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Now that everyone (meaning me) has recovered from The Great Grocery Store Opening of 2018, we can turn our attention to the newest project to head into the zoning approvals fun factory: a 348-unit apartment building by Forest City on "Yards Parcel I," which is on the south side of N Street west of New Jersey.
If you're having trouble envisioning this location, it's the eastern portion of the big parking lot on the south side of N. (The rendering above is looking toward the southeast from N Street's north-side parking lot, like this.)
The most striking part of the building's design is the "one-story double-height bridge" that runs across the courtyard at the 8th of the building's 11 floors, and which would have the building's pool on top of it.
The bridge and the open courtyard will both face "1 1/2 Street," the new "spine" of Yards West that will run from M Street to Diamond Teague Park. It will be pedestrian-only from M south to the reconstituted Quander Street, and then will be a "shared curbless street" down to its terminus by Diamond Teague Park. You might need your magnifying glass even after clicking on it to enlarge it, but the image at right shows the full Yards West site plan on the left, and a zoom-in on the new Parcel I footprint at right.
(A tidbit of note in the zoning filing mentions that 1 1/2 Street would lead south from M Street "and a potential additional entrance to the Navy Yard Metrorail station.")
Here's some additional renderings, showing the bridge, and 1 1/2 Street, and even the planned Tingey Square at the current intersection of New Jersey, N, and Tingey.
The zoning filing says that Forest City expects to build out much of the new Yards West street grid beginning next year: which includes the two-block segment of Quander Street between 1st and New Jersey and the "curbless street" portion of 1 1/2 Street between Quander and N Place (the little alley-like street south of the big parking lot and north of the DC Water brick building).
The new building would also have about 13,600 square feet of retail, and two levels of underground parking with 243 spaces.
You can see a couple more images on my new Yards Parcel I page, though I imagine that 1 1/2 Street will eventually get its own page.
In the meantime, here's what the intersection of 1 1/2 and N looks like now, to further help you place it.
(Yes, I have 1 1/2 Street already set up in my Photo Archive, if you want to see the full before-and-afters. Though I guess I'd better add Quander Street now, too.)
The zoning hearing is not yet scheduled, and so there's no firm start date for construction of the building as yet.
PS: Don't blame me about "1 1/2 Street."
 

The doors open officially on Thursday (Oct. 18) at 9 am, but on Monday night there was a preview party to whet the neighborhood's appetite for its newest tenant, the "South Capitol Hill" (#SoCHill) Whole Foods at the corner of New Jersey Avenue and H Street, SE.
This has been a looooooooong time in coming--just a smidge over 10 years, to be exact. While I could write all sorts of words about all of the store's offerings--the coffee and juice bar, the wine bar, the local foods, the large prepared foods section, the fish and cheese mongering, and much more--I think soon enough everyone will be able to see it for themselves, and so I'll just be content with slapping these photos up for about 60 hours of pining.
Except to mention the quinoa. There's quinoa. Lots of quinoa.
 

It would be terribly hokey for me to say something along the lines of, "It's almost Halloween, and the neighborhood is appropriately decked out with skeletons." So, I won't. But there is a whole lot of construction going on, counting not only nearly finished buildings, but also buildings getting their faces put on or heading toward topping out or now "going vertical" below ground level.
I'll go in order from newest to oldest, starting with peering down into holes that you might not be looking into yourselves.
Three residential projects that began excavating in the spring are already starting to climb upward, as you can see in the above photos from 1000 1st Street and the Maren at Florida Rock. Tishman Speyer's mystery residential project that covers all of what's known as Square 696 is a hybrid, with some excavation still underway while the eastern half is now starting to rise. (and no, we still don't have renderings.) Then there's phase two of One Hill South (Two Hill South? One Hill South Two? Return of One Hill South? One Hill South, Electric Boogaloo?), where digging is being hampered by complaints of fumes emanating from the site's past life as a gas station.
Next we turn to the neighborhood's EIGHT projects that are above ground but not yet topped out. (I could call it six, since there are two projects with two buildings going up concurrently, but let's call an eight an eight.)
Let's start with residential projects The Garrett at 2nd and I, Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, and the second phase of Novel South Capitol at 4 I, which was kind of a shocker to see go up since it was never really announced that the entire project would be under construction at once:
I'll note that the photo of the Garrett is a bit of a triumph, because it's the first one I've gotten from the northeast, now that the wrapping up of tunnel construction has given me some sidewalk access to the intersection at 2nd and H. (Which hopefully will be open completely by Oct. 18, the Whole Foods Day of All Days.)
Next, let's wander down to the Ballpark District, where the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters is a whisker away from topping out and its sibling the Avidian condo building is now well visble. One block away, 1250 Half is in its final minutes of not being completely above ground, as the portion closer to N Street is now right even with the street, while its northern portion has been skeletoning for quite some time. And at 3rd and Tingey, the combo project of the Thompson hotel and the Estate apartment building are beginning to change the feel of the western side of the Yards Park.
{Pant, pant.}
Now, a quick look at the buildings getting their faces on, since this is the stage when everyone is pretty much tapping their toes and waiting for the projects to be finished already. (There's a section of Virginia Avenue that qualifies for that, too.) May I present West Half at Half and N, the Harlow mixed-income building at 3rd and L, the Bower/Guild condo/rental buildings, and the new DC Water headquarters.
To wrap it up, there's one additional ghostly building to keep an eye on, though I don't wish to be flippant about it. Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen is holding a hearing on Oct. 25 about the fire and response, for those interested.
And that's "it." Ha. Ha. I imagine the next major update will be in December, when I will spend most of the time complaining about how the low sun angle and a decade's worth of construction has made it impossible to take photos unruined by shadows. I may have to (gasp!) go out on cloudy days until spring.
 

If an official Twitter account retweets an unofficial Twitter account, I guess that's confirmation, so it can be reported that Wiseguy Pizza is opening at Canal Park (200 M St., SE) today, Oct. 2, at noon. Eat_DC reports that coffee and pastries will come soon, while the Gelato portion of the venture will arrive in the spring. I hope they are ready for the lunchtime rush that will greet them today, especially with the weather so beautiful.
(Great. Now I'm hungry.)
A few other items:
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE: WUSA reports on the first of last week's public meetings about the new Douglass Bridge. DDOT's program manager says that they are already about 25 percent done with the project already. "He added in the next six months, locals should expect to see work begin on the construction of two new traffic ovals that will be placed at the base of each side of the new bridge. After that, the formation of the bridge's new arches should begin to form."
* STEADFAST MOVE: Local goods offerer Steadfast Supply is moving this week from its Boilermaker Shops location on Tingey Street to the old EVO Furniture space in the Foundry Lofts building on Water Street, across from Ice Cream Jubilee. It is closed for the move and is expected to open in the new space on Oct. 5.
* CHEESESTEAKS: Washingtonian reports that the mystery fast-casual restaurant inside Whole Foods is going to be Philly Wing Fry, from chef Kwame Onwuachi. Cheesesteaks, crispy chicken, waffle fries, and whatnot. "Unlike Kaz Okochi, who’ll have a quick-grab sushi counter in the prepared foods section of the new shop, Onwuachi’s eatery is more like a full-blown restaurant with its own space and seating. Customers can order the full menu inside the store’s SoCap Wine Bar & Pub, which will pour 16 wines by the glass and a dozen draft beers (the shop itself will have seasonal teas and lemonades)."
And yes, I took a boatload of photos this weekend. They are already up on the site if you want to go hunting, but I'll be posting a status survey soon.
 

Just a few items to get out in front of everyone's eyeballs:
* CAPPER SENIORS VOLUNTEERING: The residents of Capper Seniors displaced in last week's fire are in need of a lot of assistance, above and beyond what the city can quickly and easily provide. There is now a sign-up form for those interested in contributing to the effort, whether it's working directly with the seniors, helping to collect donated items, fundraising, community outreach, or logistics. And there will always be a need for cash donations as well.
* ALL RESIDENTS ACCOUNTED FOR? ER, UM, YEAH, ABOUT THAT: Shockingly, a resident was found in his second-floor apartment on Monday, the fifth day after the fire, despite the building's management having said that all residents were accounted for. The man was dehydrated but otherwise unhurt. Charles Allen is Not Pleased.
* JDLAND HAPPY HOUR OCT. 11: On a cheerier note, let's try this get-together-thing again: I invite JDLand readers to come hang out with the entire JDLand staff (except the cats) on Thursday, Oct. 11, starting at 5 pm, at Mission. It's an indoor destination this time, so there should be no weather-related postponements. Would love to meet readers, and would love to have readers meet other readers. Hope you can be there!
 

If you're looking for things to do while counting the moments until 9 am on Oct. 18, here's some upcoming events you might want to put on your calendar:
* ANC 6D07 CANDIDATE FORUM: With Meredith Fascett stepping down from her seat as ANC 6D07's commissioner, the race is on to take the reins for the single member district that spans much of the JDLand Coverage Area. There are three candidates on the ballot--Edward Daniels, Brant Miller, and Patrick Witte.
If you want to meet these three and learn more about them and their views, there is a forum scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Capitol Quarter Community Center at 1000 5th St., SE. The Q&A and discussion will be led by members of the Arthur Capper Capitol Quarter Community Timebank.
(The other SMD that includes JDLand territory (as well as a portion of Southwest) is 6D02, where incumbent Cara Lea Shockley is again on the ballot, and is being challenged by Anna Forgie.
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE PUBLIC MEETINGS: DDOT is having two public meetings next week to "discuss the status of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Project." There will be an overview and also discussion of training, job, and business opportunities. The first meeting, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at 3100 MLK Jr. Ave, SE, in Congress Heights. The second meeting, on Wednesday, Sept. 26, is from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the King Greenleaf Rec Center at 201 N St., SW. The same information will be presented at both meetings, and the project overview portion of the agendas is scheduled to start at 6:45 pm each day.
Oh, and on another subject, Taylor Gourmet is closing all of its stores. Which, one would assume, includes the one in the ground floor of F1rst.
 

At about 3:20 on Wednesday afternoon, a fire broke out on the roof of the Capper Seniors apartment building at 900 5th St., SE, quickly becoming a massive blaze that hours later continued to burn.
Nearby neighbors, Marines, and workers ran into the building to help get the residents out, in advance of the huge emergency response. Multiple reports from residents and neighbors say that no alarms were heard and no sprinklers went off.
Ward 6 council member Charles Allen reported that all residents are accounted for, and building residents were being looked after first at the Capper Community Center and then at King Greenleaf Recreation Center in Southwest.
There's no word yet on how the fire started.
This video and this shot from Channel 4 show that the main dormer facing Virginia Avenue (as seen in the above photo) had collapsed within 90 minutes. Twitter was filled with images from neighborhood residents and the DC Fire Department of the blaze and the response.
This building was the first built as a result of the Capper HOPE VI program, with construction starting in early 2005 and move-ins starting in early 2007. It was the first building that I documented from start to finish, and seeing this today makes me so sad. But I am so relieved that it appears all were rescued safely.
Much more to come, I'm sure.
UPDATE: This from ANC rep Meredith Fascett gives an early look at how the displaced seniors are being looked after in these early hours. The Van Ness Elementary PTO is taking donations to distribute to fire victims, and there will be more information on how to donate necessities, meals, times, and more.
UPDATE II: And here is the 11 pm briefing at the scene from Mayor Bowser.
UPDATE III: The Capitol Hill Community Foundation, working with Meredith Fascett and the Van Ness PTO, has created the Arthur Capper Seniors Recovery Fund, where donations to help the building's residents will be most gratefully accepted.
Also, the DC Fire Department put together this video from the scene.
 

While waiting for further news about Wednesday afternoon's serious fire at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE, I thought I'd post this item, which people may not find of much interest:
"Whole Foods Market will open its new 35,000 square-foot South Capitol Hill store, located at 101 H St. SE Washington DC, at 9 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 18. The opening day festivities will include sampling and fun for all ages."
{Can I just say that I love that it's called the South Capitol Hill store?}
One interesting tidbit in the press release is the news that the store will be the "second location of DC-based Kaz Sushi Bistro." There's also plans for a "yet-to-be unveiled dining venue with mouthwatering selections from a DC local chef." That's alongside the "SoCap Wine Bar and Pub," which will offer "offer 16 wines by the glass and 12 beers on tap, with the ability to sip & shop."
There will also be a "full-service Allegro Espresso Bar with smoothies and self-serve draft cold-pressed juice, nitro coffee, tea on tap and build-your-own acai bowls." Not to mention prepared foods, expert butchers and fishmongers, a pasta bar and olive/antipasti bar, lots of beer and wine selections, and offerings from more than 100 local suppliers, including Ice Cream Jubilee.
The store will be open from 7 am to 10 pm daily.
 

Greetings from an Undisclosed Location, where I am thinking even less about blogging than my recent cutting-back level. That said, here's a very quick roundup of recent tidbits, plus some new ones. (And a nice fresh thread for continued speculation on the opening date for Whole Foods, which appears to be sometime next month, but We Shall See.)
* NEW DOG PARK UNLEASHING: On Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 pm, the new "Bark and Go Dog Park" on H Street SE east of New Jersey Avenue (across from THAT not-yet-open grocery store) will have its official "Unleashing Ceremony." All are invited.
* DACHA UPDATE: This tweet reports that the latest "Beer Me" podcast says that Dacha Navy Yard is shooting for a "tentative soft opening" this winter, with a grand opening in March of 2019. It will be 4,000 square feet inside and double that outside (because it's, you know, a beer garden.) It will be in the ground floor of the Dock 79 apartment building across from Nats Park, alongside The Salt Line and All-Purpose.
* STREETSCAPES: I have not seen these with my own eyes, while most of you probably have, but it's still worth mentioning that the first section of the new bike path along Virginia Avenue is completed (per @Wash_Cycle), and a new "bulb-out" on the Teeter corner at 4th and M is or is about to be in place (per @MeredithFascett)
 

Other than the kids having now headed back to school, there isn't much news, or even many tidbits, except for:
* DRYY: The long-empty retail space fronting M Street between the 55 M lobby and the subway station now has funky new signage, announcing that Dryy, "full service garment care," is coming soon. This will bring the number of garment care options in the neighborhood back to two, along with Wells Cleaners at the Yards.
* WISEGUY: Intrepid JDLand commenter JES tweeted these photos of the Wiseguy space at Canal Park, showing both the pizza operation and the gelato operation. I had not thought about Wiseguy's pay-at-the-counter setup, which actually might be a better use of the space than previous incarnations. As for when it will open, We Shall See.
* PAVING: CSX announced that paving of the 200 and 300 blocks of Virginia Avenue is next on the tunnel-wrapping-up agenda (and I saw that the 200 block got its blacktop yesterday). Also coming this week, weather permitting, is the paving of the "specially designed permeable bicycle lane surface." This side path will run from the 200 block all the way to 11th Street (along the north side of Virginia Avenue Park).
Other than that, I got nuthin'.
Enjoy the fresh comment thread!
 
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