31 Blog Posts
Go to Page:
What's Next at Capper/Carrollsburg
Jul 31, 2008 12:04 PM
While the focus lately has been on the start of the Capitol Quarter townhouses
, there is more to the redevelopment of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing complex. There are the two completed seniors buildings (Capper Seniors #1
and 400 M Street
), now providing 300 of the 700 old Capper public housing units that are being replaced. The first phase of Capitol Quarter includes 39 subsidized rental units, and the second phase (which is probably not going to start delivering until 2011) will have another 47 subsidized rentals; this is in addition to the sales of 121 market-rate and 91 workforce-rate townhouses throughout both phases. That leaves a little over 300 public housing units to come, which will be included in the 1,300 apartments expected to be constructed at Capper over the next five years or so.
Under the original Capper plans
, there was to be a strip of 61 townhouses built on this spot, but the DC Housing Authority has recognized that these homes would be dwarfed by the B.E.Q. to the north and the two planned office buildings directly behind them at 600 M Street. So DCHA has now filed a request with the Zoning Commission
to allow an expansion in the total number of housing units allowed at Capper to 1,747, which would allow the construction of a four-story 189-unit apartment building (with a massing very similar to the B.E.Q.) on this stretch of L Street known as Square 882N. This Zoning Commission request is also looking to expand the number of units in the planned apartment building on the south side of L Street between Second and Third (let's call it Square 769N) to 171 units, as a result of its block-mate 250 M Street
having recently gotten approvals
to be built higher than originally requested.
I've updated the map and descriptions on my Capper Overview page
to reflect these latest plans for the area, and it's worth taking a look at if you're not really familiar with exactly how wide-ranging the Capper Planned Unit Development is. (Reading the 2004 zoning order
establishing the PUD and laying out the requirements isn't a bad idea, either.) I should also note that the apartment and office buildings will combine to have about 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. There should also be a new community center at Fifth and K, but it doesn't seem to be on the front burner just yet.
Of course, the question then becomes: when? Timelines are always dicey and should be taken with a couple pounds of salt, but it appears that these two L Street apartment buildings (882N and 769N) would be first up on the agenda, perhaps being delivered in 2011. The other two buildings on Second Street would come next, and the anticipated 400-unit building on the trash transfer site would probably be the last one to be built, finishing maybe sometime in 2013. The three office buildings and the second phase of Capitol Quarter townhouses would be sprinkled throughout that time frame as well, with 250 M Street probably being the first office building to get underway, possibly even later this year. (Have I thrown in enough "maybe"s and "possibly"s and "perhaps"s for you?)
At least these plans don't have to wait until school buses get moved!
Master Plan Underway for Boathouse Row
Jul 30, 2008 12:46 PM
Earlier this month the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the Office of Planning had a public meeting as part of their work to create a master plan for "Boathouse Row
," the stretch of marinas, docks, and boathouses along the west/north bank of the Anacostia River northeastward from the 11th Street Bridges. I'm only now finding out about this process, so apologies for not posting about it sooner, but you can see the documentation
from the public meeting and also an earlier advisory committee meeting if you want more information. I've got a small smattering of photos
of the area closest to the 11th Street Bridges, but must admit that I haven't so far spent much time venturing further along to document what's there. (I'm lucky I can keep up with everything west of Seventh Street!)
Vendors Lose Injunction Request; ExxonMobil Advertising at the Ballpark Irking Environmentalists
Jul 30, 2008 9:34 AM
* City Paper reports
on a lawsuit that had been brought by three street vendors "seeking to halt the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' current practice of assigning vendors to sites outside the stadium via a lottery." The judge ruled against the vendors' request for a preliminary injunction against DCRA yesterday.
I did notice yesterday for the first time four semi-permanent kiosks on the edge of USDOT
's Southwest Plaza, on New Jersey Avenue at Tingey Street, where before last night's Phillies game a couple of vendors were plying their wares. I'm not sure when these kiosks were installed--I'm guessing sometime within the past few weeks? And perhaps they're used during the day, too, for non baseball-related vending? This would probably be the result of the council's emergency legislation to add more 14 more vending spots
closer to the ballpark
. I didn't make the walk down Half Street to see if any vendors were in place there last night--anyone have any sightings of other new vending locations?
* This is a few days old, but the NYTimes has a report
on how Nationals Park's ads from ExxonMobil have raised the ire of environmentalists: "When the Washington Nationals' season opened in March, the team unveiled a stadium any environmentalist could love -- the country's first certified green major professional sports stadium, with energy-conserving lights and water-conserving plumbing. Now, the team is the focus of protests from environmentalists who say their issue is not with the stadium, but with the Nationals' advertising relationship with the oil giant ExxonMobil. The company's logo appears prominently on the left-field wall and is frequently featured on the stadium's scoreboard. Despite the stadium's recognition for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by the U.S. Green Building Council, ExxonMobil's involvement has erased any good will, say the leaders of Strike Out Exxon, a combination of environmental, civic and religious groups. The groups want the Nationals to end their advertising arrangement with the company."
'Little Red Building' Changes Hands
Jul 29, 2008 9:29 AM
Within the past couple of months, the Star Market (better known as the Little Red Building on the northwest corner of Second and L
) has been sold, for a not-little sum of $900,000. This is the third sale of the building since I've been watching--it sold in October 2004 for $220,000, and then again in June 2005 for $580,000. The previous owner had plans to tear down the building and replace it with a "fine wine and spirits" shop, and I understand that it's anticipated the new owner's plans are similar, though nothing concrete has been passed my way. No timeline or details beyond that.
(The photo above is one of my favorites--it's from January 2003, showing the Star Market back when it was a lonely outpost without a hotel attached to it.)
Diamond Teague Park Gets Army Corps Permit
Jul 28, 2008 11:12 AM
As I scrounge around the interwebs in a desperate search for news, I see that on June 27 the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the city's permit application
for Diamond Teague Park
, the 39,000-sq-ft public park planned for the land where First Street ends at Potomac Avenue, on the banks of the Anacostia River across from Nationals Park
. The office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development tells me that the receipt of this permit allows the city to complete the design of the park, which will include water taxi piers
surrounding the little red brick pumphouse used by the Earth Conservation Corps. While there's still DC and National Park Service permits to be acquired, the city expects to begin construction on the first phase of the park this fall--yes, this means that the water taxi piers would be completed by Opening Day 2009, if all goes according to the current schedule. The second phase of the park will come if and when WASA
vacates the southern portion of its property. See my Diamond Teague project page
for recent renderings of the park's design and photos of the site. The park is named for an Earth Conservation Corps volunteer who was murdered in 2003.
(Stay tuned over the next few days for some additional interesting tidbits I've unearthed from digging through public records.)
Wendy's Now Closed
Jul 26, 2008 7:42 PM
Not sure exactly when this happened, but sometime within the past few days the Wendy's
on I Street between South Capitol and Half streets, SE, has finally closed down, after being rumored to be coming Any Minute Now since May. JPI has announced plans for its fourth Capitol Yards residential building on the site, a 420-unit "loft-style" building called 23 Eye
that would also have ground-floor retail. Previous statements from JPI had pegged the start of 23 I's construction this fall--I haven't heard whether that's still the plan.
More Photos from Inside the Yards (Park, Shed)
Jul 25, 2008 1:50 PM
The skies were threatening during my visit, so these aren't the most shimmering photos, but I do now have a big batch of new photos from the areas along the Anacostia River that by the end of next year should be transformed into the nearly six-acre Waterfront Park at the Yards
. Right now it's mainly a lot of dirt, so I suggest spending some time looking closely at the rendering at the top of the page to orient yourself to the locations of the various photos and what the vistas should eventually look like. (The map at the top of my main Yards overview page
is helpful, too.) I also got some photos inside the Lumber Storage Shed, that oddly terra cotta-colored building near the water's edge which will be having its corregated tin exterior stripped and replaced with glass as it's turned into a retail pavilion.
I've also posted some additional photos in the archive at spots where intersections will exist later this year when River
streets are created and when Fourth and Fifth are extended down toward the water. (Again, look at the map
.) Really, these photos are nothing more than placeholders, but I just had to have the "befores" in order to be able to enjoy the "afters" someday....
No Chiller Site Developer Yet; Other Tidbits
Jul 25, 2008 10:17 AM
* No big news out of yesterday's WMATA board meetings--the board gave Metro staff the go-ahead to negotiate a deal with a developer for the 14,000-sq-ft Navy Yard chiller plant site at Half and L
, but didn't say in public session who the developer is or what the project might be. The only tidbits in the resolutions were that the project should be LEED certified and that it should be required to make a contribution to the city's affordable housing fund (both of which, I believe, would be the case anyway given the city's new green building and inclusionary zoning laws unless there's some WMATA loophole I'm unaware of).
* I imagine all the local blogs will be talking about this AP story today
on DC's levee system. To tie it to the neighborhood, one of the things currently happening at the Yards
is that they're building up the ground level in places to make sure that it's above the 100-year flood plain.
* What's the Sports and Entertainment Commission doing now that the ballpark has opened? The WashTimes takes a look
* The Nationals have announced
their promotions and ticket packages for the rest of the season. They'll finally be back at home starting Tuesday after what seems like forever. See my Events Calendar
for the schedule of home games through the end of the season.
* Off-topic, but readers might be interested in this WashTimes overview
of the plans for and the current status of redevelopment in Southwest.
Updated Capitol Quarter Photos (Digging Underway)
Jul 24, 2008 3:58 PM
You'll probably need your x-ray specs to really glean any progress from my usual vantage points, but that shouldn't stop you from taking a look at today's batch of Capitol Quarter photos
, taken on the blocks bounded by Fourth, Fifth, L, and Virginia. As the above photo shows (there's a bigger version on the project page), foundations are indeed now being dug for the first townhouses, on the south side of L between Fourth and Fifth. And meanwhile, the streets are getting pretty new granite curbs and brick gutters. The blocks north of L now have a lot of "private" infrastructure work underway (meaning, the pipes and whatnot that will run beneath the houses), so all in all there's no denying that, after a long long wait, the heart of the Capper/Carrollsburg
redevelopment is now underway. We should be seeing the first hints of structures rising out of the ground next month.
And, if you really really can't get enough of seeing what's happening in that section of the neighborhood, go to the Capitol Quarter Phase I Expanded Archive
, where you can see all vantage points. And be sure to click on the
icon anytime you want to see the complete range of photos from a certain spot (to watch the old Capper buildings come down, then see the weeds grow, then see the beginnings of construction).
UPDATE, 7/25: Within 24 hours of my visit, the first concrete footers were poured.
Football Coming to Nationals Park; Congressional Baseball Game
Jul 24, 2008 9:04 AM
* From Wednesday's Post
: "ACC Commissioner John Swofford confirmed yesterday that the inaugural Congressional Bowl, to be held Dec. 20 at Nationals Park
, will feature the conference's ninth-best team, 'assuming we have nine teams [bowl] eligible.' Approved by the NCAA in May, the Congressional Bowl will be the first college football bowl game in the District. Assuming it is bowl eligible, Navy will take on an ACC team. Teams must win at least six games to be eligible for a bowl game. Last season, eight of the 12 ACC teams qualified for bowl games."
* I missed this last week, but the ballpark was host on July 17
to another battle royale: "They gathered together just south of the Capitol dome, silhouetted by the setting evening sun, to play a game of baseball. U.S. Representatives from across the aisle and across the country donned uniforms local to their districts and immersed themselves in America's pastime Thursday at Nationals Park. The city's new stadium played host to the 47th annual Congressional Baseball Game sponsored by Roll Call."
New Yards Photos: Inside the Boilermaker Shop, and New Pattern Shop Pics; WTDW The Hole in the Wall
Jul 22, 2008 7:39 AM
Last week the folks at Forest City
were gracious enough to take me on a behind-the-fences tour of the The Yards
, so that I could stock up on "before" photos before too much more work gets underway. The first stop was Building 167, also known as the Boilermaker Shop
, on the northeast corner of Third and Tingey streets behind the US DOT HQ. This steel-and-glass industrial workshop (such a rarity for Washington) was built in 1919, and by the end of 2009 Forest City expects it to be transformed into a 46,000-square-foot retail space, with a new loft-like mezzanine in the middle of the building that will provide additional square footage without sacrificing the wide-open feel of the high glass-lined ceiling. I have wanted to get inside this building for a long time, so I'm glad to now have photos in advance of the shop's makeover, which you can see on my Boilermaker Shop page
along with renderings of what's coming.
Across the street at the old Pattern Joiner Shop
, interior demolition work continues, along with the removal of all the windows and the white paint from the building's exterior. We didn't get to go inside, but I've still posted some updated photos
, which you can compare to shots from the past three years to see what's been done in just a few months. By late 2009 this will become the Pattern Shop Lofts
, with 170 apartments, ground-floor retail, an interior courtyard, and two new floors on top.
I also snagged some photos from a few other locations, too, and I'll get those posted soon.
And, if you're wondering What's the Deal With
the big hole punched in the historic red brick wall
on M Street east of Fifth--apparently that's the start of the necessary work to create 5 1/2 Street, SE (no, I'm serious), which will run between the big red brick Building 202
(to be turned into condos by 2011) and Building 74 (forecast to be converted into townhouses in a future phase of the Yards). Here's an overhead photo of the spot in question
, taken from the roof
of the old Capper Seniors building
before it came down last year.
Navy Yard Station Chiller Site Decision Thursday?
Jul 21, 2008 10:35 AM
The agendas for Thursday's various Metro board meetings have been posted
, and, barring a last-minute change, it looks like the Planning, Development and Real Estate committee will finally be taking up the awarding of the Half and L
"chiller plant" site for the Navy Yard Metro station to a developer. It's going to happen in an executive session (the agenda
says nothing more than "Term Sheet on Navy Yard Chiller Site"), so it could be possible it's not yet a done deal. They've been trying to bring this up at the board since February
; the solicitation for bids
for the 14,100-sq-ft site happened nearly two years ago
Updated Photos for a Lazy Summer Friday
Jul 18, 2008 12:11 PM
Despite my preference to not ever actually step foot outside in Washington during the summer, I wandered around on Thursday afternoon and got updated photos of 909 New Jersey
, 100 M
, and 55 M
. I especially enjoy the view that's now developed looking up First Street at M(above), where you see five new buildings in the same vista where 80 M stood all alone less than three years ago.
If you've really got some time to kill today, check the Photo Archive
for before-and-afters of these intersections that have changed so much: 1st and I
, 1st and K
, 1st and L
, 1st and M
, Half and M
, Half and L
, Half and K
, New Jersey and K
, New Jersey and I
. Or, just start clicking around on the Archive Map
to look at other spots.
Coming soon, photos from a few locations I've never had access to until now....
100 I (Axiom) Now Open for Business
Jul 18, 2008 8:51 AM
An e-mail went out late yesterday announcing that Axiom at Capitol Yards
(better known around these parts as 100 I Street
) is now open for business, almost exactly one month after older sibling Jefferson/70 I
went live. Axiom, with about 246 units, has a more modern design in comparison to Jefferson's "warehouse/industrial" look, but has many of the same amenities, such as a roof pool, fitness center, "resident pub," etc. (I've got interior photos from about two months ago
, which I hope to get updated soon--I almost took a photo yesterday afternoon of the main entry that now has an "Axiom" sign above it, but I thought to myself, "Oh, I'll just wait until it's officially open." Oops.)
The official web site is at AxiomCapitolYards.com
, and leasing has been underway for a few months. And, like all younger siblings, Axiom's debut into the world will probably be less of an event, with fewer announcements, parties, photos, home movies, birthday presents, etc. (Do I sound bitter?)
What's the Deal With: Canal Park (Again)
Jul 17, 2008 12:54 PM
Yes, it's time once again for What's the Deal With.... Canal Park?
Now that the ballpark
's open and people have stopped asking me about the baseball that was originally planned for the roof of the Red Loft, I can safely say that there is no question I receive more often than this one. Here's the latest:
Over the past few months, the Canal Park Development Association has been resurrected, and is now being led by Chris VanArsdale, a local lawyer-turned-green-developer. An agreement is being worked on with the city that will allow the CPDA to take on moving the park forward, a task that ended up in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
after the demise of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation.
Of course, there will be no moving forward of the park until the dang buses are gone. The timeline being put forward by DMPED is now "December or January" for the departure of the buses, since a new location has been found (*cough*DC Village*cough*) but a lot still must be built. (It's at this point that I'm always required mention that it was in October 2003 when I first heard the city had been given 90 days to get the buses off the park site.) The park's blocks would then be graded and temporary sod planted until the park itself is built.
So, when will the park actually be completed? You didn't actually expect anyone to tell me that, did you? However, indications are that once the license agreement between the CPDA and the city is finished, we'll get a better sense for what's left to be done and when it all could happen.
In the meantime, while twiddling your thumbs waiting for the next news tidbit, take a look at the designs and plans for the park
, which came as the result of a 2004 design competition held by the city. Are they still holding up? Discuss
. (Hey, it's summer, I've got to do something to perk up the energy around here.)
First Neighborhood to Get FIOS - Sort of
Jul 16, 2008 3:20 PM
Reader AW was nice enough to pass along news of a fence banner along Half Street, SE, just south of 70 I
that is shouting "1st Community in DC to Offer Verizon FIOS!
" (This is the high-speed fiber optic TV/internet service that is available throughout the 'burbs.) I went to verizonfios.com
, and did some address searching via the Check Availability page
, and got positive results for 70 I, 100 I, and 1000 New Jersey (Capitol Hill Tower
). However, if you click one of the addresses and continue along, you're then told that FIOS TV isn't yet available for that address, but FIOS high-speed Internet is. (As I posted back in June
, JPI has been marketing 70 and 100 I as "pre-wired" for FIOS.)
Read this entry's comments
to see that, not surprisingly, "First Community to Offer FIOS" isn't quite what it seems just yet. But if there's any neighborhood in the city where the infrastructure work could already have been done to get fiber in place, it'd be the one that's being entirely rebuilt from scratch....
Summer Arrives: News Grinds to a Halt
Jul 16, 2008 9:21 AM
With the city council
in its summer recess until mid-September (though not before David Catania introduced legislation yesterday
trying to raise the sales tax at Nationals Park
in what appears to be an attempt to get back at the Lerners for withholding the rent
), and with the Zoning Commission and most ANCs taking August off, the pace of bureaucratic-type news in these parts will be slow if not nonexistent for the next few weeks. We've got a Metro board meeting next week that might (or might not
) be telling us the developer of the Navy Yard station's 14,000-sq-ft chiller plant site on the southwest corner of Half and L
, but otherwise the calendar
is all but empty until after Labor Day. (At least I can report that on Monday night ANC 6D voted 7-0 to approve a public space permit by 100 M Street
to install sidewalks and city arborist-recommended willow oak and elm trees.)
That said, I should have some interesting items in the next few days, including hopefully an update about everyone's favorite What's the Deal With....?
subject. And of course I'll have photo updates every few weeks, especially since it's expected that framing of the first Capitol Quarter
townhouses will get underway by early August. But beyond that, expect the pace around here to be more leisurely during the dog days. As it should be!
Halfway Point: Post Looks at the Ballpark
Jul 14, 2008 11:13 PM
From Tuesday's Post
: "Yes, the Nationals are riddled with injuries and the team is among the worst in Major League Baseball, which resumes its schedule Thursday after tonight's all-star game. The team's owners, the Lerner family, are in a messy dispute with the city, which financed the $611 million ballpark. The stadium
, meanwhile, is developing a happy following. The reviews so far: generally good. Getting to the ballpark, along the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, is fairly easy most nights and weekends. The stadium is winning praise for its sightlines, scoreboard and atmosphere. Food prices are another matter." And there's this: "Neighbors who worried about fans clogging streets are breathing easier. 'As of now, I think it's been managed well, especially by the team,' said Andy Litsky, a Ward 6 neighborhood leader. 'It's not as bad as we anticipated.' " On the other hand, the lack of a parking/transit/traffic catastrophe as predicted by so many for so long has left JDLand all but devoid of content....
ANC 6D Meeting Monday Night
Jul 13, 2008 1:50 PM
I'm back from a week in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, where I took all sorts of photos
despite the fact that there were almost no buildings under construction. And what better way to get back in the blogging saddle than to post notice of Monday's ANC 6D
meeting. The agenda
has one Near Southeast item, which is a public space permit for 100 M Street
(for trees, a driveway, and sidewalk paving). The rest of the agenda includes a presentation by the Office of Planning on a zoning study of Southwest, a resolution on the proposed moratorium on "singles" (alcohol, not unmarrieds), and admin minutiae in conjunction with some events planned in Southwest. The meeting starts at 7 pm, at St. Augustine's church at 6th and M Streets, SW. I'll be the one in the audience griping about not still being out west.
Two Killed on Nats Game Bus (Updated)
Jul 12, 2008 9:07 AM
On Friday night one passenger was killed and another seriously injured when the open-top double-decker bus they were riding in went under an overpass while the two were apparently standing up. The news reports of the accident are all over the map--they were going to the game, they were heading back to RFK from the game, they were on the Southeast Freeway, they were on I Street near 9th, it was the 11th Street overpass. Here's the Post story
, Channel 9's story
, and last night's Fox 5 story
, before it was confirmed that one passenger had died. On the Ballpark Guys thread
discussing the accident, fans report seeing the westbound freeway closed during the accident investigation, which would seem to indicate that the bus was going to the game.
Go to Page: