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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: 800 NJ/Whole Foods
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19 Blog Posts Since 2003
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So, we've got the Lofts at Capitol Quarter becoming the Bixby (perhaps), and 1111 New Jersey ditching "Gallery at Capitol Riverfront" for "Insignia on M." Time to fill out the lineup by finally getting around to mentioning that the 336-unit residential building currently under construction at 800 New Jersey is going to be named:
This is the project better known as "The Whole Foods Building," on the north end of New Jersey Avenue just south of the Southeast Freeway and immediately to the north of the Park Chelsea. It's the second of three planned apartment buildings by WC Smith on the block bounded by New Jersey, 2nd, H (to come), and I (to come).
Construction started in June of 2014, and is now just coming out of the ground, while residents for many blocks in all directions tap their toes waiting only somewhat patiently for the 36,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market that is signed for the first floor.
I cannot in any way lay claim to being the fast out of the gate in mentioning this Agora news, since it was in a BID newsletter back in July. I meant to mention it sooner, but I also thought that at some point WC Smith would unveil it. Also, it was July. It was hot. I was tired.
As for what "Agora" means, Wikipedia says in its entry on the ancient Greek marketplace of that name that "the literal meaning of the word is 'gathering place' or 'assembly.' The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual, and political life of the city." (There's a few other Agora entries as well, including a very early "email" browser.)
I doubt this is the end of the naming dance, either, since you have to figure there will be "real" names for 909 Half and 82 I/801 New Jersey and 1244 South Capitol.
I have, however, updated my maps and project pages with all these new names.
(I should also note that this Agora shouldn't be confused with this Agora.)
Comments (11)
More posts: 800 NJ/Whole Foods, Development News

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.)

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.

I would not want anyone to think I am not providing the news that is of utmost interest and importance, so please study the photo at right (click to enlarge) to confirm with your own lying eyes that work is now underway on the concrete slab at the bottom of the 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods hole. In other words, there's nowhere to go but up now.
You'll still have to wait until at least 2017 to get your quinoa, but this summer the view into the neighborhood from the freeway should be changing yet again.
This has been a JDLand Special Report. We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.
Comments (15)
More posts: 800 NJ/Whole Foods, wholefoods

Worn out from all these photo updates? Imagine how I feel. But I start getting the shakes if I don't at least touch on the status of each project currently underway, and having given the latest from Florida Rock and Arris and the Lofts at CQ, I need to run through the rest of them. It's a sickness.
Let's start with the holes in the ground. First are the two newest ones, with the initial hints of the foundation at the Capper Community Center Building House (left), and the more substantial digging underway at the 1111 New Jersey/Gallery at Capitol Riverfront apartment building.
Meanwhile, up at 800 New Jersey, the hole, it is deep. (And, as an aside, this poor project desperately needs a name, other than "that building that's going to have the Whole Foods." Even the signage looks a little forlorn.)
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the three topped-out buildings in various stages: at left is the Hampton Inn, which just reached this milestone within the past few weeks, then there's the Park Chelsea residential building, which may someday see the completion of its exterior masonry work, and finally the Parc Riverside apartment building, which is probably about to graduate out of my project updates given that the first units are expected to open in December.

I fear I am going to be run ragged by the scope of construction 'round these parts over the next few years. Fitbit tells me I took about 15,000 steps across two outings to snag this slew of photos, and I still didn't quite get everything I wanted. But let's see what's going on. (As always, click on any image to enlarge it, and then page through the slideshow of all of them).
At 1015 Half Street, the new CBS Radio space along L Street is moving along, with a ticker now hung on the building (below left) and the ground-floor studio space being built out (below right).
There's four holes in the ground in various stages of construction, though alas I missed getting pictures of the Arris apartment building at the Yards, which has reached ground level and so should be starting the showy part of its progress within the next few weeks. The Lofts at Capitol Quarter are about at ground level on the east end of their not-at-all-level footprint at 7th and L (left), while digging down down down continues at 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods (right). (The third one, the new 1111 New Jersey apartment project, isn't all that much of a hole just yet.)
(Speaking of 800 New Jersey, I noticed that the rebuilt-but-not-open H Street has had its asphalt laid and is now a good nine inches or more higher than where it meets 2nd Street. Preparation for that intersection and Virginia Avenue to be bumped up with the construction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel?)
Getting close to topping out is the Hampton Inn at 1st and N (left). And, apropos of nothing (but needed here for layout purposes), a photo of the signage for the Subway Café at 20 M Street, which sounds to not be too long from opening.
And wrapping up the tour, here are the two buildings nearest to completion, the Parc Riverside at 1st and K (left) and the Park Chelsea on New Jersey Avenue (right), seen from one block to the south because it's So Freaking Big.
Now, everyone chime in and tell me what I missed.
If you want more photos of these projects (and who wouldn't?), just follow the links to the project pages.

Having gotten out of the way the vertical construction going on behind neighborhood fences, we can now move on to the "clearing" portion of this fence survey.
The roof of Nats Parking Garage C gives a great view of Yards Parcel A, and how far the site clearing has come along since the final days of Spooky Building 213.
Next up will be the creation of a park on the far end of the site, a parking lot in the corner closest to this intersection, and the new home for Trapeze School New York at far right. (Here's a map if that's too many words.)

Meanwhile, along New Jersey Avenue....
(Left) This isn't my best work, but you can compare the rubble in this photo to the lush grass-covered hill that used to run along New Jersey Avenue between L and M. All this dirt is being moved to build the 324-unit Gallery at Capitol Riverfront residential building, aka 1111 New Jersey Avenue.
(Right) Up in Whole Foods land at 800 New Jersey Avenue, the hole is still being dug. But the new block of H Street between New Jersey and 2nd is looking like a real street, though no doubt it will continue to taunt us by remaining closed throughout the construction of 800 NJ, like its sibling I Street a block to the south has sat unopened, waiting for the Park Chelsea construction to finish.

Next, do you like construction trailers? How about construction trailers on sites where work isn't yet underway?
(Left) Here's the Capper Community Center site at 5th and K, where a ceremonial groundbreaking a few weeks back was not quite enough to jolt the project into action.
(Right) Looking down upon the vast Florida Rock footprint from the ballpark, and noting the new construction trailer visible at the far end. As I mentioned a few days ago, there's not as yet been an announcement of construction financing for the planned first-phase 350-unit apartment building, nor are the initial necessary building permits approved.

Some additional progress updates, in convenient illustrated form. (click to enlarge)
First, a before and after of St. Matthew's, may it rest in peace. (More before-and-after photos here.)
Next, the progress on the Whole Foods at 800 New Jersey. At this point, it's just progress on the big hole in the ground, but still worth seeing. Note that the near part of this hole is actually not part of the 800 NJ footprint, but WC Smith is digging the garage that will be beneath the as-yet-not-unveiled third building on the block. (Whole Foods visitors will park in a two-story garage above the store, not in the basement with residents.)
And then I'll give you a peek inside the red brick Building 170 behind USDOT (left), where the 5x5 art project has one of its installations. And at right is the not-yet-open expansion of the parking lot at Half and I on Square 696. Good timing for the playoffs!
Comments (2)
More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, 800 NJ/Whole Foods, photos
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