10 Blog Posts
Willie's Brew and Que Coming to Boilermaker Shops; Pizza and a Raw Bar at Canal Park?
Aug 31, 2011 4:31 PM
After a bit of a false start a few months ago
, Forest City is now confirming that Capitol Hill restaurant magnate Xavier Cervera will be opening "Willie's Brew & Que" in the Boilermaker Shops
at The Yards
. On the Yards's just redesigned web site
, Willie's is listed
as opening in Fall 2012, along with the other Boilermaker Shops restaurants previously announced
(Austin Grill Express
, Buzz Bakery
, a craft brewery by the Churchkey folks
, and Huey's 24-7 Diner
In a Going Out Gurus post today about Cervera's purchase of the Hawk 'n' Dove
, Willie's is described as a sports bar, with the "'Cue" in the name referring not to pool but to barbecue that will be smoked on site. Plus, "Cervera promises 'the audio and video system is going to be very cool in there' when the place opens in 2012, including custom-built 12-foot plasma screens." (Note that GoG says it's "Brew & 'Cue", while Forest City's web site says "Brew & Que.")
Look for some new signage on the fences around the Boilermaker within the next few weeks, trumpeting all of the announced restaurants. (And I'll also point out that the web site says
"more to come.")
The Going Out Gurus post
also says that Cervera will be opening a restaurant at Canal Park
, which they say will be LEED-certified
, serving Neopolitan pizzas and featuring a raw bar. I've got a request into the Canal Park folks for confirmation and/or details. The park is expected to open in spring 2012. (UPDATE:
The leasing negotiations for the Canal Park site are apparently not yet finalized, so don't consider this a done deal just yet.)
Tuesday Tidbits: Ballpark Labor Day Weekend Doings and More
Aug 30, 2011 1:05 PM
A whole lot of little stuff:
* The Nationals have a lot of events on tap at the ballpark
for "Grand Slam Labor Day Weekend":
There are still $5 tickets available
for Friday night's game against the Mets, and there will be post-game fireworks as well. (I very strongly suggest heading over to the Yards Park
and getting a spot right on the water for optimum viewing; I watched the last post-game fireworks there a few weeks back, and you are pretty much directly beneath the rockets' red glare.)
Saturday night's game will be preceded by "Team On-Field Photo Day," where for the first time fans will be able to go down to the warning track to take photos before the game. After the game, there will be a free concert by the band Lifehouse (but you have to have a game ticket in order to go to the concert.)
Sunday's 1:35 pm game is $1 Kids Day, plus the seventh annual "Kids Run the Show Day." And, following the game, there will be a softball game between the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and a group of DC-area celebrities. If you purchase tickets to this game through nationals.com/woundedwarriorsoftball
, each $20 ticket purchased will result in a $5 donation to the softball team.
Finally, for Labor Day Monday's 1:05 pm game against the Dodgers, there is another $5 ticket special.
You can read more about all these goings-on (and the other offers for these games) in this press release
And it seems to be all but official that Strasmas returns to the neighborhood next week, with Stephen Strasburg expected to pitch
against the Dodgers on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
* In non-baseball stadium doings, Opera in the Outfield
will be back again, on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 pm with a free simulcast of the Washington National Opera's performance of Tosca
(and What's Opera, Doc?
, which really should be the headlining feature). You can bring food and a blanket to sit on, but no alcoholic beverages can be brought in, and bags can't be any larger than 16" x 16" x 8".
* In other concert news, the BID has extended the Friday summer concert series at the Yards Park through Sept. 9. The concerts are from 6 to 8 pm, and food trucks and other offerings will be on hand.
* The Capitol Hill Day School's move to its temporary home at 5th and K SE is in full swing, and the school is doing a great job of blogging it
(along with the renovations on their Dent School digs).
* A raze permit application has been filed for 1008 3rd St. SE, a few doors south of Cornercopia. This rowhouse had a partial roof collapse
along with cracks in the walls during the Feb. 6 2010 blizzard.
* Seems like the neighborhood fared just fine through Hurricane Irene, except for the flood of DC residents
on Friday wanting sandbags from the DPW operations at New Jersey and K, SE. (The city ended up moving the sandbag operations to RFK on Saturday.) This should be the last time this happens, since DPW is expected to be moving out of the old trash transfer station this fall (perhaps even by mid-October).
Ummm, Ooops? (Unintended Extended Summer Vacation)
Aug 25, 2011 9:49 AM
Yes, I'm still here, tweeting away
(also available on Facebook!
) when I come across items of note, but there hasn't really been any bloggable news, and I've been feeling meh enough over the past week that trying to pull together a Tidbits post when I don't think anyone's actually reading anyway just didn't seem that enticing. Plus, now I'm in full weather geek mode, with Irene perhaps becoming more of a threat to the Metro area than it initially seemed. (If she comes up the Chesapeake Bay like one model suggested overnight, Near Southeast could certainly see some flooding at the Yards Park and other spots along the Anacostia River. If. IF. Still a big IF.)
So for now, consider this an open thread. Want to tell your earthquake story? Anything else of note that you've seen lately? Feel free. And I promise I'll return here when there's bloggable news to report, but in the meantime I'll probably be more in the 140-characters-or-less mode through Labor Day.
Proposed ANC 6D SMD Boundaries; Near SE in Two SMDs
Aug 17, 2011 5:06 PM
The Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force
has released its initial redistricting report
, which includes the proposed ANC and Single Member District boundaries
approved at the Aug. 8 task force meeting. These are not final, and now will go through a months' worth of meetings with all Ward 6 ANCs to allow for recommendations for any changes from the commissions and other affected groups.
Here's the proposed Ward 6D SMD boundaries
(at right). As I've mentioned ad nauseum, there was no way Near Southeast was going to remain as one SMD, and in the new map it's split into two districts, with 6D07 now comprising almost all of the neighborhood, while the area right around M Street west of New Jersey Avenue has been melded into the 6D02 single member district that covers the northeastern section of Southwest.
Given the population layout of the neighborhood, there isn't really any alternative in order to hit the target range of 1,900-2,100 residents per single member district other than creating a boundary that includes Capitol Quarter
, Capitol Hill Tower
, and 70/100 I
, which gives a population of 2,091. (If you try to swap 70/100 I for the blocks with Onyx
, and 909 New Jersey
, you end up with only 1,791 residents.)
There does seem to have been an attempt to keep as much of the neighborhood in one SMD as possible, with the proposed 6D07 including the baseball stadium
and Florida Rock
, though the areas just north of the ballpark (where the Akridge
Half Street projects are proposed) would be in the SE/SW 6D02 district.
If these boundaries are approved, it sets up a very interesting situation for current 6D commissioners. David Garber, who has ruled over all but a smidge of Near Southeast since being elected in 2010, lives on a block that would now be in the new 6D02 SMD spanning South Capitol Street; the existing 6D02, all in Southwest, is currently represented by Cara Shockley, also elected in 2010. Whoever would represent the bulk of Near Southeast in these new boundaries could not live at Onyx, Velocity, or 909 New Jersey.
The Ward 6 redistricting task force will be at the Sept. 12 ANC 6D meeting to discuss the proposed boundaries and to receive comments. There is still a possibility that there could be a reversal and Near Southeast could move to ANC 6B (the Capitol Hill ANC), and the task force's report included the not-adopted map for 6B
that shows Near Southeast as part of a 12-SMD commission. This would keep much of Near Southeast in one district, with Canal Park, Capitol Quarter, and blocks right by the freeway except for 70/100 I paired with a few blocks north of the freeway in another district. The task force meets with 6B to get its recommendations on Sept. 13.
There will then be a Sept. 19 meeting to consider all recommendations received as a result of their initial redistricting maps, to then come up with a final recommendation to be forwarded to Tommy Wells by the end of September.
If you want to know more (including how to make your feelings known, if you have any), the task force web site
is chock full of information. And you can play with my interactive Ward 6 census map
if you want to try to make your own SMDs that fit the 1,900-2,100 population range.
Virginia Avenue Tunnel Scoping Meeting Set for Sept. 14
Aug 16, 2011 10:24 AM
The public meeting process for the reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel is about to get underway, with a date finally having been set for the first of the mandatory NEPA sessions: On Sept. 14, DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will hold the Public Information and Scoping Meeting
. This is an "open house," with no formal presentations to be made, but there will be maps and displays available, and officials will be there to receive comments from attendees. Written comments
can also be submitted electronically, if you can't be there in person. The meeting is at Van Ness Elementary School at 5th and M, SE, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
After this, there will be a Public Design Concepts Meeting at some point in the fall, which is where the first detailed plans for the project will be laid out. Then the Environmental Assessment would be released sometime in spring of next year (with an accompanying public hearing), with the final decisions on the project's design being made about a year from now.
If you haven't been following along, there is a rail tunnel that has run under Virginia Avenue from 2nd St. SE to 12th St. SE for about 100 years now, and, as part of the National Gateway project
, CSX plans to widen the tunnel to allow for double-tracking, as well as raise the height of the roof to allow for double-stacked train cars. In order to accomplish this, Virginia Avenue will need to be closed for 2-3 years (though the cross streets will still be open), and an open trench will be dug to allow trains to continue to run alongside the existing track during construction. As one might imagine, the residents of Capitol Quarter in the 300 block of Virginia Avenue are a mite concerned about exactly how this will work, as are people who use Garfield Park (just to the north of the tunnel) and drivers who come off the Southeast Freeeway at the 6th Street exit, since cars will not be able to continue east on Virginia during construction but will have to go left under the freeway and go up into the Capitol Hill neighborhoods.
In May, CSX announced that it would be investing $160 million of its own money
to fund the project. There is a strong desire by CSX to get this work completed before the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.
Pre-Leasing for Foundry Lofts at the Yards Now Underway
Aug 15, 2011 6:45 PM
In a big milestone for the continued transformation of the old walled-off Southeast Federal Center into the huge mixed-use development known as The Yards
, pre-leasing has begun for the Foundry Lofts
, which developer Forest City has been transforming from its previous incarnation as the historic Pattern Joiner Shop building in Navy Yard shipbuilding days into a 170-unit apartment building. (Pre-leasing was officially supposed to begin today, but with the leasing trailer on site and open to visitors for the past week or so, interest from potential residents overtook the planned launch and leasings actually have already started.)
The units will have 12-14' ceilings, exposed brick, and concrete beams (befitting the term "loft"), along with the hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops that would be expected in this sort of building. Rents will start at $2,000 a month, going up to $3,100 a month for one of the 33 two-level penthouse apartments in the new floors added to the top of the original building. (There are also a small number of affordable units available as well, though I don't have details on those.) Forest City expects move-ins to begin in October.
And, as previously announced
, a Potbelly Sandwich Works and Kruba Thai and Sushi will occupy ground-floor retail space early next year. Plus it's pet-friendly, too!
With its location on Tingey Street SE, immediately north of the Yards Park
(and surrounded by parking lots used by fans heading to Nationals Park
), the Foundry Lofts building is probably already familiar to many people who've come to Near Southeast over the past few years. It's the first residential component of the huge Yards redevelopment to be coming to completion, and will be the first multiunit residential building to open in the neighborhood since 2009. The renovation of what used to be known as Building 160 began in 2008, but was halted for well over a year at the height of The Economic Difficulties before work began again
in August of 2010.
There is also plenty of construction activity right around the Foundry Lofts that will bring additional offerings to the Yards over the next two years. Just to the north, work has begun on the renovation of the Boilermaker Shops
into a retail pavilion (to house a number of restaurants when it opens later in 2012), and soon work should get underway a block to the east on the second Yards residential project, the apartment building at 401 M Street
that will have a Harris Teeter
in the ground floor. Plus, construction on the Lumber Shed building in the Yards Park to make it a retail pavilion (and home to Forest City's offices, temporarily
) should begin later this year.
For more information, you can visit the leasing trailer now open from 9 am to 6 pm at 3rd and Tingey, SE, or go to FoundryLoftsDC.com
, which hopefully will have some more complete information soon. (There's also their Facebook page
, or Twitter feed
, if you're feeling particularly social media-y about it all.) I haven't made it to the leasing office yet, having been gloriously unplugged in Wyoming for most of early August, but I hope to get there this week. And my Foundry Lofts
page gives additional before-and-during photos of the construction and a few additional renderings, including one of the building's interior courtyard.
Task Force Votes Again to Keep Near Southeast in ANC 6D
Aug 10, 2011 11:47 AM
At a meeting on Monday night, the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force voted 4-3
to keep Near Southeast in ANC 6D, which also includes (almost?) all of Southwest, rather than moving it to ANC 6B, which includes most of southern and eastern Capitol Hill. If this sounds like something I've already posted, it kind of is, because last week the task force voted to create ANC boundaries
that would keep Near Southeast in 6D, but had left open for another vote whether those boundaries should be tweaked to move Near Southeast to 6B.
I was not there, but tweets from attendees indicated that it was a vote that came down to wanting to listen to the many residents of Near Southeast who advocated being moved to ANC 6B versus not wanting 6B to be a 12-member commission if that move were to have happened. (A poll on the task force web site
shows a nearly even split between people wanting Near Southeast moved to 6B versus keeping it in 6D; the comments thread
on the subject also became a bit of a war between residents supporting the switch and mostly Southwest residents wanting Near Southeast to stay in 6D.)
But this is still not the final decision on the matter. The task force will include the unapproved move to 6B in the initial task force proposal "as an information item." The decisions the task force makes are not binding--ward redistricting task forces report to their council members, who can then tweak the proposal if they wish, and then the entire council votes on the proposed new maps. The Ward 6 task force will be attending ANC meetings in September to present their proposal and get feedback, and then will meet again on Sept. 19 before making their final recommendations.
As for how ANC 6D with Near Southeast remaining will be divided into seven single member districts, I was hoping that the task force would post its maps before I got around to writing this, but alas, no. (They say they hope to have the maps posted sooner than their Aug. 18 date for posting their entire initial report.) Unless they plan to stray from the guidelines that look to have SMDs drawn with populations of between 1,900 and 2,100, some portion(s) of the western part of Near Southeast will be part of an SMD with blocks across South Capitol Street, in Southwest.
If you want to try to come up with your own way to divvy up the 14,359 residents of Southwest into seven SMDs, you can play with my redistricting map
. It will let you create up to three SMDs on one map, by clicking on the map to choose one set of blocks, then clicking the "Show Map with Selected Blocks Highlighted" link, then repeating those steps two more times.
But hopefully the proposed map from the task force will be posted soon.
And now back to my mini-break.
Friday Tidbit Overload (Isn't August Supposed to Be Slow?)
Aug 5, 2011 2:30 PM
A slew of tidbits, some already tweeted
, some not:
* The third Truckeroo food truck festival
is now scheduled for next Friday, Aug. 12, from 11 am to 11 pm. They'll keep doing them monthly, through October.
* This isn't news for anyone who's seen the big holes punched in the sides, but work on the Boilermaker Shops
retail space at the Yards
is finally underway. It's expected to take about a year. This is where the new brewpub by the Churchkey folks will be
, along with Buzz Bakery, Austin Grill Express, BRB, and Huey's 24-7 diner.
* Along with their announcement of a new Circulator route that will run from east of the river across the 11th Street Bridge and up 8th St. SE over to Potomac Avenue, DDOT has also announced that the Navy Yard Circulator route will no longer go into the Union Station garage. Instead, it will stop at a new location near the flagpoles in front of the building. There won't be any stop at Louisiana and D anymore, either. (See the DDOT presentation posted by DCist
for the details, with the Navy Yard route stuff being on page 7.)
* The Capitol Hill Day School's blog
is doing a good job keeping track not only of the renovation work at Dent School, but also on the progress on their temporary location at 5th and K, SE. The modular classrooms are arriving
, plus there's now power
* For people who don't stay glued to comment threads (for shame!), ANC commissioner David Garber recently posted with more details about the Georgetown University Health Disparities office
moving into the retail space at Capitol Hill Tower: "I was reassured that this will not be a health clinic, and that it is better to think of it as the research center's "home base" on this side of the city. It will mostly be office space, and employees will spend most of their time outside the office at sites in Wards 6, 7, and 8, facilitating research on environmental health, obesity, and breast cancer research. I was told that no more than five clients would be visiting the office each day -- not as a medical clinic-- but that the space would likely also be used to hold meetings for the center's organizational and community-based task forces/committees."
* President Obama gave a big speech on jobs at the Navy Yard
this morning, which will be notable mostly for how my Google News Alert for "washington navy yard" will take days to get back to normal.
There's probably more than this, but this has already cut into that mini-break I was trying to take....
ANC Redistricting: Near Southeast Stays in 6D, or Does It?
Aug 5, 2011 11:07 AM
On Wednesday night, the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force approved new boundaries
for five ANCs in Ward 6, with a map that keeps Near Southeast together, and keeps it in ANC 6D. However, it also included, as an "option for additional research," preparing Single Member District options that both keep Near Southeast as part of 6D (the Southwest ANC) or move it to 6B (the Capitol Hill ANC).
The committee will have a meeting on Aug. 8 at 6:30 pm to discuss this option along with two other options they are mulling elsewhere in the ward, and have posted on their blog polls for residents to vote on the options under consideration.
Before Wednesday's vote, Near Southeast's current ANC commissioner David Garber sent an open letter to the task force
, indicating that his consituents have made clear that their interests lie with the areas north of the freeway where so many of them eat and shop: "As much as we are similarly scaled and share interests with the Southwest community, residents of Near Southeast simply do not associate with that community in the same way they do with Capitol Hill." And, along with this, he says that residents have made very clear that Near Southeast should not get split between the two ANCs. Garber has also started imploring his constituents (on his mailing list and Facebook page) to make their feelings known to the task force.
The numbers portion of this discussion is worth looking at--right now, ANC 6D07's 2,737 census-counted residents make up 18.8 percent of ANC 6D's population of 14,359. if you move all of those 2,737 residents out of 6D, that leaves the Southwest ANC with 11,622 residents, which will give it only six commissioners, and the layout of the neighborhood would make for a tough set-up to have all the single-member districts reflect the desired 2,000-count population, or even the 1,900 low-end-of-the-range target.
If you move those 2,737 residents to 6B, it ends up with 22,954 residents, which again will make for some interesting decisions on SMD population counts, and would also make 6B at least an 11-SMD ANC, compared to the other Ward 6 ANCs having as few as five or up to nine commissioners. It would also mean that Near Southeast would make up 11.9 percent of 6B's population.
It's also possible the task force could still decide to divvy up Near Southeast between the two ANCs, with the Capitol Quarter area being split off to join an SMD north of the freeway. This decision would keep ANC 6D at seven commissioners and would make the numbers easier to manage in creating new SMDs 6B. (And would then give 16 commissioners from other neighborhoods in two ANCs a whole lot of power over the future of Near Southeast!)
And even if the task force keeps the "status quo," with 6D's boundaries remaining unchanged (which would seem to have been their initial inclination, given Wednesday night's vote), there's still the question of whether an SMD will span South Capitol Street to include portions of both Near Southeast and Southwest, or if the task force will decide to allow for SMDs with fewer than 1,900 residents, which could possibly give Near Southeast two commissioners and raise 6D's total to eight.
Lots of decisions coming down the pike. But, judging by the utter lack of reader interest in my posts on this subject (looking at the dismal traffic numbers and lack of comments compared to other topics I write about, and in comparison to the outcry that erupted when the possibility of moving Near Southeast to Ward 8 was floated), perhaps most residents don't see ANC boundaries and SMD locations as an issue that effects them one way or the other.
A Few Photos Before Downshifting into the August Doldrums
Aug 1, 2011 3:31 PM
I'm anticipating that the next couple of weeks will be pretty quiet, at least the Foundry Lofts
start their pre-leasing on Aug. 15, followed by the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force
release of its first draft of proposed new ANC/SMD boundaries on or about Aug. 18. So here's a bit of a potpourri, and then I'm going to probably take a blog-breather unless really big news breaks. (As always, I'll still be popping up on Twitter
with tidbits here or there.)
A smidge belatedly, I've added the three garages demolished a week ago on the southeast corner of 1st and K to my Demolished Buildings Gallery
, as entries 163, 164, and 165. (It might soon be time to create a Not Demolished Gallery, which would be far far smaller.) I was surprised when digging in my archives to find a couple of photos of the garages still in operation (above), from 2006 and 2007. You can also see how that stretch of 1st has changed since 2003, looking south from K
and north from L
I also grabbed a quick photo
of the progress on the new bridge bring built by the city that will link Diamond Teague Park
to the Yards Park
, scheduled to be completed this fall. (And I guess it's time to also officially get rid of the "floating bridge" nomenclature, because, as we've seen for months, there are big ole' piles in the river.) It'll be interesting to see if usage of the First Base Gate at Nationals Park
at 1st and Potomac increases noticeably next season with this new riverside walkway available. (It will also make arriving at Teague Piers via water taxi to attend events at the Yards Park involve a much more enjoyable walk, compared to schlepping up to N Street and over.)
If you're looking for other links to help kill time over the next few weeks, take a look at the JDLand Headlines
to be sure you haven't missed any big items lately.