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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Agora/Whole Foods
See JDLand's Agora/Whole Foods Project Page
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1333 M St.
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Nat'l Community Church
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Completed
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
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Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
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Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
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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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The doors open officially on Thursday (Oct. 18) at 9 am, but on Monday night there was a preview party to whet the neighborhood's appetite for its newest tenant, the "South Capitol Hill" (#SoCHill) Whole Foods at the corner of New Jersey Avenue and H Street, SE.
This has been a looooooooong time in coming--just a smidge over 10 years, to be exact. While I could write all sorts of words about all of the store's offerings--the coffee and juice bar, the wine bar, the local foods, the large prepared foods section, the fish and cheese mongering, and much more--I think soon enough everyone will be able to see it for themselves, and so I'll just be content with slapping these photos up for about 60 hours of pining.
Except to mention the quinoa. There's quinoa. Lots of quinoa.
Comments (30)
More posts: Agora/Whole Foods, Retail, wholefoods
 

If an official Twitter account retweets an unofficial Twitter account, I guess that's confirmation, so it can be reported that Wiseguy Pizza is opening at Canal Park (200 M St., SE) today, Oct. 2, at noon. Eat_DC reports that coffee and pastries will come soon, while the Gelato portion of the venture will arrive in the spring. I hope they are ready for the lunchtime rush that will greet them today, especially with the weather so beautiful.
(Great. Now I'm hungry.)
A few other items:
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE: WUSA reports on the first of last week's public meetings about the new Douglass Bridge. DDOT's program manager says that they are already about 25 percent done with the project already. "He added in the next six months, locals should expect to see work begin on the construction of two new traffic ovals that will be placed at the base of each side of the new bridge. After that, the formation of the bridge's new arches should begin to form."
* STEADFAST MOVE: Local goods offerer Steadfast Supply is moving this week from its Boilermaker Shops location on Tingey Street to the old EVO Furniture space in the Foundry Lofts building on Water Street, across from Ice Cream Jubilee. It is closed for the move and is expected to open in the new space on Oct. 5.
* CHEESESTEAKS: Washingtonian reports that the mystery fast-casual restaurant inside Whole Foods is going to be Philly Wing Fry, from chef Kwame Onwuachi. Cheesesteaks, crispy chicken, waffle fries, and whatnot. "Unlike Kaz Okochi, who’ll have a quick-grab sushi counter in the prepared foods section of the new shop, Onwuachi’s eatery is more like a full-blown restaurant with its own space and seating. Customers can order the full menu inside the store’s SoCap Wine Bar & Pub, which will pour 16 wines by the glass and a dozen draft beers (the shop itself will have seasonal teas and lemonades)."
And yes, I took a boatload of photos this weekend. They are already up on the site if you want to go hunting, but I'll be posting a status survey soon.
 

While waiting for further news about Wednesday afternoon's serious fire at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE, I thought I'd post this item, which people may not find of much interest:
"Whole Foods Market will open its new 35,000 square-foot South Capitol Hill store, located at 101 H St. SE Washington DC, at 9 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 18. The opening day festivities will include sampling and fun for all ages."
{Can I just say that I love that it's called the South Capitol Hill store?}
One interesting tidbit in the press release is the news that the store will be the "second location of DC-based Kaz Sushi Bistro." There's also plans for a "yet-to-be unveiled dining venue with mouthwatering selections from a DC local chef." That's alongside the "SoCap Wine Bar and Pub," which will offer "offer 16 wines by the glass and 12 beers on tap, with the ability to sip & shop."
There will also be a "full-service Allegro Espresso Bar with smoothies and self-serve draft cold-pressed juice, nitro coffee, tea on tap and build-your-own acai bowls." Not to mention prepared foods, expert butchers and fishmongers, a pasta bar and olive/antipasti bar, lots of beer and wine selections, and offerings from more than 100 local suppliers, including Ice Cream Jubilee.
The store will be open from 7 am to 10 pm daily.
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More posts: Agora/Whole Foods, Retail, wholefoods
 

Another apartment building has officially arrived in the Hood, as this past weekend Agora at 800 New Jersey Ave. opened for both leasing and move-ins on its lowest residential floors.
(Yes, it's the building with the Whole Foods coming to the ground floor. No, there's no word on when it will open, but they have filed for their permits and are still waiting for the city to approve them.)
The JDLand camera was invited for a tour of the new digs, the second of the three buildings in WC Smith's "Collective" development, along with the already completed Park Chelsea and the just-getting-started Garrett.
The official web site has all sorts of information, such as floor plans and prices for released floors and such. It will likely be summer before all floors and the roof spaces are completed. Right now, the rents range from $2,260 for a one-bedroom to $5,040 for one of the three-bedroom corner units.
The amenities include not only the building's own offerings of a game room, demonstration kitchen, fitness center, rooftop pool and dog run, aqua massage chair, and even a golf simulator (no, really), but also access to the amenities at the Park Chelsea and the Garrett (once it's completed).
Here is a sampling of the photos from today, but be sure to check out the gallery to see all of them.
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More posts: Agora/Whole Foods, Development News
 

With thanks to reader I.F. for the photo, may I present visual confirmation that Whole Foods is indeed still coming to the ground floor of WC Smith's Agora apartment building at the corner of New Jersey Avenue and H Street, SE.
I don't know a timetable, I know nothing more than this sign, but at least this should settle people's worries a bit.
We now return to our holiday weekend, already in progress.
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More posts: Agora/Whole Foods, Retail, wholefoods
 

The siren song of a stunningly clear and breezy Saturday in August was of course irresistible to me, and I walked more than nine miles over four hours to grab a whole lot of pictures from a whole lot of locations. Here's some highlights. Click to enlarge, as always.
It turns out having a public roof space at a central location in the neighborhood is going to be veeeeery handy for me, as it allowed me to grab a great shot of the DC Water Headquarters construction that shows exactly how the new steel is wrapping around the existing O Street Pumping Station. It also allowed me to check on the progress of the excavations at 1250 Half, West Half, and the One M/10 Van combo project in a single shot.
Then there's the Any Minute Now retail offerings, with the Juice Laundry telling Instagram followers that they really are coming soon (really!), and representatives of the new Taylor Gourmet on 1st Street telling nearby office tenants that they expect to open on Aug. 23. We shall see!
Meanwhile, exterior work seems to be starting to wrap up at the 1221 Van residential building just north of the ballpark (and note all that retail space on the first two floors), while the 99 M office building is celebrating its topping out later this month. And while the neighborhood waits with baited breath to see exactly when the Whole Foods build-out will begin at Agora, there are now nice new sidewalks on the stretch of H Street SE that is in the process of materializing.
Finally, there are holes in the ground that now show evidence of the start of vertical construction, so these might be my final downward peeks into the two residential projects at the Yards Parcel O on 4th Street, the large residential project at 2 I Street, and the mixed-income Capper Hope VI apartment building at 3rd and L.
And, finally, while I have no intention of adding the new DC United soccer stadium to my lineup, I was surprised to see how visible it is from just within the JDLand boundaries at South Capitol and Potomac. So, here.
But this is just a very small sample. If you want to see a whole lot more of the shots I took, here's 333 of them. Or follow any of the above links, or click on the projects on the map at the upper right of any JDLand page to see the latest for those projects under construction.
 

These days I'm generally the last person laying eyes on something new in the neighborhood, but I still find it necessary to conduct photo documentation when the calendar and forecast align. Which they did on Sunday.
Let's look at signs and entrances, starting first at F1rst and its Residence Inn, where it looks like the homestretch has been entered (click to enlarge, of course):
Then, let's go over to 4th Street, where the District Winery building continues to zip along. It's also where the Bower is now signed, as is Conte's space in Arris:
Then we'll double back westward (you're getting a sense for how far I walk on these excursions), taking a look at the new sidewalk on New Jersey Avenue in front of Insignia on M. Shake Shack's signage at the Homewood Suites, and the One Hill South entrance (very New York, isn't it). (I caught the Bethesda Bagels signage back in December, just in case you think I'm missing it.)
I even caught the view from the bridge of the new Bardo beer garden at Florida Rock, with a few hardy souls in attendance. Plus, views of both Agora on New Jersey Avenue (aka the Whole Foods Building) and 1221 Van (aka That Big Building On South Capitol Immediately North of the Ballpark):
All the links above to project pages have additional brand spanking new pics, and of course Before photos.
Next up, checking out holes in the ground, both current and coming soon.
 

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.
 

In a sneaky holiday-weekend move noticed by at least one eagle-eyed JDLand reader, WC Smith has posted floor plans and general price ranges for the 436 units soon to be available at the Park Chelsea, at 880 New Jersey Ave., SE. Studios start at $1,700, one-bedroom units at $1,900, and two-bedroom units at $2,900, and one three-bedroom penthouse unit at over $4,800/month for 1,786 square feet of space.
But those little tidbits aren't really the main headline: it's that this information is now found on TheCollectiveDC.com, a combined web site for the Park Chelsea, Agora (i.e., the building currently under construction that will have a Whole Foods on the ground floor), and the Garrett, the planned but until now unnamed third building that will round out the development of the block bounded by New Jersey Avenue and 2nd, H, and I Streets, SE.
It's a vast web site that I won't try to summarize here, except to tell you that there are long lists of amenities, as well as hints of a golf simulator, an indoor basketball court, a tennis court, "indoor green space," and the lap pool we already knew about.
The site says that the Park Chelsea--"at the intersection of elegance and opportunity," will offer "classic, New York-style architecture" when it opens in the first quarter of 2016. Agora, just up the street at the "intersection of style and possibility," will have "contemporary architecture" and "minimalist interior finishes" when it arrives in early 2017 (with the Whole Foods probably needing a few months longer for its build-out). The Garrett, just around the corner at the "intersection of activity and accessibility," will feature "industrial-chic design" when it opens, perhaps as early as 2019.
It's getting so you can't keep all of these projects straight without a scorecard. Let me help you with that.
 

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:
Agora.
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.)
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More posts: Agora/Whole Foods, Development News
 
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