peek >>
Near Southeast DC Past News Items: February 2009
In the Pipeline
Community Center
Homewood Suites Hotel
Ballpark Square
Yards/Parcel A
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
1333 M St.
Southeast Blvd.
Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
New Barracks
1111 New Jersey
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
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)
Posts on Food/Fun
Retail News
Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Ads by HillAds
  
Rearview Mirror
Blog Archive
Demolished Buildings
Historic Photos & Maps
Past Events Timeline
On the Hill, '59-'69
From Above, '49-'08
Gas Prices Gallery





Go to Full Blog Archive
26 Blog Posts
Go to Page: 1 | 2

* From Tommy Wells:, an announcement of a Southwest Community Job Fair for Positions at Nationals Park, on Tuesday, March 3, from noon to 8 pm at the King-Greenleaf Recreation Center at 201 N St., SW. Applicants must be 18 or older; see the announcement for additional details.
* ICP Partners, the owners of the properties along Potomac Avenue between Eighth and Ninth, sent out a press release this week to announce that the sealed bid sale is "producing robust activity" in advance of its March 15 deadline: "The inquiries from various users for the site include a Navy Yard focused hotel and apartments, University Campus, retail and offices, and a childcare center for Navy Yard employees." They also put out a press release earlier this month to announce they had "signed [letters of intent] with a couple of the largest hospitality companies in the world to evaluate the feasibility of developing and managing hotels in certain urban markets, including 820 Potomac Avenue in SE Washington, DC."
 

On Monday night, the Zoning Commission gave final approval to the Capitol Gateway Overlay Review of Akridge's Half Street project, on the site of the old WMATA bus garage at Half and M. Normally this would be where I would link to my entry with a detailed description of the late January hearing on this review--except that I couldn't find it. And as I thought back, it then dawned on me that I didn't actually write one. I think I was waiting to see if maybe I could get some renderings (which I've failed at), and then life sped onward. Oops. Feel free to ask for your money back.
But at least I wrote a long description of the project when it was presented to ANC 6D in December--or, if you really want to know how the hearing went, here's the transcript. (Though it will be pretty hard to follow along without any drawings to look at.)
The 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use project could get underway in early 2010. The bus garage will probably be demolished pretty soon, to clear the space for stadium parking.
 

I'm still here, though perhaps you can't see through the large tumbleweeds currently blowing across the JDLand.com landscape. There just hasn't been hardly any news of late, and in a strange way, the less news there is, the harder it is for me to carve out time from real life (where a couple big projects are consuming much of my time) to do the deeper digging. Plus, I'm on strike from taking photos until the weather gets warmer.
That being said, I can report (h/t to reader E. and the 55 M construction cam) that the new sidewalks around 55 M are starting to go in. There's also some utility work being done across Half at the bus garage to prepare for its demolition. The web cam also has a view of the back of the Red Porch restaurant at the ballpark, where I'm keeping an eye on when the upgrades might start to that space.
Speaking of sidewalks, there's some very nice public space work being done at 909 New Jersey, with a combination of concrete and brick sidewalks being put in along New Jersey (along with the front steps to the building). And anyone who's been close to Near Southeast at night has now seen the blue lights that run along the top of the building's "bow." (They match the color of the lights on the Douglass Bridge.)
And Capitol Quarter framing work has now made the turn up Fourth Street north of L.
If the lack of news is bumming you out, you can always go back and read what was happening this time last year. It was *slightly* busier, as we were hitting the final weeks before the opening of the ballpark. Then again, if we go way back, to February 2004, I posted one entry for the entire month. (I'm just now realizing there's no easy access to the monthly archive of blog entries from the home page--but if you look down the right margin of any "interior" page on the site, you'll see the "Browse by Month" links.)
 

The Nationals have now officially announced that the "Face 2 Face" Billy Joel and Elton John concert tour will be at Nationals Park, on Saturday, July 11 at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale Saturday (Feb. 28) at 10 a.m., exclusively at tickets.com. Prices are $56.50, $102, and $182.
 

Looks like something's brewing at the ballpark.... On Monday the Nats are going to be having a press conference with Live Nation and Mayor Fenty "to unveil Washington, D.C.'s biggest summer concert and first-ever musical performance at Nationals Park." I wonder if the name of the artist(s) will stay a secret until then!
UPDATE: The PostRock blog says the rumor is it will be Elton John and Billy Joel, who are doing joint dates at two other ballparks this summer (Wrigley and Citizens Bank [Philly]).
UPDATE II: Per Jay in the comments, DC Wire has confirmed that it's the piano men. Will have to wait until the press conference on Monday to get date and ticket information.
 

* From Dr. Gridlock, news about a work session being held today by the Metro board of directors to find ways to close their budget shortfall. On the long list of items: closing the east entrance of the Navy Yard station (at New Jersey and M) on weekends, unless there's an event at the ballpark. Metro numbers say that fewer than 700 people use that gate on weekends. The P2 line that I believe runs down M Street could also be on the chopping block. See the list here, though remember it's just a first cut at ideas.
* From Tommy Wells: "On Monday, February 23rd, Councilmember Wells will host a Community Forum on the Latest Information Regarding Lead in DC Drinking Water. [..] Officials will be on hand from the DC Water and Sewer Authority, District Department of the Environment, District Department of Health, Washington Aqueduct and DC Appleseed to address your concerns and questions regarding the lead levels in the DC water system." It will be at Tyler Elementary School at 10th and G, SE, at 6:30 pm.
* And a swing span test at the Douglass Bridge will take place on Sunday morning (Feb. 22), with the bridge being closed from 5 am to approximately 10 am.
 

* The folks at Barracks Row Main Street have passed along the news that today the chain link fences are being removed from around the parking lot under the Southeast Freeway at Eighth and I. New lighting has been installed, and once the parking meters and striping are complete, this lot that was formerly restricted to use by the Marines will become a 60-space public parking lot.
* I didn't make the Anacostia Waterfront Forum meeting last night; hopefully the DDOT folks will post any slides or other materials on the Anacostia Waterfront web site. However, yesterday WAMU did two reports on the initiative, with interviews with many of the people scheduled to speak at the forum: you can hear them here. (And, a PS to DDOT: it might not be a bad idea to have the old AWC URL redirect to the new web site instead of dc.gov.)
* A reminder that tomorrow (Thursday) is the WMATA public hearing on decommissioning the N22 Union Station/Eastern Market/Navy Yard bus line, so that DC can replace it with a shiny red Circulator bus. It's at 6:30 pm at Metro's headquarters, 600 Fifth St., NW.
* (h/t G St.) I have to admit I found this pretty funny, but only because I've been lucky enough to never discuss dog parks, nor have I come up with a "ridiculous acronym" for the neighborhood. (Though goodness knows plenty of other people are trying.) Plus, I was born on Capitol Hill, and really am a "DC Lifer." Nyaaah!
 

This news has already come through here as a rumor, but the Nats announced it officially today (via WBJ): "The Washington Nationals have chosen Levy Restaurants to run concessions at the team's ballpark, just one of many changes planned for the 1-year-old stadium's second season."
The article also describes the changes in store for the Red Porch Restaurant, which have also been in the media previously but are worth reposting in case you haven't been following along: "The Nationals are also working with HOK Sport, the ballpark's architect, to replace the center field restaurant's fixed glass wall with sliding glass to develop a better connection to the game, said team President Stan Kasten. The plan is to remove the last row of 32 fixed seats in center field in front of the restaurant, called the Red Porch, and add more tables, seating 44 people in the space. The concrete back wall will be removed and replaced with roll-up garage doors that open up that side of the building, creating 88 outdoor seats facing the center field plaza. [...] Other changes to the center field plaza include installing a stage for live music, building a larger pre-game set for local broadcasters to use on game days and erecting statues honoring Washington baseball legends Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson and Frank Howard."
And, there's this, which might be of interest to residents and workers desperate for food other than Five Guys and Subway: "The Nationals would like to open the Red Porch for lunch and dinner on nonevent days when the team is on the road, but nothing is definite for extended hours, Kasten said. 'We may experiment,' he said. 'We'll see.'"
 

A reminder that tonight is the first Anacostia Waterfront Forum, entitled "Sustainable Development, Infrastructure and the Future of the District of Columbia." It's at the MLK Library at 6:30 pm, and will feature the new director of DDOT Gabe Klein, along with chief engineer Kathleen Penney and other speakers. What is the event, exactly? "This educational forum series is designed to re-engage District residents in considering policies, concepts and potential outcomes embedded in the Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan. The series is an opportunity to learn more about how the development of a world class Anacostia Waterfront can help create a more sustainable and inclusive future for District residents. "
Comments (0)
More posts:
 

Anyone checking out Luck of the Draw this weekend? It's running from 6 to 10 pm tonight and 2 to 6 pm on Sunday (after starting for four hours on Friday night). If so, visit the comments and post your impressions....
Comments (0)
More posts:
 

Eagle-eyed workers at USDOT had asked me about this lately, and now WBJ confirms (subscribers only) that work has stopped at the Foundry Lofts rehab project at the Yards: "Forest City Washington started transforming a former Navy industrial building into 170 loft apartments last year but recently called off the construction crews thanks to, you guessed it, a lack of financing -- in this case an inability of the D.C. Housing Finance Agency to sell bonds for the subsidized units."
And, there's this: a Forest City rep says "work continues on a waterfront park and landing retailers for the 44-acre, multiyear project, but sources say Dogfish Head Alehouse, once in discussions to open on the waterfront, is no longer interested."
So now the neighborhood has its first "skeleton."
UPDATE: On the other hand, WBJ is also reporting that chain brewery Gordon Biersch might be coming to Half Street, with a broker confirming that there is interest, but no deal has been signed: "Gordon Biersch is remaining mum, but sources point to Monument Realty's Half Street project as a likely candidate. The D.C. developer is putting the finishing touches on 55 M St. NW [um, no: SE], a 275,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail above the Navy Yard Metro station. The project, on the main pedestrian drag to the baseball stadium, doesn't have any announced tenants."
 

UPDATE: Here are a few photos from the ceremony, along with a closer peek at the construction underway.
(Original entry) Just got back from the ceremony at Diamond Teague Park; while I'm working on the photos, here's the press release about the event, which I'll note contain the same April-for-the-piers, July-for-the-park timeline I've been mentioning (and yes, I'm being lazy and just reproducing the press release--rough morning!):
"Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Friday joined community leaders in a groundbreaking ceremony for Diamond Teague Park, an $8 million waterfront park that will link Nationals Park to the Anacostia River.
"'Diamond Teague committed his life to restoring, protecting and preserving the Anacostia River,' Mayor Fenty said. 'This park will be a fitting tribute to his legacy and it will mark our commitment as a city to carry on his work.'
"The park is named after 19-year old Diamond Teague, a member of the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) who was murdered in 2003. The ECC members -- many live in communities along the river's banks -- work to improve the river's health and protect the plant and animal species that call the Anacostia home.
"[...]It will connect the ballpark to a pair of public piers and a 20-mile network of waterfront trails. A 250-foot pier will be built to host commercial vessels such as water taxis and charter boats. The pier will also include slips for the ECC and the District's fire and life safety vessels.
"The park will feature a separate 200-foot environmental pier for educational groups, kayaks and canoes. The piers are expected to be complete by baseball's Opening Day, April 13, 2009.
"Construction and planting work on the upland portion of the park will be completed by July. Muralist Byron Peck and City Arts are also working to complete a memorial dedicated to Diamond Teague that will be unveiled later this summer.
"The cost of the $8 million park is being covered through dedicated revenue streams tied to a number of adjacent economic development projects that surround the park including Florida Rock's one million square foot mixed-used project directly to the West of the park and JBG's U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building to the East."
 

* On Friday at 10:30 am the mayor will be hosting a groundbreaking at Diamond Teague Park; construction started back in December (photos on my project page from a few weeks ago show the piers and ramps around the pumphouse have already been dismantled). The timeline as described to me at the end of January is that the new piers are to be ready by Opening Day, with the landscaping and land-based improvements to be completed by July; we'll see if those dates are still operative at tomorrow's event.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID newsletter says that JPI's 909 New Jersey is "set to open ahead of schedule in April." The "909 at Capitol Yards" official web site has floor plans and more information.
* Also from the BID newsletter (which isn't posted on their web site, otherwise I'd link to it), some occupancy numbers for the three buildings participating in this weekend's "Luck of the Draw" art extravaganza: Velocity has sold 52 of its 200 units (which is still right around the 25-percent mark reported back in July of last year); 100 I Street is 25 percent leased (it was reported at around 16 percent leased in December), and Onyx on First is 27 percent leased (after having been 8 percent leased in December).
* The BID also has the list of public events over the next few weeks at the Navy Yard. (I used to be on a mailing list for these and would add them to my calendar, but that ceased a while ago and the Navy Museum's own web site calendar hasn't been updated since last year.)
* Off-topic, but DC United says they're moving to Prince George's County.
* And Now, Anacostia has more on the legislation introduced today by Tommy Wells to place a five-cent fee on paper and plastic bags with the goal of helping to clean up the Anacostia River. (There's also a web site, trashfreeanacostia.com.)
 

(h/t DCist) What has been unofficially official around here since early December is now officially official: Artomatic 2009 will be held in Near Southeast, at Monument Realty's 55 M Street office building on top of the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station, from May 29 to July 5. Here's the Artomatic press release, which says that registration for artists wishing to participate will begin in March.
What exactly is Artomatic? "Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic transforms an unfinished indoor space into an exciting and diverse arts event that is free and open to the public. In addition to displays by hundreds of artists, the event features free films, educational presentations and children's activities, as well as musical, dance, poetry, theater and other performances." Free to the public, it will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 1 a.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.) Artomatic is also looking for volunteers; see the press release for more details.
 

* With thanks to SWill for passing the word (since I couldn't attend the meeting), I can report that ANC 6D on Monday night voted to support the plans for phase 2 of the Yards Park, which will be going in front of the Zoning Commission on March 2. (You can read my summary of last week's presentation to the ANC on the plans for more information.)
* If you're looking for analysis of what exactly the plans for the new 11th Street Bridges configuration might mean, Greater Greater Washington is taking a look at them (part one here; part two not yet posted). For what might perhaps be called an opposing viewpoint, DDOT's chief engineer Kathleen Penney contributed this article in the February Hill Rag about what DDOT sees as the benefits of the project. And, if you want some 11th Street Bridges material to use as a sleeping aid, I pass along this link (via Tommy Wells's blog) to the RFP for the design/build contract. (The "amendment" link is the *slightly* more comprehensible one.) There was a hearing last week on a bill about the contracting procedures for the bridge, but I'm not *so* desperate for content to wade into that.
(UPDATE) I already posted about this, but it's a good time to mention again that there's a public forum on the 11th Street Bridges on Feb. 17: "Sustainable Development, Infrastructure, and the Future of the District of Columbia," at the MLK Library at 6:30 pm. (DDOT just sent around its own announcement, now posted online.)
* And hey, check it out, the council has finally updated the user interface for its legislation database!
* Other than that, all is very quiet these days. Though those following my Twittering were apprised yesterday of this breaking news item: "[I] Dreamt last night that 3rd and K Market was reopening both as a bodega and a swank Indian food joint. With a new noodle place next door."
 

From a just-sent-out press release, more details on the "Luck of the Draw Art and Music Event" being put on by Artomatic, Pink Line Project, and the Capitol Riverfront BID in the neighborhood this weekend:
"Luck of the Draw will transform selected units, lounges, courtyards and the parking lots at Velocity Condominium, Axiom at Capitol Yards and Onyx on First residential buildings with photography, installation art, graffiti artists, live music, DJs and dancing to create a threeday neighborhood art and entertainment event. Start the night at the Velocity Condominium's entertainment tent on Half Street between L St and K St SE, and then head over to Axiom at Capitol Yards at 100 I (Eye) St SE and Onyx on First at 1100 First St SE. Draw playing cards at each location and, in traditional Washington, DC style, barter, trade and negotiate with others for the best 5-card poker hand to enter a raffle and win an iPod Nano. Beverages and snacks will be available at the venues as well."
It's free and open to the public. Hours are 6 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday (the 13th and 14th) and 2pm to 6 pm on Sunday the 15th.
 

I've received a press release from ICP Partners, the folks who own the properties along Potomac Avenue between Eighth and Ninth (just north of M Street). Quoting: "The ICP Group, Inc. announces today that it will create an urban hotel index fund that will focus on developing and operating hotels in U.S emerging markets. As a benchmark, ICP has signed [letters of intent] with a couple of the largest hospitality companies in the world to evaluate the feasibility of developing and managing hotels in certain urban markets, including 820 Potomac Avenue in SE Washington, DC." This would be on the eastern part of the Potomac Avenue stretch of the block, the parking lot that wraps around onto Ninth Street. No word on who the hospitality companies are. Some may remember that this land (along with the building at Eighth and Potomac where Quizno's resides in the ground floor) was put up for sale in a sealed bid process back in December. More as I get it.
 

Feb 8, 2009 3:20 PM
I took advantage of this beautiful February (!) day to grab some quick photos. First up are the action shots at Capitol Quarter, showing the brickwork underway on the southeast corner of 4th and L and the framing continuing on the north side.
And, for the first time since August, I've updated my views of the neighborhood from the SE Freeway. Clearly I'm out of practice because I kind of screwed up the angles, but you can still get the idea when you compare these new images to their "before"s. This is one of my favorite galleries, since I do have one grainy photo from 2000 (when 80 M was still under construction), and some others from 2005, before the vertical rush really began. You can also see that 1015 Half Street is about to really dominate the view, probably permanently obscuring the view of 55 M from the freeway. Remember to click the See All Photos of This Angle icon if you want to see all the photos between the "before" and now.
I also updated the one shot I have from the freeway at New Jersey; watch the progression from 2005 when Capitol Hill Tower was the dominant building through the construction of Onyx and now with 909 New Jersey and Velocity on display.
You can see all photos from today paired with their "before"s on one page, if you don't feel like clicking around and if you don't mind waiting a bit for it all to load.
(Alas, despite attempts to clean my lens just before taking these shots, they all look like they're being filtered through Vaseline. I'll just pretend I was being arty.)
 

Feb 8, 2009 11:10 AM
Been kind of a nice few days here without much news, so now I'm having to force myself back into the routine. I'll start small:
* An update to the post about the new houses released at Capitol Quarter: EYA tells me that the houses released are spread throughout the development: 421 L Street, under construction and expected to be ready in April (listed for $720,340 on the EYA "Move In Now" list), two houses in the block just to the north (expected to be ready in the fall), and four houses in the block bounded by I/Virginia, Fifth, Fourth, and K that could be ready by the end of the year. On all of these blocks the reservations placed by homeowners over the past few years have now been converted to contracts; that is expected to happen for the final Phase 1 block (between Third and Fourth and Virginia and I) later this year.
* The agenda for Monday night's ANC 6D meeting is posted, and it includes a vote on the Phase 2 designs of the Yards Park that were discussed at last week's special meeting. I've also now added a bunch of those Phase 2 renderings to my Yards Park page. Other items on the ANC 6D agenda are about Southwest subjects, though I should note that the National Marathon on March 21 (which they'll be discussing) will be coming across the Douglass Bridge, briefly using South Capitol Street until it turns west on P Street.
There's also an agenda item about a BZA application for 1101 South Capitol St., SW, which was the old KFC. This is a good opportunity for me to mention that, with two blogs about Southwest now in full flight, I'm going back to my original boundaries, which old-timers will remember stopped in the median of South Capitol Street, which is where Southeast ends and Southwest begins. I'm lucky enough to be watching a neighborhood that has probably the firmest boundaries of any in the city, so I'm going to respect them!
* City budget season is nearly upon us. I've added to my calendar a partial list of dates for FY08-09 oversight and FY10 budget hearings, for agencies that have the most bearing on Near Southeast. Check the DC Council web site for the full list.
 

Feb 5, 2009 9:21 PM
Two small tidbits:
* EYA sent out an e-mail today announcing that they are releasing "the final townhomes in Phase 1" at Capitol Quarter, with prices starting from the $630s. I don't know how many units are in this batch, or where in the Phase I blocks they're located. I'm pretty sure that a while back Phase 1 was billed as "sold out"--if I'm correct, these would be some houses originally reserved but now back on the market. (Buyer decides not to buy, buyer's credit worthiness tanks, etc. etc.)
UPDATE, 2/7: EYA tells me that the houses released are spread throughout the development: 421 L Street, under construction and expected to be ready in April (listed for $720,340 on the EYA "Move In Now" list), two houses in the block just to the north (expected to be ready in the fall), and four houses in the block bounded by I/Virginia, Fifth, Fourth, and K that could be ready by the end of the year. On all of these blocks the reservations placed by homeowners over the past few years have now been converted to contracts; that is expected to happen for the final Phase 1 block (between Third and Fourth and Virginia and I) later this year.
* From the Post calendar listings, word of a concert on Sunday Feb. 8 at the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters. (This is the first time I've ever heard of a concert there, though it's more than possible that the news of previous ones didn't make it onto my radar.) Here's the particulars: "MARINE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE, performance of works by Libby Larsen, Telemann and Stravinsky; followed by a tour of the facility; light refreshments served. 2 p.m., Marine Barracks Annex, John Philip Sousa Band Hall, Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue SE. Free. 202-433-4011." (hat tip to reader S.)
 

Feb 4, 2009 3:17 PM
The last item to summarize from Monday's ANC 6D presentation hearing was an update on the series of changes being requested to the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD. I've been writing about some portion of these requests since July, so here's some bullet points I've previously written (I just can't bring myself to have to compose new entries about this stuff AGAIN), along with comments from the ANC commissioners:
* Expanding the number of units at Capper: "There are five new apartment buildings slated to be built, three of which along the east side of Canal Park where the temporary parking lots are, and another at New Jersey and K on the trash transfer site. And there is a new plan for a fifth apartment building, on L Street across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (B.E.Q), on the northern portion of the old Capper Seniors footprint.
"Under the original Capper plans, there was to be a strip of 61 townhouses built on this spot, but the DC Housing Authority has recognized that these homes would be dwarfed by the B.E.Q. to the north and the two planned office buildings directly behind them at 600 M Street. So DCHA has now filed a request with the Zoning Commission to allow an expansion in the total number of housing units allowed at Capper to 1,747, which would allow the construction of a four-story 189-unit apartment building (with a massing very similar to the B.E.Q.) on this stretch of L Street known as Square 882N. This Zoning Commission request is also looking to expand the number of units in the planned apartment building on the south side of L Street between Second and Third (let's call it Square 769N) to 171 units[.]"
The ANC was told that the Square 769N building was originally designed to be a market-rate condo building only, but that financing realities have forced a switch to rentals. And because rental units can be smaller, they were able to not only add more than 60 units, but make 34 of those units public housing, allowing a lower proportion of public housing units in the other four apartment buildings while still maintaining the required Hope VI one-to-one replacement of the original 695 Capper public housing units.
As for the Square 882 buildings, the change to apartments from townhouses would require a boost in parking spaces from 49 to 172--but they are proposing to lower the total spaces at the office building from 400 to 284. This is part of a request to bring down the overall number of required parking spaces from 1,845 to 1,780, including the removal of the requirement for 70 off-site spaces for 400 M Street, which have been determined to be unnecessary.
(Note that the Square 769 and Square 882 issues before the Zoning Commission are technically a PUD second-stage review.)
* Time Extensions: "There were also requests for three time extensions: to extend the first-stage PUD for an additional five years, to extend the deadline for filing second-stage approvals for the apartment building sites along Canal Park (including the trash-transfer station site) to 2013, and to extend the deadline for filing a building permit application for the planned community center at Fifth and K to January 2011, with an included extension of the start of construction to January 2012."
Commissioner Bob Siegel in particular is very unhappy about the delay in the community center construction, saying that the senior residents of 900 5th Street need an exercise room and other amenities. But he was told that, simply, the community center is unfinanceable right now.
And Commissioner Ron McBee wants to revisit the community benefits that were agreed to in the original Capper PUD, asking the presenters to get him a list of those benefits--I can do it for them, by pointing to pages 12-14 of the 2004 zoning order.
The Zoning Commission will be hearing all these items on March 19. You can see the hearing notice for the zoning-related specifics on the three cases
 

Feb 4, 2009 9:49 AM
Just out from WMATA: "A public hearing will be held on Thursday, February 19, to receive the public's input on the proposed elimination of Metrobus route N22, the Navy Yard shuttle service, with that service switching to the DC Circulator. The public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m., at Metro's headquarters, 600 5th Street, NW, Washington, D.C." Why? "The District Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) notified Metro of its intent to transfer operation of Metrobus route N22 to the DC Circulator effective March 29, 2009. Therefore, it is proposed to discontinue Metrobus service on route N22 so that DDOT can transfer the funds to a new DC Circulator route that would serve the Navy Yard - Union Station area. Details of the proposed DC Circulator route are being developed by DDOT." See my previous posts on this switch from N22 to Circulator for more information and background. See the Metro release for information on how to be a witness if you wish to testify.
Comments (0)
More posts: circulator, Metro/WMATA
 

Feb 4, 2009 8:49 AM
A couple small things from the past few days:
* For the second time in eight years, Capitol Quarter's EYA has been named America's Best Builder by Builder Magazine, which cited "its commitment to high-quality design, building in areas featuring life within walking distance, and industry leading results on homebuyer satisfaction and referral sales."
* From WTOP, news that the current occupants of the encampment at First and M are seeing the tab for their move escalate a touch: "The estimated cost of building a sprawling new complex at Fort Belvoir to house [the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency] and its 8,500-strong work force will be $350 million more than prior estimates, according to a report from government auditors." It's mandated that they have to be moved into their new digs by September 2011, but the GAO report "warned that the agency's small window for delays means that 'any unmitigated disruptions can jeopardize' meeting the 2011 deadline." The price tag is now $2.44 billion.
* Today's Examiner has another installment of their Three-Minute Interview series, this time with, um, me. (Nationals historians might enjoy knowing that the accompanying photo [better non-cropped version here] was taken the night the team came home from spring training to see their completed ballpark for the first time.)
 

Feb 3, 2009 4:47 PM
With great thanks to reader G. for passing this along, I can report that the newly released Google Earth 5.0 (beta, of course) now includes an option to page back through older satellite photos. As you might imagine, I raced to see what they had for Near Southeast, and found a not-razor-sharp 1949 image, which you can see on my Near Southeast Satellite Photos page if you don't have Google Earth.
You might enjoy the "Where's Waldo?" test of looking for buildings you recognize, such as the Southeastern Bus Garage, the WASA buildings, and even that big brick warehouse at South Capitol and O that was demolished to make way for the ballpark. Things that *aren't* there: the Southeast Freeway (built in the 1960s), the second span of the 11th Street Bridges, a completed Douglass Bridge, and many of the Capper buildings that came in the 1950s. You'll also see how packed with buildings the Navy Yard was, especially since this was still during the time that its boundaries stretched all the way to First Street (across what is now The Yards). And look at how, north of Virginia Avenue, Garfield Park was bisected by Second Street.
The other image offerings from Near Southeast are mostly variants on the ones I already have on my satellite photos page that came from non-Google sources over the years (1988, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007), though there are a few extras from the later years where the quality of the image isn't all that good.
If this is whetting your appetite, I also have a batch of non-satellite historic photos of the neighborhood you can wander through, along with detailed street maps from 1903 through 1921.
UPDATE: Commenter MJM rightly reminds me of a fact that an American History major such as myself should have remembered: Sputnik was the first *satellite*, launched in 1957. So these overhead images from 1949 are not satellite images, but were taken from planes. Or they attached a camera to Superman and had him fly around the globe a few times.
 

Feb 3, 2009 10:32 AM
ANC 6D heard a presentation on Monday night from the team working on the South Capitol Street Environmental Impact Statement, which is now in its "final preferred alternative" stage. Their PowerPoint presentation was pretty close to the one I posted last month, and one of the consultants did tweak me a bit about how I "spoiled the surprise" on the choice of the arched bascule design for the new Douglass Bridge.
Here again are the (long!) bullet points about what the preferred alternative designs are for the portion of South Capitol west of the Anacostia (see the presentation if you're interested in the preferred alternatives chosen for east of the river), along with some issues raised by the ANC:
* It was emphasized that these new designs will not be adding any capacity, but that the main goal is to bring back the "boulevard" feeling of the corridor.
* The new bridge will have 20-foot-wide sidewalks on each side, and only two piers will need to be built in the river, compared to 3-5 piers that would have been needed with the other designs. (The cable stayed swing bridge would have had just one pedestrian/bike path, 16 feet wide, in the middle of the bridge, surrounded by six lanes of traffic.)
* There will be a seven-acre traffic oval at the foot of the new bridge (which will be located to the south of the current bridge), reshaping the intersection of South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue. (The ballpark's Home Plate Gate and entrance promenade will be the northeast edge of the oval.) The city is already in the process of acquiring seven properties or portions of properties that will be needed for the oval and bridge footprint, including the red brick warehouse on the northwest corner of South Capitol and Potomac. This oval is on the NCPC list of locations for future memorials and museums.
* The intersection of South Capitol Street and M Street will become an at-grade intersection (no more underpass for through traffic). ANC chair Andy Litsky expressed great concern about how this could make the intersection even more dangerous than it already is, to which the DDOT team replied that the reconfiguration should make it safer. (Certainly it would seem that having a "normal" intersection with two left-turn lanes in most directions would be an improvement safety-wise over the existing mish-mash of lights and poorly striped turn-lanes, but then there will also be a lot more cars cycling through once the tunnel lanes are gone.)
* There will be modifications to South Capitol's interchange with the SE/SW Freeway, with the replacement of the ramp that begins at I Street with an at-grade intersection underneath the freeway that would have two left-turn lanes to a new ramp. With the existing ramp removed, the intersection at South Capitol and I would also be reconfigured.
* The northern section of South Capitol Street will match the reconfigured portion between N Street and Potomac Avenue, as a six-lane boulevard with a median and wide sidewalks.
Commissioners McBee and Moffatt asked as they have in the past about whether the existing bridge could be kept as a pedestrian/bike-only bridge, but DDOT explained that since the swing span would continue to need to be opened for river traffic, the cost of maintaining the old bridge just isn't feasible. (The RiverFront folks might also be a teensy bit upset that their land that's beneath the current bridge wouldn't be coming back to them.) And the team also indicated that this new bridge does not preclude the construction (Some Day, Perhaps, in Some Far Off Time) of a tunnel to move non-local traffic from Anacostia to I-395.
They expect the final Record of Decision from the feds this fall; however, when pressed for a start date, they said 2011 would be the absolute earliest for the start of construction (with completion possibly in 2015), but that as of now there's no funding for the $700 million project. It's also possible that portions of the designs could be undetaken if partial funding is received.
 

Feb 2, 2009 11:00 PM
Tonight ANC 6D had a special "presentation" meeting, to lighten the load of next Monday's business meeting so that everyone could go home before 2 am. On the agenda were three items, all of which are JDLand perennials. I'll post on Tuesday about the Capper zoning stuff and the South Capitol Street EIS, which didn't really contain much that I haven't previously covered; the third item was the designs for the second phase of the waterfront park at the Yards.
The first phase, which is expected to begin construction in the next three months and be completed by mid-2010, is the basic layout of the park and the boardwalks. The second phase comprises 55,000 square feet of retail in the to-be-rehabbed Lumber Storage Shed and two new buildings, as well as a 60-foot-tall "visual marker" (seen at left) just to the southwest of the shed. (The third phase will be the piers and marina.) I was dreading coming home to describe these latest plans with no renderings to accompany my ramblings, but then I found the National Capital Planning Commission has done all my work for me, thanks to these phase 2 designs being in front of the commission at their meeting this Thursday (and for which the NCPC staff has recommended approval). You can see all of the drawings presented to the ANC in this NCPC document, along with a lot of description of the designs, but I'll hit some highlights.
The "light tower," designed by James Carpenter Design Associates, is made up of stainless steel prisms that reflect light during the day and will be subtly illuminated at night. The top is actually 70 feet from the top of the water, but 10 feet of that is the boardwalk; the structure itself is only 60 feet high.
The storage shed, as I've mentioned in the past, will lose its faaaahbulous salmon-colored corregated skin and will be enclosed with non-reflective glass. The other two buildings (currently given the wonderfully descriptive monikers of P2A and P2B) will also be mainly glass structures. There will be a restaurant court in front of the center building, overlooking the area of the park that steps down toward the waterfront. (A drawing of the three buildings' southern facades is here; a larger version of the rendering at right showing how the buildings are not at all dominant when viewed from the waterfront is here. See the NCPC document for additional views.)
The questions from the ANC commissioners included whether this public park financed by public dollars and owned by the city would be open to the public, whether there would be preferences for ANC 6D-based businesses for the retail spaces and the six kiosks planned near the light tower, and if there would be any city-controlled vending spaces in the park.
The designs will be presented to the Zoning Commission on March 2 (there are also some exceptions and/or variances being requested). The ANC will presumably be voting on whether or not to support the project at its Feb. 9 meeting.
 
26 Posts:
Go to Page: 1 | 2




Blog/Home
Project Directory
Photo Archive
Event Photos
 
Nats Park
Food Map
What's New
History

 
Demolished Buildings
Historic Photos
Satellite Images
Timeline
 
About JDLand
Message JD
Advertise
Photo Use
 
     © Copyright 2014 JD.