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It was a tough call between swallowing a couple of bottles of hydrochloric acid or attending tonight's public meeting on the stadium's Transportation Operations and Parking Plan, but luckily for you my JDLand duties eventually won out. I'm hoping to get electronic versions of the slide presentations, so I'm going to just type up my notes for now, and hope that the details come later; besides, much of it will sound familiar to folks who read this blog regularly. There were presentations by DDOT and WMATA about their plans for the area, as a warm up for the discussion by traffic planners Gorove/Slade on the TOPP.
DDOT gave an overview of all of its near-term plans for Near Southeast--this includes the additional ramps to be added to the 11th Street Bridges, which already has funding and is moving at (bureaucratically speaking) lightning speed, and should be done by 2010. Then the planned improvements to South Capitol Street and the South Capitol Street Bridge were profiled, including this summer's festive demolition and lowering of the northern portion of the bridge. The current bridge itself will also be painted, and will get new lighting and pedestrian rails (more like the Pennsylvania Ave. bridge). Then there will be the streetscape improvements to South Capitol, Potomac, N, 1st, and I Streets, SE, all before Opening Day 2008, with resurfacing, new streetlights, curbs, etc. There will also be some small changes to the South Capitol and I intersection to try to improve the flow, although there are no current plans to expand the ramps to/from the freeway.
Next up was WMATA, giving a description of what's being done to expand the Navy Yard Metro station in advance of the throngs of baseball fans. The station's capacity is being upgraded to 15,000 customers per hour (the same as Stadium-Armory) from the current 5,000, turnstiles and Farecards machines will be moved to street-level, elevators will be added to the west entrance, and more, all while Monument Realty's 55 M Street office building is built on top of the station. The west entrance will be one-way outbound before games and one-way inbound afterwards, while the east entrance will remain two-way. Metro will also put in place the same plan of 9-13 extra trains after each game that they currently do for games at RFK, and that the system's recent receipt of nearly 190 new rail cars will also help increase capacity over the next 18 months. They are also looking at shuttles to other stations after games, and that the possibility exists that DDOT could expand the DC Circulator bus routes that currently end in SW to include the stadium area, with a route down M Street, up 8th, and over to Union Station, but that's not decided yet.
Gorove/Slade went through a lot of numbers, but I think in some ways didn't quite emphasize what the people attending wanted to hear most, which is that non-resident gameday street parking will be prohibited in basically all residential areas in Southwest and Near Southeast south of the freeway, and they'll be using the model that's been being refined in the Hill East neighborhood around RFK for the past few years (residents receive Event Parking permits to display, and also one guest parking permit per household). They estimate that for a sellout crowd 19,000 people will come via transit (16,000 through the Navy Yard station), 750 will arrive by charter buses, 400 by taxi, 3,400 on foot or bike, and 13,600 by car (in 4,700 vehicles). They indicated that the Nationals themselves are in charge of coordinating the parking negotiations with various sites, and a slide showed that the Nationals have identified about 5,200 parking spaces that can be available (well above the 4,700 vehicles anticipated to be coming to games). Only 185 of these spaces are in Southwest (between Half and South Capitol north of M); the rest are all in Near Southeast. While there are possibilities for parking in Buzzards Point, currently it appears the Nationals are not anticipating using that area for parking. No decision has been made yet on using the RFK parking lots and shuttle buses.
In terms of pedestrian flow at game time, many of the surrounding sidewalks are to be upgraded as part of DDOT's streetscape improvements. There will be traffic control officers at the major intersections, and Half Street SE south of M will be closed entirely to vehicle traffic, while some lanes on N will be closed; also there will be no parking at all on M Street or on 1st Street north of M on gamedays.
But what all the planners want is for people to come to games via public transit.
The questions from the audience centered mainly around the impact on the residential streets of Southwest and Capitol Hill, with great concerns about parking for visitors ("what if I'm having a party?") on game days. I imagine there will be more of the meetings, with more consternation, yet to come. And I also imagine that Opening Day 2008 will be rife with tales of traffic back-ups, transit snafus, and lost suburbanites unable to find their parking lots. And then the plans will be tweaked and re-tweaked, just as they have been around RFK for the past few years.
As I said, hopefully I'll have the slides and some other materials to pass along within the next few days. If you have concerns that you want to air, be sure to contact the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, and cc ANC 6D (office@anc6d.org) so that the ANC can track the feedback.
UPDATE: See my entry with the slides from the meeting, now posted on my site.

 

Friday's Washington Business Journal print edition included "Development agencies fated for major shake-up", surveying the landscape in the wake of the council hearings on the fate of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. (I'm a few days behind on this, and it's a subscription-only article, so I'm just failing all over the place.) "No decisions have been made yet, but several D.C. Council members have made it clear they're not pleased with the work done by the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. and the National Capital Revitalization Corp. At recent hearings, complaints were voiced about their lack of progress on several projects and what council members called inconsistent leadership and poor communication with the city. [...] At the very least, AWC's operations appear poised for a takeover by the city. Neil Albert, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, was recently named interim CEO of the agency and says many of its projects already require the city's cooperation. [...] [S]everal council members say they haven't heard a compelling argument in favor of leaving the agencies alone. Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, says the city today is better equipped to handle the agencies' operations and development portfolios." As for those supporting the AWC and NCRC, you can read in the April Southwester (page 5) the testimony of ANC 6D vice chair Andy Litsky. When will a decision be made? Dunno.
More posts: ANC News, Anacostia Waterfront Corp.
 

The draft agenda for the March 12 ANC 6D meeting has been sent out (although not posted on their web site as yet, alas), and there are a few Near Southeast items of interest: discussion and vote on an construction agreement (presumably between the developers and the neighborhood/ANC) for 1325 South Capitol Street (the 276-unit residential project across from the ballpark); a presentation on modifications being requested in front of the Zoning Commission to the plans for the office building at 100 M Street (I don't know any details, will post when I find out); and a presentation on streetscapes at the The Yards/Southeast Federal Center (ooooh, more hints of moving forward!). There's also a meeting on the planned Monument Realty project on the Randall School site at Half and I Streets SW (blissfully outside of my purview). The meeting is at St. Augustine's Church at 6th and M Streets, SW at 7 pm.
UPDATE: The 100 M Street change is quite minor, according to Opus East, a result of actual construction drawings evolving from the original design drawings. I also hear tell that First Street is going to be widened at some point by DDOT, which means that 100 M and Onyx on First won't have a wide/deep sidewalk along as originally thought. (I don't have any details on the First Street work.)
UPDATE II: The ANC 6D report in the new issue of the Hill Rag has more details on the 1325 South Cap construction agreement as discussed at the February meeting, though I don't know whether it's changed or not going into tonight's meeting. It also says the project has 276 units, not 244 as I've been reporting.
 

Just a reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday) there is an Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting; its agenda includes a presentation and public comments on the new AWC Draft Environmental Standards and "Workforce Intermediary Services plans; it will be at St. Matthew's Baptist Church (1105 New Jersey Ave.) at 5:30 pm.
Additionally, there was supposed to be a status hearing tomorrow on the liquor license application by the owners of the old Star Market (the "little red building") at 156 L Street; but I'm told by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration that an agreement has been reached by the applicants and ANC 6D (which was protesting the application), so the status hearing was removed from the calendar. (Attempts to get additional information from the property's owner and from ANC Commissioner Bob Siegel have been unsuccessful at this point.) Perhaps this means we'll be seeing a resolution on this project soon.
 

Tomorrow night (Feb. 22), the DC Zoning Commission is having a public hearing on Case 06-41, a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review for 1325 South Capitol Street, the planned 244-unit residential building at South Capitol and O streets SW, right across from the ballpark. The ZC hearing is available via live webcast. Apparently this project was presented at the Feb. 12 ANC 6D meeting, but since the ANC for four of the last five months has been unable or unwilling to send out its agendas before the meetings or post them on their web site (check out those dates!), I wasn't able to post a heads up that this project was going to be discussed.
On the other hand, the agenda has already been released for the Feb. 28 Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting, where one of the main items will be a presentation and public comments on the AWC's Draft Environmental Standards, and also a presentation on their new Workforce Intermediary Services. See the agenda for time and place and how to participate.

 

News from last night's ANC 6D and Zoning Commission meetings:
ANC 6D and Monument Realty finally reached an agreement on a community benefits package as part of Monument's request for support for its 55 M Street mixed-use project; in it, Monument agrees to a) give preference to ANC 6D residents in the lottery for the project's affordable housing units, b) make a $50,000 donation to be shared between Jefferson and Amidon schools, and c) make a $10,000 donation to a local scholarship fund. There was some grumbling from the audience that Bowden Elementary was left out, but the commissioners made assurances that with all the other projects coming down the ANC 6D pike, Bowden will not be forgotten. With the benefits agreement reached, the ANC then voted to support Monument's zoning review this Thursday night.
At the Zoning Commission meeting, the planned vote on the Florida Rock 2nd Stage PUD was delayed until next month. There were also three votes on amendments to the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay: Case 06-25, expanding the Overlay boundaries, was approved and sent onto the National Capital Planning Commission, with final ZC action probably coming in the spring; and final approvals were given to Case 05-10 (a series of additions and amendments to the Overlay) and Case 06-20 (an amendment officially allowing the WMATA bus lot formerly at Half and O to be moved to Buzzards Point).
And thankfully none of this prevented me from watching my Gators destroy Ohio State! That was the best part of all!

 

Just a small heads up to highlight some Near Southeast items on this week's calendar: on Monday (Nov. 8), ANC 6D is having its monthly meeting (now at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 8th 6th and M SW). The agenda has not yet been posted, but I do hear that the continuing fight over the Monument Realty request for support for its alley closings at Half and M is again on the schedule--which is kind of interesting, given that the alley closings became law back in December; there are mumblings I guess about holding up Monument's zoning application, but who knows what's actually going to happen. Also on Monday night is a Zoning Commission meeting, where the vote on the Florida Rock 2nd Stage PUD is scheduled to be held. (Note that the vote on the 250 M Street PUD/Overlay Review was originally scheduled for this meeting, but has been delayed to Feb. 12.) And then, rounding out the week's zoning festivities, Monument will present its Half Street office/hotel/residential project to the ZC on Thursday evening. Note that both the Monday and Thursday ZC meetings are available via live webcast; I may actually be watching Monday's ZC webcast on my PDA while attending the ANC meeting, which is just wrong on so many levels. And, to make it worse, these two meetings will no doubt require me to time-shift my watching of the Ohio State-Florida game, so no one spoil the result for me (Go Gators! UF '87). The sacrifices I make.... UPDATE: Oops, forgot to mention that tonight's (Jan. 8) Zoning meeting is also scheduled to include votes on proposed text amendments to the Capitol Gateway Overlay (cases 05-10 and 06-25).
 

The agenda for last night's ANC 6D meeting wasn't made available before meeting time, so I decided to take a chance and skip the session (even though I normally adore subjecting myself to the psychological equivalent of having 2-inch nails driven into my eyeballs for a couple of hours). And it sounds like I picked a good one to miss, because my sources tell me that once again a fight over an alley closing dominated the proceedings, this time being another go-round on Monument Realty's 55 M Street project on the west side of Square 701. Monument was looking for the ANC's support in advance of their Jan. 11 Zoning Commission hearing; last night the ANC's commissioners voiced concerns (which were also voiced in the past when Monument asked for support for its alley closing bill) that Monument's proffered community benefits package is insufficient--as currently constructed, it includes a $10,000 contribution to the Southwest Neighborhood Association's Scholarship Fund, a $50,000 contribution to the local schools, and a commitment to set aside a certain percentage of the residential project for affordable housing. Monument's standpoint is that this project is a "Matter of Right" development, meaning that there is no requirement that they do anything for the community, but they are doing so, anyway. The discussion has been tabled until the ANC's January 8 meeting, and the commmissioners also passed a resolution asking the City Council to table the alley closing bill (which already passed unanimously last week on its first reading and is scheduled for its final reading and vote on Dec. 19) to allow negotiations to continue. In less fractious news, there was apparently a presentation by WMATA about its Joint Development Opportunities around the Navy Yard station, including their work with Monument at 55 M Street (on top of the Half Street station entrance) as well as the Chiller Plant at Half and L and a small bit of land near the New Jersey Avenue station entrance. Am hoping to get more information about this....
 

Lerner Enterprises within the past few days launched a very nice (and very much needed) redesign of their web site. The 20 M Street page (which isn't really the official project web site, that's 20MStreetSE.com) says that the building will be available in Spring 2007 (an earlier date than the Fall 2007 originally given), and gives much detail about the project's "green" features. It also lists Cushman & Wakefield as the commercial leasing agents, which I believe is a new development. There's also a page for 1000 South Capitol Street, a proposed 320,000-sq-ft office building on South Capitol between K and L (the parking lot next to Nation). No start date, but there's a rendering, the first I've seen for this project (and you know how excited I get when I unearth renderings). 1000 South Cap has been on the boards for years, but other than a request for an alley closing at an ANC6D meeting earlier this year (which was referred to the development committee), there's been no evidence of movement. See my own 20 M and North of M pages for photos, etc.
More posts: 1000 South Capitol, 20 M, ANC News, South Capitol St.
 

Today was the hearing on the application by "The Wine Cellar and Spirits" for a Class A (beer, wine, and liquor) license to open what the owners call a "tastefully designed wine and spirits" store in the Little Red Building at 156 L Street (next to the Courtyard by Marriott). ANC 6D has been officially designated as a protestant in opposition to the application, and presumably the owner will be in contact with the ANC to resolve any issues (most likely revolving around the sales of singles). There will be a status hearing on the application on Jan. 17, 2007, at 10 am.
 

Expanding a bit on recent posts about the liquor license application by the owners of the former Star Market (aka the "Little Red Building" at 2nd and L, next to the Courtyard by Marriott) to open what the owner has recently described to me as a "tastefully designed Wine and Spirit store." As I reported (and as now confirmed in the November Hill Rag's ANC 6D report, since I bailed on the meeting before this came up), the ANC voted to protest the application, but apparently this was as much about timing issues as anything else, and at the same time the application was referred to the ANC's ABC subcommittee to work on a voluntary agreement to ban the sale of "singles." The owner tells me that in fact they are working on plans to redevelop the property, possibly demolishing the little red building (sniff!) and replacing it with a new building that in addition to upscale liquor sales on the first and second floors could also accommodate a "small sushi saki bar in the 2nd and 3rd floor." He guarantees that the new building "will not be your conventional 'mom and pop' liquor store.' (It should be noted that the Star Market's Class B [beer and wine/convenience store] liquor license conveyed to the current owners, so this application is for a Class A license [beer, wine. and spirits/liquor store].) The ABC application hearing is Nov. 8; the owner hopes to have the plans for the renovation ready by spring. (Hat tip to the CHT Shareholder Community blog.) UPDATE: I also wanted to note that the Capitol Hill Tower developer is opposing this application.

 

A quick roundup of Near Southeast-related doings at Monday night's ANC 6D meeting. After a plea from 6D07 commissioner Robert Siegel, the ANC voted to support the previously-voted-down alley closing request on the east side of Square 701 (between Cushing and 1st streets), saying in effect that a $95,000 community amenities proffer is not something that should be turned down. Monument Realty came before the commission to request support for it's two alley closing bills (in Squares 700 and 701 in the Ballpark District), and the request was referred to the ANC's Development Subcommittee for further discussions about Monument's community amenities package, which includes a pledge of up to 20% affordable housing in the residential project at Half and N, LSDBE participation, LEED standards, and an offer to spend approximately $500,000 to upgrade the electrical/HVAC systems at Amidon Elementary School (but there's some question as to whether Amidon will be open past 2007). Finally, the ANC voted not to support the request for a liquor license to open a liquor store at the old Star Market site at 2nd and L (the license hearing is Nov. 8). I'll link to the Hill Rag/Voice of the Hill reports on these meetings when available for additional details since it must be admitted that I bailed before the meeting was over and am relying on a vast network of informants and stringers to provide the few meager details I included here.
 

At Monday's ANC 6D meeting, the request to close 7,500 sq ft of alleys on the east side of Square 701 (1st, M, N, and Half) came before the commission again. The developers' initial request for the ANC's support back in July, which included an offer of a $35,000 "community amenities package", was referred to the ANC's development subcommittee. At Monday's meeting, the request was re-presented, with the amenities amount increased to $95,000. This was not enough for some members of the ANC, however, so the request has been tabled until the October meeting. UPDATE: The DC Council hearing on this bill is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 10:45 am.
More posts: ANC News, staddis, Square 701
 

In advance of the Sept. 18 Zoning Hearing, representatives on behalf of the development project at Florida Rock made a presentation to last night's ANC 6D meeting on some changes that they've made to their design after consulting with the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation as the AWC works to create a Ballpark District around the stadium. One big change is a 52,000-sq-ft increase in the amount of retail planned for the site, now pegged at 92,000 sq ft. Much of it will be along Potomac Avenue, facing the stadium, but also in the first three stories of the office building planned for the eastern part of the site, at First Street--it's in this location where the AWC is now envisioning a 39,000 sq ft public plaza, with some of the WASA waterfront land being used for this park (Florida Rock has offered to contribute $3.5 million to the design, development, and initial maintenance of the plaza). It would serve to far better connect the stadium to the Anacostia River, and with the retail there as well, it's hoped it could be a destination that would draw many people down to the southern side of the stadium. Florida Rock has also been able to tweak the design of the western side of their land (which for now is under the old Frederick Douglass Bridge), and will now be able to build a large pedestrian pier sticking out into the Anacostia in that area. They've also been able to "twist" the upper floors of a the buildings to allow for much more open views. Building heights, density, and the 75-ft-deep esplanade along the riverfront all remain the same. In a stunning display of unanimity (for them), the ANC passed a resolution in support of the changes 6-0. I hope to have updated renderings and site maps of the new design within the next few weeks.
 

The agenda for the September ANC 6D meeting has been released; items of Near Southeast interest include a vote on the request for alley closings on the east side of Square 701 and also a presentation on changes in the Florida Rock PUD in advance of it's Sept. 18 zoning hearing. (Perhaps the Square 737/739 alley closing will get added to the agenda as well, it was supposed to be referred back to the full commission from the Development Committee for this meeting.) The meeting is on Sept. 11 at 7 pm at 65 I Street SW.
 

Oops, I missed this badly. The August Hill Rag's report from the July ANC 6D meeting gives us our first description of what's being planned for 1st Street between M and N (just north of the stadium and part of the Ballpark District area): "a 515,000 square foot mixed use office, residential and retail development. The office building will be 11 stories[;] the apartment building, which will contain 252 units, will be 12 stories. There will be 499 parking spaces, more than a hundred more than the number mandated by regulation." This was revealed as part of the alley closing request, which was referred to the ANC's development committee, and will be reconsidered by the full commission at it's Sept. 11 meeting.

More posts: ANC News, staddis, Square 701, zoning
 

From an e-mail distribution: "SWNA and ANC6D cordially invite you to a CANDIDATES FORUM ARENA STAGE In the Kreeger Theater Monday, August 14, 2006 Starting at 7 pm. Candidates for Mayor and Ward 6 City Council will be asked questions dealing with Southwest. The questions will especially concern Waterside Mall, the upcoming AWC Waterfront Project, and the Baseball Stadium. Questions will be asked by a panel and the audience will be able to write their questions for the candidates."
More posts: ANC News, Nationals Park
 

Voice of the Hill has posted it's summary of the July 10 ANC 6D Meeting. It's a bit of water under the bridge at this point, but it's still worth noting here that the ANC did vote to oppose the Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness, which were then approved the next day by the city council. Also on the agenda had been William C. Smith's request for alley closings and street openings in preparation for its development project at 800 New Jersey Ave. The proposal was referred to the ANC's development subcommittee, with there again being debate about what "community benefits" the project would be providing. According to VOTH, the "William C. Smith representative pointed to amenities his company has already promised, including an affordable housing component and funding for a public park." The public park being Canal Park, which William C. Smith is helping to fund. (Note that the alley closing/street opening request is on the Aug. 3 NCPC agenda.)

 

Voice of the Hill reports that ANC 6B "voted unanimously July 11 to support preliminary plans for a project that would connect the Southeast Freeway with the Anacostia Freeway." This is the 11th Street Bridges project, which "would allow southbound motorists on the Anacostia Freeway to access the 11th Street Bridges and motorists on the bridges to go north on the freeway, thereby creating a link between the Anacostia and Southeast freeways." There are public hearings on July 26 and 27 on the project's draft environmental impact statement, and public comment is being accepted until August 28.
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, ANC News, Traffic Issues
 

The second-stage PUD hearing for Florida Rock has now been scheduled for Sept. 18, having been originally slated for December 2005 but then postponed. Reading the two announcements (Dec. and Sept.), it doesn't look like there's been any significant changes to the application (though it might be hard to tell from these documents). My Florida Rock page has renderings of the plans for the development, taken from the documentation provided to the Zoning Commission last year. Note that this PUD was supported by ANC 6D 7-0 at it's November 2005 meeting--at this meeting, it was predicted that construction would begin in 2007 (moving east-to-west), but I don't know if that's still operative.

More posts: ANC News, Florida Rock, zoning
 
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