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Fenty Ward 6 Transition Town Hall
Dec 12, 2006 5:49 PM
It's probably worth a quick entry to remind interested folks that tomorrow (Wednesday Dec. 13) is Mayor-Elect Fenty's Ward 6 Transition Townhall Workshop
, at the King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N St. NW, from 6:30 pm - 9 pm. (Of course, obsessively checking my Upcoming Events
calendar is another way to keep up with what's on the schedule.)
ANC 6D December Meeting
Dec 12, 2006 4:38 PM
The agenda for last night's ANC 6D
meeting wasn't made available before meeting time, so I decided to take a chance and skip the session (even though I normally adore subjecting myself to the psychological equivalent of having 2-inch nails driven into my eyeballs for a couple of hours). And it sounds like I picked a good one to miss, because my sources tell me that once again a fight over an alley closing dominated the proceedings, this time being another go-round on Monument Realty's 55 M Street
project on the west side of Square 701. Monument was looking for the ANC's support in advance of their Jan. 11 Zoning Commission hearing; last night the ANC's commissioners voiced concerns (which were also voiced in the past when Monument asked for support for its alley closing bill
) that Monument's proffered community benefits package is insufficient--as currently constructed, it includes a $10,000 contribution to the Southwest Neighborhood Association's Scholarship Fund, a $50,000 contribution to the local schools, and a commitment to set aside a certain percentage of the residential project for affordable housing. Monument's standpoint is that this project is a "Matter of Right" development, meaning that there is no requirement that they do anything for the community, but they are doing so, anyway. The discussion has been tabled until the ANC's January 8 meeting, and the commmissioners also passed a resolution asking the City Council to table the alley closing bill
(which already passed unanimously last week
on its first reading and is scheduled for its final reading and vote on Dec. 19
) to allow negotiations to continue. In less fractious news, there was apparently a presentation by WMATA about its Joint Development Opportunities
around the Navy Yard station, including their work with Monument at 55 M Street (on top of the Half Street station entrance) as well as the Chiller Plant at Half and L and a small bit of land near the New Jersey Avenue station entrance. Am hoping to get more information about this....
M Street Sunoco Now Demolished
Dec 12, 2006 11:01 AM
Correspondent Erik reports that the Sunoco at Half and M, which closed over the summer and saw its underground storage tanks removed soon after, has now been completely demolished. Still no official word on what might be coming to that corner, the rumor of a hotel is all I've heard.... UPDATE: For passers-by wondering about the retro industrial brick building behind the Sunoco--now much more clearly visible from M Street--it's a US Government storage facility.
Alert System Test Tuesday at Navy Yard
Dec 12, 2006 12:03 AM
Don't panic on Tuesday (Dec. 12) if you hear alarms and recorded messages coming from the Navy Yard
: it's a test of "a high-powered alert system to determine decibel levels and whether the system is integrated," reports NBC 4
. UPDATE: Alert DC
says that there will be a test at the Navy Yard on Dec. 14 (Thursday) from 1 to 3:30 pm; another message said there will be tests over the next three days. So, while the specifics are a bit hazy, the main thing is that there will be some noise coming from the Navy Yard in the near future....
Dec 10, 2006 9:23 AM
On Thursday night there was a zoning hearing for William C. Smith's planned 250 M Street
office building (approval requests for both a second-stage PUD and a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review
). There was a bit of concern from the commissioners about the ground-floor corner of the building that faces Canal Park
and they've asked to see more renderings. Despite that, it's anticipated that the proposed requests will go up for approval at the ZC's January 8 meeting (the same day that the Florida Rock
project may get a vote on its request for a second-stage PUD approval
). In the meantime, the Public Hearing notice
was published for a Jan. 11 CG Overlay Review
for what we'll now call 55 M Street
, Monument Realty's planned 750,000-sq-ft office, residential, hotel, and retail project that lines all of Half Street between M and N. They're looking for some relief in regards to setbacks, lot occupancy, private residential recreation space, and loading. See the hearing notice
for information on how to participate in the process.
Dry Cleaners Gets Building Permit; Permits for Cohen, Too
Dec 8, 2006 11:05 PM
The latest building permits issued by the DC government (shown in my DC Government Feeds
section) have a couple tantalizing Near Southeast tidbits: one is for the long-planned dry cleaners on the first-floor of Capitol Hill Tower
at 1000 New Jersey, and the other is a series of building permit entries (strangely devoid of detail or even permit numbers) for five addresses on block Square 669N
, the land bounded by 1st, Half, K, and L that's owned by Bethesda developer Ron Cohen. I don't really know anything more than this on either project (except that the dry cleaners won't have actual dry-cleaning operations right on the premises), but news is news. Hopefully Mr. Cohen will be showing his hand before too much longer. UPDATE, 12/10:
Another four building permits for the Cohen block arrived in the latest building permit feed
, and the only additional hint is that the permit type on these is listed as "repair."
No Art For You!
Dec 7, 2006 9:47 AM
From the Post
: "It sounded like a nice idea: Use the District's new baseball stadium
to showcase art, livening up the place with bronze statues, ornate entrance gates, even brightly colored tile mosaic staircases. The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
yesterday gave city officials a preview of its plans to beautify the future ballpark, until now a cold slab of concrete and glass being built in a former industrial area near the Anacostia River in Southeast. [...] In this case, though, the arts commission wasn't even appealing for funds. Director Tony Gittens told the Sports and Entertainment Commission
that he set aside $2 million for the project from the arts commission's budget. No matter, responded John Ross, a senior analyst for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and member of the sports commission board. The D.C. Council's $611 million cost cap bans additional public spending -- and the arts commission is funded with public dollars, Ross explained. 'You'll have to go back to the council,' Ross said." But maybe it could at least be more fun
fighting over art than parking garages....
Post Piece on Canal Park
Dec 7, 2006 9:39 AM
Today's Post has an article about the planned Canal Park
("First New City Park in Years Will Recall Canal's Heyday
"). There's no real news in the article, just a description of the plans for the park; no illustrations either, but of course my Canal Park
page has plenty, including the most recent design drawing and a copy of the large concept submission
document given to the Commission on Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission last month. The plan is to have it ready by Spring 2008, and hopefully the school buses will be off the site by mid-2007.
Alley-Closing-Palooza On Tap Again
Dec 4, 2006 5:13 PM
The festival of legislation authorizing alley closings and street openings in Near Southeast fires up again tomorrow (Tuesday Dec. 5) with four bills coming before the city council's Committee of the Whole for referral to the full council for voting, although clearly little difficulty is expected since all four bills are also listed in the "First Reading on Proposed Bills" section of agenda of the legislative session
scheduled to immediately follow. (For details on these bills, here's my description of their public hearings a few weeks back
.) Then there's an additional alley closing (B16-0818
, the east side of Square 701, the Cohen/Camalier/Welch land along 1st between M and N) scheduled for its final vote (having passed its first vote last month unanimously). And, while not an alley closing, there's also a final vote on B16-0929
, the Capper PILOT funding bill (which also passed on on its first vote). If this schedule thrills you beyond measure, you can watch the council proceedings live beginning at 10 am on DC Cable Channel 13 or live webcast.
The short of it: everything passed. Four of the alley bills
still await their second reading and final vote, but the Willco Construction alley closing request at 1st and M is now completed (it was actually approved yesterday as emergency legislation), and the Capper PILOT funding bill passed on its second reading, too. (And thanks go to the city council staffers who help to guide me through this legislative maze.)
News About the Neighbors
Dec 4, 2006 4:29 PM
From time to time, I mention goings-on close to Near Southeast that might be of interest, but aren't projects I'll be tracking. Here's a roundup from the past week or so, you'll probably want to ask Mr. Google for details, I'm just giving you the basics:
Today Mayor Williams officially announced
the redevelopment of the old Waterside Mall
at 4th and M SW, to be "transformed into a 2.5 million square foot mixed-use town center featuring office, residential and retail space including an improved, full-service grocery store for the neighborhood." Construction of the first phase is expected to begin in 2007.
Last week the Mayor announced
that another delayed Southwest project is now moving forward, the redevelopment of the Randall School
at Half and I, to be handled by Ballpark District
bigwigs Monument Realty
. "The Corcoran will develop the property into a mixed-use facility that will accommodate residential, museum and art school uses. The Corcoran will occupy 80,000 square feet that will be used for art education, art display, an art gallery, adult education, dance, theater, and community outreach. The residential portion of the development will include at least 200 units, at least 40 of which will be classified as affordable."
And the first proposals for the redevelopment of Poplar Point
(the land directly across the Anacostia River from Florida Rock
and the Southeast Federal Center
) were presented last week by the AWC
. There were two proposals, according to the Post
: "one with a stadium and parking for the D.C. United soccer team and one without. Both plans show office, retail and residential development clustered in three neighborhood areas: near Good Hope Road SE to the east, W Street SE in the middle and Howard Road SE further west. The soccer field scenario shows the soccer field in place of the development near W Street, with a 4,000-space parking garage and a 500-room conference center and hotel. In addition to Major League Soccer games, the stadium would probably be used as a concert venue. [...] The preliminary plans call for 1,400 to 2,300 residential units -- 30 percent of which would be priced below market rate, to make them affordable to residents of the surrounding Anacostia neighborhoods -- two to four office buildings and one or two hotels." The plans are still months away from being final.
Updated Stadium Photos
Dec 3, 2006 1:40 PM
Not exactly picture-perfect picture weather, but nonetheless I traipsed the perimeter of the stadium site today, and have posted 14 new photos in the Stadium Construction Gallery. On Friday Clark/Hunt/Smoot installed a second structural steel crane, so that steel can now be installed twice as fast over the next few months. Look for the views to begin changing even more dramatically....
Satellite Comparisons, 2002 and 2005 (and 1988)
Dec 1, 2006 3:29 PM
When I mentioned the other day that the current Google Maps satellite shots of Near Southeast are from 2002, a generous reader passed along a link to MapQuest, noting that its satellite images are more recent, and indeed they appear to be from early fall 2005. Of course, this immediately compelled me to build a new page comparing the two, with highlights on the 2005 map to show the difference. You might need a big monitor (or a high resolution) to be able to see the photos together without scrolling, but I didn't want to make them any smaller. (Click on the images to go to Google or MapQuest to zoom and scroll to your heart's content.) The difference from 2002 to 2005 is not overwhelmingly obvious to the untrained eye, but I bet the next time we get updated satellite shots the changes will leap off the screen. (And if any of you fine readers from the Geospatial Intelligence Agency [or anywhere else] have any pre-2000 satellite shots of Near Southeast that you could share without violating umpteen federal laws, I'd love to see them.) UPDATE: Links fixed. Head now screwed on straight.
Dec 1, 2006 1:51 PM
The Navy Yard
Museum has just released its calendar of events for December
, including another candlelight tour of the Navy Yard (on Dec. 9), and the usual array of lectures, concerts, and "For the Little Skipper" Events. And, on Dec. 13 Mayor-Elect Fenty will be holding his Ward 6 Transition Townhall Workshop
, from 6:30 to 9 pm at the King Greenleaf Recreation Center at 201 N Street SW. I've added all of them to my own Upcoming Events Calendar
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