Canal Park Work Seen from On High, and Other On-High Shots
Jan 20, 2012 11:34 AM
From ground level, it's not especially easy to see (or photograph) the current state of Canal Park
's construction--lots of fences, equipment, and bad winter sunlight, and the only above-ground action is hard to photograph through cyclone fencing. But on Thursday I got to see the progress from higher up, where not only is it easier to get a good overview of the site, but you can now see the outline on the southern block of both the plaza *and the ice rink*. (Shadows still wreaked some havoc, alas.) I added a number of these images to my Canal Park progress page
, for your perusal.
As I worked on these, I got to thinking about some photos from high up in 1100 New Jersey many moons ago, when the surrounding landscape looked very different. A few have been sprinkled throughout the site, but I was a little embarrassed to find out I'd never put them in my Overhead Photos Archive, which has now been rectified, and you can see them here
. They are from September 2004, so most of the old Capper buildings are still visible, and the USDOT and Capitol Hill Tower lots are just holes in the ground. (And there's one cool view of the buildings at the Yards
that sure won't ever be replicated.) I paired them with shots from Thursday where possible.
Then I remembered all the photos I took from the top floor of 1015 Half Street
during the BID's annual meeting last week (there were a bunch besides just the "majestic
" one). Not exactly a trip down memory lane, but they're now posted as well.
At this point, with a deep breath, I ventured into the folder where I've been dumping my rooftop/on-high photos "to deal with later," and found:
* Photos from 55 M
taken during the kick-off for Artomatic in May 2009. (Nyaah, nyaah, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, I was taking pictures of you!)
For those of you who live and work in the "high-rise" buildings in the neighborhood, many of these views won't be anything exciting, and given the lack of new projects on the west end of the neighborhood, not really much has changed since the 2008-2009 shots. But now they're in the Permanent Collection
, to be paired with more photos down the road someday.
Hope you find them enjoyable, especially on a Friday afternoon when you might happen to be looking for something to do other than work.
DCPS Nixes Idea of Bringing School Within School to Near SE
Jan 19, 2012 3:16 PM
While there has been lots of news over the past few months about Near Southeast getting some of the amenities that it has lacked for a long time (restaurants, grocery), one service that the neighborhood continues to be without is an open elementary school within walking distance. DC Public Schools closed Van Ness Elementary
at 5th and M SE back in 2006 because of a lack of school-aged children in the neighborhood thanks to the emptying of the Capper/Carrollsburg
public housing project in advance of its reconstruction as Capitol Quarter
, but kept the building in its inventory knowing that eventually the neighborhood would fill back up and a school would again be needed.
Fast forward a few years, and the neighborhood now has a number of families with small children, who get to look at unused Van Ness every day while sending their children across South Capitol Street to Amidon/Bowen Elementary in Southwest. So the Parents of the Capitol Riverfront organized themselves to advocate for getting Van Ness reopened
, and put together a "delightful" public meeting
with then-interim chancellor Kaya Henderson. But DCPS announced last March
that the numbers didn't yet support the reopening of Van Ness, saying that it was most likely the school would not reopen before 2015.
But area parents have continued to try to find a solution, and when word got out a few months ago that the well-regarded School Within School
at Peabody Elementary was looking to expand its program and would need a new and larger space, Near Southeast parents began to investigate what it might take to get SWS into the neighborhood, whether in the Van Ness building or in some other solution, perhaps even using the modular classrooms (i.e., trailers) that Capitol Hill Day School has been occupying at 5th and K during its building's renovation.
But today a statement from Henderson being sent out to various neighborhood mailing lists seems to put the kabosh on this movement. While the notion of using the CHDS trailers is "an interesting one," Henderson says that school system "already has too many schools that are too small to sustain themselves," and so it would be a "poor stewardship of the public's resources" to pay rent to put SWS in trailers or wherever if there are already a number of available facilities that could be used. Plus, those other facilities are located where placing SWS "could have an equally or potentially greater positive impact."
The statement doesn't specifically explain why Van Ness itself is not an option to house SWS, and perhaps someone who's been close to the many meetings that parents have apparently had with DCPS could explain that in the comments. It seems to still boil down to the neighborhood just not having enough students to support a school, whether it's SWS or a "normal" elementary school. Van Ness is currently home to some administrative offices, plus needs what has been rumored to be a couple million dollars in renovations to get it ready, and it does appear that DCPS is holding fast to its previous ruling that Van Ness won't be back in the system before 2015. But it's also not hard to imagine that neighborhood parents will continue to try to get a school, any school, as soon as they can.
Nine Years? You've Got to be Kidding
Jan 19, 2012 10:10 AM
Yup, it's time for me once again to mention that it was on January 19, 2003 when I made my husband drive me around that neighborhood south of the freeway, which we rarely ventured into, so that I could take some pictures
(without getting out of the car, of course), since I'd heard there were some plans to revitalize the public housing and also the areas right along the Anacostia River. (Yeah, right, that'll be the day, we said to each other.) I had no grand plans to launch an all-consuming project that would document what might be coming--I just felt like getting some photos.
And now here we are, starting Year 10 of this.
I'm saving deep ruminations on the journey until (if?) I successfully cross the First Decade finish line, so for now I'll just say my heartfelt thanks to everyone who reads, comments, passes along information, and provides assistance, because there's no way I'd still be here without all of you.
And I think folks should prepare themselves for the coming avalanche of posts and photos, because 2012 looks to be Near Southeast's busiest year since the golden Nationals Park construction/opening era.
(I need a nap already.)
Tidbits: BID Reports, Artomatic to Crystal City, Tunnel Items, More
Jan 18, 2012 2:33 PM
There's been a whirlwind of "big" posts as 2012 has gotten underway, so here's a few items I've neglected:
* BID Reports
: At its annual meeting last week, the Capitol Riverfront BID
released both its annual report
and the "Green Print of Growth" study they commissioned, which showed that the portion of the Green Line from the Navy Yard station to Georgia Avenue/Petworth has become over the past 10 years a "regional leader" in "capturing highly-prized young professional housing demand and high-wage employment," just nosing ahead of the Orange Line's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and outstripping the Red Line's stretch in Northwest DC when looking at household growth in the 18-to-34 demographic. The report also says (shocker!) that "the analysis conducted suggests that the Capitol Riverfront--given its Green Line access at the Navy Yard Station and its significant amount of development capacity--is among the most competitive locations in the region for households, companies, and retailers."
This was followed by a commentary
by BID chief Michael Stevens in Monday's Washington Post/Capital Business in which he argued: "It's time for business and residents to recognize and acknowledge a new reality: The Green Line corridor has emerged as a powerful economic engine for the District and the region. And it's time for Metro, the city and the private sector to invest more in the area to support this growth trajectory."
* On a parallel track, though it doesn't have to do with Near Southeast specifically, the Post's Steve Pearlstein wrote
over the weekend about how signs suggest "that the next phase of growth in the Washington region will focus on these underdeveloped areas in the eastern quadrants of the District and some of the region’s older, closer-in suburbs."
* New Views
: While I was at the BID's meeting, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the inside of 1015 Half Street
, plus one shot looking out
that shows not all views of the U.S. Capitol dome are, by default, "majestic." (Alternate caption: "Would you like fries with that democracy?") One Twitterer suggested
that the rock circle at far right, on the Capitol Hill Power Plant's property, is where the ritual sacrifices are held. So, if you see the Congressional leadership skulking around I Street late at night....
: A reader who lives on 7th Street just across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters has passed along that the neighbors on that block have decided to lodge a formal protest at the liquor license renewal of the 7th and L Market
, thanks to having witnessed multiple examples over the past few years of public drunkenness and urination, loitering, littering, drug dealing, indecent exposure, and even one proposition by a prostitute. There's no doubt that that market is a bit of a throwback to the neighborhood's previous incarnation; it will be interesting to see how this proceeds, and also how the eventual arrival of the National Community Church on that block
changes (or doesn't change) things.
: Don't have enough to worry about these days? How about rising sea levels inundating
areas along DC's waterfronts? (WaPo/Capital Weather Gang)
* Neighborhood News Roundup
: The Post's new Where We Live real estate blog has a rundown
and photo gallery
today on the latest progress on the development and food fronts in Near Southeast. If it all looks and sounds strangely familiar, that shouldn't be a surprise.
Near Southeast's 2011 Bikeshare Data, Mapped and Tabled
Jan 17, 2012 11:26 AM
When word gets out that some new data set
has been posted in an easily digestible format, I am pretty much helpless before its power. So I spent the Friday night of a holiday weekend knee deep in Bikeshare
Trip History Data, culling out the
more than 28,000 records for trips that either originated or ended at Near Southeast's two docks in 2011. Then I fired up up the Google Maps API to bring it all to you in interactive map form
You'll choose whether you want to see inbound or outbound data for the dock at New Jersey and M in front of the US Department of Transportation or the dock at 1st and N just across the street from Nationals Park. Optionally, you can filter by month of the year or even a specific date. (Tip: green means starting point, red means ending point.) Then there are tables beneath the map that show, for your chosen data set, the number of registered vs. casual users and the top usage days.
It shouldn't be surprising that the docks at the Eastern Market Metro Station and at 4th and M SW (Safeway) are very popular destinations/starting points for the Near Southeast docks, but I'm surprised to be surprised that the top dock for New Jersey & M trips in both directions is Union Station.
Capital Bikeshare is apparently going to release this data quarterly, so I plan to keep the map/search app
updated as long as there's data coming. And there should be
a new dock in the neighborhood sometime in 2012, at 3rd and Tingey.
PS: Speaking of Bikeshare, read this fascinating piece on one man's transformation into a bicycling commuter
thanks to Capital Bikeshare being a "gateway drug." (Any full disclosure I need to make about this link should be pretty clear in the second and fourth paragraphs.)
After reading this great post by JD Antos
with scads of analysis of the city-wide Bikeshare trip data, I dug into my tables a little more closely to clear out "rides" of less than 60 seconds' duration at a single station and found that I had inadvertently doubled the records where the both start and stop stations were the two Near Southeast stations. (Argh.) Not a huge change in the data (about 1,250 records out of nearly 30,000), and most likely the data people would have been looking at today would have been for the trips outside of the neighborhood, but I have now cleaned out that boo-boo. And I've deleted 167 sub-60-second trips at a single station as well, just because.
I added both Union Station and the new dock just north of the freeway at 3rd and G to my Live Transit Data page
, which includes a table of the closest docks and their capacity status, along with other live data like Next Train, Next Bus, and Where's My (Circulator) Bus?
Final 2012 Tax Assessments: Back Over $6 Billion in Value
Jan 16, 2012 10:06 AM
In March 2011, I posted on the proposed 2012 tax assessments
for the 900-plus tax parcels that I track as Near Southeast properties, which valued the neighborhood at just a teensy bit under $6 billion ($5.994B). But there's a reason those are just "proposed": property owners need a chance to prostrate themselves before the city to try to get their assessments revised. In addition, new properties come onto the rolls during the year as projects get completed.
So, I can now report that the 2012 tax assessment total for Near Southeast is: $6.06 billion. Since the final assessments for 2011 came in at about $5.81 billion, 2012's number is a $248 million increase for actual assessments year-over-year.
There were 15 properties that received reductions for their 2012 bills, totaling about $148 million. The big property owners managed a few hefty cuts, with JBG's US Department of Transportation
building leading the way with a $47.7 million reduction to just under $615 million, followed by CSX's empty lots near the freeway north of I Street getting a $46.3 million haircut down to $66.2 million. Many of the other shiny new-ish buildings of the neighborhood also got their tallies reduced, such as apartment buildings 70/100 I
and 909 New Jersey
and office buildings 20 M, 55 M
, 225 Virginia
, and Maritime Plaza I and II.
But these reductions were offset by $216 million in upward revisions. Most of this is thanks to 1015 Half Street
finally being completed, taking that parcel's assessment from last year's $41.1 million to just a hair under $144 million. Three other buildings (80 M, 100 M, and 300 M) received higher final assessments as well. Plus, 32 townhouses in Capitol Quarter came onto the rolls as completed buildings, bringing just under $14 million in new tax revenue. (Yes, yes, PILOT/payment in lieu of taxes
--don't stop me when I'm on a roll.)
And, because people always want to know, the ballpark's assessment for 2012 remains the smidgiest smidge under $1 billion, unchanged from 2011, at $999,982,800.
Alas, I can't give good year-to-year comparison numbers on final assessments in previous years because I didn't really grasp this whole revision thing until last year (oops), but I can say that proposed assessments were just a mite over $6 billion in both 2010 and 2011, after having been at $4.47 billion in 2009. My March post has the year-by-year proposed assessed values
for the neighborhood, if you want those numbers.
If you feel like digging deeper (since you don't pay me enough to just post all my numbers for you to use), here's the the current assessments database
, which you can search yourself. Tune in this March to see what the city proposes for 2013 values, and then in January for what the values really end up being....
WC Smith Announces 880 New Jersey as Park Chelsea Apartments
Jan 13, 2012 10:31 PM
Developer William C. Smith is announcing today that the apartment project we've been referring to as 880 New Jersey
will be called the Park Chelsea, and is expected to get underway sometime during the second quarter of this year. And there's even a rendering
now, and an official web site
As I reported a few months ago
, it will be 13 stories, with 433 units, which I understand will be broken down as 58 studios (about 466 avg sq ft), 281 one-bedrooms (606-738 sq ft), 92 two-bedrooms (1094 sq ft), and 2 three-bedrooms (1788 sq ft). There will be a courtyard garden, club room, gym, pilates/yoga studio, Jacuzzi, and 75-foot indoor lap pool on the ground floor. Then, up on the roof there will be a second pool along with the now-ubiquitous lounging/grilling area, as well as a "community garden" and dog exercise area. There will also be 1,500 square feet of "convenience" retail space on the ground floor, and three levels of underground parking. (They previously mentioned to me a bicycle entrance to a sizeable storage room separate from the car parking areas--I'm assuming that's still part of the plans, but I haven't confirmed.)
It's easy to notice
that site clearing that has begun along New Jersey--this is the start of the pre-construction infrastructure work that Smith needs to do in order to relocate some very very deep pipes beneath the block. The company also tells me that they expect DPW to be moving out of their site just to the south of 880 New Jersey about a month from now, which can begin the chain reaction of getting the old trash transfer building demolished so that lots can be split and land transferred along the to-be-built I Street axis. Vertical construction on 880 NJ can't begin until all of that happens, so that will be a pretty easy-to-watch guide to when real work on the new apartment building can begin.
Once started, construction should take about two years.
This is the first phase of Smith's plans for Square 737
, seen at right back in 2008. Originally the company had planned two residential buildings and two office buildings, but now they're looking toward filling the block with apartments, totalling around 1,200 units in four buildings. (And note that the entire four-building project is "matter of right," so there will be no zoning reviews or PUDs.) It's anticipated that there will be greater amounts of retail in the two buildings that will front 2nd Street, near Canal Park
and across from 225 Virginia
While this will be William C. Smith's first apartment project in Near Southeast, they have been working in the neighborhood for a number of years, and literally working here since 2004 (when they opened 1100 New Jersey Avenue and moved their offices there). They have also been a big player in the creation of Canal Park
, and are part of the Capper
PUD team as the developers of the planned 250 M Street
M Street Transportation Study Meeting Documents
Jan 12, 2012 8:27 PM
The meeting probably isn't even finished yet, but if you didn't (or did) stop by the first of DDOT's public meetings on their nine-month M Street SE/SW Transportation study, you can browse the presentation slides
and take the stakeholder survey
, already posted on the new web site for the project
There were a pile of high-powered bloggers
and transportation geeks
in attendance, so I'm sure there will no shortage of coverage of both this meeting and the entire study that I will happily link to, but there wasn't much news coming out of this first session--it was mainly to introduce the study, talk about the methodology (which you can see in the slides
) and then break up into small groups to stand around maps and give feedback about what attendees see as issues that need addressing. (But first, just as at the 2010 meeting, one woman who is particularly anti-bike once again made her feelings
DDOT's representatives say they will be using some 33 other studies that have been done on the area in question as part of this overall study, covering the area from 14th St. SW to 12th Street SE south of the freeway down to the waterfront(s), though that then brought a comment from the audience about when studying is going to stop and there's going to be action.
There will be two more public meetings, one in March-ish and another in June-ish, with the study expected to be completed in August-ish.
Reminder: M Street SE/SW Transportation Study Meeting Thursday
Jan 11, 2012 9:27 PM
Just a reminder that Thursday night (Jan. 12) is the first public meeting for DDOT's M Street SE/SW Transportation Study, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I St., SW.
As the meeting announcement says
, "The purpose of the public meeting is to provide an overview of the transportation study, outline the study process/schedule and gather public feedback. Following a brief presentation, attendees will be asked to help identify concerns and issues on maps of the study area and also via a brief survey."
It isn't just about the six lanes on M Street
, either: the study area goes from the Southeast/Southwest Freeway south to the Anacostia River and Washington Channel, from 12th Street SE all the way to 14th Street SW.
So, if you think there should be fewer lanes, more lanes, less parking, more parking, more bike lanes, fewer bike lanes, more pedestrian-friendly changes, fewer pedestrian-friendly changes, or just like watching people with wildly divergent views all trying to get their position to be the "right" one, come on down.
Boilermaker Shops, Now With More Windows and a Mezzanine
Jan 11, 2012 10:49 AM
But, in addition to all the new glass, you can also see that the construction of the mezzanine level has begun as well. (There's a rendering midway down the page of how the mezzanine level will look, if you're having a hard time envisioning it.)
If you're just joining us, this is the project at the Yards
that will bring six restaurants
to this historic building by the end of 2012: a brewery by the Birch and Barley/Churchkey Folks, Austin Grill Express, BRB burger joint, Huey's 24/7 Diner, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que.
And, speaking of restaurants at the Yards, interested parties will like to hear that construction has begun on the Potbelly Sandwich Works
shop in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts building
, just south of Boilermaker on the southeast corner of 3rd and Tingey. It is expected to open this spring, as is Kruba Thai and Sushi, which just received its building permit last week for its space in Foundry's southwest corner, just north of the Yards Park
11th Street Bridges Construction Photos (Ramps and Whatnot Too)
Jan 10, 2012 1:02 PM
The news of the two freeway spans of the 11th Street Bridges
opening over the past few weeks
is of course the most interesting part of the current state of the project's construction, but there's plenty of work still happening on the Near Southeast side of the Anacostia River, from the new "11th Street Local" bridge that will open this summer (seen at right) to various other new ramps and flyovers.
So on Sunday I did a lot of hoofing and driving to bring you this new 11th Street Bridges Project Photo Gallery
, showing the most interesting views I came across. I walked up onto the old outbound bridge (totally legal! sidewalk and everything!), I ventured down to N and then O streets, and I went north to where the new girders have been installed above 11th Street to connect the inbound freeway traffic to the Southeast Freeway and where the new ramp up to 11th Street from the old Pennsylvania Avenue/Barney Circle connector is under construction.
I also updated a lot of intersection shots in my official Photo Archive, so if you're wanting to see before-and-afters from the streets surrounding the bridges project, check out 11th & M
, 12th & M
, 11th & N
, 12th & N
, 11th & L
, and 11th & the freeway
(the shots above are a teaser) for all your change-is-a-comin' images. (Though not every photo was updated, so look for the
And, because I'm a goofball, I also tossed together this quick montage of the photos
I took on my first trip across the new outbound freeway bridge. (Yes, that's on a JDLand Google+ page
. I haven't done anything with it, but if you want to show me there's interest in my getting more active there, you can follow the page and we'll go from there.)
Raze Permit (Re-)Filed for Miles Glass Site, Plus 816 Potomac
Jan 10, 2012 9:07 AM
Back in February, the National Community Church applied for a raze permit
for the Miles Glass site on the southwest corner of 8th and Virginia
that it acquired along with a number of adjoining lots on Square 906
. However, perhaps something was not quite right, because two new raze permit applications for 733 Virginia are now in the city's database, along with a separate new one for the car garage next door at 701 Virginia
, the lot that finalized NCC's footprint
Last week, NCC representatives told ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning Committee
that they plan to have the demolitions completed by March, and will "then move to establish a temporary parking lot and community green space for an estimated two-year period" 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.
Any goings-on at the site, though, will be impacted by CSX's planned Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction, and in October
NCC head Mark Batterson told the Washington Business Journal that "it doesn't make sense to do our project and then have them come through and rip everything up and make it difficult for us to even access our property."
Meanwhile, a couple blocks to the southeast, two raze permits have also now been filed for 816 Potomac
, the long-closed-up brown apartment building on the northwest corner of 9th and Potomac. This property is one of the lots on Square 930 that Madison Marquette now co-owns
as part of its "joint venture" with ICP Partners.
Waterfront Photos: Cleared Florida Rock Site and More
Jan 9, 2012 12:43 PM
I have been lazy, l-a-z-y, about getting to some of my more far-flung photo spots in recent months, but the guilt of a new year finally overwhelmed me on Sunday, and I ventured up onto the Douglass Bridge
and over to Poplar Point with camera in hand, mainly to get updated shots of the now-cleared Florida Rock site
(above) and the Yards Park
, Yards/Teague Bridge, and other waterside sites.
And, if you want to see almost the entire Near Southeast waterfront in one (panorama'ed) shot....:
A Few Oh-Yeah-I-Meant-to-Mention-That Tidbits
Jan 9, 2012 9:52 AM
* 1015 Half Buyer
: On Friday the Post debuted a "What's Going On With....?" feature at their new Where We Live Real Estate blog
(reminds me of my old "What's the Deal With...?" days), and the first item
was on the empty office building at 1015 Half Street
. One tidbit not mentioned there, or at JDLand before now, is that apparently Prudential Real Estate Investors is buying the building, with the deal supposed to be closing this month, according to Bisnow
. Bisnow says that the deal was always for Prudential to buy out Bank of America's stake in the building when it was finished, even back when it was Opus East doing the developing, not current receiver Douglas Wilson Companies.
* Navy Yard Riverwalk Closure
: It was announced on Twitter last week
that the Navy Yard
Riverwalk will be closed from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 to install fences around the piers. (What? You thought I meant the entire Riverwalk and not just the portion controlled by the Navy Yard? Why ever would you have thought that?)
Landscaping Tip: Clearing Brush Can Really Make a Difference!
Jan 8, 2012 4:58 PM
New Jersey Avenue, south of the freeway, looking east, before and after the clearing of brush and trees that happened late last week:
A slightly different angle, looking south-southeast:
(That's 225 Virginia/200 I
in the background, if you're bewildered at what you're seeing in this new view.)
(This is the first in what will be an avalanche of new photos over the next few days, after I drove around for about two hours grabbing scads of shots that I have been guilt ridden about not getting to. Rather than trying to put them up in one overwhelming post, I'll be passing them along in manageable bites.)
DDOT Hopes to Open New Outbound 11th Street Bridge Freeway Span This Weekend; Detour May Cause Headaches
Jan 5, 2012 6:23 PM
The new span will indeed open on Saturday, Jan. 7, as confirmed Thursday evening by a DDOT tweet
. Watch for detours during the day as they make the switch.
On Tuesday, DDOT tweeted thusly
: "Traffic alert: if the weather holds, we expect the new outbound 11th Street Freeway Bridge to open this Saturday."
They also sent out a handy YouTube video
explaining the phases of construction that the entire project
has seen so far and will see before all is finished, which I urge you to watch so that I don't have to try to summarize it all for the 7,000th time.
One item in the video that I hadn't seen mentioned before (it's at about the 45-second mark): with the opening of the new outbound freeway bridge, commuters from the Southeast Freeway/I-695 who want to get into the neighborhoods just east of the river will need to exit at 6th Street SE and get themselves to the existing ramp at 11th and O SE to go across the old outbound bridge. This will be until the new 11th Street Local bridge opens this summer. So watch for some traffic tieups at the 6th Street ramp and along Virginia Avenue, 8th Street, and M Street.
ANC 6D January Agenda: M Street Study/BID Previews, More
Jan 4, 2012 4:02 PM
ANC 6D has sent around (and posted
! yay!) the agenda for its January meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 at 7 pm at 1100 4th St., SW in DCRA's second-floor meeting room.
The Near Southeast items of interest could mostly be looked at as sneak previews, or perhaps as items that could be missed if you are better able to fit other upcoming meetings into your calendar (especially, if, say, you were looking for an escape hatch because you'd kinda rather be watching the BCS championship):
* There's an update on Capitol Riverfront BID doings, in advance of the BID's annual meeting
three days later, on Jan. 12; and
* There's the application for historic landmark status for the DC Water main pumping station
, which will be heard by the Historic Preservation Review Board at its January 26 meeting.
Looking Back, Looking Forward: the 2012 State of the Hood
Jan 3, 2012 9:30 AM
In years past I've waited until my Jan. 19 anniversary date, but this year I decided to shift my sixth annual survey of what's happened and what's going to happen to the same approximate time when everyone else on the planet does theirs, right at New Year's. (Except I waited until people are actually back from the holidays.) So here is my 2012 State of the Hood
, with its characteristic torrent of words describing Near Southeast's progress over the past 12 months and also what's on the boards for the next 12 months (hint: Food, Glorious Food!).
If you've been religiously following JDLand content, there probably won't be anything new, but if you're a recent arrival or if you only check in so often, this is a good way to get caught up on developments big and small.
In a similar vein, it's become quite a trend for blogs to list their Top 10 Posts of the Year, so I figured I'd hop on the bandwagon (though technically mine is Top 10 Most Visited Posts and Non-Project Pages of 2011). If you look at this, you may not have even need to plow through all the SOTH verbiage
, but I hope you do anyway:
After a number of years spent treading water, it's been fun to have some actual news to report during the past 12 months. And it appears there will be no shortage of milestones coming in 2012. Enjoy
As always, as soon as I post it, I realize there's something I should have included. So if you're wondering about crime in Near Southeast in 2011 compared to other years, here's my 2011 Crime Incidents page
, with all the stats broken out for you. There were 40 more crimes reported than in 2010, all of which can be attributed to a jump in Theft reports, which isn't a surprise when more people live in the neighborhood. Other crimes basically stayed the same.
Tidbits: Catching Up After a Lazy Holiday Season
Jan 2, 2012 12:42 PM
Hope everyone has had a good holiday season, and made it into the New Year relatively unscathed. I took some blog vacation time myself, but while it's looked like pure slacking, I've actually been hard at work on my 2012 State of the Hood
roundup, which will be coming tomorrow.
Until then, here's a few very short tidbits to catch up on, some of which were already tweeted
(so blog-only folks might have missed them) and others of which were just little things that have piled up on my To-Do list.
* The Post's annual list
includes "Renting in Navy Yard" as one of the "In"s. (To which the smart-ass in me replies, "Oh, you mean actually in the Washington Navy Yard
, the Navy's oldest shore establishment, now 202 years old?")
Happy 20th Birthday, Navy Yard Metro!
Dec 27, 2011 10:59 AM
If you're looking for an excuse to have a celebration (and who isn't in the long, seven-day slog between Christmas and New Year's), you can raise a glass on Wednesday to the 20th birthday of the Waterfront, Navy Yard, and Anacostia Metro stations, which opened on Dec. 28, 1991
But, a few days earlier, the Post published a piece focusing on what changes the new Navy Yard station would bring to its surroundings:
"Metro's newest neighbors on downtrodden M Street SE have been coping for months with the dust and shambles of tunnel construction by holding onto one hope: Maybe Metro can make things better."
"'I hope that it will stop the drug traffic,' said Ann Mose, a secretary at an Aamco Transmission shop just a few yards from the new Navy Yard stop, which is at M and Half streets SE and New Jersey Avenue. 'I know one thing: Metro and the police are going to have their work cut out for them. People are scared.'"
Then, see if this part sounds familiar: "About two years ago, the biggest names in Washington real estate bought up acres of vacant lots and ramshackle warehouses there in anticipation of a mini-boom town of offices, town houses, retail stores and recreation areas to be spawned by the arrival of the Metro. In the past year, as financing for speculative development has dried up, buyer enthusiasm has ebbed."
The article then speaks of the plans to redevelop the Southeast Federal Center
with 1 million square feet of office space for 23,000 federal workers at agencies like GSA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Navy, and perhaps FEMA.
"But today, as Metro cars rumble through test runs on the new extension of the Green Line, those dreams seem obscured by drug traffickers who walk undisturbed up and down M Street, in the shadows of boarded-up buildings that neighbors call crack houses, from which Metro workers solicitously warn visitors to stay away. [...]
"Between that and the subway stop is public housing. Trash piles up on the sidewalk. Hypodermic needles are discarded in open lots.
"'You've got to be something of a visionary to see what this is going to be like in five to 10 years,' GSA administrator Dick Austin said. 'There are a lot of those who are skeptics and say it's not going to happen.... Did you ever see the movie 'Field of Dreams?'"
And, in referencing the commercial developers who had bought up much of the land in the neighborhood, the article says: "Their hopes[...]: that the lackluster waterfront from Buzzard Point to the Washington Navy Yard could be turned into the Tysons Corner of the 21st century."