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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Capper
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Homewood Suites Hotel
Ballpark Square
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Yards/Condo Project
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Virginia Ave. Tunnel
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1333 M St.
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Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
New Barracks
1111 New Jersey
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
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1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
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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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I was trying desperately to ignore this, because of inexcusable factual errors from the text version that make me want to prevent them from getting any traffic from this link, but people are inundating me with the clip, so here you go: NBC 4 ran a piece on Wednesday about Capitol Quarter, with video of the folks camping out. So if you can get past the labeling of the development as being "East of the River" (grrrrr) and the mention of its location as being near the "East-West Freeway" (GRRRRRRRRRRRR), enjoy. Impossibly high standards aside, the piece gives a good overview of what's happening, although there's no real news in it for regular readers here.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

The next offering of market-rate townhouses at Capitol Quarter is planned for sometime in June, but even with no official date announced, people are already camping out in to make sure they get their chance at a unit. I dunno, maybe EYA needs to shift its strategy of how it determines who gets to buy their houses--Sack races? Skeeball tournaments? Scavenger hunts? Weekly televised talent shows where the audience votes on who wins? For those of you whose lives prevent a three-week camping expedition to the wilds of 4th and L, go to the official Capitol Quarter web site to sign up for their e-mail list to be notified about the next releases.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Let's go around the horn and see what happened at last night's various meetings.
* The Zoning Commission voted to give final approval to the plans for 250 M Street, William C. Smith's planned 190,000-sq-ft office building on M Street just east of what will be Canal Park. The building, which is actually part of the Capper/Carrollsburg Planned Unit Development (and will help fund all the redevelopment at Capper), is expected to start construction at the end of 2007.
* ANC 6D had three Near Southeast items on the agenda--unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, so I'm giving you the quick and dirty results, and will hopefully have links later for additional details. First, they gave their approval (again) to the 276-unit residential building planned by Camden Development at 1325 South Capitol Street, but this was pretty prefunctory since they approved it a few months back and nothing has really changed except a bureaucratic need to resubmit the plan to the Zoning Commission in a different manner; the ZC hearing is on May 31. Second, they voted not to support Zoning Commission Case 07-08, the request to amend the city's zoning laws to allow temporary (no longer than five years) surface parking lots on certain squares in Near Southeast to help provide parking for the new stadium. There was also a presentation by the DC Housing Authority on what's been happening with Capper/Carrollsburg and the Capper seniors buildings, but of course you've been reading this site religiously and so know it all already.
UPDATE: Apparently the feelings against the parking case ran pretty strong; and I understand that Andy Litsky of the ANC will be testifying in opposition at the Zoning Commission hearing next Monday (May 21).

 

The agenda for May ANC 6D meeting has been sent out (though it's not yet available on their web site). In addition to a presentation and vote on the Waterside Mall plans, there's a bunch of Near Southeast-related items on the agenda, ones that I've been posting about here for a while:
* There will be a presentation and vote on 1325 South Capitol's resubmission to the Zoning Commission as a PUD (that hearing is now scheduled for May 31). This is the planned 276-unit residential building across the street from the Nationals ballpark, which because of some procedural muck had to resubmit its plans in a different format.
* Also scheduled is an update by the DC Housing Authority on the latest goings-on at Capper/Carrollsburg, including status reports on the Senior Buildings (which I imagine will include the change for Capper Building #2 [aka the "Ballpark Apartments"] to allow workforce-level residents in addition to low-income seniors), as well as on the planned demolition this summer of the old Capper Seniors building at 7th and M, and the latest with the townhomes at Capitol Quarter, as more market-rate houses go on the market and with infrastructure construction expected to begin soon (and "vertical construction" probably starting in early fall).
* And there's also a presentation and vote on the (gaaaaak) Supplemental Stadium Surface Parking plan that's having its zoning hearing on May 21. My Stadium Transportation and Parking page (and its News Items tab) can give you the gory details.
This meeting is scheduled for the same time as Monday's Zoning Commission meeting, which includes on its newly-posted agenda the final approval vote on the 250 M Street office building project (which has been delayed a bit over the past few months), so it's a tough call which one I'll be focusing on. (Especially since we know how much I love ANC meetings.)
 

Let's see.... The most interesting news of the day is that, as of 2:00 this afternoon, there were already folks camping out in front of the Capitol Quarter sales office, six days ahead of the next offering of five market-rate townhouses. Next, I took some new photos of the Nation demolition (which is not exactly proceeding with lightning speed)--check either my 1015 Half Street page for the basics, or the Photo Archive for Half and K and Half and L for additional shots. I also updated with what might be my final M Street photos for the DOT HQ, recording that both New Jersey and 4th Street are now open to traffic south of M (a couple weeks after the stoplights were turned on). And I took photos of the new DRI sign at 1st and I (though the photos don't show them real well, and one's already falling down)--they say "DRI Development Services, LLC | A Transwestern Company | Office/Retail." Still trying to get some info on what's coming there. Anyway, you can poke around those pages, or you can look at all the photos from today that I've posted and then click on the intersection/direction links to compare today's shots to what that view has looked like over the past few years.
 

From an e-mail just sent out by EYA, word that "Capitol Quarter will accept reservations on our next 5 market rate homes on Saturday May 12th, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. [...] Reservations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis beginning at 11:00 a.m on May 12th. [...] Please note that no reservations will be accepted before 11:00 a.m on Saturday May 12th, 2007, and this offering does not include any workforce homes, which will be released at a later date." And: "We anticipate an additional 5 market rate homes will be made available each month for the next several months." So, for those folks waiting to see additional movement at Capitol Quarter, it looks like they're kicking into gear. And note that the sales center is now back to being open seven days a week. For more on Capitol Quarter, check out my Capper/Carrollsburg pages. If you want to receive these announcements directly from EYA, go to their Capitol Quarter web site and sign up.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

A few articles to note in the latest neighborhood newspapers--nothing really new in them (especially if you stop by here with regularity), but they might be good roundups for people who haven't been following along closely. The April Hill Rag has a profile of Capitol Quarter, the mixed-income townhome component of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment. And the latest Voice of the Hill has "Stadium Parking Plan is 'Managed Chaos'", covering last month's stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan meeting and the reaction of local residents and leaders. My notes from that meeting are here, and my Stadium Parking page has the meeting's presentation slides from Gorove/Slade, DDOT, and WMATA.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Metro/WMATA, parking
 

Last night's Zoning Commission meeting had four Near Southeast items on the agenda; we can start with the easy one and say that Case 06-25, the latest batch of text amendments to the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay, was given final approval. Next, the expected final vote on Case 06-41, the new residential project at 1325 South Capitol Street, was delayed because of some procedural issues that went way above my head and that now require a special public meeting to sort out (which will probably be in the next six weeks). But the item of greatest interest is Case 07-08, the request for zoning changes that would allow temporary surface parking lots on certain blocks within range of the Nationals ballpark. It had been brought as an emergency request because of the time sensitivity of needing to get the lots built before the weather gets cold again (if it ever gets warm first!!!), meaning that the rule could have gone into effect immediately (with hearings to make it permanent within the next 120 days), but the commissioners balked at the idea, saying that too many emergency requests are coming down the pike these days that don't really deserve the special treatment. They did agree to an expedited hearing date (one that only needs to be advertised for 30 days), but there is clearly some concern amongst the commissioners about the whole idea, with one of them rightly asking to make sure that the rule prohibits any non-commercial use of the lots (like for trash truck parking or other industrial-type uses). So, be prepared to read plenty more about this in coming months, and read my previous post on the zoning request for more details, which includes links to the Office of Planning report on the request.

More posts: 1325sc, Capper, parking, Nationals Park, zoning
 

On April 9, the DC Zoning Commission will be entertaining Case 07-08, an emergency request to allow for changes to the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay to allow for the construction of temporary surface parking lots--to last no more than five years--on certain squares within Near Southeast. There is also a companion case, 03-12E/03-13E, specifically requesting a minor modification to the Capper/Carrollsburg zoning orders to allow surface parking lots on four squares within Capper--the three blocks bounded by 2nd, I, M, and 3rd (next to Canal Park) and on Square 882, the current home of the old Capper Seniors building, which is expected to be demolished this summer.
I'm not going to go into great detail, because I need to pace myself on the subject of parking or else I will pop a vein before Opening Day. But here's the gist: the city and the Nationals want to be able to build temporary surface parking to handle the estimated 3,800 cars that will need parking beyond the 1,225 spaces on the stadium site. These lots will be available as public parking during non-event times (so you DOT workers who want to drive to work should be paying close attention). This zoning request covers certain squares directly around the stadium and at Capper; apparently there will be a subsequent submission requesting similar amendments to the Southeast Federal Center Overlay to allow surface parking there as well.
As to why the Office of Planning is supporting this request, here's a quote from their report to the Zoning Commission (emphasis mine): "Although much of the parking needed to serve the Ballpark's patrons will eventually be accommodated by parking within nearby future buildings, these buildings will not yet be constructed when the Ballpark opens in 2008. While OP strongly encourages the use of mass transit and encourages the Nationals to provide meaningful incentives for the use of mass transit and other alternatives to the private automobile, OP shares their concern that a short term shortage of parking available to patrons could lead to illegal parking on streets and private property in the surrounding area, and could have an impact on the short term success of this important District facility. This proposal would help to address the short term need for an interim parking solution."
And, another OP quote (again, emphasis mine): "Normally, OP is not supportive of surface parking lots. In addition to being a poor use of the District's valuable land base, extensive surface parking lots disrupt neighborhood fabric; can be a source of crime, noise, trash, and light-spill; encourage the use of the private automobile over other less environmentally damaging forms of transportation; and contribute significantly to storm water run-off water pollution problems facing our great river systems. OP would not support surface parking on these squares as a permanent use to address currently perceived parking need."
For more background and explanation of OP's stance, I strongly suggest reading the OP report (specifically the last four pages).
And, against my better judgment, I have created a new Planning for Stadium Transportation and Parking page, pulling together the various documents that have been released recently (mainly from last month's TOPP meeting). I've also thrown together a map that is nowhere near official marking what I understand to be various possible locations for stadium parking. It will change as time goes on, and do not take it as gospel, but it does show which sites come under this zoning request, along with other possible sites. Opening Day is still a year away, and there will be much jawboning on this subject over the coming weeks and months. So, everyone take a deep breath, keep an eye on updates as more information gets released, and try not to panic too far ahead of time.
UPDATE: And with fine timing, Near Southeast's councilman Tommy Wells has just announced the creation of a new transportation task force for Near Southeast and Southwest, bringing together representatives of the government, residents, and developers to address the concerns of neighborhoods facing not only baseball, but also the coming influx of thousands of new workers and residents.

 

An e-mail has gone out to folks who have registered with the Capitol Quarter townhome development announcing that the hours of the sales office at 4th and L have been temporarily cut back to 11 - 6 Saturdays and Sundays, with weekday hours by appointment. "These new hours are only temporary - once the release date of our next homesites is known, our office will return to being open 11 am to 6 pm daily." Hopefully there will be news on the next release of units by the end of spring; the first 40 houses (market-rate and workforce-rate) were snapped up in the blink of an eye, and it'll be interesting to see if the level of interest is the same on the next go-round.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

A few items of Near Southeast interest were on last night's Zoning Commission agenda. First, the commission unanimously approved the modification to the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD to change the makeup of Capper Seniors #2 (now nearly completed at 4th and M) from all units for low-income seniors to add some workforce-level (30-60% median income) units as well. Seniors will have first preference, followed by former Capper/Carrollsburg residents who meet the income requirements; because there are no one-bedroom units in the public housing portion of Capitol Quarter, making this switch at Capper Seniors #2 means that former residents in need of a one-bedroom have the chance to move back this year, instead of waiting for 2011 when the multifamily mixed-income buildings get built along 2nd Street. In return for this modification, the developers agreed to amendments recommended by the Office of Planning that additional shared parking spaces be created within three blocks of the building, and that two ride-sharing cars be located at Capper/Carrollsburg (also within three blocks of Seniors #2). So, look for more news in the coming weeks on the "Ballpark Apartments".
The commission also unanimously approved a modification to the office building at 100 M Street that needed to be undertaken because their sidewalk along 1st Street is being narrowed thanks to a decision by DDOT to widen 1st Street north of M to allow for two traffic lanes, two parking lanes, and a bike lane. The commissioners were not happy with DDOT's move, lamenting that the ZC's attempts to create walkable communities with vibrant ground-floor retail and outdoor seating space can get thwarted by a DDOT decision like this one. But the commissioners also agreed that the 100 M developers shouldn't be penalized for DDOT's mischief.
There was supposed to be a final vote on the Capitol Gateway Overlay Review for 1325 South Capitol, the new residential building across from the Nationals ballpark, but that has been deferred to the commission's April 9 public meeting.

 

Monday's Post mines the changes in Near Southeast with another A1 story, "The Far Side of Rebirth." No new pieces of news, just interviews with people who've been in the neighborhood a long time, plus some new arrivals (hi Scott!). For those of you arriving here at JDLand.com after reading the article, you might want to visit my Capper/Carrollsburg, Nats Ballpark and Capitol Hill Tower pages for more information on the projects mentioned in the story, and you can also see photos of the St. Paul's AUMP Church, the Market Deli, Bennie Meeks' firewood lot, and even the horse stables under the freeway, and the changes occurring around them that I've been documenting since 2003.
 

The Zoning Commission has deferred until its March 26 Special Public Meeting any decision on whether to allow Capper Seniors #2 to be redesignated as a mutlifamily workforce (30%-60% annual median income) dwelling in addition to having its low-income senior citizens units. ZC chair Carol Mitten noted a bit of a disconnect between statements offered by the DC Housing Authority and the Office of Planning, and so both are to meet before March 26 to formulate a recommendation.
The March 26 special meeting will also have the ZC's final vote on the 1325 South Capitol Street residential project, and also the "minor modification" being requested at 100 M Street.
And, since I gave the Office of Zoning a bit of a hammering a few weeks back when they debuted their new online calendar, it's only fair that I now rave over the return of monthly at-a-glance lists for Zoning Commission and BZA meetings, which make finding out what's happening far far easier. Thanks, guys, not only is it great to see this functionality back, but you did a really nice job with it, too.
 

A new item popped up on this coming Monday's (March 12) Zoning Commission agenda, and apparently it is a request by the developers of Capper/Carrollsburg to revise one of the conditions in the original PUD to allow units in the new Capper Seniors #2 building to be made available as workforce housing (30%-60% annual median income) in addition to the already approved low-income senior units. This will probably be something that the ZC will have to have hearings on, but we'll find out on Monday.
And, let's think for a moment.... Income-limited units, in a building that will be ready this spring, close to Barracks Row and the Navy Yard Metro and the stadium.... Could this be the mysterious Ballpark Apartments? It would explain why they're using a portion of one of the Capper drawings in their ads (with no apparent fear of being sued), and there are indeed water and monument views from various angles in that new building (at least for now). It's a cirumstantial case, but a pretty strong one, methinks. Let's see what shakes out.
More posts: 400m, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, zoning
 

The latest weekly permit report from the DC Historic Preservation Office shows that a raze permit application has been filed for 601 L Street, SE, which is the address of the old Capper Seniors apartment building. This is not a huge surprise, I've been hearing that the plans are for this building to be demolished by the end of this year (mainly so that the lot can be cleared in time for Opening Day 2008 so that it can be used for baseball parking). Some of its residents have already been moved to the newly opened Capper Seniors #1, and the rest should be moved by the end of spring into Capper Seniors #2. It will be quite something to watch that building come down.

 

An ad began appearing late last week (h/t Richard Layman) for "Ballpark Apartments", trumpeting income-limited units with "Views of the water and monuments/shopping and dining at Barracks Row/Metro Access at Navy Yard Station/Catch a Game at the New Ballpark." The web site gives no clue as to where they're located, and the contact phone number is just a recording. I have heard nothing about any project like this up to now, and all attempts to figure out who is behind it have come up short. But some of the hints within the ads--coming this spring, income-limited--seem to point toward the conversion/ renovation of an existing property rather than new construction. I suppose It could be remotely possible that this is an ad for one of the rumored Southeast Federal Center projects or new Capper/Carrollsburg apartment buildings planned for 2nd Street (the ad is using a portion of one of the Capper images, but perhaps the Ballpark Apts. folks just assumed no one would figure that out), but those certainly aren't coming this spring, and they wouldn't be only income-limited units. And within the actual borders of Near Southeast (between South Capitol, the freeway, and the river), there's maybe three properties I can think of that could possibly be this project, but none of them have "water views" (maybe one of them could conceivably be marketed as having "monument views")--heck, "water and monument views" could also mean Southwest, or even Anacostia. I've put out some feelers to see if I can dig up more, but it would not surprise me at this point if the marketers are perhaps playing a bit loose with the description of the project (after all, if it were really close to the ballpark, wouldn't you want to say exactly where it is?). If anyone has any scoop, drop me a line.
 

In addition to the latest stadium photos that I posted on Saturday, there's also a smattering of new photos on the 20 M Street and Capper Seniors #2 pages, and even the Monument Half Street page (showing the hole in the ground starting to be dug as part of the Navy Yard Metro station upgrade). I also tossed in a few updated photos of the 4th and K and 4th and L intersections into the Photo Archive as well.

 

I've been flying a bit blind for the past couple of weeks when it comes to reading the tea leaves on new projects, because the New Building Permits daily feed that the DC government started last year has decided to take a breather, with no new information since the end of December. There's still the old-fashioned PDF weekly update list, but it doesn't include some of the types of permits that the feed had been including, not to mention the fact that as of this week it's 270 pages long, and can't easily be filtered like the feed to just show Near Southeast data. (Waaah!) And e-mails and questions to CapStat about the state of this feed and other issues go perpetually unanswered (Waaah! again).
Given all of this, I can only very belatedly pass on that in early January the first building permits were approved for 10 townhouses in the Capitol Quarter mixed-income project--the approved houses are on the 300 block of Virginia Avenue, which is interesting given that this is not where they plan on building the first units (along 4th and 5th Streets south of K); I imagine those approvals are not far behind, given that construction is supposed to start in the spring.
As for one of the other feeds, the list of Service Requests--where you can see when people have complained about illegally parked cars, or streetlights not working, or rats needing to be controlled--has been put on hiatus until they do some reworking of the database, with an estimated return date of March 2007. At least they told us this one was going away for a bit.
UPDATE: Surprisingly, my whining above about the Building Permits feed and the lack of response from the folks who run it got noticed by the right people (thanks to the link from DCBlogs, I think), and they say they're aware of the issue. Hopefully it'll get back on track soon.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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....
 

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.
More posts: Capper
 
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