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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Capper
See JDLand's Capper Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
25 M
Yards/Parcel I
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
More Capper Apts.
Yards/DC Water site
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
Novel South Capitol ('19)
Yards/Guild Apts. ('19)
Capper/The Harlow ('19)
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
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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First, summer was hot, then it was really hot, then the Nationals were hot, then the Nationals were REALLY hot, and suddenly it's November and the JDLand camera has been crying out from neglect. But I took care of that this weekend (oh boy, did I), and wanted to catch up on the latest downward digging and upward construction.
Let's start by peeking through some fences to look at the digging portion, where excavation is now underway at New Jersey/Canal and N/Tingey on the first office building to come to the Yards, which will be the headquarters for Chemonics International. (Yes, it's the project that chased the Trapeze School down to 5th Street.) The other two digging locations are Lerner's residential building at 1000 South Capitol and the CSX East site on New Jersey Avenue just south of the freeway, where a hotel and 800 units of residential will be coming. In order:
Next, we have three buildings that are above ground but not yet topped out. We'll start with the reconstruction of the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia, which started just a smidge more than one year after the fire. With the pad not needing to be redone and the concrete-encased stairwells still standing, it isn't taking long for the wood-based construction to look familiar. (It is an odd thing to be watching the same building go up twice, 14 years apart--the first photo below was taken on Nov. 28, 2005, then after the fire in Sept. 2018 and March 2019, and now ).
The other skeletons are the new headquarters of the District Department of Transportation at 3rd and M Streets, which at this time of year can only been seen in sunlight for about one hour, from the west.. A few blocks away, on L Street between South Capitol and Half, the neighborhood's first "sliver" residential building (condos!) at 37 L is now a few floors away from its roof.
Beyond that we have a mere, oh, 12 additional projects that are topped out but not finished. Three of them are getting their faces put on (DC Crossing, Meridian on First, and One Hill South Two):
The rest have long since stopped looking particularly different while they plod toward completion, but there are updated photos on their project pages if you wish to see some. And yes, I'm looking at you, Thompson hotel and Estate apartments, Parc Riverside Phase 2, NAB HQ, Avidian, The Kelvin, Envy, the Garrett, and the Maren.
Now I'll turn my attention finally getting caught up on sliders. Wheeeee!
 

Finishing up my prodigious output this week:
CSX EAST: Readers with bird's-eye views of the former CSX land west of New Jersey Avenue have been sending photos showing the start of digging for what will be three buildings, according to a long-time reader who sent in a report from an August meeting about the project, dubbed CSX East for now: a 225-room AC Marriott at 861 New Jersey, and two additional buildings with about 800 units total of residential, and a substantial "co-working" space. There's no publicly released renderings, but here's a site plan of how the three buildings will fit between 70/100 Capitol Yards and ORE 82 and the freeway.
Amazingly enough, I finally created a project page, and added a star to the map. Yay me!
And a couple additional tidbits:
* CAPPER SENIORS: The permit to reconstruct the senior apartment building destroyed by fire last year has been approved. Bozzuto construction signs went up a few weeks ago, so work should probably be getting underway Any Minute Now. The base designs are the same as the original building, but I assume (hope?) there have been some updates in the infrastructure.
* NOVEL SOCAP: Novel South Capitol announced in August that the east tower has begun pre-leasing of its 184 units, with move-ins starting in October. This is along side the west tower's 355 units. See the official web site for more.
* BRIDGE VIDEO: Can't wait for the new Douglass Bridge to get here? Here's a new video on its progress.
 

Foodie news is the main focus in this roundup:
* CIRCA OPEN, EL BEBE SOON: The neighborhood's newest restaurant opened on Monday, with Circa finally arriving on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, not quite 3 1/2 years after it was first announced. As for now, it's open daily at 4 pm. And its sibling El Bebe is coming Any Minute Now.
* MEYER TO THOMPSON: The Thompson Hotel at 3rd and Tingey is still under construction, but the Post's Tom Sietsema reported in his chat last week that uber restaurateur Danny Meyer (he of Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and more) will be opening a "full-service restaurant and rooftop bar" in the hotel sometime in 2020. There aren't many details (not even a chef), but this will be a project that will garner a lot of interest.
* ALBI POPUP: If you are looking forward to Albi, which is bringing a "contemporary vision of Middle Eastern cooking as soon through the lens of Modern American techniques and Mid-Atlantic ingredients" to the Bower at 4th and Tingey in "early summer" 2019, there is a two-day "pop up" of "preview dinners" on March 3 and 4. Reservations now available, with prices set at $85 per person, plus optional wine pairings for $35.
And in non-food news:
* CAPPER SENIORS GONE: The first building I watched be built is now the first building I've watched be both built and demolished, though the concrete stairwells and elevator shafts remain and await the building that will replace the structure destroyed by fire last year. This makes for a sad entry #182 in my Demolished Buildings gallery.
* VOTE FOR MOVIES: Time once again to make your preferences known in the Capitol Riverfront BID's 2019 Outdoor Movie Series poll. Voting ends March 4.
* PILE DRIVING: That pounding you heard in your head on Saturday morning wasn't your hangover, it's the start of Saturday pile driving as part of the new Douglass Bridge construction. The approved hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. (And, while I'm speaking of it, a shout-out to the NFDMB folks, who are doing a nice job of outreach with a very complete web site and social media offerings.)
* LOWER 8TH STREET STUFF: ANC 6B commission Kirsten Oldenburg reported in her latest newsletter about some changes to traffic flow near 8th and Virginia, now that the tunnel is completed: "The 800 block of Virginia Avenue and the 900 block of 9th Street SE are now two-way streets and the 1000 block of 9th Street SE between L and M Streets will join them as a two-way street but awaits adjustments to the traffic signal at 9th and M SE. The 800 block of L Street is to become two-way (instead of one way westbound). Pedestrian crossings markings will be added to the 9th & Potomac Avenue SE and 10th & Potomac Avenue SE intersections. " She also says she is in the process of asking DDOT for a traffic calming study of the 8th and L intersection (i.e., where the Brig is).
 

Rounding up some recent small items, for those who don't wander by the site frequently enough to keep up with the Tidbits To Tide You Over offerings:
* SHOTS FIRED: Apparently gunshots were heard on Half Street SE near the Big Stick on Sunday night, and MPD reports that a suspect was arrested for the unlawful discharge of a firearm.
* SOUTH CAP OVAL DETAILS: If you really want to go into the weeds (or grass, or trees, or paving stones, or pedestrian flow) of the two traffic ovals coming to either side of the new Douglass Bridge, these two documents supporting final approval for the designs from the National Capital Planning Commission are for you. Also, WashCycle has a detailed look at the final proposed designs, from a bicycling point of view.
* PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL: From Twitter: New ABRA license app for Punch Bowl Social (1250 Half St SE; ANC 6D); "food made from scratch"; food with "social activities"; 250 seats; 40-seat sidewalk cafe; 20-seat summer garden; live entertainment
* BUILDING A WALL? (no, not that one): The Navy wants to build a flood wall around the Navy Yard that could "increase the flood risk to neighboring properties." (Bloomberg)
* CIRCA COMING SOON: Signage is up, training has begun, and Circa says on its Facebook page that its opening date announcement is "coming soon."
* CAPPER SENIORS COMING DOWN: Demolition began last week on the remnants of the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia, SE. DCist has a summary of a report on the fire and its aftermath by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The official cause remains classified as undetermined, but there are theories--and ATF also faulted DC Fire officials for being too cautious about letting search crews and "other agents" into the building after the blaze. UPDATE: Here is the report itself.
 

It would be terribly hokey for me to say something along the lines of, "It's almost Halloween, and the neighborhood is appropriately decked out with skeletons." So, I won't. But there is a whole lot of construction going on, counting not only nearly finished buildings, but also buildings getting their faces put on or heading toward topping out or now "going vertical" below ground level.
I'll go in order from newest to oldest, starting with peering down into holes that you might not be looking into yourselves.
Three residential projects that began excavating in the spring are already starting to climb upward, as you can see in the above photos from 1000 1st Street and the Maren at Florida Rock. Tishman Speyer's mystery residential project that covers all of what's known as Square 696 is a hybrid, with some excavation still underway while the eastern half is now starting to rise. (and no, we still don't have renderings.) Then there's phase two of One Hill South (Two Hill South? One Hill South Two? Return of One Hill South? One Hill South, Electric Boogaloo?), where digging is being hampered by complaints of fumes emanating from the site's past life as a gas station.
Next we turn to the neighborhood's EIGHT projects that are above ground but not yet topped out. (I could call it six, since there are two projects with two buildings going up concurrently, but let's call an eight an eight.)
Let's start with residential projects The Garrett at 2nd and I, Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, and the second phase of Novel South Capitol at 4 I, which was kind of a shocker to see go up since it was never really announced that the entire project would be under construction at once:
I'll note that the photo of the Garrett is a bit of a triumph, because it's the first one I've gotten from the northeast, now that the wrapping up of tunnel construction has given me some sidewalk access to the intersection at 2nd and H. (Which hopefully will be open completely by Oct. 18, the Whole Foods Day of All Days.)
Next, let's wander down to the Ballpark District, where the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters is a whisker away from topping out and its sibling the Avidian condo building is now well visble. One block away, 1250 Half is in its final minutes of not being completely above ground, as the portion closer to N Street is now right even with the street, while its northern portion has been skeletoning for quite some time. And at 3rd and Tingey, the combo project of the Thompson hotel and the Estate apartment building are beginning to change the feel of the western side of the Yards Park.
{Pant, pant.}
Now, a quick look at the buildings getting their faces on, since this is the stage when everyone is pretty much tapping their toes and waiting for the projects to be finished already. (There's a section of Virginia Avenue that qualifies for that, too.) May I present West Half at Half and N, the Harlow mixed-income building at 3rd and L, the Bower/Guild condo/rental buildings, and the new DC Water headquarters.
To wrap it up, there's one additional ghostly building to keep an eye on, though I don't wish to be flippant about it. Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen is holding a hearing on Oct. 25 about the fire and response, for those interested.
And that's "it." Ha. Ha. I imagine the next major update will be in December, when I will spend most of the time complaining about how the low sun angle and a decade's worth of construction has made it impossible to take photos unruined by shadows. I may have to (gasp!) go out on cloudy days until spring.
 

Just a few items to get out in front of everyone's eyeballs:
* CAPPER SENIORS VOLUNTEERING: The residents of Capper Seniors displaced in last week's fire are in need of a lot of assistance, above and beyond what the city can quickly and easily provide. There is now a sign-up form for those interested in contributing to the effort, whether it's working directly with the seniors, helping to collect donated items, fundraising, community outreach, or logistics. And there will always be a need for cash donations as well.
* ALL RESIDENTS ACCOUNTED FOR? ER, UM, YEAH, ABOUT THAT: Shockingly, a resident was found in his second-floor apartment on Monday, the fifth day after the fire, despite the building's management having said that all residents were accounted for. The man was dehydrated but otherwise unhurt. Charles Allen is Not Pleased.
* JDLAND HAPPY HOUR OCT. 11: On a cheerier note, let's try this get-together-thing again: I invite JDLand readers to come hang out with the entire JDLand staff (except the cats) on Thursday, Oct. 11, starting at 5 pm, at Mission. It's an indoor destination this time, so there should be no weather-related postponements. Would love to meet readers, and would love to have readers meet other readers. Hope you can be there!
 

At about 3:20 on Wednesday afternoon, a fire broke out on the roof of the Capper Seniors apartment building at 900 5th St., SE, quickly becoming a massive blaze that hours later continued to burn.
Nearby neighbors, Marines, and workers ran into the building to help get the residents out, in advance of the huge emergency response. Multiple reports from residents and neighbors say that no alarms were heard and no sprinklers went off.
Ward 6 council member Charles Allen reported that all residents are accounted for, and building residents were being looked after first at the Capper Community Center and then at King Greenleaf Recreation Center in Southwest.
There's no word yet on how the fire started.
This video and this shot from Channel 4 show that the main dormer facing Virginia Avenue (as seen in the above photo) had collapsed within 90 minutes. Twitter was filled with images from neighborhood residents and the DC Fire Department of the blaze and the response.
This building was the first built as a result of the Capper HOPE VI program, with construction starting in early 2005 and move-ins starting in early 2007. It was the first building that I documented from start to finish, and seeing this today makes me so sad. But I am so relieved that it appears all were rescued safely.
Much more to come, I'm sure.
UPDATE: This from ANC rep Meredith Fascett gives an early look at how the displaced seniors are being looked after in these early hours. The Van Ness Elementary PTO is taking donations to distribute to fire victims, and there will be more information on how to donate necessities, meals, times, and more.
UPDATE II: And here is the 11 pm briefing at the scene from Mayor Bowser.
UPDATE III: The Capitol Hill Community Foundation, working with Meredith Fascett and the Van Ness PTO, has created the Arthur Capper Seniors Recovery Fund, where donations to help the building's residents will be most gratefully accepted.
Also, the DC Fire Department put together this video from the scene.
Comments (17)
More posts: Capper, Capper Seniors/900 5th St.
 

Time to catch up on some tidbits you may have missed (and also time to open a new thread for the JDLand commentariat).
* THE HARLOW: A public meeting last week to update residents on Capper/Carrollsburg's redevelopment status passed along the news that the building at 2nd and L across from Canal Park will be known as "The Harlow," which does roll off the tongue a bit more easily than the current "Square 769N Apartments." The building is expected to open in spring 2019, and will have 179 apartments, of which 36 will be affordable units. It will also have about 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The update also said that DCHA is still planning to move forward with Square 767 next, as a condo building and separate rental building. That plan still needs to start its way into the Zoning Fun Factory.
* SHOOTING ON 5TH: There was a shooting in front of the Capper Community Center at 5th and L in the wee hours of July 21. MPD described it this way: "At approximately 0320 hours unknown number of suspect(s) approached the victims that were in front of 1005 5th Street SE in dark colored vehicle. The suspect(s) opened fire on the victims wounding both of them. One victim was shot multiple times and transported to the hospital, the other victim was shot in the leg and transported to the hospital. The suspect(s) and suspect vehicle fled in an unknown direction. It is unsure how many individuals were in front of 1005 5th Street SE. Two weapons were recovered in front of the recreation center, also multiple shell casings found on the scene and there are rifles casings among the shell casings." Capitol Hill Corner summarized the subsequent MPD 1D community meeting.
* BRIDGE NEWS: If you're interested in the new Douglass Bridge, check out "Progress," the spiffy quarterly update. And you'll also see the spiffy Douglass Bridge logo.
* TUNNEL NEWS: If you're interested in the Virginia Avenue Tunnel (or, at this point, the Virginia Avenue Streetscape Restoration), the latest "Coffee with Chuck" slides give estimated timelines for when the remaining portions of the street should reopen to traffic. I'm most interested in seeing that the 2nd and H intersection should reopen in mid-August, which will make access to The Grocery Store That Shall Not Be Named much easier.
And last week's VAT newsletter added that H Street's completion will also "feature a train viewing area at the south tunnel portal where a historical marker of the original tunnel will be in place," which I inadvertently captured in the photo at right, which I took earlier this month to document the new lettering on the tunnel entrance. There will be the new dog park on the north side of H as well.
I think that's enough for now, except maybe to mention that the coming Bluestone Lane coffee shop has its signage up to the right of the 99 M lobby entrance. They apparently have a goal of opening by the end of August, but (all together now), We Shall See.
 

The party's over, the All-Stars have gone home (except for the three who already live here), and it's time to catch up on a few things that were easily missed during the five-day brouhaha.
* HATOBA: The neighborhood will finally get a ramen outlet in early 2019, when Hatoba opens in the old 100 Montaditos space in the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards. (You may have caught their pop-up with "Japanese hot dogs.") Washingtonian has more about this fourth venture from the team behind Daikaya, Bantam King, and Haikan. (And apparently "hatoba" means "dock.")
* EL BEBE: There's finally an official replacement for Open Road as Circa's sibling in the ground floor of the 99 M office building at 1st and M, and that's "El Bebe," which is billing itself as "tacos and tequila." Eater DC has more, including that both Bebe and Circa are shooting for a "late 2019 2018" opening. {fixed my own typo}
* WALTERS: The sports bar in the ground floor of 1221 Van isn't coming until next year, but they tweeted out this rendering of the planned interior.
* ALL-PURPOSE: Their rooftop is now open.
* DEEP DIVES: The Post had a long piece this weekend on the neighborhood 10 years after the ballpark's arrival (with some photos that will look familiar), and Washington Monthly has a long and interesting look at Business Improvement Districts, with a focus on the Capitol Riverfront BID.
* CAPPER MEETING: The DC Housing Authority is having a public meeting to give an update on the status of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment on Wednesday, July 25, at 7 pm at the Capper Community Center, 1000 5th St., SE. I imagine this will discuss the remaining three blocks of the redevelopment footprint, which are planned as mixed-income residential buildings, including one condo building, if that is still on the boards. (UPDATE: The 25th is the correct date, but the flyer called it Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Waiting for an updated flyer.)
* BRIDGE SURVEY: Interested in the new Douglass Bridge? DDOT wants to hear from you in this survey.
* ME ME ME: I always feel weird about including these links, but if you want the quick version of how this crazy project came to be, read Urban Turf's look at the "Unofficial Historian of the Ballpark District."
 

Yes, it's time for another edition of JD Looks Behind Fences and Into Holes So You Don't Have To, and we start the rundown with two new spots to add to the lineup, where dirt has just begun to be moved: 71 Potomac, the 264-unit sibling to Dock 79 at Florida Rock, and "Square 696," Tishman Speyer's still-not-publicly-unveiled residential and retail project on the block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half Streets. Plus I'll add an up-to-date shot of the excavation at Paradigm's 1000 1st Street project, just because it doesn't fit anywhere else in this post:
(Note that I'm giving Tishman a few more weeks before I craft my own rendering. And thanks to the 71 Potomac folks for the pretty wood fences with holes in them that are perfect for snooping bloggers to look through!)
Next, let's talk about the "hybrid" hole in the ground at 1250 Half Street, aka the old Monument Valley site just across N Street from Nats Park. This is where two cranes mark the slow beginnings of vertical construction at the bottom of the hole, while six-plus floors of construction are already complete at the north end of the project, since that part of the hole was dug and the foundation was completed back in 2007 when Monument thought it would be building out the entire block instead of just the 55 M office building. This is where a two-phase project with up to 440 units of residential and more than 60,000 square feet of retail will be built:
(I need this project to hurry up and get to ground level because it's impossible to get a shot of the bottom of the hole without going up to a nearby roof.)
Now we'll move to the corner of South Capitol and M, where the National Association of Broadcasters HQ is graduating from hole-in-the-ground to skeleton, while its sibling, the condo building Avidian, is still not quite yet visible above the fence line. I forgot to walk down to get a photo through the fence of the Avidian footprint, so instead I'll just include this very bad shot I took a few weeks ago of the first hints of construction on the new Douglass Bridge, because it needs to be documented.
Three more projects are on their way upwards, including the Garrett at 2nd and I and the co-projects Parcel L residential/Thompson Hotel hole at 3rd and Tingey in the Yards shown here. (I forgot to get a shot of the Parc Riverside II hole. Probably looks like a hole with concrete and rebar, like the others):
So, in case you're not counting, that's nine projects either still below ground or just at ground level (or 10 if you include the permanently below-ground Virginia Avenue Tunnel, or 11 if you include the currently below-water Douglass Bridge work).
Then you can add those to the eight other projects that are above-ground, topped out, or nearing completion, and you can understand why it's okay to feel like the neighborhood is still a perpetual construction site, and will be for a while yet. Here's shots of seven of them, in order of progress: the 99 M office building, the DC Water headquarters, the Bower condos and sibling Parcel O rental building, and additional residential projects 2 I Street, Square 769N, and West Half (alas, I haven't made it over recently to check out the status of the Emblem condo project at 8th and Virginia, so I'm one short):
No wonder I'm so tired.
 
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