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This morning the DC Council Committee on Economic Development is having a public oversight hearing on "Projects Managed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development" (it's being broadcast live on DC Cable 13 and live webcast, if you're interested). The hearing is still ongoing, and is addressing many projects around the city, but there were two Near Southeast-related items in Deputy Mayor Neil Albert's opening statement that I thought were worth passing along now.
First, it's been decided to not continue to use the old Anacostia Waterfront Corporation space at 1100 New Jersey Avenue after all, and so the expanded Deputy Mayor's office will be split between the Wilson Building and the old National Capital Revitalization Corporation office space at 2020 M Street, NW, and the office moves should happen this week.
Second, Deputy Mayor Albert mentioned Canal Park, saying that "coordination of the site survey, and various site management plans including erosion and stormwater management are scheduled to begin in the next month." He also said that his office is in discussions with the Office of Property Management to relocate the school buses currently occupying two of the park's three blocks to other sites in the city, and that he "expects to have a solution soon." Canal Park is one of the items specifically on the agenda for an Oct. 1 oversight hearing, so hopefully there will be more concrete news then.
If there's additional news from today's hearing, I'll update this entry.
UPDATE: Nothing earthshattering from the rest of the hearing (which, admittedly, I've been listening to with one ear, since the vast majority of it has been on topics outside of Near Southeast). In answering council member Wells's concerns about who will be in charge of the upkeep of the new parks being planned, Deputy Mayor Albert mentioned possible public-private partnerships with the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District for Canal Park and the Earth Conservation Corps for Diamond Teague Park, though he stressed that neither of these have been officially decided on. Wells also asked about whether there's thoughts of creating a Water Authority to help streamline decisions that will have to be made that effect the rivers (such as water taxis, ferry piers, possible new boathouses, etc.); Deputy Mayor Albert said that they've hired a consultant to help them decide how to handle these issues. And, one last tidbit--Albert mentioned that there will be a groundbreaking at The Yards in mid-October.
(If you're interested in Poplar Point or the Southwest Waterfront or the West End library deal, you might want watch for a replay of the hearing broadcast, because those subjects were much discussed. Marion Barry made clear he was not pleased with how the city has handled Poplar Point, and said that he and the Ward 8 community "will oppose any Poplar Point proposal that doesn't include a stadium.")
UPDATE II: Here's a Washington Business Journal blurb on today's hearing, focusing on the savings to the city from the consolidation of the AWC and NCRC functions in the Deputy Mayor's office.

With the August recess over, the city council is swinging back into action, and there's a number of Near Southeast-related hearings scheduled over the next few weeks. The most interesting one is a Committee on Economic Development public oversight hearing on "Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Transition of Projects on the Southwest Waterfront, Hill East, Poplar Point, Canal Park, and Kingman Island", scheduled for Oct. 1 at noon. The progress of Canal Park (or lack thereof) continues to be of great interest to Near Southeast residents, and perhaps by the time of this hearing there will be some movement on getting the school buses relocated. There's rumors afoot that the buses could be moved to a temporary lot once a long-term home is secured--and apparently there may soon be a contract before the city council approving a new permanent lot in Prince George's County.
Other council hearings over the next few weeks that touch on Near Southeast issues include a Sept. 26 Committee on Finance and Revenue public hearing on B17-0292, "Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Public Improvements Revenue Bonds Approval Amendment Act of 2007" and a Sept. 24 Commitee on Economic Development public hearing on B17-0340, "National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Clarification Act of 2007".
There's also a Sept. 20 Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary public oversight roundtable on "Capital Projects and Space Needs for Public Safety Agencies," which I'm guessing may touch on the plans for a new home for the Metropolitan Police Department and whether the move to the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Ave. is indeed called off--you may recall that one day after the Office of Property Management said that the move was canceled, the Post reported that that the mayor was saying he had made no decision one way or the other.
See my Upcoming Events Calendar for times and locations. Some of these may be available on DC Cable 13 and live webcast.
(Also, as an aside, the ANC 6D agenda for Monday night's meeting is now online.)

More posts: 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I, ANC News, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Canal Park, Capper

I'm hearing scuttlebutt that today is the day that staffers at the being-dismantled Anacostia Waterfront Corporation are finding out whether they and their jobs are being migrated into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. So tread lightly around 1100 New Jersey this afternoon, because the mood may not be all sunshine and roses.
As always, the question on many peoples' minds is, how will this transfer affect AWC projects in Near Southeast? And Canal Park always seems to be at the top of that list. While the commotion has now subsided over whether zoning changes had suddenly paved the way for ballpark parking on the Canal Park site, residents and activists are starting to be concerned that the city may not be moving with enough speed to get the school buses off the site and get the park built by its announced completion date of Spring 2008. I wrote a few weeks ago about testimony to the city council that negotiations to get the buses removed were continuing, but that no deal had been struck.
But now word is out that the city is working to create a new citywide school bus parking lot in Prince George's County, and there's rumor and speculation that the Canal Park buses would not be moved until that lot has been created. An open question is whether pressure from local leaders could persuade the city to find a temporary location for the Canal Park buses while waiting for the PG County site to come together, so that the park could move forward. The park is in ANC 6D's territory, and of course city councilman's Tommy Wells ward.
To make Canal Park fans feel slightly better, here's the just-posted minutes from the June 21 Commission on Fine Arts meeting, which, if you scroll way way way down, include descriptions of the public art for the park by sculptor David Hess that the CFA reviewed and approved. (Alas, no images.)
More posts: ANC News, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Canal Park

The Washington Business Journal has a quick blurb confirming that today Mayor Fenty did indeed sign the billtoday's bill signing that merges the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. Not much newsy, so I'll just quote from my entry yesterday: "Work has already begun on the merging of these two quasi-governmental agencies into the DMPED offices, but it is not anticipated to be completed until October. (My post on last Friday's hearing about the transition has more information.)"
UPDATE: Here's a Channel 4 piece on the transfer. And the DMPED press release. And audio of a piece on WAMU radio.
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp.

On Friday at the Old Capitol Pumphouse at the foot of First Street and Potomac Avenue, Mayor Fenty is scheduled to sign the bill that transfers control of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation to the city's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The ceremony is scheduled to start at 11 am. Work has already begun on the merging of these two quasi-governmental agencies into the DMPED offices, but it is not anticipated to be completed until October. (My post on last Friday's hearing about the transition has more information.)

More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Earth Conservation Corps

Who could envision a more exciting Friday night than watching the Tivo'ed coverage of today's DC Council Committee on Economic Development Public Hearing on the plans for the transition of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. (Maybe it's time for a new JDLand motto: We bore ourselves to tears so you don't have to.)
What is probably the biggest headline from the hearing for those with Near Southeast interests is that Deputy Mayor Neil Albert called "totally incorrect" the recent reports that construction would begin on Canal Park in August. Valerie Santos Young, now the Chief Operating Officer of the Deputy Mayor's office, said that negotiations are continuing with both the owner of the unused parking lot of the northernmost block of the park (Urban Parking Ventures) and with the group that owns the lease for the school bus parking on the other two blocks, but no agreements have been reached.
With that pleasant news out of the way, there really wasn't much else of note in the hearing that specifically impacts Near Southeast. There will be job cuts as the three organizations are merged into one, and employees should know their status in the new plan by Aug. 15; the number of positions being cut wasn't disclosed. They are planning to expand the DMPED office space in the Wilson Building, but will also be renewing the lease on the AWC offices at 1100 New Jersey Ave. for additional space. (They are working to break the lease for the old NCRC office space on M Street.) Accenture is being paid $320,000 for three months to help with the transition (which got some questioning from Kwame Brown as to why a local firm couldn't have been hired for the job). No documents on the reorganization were given to the committee before the hearing, which Brown wasn't too thrilled about, but Albert says that the new organization chart will be ready by August.
And, as much as I tried to close my ears to any non-Near Southeast discussions, I did hear that the city is not planning to sign the Memorandum of Understanding that the AWC had negotiated with the Southwest Waterfront redevelopment team, because the city's lawyers were concerned about possible exposure (which wasn't elaborated on). Albert said that they feel that an agreement can be reached that covers everything in the MOU without actually having an MOU.
There were also conversations about the management of the marinas, which baffled me until I realized everyone was saying "live-aboards" and not "liverboards."
You can catch a rebroadcast of the hearing on Saturday at 12:30 pm on either DC Cable 13 or via streaming video. If you subscribe to the Washington Business Journal, today's print edition had a short pre-hearing piece on the transition plans.
There will be additional oversight hearings in September and October, and Kwame Brown indicated that he plans to have additional hearings on every development project now in the DMPED portfolio, to make sure that the public is kept abreast of the plans and the timelines.
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Canal Park, Teague Park

From the Washington Business Journal, first word that Mayor Fenty won the battle of wills on the fate of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, as apparently the city council voted today to fold both agencies into the mayor's office, under the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development. An alternate plan pushed by council member Kwame Brown had called for the creation of a new single quasi-independent "Economic Development Agency" that would have assumed control of a few of the largest projects currently under the auspices of the AWC and NCRC, with the rest going to the deputy mayor; that idea now falls by the wayside. Deputy Mayor Neil Albert (whose plate just got a whole lot fuller) is now tasked with creating a plan for the integration of the two agencies into his office, to be presented to the council in August and to the city in a series of public forums this summer. I'll add more links as the additional news stories come down the pike. To start, here's the press release from the mayor.
UPDATE, 6/6: Here's the Examiner's story. And the Post story.

More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp.

Today's Post has an overview of the tussle going on between the mayor and the council over what to do with the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation (AWC) and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC). The council is voting today on whether to create a new quasi-independent agency, the Economic Development Authority, that would oversee the largest of the land projects in the city, while letting the smaller ones fall under the mayor's office for planning and economic development. The council is supposed to vote today on Brown's proposal.
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp.

The calendar for June is quickly filling up with all sorts of meetings and hearings on various Near Southeast-related projects, and although I've been adding them to my Upcoming Events list, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight them. So mark your calendars, and if you're interested in participating, many of the links have information on how to do so.
* It's not actually in June, but on May 31 at 6:30 pm (close enough!), the Zoning Commission is having another public hearing at 6:30 pm at One Judiciary Square on Case 06-41, Camden Development/1325 South Capitol Street, this time to consider the project as a consolidated planned unit development and map amendment request to rezone as C-3-C.
* The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation public board meeting originally scheduled for last week was postponed and will now be held on June 1 at 1105 New Jersey Ave., SE, at 6 pm; agenda items include "South Capitol Waterfront Modification of Contract for Parsons Brinckerhoff" (which I believe has to do with the project to design Diamond Teague Park) and "Baseball District: Western Development Litigation" (which is the lawsuit that resulted from when the city opted not to move forward with Herb Miller's Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness plan for on-site stadium parking).
* On June 7, the DC Council Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations is having a Public Oversight Hearing at the Wilson Building at 9 am on the proposed relocation of the Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters to 225 Virginia Ave., SE, also known as the old Star/Post plant. (UPDATED with a date change to June 7.)
* On June 12, the council's Committee on Finance and Revenue will have a public hearing at 11 am on the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (bill B17-0208, "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Amendment Act of 2007").
* On June 14, WMATA's Planning, Development, and Real Estate Committee will be meeting, and included in their anticipated agenda items is "approval of developer selection and term sheet for the Navy Yard station east entrance", which is referring to a joint development solicitation proposal back in September 2006, looking to develop the 4,400 square feet owned by WMATA above the Navy Yard station entrance at New Jersey and M with some combination of a public plaza at ground level and development above it.
* On June 16, the council's Committee on Economic Development is having a Public Roundtable on "Progress of Economic Development Projects in Southwest and Near Southeast DC," at the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I St., SW, at 10 am. (This was listed in the June issue of the Southwester, I don't have a link to an official announcement yet.) UPDATE, 6/1: I've now got a copy of the meeting notice.
* And on June 20, the Zoning Commission is having a public hearing at One Judiciary Square at 6:30 pm on Case 06-32, a proposed text amendment to add Square 766 [the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Ave.] to the Capitol South Receiving Zone, a move that would allow greater height and density on the lot than under its current zoning.
So, don't ever say that this stuff sneaks through the political process without anyone knowing about it! The trick is trying to stay awake through it all.
UPDATE: I should add, even though it's outside of my purview, that on June 7 there will be a Zoning Commission hearing on the updated plans for Waterside Mall on M Street in Southwest.

From a press release, word arrives that soon we'll be seeing a spiffy video showing us what the Southeast and Southwest Waterfronts are projected to look like in the future: "Interface Multimedia, a leading provider of state-of-the-art visualization services, and WDCEP, the Washington DC Economic Partnership, announced today the debut of the Capitol Riverfront video, the highly anticipated overview of $13 billion of development along the southern waterfronts of Washington, DC. Following a five-month collaboration with the WDECP and 25+ area developers and architects, Interface Multimedia's Capitol Riverfront video will debut on Monday, May 21st at the ICSC Spring Convention in Las Vegas. The five-minute video fuses massing models, renderings, map graphics, fly-by animations, copy writing and narration into a montage of the current and planned development of this highly sought-after area of Washington, DC. [...] The high-density area embraces neighborhoods around the new 26-acre Washington Nationals' baseball stadium, delivering in the Spring of 2008, and creates a vibrant, walk-to-work lifestyle with retail, shopping and entertainment at every doorstep. Within the next five years, development is expected to bring 1.3 million SF of retail and 10.1 million SF of office space to the Capitol Riverfront. More than 11,500 residential units are set to deliver by 2012. Cultural additions include the new 250,000 SF Arena Stage, pedestrian-friendly bridges, 10 scenic parks, waterfront promenades and the 22-mile Anacostia Riverwalk trail. " There will soon be a web site hosting the video, according to the release. The video's creation has been sponsored by a laundry list of the heavy hitters of the neighborhood's redevelopment: the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, Forest City Washington (The Yards), JBG (the new DOT HQ), Monument Realty (bringing you Half Street in the Ballpark District), PN Hoffman (the Southwest Waterfront and also the redevelopment of Building 202 at The Yards), and Urban-City Ventures. And it should be noted that "Capitol Riverfront" is the name given to the Business Improvement District now being set up that will cover most of Near Southeast (just in case you might have thought that a branding opportunity was being passed up, which as we know rarely happens).
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