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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: May 2010
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US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
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There have been a lot of photos I've been needing to take recently, and the stars finally aligned today for me to go get them. (I sure could use some Gatorade about now, though.) Here's a run-through:
I made my first visit to the 11th Street Bridges site, and now that all 63 river piles have been driven, it's kind of an interesting tableau. You can see my new photos, as well as background on the project if you need some orientation on what exactly you're seeing. I also got some "final" before-and-after photos of the view at 12th and M now that the RFK ramps are mostly gone.
I also wandered over to 1015 Half Street, now that I've been convinced that they're truly working on the building again. The main project page has an overview, but if you can't get enough before-and-afters, the Expanded 1015 Photo Archive shows even more angles (though you Nation fans might find them bittersweet).
I know I just unleased a big pile of Yards Park photos a few days ago, but the big hole in the lineup has been a lack of shots from across the Anacostia River, at Poplar Point. So I got over there today, and while they aren't as exciting as you might imagine (though you can see that they're doing some priming or test painting on the pedestrian bridge), I've still added some to my Yards Park page, denoted with the icon. I also finally got my official "after" photos from Poplar Point for Diamond Teague Piers, which you can see on the project page and also here. And, for the fun of it, you can also "watch" the stadium go up from that spot.
If you want to see all the "intersection" shots I took today (all 131 of them!), they're here, on three pages, and you can then click on the icon to see the historical images. (I had a lot of spots that needed updating. Yeesh!)
 

I've been chroncling over the past few months the Marine Corps' search for a spot for a new barracks, which has focused on a number of sites in Near Southeast, including the block bounded by Fifth, Seventh, L and M just south of their newest barracks that used to be home to the old Capper Seniors apartment building. It's been clear in public meetings and various other rumblings that both city planning officials and the DC Housing Authority are very much against the Marines using this site, with plans having been in place for a number of years for this now-empty/parking-lot block to become home to both a 600,000-square-foot office building and a 189-unit mixed-income apartment building (shown above) as part of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment.
Clearly feeling that the Marines haven't given up on the site as an option despite these plans, DCHA has now sent the Marines a letter officially requesting that the Corps "not continue to propose redevelopment options on the DCHA-owned Square 882 as a future site for its facility needs." The letter explains that DCHA has already secured funds to improve the infrastructure around the square, has spent "substantial predevelopment funds" on design and engineering drawings, and is anticipating beginning work on the residential portion of the site in October. (There's currently no timetable for the office portion.) Further, DCHA says it "recently received an invitation from HUD to submit an application for a FHA loan guarantee to support the planned residential construction on the site," and that this construction is expected to start "this winter."
Nothing in the letter is necessarily a surprise--I've written fairly extensively about DCHA's plans and about the zoning travails they went through before getting a second-stage PUD approval for Square 882 last year, which even included many discussions and agreements with both the Marines and the Navy about security requirements for the new buildings on this block. But clearly DCHA is hoping to be completely removed from the Marines' list of potential sites in the same way that the DC Public Schools (and parents) got Tyler Elementary removed from consideration. But it's also clear from the public workshops that the Marines very much like what Square 882 has to offer them in terms of space and proximity to the other USMC operations in the area.
The Marines are hoping to make a decision on a site by September. You can see all the sites under consideration and the various options on the "Community Integrated Master Plan" web site.
 

It was a beautiful afternoon for a walk along the Anacostia River, and I was lucky enough to take my stroll within the boundaries of the forthcoming Park at the Yards. The 5.8-acre park is scheduled for a "late summer" opening, and it's definitely taking shape, as you can see in my new Park Construction Photo Gallery. (And thanks also to Mother Nature for the fab backdrop; compare the shots from my visit in March to see why I tend to avoid cloudy days if at all possible.) The park, for those not keeping up, is being built by Forest City as part of The Yards, but is being funded by the city through PILOT monies and then will be turned over to the Capitol Riverfront BID for maintenance and "programming" once it's completed. It's that public money that has allowed the park's construction to go forward during a time when private funding is pretty hard to come by.
The biggest news is that the 60-foot light tower on the water's edge at the foot of Third Street, which was originally not going to be installed until the park's second phase, is now going to arrive (by barge!) in July and be in place when the park is unveiled.
And, while the no-longer-salmon-tin-sided Lumber Storage Shed will be merely an open skeleton when the park opens, it sounds like maybe the possibilities of tenants are close enough that the Shed could be transformed into its glass-skinned retail pavilion new self sooner than might have been anticipated during the park's design phase.
(There also seems to be similar optimism about both the nearby Foundry Lofts and Boilermaker Shops projects getting on track. Forest City continues to work with HUD to get the financing squared away for the Lofts, and the Boilermaker Shops could get underway before the end of the year.)
Also in evidence in the Photo Gallery is the (ZOMG!!) dog park. which will be a fenced-in area on the far western edge of the park along the boundary with the 1905 WASA building.
So, wander through and read the captions for greater detail, and compare the photos to the park rendering at the top of the page to orient yourself and to understand what different sections will look like when completed.
 

Some potential retail news might have just come onto the radar screen: on the agenda for ANC 6D's next ABC Committee meeting is a proposed Class A license at 909 New Jersey Avenue for an entity called "Harry's SW & SE". They are proposing apparently to sell beer, wine, bread, milk, cheese, and sandwiches (and no "singles"), which is in line with a Class A/liquor store license. If anyone who lives at 909 has heard any rumors, or if anyone else has some scoop, drop me a line. I'm trying to find out more, and will update as I can. (Though the last time I started asking questions about a license application when one appeared on the ABC agenda was a few months ago for 55 M, and it disappeared from the lineup almost as soon as I hit "send." So be forewarned.)
Also on the ABC agenda is a change to Justin's Cafe's license, with Justin now seeking to add a sidewalk cafe.
The meeting is on June 2 at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Recreation Center.
UPDATE: There was a Harry's Liquor Store at 401 M St., SW back in the old Waterside Mall--I don't think it's reopened in the new building(?). I imagine this is the same owner.
UPDATE II: It is indeed the same owner as the old Waterside Mall store, and he also owns Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE.
 

Back before it was painted all manner of shades of blue, the building on the northwest corner of Eighth and M known as the "Blue Castle" was a car barn for the DC streetcar system. Madison Marquette, now the owners of the building, have just posted on Facebook a bunch of historic photos showing both the building in its pre-blue days as well as lots of shots of the old DC trolleys and streetcars. Definitely worth checking out.
And this gives me an excuse to link to my own Historic Photos page, which includes some of the photos that Madison Marquette posted along with others of the neighborhood from about 1918 to 1992. (There's also my Historic Maps page, for plats showing the neighborhood for various years between 1903 and 1921, if you want more wayback goodness.)
There are a lot more cool historic Near Southeast images out there, but unfortunately some libraries and historical societies tend to be quite strict about reproducing photos from their archives (often requiring payment even for use of low-res images that already exist online), so rather than those photos getting seen by people who are truly interested, they languish in file cabinets or little-used online databases. It's a shame, because I could have a lot of fun with them, but the attendant bureaucracy has pretty well stifled my interest in pursuing them any farther or even linking to them. Plus I'm too honorable to just steal the thumbnails and post them anyway, which I could certainly do. (And you can be very sure that my photos will never end up with these levels of restrictions.)
At least the great archive of historic photos that DDOT had begun to populate a few years ago is still around (though not on their new site, you kind of have to go digging for it via Google). Hopefully they'll get around to adding more shots. I've got a scanner, DDOT, let me at them!
 

I'm happy with my move to Twitter for much of my "little" linking, but here are a few (somewhat) recent items that still deserve the "hail of bullets" treatment on the blog, especially during a bit of a lull. (But I might have something somewhat cool tomorrow, if the weather holds.)
* From City Paper's Housing Complex blog, a report on some reimagining of the Anacostia Waterfront by middleschoolers as part of the National Building Museum's CityVision program. The Navy Yard, Poplar Point, and Florida Rock were given the treatment, with an underwater library envisioned at the latter, among other notions.
* Urban Turf asked a group of soothsayers to look ahead five years on which "unsung" DC neighborhoods would be attracting homebuyers five years from now. The "Southeast Waterfront" was one of the 'hoods (as once again people make clear that no name yet floated for the area is truly capturing the populace's fancy, which is why I stick with the REAL name ;-) ), and while it will take a while to be "fully realized," the writer reminds readers that Near Southeast has some pretty solid "bones": With "proximity to Capitol Hill, access to Metro and major roads, Nationals Park, a potential streetcar line, a waterfront park that I think will be one of the best in the city and of course the river[,] this neighborhood starts to make a lot of sense as a place to live."
* SWill reports from just across the way about the plans for hip, happenin' shindigs once again this summer at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. "The parties [...] have been named Liquid Lounge and will feature some of the best house music DJs from Washington, DC and beyond. The hotel and Nocturnal Vibe will host their inaugural event on Saturday, June 5th from 2 p.m. - 9 p.m., poolside at the architecturally iconic DC destination."
* With the DC season of Top Chef now having an announced premier date of June 16, it's been confirmed (by DCist) that Nationals Park was the site of one of the challenges (apparently on May 6, according to this tweet). I'm going to LOL if they make guest judge Eric Ripert chow down on nachos, half smokes, two-pound pretzels, or other ballpark haute cuisine.
* And, the subject of filming at Nationals Park reminded me to go see what the latest is on the Reese Witherspoon/Jack Nicholson/Paul Rudd/Owen Wilson/James L. Brooks movie filmed at the park a year ago. It's called How Do You Know, and IMDB says it has a release date of December 17. (Prime Oscar season!)
 

Yet another post about upcoming meetings that most of you probably don't have any interest in going to, you slackers:
* I've now received official notice from ANC 6D that the stadium Traffic Operations and Parking Plan meeting is indeed being held tomorrow (Tuesday, May 25) at 6:30 pm; here's the flyer with the details. This meeting was asked for after the previous one was not particularly well attendedby the necessary government agencies.
* Alas, at pretty much the same time and just a few blocks away is a Public Information Meetingon the 14th Street Bridge Corridor Environmental Impact Statement, from 6 to 8 pm at Westminstery Presbysterian Church, 400 I St., SW. This meeting's purpose is "to present preliminary traffic results and scope of the enivonrmental assessment for the [corridor] alternatives" and to answer questions and receive feedback.
* If you want to go to both, there's a second version of the EIS meeting on Thursday evening (May 27) in Arlington; but that conflicts with WASA's public meeting to get the public's comment on their combined sewer overflow long-term control plan and the draft environmental assessment. The meeting is at Watkins Elementary, 420 12th Street, SE (see the flyer).
* And, for that matter, both of those Thursday meetings conflict with the rescheduled Cornhole Tournament at the Bullpen that Nationals communications director Lisa Pagano is holding. This is part of her quest to become the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Woman of the Year award, and she is trying to raise $75,000 by June 12 (more info here and here). The party starts at 6 pm and the tournament itself at 7 pm. There will be live music and raffle items in addition to the tournament. Admission is $5 for the event and $20 for teams of two entering the tournament (with one free beer per player!). More info can be found on Facebook. (The original one was postponed because of inclement weather, which I know we all find astonishing given the gorgeous sunny days we've been having lately.)
* Then there's the usual lineup of BID-sponsored events (lunchtime concert on Wednesday and both the Outdoor Market and Front Run Club on Thursday).
 

I'm untethering myself from Lost long enough to pass along the news from Capitol Quarter that six houses were reserved in today's first offering of Phase 2 units, and apparently more will be released on Monday. (I don't know which, or anymore beyond that.) Now, back to my last precious moments with Desmond.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

In case you notice a somewhat higher level of activity around Nationals Park over the next few days, here's some possible reasons why:
* It's one of the pitstops on Bike to Work Day on Friday.
* It's the Battle of the Beltways weekend, with three games against the Baltimore Orioles.
* It's the team's fifth annual Food Drive, benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank. On Saturday and Sunday you can drop off non-perishable food items at the Center Field Gate from the time the gates open through the end of the Fourth Inning. (And I bet you don't even have to have tickets to the game to drop off donations!)
* If biking to the stadium on Friday for Bike to Work Day isn't enough, Sunday's game is Bike to the Park Day, with the team encouraging fans to ride to the game and use the free bike valet at First and N or one of the 250(!) bike racks around the ballpark.
(The fact that there will be major delays on the Green [and Orange and Red] lines this weekend might be an added reason to jump on your bike to get to the stadium....)
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

From DDOT: "The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the completion of the 11th Street Bridge Project's first major construction milestone: all 63 river piles for the three new bridges have been driven in the Anacostia River. The 110-foot-long concrete piles that will form the core of the new bridges' foundations were pounded into the river bed since construction began in December. [...]
"The new bridges will continue to take shape in the months ahead as contractors form four piers for each bridge by building struts and caps on the piles then begin erecting structural steel for the bridge decks this fall. Additional work with landside pile driving is also underway to improve connections to the Anacostia Freeway (I-295/DC-295) and the Southeast-Southwest Freeway."
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges
 

This Saturday (May 22) the Marines are holding an open house-style public workshop as part of their continuing quest to find a site for a new Marine Barracks. It will be from 10 am to 2 pm at the International Graduate University (formerly the Buchanan School) at 1325 D St., SE. I've written a lot about this, so will avoid summarizing--you can read my reports from the April and March workshops along with other recent posts). If you want to see the various locations that the Marines are zeroing in on, their web site has a lot of detail--and, judging from the comments sections on the various layout plans, the participants and fans of the Virginia Avenue Community Garden have joined together to to voice their opposition to any of the options that would either relocate or close down their garden. (There's also the families whose kids play sports voicing their opposition to any of the options that would take away the field at the Seventh and Virginia Barracks site. It's almost like there's no location that will please everyone!)
In fact, ANC 6B commissioner Norm Metzger, who is part of the Community Leadership Group that meets separately with the Marines, has posted a few notes from their May 13 meeting, and hits on the theme I just snarked about: "There remains a lack of clarity, despite a lot of words spoken at the meeting, on how an actual decision will be made. That may or may not happen at the September 'charette' (structure/aims tbd). Part of the problem is, as often happens, loose use of language. The convenient phrase 'the community' recurred throughout the meeting. But there is no THE COMMUNITY. Rather, at the table were the development community, the sports community, the retail community, the political community, etc. Satisfying all these communities, while meeting the Marines' needs, is and will continue to be a bear." Norm also posted some information on possible options for the reuse of the existing "Building 20" on the southeast corner of 8th and I.
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More posts: Barracks, meetings
 

I've been waiting to post about this until some sort of official announcement came from the ANC or DDOT, but time's a'wastin, so I'll mention that SWill reported after the last ANC 6D meeting that a follow-up TOPP (Traffic Operations and Parking Plan) meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, tenatively at 6:30 pm at the Second Baptist Church, 1200 Canal St., SW. This meeting was asked for after the previous one was not particularly well attended by the necessary government agencies.
However, at almost the same time is a Public Information Meeting on the 14th Street Bridge Corridor Environmental Impact Statement, from 6 to 8 pm at Westminstery Presbysterian Church, 400 I St., SW. (There is another one being held two days later in Arlington.) This meeting's purpose is "to present preliminary traffic results and scope of the enivonrmental assessment for the [corridor] alternatives" and to answer questions and receive feedback.
It would seem that the attendees for these meetings might be coming out of the same pool, so it's a shame if they do end up overlapping.
Also, for another on-the-periphery meeting, WASA is having a public meeting on Thursday May 27th at 6 pm to get the public's comment on their combined sewer overflow long-term control plan and the draft environmental assessment. The meeting is at Watkins Elementary, 420 12th Street, SE (see the flyer). Of course, this meeting conflicts with the alternate date for the 14th Street Bridge Corridor EIS meeting....
 

The tentative agenda is out for the National Capital Planning Commission's June 3 meeting, and one of the items is "approval of preliminary and final site and building plans" for Canal Park. We should get a peek at the designs by around June 1, when the NCPC Staff Recommendation document is released. As I posted not too long ago, the current timeline is for construction on the park itself to begin in September, with the opening coming in Fall 2011. There will also be some infrastructure work being done around the park site this summer; here's the details. (The rendering above is from earlier this year; we'll see how close it comes to the final designs.)
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More posts: Canal Park
 

An e-mail has just gone out from EYA saying that "reservations for Phase II market rate townhomes at Capitol Quarter will begin on Sunday, May 23rd, at 11 AM on a first come, first served basis." Nine houses will be made available in this first batch, ranging in base price from $640,000 to $829,000. The specific models and more information are available here; the e-mail also says that other homesites made be made available. (See yesterday's entry for more details.)
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

The news has filtered my way that EYA is about to begin taking reservations for market-rate townhouses in the second phase of Capitol Quarter. The timeframe is *very soon*, quite possibly within the next week or so. This phase will cover the three remaining blocks of the development, between Third and Fourth streets SE, south of I down to the stretch just south of L (backing up to the 300 M Street office building). There will be infrastructure work to do first (including carving out the new north-south "3 1/2 Street" running between I and L), with "vertical construction" then starting in the fall, followed by the first move-ins happening in mid-2011. There will be 77 market-rate and 34 workforce-rate houses, 47 affordable rental units, and five Section 8 purchase units. (There will be a lottery for the workforce units, but I don't know when.)
When I get word of when reservations will start being taken, I will post ASAP. I don't know if there will be people camping out like in the old days, but it will be interesting to see the response. I don't know anything about prices or anything else beyond the fact that we'll know more soon.
One footnote that might be of interest: what helped get this second phase kicked off was the $9.5 million grant from HUD that the DC Housing Authority received late last year, which came from a pool of federal stimulus funds. DCHA had been unable to get any financing for the second phase throughout last year thanks to the moribund municipal bond market, but the HUD grant allowed DCHA to pay for the completion of construction drawings, the land preparation costs, and other costs that then made it possible for the second phase to begin to move forward.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

From the 11th Street Bridge project folks:
"From Monday, May 17 to Friday, June 18, contractors for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) will conduct a variety of work for the 11th Street Bridge Project requiring off-peak-hour weekday lane closures on the 11th Street Bridge and related portions of DC 295/I-295 and the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.
"From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday closures will include:
"* One lane and the shoulder in each direction to and from the Southeast-Southwest Freeway to I-295/DC295 across the 11th Street Bridge for lane striping, barrier installation, surveying and lane realignment work.
"Closures may be subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen conditions."
They also say that closures will be suspended over Memorial Day weekend and immediately before and after Nationals games.
I also hear that the last of the piles being driven into the river will be completed soon, and the big crane on site will start being dismantled and moved out.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges
 

The BID has released its Summer Outdoor Movie lineup, with the theme for this year being "Ultimate Underdogs." It kicks off June 3 with Hoosiers, then runs most Thursdays through August 5, with Forrest Gump, Finding Nemo, The Karate Kid, To Kill a Mockingbird, Star Wars (I'm so there), Slumdog Millionaire, Cool Runnings, Happy Gilmore, and Rocky. They'll be held on the Canal Park site at Second and M, with the movies starting at 8:45 pm but with activities (including big-screen Wii beforehand). The Sauca food truck will be in attendance, and the weekly Farmers Market at New Jersey and M will also be open to buy goodies.
Also getting underway is the Lunchtime Concert series, starting on May 19 and running every Wednesday through August 25. They'll be from noon to 2 pm on the plaza behind USDOT.
Here's the full BID newsletter from whence this info came.
 

This Post story today on the plans to move 19,000 defense workers out of the immediate DC area to Ft. Belvoir and to that big honking new building going up at I-95 and Seminary Road gives me an excuse to catch up readers who maybe haven't been reading about Near SE for years and years about the neighborhood's own BRAC-mandated move. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which occupies the lovely all-but-windowless building on the southeast corner of First and M, is scheduled to move to a new campus at Ft. Belvoir, with a legislated deadline move-in date of Sept. 15, 2011. According to their FAQ, NGA will be closing their existing sites (including other ones in Bethesda and Reston) "from late 2010 through 2011." Given how supersecret NGA is, I'm not sure we'll know exactly when they're moving until we see U-Hauls pull up to the back door. (Though if someone wants to whisper any specifics in my ear....)
So, at some point over the next 18 months, the operations will be moved out of Near Southeast, at which time the site will become just another section of The Yards awaiting redevelopment. (And then I'll be able to take pictures of it without having armed guards yell at me and/or call DC cops to have them question me.) The building and its parking lot are currently slated to become home to office space and retail in the project's third phase, the timing of which can probably best be described as "Not Anytime Soon."
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On your agenda for the near future, should you choose to accept the mission:
* ANC 6D (Southwest and most of Near Southeast) meets Monday night at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Church at Sixth and M streets, SW. (When are they moving to their new meeting space, dangit?) The agenda is posted--no big Near Southeast items, except for perhaps an update from the Nationals, a brief update on Traffic/Parking issues from a member of Tommy Wells's staff, and request for support for a liquor license for the new Patriot II river cruise ship operating out of Diamond Teague Park. One other item that might be of interest is an update on the 14th Street Bridge Environmental Impact Statement, which has been quiet for a while.
* ANC 6B (south side of Capitol Hill and Near Southeast south of the freeway east of Seventh [excluding the Navy Yard]) meets the next night, Tuesday, at 7 pm at its new meeting place, the People's Church at 535 Eighth Street, SE. Here's the agenda, which is chock full of liquor license renewals and home remodeling projects.
* Looking ahead a bit to next week, a reminder that the Anacostia River Business Summit is being held on Tuesday, May 18, starting at 1:30 pm at 20 M St., SE. Admission is $30 per person; the agenda includes a presentation on the Anacostia River Watershed Restoration Plan and panels on "Federal and District Leadership Efforts" and "The Business Impact." There will also be an exhibit hall and a networking reception after the sessions. More info here, and online registration available here.
 

Oh, I've wanted to post this rumor for so long (and have hinted at it on Twitter) but never could bring myself to pull the trigger when I couldn't get anything out of Monument or DDOT or any first-level source. But, here's WBJ going where I wouldn't (subscribers only): "[The District Department of Transportation] has signed a letter of intent and is close to a deal on a 10-year lease for 150,000 square feet in Monument Realty's Half Street building at 55 M St. SE, according to sources." Neither Monument nor DDOT would confirm to WBJ either, with DDOT spokesman John LIsle quoted as saying, "We are hoping to move this year. It may be ambitious, but that is our goal."
Originally DDOT was going to move to the Anacostia Gateway project, but that was cancelled a few months ago. WBJ says that, between DDOT's space and existing tenant Sayres and Associates (who apparently will be adding another 10,000 square feet to their lease), 55 M will be about two-thirds leased.
 

Thanks to one of the National Capital Planning Commission's fabulous documents, we're starting to get first hints of plans by the Cohen Companies for what they are describing as a three-building, 815,000-square-foot office, hotel, retail project on the very eastern end of M Street, nestled between Boathouse Row and the CSX tracks east of Maritime Plaza. It's so early in the process that it's not even on Cohen's New Projects page, but City Paper's Housing Complex blog has learned that the company will be putting together a planned unit development application to the Zoning Commission "over the next six to nine months." (No financing is lined up, though, so don't look for digging to start anytime soon.) See the NCPC document for some early drawings and some basic information on how they envision the offerings of the three buildings.
(Cohen Companies, by the way, is the developer of Velocity.)
Back in 2003-ish, there were plans for this site to be a townhouse development (see page 15), but those never got off the ground partly because of zoning issues, which then begat an attempted rezoning of the area in 2004 that failed. But rezoning of the site will have to be back in the forefront when this project's PUD application hits the zoning committee, since the space is still zoned "M" (industrial).
The project is in front of NCPC because of Cohen's request to close "paper street" segments of Virginia Avenue, M, and 14th streets. This is a part of a settlement between 1333 M Street, SE, LLC and the city from a lawsuit over waterfront development in South*west*, where the Cohen Companies are agreeing to release their claims in exchange for three small pieces of government land at 1333 M SE as well as the city's support in requesting the street closures. (The street closures themselves have been approved by the city council as bill B18-0572, and are expected to become law later this month.)
The NCPC is objecting to the street closures; and thankfully Greater Greater Washington has been writing in detail on the case, so I'm just going to throw it over to them for all the nitty gritty, because it's way out of my league. (Read also this GGW entry about connecting this area to the neighborhoods to its north if/when the remnants of the freeway to Barney Circle are removed.) But, again, the NCPC staff recommendation report is also a great read for not only the NCPC's concerns but also for the history of the area under review and other details. The NCPC board is meeting this afternoon, and we'll see what comes out of the session (I assume GGW will be hot on the trail).
If you've never ventured down that way, my East M page has a few not-particularly-current photos of the location (I don't get there very often myself), along with more images of Boathouse Row. When the project begins to wind its way through the zoning process, I'll get more on the ball. The city's 2009 Boathouse Row Planning Study is also a good spot to learn more about the area.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Evan, I'm reminded that I should have included the additional information that, because this is part of the old Washington Gas (and I think Steuart Petroleum) site, there are some serious remediation issues to be addressed, which are mentioned both by Ron Cohen on page 25 of this 2003 ZC transcript and on page 19 of this 2004 ZC transcript (saying that the contaminated soil is 11 feet down). Remediation is also mentioned in the 2009 Boathouse Row Planning Study and in this EPA document (under "Washington Gas and Light"). Oh, and the EPA's 1999 record of decision on what cleanup remedies would be needed. It should be noted that both Maritime Plaza buildings were completed after this document. (This is all before my time, so I'm researching on the fly.)
UPDATE II: Here's a WBJ article (subscribers only for 7 days) on the NCPC angle; it also reminds that, outside the monumental core of the city, NCPC's rulings are purely advisory.
 

From DDOT: "The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to begin necessary repairs on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (also known as the South Capitol Street Bridge) beginning on Saturday, May 8. Due to the nature of the repairs, traffic loads will be restricted to 10 tons. Trucks meeting the new loading requirement will continue the current restrictions with access to the center lanes only.
"Trucks and buses that exceed 10 tons will be rerouted to alternate routes. See attached map for recommended detours. Detour information will be posted to static and portable message boards along the detour routes. The detours will be in effect beginning Saturday, May 8 at 9 p.m. It is estimated that the detours will remain in place until September 1.
"The majority of the work will take place during off-peak hours, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and nighttime from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Temporary lanes closures will be in effect during working hours with a single lane remaining open in each direction.
"Additional work will be conducted beneath the bridge as well with minimum or no impact on the vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the bridge. The project is part of the ongoing inspection and maintenance routine for the bridge that began in 2007."
(Here's a stroll down memory lane if you want to see what happened the last time DDOT did a lot of work on the Douglass Bridge.)
Someday there will be a new Douglass Bridge, but not anytime soon, it would seem.
(UPDATED the title of this entry, because I can't count.)
 

'Twas a lovely evening on Monday, so I took a brisk three-mile walk to survey the various parking lots near Nationals Park to confirm and update my Stadium Parking Map. A few cash lots have been fallen out of the inventory, and I also added the two now available on the OTHER side of South Capitol Street, in Southwest {gasp!}.
It's also worth noting that the official Nats lots that can be cash lots aren't always. I've left them marked on the map with their cash prices, but it appears that on nights where the crowds aren't anticipated to be huge (like tonight's game against the Braves), the cash option for official lots in the red and green zones directly north of the stadium isn't available. I would expect that to be different when, say, the Red Sox come to town or when Stephen Strasburg arrives.
(And thanks to the readers who passed along info on lots over the past few days, and spurred me into action, finally.)
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

For your calendars:
* Thursday (May 6) is the first Capitol Riverfront Farmers Market of 2010, running from 3 pm to 7 pm through November on the northwest corner of New Jersey and M, adjacent to the Navy Yard Metro station entrance. More than 10 local farmers and vendors will sell produce, baked goods, prepared foods, and more. The first 50 customers to attend the farmers market on Thursday will be given a $5 off coupon for any purchase at the market.
* Alas, I missed the kickoff of the USDOT farmers' market, which started today (oops) and will be held every Tuesday from 10 am to 2 pm on the pedestrian plaza between the two buildings, at Third and M.
And, here are two events that I'm passing along on behalf of Lisa Pagano, the Nationals' manager of communications, who has been very good to JDLand over the years. She is running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year award, and is trying to raise $75,000 by June 12 (more info here and here), with two fundraising events being held in Near Southeast over the next week or so:
* A Cornhole Tournament is being held at the Bullpen on Wednesday, May 12, with the party starting at 6 pm and the tournament itself at 7 pm. There will be live music and raffle items in addition to the tournament. Admission is $5 for the event and $20 for teams of two entering the tournament (with one free beer per player!). More info can be found on Facebook.
* Buy a $22 Scoreboard Pavilion seat for the May 20 Nats vs. Mets game, and $8 of the ticket price will go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For more information, and to purchase tickets online, visit nationals.com/mwoy.
 

We went through this back in early March, when sharp-eyed JDLand readers passed along indications of work re-starting at the stalled 1015 Half Street office building project, with a Skanska sign going up at the skeleton. But it disappeared soon afterward, along with the workers that had briefly materialized. But last Tuesday, faithful Tweeters again reported signs of life at the work site, and now WBJ is reporting that Skanska USA Building is indeed about to re-start construction, expecting to finish the 440,000-sq-ft office and retail project by the end of the year.
This building, on the site of the old Nation nightclub, was first started in late 2007 before the collapse of developer Opus East ground work to a halt in May 2009. (These photos show the timeline pretty well!) The Douglas Wilson Companies was named receiver a few months later, and originally announced that work would re-commence in October of last year, but nothing has happened until now.
No tenants have been announced. See my 1015 Half page for more details on the long and winding road this project has taken.
UPDATE: Here's the press release from DWC announcing the restart.
 

I haven't been able to go anywhere near Fifth and Virginia for weeks now without feeling desperately guilty--I haven't taken photos of the Capitol Quarter construction there since JANUARY. (In my defense, that intersection is my personal Waterloo--I've never been able to standardize my spots for photos.) I also hadn't gotten updated photos along the northern part of Fourth Street since the snows of February. I've been a little better about the upper block of Third, but not a lot.
So I finally rectified that today. Here are the before-and-afters along Fifth, Fourth, and Third, with a perennial reminder to click on the icon to see all photos of a certain spot over the past seven years.
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