Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
- March 2007
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Photo Updates - Stadium Shots and More
Mar 31, 2007 7:55 PM
I gave you inside-the-ballpark photos
on Monday, and today there's a new set of exterior shots of the Nationals baseball stadium
(note that I've now separated the interior and exterior stadium photo galleries into separate tabs). Remember that clicking on the
icon will show you all uploaded photos of that angle, not just the oldest and newest (so you can watch the stadium construction change in two-week intervals). I also "freshened" the Photo Archive
's database of photos at all the intersections around the perimeter of the stadium, giving you additional viewpoints not shown in the Construction Gallery: check out 1st Steet
, N Place
, and Potomac
; Half Street
; and South Capitol Street
, and Potomac
. (You can also browse the archive by map
to pick and choose locations.)
I also did what is probably the final major photo update for 20 M Street
, and updated some other intersections as well--Half and M
, Cushing and M
(both of which are part of the Monument Half Street
footprint); Cushing and L
; and 1st and M
and 1st and L
, home of the construction sites for 100 M Street
and Onyx on First
, which each got updated as well, although the pictures aren't particularly exciting (still just a big hole in the ground). Or you could just look at all the photos I took today
, then click on the intersection link if you want to see previous photos.
And now, I must go watch my Gators.
Stadium Parking Meeting Slides
Mar 30, 2007 1:24 PM
Thanks to the fine folks at DDOT
, I've now gotten a hold of some of the documents from yesterday evening's public meeting
on the stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP). First, here's the slides presented by consultants Gorove/Slade about the TOPP
, with maps and charts listing expected transit/auto/pedestrian traffic volume and flow. There's also an FAQ
on parking, traffic, and other issues for Southwest and Near Southeast residents. In addition, DDOT handed out an FAQ on the Douglass Bridge improvements
going on over the next few months, and they also had a number of display boards
with information on the plans for the South Capitol Street corridor and other regional traffic issues. If you live in Southwest, or Near Southeast, or Capitol Hill, or Anacostia, or even Prince George's County, or if you're a baseball fan planning to come to the games, I suggest taking a close look at these.... (Some of them are kind of big files, be patient if they take a moment to load.) UPDATED
to correct the link to the Gorove/Slade presentation
; there's also now more slides (from DDOT and WMATA) available here
Firms Starting to Look at Near Southeast
Mar 30, 2007 9:14 AM
From today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal
: "CNN and a couple of law firms are sampling the wares in Southeast DC by taking tours of new office buildings cropping up around the new baseball stadium
. No leases have been signed yet, but the buzz of these high-profile tenants looking at Southeast as an option is quite a victory for a neighborhood formerly known as an industrial zone crawling with seediness and crime. [...] Also, rents in Southeast are expected to be around $40 per square foot for full service, $20 to $30 cheaper than new or renovated buildings in the Central Business District." Of course, right now, "tours of new office buildings" means 20 M Street
, the only new
office building currently completed and with plenty of space to lease. But by 2009 there will also be 100 M
, 55 M
, and probably 250 M
and 1111 New Jersey
. And maybe a couple more, depending on what happens within the next few months at Square 699N
, Square 697
(Nation), and the Willco site at 83 M. (The article fudges a bit by mentioning 1.8 million square feet of office space was under construction in Near Southeast back in December, but, well, 1.35 million of that was the DOT HQ
Added the link to the story
, since WBJ was nice enough to bring it out from behind the pay wall.
Public Meeting on Stadium Parking - A Summary
Mar 29, 2007 10:45 PM
It was a tough call between swallowing a couple of bottles of hydrochloric acid or attending tonight's public meeting on the stadium
's Transportation Operations and Parking Plan, but luckily for you my JDLand duties eventually won out. I'm hoping to get electronic versions of the slide presentations, so I'm going to just type up my notes for now, and hope that the details come later; besides, much of it will sound familiar to folks who read this blog regularly. There were presentations by DDOT and WMATA about their plans for the area, as a warm up for the discussion by traffic planners Gorove/Slade
on the TOPP.
DDOT gave an overview of all of its near-term plans for Near Southeast--this includes the additional ramps to be added to the 11th Street Bridges
, which already has funding and is moving at (bureaucratically speaking) lightning speed, and should be done by 2010. Then the planned improvements to South Capitol Street
and the South Capitol Street Bridge
were profiled, including this summer's festive demolition and lowering
of the northern portion of the bridge. The current bridge itself will also be painted, and will get new lighting and pedestrian rails (more like the Pennsylvania Ave. bridge). Then there will be the streetscape improvements to South Capitol, Potomac, N, 1st, and I Streets, SE, all before Opening Day 2008, with resurfacing, new streetlights, curbs, etc. There will also be some small changes to the South Capitol and I intersection to try to improve the flow, although there are no current plans to expand the ramps to/from the freeway.
Next up was WMATA, giving a description of what's being done to expand the Navy Yard Metro station
in advance of the throngs of baseball fans. The station's capacity is being upgraded to 15,000 customers per hour (the same as Stadium-Armory) from the current 5,000, turnstiles and Farecards machines will be moved to street-level, elevators will be added to the west entrance, and more, all while Monument Realty's 55 M Street
office building is built on top of the station. The west entrance will be one-way outbound before games and one-way inbound afterwards, while the east entrance will remain two-way. Metro will also put in place the same plan of 9-13 extra trains after each game that they currently do for games at RFK, and that the system's recent receipt of nearly 190 new rail cars will also help increase capacity over the next 18 months. They are also looking at shuttles to other stations after games, and that the possibility exists that DDOT could expand the DC Circulator bus routes that currently end in SW to include the stadium area, with a route down M Street, up 8th, and over to Union Station, but that's not decided yet.
Gorove/Slade went through a lot of numbers, but I think in some ways didn't quite emphasize what the people attending wanted to hear most, which is that non-resident gameday street parking will be prohibited in basically all residential areas in Southwest and Near Southeast south of the freeway
, and they'll be using the model that's been being refined in the Hill East neighborhood around RFK for the past few years (residents receive Event Parking permits to display, and also one guest parking permit per household). They estimate that for a sellout crowd 19,000 people will come via transit (16,000 through the Navy Yard station), 750 will arrive by charter buses, 400 by taxi, 3,400 on foot or bike, and 13,600 by car (in 4,700 vehicles). They indicated that the Nationals themselves are in charge of coordinating the parking negotiations with various sites, and a slide showed that the Nationals have identified about 5,200 parking spaces that can be available (well above the 4,700 vehicles anticipated to be coming to games). Only 185 of these spaces are in Southwest (between Half and South Capitol north of M); the rest are all in Near Southeast. While there are possibilities for parking in Buzzards Point, currently it appears the Nationals are not anticipating using that area for parking. No decision has been made yet on using the RFK parking lots and shuttle buses.
In terms of pedestrian flow at game time, many of the surrounding sidewalks are to be upgraded as part of DDOT's streetscape improvements. There will be traffic control officers at the major intersections, and Half Street SE south of M will be closed entirely to vehicle traffic, while some lanes on N will be closed; also there will be no parking at all on M Street or on 1st Street north of M on gamedays.
But what all the planners want is for people to come to games via public transit.
The questions from the audience centered mainly around the impact on the residential streets of Southwest and Capitol Hill, with great concerns about parking for visitors ("what if I'm having a party?") on game days. I imagine there will be more of the meetings, with more consternation, yet to come. And I also imagine that Opening Day 2008 will be rife with tales of traffic back-ups, transit snafus, and lost suburbanites unable to find their parking lots. And then the plans will be tweaked and re-tweaked, just as they have been around RFK for the past few years.
As I said, hopefully I'll have the slides and some other materials to pass along within the next few days. If you have concerns that you want to air, be sure to contact the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission
, and cc ANC 6D (firstname.lastname@example.org
) so that the ANC can track the feedback.
Navy Museum April Public Events
Mar 29, 2007 10:29 PM
I've added the Navy Museum
's slate of public programs for the month of April to my Upcoming Events calendar
--nice weather to stroll down to the Navy Yard
, you can even walk on the completed section of the Anacostia Riverwalk (after you promise your first-born to the guards at the entrance gates) and gaze longingly westward past the fence toward what will eventually be the Waterfront Park at the Yards
New Signs, Fences, and Cranes
Mar 29, 2007 1:10 PM
Goings on about town.... Earlier this week the construction crane arrived at the Onyx on First
/100 M Street
construction site, signaling the beginning of the end of the digging-down phase and the start of the building-up phase. (Though these two projects are being developed by different companies, they are being built concurrently--that's synergy, and cost savings!) Two blocks over, a big sign has gone up at 2nd and M advertising Washington Canal Park
--the graphic on the sign is the same one I found a few weeks back in the Capitol Riverfront BID executive summary. And, today, fences have been erected around Square 699N
, the entire block bounded by Half, K, L, and 1st, the former home to Wet/Edge and various other small businesses. Permits appear to be in place for demolition and excavation, so with the fences up I'd expect something to start happening soon--now if only the Cohen Companies
would tell us WHAT! You can see a few new shots on my Square 699N and Canal Park pages, or here in the Photo Archive
all at once. UPDATE:
I should add that, back in September 2005 when Ron Cohen purchased Square 699N
, it was reported that the block would be developed with 650 condos, a hotel with condos, a stand-alone 250,000 sq ft office building, and retail. But there's been little reporting since on his plans.
Reminder: Stadium Parking/Traffic Plan Meeting Thursday
Mar 28, 2007 8:27 PM
A reminder about Thursday's big neighborhood meeting: "The public is invited to learn about the recommendations for the Traffic Operations & Parking Plan (TOPP) and to discuss issues pertaining to traffic planning for the new Ballpark District and nearby neighborhoods. Representatives from the DC Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Police Department, the Washington Nationals and the Sports Commission will be on hand. The meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on March 29 at Southeastern University, 501 I St., SW. For information, call the new Ballpark Hotline at (202) 608-1112 or visit www.washdcsports.com."
More Information on The Yards
Mar 28, 2007 9:50 AM
Today I've added some expanded information on The Yards
, the 44-acre redevelopment project by Forest City Washington
on the Southeast Federal Center site (behind DOT
on M Street, stretching from 1st Street to the Navy Yard
at Hull Street, and down to the Anacostia River). They are beginning to move forward with their first phase of projects, which will start this spring with the building of roads and infrastructure within the site (we should see new signs for The Yards at 1st and N and other locations relatively soon). In early 2008, work should begin on the first two big projects, which are the redevelopment of Building 167 (the old Boiler Maker's shop on Tingey between 3rd and 4th) into a retail building, and the rehabilitation and expansion of Building 160 across the street (the Pattern/Joiner shop) into a residential building; these are expected to be completed in 2009. This first phase will also include the renovation of Building 202 (the Gun Assembly Shop) at 5th and M into another residential building; this site (which I long ago dubbed the "JD Lofts") will be a joint project between Forest City and PN Hoffman
. Also, expect to see demolition within the next few months of the beige brick building at 1st and N
across from the Nationals ballpark
, so that this parcel can be turned into stadium parking, at least for a few years until office buildings are built there. Rounding out Phase 1 will be the construction of the Waterfront Park at the Yards, a 5.5-acre public space along the banks of the Anacostia, which is just now starting to be designed. This will be connected to Diamond Teague Park
south of 1st Street by a floating pedestrian bridge, which sounds kind of cool.
You can get a better feel for all of this by looking at the map and photos I've added to a new Yards Overview tab
, and then also look through the photos
I have of the site, or use the Photo Archive to check out the perspectives at 1st and N
and along Tingey at New Jersey
, and Hull
Capitol Quarter Sales Office Change in Hours
Mar 27, 2007 4:33 PM
An e-mail has gone out to folks who have registered
with the Capitol Quarter
townhome development announcing that the hours of the sales office at 4th and L
have been temporarily cut back to 11 - 6 Saturdays and Sundays, with weekday hours by appointment. "These new hours are only temporary - once the release date of our next homesites is known, our office will return to being open 11 am to 6 pm daily." Hopefully there will be news on the next release of units by the end of spring; the first 40 houses (market-rate and workforce-rate) were snapped up in the blink of an eye, and it'll be interesting to see if the level of interest is the same on the next go-round.
Inbound Douglass Bridge Closures This Weekend
Mar 27, 2007 3:19 PM
, a drill everyone should be getting familiar with: "As part of ongoing improvements to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge
(sometimes referred to as the South Capitol Street Bridge), the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will continue bridge repairs this weekend, starting Friday, March 30. Following the morning rush hour this Friday, DDOT will temporarily close the inbound lanes on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. Inbound bridge drivers will be directed to follow signed detours on Interstate 295 North to the 11th Street Bridge - providing direct access into the District. The inbound lanes will be closed beginning on Friday, March 30 at 10 a.m. until as late as Monday, April 2 at 4 a.m.
All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday morning rush hour."
Why? (in case you're just joining us) "The off-peak closures and repairs are needed to prepare for a major rehabilitation
that will take place on the Frederick Douglass Bridge in July and August - at which time all lanes on the bridge will be closed in both directions. [...] The one-direction-only weekend closures on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge are necessary to allow workers to safely replace bridge expansion joints with new joints (joints allow a bridge to flex when temperature changes occur). Joint replacement work requires extended periods of uninterrupted work hours, as it involves removing existing joints from the concrete bridge deck, making necessary repairs, installing new joints and placing concrete to reconnect the existing bridge deck to the new joints. Under-the-bridge steel repair work and painting also will occur. The weekend closures and repair work, which are scheduled to conclude in early June 2007, also may require periodic single-lane closures during weekday non-peak travel times.
"During the July-August closure, the northernmost portion of the bridge will be lowered to become an at-grade roadway with a new intersection at South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue
. Nearly three blocks of elevated roadway - which currently act as a barrier to access across South Capitol Street
- will be removed and replaced with at-grade intersections that will help knit the neighborhood together. Additional improvements will occur such as paving and painting the entire bridge."
Public Meeting on Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan - Date Corrected
Mar 27, 2007 10:55 AM
29 at 6:30 pm, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission is holding a Public Meeting on the Nationals Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan
, which should be a festive meeting-of-the-minds between the public and representatives of DDOT, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Nationals, and the DCSEC. See the front-page story from the April Southwester
for more information. UPDATE, 3/27:
It would help if I could *read* - the meeting is this Thursday, March 29, not yesterday.
Mar 27, 2007 8:45 AM
A few items of Near Southeast interest were on last night's Zoning Commission
agenda. First, the commission unanimously approved the modification
to the Capper/Carrollsburg
PUD to change the makeup of Capper Seniors #2
(now nearly completed at 4th and M) from all units for low-income seniors to add some workforce-level (30-60% median income) units as well. Seniors will have first preference, followed by former Capper/Carrollsburg residents who meet the income requirements; because there are no one-bedroom units in the public housing portion of Capitol Quarter
, making this switch at Capper Seniors #2 means that former residents in need of a one-bedroom have the chance to move back this year, instead of waiting for 2011 when the multifamily mixed-income buildings get built along 2nd Street
. In return for this modification, the developers agreed to amendments recommended by the Office of Planning that additional shared parking spaces be created within three blocks of the building, and that two ride-sharing cars be located at Capper/Carrollsburg (also within three blocks of Seniors #2). So, look for more news in the coming weeks on the "Ballpark Apartments
The commission also unanimously approved a modification to the office building at 100 M Street
that needed to be undertaken because their sidewalk along 1st Street is being narrowed thanks to a decision by DDOT to widen 1st Street north of M to allow for two traffic lanes, two parking lanes, and a bike lane. The commissioners were not
happy with DDOT's move, lamenting that the ZC's attempts to create walkable communities with vibrant ground-floor retail and outdoor seating space can get thwarted by a DDOT decision like this one. But the commissioners also agreed that the 100 M developers shouldn't be penalized for DDOT's mischief.
New Inside-the-Stadium Photos
Mar 26, 2007 12:49 PM
There was a media tour
of the Nats ballpark
site today, and I was lucky enough to be part of the group. I'm plowing through the pictures right now, and will have a bunch posted soon--including not only from concourse level from way up in the upper deck. So keep checking back. UPDATE:
Here's the big pile of new photos from inside the stadium
, taken from the concourse level, the club level, and the upper deck in right field. I made the images larger than usual, so the page may be slow to load for you. I also uploaded a few minutes of video
to YouTube, but the quality is pretty poor. (My crack staff of photographers and videographers weren't multitasking real well.) I will eventually incorporate some of these pictures into my Stadium Construction Gallery
, but I wanted to get them posted first.
I will be updating this entry with links to the tour coverage in the local media as it comes out--Nationals President Stan Kasten gave a shout-out to my web site during his remarks, we'll see if it makes it on-air....
Here's the story from WTOP
, with some accompanying video, too.
The Post's afternoon story
focuses less on the tour and more on Mark Lerner's positive pronouncements that the parking situation: " 'We're working hard on it,' Lerner told reporters during a tour of the stadium construction site in Southeast Washington. 'We have a team of people who are working on it. . . . All the local developers around the stadium are being very cooperative. We're very optimistic we'll be able to secure additional parking.'
Here's Fox5's story
on the stadium, very nicely done. And I'll add here the story from MLB.com
, which also nicely captures what clearly was a fair amount of surprise from the tour attendees that the park was so far along (if only there were a web site with frequent updates on the progress
!) and that it appears headed toward being quite a crowd-pleaser. (Although note that the MLB story is wrong when it says that home plate has already been placed--there's still four feet worth of dirt to be excavated before they get down to field level.)
Tommy Wells Launches His Web Site
Mar 26, 2007 9:08 AM
Near Southeast's representative on the city council has launched his web site--go visit TommyWells.org
for community news and updates on the political process for all of Ward 6.
Speaking of Demolition.... 68 N Bites the Dust
Mar 24, 2007 1:05 PM
On a dreary, marathon-tinged
Saturday morning, it was nice to be able to check the goings on along Half Street without having to leave the house, thanks to the Stadium Construction Cam
--and, lo and behold, on Camera 2 starting at around 8 am, I was able to watch the demolition of the last building on the Monument Half Street
lot, the gray garage at 68 N Street
, which is now memorialized as #117 on the Demolished Buildings
lineup. This building is where the glorified alley known as Cushing Street will be punched through to N Street as part of Monument's project--the apartment building along N Street will actually be built above and around the Cushing Street right of way, leaving just enough space for vehicles to squeeze under and through.
Community Center Demolition Underway - Update: Now Finished
Mar 24, 2007 10:54 AM
Demolition has begun of the old Capper Community Center
at 5th and K--this will eventually be replaced with a new two-story 28,000-sq-ft center (see renderings on my page
) that will include a daycare facility for 66 children, a rec center, a computer lab, a gym, a game room, and meeting/classrooms. I'm told that the Spring 2007 issue of Architecture DC
has an article about the center and some renderings, but it's not online and I haven't seen the print version yet; I'll post it here when it's available on their site. I'll add photos of the demolition soon.
Oops, meant to mention that the Community Center's demolition was completedearlier this week. Its page
has been updated again with photos, and it's now Addition #116 to my Demolished Buildings
New and Returning DC Feed Data
Mar 23, 2007 4:44 PM
For all of you who can't get enough tidbits about parking enforcement, vector control, and stoplight resynchronization, I'm pleased to tell you that the DC Service Requests feed
has come back online after a short hiatus. (And all those parking enforcement entries should serve as fair warning to incoming DOT
staffers who are thinking "Oh, I'll just park on the side streets.")
In additional data feed news, I've upgraded the Building Permits feed
into an home-brewed hybrid--not knowing whether DC ever plans to add the pending applications to the RSS feed, I decided to take matters into my own hands and expand the city's daily RSS feed
of approved permits and with records on new-but-not-yet-approved applications that I'm scraping from DCRA's Building Permit Status
database. The pending applications contain almost no information other than the address and date, but it's better than nothing.
Water Taxis to the Stadium?
Mar 23, 2007 1:32 PM
From this week's Washington Business Journal
print edition (online
for subscribers only), a story about water taxi service being established between Alexandria, Georgetown, and the new National Harbor also addresses the possibilities of expanding the service to the stadium
area:"[When the first segment of National Harbor opens in 2008], the Nationals' new baseball stadium in Southeast is expected to be ready, and waterfront planners are looking into building a dock system near the Earth Conservation Corps
offices on First Street SE [note from JD: this is the Diamond Teague Park
location]. To date, representatives of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp.
haven't had any discussions with Peterson or Potomac Riverboat about running the water taxis there for baseball games. But that should change in the coming weeks, says Nia Francis, a project director with AWC. Preliminary research has shown that the demand for a landing near the ballpark is contingent on commuter traffic and other uses for the dock, Francis says. An arrangement with a dining cruise operation will also be examined. 'We're in the midst of a feasibility study for building a landing down there,' Francis says. 'I'm sure we will approach [Potomac Riverboat] while the study continues.' "
This Weekend's Douglass Bridge Closure Postponed
Mar 23, 2007 12:18 PM
Mayor Backs Changes for AWC and NCRC
Mar 22, 2007 11:12 AM
From today's Examiner
: "Mayor Adrian Fenty said Wednesday he supports consolidating two quasi-government agencies charged with developing major interior and waterfront properties and bringing their responsibilities under his authority.
With Fenty's backing, the days appear numbered for the Anacostia Waterfront Corp.
and the National Capital Revitalization Corp.
as they exist today. The D.C. Council is considering a bill
that would dissolve both agencies and shift their duties to the office of Neil Albert, Fenty's deputy mayor for planning and economic development. 'We can support that legislation if it would consolidate the functions of the AWC and NCRC under the deputy mayor's office,' Fenty said of the legislation, introduced by Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans. Restructuring the corporations was a top priority for Fenty in his first 100 days, and a report analyzing various structural alternatives was delivered to the council this week. But the mayor had yet to take a position on Evans' bill, now under consideration by the council's economic development committee. 'The likelihood is that the organizations will be consolidated in some fashion and it will be under the control of the mayor,' Evans said."
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