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With a Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing coming soon (as now advertised), the developers planning a residential project on the site where McDonald's currently provides (among other items) tubs of Diet Coke to addicted bloggers have submitted some revisions to the design first seen back in October. The original version is on the left, the new submission on the right:
While there is no change to the overall "program"--a first-phase apartment building with about 380 units and around 2,700 square feet of retail, plus a second phase with either another 170ish apartments, or condos, or maybe even a hotel--there have been some "enhancements and modifications" in response to comments from ANC 6D at its December meeting, including revising the facade facing South Capitol Street and adding glass balconies to the southwest and northwest corners of the building.
They've also revised the rendering of the entranceway (original here, new one seen below). I'm also including the floor plan of the ground floor to show where the "phases" will be, as well as how the interior driveway/courtyard is laid out.
The BZA hearing is February 9.
Comments (13)
More posts: 2i, Development News
 

Not long after JBG filed its designs for a new residential/retail project on the southern end of the "Fairgrounds" site along Half Street SE, the plans on the block's north end is now getting a makeover, with co-developers Brandywine REIT and Akridge submitting this week a revised design for the 25 M Street office building project.
In what is described as a response to "the office market's demand for more column free spaces and more natural light flowing into the interior offices," Brandywine/Akridge and architect HOK have reduced the distance between the edge of the building and its core to 45 feet. New terraces on the 3rd, 4th, and 9th floors have been added as well, while keeping the "strong three story presence" at Half and M "to allow the building to 'hold' that important corner."
These changes have resulted in a decrease in the building's gross area floor space of about 22,600 feet, making the building just a smidge under 247,000 square feet overall, which includes nearly 21,000 square feet of retail.
The filing with the Zoning Commission, which is technically a modification of the Capitol Gateway Overlay Review approved back in 2009, includes these before-and-afters (or, in this case, "Approved"-and-"Revised"), which of course is a guaranteed approach to getting them shown on JDLand.
As seen above, 25 M will stand in between the pending JBG project to the south and Monument Realty's National Association of Broadcasters HQ to the west, both of which are looking to get started at some point in 2016.
No hint in the filings as to when 25 M might get underway, though the big question would be whether it would be built "on spec" (like Skanska's 99 M a block to the east) or whether tenants will need to be lined up first. The filing does say though that the developers believe the new design "is a significant and necessary change that will result in a higher quality building," which will allow the project "to move forward in an expeditious manner."
Comments (3)
More posts: 25m, Development News
 

I ended 2015 with a quick look back at the major development news of the neighborhood over the previous twelve months, so it would be fitting to not get too far into 2016 without a look ahead. But it is to be remembered of course that crystal ball gazing is inherently dicier, which is why I like writing posts that look back a whole lot more than I do ones that look forward.
First Out of the Gate
Let's start with the easy ones, the 436-unit Park Chelsea at 880 New Jersey and the 325-unit Arris at 4th and Tingey, both of which are showing signs of opening their doors in coming weeks.
In fact, let's look at photographic evidence from this weekend to support this theory, starting with the Park Chelsea's still-fenced-but-prepped front entrance and New Jersey Avenue frontage, plus the new section of I Street that at this point I believe is being kept closed merely for the fun of driving me insane.
At Arris, the sidewalks on Tingey and Water, on the building's north and south sides, are now open, and landscaping and lighting has arrived in the courtyards on the building's west side--along with most interesting sculptures/screens/whatever you want to call them that serve to give the courtyards and the units that face them a little bit of privacy.
Other Expected 2016 Deliveries
The JDLand crystal ball feels confident that the DC Housing Authority's two current projects, the Community Center at 5th and K and the 195-unit mixed-income Bixby/Lofts at Capitol Quarter at 7th and L will be the next developments to make it across the finish line, though the specific time frames are still a bit cloudy.
And work is now underway on the Yards Park Marina, which is supposed to be finished in spring/summer 2016.
Beyond that? The 305-unit Dock 79 at Florida Rock topped out in early November, and the exterior masonry and glass work are well underway. MRP Realty has said that it expects the building to deliver in July, but at the very least Signs Point to Yes on a delivery before the end of the year.
While 82 I/801 New Jersey looks about finished with vertical construction, and its red brick exterior is already up to its third floor, and a 2016 delivery had been announced last year, this one should probably be filed under We Shall See.
Otherwise, the rest of the current lineup of skeletons and holes in the ground are probably coming to you in 2017.
Retail on Tap for 2016
There's not a lot of announced retail in the 2016 pipeline at this point. All we have so far is that Philz Coffee will arrive Arris this spring and that optimists believe that the Brig beer garden at 8th and L will at last open its gates. The new Italian venture at the Park Tavern should (?) be arriving at some point as well, and maybe the Bardo Riverfront venture.
But there's at least 30,000 combined square feet of additional retail space in both Arris and Dock 79 that I imagine we'll be hearing about as the year goes on.
Projects That May Get Underway in 2016
(This category always gives me the shakes.)
The crystal ball feels reasonably confident that the condo and rental projects on what's known as Yards Parcel O will get started, with financing for the PN Hoffman condo portion already announced and various types of construction permit applications submitted and awaiting approvals.
Also looking likely to join the 2016 lineup is the new National Association of Broadcasters headquarters at the corner of South Capitol and M, presumably along with the 163-unit residential building that development Monument Realty is also planning for the site.
DC Water is itching to get going on its new headquarters, which will be built as a wraparound to the existing O Street Pumping Station, which happens to be immediately to the south of the Showplace Icon movie theater site, which is supposed to see construction start in 2016.
JBG's recently unveiled condo/rental/retail project for the west side of Half Street is scheduled to begin construction late in 2016, if all zoning and permitting goes according to plan.
Beyond that? The crystal ball would not be totally shocked to see the Jair Lynch condo/rental/retail project on the east side of Half Street get started sometime before the end of the year, and would be equally not totally shocked to see that wait until early 2017.
Movement on a new Douglass Bridge might also be on the boards for 2016, but whether actual start of construction can happen within the next 12 months, well, hope springs eternal.
As always, if this slew of words has you overwhelmed, check out the full development map and the guide down below it (yes, scroll down!) to give more clarity.
Comments (22)
 

With a few hours to spare before the year ends, I present to you a Pics-and-Clicks summary of the big moments in Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards (#NeCaBaRY) in 2015.
New Restaurants
I think the pictures speak for themselves in this section.
New Retail
Tingey Street saw the opening of Pacers Running, Hugh & Crye Menswear, and Banfield Pet Hospital.
Completions
The Hampton Inn at 1st and N and the new Trapeze School space at New Jersey and Tingey snuck in under the wire for 2015. (This section will be considerably larger next year.)
At the Ballpark
Nats Park saw the NHL Winter Classic, new food offerings, and the Taylor Swift invasion. (But not the October games many had been expecting.) Plus, there was the announcement that the 2018 MLB All-Star Game will come to Half Street.
Farewell
The "new neighborhood" is now old enough that some establishments are exiting. We said goodbye to Sizzlin' Express and Buzz Bakery, and await the Italian-themed retooling of the Park Tavern. Plus the Hill Country gameday BBQ pop-up at South Capitol and N will be no more, with development now underway in that spot.
Underway
A mere seven development projects (four residential, two hotel, one office) broke ground in 2015, to go with the mere seven development projects already under construction. (Need a map to keep them all straight? You're in luck!)
Coming soon, an equally speedy summary of what's on tap for 2016.
Comments (5)
More posts: Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail
 

The neighborhood's second hotel has now officially arrived, with the Hampton Inn and Suites at 1265 1st Street SE having opened to guests on Thursday, Dec. 17.
I wandered in off the streets without the official JDLand camera, but my S6 stood in pretty well as I took some quick photos of the public areas, and of the views off the roof deck, even though that space doesn't appear 100 percent ready yet. (The door was unlocked, honest!)
The official web site for the location probably tells you more than I can about amenities, etc. It looks like the rates are pretty low for dates over the coming days (starting at $99 if you arrived on Monday the 21st), but I'm guessing that won't be the case for long. And there are rooms that are specifically labeled "Ballpark view."
I tossed together a photo gallery that isn't exactly a barn-burner, but here are a few highlights. Apologies that the shots of the ballpark from the roof are ghastly, but I pretty much couldn't have picked a worse time of day in December to try to take photos to the south-southwest. I think you can get the idea.
As for the space at street level between the wings of the hotel, directly on the corner, that land is not part of the Hampton footprint--it's part of the Grosvenor F1rst/Residence Inn project immediately to the north, and will eventually be home to a two-story retail building, which you can see in this F1rst rendering that helpfully doesn't include the Hampton Inn.
Comments (15)
More posts: Development News, hamptoninn, Square 701
 

Last week developer PN Hoffman announced the completion of a $20 million financing deal that will allow its 138-unit condo project at 4th and Tingey in the Yards to break ground in the first quarter of 2016.
The building, seen on the left side of this rendering, will have about 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail as well as below-grade parking, and is expected to be finished in 2018. It was designed by Handel Architects and WDG, and it's not hard to see brick-and-glass echoes of Arris, its cousin across 4th Street.
The financing was provided by Grosvenor Americas' Structured Development Financing program, for those of you keeping score at home.
According to the sign erected a few weeks back, sales are supposed to start this spring.
And at the same time Hoffman's condo project is being built, Forest City will be building its own rental building immediately to the south, with 190 units in two towers (as seen on the right side of the rendering and in other renderings on the project page).
This is the site where the trapeze school has been camped for the past few years, and it's why they are moving to their new digs at New Jersey and Tingey Any Minute Now.
Hoffman's building (technically known at this point at as Parcel O-1) will be the first condo project in the Yards, and will also be the first condo project to get underway in the neighborhood since Velocity started its construction in 2007--and looks to be on the vanguard of a mini-wave of condo offerings, as both developments at Half and N just north of Nats Park are slated to have condos, along with perhaps a future project at Half and L and one on Square 767 on the old Capper footprint.
Comments (25)
More posts: Development News, The Yards, Yards/Parcel O
 

Another piece of the puzzle that has been Half Street directly north of Nats Park is falling into place, as JBG filed plans last week with the Zoning Commission for a 424ish-unit combination condo/rental project at Half and N Streets, SE, with more than 65,000 square feet of retail on two floors, in a design that most assuredly can't be described as a typical Washington, DC "box."
The Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay requires buildings just north of the ballpark to "minimize unarticulated walls," and there is no doubt that this design, by ODA Architecture of New York, passes that test, with "extensive modulation" through the use of "balconies [and] extensive landscaping incorporated into the elevations." (This mondo-articulated approach to building design seems to be an ODA hallmark, as you can see from the company's portfolio.)
The condo portion, on the south side of the building at Half and N facing the ballpark, would have approximately 224 1- and 2-bedroom units, while the rental portion on the north end would have 200 units, mostly studio and 1-bedroom units but also with about 10 3-bedroom units. (And the units will have irrigation systems for the balconies, to keep that greenery nice and lush, though I'd still suggest branded watering cans placed strategically as well.)
The rendering above is the view at Half and N, like you were standing at the Nats Park ticket booths looking to the northwest, on the site currently home to the southern portion of the Fairgrounds. Here's a few more drawings, looking down Half Street toward the ballpark (maybe from just a little south of Buffalo Wild Wings) and looking down from On High.
The residential entrances would be on Van Street, facing JBG's just-underway residential building at 1244 South Capitol, which also has two stories of retail, as you can see in the rendering at below left, looking north on Van from N. In the below-right rendering, you can see at left the "Via," a wide pedestrians-only alley that will run along the north end of this project and the south end of Brandywine's planned 25 M Street office building.
For zoning geeks, this filing is actually a modification, revising the design that Akridge received approvals for back in 2009, which planned one office building and one residential building for this portion of the west side of Half Street. A graphic included in the new filing gives a handy siteplan comparison of the modifications, and made me laugh as I realized the line drawing of the new design looks like it could have been drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch. These massing drawings are also worth a look, to give an idea of exactly how the building undulates along Half, as well as how the condo (green) and rental (orange) units are situated.
The only thing that will probably dismay observers is that it's likely the project won't get underway until after the 2016 baseball season ends, making it likely that it won't be completed by the time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game arrives at Nats Park in July of 2018, though the exterior should at least be finished by then.
And because JBG gets a gold star for the thoroughness of its filing, I'll just toss in a few more of the renderings they included, showing the building's interior courtyard (open to Van Street and the west) and the anticipated view from inside the ballpark, with the view of this new building flanked by 1244 South Capitol and the Jair Lynch condo/rental/retail project coming to the Half Street Hole site.
I've added a few of these renderings to the project page, which of course also has a big pile of Before photos and some history of the lot--part of the corner of Half and N has a history that's a bit spicier than we normally discuss around here.
Next, we'll wait to see how the zoning commissioners feel about such an outside-the-box design.
Comments (11)
More posts: Development News, West Half St.
 

You may have noticed that I only rarely have referred to Donohoe's under-construction apartment building at 1111 New Jersey by its announced name, "Gallery at Capitol Riverfront," because, well, if you can't say something nice....
And my hesitancy appears to have been rewarded, because as a reader noticed, the 1111 development is now "Insignia on M," and its marketing (and presumably management) is now being handled by Bozzuto.
The building, currently under construction right next to (but not truly on top of) the east entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station on the northwest corner of New Jersey and M Streets, SE, will have 324 units (a mix of studios and 1- and 2-BR units), and 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, along with the increasingly standard amenities found in new "luxury" buildings.
The building's progress up to now has not been lightning quick, with vertical construction only beginning to reach ground level nearly 15 months after site-clearing began. (Digging a big hole immediately next to a Metro station and tunnel is not undertaken lightly.)
At least with this change there's finally some new renderings available of the design by WDG Architecture. The one at the top of this post shows the view looking south along New Jersey Avenue from L Street, the same view as seen in this photo from a few days ago, standing near the small patio space at the Courtyard Marriott (though without that big white building in the distance).
Here's a few additional renderings that I purloined from the official web site, showing the roof view (left), and the ground-floor retail facing M Street (middle) and L Street (right, with the lovely pink of Ann's Beauty and Wigs clearly shown at right). You can see more renderings at the official web site and at Donohoe's site. And there's my project page, for more history and photos.
And this is not really the most major change this project has seen, because originally 1111 New Jersey was going to be a 250,000-square-foot office building, before the decision was made in 2013 to go residential.
This is the second renaming I've posted about this week, after the Lofts at Capitol Quarter appeared to get re-dubbed as The Bixby, though I think the Housing Authority maybe ain't all hep to that notion.
But that's not all! There's another residential project that has an official name previously unmentioned here, and it is...
Comments (6)
More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, Development News
 

So, we've got the Lofts at Capitol Quarter becoming the Bixby (perhaps), and 1111 New Jersey ditching "Gallery at Capitol Riverfront" for "Insignia on M." Time to fill out the lineup by finally getting around to mentioning that the 336-unit residential building currently under construction at 800 New Jersey is going to be named:
Agora.
This is the project better known as "The Whole Foods Building," on the north end of New Jersey Avenue just south of the Southeast Freeway and immediately to the north of the Park Chelsea. It's the second of three planned apartment buildings by WC Smith on the block bounded by New Jersey, 2nd, H (to come), and I (to come).
Construction started in June of 2014, and is now just coming out of the ground, while residents for many blocks in all directions tap their toes waiting only somewhat patiently for the 36,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market that is signed for the first floor.
I cannot in any way lay claim to being the fast out of the gate in mentioning this Agora news, since it was in a BID newsletter back in July. I meant to mention it sooner, but I also thought that at some point WC Smith would unveil it. Also, it was July. It was hot. I was tired.
As for what "Agora" means, Wikipedia says in its entry on the ancient Greek marketplace of that name that "the literal meaning of the word is 'gathering place' or 'assembly.' The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual, and political life of the city." (There's a few other Agora entries as well, including a very early "email" browser.)
I doubt this is the end of the naming dance, either, since you have to figure there will be "real" names for 909 Half and 82 I/801 New Jersey and 1244 South Capitol.
I have, however, updated my maps and project pages with all these new names.
(I should also note that this Agora shouldn't be confused with this Agora.)
Comments (11)
More posts: 800 NJ/Whole Foods, Development News
 

A mere eight years after shutting down, the BP Amoco station on the northeast corner of South Capitol and N Streets is 100 percent no more, with visual confirmation coming via Twitter of the tearing down of the canopy that had remained standing since 2007.
This can be considered the opening salvo in the construction of JBG's 290-unit apartment building at 1244 South Capitol Street, which I mentioned last week would be getting underway Any Minute Now.
For much of its post-gas station existence, this site immediately north of Nats Park was used as a parking lot during Nats games, but during the summer of 2015 it was home to Hill Country's game-day barbecue pop-up, "The Home Stand."
As for the canopy, it's enough of a demolition to memorialize it as entry number 173 in my Demolished Buildings Gallery. (If you haven't wandered through the gallery, it's quite a stroll down memory lane.) The photo above shows the gas station still operating, in August 2005.
The apartment project is expected to be finished in late 2017 or early 2018. And soon I'll have (yet) another hole to look into.
Comments (6)
More posts: 1244 South Capitol St., Development News
 
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