Near Southeast DC: Past News Items - September 2006
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Updated Canal Park Design Rendering
Sep 30, 2006 11:45 AM
Thanks to the kind folks at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, I've now posted an image of the latest design of Washington Canal Park, which was presented at the stakeholders meeting a few days back.
More posts: Canal Park

YET Another New Map - New Jersey Ave.
Sep 29, 2006 7:51 PM

With thanks to loyal reader Eric for providing the needed push, I've added another detail map, this time for New Jersey Avenue, giving the scoop on what's planned along what could eventually be quite the grand boulevard. And I added a few new photos, too, including finally officially documenting the horse stables tucked under the Southeast Freeway just east of NJ Ave. (I guess I didn't want everyone running over there and bothering them :-). ) The other maps, for your perusing pleasure, are of the Stadium Corridor, M Street, and Capper/Carrollsburg (and I've tweaked the main map at left to highlight these additional offerings).

More posts: New Jersey Ave.

909 New Jersey Avenue Rendering
Sep 29, 2006 1:13 PM
I've gotten my hands on a rendering of 909 New Jersey Avenue, the 238-unit residential tower being developed by JPI on the block currently occupied by the Nexus Gold Club. No official word yet on when construction will begin, I've heard mentions in the past of early 2007, and I've also heard rumors that Nexus will close by the end of 2006. This is also a good time to mention that in late July JPI paid $1.989 million to the William C. Smith Co. for two lots on this block, totalling a mere 2,873 sq ft of land. (It should also be noted that the official sale of the Nexus land to JPI from current owner Marty Chernoff has not yet happened; in 2005 JPI paid Chernoff $1 million for two lots on the block, and the Post reported in January that the total sale price for all four of Chernoff's lots [incuding Nexus] will be $8.9 million.)

Fox5 Segment on Stadium Progress
Sep 27, 2006 8:19 PM
Fox 5 did a segment on Tuesday about how the stadium is progressing, and the video is available online. (I think I might have driven past the reporter taping a standup along 1st Street on Sunday--I should have stopped and offered myself as a neighborhood observer!) (UPDATED 10/2 to change the link to one that works.)
More posts: Nationals Park

New Florida Rock Renderings
Sep 27, 2006 10:49 AM

I've posted some new renderings and the revised site map for the Florida Rock project, with many thanks as always to the generous folks at Davis Buckley Architects for passing them along. The two new images of the east office building at 1st and Potomac highlight the three floors of glass-enclosed retail that has now been added to this location; you can also see on the site map the proposed 39,000-sq-ft public plaza at the foot of First Street. This east building would be the first phase of Florida Rock's development, with construction beginning if all goes well in early 2008. The project has another hearing in front of the Zoning Commission on Nov. 27 (here's my entry on how the first one on Sept. 18 went).

Two Just-Outside-the-Boundaries Tidbits
Sep 27, 2006 9:59 AM

There are projects immediately adjacent to Near Southeast that I won't be tracking with my usual level of obsessive-compulsiveness (no photos, dedicated pages, etc.), but I will mention big milestones if I hear about them. And so first is the announcement of a pending public meeting by the AWC on October 10 on the Poplar Point Site Development Plan process--this is the 70-acre on the Anacostia on the east side of the South Capitol Street Bridge, just across the river from Florida Rock, where possibly a new DC United stadium may be built. (Note that the transfer of this land from Federal to District control is still pending in Congress.) The other project is 1325 South Capitol Street SW, on the western side of the street between N and O (in other words, directly across from the stadium). GlobeSt.com reports (hat tip to reader RR) that Camden Property Trust is planning a 244-unit 210,000-sq-ft building on the site, with construction to start in Q2 2007. (I know, it's just across the dang street from Near Southeast, and maybe by the time the project starts I'll cave and decide to track anything that actually fronts South Capitol. Because there aren't enough projects for me to track :-).)

The Scent of a Neighborhood
Sep 26, 2006 5:19 PM
I've been meaning to post this for weeks, during a "lull", but since there hasn't been a Near Southeast lull since about August 2004.... If you've noticed over the past months the construction activity around the WASA site (that's "Water and Sewer Authority"), it's because they're in the midst of a $45-million-plus rehab of the Main/O Street pumping stations located there. And, for those baseball fans who've been a bit concerned about having to spend your time sitting a little closer to a sewage plant than perhaps you'd like, I hope that it eases your mind to see that the two bid solicitations for the project both mention "odor control" as part of the projects....

Mayor Says Garages Not Dead
Sep 26, 2006 2:06 PM
Today's Examiner has "Mayor Williams says parking deal not dead", with not much that's new, but these lines advance the story a tad: " 'We've got to show that development's under way very, very quickly, but at the same time we have to satisfy the need for parking,' Williams said. Williams said talks were ongoing Monday between multiple parties. If the deal does ultimately collapse, the mayor said, the city might have no choice but to build the standalone parking garages sought by Nationals owners, but vehemently opposed by the D.C. Zoning Commission." And the WashPost editorializes about the brouhaha in "Mayor Williams's Dead Deal."

Latest Alley Closing Bills Now Online
Sep 25, 2006 11:26 AM
The City Council's long summer break is at last over, and three alley closing proposals that we've been hearing about all summer have finally been entered into the council's online legislation system: Monument Realty's requests for alley closings on both the west side of Square 701 and the southern section of Square 700 (both part of Monument's Ballpark District sites), and William C. Smith's request for realigning the streets in Squares 737N and 739 to make way for a 900,000-sq-ft mixed-use project at New Jersey and H. (And, just for fun, here's the description of what's being requested in Square 739: "[T]he closing of the public alley in Square 739, bounded by New Jersey Avenue, Canal, 2nd, and K Streets, S.E.; the opening [of] I Street, S.E. between 2nd Street and New Jersey Avenue, S.E.; the widening [of] 2nd Street, S.E. between I and K Streets, S.E.; the widening of New Jersey Avenue north of Canal Street, S.E.; the opening of H Street, S.E. to connect to New Jersey Avenue, S.E.; the closure of Closing Canal Street (North), Canal Street (South), and a portion of First Street, S.E.; to accept the dedication and designation of Reservation 17-A and Lot 801, Square 737N for public street purposes; to authorize the improvement of the dedicated land for street purposes; to authorize modifications to the permanent system of highways in the District of Columbia; and to designate the dedicated streets as I Street, S.E. and H Street, S.E and New Jersey Avenue, S.E. in Ward 6." Whew! UPDATE: I should also note that the two Monument Realty requests (Square 700 and 701) are delegated agenda items at the Oct. 5 National Capital Planning Commission meeting.

1100 First Street Demolition
Sep 24, 2006 11:06 AM
Not a huge update, but with demolition having now brought down all the buildings on the 1100 First Street site, I added a few pictures of the new streetscape to the page.
More posts: Onyx, Square 743N

Latest Stadium Parking Stories
Sep 22, 2006 10:28 AM
Today's stadium links (posted without summaries, because watching everyone run around like chickens with their heads cut off, clutching their hearts with doom and gloom, has finally exceeded my Allowable Exasperation Level): DC Examiner has "Mayor: City Must Act Fast on Parking," and the Washington Times has "Stadium Parking Threatens Budget". I'd also remind everyone who is so terrified that if the garages site isn't developed immediately, the Ballpark District will be doomed to failure--it took, what, seven years for the Gallery Place project to be developed just north of the MCI/Verizon Center, and that seemed to turn out okay. The garages site is two blocks within a far larger area that is already well on it's way to being developed, the city is going to get plenty of tax revenue, if those two blocks take a few extra years to get figured out, I don't think the city will crumble. UPDATE, 9/23: A day later, here's the Post's latest parking story, "City's Plans for Stadium Now Focus on Parking." I'm not going to rehash all the garage arguments (you can read the article's rehash, including yet another misguided statement about how a lack of development on those two blocks "could delay the waterfront revival until well after the stadium opens"), but there's an interesting comment at the end: "Monument Vice President Russell Hines said his company would be willing to lease the garages [under the company's planned development one block north of the stadium site] to the city for ballpark parking in 2008 because the office buildings will not be completed until the next year. If the city's fee is high enough, Hines said, Monument might even be willing to delay construction of the offices. 'There may be a solution where we agree to delay completion of our buildings in order to provide parking until another parking solution is provided,' Hines said. 'There's no deal yet, but we're willing to talk.' "

Canal Park Stakeholders Meeting
Sep 21, 2006 9:12 PM
Just got back from the meeting about Canal Park held by the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation. The designers from Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd gave a presentation on the latest design and thought processes behind this three-block park planned for the center of Near Southeast, at 2nd Street between I and M. Much of the discussion centered around the park's Low-Impact Development design, which will capture and harvest rainwater for use throughout the site, and is being looked at as a model for this sort of development. The park will have larger-scale uses at it's south end, by M Street--a plaza with a seating area, and an amphitheater for events (the Marine Band has apparently expressed an interest in playing there)--then the park transitions to a smaller-scale feel as you move north, with water features dominating the second block and part of the third. A wooden boardwalk, under a canopy of shade trees, would run along the entire length of the park, on it's western side. They are also looking at ways to "connect" the Canal Park with Garfield Park 1 1/2 blocks to the north (separated by the lovely freeway underpass). I hope to get updated design graphics from them soon, and will post them as soon as I do, although they don't appear (to my untrained eye) to be radically different from what I have on the site now. As for a timeline (keeping in mind that all development project timelines should be taken with nine or 10 grains of salt), they are currently hoping to have the school buses removed from the site by the second quarter of 2007, and perhaps get the park open by Spring 2008.
More posts: Canal Park

Herb's Stadium Garages Deal Goes Kaput
Sep 20, 2006 6:55 PM
From WTOP: "Herb Miller's Western Development Corporation Baseball Partners rejected a deal from the city to develop parking and retail at the new stadium for the Washington Nationals. The move puts the city at risk of default on the stadium agreement with the Lerner Family. That agreement calls for the city to provide 1,225 parking spaces at the site by opening day in April of 2008. If the District is unable to provide that number of spaces, the Lerners could sue the city for damages. [...] Those options include creating surface parking around the stadium as an interim fix until more permanent parking can be developed. The D.C. Zoning Board has ruled the parking cannot preclude other development on the site, such as retail. " It appears that what they're now arguing about is how much Miller gets compensated for the deal falling through. More as I get it (and perhaps the Post will give us some clarity, this seems a bit jumbled). UPDATE: Here is the WashPost story, which doesn't tell us much that we haven't already heard. The article is a bit overwrought when it says "The dissolution of the Miller project could have far-reaching consequences on the entire baseball experience and the city's planned revival of the waterfront." -- after all, there are millions of square feet of office, residential, and retail projects planned for around the stadium, whether the Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness got built or not. Next step, trying to put 925 parking spaces on the northern edge of the stadium site by Opening Day 2008.

Capitol Quarter Pre-Registration Opens
Sep 19, 2006 11:29 PM
An e-mail has just gone out to folks who have registered previously at EYA's web site, announcing that the Capitol Quarter townhome project (on the site of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project) will open for a one-week preview period on Oct. 14, during which the sales office will be open, and plans and prices will be available, but no appointments, reservations, or contracts will be taken. To get in on the preview, you need to re-register with EYA (at a new URL, www.eyacapitolquarter.com/), even if you've registered in the past, so that they can ensure you're still interested and that they have your correct contact info. The approximately 121 market-rate townhomes will start in the $500s, but there are also 91 "workforce" units: "If your income is less than $72,642 for a household of one, $83,183 for a household of two, $93,533 for a household of three, or $103,883 for a household of four, you may be eligible for the workforce housing program. The base prices of the workforce homes are projected to range from $295,000 to $350,000." Reservations for the first batch of market-rate homes will be accepted starting on Oct. 21; there will be a separate schedule for the workforce units, and EYA willl be holding a homeownership and financing workshop for those qualifying for these units. Plans and prices should be posted on the EYA web site in early October. There will also be 65 additional townhomes comprising 111 affordable rental and Section 8 home ownership units mixed into the community. As I understand it, they are projecting that construction will begin sometime in Spring 2007. (UPDATED to add additional information, and fix some numbers.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

All Sorts of Upcoming Meetings
Sep 19, 2006 6:41 PM
In case you don't make it a habit to look at my Neighborhood Events Calendar halfway down the home page (boo!), I'm making mention of a few upcoming meetings: Sept. 20 has the Capitol Hill Restoration Society's Preservation Café, "Barracks Row Below the Freeway"; Sept. 21 has a Washington Canal Park Community Stakeholders Meeting; Sept. 28 has an Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting. See my calendar for times and places.

New Angle Added to Stadium Webcam
Sep 19, 2006 3:37 PM
If you're an obsessive viewer of Clark/Hunt/Smoot's Stadium Construction Webcam, you already know this, but for you folks who don't check it every fifteen minutes, I'm passing along the news that they've added a second camera angle, now looking from the north of the stadium site. (It appears to have been set up on the roof of 20 M Street.)
More posts: Nationals Park

Florida Rock's Zoning Commission Hearing/WASA Site News
Sep 19, 2006 1:02 PM

The Florida Rock mixed-use project had a second-stage PUD hearing at the DC Zoning Commission on Monday night; I missed the first 90 minutes, so I can't really give you a solid feel for how it all went; I did detect a fair amount of concern about the easternmost building of the project, an office building (now redesigned to include three floors of retail) at the terminus of First Street, specifically how it impacts the views of the river from the "grand staircase" of the ballpark. There were also still apparently some issues to be resolved with DDOT, the Office of Planning, and the AWC's new plan for a 39,000-sq-ft plaza at the foot of First Street. The Florida Rock folks will be back in front of the Commission in November to address the concerns brought forward. One interesting tidbit did sneak in during Adrian Washington's testimony--he said that the plans for the Ballpark District portion of the WASA site (AWC and Forest City are still in negotiations to acquire the land) is for it to be all residential, perhaps as many as 800 units. If that Ballpark Development Strategy ever sees the light of day, we'll get more details, I'm sure.

New M Street Map, Lots of Photos
Sep 19, 2006 12:12 AM

With construction getting under way at 100 M Street, the "Main Street" of Near Southeast is seeing yet another transformation. Since 1999, six office buildings have gotten underway in the short stretch between South Capitol and 4th streets. So I've (of course) added a new map to my M Street Overview page, detailing what's where and what's coming. And I've added a bunch of new photos as well.

More posts: M Street

70/100 I Photos
Sep 18, 2006 11:20 PM
I've added some new photos of the now-cleared 70/100 I Street construction site. The buildings that were on the site were demolished back in April, but the site wasn't truly cleared of foundations, trees, etc., until last week.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

100 M Demolition Photos
Sep 18, 2006 12:51 AM
Thanks to the reappearance of the sun, I was able to take a pile of photos this weekend. It'll take me a bit to get them onto the site, so for now here's pictures of the results of the demolition at the 100 M Street site, which took down the On Luck Cafeteria, the Zohery Bus Tours garage, and some long-abandoned brick townhomes. Demolition will continue this week on that site, to clear the 1100 First Street portion of the block.
More posts: 100 M, Onyx, Square 743N
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