Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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Trash Transfer Building Slowly Heading to the Trash Heap
Jul 30, 2012 1:57 PM
Sending the old trash transfer station building on New Jersey Avenue to the big trash transfer station in the sky that's been almost as anticipated among residents as the departure of the school buses from the Canal Park site a few years back, and action over the past few days seems to indicate that the end is almost upon us.
The glass blocks came out of the large window areas last week, and some big chunks came out of the building's north side this morning, though then the work came to a halt. But even if it's not gone within the next 24 hours, clearly the clock is finally ticking, as you can see in the photo at right (see enlarged version).
If you're already feeling nostalgic for the structure, my photos of the building's interior and exterior taken a few weeks ago could ease your pain.

New Ramp from DC295 Southbound to I-695 Opens Monday
Jul 27, 2012 4:01 PM
This is a little bit out-of-boundaries, but people who drive into Near Southeast (and Capitol Hill, and Southwest, etc.) may find it of note. Signage first hinted at it earlier this week, and now WTOP reports (and DDOT confirms via e-mail) that on Monday afternoon, July 30, the new ramp will open from southbound DC-295 to inbound I-695, i.e., the 11th Street Bridges' freeway span that feeds into the Southeast/Southwest Freeway. WTOP quotes DDOT deputy chief engineer Ravindra Ganvir as saying, "This piece has been missing for about 50 years. We're very excited about it."
WTOP got a sneak preview, and made it from Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast to 6th Street SW in about 10 minutes, while another driver at the same time going the old way, via Pennsylvania Avenue, needed 19 minutes.
Of greater interest might be the next big piece of the reconstruction: the new ramp from the outbound freeway bridge to go northbound on DC-295, negating the need for either the ghastly left turn on Pennsylvania Avenue or wandering through Capitol Hill to get on DC-295 at RFK.
UPDATE: The second I posted this entry, I got an e-mail from DDOT with this announcement of the public event opening the span at 10:30 Monday morning, and this flyer explaining the new traffic movements.
UPDATE II: Here's the post about the opening on the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative web site, in case you don't believe me.
UPDATE, 7/30: Aaaand, it's open.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges

New Project Page: Virginia Avenue Tunnel Expansion
Jul 26, 2012 9:40 AM
A glaring hole in my "project page" lineup is being filled today, as I am at last unveiling an ultra-exciting Virginia Avenue Tunnel Expansion page. (Um, yay?)
It's still just an overview at this point, since there is no design yet chosen and therefore all of the specifics that residents and neighbors are clamoring for about construction impacts and possible potential post-construction improvements to the street and its surroundings aren't yet available.
But I figured it was time to at least prepare for the inevitable before-and-afters with current photos from along the tunnel's 10-block footprint, plus it makes the current "concept designs" being reviewed by the EIS more easily accessible. And it also just finally gives me a page to point people to. (As with yesterday's development map refreshing, this has only been on my To Do list for a couple of years. I've been busy. And lazy. Lazy and busy.)
There's been no new announcements since the last EIS meeting in May; at that time, it was expected that a draft EIS would come out this fall, with a final decision in spring 2013. (Though other EIS schedules I've seen in the past have experienced some slippage, so we'll see how the tunnel's goes.)

Updated Design for Neighborhood Development Map
Jul 25, 2012 9:20 AM
After about three years of mostly closing my eyes and trying to pretend it didn't desperately need an overhaul, today I am finally posting an updated design to my full Neighborhood Development Map. Just hover your mouse above the map for quick thumbnails on completed, underway, and proposed projects, and then click to be taken to project pages for additional details. There's also the "tabs" above the map for directory-type listings of the projects, if you're more list oriented rather than visually oriented.
If you haven't come across this map, which used to be on the home page until a redesign a few years back, it's probably because you haven't clicked on the "Project Directory" link on the black menubar atop the home page, or on the "View Full Map" link at the upper right of the "Highlights" home page map, or on the "Near SE Development Map" link at the very top of the side menubar on any interior page.
(I will probably add the nice hover effect to the smaller "highlights" map on the home page at some point, but maybe not today.)
I have one other thing I'm working on that will be coming soon--a page that's been sorely needed for a couple of years for a certain high-interest proposed project. Perhaps tomorrow....

Bank of America Branch Opens at 55 M Today
Jul 23, 2012 12:14 PM
Readers are reporting that, on schedule, the new Bank of America branch in the ground floor of 55 M Street opened today. The BoA web site also now lists it as well, though it doesn't include the lobby hours yet. It's still called the "Waterfront" branch, since this is technically a move of the branch that was at 4th and M SW for many years, in the old Waterside Mall/new Waterfront development.
This is also the first retail tenant in 55 M, the building right on top of the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station.
If I were a good blogger, I'd run over there and get a photo, but, given that this is the fourth bank to open in the neighborhood, my Financial Services Excitement Meter is not exactly exploding off the charts. (UPDATE: But the Twitterverse comes through and makes up for my malaise.)
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Thursday Tidbits: Makeovers, Candidates, and a Busy Weekend
Jul 19, 2012 11:48 AM
* Canal Park's new web site launched today, and it indicates that they're still aiming for a November opening for the park, the ice rink, and the restaurant.
* The I Street McDonalds is going to be getting a makeover, judging by a recently approved building permit.
* Current 6D07 commissioner David Garber has picked up petitions to run for reelection. So far he and Ed Kaminski are the only potential candidates for the two single member districts that cover Near Southeast.
And, in this weekend's events:
* Tonight's Front Flick at Tingey Plaza is The DaVinci Code.
* The Nats are about to start their 12:35 pm Matinee as I type this on Thursday, then they'll play host to the Braves Friday-Sunday. This time around there's a Saturday 1:05/7:05 doubleheader, which includes the second NatsLive concert, with the Wallflowers. (Tickets for each game sold separately, and you need a ticket to the 7:05 pm game in order to see the Wallflowers.) It's a pretty big-time series against Atlanta, so expect big crowds.
* The Fairgrounds has its South on South Capitol Southern Rock festival on Friday and the Capitol GrooveFest on Saturday
* The Yards Park has Jah Works playing reggae for its Friday Evening Concert, then the Taste of Belgium beer/food/music event on Saturday.

Capper Community Center's Second Time Extension Approved
Jul 12, 2012 11:06 AM
On Monday night, the Zoning Commission voted 4-0-1 to approve DCHA's request for a second two-year time extension on the PUD deadlines to build the Capper Community Center on the now-empty lot on 5th Street SE between K and L. With this vote, building permits would need to be filed by July 1, 2014, with construction needing to be underway by July 1, 2015, provided another extension isn't someday requested and granted.
The extension received votes of support from both ANC 6B and ANC 6D, and a letter from a steering committee of Capper public housing residents also expressed support. Commissioner Peter May, referencing the "contentious" discussions in the past regarding this project and his own unhappiness about seeing it delayed, said it was "reassuring to know that key members of the community are supportive," otherwise he would be "similiarly unhappy." But he did vote in favor of the extension, as did Chairman Anthony Hood and commissioners Marcie Cohen and Michael Turnbull. (The commission's fifth seat is currently empty, with vice chair Konrad Schlater's recent decampment for a new job in Chicago.)
Included the paperwork provided to the Zoning Commission is a letter from DC Housing Authority executive director Adrianne Todman detailing the various high-finance moves over the past few years that have helped the overall Capper redevelopment move forward but that haven't trickled down to fund the community center. The letter says that the Housing Authority anticipates a $55 million bond issuance within the next year that will pay off the previous $29 million Bond Anticipation Notes and provide enough proceeds to continue the infrastructure work around Capper "and to construct the community center, which we estimate will cost $7.6 million." These moves require legislation, so we'll be able to cast an eye toward the DC council this fall to see if things are progressing as anticipated.
Also in that letter is this tidbit: "Lastly, DCHA is working with and soliciting a potential anchor tenant that will operate the community center and also contribute funding for the construction of the community center." Very interesting....
If you want to know still more about the history of plans for a new community center on this site (the old one was demolished in 2007), I point you to this pile of posts.
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Thursday Tidbits: Low Weight But High Volume Edition
Jul 12, 2012 2:01 AM
It's summer, and I'm trying to be on a Word Diet, so lots of links, but short and sweet:
* This week's Front Flick, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, tonight at Tingey Plaza.
* Another installment of Truckeroo on Friday.
* One potential candidate for Near Southeast's two ANC single member districts has already picked up nominating petitions: Ed Kaminski, who lives in 6D02.
* Washington Examiner is hot on the Hood. Times two. Shorter version: more people coming (like Nats fans). More stuff coming. But you knew this already.
* Miniature golfing in Canal Park, in a manner of speaking.
* Reunion of Arthur Capper residents last week at Garfield Park.
* There's now lane restrictions on M Street SE between 7th and 11th for the next, oh, 27 months or so, thanks to the DC Water Clean Rivers Project. (This is also why Water Street east of 12th Street is closed.) The work along M got off to a bit of a rough start last month when contractors took over the pocket park at 8th and Potomac without using a particularly light touch.
* Nats Park in the mix for the 2015 MLB All-Star game, but lots of other cities want it, too.
* Across the way: new DC United investors "should boost quest for stadium" at Buzzard Point.
* At least SOME major media organizations know how to credit scoops. {Said while glaring at WashBizJ, though not PhilBizJ}
* Folks at 909 New Jersey, and also 1980s DC nightclubbers, might like this WaPo photo. Especially when compared to this. (The railroad tracks are probably not missed.)

Kruba Thai and Sushi Liquor License Gets ANC Support
Jul 10, 2012 8:53 AM
I wasn't at Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, but commissioner David Garber tweeted the news that the commission voted to support the liquor license for Kruba Thai and Sushi, which apparently is now hoping to open in August in the southwest corner of the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts at the Yards. It will have "tons of outdoor seating facing Yards Park," given its location directly across from the Lumber Shed. This is another slippage of the opening date, but work does appear to be ongoing in the space, and movement on a liquor license application is good to see.
Kruba is another offering from the same people running Teak Wood Thai and Sushi and Regent Thai near Dupont Circle and Galae Thai & Sushi in Alexandria.

ANC Elections: Petitions Available Monday, New Boundaries
Jul 6, 2012 9:53 AM
Presidential election not exciting enough for you? Lack of a mayor's race got you down? Need a bigger fix than just a council chair contest? Then you're in luck, because there will be Advisory Neighborhood Commission elections this November, as there are every two years.
The process kicks off Monday (July 9), when interested candidates can pick up nominating petitions at the DC Board of Elections. If candidates-to-be can round up signatures by Aug. 8 of at least 25 registered voters in the single member districts (SMDs) they wish to represent, and survive through the petition challenge period Aug. 11-20, they'll be on the ballot on Nov. 6. Candidates must be registered voters themselves and have lived in the SMD since June 9.
The biggest change for this go-round is there will now be two SMDs covering Near Southeast, necessitated by the swelling of the neighborhood's population well past the legislated SMD size of 2,000 plus or minus five percent. The map at right matches the final boundaries as signed into law, at least for Near Southeast (it shows what Tommy Wells submitted to the council to be the 6D SMD boundaries).
The changes? SMD 6D07 (shown in purple blue), the current Near Southeast district represented by David Garber that has long covered most everything east of South Capitol and south of the the freeway to 11th Street, has a big chunk taken out of it along South Capitol Street South of I and north of Potomac. That part of the neighborhood will now be in SMD 6D02 (dark green), currently represented by Southwest resident Cara Shockley, and it also includes areas of Southwest north of M Street and west of South Capitol. (The folks who live on or east of 7th Street SE north of M continue to be represented by ANC 6B04.)
So, If you live in Jefferson/Axiom, Onyx, Capitol Quarter, or the Foundry Lofts, or plan on moving into the Park Chelsea or any new buildings at the Yards or Florida Rock over the next 10 years, you are still in 6D07.
Residents of 909 New Jersey, Capitol Hill Tower, Velocity, and any buildings that might pop up in the blocks north of Nationals Park by 2022 will be voting in 6D02.
If you're looking to run and you pick up nominating petitions, feel free to drop me a line to let me know. And I imagine I will write about the races from time to time.

Thursday Tidbits: Post-Independence-Day Haze Edition
Jul 5, 2012 9:41 AM
Clearing out the tidbit hopper:
* Capitol Riverfront and NoMa/H Street are "the District's hottest (read: largest price increases) rental markets," sayeth Delta Associates, with rents having grown by 10.3 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively. (via the Examiner)
* I waited too long to post the tidbit that "rumors are swirling that JBG Companies' plan to sell the 1.35 million square foot Southeast Federal Center have stalled, fueling speculation that the home to the Department of Transportation will be recapitalized," so I have to point you to the Google cache version of the Citybiz post. It's also probably too late to ding both them and originator Real Estate Finance Intelligence for equating the 11-acre DOT HQ site with the entire 55-acre Southeast Federal Center, 44 acres of which is now The Yards.
* I waited even longer to tell you that the Camden South Capitol apartment building across from Nats Park topped off its construction in early June. It's expected to begin leasing in about a year. (SWTLQTC)
* Hey, look, reserved "Nationals Park Parking"! Your choices being the lot nestled next to the Douglass Bridge at 1620 South Capitol or the underground parking lot at 4th and M SW. There's plenty of other choices that are standard cash lots, along with the Nationals' lots. (via WaPo)
* The Fairgrounds is advertising a "First Annual DC Funky Fresh Foodie Fest" on August 25 from 1 to 9 pm. Four live bands, 10 food trucks, the "DC Karaoke Invitational," and more. Unlike its sibling Truckeroo, however, this won't be free, with limited early-bird tickets starting at $42, which includes drinks (the number of drinks depends on whether you buy a regular or premium admission ticket).

Nats vs. Giants: A Very Patriotic Homestand (Fireworks Included)
Jul 3, 2012 8:57 AM
The Nationals have returned home just in time for Independence Day, and are pulling out all stops during their three-game homestand that starts tonight against the San Francisco Giants, the second best team in the National League (behind, um, the Nats, actually). Residents should be prepared for some huge crowds, and some unusual start times:
* Tonight's game starts at 6:35 pm, and includes the inaugural "Ignite Your Natitude Tweet-Up," offering giveaways, scavenger hunts and more while "offering a unique, interactive fan experience for all @Nationals Twitter followers in attendance."
And, after the game, fireworks!
* The July 4 game starts at the crack-of-dawn hour of 11 am, and offers a $39 brunch buffet at the Red Porch from 9 am to noon. (Bloody Marys and Mimosas available separately.) Breakfast items will be available at the Dupont Deli and Grand Slam concession stands on the concourse level as well as in the Stars and Stripes Club. This early start then gives you plenty of time to get to the Mall and position yourself for the inevitable heatstroke.
* Thursday's game is Turn Back the Clock Night, celebrating the 1924 World Series, where the Senators/Nationals beat the (New York) Giants with a stunning 4-3 win in the bottom of the 12th inning in the seventh game. Both teams will wear replica 1924 uniforms, while gameday staff, crew, and mascots will be dressed in 1920s attire. (Plus, organ music!) There will also be replica 1924 World Series scorecards handed out to the first 10,000 fans entering through the Center Field Gate, along with replica W.B. Mason trucks to the first 15,000. The only thing not-throwback about the game will be the 7:05 pm start time, since the first Major League Baseball game under the lights didn't happen until 1935.
Tickets are still available for all three games, though tonight's and Wednesday's offerings aren't quite as complete as Thursday's. See my Visiting Nationals Park page for parking, transportation, and information on what's going on around the ballpark.
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More posts: Nationals Park

Donohoe Seeking a Residential Option for 1111 NJ Plans
Jun 27, 2012 10:44 AM
A press release from Donohoe posted on the Capitol Riverfront BID web site says that the development company is designing a 13-story, 310-unit apartment building on its 1111 New Jersey site, on top of the east entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, and will be acquiring the St. Matthew's Baptist Church next door (seen in the photo at right).
An additional zoning approval is being sought in lieu of an outright change to the existing approvals for the long-planned 200,000-square-foot office building on the site, "to maintain flexibility as we evaluate options . . . for both office and residential uses."
The building, designed by WDG Architecture, would have a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units, and approximately 9,000 square feet of retail, "almost" the same amount as the office building. There's an early rendering of what the new building could look like on the BID page. UPDATE: Donohoe passed along the image at left.
Donohoe bought the most of the site's land back in 2005, then purchased the remaining portion from WMATA. St. Matthew's has been close to being sold before, when Ruben Companies had a deal back in 2007 that never materialized. And Donohoe had been in discussions about acquiring the site before Ruben. What the acquisition of the church would mean if the office building is built is not clear (would the office building grow in size?).
If the apartment building does happen, it will be in line with other developers seeing the neighborhood as much more of a residential opportunity than when plans to revitalize the area first started being formulated. That and the fact that office leases are not very easy to come by these days.
Needless to say, no timeline at the present, beyond a trip through Zoning Land.

Getting Inside the Trash Transfer Station, Before It's Gone
Jun 27, 2012 9:55 AM
It's not exactly a palace, but it would have killed me had the old trash transfer station/DPW site at 900 New Jersey Ave., SE, been razed without my ever having gotten inside the fences with my camera.
Since the demolition countdown clock is now ticking (though no one wants to commit to an actual *when*, other than "near-term"), I finally got to traipse around the 1920s-era building on Tuesday.
I took far more photos than the building probably warrants, but the historical record must be served.
Out of the torrent of images, I bring you two galleries, one of shots from inside the building's two levels (including into quite a few spots that were pitch black until my flash went off. {shiver}), and one from the walk around the exterior, since I had never gotten fence-free access to it before.
I even got to peek down into the first of the five 60-foot shafts being dug along New Jersey Avenue and then beneath the eventual I Street footprint in order to move a very big and very deep pipe. That work has to be completed before construction can begin on the Park Chelsea apartment building just to the north of the trash transfer station.
As for the station's lot once razing is complete, it could be a temporary parking lot until the eventual construction of a mixed-income apartment building that's part of the Capper-Carrollsburg redevelopment. All of this presuming that no one decides to lay in front of the bulldozers to prevent the building from being torn down.

11th Street Bridge Demolition Photos, Phase 2 Green Light
Jun 26, 2012 9:37 AM
The intersection of 11th and O has changed a bit over the past few weeks:
On the left is the old 11th and O looking south-southeast, while the picture on the right shows the new view, with the overpass for the old outbound 11th Street Bridge now a pile of rubble, and the new bridges at left and center, far more visible in person than in this low-res photo, of course. (At right is the path down to the Riverwalk, with the Navy Yard fence at far right.)
Speaking of rubble, there's no shortage of it at 11th and N (at right), where the on-ramp to the old outbound bridge is getting torn down.
These and a number of other new photos from Sunday are now posted on my 11th Street Bridges page. The full photo archives for 11th at M, N, and O may also be of interest to construction and demolition geeks, to see exactly how much this stretch of road has changed over the past few months. (Users of the Riverwalk who haven't ventured to this spot in a few weeks might also like checking it all out.) While I finally made my first trip across the new local bridge by bike on Monday, I haven't gotten up there with a camera yet, but hope too, soon.
(If you like these sorts of disappearing-overpass images, be sure to step into the time machine to see my photos from the demolition of the South Capitol Street viaduct five years ago.)
The rest of the 11th Street bridges project continues to move forward, with the next big milestone being the opening of a new ramp on the east side of the river from southbound DC-295 to the inbound 11th Street Freeway/I-695 bridge. (Page 16 of this June 11 presentation packet says "on or about June 27" for that opening, so maybe this is going to happen really soon, though as of now there's been no announcement.) Then, sometime in the fall, the next big "missing movement" will open, which is the ramp from the outbound freeway/I-695 bridge to northbound DC-295. Following that will be ramps to and from DC-295 and the local bridge. Also in there at some point should be the new ramp from 11th Street to go westbound on the freeway, replacing the long trek down Virginia Avenue to 3rd Street for many people.
And, the wheels have started to turn on the project's second phase, with a $90 million contract awarded to Skanska/Facchina. Page 17 of the presentation packet (seen at right and here) shows in red and blue the additional ramps and movements that will be built by late 2015, including:
* The new "Southeast Boulevard" that will replace the sunken part of the Southeast freeway between 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, with signalized intersections at 11th Street;
* A new extension of 12th Street north of M to allow traffic exiting I-695 to continue north to the new Southeast Boulevard and then turn right to go to Pennsylvania Avenue/Barney Circle or left to 11th Street;
* A new flyover ramp from the eastbound Southeast Freeway to outbound I-695, adding an additional lane of volume and presumably being built at the same level as the new inbound flyover, which will allow the taller old outbound flyover to be demolished;
* Additional lanes on northbound 11th between M and the new Southeast Boulevard interchange;
* And probably a few other items that are hard to discern in the drawing.
As I posted a few weeks ago, the new Anacostia Waterfront web site mentions that an environmental review will be coming this fall of a combined Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard Project that will "reconstruct Barney Circle from a misnomer into a true traffic circle, while transforming the easternmost dead-end section of the Southeast/Southwest Freeway into a boulevard between the circle and 11th Street, SE." It also describes the Southeast Boulevard reconstruction as "converting the roadway from a below-grade freeway into a four-lane at-grade boulevard with a green median and adjacent new multi-use trail to allow bicycle and pedestrian travel not currently possible in this area."
(You know what would be keen? If the improvements to Virginia Avenue that CSX is looking at post-tunnel construction would include bike lanes all the way to Virginia Avenue Park, which could then maybe hook up with some sort of bike path across the north side of the park to 11th Street, where it would then access the Southeast Boulevard trail. Then there'd be a complete bike route from Barney Circle and points north on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail all the way to Southwest, via a one-block jog from Virginia over to I Street SE at 2nd or 3rd or 4th, since I Street will be built between 2nd and New Jersey within a few years. This also might alleviate the issues with the Navy Yard and Yards portions of the Riverwalk not really being open to bikes.)
For more information on all of this, see my project page, the AWI 11th Street Bridges section, and the latest "Eleventh Street Ledger" newsletter.

Boilermaker Shops: Construction Progress, But Two Tenants Gone
Jun 24, 2012 8:30 PM
I checked out the progress at the Boilermaker Shops on Sunday, and of course have posted a slew of new images, which show some pretty striking changes to the building's exterior, including large glass panels at Bluejacket's space on Tingey near 4th, along with marketing banners to let passers-by know what's coming after the building opens later this year.
As you look at the photos, you'll see the banners for Willie's Brew and Que sports bar, Wells Dry Cleaners, Huey's 24-7 Diner, Buzz Bakery, and Bluejacket Brewery.
What you don't see, however, are banners for Austin Grill Express and brb ("be right burger"), and this is no oversight. Forest City has passed along word that the leases with Thompson Hospitality for those two food outlets have fallen through. But work continues to find replacement tenants, along with others for the spaces not yet filled.
It's still expected that the building will open later this year, although Bluejacket is aiming for an early 2013 opening.
(If you haven't gotten enough of Yards construction photos, here's the hole in the ground still being dug for Twelve12, the Teeter/apartments building at 4th and M. And bless whoever cut a few camera-sized holes in the fence along 4th Street.)

Onyx on First Apartment Building Under Contract for $82.25M
Jun 23, 2012 5:27 PM
Hot on the heels of the sales (completed and pending) of JPI's three "Capitol Yards" buildings, there's another notice in another lobby that a neighborhood apartment building is under contract to be sold. This time it's Onyx on First, the 266-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of 1st and L, which was developed by Faison with an assist from Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and opened in late 2008.
The sale price is listed on the form as $82.25 million, with the buyer being ERP Operating Limited Partnership, which is the operating partnership of Equity Residential, owner of a slew of DC-area buildings including 425 Mass and 2400 M, as well as a huge slate of properties around the country. (As an aside, the company was started by Sam Zell, a name that certainly has resonance for folks in the newspaper biz.)
Onyx went on the market more than a year ago, but that initial offering didn't result in a buyer so it was re-offered later last year. The notice to tenants specified that there are only 11 units currently unoccupied.
As we all learned during the JPI sales, it's required by DC law that residential buildings of more than five units under contract to be sold be offered to residents to purchase. (Insert here my standard joke about looking in the sofa cushions for $82 million in spare change.)
JPI's Axiom and 909 buildings were sold for around $95 million each, with the the Jefferson's contract price/purchase price for tenants listed at about $165 million.
Onyx's next-door neighbor, the office building 100 M, was put up for sale in March. (Which is apparently just now news to WBJ, though I had heard rumors that it had been taken off the market after that original offering, so maybe this is a new push.)

Nationals Reach 1 Million in Attendance, 30K Average for 2012
Jun 22, 2012 12:45 PM
Thursday night's game at Nationals Park against the Tampa Rays was a relatively painless 5-2 win for the Nats, upping the team's record to 40-27 before they make the quick trip up to Baltimore for a weekend rematch against the Orioles.
Announced paid attendance was 29,551, which pushed the mark for the 2012 season just above 1 million (1,002,396 for you sticklers). This is an average of 29,482 tickets sold per game through the first 34 of the season, compared to 22,948 at the same point last year. (The team didn't reach the 1 million mark in 2011's home attendance until July 9.)
According to Dan Steinberg, seven of the 13 biggest crowds in Nats Park history have come this season, three of them just last weekend for the Yankees series. The average through these first 34 games is a smidge higher than for the same span in the ballpark's inaugural 2008 season, and is no doubt well outpacing the 2009-2011 doldrums.
So, there's an average of 6,500-plus more bodies traipsing through the streets around the ballpark for every game this year than last year, along with far more sellouts and near sellouts than the ballpark has seen in its previous four seasons--how is this working out for the neighborhood? I haven't heard much carping--is this because traffic and humanity are generally moving well (albeit with a bit more patience required during the big games), or is it more because most Near Southeast residents moved to the neighborhood after the stadium opened, and so have no "before" frame of reference and are also more accepting of the crowds since they knew what they were getting into? (The point of view might be a bit different across the way in the established residential areas of Southwest.) Or does a winning record and a first-place team magically lessen the pain and grumbling?

Bank of America Branch at 55 M Coming July 23?
Jun 21, 2012 5:59 PM
A reader reports that a sign has been posted on the ATM at the Bank of America branch/trailer at 4th and M, SW, alerting users that the location will be closing on July 20, reopening in Southeast on July 23.
We already knew that BoA is coming to 55 M Street, the building on top of the Half Street entrance to the Navy Yard-NotYetBallpark Metro station, and so now there would indeed seem to be an actual date attached to the arrival. A permit application was submitted to DCRA last week for a Bank of America sign at 55 M, in case a flyer on a machine isn't quite official enough.
When it opens, it will join Capital One (ex-Chevy Chase), Wells Fargo (ex-Wachovia), and PNC SunTrust in blanketing Near Southeast with banking options. (Wherefore art thou, Citibank?)
UPDATE: Oh, I guess there's already a Navy Yard BoA branch. So, all you "Navy Yard residents", feel free to try to use that one. {tee-hee}
UPDATE II: Oops, wrong bank with orange-based color scheme. Fixed PNC to SunTrust. And, also, it looks like Navy Yard-NotYetBallpark has become Navy Yard-Ballpark, at least on the WMATA web site.
UPDATE III: The sign at the SW branch, for those who want visual proof.
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Beating the Heat at Lincoln Capper Children's Pool (and Yards Park)
Jun 21, 2012 5:17 PM
(This should definitely be filed under Information That Would Have Been More Useful Two Days Ago, but it's not like it's not still hot and won't get hot again.)
I figure that most parents of small children in the Near Southeast/Capitol Hill/Southwest metroplex are already aware of this, but it's still worth mentioning that DC Parks and Rec's Lincoln Capper Children's Pool at 555 L St., SE, is open again this summer, offering splashing opportunities from 10 am to 6 pm Wednesday through Friday (with a half-hour break from 2:30-3 pm), and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 pm.
The fountains and wading pool at the Yards Park are now probably a bigger draw, but this additional offering brought to you by your tax dollars shouldn't be neglected, especially if it's too hot to walk down to 3rd and Water or if it's during the times each week when the fountains are off.
(There's also the pool scene at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, but that's slightly less kid-friendly than when I was a kid.)
Has anyone been to Lincoln this season?
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