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2 Blog Posts Since 2003

It has taken me much longer to clear the post-surgical cobwebs from my brain than I expected, so don't have many expectations for this post. I just hope it's in English. (But the hip repairs--NOT REPLACEMENT!--went well, and I should start getting off of crutches soon.)
* SPRINT STORE: I have said for years that no new neighborhood has truly arrived until it gets its first cellphone retailer, and I would not have guessed it would take until 2018 for that box to get checked, but numerous approved building permits indicate that Sprint will be opening a store in the old Sizzlin' Express space on the northwest corner of 4th and M.
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE GROUNDBREAKING: As if to taunt me after 15 years of watching and waiting, the Feb. 13 ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Douglass Bridge and associated first-phase improvements to the South Capitol Street Corridor was held while I was very much horizontal and hopped up on goofballs. But since it's right on our DMZ line, SWill was there and took some photos. Estimated completion date is 2021. (Speaking of SWill, he is the one to read for coverage of Buzzard Point, since that is outside my purview.)
* TUNNEL DOINGS: The last section of wall on the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel was poured on Feb. 22. an effort that overall totaled three miles of 24-foot-tall concrete. Meanwhile, 3rd Street should be reopening to two-way traffic Any Minute Now, which then paves the way (sorry) for both the 4th and 5th Street intersections to close, probably in mid-March, to dismantle the temporary bridge decks and complete the new tunnel's roof in those blocks, and wrap up the final street restoration. And no, the 6th Street exit ramp from the freeway won't close. The entire project is "on time," for completion this fall, according to CSX.
* ANOTHER PROJECT READY TO GO: A shoring/sheeting/excavation permit has been approved for the second phase of the "Riverfront" project, aka the Florida Rock site. This will be a 13-story, 260ish-unit residential building with about 12,000 square feet of retail, and will go up immediately to the west of Dock 79. When I'm a little more mobile I'll write a roundup of what's currently underway.
* WINERY HAPPY HOUR: If you don't have a supply of post-surgical painkillers like some people, there's now a Happy Hour at District Winery, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday, with $8 signature cocktails and select wines, $5 select beers, and 50 percent of District Winery wines by the bottle.
There's probably more, but this wore me out. Hey, it's a start.

With the 305-unit Dock 79 apartment building very close to completion, the developers of the site on the Anacostia River that us oldsters still refer to as Florida Rock have now filed with the Zoning Commission their plans* for the project's next phase, a 130-foot-tall 253-unit residential building with 12,500 square feet of retail at 71 Potomac Avenue.
There will be at least two levels of underground parking, with a third level being pondered "given the parking demands of [Nationals Park] and the pending soccer stadium." And although the building is not covered by the city's Inclusionary Zoning laws, the filing says that eight percent of the units will be set aside for households with incomes up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
The construction of this building will also bring the completion of "Florida Rock Alley," running between 71 Potomac and Dock 79 and providing another route for pedestrians to move between Potomac Avenue and the waterfront along with the access to parking and loading for both buildings. The waterfront Esplanade will also be extended along 71 Potomac's frontage.
The 12,500 square feet of retail is an increase the previously approved 5,600 square feet. In the filing statement, developers Florida Rock Properties and MRP Realty mention that "based on the success in leasing retail space in Dock 79, the Applicant is confident that there is a retail market along Potomac Avenue," and that "the desire for retailers to locate in this area has only increased" since the previous plans were approved in 2013.
The site plans are very helpful to not only understand where this Phase 2 building at 71 Potomac will be, but how the eventual third and fourth phases are dependent on the construction of the new Douglass Bridge and its accompanying traffic oval, and the demolition of the existing bridge. (The filing mentions DDOT's current estimated schedule of a notice to proceed on the new bridge in 2017 and completion in 2020, but We Shall See.)
There are a slew of renderings in the zoning packet, which of course I'm snagging (we'll call it a one-for-one exchange for all of the photos of mine they used in the site overview portion of the package!).
These plans will require ANC presentations and a vote and zoning hearings and building permits and financing, so don't pack your bags just yet.
*For those to whom such things matter, this is a second-stage PUD filing.
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