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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: April 2007
In the Pipeline
Homewood Suites Hotel
82 I
Yards/Parcel A
Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
Ballpark Square
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
New Barracks
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
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Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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36 Blog Posts
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One of the more central sites in the Ballpark District is the WMATA Southeastern Bus Garage, on the southwest corner of Half and M. But Metro knows that it's time to move (although Monument Realty, which owns almost every other parcel on the block, has no doubt been tapping its toes and saying "Here's your hat, what's your hurry?"). Back in January, the WMATA board approved an effort to start finding a replacement location, with the preferred spot being DC Village, east of the Anacostia. At its April 26 board meeting, the board appears to have sped up its timetable considerably. Quoting from the documentation: "[T]he urgency for a timely replacement has increased and the strategy for replacement has evolved. The goal is to relocate the existing 114 Metrobuses to a Phase 1 facility by late March 2008 in order to avoid the impact of ballpark events upon bus access at the existing Garage. Thus, over the next twelve months, with Board approvals, staff intends to design, advertise, award and construct the Phase 1 facility for 114-bus capacity and to design and advertise the Phase 2 bus facility of 250-bus capacity." At the next board meeting, in late May, WMATA staff is expected to have the environmental assessment, general plans and financial plan and will request approval of a public hearing, the advertisement of the Phase 1 construction contract; and the agreement with the city to take control of the DC Village property. (Speedy!)
As for what will happen on the garage site, Monument has not announced any specific plans, and the site does have what has gently been referred to as "historic preservation issues" (and certainly a good portion of the building ought to be saved), so it could be a while before anything new arises on that spot. But I cannot lie, I will very much be looking forward to no more dodging of the buses that roam in that section of Near Southeast while I take pictures....

 

From DDOT: "Improvements to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (sometimes referred to as the South Capitol Street Bridge) will continue this weekend, as crews begin repairs on the southbound or outbound lanes. Previous recent weekend closures affected inbound lanes only. (View a map of weekend detours) Following the evening rush hour on Friday, May 4 at 10 pm, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily close the southbound (outbound) lanes on the Douglass Bridge. All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday (May 7) evening rush hour. Outbound bridge drivers will be directed to follow signed detours to I-395 South across the 11th Street Bridge to I-295 South. Drivers also may consider taking either New York Avenue or Benning Road as alternate routes. Following this weekend's closures, the outbound lanes on the Douglass Bridge again are scheduled to close on the weekends of May 19 and June 2. Closure of the bridge's outbound lanes follows six previous weekends of closing the bridge's northbound or inbound lanes. The off-peak weekend 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."
 

In addition to the new photos I posted yesterday in the Stadium Construction Gallery, I also now have for your perusal and enjoyment updated photos of the demolitions at 909 New Jersey (Nexus), Square 699N (Edge/Wet), and 1015 Half (Nation, work which is still just in its early stages). And, there's also new photos from another fun location. Plus, I've added a lot of additional shots to in the Photo Archive, so check the North oif M and the ballpark area intersections for more shots if you can't get enough--you can also look at a single page with my all photos from yesterday, and then click on the name of the intersection if you want to see the comparison shots.
Last but not least, I attended the ceremony today where JBG (developers of the DOT HQ) donated $4 million to the city to help fund the creation of both Canal Park and Diamond Teague Park, and I posted on those pages a shot or two from the festivities. UPDATE: Here's the Examiner's story on the donations and the plans for the two parks.
And now, I'd like to go back on vacation....

 

What a beautiful day, FINALLY, for picture-taking. So first up is a complete update of the exteriors in the Nationals Ballpark Construction Gallery. I'll post before long all sorts of new shots I took today from all the demolition going on North of M, and some other shots as well, but hopefully these will appease you until I can get those others posted.
More posts: Nationals Park
 

From today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal (subscribers only for now), word arrives of two big Near Southeast real estate transactions: Opus East, developer of 100 M Street, is on track to purchase the 1015 Half Street/Nation site from Potomac Investment Properties (the story says Republic Investment, but I don't think that's correct). And Monument Realty is reportedly adding to its vast Hood holdings by buying the old Sunoco lot at 50 M Street. (I have heard rumors of these two items for weeks/months, but it turns out what I was hearing wasn't 100% accurate--score one for waiting for confirmation) The article says that Opus plans to retain the plans for a 440,000-sq-ft office building with retail on the Nation site, and are rumored to be paying $100 a square foot; Monument has not disclosed what it might do with the Sunoco site or what it's paying. The article also has some vague mention of some other transaction on the "corner of Half and K", but doesn't say which corner (the northeast and northwest ones are the two possibilities), or who's buying it. More on these transactions (such as actual prices) as I get it. (And yes, I'll have photos of the Nation demolition as soon as the sun comes out.)
 

(I'm now back from a week's vacation, but thanks for being patient as I take a little time to catch up--remember, JDLand is The Site Where You Get What You Pay For.) Back in January, I posted about the planned move of the Metropolitan Police Department's 1st District Station (currently in Southwest) to the old Star/Post Plant at 225 Virginia Avenue (right next to the SE Freeway). Today the Washington Post is reporting that the plans have expanded considerably: "The District plans to move its top police officials from their longtime location in downtown Washington into an industrial building the city will renovate and lease in Southeast Washington. Plans call for D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and about 200 senior staff members to make the move late next year or in early 2009. The new location, at 225 Virginia Ave. SE, will house numerous other police units, including the 1st Police District, the department's violent crimes branch, the narcotics division and the evidence warehouse. More than 1,100 police department employees will work there." But it's not a cheap or easy endeavor: "The DC Council approved the annual $6.5 million lease but has yet to sign off on as much as $100 million that may be needed to renovate the building, city officials said. The renovations include adding a sixth floor and a parking garage[.]" Mayor Fenty apparently supports the move, but, in a stunner, community activist Dorothy Brizill thinks it's a bad idea, saying that the new location is "more remote." NBC4 has a video on the possible move as well. We'll see what actually transpires....
UPDATE: I couldn't avoid it any longer--I've given 225 Virginia Ave. its own project page, and have added it to my main map.
 

Thanks to the eyes on the ground for the news that Nation is indeed now being demolished--I'm out of pocket for another day or so, but will have a full report on all the North of M demolition (including also Square 699N and the Nexus/909 New Jersey site) by the end of the weekend.
 

From an Anacostia Waterfront Corporation press release (not yet posted on their web site): "JBG Companies will present $4 million to help fund neighborhood improvements in the Near Southeast neighborhood, including Washington Canal Park and Diamond Teague Park, at a ceremonial event scheduled for Monday, April 30, 2007 at 11:00 am. The ceremony will take place at the planned site for Washington Canal Park, located at the corner of 2nd and M Streets, SE. Participants in the check presentation ceremony will include District Mayor Adrian Fenty, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and AWC Interim President and CEO Neil O. Albert, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, and Ben Jacobs, President of JBG Companies, who will present a ceremonial check to District officials and AWC. JBG Companies, developer of the new U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building on M Street, SE, is contributing $2.5 million toward development of Washington Canal Park and $1.5 million toward the development of Diamond Teague Park." And, this additional bit of info about Diamond Teague Park: "The park is being completed in a partnership arrangement with surrounding land owners for area-wide benefit and use. The park's first phase will incorporate interim improvements to include a ferry landing [emphasis mine] and esplanade. Future improvements will include connecting the Ballpark District to The Yards (formerly Southeast Federal Center) with the construction of the Anacostia Riverwalk adjacent to the river bank site currently occupied by the DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA)."

 

A small blurb from WJLA: "A construction worker who fell down while working on the top level of the new baseball stadium in Southeast will be OK after the D.C. fire department performed a high-angle rescue. Fire spokesman Alan Etter says the 23-year-old man injured his back when he fell over at about noon. A back injury requires that the person first be stabilized and then be brought down with a crane and a basket. Firefighters got up on an apparatus. Etter says the injury isn't life-threatening and the man will be fine."

More posts: Nationals Park
 

From a few days ago... The Examiner has a piece on "Saving the Planet While Playing Games", centered on how the Nationals stadium is going to attempt to earn LEED certification, "which means it has to accumulate at least 26 points on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design scorecard compiled by the U.S. Green Building Council." Quoting: "During a recent tour of the Nationals' construction site, project manager Naeemi beamed about his five sand filters - huge underground bunkers that will purify water from the ballpark before it trickles into the troubled Anacostia. The ballpark also will have low-flow plumbing fixtures that will save an estimated 3.6 million gallons of water per year. The construction materials will have a minimum of 10 percent recycled content. An education program will encourage fans to recycle their trash. High-efficiency field lighting will use roughly 21 percent less energy than the lights at a typical ballpark. A subway station is about a block away, which means fewer people will drive to the games. There are plans to plant vegetation on a portion of the roof to keep it cooler. And it's all affordable. The green upgrades account for less than 1 percent of the $611 million ballpark budget."
More posts: Nationals Park
 

It's not technically in Near Southeast, but people often ask about the lovely power plant just north of the Southeast Freeway and east of South Capitol Street (you can see its smokestacks in these pictures, or in the shots I took on the last stadium tour looking toward the Capitol, at the bottom of this page). Today's Post has a piece about it, and how in that lovely Congressional way, it's clear that It Isn't Going Anywhere.
More posts:
 

The first 300-plus employees (from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) have indeed begun moving in to the new US Department of Transportation headquarters on M Street. The moves are scheduled to take about nine weeks, with the east building filling up first over the next few weeks, the west building arrivals then scheduled to start in mid-May, and the nearly 5,000 staffers should almost all moved in by June 30 (DOT has to be out of the Nassif building in SW on July 1 or else the rent goes from $1 million a month to $4 million, I've been told). Be nice to the new arrivals, and welcome them to the neighborhood--I'd say we should all show up at the front door with bundt cakes, but given the realities of post-9/11 "security", we'd probably be shot on sight.
 

Today's District Extra in the Post has a feature on DDOT's Sign Fabrication Shop, pegged to how the group is working to plan and manufacture the many new signs that will be needed throughout the city to guide fans to the new Nationals ballpark. (And pick up a hard copy--there's a lot more photos that aren't displayed with the online version.) A highlight: "A sign-planning team has been set up that includes transportation department officials, policy and planning groups, engineers, outside consultants and the team's owners. The group estimates that 298 signs will be needed, mostly 12 feet by 15 feet, to guide motorists from the Interstate 495 Beltway and Baltimore-Washington Parkway to local roads leading to the stadium."
More posts: Nationals Park
 

Today's demolition news: Edge/Wet and Food and Friends on Square 699N are just about gone. The Nexus Gold Club has lost its rear wall and its innards have been mostly scooped out. And a new entrant has possibly appeared in the Demolition Derby--innard-scooping appears to be going on as well at Nation/1015 Half Street (which now has a "Wrecking Corporation of America" sign hung on its fencing). I took photos of some of these sites this morning (although this 967th overcast day in a row hampered the results): check the New Jersey and I, New Jersey and K, and 1st and L angles in the Photo Archive to see the before-and-after comparisons of those corners, or see all the shots from today in a single group. I also skipped ahead a few hours and added the three all-but-gone structures to the Demolished Buildings Gallery--there must be something about April, because we've had 17 buildings bulldozed in the last 18 days (will Nation be added to the list before the month is out?). UPDATE: Just clarifying, there's no heavy machinery or obvious demolition going on at Nation yet--but a medium-sized hole has been punched in one outer wall, some doors were opened, and it looked like the interior has been newly stripped down.
And while it doesn't really qualify as a demolition, I'll also pass along that the temporary WMATA employee lot on the Monument Half Street site has now been closed and is being dug out (they received their Certificate of Occupancy for the new lot one block over on South Capitol last week)--this means that the entire Monument site on the east side of Half has now been cleared--and no time is being wasted with excavation, as you can tell if you go peek at the massive hole already dug around the Half and M Navy Yard Metro entrance or watch the digging at the lower left of Stadium Construction Camera #2.
 

A reminder that the inbound lanes of the Frederick Douglass Bridge will again be closed this weekend (from 10 am Friday, April 20 until before the Monday, April 23 morning rush hour). In May and June, the weekend closures will be shifted to the outbound lanes. And, of course, in July and August, the bridge will be shut down completely for Extreme Makeover: South Capitol Street, aka the demolition of the northern end of the bridge to allow for the bridge to arrive at ground level at Potomac Avenue.
Also, see my previous entry about various Earth Day-related activities around Near Southeast and the Anacostia River. Alas, my calendar has an unmoveable commitment for Saturday, otherwise I was all ready to make the Canal Park cleanup a JDLand meet-and-greet. But don't let that stop you from participating; and be sure to ask the organizers if you can help them move the school buses (heh heh).
 

The sudden whirlwind of demolition in Near Southeast continues, as today work started on bringing down the Nexus Gold Club, but not until after the bulldozing of its neighbor, the old Four Star Cab brick townhouse at New Jersey and K (whose own neighbors were demolished almost exactly a year ago). This block will be home to 909 New Jersey Avenue, JPI's 230-unit residential tower; it should be noted that the A1 Tires garage on the southwest corner of the block (at 1st and K) shows no sign of selling out to JPI, so it appears for now that 909's residents will have no problem getting car repairs. (Glass half full!)
In the meantime, across the way, demolition proceeds apace on Square 699N, as all buildings along 1st Street between K and L have now been brought down, including the festive gold, green, white, and cranberry garage on the corner of 1st and L. Only Food and Friends and Edge/Wet remain standing; if you have respects to pay to them or the Nexus, you'd better do it tonight or tomorrow morning.
All this means three new entries on my Demolished Buildings page, with space being saved for Nexus and the others. And as soon as Mother Nature remembers that it's April and not November, I'll post pictures of the new streetscapes.

 

Friday's Washington Times has an update on some of the owners of the land taken via eminent domain in 2005 to make space for the new Nationals ballpark. Sixteen of them refused to take the city's offer and are still in court over what the payments should be--and it doesn't look like it's getting resolved anytime soon. The story tells how many of them have been unable to find new locations or are struggling with smaller lots than before.
More posts: Nationals Park
 

This weekend has not lent itself to photography, but my schedule is going to be tight for the next couple of weeks and I couldn't bear to go a month between ballpark updates. So you can check out the latest updates to the Stadium Construction Gallery--I didn't update the entire set, because some of the shots on the southeastern side of the ballpark aren't changing as much now, so why replace pretty blue-sky shots with dreary overcast facsimiles? But I did also add some new "stitched-together" before and afters, to show panoramic shots of various intersections around the site. I'm not sure whether these will become a permanent fixture (the fish-eye distortion on some is a little disconcerting), but given what I had to work with weather-wise, at least it's something a little different. I also added more pictures to the Square 699N page, as demolition continues there. You can also of course browse the Click to see all available photos of this location. Photo Archive to see additional photos of intersections and vantage points you're interested in, or you can look at all photos I've posted from yesterday and then click on the intersection/angle to see the complete archive for that view. And let's hope the sun returns eventually. And we've also got Demolished Buildings #127 and #128.
 

A few articles to note in the latest neighborhood newspapers--nothing really new in them (especially if you stop by here with regularity), but they might be good roundups for people who haven't been following along closely. The April Hill Rag has a profile of Capitol Quarter, the mixed-income townhome component of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment. And the latest Voice of the Hill has "Stadium Parking Plan is 'Managed Chaos'", covering last month's stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan meeting and the reaction of local residents and leaders. My notes from that meeting are here, and my Stadium Parking page has the meeting's presentation slides from Gorove/Slade, DDOT, and WMATA.
 

A reconaissance mission through the Hood today yielded a lot of new tidbits; click on the links for project details and new photos added to the Archive:
* The "branding" of The Yards has begun, with huge signs now hung from the old Gun Assembly Building on M Street east of 4th;
* The new stoplights along M Street at New Jersey and at 4th are now flashing red, no doubt to be turned on Any Minute Now with the impending start of DOT HQ move-ins (next week?);
* Nation now has fences around it;
* Demolition on Square 699N has crept along K Street from its starting point at Half and K, and has now made it to the corner of 1st and K; this means that there are three new additions (124-126) to my Demolished Buildings gallery; and
* Gas has skyrockted in the last month (yes, the infamous Gas Prices tracking page is back!).
(UPDATED to fix a lot of stupidly broken links.)

 

Wasting no time, the Zoning Commission has scheduled for May 21 the public hearing on Case 07-08, the request to allow temporary surface lots at various locations within walking distance of the stadium. Note that some of the stadium parking and transportation items in the news and on the web these days are pretty chock full of misassumptions, misinformation, and misunderstandings, so do yourselves (and my blood pressure) a favor and read for yourself the various source documents and meeting notes I've posted, look at the map, do a little critical thinking, and try not to yell "The sky is falling!" just yet. (If we're staring at the same information in September or October, then we can all chant it together.)
More posts: parking, zoning
 

Just a reminder, for the next two weekends (April 13-16 and April 20-23), the inbound/northbound lanes of the Frederick Douglass Bridge will once again be closed between 10 am Friday and 4 am Monday. Read DDOT's initial release on the project or my last entry on it for the hows and the whys, and see my page with additional info and photos on the lowering planned for the northern end of the bridge over the summer.

 

Some very brief Near Southeast-related updates from two ANC meetings this week (I wasn't in attendance at either, so these are just quick summaries I received from Other Parties): At ANC 6D on Monday, the commissioners voted 3-2-2 to oppose a zoning special exception request (waiver of the rear yard requirement) for the planned office building at 1111 New Jersey Ave., the Donohoe project on the west side of New Jersey between L and M (on top of the eastern Navy Yard Metro station entrance); the Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing is on May 8. As always, the biggest sticking point appeared to be battle between the ANC's we-want-a-community-benefits-package-in-return-for-our-support stance and the developer's this-is-a-matter-of-right-project-we-don't-have-to-give-you-anything stance. (And you wonder why I avoid these meetings like the plague.)
Meanwhile, over at ANC 6B (which is in charge of the sliver of Near Southeast around 8th Street/Barracks Row), the process is beginning about the possibility of razing the abandoned beige apartment building on Potomac between 8th and 9th and replacing it with a new four-story building with ground-floor retail and two levels of underground parking (though this is still just in the conceptual phase and may not be the final plan). A raze permit has been applied for, but because this small section of Near Southeast is part of the Capitol Hill Historic District, the Historic Preservation Office will be involved in the process. More later, I'm sure.
 

Last night's Zoning Commission meeting had four Near Southeast items on the agenda; we can start with the easy one and say that Case 06-25, the latest batch of text amendments to the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay, was given final approval. Next, the expected final vote on Case 06-41, the new residential project at 1325 South Capitol Street, was delayed because of some procedural issues that went way above my head and that now require a special public meeting to sort out (which will probably be in the next six weeks). But the item of greatest interest is Case 07-08, the request for zoning changes that would allow temporary surface parking lots on certain blocks within range of the Nationals ballpark. It had been brought as an emergency request because of the time sensitivity of needing to get the lots built before the weather gets cold again (if it ever gets warm first!!!), meaning that the rule could have gone into effect immediately (with hearings to make it permanent within the next 120 days), but the commissioners balked at the idea, saying that too many emergency requests are coming down the pike these days that don't really deserve the special treatment. They did agree to an expedited hearing date (one that only needs to be advertised for 30 days), but there is clearly some concern amongst the commissioners about the whole idea, with one of them rightly asking to make sure that the rule prohibits any non-commercial use of the lots (like for trash truck parking or other industrial-type uses). So, be prepared to read plenty more about this in coming months, and read my previous post on the zoning request for more details, which includes links to the Office of Planning report on the request.

 

I've added updated photos of the Near Southeast vista from the Southeast Freeway (don't worry, I wasn't driving at the time) to the Photo Archive--I have one shot going back to 2000, when the only new buildings were still under construction (300 M and 80 M), so it's a festive comparison to today, with four additional developments completed and the ballpark now visible as well. And I did post some new "after" photos from Van and from Half of the demolition across on N Street from the stadium.

 

It should be noted that work has now begun on the parking garage on the northwestern edge of the Nationals ballpark site (between Half and South Capitol, south of N). Pile driving is underway (clang....clang....clang) and the site is being excavated. You can get a feel for it from the Stadium Construction Webcam #2 (lower right-center), or get a wonderful view of basically nothing (the piledriver is at center) in this shot I took today of the southwest corner of Half and N. (I also took there's-no-more-there-there shots of what used to be the Good and Plenty Carryout site on the northern side of this intersection as well--see today's vista compared to shots from the past few years, looking to the west, northwest, and north.)

More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

On April 9, the DC Zoning Commission will be entertaining Case 07-08, an emergency request to allow for changes to the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay to allow for the construction of temporary surface parking lots--to last no more than five years--on certain squares within Near Southeast. There is also a companion case, 03-12E/03-13E, specifically requesting a minor modification to the Capper/Carrollsburg zoning orders to allow surface parking lots on four squares within Capper--the three blocks bounded by 2nd, I, M, and 3rd (next to Canal Park) and on Square 882, the current home of the old Capper Seniors building, which is expected to be demolished this summer.
I'm not going to go into great detail, because I need to pace myself on the subject of parking or else I will pop a vein before Opening Day. But here's the gist: the city and the Nationals want to be able to build temporary surface parking to handle the estimated 3,800 cars that will need parking beyond the 1,225 spaces on the stadium site. These lots will be available as public parking during non-event times (so you DOT workers who want to drive to work should be paying close attention). This zoning request covers certain squares directly around the stadium and at Capper; apparently there will be a subsequent submission requesting similar amendments to the Southeast Federal Center Overlay to allow surface parking there as well.
As to why the Office of Planning is supporting this request, here's a quote from their report to the Zoning Commission (emphasis mine): "Although much of the parking needed to serve the Ballpark's patrons will eventually be accommodated by parking within nearby future buildings, these buildings will not yet be constructed when the Ballpark opens in 2008. While OP strongly encourages the use of mass transit and encourages the Nationals to provide meaningful incentives for the use of mass transit and other alternatives to the private automobile, OP shares their concern that a short term shortage of parking available to patrons could lead to illegal parking on streets and private property in the surrounding area, and could have an impact on the short term success of this important District facility. This proposal would help to address the short term need for an interim parking solution."
And, another OP quote (again, emphasis mine): "Normally, OP is not supportive of surface parking lots. In addition to being a poor use of the District's valuable land base, extensive surface parking lots disrupt neighborhood fabric; can be a source of crime, noise, trash, and light-spill; encourage the use of the private automobile over other less environmentally damaging forms of transportation; and contribute significantly to storm water run-off water pollution problems facing our great river systems. OP would not support surface parking on these squares as a permanent use to address currently perceived parking need."
For more background and explanation of OP's stance, I strongly suggest reading the OP report (specifically the last four pages).
And, against my better judgment, I have created a new Planning for Stadium Transportation and Parking page, pulling together the various documents that have been released recently (mainly from last month's TOPP meeting). I've also thrown together a map that is nowhere near official marking what I understand to be various possible locations for stadium parking. It will change as time goes on, and do not take it as gospel, but it does show which sites come under this zoning request, along with other possible sites. Opening Day is still a year away, and there will be much jawboning on this subject over the coming weeks and months. So, everyone take a deep breath, keep an eye on updates as more information gets released, and try not to panic too far ahead of time.
UPDATE: And with fine timing, Near Southeast's councilman Tommy Wells has just announced the creation of a new transportation task force for Near Southeast and Southwest, bringing together representatives of the government, residents, and developers to address the concerns of neighborhoods facing not only baseball, but also the coming influx of thousands of new workers and residents.

 

At last, I've gotten the word on what's coming on Square 699N, the block bounded by Half, K, L, and 1st, owned by the Cohen Companies and the former home to nighclubs Wet, Edge, and Club 55, and a series of other small businesses. After what apparently was quite a ride through the DC raze permitting process, they are planning to begin exvacation in July for Phase I of their project (called "Velocity"), which will be a 200-unit condo building on the northwest corner of 1st and L; it will be delivered in late 2009, and will have retail as well. Phase II will be a "mirror-image" 200-unit condo building, at Half and K; Phase III is not yet written in stone, could be an office building, but will depend on What the Market Will Bear. (The three levels of underground parking for both condo buildings will be constructed during Phase I.) There will be a web site coming in May, and then in June a "state of the art" sales center will be opening at Half and K, so before long we should get some renderings of what it's all going to look like. In the meantime, demolition continues, and when we get a bright sunny day where it's not 40 below, I'll post some updated photos.
 

The in-development Business Improvement District for Near Southeast (which they're branding as "Capitol Riverfront", though I currently remain unconvinced) has posted its Operating Plan and Draft Bylaws, after having released their Executive Summary a few weeks back. The Operating Plan sets out how they plan to address the areas identified as the biggest needs in the neighborhood: Clean, Safe, Marketing PR & Branding, Business Development, Infrastructure Development, and Community Building. In other words, the streets will be clean before Nats games and trash cans will be installed, fear not! Note that the BID still needs to get buy-in from neighborhood commercial property owners, and go through the legislative process and get approval from the city council before being officially created.
 

It didn't take long this morning for the last three standing buildings between N and Van streets across from the ballpark to get taken down--the two rowhouses at 30 and 32 N are gone, and as of this moment the Good and Plenty Carryout at 36 N is in mid-demolition (the Clark Stadium Construction Cam [Camera #2] continues to provide birds-eye views of this work). So now we have Demolished Buildings #120-122; you can also see what this stretch of buildings has looked like over the past few years (up through yesterday evening) from Van and from Half. And I imagine I'll be back later today with an update on the progress of Square 669N's demolition.
UPDATE, 1:01 pm: I can also report that the Club 55 building, on the Square 669N site just east of the Half and K intersection, is now Demolished Building #123.
 

It's a demolition two-fer today--in addition to 26 N Street being knocked down on the Monument Realty land just north of the stadium, I was a little surprised to find that the wrecking crews started work today on Square 699N, taking down the red brick building/loading dock at Half and K (exposing some of the interior of Club 55) as well as the northwesternmost portion of the Edge/Wet building. You can see also at the top of my Square 699N page a well-timed shot of the entire block before demolition started, taken yesterday morning from the top floor of 20 M Street. And we've now got Demolished Building #119. I imagine the rest of the block is going to go pretty quickly. And then perhaps Mr. Cohen will tell us a bit more about what he's got planned for the site, beyond "mixed-use/office/condos."
 

I wasn't expecting this one just yet, but today the red brick building at 26 N Street has been demolished (flip through the Stadium Construction Camera images from Camera #2 starting at 8:40 am to see it disappear); it was home for many years to the Patent Reproduction Company, until a deal was made by Monument Realty in August 2005 to purchase it for $3 million (see Post and WBJ articles from the time of the sale). This site is directly across from the stadium, but is not part of Monument's first phase of development in the area (which is in Square 701 on the east side of Half Street--the demolished building is on the west side, in Square 700 at Van and N streets); Square 700 redevelopment will probably not begin before 2009. But I'm guessing there might be some stadium parking made available on the north side of N between South Capitol and Half in the meantime. And 26 N has now been enshrined as #118 in my Demolished Buildings gallery; I imagine its neighbors (including the Good N Plenty carryout) are in their last days as well.
 

From the Spring 2007 newsletter of the Washington Humane Society (hat tip to reader Chuck): "As if being the largest Spay/Neuter Clinic in the Metropolitan area was not already enough, in June 2007, the Washington Humane Society will unveil the first ever low-cost Regional Spay/Neuter Center, created specifically to service the entire DC metropolitan area. The new facility will be named the National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Surgical Center. The current low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic is located on Georgia Avenue in Northwest and will move to Capitol Hill, 1001 L Street, SE to a facility that is nearly four times the size of the current location. [...] The new National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Surgical Center will provide an average of fifty sterilization surgeries on both dogs and cats every day, five days a week." This is the building at the corner of 10th and L that has been being rehabilitated over the past few months. No word on whether Bob Barker will be making appearances in the Hood. UPDATE: Here's the building at 1001 L Street--definitely looks like it's getting prepped for occupants.
More posts: spayclinic, square 976
 

With thanks again to DDOT, I now have all of the slide presentations from last week's public meeting on the stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP). The new ones are the WMATA Slides on Navy Yard Station Upgrade and the DDOT Slides on Douglass Bridge/Other Improvements. The documents I posted last week were the slides by Gorove/Slade describing about the TOPP; with maps and charts listing expected transit/auto/pedestrian traffic volume and flow; an FAQ on parking, traffic, and other issues for Southwest and Near Southeast residents; an FAQ on the Douglass Bridge improvements going on over the next few months; and DDOT's display boards with information on the plans for the South Capitol Street corridor and other regional traffic issues.
Repeating what I said last week: 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.) Comments can be sent to the the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, and cc ANC 6D (office@anc6d.org) so that the ANC can track the feedback. And read my summary of the main bullet points from the meeting. Let's not all wait until March 2008 to suddenly figure out that there's a new baseball stadium at South Capitol and Potomac that has 40,000 fans trying to get there.

 

Two upcoming events from the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation that might be of interest: On Earth Day, April 21, the AWC is running an Anacostia River Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration, with Canal Park being of the four cleanup sites (along with the Southwest Waterfront, Marvin Gaye Park, and Kenilworth Parkand Poplar Point). See their announcement for details, and also check out the Anacostia Watershed Society's Earth Day cleanup plans for the Anacostia. The next day, April 22, as part of Cultural Tourism DC's Walkingtown Tours, the AWC is sponsoring four different routes, none of which are actually in Near Southeast but which still might be of interest (the eastern riverfront and Poplar Point, Kingman and Heritage Islands, Hill East, and Marvin Gaye Park). The announcement has times and locations and whatnot.
 

The DC Property Sales database has a lag time of 6-8 weeks, so pretend today is February 1--that way I can tell you that Just Yesterday the sale was completed of the Nexus Gold Club land to developer JPI, for $7.85 million. They also purchased 920 First Street (the little grey auto repair garage next to the Nexus) for $2.45 million. In 2005 and 2006 they purchased other properties on this block (Square 738) for about $2.64 million, so they've now spent just under $14 million to get 18,000 square feet of land for what will be 909 New Jersey Avenue, a 230-unit residential tower schedule to start construction Any Minute Now. Note that the owner of the garage right on the northeast corner of 1st and K has steadfastly refused to sell (and has some choice words for JPI if you talk to him), so it will be interesting to see how that section of the site shakes out. Considering his neighbor got $2.4 million for 2,186 square feet of property, who knows how much he has turned down for his lot of the same size. There's one other lot on the block still not owned by JPI (925 New Jersey, 1412 sq ft), but I haven't heard anything about purchase problems with that lot, and it was covered by a zoning variance JPI received in 2006.
 
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