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In the midst of the big push on to try to get open in time for July's MLB All-Star Game, a hard-hat was slapped on my head and I got a quick looksee at the huge space that will become Mission at Navy Yard, the Mexican restaurant coming to the northeast corner of Van and N in the 1221 Van apartment building.
While it does not yet quite look like the rendering, the huge space that will be the first restaurant on N Street SE immediately across from Nats Park (or, more accurately, one of the garages) is certainly taking shape. If you look closely at the rendering, you can see that Mission will occupy the corner space on both the first and second floor, but the bulk of the restaurant--including what it is heralding as DC's largest bar--runs the length of the second story, from Van to South Capitol.
There are actually four separate bar areas, plus outdoor seating on two floors, a private event space, and lots of the large roll-up garage-type windows to bring the outdoors in.
Owner Fritz Brogan told me that there will be happy hours seven days a week, and that while of course the hope is to make Mission a destination for the huge ballpark crowds that descend 81-plus times a year, the restaurant is also planning to cater to residents during the days and nights when Nats Park is dormant.
As to whether they will actually make it across the finish line by All-Star time, We Shall See, but one way or the other, I imagine that there will be considerable excitement for Mission's opening, whenever it is.
Here are some photos, showing the second-floor space and That Bar, plus a few positioning shots to give a feel for where the restaurant is/will be, in case you aren't envisioning it.
As an aside, if you had told me in March 2008 that it would be July 2018 before any sort of retail opened on N Street, I would have called you mad. Mad!! But delayed is not denied.
 

I'm thrilled with the flow of tidbits (and how easy it is for me to add them as I see them), but still need to come up with a way I think to better alert people or highlight them.
In the meantime, you should keep checking the site on a regular basis, and I'll post new threads up every so often and invite people to check out what they might have missed, which in this case includes:
* News of the neighborhood's "Rooftop Hop" on Saturday starting at 2pm (RSVP required).
* A farmers' market at Nats Park on Sunday, June 3 starting at 10 am.
* A Post article on complaints of excess vibrations with the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel(s).
* Greystar's purchase of the big CSX parcel that runs from New Jersey Avenue behind ORE 82 and 70/100 Capitol Yards.
* The folks behind Circa deciding not to bring their Open Road "concept" to 99 M, but instead a new venture. And Circa is still coming, too.
* Chase opening a branch at New Jersey and M.
 

If you didn't check back on last week's post, you missed additional tidbits about a construction permit for Wiseguy Pizza at Canal Park, a link to cool progress photos and timelines of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, the news that the Yards Parcel L apartment building will be called "The Estate," and an office tenant moving from Maritime Plaza to 1100 New Jersey. But you can go read it now.
So keep checking on this post to see what tidbits will come, but I already know of one, which is the news that the new Circulator route that will run down M Street from Southeast to Southwest will start June 24. Here's what I wrote about it last year.
 

This is not a forecast that screams, hey, let's hang out in a beer garden and socialize! So, with apologies, I am postponing the planned May 17 happy hour until a future date as yet undecided, when people won't need umbrellas and galoshes to get to the destination.
But, in return for bailing on the loyal readers who were ready to make the trek in rain or snow or dark of night, I have something that might be of interest.
And that is, I think I have come up with a way to quickly and easily share small tidbits of news, as they break, without waiting to pile them up in tidbits posts that turned out to be my undoing. And not just tidbits I find (since I won't always be on the lookout), but tidbits that readers pass along in the comments, as they have been doing for so many months.
So, starting now, you'll now see at the bottom of posts a section called "Tidbits to Tide You Over." These will be a mix of things I've come across along with *vetted* items from readers, and each will be marked with who posted them. All coming from the comment threads. Here's an example.
This will be an experiment--after all, my name (well, my initials) are on the masthead, and I have to be able to vouch for everything I elevate.
The JDLand rules of reporting and evaluating what is news will still apply. For instance, no rumors will be elevated. Longtime commenter/loyalists who have earned a level of trust will be more likely to see their tidbits elevated than someone who just registered. Pure advertisements will not be elevated. (Feel free to buy an ad, though!)
And I might suggest that commenters both try to keep any tidbit offerings short and sweet, and to not try to flood the zone with every little thing--you don't want to get on my bad side. And I reserve the right to do light editing when elevating content.
But if this works, it will actually succeed in making JDLand an even better destination for the latest in neighborhood goings-on than it has been in a long time. And I don't see it taking much of my time, leaving me better rested to write the longer posts on subjects I am interested in.
Enjoy your deputization, loyalists, but use your powers wisely.
And keep checking back to see what's new.
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More posts: JDLand stuff, tidbits
 

I said I'd post when the urge struck and when I could provide a bit of additional background, and after watching this particular lot for 15 years, there's no way I could pass up the news that apparently the District Department of Transportation "intends" to move eastward from its current spot in the 55 M Street office building to 250 M Street, where it would be the sole office tenant in a new building to be constructed by WC Smith.
According to ANC 6D commissioner Meredith Fascett, DDOT is wanting to occupy its new space by early 2021, which would mean construction would need to start in early 2019.
This location is directly across from the US Department of Transportation, which means that I'll be forced to call this stretch the DOT block of M Street, SE. It also will share the block known as Square 769 with the currently under-construction mixed-income apartment building on the north end of the block.
There are ANC and zoning approvals to be had, including giving the okay to WC Smith's desire to lower the building height to nine stories (as, ahem, illustrated at right), cut back on the ground floor retail space, and drop the expected parking spaces to 177 on three underground levels (instead of 197 on four).
This building is actually part of the Capper-Carrollsburg PUD, and it was 10 years ago this month that the plan for an office building on this site received its preliminary zoning approvals. Then the Great Recession came along, building office buildings without substantial amounts of space pre-leased became a relic of another time, and WC Smith had to file for four two-year extensions to that zoning approval, the last in late 2016.
As for DDOT's current home, it was in May 2010 that the rumor first came out that the agency would be moving to 55 M, which was a big get for that building and for the neighborhood in general at the time.
And, this lot also is dear to my heart because it was the subject of one of the first photos I ever took in the neighborhood, with my film camera (with bad film in it, dammit) in the fall of 2000. And I thought when I first really started tracking the neighborhood in 2003 that it took what seemed to me to be for-eehhhhh-ver for that little gas station to be demolished, nine whole months after I started watching, one month after the photo at right was taken in August of that year. Little did I know.
 

Just to prove I'm not going away completely (I think maybe I didn't emphasize that enough in my "pulling-back" post), I am inviting JDLand readers to come hang out at the Brig at 8th and L, SE, this Thursday, May 17, starting at 5ish.
Come meet your neighbors, your fellow commenters, and the entire staff of JDLand (minus the felines). I'll be the old lady with the fake red hair. Hope to see you!
In other news, while I am not walking back my decision to not write posts on little day-to-day stuff anymore--I'm already very much enjoying the guilt-eradication on that front--I have come up with a somewhat crazy solution that will allow the site to still have a steady stream of tidbits without my having to exert much energy. Stay tuned on that.
And I'll still be writing longer posts when the mood strikes.
Thanks to everyone for all of the lovely words these past few days. Now you know why it's so hard to extricate myself--you all are so good to me. My life would be much poorer without this little band of folks. Especially now.
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More posts: Events, JDLand stuff
 

It’s probably become obvious that I’m not particularly into the daily-news portion of this site right now.
It might be that, after 15 years, I have reached my maximum allowable limit of words written about zoning, public meetings, ribbon cuttings, retail spaces, project delays, and expected opening dates of highly anticipated grocery stores.
It also might be that I am still in the very early stages of trying to figure out life after last year’s neutron bomb, and am wanting to pare back on additional sources of stress wherever possible, such as this perpetual feeling that I am falling down on the JDLand job.
I have spent a year telling myself that the groove would return after the memorial service, then after the sale of the Wyoming house, then after the holidays, then after the hip surgery, then after the anniversary, but that groove has remained elusive. I think it's time to listen to that.
I hesitate to say This Is It, because I’ve said that twice before, only to be lured back by the siren song of being the Digital Town Crier. But I’m sort of looking at it like I am promoting myself to JDLand Editor at Large. (Though I see in 2013, when I first tried this dialing back, I called it Blogger Emeritus. Basically just read that post and change the years on it.)
If the mood strikes (like, say, when a highly anticipated grocery store opens or a professional all-star game comes to town), I’ll post, but I’m done chasing the day-to-day tidbits and news. Or, more accurately, I'm done feeling guilty about my lack of interest in posting the day-to-day tidbits and news. But follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where I'll still pass things along that strike my fancy, and where I'll send up flares when there are new posts here.
I think this is for real this time. Fifteen years of always being on the lookout for news is a pretty good run, especially for a “hobby.”
I’ll always take pictures, though. And I am sure will keep maintaining the project pages, maps, sliders, and whatnot, because it's not like I won't be watching.
And I certainly won't just up and forget the mountain of minutiae I've stored in my brain about Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards since I started watching in 2003. I just don't want to pretend that I want to write about everything anymore.
Maybe the JDLand commentariat will just keep doing what it’s been doing, which is to use the comment thread on the most recent post to provide the steady stream of news tidbits that I was slow to get to.
Thanks for everything. You folks have powered me on this adventure for a lot of years. But don't be strangers--I'm not disappearing completely.
And who knows, maybe the groove will indeed return. Like when Amazon picks the neighborhood for HQ2.
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More posts: JDLand stuff
 

Yes, it's time for another edition of JD Looks Behind Fences and Into Holes So You Don't Have To, and we start the rundown with two new spots to add to the lineup, where dirt has just begun to be moved: 71 Potomac, the 264-unit sibling to Dock 79 at Florida Rock, and "Square 696," Tishman Speyer's still-not-publicly-unveiled residential and retail project on the block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half Streets. Plus I'll add an up-to-date shot of the excavation at Paradigm's 1000 1st Street project, just because it doesn't fit anywhere else in this post:
(Note that I'm giving Tishman a few more weeks before I craft my own rendering. And thanks to the 71 Potomac folks for the pretty wood fences with holes in them that are perfect for snooping bloggers to look through!)
Next, let's talk about the "hybrid" hole in the ground at 1250 Half Street, aka the old Monument Valley site just across N Street from Nats Park. This is where two cranes mark the slow beginnings of vertical construction at the bottom of the hole, while six-plus floors of construction are already complete at the north end of the project, since that part of the hole was dug and the foundation was completed back in 2007 when Monument thought it would be building out the entire block instead of just the 55 M office building. This is where a two-phase project with up to 440 units of residential and more than 60,000 square feet of retail will be built:
(I need this project to hurry up and get to ground level because it's impossible to get a shot of the bottom of the hole without going up to a nearby roof.)
Now we'll move to the corner of South Capitol and M, where the National Association of Broadcasters HQ is graduating from hole-in-the-ground to skeleton, while its sibling, the condo building Avidian, is still not quite yet visible above the fence line. I forgot to walk down to get a photo through the fence of the Avidian footprint, so instead I'll just include this very bad shot I took a few weeks ago of the first hints of construction on the new Douglass Bridge, because it needs to be documented.
Three more projects are on their way upwards, including the Garrett at 2nd and I and the co-projects Parcel L residential/Thompson Hotel hole at 3rd and Tingey in the Yards shown here. (I forgot to get a shot of the Parc Riverside II hole. Probably looks like a hole with concrete and rebar, like the others):
So, in case you're not counting, that's nine projects either still below ground or just at ground level (or 10 if you include the permanently below-ground Virginia Avenue Tunnel, or 11 if you include the currently below-water Douglass Bridge work).
Then you can add those to the eight other projects that are above-ground, topped out, or nearing completion, and you can understand why it's okay to feel like the neighborhood is still a perpetual construction site, and will be for a while yet. Here's shots of seven of them, in order of progress: the 99 M office building, the DC Water headquarters, the Bower condos and sibling Parcel O rental building, and additional residential projects 2 I Street, Square 769N, and West Half (alas, I haven't made it over recently to check out the status of the Emblem condo project at 8th and Virginia, so I'm one short):
No wonder I'm so tired.
 

I shouldn't be writing this at lunch time:
* OATH OFFICIAL: Tomorrow (Thursday, April 19), Oath Pizza is having its official grand opening, with half-price pizzas as well with samples and swag, from 11 am to 10 pm. Address is 110 M St., SE, next to Bethesda Bagels.
* TRUCKEROO RETURNS: Friday, April 20, brings the return of monthly summer food truck festival Truckeroo, once again being held at the Bullpen at Half and M Streets, SE. Hours are shorter than they used to be, though, with the doors opening at 4 pm and running until 11 pm.
* FIVE GUYS RETURNS: Commenter ZinNY reports that a sign on the door at Five Guys says it will reopen on Monday, April 23. And with milkshakes, finally.
* NOT FOR EATING: One non-food tidbit, which is that reader Bryan Rodda reports that the Sprint store is now open at 4th and M, SE.
* PHOTOS OF THE NEWBIES: I was out amongst the hordes on Saturday, and got a few photos of the newest arrivals in the neighborhood, on a beautiful day for al fresco dining. (I also got lots of other photos, but have been distracted from posting about them. Soon.) If I may actually express two opinions, I'll note that Declaration's front bar is a great tableau for 1st Street, and All-Purpose's facade and outdoor areas are lovely (and clearly not a secret).
 

Was out of town for a long weekend to participate in the induction of the late Mr. JDLand into the University of Arizona School of Journalism Hall of Fame, as part of its inaugural class. Now trying to get caught up (I say that a lot these days, I know):
* MORE COFFEE!: Because you addicted folks can't get enough of that witches' brew you all pretend to like, I'll mention that Eater has reported that Australian chain Bluestone Lane has signed a lease to open a coffee shop a 1,014-square-foot space in the ground floor of the 99 M office building that will also be home to Circa and Open Road. Here's the deets on the existing location in Georgetown. Both the building and Bluestone are expected to be finished later this year.
* OATH OPEN: They kind of snuck in without a lot of fanfare, but Oath Pizza is now open next to Bethesda Bagels on M Street between 1st and New Jersey, joining All-Purpose and Declaration, which both opened last week. Now we await Wise Guy Pizza at Canal Park.
* CHLOE REVIEW: The Post's Tom Sietsema gives Chloe his "good/excellent" rating.
* YARDS PHASE 2: I was kind of surprised at the volume of coverage earlier this week about the second-phase plans at the Yards, which mainly shows the power of sending a press release to every development reporter in town (though not me). If you've been following my posts about "Yards West" since, oh, early 2014, the plans for well over 1 million square feet of office space on the footprint of Spooky Park at 1st and M and two residential buildings on the current parking lots on the south side of N Street is not really anything new. But the press release attached a 2019 start date attached to this next phase, and it also passed along two renderings, including one showing what the release describes as a "six-block spine" beginning at a new plaza at New Jersey and M, extending all the way to the Anacostia River at Diamond Teague Park, described as "a vibrant pedestrian-friendly street, featuring ground-level retail and dining, extended green spaces and a variety of public gathering areas." In all, "Yards West" will have about 3 million square feet of mixed-use space across 18 acres.
Here are the renderings, showing the planned office building for "Parcel F," on the northeast corner of 1st and N, and the aforementioned "spine," looking south toward the river.
(And maybe that new plaza at New Jersey and M will include the dreamed-of third entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, on the south side of M.)
But what if Amazon picks the Capitol Riverfront/Poplar Point HQ2 proposal, which includes these lots (seen on this map as locations 9 and 10)? Or is this a hint that it's not expected to be chosen? We Shall See!
* PARADIGM PART 2: WBJ reports late this afternoon that Paradigm has now purchased the rest of the block bounded by New Jersey, 1st, K, and L. This includes the Eagle Academy building and the taxi garage next door, on New Jersey. The company is just getting started with its 275-unit residential building at 1000 1st Street, on the west side of this block (known as Square 740), and apparently is planning a twin for the other part of the block.
 

Hard to believe that the 11th year of Nationals Park is getting officially underway on Thursday, when the Nats face the Mets at 1:05 pm in their home opener. And, 11 years later, it's a bit more of a task to pull together what will be happening outside the ballpark than when it was surrounded by a sea of empty lots. And yet I rise to the challenge once again.
First, if you haven't seen it, you may want to read my What's New Outside Nationals Park rundown, to get the latest on what's changed since last season, and what all those buildings under construction are going to be. (Hint: if you haven't visited the ballpark since last fall, the walk down Half Street is a-gonna feel a leeeeeettle different for you.)
And there's my Food Options map if you just want a quick guide to what's available by the ballpark, because, believe it or not, there's now more than 45 places within a few blocks of the ballpark for you to get food and/or drink. Again, that's a long way from April, 2008.
But here's some other items of note from outside the ballpark for Thursday, while I point you to this rundown of what will be happening inside the park when the gates open at 11 am. (And be prepared for the F/18 Super Hornet flyover right before the game starts, which always seems to catch everyone by surprise when the neighborhood starts to rumble.)

HOW TO GET THERE:
If you haven't yet figured out how you are getting to the game, the official Nats transportation page will be helpful, as well as this press release from the District Department of Transportation about planning your trip to the ballpark, with detailsabout DC Circulator, Capital Bikeshare, Metrorail/Metrobus, and street closures and parking.
DDOT also mentions that for-hire vehicles (taxis, Uber/Lyft, etc) are now prevented from picking up and dropping off passengers on South Capitol Street between the freeway and the Douglass Bridge, and M Street between 5th St. SE and Delaware Ave., SW.
Here is my Stadium Parking Lots map, provisionally updated for 2018, with the caveat that it really can't be fully updated until the season gets underway.
And of course you can just walk there, too.

NEW FOOD AND BEVERAGE AS OF THIS WEEK:
* Declaration, on 1st Street SE south of M, will be opening for the first time on Thursday, and will be giving away a free meatball slider with the purchase of a Samuel Adams beer, plus chances to win gift certificates, Nats gear and tickets, and a package for two lucky winners, who will receive a free pizza every time they dine in during a home game. After this grand opening, there will also be daily happy hours from 3-7pm at the bar (on days when the Nats are not at home). Happy hour includes $8 cocktails, $6 beers, and bar bites ranging from $5-$8.
* Aslin Beer Garden begins its run on the northwest corner of 1st and N SE at 11 am. It will be serving 16 oz cans priced from $8 to $11, and the lineup is expected to be Anthemic (pilsner), Power Move (IPA), Sorbet (fruited sour ipa), Awkwardly Sweet (fruited sour ipa), and Double Orange Starfish (double IPA).
* All-Purpose Pizzeria's location on the Anacostia Riverfront at 79 Potomac Avenue (on the waterfront across from the 1st Base Gate, near the Salt Line) officially opened on Tuesday, and is opening at 11 am Thursday for the Nats opener.

MORE GAMEDAY SPECIALS OUTSIDE THE BALLPARK: (to be updated as more are announced)
* The Bullpen will open its gates at 10 am, and will have pregame entertainment from Sean Gaiser and a postgame performance from the DCeivers. All drinks are $5 during "happy hour," from the 3rd through the 7th innings.
* Taylor Gourmet will have an all-day burger special: buy a burger get a free fountain drink and bag of chips.
* Rasa Indian Grill: The first 100 fans with Nationals Swag will receive a free #GONATS branded coconut with the purchase of a bowl.
* Roti will be offering $3 flat breads and $2 beers, one per customer, all day.
* Bluejacket will open at 9 a.m., debuting a new pilsner called Love Cats, a classic, hop-forward brew perfect for baseball season, and an outdoor grilling menu featuring sticky ribs, wings, sausage, pulled pork, burgers and more.
* Due South Dockside will be open, where Mix 107.3’s Ashley Nickel will be broadcasting live from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Ice Cream Jubilee will add a free mini scoop of their Nats Red Velvet flavor onto any ice cream purchase to guests that show their Opening Day ticket.
* Nando’s will have an all-day happy hour.
* Osteria Morini's waterfront satellite food and drink stand, Morini Piccolo, will serving ciabatta sandwiches, salads, charcuterie, beer and wine, and Italian desserts such as ice cream sandwiches and tiramisu.
* Takorean will offer $3 craft beers all day.
* Scarlet Oak will open at 10 am for brunch.
* Steadfast Supply will offer 10% off all products and extend hours to 8 p.m.
* Trapeze School New York - Washington DC will offer 20% off of a student’s first class. To use, contact the office and provide code “Opening Day 20”.
* VIDA Fitness will host an outdoor boot camp class at with trainer Matt Coleman leading the group, which will meet at the Department of Transportation at 6:30 a.m.
* Willow will give out a free pair of baseball earrings with a $20 purchase.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

A few things in advance of this week's big event, the Nats home opener (more on that to come):
* 1000 1ST, FOR REAL: As much as I liked coming up with my own vision for the lot on the east side of 1st between K and L, Paradigm has now graciously passed along the actual rendering for the 275-unit residential project that is now in the early stages of excavation. Note that the purple portions of the rendering are lights that will rotate through different colors.
* EIGHTEEN EIGHT DEAD: There have been inquiries from readers lately about the status of the "fine men's salon" that was supposed to be coming to Tingey Street at the Foundry Lofts, and now commenter NavyYahd has passed along this link to the company's web site, saying that "18|8 Navy Yard will no longer be opening in Washington, D.C." So, when you still see lots of scruffy dudes around the neighborhood, that's probably why.
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE DESIGN THUMBS UP: The actual meeting isn't until Thursday, but the National Capital Planning Commission's staff is recommending approval of the design of the new Frederick Douglass Bridge. If this bridge is of interest to you and you are hankering for more details, I suggest paging through the city's submittal for this latest review, along with the voluminous staff recommendation. I grabbed some images from the submittal and have added them to my project page, but wanted to highlight these two, showing what the side paths and overlooks on both sides of the bridge will look like, along with what the view up South Capitol from the planned traffic oval at Potomac Avenue might look like. Pre-construction work is already underway for this project, which includes not only the bridge and two ovals but also the reconstruction of the Suitland Parkway interchange.
* ANACOSTIA RISING: Local radio station WAMU has posted Anacostia Rising, an in-depth look at "The River Washington Forgot." Sometimes labeled one of the most polluted rivers in the United States, this multimedia offering looks at how DC is "rediscovering the long-neglected waterway," and what that means for the neighborhoods along the river. (So maybe this is a good spot to also mention last week's opening of the Anacostia River tunnel leg of DC Water's massive Clean Rivers Project.) And mark your calendars for the fourth annual Anacostia River Festival, on Sunday, April 15, from 1 to 5 pm.
* OFFICIALLY ALL-PURPOSE: Today is the official opening date for All-Purpose Pizzeria, on the river in the ground floor of Dock 79, at 79 Potomac Ave., SE. Hours are from 4 to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 4 to 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Here's the dinner menu, and here's a sneak peek from the Hungry Lobbyist.
 

It did not take long for the news to explode on social media that the Aslin Beer Company will be launching a game-day beer garden at the corner of 1st and N, SE, a block away from the Center Field Gate, starting on April 5, the day of the Nats home opener.
It will generally run from about two hours before each game until two hours after, and the company's Instagram post says that "starting as soon as May, we will also be open on non-game days throughout the summer."
However, the Instagram feed for the beer garden itself (which might be hinting at being called the Sandlot) says that the pop-up will run until July 8. My understanding is that the owners of the lot are expecting to start construction after the All-Star Game on the two-story bar/restaurant that has been planned for that site since the F1rst development was announced. (I shall take to calling this lot the Outpost, since it is separated from its F1rst sibling by the Hampton Inn.) Whether that actually comes to pass, We Shall See.
In other tidbits that I really need to get out of the hopper:
* DECLARATION: There apparently are now signs at Declaration that it will open on April 5. Still waiting for an official date from Oath Pizza.
* 71 POTOMAC: Looks like Dock 79's 264-unit sibling currently dubbed 71 Potomac is going to get underway Any Minute Now (if digging hasn't already started). It will also have 12,500 square feet of retail, and will be built immediately to Dock 79's west. (WBJ)
* SUMMER MOVIE LINEUP: Here's the schedule for Canal Park's Thursday Night Summer Movie series, running from June 7 through Aug. 23.
* CIRCULATOR SUMMER HOURS: April 1 is almost here, which means it'll be time for the DC Circulator Union Station-Navy Yard route to switch to its summer hours, running from 6 am to 9 pm Monday-Friday and 7 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, plus extended hours when the Nats are at home, running until midnight for every game beginning at 4:05 pm or later as well as from 10 am to 10 pm for Sunday home games.
* (UPDATE I) CHLOE LUNCH: Just across the transom is the news that Chloe at 4th and Tingey is now serving lunch on weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm. "Designed to be carryout friendly," it will include a rotating selection of options like enchiladas and banh mi.
* (UPDATE II): DUE SOUTH DOCKSIDE: Confirmation that Due South Dockside will open at 11 am on Opening Day.
 

Today was the annual preseason media tour at Nationals Park, and while I did attend, I think it has been better covered elsewhere, so I am just going to stick to my wheelhouse and let folks know what they will see *outside* the ballpark when they venture to Half Street for the first time in 2018, whether it's for tomorrow's signs-point-to-frigid exhibition game at 4:05 pm against the Twins, or for the official home opener on April 5 against the Mets.
I've put together my annual What's New page with an overview of the latest on construction, development, and food offerings, but of course I must give an overview of the overview:
I think it's safe to say that even the less observant fans will notice that Half Street is now undergoing the change that has been expected for a decade, since the ballpark opened officially on March 30, 2008. Two residential projects that will eventually offer a combined 850-plus units and more than 120,000 square feet of retail are now sprouting vertically, with West Half edging out 1250 Half for the lead at this time.
But these are just two of the seventeen projects currently underway or about to be, which you can see on the map at the top right of each page, or on the full JDLand development map. Once again, driving/walking/biking/scootering in the neighborhood requires vigilance to one's surroundings with all of the activity. If you like to see photos of skeletons or holes in the ground, just start clicking on that map to get your fill.
As for new food options since the end of last season, we'll start with a headline that came down the pike today, which is that All-Purpose has announced it will open on April 3 in the ground floor of Dock 79, just across Potomac Avenue from the ballpark. (Here's Eater's preview of the place.) There's also rumors afoot that two more pizza places--Declaration on 1st south of M and Oath Pizza at 110 M--are targeting April 5 for their own Opening Days. And summer is expected to bring another pizza offering, as Wiseguy Pizza arrives at Canal Park with not only pies but also gelato.
There will also be a milestone of sorts later this season if/when the 10,000-square-foot Mexican restaurant Mission Dos becomes the first outlet to open on N Street, in the ground floor of the new 1221 Van apartment building that opened to residents earlier this year directly across from the ballpark (well, directly across from one of the garages, but you get the idea).
As for eateries that have opened since the end of last season, you can now add Chipotle, Roti, Rasa Indian Grill, Cava, and Chloe to your options if you're looking to get food and/or drink before and/or after a game.
Plus there's also the added riverfront options of District Winery, Due South Dockside, and Morini Piccolo if their mid/late-season arrivals last year didn't make it onto your radar.
See the JDLand food map for the full lineup of current and anticipated outlets east of South Capitol. It's come a long way from 2008.
There's also some other items to be anticipating, such as the start of construction on the new Douglass Bridge and other improvements to South Capitol Street on both sides of the river. There's also the no-really-it's-coming-we-just-don't-know-when opening of Whole Foods at New Jersey and H, which should be by the end of the year, but {insert shrug emoji}. Plus there's the impending arrival of Audi Field up Potomac Avenue, but it's in Southwest and so is outside of my purview (though I couldn't resist sneeking a peek today).
And I imagine I'll being doing something like this again in July, when the masses really descend on Natstown.
Play Ball!
UPDATE: I should have mentioned that I have made a very preliminary update to my Stadium Parking Map, but it's hard to really know the state of affairs until the season starts.There is one big change that is definite--the large surface lot at Half and I is no more, since construction is supposed to start Any Minute Now on a block-wide project there. There is underground parking across the street at One Hill South, though. But it's likely that parking is going to be a little tighter this year.
UPDATES II AND III: It's been announced today that the Aslin Beer Company will be creating a pop-up beer garden in the empty lot between the wings of the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, immediately north of the ballpark. It will first be for home games only, then may expand in May to other days as well. Also, it's being reported that Declaration has a sign in its window announcing that it will open on April 5.
 

Getting caught up on a few things after my terribly busy week of laying on the sofa rehabbing my hip:
* NAVY YARD DENTAL OPENS: Now open and accepting appointments in the ground floor of the 55 M Street office building at Half and M (the one on top of the Metro station entrance) is Navy Yard Dental, where Chad Jones, DDS is available for all your toothy needs. (Sorry I don't have a current photo. Will update with one when I get there.) But maybe don't race across the street to Shake Shack right after getting your teeth cleaned.
* BISCUITS POPPING UP: Commenter Ampersand reports that Eater DC reports that next week Ice Cream Jubilee will partner with the Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. to offer savory biscuit sandwiches and shortcake-like strawberry sundae sandwiches during afternoons through the end of May.
* CLOSING THE ROOF: The Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction team reports that the final roof panel of the entire two-tunnel project was placed this week. Still a lot of work to do, but CSX says that the project remains "on time" and expected to be completed this fall.
* SPEAKING OF CLOSINGS: I mentioned this in my last post, but that was forever ago so I'll mention again that in order for the tunnel project to continue along toward completion, CSX is expecting to temporarily close both the 4th Street and 5th/6th Street intersections next week, possibly as early as March 14. The closures are expected to last 3-4 months, and it means that the now-once-again-two-way 3rd Street will be seeing a lot of extra traffic.
* VAN NESS SILENT AUCTION: Sorry to mention this with only a day left to go before it finishes (I did mention on Twitter and Facebook, at least), but the Van Ness Elementary PTO is having a silent auction fundraiser, and among such items as tickets to see Pink, dinner at Rose's Luxury, Nats tickets, and other highly enticing offerings is the chance to take a neighborhood walking tour guided by none other than yours truly this spring. (Or, if I haven't recovered sufficiently, the chance to pull me around the neighborhood in a little red wagon.) There are ten bidding slots to win two tickets, with the bids right now ranging from $45 to $75 with 24 hours to go.
 

Some stories people have been waiting to hear about for a while:
* MOVIE THEATER MOVING FORWARD: WBJ reports that "D.C. Water, developer Forest City Washington and the District government have settled all outstanding business tied not only to the parcel needed for the long-planned 16-screen, 1,500-seat movie theater, but other sites surrounding it that are similarly planned as part of The Yards."
Forest City should receive the movie theater land in late spring, apparently, with the other residential-planned parcels to come probably over the next five years.

* LERNER BUYS 49 L: The General Services Administration announced this morning that the sale closed on Feb.22 for the one-story brick warehouse on the southeast corner of Half and L, SE.
Property records show that "Half Street Partners, LLC" paid $31 million for the site. And that LLC happens to have a mailing address of 2000 Tower Oaks Blvd., Eighth Floor, which happens to be the address of Lerner Enterprises.
No word yet on the plans for the site, which is (sort of) across the street from Lerner's 20 M office building, and also creates a sort-of Lerner-owned triangle with...

* 1000 SOUTH CAPITOL MOVING FORWARD: Lerner officially announced this week its plans to build the 250-unit 13-story residential building at South Capitol and K that has been working its way through the design and zoning process for the past few years. Designed by Shalom Baranes Associates, it will also have 10,000 square feet of retail along with the lineup of amenities befitting a new "luxury" building--fitness center with Pelotons, private dining room with demonstration kitchen, rooftop pool and entertainment center, and pet spa and bicycle repair offerings for residents. It is expected to get underway late in 2018.
UPDATE: And now we have one more piece of neighborhood news from WBJ today, which is that it has finally been officially announced that the new hotel at 3rd and Tingey in the Yards will be a Thompson boutique hotel.
(Though it must be noted that the WBJ story doesn't seem to quite realize that the hotel is already under construction, in a joint digging-and-building project with Forest City's next residential building, on Parcel L.)
The hotel will have 225 rooms, and the residential building will have about 270 units, and combined the two will have about 24,000 square feet of retail.
 

It has taken me much longer to clear the post-surgical cobwebs from my brain than I expected, so don't have many expectations for this post. I just hope it's in English. (But the hip repairs--NOT REPLACEMENT!--went well, and I should start getting off of crutches soon.)
* SPRINT STORE: I have said for years that no new neighborhood has truly arrived until it gets its first cellphone retailer, and I would not have guessed it would take until 2018 for that box to get checked, but numerous approved building permits indicate that Sprint will be opening a store in the old Sizzlin' Express space on the northwest corner of 4th and M.
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE GROUNDBREAKING: As if to taunt me after 15 years of watching and waiting, the Feb. 13 ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Douglass Bridge and associated first-phase improvements to the South Capitol Street Corridor was held while I was very much horizontal and hopped up on goofballs. But since it's right on our DMZ line, SWill was there and took some photos. Estimated completion date is 2021. (Speaking of SWill, he is the one to read for coverage of Buzzard Point, since that is outside my purview.)
* TUNNEL DOINGS: The last section of wall on the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel was poured on Feb. 22. an effort that overall totaled three miles of 24-foot-tall concrete. Meanwhile, 3rd Street should be reopening to two-way traffic Any Minute Now, which then paves the way (sorry) for both the 4th and 5th Street intersections to close, probably in mid-March, to dismantle the temporary bridge decks and complete the new tunnel's roof in those blocks, and wrap up the final street restoration. And no, the 6th Street exit ramp from the freeway won't close. The entire project is "on time," for completion this fall, according to CSX.
* ANOTHER PROJECT READY TO GO: A shoring/sheeting/excavation permit has been approved for the second phase of the "Riverfront" project, aka the Florida Rock site. This will be a 13-story, 260ish-unit residential building with about 12,000 square feet of retail, and will go up immediately to the west of Dock 79. When I'm a little more mobile I'll write a roundup of what's currently underway.
* WINERY HAPPY HOUR: If you don't have a supply of post-surgical painkillers like some people, there's now a Happy Hour at District Winery, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday, with $8 signature cocktails and select wines, $5 select beers, and 50 percent of District Winery wines by the bottle.
There's probably more, but this wore me out. Hey, it's a start.
 

Getting in just under the wire before my assignment to the 60-day disabled list, the JDLand camera and I made a visit on Monday to 1221 Van, the 290-unit apartment building at South Capitol and N, immediately north of Nats Park.
Many photos were taken, and the most informative of them are in this photo gallery, but a sampling of the offerings are included below.
The official web site has more details on the building and its amenities, as well as the floor plans page that is filterable by price, size, etc. The monthly rents range from $1,725 for the smallest studio to $3,600 and up for penthouse-level 2BR/2.5 BA units (including a 1,638-square-foot unit for $8,200, at least according to their web site).
The building has more than 20,000 square feet of retail, and word came out in late January that Mission Dos will be taking the two-story corner space at Van and N.

But really, go check out the full gallery, which has many more photos.
With this, 1221 Van becomes the 45th project to be completed since I started watching the neighborhood 15 years ago, and the sixth within the past twelve months. So here's a final before-and-after, showing what corner of South Capitol and N looked like up until early 2007, and now:
And now I shall go silent for a bit as I get my hip socket resewn and shaved (not replaced!--yet), but hopefully I will doing some housebound blogging before too long. Might be a while before I take any new photos, since the JDLand camera has in its contract that it does not risk its life for use while on crutches. UPDATE: But I should have noted to keep an eye on my Twitter feed, where it's easier for me to pass along quick updates (like this morning's retweet that apparently the Five Guys is "closed for renovations" again, until baseball season).
 

A few of these deserve their own posts, but, well....
* DECLARATION DECLARING: A press release from Grosvenor says that Declaration will be opening at F1rst, in mid-March, as the building's first full-service dining option. "This new location will be double the size of its counterpart in [Shaw] and will offer pizza and Philadelphia-oriented menu items, including some ballpark staples." The release also says that Barre3 will open in spring late summer or fall [error in press release, I'm told]. With these openings, only one retail space at F1rst remains unleased.
* BARRACKS DECIDING: The Record of Decision and Final EIS for the new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters have been published, ending a study phase that feels like it began in 1936. The chosen site plan is to build the new BEQ immediately to the north of the barracks at 7th and L, SE (Building 25), which will spell doom for either some or all of the athletic field (it's been so long, I don't remember anymore). Read the MBEIS web site for actual details that aren't from memory.
* SOUTH CAPITOL PROJECTING: DDOT announced some temporary lane closures this week in multiple locations "for pre-construction work associated with the South Capitol Street Corridor Project and the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge project." I believe this is the first mention of "pre-construction work" for these projects--or at least they are since the design-build contract was awarded.
* PEPCO DISRUPTING: ANC 6D07 Commissioner Fascett reports that PEPCO will be digging up portions M Street SE between 1st and 6th and 1st south of M to install underground pipes and then cables during February and March. Watch for daytime traffic disruptions weekdays and Saturdays.
* WILLOW VALENTINING: If you are in a red-heart mood on Saturday (Feb. 10), retail boutique Willow is having a Valentine's Day party, from 11 am to 7 pm. There will be valentine-making, cupcakes, a photo booth, and more. (Strangely, the valentines give out all look like this.) Willow is in the ground floor of Arris, on Water Street across from District Winery, just north of the Yards Park.
 

Some bits of tid for you:
* NEW PROJECTS STARTING SOON: Residents at Capitol Yards and at Velocity have received notices in recent days about the pending start of two residential projects outside their windows: a 275-unit building by Paradigm on the east side of 1st Street between K and L (the old Market Deli site, for you long-timers), and Tishman Speyer's 800-unit project with potentially more than 40,000 square feet of retail on the Square 696 parking-lot block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half. There is precious little additional information about either development--when projects are "at right" and don't have to go through zoning approvals, easily grabbed details and renderings can be scarce, but hope springs eternal that more deets will pop up soon. As will the fences, pedestrian detours, and backhoes.
* ONYX SALE: It's been announced that the sale of the Onyx on First apartment building at 1st and L has closed, with local company UIP (Urban Investment Partners) structuring a $95.5 million deal for the building that is now 10 (!) years old. UIP owns and manages about 2,800 apartments in DC and Maryland, and is also behind a lot of local renovations, including the old Howard Johnson's across from the Watergate. What makes this sale a little interesting is that when the previous owners notified residents of an impending sale, they organized under the District's Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and then chose UIP to take the tenant acquisition rights. The press release says that "UIP has committed to installing cell phone repeaters" and will also improve the roof deck kitchens, install dog runs, and undertake other "building enhancements."
* THE BLUE CASTLE: The Hill Rag has shared a neat documentary by the students of the Richard Wright charter school about their school's 8th and M location, entitled "9 Lives of the Blue Castle." Wright focuses its curriculum on journalism and "media arts," for students in grades 8 through 12.
* TUNNEL UPDATES: The presentation from the latest "Coffee with Chuck" has a lot of cool pictures from inside the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel(s), where the JDLand camera does not tread. There's also continuing updates of schedules for cross street closures as the temporary bridge decks get demolished and the roads get rebuilt. Be prepared that a multi-month closure of 4th Street is coming, once 3rd Street is reopened.
 
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