,000-square-feet-of-retail here. Mention is made of a first phase delivering by summer 2018.
Non-residential tidbits:
* DC WATER HQ: The first permit for construction of the new DC Water headquarters on the banks of the Anacostia has been approved, for exvacation and site work.
* 250 M STILL WAITING: WC Smith, developers of the long-planned office building at 250 M Street, have filed with the Zoning Commission a request for another two-year extension to the building's approved PUD, noting that "most of the same factors and circumstances still exist in the Capitol Riverfront office submarket today" that were cited to receive extensions in 2010, 2012, and 2014, namely the tightness of the leasing market and the requirement that the building be 70 percent pre-leased in order to secure construction funding. (This is the building that would front M Street on the south end of the same block where DCHA is expecting to start soon on its next apartment building.) WC Smith appears to remain committed to this being an office building, citing the abundance of residential buildings and the need for the neighborhood to be a "truly mixed-use community."
 

After a few days of "soft" openness, Latin-flavored "green eatery" Chix is now open at 1210 Half St., SE, just south of the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station and next door to Buffalo Wild Wings, in the block north of Nats Park, in the ground floor of 55 M Street.
I have been out of town, and so apologies for the pre-opening photo accompanying this post, but you can check out Chix's Facebook page (or this photo from JDLand reader @JRogers202) to make up for my failure. (And I hope to make up for it myself before too long.)
Here's the menu for your perusal. Hours have not yet been posted, but I have asked and will update this post whence they arrive. UPDATE: Per this tweet, hours are 11 am to 9 pm daily.
This is now the third restaurant right near the corner of Half and M SE, joining The Big Stick and the aforementioned BWW. The offering expected to arrive next at that central location is Shake Shack, which is targeting a spring 2017 opening in the ground floor of the Homewood Suites on the northeast corner of the intersection.
If you want to catch up with all of the nearby restaurant offerings (like Tom Boswell told you to!), the JDLand Food Map is at your service.
UPDATE, 24 HOURS LATER: For the historical record.
 

Tom Boswell, sports columnist for the Washington Post, took a walk around the 'Hood back before Opening Day. So?
"I came back stunned. Washington has won. And it has won big."
His column for Thursday's print edition is a love letter to what the area around Nats Park has become in the eight-plus years since the ballpark opened.
"Economically, aesthetically and in quality of city life, the transformation of Southeast, which moved at a crawl during the Great Recession and often slipped from the public consciousness, has fulfilled and in some ways surpassed expectations. In fact, I'm probably a couple of years late to the party.
"But unless you live within walking or bicycling distance of Nationals Park, even if you go to Nationals games, there's an excellent chance that, like me, most of the success story is still a mystery to you."
I could keep quoting, but just give it a read, and tell me what you think.
And thanks for the shout-out, Tom! (Plus, everyone please know that "ridiculous" quote was said with love, of course.)
(If you're visiting JDLand as a result of reading Tom's column, and are somewhat bewildered at what you are seeing, might I suggest wandering through my favorite before-and-after shots, or my "sliders" comparing old and new images, or my map of what's happened and what's to come in this neck of the woods. Or find out what the deal is with this site, anyway.)
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With the Bixby now apparently targeting late fall for move-in dates*, it's time to look toward the next project in the Hope VI redevelopment of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing projects, and that's the 171-unit mixed-income apartment building planned for the north end of the block bounded by 2nd Place, 3rd, L, and M Streets, SE.
There had been chatter that the project (it's the one on the left side of the rendering) would get underway this summer, but alas, delays with permits and financing have pushed that date enough along the calendar that the DC Housing Authority had to file a request with the Zoning Commission for a six-month extension past what was already a two-year extension.
"Although financing has been secured for the project," the agency's letter to the ZC says, "the final building permit authorizing construction has not been issued yet, which is a condition to closing." There are also delays associated with the more wide-ranging reviews and coordination apparently inherent in being the first building to implement the shared stormwater management system that was designed as part of Canal Park.
The Zoning Commission granted the extension with almost no discussion on Monday night, probably at about the same time that ANC 6D was voting 6-0-0 to support the request. This means that Feb. 14, 2017 is now the date by which construction is required to begin.
The as-yet-unnamed building, which is currently referred to as the "Square 769N Residential project," will share the block with what is currently slated to be an office building by WC Smith. It will have 34 affordable units and about 4,000 square feet of retail that would face Canal Park and Il Parco.
This would be the fourth multi-unit building to be built as part of the Capper redevelopment, and I'll note that it is not the "Square 767" development that has had residents expressing concerns over a two-building (one condo, one affordable only) configuration. (There should be some zoning filings on that one coming Any Minute Now.)
If you are trying to envision exactly where Square 769N is, perhaps a graphic and/or sort-of-current-ish photo would be of some assistance.
* As apparently told to ANC 6D at Monday night's meeting, though I was not there to hear it with my own ears.
 

While this isn't technically a "first look" (thanks to the sign that popped up a few weeks ago), we can now get a close look at two renderings of the Garrett, the third and final apartment building at WC Smith's "Collective." It will join siblings Agora and the Park Chelsea on the block known as Square 737, and will be positioned along 2nd Street between H and I.
The renderings show the building's frontage along 2nd Street (across from the old Post Plant/200 I), first looking north from I Street (see the Park Chelsea at far left and the freeway at far right to help orient yourself) and then the reverse view south down I from H, where the edge of Agora is in the frame at far right. The design gives 2nd Street the look of three different buildings, but it will all be one.
(If you're having a hard time with the location, perhaps this photo of the current view of the Garrett's footprint, a similar angle to the first rendering, will help. It also shows how Agora does not extend all the way to 2nd Street, but that the Garrett does become slimmer on its north end.)
The Garrett will have 375 units, and will also have over 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail (perhaps taking advantage of the proximity to Canal Park and to the 200 I Street government office building). It will also have 5,000 square feet of shared work space, a 9,500-square-foot rooftop fitness club, and even basketball, outdoor tennis, and racquetball courts.
Plus, it will have access to all of the other amenities in both the Park Chelsea and Agora as part of the Collective's sharing configuration (not to mention being steps away from the Whole Foods that will be in the ground floor of Agora).
When the Garrett's construction marks the completion of The Collective, there will be more than 1,100 residential units on this block bounded by 2nd, H, I, and New Jersey. A little different than this:
 

Tidbits from a Saturday morning's wanderings:
* The first sign has been hoisted at the Homewood Suites at 50 M St., on the north side.
* Toll Brothers has put up fence signage announcing the second phase of Parc Riverside on Half between K and L, with a delivery date of 2018; We Shall See.
* WC Smith has put up a sign at 2nd and I that gives a first peek at The Garrett, the third apartment building that will fill out "The Collective," aka the block where the Park Chelsea already stands and where Agora (the Whole Foods building) is already under construction. (I don't have a project page for the Garrett yet--awaiting the results of my begging for an electronic version of the rendering on the sign.)

Also:
* I got to see the Insignia on M crane dismantled, though my attempts to get actual video with the new JDLand camera were unsuccessful (I need to RTFM, clearly).
* The Trapeze School building is now a little more decorated.
* Time is not being wasted on vertical construction of the apartment project at 1244 South Capitol, where the skeleton is now four stories high.
Finally, for the fun of it, here's photos of ORE 82 and Agora taken from the Southeast Freeway. Don't try this at home--leave it to those who are willing to lean out the passenger window of a car speeding down the road while holding a very expensive camera. Don't ever say I don't do nothing for you.
There's also updated photos of Insignia, F1rst and 909 Half, should you wish to peruse them.
 

It will be a mere 11 years ago next week that I wrote my first real post focusing on the site on the banks of the Anacostia known as Florida Rock, and there's been at least 120 posts since then, covering numerous changes in plans and designs.
And yet all of a sudden, here we are, with the first residents now moving into Dock 79, the development's first-phase 305-unit rental building. I'm getting verklempt!
The new JDLand camera got its first workout on Thursday with a tour of much of the building, and it should come as no surprise that this camera, as previous ones, was as interested in the views out of the windows as in the inside of the building itself. To the north, Nats Park fills the field of vision, while to the south (and east and southwest), the Anacostia River and its banks make for a vista that is not a standard Washington D.C. apartment building offering.
You'll want to browse the entire gallery of course to get better views of the model unit, the current state of the Riverwalk and new public plaza, and the common areas, but here are a few highlights:
Plus, there's this stitched-together panorama taken from one of the unit's balconies. Thank heavens it wasn't raining.
As for Dock 79's retail spaces, there are already announced plans for restaurants The Salt Line and All-Purpose Pizzeria to arrive in 2017, and I'm told that there should be announcements of additional tenants Any Minute Now.
For more specifics on the building, such as rents, floor plans, amenities, and all the stuff that normal people would be interested in, visit Dock79.com. For many more photos and details on the long road to this point, see my Florida Rock project page.
And with hardly a chance to catch our breath, Dock 79's forthcoming sibling next door is now in the early stages of its own trip through the Zoning Fun Factory.
 

While no deal is as yet inked with an operator, the DC Housing Authority is operating a "Summer Club" at the new Capper Community Center through Aug. 19, with activities ranging from Zumba for kids to computer instruction, creative writing, field trips, and more.
There are also plans in the works to have after-school activities available while waiting for the operations bureaucracy to conclude, including basketball in the spiffy new gym. Keep an eye on the building's web site for additional details, or call 202-547-0581.
Although the building has been open for a number of weeks, the JDLand camera has only just now made a visit--and the resulting photo gallery is not only a trip through a rainbow of colors, but is also the swan song for JDLand Camera III, which is being retired after eight years of valiant service. (I had hoped it would be the debut of JDLand Camera IV, but the Postal Service was two hours too late.)
The full gallery is here. And here's a final before-and-after to wrap up my tracking of this project, from before the demolition of the old center's building in 2007 to the start of construction in spring 2014 to its completion:
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Van Ness Elementary at 5th and M Streets, SE, is looking a smidge different:
And a close-up of its new M Street facade. The gymnasium is in the ground floor space.
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