Near Southeast DC: Past News Items - March 2007
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Public Meeting on Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan - Date Corrected
Mar 27, 2007 10:55 AM
On March 26 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.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

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.
UPDATE, 3/24: 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 page.
More posts: Community Center

Baltimore Sun on the Stadium
Mar 22, 2007 10:26 AM

Perhaps harkening back to the days when their new stadium had everyone excited, today's Baltimore Sun profiles the new Nationals ballpark ("Future Distinctly on Rise for Nationals"). " 'Just remember what we've gone through trying to get baseball here, and the cost of the ballpark, and remember that Washington had baseball and then it didn't,' said Chartese Burnett, a Nationals vice president who grew up in the area. After such a turbulent ride to get a team, Burnett said, the city is going to breathe a giant, collective sigh of relief when the new park opens. 'It's going to be like 'Wow, this has been a long time coming,' she said. " The article mentions the design features that have previously gotten a lot of attention, like the cherry trees in the outfield and the views of the Capitol (for now) from the upper decks--but they might want to ease up on making a big deal about the oval-shaped clubhouse, from what I understand there's about 10 non-square locker rooms in MLB already....

More posts: Nationals Park

20 M Going for the Gold
Mar 22, 2007 10:17 AM
From the Examiner: "The District of Columbia could get its first gold-rated 'green' building courtesy of Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner, the family announced Wednesday. The 190,000-square-foot office building, located at 20 M St. SE near the under-construction Nationals baseball stadium, was constructed to match the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standards for environmentally friendly buildings. The building, the first built under Lerner Enterprises' Green Initiative Program, will be submitted for certification from the Building Council, officials announced. Projects are awarded certified, silver, gold or platinum certification depending on the number of credits buildings receive under the Building Council's grading system. The Lerners have endured criticism from some environmental activists for not including enough green materials in the new Nationals stadium."
More posts: 20 M

Future of AWC?
Mar 21, 2007 3:08 PM
Friday's Washington Business Journal print edition included "Development agencies fated for major shake-up", surveying the landscape in the wake of the council hearings on the fate of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. (I'm a few days behind on this, and it's a subscription-only article, so I'm just failing all over the place.) "No decisions have been made yet, but several D.C. Council members have made it clear they're not pleased with the work done by the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. and the National Capital Revitalization Corp. At recent hearings, complaints were voiced about their lack of progress on several projects and what council members called inconsistent leadership and poor communication with the city. [...] At the very least, AWC's operations appear poised for a takeover by the city. Neil Albert, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, was recently named interim CEO of the agency and says many of its projects already require the city's cooperation. [...] [S]everal council members say they haven't heard a compelling argument in favor of leaving the agencies alone. Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, says the city today is better equipped to handle the agencies' operations and development portfolios." As for those supporting the AWC and NCRC, you can read in the April Southwester (page 5) the testimony of ANC 6D vice chair Andy Litsky. When will a decision be made? Dunno.

National Marathon Hoofing It Through Near Southeast on Saturday
Mar 21, 2007 3:03 PM
From the Metropolitan Police Department: "This is to advise the public that the National Marathon will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2007. To facilitate this event, parking and vehicular traffic restrictions will be in effect on certain roadways. The race is scheduled to begin at approximately 7 am. All streets affected by the National Marathon are expected to be reopened at approximately 2 pm, depending on prevailing conditions." A peek at the Course Map (PDF) shows that M Street SE, 8th Street SE, and South Capitol Street are on the course, so be prepared for road closures and other difficulties if you're coming into Near Southeast or anywhere within the course route.
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Southwest vs. Near Southeast, Round 7685
Mar 21, 2007 1:38 AM
Monday's Examiner ran a piece called "S.W. Real Estate Market Dead, Agent Says", trying to tie what one realtor says is a soft market in Southwest to a supposed larger idea of difficulty selling near the new Nats ballpark. Putting aside that a photo caption says (incorrectly) that the stadium is in Southwest (I'd like a dollar every time that mistake gets made--geez people, look at a frickin' map), I think people should be aware that the Southwest and Near Southeast markets are vastly different, even if they're only separated by a single (albeit wide) street. Near Southeast is now an emptied-out neighborhood basically being rebuilt from scratch, while Southwest is an established residential community with a lot of (somewhat dated) housing stock and not many amenities, at least not until Waterside Mall and the Southwest Waterfront get redeveloped. So it might be hard to entice people to buy in the area of Southwest close to the stadium where the homes are older and the neighborhood slightly sketchier when on the horizon they can see brand new townhomes or condos surrounded by retail spaces coming down the pike in 18 months or so. Southwest has gotten many raw deals in this city's history, and right now they may continue to see the ballpark-related redevelopment rush pass them by somewhat--but if the developers of the new Southwest Waterfront and Waterside Mall can navigate the sometimes treacherous road of getting buy-in from Southwest residents, the possibilities are certainly there for Southwest to have its own renaissance, completely separate from a ballpark that many of its residents didn't want as a neighbor anyway.
UPDATE: A correspondent rightly notes that a distinction should be made between the residential area of Southwest and Buzzards Point, the gritty industrial area south of R Street SW; Buzzards Point actually has more in common with Near Southeast (old industrial, no residential, scramble by developers looking to redevelop and bring in condos, mixed-use, etc.) than it does with its brethren directly to the north.
More posts: Nationals Park

New Page for 1015 Half Street and 1000 South Capitol
Mar 20, 2007 11:13 PM
There hasn't been any announced movement on either office building planned for Square 697 (the block bounded by South Capitol, K, L, and Half), but I decided it was time to build (or, more accurately, I got guilted into building) a new page detailing 1015 Half Street and 1000 South Capitol. 1015 Half is the 440,000-sq-ft building planned for the site of the old "Nation" nightclub, and since they do at least have a "Coming Soon" banner hung on the north facade and have applied for raze permits, they get the additional honor of being added to the main projects map on my home page (where space is so very limited). 1000 South Capitol is Lerner Enterprises' proposed 300,000-sq-ft office building, but other than a rendering and some contact info on the Lerner web site, there's precious little additional information about this project. Of course, these new pages have photos on them as well.

FedEx/Kinkos Coming to 20 M
Mar 20, 2007 2:53 PM

Word has coming pouring in this afternoon from various boots on the ground (we'll give co-credit to readers Frank and Dave) that a sign announcing "Coming Soon - FedEx/Kinkos" has appeared in the window just to the left of the 20 M Street entrance (as they once again wait until I am just out of sight to hang the advertisement). Those who are hoping for a restaurant will have to continue to keep their fingers crossed.

More posts: 20 M, Retail

Finishing the Newest Batch of Photo Updates
Mar 19, 2007 6:01 PM
I gave you new stadium, Monument Half Street, and 20 M photos yesterday; today I've posted new Community Center and DOT HQ shots, including some pretty neat ones of the new New Jersey Ave. and Tingey Street intersection (amazing what bright sunlight can do for a bunch of buildings and fresh asphalt!). I also added to the 20 M page new shots of the festive scrolling information sign they've installed over the main entrance, as well as the "Coming Soon - Wachovia" sign that I missed by minutes when taking my pictures on Sunday. You can also see on one page all the photos from yesterday and today that I've posted.

Post Piece on Near Southeast
Mar 19, 2007 1:02 AM
Monday's Post mines the changes in Near Southeast with another A1 story, "The Far Side of Rebirth." No new pieces of news, just interviews with people who've been in the neighborhood a long time, plus some new arrivals (hi Scott!). For those of you arriving here at after reading the article, you might want to visit my Capper/Carrollsburg, Nats Ballpark and Capitol Hill Tower pages for more information on the projects mentioned in the story, and you can also see photos of the St. Paul's AUMP Church, the Market Deli, Bennie Meeks' firewood lot, and even the horse stables under the freeway, and the changes occurring around them that I've been documenting since 2003.

Other New Photos
Mar 18, 2007 9:56 PM
Still working my way through the pile of pictures I took today.... New shots posted of the ongoing work at the Monument Half Street site, and also some "substantially complete" shots of 20 M Street--in a couple photos you can see men working on the far left window on M Street, and a reader gave me a heads up that not more than a few minutes after I came through, they posted a sign saying "Wachovia Coming Soon." So, if that's indeed the case, that would be the first 20 M tenant we've heard of.

Stadium Construction Gallery Updated
Mar 18, 2007 5:58 PM
A beautiful if chilly late winter day today drew me out for a belated update to the Nats Ballpark Construction Gallery (I was out of town; don't shoot me for being a week late!).
Speaking of construction, Saturday's Washington Times reports that the DC auditor has determined (to the chagrin of David Catania, no doubt) that the stadium remains beneath the mandated $611 million budget cap: "Nichols said budget projections for certain parts of the project have increased, but that the overall project remains on budget. [...] But Nichols said these new costs do not violate the cost cap, because the city was able to make up the difference in savings or reductions to other budget items. Commission budget figures show the city spent about $17 million less than estimates on financing for the stadium and about $2 million less than estimates on installation of utilities. The commission also reduced its contingency for the project from $19 million to about $9 million. Several council members including David Catania, at-large Independent, have claimed that the sports commission should include the cost of improvements to Metro and roadwork as part of the ballpark budget. But Nichols said those costs, which total $36 million, are not part of the $611 million budget. "
More posts: Nationals Park

1201 South Capitol Bought by Douglas Jemal
Mar 18, 2007 5:09 PM
The DC Property Sales database reports that, on January 29, "noted" DC developer Douglas Jemal (in the form of Jemal's Ballpark LLC, Douglas Development) paid $4.25 million for 1201-1225 South Capitol Street, the two one-story gray buildings that run on the west side of South Capitol between M and N streets. Haven't heard anything about any plans for the site; it's currently home to a couple of small businesses. Jemal already owns a number of somewhat-close-to-the-stadium properties down in Buzzards Point.
More posts: South Capitol St.

Updated Rendering for 1325 South Capitol
Mar 16, 2007 6:24 PM

While you ponder the upcoming Zoning Commission vote on the 1325 South Capitol Street residential project, you can gaze at a new drawing of the building, nicked from the WDG Architecture web site. It's certainly a much more detailed and spiffier rendering than what was previously released....

Public Meeting on Anacostia Riverwalk
Mar 16, 2007 3:28 PM

On Wednesday March 21, the AWC is holding an Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and Parks Public Meeting; to quote from the announcement, "The Anacostia Riverwalk is a continuous 20 mile trail system that will link public parks, plazas, and neighborhoods to the Anacostia River. A major section of the trail is due to be completed this year. Come learn about the Riverwalk and the many new parks to be built along the Anacostia Waterfront." There's an open house at 6 pm, with the presentation and discussion from 6:30-8 pm; it's at the Ellen Wilson Center at 750 6th Street SE (just north of the freeway). For more information, contact: Diane Sullivan, Project Director, at (202) 406-4028 or (This announcement isn't yet posted on the AWC web site, so no link, alas.)

Zoning Commission and Capper Seniors #2; Other Zoning Items
Mar 16, 2007 3:11 PM
The Zoning Commission has deferred until its March 26 Special Public Meeting any decision on whether to allow Capper Seniors #2 to be redesignated as a mutlifamily workforce (30%-60% annual median income) dwelling in addition to having its low-income senior citizens units. ZC chair Carol Mitten noted a bit of a disconnect between statements offered by the DC Housing Authority and the Office of Planning, and so both are to meet before March 26 to formulate a recommendation.
The March 26 special meeting will also have the ZC's final vote on the 1325 South Capitol Street residential project, and also the "minor modification" being requested at 100 M Street.
And, since I gave the Office of Zoning a bit of a hammering a few weeks back when they debuted their new online calendar, it's only fair that I now rave over the return of monthly at-a-glance lists for Zoning Commission and BZA meetings, which make finding out what's happening far far easier. Thanks, guys, not only is it great to see this functionality back, but you did a really nice job with it, too.

Monument Demolition Continues - Caught on Camera!
Mar 15, 2007 11:53 PM
Another building has bitten the dust on the Monument Half Street site, and I think everyone can agree it will not be lamented on its death--it's the brown cinderblock building just north of the N Street intersection, and it's now been immortalized on my Demolished Buildings page. And, thanks to Camera 2 of the Clark/Hunt/Smoot Stadium Construction Cam, we can see that it breathed its last between 11:11 and 11:22 this morning, March 15. (I'm pretty sure I'm the only one using that camera to not watch the stadium construction!) They appear to be working around the temporary WMATA lot that they built just north of the cinder-shed; at the same time, work appears to be nearly complete on the next WMATA temporary lot, over at 1236 South Capitol (formerly home to the neon yellow bungalow, just south of the storage company).There's a zoning hearing on April 23 for permanent approval of the new temporary lot (it was approved on an emergency basis back in November).

Square 699N Hints
Mar 15, 2007 11:31 PM
On Wednesday a "shoring and sheeting" building permit application was filed for 1001 First Street, which is on the block known as Square 699N, bounded by 1st, Half, K, and L streets. It was bought in September 2005 by local developer Ron Cohen for $51 million, and was the home to nightclubs Wet, Edge, and Club 55, along with various other small businesses that slowly moved out until the block was left vacant in September 2006. As for the building permit app, shoring and sheeting is how the walls of a big hole in the ground are held up during excavation (I hope that isn't too technical of an explanation), and is another sign that Cohen is getting his ducks in a row to do .... something .... on this lot, as were the public space permits that were granted in December 2006 for the necessary water and sewer shut-off work on the site. I haven't seen evidence of raze permits, but I only started seeing those in Fall 2006 and it's possible that they were applied for earlier. What I did notice during a drive-by today is that all of the trees on the block--including a pretty huge one at 1st and L--have been chopped down (I'm pretty sure within the past week). Will we hear word of Cohen's plans soon?
(I was hoping to give you an equally enticing report on a building permit app filed for 83 M Street, the Normandie Liquors lot at 1st and M, but apparently it's for the placement of a construction trailer, which I'm guessing is for Monument's Half Street project, though I don't know for sure. Ah well.)

I Cannot Tell a Lie - Cherry Trees in the Stadium
Mar 13, 2007 3:17 PM
An Associated Press story, popping up all over the Internets today: "Come next April, Ryan Zimmerman might become the first player in major league history to hit a home run into a cherry tree. A grove of cherry blossoms behind the left field bleachers is one of the latest additions to the plans of the ever-evolving Washington Nationals ballpark. 'We couldn't find another ballpark that had trees in the ballpark,' team president Stan Kasten said Tuesday at the launch of a campaign to sell luxury suites. " If you look at some of the renderings I've posted, you'll see that trees have been in the design for a while, but I guess they decided now would be a good time to mention them (since the cherry blossoms are about to bloom here in town). In other stadium-related news, apparently there's new video demonstrating what the view will be like on the stadium concourse and in the suites (created for this suites sales campaign, I imagine). I'm still looking for an online version of it (Fox 5 news showed it on the air earlier today), will post when I have it.
UPDATE: Here's the new virtual tour of the stadium concourse and suites, from NBC4.
UPDATE II: And here's the Post's story on the cherry trees and the suites. And it mentions: "Team owner Theodore N. Lerner has said he will spend tens of millions to upgrade many of the stadium's amenities, including an outfield restaurant plaza, stone finishes behind home plate, bathrooms and glass partitions in the luxury suites, and the installation of a high-definition scoreboard. One goal is to have a giant baseball above the two-story outfield sports bar capable of projecting 360-degree replays of home runs and other highlights."

More posts: Nationals Park
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