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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Capitol Quarter
See JDLand's Capitol Quarter Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
Community Center
Homewood Suites Hotel
Ballpark Square
Yards/Parcel A
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
1333 M St.
Southeast Blvd.
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
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
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)
Posts on Food/Fun
Retail News
Restaurants/Nightlife
 

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150 Blog Posts Since 2003
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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
 

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....
 

How's that hangover? Let's start the year off with this link to the Post's "A Family Company, Forest City, Sets Out to Transform the District", a profile of Forest City Enterprises, the Cleveland-based company that "owns about 90 acres at three major Southwest and Southeast projects where it plans to invest roughly $3 billion into a mix of parks, housing, shops, restaurants and offices. And it is one of the developers working on transforming the land around the new baseball stadium -- now mostly boarded-up storefronts, car-repair garages and nightclubs -- into a vibrant neighborhood." There's not anything that qualifies as new info in the piece, but it's a good summary piece of the developments Forest City is involved in. Its biggest project in Near Southeast is the Southeast Federal Center, where "[o]ver the next decade, Forest City plans to build an almost $2 billion development of 6 million square feet -- a space almost as large as the Pentagon. Its plans call for preserving the historic buildings and turning a boilermaker shop into a retail area, creating apartments from a former carpentry building and converting an old gun mount factory into condominiums. It will also put in streets, offices, lofts and waterfront parks. In tribute to its Navy history, the project will be called the Yards." Forest City is also behind the revitalization of Capper/Carrollsburg, and, although not mentioned in the article, is likely to be one of the companies who get to redevelop the WASA site across from the stadium (if the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation can ever finish that land negotiation). And, outside my purview, they're also part of the team redeveloping Waterside Mall in Southwest. One interesting quote about the Southeast Federal Center project, from Deborah Ratner Salzberg, head of the company's DC operations: "It really will be a mixed environment that looks like it's been here forever. It won't look like Disneyland. It will be a little edgy and have the feel of the waterfront." Can't wait to see some specific plans; the company has announced in recent months that the first projects on the site are to get underway in 2007, so hopefully we don't have to wait much longer for some concrete information.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, The Yards
 

As we slide into the New Year's weekend, I'm bringing 2006 to a close with a pile of new photos. The most comprehensive update would be on my Department of Transportation HQ page, with updated photos from almost every angle, including the not-yet-open-to-the-public views from the south side of the project, along Tingey Street. And I had a lovely time on Christmas Eve morning being briefly detained by security and then escorted off the premises, so I hope you appreciate my sacrifice. I also updated all the 20 M Street shots, as workers have switched into a high gear to have the building ready for a Spring 2007 delivery. The demolition work on the last Capper block has brought some new photos to the Capper Apartments page (updated since yesterday), and my wanderings around the Capper footprint made me also add some new shots to the Capitol Quarter page and even at the bottom of the main Capper/Carrollsburg Overview page. Then I had to go take a few new Nationals ballpark shots (yes, new just since Christmas Eve). Then, because I never want to be accused of ignoring a construction site, I've even posted fabulously exciting pictures of the excavated holes at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx. And sprinkled two new M Street images, too. The beloved icon is your guide to all the latest, of course. And I hope to have another big update early in 2007 with some new overhead shots, once the Capper demolition is complete. In the meantime, enjoy this overwhelming bounty.
 

With no debate, the four Near Southeast alley closing bills that have been snaking their way through the DC legislative process in 2006 were passed at today's city council session, with both emergency and permanent bills being passed (emergency bills allow the statutes to take effect immediately, allowing the closings to be considered law as the permanent bills await mayoral and congressional approval). To recap, this batch included the closing of alleys on the west side of Square 701 between M, N, Cushing, and Half (at Monument Realty's 55 M Street site); the closing of alleys and the creation of streets named 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and an official designation of a portion of L Street, all part of the Capitol Quarter footprint; the closing of alleys and the eventual reopening of H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey to make way for W.C. Smith's 1-million-sq-ft mixed-use project at 800 New Jersey; and finally the closing of alleys on the east side of Square 700 (between Half, Van, M, and N), where Monument will eventually add to their Half Street domination. That makes seven Near Southeast alley closings and street changes put on the books in 2006, when you include the stadium street closings, the Willco land on the east side of Square 701 (M, N, Cushing, and 1st) and the Square 743N west-side alley closings that allowed the start of construction on the 100 M Street office building and the Onyx on First residential tower. There's one more potential alley closing wandering around out there somewhere, and that's for Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street office building; representatives came before ANC 6D way back in April, but (believe it or not!) a squabble broke out about an acceptable community benefits package in return for the ANC's report, and nothing's been heard on this since.
 

With the Capitol Quarter workforce housing lottery mere hours away, I've been told that 172 interested parties have been certified and will be entered in the drawing Saturday morning at 9 am. There were a few last-minute changes made by DCHA in the rules governoring the workforce program because of the huge response (though, again, I hope if you're in the lottery you're registered with the EYA web site and not depending on me to tell you this a mere 11 hours beforehand!)--quoting from an EYA e-mail, "the three-bedroom Elliott model may not be reserved by purchasers with a household size of less than two"; and "the Price Control Period will be enforced with a soft second-trust rather than a restrictive covenant. In addition, the Price Control period has been modified to encourage initial occupants to remain in the workforce homes for the first three years after initial settlement." If this makes no sense, read the Workforce Housing Guidelines for more details. I'll be there at 9 am to view the festivities (unless I oversleep, which with my lazy bones is always possible), so wave and say hi. And remember, there will be about 70 more workforce homes available for purchase as more of Capitol Quarter comes on line, so there will be more opportunities in the coming months for qualified buyers to purchase one of these moderate-income-level homes. UPDATE: As you can see from the photo above, it was just like the lottery shows on TV--ping pong balls in a barrel with numbers on them. Fifty numbers were picked, and 20 of those people (going down through the list in the order they were picked) will sign reservation contracts. Four of the top 20 already appeared to not be staying around to sign reservations, so folks lower down the list who thought they didn't have a chance might still see a glimmer of hope....
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Hopefully the people who are interested in purchasing a workforce housing unit at Capitol Quarter are already registered with the EYA web site and are receiving the e-mail updates, but I'll still mention here that the first lottery for workforce (i.e., moderate income) units will be held this Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 9 am. There are a series of requirements that must be met in order to participate in the lottery, and a visit to the Sales Center at 4th and L on either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17 is required to be certified. And, like all good drawings, you must be present to win. More information is available on the Capitol Quarter Workforce web site or by getting in touch with EYA (202-484-0360). UPDATE, 11/16: The Washington Times published a piece today on the lottery this Saturday, but I bet EYA wishes that the article mentioned that you can't just show up on Saturday for the lottery, that you need to go to the sales center either today or tomorrow to be certified.... (And also the comment that EYA decided to do a lottery for the workforce housing because the first market-rate units sold out immediately isn't quite right, the lottery concept was announced before the market-rate units sent on sale.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Thankfully I looked at the weather forecast before planning my weekend, and scheduled a photo excursion for Saturday, not Sunday. Lots of new pictures in the Stadium Construction Gallery, now also reorganized so that as you scroll down you're basically walking clockwise around the stadium site from it's construction starting point at 1st and N Place all the way down Potomac, up South Capitol, and over on Half back to 1st. And I also added a new photo or two (and updated the spiffy animated slide shows) for 20 M and Capper Seniors #2. Let the icon be your guide to the additions, as always. UPDATE: Oh yeah, duh, there's also the Capper demolition along the south side of L Street between 3rd and 4th, I added a couple of shots of that as well to my Capitol Quarter page, I'll update when the last of the blue-roofed apartment buildings comes down, probably within the next week.
 

The two- and three-story brick buildings on the southeast corner of 3rd and L, and the one old townhouse on 4th between L and M, have been demolished within the past few days. These are on the northern part of Square 800, which is home to the 300 M Street office building and also the last tall Capper/Carrollsburg buildings. This land will be the southwestern edge of the Capitol Quarter townhome development. Hopefully this means that the long-vacant Capper buildings on that block will soon be demolished, but I don't know anything for sure. I also haven't heard any timeline for the demolition of the two-story Capper buildings on 2nd between I and L--mixed-income apartment buildings will eventually be built on those blocks, but there's no start date that I've heard for those projects. I will post demolition pictures soon--I've been quite remiss in my picture taking duties lately, but guilt is reaching crisis levels, and I promise to go on a photo excursion this weekend.
More posts: Capper, Capper New Apt Bldgs, Capitol Quarter
 

Today was a bonanza of Near Southeast alley closing requests, as four pending bills received their public hearings in front of the city council "Committee of the Whole" (i.e., Chairman Cropp, the only council member in attendance).
The first was B16-0799, alley closings and new street designations as part of the Capitol Quarter/Capper Carrollsburg project. Nothing really new in the testimony, except that it has been requested that the bill be considered by the council on an emergency basis, in order to help speed the process of getting the project underway. Ms. Cropp called the project "very, very exciting" and seemed particularly enthused by the mixed-income aspect of the project, noting that the city's past creation of "economic ghettos" hasn't worked out well.
Next up was B16-0888, which seeks to reopen H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey, and to close alleys and streets within those two blocks; I was not aware until today that a portion of this land is actually federal land (Reservation 17A), which is part of the land transfer bill currently pending before Congress. The northern block (Square 737, north of I) is where William C. Smith is planning a mixed-use project, which in their testimony they broke out as two office buildings totalling 600,000 sq ft, two apartment buildings totalling 600 units (with a 10% affordable housing component), 1100 parking spaces, and 80,000-100,000 sq ft of retail space. They mentioned that back when they first bought the land in 1999 they got a letter of intent from Whole Foods to include a grocery store in this location, but then Whole Foods came down and saw that at that point there wasn't a whole lot of development going on, they pulled out; but Smith is still very interested in getting a grocery store in this development. They anticipate beginning work on this project in 2008 and completing it in 2011. As for Square 739 (where the DPW trash transfer station currently resides), it is actually part of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment, and plans are for a 322-unit apartment building with 115 affordable units, and also ground-floor retail. They don't anticipate beginning work on the building for at least another 4 to 5 years. Ms. Cropp did express some concerns about where the DPW vehicles will be relocated to, given the lack of industrial land left in the city.
After lunch was B16-0879, Monument Realty's request for alley closings on Square 701 between Cushing, Half, M, and N (in the block just north of the ballpark) as part of their "Ballpark Phase I" project, which also includes the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station at Half Street, which Monument is responsible for as part of their purchase of the WMATA land on the southwest corner of Half and M. New news from the hearing is that there will also be a hotel in addition to the previously announced 275,000-sq-ft office building at Half and M and the 350-unit residential building (mix of rental and condo, with up to 20% affordable housing) at Half and N--Monument is working with W Aloft to develop a 200-key boutique hotel on Half Street. The entire project will have 700 parking spaces, and Monument is planning to begin construction in January 2007 so that these three levels of underground parking (as well as perhaps some of the 50,000 sq ft of planned ground floor retail) can be completed by Opening Day 2008; they will then continue work on the upper floors to have the entire project completed in 2009. UPDATE: I should also note that as part of their plans, Monument will be extending Cushing Place approximately 80 feet, so that it will run through to N Street
Finally came B16-0880, another request from Monument Realty, this time for alley closings on the west side of Square 700, just across Half Street from the Phase I project in the previous alley closing hearing. They are still negotiating with WMATA to attempt to purchase the bus depot land on Square 700, but in the meantime are moving forward with a 115,000-sq-ft/100 unit residential project on the northwest corner of Half and N, on the site of the Good N Plenty carryout (whose lease expires today, it was mentioned). This project will have 12,000 sq ft of ground-floor retail, which, given its location directly across from the stadium plaza entrance, will be quite a prime location. Ms. Cropp was concerned that the project will only have two levels/74 spaces of underground parking (you got the feeling that parking is very much on her mind these days!). There was no stated timeframe for this project, except to say "after Square 701." And of course by then they'll have probably secured the bus depot.
For all of these bills, the next step I believe is getting them on the council consent calendar, for votes to be taken.
Is that enough information? Can I stop now? :-)
UPDATE: These hearings are all available via DC Cable 13's on-demand video offerings.
 

The Capitol Quarter sales office will begin accepting contracts on Saturday (tomorrow, Oct. 21) for the first phase of townhomes being sold (I believe there are about 20 19 total market-rate and workforce units available in this first batch); I'll wander over a bit before 11 to see how many people are camped on the front doorstep; be sure to wave for the camera if you're one of them. UPDATE: Maybe I should try to remember what I've already written--the first 20 workforce units will be available via lottery on Nov. 18, not tomorrow. Duh. Starting tomorrow there will be 19 market-rate homes going up for sale. And word is that camping out began on Wednesday.... UPDATE, Saturday a.m.: 19 units released for sale, 19 buyers in line (and more turned away). So if you didn't make it down there, you'll have to wait for the next batch.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Just a reminder that the Capitol Quarter sales office will open on Saturday Oct. 14 at 11 am for it's one-week "sneak preview" of the development (meaning no contracts or appointments). I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview today of the sneak preview--if you're at all interested in Near Southeast, even if you're not currently thinking about moving to Capitol Quarter, you must go see the model of the developed neighborhood, it's absolutely stunning. I took a bunch of photos of it and have put them on my Capitol Quarter page, sprinkling them throughout and displaying them alongside the "live" photos of the area. Sales will begin first-come first-serve at 11 am Oct. 21 for the first phase of market-rate and workforce-rate townhomes. Prices and floor plans are supposed to be posted any second now on the official web site. One thing to remember as you look at the model--the low-, middle-, and high-income units are all mixed in with each other, sometimes multi-unit low-income rentals will have facades that make them look like two townhomes, so from the outside you can't tell which units are which. UPDATE: Prices and floor plans are now posted, on a spiffy new Capitol Quarter web site.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

EYA has released details on the Workforce Housing program at Capitol Quarter. There are two floor plans to view (which are probably also a hint at the floorplans that will be available in the market-rate homes), as well as an extremely informative Workforce Housing Guidelines sheet explaining how the 90-or-so workforce units will be sold; details on deposit requirements, restrictions (lots of them), and income levels are included (along with a big NOTE: that just because your income falls within the accepted range doesn't mean you'll automatically qualify). Twenty workforce units will be available initially, and there will be a reservation lottery on Nov. 18. There will also be a seminar about the program on Oct. 11 at 7:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Capitol Hill (415 New Jersey Ave., NW), I'm not sure whether you need to be registered with Capitol Quarter's web site in order to attend. The guidelines sheet also mentions that construction at Capitol Quarter is expected to begin in the Spring/Summer of 2007, with units ready for move-in near the end of 2007, into 2008. And don't forget that the one-week preview period for the market-rate homes will begin on Oct. 14, pre-registration required.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

An e-mail has just gone out to folks who have registered previously at EYA's web site, announcing that the Capitol Quarter townhome project (on the site of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project) will open for a one-week preview period on Oct. 14, during which the sales office will be open, and plans and prices will be available, but no appointments, reservations, or contracts will be taken. To get in on the preview, you need to re-register with EYA (at a new URL, www.eyacapitolquarter.com/), even if you've registered in the past, so that they can ensure you're still interested and that they have your correct contact info. The approximately 121 market-rate townhomes will start in the $500s, but there are also 91 "workforce" units: "If your income is less than $72,642 for a household of one, $83,183 for a household of two, $93,533 for a household of three, or $103,883 for a household of four, you may be eligible for the workforce housing program. The base prices of the workforce homes are projected to range from $295,000 to $350,000." Reservations for the first batch of market-rate homes will be accepted starting on Oct. 21; there will be a separate schedule for the workforce units, and EYA willl be holding a homeownership and financing workshop for those qualifying for these units. Plans and prices should be posted on the EYA web site in early October. There will also be 65 additional townhomes comprising 111 affordable rental and Section 8 home ownership units mixed into the community. As I understand it, they are projecting that construction will begin sometime in Spring 2007. (UPDATED to add additional information, and fix some numbers.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

As promised by EYA, a sign announcing the impending Capitol Quarter project at Capper/Carrollsburg has indeed gone up at 4th and L, next to the soon-to-be-sales-center trailers. And with perhaps a stronger level of urgency now felt, the molasses-like demolition of the old Capper buildings on the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K has shifted into a higher gear, with one of the interior buildings finally demolished this week and demolition underway on the buildings facing 3rd Street. Photos of these terribly important developments are now on my Capper photos page. (I guess I might have to start transitioning out of calling this area Capper/Carrollsburg....)

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Within the last 24 hours, two well-appointed cream-colored trailers (or small manufactured homes, if you prefer) have been deposited on the now-cleared-and-smoothed lot at 4th and L, smack dab in the middle of Capper/Carrollsburg. I have no information, I'm merely speculating, but these trailers look very much like the trailers that developers use to house Sales Centers before a project's construction begins. And EYA's Capitol Quarter info page still says "Coming Fall 2006." And it's almost fall. Make of it what you will. And I'll see if EYA has anything they'd like to share. Again, I know nothing for sure, I'm just passing along what I saw. UPDATE: EYA confirms to me that the trailers are indeed for the Sales Center, and that a sign should be installed this week as well, with construction on the Sales Center to begin within a week or two. And, if this is a project that you are interested in, I'd suggest registering on EYA's web site to be contacted with more information when the time comes--people on those types of lists tend to get first crack at the offerings.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

I note here that demolition has begun on another block at Capper/Carrollsburg, this one bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K. They're starting with one of the two-story buildings on the interior of the block, so you can't quite see from the street unless you're really looking, but it is underway. (And if people are wondering why I've been so snippy about how long this demolition is taking--it took three months in late 2004/early 2005 for 2 1/2 blocks of demolition to be completed in the first Capper "ribbon" between 4th and 5th, which included many four-story buildings. The demolition on this second ribbon [which admittedly is a bit larger than the first ribbon, but there aren't as many of the taller buildings] has already been going since March, and they're only now approaching what I would consider halfway completed--they still have all of this block to do, plus the four-story buildings just to the rear of 300 M Street. At the current rate, they won't be done before the end of the year. And then there's still the third ribbon, the two remaining blocks of two-story flats between 3rd and 2nd, which you would hope wouldn't take that long, but if current performance is any indication.... And if you're EYA, do you really want to start sales on Capitol Quarter this fall with those abandoned buildings staring prospective owners in the face when they visit?)

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Without a shovel in the ground, EYA has raised the prices on the upcoming Capitol Quarter townhome development at Capper/Carrollsburg--their page now says "Townhomes from $500s" (up from $400s). Cha-ching! They still appear to be targeting Fall 2006 for the start of sales.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 

Speaking of demolition, work at Capper/Carrollsburg has moved to the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, Virginia, and I. (They've been doing what appears to be a lot of interior demolition for some time now in the next block [south of I Street], where there are four-story buildings to contend with, but haven't started bringing those buildings down yet.) If you're keeping track at home, there are still five Capper blocks not yet completely cleared (the two I just mentioned, the two blocks between 2nd and 3rd and L and I, and the batch of Capper buildings just behind 300 M Street)....
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 
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