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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: September 2007
In the Pipeline
Homewood Suites Hotel
1111 New Jersey
Yards/Parcel A
1244 South Capitol
Florida Rock
Ballpark Square
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
New Barracks
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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56 Blog Posts
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For you Ward 6 residents, council member Tommy Wells has put out a newsletter detailing some of the highlights of his first months in office. To keep up with all the news from Tommy Land, you can also read his blog.
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The Post's Courtland Milloy joins the legions of area residents thinking "Wouldn't it be nice to get to the stadium by water taxi?" As I've written in the past, various AWC-related documents have mentioned the desire to build a water taxi or ferry pier at the foot of First Street, at what will be Diamond Teague Park (next to the old Capitol Pumphouse), but no word has been made public on the current status of these plans.


If you're looking for the big project directory on the home page, I've moved it to make it both more and less prominent at the same time--you'll now see the tabs for Residential, Office, Recreation/Retail/Hotel, and Infrastructure right near the top of the page, just above the map of Near Southeast. Click the tabs, and the lists of completed, under construction, and in-the-pipeline projects will appear. I thought it was better to have these displayed with the map, rather than further down the page, since it's just a different way of displaying the information that's on the map.
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The agendas for Thursday's various WMATA committee meetings are now posted, and the sole item on the Planning, Development, and Real Estate agenda is the requested approval of a plan to reassign the 106 buses currently serviced at the Southeastern Bus Garage at Half and M to the various other WMATA garages around the area, at a cost of $9.5 million over the next few years. (It is anticipated that the new garage at DC Village will open in late 2010.) If the board does not approve the reassignment plan, the alternate plan would be to create a temporary facility or to remain at Half and M, options that would cost anywhere from $16 million to $31 million through 2010; the WMATA staff recommendation is to reassign the buses. The agenda packet gives much more background.
After this, the committee will go into executive session to discuss the sale of the Half and M garage; the bids were supposed to have been unsealed on Aug. 28 but no details have leaked out as of yet. And it's possible that we may have to wait until the Sept. 27 meeting of the full WMATA board to find out who won the bidding. (Or even later than that--some of the documents related to this Thursday's meeting indicate that the full board may not be moving on the approval of the garage sale until December.)

Last night a request to close the alley that runs between I and K streets parallel to Half and First on Square 696 was on the ANC 6D agenda. But first there was three-and-a-half hours of discussion and debate on various Southwest issues, including the Randall School, Waterside Mall, the Nassif Building, and more--at least, I think that's what they were talking about, because the acoustics at St. Augustine's Church are so horrendous that everyone could have been describing their summer vacations for all I know.
Finally, at about 10:30, representatives of DRI Development and architect HOK gave a brief summary of their plans for the block, which are still very much in the early stages, but were described as "something other than your standard box." The plans show three office buildings (not four, as we've heard up to now) all with ground-floor retail, connected by a "galleria"-type lobby in the center. There would also be an 8,000-sq-ft public plaza opening up to K Street, to give open space to not only the office workers but also the residents of the four buildings surrounding Square 696.
As part of the alley closing request, DRI and its development partner Jamestown Properties are offering a $100,000 payment to the Near Southeast/Southwest community fund, a promise that the building will be LEED certified (a vegetated roof is part of the plans), and the 8,000-sq-ft open space of the plaza to replace the 8,000-sq-ft of "public space" being lost by the alley closing.
The ANC commissioners were quite pleased with what they heard, congratulating the developers on working with the commission on the benefits package before presenting their alley closing request. Commissioner McBee suggested that perhaps some public art could be included at the plaza, as well as public wifi. The final vote was 6-1 in favor of the project, with only Commissioner Skolnik opposing.
DRI was kind enough to pass along the preliminary site plan, which I've added to my Square 696 page. The alley closing request will now wind its way through the city council.

I've updated my Upcoming Events Calendar with the lineup of activities for September at the Navy Yard's Naval Historical Center.
More posts: Navy Yard

The District Department of Transporation recently added 25 more images to its online Historical Photo Archives from locations throughout the city, including two dandy Near Southeast shots. One is from 1949, showing M Street at about 10th Street, looking east (before the 11th Street Bridge flyovers were built). The other is of South Capitol Street, just south of N, looking south toward what was at that point the new Douglass Bridge, circa 1957. (Amazingly, it was taken from almost the exact same spot that I've been using for my South-Cap-south-of-N photos since 2005--it looks a little different now.) There's a couple buildings in the 1957 photo that are still in existence today, although one of them will be demolished soon to make way for 1325 South Capitol Street. But I'm surprised to see that the U-Haul building at P Street was once a Lansburgh's department store (you can click on the photos on the DDOT site for high-res versions, which allow you to see the detail of the buildings much better).
Needless to say, I've added these shots to my Near Southeast Historic Photos page (in chronological order); hopefully DDOT will post some more gems as time goes on.

My attention to detail appears to be suffering a deficit lately, because while I've shot and posted plenty of photos of the 100 M Street site over the past few weeks, many of which included the spiffy artwork above the pedestrian walkway, I neglected to actually read the spiffy artwork above the pedestrian walkway. Displayed there for all (but me) to see is a new URL for the project, It's not terribly exciting, just one page that then links to developer Opus East and to leasing agent CB Richard Ellis, but I was still remiss in not mentioning it sooner. Perhaps it's time for that new glasses prescription....
More posts: 100 M, Square 743N

Here's the weekly Ballpark Update from the Post--note the date for the installation of the turf. "Several projects are moving quickly at the new Nationals' ballpark. Large plastic piping for drainage under the playing surface is being laid and connected, with very fine gravel spread to cover the piping and provide the base for the natural grass -- which is supposed to be installed on or around Nov. 1. Special 'foul ball-resistant' panels are being installed in the press box. Concrete field walls down the third base line are being installed. Most of the concrete where the seats behind home plate will sit has been poured, and there is even some painting and drywall work under way in places such as the locker rooms."
More posts: Nationals Park

With the August recess over, the city council is swinging back into action, and there's a number of Near Southeast-related hearings scheduled over the next few weeks. The most interesting one is a Committee on Economic Development public oversight hearing on "Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Transition of Projects on the Southwest Waterfront, Hill East, Poplar Point, Canal Park, and Kingman Island", scheduled for Oct. 1 at noon. The progress of Canal Park (or lack thereof) continues to be of great interest to Near Southeast residents, and perhaps by the time of this hearing there will be some movement on getting the school buses relocated. There's rumors afoot that the buses could be moved to a temporary lot once a long-term home is secured--and apparently there may soon be a contract before the city council approving a new permanent lot in Prince George's County.
Other council hearings over the next few weeks that touch on Near Southeast issues include a Sept. 26 Committee on Finance and Revenue public hearing on B17-0292, "Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Public Improvements Revenue Bonds Approval Amendment Act of 2007" and a Sept. 24 Commitee on Economic Development public hearing on B17-0340, "National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Clarification Act of 2007".
There's also a Sept. 20 Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary public oversight roundtable on "Capital Projects and Space Needs for Public Safety Agencies," which I'm guessing may touch on the plans for a new home for the Metropolitan Police Department and whether the move to the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Ave. is indeed called off--you may recall that one day after the Office of Property Management said that the move was canceled, the Post reported that that the mayor was saying he had made no decision one way or the other.
See my Upcoming Events Calendar for times and locations. Some of these may be available on DC Cable 13 and live webcast.
(Also, as an aside, the ANC 6D agenda for Monday night's meeting is now online.)


Having decided that overhead views of Near Southeast from the ballpark and the Southeast Freeway over the past few days weren't enough, I've also now added a bunch of updated overheads from a vantage point at the Courtyard by Marriott, focusing on the many construction projects west of New Jersey Avenue. You can browse these new photos, or see the ones displayed with previous shots from the same location (scroll down a bit) to watch the changes since March of last year. (Hint: old buildings, followed by empty lots where old buildings used to be, followed by holes in the ground, followed by new buildings going up.)


Southwest is of course a bit off my beaten path, but it's quiet here in Near Southeast today, so I'll pass these tidbits along.
* There will be a community forum on the plans for the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront, presented by Hoffman-Struever Waterfront LLC and the District of Columbia, on Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Southeastern University, 501 I Street SW.
* Word was sent out earlier this week that the old Waterside Mall building at 4th and M streets, SW, will close as of Sept. 8, now that both CVS and Bank of America have moved to trailers out front. For more about the schedule of demolition and construction, read this entry at Tommy Wells's blog.
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ANC 6D (covering Southwest and Near Southeast) will have its monthly meeting on Sept. 10, and the draft agenda (now posted online) includes a request to support the closing of the alley that bisects Square 696 (bounded by Half, I, K, and First) as a first step in DRI Development's plans to redevelop the entire block. As I posted here, DRI and development partner Jamestown Properties are planning a four-building office and retail project, to be constructed in four phases, starting in 2008 and ending in 2012 or later.
Non-Near Southeast agenda items include a discussion of the plans for the old Randall School at Half and I, an update on the plans for the Nassif building where the US Department of Transportation used to live, and a discussion of the apparent resolution between community members and the developers of the old Waterside Mall of the massing of the building facades facing M Street SW. The meeting is at St. Augustine's Church, 6th and M streets, SW, at 7 pm.


Following up on the official press release sent out yesterday, the Examiner writes about concession company Centerplate being named to handle the food at the new Nationals ballpark. (This was reported by the Post last week and WBJ a few days before that.)

More posts: Nationals Park

After getting all those purty stadium interior photos and shots of the surrounding skyline on Saturday, I ventured out Sunday morning to do my usual rounds, and so have posted some updated pictures of 100 M, 70/100 I, and Onyx, along with new shots from the Southeast Freeway showing how much that view is changing (again) as these projects progress. (Here's all the images from yesterday on one page, if you prefer.)
But when I started down First Street south of N to get my usual shots of the stadium's exterior, I was thwarted by guards informing me that access along First (and, by proxy, Potomac Avenue) is now restricted to construction vehicles and workers only. I protested somewhat vigorously--after all, there are still fences around the stadium on that side, and the signs say "Local Traffic Only" and not "Road Closed"--but I lost.
I'll still manage to get photos of the ballpark's south and east side eventually, and really at this point the eye-catching part of the construction on those sides is slowing, so a more leisurely schedule of updates of those pictures will not be catastrophic. (Plus I can always set up my zoom lens at Poplar Point and the Douglass Bridge. That'll show 'em!)
I did take this roadblock as an opportunity to rejigger my Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery page a bit, breaking up the old let's-walk-around-the-perimeter format by bringing the showier shots from all vantage points to the top. You'll see a few new photos from along N Street taken yesterday, but I was too cranky from my run-in with The Man to get new shots from South Capitol. Grrrr.

I got a stem-to-stern tour of the ballpark yesterday, and the glorious weather made from some pretty striking photos. So I've done a complete update of my Stadium Interior Construction Gallery, with views from the press box, the two ramp/viewing platforms, and lots of other locations around the ballpark. I also created some stitched-together collages of a few views, and while the small versions are on the gallery page, I've also posted somewhat larger versions on a Stadium Panoramas page, in case you want to inspect the photos more closely. Even if you're not all that interested in the stadium, I suggest taking a look at these two pages, because you'll see some pretty neat shots that show the views that stadium goers will have of the entire city from the ballpark's various vantage points.
UPDATE: In fact, I liked the skyline views so much I picked a bunch of additional ones and added them to my Overhead Photo Browser. Check it out for views of the river, the ever-changing Near Southeast skyline, Southwest, and the new South Capitol Street.
More posts: Nationals Park
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