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It's a noteworthy enough event that Forest City has issued a press release this morning announcing the final pour of concrete that marks the "topping out" of its 327-unit Arris apartment building at the Yards, on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey. (So if you see a bit of a celebratory-looking luncheon at the construction site today, that's why.)
The eastern side of the building, along 4th, is 11 stories high, while the three western wings reached eight stories a few weeks ago. When finished, Arris will have 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and "some of the best waterfront views in the city."
It's now being said that the project will be "substantially complete" in early 2016.
An initial web site where you can sign up for information on leasing is at LiveArris.com.
Forest City tells me that work on the facade will continue through the next few months, with the expectation that the building will be completely enclosed by the end of the summer.
Also nestled into the press release about Arris is the statement that sometime this summer "development will begin on a 50-slip public marina as the newest addition to Yards Park," with completion expected by the end of the year.
(I was planning to get updated photos this weekend, so dang it, no up-to-the-second shots available. But you can see what it was looking like in late March.)
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More posts: Development News, The Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards
 

Word is hitting the streets this morning that Akridge has now sold its remaining holdings on the west side of Half Street just north of Nats Park, ending an ownership that began in 2008 but that saw the Fairgrounds as its only development.
Back in February, Akridge sold the southern two-thirds of the block-long lot to JBG, and at the time it was said that the company was also "under contract to recapitalize the northern third of Half Street." It turns out that that "recapitalization" was a sale to an affiliate of Brandywine Realty Trust for $20 million, according to WBJ.
Akridge's arrival on this lot began back in 2007 when the company won a WMATA bidding process for what was then the Southeastern Bus Garage site. But Monument Realty, expecting to have the rights to develop the site, was quite unhappy, and sued, which resulted in the settlement that awarded the bus garage site to Akridge for $46.5 million and the adjacent Metro parking lot across Van to Monument for $22.6 million. Monument then sold its holdings on the south end of the bus garage block to Akridge for $9.66 million.
The company got zoning approvals in early 2009 for its Half Street plans, as a 700,000-square-foot mix of two office buildings, one residential building, and 56,000 square feet of retail. But, of course, none of that ever happened, and in the meantime Akridge provided the space for first The Bullpen, then Das Bullpen, then the block-long Fairgrounds site.
Now we wait to see what the plans for the north end will be, now that JBG has said it will be building two residential offerings on its portion near the ballpark.
(And I know the web site response is atrocious this morning. Guess I'm going to have to stop just wishing it will get better, though the support people tell me that a lot of this is supposedly now the fault of another site on the same server, which has two more days to clean up its act or else it'll be shut down. We Shall See.)
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More posts: JBG/Akridge Half St., Development News
 

The notion of the Washington Humane Society acquiring the former Exxon site at 11th and M SE was in the news back in February, and I can now report that the land deal has been completed, thanks to a $5 million grant from the city.
This location will apparently replace the WHS facilities on both New York Avenue NE and Georgia Avenue NW.
But this won't be the agency's only presence on the block: it already operates its spay and neuter clinic in a building at 10th and L adjacent to this Exxon lot.
I had hoped to include more details on the plans for the site, but this post couldn't wait any longer, thanks to the newly released Draft EIS for the Marine Barracks hunt, in which this 36,500-acre lot was identified as one of five possible sites for the new barracks. {Cut to Barracks hunters despondently crossing yet another potential location off their list. Or not.}
This site, officially located at 1022 M St., SE, has been vacant since the Exxon closed and was demolished in 2008, except for a brief residence by a chair.
More to come on the Humane Society plans.
Comments (1)
More posts: Development News, humanesociety, sq976
 

We've been calling it Ballpark Square, but now the Grosvenor/McCaffery residential, hotel, and retail project along 1st Street SE between M and N has its official name:
F1rst.
(Yes, that's a numeral "1" in place of the "i".)
We also now have an operator for the 170-room hotel--it will be a Residence Inn by Marriott, joining the chain's Courtyard location that's been in the neighborhood since 2006.
The residential building will have 325 units--a mix of studios through 2 BR/den--plus a fitness center, club room, outdoor courtyard, garage with bike parking, and a rooftop deck with a pool, grilling stations, dog park, and an "outdoor multimedia theatre" on the building's southwest corner that will have stadium-style seating and a view into Nats Park.
It will take about two years for the buildings to be completed, though some retail tenants could move in starting in the first quarter of 2017.
And, as I reported a few weeks ago (even though nobody believed me), Taylor Gourmet and Chop't are already signed for some of the project's 25,000 square feet of retail.
The event today did not have shovels and hardhats--which made sense given that the ground has already been broken--but there were dignitaries and speeches, and a ceremonial throwing of baseballs into the construction footprint.
I took photos, of course, and here's the full gallery. A few snippets here, though:
 

The digging is already underway on the west side of 1st Street SE midblock between M and N, but that won't get in the way of a ceremonial groundbreaking scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, at 2 pm, that will celebrate the start of the 450,000-square-foot Grosvenor/McCaffery residential/hotel/retail project just north of the already under construction Hampton Inn.
This development has been referred to up until now as "Ballpark Square," but apparently its real name will be unveiled at this event.
The rendering above shows, from left, the project's two-story retail building at 1st and N, just across from Nats Parking Lot C, then a blank spot where the Hampton Inn is being built, then the 285-unit (or is it 325-unit) residential building, then the 170-room hotel (no operator so far named). At far right is the 233,000 square foot 99 M Street office building being developed by Skanska, which isn't technically part of this groundbreaking but which appears to be close to getting its own permits to start digging.

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More posts: F1rst Residential/Hotel, Development News, Square 701
 

It's been a while since I've been down to the shores of the Anacostia at 1st Street (I'm old/it's been cold/I'm tired/I'm lazy), but on Saturday I finally made the trek to Florida Rock, and saw what I expected to see--a concrete slab at the bottom of the two-story excavation for the 305ish-unit residential building "The Riverfront," along with the base of the project's crane being put together.
I snagged a peek-through-the-fence shot of the hole, though before long I'll get to start taking photos of it from up above, on the viewing platform at Nats Park. (While I, uh, watch baseball, too. Yeah, yeah, that's it.)
Here's the riverfront view of the Riverfront footprint (below left), matched to the rendering of the same spot (center). Plus, at right, a shot looking from Diamond Teague's pier to the staircase at Nats Park, giving a sense of the plaza that will be there (and that one sightline from the staircase to the river will still exist after the apartment building is completed).

/This building, the first phase of the overall 1.1-million-sq-ft mixed-use redevelopment, is expected to be finished in late 2016. It will have a little more than 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and two levels of underground parking (as you see!). There will also be an extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
The Phase 2 land immediately to the west of the new building is expected to be temporarily remade as a "beach" area, including volleyball courts, with additional space for parking and other temporary uses. Which is all separate from Bardo's potential "brew garden" plans for the two acres to the west of THAT site, on the portion of the Florida Rock footprint that edges up to the current Douglass Bridge.
See my Florida Rock page for lots more photos and renderings.
UPDATE: I finally made it up onto the Douglass Bridge on Sunday for the first time in forever to take some photos, and got an even better view of the excavation and its position in relationship to the ballpark. So, let's all look at this and start to mentally prepare for the change in the view not only of the ballpark, but from the ballpark.

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More posts: Development News, Florida Rock
 

Just some things that didn't make it to the blog during the outage:
* MORE GROUND BROKEN: I had posted a photo last week of the new fence at not-Ballpark Square but wasn't quite ready to say that construction had started. However, the pile driver has arrived, and steel beams are already sticking out of the ground, so I think it's now safe to add the residential/hotel portion of the project to the ludicrous lineup of developments currently underway. (The office component at 99 M is expected to get started before long as well.) It's also the fourth to break ground just within the past month or so, joining residential projects 909 Half and 82 I and the Homewood Suites hotel at 50 M. And I think that's probably it for major projects getting started until the end of this year or early next year.
* BONCHON GETTING CLOSER: The paper is off the windows, so I was able to see where things stand at Bonchon--and it's looking well along. (Not pictured are the five or so boxes containing large flat-panel TVs.)
* DEMO PERMIT APPS: Applications have been submitted to demolish two buildings on the DC Water site--a 50,000-square-foot brick building and a 1,980-square-foot wood shed. Whether these are on the footprint of the planned movie theater/accompanying residential, I cannot tell you.
* SPRING! SPRING! There's now quite the inventory of outdoor tables at Willie's Brew & Que, and work is underway for a patio at the Big Stick (photo by Mr. JDLand):
* MORE ABOUT FOOD: I mentioned it in passing before, but there's been enough tweets sent my way to mention again that work has now started at the Scarlet Oak space at 909 New Jersey. And there's purty window ads now, to both get their name out there and to THWART my PEEKING. And closer to the river, at the Lumber Shed, both Due South and the Navy Yard Oyster Company have gotten their building permits.
With all that cleared out of the hopper, I now may be a bit scarce for the rest of the week. Hopefully the site will behave, though.
 

For those who missed out on my interim Facebook blogging on Monday....
The designs for two new buildings coming to the current Trapeze School site at the Yards (known in the parlance as Parcel O) are going before the National Capital Planning Commission in April for an early "35% design review."
One is the 140ish-unit condo building being planned by PN Hoffman. It will front Tingey Street between 4th and a newly (re-)built 5th Street. Its design echoes the brick+glass look that Arris will have when it is completed. It will be the first condo project within the Yards.
Immediately to its south will be a two-towered 190ish-unit rental building to be developed by Forest City. There will be 16,700 square feet of ground-floor retail across both buildings, along with 246 below-grade parking spaces, and in addition to the return of 5th Street there will also be a one-block extension of Water Street along the block's southern side.
Both developers are looking to begin construction late this year or early next year.
In honor of now having renderings, I created a Parcel O project page--and while putting it together, I found the photo at right, showing the corner of 5th and Tingey from May, 2004, back when there was a 5th Street (such as it was). This view matches the rendering at far right in the row of three.
As for the Trapeze School, it will be moving later this year to the southeastern portion of Spooky Park, at the corner of New Jersey and Tingey.
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More posts: Development News, The Yards, Yards/Parcel O
 

If you blinked this week, you missed the lickety-split steel framing of what will be the gymnasium at the Capper Community Center, on the northeast corner of 5th and L:
Just up the block, at 7th and L, the Lofts at Capitol Quarter is starting to look like a real building as well:
Click on any and all to enlarge.
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More posts: Community Center, Development News, Lofts at Capitol Quarter
 

The second week in March started off pretty notably in Near Southeast:
First, the one that's probably of most interest, the arrival of Bonchon's signage, now hung outside of its space on the southwest corner of Half and K, inside 1015 Half Street.
I peeked in the door, and it appears to still be a few good weeks from opening, which would seem to jibe with the "early April" target date that the restaurant posted on its Facebook page back in February. So everyone will just have to look at these signs and dream for a little while longer.
One block to the south, fences and equipment arrived at the parking lot on the northeast corner of Half and M, and this morning ground was being broken (for real, not ceremonially!) for what will become a 195-room Homewood Suites.
This will be another addition to the neighborhood's burgeoning lineup of hotels, with the long-established Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L about to be joined by the under-construction 168-room Hampton Inn at 1st and N, plus eventually also the as-yet-unnamed brand in the as-yet-unnamed Ballpark Square project.
Speaking of which.... Fences went up Monday afternoon around the sidewalk on the west side of 1st Street south of M, generally along the boundary of the residential and hotel portion of the Grosvenor/McCaffery project currently referred to as Ballpark Square. No heavy equipment has arrived, and as I mentioned recently there's plans for a ceremonial groundbreaking in coming weeks, but fencing off the public sidewalk would seem to be a bit of a "tell."
This project will have a 285-unit apartment building alongside the 180-room hotel, and 45,000 square feet of retail that will stretch across these two buildings, the Skanska 99 M office building at the corner of 1st and M that is also expected to get started Any Minute Now, and a separate two-story retail building at 1st and N.
And, just to emphasize how many new projects have gotten underway in the past few weeks, here's official documentation (finally) of the work underway at residential projects 909 Half (left) and 82 I (right), which together will add another 615ish units to the neighborhood inventory when they open.
Having a hard time keeping all of this straight? Check out my refreshed-for-2015 What's New in the Neighborhood Since Last Season page, with handy maps of the restaurants that have opened or are coming soon, the new lineup of project plans just north of Nats Park, and the 10 (TEN!) residential projects currently under construction or starting momentarily. Be prepared for a lot of blocked sidewalks and a lot of construction vehicles on your way to the ballpark this year....
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More posts: 1015 Half, Homewood Suites, 82i, 909half, bonchon, Development News, Square 701
 

At Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, Monument Realty presented to the commission an early look at revised plans for the company's One M Street site on the southeast corner of South Capitol and M streets (i.e., the old Domino's site).
And instead of a third variation of the previously presented 328,000-square-foot office building, Monument is now proposing a 120,000-square-foot office building on the northern portion of the lot, fronting M Street, with a new 175ish-unit residential building immediately to the south (and just to the north of the self-storage building).
While there is no signed tenant for the office building, Monument's representative told me that they have a "user" that they "feel pretty good about," and that they hope to have an announcement within the next few months. (Note that "user" was a very specific choice of words.) In the presentation to 6D, the notion of some of the space being used for "conferences and events" was mentioned, and that they would be shooting toward starting construction in the latter part of 2016.
The residential building is not quite as far along in the design process, but the architects are apparently toying with the notion of a "townhouse"-like feel for the ground-floor units that would face South Capitol Street. There was also talk of some three-bedroom units being included in the plans.
Monument expects to file a new case with the Zoning Commission within the next few weeks, at which point there will be purty drawings and much more detailed information.
(As for the rest of the goings-on at the ANC meeting, that can wait until morning!)
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More posts: Development News, One M, zoning
 

Not quite six months after buying the land on the northeast corner of Half and N streets across from Nats Park currently known as Monument Valley, the MacFarlane/Jair Lynch joint venture has now submitted to the Zoning Commission its new plans for the site, a 10-story building with 461,700 square feet of residential (and possibly hotel) development, combined with at least 60,000 square feet of retail.
Back a couple of lifetimes ago, Monument Realty also planned a residential, retail, and hotel project on this site, so this filing is actually a modification to the previously approved plans. The new designs by architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht, seen in these renderings purloined from the zoning filing, would add at least 23,000 square feet of retail to what had been planned, mostly in the second-floor space along Half Street, as shown in the drawing below, as well as potentially an additional 8,000 square feet on the second floor facing N Street, depending on the all-important "market conditions."
The new project would have either 445 residential units and no hotel at all, or 365 residential units and a 80-room hotel on the north end of the site (down from a 200-room hotel in Monument's designs). The new design includes condos (apparently 130ish of them) in the south wing along N Street, with the rest being rental units.
As in the original designs, there would still be a small street called "Monument Place" running between this building and its neighbor to the north, 55 M Street, allowing the retail offerings to wrap around onto the building's north side--however, in these new plans it would be a pedestrian-only street, negating the need for a curb cut on Half Street.
In addition, the basically-an-alley Cushing Place would still be extended through to N Street, through an opening in the ground floor of the south side of Lynch's building. (If you look closely at the top rendering, you can see it.) There would still be three levels of underground parking with approximately 231 spaces. And there would be all manner of streetscape work to make the sidewalks--and the walk to the ballpark--a bit more inviting than they are now.
For you zoning groupies, there's also one special exception being requested, that the project be allowed to have two roof enclosures instead of one on the south wing of the building that fronts N Street. And note that this is all under the Capitol Gateway Overlay design review process.
These new plans will be presented to ANC 6D on Monday night (March 9), with a zoning hearing date apparently as yet unannounced. My Monument Valley project page has a few of the old Monument renderings, should you wish to compare.
UPDATE: The zoning hearing is apparently now scheduled for May 28.
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More posts: Development News, Monument Valley/Half St., zoning
 

If your tastebuds are on the lookout for additional options in the neighborhood, tell them that I am hearing that Taylor Gourmet and Chop't are slated to be tenants in the pending Grosvenor-McCaffery-Skanska mega project along 1st Street SE between M and N currently dubbed Ballpark Square.*
But said tastebuds will need to be patient, as the project is still a few weeks away from an expected ceremonial groundbreaking, and then it will take a while to construct the project's 285-unit apartment building, 180-room hotel, and 233,000-square-foot office building in the block just north of Nats Park.
All told, there will be about 45,000 square feet of retail across the project, with about 7,000 of it in the separate two-story 7,000 square feet retail building at the corner of 1st and N, also being developed by Grosvenor/McCaffery.
The rendering at right showing the 99 M office building, the hotel, and the residential building as seen from the northwest corner of 1st and M may help get your bearings on the location and plans.
No operator for the hotel has been announced as yet. (And note, as always, that this is separate from the Hampton Inn currently going up on the south end of the block.)
* I've also heard that "Ballpark Square" is actually not the final name of the development. This allows me to yet again point people to my June 2007 post, Name Your Own Near Southeast Development Project!
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More posts: 99m, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Development News, Square 701
 

With unanimous agreement that the need to get former public housing residents back to the neighborhood is paramount, the Zoning Commission on Monday gave first approvals to the DC Housing Authority's request for flexibility in how it allocates 206 affordable units still to be built within the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD boundaries, while still being required to have no fewer than 15 percent and no more than 50 percent of the units on any square be affordable.
ANC 6D remains adamantly opposed to the flexibility idea--or at least to the idea that this flexibility would then allow a possible all-affordable building next to a market-rate condo building on Square 767--saying it "would circumvent the theme of HOPE VI revitalization and the goal of the PUD."
But Zoning Commission vice-chair Marcie Cohen disagreed, saying that the success of Capper's revitalization is that "the area is mixed income, the neighborhood is mixed income," and that she doesn't have a problem "when public housing is a single project within a mixed-income neighborhood." Noting that some of Capper's previous residents were relocated from the site now more than 10 years ago, Cohen said that "the people who have been displaced have a right to come back"--and given that "financing vehicles are now driving housing policy," meaning that getting affordable housing units financed has become so difficult--the Housing Authority has in her view come up with a plan that is "satisfactory," and should be able to go ahead and "secure the proper financing, build the project, and get some of the people back if they choose."
Her fellow commissioners concurred, with both Robert Miller and Michael Turnbull also noting that all projects on the three remaining residential squares at Capper will need to come to the Zoning Commission for review before moving forward.
And in its response to the ANC 6D letter, the Housing Authority emphasized this point, saying that the concerns raised by 6D will be addressed at that time, and that the reviews "will also demonstrate that the design of the buildings and distribution of the units in those applications are consistent with the PUD's overall goal of providing a vibrant, mixed-use and mixed-income community."
This case also will allow 30 of the Capper affordable units to be relocated to Square 737, to be included in both the 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods building and the eventual third-phase residential building on the eastern portion of that block.
My previous post on this zoning case gives plenty of additional detail if you desire.
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More posts: Capper, Development News, zoning
 

On Monday night the Zoning Commission gave final approval to first-stage plans for the Cohen Companies' 1333 M Street residential project, along with second-stage approvals for the development's first phase, a 10-story 218-unit building.
The final approvals had been slowed by a number of items that concerned the commissioners. Among them:
* While a memorandum of understanding detailing benefits and amenities of the project had been worked out earlier in the process between the developer and ANC 6B, neighbors that live along L Street SE north of the project continue to have objections to various aspects of the project, such as there only being 220 parking spaces for a 673-unit development, as well as the impact of the standard hours of construction on their "quality of life," which Chairman Anthony Hood keyed on as an item where there could have been some "negotiating," though commissioner Peter May noted that the building is not particularly close to L Street SE (with the new Southeast Blvd. and the CSX train tracks separating the two).
* The lighting plan for the building, which had originally been shown with a fair amount of up-lighting but is now all down-lighting after the commissioners objected.
* The plan for a "place-making sign" on the building's penthouse had gotten Peter May up in arms at the Proposed Action stage, and so the developer came back with additional options. (If you click to enlarge the rendering at the top of this post, you can see up at the roofline a smidge of the BROOKLAND-like sign facing north.)
May and the other commissioners still sighed a bit over there being a sign up there at all, but did agree that Option 1 is a "more subtle" version that is an "improvement." I have a notion that some readers might disagree:
In the end, though, there were no showstoppers, and the commission voted 5-0 to approve both the first-stage PUD for the overall project and the second-stage PUD for the first residential building.
My 1333 M project page has additional renderings and information--and if you are new to the story and can't quite visualize where 1333 M even is, it's on the part of M Street that proceeds eastward underneath and past the 11th Street Bridges.
UPDATE: Forgot to include that the project made it past the National Capital Planning Commission as well.
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More posts: 1333 M, Development News, zoning
 

From WBJ: "D.C. developer Akridge has sold the majority of its Half Street parcel across from Nationals Park to The JBG Cos., which is expected to redevelop the site with two new residential buildings and a large amount of what one executive called "dramatic" retail."
JBG has acquired the southern two-thirds of the block, far better known as the shipper container-ringed location of the Fairgrounds, directly across N Street from Nats Park and also directly across Van Street from JBG's own under-development 1244 South Capitol residential project.
Akridge apparently is maintaining a minority stake in that portion of the site, but JBG will "take over day-to-day development duties." WBJ says Akridge is also apparently "under contract to recapitalize the northern third of Half Street."
After Akridge acquired the site in 2008--which was once home to WMATA's Southeastern Bus Garage--plans were run through the Zoning Fun Factory for two office buildings on the north end of the site and a 280-unit residential building on the south end (along with 55,000 square feet of retail), but WBJ says that JBG's portion of the block is now expected to include two residential buildings, with one office building on the land Akridge still owns along M Street. Plus "dramatic retail."
WBJ pegs the sale price for the JBG portion of the site at $45 million.
This is not unexpected, as news had surfaced back in September that Akridge was looking for a new partner to develop the site.
It also dovetails with the sale of Monument Valley on the east side of Half Street to the MacFarlane/Lynch development team, which is early in the process of bringing residential offerings along its own portion of N Street.
You can look at my Akridge Half Street project page for reminders of what had been planned for the site, though I look at that page (and my Monument Valley page) more as a marvel of the tens of thousands of words I have expended on plans for these sites over the past 10 years.
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More posts: JBG/Akridge Half St., Development News, jbghalf
 

* 82 I GETS A PERMIT: Add another project to the ready-to-start-anytime lineup. In this case, it's the 234-unit residential project on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I, which as of this morning has an approved shoring/sheeting/excavation permit. They've looked ready for this moment for a few weeks now, so it'll be interesting to see when work gets underway.
* 909 HALF GETS A PERMIT: Late last week 909 Half Street got its shoring permit as well. This is a 380-unit residential building by Ruben Companies and the Related Companies, and at least one resident is sure that activity is already underway at the site on the southwest corner of Half and I, in the wake of construction trailers having arrived within the past few weeks.
This is the first time in my 12 years of JDLand-ing that a project has gotten this far along without making available a least a token rendering of what's coming, so I figured I'd just fill in the blank. Feel free to create your own.
* BALLPARK SQUARE TEA LEAVES: The parking attendant kiosks have disappeared, the gates have been locked, and cars have stopped parking on the former Nats Lot F along the west side of 1st Street south of M. The residential and hotel project known as Ballpark Square has had excavation permits in hand for the southern part of this lot since November--keep an eye out for the arrival of heavy equipment.
(Note that the north end of the block is going to be the 99 M office building--sort of part of Ballpark Square, sort of not. It doesn't have its excavation permits approved yet, though they are in process.)
* FOUR READY TO GO: If you are keeping track, there are now these approved excavation permits for 82 I, 909 Half, Ballpark Square, and the Homewood Suites at 50 M. That's a lot of new digging to kick off 2015--it's also another 940 residential units and 365 hotel rooms about to drop into the pipeline. Already under construction? Residential projects Park Chelsea, 800 New Jersey, Lofts at CQ, Arris, 1111 New Jersey, and Riverfront, plus the Community Center and a Hampton Inn, too.
* MONUMENT VALLEY TEA LEAVES: At Monday night's ANC meeting, a representative from Jair Lynch's development company was there to discuss the revamped plans for the Half Street Hole, aka Monument Valley, which Lynch and partners bought last year. According to reports from the meeting (I wasn't there), the plans are shifting to include 130 condos alongside the rental units, and to scale it all down because it was "too large." SWill was kind enough to tweet a cellphone grab of the design shown to the commission for the northeast corner of Half and N. This will need to go through a Capitol Gateway Overlay zoning review before moving forward, so there will be more opportunities to see renderings and get additional information. Lynch's rep told me after the meeting that the project is expected to be back in front of the ANC "in the very near future."
* THE DEVIL LIVES AT PARK CHELSEA: Curbed DC took a look at the pile of new renderings on the Park Chelsea web site (with a clock counting down to the start of leasing on July 1) and noticed a very familiar someone in a few of them. Clearly this is the week for having a bit of fun with drawings.
 

In a WaPo piece about DC budget wranglings, Mike DeBonis dropped this little tidbit:
"Several council members pressed [City Administrator Rashad M.] Young to unfreeze a $5 million grant to the Washington Humane Society, which contracts with the District government to handle its animal control functions. The grant would help the nonprofit group acquire property near the Washington Navy Yard for a new headquarters to replace its facilities on New York Avenue NE and Georgia Avenue NW."
And budget documents even tell us exactly where this property is--the 36,500-sq-ft lot on the northwest corner of 11th and M streets SE, where an Exxon station stood until 2008.
The Exxon lot also just happens to abut the Society's spay and neuter clinic. which has operated at 10th and L SE since 2007. The current appraised value of the Exxon site is a smidgen over $6 million.
The article also says that "Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) told Young that the deal’s closing is rapidly approaching and could be jeopardized if the funds aren’t unfrozen."
Kittehs! Doggies!
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More posts: Development News, humanesociety
 

If you spend much time on 4th Street in the Yards, you can be forgiven for looking at the concrete skeleton rising up next to the Foundry Lofts and assuming that Forest City's Arris is going to just be another boxy DC apartment building.
And that is more or less true--for the five floors that have been built.
But there's for the next six floors, there's going to be a shift, as the design--by Robert A.M. Stern Architects--turns into a very angled, wavy, and even slightly off-centered ultra-modern offering. It's going to look like a glass tower was plopped not-altogether-carefully on top of a rectangular brick low-rise offering.
Look closely at the renderings (click to enlarge), which both show the building from Water Street, and compare them to the above photo, counting the floors already constructed to confirm that along 4th Street the construction is about to look very un-rectangular:
On the building's west side, next to the Foundry Lofts, there will be no glass top, but instead three eight-story mini-towers, with two private courtyards. It's not quite so easy to get photos that clearly show the "reverse-E" outline of the west side, but I did at least try.
The from-above rendering also gives a good view of the rooftop "amenities deck" on the glass tower.
One thing not readily apparently in the drawings is how much taller this building is going to be than anything nearby. So, get ready for a veeeeeery different skyline in the coming weeks.
Arris has 20,000 square feet of retail on three sides of the building's ground floor, facing 4th, Tingey, and Water streets, and the building is scheduled to open late this year or early next year.
There's more drawings and photos on my project page, including some "before" shots of the building's footprint that emphasize how much this block has changed, even before work started on Arris.
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More posts: Development News, photos, The Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards
 

Thankfully my camera shutter does not seize up in cold weather, because I spent more than two hours on Saturday wandering the neighborhood* to catch up on all of the latest doings, of which there are so many these days.
I looked at The Brig.
I looked at a few other spots that you'll hear about soon.
Unsurprisingly, I also looked up.
And what a sky to look up at.
(Just ignore all those dust artifacts marring the magnificent blue. Time to buy my own sensor cleaning kit.)
I looked up at the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, which now has most of its windows and appears to be about to get its facing. Maybe it looks a smidge less like a grain elevator now.
Then I looked up at the VIDA Fitness complex at Twelve12, originally to document the new Bang Salon and Penthouse Pool Club signs, but how I could resist yet another shot of the VIDA sign when I saw this?
I've mentioned the Banfield Pet Hospital sign before, but seeing it there reminds me that a reader passed along a Banfield tweet from early January saying that Banfield would be opening Feb. 7. Keep an eye peeled for the removal of the window coverings....
And finally, we have the Park Chelsea, which remains thisclose to getting its masonry completed, with the second photo included mainly to give me an excuse to sneak in a shot of the scaffolded Capitol dome.
If you like photos of vertical construction against a deep blue sky, stay tuned.
* But, hey, 11,000 steps!
 
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