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Losing track of which project is which? Time for another photo tour....
First, let us welcome the two new skeletons now above ground level, the Maren on Potomac Avenue and Paradigm's project at 1000 1st St., SE, both of which are apartment projects:
(Tishman Speyer's massive Square 696 residential project is just now starting to peek up, but didn't make the above-ground cut this time.)
It's a sign that the frantic construction pace of the past two years that we only have three projects coming out of the ground, and only one where excavation is stlll underway (One Hill South 2). A breather will be nice.
That said, there are still nine other projects that are in the getting-their-faces-on stage of construction. So let's look at the National Association of Broadcasters HQ (and its sibling Avidian condos to the rear) at South Capitol and M, the Funnel on Half Street (aka West Half), the combo project of the Estate apartments at 3rd and Water by the Yards Park and a Thompson hotel at 3rd and Tingey (shown in closeup because I dig the windows), the second phase of Novel South Capitol, Parc Riverside Phase 2 at Half and L, and the Garrett at 2nd and K. The last photo in the bunch is 1250 Half, which is both a still-rising skeleton on its southern end and a face-being-put-on project on its northern end, completely mucking with my flow.
(Follow the links to the project pages for details--I've already written enough words this week!)
Still under construction as well are residential projects the Harlow and the Bower condos/Guild apartments, but I didn't take any updated photos because their exterior work is mostly done. Plus I might have collapsed.
Tired out by this? Now you know why I for the first time grabbed a scooter to cover all of the territory.
But I also used my newfound scooter freedom to get some sorely needed shots at the far edges of the JDLand coverage area. Here are my first photos of the work on the new Douglass Bridge, as seen from the old Douglass Bridge (and no, that platform is not the new bridge), as well as a picture of the Emblem on Barracks Row condo building at 8th and Virginia, now completed despite my having almost completely ignored it during its construction:
Speaking of the new Douglass Bridge, if you go to the official web site and scroll down to Project Gallery, you will see what I think is a new animation of the new bridges and ovals and whatnot.
As for what's on the boards to get underway in 2019, I'd say that the most likely contenders are the new DDOT HQ at 250 M and Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street residential building, and maybe one other I will write about soon. As for others? We Shall See.
I also belatedly have added the GSA warehouse at 49 L to my Demolished Buildings Gallery, as #181. That's a lot of demo.
 

It was more than six years ago that word first seeped out that Forest City Washington was looking to bring a large movie theater to the Yards, on land owned by DC Water that the development company would acquire.
But those negotiations have still not completely been resolved, and, in a time-extension request filed last week with the Zoning Commission, Forest City described the current situation, which will displease long-frustrated neighborhood moviegoers:
"Because of the extensive delays tied to the important and expansive discussions regarding DC Water's relocation and operational needs, as well as DC Water's need to retain control of the F-1 Parcel to facilitation construction of its headquarters building, Forest City's rights with respect to the lease with the theater operator have expired. Despite efforts to reconstitute that deal, it is clear that Forest City will not be able to proceed with the original approved program for a two-level, 16-screen theater above a four-level parking garage."
The filing goes on to say that the company is "now pursuing additional refinements to the approved plans." While the building's size and scale will likely stay the same, it is possible that the theater will be "reduced in size" and/or "incorporating other appropriate and compatible uses for the site to ensure a viable project." There is also apparently a need to relocate the building's planned loading and service access onto N Place and away from DC Water's ongoing operations. The facade design will likely change as well.
The filing states that the "very complicated planning constraints on this unique site" have "nearly reached final resolution," but that Forest City now requests an additional two years to work on redesigning the plan.
(Of course, this means that the replacement of "When will Whole Foods open?" with "When will the movie theater open?" as the most-asked question at JDLand will continue on for a while.)
 

I will be the first to admit that I did not do a very good job tracking the progress of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction. Even putting aside the fact that most of it happened underground, it just came at a rotten time in my life and was too large a footprint for me to ever really feel like I could do it justice. So of course instead of trying my best anyway, I just kind of gave up. Oops.
But, while the expansion of the original tunnel and the construction of the second track tunnel are both now complete, and now it is just streetscape work standing between impatient drivers* and the reopening of the avenue east of 4th, there is a part of the project where I can think I can provide a service, and that is looking at the actual changes in Virginia Avenue itself since digging started in spring 2015.
Yes, we're going to take a tour of the road. You might be surprised at how much it has changed.
Let's start at 2nd and Virginia, which in the pre-project days was a weird intersection between 2nd and the functional Virginia Avenue to the east along with the incomplete H Street and closed-off Virginia Avenue to the east. It never saw much traffic but was large and oddly configured for a spot with so little use. These are two before-and-after sets, first looking north-northwestward, and then eastward (sorry for the crappy current shots):
Remembering that you can click to enlarge these photos and then page through them, you'll see how this 2nd-H-Virginia intersection was extremely wide and mainly focused on the flow of traffic along Virginia Avenue, which became superfluous when in the early 2000s it was decided to close Virginia from this spot out to South Capitol (because of security concerns with its location right by the Capitol Power Plant). In the new version, there are big sidewalk bulb-outs, shinking the amount of asphalt and making it easier for pedestrians to cross the street, which comes in handy for the hordes marching toward Whole Foods in the next block.
As we continue east on Virginia, there isn't much of a change in the 300 block's footprint, other than the creation of bulb-outs to narrow the sidewalk width while still allowing mid-block parking on both sides.
But there's definitely a few changes where Virginia heads east across 4th Street:
The street is now closer to the freeway, and on a straight line toward the intersection with 5th Street. The wide bend from 4th Street is gone, meaning that hopefully cars turning left from 4th onto Virginia will now have to slow down to navigate the intersection. There's also now parking on the south side of the street, which mainly serves to add back in the few parking spaces that disappeared now that I Street no longer bends into Virginia east of 4th. I don't have an "after" photo, but you can see what it used to do here, and also see how Virginia had to bend northward to get to the intersection with 5th.
The intersection at 5th (which becomes 6th as you go north under the freeway) has always been ugly, so ugly that I never came up with a good standard way of photographing it, which means my before pictures aren't always helpful. But in this comparison shot looking west, you can see how Virginia is now a straight shot coming from 4th to 5th. You can also see that the street and ramp from 695 are much closer, and the grading has been changed as well,
Turning around and looking eastward on Virginia at 5th, you can see how much the traffic flow has been altered:
Before, the freeway traffic used to continue on Virginia via the lanes to the left, and the traffic from Virginia and those turning onto Virginia from 5th used the merging lanes to the right. And there was a lovely median separating them, making it a long trek for pedestrians from the north side of Virginia to the south side. Now, as you can mostly see (sorry about the shadows), it's more like a regular intersection, except that from what I can tell the drivers in the middle lanes from Virginia and the ramp will have a wide middle lane to handle their merging as they go east. Will have to see how the ramp lanes are striped--will the left ramp lane be left-turn only? Or left/straight, and the right ramp lane straight, as it used to be? We Shall See.
Now we get to 7th Street, which doesn't really look that different except that the diagonal stub of K Street just to the south is now gone, again making it easier for pedestrians on the east side of 7th to get north of Virginia.
Now we have reached 8th Street, the end of my little tour. First turning back to look westward, you'll see that the lanes no longer split, once again making it easier for pedestrians to get across:
When you look eastward across 8th, you'll see a big change (the departure of the on-ramp to 695), but that happened in 2013. As I'm sure you remember.
I imagine the blocks east of 4th Street will open Any Minute Now, since they are all now striped and lamped and lighted and curbed. Then we can find out how it all works when actual pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists, scooterists, and the like get a hold of it.
It was a long 3 1/2 years to get to this point, but these photos indicate--even more than I realized--that CSX did not just tear Virginia Avenue up, dig a tunnel, and plop the old street right back down on top of the new tunnel.
* I'll do a tour of the new bike side path another time.
 

A few items of note I've come across while catching up with recently filed building permit applications:
* CHURCH OF THE BLUE CASTLE: It's been four years since the National Community Church purchased the Navy Yard Car Barn, aka the "Blue Castle," at 8th and M, and with all tenant leases now expired, an interior building permit application has been filed for creating a "worship space" for the church, along with support spaces "such as green rooms, production studio, and a kids room." Back in September, Capitol Hill Corner reported that these Phase I plans are for a 900-plus seat auditorium "which will be used for Sunday church services but will be available for rent to the community during days and nights." And, to answer the inevitable question, when I interviewed Mark Batterson about the purchase of the building, he said that he hopes "that someday the Blue Castle will just be the Castle."

* CHURCH OF THE A-1 TIRES: While developers have been trying to pitch a sliver of a residential building on the northeast corner of 1st and K since the lot changed hands in 2017, the only current movement at the site is an apparent plan to renovate the former A-1 Tires garage for a church assembly space, including a new roof and windows. Is perhaps the Waterfront Church looking to move from their Capitol Hill Tower space? We Shall See. UPDATE: I've been told that this is an expansion by the Waterfront Church, not a move.

* HARNESSING THE SUN MONSTER: If you've seen some construction activities on top of the Nats Park garages along N Street, it is the installation of "solar canopies" containing 4080 modules. (The only question remaining is, will the Sun Monster's number one victim be back this season to see these new additions?)

* WALLS COME TUMBLIN' DOWN?: After the Lerner Companies initially received approval to take the roof off of the old warehouse at 49 L but keep the lower 4 feet of brick walls, there is now a request to revise that permit to remove the wall completely "due to failing structural integrity," and to replace it with a new 8-foot chain link fence. There have been no development plans announced for this site, but one wonders if the Lerners might be thinking about some temporary parking options if indeed their 1000 South Capitol residential building is soon to get underway, which would necessitate the closure/move of Nats Parking Lot K.
 

Last month, Forest City filed plans with the Zoning Commission for a design review of Yards Parcel G, currently home to the Trapeze School and now expected to be the new headquarters for Chemonics International, a USAID contractor.
Note that when the news first broke, it was said that this building would be at New Jersey and M, but that's incorrect--it is planned for the northwest corner of New Jersey and N and/or Tingey and/or the proposed Tingey Square, as seen in this rendering, which helpfully provides Nats Park and the DC Water headquarters building as reference points. (And directly across N from Chemonics HQ is the planned residential building on Parcel I, which you can read about here.)
This would be a 290,000-square-foot, 11-story-plus-penthouse building, with about 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and about 165 below-grade parking spaces. The zoning filing says that approximately 1,200 employees would be expected to move to the building when it opens. There will also be an at-grade bicycle lobby for building users.
This building's west side will face 1 1/2 Street, Yards West's planned pedestrian-oriented-but-not-pedestrian-only "spine," and to the north it will be bounded by the planned Quander Street that is to be (re-)built at the spot where the currently huge empty block is bisected by an east-west sidewalk.
Here's a trip around three of the building's corners, starting at its northwest corner where 1 1/2 and Quander Streets will meet, then at Quander and New Jersey, and then at New Jersey and N/Tingey/Tingey Square:
For those of you concerned for the fate of the trapezers, the zoning filing says that the school would be moved to Parcel E, which is the site of Building 202, and which apparently will soon be its own design review application. (Hmmmmm.....)
I threw together a quick Parcel G page, which will jog longtime residents' memories of Spooky Building 213, which occupied this parcel along with Parcels A and F for 50 years or so.
The zoning design review hearing is scheduled for April.
UPDATE: Forgot to include that Chemonics received a $5.2 million property tax break for its decision to relocate to the Yards. Specifically, it is an eight-year tax abatement running from FY 2023 to FY 2030.
(See, I do still know how to blog. I may found out this weekend if I still know how to take pictures.)
 

Still kind of taking a sabbatical, but am putting up a new thread because I forgot that my code closes comments at the 30-day mark. Oops!
Hopefully I'll get a little bit of blogging mojo back after the new year--but really, there isn't that much going on right now, anyway. Unless you guys can tell me all sorts of stuff in the comments.
Happy New Year to all...
Comments (7)
More posts: JDLand stuff
 

* TRANSPORTATION STUDY KICK-OFF: On Wednesday, Nov. 28, DDOT and ANC6D are holding the first public meeting for a study of transportation issues in {insert preferred neighborhood name of your choice}. It's at 7 pm at the Capper Community Center at 5th and K Streets, SE. Along with a list of desired changes (such as a stop sign at 3rd and Virginia and protecting the bike lane on 1st south of M), the flyer notes that a stoplight is expected to be coming to the harrowing New Jersey and I intersection in 2019.
And now some of increasingly old tidbits:
* ALBI/MAXWELL: Washingtonian reports news of two restaurants coming to the Yards in 2019: Albi, a "modern American eatery inspired by {chef Michael Lee Rafidi's} Middle Eastern and Mid-Atlantic roots," and another branch of Shaw's "oenophile haven," the wine bar Maxwell. The JDLand commentariat has analyzed the situation and are positing that the new garage door-style panels on the 4th Street side of the Bower might be the home for these ventures.
* CHEMONICS: Not a restaurant, but Washington Business Journal reports behind its paywall that Chemonics, a USAID contractor among other things, is close to a deal to move its 1,200-person headquarters from near Farragut West to Yards Parcel A Yards Parcel G (updated 1/2/19 with the correct location--oops). This northern portion of Spooky Park has long been planned to be Class A office space--as for the rest of the block, I wrote a few weeks ago about the plans for residential along N Street and the new streets coming. This new office building would be north of the hotly awaited Quander Street. (h/t commenter Westnorth)
* SQUARE 696 UNMASKED? With thanks to commenter CL85, we may have our first look at what is coming to Square 696, the block just about out of the ground on the south side of I Street between Half and 1st. (If Clark pulls it down, here is the rendering.) This is going to be an 818-unit residential project spanning the entire block when both phases are complete in 2022. (It sounds like they are going to build the "structure and skin" of the entire project, but will first complete the eastern tower before moving to the interior work of the western tower.)
* NEW BIKESHARE STATION: If you haven't stumbled across it yet, there is now a 19-dock CaBi station on 4th Street SE just north of M (alongside the new Sprint store and kitty corner from Teeter).
* NEW ANC COMMISSIONERS: In local local local election results, ANC 6D07 (the seat left open by Meredith Fascett's retirement) has been won by Edward Daniels, while in 6D02 Anna Forgie clobbered incumbent Cara Lee Shockley.
 

I am, shall we say, a bit distracted these days, and so have been taking full advantage of that whole "I'm only going to post when I feel like it" pledge from a few months back. (And I still need to write a longer post on news of Greystar's plans on the CSX land west of New Jersey, but there's only so much blogging blood that can come out of this stone right now.)
Most of these items will sound familiar to the commentariat, but for those who haven't been following the conversation:
* LULULEMON COMING: Yoga pants and other accoutrements will be coming to the Boilermaker Shops on Tingey Street in the Yards, according to the company's web site. It will move into the space vacated by Steadfast Supply's move to Water Street.
* SOMEWHERE COMING: "Somewhere", an "intergrated retail and cafe concept" from folks on the team that created Maketto on H Street will be coming to F1rst in 2019. The press release says it will combine "a highly curated retail mix of high end clothing, sneakers and other footwear, unique brand products, as well as planning and orchestrating community events. The team will also develop programming for the residents of F1RST, including interactive social media opportunities, style consultations and more."
* RETAIL INDUSTRY COMING, SORT OF: WBJ reports that the Retail Industry Leaders Association has agreed to lease nearly 13,000 square feet at 99 M.
* MODERN NAIL BAR ARRIVES: New signage for "Modern Nail Bar" has appeared above the corner space at the Courtyard Marriott at New Jersey and L. I have not poked my nose in, so I do not know if this is one of those newfangled places where they ply you with alcohol while clipping and coating the tips of your digits. (h/t @202FSUNole)
* HALF STREET WAREHOUSE HALF GOING: Partial demolition is underway on the red brick former GSA warehouse on the southeast corner of Half and L, which was purchased by the Lerner Companies last year. According to the permit, they are taking off the roof and the top part of the walls, down to a height of about four feet. What's the plan? An "open uncovered parking lot," according to the permit.
* JUSTIN'S GONE: After eight years, Justin's Cafe has closed its doors. (h/t reader JES)
Enjoy your fresh thread, commenters!
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of note:
* PEET'S COMING VERY SOON: I took this photo yesterday evening, intending to post it today and say "it looks like Peet's Coffee is getting close," but a Twitter follower has now scooped that with a picture of this sign on the door today, which announces the grand opening as Monday, Aug. 13, at 5 am, with a "family and friends" event on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 11 am to 2 pm. For those who haven't been waiting for the opening of the neighborhood's 250th coffee shop, Peet's is located just north of the New Jersey and M entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark subway station, in the ground floor of Insignia on M.

* BIKE PATH COMING SORT OF SOON: Work continues to bring Virginia Avenue back to life as the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project wraps up, and the photo at right shows the progress of the new bike path that will run *alongside the pedestrian path.* I would assume that the deep crushed gravel is not the final surface, but it's going to be a very nice alternative to getting between 2nd Street SE and Virginia Avenue Park/points east. I don't have a date for when the paths will be completed, but the entire project is supposed to be finishing in October.

* ALSO COMING SORT OF SOON: Also of note is the arrival of the signage for Barre 3 on 1st Street, though the interior does not look like we have reached Any Minute Now territory. And a peek behind the Bluestone Lane window coverings at 99 M would seem to indicate that the arrival of the neighborhood's 251st coffee shop is not imminent.
* BOOZE COMING AT SOME POINT: As tidbitted last week, there is a hearing sign posted in the ground floor of 1015 Half Street next to Bonchon for a liquor license for a new Retail Class A store that would sell beer, wine, and spirits. (The one that seemed to be coming to New Jersey and L has disappeared, FWIW.)
* CAPITAL ONE CLOSING SOON: Was mentioned by a commenter recently, but here's official notification that the Capital One branch in the ground floor of 1111 New Jersey is closing in September.
And a few other items that don't fit into the pattern:
* Truckeroo returns on Friday, Aug. 10.
* Nationals Park is having its first-ever Farmers Market on Sunday, Aug. 12, from 10 am to 2 pm.
Other than that, it's August. It's hot.
 

Time to catch up on some tidbits you may have missed (and also time to open a new thread for the JDLand commentariat).
* THE HARLOW: A public meeting last week to update residents on Capper/Carrollsburg's redevelopment status passed along the news that the building at 2nd and L across from Canal Park will be known as "The Harlow," which does roll off the tongue a bit more easily than the current "Square 769N Apartments." The building is expected to open in spring 2019, and will have 179 apartments, of which 36 will be affordable units. It will also have about 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The update also said that DCHA is still planning to move forward with Square 767 next, as a condo building and separate rental building. That plan still needs to start its way into the Zoning Fun Factory.
* SHOOTING ON 5TH: There was a shooting in front of the Capper Community Center at 5th and L in the wee hours of July 21. MPD described it this way: "At approximately 0320 hours unknown number of suspect(s) approached the victims that were in front of 1005 5th Street SE in dark colored vehicle. The suspect(s) opened fire on the victims wounding both of them. One victim was shot multiple times and transported to the hospital, the other victim was shot in the leg and transported to the hospital. The suspect(s) and suspect vehicle fled in an unknown direction. It is unsure how many individuals were in front of 1005 5th Street SE. Two weapons were recovered in front of the recreation center, also multiple shell casings found on the scene and there are rifles casings among the shell casings." Capitol Hill Corner summarized the subsequent MPD 1D community meeting.
* BRIDGE NEWS: If you're interested in the new Douglass Bridge, check out "Progress," the spiffy quarterly update. And you'll also see the spiffy Douglass Bridge logo.
* TUNNEL NEWS: If you're interested in the Virginia Avenue Tunnel (or, at this point, the Virginia Avenue Streetscape Restoration), the latest "Coffee with Chuck" slides give estimated timelines for when the remaining portions of the street should reopen to traffic. I'm most interested in seeing that the 2nd and H intersection should reopen in mid-August, which will make access to The Grocery Store That Shall Not Be Named much easier.
And last week's VAT newsletter added that H Street's completion will also "feature a train viewing area at the south tunnel portal where a historical marker of the original tunnel will be in place," which I inadvertently captured in the photo at right, which I took earlier this month to document the new lettering on the tunnel entrance. There will be the new dog park on the north side of H as well.
I think that's enough for now, except maybe to mention that the coming Bluestone Lane coffee shop has its signage up to the right of the 99 M lobby entrance. They apparently have a goal of opening by the end of August, but (all together now), We Shall See.
 
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