45 Blog Posts Since 2003
Go to Page:
Shovel-Wielding VIPs Break Ground for Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Mar 5, 2014 1:10 PM
A clearly happy and relieved group of city officials, developers, and residents gathered this morning on the parking lot at 7th and L, SE, to ceremonially break ground on the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
, the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building that marks the latest phase in the redevelopment of the Capper/Carrollsburg
public housing project.
Mayor Vince Gray, DC Housing Authority director Adrianne Todman, Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells, and other speakers all discussed the importance of making sure that residents are not priced out of the District, focusing on the 39 units of public housing that will be included in this project. When this building is completed, DCHA will have replaced 61 percent of Capper's original 707 units of public housing.
A lot of cooks were in the Lofts's $42 million financial kitchen, since DCHA did not use any of the Capper Hope VI funds to get the project underway. Instead, DCHA is acting as a first-time co-developer alongside Urban Atlantic and Forest City Washington, apparently crafting a "unique and complex legal and financial structure" that involves low income tax credits, DC Housing Finance Agency debt purchased by Citi Community Capital, and a short-term loan made by Industrial Bank.
And because I'm a sucker for photos of dirt being flung into the air, here's a gallery of images from the event
, which included not only the usual lineup of officials but also former and current Capper residents.
As for when "real" groundbreaking will begin, let's just say Any Minute Now. (And Nats fans and commuters should be prepared that Lot W will be cut pretty much in half by this development.)
Groundbreaking on March 5 for Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Feb 26, 2014 6:45 PM
It's getting hard to keep track of all of the projects in the ground around the neighborhood
, and now another one is about to be added to the list: the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building christened the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
is having a ceremonial groundbreaking on March 5 at 10 am, with the mayor, Tommy Wells, and other luminaries expected to be in attendance.
Of course, since this is a ceremonial event, we'll have to see when actual moving of dirt--other than by shovel-wielding VIPs--begins. But financing is in place
, permits are approved, and the DC Housing Authority appears raring to go to get this project underway.
When completed, the building will be run by Forest City's residential management arm, and will have a fitness room, roof decks, interior courtyards, and meeting space. It's expected to take about 20 months to complete once construction begins.
This is the third apartment building to rise up as part of the Hope VI redevelopment of the Capper/Carrollsburg
housing project, and the first to be mixed income, with at least 38 affordable units to be included.
The "Capitol Quarter" moniker comes from the rows of new townhouses
built a few blocks away as part of the Capper redevelopment. In the original plans for Capper's re-do, this site (known as Square 882) was going to be townhouses as well, but was switched to an apartment building in 2009. The south half of the block, facing M Street and the Navy Yard, may someday be the 600 M Street office development, but that does not appear to be happening anytime soon.
Zoning News: Yes to Vet, and Capper Hearing to Come
Feb 14, 2014 12:16 PM
Now that I've come out of my snow bunker (being a weather geek is a terrible disease), I'll pass along these notes from the past week or so in Zoning Land:
As I wrote a week or so ago, a vet is a potential tenant
's retail space on Tingey Street, but before a lease can be signed, "veterinary boarding hospital and veterinary hospital uses" needed to be added to the SFC overlay's allowed uses, subject to a number of conditions (no more than 50 percent of the tenant space can be for boarding, that any animal legally sold in the District can be boarded, incidental boarding of animals for convalesence is allowed, order and waste handling requirements, and that grooming and supplies can only be "accessory" uses). There was some back-and-forth about the word "incidental," and it was agreed that that wording be better phrased before the final vote.
Forest City does not announce tenants until a lease is executed, so the name of the potential vet has not been released.
: On Feb. 10, the commission voted to "set down" for a full hearing the Housing Authority's request to modify the Capper
PUD to allow 30 of the affordable housing units planned for squares 739, 767 and 768 to be transferred outside the Capper boundaries
to the block where the Park Chelsea
is currently under construction. (See the this map
culled from the Office of Planning Report
to help you visualize.)
The planning folks have a number of issues
they want DCHA to address before the hearing on this modification, but not among them is the biggest issue that ANC 6D has with Square 767: that the Housing Authority is thinking about a plan
that would change the original plans for a single 147-unit mixed-income building to two buildings, one a market rate-only condo building and the other an affordable housing-only building. (This plan is not mentioned in the housing authority's filings with the zoning commission.)
During the discussion, commission chair Anthony Hood noted that ANC 6D is "one of the ANCs that this commission knows is very engaged," which was in reference to the strongly worded letter the commission received
with 6D's concerns that they and the community still need to be "appropriately briefed" about DCHA's plans, and that the commission be able to "fully vet our concerns with them regarding the request for modification." Hood also said, "Let's make sure the next vote we see shows that everyone is working together."
Concurrently, the commission's vote also deferred action on DCHA's parallel request for a five-year extension to the PUD covering these same three squares, saying that the extension request decision hinges on the modification case's decision. The Office of Planning is recommending just a two-year extension
, and zoning commissioner Marcie Cohen said that DCHA needs to provide much more detailed information on the steps taken up to this point to secure financing, since it is her opinion that the initial filing doesn't seem show a "compelling need" for an exemption.
The hearing date isn't yet set, and DCHA will have to go to ANC 6D (and probably 6B as well) in order to request support before its zoning commission appearance. The Housing Authority and 6D have had a pretty contentious relationship over the years in regards to the Capper redevelopment, and it's unlikely that the deliberations over this zoning request will change that.
Financing Lined Up for Mixed-Income Rental Building at 7th and L
Jan 7, 2014 8:45 AM
The neighborhood appears to have (yet) another residential project likely to get underway in 2014, as the DC Housing Authority has finally gotten the financing together for the long-planned 195-unit mixed-income residential building at 7th and L SE
, on the site of the old Capper Seniors building
The building permit for the project was approved a few months ago, and with money now in place, it's expected that dirt should begin to move within a few months ("expected" as always being the key word). This building, which will face the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters
across L, will be all rentals, and will have 39 affordable housing units alongside the market-rate offerings.
Documents filed with the Recorder of Deeds refer to the project as "The Lofts at Capitol Quarter." The building will be run by Forest City's residential management arm, and will have a fitness room, roof decks, interior courtyards, and meeting space. It's expected to take about 20 months to complete once construction begins.
Nats fans may be a bit chagrined by this news, though, since the new building will take out a chunk of Economy Lot W, cutting the number of spaces down to 186 once the lot is reconfigured (hopefully by Opening Day).
Note that this building is only on the north side of the block, which is why Lot W isn't disappearing completely--yet. The south side is slated to someday be a sizeable office building, though no start date appears to be anywhere on the boards for that.
This will be the first mixed-income apartment building to come out of the Capper Hope VI redevelopment
; the first two apartment buildings completed--Capper Seniors
and 400 M
--are both all affordable-housing units. Four (or maybe five
) additional residential buildings, with another 900-plus mixed-income units including about 285 affordable units, are still to be built before Capper reaches full build-out of its residential component.
This project is now on the 2014 docket along with Forest City's Yards/Parcel N
, WC Smith's 800 New Jersey
(aka The Whole Foods Building), and Donohoe's 1111 New Jersey
, if these developers can make it past my jaded skepticism about announced start dates (well earned during the Lean Years of 2008-2012) and start building.
And, when the Lofts at Capitol Quarter are completed, the south side of L Street between 5th and 7th will look a little different from what was there before
DCHA Looking at Splitting Incomes in Buildings on Square 767
Jan 5, 2014 9:01 PM
City Paper's Housing Complex blog reported last week
that the DC Housing Authority is investigating the possible sale of 10,000 square feet of Capper/Carrollsburg
land on the Square 767, the block bounded by 3rd, 2nd, I, and K, "to a private developer to construct market-rate condominiums, and then to use that money to help build an all-affordable apartment building, with 48 units, on an adjacent parcel."
CP: "The plan would speed up the construction of the delayed replacement units, for which funding has been a sticking point. But it would also mean separating the affordable and market-rate units into separate buildings, which some neighbors see as a violation of the spirit of the Hope VI redevelopment, which has seen low-income and market-rate units blended together throughout the neighborhood."
While no developer has officially been named, I would note that an observant blogger noted back in March
that a soil boring permit on the block now in question had been issued to EYA, developer of the Capitol Quarter
townhomes that make up the bulk of the reconstructed Capper footprint.
ANC commissioner David Garber has made clear his displeasure
with the Housing Authority's lack of pursuit of community input on this plan, and is also quoted by City Paper saying that the proposal is "a pretty big change from people's expectations." At its December meeting, ANC 6D voted
to "express our disapproval of the planned sale."
In response to the article, DCHA emphasized
that this move would not change the overall mixed-income approach for Capper's redevelopment, and added
, "we believe additional homeownership options will be good for the community."
This is not as yet a done deal, with DCHA saying that at this point they have just asked their board for permission to explore the possibility.
In the Hope VI plans for Capper
as approved by the Zoning Commission back in 2004, this block and the two blocks to the south, which run along the eastern edge of Canal Park, are to house for apartment buildings
totaling 613ish mixed-income units. Two additional buildings--on the former site of the trash transfer station at New Jersey and K and on the old Capper Seniors site at 7th and L
on Square 882--would add another 510ish mixed-income units.
Willie's Gets a Building Permit; Other Permits of Note
Mar 26, 2013 12:07 PM
Now that the Park Tavern looks just about ready to open (and the grapevine tells me it got its liquor license on Monday morning), it looks like Xavier Cervera is turning his attention to the project we have known as Willie's Brew and Que
at the Boilermaker Shops
at the Yards.
So now everyone can start keeping an eye out for any work in the space on the Boilermaker Shops' western end, on Tingey at 3rd Street. (The photo above is from a visit I made to the Willie's spot back in September.)
Other items worth noting in the latest permitting blitz:
* The Park Tavern has gotten its permit for a 75-seat summer garden.
* Gordon Biersch's outdoor seating has been reduced from a 94-seat area to a 60-seat summer garden.
Then there's this additional tidbit, which needs to have a glaring "CONJECTURE!" label attached to it. But a few weeks ago EYA got a soil boring permit for 908 2nd Street, SE, which is the empty parking lot owned by the Housing Authority between I and K and between Canal Park and EYA's now-completed Capitol Quarter townhouse project. I have heard rumors for a while now that there's been talk of another deal between EYA and DCHA, though not for townhouses this time around. The empty lot where the soil borings took place is part of the Capper Hope VI footprint
, and the plans have always been for a six-story, 147-unit mixed-income building on that site. Is something in the works? All together now: We shall see!
The Smokestack, Getting De-Smoked
Sep 13, 2012 3:56 PM
A moment many people have been looking forward to (but which at least one person might be lamenting):
Yes, demolition has started on the smokestack at the DPW/Trash Transfer station at New Jersey and K. It'll take a few days, I was told, so you have a little more time to say goodbye.
Check back in a few, when I'll have some additional photos in the main photo archive (UPDATE
: here's a few, from New Jersey and K
). But here's a couple more showing the first bite taken out of the top of Ye Olde Smokestack:
Trash Transfer Building Slowly Heading to the Trash Heap
Jul 30, 2012 1:57 PM
Sending the old trash transfer station building on New Jersey Avenue to the big trash transfer station in the sky that's been almost as anticipated among residents as the departure of the school buses from the Canal Park site
a few years back, and action over the past few days seems to indicate that the end is almost upon us.
The glass blocks came out of the large window areas last week, and some big chunks came out of the building's north side this morning, though then the work came to a halt. But even if it's not gone within the next 24 hours, clearly the clock is finally ticking, as you can see in the photo at right (see enlarged version
If you're already feeling nostalgic for the structure, my photos of the building's interior
taken a few weeks ago could ease your pain.
Getting Inside the Trash Transfer Station, Before It's Gone
Jun 27, 2012 9:55 AM
It's not exactly a palace, but it would have killed me had the old trash transfer station/DPW site at 900 New Jersey Ave., SE, been razed without my ever having gotten inside the fences with my camera.
Since the demolition countdown clock is now ticking (though no one wants to commit to an actual *when*, other than "near-term"), I finally got to traipse around the 1920s-era building on Tuesday.
I took far more photos than the building probably warrants, but the historical record must be served.
I even got to peek down
into the first of the five 60-foot shafts being dug along New Jersey Avenue and then beneath the eventual I Street footprint in order to move a very big and very deep pipe. That work has to be completed before construction can begin on the Park Chelsea
apartment building just to the north of the trash transfer station.
As for the station's lot once razing is complete, it could be a temporary parking lot until the eventual construction of a mixed-income apartment building that's part of the Capper-Carrollsburg redevelopment
. All of this presuming that no one decides to lay in front of the bulldozers to prevent the building from being torn down.
Capper Milestone: Capitol Quarter Townhouses Now Sold Out
Mar 29, 2012 9:40 AM
It's a real milestone in the redevelopment of Near Southeast to report that the entire stock of townhouses for sale at Capitol Quarter
has now sold out.
The first reservations for units were taken in October 2006
(remember the people camping out?), construction began in summer 2008
, Phase 1 finished construction and Phase 2 reservations began in 2010, and now, with construction underway on the last group of houses on L between 3rd and 4th, the finish line for the project is not far away.
The development has been the third phase of the Hope VI redevelopment
of the old Capper/Carrollsburg
public housing project, replacing the old housing with nearly seven blocks of brightly painted rowhouses, containing not only 130ish market-rate townhouses (a few of which have broken the $1 million barrier) but also 90ish special workforce-rate
houses for smaller incomes, in addition to nearly 90 subsidized rental units.
Those units, combined with the 300 built at Capper Seniors #1
and 400 M Street
, mean that more than half of the 700 units in the old Capper have now been replaced. The rest are slated to come in five mixed-income apartment buildings
, located on the west side of 3rd Street, on L Street south
of the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, and on the DPW/trash transfer station site at New Jersey and K. No timelines have been announced for any of the remaining buildings, but you can see on my main Capper page
a map with estimated unit counts for each.
I've taken a lot (a LOT) of photos of the Capper footprint since 2003: my Capitol Quarter Phase 2
and Phase 1
pages give a good overview, or you can just pick a spot along 3rd, 4th, or 5th Streets in my Photo Archive
and take a look.
DPW: Move From New Jersey Ave. Scheduled for March 31
Feb 8, 2012 9:37 AM
File this under Sometimes Twitter is Actually Useful:
On Monday, DDOT was plugging a "Parking Chat"
being held with their head Terry Bellamy and the top dogs at DMV and DPW, and asked readers for "parking questions."
Because I can't ever resist being a smart ass, I replied
: "My parking question: When will DPW be parking its truck fleet on Okie St. NE instead of New Jersey Ave. SE? :-)" (See that smiley? I was at least acknowledging I was being a smart ass.)
"The move is scheduled to take place on March 31st."
As I've written a number of times, this move needs to happen so that old trash transfer building at New Jersey and K can be demolished, which will allow for the transfer of a smidge of that property to William C. Smith so that they can begin work on the Park Chelsea
apartment building on the block just to the north. It will also clear the way for the punching through of I Street from 2nd Street to New Jersey Avenue, which WC Smith will handle as part of the Park Chelsea construction.
This is a later time frame than we had last heard (which is nothing new for this spot), but it sounds like they certainly do expect to be moving at the end of March.
CSX Meeting Reminder; ANC 6D Redistricting, Capper Votes
Sep 13, 2011 9:16 PM
First, a reminder that Wednesday Sept. 14 brings the Public Scoping Meeting
for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project. This is a "we want to hear what YOU think!" meeting, so there will be no presentations of actual plans for the construction. It will just be an open house with information on what exists and what needs to be done, and a chance for interested parties to submit their feedback to DDOT and the FHWA. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Van Ness Elementary School; you can read more about the meeting
in my post from last month. There's also the official web site
, and this flyer from the newly formed Concerned Citizens of Virginia Avenue
that makes clear their opinion on what's to come. Additional meetings where CSX will finally provide some specifics on their designs and plans should come later this fall.
* Capper Time Extensions:
The commission voted 7-0 to support the request for two-year extensions
on two planned Capper apartment
buildings and the office building planned for 600 M Street
, which is also part of the Capper redevelopment. (I hadn't realized that 600 M was part of this request when I wrote my entry last week
.) This would push the planned start dates for these three projects into the late 2013-early 2014 time frame.
As is usually the case with any Capper issue in front of the commission, Chairman McBee brought up the delayed community center
, which Housing Authority representatives said should get its needed $7.4 million in funding when a new bond issuance happens later this year, and a building permit should be filed for in advance of the July 2012 deadline. As is also most always the case with Capper issues, the commission also wanted statistics and information on the former residents of the project, and whether they are being tracked and worked with. The DCHA reps said that 129 residents have returned to Capper, with another 550 on the waiting list, though some of those have turned down recently completed units for various issues (not wanting a walkup, etc.). This is with about half of the required 707 public housing units already constructed.
This extension was to have been heard by the Zoning Commission on Monday night, but since the ANC had not yet had a chance to weigh in, the applicants agreed with a request to delay action until the Zoning Commission's Sept. 26 meeting. If you want to know more, you can read my entry from last week
(no need to write it all again!).
The ANC proffered an alternate Single Member District map from what the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force has proposed
. It tweaks the proposed boundaries in a way that moves current commissioner David Garber's building and the 70/100 I buildings back into 6D07 (along with the small block in Southwest bordered by South Capitol, M, N, and Carrollsburg Place), while placing Capitol Hill Tower, 909 New Jersey, and Velocity in 6B03, which reaches across South Capitol from Southwest. (The proposed SMDs that cover Near Southeast are in my quickie map at right
.) Commissioner Cara Shockley, whose 6D02 was altered substantially from what the task force had proposed
(it would have covered the portion of Near Southeast now given to 6D03, along with 70/100 I and Onyx, but not CHT), told the commission she was completely opposed to the new boundaries, and had no idea that such a big change was being proposed by the ANC, having been unable to open the attachments with the map images. David Garber took no official position on 6D's map, saying that because his constituents have made clear that they feel Near Southeast belongs in 6B and not 6D he would not be voting. In the end, the ANC supported the resolution offering up the alternate map in a 4-1-2 vote, with Garber and Bob Craycraft abstaining and Shockley voting against.
The task force's next public meeting
is on Sept. 19 to propose the second draft of SMD boundaries, followed by a final meeting to approve their final draft maps on Sept. 22. Tommy Wells will then submit recommendations on boundaries to the city council by Sept. 30. For more on all the redistricting process, see my previous entries
DCHA Files for Time Extension on Two Capper Apartment Projects
Sep 7, 2011 3:06 PM
The DC Housing Authority has filed a request with the Zoning Commission for a time extension to construct the mixed-income apartment buildings
it has planned for the north half of Square 882 (the old Capper Seniors block along L Street between 5th and 7th, seen at right) and the north half of Square 769, between 2nd and 3rd on L just east of Canal Park (below, the building at left, next to the proposed 250 M Street
When the plans for these two buildings were approved by the Zoning Commission in 2009
(see the zoning order
), it was required that building permits be applied for by August of this year, with construction to begin by August of 2012. However, attempts at funding either the Square 882 189-unit building or 171-unit Square 769N building the have not thus far borne any fruit, and so a time extension is needed. Between them, the buildings would have 72 units reserved for households making less than 60 percent of the area median income, and the Square 769 building would also have just over 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The Zoning Commission will hear this request at its meeting on Monday night
; because there is no request to modify any portion of the PUD beyond the time requirement, this will most likely be handled as a consent calendar item. There will also be a presentation on this request and the state of the Capper redevelopment in general at Monday's ANC 6D meeting. (There was also one given at Tuesday night's ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, but I had a baseball game
to watch.) But since the Zoning Commission hearing is at the same time as the 6D meeting, it would seem that there is no anticipated opposition from 6D.
The Office of Planning prepared a short report recommending approval
of the time extension, showing that the requirements for an extension have been met. It also quotes the development team as saying that there have been 75 outreach efforts for financing, all unsuccessful. "The inability to secure financing for residential projects, especially those including affordable units, is not unusual in the current marketplace."
If you want to know more about these two planned apartment projects, and the other three mixed-income buildings planned along the east side of Canal Park and on the DPW/trash transfer site, my Capper Apartments page
has additional background, as do the scads of blog posts
I've written on the various plans. And my main Capper page
has the background on the entire redevelopment project.
Raze Permit Application Filed for Trash Transfer Site
Jun 16, 2011 8:42 AM
Just arrived this morning is a copy of the raze permit application for 900 New Jersey Avenue SE
, far better known as the trash transfer site, where the city's Department of Public Works has operated out of for many years. The block is part of the footprint of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment
, and is slated to eventually become a 320-ish-unit mixed-income apartment building.
Its demolition will allow for the construction of I Street between 2nd and New Jersey, which also paves the way for William C. Smith to be able to start on its planned residential project just to the north at 800 New Jersey
The DC Housing Authority will be handling the demolition, which won't happen until a new DPW home is constructed in Northeast, though they are hoping that the move happens before the leaves start to fall. And then there will need to be environmental abatements on the site, which has had trash-related operations on it for a long long time
Current Capper Redevelopment Projects Status Update
Oct 12, 2010 12:49 PM
I was recently successful in pestering David Cortiella, grand poobah of the Capper
/Hope VI realm at the DC Housing Authority, into giving me an update on the various projects in Near Southeast that he's currently working on. Here's the latest, while always keeping in mind that dates, especially in These Uncertain Economic Times, are not written in stone:
* At Capitol Quarter
, the public infrastructure work on Phase 2 has already started, as people can see by the earth that started being moved in late September on the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K. The financing for this block's construction is expected to close at the end of this week, which would allow for the completion of the first houses by the middle of next year. The entire Capitol Quarter development is expected to be finished by the middle of 2013.
* On Square 882
(the block bounded by 5th, 7th, L, and M), the Housing Authority continues to work toward the construction of an 189-unit mixed-income apartment building on the north side of the block (along L Street, seen below). Their application for an FHA mortgage loan guarantee was submitted earlier this month, and DCHA is expecting that financing for the project will be in place by the end of the year, with construction starting in late winter or early spring of 2011.
As part of 882's new construction, the existing parking lot (known to Nats fans as economy Lot W
) will be downsized somewhat, but not eliminated altogether. DCHA is estimating that there will be 190 parking spaces in the new lot, and that the lot will continue to be available during the construction of the new apartment building. There will probably be some disruptions when the building construction gets underway, but DCHA expects them to be minor. There's no timeline for when the 600,000-square-foot office building that's also part of the Capper Hope VI plans would get built along the M Street portion of the block, so people who use the lot on a daily basis are probably safe to bet on having it for a while.
* Residents may not be aware that DCHA is also involved in the disposition of the current DPW operations at New Jersey and K
, since that block is part of the Capper redevelopment
and is slated to eventually have a 322-unit mixed-income apartment building on it. A new site for DPW's trucks has been identified (I don't know where), and once DPW drives off the lot for the last time, the environmental assessments and abatement of the site can get underway. And, as much as it pains me to imagine the neighborhood without that smokestack, it's anticipated that the building and the smokestack will be demolished by the end of 2012.
* Some of the money that DCHA recently obtained on the bond markets
to pay for the second phase of Capitol Quarter is earmarked to go toward the infrastructure work around Canal Park
, and DCHA is working with the Canal Park Development Association get this funded. [I'll note that not much seems to have happened along 2nd Street since the park's ceremonial groundbreaking
, which would seem to jibe with the delicate "working with" phrasing here.]
Housing Authority Officially Requests Marines Stop Looking at Square 882 for New Barracks
May 28, 2010 12:58 AM
I've been chroncling
over the past few months the Marine Corps' search
for a spot for a new barracks, which has focused on a number of sites in Near Southeast, including the block bounded by Fifth, Seventh, L and M just south of their newest barracks that used to be home to the old Capper Seniors apartment building. It's been clear in public meetings and various other rumblings that both city planning officials and the DC Housing Authority are very much against
the Marines using this site, with plans having been in place
for a number of years for this now-empty/parking-lot block
to become home to both a 600,000-square-foot office building and a 189-unit mixed-income apartment building (shown above) as part of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment
Clearly feeling that the Marines haven't given up on the site as an option despite these plans, DCHA has now sent the Marines a letter
officially requesting that the Corps "not continue to propose redevelopment options on the DCHA-owned Square 882 as a future site for its facility needs." The letter explains that DCHA has already secured funds to improve the infrastructure around the square, has spent "substantial predevelopment funds" on design and engineering drawings, and is anticipating beginning work on the residential portion of the site in October. (There's currently no timetable for the office portion.) Further, DCHA says it "recently received an invitation from HUD to submit an application for a FHA loan guarantee to support the planned residential construction on the site," and that this construction is expected to start "this winter."
Nothing in the letter is necessarily a surprise--I've written fairly extensively about DCHA's plans
and about the zoning travails they went through before getting a second-stage PUD approval
for Square 882 last year, which even included many discussions and agreements
with both the Marines and the Navy about security requirements for the new buildings on this block. But clearly DCHA is hoping to be completely removed from the Marines' list of potential sites in the same way that the DC Public Schools (and parents) got Tyler Elementary removed from consideration. But it's also clear from the public workshops that the Marines very much like what Square 882 has to offer them in terms of space and proximity to the other USMC operations in the area.
The Marines are hoping to make a decision on a site by September. You can see all the sites under consideration
and the various options on the "Community Integrated Master Plan" web site.
The Current Canal Park Timeline
Mar 25, 2010 9:52 AM
A few days ago, WBJ reported
Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos saying that Canal Park
"will move forward" in June. With the previous comments on the park's timeline indicating a September start of construction
, my curiosity was piqued, so I contacted the park association's executive director, Chris Vanarsdale, to find out the latest. To wit:
At this point, work is continuing on the design documentation, which is expected to be completed in June, and it's still expected that construction on the park itself will begin in September. However, the plans now also include $1.5 million of infrastructure work beneath Second Place (the road that runs on the eastern side of the park), which will be paid for out of the $29 million in Capper bonds
that are hitting the market this week. (This wouldn't appear to be any sort of evil cost-shuffling by the city, since Second Place runs along blocks that will eventually house three Capper apartment buildings
and WC Smith's 250 M Street
office building that is also technically part of Capper's Hope VI redevelopment
The work on the utilities below Second Place, which are apparently quite a mess, will also allow the park to install stormwater management infrastructure to be in place for when the new apartment buildings are constructed, so that the park can capture water from those buildings' roofs to be used in the park for irrigation, fountain water, and whatnot. And, if there's any money left over after the infrastructure work, there's now streetscape designs for the east side of Second Place that complement the park's design, which would extend the "feel" of the park across the street.
It's this infrastructure work that will begin this summer, prior to the actual start of work on the park itself. The hope is to have a groundbreaking ceremony in July, though at this point all timeline forecasts are subject to the completion of the permitting process for construction, and we know how THAT can sometimes go. This also assumes that there aren't any (more) big surprises lurking beneath Second Place in terms of the existing water, sewer, and other utility lines.
The park's opening date is still pegged at fall 2011, since the work on the park itself is expected to take between 12 and 14 months. The design is still pretty much the one that we've been seeing for a while--there are a few renderings on my Canal Park page
, and you can also visit the official park web site
for more details.
Bond Sale Pending for Capper Infrastructure Improvements (and Some Timeline Hints)
Mar 22, 2010 11:43 AM
It's more than 100 pages of high finance and headache-inducing legalese, but nonetheless I've gotten my hands on the "Preliminary Official Statement
" for what is expected to be a $29 million PILOT bond sale to fund a series of infrastructure improvements for future phases of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment
. (This is the document written for investors to help them decide whether or not to purchase the bonds.) If you want to know all about how these bonds are being structured (with monies from the Downtown TIF playing a part), this is the document for you. It also has some good background on the Capper project if you're just catching up.
But it also has a few tidbits on the current and projected path of some upcoming parts of the overall project, starting on page 19. Here are the items that are probably of most interest, with the usual caveats that no timeline is written in stone anymore:
* Financing for the second phase of Capitol Quarter
is being negotiated and is expected to close in mid-2010. Development work would then begin in August, and vertical construction in November. (Phase 2 covers the blocks between Third and Fourth and I and M, and will contain 116 new for-sale townhouses and 47 public housing rental units.)
* All but five of the 121 CQ phase 1 townhouses have sold, and two of those are being held back as model units.
* Financing is "being negotiated" for the planned apartment building on the northern half of Square 882
, the site that's been the subject of my recent posts
on the Marines coveting the site as well. That financing is expected to close in late 2010 according to this document, with an expected completion date of the apartment building in April 2012.
This $29M bond sale is not the last one for Capper infrastructure; the city council approved a total of $55 million in bond funding back in 2006, and the document says that the city "expects" another bond issuance for the rest of the money, "though the timing of such issuance is currently uncertain" (page 10).
As for what exactly the monies will be funding, the document lays out the following (page 22), though this is for the entire $55 million, so it can't be said that this current $29 million offering will cover all this (which will bum out the people who see the phase "community center"). Some of this work would also happen on the streets surrounding Canal Park
* Repairing and replacing underground water and utility lines;
* Repairing streets and streetscapes and adding landscaping;
* Demolishing the DPW building (and smoke stack!) at 900 New Jersey, relocating DPW's operations, environmental site remediations (remember, that site was operating as a trash transfer site as far back as 1905
* Building I Street through to New Jersey Avenue; and
It's expected that the bonds will be "priced" this week, with the sale closing by the end of the month.
I hear rumors that DPW could be out of their site by next spring, as the search continues for a new home for their operations (and maybe is getting close to a resolution).
Council Passes Bill for Capper Bond Sale
Dec 15, 2009 4:06 PM
Mere moments ago, the city council passed on an emergency basis B18-475
, the "Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Public Revenue Bonds Amendment Act of 2009," which will allow the CFO's office to issue $32 million in city-backed bonds to help fund "phase 3" infrastructure improvements at Capper/Carrollsburg
. This would be in addition to the $9.5 million in stimulus money that DCHA was awarded by HUD
that will allow the phase 2 townhouses at Capitol Quarter
to go forward, possibly by the third quarter of 2010 if current financing negotiations with EYA go smoothly. By passing it on an emergency basis, the city can go to the bond market perhaps before the end of this month or in January, which apparently is a prime time to go a'sellin.
Canal Park Briefing at ANC 6D; CSX Meetings; Lower 8th Street Documents and Agenda
Nov 5, 2009 9:46 PM
Here's a bunch of little items and event reminders. Alas, next week's pile of happenings come at a bad time on my calendar, and I'm going to have to miss almost all of them, so this would be a good chance for everyone to attend these meetings themselves instead of sitting around waiting for me to tell you what happened at them. :-)
* The next night, ANC 6B
(Capitol Hill SE and Eighth Street) is having its November meeting, where there will be a presentation by CSX on its planned Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction. (Voice of the Hill recently wrote about the plans
, and you can read my posts
about them, which include links to some source documents.) ANC 6B's meeting is Nov. 10 at 7 pm at the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE.
* Plus, the Friends of Garfield Park are having their own informational meeting about the CSX plans, on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 pm at Capitol Hill Day School (Second and South Carolina, SE).
* And, if these events aren't enough for you, you can also watch on Nov. 12 the city council's Committee on Finance and Revenue Hearing on the bill that would allow the sale of bonds via the city's CFO office that would pay for a considerable amount of "Phase 3" infrastructure work for Capper/Carrollsburg
redevelopment, encompassing some as-yet-undetermined combination of underground work on the Second Street blocks, the relocation of the DPW operations at New Jersey and K and demolition of that block, and the construction of I Street between Second and New Jersey. (This is above and beyond the $9.5 million in federal stimulus funds
that the city is receiving to allow Capitol Quarter's second phase of townhouses
to go forward.) The council hearing is on the 12th at 10 am, and you can watch on DC cable channel 13 or via the channel's web site
. Here's my post about this proposed bill
, if you want to know more.
Go to Page: