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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Capitol Riverfront BID
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The legislation creating the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District had its hearing on Tuesday in front of the DC Council Committee on Finance and Revenue. (Need to know what the heck a BID is? Start here.) It was a pretty straightforward session, with BID executive director Michael Stevens giving a quick summary of the amount of investment coming to Near Southeast and Buzzards Point, repeating the mantra about how the area will eventually rival the downtowns of medium-sized cities. There were also representatives of the CFO's office and RestoreDC testifying in support and one concerned resident of Southwest testifying about his wish that the BID's boundaries be expanded across South Capitol Street instead of stopping in the middle of the street.
Along those lines, council member Tommy Wells expressed his concern about not covering both sides of South Capitol, given the work DDOT is going to be doing on streetscape improvements, and not wanting only one side of the street to be maintained. He also talked about M Street's importance as the "Main Street" of this part of town, especially since it will eventually be connecting the revitalized Southwest Waterfront to the revitalized Waterside Mall to the revitalized Near Southeast.
There was some discussion about how currently the new ballpark is not part of the BID (because it is government-owned property), but that there are negotiations to see if the BID's "clean and safe services" could be extended to the stadium site during the 81 home games each year, which would cost about $250,000. The Capitol Quarter townhome development is also not a member of the BID, even though it is surrounded on all sides by the BID; Wells questioned that area being left out of the BID's services, but the BID's executive director Michael Stevens mentioned that residents of Capitol Quarter will be paying monthly public-space maintenance fees. He also said they hope to cover the three Capper apartment buildings that will eventually be constructed east of Canal Park, but it depends on the amount of market-rate units.
The bill (B17-0208) will be marked up on Thursday June 14 at 11 am, and is expected to have its first vote in front of the full council on June 19.

More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

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.

It's a Capitol Riverfront kind of day here, as I now see that the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District was introduced to the DC city council last week by Tommy Wells and Jack Evans; it's B17-0208, "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Amendment Act of 2007." The text of the bill is online; it describes the boundaries as being all of Near Southeast and most of Buzzards Point (from 2nd Street SW eastward, with a few jogs along Q and P), and it sets out the taxes it will assess on commercial properties within the BID. No word yet on when hearings will be. You can visit the Capitol Riverfront BID web site to read their executive summary, bylaws, and operating plan, and also take a look at some of my previous entries on the creation of the BID. And what exactly is a Business Improvement District? It's an area where the majority of property owners agree to an "self-tax" that pays for services that aren't provided by the city, like security, public space maintenance and cleanup, marketing, promotion, development, parking, transportation, etc. Here's the Wikipedia entry, if you want more general background on BIDs, and RestoreDC also has a page on DC's BIDs.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

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).

The in-development Business Improvement District for Near Southeast (which they're branding as "Capitol Riverfront", though I currently remain unconvinced) has posted its Operating Plan and Draft Bylaws, after having released their Executive Summary a few weeks back. The Operating Plan sets out how they plan to address the areas identified as the biggest needs in the neighborhood: Clean, Safe, Marketing PR & Branding, Business Development, Infrastructure Development, and Community Building. In other words, the streets will be clean before Nats games and trash cans will be installed, fear not! Note that the BID still needs to get buy-in from neighborhood commercial property owners, and go through the legislative process and get approval from the city council before being officially created.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

A little birdie was kind enough to pass along a URL for the "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District", the BID in its initial organization phase that's slated to cover the entire Near Southeast footprint. (I'm not letting them rename my Hood just yet.) Right now there's only an Executive Summary posted, but it's certainly chock full of information about what's planned for the area, and how important a BID would be (they seem to be fixated on how dirty the neighborhood currently is). The city council must approve the creation of a BID, so this document is very much focused on persuading The Powers That Be that this BID is necessary; it's chock full of vision statements, goals, boundaries, number crunching, yadda yadda yadda. But considering that the initial directors of the BID are heavy hitters from WC Smith, Forest City Washington, Monument Realty, JBG, and Potomac Investment Properties, it's clear that there's plenty of muscle behind this proposal. But if you don't care about any of that, at least check out the cool previously unseen renderings of the Nats ballpark (on page 15) and the proposed Canal Park on the back cover (I'm adding the renderings to my project pages as well). You can see my previous entry about the formation of this BID (and more about what the heck a BID is) here. But definitely browse through the BID's Executive Summary, they clearly mean business [ahem].
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Nationals Park

From the Dec. 28 issue of Voice of the Hill (PDF only, see page 13): "[...] Southeast Waterfront property owners have embarked on the creation of a [Business Improvement District] to serve their rapidly developing area." What exactly is a BID? "BIDs are geographic areas in which the majority of property owners agree to a supplementary real property tax that goes toward special services, beyond what's provided by the city. Services typical include cleaning, security, hospitality, marketing, and business development. BIDs also address issues like transportation, access, parking, infrastructure, and homelessness in their realms." The BID would cover basically all of Near Southeast (from the Freeway to the river, and from South Capitol Street to the 11th Street Bridges); the Navy Yard, while not an official member, would collaborate on some initiatives. As for when this would take place? "Legislation for the proposed Southeast Waterfront BID should be submitted to the DC Council and the Office of the Mayor for review by late January. It is anticipated that the BID will become operational upon approval of the legislation in late April or early May." There are five other BIDs already in place in DC, including and the Golden Triangle BID.

More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Today's Washington Business Journal (which as of this week is now holding all of their print content behind a subscription wall for 30 days) reports that the William C. Smith company--which has on the boards a number of projects on Near Southeast--is working to organize a Business Improvement District (BID) that would stretch from Maritime Plaza (east of the 11th Street Bridges) to just over South Capitol Street into Buzzards Point. The plan is being run by Michael Stevens, the former head of the city's marketing center. Forest City Washington (developers of the Southeast Federal Center, Capper/Carrollsburg, and the WASA/SFC portions of the Ballpark District) are quoted as being enthusiastic. Fifty-one percent of property owners within the zone would need to agree to a property tax increase to fund the BID, then the council would need to approve it. As for what exactly a BID would do, the article says: "At first ... making sure the area is clean, safe and friendly. That means a litter patrol, graffiti removal, and public relations. As the neighborhood matures, the BID's role would likely expand to tracking economic development in the area." (Yeah, if only someone were doing that now!)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID
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