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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Homewood Suites
See JDLand's Homewood Suites Project Page
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Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
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66 Blog Posts Since 2003
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The output of the current official JDLand camera (an eight-year-old Canon 50D with a Sigma 18-200 lens) has been a bit less sharp of late (like me!), and given that the shutter has fired more than 110,000 times since 2008, I have been figuring it's probably time for a new camera. But since I knew I'd also want a new lens as well, I decided to buy that first and see if maybe the far cheaper component was the problem. I finally got the chance to take the new lens for a workout on Sunday, and the ruling after looking at the 730 photos I took is: I need a new camera. (Will probably be the 80D.)
All of that is just a time-wasting intro to a roundup of the progress photos I took.
Dock 79 is getting pretty close to the finish line, with the sidewalk along Potomac Avenue now open and work proceeding on the open plaza to its east. (Yes, those are sculptures.) There's also emerging placeholding signage for The Salt Line in advance of its 2017 opening.
ORE 82 now has some completed balconies overlooking New Jersey Avenue and I Street, but mainly I just wanted the excuse to post my rather striking shot (below left). And speaking of red buildings, the Homewood Suites at 50 M is making steady progress as well.
The walls of windows at 909 Half Street are making for some interesting reflections, not only from the reflected bright blue sky but from the patterns of recesses and bump-outs, as well as the windows that are left open to presumably give the poor workers a little air.
If you stand at New Jersey and M, you can get good views of Insignia on M to your north and the F1rst apartment/Residence Inn hotel project to your west.
Then we have the even newer neighbors, the ones who we can't quite see just yet, although the 1244 South Capitol apartment building now has one floor above ground level. (I admit, this is one I am looking forward to watching rise up.) Then there's the office building at 99 M, which seems to be slooooowly getting ready for vertical construction, though a peek down in the hole indicates that a skeleton is still some weeks away.
I also took photos of the Bixby, but nothing much is changing on the outside there. And I only took morning-light photos, which means I don't have any good ones of Agora, unless you like looking at its backside. (So to speak.)
Then there's Parcel O at the Yards, where one condo and one apartment building are to be built. Fences are up, and there is some infrastructure work going on along with breaking up the concrete pad that the trapeze school stood on until last year. I believe the shoring, sheeting, and excavation permit is approved, but whether the true Digging of the Dirt is underway, well, We Shall See.
There are more new photos than just the ones above--follow the links for additional shots, plus I've also updated a bunch of before-and-after sliders. And maybe soon I'll get out in the afternoon light to get photos of the western side of all of these projects--with a new camera!
(If you're thinking that these photos don't look that blurry, it's really more on the edges of the shots where the problem lies, plus I do some sharpening of all photos after I size them down for posting.)
 

The apartment projects F1rst and the as-yet-unnamed building at 909 Half aren't even waiting to be topped out before starting to put their faces on:
There's also now plenty of windows on the Homewood Suites at 50 M, where there is clearly No Time To Lose if they are going to make that October 2016 opening date on the signage. And I bet there will be some windows on Insignia on M before too much longer.
I've also posted updated photos of Agora, ORE 82, the Bixby, and Dock 79, in addition to new shots at the links above.
And there's lots of Slider updates, too, a few of which are previewed below.
 

You may have noticed that it's cold.
But I managed earlier this week to squeeze in an abbreviated trek to the construction sites where recent change is the most visible. And, I have to say, by the time folks arrive in the neighborhood for Opening Day, it's just going to be a vastly different place than it was at the end of last season, even if these buildings are still quite a few months from completion.
The first shot is of the 277-unit apartment building at 82 I Street (now called ORE 82, I believe), where masonry work is speeding right along, and making that stretch of I quite the Red Brick Row.
Next, we move a few blocks to south of M Street, where the combination F1rst apartment building/Residence Inn construction is about to put an end to the Hampton Inn Grain Silo effect, illustrated here with a heavily cropped shot taken from a block away, at New Jersey and M. I'm also including an up-close shot of the spot where the apartment building and hotel converge, because the renderings haven't been all that clear in showing that there is a break above the ground floor between the two:
Next, let's take a moment to highlight the fact that Donohoe's Insignia on M 324-unit apartment building is at last truly above ground and visible, nearly a year and a half after excavation started. Here's the project as seen looking south along New Jersey from L, and looking at its M Street frontage behind the Metro station canopy:
In the Wait, Where Did That Come From All of a Sudden? category, we have the Homewood Suites at Half and M, with nine of its eleven stories almost completed, while three blocks to its north, the as-yet-unnamed 383-unit apartment project at 909 Half Street is starting to display exactly how large of a building it will be.
Finally, on the northern end of things, I'll offer a rear view of Agora, seen from 2nd Street and offering clear evidence of how the parking for the Whole Foods will be on the two floors immediately above it. (This photo is also my choice because winter sun angle and shadows make it almost impossible to get a decent shot of the New Jersey Avenue side of the building right now.) And then to wrap things up, I'll give you one hole in the ground, at Skanska's 99 M office building.
I also managed to update the before-and-after "sliders" for these locations and a few others, if you are as big a fan of those doohickeys as I am.
That's all I've got, so you'll just have to conjure up visions of the latest progress at Dock 79, Arris, the Bixby, the Capper Community Center, and 1244 South Capitol. Or go take a walk around the neighborhood yourself--just be sure to bundle up.
 

This week I've looked at the buildings that are far along in their construction, and I've looked at the newest topped-off project, and I've even mentioned the project that is just about to start digging, so what's left? A mere seven projects that are in their vertical construction phase, at various levels of out-of-the-ground.
We'll start with 801 New Jersey/82 I (above/left), now a smidge more than halfway toward its eventual 13-story height. This is the Graystar/RCP 227-unit apartment building that is expected to open in 2016.
Just up the block is 800 New Jersey, aka the Whole Foods building, which looks just barely out of the ground from New Jersey (below left), but if you venture up 2nd Street (below right) you can see evidence of the ramp for the grocery store parking that will be on the second and third floor. (Resident parking will be below ground, shared with its sibling the Park Chelsea and the eventual third residential building along the east side of the block.) This building will have about 336 rental units:

Two projects have at least some hint of their first floors built: the 380-unit building at 909 Half Street will be a lot larger than this small section of construction at Half and I makes it look like at the moment (below left), while the Homewood Suites at Half and M really does also have a portion of its first floor built, though the nasty late fall shadows make it hard to see.
Next up are three projects that are technically out of the ground, although it's just rebar breaking the plane at the moment, but concrete shouldn't be far behind. Behold terribly unexciting pictures of the status of the F1rst residential project and the Residence Inn immediately to its north, plus the Gallery at Capitol Riverfront/1111 New Jersey.
But if you like photos of holes being dug, you're still in luck. There's now clear evidence of the excavation work at Skanska's 99 M office building project, and while nothing will ever really arise from the cut-and-cover work on the new portion of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel (seen here looking west from 5th Street) it's still digging.
In the midst of all of these updates over the past few days, I did some redevelopment of my own, and finally created individual pages for the Square 701/Not-Ballpark-Square trio of projects, so now you can check out the progress on the Hampton Inn, F1rst/Residence Inn, and 99 M in a less jumbled format.
 

There's a milestone of sorts right now in the Holes report, as the current lineup of excavations for six developments-to-be are all now in the vertical construction phase. (The seventh technically-underway project, Skanska's spec office building at 99 M Street, does not appear to have broken ground, either ceremonially or literally.)
The longest serving member of the holes lineup, 800 New Jersey (aka the Whole Foods Building) continues its slow (did I mention slow?) progress toward reaching ground level on its western side, having hit that milestone on its eastern edge a number of months ago. Meanwhile, the list's first runner-up, 1111 New Jersey (which I suppose someday I'll have to start calling The Gallery at Capitol Riverfront) is pouring concrete and rebar-ing at last. (Do not underestimate the intricacies of excavation and construction near a Metro station.) Here's 800 and 1100, both captured a few days ago:
Then there's the as-yet-unrendering'ed residential project at 909 Half Street, as well as the hole that will sprout both the Residence Inn hotel and F1rst apartment building along 1st Street south of M, all of which were started within weeks of each other in the spring and none of which are small:
Lastly there's the Homewood Suites project at 50 M Street, which despite only going down about two floors has lagged behind its spring cohorts, but which now has a partial concrete floor and some columns, though with a dirt floor still partially in evidence. (See my previous comment about the intricacies of excavation and construction near a Metro station.)
Given how I am getting jolted by the skyline changes from a mere two new skeletons (at Florida Rock and 801 New Jersey), imagine the joltings that are on tap for 2016 as these additional projects rise out of the ground. The image below may help prepare you (and me), with my having marked the locations where the view is going to change.... (UPDATE: Dang it, I had the F1rst and Residence Inn locations swapped. The image is correct now.)
 

After struggling to point my camera over the tops of multiple construction fences this weekend (at least I don't walk around with a stepladder, because THEN I'd be a crazy person), I can report that two projects are on the cusp of graduating from the Holes in the Ground report: Greystar's 227-unit apartment building at the corner of New Jersey and I (below left), and WC Smith's 330-unit residential building/Whole Foods project at 800 New Jersey (below right). Neither of them are 100 percent above-ground, but both now have some smidgens of rebar breaking the plane, as it were:
In the meantime, vertical construction is underway at the bottom of three of the neighborhood's other four holes in the ground, starting from below left with the 909 Half Mystery Residential Building, the joint Residence Inn/F1rst residential project on 1st Street, and at the Gallery at Capitol Riverfront residential building at New Jersey and M. The Homewood Suites at 50 M hasn't hit bottom yet (so to speak), but its crane is now up.
But is there about to be a new entry in the Holes in the Ground lineup? More on that soon!
 

With Florida Rock/Dock 79 having graduated from the lineup, the neighborhood now has "only" six holes in the ground, representing five residential projects and two hotels.
Photographic evidence obtained through cyclone fences shows that 800 New Jersey (at right), aka the building that's going to have a Whole Foods in the ground floor, is currently looking like it will be the next development to arrive at ground level, now a little over a year after excavation began.
The other five sites have at least partially gotten to the lowest part of their excavations, and cranes have sprouted at four of them.
From left, in order of time spent shoring and sheeting and excavating: 1111 New Jersey, 801 New Jersey, 909 Half, the Homewood Suites at 50 M, and the Residence Inn/F1rst hotel/residential project at 1st and M:
Which one will make it to ground level next? (Please, no wagering.)
 

"Honey, what do you want to do when you grow up?"
"I want to peek through construction fences to take pictures of huge holes in the ground!"
While I'm pretty sure this wasn't on my childhood list of aspirations, I'll still present to you the latest JDLand State of the Dirt report.
From oldest hole to newest hole, we have residential projects 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods*, Florida Rock/Riverfront, 1111 New Jersey/Galley at Capitol Riverfront, 909 Half, and 82 I, then the Homewood Suites at 50 M, and finally the F1rst/First residential and Residence Inn combo.
* If you are wondering about the new one-story structure at the far left of the above photo that has popped alongside the Park Chelsea and the 800 NJ excavation, which you can, it is the "covered vehicle court" that will serve the garage and loading docks for these two projects and the eventual third building on the block.
(Click to enlarge, as always)
If you wish for more context with any of these photos, follow the links up top to go to the project pages.
 

The second week in March started off pretty notably in Near Southeast:
First, the one that's probably of most interest, the arrival of Bonchon's signage, now hung outside of its space on the southwest corner of Half and K, inside 1015 Half Street.
I peeked in the door, and it appears to still be a few good weeks from opening, which would seem to jibe with the "early April" target date that the restaurant posted on its Facebook page back in February. So everyone will just have to look at these signs and dream for a little while longer.
One block to the south, fences and equipment arrived at the parking lot on the northeast corner of Half and M, and this morning ground was being broken (for real, not ceremonially!) for what will become a 195-room Homewood Suites.
This will be another addition to the neighborhood's burgeoning lineup of hotels, with the long-established Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L about to be joined by the under-construction 168-room Hampton Inn at 1st and N, plus eventually also the as-yet-unnamed brand in the as-yet-unnamed Ballpark Square project.
Speaking of which.... Fences went up Monday afternoon around the sidewalk on the west side of 1st Street south of M, generally along the boundary of the residential and hotel portion of the Grosvenor/McCaffery project currently referred to as Ballpark Square. No heavy equipment has arrived, and as I mentioned recently there's plans for a ceremonial groundbreaking in coming weeks, but fencing off the public sidewalk would seem to be a bit of a "tell."
This project will have a 285-unit apartment building alongside the 180-room hotel, and 45,000 square feet of retail that will stretch across these two buildings, the Skanska 99 M office building at the corner of 1st and M that is also expected to get started Any Minute Now, and a separate two-story retail building at 1st and N.
And, just to emphasize how many new projects have gotten underway in the past few weeks, here's official documentation (finally) of the work underway at residential projects 909 Half (left) and 82 I (right), which together will add another 615ish units to the neighborhood inventory when they open.
Having a hard time keeping all of this straight? Check out my refreshed-for-2015 What's New in the Neighborhood Since Last Season page, with handy maps of the restaurants that have opened or are coming soon, the new lineup of project plans just north of Nats Park, and the 10 (TEN!) residential projects currently under construction or starting momentarily. Be prepared for a lot of blocked sidewalks and a lot of construction vehicles on your way to the ballpark this year....
 

* HOMEWOOD SUITES: The planned 195-room Homewood Suites hotel on the northeast corner of Half and M streets SE now has an approved shoring/sheeting/excavation permit, which means they can start digging whenever the mood strikes. (Foundation and above-grade permits are still in process.) Now the question is, which project with okayed excavation permits will get in the ground first--Homewood or Ballpark Square (which has its own 170-room hotel with an as-yet-unnamed operator, alongside a 325-unit residential building)?
* FITNESS FAIR: On Wednesday, Jan. 28, VIDA Fitness will be hosting a free "Fitness Fair" from 5 to 7 pm at all six of its locations, including Tingey Street, with information about the programs and classes available as well as "complimentary fitness consultations, health screenings and nutritional counseling."
* 1244 SOUTH CAPITOL: I have been remiss in not mentioning sooner that JBG's designs for a 290-unit residential building on the northeast corner of South Capitol and N received a 5-0 final action vote from the Zoning Commission earlier this month. The building, just north of Nats Parking Lot B on the old BP Amoco site, will also have 26,000 square feet of retail. Next step: the building permit gauntlet.
* SOUTH CAPITOL STREET MEETING: I didn't make it to last week's meeting on the latest plans for the new Douglass Bridge and other South Capitol Street improvements, but here are the presentation slides and display boards.
* MONTADITOS'ED: Mr. JDLand is within striking distance of completing his quest to eat all of the sandwich offerings on the 100 Montaditos menu. (You really have to admire the man's commitment.) It's looking like Thursday (Jan. 29) at lunchtime may be when he crosses the finish line, if anyone wants to be there with me to toast his accomplishment. I'll update with actual times here and on Twitter. (And yes, the blog about the quest is only at #45.)
 
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