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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: November 2006
In the Pipeline
Ballpark Square
Homewood Suites Hotel
82 I Street
1244 South Capitol
Yards/Parcel A
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
909 Half St.
Akridge/Half St.
Ex-Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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The demolition of the final two blocks of Capper/Carrollsburg buildings got off to a quick start last week with two buildings gone almost immediately, but since then only one building (along K between 2nd and 3rd) has been worked on (now about 75% demolished), and it doesn't look like they've done any work on the site for the past two days. That still doesn't stop me from taking pictures, so there's an ever-so-incremental update to the Capper/Carrollsburg page. Thanks to the current Google Satellite images of Near Southeast still being from about 2002, plus this overhead shot I have from 1999, I was able to count that there were fifty Capper/Carrollsburg buildings in the late 1990s (ranging from the seven-story Capper Seniors building at 7th and M to the three other five-story apartment buildings along Virginia between 5th and 7th to the four-story blue-roofed buildings along 4th and 5th streets to the two-story dwellings along 2nd and 3rd); there are now six left (well, 6.25), and five of those will probably be gone within the next month, leaving only old Capper Seniors standing--but with its residents starting to be moved to the new Capper Seniors #1 soon and to Capper Seniors #2 in spring, it too will probably be gone before too many more months go by. (If you're wondering, the first Carrollsburg Dwellings were built in 1941, and the first of the Capper apartment buildings opened in 1958; old Capper Seniors was originally "all-ages" public housing, but was closed in 1973, then reopened in 1981 [six years behind schedule] as a seniors building.)
 

Here's a few recent stories from some rather varied publications that reference Near Southeast in someway:
The Chesapeake Bay Journal has a long story about the Anacostia River ("There's Still Hope for the Anacostia In Spite of All the Strikes Against It") talking about the problems the Anacostia contends with (such as antiquated sewage systems resulting in untreated wastewater being dumped into the river, toxins that are giving fish tumors, and all the trash), then describes the efforts being made to clean up the river, including green roofs and other low-impact development possibilities (the DOT's green roof, the stadium's attempts to "be green") and the AWC's pledge to make the Anacostia a clean, healthy river.
It's not yet online (sacrilege!), but this month's Dwell magazine has a feature story on the Anacostia Waterfront ("Even if politics remain dirty, at least DC's ambitious Anacostia Waterfront will make the city a little cleaner").
The Financial Times Deutschland (JDLand scans the globe to bring you the news!) has a quick blurb detailing the city's "decade-long transformation from financial laughing-stock to boom town," mentioning specifically the rise of the Ballpark District.

 

The Washington Times (worried about potential undesired neighbors at its offices on New York Avenue) is reporting that the gay nightclubs Edge and Wet, which operated at Half and L until September, want to move to 2046 West Virginia Ave. NE, not far from where its old neighbor Club 55 is trying to move (3350 New York Ave.). ANC 5B is opposing both moves.
 

From DDOT: The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) advises motorists that the exit ramps from South Capitol Street to both I-395 northbound and southbound will be closed for maintenance from Monday December 4 through Thursday December 7 from 8 pm to 4 am. The below detour will be set-up to guide motorists:
  • Northbound I-395 traffic should continue north on South Capitol Street crossing under I-395. Traffic should then turn left onto Washington Avenue and turn left onto the ramp for northbound I-395 at D Street
  • Westbound I-395 traffic should continue north on South Capitol Street crossing under I-395. Traffic should then bear left onto Washington Avenue and turn left onto C Street. Traffic should then turn left onto Second Street and then bear left onto the ramp for Southbound I-395.
  • More posts: South Capitol St.
     

    The planned 1.1-million-sq-ft Florida Rock development at 1st and Potomac Avenues (across the street from the new Nationals ballpark) had another Zoning Commission hearing last night, to address some of the concerns expressed by the ZC at the first hearing in September, chief among them the design of the east end of the east office building (see map to orient yourself), which commissioners felt disrupted the line of sight to the Anacostia River from the stadium's grand staircase and viewing platforms. This section of the building--which will house a signficant portion of the project's retail offerings--has now been redesigned so that one will be able to see the Earth Conservation Corps pumphouse from the center of the staircase. This eastern end of the development also faces the new planned First Street Plaza, a 40,000-sq-ft public park to be placed at the terminus of First Street, to draw people to the riverfront. Florida Rock is proffering $3.7 million toward the design, construction and maintenance of this park that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation will develop (total cost estimated to be $15 million). The record is being held open for two more weeks, so look for a vote on the project at the January 8 meeting; I hope to have updated renderings showing the redesigned east building by that point. As for a timeline, Florida Rock estimates that construction on the first phase--the east office building--would begin in early 2008; there has been no announcement from the AWC as to any sort of timeline on the First Street Plaza (which presumably also depends on the acquiring of the WASA land on that site).
     

    Just a reminder (in case you don't stay glued to my Calendar of Upcoming Events) that tomorrow (Monday Nov. 27) is the continuation of the Zoning Commission's hearing on Florida Rock's 2nd Stage PUD. It's available via live webcast starting at 6:30 pm. There are also three more Near Southeast ZC hearings in the next few weeks and months: on Dec. 7 is the zoning hearing for William C. Smith's 250 M Street office building, which could be interesting because the discussion at the July 10 ZC meeting about this project (starting on page 72 of this transcript) showed the ZC members to be, one could say, somewhat skeptical of the building's initial design. Then, on Jan. 11, Monument Realty will have its Half Street office / hotel / residential development zoning hearing. Finally, on Feb. 22, the Camden Development residential project at 1325 South Capitol Street will have its Capitol Gateway Overlay Review. Interested members of the public should note that there are mechanisms built into the zoning hearing process for public comment, and if you feel strongly one way or another about a project, this is a time when you should make yourself heard. Visit the Zoning Commission web site for additional details. (Of course, the time when I decide to highlight this public participation aspect of the zoning process is when only one of these four pending ZC hearings actually has a Public Hearing Notice--containing the instructions for participating--posted on the ZC calendar.)
     

    With the lovely weather, I've wandered out to take some photos around the Hood, and have posted a couple new ones here and there. First, I went to Anacostia Park and Poplar Point and took a bunch of new photos of the Near Southeast waterfront, and so now have my first shots of the stadium construction as seen from across the river. There's also now photos of the latest demolition at Capper/Carrollsburg (which also means two new entries on my Near SE's Demolished Buildings page), and a couple new shots of JPI's 70/100 I Street residential project (mainly showing the increasingly large hole in the ground). There's also a couple new photos on the Monument Realty/Half Street page as well as new additions and rejiggering (and a new waterfront shot) to the Ballpark District/More Photos page. Definitely look for the icon on these pages, because the additions are sprinkled throughout.
    More posts: 20 M, Capper, Nationals Park
     

    The DC Property Sales database runs about six weeks behind the calendar, so it's only now reporting that in late September the John Akridge Companies paid $7 million for six properties totalling 11,145 sq ft on the east side of First Street between K and L, currently home to an auto repair shop and an empty lot. Akridge has owned since the late 1980s an empty lot totalling 3,934 sq ft on this site, so they now own everything in this block of 1st Street except for the Market Deli land on the corner of 1st and L and the two car repair shops on the corner of 1st and K. No announcement so far as to any plans for this land. See my North of M map to orient yourself--and note that the photo at the top of the North of M page shows the block in question, with the two beige brick buildings at left being owned by the William Cohen/Willco Construction Company, and the red brick building and the empty lots to its right now owned by Akridge.
     

    Reality is always a few days ahead of bureaucracy, so the Building Permits Feed is telling us what our eyes have already seen, that digging is going on at the closed Exxon station at South Capitol and I streets, excavating the underground gas storage tanks. I've heard no rumors about any impending development or sale of the land, but will of course post anything I hear (and if you know something about what's happening there, feel free to tell me). The station closed in May 2006, not long after its owner pleaded guilty to fraudulently double-billing government contractors more than $120,000 and was sentenced to 12-18 months in prison.
    More posts: South Capitol St.
     

    Today there is demolition being done on the two-story Capper buildings on the block bounded by 3rd, L, 2nd and K. It's the second-to-last remaining block of Capper structures (along with those one block to the north), and one would think these shouldn't take that long to demolish (famous last words). The three blocks between I and M and 2nd and 3rd that face the school bus lots/Canal Park site will eventually be home to three mixed-income apartment buildings totalling 550 units--a six-story 147-unit building between I and K, an 11-story 295-unit tower between K and L, and a 10-story 107-unit building south of L, on the north end of the block that will also be home to the 250 M Street office building. There has been no timeline announced for when construction on any of these three apartment buildings would begin.
    More posts: Capper
     

    The four alley closings bills that had their public roundtables last week have now been added to the agenda for the Nov. 21 City Council Committee of the Whole session. This is a quick procedural step, where council officers report as to whether the bill is in good legal standing and whether the record is complete; if approved, the bills then are scheduled for their first readings, when bills can be debated by the council and amendments offered, and then voted on or tabled. Speaking of first readings, the fifth currently active Near Southeast alley closing bill (B16-0818, for the east side of Square 701, along First Street between M and N) will have its first reading and vote on Nov. 14.
    UPDATE, 11/20: The Nov. 21 session has been postponed to Dec. 5, so these four bills will have to wait a few extra days. Note that the Dec. 5 session is also scheduled to have second reading/final votes on two other bills of interest, the Square 701 (west side/Cohen family) alley closings bill and the Capper PILOT funding bill. See my Upcoming Events calendar as always for details.

     

    In the second part of today's Dana Hedgpeth column in the Post, various developers of projects near the stadium (Monument Realty, Faison, and Ron Cohen) are quoted about their feelings on the tortuous process that led to the aboveground parking garages at the baseball stadium. Said F. Russell Hines of Monument Realty, who owns much of the land directly across N Street: "It's an unfortunate solution[.] Our development would be better if there was complimentary retail and a mix of uses on the other side of N Street. It's not a disaster . . . but this is a significant setback[.] We spent months and months of great plans of what this area was going to look like with the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., and in the end it feels like it's every man for himself. We're going to do what we can to create an area where people come off the Metro and they walk along the streets, where there's restaurants and stores and a real experience." (I wonder if this could be interpreted as also a bit of a smack against the AWC's still-never-released "Ballpark District Master Plan" process.) One of Monument's principals, Jeffrey T. Neal, is quoted as saying "We have a vision for Half Street SE between M and N streets Southeast that has the potential to be one of the most exciting neighborhoods in the mid-Atlantic, but that vision won't happen if the process looks like the one that produced two parking garages[.] There's a better solution . . . than two parking garages. Let the private sector do it. There are zoning laws already in place." For balance, there's Ron Cohen, developer of Square 699N (bounded by Half, K, L, and 1st): It's not going to be good, bad or indifferent[.] "It would have been nice to have buildings lining the parking but there's so much activity and energy in that corridor that it doesn't make a heck of a difference one way or the other."
     

    You can now receive automated daily e-mails with the latest blog entries from here at the Near Southeast web site; if there were new entries posted the previous day, an e-mail will be sent early in the morning containing all of them. If there were no posts, no e-mails will be sent. You can also get your Near Southeast fix via RSS feed, especially now that RSS feeds are built into IE7 (you HAVE upgraded, right?); if you want to learn more about RSS (web) feeds, this Wikipedia entry is a good start. If you're a subscriber to my existing mailing list (which goes out more or less twice a week), be advised that that list's days may be numbered (and it's no longer accepting new subscriptions), and so you may need to move to the automated daily e-mails list or a feed reader (like Bloglines, or My Yahoo, or Google). Or you can just come visit the web site nine or 10 times a day, like the cool people do.

    More posts:
     

    With the Capitol Quarter workforce housing lottery mere hours away, I've been told that 172 interested parties have been certified and will be entered in the drawing Saturday morning at 9 am. There were a few last-minute changes made by DCHA in the rules governoring the workforce program because of the huge response (though, again, I hope if you're in the lottery you're registered with the EYA web site and not depending on me to tell you this a mere 11 hours beforehand!)--quoting from an EYA e-mail, "the three-bedroom Elliott model may not be reserved by purchasers with a household size of less than two"; and "the Price Control Period will be enforced with a soft second-trust rather than a restrictive covenant. In addition, the Price Control period has been modified to encourage initial occupants to remain in the workforce homes for the first three years after initial settlement." If this makes no sense, read the Workforce Housing Guidelines for more details. I'll be there at 9 am to view the festivities (unless I oversleep, which with my lazy bones is always possible), so wave and say hi. And remember, there will be about 70 more workforce homes available for purchase as more of Capitol Quarter comes on line, so there will be more opportunities in the coming months for qualified buyers to purchase one of these moderate-income-level homes. UPDATE: As you can see from the photo above, it was just like the lottery shows on TV--ping pong balls in a barrel with numbers on them. Fifty numbers were picked, and 20 of those people (going down through the list in the order they were picked) will sign reservation contracts. Four of the top 20 already appeared to not be staying around to sign reservations, so folks lower down the list who thought they didn't have a chance might still see a glimmer of hope....
    More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
     

    Washington City Paper surveys the state of the strip club business in DC, and describes the difficulties that nightclubs formerly of Near Southeast--Wet/Edge, Club 55, and the O Street gay nightclubs owned by Robert Siegel--have had trying to relocate elsewhere in the city. One big item that needs better explanation in the story--the Nexus Gold Club isn't just "contemplating" leaving Near Southeast, the land it sits on is soon going to become JPI's 909 New Jersey Avenue residential tower, and the scuttlebutt continues to be that Nexus will be closing by the end of the year.
     

    The big news of the day yesterday for DC was the Senate's passing of HR3699, which will transfer a number of federally controlled properties to DC, including Poplar Point and Reservation 13 (which are both large parts of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative). The Post article mentions that this also includes some small properties along Potomac Avenue by the baseball stadium. There's also one other Near Southeast parcel (that I know of) in the land transfer bill, and that's Reservation 17A, a small bit of land along New Jersey Avenue north of the DPW trash transfer station at I Street, which now helps clear the way for the reopening of I Street between 2nd and New Jersey, a plan currently awaiting city council approval.
     

    Tonight the Zoning Commission is having a public hearing on case 06-25, a text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay that would include the west side of South Capitol Street in the CG Overlay and also establish a ZC review and approval process for new developments that abut South Capitol (as is currently the case for new projects along M Street). The Capitol Gateway Overlay spells out in extreme detail exactly what the requirements are for developments along South Capitol, M, and in the Ballpark District and over to Buzzards Point, and I suggest that anyone who is interested (or concerned) about the type of development that may be coming to Near Southeast should pour themselves 9 or 10 cups of coffee and read this document. (It's not a complete version because one doesn't currently seem to exist, I cobbled this together from various ZC documents.) The preamble is worth highlighting, to see how the city has spelled out what it envisions for the area:
    The purposes of the CG Overlay District are to:
    (a) Assure development of the area with a mixture of residential and commercial uses, and a suitable height, bulk and design of buildings, as generally indicated in the Comprehensive Plan and recommended by planning studies of the area;
    (b) Encourage a variety of support and visitor-related uses, such as retail, service, entertainment, cultural and hotel or inn uses;
    (c) Allow for continuation of existing industrial uses, which are important economic assets to the city, during the extended period projected for redevelopment;
    (d) Provide for a reduced height and bulk of buildings along the Anacostia riverfront in the interest of ensuring views over and around waterfront buildings, and provide for continuous public open space along the waterfront with frequent public access points; and
    (e) Require suitable ground-level retail and service uses and adequate sidewalk width along M Street, S.E., near the Navy Yard Metrorail station.
    From there, you are treated to pages and pages and pages of very specific requirements set out for developers (i.e., items like "Each new building shall devote not less than thirty-five percent (35%) of the gross floor area of the ground floor to retail, service, entertainment, or arts uses ("preferred uses") [...]; provided, that the following uses shall not be permitted: automobile, laundry, drive-through accessory to any use, gasoline service stations, and office uses (other than those accessory to the administration, maintenance, or leasing of the building). Such preferred uses shall occupy 100% of the building's street frontage along M Street, except for space devoted to building entrances or required to be devoted to fire control.")
    There is also a separate Southeast Federal Center Overlay, again laying out much detail about what is required and allowed for that development. There's even a great map on the last page that clearly shows the allowed uses, with the 5.4-acre waterfront park and residential-zoned areas being closest to the water (so there's no plan in place to allow office buildings right on the water or even near it; the commercial zones of the SEFC are all along First Street and M Street).
    I think even just casual browsing through these documents can be a bit of an eye-opener for people (like me) who don't realize exactly how many requirements are already in place for these two areas. Of course, developers can ask for relief from certain rules (or the city council can just override the ZC altogether), but having documents such as these are a solid foundation. So it's good to know what's in them.
    UPDATE: (like you're still reading) The Case 06-25 CG Overlay text amendment hearing was over last night in a flash; the record is being held open until Nov. 30, with action most likely to be taken at the ZC's Dec. 11 meeting.
     

    In order to start construction ASAP on both the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro entrance at Half and M and mixed-use offerings along Half Street, Monument Realty and WMATA are asking the DC Zoning Commission for an emergency text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay to allow a temporary parking lot for WMATA employees to be built, replacing the one currently atop the Navy Yard station. This new lot would be on South Capitol Street between M and N, on the lot just south of the Public Storage building and just north of the Amoco station (lot 0700 0046 for those of you with parcel maps), and would be accessed from Van Street. The text amendment would restrict the parking lot's life to three years--by that point, Monument's construction along Half Street should completed and WMATA employees would then be able to park in those underground lots. This will come before the Zoning Commission for setdown on Nov. 13; because it is being requested on an emergency basis, the Office of Planning is recommending that the text amendment take effect immediately upon setdown, and is requesting that it be set down for a hearing at the earliest possible date. Good to see that Monument and WMATA are moving fast. UPDATE, 11/16: This text amendment was approved on an emergency basis, which means that it goes into effect immediately and for 120 days, but Monument still has to go to the ZC during that time for a hearing to get permanent approval of the amendment plus approval of the parking lot itself because it lies in a CG Overlay mandatory review area. (See the above entry for more on THAT!)

     

    Hopefully the people who are interested in purchasing a workforce housing unit at Capitol Quarter are already registered with the EYA web site and are receiving the e-mail updates, but I'll still mention here that the first lottery for workforce (i.e., moderate income) units will be held this Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 9 am. There are a series of requirements that must be met in order to participate in the lottery, and a visit to the Sales Center at 4th and L on either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17 is required to be certified. And, like all good drawings, you must be present to win. More information is available on the Capitol Quarter Workforce web site or by getting in touch with EYA (202-484-0360). UPDATE, 11/16: The Washington Times published a piece today on the lottery this Saturday, but I bet EYA wishes that the article mentioned that you can't just show up on Saturday for the lottery, that you need to go to the sales center either today or tomorrow to be certified.... (And also the comment that EYA decided to do a lottery for the workforce housing because the first market-rate units sold out immediately isn't quite right, the lottery concept was announced before the market-rate units sent on sale.)
    More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
     

    The city's Issued Building Permit data feed just updated (and guys, isn't it time to admit you're only updating it weekly and not daily?), and lo and behold there's an issued permit listed for 1015 Half Street, the site of the defunct Nation nightclub, where Potomac Investment Properties is planning 420,000 sq ft of office space with 20,000 sq ft of retail. The permit info seems a bit incomplete--no actual permit number, some other info missing on the complete entry, and the building permit application submitted two years ago still shows one discipline needing to be approved. But I note that there's also a Public Space Permit that went into effect last week for water and sewer excavation at 1015 Half, a permit that can sometimes signal preparations for demolition (because the water and sewer lines into the property need to be capped before a building can be demolished). But certainly even the existence of these permits--along with the sign on the north side of the Nation building from Cushman and Wakefield advertising office space "coming soon"--would seem to indicate that movement isn't far away. The other half of this block (where the parking lot is, fronting South Capitol) is owned by the Lerner family, who are proposing 1000 South Capitol (320,000 sq ft office building) on that lot, but have not announced any timetable. See my North of M map to get your bearings. (And I guess it might be time for 1015 Half to get its own page. It never stops!) Anyone with the scoop (c'mon, Mr. Gewirz, I know you're lurking out there) feel free to fill me in.
    More posts: 1015 Half, mnorth
     

    Now that the parking garage issue has been resolved (at least until Opening Day 2008, when hordes of stadiumgoers gasp in disbelief at what they're confronted with when they arrive and descend on the owner's box with pitchforks and boiling oil), I finally felt ready to tackle a reorganization of my Ballpark District page. Mainly I added a new "tab" specifically for the Monument Realty projects along Half Street, which also includes the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station; I also added some additional photos of other Ballpark District sites. I hope to get renderings of the Monument residential project at Half and N and the W Aloft hotel mid-block before too much longer, but at least I do have drawings of the office building planned for Half and M (above the Metro station). And I now decree that the parking garages are on the stadium site, not in the Ballpark District, and will remain so until they get torn down and redeveloped, sometime around 2025.
     

    In other City Council news from yesterday, two bills of interest were passed on their first reading: B16-0818, the alley closing request for the east side of Square 701, bounded by 1st, M, N, and Cushing (where a group of developers is planning 500,000 sq ft of office, residential, and retail), and B16-0929, the bill to allow PILOT funding for needed infrastructure improvements at Capper / Carrollsburg. These bills will both have their second reading and final vote on Dec. 5.
    More posts: Capper, staddis, Square 701
     

    More to come as the news stories come out, but I'll break the news here that the council passed 10-3 the resolution today to override the Zoning Commission's rule preventing the construction of aboveground garages on the stadium site. (In other words, they voted to approve aboveground garages.) Barry, Catania, and Schwartz were the dissenters. There was much discussion about whether because of language in the original agreement that after Sept. 1, 2007, the city will have to ask the Lerners for permission to develop the parking garage site on the north side of the stadium that the city will be doomed to never having development because the Lerners would never allow construction in that spot that would disrupt the ballpark experience. But the councilmembers who voted yes seem to feel that at some point in the future there is still the ability to tear down the aboveground garages and develop the land, which will only continue to escalate in value. One teeny item that creeped out of the debate that may be how they're getting this under the cost cap--Jack Evans mentioned that aboveground garages are now being planned for the 300 south side parking spaces, which Clark Construction says can be done for $1.6 million. If this is true, that they're now dispensing with the idea of a grand southern-side plaza (where hardly anyone will be arriving from anyway) then they should have just put 10-story garages right there and had all the parking on the south side. I imagine this is still not a finished discussion.... More to come. UPDATE: Here's the Post story, with a quote from Adrian Fenty that shows perhaps folks are starting to get the message that these two blocks are not the end-all be-all of Ballpark District development: "The land in question on the stadium site is a small percentage of the area around the stadium that is already being developed." UPDATE II: A little late on my part, but here's the WashTimes piece, with an explanation as to why the south side garages can be done so cheaply: "Sports commission officials said the city was able to save money because the Nationals relaxed their requirement for 300 spaces at the south side of the stadium. The stadium construction team, led by Clark Construction of Bethesda, said it can build the parking more inexpensively now with only 130 space at the south." And here's Tim Lemke's Q&A on the entire garages brouhaha, for those smart souls who haven't been paying attention. UPDATE III: If you're into self torture, this council session is available via on-demand streaming video.
     

    Over the nearly four years that I've been prowling around Near Southeast with my camera, a lot of buildings in the Hood have met the wrecking ball. While my project pages have plenty of before-and-afters that capture those that have been demolished, I thought it would be nice to bring them together in one spot, so I've created a Near Southeast's Demolished Buildings page. I believe I've caught every demolished structure since 2003, and a couple earlier ones, though I continue to cry that I didn't ever get photos of the old Washington Star warehouse at 2nd and H, a beautiful marble or limestone building that bit the dust sometime in 2000.
    More posts:
     

    From Tuesday's Post: "The D.C. Council appears poised today to approve a scaled-back parking plan for the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium that calls for building two free-standing garages just north of the ballpark, near South Capitol Street and the Navy Yard in Southeast. [...] The new plan would build garages without reinforcement at a cost of $36 million, which could be paid with existing funds and remain within the cost cap, city officials said. Essentially, the plan is what the Lerner group has pushed for since taking over the team in the summer. [...] Fenty said the Lerner group has promised to work with the city to potentially tear down the garages in future seasons if a solid mixed-use development plan is proposed."
    More posts: parking, Nationals Park
     

    WDG Architecture updated its web site recently to include a rendering of 1015 Half Street, the 440,000-sq-ft office building by Potomac Investment Properties slated for the Nation site at Half and L. (I'd give a link directly to their page on 1015 Half, but like so many architecture firms, their site is so overly Flash'ed that there's no way to get you there.) They also had a rendering for 1325 South Capitol Street, the 244-unit residential project across from the stadium by Camden Development. (As expected, I'm wavering in my resolve to stop my coverage at the South Capitol Street median, and will now track anything that fronts South Capitol, even if the address is in Southwest.) These renderings--along with the one I found last week for 1000 South Capitol (the proposed 320,000-sq-ft office building by Lerner Enterprises on the same block as Nation)--spurred me to do some freshening of both my North of M and South Capitol Street pages, adding a lot of new photos and views.
     

    Lookee here at what's popped up on the agenda for tomorrow's City Council session, a reading and vote on "Ballpark Parking Completion Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2006" and "Ballpark Parking Completion Emergency Amendment Act of 2006." (No sign of either of them in the online system, though.) I don't know what either of them contain, so we'll just have to wait for news to trickle out. The fun never stops. UPDATE: Speaking of the parking, WTOP is reporting that Herb Miller is suing the city, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, saying that his agreement with the city and Mayor Williams to build the Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness has not been honored. Says Miller: "D.C. will realize it has lost a remarkable opportunity to renew a neighborhood and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefit to the city. It is a major loss that didn't have to happen." (Says JD: Just because this plan fell through doesn't mean there will never be development on those two blocks, not to mention that there's already plenty of other development on the blocks just north of the stadium.) UPDATE II: Here's the Washington Business Journal story on Miller's lawsuit.
     

    Last month the WMATA board of directors approved a plan to have Monument Realty oversee the $20 million expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station at Half and M, as part of Monument's construction of an office building on that site. The minutes from the WMATA Planning and Development Committee are now posted, and there was some discussion about how WMATA can ensure that the April 2008 (i.e., Opening Day at the new ballpark) deadline for completion can be met: "Mr. Tangherlini responded that WMATA has included some penalties that involve the contractor providing transportation bridge service to the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station if the scheduled completion is not met. In addition there are severe financial and operational penalties for the developer if the station is not complete by April 2, 2008."
     

    Thankfully I looked at the weather forecast before planning my weekend, and scheduled a photo excursion for Saturday, not Sunday. Lots of new pictures in the Stadium Construction Gallery, now also reorganized so that as you scroll down you're basically walking clockwise around the stadium site from it's construction starting point at 1st and N Place all the way down Potomac, up South Capitol, and over on Half back to 1st. And I also added a new photo or two (and updated the spiffy animated slide shows) for 20 M and Capper Seniors #2. Let the icon be your guide to the additions, as always. UPDATE: Oh yeah, duh, there's also the Capper demolition along the south side of L Street between 3rd and 4th, I added a couple of shots of that as well to my Capitol Quarter page, I'll update when the last of the blue-roofed apartment buildings comes down, probably within the next week.
     

    PSA 105 is the DC MPD Police Service Area that covers the western half of Near Southeast (from 6th Street to South Capitol)--their next meeting is Saturday, Nov. 18 at 10 am at the 1D1 substation at Marion Park (5th and E SE), and the meeting announcement mentions "concerns related to the stadium construction" as one of the items to be addressed. Join the PSA 105 Yahoo Group if you want to be electronically involved...
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    The shareholders at Capitol Hill Tower invited me over last night to bore them with descriptions of arcane zoning regulations and pending parking garages, and their CHT Shareholder Community Blog includes a nice roundup of some of the Near Southeast development plans people had questions about, edited into handy bullet-point fashion for those of you just too darn lazy to bother committing to memory thousands of blog entries and hundreds of pages of photos and content. :-)
    More posts: Capitol Hill Tower
     

    The two- and three-story brick buildings on the southeast corner of 3rd and L, and the one old townhouse on 4th between L and M, have been demolished within the past few days. These are on the northern part of Square 800, which is home to the 300 M Street office building and also the last tall Capper/Carrollsburg buildings. This land will be the southwestern edge of the Capitol Quarter townhome development. Hopefully this means that the long-vacant Capper buildings on that block will soon be demolished, but I don't know anything for sure. I also haven't heard any timeline for the demolition of the two-story Capper buildings on 2nd between I and L--mixed-income apartment buildings will eventually be built on those blocks, but there's no start date that I've heard for those projects. I will post demolition pictures soon--I've been quite remiss in my picture taking duties lately, but guilt is reaching crisis levels, and I promise to go on a photo excursion this weekend.
     

    Lerner Enterprises within the past few days launched a very nice (and very much needed) redesign of their web site. The 20 M Street page (which isn't really the official project web site, that's 20MStreetSE.com) says that the building will be available in Spring 2007 (an earlier date than the Fall 2007 originally given), and gives much detail about the project's "green" features. It also lists Cushman & Wakefield as the commercial leasing agents, which I believe is a new development. There's also a page for 1000 South Capitol Street, a proposed 320,000-sq-ft office building on South Capitol between K and L (the parking lot next to Nation). No start date, but there's a rendering, the first I've seen for this project (and you know how excited I get when I unearth renderings). 1000 South Cap has been on the boards for years, but other than a request for an alley closing at an ANC6D meeting earlier this year (which was referred to the development committee), there's been no evidence of movement. See my own 20 M and North of M pages for photos, etc.
     

    Today was the hearing on the application by "The Wine Cellar and Spirits" for a Class A (beer, wine, and liquor) license to open what the owners call a "tastefully designed wine and spirits" store in the Little Red Building at 156 L Street (next to the Courtyard by Marriott). ANC 6D has been officially designated as a protestant in opposition to the application, and presumably the owner will be in contact with the ANC to resolve any issues (most likely revolving around the sales of singles). There will be a status hearing on the application on Jan. 17, 2007, at 10 am.
     

    It's now almost a cliche for oh-so-civic-minded bloggers to post "Vote!" messages on Election Day, but far be it from me to buck the trend. So get out there and vote in today's DC General Election, most especially the Ward 6 city council race between Tommy Wells (D), Will Cobb (I), and Tony Williams (R). UPDATE: Results are in, and congratulations to Tommy Wells on his Ward 6 victory. And Robert Siegel has been reelected as ANC 6D07 commissioner. UPDATE II: Here's a good Voice of the Hill piece on the Ward 6 and ANC elections.
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    Today is the "on or about day" that the flashing signs on South Capitol Street said would mark the beginning of work on the South Capitol Street Bridge--however, the start has been delayed while DDOT makes changes to its plans. Will alert you to anything I hear.
     

    The Post editorial page weighs in again on the council standoff on the baseball stadium parking garages, laying out specifically the arguments being brought to table by CEO Gandhi and by council member David Catania about the city's liability should there not be 1,225 parking spaces on the stadium site by Opening Day 2008.
    More posts: parking, Nationals Park
     

    Today's Post has a piece on the "spirited" Ward 6 council race between Tommy Wells, Will Cobb and "I'm Not Mayor" Tony Williams. One of these three men will be representing Near Southeast on the city council, so if you're a resident, get familiar with them (the article has links to the info on each candidate from the Post's Voters Guide, and you can also visit the Wells, Cobb, and Williams web sites) and then VOTE.
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    Forest City Washington has issued a press release finally giving us confirmation that "The Yards" is the new name for the Southeast Federal Center. (The press release is dated Oct. 24, but just appeared on their web site in the past day or so, and is nowhere to be found in Nexis.) The release says that construction will begin in early 2007 on infrastructure improvements; and that Forest City has "several buildings currently under design, including three of the historic buildings which will involve residential and retail uses." There are more than 30 buildings planned overall totalling 5.5 million square feet of development on the 44-acre site made of up "including approximately 2,800 residential units (both rental and for sale), 1.8 million SF of office space, up to 400,000 SF of retail/dining space a public park, riverfront esplanade and trail that will connect with the Navy Yard's riverfront walk to the east and a similar feature to the west of the site that will connect with the Ballpark District development." The press release also explains how they came up with "The Yards" and its logo. A bit more interesting is this tidbit, that "Master Lease Agreement [between Forest City and the GSA] is expected to be signed in a few weeks and other supporting documents that will enable the start of construction are in final stages of negotiation." They also freshened up the project page on the FCWashington site, which says the first phase of buildings are expected to open in 2009.

    More posts: The Yards
     

    The schedule of public programs at the US Navy Museum in November has been released, and I've added them to my Events Calendar. Note that they've scheduled a second Candlelight Tour of the Navy Yard (the first one is tonight) on Nov. 11.
    More posts: Navy Yard
     

    If you are a resident of Capitol Hill Tower, you're invited to their next Shareholder Community Meet and Greet, on Nov. 9 (note changed date) from 6:30 - 9:00 pm, where the special guest of honor will be, um, me. Yes, I've agreed to unshackle myself from my computer and exit my dungeon temporarily to come chat with CHT residents about the goings-on in Near Southeast. So come on by and spend some time getting to know your neighbors, I'll be the one standing in the corner shaking uncontrollably from all the unfamiliar contact with actual live humans.
    More posts: Capitol Hill Tower
     

    From the Examiner: "The District is in the last stages of developing a handbook for moving tens of thousands of people in and out of the Washington Nationals new ballpark on game days. The handbook 'will define exactly how everything is going to be done on game days,' one planner said, including traffic and pedestrian movement, police presence, ambulance staging and fan parking. It will put in place specific mechanisms for movement, from when to restrict on-street parking to which roads to close for pedestrians. [...] Under the draft plan, on-street parking would be restricted to residents, while fans would be urged to take Metro or park at one of multiple off-site lots and garages. Season ticket holders could even be assigned a specific lot based on the direction from which they arrive. Variable message signs would be installed to direct traffic to or away from the stadium; sidewalks would be widened to handle the mass of pedestrians; and traffic signals would be adjusted based on vehicle volume and movement." Also, the restaurant in center field, originally a one-story circular structure (visible on many of the renderings), is now a two-story rectangular building, with the Lerners having expressed the desire for the change and then (believe it or not) footing the $2.8 million bill for the cost difference.
     

    Expanding a bit on recent posts about the liquor license application by the owners of the former Star Market (aka the "Little Red Building" at 2nd and L, next to the Courtyard by Marriott) to open what the owner has recently described to me as a "tastefully designed Wine and Spirit store." As I reported (and as now confirmed in the November Hill Rag's ANC 6D report, since I bailed on the meeting before this came up), the ANC voted to protest the application, but apparently this was as much about timing issues as anything else, and at the same time the application was referred to the ANC's ABC subcommittee to work on a voluntary agreement to ban the sale of "singles." The owner tells me that in fact they are working on plans to redevelop the property, possibly demolishing the little red building (sniff!) and replacing it with a new building that in addition to upscale liquor sales on the first and second floors could also accommodate a "small sushi saki bar in the 2nd and 3rd floor." He guarantees that the new building "will not be your conventional 'mom and pop' liquor store.' (It should be noted that the Star Market's Class B [beer and wine/convenience store] liquor license conveyed to the current owners, so this application is for a Class A license [beer, wine. and spirits/liquor store].) The ABC application hearing is Nov. 8; the owner hopes to have the plans for the renovation ready by spring. (Hat tip to the CHT Shareholder Community blog.) UPDATE: I also wanted to note that the Capitol Hill Tower developer is opposing this application.

     

    The was a ceremonial groundbreaking today at Onyx on First, the 266-unit residential tower at 1st and L streets scheduled for delivery in 2008. Just-Minutes-Away-From-Being-Mayor Fenty was in attendance, as were representatives of Faison Enterprises and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (I had thought that maybe Magic himself might be in attendance, but we had to settle for Screech, the Nats mascot). A few photos of the ceremony are at the bottom of my Onyx on First page. UPDATE: Here's the WashTimes piece on the groundbreaking and the project.
    More posts: Onyx, Square 743N
     
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