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Greetings, and somehow we (read: I) have made it to 2018. Here's a few brief tidbits before I head off onto yet another stint on the disabled list (arthroscopic hip surgery, which partially explains why I have not been doing a lot of walking around the neighborhood with camera). I expect to be back at the keyboard in plenty of time for the gala celebration of JDLand's 15th anniversary, on Jan. 19.
* RESTAURANT CHLOE: Washingtonian gets the scoop, and lots of details, on the Jan. 5 opening of Chloe, the first solo venture by Chef Haidar Karoum. It's located on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey, in the ground floor of Arris, across from Bluejacket. Washingtonian reports that the menu "is a mismash of all the cuisines Karoum has cooked professionally (Spanish, Southeast Asian, modern American), grown up with (Lebanese), and fell in love with while traveling (Mediterranean and beyond)."
* NEW FOOD PANTRY: At the other end of the food spectrum is the news that St. Vincent de Paul--the church at South Capitol and M that brings you Nats Mass in the summer--has launched a new monthly food pantry. It will be open on the 4th Saturday of every month from 10 am to noon, and donations can be dropped off inside the main doors of the church. It is part of the network of food pantries run in partnership with the John S. Mulholland Family Foundation, and monetary donations can be made here. If you are interested in volunteering, contact St. Vincent de Paul.
* GSA WAREHOUSE: Looks like someone out there has bid $31 million to buy the GSA warehouse on the southeast corner of Half and L Streets, SE. Will that be the final purchase price? We shall see!
 

On Thursday DDOT released its 2017 Transit Development Plan, and amongst the torrent of words are proposals for a number of Circulator changes, including the long-discussed extension of the current Navy Yard route that would continue along M Street SW and the southern portion of Maine Avenue and up 7th Street SW to the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station, but would discontinue the portion of the route between Union Station and Eastern Market. (The double lines in the right-hand map are the "discontinued service" portions.)
There would also be year-round weekend service, from 7 am to 9 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Circulator service between Union Station, Barracks Row, and the Washington Navy Yard (the actual, living, breathing, functioning "Navy Yard") would be available on a reconfigured version of the Potomac Avenue-Skyland route (see page 52 of the report for a map).
The report also says that "a special standalone service plan will be developed to provide DC Circulator service to the new DC United Soccer Stadium before, during, and after games."
These changes aren't final--there is now a public comment period, through Jan. 19, 2018, and there will be a public hearing on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, from 7 to 9 pm at the Miracle Theatre at 535 8th St., SE.
But DDOT says that it expects that the changes would be implemented in April, 2018.
 

In addition to confirming the news of Oath Pizza, it was announced this morning that Peet's Coffee will be opening in the ground floor of Insignia on M, and that both establishments plan to be open in the spring of 2018.
The press release says that Peet's will be facing New Jersey Avenue adjacent to the Metro station, and Oath will be in the space to the west of Bethesda Bagels.
This leaves two retail spaces open in the building, 3,000 square feet at New Jersey and M and 1,500 square feet at New Jersey and L.
Another victory for you coffee types!
 

According to a Facebook ad (!) found by commenter Ampersand, the Chipotle in the ground floor of F1rst on 1st Street SE south of M is opening at 10:45 am on Thursday, Dec. 14.
"The first 25 people in line will receive a Buy-One-Get-One voucher good for your next visit and a Chipotle t-shirt, with purchase."
Chipotle joins F1rst's foodie lineup of Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Roti, and Rasa Indian Grill, along with Solidcore to burn off all those calories. The development's next eatery, Declaration, looks to open in 2018.
 

I somewhat unexpectedly found myself wandering around on Sunday, and though the official JDLand camera stayed home and drank hot chocolate, the JDLand cellphone (a Pixel 2, thanks for asking) stepped in to catch some progress pics.Here's a rundown:
* HELLO, AVIDIAN: After being burned multiple times over the years with projects being said to include condos during the design phase only to end up as rentals, it's nice to have confirmation via the purty new fence signage at South Capitol and M that not only that the corner will be home to the new headquarters for the National Association of Broadcasters, but that the sibling building immediately to the south that was oddly dubbed 10 Van is now known as the Avidian, and that it will be condominiums, "Selling 2018." The building should have 170ish units and will probably be completed in 2019.
* PEEKING OUT: We have three newcomers to ground level, as the 380-unit apartment building at South Capitol and I is now clearly visible from the street, as is the 190-unit rental sibling to the further-along Bower at Yards Parcel O on 4th Street. Plus, the 420-unit West Half building immediately north of Nats Park now has its first batches of rebar out of the ground, if your eyes know what to look for. (And yes, I'm still completely failing at catching the work underway on what's now known as the Emblem at Barracks Row, the 20-unit condo building at 8th and Virginia. One of these days.)
* ONWARD AND UPWARD: The new DC Water HQ continues to get its face put on, while the condo building known as the Bower at 4th and Tingey has completed seven of its 10ish floors, and at 2nd and L the next Capper mixed-income building is through Floor #4 of its own 10ish floors. {Trying to avoid any arguments about whether penthouses = floors.}
* DOWN ON THE CORNER: There's officially another project underway, as digging is now proceeding at 2nd and I for The Garrett, the third and final portion of WC Smith's "Collective" development that also includes the Park Chelsea and Agora (and this, of course). Meanwhile, there are still holes at the second phase of the Parc Riverside at Half and L (below), and at Monument Valley, which is impossible to get a shot of from street level so you'll just have to imagine it. And I forgot to look behind the fence at Parcel L.
There will probably be some new holes in the ground in coming months, as both the rumor mill and the permitting pipeline hint that at least three more projects will get underway: Dock 79's residential sibling at the old Florida Rock site, the large residential development on the old "Congressional Square" site at 1st and K, and Paradigm's 275ish-unit residential building on the old Market Deli site at 1st and L. (Though I'll note that each of these still do not have permit applications in the system yet beyond the initial shoring/sheeting/excavation step.) The number of still-empty lots keeps a'shrinking....
 

If you are interested in participating in the Environmental Assessment process for the redesign of Southeast Blvd., the second public meeting is scheduled for Monday night, Dec. 11, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Chamberlain Elementary School, 1345 Potomac Ave., SE.
This time around the session will be an "interactive group activity," and will also include unveiling the draft concepts for remaking the stretch of road between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle into an "urban boulvard," which would include raising the street up to the same level as L Street SE to the north, establishing connections to 13th, 14th, and 15th Streets, SE, adding pedestrian and bicycling facilities, and sneaking in some tour bus parking underneath the raised road as well. The possibility of some of the right-of-way being used for residential or other development is also part of the study.
See the official project web site for more details, or scroll through my many posts on it over the years.
 

Late last week the developers of the apartment building at Half and I known as One Hill South filed with the Zoning Commission initial documents for a required design review for the project's second phase, a 300ish-unit C-shaped building fronting South Capitol Street.
While the existing 383-unit building (One Hill South One?) has about 22,000 square feet of as-yet-unspoken-for retail space, the developers (Related Companies and Ruben Companies) are not currently planning to use any of the second building's ground floor space for retail, unless the demand for retail along South Capitol Street increases in the future.
There is an alley (or, shall we say, "private drive") that separates the two buildings, but the new building will be built with connections above the drive, as shown in the rendering below as seen from K Street, which is paired with a shot of the alley/private drive from a somewhat similar angle.
The new building will have approximately 190 below-grade parking spaces, accessed via the existing ramp in OHSO.
It is designed by Eric Colbert and Associates, and Morris Adjmi Architects.
ANC 6D will be taking up the proposed design at its December meeting on Monday, while a Zoning Commission hearing date has not yet been scheduled.
 

Short and sweet, just in time for dessert:
* RASA ALMOST HERE: According to City Paper, Rasa Indian Grill will be opening its doors in the ground floor of F1rst on Wednesday, Dec. 6. (I'm not surprised that I don't have a recent shot of the Rasa front, but I can't believe I don't have a decent NOT-recent shot of it, either. Argh.) The City Paper piece has a lot of background on the restaurant's format and background. And on Instagram Rasa says that they will be opening from 12-2 on Tuesday Dec. 5 to support DC Central Kitchen.
* OATH PIZZA: The sight of workers in the retail space next to Bethesda Bagels in the ground floor of Insignia on M has been noticed; but what I and my normally deep-digging commenters missed was the news back in October that Boston-based Oath Pizza would be coming to that address in early 2018--and boxes inside the space do indeed say "Oath Pizza" on them. A Merrifield/Mosaic location opened about a month ago, and WTOP says that not only does Oath bill itself as the "only existing certified-humane pizza restaurant in the country," it "has what it calls a trade secret thin crust, that’s hand-stretched, grilled and seared in avocado oil."
 

With thanks to reader I.F. for the photo, may I present visual confirmation that Whole Foods is indeed still coming to the ground floor of WC Smith's Agora apartment building at the corner of New Jersey Avenue and H Street, SE.
I don't know a timetable, I know nothing more than this sign, but at least this should settle people's worries a bit.
We now return to our holiday weekend, already in progress.
 

Interested parties are putting out the word that there's a Grand Opening party this Friday, Nov. 17, for Willow, the clothing and gift store that is opening its second location in the ground floor of the Arris apartment building at 4th and Water in the Yards.
Not only will there be treats and drinks and lots of stuff to buy, but "every guest will receive a complimentary Willow-designed Navy Yard shot glass."
The party will run from 5 to 8 pm.
 

I have been intending to write more substantively about a few of these things, but now in the interest of actually getting them posted, I'll go with abbreviated versions:
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE MEETING: DDOT is holding two public meetings to "discuss the current status" of the new Douglass Bridge project. There is one in Ward 6 on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at 1100 4th St., SW (DCRA conference room), and another in Ward 8 on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Thurgood Marshall Academy, 2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE. See my project page and/or the official web site for details.
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE BLEATING: The Commission on Fine Arts says the new bridge design "lacks grace." (WBJ)
* 3RD STREET TWEAKING: Watch for the single travel lane on 3rd Street SE at Virginia Avenue to be moved off of the temporary deck and onto new pavement Any Minute Now. This is so the deck can be demolished and restoration work can then continue on both 3rd and Virginia. (CSX)
* BARRACKS EIS RELEASING: Remember those plans to build a new Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, which ended up deciding that the new building would be built next to the existing building at 7th and L? There's actually some movement, with the final EIS expected to be released Any Minute Now, and the Record of Decision expected to follow. I'll write more when the EIS comes out, but in the meantime here's a newsletter from last month with the latest.
* ANC REP REPPING: Read more updates on neighborhood goings-on from ANC 6D07 commissioner Meredith Fascett.
* TASTEBUDS APPROVING: Ana, the restaurant at District Winery, gets good words from the Post's food critic. (WaPo)
 

Word is out that Solidcore* will be opening for your high-intensity low-impact workout pleasure at 8 am on Saturday, Nov. 4, in the ground floor of F1rst.
The official web site for this location allows reservations for upcoming classes, and also has some grand opening deals available ($4 for your first class, plus 10-pack and 1-year membership specials).
Regrettably, I did not get a chance to swing by for an updated photo before posting this, so here's my most recent shot of the Solidcore location, located next to soon-to-be-Rasa on 1st Street SE between M and N. (Official street address is 1245 1st St. SE.)
* As for why I am not referring to it as [solidcore], it's because it would have been a divorce-level offense in my house.
Comments (13)
More posts: Retail, solidcore
 

On the heels of my previous post on the changes coming to I Street SE, here's some specifics from CSX on its current timetable for the restoration of Virginia Avenue as the tunnel project begins to see the light at the end of, um, itself.
As the graphic at right from this presentation shows, it appears that the 300 block of Virginia is at the top of the restoration list, with the street itself expected to open in Spring 2018. The 200 and 400 blocks would follow in early summer, with the blocks from 5th to 9th following in late summer. This schedule also includes the restoration of the connection under the freeway to Garfield Park in early summer, and Virginia Avenue Park later in the year.
There will be some full closures of the cross streets as they get restored, with the diciest ones probably being 4th Street (expected to close from February into summer) and that bizarro 5th/6th intersection (which this says will be closed from late this year into spring).
As for what Virginia Avenue will look like when "restoration" is complete, here are the graphics from CSX, showing among other things the new separated pedestrian and cycling paths, including a cut-through path on that 4th Street triangle to allow bikes to hook up easily with I Street, the main east-west bicycle route in this neck of the woods. (Yeah, even when you click to enlarge they are tiny. Here's the PDF.)
It's rather stunning to me to actually be seeing a timeline like this--I've been writing about this project for a looooooooooong time. As to whether everything does wrap up in 2018, of course We Shall See.
 

In recent months (mostly during the time I was preoccupied) DDOT has been working on plans to reconfigure I Street SE between New Jersey and South Capitol to better handle the large amount of vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on a road that once was sleepy but now most decidedly is not.
This Satuday, Nov. 4, DDOT representatives are holding a public meeting on what is officially known as the I Street SE Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements Project. It's at 11 am, and instead of in a stuffy conference room, the meeting will be held on the south side of I Street SE at Half Street SE (so, dress appropriately!).
Up for discussion will be a final design for this four-block stretch, which (if I am reading the graphics right) calls for the shifting of bike traffic on the blocks between South Capitol and 1st into protected lanes along the curb, with the parking lanes then acting as buffer between bikes and the traffic lanes. Vehicle lanes will still be a single lane in each direction as well as a center turn lane. There will also be flexposts at some of the intersections to prevent cars from taking turns too sharply in a way that endangers pedestrians and cyclists.
At right is a portion of the section between Half and 1st (see what I mean about "deciphering"), but if you are willing to test your ability to read traffic engineering graphic design, you can see the entire layout here.
If you have feedback, wander on by the assembly at Half and I at Saturday at 11. You can probably even bring your dog.
 

This morning's news of note:
* With this tweet (and the graphic at right), Cava is announcing that it is ready to open, starting with a "free community lunch" on Friday, Oct. 27, from noon to 2 pm. It's at 52 M Street between Half and Cushing, in the ground floor of the Homewood Suites (and next to Shake Shack).
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing that the Canal Park ice rink is expected to have its grand opening on Friday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 8 pm. It may actually open to the public in the days before that, weather permitting, but We Shall See. There is a new operator this year, Tri-State Ice Management, which operates rinks at Pentagon Row, Glen Burnie, and Rockville. The BID's announcement says that the company with be "revitalizing and bolstering the programming at the ice rink," and that will be new skates, that "guarantee sharpness throughout the season." There's also a new web site, at CanalParkIceSkating.com. (No word on a new restaurant operator in the Il Parco space, however.)
 

Time for my quarterly {ahem} update on all of the construction projects you are picking your way past when you walk/drive/bike around the Hood:
I'll start with the new openings and the coming soons, with both Due South Dockside and Morini Piccolo now operating (softly) on the Yards Park boardwalk, and Cava in the Homewood Suites at Half and M in Any Second Now territory:
As for buildings getting their faces on, I present Skanska's 99 M office building and the new DC Water headquarters:
There's also now two new arrivals above ground, as PN Hoffman's condo project The Bower has at last made its debut at 4th and Tingey, as has the DC Housing Authority's as-yet unnamed mixed-income rental building at 2nd and L, both of which are shot from the south instead of the intersection because it's now the time of year when anything shot to the south-southeast, south or south-southwest will look terrible, no matter what time of day:
Next on the assembly line, two more residential projects projects are likely to be making their above-ground debuts before the end of the year: JBG's West Half project directly north of Nats Park, and the McDonalds-slaying 2 I Street project:
Other holes in the ground I won't highlight this time around include the Bower's sibling rental project at 4th and Water, Toll Brother's Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, the Jair Lynch residential project at the Half Street Hole, and the combo project at South Capitol and M for the new National Association of Broadcasters headquarters and its next-door residential project labeled 10 Van.
Also, WC Smith has cleared the lot at 2nd and I to make way for the beginning of work on the Garrett, the third and final apartment building that makes up "The Collective" on that block. Plus, fences are up along 3rd Street for the next project in the Yards lineup, the 270-unit apartment building currently known as "Parcel L2." (Great, I have to update my Highlighted Projects map again.)
Just to make sure all ends of the construction spectrum are represented, one hole is even starting to get covered over, and that's in the 200 and 300 blocks of Virginia Avenue, where the Virginia Avenue Tunnel work is far enough along that you can actually start to imagine a street appearing again in those blocks in the coming months:
Finally, I'll close with a shot of a tearing down rather than a building up, and that's the pile of debris formerly known as 37 L Street SE--just in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the Cinema Follies fire, on Oct. 24, 1977.
So, while the neighborhood is taking a back seat these days to all of the excitement surrounding the opening of the Wharf down the road, there is still a fair amount happening. (And hopefully the neighborhood blogger will someday get back in the groove. Still riding the rollercoaster of my new not-yet-ready-to-call-it-normal.)
 

* AMAZON HQ2: Jonathan O'Connell reports on the announcement yesterday that DC has included Southeast DC in the four sites it plans to pitch to Amazon* in the company's quest for a location for its "HQ2," a second headquarters that will need up to 8 million (!) square feet of space. It would require the cobbling together of multiple parcels in Near Southeast, Buzzard Point, and Poplar Point, almost none of which are currently controlled by the DC government. Amazon is expected to make a decision amongst the many cities putting themselves in contention in 2018. For more information on the #ObviouslyDC pitch, go to AlexaWhyDC.com. (And yes, the movie theater site is among the highlighted parcels. But remember, this is the city highlighting which parcels are still available, not what might necessarily come to pass.)
* BOWER SALES: Readers report receiving e-mails from PN Hoffman saying that the sales center for The Bower is expected to open on Sunday, Oct. 29, with some "preview appointments" available for scheduling in the time span between now and then. This is the 138-unit condo project that has been under construction for what seems like forever on the southeast corner of 4th and Tingey at the Yards. The official web site now has floor plans available (which I think I already mentioned, but whatevs).
* CAVA PROGRESS: In response to a Twitter query last week, Cava Grill says that "they are working hard" to get their new location on M Street between Half and Cushing ready to go. "Stay tuned for updates."
* RASA PROGRESS: Eater DC reports on the progress at Rasa Indian Grill, on 1st Street SE between M and N, which the owners "hope" to open in November.
* CHLOE PROGRESS: The restaurant coming to the ground floor of Arris is having a hiring open house on Oct. 26 and 27.
* SE BLVD: No pressure, but today is the last day to make comments on the environmental assessment for Southeast Blvd.
* CONSTRUCTION UPDATES: The JDLand camera has been lazy of late. But, given the weather forecast, I expect that to be rectified this weekend.
* Full disclosure: I work for the Washington Post, now owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon's grand poobah. But Amazon does not own the Post, it must always be emphasized.
 

I start with this photo of some recently posted signage, which I'm pretty sure debuted at the top of the list of Most Ignored Signs in Washington. (No one ever believes me when I tell them that riding bikes isn't officially allowed on the Navy Yard portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk.)
And now to a way-too-long pile of tidbits:
* PLAYOFFS: I doubt anyone at this point needs to tell me that the first of what will hopefully be numerous playoff games this October at Nats Park is tonight (Friday), when Game 1 vs the Cubs starts at 7:31 pm. They'll play again tomorrow at 5:38pm, and would return on Thursday Oct. 12 for the fifth game of the series, if necessary. Here's a rundown from the BID of playoff-related festivities and deals that might be of interest.
* WILLOW: I have been remiss in not passing along that DC-based clothing and gift shop Willow is going to be opening a second location in the ground floor of Arris, at 4th and Tingey in the Yards. As described in the BID newsletter, "The store brand adds a distinctive local twist with DC neighborhood-inspired gifts and clothes designed in-house by members of the Willow team."
* DOCKSIDE?: I have not confirmed this personally, but a reader reports being told by workers putting out tables on Thursday that the new Yards Park boardwalk kiosk outlet of Osteria Morini is expected to open this evening. UPDATE: Reader now says that no, it's Due South Dockside. But that's what I get for not reporting it out myself. {hangs head in shame}
* BYE BYE 37 L: Photographic evidence on Twitter of the demolition of the Empire/DC Flyer Cab company building, which is making way for a new residential building. It becomes the 175th entry in my Demolished Buildings Gallery (up a spot from its brief designation as #174, after a reader pointed out that I had neglected to add, of all things, the McDonald's, though I will give myself a break on that one, given the maelstrom in my life at the time).
* THIRD STREET CLOSURE UPDATE: Flashing signage north of 3rd and Virginia says that the four-month-ish-southbound closure is now scheduled to begin Oct. 11. (After the first two games of the playoffs, I might add.) I saw from the freeway yesterday that the huge reinforcing beams (more like tubes) that were installed across the footprint of the two tunnels are being removed between 2nd and 3rd Streets, and there's even now some small square footage where both tunnels are covered with dirt. (UPDATE: The sign was changed this morning to read "On or About Oct. 10," and now the latest VAT newsletter says "as soon as Oct. 9.")
* GARRETT TEA LEAVES: The building permits have been approved, and construction trailers arrived within the past few days at the staging lot on the former trash transfer site at 2nd and K, and so signs are pointing to work getting underway on The Garrett, the last of WC Smith's "Collective" troika. Joining siblings Park Chelsea and not-yet-open-but-newly-landscaped Agora, the Garrett will have about 375 rental units, and ground-floor retail. (No, I don't know when Whole Foods is opening.)
* PARC RIVERSIDE PHASE II: A reader who lives at Velocity says that management informed residents that work is expected to resume Any Second Now (or maybe already has) on the excavation for what will be the second phase of the Parc Riverside residential project, at Half and K.
* BOWER FLOOR PLANS: If you have been desperately awaiting the condo project known as the Bower to start selling, well, that hasn't happened yet, but floor plans are finally available on their web site. (h/t RMP)
 

In what could be considered the first hint of the proverbial light at the end of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, CSX has announced that starting sometime in the next few weeks--perhaps as early as October 2, though one might wonder if playoff baseball might impact the timeline--it will be closing the southbound lane of 3rd Street at Virginia Avenue for approximately four to five months, just as it did for a shorter period of time back back in March of 2016.
This closure is to allow for the demolition of the temporary deck over the still-under-construction north tunnel, which will then allow the roof of that tunnel to be built. Then work can begin on "installation of the new, final roadway features" on Virginia Avenue itself, first in the blocks just east of 2nd Street and then working eastward (which will mean more deck removals and temporary traffic flow changes/closures in coming months).
Traffic coming south down 3rd Street north of the freeway will still be able to make the right onto the freeway entrance ramp.
As with the previous closures, pedestrian access along 3rd Street will be maintained, as will access to the driveway to the Capitol Quarter houses on the front lines.
Fourth Street will be the main southbound route from north of the freeway down into the neighborhood.
Enjoy my map (sorry, CSX, my maps are easier to read than yours), and read the CSX presentation for more information.
 

A raze permit has been approved, fences have gone up, and the two-story building at 37 L Street SE that has been home to the Empire and DC Flyer cab companies for a number of years is apparently in its final hours/days/weeks.
The site was purchased last year by DBT Development for $6.7 million, with plans for an eleven-story 74-unit building that apparently will be condos. DBT was also the developer of the condo building at 1350 Maryland Ave., NE.
I had hoped to get some renderings, but decided to stop waiting and get this post up, in case people wonder why fences are now in place.
It is a small site--less than 8,000 square feet--and does not include the WMATA Navy Yard Metro station "chiller" operations immediately to its east, on the corner of Half and L, though that site is also expected to be a residential building, by MRP Realty, if that project is still happening.
It will be interesting to see if it is demolished before October 24, which will be the 40th anniversary of the Cinema Follies fire, when a ground-floor explosion and the resulting flames blocked the exit from the 50-seat x-rated gay movie theater on the second floor, killing nine people with thick toxic smoke.
 
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