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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Capper
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82 I Street
1244 South Capitol
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Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
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1333 M St.
909 Half St.
Akridge/Half St.
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Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('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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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/Capitol Quarter 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!)
 

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.
Other council hearings over the next few weeks that touch on Near Southeast issues include a Sept. 26 Committee on Finance and Revenue public hearing on B17-0292, "Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Public Improvements Revenue Bonds Approval Amendment Act of 2007" and a Sept. 24 Commitee on Economic Development public hearing on B17-0340, "National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Clarification Act of 2007".
There's also a Sept. 20 Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary public oversight roundtable on "Capital Projects and Space Needs for Public Safety Agencies," which I'm guessing may touch on the plans for a new home for the Metropolitan Police Department and whether the move to the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Ave. is indeed called off--you may recall that one day after the Office of Property Management said that the move was canceled, the Post reported that that the mayor was saying he had made no decision one way or the other.
See my Upcoming Events Calendar for times and locations. Some of these may be available on DC Cable 13 and live webcast.
(Also, as an aside, the ANC 6D agenda for Monday night's meeting is now online.)

 

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!)
 

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.
Speaking of 70/100 I, it got updated photos today, along with Onyx on First and 100 M Street. You can look at those project pages (and their accompanying expanded archives), or you can browse this page showing all photos I've posted from today, which includes a few new shots of Capper Building #2, which I believe is just minutes from opening. And I even finally added a photo of the "Starbucks Coming Soon" sign out in front of the DOT HQ, for the caffeine-deprived.
 

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.)
 

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.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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 and Capper/Carrollsburg will be handled through their PILOT funding programs.
 

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.

 

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!
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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.
 

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.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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.
The townhouse 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.
Three hundred low-income rental units have already been completed (or are about to be) as part of the new Capper Seniors #1 and Capper Building #2 projects. The rest of the public housing rental units will be included in four mixed-income apartment buildings planned along Canal Park, three on the eastern side of the park between 2nd and 3rd and I and M, and a fourth on the site of the DPW Trash Transfer lot at New Jersey and K. None of these are anticipated to start construction before 2010, so in the meantime, temporary surface parking lots will soon appear on those blocks to help ease the expected Nationals stadium parking crunch.
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.)
 

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....
 

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.
 

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.
But to make it up to you, I have a whole new series of photos from inside the stadium so you can see stuff that the Webcam might not be showing real clearly.
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 site.
 

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 posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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.

 

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.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

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.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 
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