Still More New Photos
Sep 18, 2007 2:05 PM
Yesterday morning, after traipsing down to check on the progress of the GPO building's demolition
at The Yards
, I took a fair number of pictures along Third and Fourth streets in the Capper
areas, since it was a gorgeous day and because it had been a while since I updated those photos in my Photo Archive
. Here's the complete batch of yesterday's pictures
, all on one page--it's mainly photos of a bunch of empty lots, but you can click on the
icon under any image to see earlier photos from the same vantage point. There's also some shots of the GPO building, though they didn't seem to be doing any demo work yesterday.
(If you've come to JDLand fairly recently and aren't familiar with my Photo Archive
, go give it a spin. You can choose any intersection in Near Southeast and see all the photos I've posted of that location over the past getting-close-to-five-years. And the
icon you see on my project pages will show you the archive photos for the vantage point you're looking at. If you're needing to waste a couple of hours, this is the application for you!)
Oversight Hearing on Canal Park, and Other Council Events
Sep 7, 2007 9:27 AM
With the August recess over, the city council is swinging back into action, and there's a number of Near Southeast-related hearings scheduled over the next few weeks. The most interesting one is a Committee on Economic Development public oversight hearing on "Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Transition of Projects on the Southwest Waterfront, Hill East, Poplar Point, Canal Park, and Kingman Island", scheduled for Oct. 1 at noon. The progress of Canal Park (or lack thereof) continues to be of great interest to Near Southeast residents, and perhaps by the time of this hearing there will be some movement on getting the school buses relocated. There's rumors afoot that the buses could be moved to a temporary lot once a long-term home is secured--and apparently there may soon be a contract before the city council approving a new permanent lot in Prince George's County.
(Also, as an aside, the ANC 6D agenda for Monday night's meeting is now online
This Week's Ballpark and Beyond Column
Aug 30, 2007 11:27 AM
My Ballpark and Beyond column
in today's District Extra of the Post covers the recent departure
of AnA Towing to make way for DRI's Square 696
development; the raze permits
for the old Capper Seniors complex
and the buildings just north of the stadium
along First and N streets; and the planned opening in September
of the new Spay and Neuter Center at 1001 L Street. (I can't believe I made it through a column without a single piece about parking!)
New Photos and News
Aug 27, 2007 7:19 PM
After a week of days that were either overcast and drizzly or ridiculously hot and humid, today's sunny-and-warm profile gave me no choice but to venture out for a reconaissance mission. My report:
The masses of workers and the well-positioned fences make it nearly impossible to take photos of the current state of South Capitol Street, but I have added a decent photo to my Douglass Bridge makeover page
showing the new South Capitol and Potomac intersection
which appears very close to being ready for traffic. Streetlights are in place, curbs have been built, paving has begun, and the historic globe streetlamps are installed all along the length of the bridge.
I also snuck a peek into the huge hole where Monument Realty's Half Street project
is underway, and from N Street you can see what appears to be vertical construction is already underway at the bottom of the hole. It's along the M Street portion of the site, which will be home to the 55 M Street office building, which itself will contain the expanded entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. Because that Metro work must be completed by Opening Day 2008, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're already pouring concrete and working upward, eight months into construction. The office building itself and the rest of the Half Street Phase I won't be completed until 2009.
And I unexpectedly found Demolished Building
entry #138, as the beige garage that has long sat on the northeast side
of the Half and I Street intersection bit the dust today, which I'm sure JPI is happy to see, given that 70/100 I Street
is growing like a weed right next door.
, 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
, US Dept. of Transportation HQ
, Monument/Half St.
, Square 743N
Raze Application Underway for Old Capper Seniors
Aug 18, 2007 9:17 AM
Along with the Square 701 buildings mentioned yesterday
, there are still a few buildings to be razed in Near Southeast (though not many, with 136 of them having already been demolished
in the past four-plus years). None of them, however, are as big as the old Capper Seniors building
at 601 L Street. All of its former residents have been moved out, and preparations are being made to bring down this building late this year, which will certainly be the most striking of all the demolitions I've watched. In the meantime, as you can see from the latest Approved Building Permit
, interior demolition will be starting soon so that asbestos abatement can be taken care of before the building itself can be demolished. In its place there will eventually be a 500,000-sq-ft office building by Forest City, though no timeline has been announced; you can see a rendering of it on my old Capper Seniors
page. In the interim, look for a surface parking lot to help ease the Nationals ballpark parking crunch
. (Oh, and check out the new photo on that Stadium Transportation and Parking page
. I just couldn't resist. I'm sorry.)
Capper Infrastructure Work Now Underway
Aug 2, 2007 8:06 PM
I'm a few days late with this, but it's still worth marking the milestone that infrastructure work has now indeed begun at Capitol Quarter
, on the northwest corner of 5th and L. Considering that the announcement in 2001 of the plans for revitalizing Capper/Carrollsburg
was one of the first things that got me interested in goings-on south of the freeway, it's quite satisfying to see that forward movement (beyond just demolition) has finally started.
Capper Infrastructure Work - Not Quite Yet
Jul 24, 2007 10:17 AM
Some people have written me saying that the work to upgrade the infrastructure around Capitol Quarter
has begun--but while it's close, I've confirmed that it hasn't actually started yet, although it shouldn't be too long now. This is work on the water and sewer lines--"vertical" construction (i.e., buildng the townhouses) is still scheduled to start in January 2008.
Water and Sewer Improvement Special Assessment
Jul 16, 2007 11:30 AM
With the area in the stadium corridor
between South Capitol and First streets apparently in need of significant upgrades to its water and sewer infrastructure, the city council is working on a bill that would create a special assessment
to fund the $15.45 million needed for the improvements. It was decided to take care of these upgrades now because the streets that the pipes lie under--South Capitol, Potomac, First, N, and I
--are scheduled to be reconstructed in the coming months as part of the streetscape improvement project before the Nationals ballpark
opens, and it was thought best to take care of the sewer work now rather than having to dig up newly renovated streets. Landowners (including the city and the U.S. government) would be assessed based on total land area and the gross building area as allowed by zoning for each parcel of land that abuts or benefits from the improvements, and would be able to pay their assessment either in an up-front lump sum or over time. With the city contributing $3 million toward the project up front and another $4.1 million to cover the assessments on public properties, the other landowners will end up funding $8.35 million of the project cost.
The bill was marked up on July 13, and apparently has changed somewhat, but you can read the original version of the legislation here
. When the committee report is finalized and the revised bill is available, I'll post them as well.
It should be noted that the water and sewer improvements for the stadium itself have already been taken care of, and similar improvements for The Yards
will be handled through their PILOT
Links for Today's Ballpark and Beyond Column
Jul 5, 2007 10:24 AM
If you wandered over here from today's Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post's District Extra, here are a few links you might want to follow for additional background: Capitol Hill Tower is the home of the dry cleaners that had the bad first day of business; my Capitol Quarter page has lots of photos and details on the mixed-income townhouse development replacing Capper/Carrollsburg that has generated so much camping activity; I've got plenty of recent exterior and interior photos of the Nationals ballpark and renderings of what it's supposed to look like when it finishes next spring; my 1111 New Jersey Ave. page has details on the Donohoe office building project that will now be expanded after their purchase of the Navy Yard Metro station east entrance; and my Upcoming Events Calendar has links for the pile of meetings and hearings scheduled for next week.
Next Capitol Quarter Release on Sunday - Change in Future Releases?
Jun 30, 2007 11:00 AM
The current batch of campers at 4th and L now have the end in sight, as an e-mail went out this morning announcing that the July release of five market-rate townhouses at Capitol Quarter
will happen July 1 (tomorrow) at 11 am. However, if you were thinking about heading down there with tent in hand in anticipation of the next release, this paragraph from the e-mail might be worth digesting: "This will be the last market rate home release until later this year
. Once we have established the date and procedures of our next release of market rate homes, we will notify you with this information via email." Sounds like maybe they're changing their release routine? We will have to watch and see.
Also, the lowest base price on the market-rate houses is now just a smidge over $600k, so certainly the prices have responded to the interest!
Ballpark and Beyond: This Week's Links
Jun 28, 2007 10:09 AM
This week's Ballpark and Beyond column
in the Post is on Tuesday's groundbreaking at Capper / Carrollsburg, and Monument's purchase of the Sunoco site. If you're visiting here for more information, you can check out my Capper / Carrollsburg overview page
for more details and links on the project's redevelopment as well as photos from the groundbreaking, and my Capitol Quarter page
has lots and lots (and lots!) of photos showing the area before, during, and after demolition. You can see what Monument Realty is up to at Half and M on my Monument Half Street page
Jun 26, 2007 2:06 PM
For those of you who didn't feel like venturing out into the sauna (hello, DC summer!), I've posted photos from today's ceremonial groundbreaking at Capper/Carrollsburg. The tent was air-conditioned, at least, and there was a bit of a revival feel as DCHA executive director Michael Kelly, Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells, and other officials sang the praises of the federal/city/private partnership that has leveraged a $35 million HUD HOPE VI grant into a nearly $500 million revitalization project. Many former Capper residents were there, clearly excited about what they will be returning to; one woman, whose mother moved into the Cappers when it opened in 1956, spoke of being one of the 55 Capper households in the Community Support Services Homeownership Education and Counseling Program, which will help her to buy a home in the community where she's spent almost her entire life.
As for the timeline, infrastructure work at the site is now getting underway, to be followed this fall by "land development", which for us non-construction types is better known as Moving Dirt Around; the start of the houses themselves (i.e., "vertical construction") is scheduled for early 2008.
And the campers waiting for the next release of market-rate homes? They got to take the morning off, but will be back. You can watch the story Channel 9 did yesterday
if you need your camping fix.
Capper/Carrollsburg Groundbreaking (and Capper Background)
Jun 24, 2007 10:30 AM
The DC Housing Authority is having a groundbreaking ceremony
on Tuesday (June 26) at 11 am for the first phase of the Capper/Carrollsburg
mixed-income townhouses (i.e., Capitol Quarter
), at 4th and L by the EYA sales office. This isn't a signal for the actual start of "vertical" construction, though--that won't begin until later this year.
And maybe this makes for a good time to have a refresher on what exactly "Capper/Carrollsburg" is:
In 2001, DC received a $34.9 million Hope VI grant
to redevelop the 23-acre 700-unit Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project as a mixed-income development, replacing every one of the low-income units and then adding to them another 700-plus market-rate and workforce-rate rental and ownership units. The redevelopment project is being handled as a joint venture by Forest City Washington
, Mid-City Urban LLC
, and the Housing Authority.
portion of the redevelopment, being marketed by EYA
as Capitol Quarter, will have approximately 121 market-rate and 91 "workforce"-rate
ownership houses; an additional 65 townhouses will contain 111 subsidized rental units and Section 8 ownership units. The market-rate houses are already being made available for reservations in monthly blocks, with the attendant tent cities popping up
at the sales center as hopeful homeowners stake their claims. There was a lottery back in 2006 for the first 20 workforce units; I imagine another will be coming before too long.
Additionally, 700,000 sq ft of office space will eventually be built within the Capper redevelopment area; 250 M Street
is a 190,000-sq-ft joint venture between William C. Smith
and the DC Housing Authority, and although it now has all of its zoning approvals
, we just learned a few days ago
that Smith is going to wait until the building is 30 percent leased before beginning construction. There will eventually be another 500,000 sq ft of office space developed at 7th and M on the site of the old Capper Seniors building
(itself scheduled to be demolished late this year), but with no current timetable for that project a temporary surface parking lot is coming to that site as well. There will also be another 30-45 townhomes built along L Street behind these new office buildings, but those are a long ways off.
Topping it all off, a new 28,000-sq-ft community center
is planned at 5th and K, replacing the one demolished earlier this year. It could start construction in 2008, but those plans might change if, say, a developer or the Housing Authority manages to snag from DCPS the Van Ness Elementary School site at 5th and M, which was closed in 2006
and is now administrative space. A new elementary school could be then constructed to serve families as they move into the rebuilt Capper neighborhood, and the community center could be part of the school rather than being a standalone project. But with the changes in the structure of the public schools' governance, who knows when any decision like this could happen, if at all. Just some Sunday morning speculation for you.
(This info has all been available on my Capper overview page
, but it's good to get it out front once in a while.)
Background on New Capper Buildings
Jun 21, 2007 10:24 AM
If you are coming here after reading this week's Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post
, here are my information/photo/news pages on Capper Building #2
, Capper Seniors #1
, the old Capper Seniors building
at 6th and L, and the entire Capper/Carrollsburg
Hope VI redevelopment. And if you liked all those purty stadium photos displayed next to the column in the print edition, here's my Stadium Construction Gallery
for plenty more of those....
Capper Building #2 Almost Finished
Jun 18, 2007 8:58 AM
The final touches are starting to be put on Capper Building #2
, the wraparound addition to the Carroll Apartments at 4th and M
. It's expected that new residents will start arriving in July, with full occupancy by the end of the summer. While this was originally planned as a building for low-income senior citizens, there was a modification to its zoning
back in March to allow younger residents with lower incomes as well. Seniors who have lived at Capper / Carrollsburg but chose not to move to the new Capper Seniors #1
when it opened in December get first dibs on units in this second building, followed by other former Capper residents who meet the requirements of having an earned income and having participated in their community supportive services
program. Applications are also being accepted from non-Capper residents who have incomes between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income (just under $38,000 for a single person or $54,000 for a family of four). If you meet the income requirements and are interested in applying, you can visit the BallparkApts.com
web site for more information, or call 202-546-1024.
As for the old Capper Seniors building
at 601 L Street, it is scheduled to be demolished
sometime this summer
late this year. Temporary surface parking lots will be built on the site in time for the opening of the ballpark
in spring 2008, but long-range plans call for office buildings to be eventually developed there.
UPDATED 6/19 with the revised timeline for demolition of the old Capper Seniors building; it's now scheduled to happen toward the end of 2007, thanks to hazmat abatement needing to take longer than originally planned.
New Stadium Photos (Inside and Outside) and More
Jun 17, 2007 1:11 PM
It seems like it's been forever since I updated my Nationals Ballpark Construction Gallery
, but I'm actually only a week behind my usual schedule--it's now updated with a pile of pictures I took during yesterday morning's beautiful weather, but beware that some of the showiest shots didn't get updated this time around thanks to actual construction
going on at the construction site.
And I've also finally expanded the construction gallery
to include four additional pages of befores-and-afters
(well, befores-and-durings) that have vantage points you don't see on my "main" gallery page. So knock yourself out looking at more shots from First Street
, Potomac Avenue
, South Capitol Street
, and N Street
. (There's also links to these new pages from the top of the main gallery.)
I also updated the Photo Archive
with a fair number of photos from other spots around Near Southeast. You can see every new photo posted on this page
; if you look really closely, you'll see a few shots that include the campers' tents at the Capitol Quarter
sales office on 4th Street, as well as photos of the colorful new fence drapings that now surround the Velocity Condos
Post Profiles the Capitol Quarter Campers
Jun 17, 2007 11:25 AM
The Post profiles the hardy souls giving up weeks of their lives to camp out for the next release of Capitol Quarter
townhomes, in "Line Forms and Sleeps Here to Live Near Stadium
More on MPD/Post Plant
Jun 12, 2007 12:28 PM
Last night at its monthly meeting, ANC 6D passed a resolution opposing the proposed relocation of the First Distrct Police Station currently at 415 4th St. SW to the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Ave. SE. There's a series of 11 bullet points describing the ANC's opposition, many of which were brought up at the city council subcommittee hearing last week, most notably of course being the potential impact on "community policing" if the police are no longer housed right in the community. Other issues such as parking at the new site, the "massing" of so many police functions in such a small area given that the 1D1 substation is just four blocks away, and the potential loss of easy walk-in visits to 1D if they are housed in the same building that contains high-level MPD functions such as the chief's office, the Special Operations Division, the evidence warehouse, and other departments.
I also finally got a chance to see the portions of the hearing that weren't originally broadcast, and one of the items that jumped out at me (and that is mentioned in the ANC resolution as well) is that the Office of Property Management is already looking for 10,000 square feet of "swing space" for the 1D substation, because it needs to be out of its current location by early 2009 to make way for the new combined forensics lab. Because of timing issues with getting the 225 Virginia building ready for occupancy (a project that could cost up to $100 million), 1D may not be able to move directly to the new building. (OPM said it should know within 60 days if 1D will need to move to swing space.) Both Carol Schwartz and Tommy Wells were quite skeptical of moving 1D to 225 Virginia, with Schwartz saying "Have you thought of how ridiculous that is?" (But she said it really nicely.) The council members pressed OPM and MPD about why the forensics lab couldn't be at 225 Virginia instead, but issues with ceiling heights and ventilation seemed to be stumbling points, although former OPM head Carol Mitten testified that it wouldn't be impossible. There was also a lot of discussion about the possibility of buying 225 Virginia outright, rather than leasing it.
And of course, as I mentioned in my initial summary
, parking issues were a large part of the conversation as well. Neither OPM or MPD would commit to Wells's idea of a ban on employee on-street parking; and as I said last week, OPM and MPD were floating the DPW trash transfer lot at 2nd and K as a parking alternative without seeming to be aware that that lot is already going to the DC Housing Authority as part of the Capper/Carrollsburg
Hope VI project. (I shouted it at the TV as loudly and often as I could, but apparently they couldn't hear me.) As described, a new parking structure built on top of the surface lot at 3rd and I would have about 520 spaces, 200 of which would be for police vehicles and another 100 for 1D staff, leaving only 200 spaces for the remaining 500 employees at this new headquarters.
Next steps? OPM is now looking at getting architectural drawings and guaranteed maximum buildout costs to the council by October (two months later than originally forecast); there is also supposed to be a parking plan given to the committee within the next two weeks, and also at some point a meeting between OPM, MPD, and ANCs 6B and 6D. A separate Zoning Commission hearing
on adding the site to the Capitol South Receiving Zone originally scheduled for this week has now been postponed. I imagine there will be a fair amount of behind-the-scenes maneuvering on the project that we won't hear much about until it comes time for the city council to vote on paying for the renovations to the building.
Campers Are Back at Capitol Quarter
Jun 7, 2007 11:57 AM
Yup, there's a new bunch of campers now staked out in front of the Capitol Quarter
sales office at 4th and L, even though the next release of market-rate houses isn't expected until July.
Capitol Quarter Camp Out About to End - For Now
Jun 1, 2007 10:47 AM
EYA has just sent out an e-mail announcing that they will accept reservations on the next five market-rate homes at Capitol Quarter
starting tomorrow, June 2, at 11 am. So the tent city
outside the sales office at 4th and L will presumably be folding up shop--at least until the next batch of campers arrives in anticipation of a July offering.