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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: 99m

JDLand.com's Official Unofficial Guide, Updated for 2018!
In the Pipeline
Yards/Icon Theater
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
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)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
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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I took a positively epic number of photos on Saturday, and one of spots I captured was the southwest corner of 1st and M, where Skanska's 99 M office building now appears in more or less its final form (except for the retail spaces).
Of course it made me think of that spot's "before photo," which is one of my absolute favorites, because it shows the old Normandie Liquors building, all alone, in May 2006. Just one block to the south, demolitions were underway to clear the site that would become Nats Park, but this photo gives no hint of the radical changes about to come.
And then I thought about how I have taken so many photos of this corner since 2006, because the actual corner lot took so long to be developed, and because so much happened right around it. And I realized that it is probably one of the best spots to illustrate what has happened in the Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards neighborhood over the past 15 years.
Let's take a run through just a few of the 102 photos I have taken of that corner since 2006. Click to enlarge/slideshow 'em:
By June 2007, cranes are visible to the south, as work on the ballpark is well underway. Later that year the distinctive steel work of 55 M appears next door, and the new building rises up above the Normandie--until February 2008, when the little yellow brick building meets its demise. The ballpark is now clearly visible from 1st and M, just in time for its debut in late March, 2008, and by the end of that year, 55 M's exterior is finished.
And then the view freezes. It's the same for all of 2009, and 2010, and 2011, and 2012, and 2013, until at last a crane appears at the south end of the 1st Street block in spring 2014. Up goes the Hampton Inn, and it is followed in 2015 and 2016 by F1rst and the Residence Inn.
Finally, in May 2017, 11 years after the Normandie stood alone, the southwest corner of 1st and M finally has a skeleton of its own, as 99 M at last makes it above ground.
And now, one year after that, the sidewalks are open, and the garage-like doors where Circa will host hordes of stadium-goers are visible.
I'm guessing the beverages at Circa will cost a little more than they did at Normandie.
This is of course just one of a whole lot of corners that have radically changed in the past 15 years, and some of them even had a similar start-stop-start timeline, but I do think if one corner has to be picked to tell the story, it's this one.
Comments (6)
More posts: 99m, Development News
 

Was out of town for a long weekend to participate in the induction of the late Mr. JDLand into the University of Arizona School of Journalism Hall of Fame, as part of its inaugural class. Now trying to get caught up (I say that a lot these days, I know):
* MORE COFFEE!: Because you addicted folks can't get enough of that witches' brew you all pretend to like, I'll mention that Eater has reported that Australian chain Bluestone Lane has signed a lease to open a coffee shop a 1,014-square-foot space in the ground floor of the 99 M office building that will also be home to Circa and Open Road. Here's the deets on the existing location in Georgetown. Both the building and Bluestone are expected to be finished later this year.
* OATH OPEN: They kind of snuck in without a lot of fanfare, but Oath Pizza is now open next to Bethesda Bagels on M Street between 1st and New Jersey, joining All-Purpose and Declaration, which both opened last week. Now we await Wise Guy Pizza at Canal Park.
* CHLOE REVIEW: The Post's Tom Sietsema gives Chloe his "good/excellent" rating.
* YARDS PHASE 2: I was kind of surprised at the volume of coverage earlier this week about the second-phase plans at the Yards, which mainly shows the power of sending a press release to every development reporter in town (though not me). If you've been following my posts about "Yards West" since, oh, early 2014, the plans for well over 1 million square feet of office space on the footprint of Spooky Park at 1st and M and two residential buildings on the current parking lots on the south side of N Street is not really anything new. But the press release attached a 2019 start date attached to this next phase, and it also passed along two renderings, including one showing what the release describes as a "six-block spine" beginning at a new plaza at New Jersey and M, extending all the way to the Anacostia River at Diamond Teague Park, described as "a vibrant pedestrian-friendly street, featuring ground-level retail and dining, extended green spaces and a variety of public gathering areas." In all, "Yards West" will have about 3 million square feet of mixed-use space across 18 acres.
Here are the renderings, showing the planned office building for "Parcel F," on the northeast corner of 1st and N, and the aforementioned "spine," looking south toward the river.
(And maybe that new plaza at New Jersey and M will include the dreamed-of third entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, on the south side of M.)
But what if Amazon picks the Capitol Riverfront/Poplar Point HQ2 proposal, which includes these lots (seen on this map as locations 9 and 10)? Or is this a hint that it's not expected to be chosen? We Shall See!
* PARADIGM PART 2: WBJ reports late this afternoon that Paradigm has now purchased the rest of the block bounded by New Jersey, 1st, K, and L. This includes the Eagle Academy building and the taxi garage next door, on New Jersey. The company is just getting started with its 275-unit residential building at 1000 1st Street, on the west side of this block (known as Square 740), and apparently is planning a twin for the other part of the block.
 

Time for my quarterly {ahem} update on all of the construction projects you are picking your way past when you walk/drive/bike around the Hood:
I'll start with the new openings and the coming soons, with both Due South Dockside and Morini Piccolo now operating (softly) on the Yards Park boardwalk, and Cava in the Homewood Suites at Half and M in Any Second Now territory:
As for buildings getting their faces on, I present Skanska's 99 M office building and the new DC Water headquarters:
There's also now two new arrivals above ground, as PN Hoffman's condo project The Bower has at last made its debut at 4th and Tingey, as has the DC Housing Authority's as-yet unnamed mixed-income rental building at 2nd and L, both of which are shot from the south instead of the intersection because it's now the time of year when anything shot to the south-southeast, south or south-southwest will look terrible, no matter what time of day:
Next on the assembly line, two more residential projects projects are likely to be making their above-ground debuts before the end of the year: JBG's West Half project directly north of Nats Park, and the McDonalds-slaying 2 I Street project:
Other holes in the ground I won't highlight this time around include the Bower's sibling rental project at 4th and Water, Toll Brother's Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, the Jair Lynch residential project at the Half Street Hole, and the combo project at South Capitol and M for the new National Association of Broadcasters headquarters and its next-door residential project labeled 10 Van.
Also, WC Smith has cleared the lot at 2nd and I to make way for the beginning of work on the Garrett, the third and final apartment building that makes up "The Collective" on that block. Plus, fences are up along 3rd Street for the next project in the Yards lineup, the 270-unit apartment building currently known as "Parcel L2." (Great, I have to update my Highlighted Projects map again.)
Just to make sure all ends of the construction spectrum are represented, one hole is even starting to get covered over, and that's in the 200 and 300 blocks of Virginia Avenue, where the Virginia Avenue Tunnel work is far enough along that you can actually start to imagine a street appearing again in those blocks in the coming months:
Finally, I'll close with a shot of a tearing down rather than a building up, and that's the pile of debris formerly known as 37 L Street SE--just in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the Cinema Follies fire, on Oct. 24, 1977.
So, while the neighborhood is taking a back seat these days to all of the excitement surrounding the opening of the Wharf down the road, there is still a fair amount happening. (And hopefully the neighborhood blogger will someday get back in the groove. Still riding the rollercoaster of my new not-yet-ready-to-call-it-normal.)
 

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.
 

Enough tidbits in the hopper to actually go less than a week between posts. Yay!
* 816 POTOMAC: Developers of the empty lot on the northwest corner of 9th and Potomac, SE have gotten an initial green light from the Historic Preservation Review Board for a four-story residential building with below-grade parking. This project will also incorporate an existing historic building at 819 L (sort of visible here), which will remain separate from the new building. Here is a video showing what the project would look like, and a screengrab from it of the proposed building is at right. No word on timing, and this does not include the existing old apartment building next door at 812 Potomac.
* 99 M TENANT: The under-construction office building at the corner of 1st and M has signed its first tenant, with Pyxera Global taking 17,000 square feet on the fourth floor. As I mentioned a few posts ago, Skanska said recently that some tenant announcements would be in the offing, and this would appear to be one of them. (Bisnow)
* POP-UP BBQ: If you've noticed the picnic tables on the northwest corner of 1st and N, where the F1rst sales trailer was, it's the home of a Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company pop-up offering on Nats game days, from now through the end of the season (and post-season). Service off of the "full food truck menu." including beer and wine, will start 90 minutes before gametime, through the first 30 minutes after first patch.
* MORE PROGRESS: On my way to and from the ballpark this weekend, I took a few smudgy cellphone photos of progress, showing the new DC Water HQ, District Winery, and (water-filled) holes in the ground at Parc Riverside II and West Half (forgot to go across the street to Lynch Half), and evidence of previously tidbitted items about the warehouse at 49 L Street and the A1 Garage site. Maybe I'll get out with the real camera this weekend for a full update, weather and energies permitting.
One that I didn't take was the view southward from M Street between 1st and New Jersey--I have to admit I was not expecting the DC Water HQ to be so visible from the north.
 

To prove (to myself) that I am not completely out of commission, I attended this morning's Bisnow event focusing on current goings-on development-wise in the Capitol Riverfront.
Here are a few bullet points of the development-type items I found of most interest:
* Dock 79 is 92 percent leased, and MRP Realty expects to begin construction on the residential building next door (71 Potomac) late this year or early next year--and that it is expected to have a lot more 2-bedroom units than Dock 79. I was also told that All-Purpose will probably open in the fall, and Dacha in the spring--and also that the planned small additional storefront for All-Purpose fronting Potomac Avenue has fallen by the wayside.
* One Hill South is 60 percent leased, and the developers have just begun design meetings for the project's second phase, another 300ish-unit building fronting South Capitol Street. That could get underway in a year or so.
* As the attendees were taking their seats at Arena Stage, a splashy video was played for the 25 M Street office building project planned by Brandywine REIT and Akridge. I can't link directly, but go to the (new to me) official web site at 25mst.com and scroll down to click on Property Video. Janet Davis of Brandywine did say that this building will not get underway until it's about 50 percent leased.
* Skanska's 99 M office building at 1st and M is expected to top out in about a month or so. Skanska's EVP Mark Carroll said that they expect to announce their first signed tenants soon, and that they are "not typical tenants." Both Carroll and Davis agreed that there has been a clear uptick in interest in Capitol Riverfront office space in the past six months or so.
* District Winery is crossing its fingers for a September opening. (Perhaps even earlier than September, but best not to get ahead of the permitting process.) Owner Brian Leventhal was on the Yards panel, and told the story of branching out from the original operations in Brooklyn without having any specific location in mind, and how once they narrowed to DC, everything about the lot at the Yards "was perfect, [so] we didn't consider any other space." (He also has moved to DC from Brooklyn, and said that living at the Yards is "like living in a resort.")
* 1221 Van is expected to begin move-ins later this year, and leasing should start in the relative near future.
* Forest City's Debbie Ratner Salzberg talked about how the Yards came to be, and said that "the minute Bluejacket opened [in 2013], we were on the map."
* And we definitely appear to be referring to the blocks immediately north of Nats Park as the "Ballpark District" once again.
* It was only mentioned in passing, but I should still officially note here that Cosmopolitan Nail Salon is now open in Arris at the Yards.
 

Sunday morning brought a confluence of a clear calendar, clear skies, and a sort-of-unexpected desire to "get back to work," such as it is, so I took a long walk to get the JDLand camera caught up with the goings-on in the neighborhood. Here's the rundown:
* UPWARD: The biggest news (for me, anyway) is that at last the 99 M office building project has peeked up above ground-level. Also worth getting excited about is seeing the structural steel going up for the new DC Water headquarters along the banks of the Anacostia.
* DOWNWARD: There's digging underway (or about to be) in multiple locations, and the camera peeked past the fences to check out the holes. In order, may I present the current state of: the former McDonald's site at 2 I Street (where a 380-unit apartment building will rise), the Yards Parcel O site at 4th and Tingey (where a joint condo/apartment project has been slooowly underway thanks to the need to dig very carefully when it's an old munitions site), the mixed-income Capper apartment building at 3rd and L, and the JBG West Half residential project directly north of Nats Park.
(I missed the hole at South Capitol and M where the new NAB headquarters and the 10 Van residential building will rise, but it probably doesn't look all that much different from this.)
Then there's the Half Street Hole, where work does appear to be underway, but since excavation was done in 2007, it's kind of hard to tell what's new (I should have gone up to the Hampton Inn roof). Finally, there's the lot at Half and L where fences recently went up around the site that will be Phase II of the Parc Riverside apartment building, but while some dirt has been turned, heavy equipment isn't quite yet on site.
So, if you are counting, that is eight additional projects that will rise out of the ground in the coming year or so, along with the four others that are already above ground but not done.
* OUTWARD: Vertical construction has been finished for a while at the residential building 1221 Van just north of the ballpark, but exterior work has progressed since I last wandered by. And ditto for the District Winery building at 4th and Water.
* ONWARD: Some additional catching up.
And there are going to be lots of other "for the historical record" photos that have been needed to be taken for some months added to various project pages in coming days. Just click around from the main map--you'll never know what you might find.
Coming Soon, a Coming Soon post.
 

The blistering pace of new projects slowed a bit this year, allowing me some (needed) breathing space in terms of keeping up with construction progress. But I wandered around on Saturday, and here's a few things of note I saw:
* The JBG apartment project now known as 1221 Van is speeding along, and has changed the skyline along South Capitol considerably. Taking southward-facing photos in the winter months is always dicey, but I couldn't pass up a shot of the new structure and its neighbor directly to the south.
* Insignia on M's logo at the top of its New Jersey Avenue face does easily catch one's eye.
* The preparation work to transform the O Street Pumping Station into the glimmery new DC Water Headquarters is now underway.
* CSX announced this week that the new second-track Virginia Avenue Tunnel is "nearing completion," and it certainly looks that way at the western mouth of both new and old tunnels. And I got to see a train coming out, too! (But the project isn't over--next work will shift to reconstructing the 100-year-old original tunnel.)
* The excavation for the combination condo-and-rental buildings project known as "Parcel O" at the Yards has proceeded apace.
* Conversely, the hole for the 99 M office building has remained basically unchanged since late summer. (Compare the below photo to this one taken in August.) There was a new crane-related after-hours permit approved for the site last week, so maybe things are about to start moving again. UPDATE, 12/13: A representative for the 99 M project has gotten in touch with me to say that there has actually been considerable "complex" work going on at the site, it's just that it's mostly underground/out of sight.
 

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.)
 

You know I was feeling pretty sick in recent days if I couldn't even summon the energy to post the news that Open Road Bar and Grill will be coming to the currently under construction 99 M Street office building, in the space next to its already announced sibling Circa on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE.
Those who read the JDLand comments got a sense a few weeks ago that something along these lines was coming when I posted this 99 M floor plan showing "new bar concept by Circa," but good to now have Open Road officially named.
According to WBJ, it's expected that the building will be finished in late 2017 (though it better start coming out of the ground pretty soon to meet that) and that the restaurants would open in mid-2018.
Open Road's Merrifield location has a pretty standard American Bar Food menu, plus lots of beer options.
And the 99 M location already has a placeholder web site!
This is the third restaurant announcement in recent days, joining news of Chix coming to Half Street this summer and The Salt Line coming to Dock 79 in 2017, and it occurred to me that people might be starting to lose track of what's in the pipeline. So, of course, I built a map.
And while it's neat to see 11 food options in the pipeline (and I didn't even include Nicoletta, because, well, they will need to re-earn my trust), it's also time to start thinking about the incredible amount of retail space in the pipeline.
Arris has about 17,000 square feet of space left to lease, Insignia on M has 11,000 sf, ORE 82 has 5,800 sf, 909 Half has "significant" ground-floor retail space, Homewood Suites has 4,800 sf, F1rst has about 21,000 sf left in not only its ground floor but the cute little two-story building it's planning at 1st and N, Dock 79 has about 12,000 sf remaining, and 1244 South Capitol will have about 26,000 sf. And even 99 M still has another 2,300 sf of space remaining.
That's well over 100,000 square feet of as-yet-unspoken-for space that will be available just within the next two years, in addition to the smattering of space still available in existing buildings.
And adding in just the JBG and Lynch Half Street projects north of Nats Park would double that number by, say, 2019, as each are billing about 60,000 sf of retail and could be getting underway late this year or early next year. Which is why I left a lot of room on my Future Food map--and I bet it'll become a Future Food and Retail map before long.
One would think there is a whole lot of competition behind the scenes for all of this space. It will be interesting to watch.
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