New Photos, from On High
Jan 11, 2007 5:51 PM
Today I was able to take some photos from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott
--since it was a clear day, I could indeed see forever. First off, with the Capper/Carrollsburg
demolition west of 5th Street now complete, I've posted before-and-after photos
of the Capper footprint that illustrate the astonishing difference
10 months and six blocks' worth of demolition can make; this page also has new photos as you scroll down showing ground-level shots of the final demolished block north of K between 2nd and 3rd. Next are photos-from-above of the holes in the ground at 70/100 I
and 100 M/Onyx
, with comparison shots from last year (scroll down a bit from the top of the page). And, if you can bear to scroll ALL the way to the bottom, I have views of the Nats ballpark construction
from this Courtyard vantage point--it's pretty much like looking into the stadium from dead center field, except four blocks away. And, at the top of the Capper Seniors
page, there's a neat shot of all three Capper Seniors buildings. Alas, now I will have to return to taking boring street-level shots for a while....
Last Low-Rise Capper Residential Building Demolished
Jan 8, 2007 9:08 PM
After a little more than two years of off-and-on demolition work spanning all or part of 10 city blocks, the last of the Capper/Carrollsburg
residential buildings between 2nd and 5th streets came down today. It was on the north side of K Street between 2nd and 3rd, on a block that eventually will be home to a six-story mixed-income apartment building. I've updated my Demolished Buildings
page to include these last Capper buildings, and within the next day or so I'll update the Capper photo page
with new shots of the empty landscape--being able to see the DOT building from 3rd Street north of the freeway was a strange site today.
MPDC 1st District Station Moving to Post Plant?
Jan 2, 2007 8:29 PM
Thanks to sharp-eyed correspondent John for noticing a tidbit buried in the January Hill Rag
(not yet online), which I've also found in this December 12 press release
from the Mayor's Office discussing the new forensics lab that the city is going to start building in 2008 at 4th and E, SW: "Ultimately, more than 500 District employees will work at the 300,000 square foot building which currently houses a DC Fire station and a Metropolitan Police Division headquarters. The fire station will be reconstructed at the site as a part of the new building, and the MPD Division headquarters will be relocated to leased facilities at 225 Virginia Avenue, SE
." This is the old Washington Star/Post printing plant that sits next to the freeway. I can't tell you anything more than this--the press release says that construction at the 4th Street SW site is supposed to begin in 2008 and last until 2010, I don't know when they plan to move the District Station. More as I get it. (This is the main 1st District Station
, by the way--not the substation at 5th and E SE.)
WP Profiles Forest City Enterprises
Jan 1, 2007 6:41 PM
How's that hangover? Let's start the year off with this link to the Post's "A Family Company, Forest City, Sets Out to Transform the District", a profile of Forest City Enterprises, the Cleveland-based company that "owns about 90 acres at three major Southwest and Southeast projects where it plans to invest roughly $3 billion into a mix of parks, housing, shops, restaurants and offices. And it is one of the developers working on transforming the land around the new baseball stadium -- now mostly boarded-up storefronts, car-repair garages and nightclubs -- into a vibrant neighborhood." There's not anything that qualifies as new info in the piece, but it's a good summary piece of the developments Forest City is involved in. Its biggest project in Near Southeast is the Southeast Federal Center, where "[o]ver the next decade, Forest City plans to build an almost $2 billion development of 6 million square feet -- a space almost as large as the Pentagon. Its plans call for preserving the historic buildings and turning a boilermaker shop into a retail area, creating apartments from a former carpentry building and converting an old gun mount factory into condominiums. It will also put in streets, offices, lofts and waterfront parks. In tribute to its Navy history, the project will be called the Yards." Forest City is also behind the revitalization of Capper/Carrollsburg, and, although not mentioned in the article, is likely to be one of the companies who get to redevelop the WASA site across from the stadium (if the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation can ever finish that land negotiation). And, outside my purview, they're also part of the team redeveloping Waterside Mall in Southwest. One interesting quote about the Southeast Federal Center project, from Deborah Ratner Salzberg, head of the company's DC operations: "It really will be a mixed environment that looks like it's been here forever. It won't look like Disneyland. It will be a little edgy and have the feel of the waterfront." Can't wait to see some specific plans; the company has announced in recent months that the first projects on the site are to get underway in 2007, so hopefully we don't have to wait much longer for some concrete information.
Year-End Photo Bonanza
Dec 29, 2006 6:55 PM
As we slide into the New Year's weekend, I'm bringing 2006 to a close with a pile of new photos. The most comprehensive update would be on my Department of Transportation HQ page
, with updated photos from almost every angle, including the not-yet-open-to-the-public views from the south side of the project, along Tingey Street. And I had a lovely time on Christmas Eve morning being briefly detained by security and then escorted off the premises, so I hope you appreciate my sacrifice. I also updated all the 20 M Street
shots, as workers have switched into a high gear to have the building ready for a Spring 2007 delivery. The demolition work on the last Capper block has brought some new photos to the Capper Apartments page
(updated since yesterday), and my wanderings around the Capper footprint made me also add some new shots to the Capitol Quarter page
and even at the bottom of the main Capper/Carrollsburg Overview page
. Then I had to go take a few new Nationals ballpark shots
(yes, new just since Christmas Eve). Then, because I never want to be accused of ignoring a construction site, I've even posted fabulously exciting pictures of the excavated holes at 70/100 I
and 100 M/Onyx
. And sprinkled two new M Street
images, too. The beloved
icon is your guide to all the latest, of course. And I hope to have another big update early in 2007 with some new overhead shots, once the Capper demolition is complete. In the meantime, enjoy this overwhelming bounty.
Capper Residences Demolition Down to Final Block
Dec 28, 2006 4:36 PM
Today the saga of the Capper/Carrollsburg
residential demolition neared its end, as the last building at 2nd and L (which stood partially demolished for most of December) was finally brought down, and one of the four buildings on the final block (bounded by 2nd, 3rd, K, and I) came down; a good portion of one of the other builidings was stripped away as well. I took a few photos
of the changed landscape, even though it was an ugly day for pictures. Apparently sometime in January the demolition team will then move to 5th and K to demolish the old community center
, at which point the only remnant of the entire 51-building old Capper/Carrollsburg will be Old Capper Seniors
at 7th and M, which will itself be demolished once its residents are moved to Capper Seniors #1
. (The city is eyeing that lot for possible baseball parking, even though it's eight blocks from the stadium
, so I'm betting Old Capper Seniors will be gone by April 2008.) And then the wait will begin for the construction of the new Capitol Quarter
townhomes (most likely to begin in Spring 2007) and the announcement of when any of the planned apartment buildings for the stretch between 2nd and 3rd will begin to move forward.
Alley-Closing-Palooza Comes to a Close: Everything Passes
Dec 19, 2006 4:19 PM
With no debate, the four Near Southeast alley closing bills
that have been snaking their way through the DC legislative process in 2006 were passed at today's city council session, with both emergency and permanent bills being passed (emergency bills allow the statutes to take effect immediately, allowing the closings to be considered law as the permanent bills await mayoral and congressional approval). To recap, this batch included the closing of alleys on the west side of Square 701 between M, N, Cushing, and Half (at Monument Realty's 55 M Street
site); the closing of alleys and the creation of streets named 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and an official designation of a portion of L Street, all part of the Capitol Quarter
footprint; the closing of alleys and the eventual reopening of H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey to make way for W.C. Smith's 1-million-sq-ft mixed-use project at 800 New Jersey; and finally the closing of alleys on the east side of Square 700 (between Half, Van, M, and N), where Monument will eventually add to their Half Street domination. That makes seven Near Southeast alley closings and street changes put on the books in 2006, when you include the stadium
street closings, the Willco land on the east side of Square 701 (M, N, Cushing, and 1st) and the Square 743N west-side alley closings that allowed the start of construction on the 100 M Street
office building and the Onyx on First
residential tower. There's one more potential alley closing wandering around out there somewhere, and that's for Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street
office building; representatives came before ANC 6D way back in April
, but (believe it or not!) a squabble broke out about an acceptable community benefits package in return for the ANC's report, and nothing's been heard on this since.
1000 South Capitol
, 100 M
, Capper, Capitol Quarter
, Monument/Half St.
, South Capitol St.
, Square 743N
, square 697
, Square 701
Capper Seniors #1 Opening Any Second Now; Market-Rate Units To Be Available
Dec 13, 2006 3:10 PM
I've heard through channels that the Capper Seniors #1
low-income housing building is possibly within a couple days of receiving its Certificate of Occupancy. 135 of its 162 units are already pre-leased through the DC Housing Authority, but apparently some units at the building are going to be made available to the general public for rental at market rates. There will be a leasing office on site, with the property to be managed by Edgewood Management; when it opens, I'll pass that along, as well as any additional information I get. And there will be an official ceremony marking the opening sometime in early 2007. It's a happy moment for me to see this project completed, because it was its precedessor--the long boarded-up Capper apartment building at the foot of the SE Freeway's 6th Street exit ramp--that helped spur me to start paying attention to news of the plans for south of the freeway....
Alley-Closing-Palooza On Tap Again
Dec 4, 2006 5:13 PM
The festival of legislation authorizing alley closings and street openings in Near Southeast fires up again tomorrow (Tuesday Dec. 5) with four bills coming before the city council's Committee of the Whole for referral to the full council for voting, although clearly little difficulty is expected since all four bills are also listed in the "First Reading on Proposed Bills" section of agenda of the legislative session
scheduled to immediately follow. (For details on these bills, here's my description of their public hearings a few weeks back
.) Then there's an additional alley closing (B16-0818
, the east side of Square 701, the Cohen/Camalier/Welch land along 1st between M and N) scheduled for its final vote (having passed its first vote last month unanimously). And, while not an alley closing, there's also a final vote on B16-0929
, the Capper PILOT funding bill (which also passed on on its first vote). If this schedule thrills you beyond measure, you can watch the council proceedings live beginning at 10 am on DC Cable Channel 13 or live webcast.
The short of it: everything passed. Four of the alley bills
still await their second reading and final vote, but the Willco Construction alley closing request at 1st and M is now completed (it was actually approved yesterday as emergency legislation), and the Capper PILOT funding bill passed on its second reading, too. (And thanks go to the city council staffers who help to guide me through this legislative maze.)
Capper Demolition Part III Moving Slowly; The End of the Cappers
Nov 30, 2006 3:42 PM
The demolition of the final two blocks of Capper/Carrollsburg buildings got off to a quick start last week with two buildings gone almost immediately, but since then only one building (along K between 2nd and 3rd) has been worked on (now about 75% demolished), and it doesn't look like they've done any work on the site for the past two days. That still doesn't stop me from taking pictures, so there's an ever-so-incremental update to the Capper/Carrollsburg
page. Thanks to the current Google Satellite images of Near Southeast
still being from about 2002, plus this overhead shot
I have from 1999, I was able to count that there were fifty
Capper/Carrollsburg buildings in the late 1990s (ranging from the seven-story Capper Seniors building at 7th and M to the three other five-story apartment buildings along Virginia between 5th and 7th to the four-story blue-roofed buildings along 4th and 5th streets to the two-story dwellings along 2nd and 3rd); there are now six
left (well, 6.25), and five of those will probably be gone within the next month, leaving only old Capper Seniors
standing--but with its residents starting to be moved to the new Capper Seniors #1
soon and to Capper Seniors #2
in spring, it too will probably be gone before too many more months go by. (If you're wondering, the first Carrollsburg Dwellings were built in 1941, and the first of the Capper apartment buildings opened in 1958; old Capper Seniors was originally "all-ages" public housing, but was closed in 1973, then reopened in 1981 [six years behind schedule] as a seniors building.)
New Photos Here and There
Nov 26, 2006 12:05 PM
With the lovely weather, I've wandered out to take some photos around the Hood, and have posted a couple new ones here and there. First, I went to Anacostia Park and Poplar Point and took a bunch of new photos of the Near Southeast waterfront, and so now have my first shots of the stadium construction as seen from across the river
. There's also now photos of the latest demolition at Capper/Carrollsburg
(which also means two new entries on my Near SE's Demolished Buildings
page), and a couple new shots of JPI's 70/100 I Street
residential project (mainly showing the increasingly large hole in the ground). There's also a couple new photos on the Monument Realty/Half Street
page as well as new additions and rejiggering (and a new waterfront shot) to the Ballpark District/More Photos
page. Definitely look for the
icon on these pages, because the additions are sprinkled throughout.
Capper Demolition Moves to Last "Ribbon"
Nov 21, 2006 1:01 PM
Today there is demolition being done on the two-story Capper buildings
on the block bounded by 3rd, L, 2nd and K. It's the second-to-last remaining block of Capper structures (along with those one block to the north), and one would think these shouldn't take that long to demolish (famous last words). The three blocks between I and M and 2nd and 3rd
that face the school bus lots/Canal Park
site will eventually be home to three mixed-income apartment buildings totalling 550 units--a six-story 147-unit building between I and K, an 11-story 295-unit tower between K and L, and a 10-story 107-unit building south of L, on the north end of the block that will also be home to the 250 M Street
office building. There has been no timeline announced for when construction on any of these three apartment buildings would begin.
Alley Closings and the Council - Schedule Change
Nov 20, 2006 2:22 PM
The four alley closings bills that had their public roundtables last week have now been added to the agenda for the Nov. 21 City Council Committee of the Whole session. This is a quick procedural step, where council officers report as to whether the bill is in good legal standing and whether the record is complete; if approved, the bills then are scheduled for their first readings, when bills can be debated by the council and amendments offered, and then voted on or tabled. Speaking of first readings, the fifth currently active Near Southeast alley closing bill (B16-0818, for the east side of Square 701, along First Street between M and N) will have its first reading and vote on Nov. 14.
Workforce Lottery - 172 Entrants for 20 Homes
Nov 17, 2006 10:33 PM
With the Capitol Quarter
workforce housing lottery mere hours away, I've been told that 172 interested parties have been certified and will be entered in the drawing Saturday morning at 9 am. There were a few last-minute changes made by DCHA in the rules governoring the workforce program because of the huge response (though, again, I hope if you're in the lottery you're registered with the EYA web site
and not depending on me to tell you this a mere 11 hours beforehand!)--quoting from an EYA e-mail, "the three-bedroom Elliott model may not be reserved by purchasers with a household size of less than two"; and "the Price Control Period will be enforced with a soft second-trust rather than a restrictive covenant. In addition, the Price Control period has been modified to encourage initial occupants to remain in the workforce homes for the first three years after initial settlement." If this makes no sense, read the Workforce Housing Guidelines
for more details. I'll be there at 9 am to view the festivities (unless I oversleep, which with my lazy bones is always possible), so wave and say hi. And remember, there will be about 70 more workforce homes available for purchase as more of Capitol Quarter comes on line, so there will be more opportunities in the coming months for qualified buyers to purchase one of these moderate-income-level homes. UPDATE:
As you can see from the photo above, it was just like the lottery shows on TV--ping pong balls in a barrel with numbers on them. Fifty numbers were picked, and 20 of those people (going down through the list in the order they were picked) will sign reservation contracts. Four of the top 20 already appeared to not be staying around to sign reservations, so folks lower down the list who thought they didn't have a chance might still see a glimmer of hope....
Capitol Quarter Workforce Housing Lottery
Nov 16, 2006 8:44 AM
Hopefully the people who are interested in purchasing a workforce housing unit at Capitol Quarter
are already registered with the EYA web site
and are receiving the e-mail updates, but I'll still mention here that the first lottery for workforce (i.e., moderate income) units will be held this Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 9 am. There are a series of requirements that must be met in order to participate in the lottery, and a visit to the Sales Center at 4th and L on either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17 is required to be certified. And, like all good drawings, you must be present to win. More information is available on the Capitol Quarter Workforce web site
or by getting in touch with EYA (202-484-0360). UPDATE, 11/16
: The Washington Times published a piece today
on the lottery this Saturday, but I bet EYA wishes that the article mentioned that you can't just show up on Saturday for the lottery, that you need to go to the sales center either today or tomorrow to be certified.... (And also the comment that EYA decided to do a lottery for the workforce housing because the first market-rate units sold out immediately isn't quite right, the lottery concept was announced before the market-rate units sent on sale.)
Other Council Actions
Nov 15, 2006 1:56 PM
In other City Council news from yesterday, two bills of interest were passed on their first reading: B16-0818
, the alley closing request for the east side of Square 701, bounded by 1st, M, N, and Cushing (where a group of developers is planning 500,000 sq ft of office, residential, and retail), and B16-0929
, the bill to allow PILOT funding
for needed infrastructure improvements at Capper / Carrollsburg
. These bills will both have their second reading and final vote on Dec. 5.
Nov 12, 2006 11:10 PM
Thankfully I looked at the weather forecast before planning my weekend, and scheduled a photo excursion for Saturday, not Sunday. Lots of new pictures in the Stadium Construction Gallery
, now also reorganized so that as you scroll down you're basically walking clockwise around the stadium site from it's construction starting point at 1st and N Place all the way down Potomac, up South Capitol, and over on Half back to 1st. And I also added a new photo or two (and updated the spiffy animated slide shows) for 20 M
and Capper Seniors #2
. Let the
icon be your guide to the additions, as always. UPDATE:
Oh yeah, duh, there's also the Capper demolition along the south side of L Street between 3rd and 4th, I added a couple of shots of that as well to my Capitol Quarter page
, I'll update when the last of the blue-roofed apartment buildings comes down, probably within the next week.
Small Buildings Along 3rd, L, and 4th Demolished
Nov 9, 2006 9:08 PM
The two- and three-story brick buildings on the southeast corner of 3rd and L, and the one old townhouse on 4th between L and M, have been demolished within the past few days. These are on the northern part of Square 800
, which is home to the 300 M Street office building and also the last tall Capper/Carrollsburg
buildings. This land will be the southwestern edge of the Capitol Quarter
townhome development. Hopefully this means that the long-vacant Capper buildings on that block will soon be demolished, but I don't know anything for sure. I also haven't heard any timeline for the demolition of the two-story Capper buildings on 2nd between I and L
--mixed-income apartment buildings will eventually be built on those blocks, but there's no start date that I've heard for those projects. I will post demolition pictures soon--I've been quite remiss in my picture taking duties lately, but guilt is reaching crisis levels, and I promise to go on a photo excursion this weekend.
Alley-Closing-Palooza; 2008 Start for Smith/NJ Ave, W Aloft Hotel Coming to Ballpark District
Oct 31, 2006 4:35 PM
Today was a bonanza of Near Southeast alley closing requests, as four pending bills received their public hearings in front of the city council "Committee of the Whole" (i.e., Chairman Cropp, the only council member in attendance).
The first was B16-0799
, alley closings and new street designations as part of the Capitol Quarter/Capper Carrollsburg
project. Nothing really new in the testimony, except that it has been requested that the bill be considered by the council on an emergency basis, in order to help speed the process of getting the project underway. Ms. Cropp called the project "very, very exciting" and seemed particularly enthused by the mixed-income aspect of the project, noting that the city's past creation of "economic ghettos" hasn't worked out well.
Next up was B16-0888
, which seeks to reopen H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey
, and to close alleys and streets within those two blocks; I was not aware until today that a portion of this land is actually federal land (Reservation 17A), which is part of the land transfer bill currently pending before Congress. The northern block (Square 737, north of I) is where William C. Smith is planning a mixed-use project, which in their testimony they broke out as two office buildings totalling 600,000 sq ft, two apartment buildings totalling 600 units (with a 10% affordable housing component), 1100 parking spaces, and 80,000-100,000 sq ft of retail space. They mentioned that back when they first bought the land in 1999 they got a letter of intent from Whole Foods to include a grocery store in this location, but then Whole Foods came down and saw that at that point there wasn't a whole lot of development going on, they pulled out; but Smith is still very interested in getting a grocery store in this development. They anticipate beginning work on this project in 2008 and completing it in 2011. As for Square 739 (where the DPW trash transfer station currently resides), it is actually part of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment
, and plans are for a 322-unit apartment building with 115 affordable units, and also ground-floor retail. They don't anticipate beginning work on the building for at least another 4 to 5 years. Ms. Cropp did express some concerns about where the DPW vehicles will be relocated to, given the lack of industrial land left in the city.
After lunch was B16-0879
, Monument Realty's request for alley closings on Square 701
between Cushing, Half, M, and N (in the block just north of the ballpark
) as part of their "Ballpark Phase I
" project, which also includes the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station
at Half Street, which Monument is responsible for as part of their purchase of the WMATA land on the southwest corner of Half and M. New news from the hearing is that there will also be a hotel in addition to the previously announced 275,000-sq-ft office building at Half and M and the 350-unit residential building (mix of rental and condo, with up to 20% affordable housing) at Half and N--Monument is working with W Aloft
to develop a 200-key boutique hotel
on Half Street. The entire project will have 700 parking spaces, and Monument is planning to begin construction in January 2007 so that these three levels of underground parking (as well as perhaps some of the 50,000 sq ft of planned ground floor retail) can be completed by Opening Day 2008
; they will then continue work on the upper floors to have the entire project completed in 2009. UPDATE:
I should also note that as part of their plans, Monument will be extending Cushing Place approximately 80 feet, so that it will run through to N Street
Finally came B16-0880
, another request from Monument Realty, this time for alley closings on the west side of Square 700
, just across Half Street from the Phase I project in the previous alley closing hearing. They are still negotiating with WMATA to attempt to purchase the bus depot land on Square 700, but in the meantime are moving forward with a 115,000-sq-ft/100 unit residential project on the northwest corner of Half and N, on the site of the Good N Plenty carryout (whose lease expires today, it was mentioned). This project will have 12,000 sq ft of ground-floor retail, which, given its location directly across from the stadium plaza entrance, will be quite a prime location. Ms. Cropp was concerned that the project will only have two levels/74 spaces of underground parking (you got the feeling that parking is very much on her mind these days!). There was no stated timeframe for this project, except to say "after Square 701." And of course by then they'll have probably secured the bus depot.
For all of these bills, the next step I believe is getting them on the council consent calendar, for votes to be taken.
Is that enough information? Can I stop now? :-)
Capitol Quarter Sales Begin Saturday
Oct 20, 2006 2:50 PM
The Capitol Quarter sales office
will begin accepting contracts on Saturday (tomorrow, Oct. 21) for the first phase of townhomes being sold (I believe there are about
19 total market-rate
units available in this first batch); I'll wander over a bit before 11 to see how many people are camped on the front doorstep; be sure to wave for the camera if you're one of them. UPDATE:
Maybe I should try to remember what I've already written--the first 20 workforce units will be available via lottery on Nov. 18
, not tomorrow. Duh. Starting tomorrow there will be 19 market-rate homes going up for sale. And word is that camping out began on Wednesday.... UPDATE, Saturday a.m.:
19 units released for sale, 19 buyers in line (and more turned away). So if you didn't make it down there, you'll have to wait for the next batch.