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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: 800 NJ/Whole Foods
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82 I
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1244 South Capitol
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1333 M St.
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250 M St.
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909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
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12 Blog Posts Since 2003

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, 800 NJ/Whole Foods, photos
 

Some photos from Saturday, taken before I melted into a puddle. (Anything over 80 degrees is kryptonite to me.) Click to enlarge and view as a photo gallery, if you're on a desktop machine, that is.
At Twelve12, where the first residents have begun moving in and Sweetgreen is now open, TaKorean looks to be making progress toward its own launch:
Up above TaKorean, VIDA Fitness's signs have gone up, with an opening looming probably in August.
(And, no photos, but 100 Montaditos at the Boilermaker Shops appears to finally have its building permit.)
Over at 1st and L, fence signage has sprouted for the River Parc apartment building (announcing a web site at, you guessed it, riverparc.com, though there's nothing pertinent there just yet). Plus the leasing trailer is now landscaped and outside the Akridge fence.
In grocery store news, I haven't yet posted photos of the fun artwork hanging on the historic brick wall outside of Harris Teeter's space at 4th and M (below left). And below right, the Whole Foods/800 New Jersey hole in the ground is indeed being dug. (Never say I withhold important information.) Teeter is expected to open this fall, while Whole Foods is not going to be seen before 2017.
But of course, the showiest action in the neighborhood continues to be the long (LONG) farewell to Spooky Building 213, which is starting to edge into How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away? territory. But the very south end of the structure began its march into the sunset this weekend, which means that, yes, the bat is about to vanish.
Finally, given the vagaries of both Mother Nature and the summer calendar, it's possible I might not get too many more shots of St. Matthew's church at New Jersey and L, with its raze permit now approved and demolition expected to get underway in the next couple of weeks to make way for 1111 New Jersey. So, maybe a final before-and-after, comparing the view eight years apart:
 

I've got a few more itty bitty items, so let's have another tidbit go-round:
* LOT LAYING: Enough people have written (and progress has been so slow) that I finally have to post that the work many of you are seeing on the Congressional Square block at 1st and I isn't the beginning of development there--the word is that the parking lot on the west side of the block is being extended eastward.
* PILE DRIVING: Pile driving has started at 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods, if your ears haven't already alerted you.
* TRAILER PLACING: A building permit just came through the pipeline for a temporary sales trailer at 1000 1st St. SE. The land. owned by Akridge, is unlikely to be about to see any large-scale construction, so might this instead be the beginnings of a leasing center for Toll's River Parc across the street?
* FERRY DOCKING: Following up on the ferry news from last week, I finally heard back from the office of Frank Principi in Woodbridge--it sounds like the routes and docking locations are still not 100 percent decided on. There is a stakeholder's group that will ultimately make the decisions, and it is meeting later this month to work on the project. So reports of a "Navy Yard" destination or a St. Elizabeth's destination or a Bolling destination appear to be premature.
 

The week begins with the news that WC Smith is officially beginning construction this week on 800 New Jersey, the 336-unit apartment building just south of the Southeast Freeway and just north of the topped-out Park Chelsea.
And, in case you don't believe me, I have proof! Witness dirt being dug! A press release from WC Smith officially announcing the start of the $87 million construction project says that pile driving operations will be getting underway this week.
But of course the excitement in the neighborhood surrounding this project isn't for the arrival of still more residential units--it's for the building's 35,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, which will be home to a long-sought Whole Foods after the building is completed in late 2016.
And, just like with its sibling to the south, 800 NJ's construction will include the construction and opening of a "new" street between 2nd and New Jersey--this time it will be H Street, running from just north of 200 I over to New Jersey just south of the freeway.
This is the second of three residential buildings on the block, with a third, 393-unit building fronting 2nd Street to follow. Residents in all three buildings will be able to use the facilities in every building, giving them "unparalleled access" to club rooms, game rooms, rooftop pools, an indoor lap pool, exercise facilities, dog walk areas, a demonstration kitchen and the 15,000 square foot courtyard.
As for the Park Chelsea, having been topped out a few weeks ago, work continues, with the bricking of the exterior being the next obvious milestone now underway.
My camera got a tour of the Park Chelsea this afternoon, and everyone better appreciate the 12 flights of stairs I walked up to get some of these pictures. (I do and I do and I do for you people.) It is expected to open in Spring 2015.
 

* TEETER AND VIDA: At last week's BID meeting, Michael Stevens said that Forest City would soon be "handing the keys" to Harris Teeter to begin their build out at the north end of Twelve12. And apparently the Vida Fitness space on the south end of the block will be turned over very soon to its tenants as well. Vida is looking at a summer opening, and Teeter in the fall. And leasing for the apartments themselves should start this spring.
* WHOLE FOODS: Meanwhile, at that other grocery store/residential site, I'm told that some initial infrastructure work is already underway (probably hard to really differentiate it with all the work going on at the Park Chelsea next door). The plan is still for 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods to officially get underway this spring, probably in March (which so often is the month that a developer's thoughts turn to excavation).
* A VIEW OF THE PARK: And, speaking of the Park Chelsea, I can now offer this high-speed photo of the construction from a different vantage point from usual (and no, I didn't walk up onto the freeway):
Of course, this view of the Park Chelsea will only last until 800 New Jersey starts sprouting in the spot in between this construction and the freeway.
* FREEWAY VISTAS: It's been a while since I've updated my skyline-from-the-freeway images, but I did get them this weekend. I would suggest taking a look at the whole lot, but this is probably the best comparison, of January 2005 to the present:
At center of the new image is the River Parc residential building speeding along next to Velocity. But these two don't even tell the entire story of the eight years that passed between them--check out the complete lineup of images from this angle to see the other buildings that went up since 2005 but are now obscured.
But really, check out all the before-and-afters I've taken from the freeway at South Capitol over the past 14 years, and click on the See All Photos of This Angle icons to see the progressions.
* THE CRAZY AUNT AND HER SLIDES: Sunday was the 11th anniversary of that fateful drive around the neighborhood that resulted in some photos on my web site, and then yadda yadda, here we are. So of course I have to point you to those pictures. (Though yes, technically I took my first photos of the area in fall 2000, but those were on bad film and I didn't even rediscover them until 2004.)
***UPDATE***: Adding on to this post with the news that Bluejacket and its much-touted head brewer Megan Parisi have parted ways, according to the Post.
 

* WC Smith has lined up $87 million in financing for its planned apartment building at 800 New Jersey Ave., better known as the home-to-be of Whole Foods. Construction is expected to start next year, just north of the currently climbing Park Chelsea. (WBJ)
* The old trolley barn known as the Blue Castle at 770 M Street has been put on the market by owners Madison Marquette, who bought it for $25 million in 2007 from Preferred Real Estate Investments, who bought it for $20 million in 2005. (WBJ)
* Forest City held a little shindig at the Yards today to celebrate the official "topping out" of the Twelve12 apartment/Teeter project and also to officially receive the 2013 Urban Open Space Award from the Urban Land Institute for the Yards Park.
The party also celebrated the "groundbreaking" of the Yards's next project, the 325-unit residential building just east of the Foundry Lofts on Parcel N, but until the heavy equipment shows up and starts digging up the existing parking lot on the site, let's just note that the actual work should be getting underway sometime soon. But in the meantime, you can gaze upon the latest rendering of the project (this is looking toward the northwest, up 4th from Water Street).
UPDATE: I also should have mentioned that Forest City is now expecting an official mid-January move of its offices to the 2nd floor of the Lumber Shed (hence the visible work underway up there).
 

I guess Whole Foods figured that waiting another month for an official announcement after yesterday's flurry of news was a little unnecessary, because this morning there is an official release--and a new rendering, with all the appropriate signage (click to embiggen). The under-construction Park Chelsea is visible to the right, so this view is of the corner of New Jersey and H.
The William C. Smith release:
"Washington, DC - Developer WC Smith has signed Whole Foods Market to anchor the retail portion of its $443 million development in the District’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. The 36,000 square foot store will be located on the first floor of the second of three residential buildings the company has in development on New Jersey Avenue SE, two blocks from the Navy Yard Metro station.
"'We are delighted to welcome Whole Foods to the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood,' said Chris Smith, chairman and CEO of WC Smith. 'Their dedication to healthy living and commitment to community dovetails with our mission of creating green, sustainable communities for residents of the District of Columbia.'
"The first component of the new development, a 432-unit luxury apartment building known as Park Chelsea, is currently under construction with a projected fall 2014 delivery date. Construction on the second building is scheduled to begin early in 2014, with a 2017 opening of the Whole Foods Market and delivery of 336 residential units. The residential units will offer 10 foot ceilings and a commanding view of the Capitol and the monumental skyline. Completion of the third Class A residential building will bring the unit total to over 1,100 for the development.
"All of the buildings will provide on-site parking and will be highly amenitized with club rooms, rooftop pools, and exercise facilities. Additionally, each site will offer a unique amenity space for use by residents of all three buildings. Those amenities include an indoor lap pool, an all-purpose gymnasium, a demonstration kitchen, and a 15,000 square foot courtyard. The development is within walking distance of both the Navy Yard and Capitol South Metro stations and adjacent to newly created Canal Park with water features, ice skating rink, public art, programmed activities, and Park Tavern restaurant."
UPDATE: The separate joint release with Whole Foods is a little long to cut-and-paste, but there's this quote:
"'Washingtonians asked and we listened,” said Scott Allshouse, Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic regional president. “People who live and work in Southeast have been requesting a Whole Foods Market for some time. We are thrilled about finding the right fit given the combination of factors that go into deciding on a new location.'"
Comments (6)
More posts: 800 NJ/Whole Foods, Development News, Retail, WC Smith/Square 737, wholefoods
 

A mere 11 years after the notion was first floated, there is apparently finally a signed contract to bring a Whole Foods grocery store to 800 New Jersey Avenue SE. Though the chain isn't expected to make an official announcement until next month, a representative of WC Smith told Monday night's ANC 6D meeting of the news.
Note that the store won't be at the Park Chelsea, WC Smith's apartment building currently under construction at 880 New Jersey. This will be a new apartment building just to the north, running along the to-be-rebuilt H Street between New Jersey and 2nd, immediately south of the freeway. It's expected to have 330ish units and all the usual amenities. But with construction not currently expected to start until spring 2014, and the timeline of the buildouts of both the building and the interior work for the store, you probably won't be buying your quinoa there before 2017.
This is a deal that has started and stopped more than once, the last time around in 2011 when Smith looked for an $8 million tax break for the project, an idea which died a few months later.
The neighborhood's other grocery store, Harris Teeter, is currently under construction at the Twelve12 apartment project in the Yards, and is now expected to open in the fall of 2014.
 

New Jersey Avenue, south of the freeway, looking east, before and after the clearing of brush and trees that happened late last week:
A slightly different angle, looking south-southeast:
This appears to be the work that William C. Smith mentioned would be coming, as part of their preparations for infrastructure work in advance of their 880 New Jersey Avenue apartment project. More before-and-afters here.
(That's 225 Virginia/200 I in the background, if you're bewildered at what you're seeing in this new view.)
(This is the first in what will be an avalanche of new photos over the next few days, after I drove around for about two hours grabbing scads of shots that I have been guilt ridden about not getting to. Rather than trying to put them up in one overwhelming post, I'll be passing them along in manageable bites.)
Comments (4)
More posts: 800 NJ/Whole Foods, 880 NJ/Park Chelsea, photos, WC Smith/Square 737
 

All sorts of little items that you mostly already know about if you follow JDLand on Twitter or Facebook. But I'll start with some new items at the top:
* Still no word from Akridge about when they may get underway with their 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project on Half Street just north of Nationals Park (where the Bullpen and its beergarden sibling Das currently reside), but I will note that in May they filed for building permits for two nine-story and one eleven-story building on the site, matching their announced plans. The permits haven't been approved yet, and once they are they are good for one year, but can then be renewed.
* William C. Smith told me a few weeks ago that they expect to be doing some infrastructure work on their Square 737 site this fall (sewer, water, etc) before starting on their 430-unit apartment building there next spring, and I hear that the bidding process for that site work is now underway. (This also means to not get *too* excited when you see dirt getting moved there late this year.) And, speaking of 880 New Jersey, ANC 6D voted 7-0 on Monday night to support WC Smith's request for a circular driveway, a new curb cut on 2nd Street to access underground parking, and the general public space plan.
* Tonight (Thursday) is the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park, Republicans vs. Democrats. The $10 tickets might be worth it just to see if there are any bench-clearing brawls.
* Friday (July 15) is the second Truckeroo food truck festival, along Half Street by the Bullpens. It runs from 11 am to 11 pm.
* The speculation is underway about the venues for upcoming baseball All-Star Games, with the previous conventional wisdom about Nationals Park being in line for perhaps the 2015 event taking some hits, with the lack of development progress around the ballpark being cited as a prime reason.
* If you're all fired up to game out the new ANC/SMD districts, here's all the data you might want, from the Office of Planning. And remember that the ANC 6D redistricting "listening" session with the Ward 6 task force is on July 28 at 6:30 pm. There wasn't really much news out of the initial public meeting on Monday night, other than that while the 2,000-plus-or-minus-100 population levels per single member district aren't a legal requirement, there's still clearly a desire to have SMDs be as similar in size as possible. And, also, that an SMD can't be looked at in terms of how its size has changed (or will change) since the census data as of April 1, 2010 was recorded.
* I'm going to go ahead and post this now, but check back later today (or look for a Twitter heads up) for more Market Deli demolition photos, which I will wander down to get at some point.
UPDATE: A moment of silence, please, as the Market Deli has now been added to the Demolished Buildings Gallery, as building number 161 and 162 that have been torn down since I started photographing the neighborhood. And the three garages on the north end of the block are in their final hours, with demolition underway on the southernmost one.