Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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Budget Moves May Delay Yards Movie Theater Project
May 10, 2013 4:01 PM
On Thursday, the news broke that the DC Council's economic development committee voted to shift $8 million of the city's 2014 budget from the planned relocation of some of the DC Water facilities
at 125 O St., SE, to three projects that happen to be in the ward of the committee's chair, Muriel Bowser (who also just happens to be running for mayor).
This relocation is a step on the path to Forest City's plans for a mixed-use development
including a movie theater
on that site. The project is currently going through the zoning process, and is expected to have a hearing within the next few months.
Let's hand the narrative over to the Washington Business Journal
: "Bowser described the D.C. WASA project, in the report, as a 'poor use of capital funding,' given that a replacement WASA site has not been identified. Later Thursday, the councilwoman said that she supports the relocation project and that she left enough money in the fund -- $1 million in 2014 and $9 million in 2015 -- to continue community outreach and relocation work.
"The WASA project, she said, will require extensive environmental remediation and can't possibly be done next year.
"'They can't use it,'" she said of the $9 million set aside in 2014."
As for how the mayor's office feels about the move? "'Stopping the Yards project -- who in their right mind thinks that's a good idea?' responded Pedro Ribeiro, Gray's spokesman."
This is not the final word in the budgeting process--the full council still needs to vote on the budget, and there could still be some maneuvers to come.
Tidbits from the Multi-Unit Residential Dwellings Department
Apr 10, 2013 9:11 AM
A few items that are small, but worth passing along:
* Forest City has put up fence signs around the Twelve12
construction site, showing new sleeker renderings of the exterior. The signs also announce the official web site, Twelve12dc.com
, which is pretty much just a placeholder at this point, but does at least show two of the new renderings, including the one at right that I pilfered. (I asked for the other drawings on the signs, but Forest City isn't ready to release them yet. Waah.) This is the 220ish-unit rental project
at 4th and M that will be home to both Harris Teeter and Vida Fitness when it's completed in spring 2014. And if you look through the fences, you can see that the northern end of the construction, near M Street, is already about up to ground level.
* Construction at the 432-unit Park Chelsea
at New Jersey and I continues to move along, and the two tower cranes should be up on the site by late May/early June. While the increasingly large hole on the site makes it look like they are excavating the entire block, folks at William C. Smith tell me that they dug beyond the building's actual footprint to make excavation easier, and will be filling it back to the property line as construction continues. Also, they have now cleared and smoothed out the small hill that used to exist between the old Canal Street and New Jersey Avenue, so that you can even see a dirt-road version of H Street running from 2nd Street west to New Jersey. (It would help if I had new pictures of what I'm talking about to match to the old ones
, but soon.)
* Technically outside of my borders, but yesterday there was a ribbon cutting
at the new Camden South Capitol apartment building
at South Capitol and O, across from Nationals Park. The 276-unit building begins leasing its lower floors today, with rents ranging from $1288 per month for the smallest studio to $3225 per month for a 2BR/2BA unit. The web site, which includes floor plans, is available here
. I used to follow this project back when it was getting underway, so you can see my before-and-afters of the site
going back to 2006, though I haven't gotten into the ballpark yet to get the true "afters" from there.
Movement on Planned Hotel, Probably at 1st and N
Apr 3, 2013 9:36 AM
A report this morning from GlobeSt.com
says that PM Hospitality Strategies
is close to a deal to manage a hotel located in what they describe as "in Capitol Hill, specifically the Navy Yard" (eww). "Principal Joseph Bojanowski tells GlobeSt.com that the developer is currently wrapping up development financing and will ink a deal on the project shortly. 'The land was purchased last month and the hotel is expected to roughly deliver in mid-2015,' he says."
The article doesn't give any additional details on where the hotel might actually be, and the story's RSS summary describes it as "a 165-key hotel in Capitol Hill," but given that the story's headline is actually "PM Hospitality Eyes Navy Yard Hotel," and assuming that the project won't actually be *in* the Washington Navy Yard, signs point to this being the L-shaped hotel planned for the corner of 1st and N SE
on land formerly owned by the Welch family. Those plans for a 13-story 167-room hotel were okayed by the Zoning Commission in December, and in mid-March a $5.44 million sale was recorded of the Welch lots to Capital Riverfront Hotel LLC. (The rendering at right is from the zoning filings.)
At the zoning hearing, representatives of the developer said that it was expected that construction would take about 16 months, which would point to a start date sometime in early 2014 to then deliver in mid-2015 as the article says.
This is one of three hotels currently planned for the block just north of Nationals Park
, along with no-timeline projects by Monument Realty
The 1st and N hotel will have no on-site parking, and
no ground-floor retail space
Per commissioner David Garber in the comments, there will be no "traditionally leased" retail space, but there will be a retail space operated by the hotel facing N Street, which is shown in the final zoning drawings as a restaurant or bar.). It wraps around Grosvenor's planned two-story retail building, and would be nestled between the residential buildings also planned by Grosvenor and Monument. My previous post on this hotel project
has additional details.
PM Hospitality Strategies is an affiliated company of the Buccini/Pollin Group
, which is the developer listed on this project's zoning documents. BPG owns properties throughout the mid-Atlantic, including the Madison Hotel
. Not known at this point is the brand this hotel will operate under, though of course I hope they call it the L Hotel. (UPDATE:
Or not, given how now we're all mistakenly referencing it being on L Street.)
Movie Theater Zoning Plans Submitted; Late '15 Opening?
Mar 1, 2013 11:06 AM
Forest City Washington is moving forward with the plans for a sixteen screen movie theater
near Nationals Park
, having submitted a truckload of documents this week to the Zoning Commission for its plans to redevelop more than five acres of land currently occupied by DC Water.
, which sits between the current footprint of the Yards
and the ballpark, would be turned into four new city blocks with 600 residential units in two buildings, an expansion of Diamond Teague Park, and somewhere around 50,000 square feet in retail, which would include the theater that we first heard about a few months ago.
The plan apparently would be to build the theater first (and in fact FCW is requesting second-stage PUD approval for the theater plans, for those of you who know what that means), and in the zoning filing FCW says that they intend to file for building permits by this fall and start construction by the beginning of 2014, with an expected opening of the theater by late 2015.
There would be 337 parking spaces at the theater, which would be above-ground and contained within the first four floors of the theater building. DC Water would continue its operations on the other three blocks that are part of this plan while the theater is constructed and operating, with the development of those blocks waiting until those operations can be relocated (and, of course, "subject to market conditions)."
A few months ago I wrote in great detail about the plans for the theater itself
, expected to be operated by Showplace Icon, after a public meeting was held for residents about the crowds that might be drawn, who seemed mostly mollified by the "policies to encourage courteous behavior." Read that post for more
There should be a hearing on these plans within the next few months. And I'll dig through the documents to look for more tidbits, but mainly I wanted folks to finally see a rendering!
Residents Eyeing L Street Warehouse as 'Half Street Market'
Jan 10, 2013 10:41 AM
Could Near Southeast get a new "food destination"? Resident Nathan Alberg and new 6D02 commissioner Ed Kaminski are proposing that the federally owned warehouse at Half and L SE be converted to a market and community space called the "Half Street Market
," and are now starting the process of drumming up support.
Alberg, who lives just across the street and so presumably has spent a lot of time looking out his window at the warehouse, envisions the building as a site similar to Eastern Market or the new Union Market in Northeast DC, or Milwaukee's Public Market
. He hopes it could "offer independent merchants a market to sell their artisan foods and prepared food products to the public, provide a managed risk incubator for self-employment, to provide public culinary training and education in a working demonstration restaurant, drive the development of new food markets, income generation, increased economic growth." In other words, it could be a combination indoor/outdoor market, cooking school, and rentable event space.
A survey to gauge interest
in the idea is currently being run (so go give them your input!), and a public meeting will be held sometime in early February to discuss the notion further. This presentation
was made to residents of Velocity this week, though it's stressed that these are early concepts.
How exactly the building would go from excess GSA space to Half Street Market is a bit murky--Alberg, Kaminski, and 6D07 commissioner David Garber say that the feds are "in the process of potentially auctioning the building or possibly giving it to the city." The warehouse, built around 1924, is on a nearly 30,000-square-foot lot, which was most recently assessed at $19.2 million. Just to the south is an empty lot facing M Street
where a Sunoco station once stood and is the current home to Nats Parking Lot J.* Those two lots together, creating a block the same size as the 80 M office building, directly across M Street from the Navy Yard Metro station and a block away from Nats Park
, would presumably be pretty appetizing to deep-pocketed developers, so if the warehouse property were to go to auction, it probably wouldn't be sold on the cheap.
What do you think, readers?
(* Side note: The old Sunoco site has been known as 50 M Street, being marketed by Monument Realty and owned in a partnership by Monument, MacFarlane, and Lehman. But my understanding is that, with the property being worth less than the loan, and with Lehman also being the lender on the loan, this site, along with the lot on the old BP site at Half and N that had the same ownership configuration, has gone through "foreclosure" in recent days so that Lehman now is the sole owner.)
Sale of 70 I Street Apartment Building Completed for $165.7M
Dec 7, 2012 1:14 PM
It's taken almost a year
, but the sale of 70 I Street
was completed this week, with public records showing that "70 Eye Street Acquisition LLC" paid $165.7 million for the 448-unit building developed by JPI and opened in 2008.
The other two buildings in the original JPI "Capitol Yards" lineup, 100 I and 909 New Jersey
, were sold back in May
for around $94 million each, but the 70 I sale took longer as tenants had attempted to purchase the property themselves (UPDATE
: or at least to file that paperwork in order to then attempt to negotiate terms of sale more favorable to residents). I don't have this confirmed, but I am assuming that the 70 I LLC, like the other two, is "institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management," since the 70 I sale deed has Morgan as the mailing address for the LLC.
Like the other properties, 70 I will be managed now by Bozzuto, which, in a letter to tenants, also said that the name of the property once known as the Jefferson at Capitol Yards is now changed to "70 Capitol Yards." (This is why I always just keep with the addresses.)
Prospective Yards Movie Theater Operator: Showplace Icon
Nov 15, 2012 10:39 PM
At a public meeting on Thursday night, Yards developer Forest City Washington presented very early plans for the portion of the DC Water/WASA
site on 1st Street that the company is currently working to secure the development rights for.
While people are always interested in projects for more residential buildings with ground-floor retail, it was the plans for a movie theater
on the site that drew a decent-sized crowd to the meeting, and the attendees learned that Showplace Icon
is the heretofore unnamed operator that Forest City is currently in negotiations with.
It would be a 16-screen theater with more than 2,000 seats on N Place SE (see my quickie map
for placement in regards to Nats Park and the main WASA pumping station), and Icon's more upscale amenities and approach to movie-going were extensively touted, including all reserved seating, VIP areas in each theater with extra-wide seats and person tables, wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor digital screens, no on-screen pre-show advertising, fresh-not-frozen food prepared on site, and their "lobby lounge
," with about 100 seats and 21-and-over-only admittance.
But it was Icon's "policies to encourage courteous behavior" that seemed to defuse the "ZOMG GALLERY PLACE" concerns about the theater that had been cropping up on neighborhood mailing lists and elsewhere
over the past few weeks. The theaters will not allow children under 17 after 7 pm without an adult, no one is admitted after the movie starts, no children under seven are admitted to PG-13 or R movies after 7 pm, and the adult admission price also applies to children.
Bob Gallivan of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters said that the company's theaters in Chicago and suburban Minneapolis are "bringing people back to the movies who haven't been for awhile" thanks to these policies, because they are trying to "create a civilized atmosphere." ("We're not a babysitting service," he also said.)
Thanks to being an all-digital theater, the venue would also be able to offer other content, such as simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, sporting events, and other events. And the theater would also have some small retail and maybe artist space along N Place.
As for the rest of the plans for the site, along 1st Street across from Nationals Park there would be two residential buildings, totalling 625ish units, each with ground-floor retail; and the northern one of the two would incorporate the brick/industrial facade of the existing DC Water fleet management building on 1st between N Place and O (seen at left).
O Street would be re-established from 1st east to the new 1 1/2 Place, and Potomac Avenue would be extended east from 1st as well to 1 1/2 Place.
Forest City's planners envision a "lower-scale" retail experience along 1 1/2 Place (smaller "eclectic" retailers, not "low-end"), with more "large-scale" offerings long 1st thanks to the size of the street and its location across from the ballpark. All told this area of the Yards would have about 50,000 square feet of retail.
Diamond Teague Park
would also be expanded somewhat to the north of its current footprint, up to the new Potomac Avenue. It's possible that Potomac Avenue and the lower part of 1 1/2 Place could be closed at times for street festivals, etc.
As for any timeline on all of this, first Forest City has to actually acquire the land from DC Water and the city, and then has to complete the negotiations with Showplace Icon. (The fact that Forest City has even named Icon before executing the lease is a pretty big departure for the company, and shows an understanding of the need to clearly define what sort of theater experience would be on the boards.) Then the project has to go through the zoning process (it will be a PUD), and then get building permits. Forest City "hopes" to begin the approximately two years of construction for the theater in 2014, but that's a lot of ducks to get in a row first. (The residential buildings would come later.)
Audience members had questions about security (Icon uses off-duty police in Chicago, and Forest City would have its own security as well), types of films that would be offered (art-house and blockbusters), worries that the Lobby Lounge might become a club (not an issue, Icon says), and how traffic generated by the development would co-exist with 40,000 fans one block away at Nationals Park 81 nights a year (or more!). Because it's still early in the process, there weren't concrete answers to some of the concerns, but this project still has to go before ANC 6D and the Zoning Commission before being approved, so there will be plenty of opportunities for additional detail to be insisted upon.
Should I mention again that this is all still subject to both the DC Water land deal and the lease with Icon getting finalized?
Much more to come on this, obviously. And, for people who weren't at the meeting who didn't get to see any of the EARLY CONCEPTUAL NOT FINALIZED drawings, I have asked for at least the EARLY CONCEPTUAL NOT FINALIZED rendering of the glass-walled theater exterior to post, and hopefully before too long Forest City will be ready to share it.
Park Chelsea Financing Secured, Now Officially Underway
Nov 9, 2012 3:35 PM
While there's been a lot of work going on at the site since the beginning of the year, it's only now that it can truly be said that work has begun on the 432-unit Park Chelsea apartment building
at New Jersey and I Streets, SE.
Developer William C. Smith has closed on a $100 million construction loan (which they are calling the largest one secured for a DC residential project this year), and if you look down on the site from on high, you can definitely see earth being moved, separate from the huge shafts built over these past few months to facilitate the relocation of deep infrastructure beneath the site. (There was also that whole demolishing of the trash transfer station
just to the south of the project's footprint, since a small corner of that old building extended onto the Park Chelsea land.)
The cost of the entire project is pegged at $150 million.
The Park Chelsea is expected to deliver late in 2014, and will have three levels of below-grade parking, both indoor and outdoor pools, a rooftop garden with a dog park, an electric car charging station, and a "state of the art bike storage and maintenance area." It's also just the first phase of the development of the entire block bounded by New Jersey, 2nd, H, and I, which is expected to have 1,200 residential units and 75,000 square feet of retail when it is all completed; plus, H and I streets will be built through between 2nd and New Jersey. It's also just a few steps away from the so-close-to-opening-you-can't-believe-it Canal Park
The Park Chelsea is now the second new-construction multi-unit residential building to start in Near Southeast in 2012, along with Forest City's Twelve12
apartment building (home also to Harris Teeter and Vida Fitness
) at the Yards.
Toll Brothers Buys Second Square 699N Lot From Cohen
Oct 31, 2012 12:10 PM
DC property records show that on Oct. 1, "Toll DC LP" paid $14.5 million to the Cohen Companies for the final empty lot on the Square 699N
/Velocity block, running along the east side of Half Street SE between K and L, across from 1015 Half Street
With Toll's $24 million purchase back in May
of the 1st and K portion of the same square with plans to build a 250ish-unit residential building, this now gives the company a second toe-hold inside the District, both on the same block.
There are rumors that the 1st and K site could see construction start in the spring, but there have been no announcements. (And I can't really even say "wait to watch for digging," since on that 1st and K site the garage and underground infrastructure was already dug and completed when the Cohen companies built Velocity
Grosvenor and Skanska (Finally) Close Square 701 Deal
Oct 12, 2012 1:11 PM
I can now finally stop obsessively checking Square 701 property records, as Grosvenor Americas and Skanska finally completed earlier this week their purchases of the former Willco properties along 1st Street SE
between M and N, and each officially announced
their plans for the site, which of course JDLand readers have known about
for a while now
The now-announced plans track pretty closely with what we've been hearing through the zoning process
* a 224,000-square-foot Class A office building at the corner of 1st and M;
* a 180-unit hotel just to the south of the office building, separated by a 30-foot-courtyard;
* a 292-unit residential project south of the hotel in two buildings, both parallel to 1st Street, with a courtyard between them and a glass bridge connecting them; and
* 43,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 sf of which will be in the office/hotel/residential buildings, while the remaining 7,000 sf will be in a separate two-story retail-only building at the corner of 1st and N.
But we've also now learned that the office building (seen at left) will be developed by Skanska, is designed by Gensler, and will likely be self-financed, according to Bisnow. It will have 11,000 square feet of retail, and will be 11 stories tall. Looking at property records (always a somewhat dicey proposition), it appears that Skanska's Ballpark Square 701 LLC paid about $19.2 million for the multiple small lots at 1st and M where Normandie Liquors
used to stand.
Grosvenor will be developing the rest of the project, with Hickok Cole designing the residential buildings and the hotel, and with McCaffery Interests providing "advisory services" and construction management. Grosvenor's Ballpark Square LLC appears in property records to have paid $25.8 million for its portion of the site.
Jon Carr of Grosvenor tells me that there is "strong interest" from potential tenants in the two-story 7,000-square-foot retail building at 1st and N (bet they wish they could have it built by tonight
!) and that there are discussions with a couple of potential operators for the hotel.
Of course, the question most interested observers want to ask doesn't have an answer yet--neither announcement gives a start date. There's still the need for final approvals from the Zoning Commission (expected to come at the Oct. 29 public meeting), but for the Grosvenor portion of the site, there's one more pending item before the path to construction is truly clear, and that is the plans by another developer for the L-shaped lot
between the residential buildings and the retail building.
Grosvenor apparently did attempt to purchase that property, but with no agreement able to be reached, those owners are now heading to the Zoning Commission in early December
with their desire to build a 176-room hotel on the site (initial design seen at right, wrapping around Grosvenor's two-story retail building). If approved, Grosvenor's plans to have the courtyard of its residential buildings opened to the south
would be impacted, and there is apparently an "alternative" design in the hopper if needed.
You can check my Square 701 page
for more details about this site (including lots of Before photos from its days before becoming Nats Parking Lot F). The next steps to watch for, beyond how the L Hotel [copyright JD] turns out (which we may not know until early 2013), will be the filing of building permit applications, along with any announcements of office tenants, hotel operators, etc.
Plans Submitted for a 1st Street Hotel, With Interesting Details
Sep 16, 2012 1:35 PM
Late last week, "Capital Riverfront Hotel LLC" * submitted to the Zoning Commission plans for a 167ish-room hotel on the small L-shaped lot that the Welch family has owned for a number of years at 1st and N Streets just north
of Nationals Park
According to documents submitted as part of the required Capitol Gateway Overlay Review
, the development would have no ground-floor retail along either 1st or N.
Also, the developers are requesting that they be able to provide zero below-ground or on-site parking instead of the 44 spaces that would be required by current zoning regulations, saying that the hotel would provide valet parking services, and also would emphasize the building's location near Metro, Circulator, and other transit options.
(Needless to say, it would be interesting to see exactly how valet service on 1st just north of N would work during a sold-out baseball game going on a few feet to the south, given how 1st fills up with traffic heading toward the parking lots at the Yards.)
As seen in the above rendering, the site for the proposed hotel wraps around the two-story retail building that has been proposed as part of its 660,000-square-foot Ballpark Square development
that I've written about over the past few months, which would have its own 170ish-unit hotel, positioned between a 224,000-square-foot office building fronting M Street and a 285ish-unit residential building toward the south end of the street, as well as the retail building, separated from the rest by the Welch lot.
Recently "Ballpark Square LLC and SCD Acquisitions LLC" (which appears to be a team headed by Grosvenor, with Skanska and McCaffery Interests also on board) submitted updated designs for that project in advance of its Oct. 1 zoning hearing, in which the residential building just to the north of the L-shaped lot has had its U-shaped design reconfigured to open to the south, giving residents in the courtyard-facing units some amount of a view toward Nats Park. Which of course would completely disappear if the hotel were to be built right up against the property line. (You can compare the white box in the top rendering to the red-brick building at the right of this rendering to place the proposed hotel's location vis-a-vis the residential building.)
The updated filing by Grosvenor et al even gives oblique reference to the goings-on, saying "As will be discussed at the hearing, the Applicant is exploring alternative residential layouts to address the potential future development of the parcel to the south of the residential component."
It does lead one to wonder what if anything might be going on behind the scenes between the two parties. And also exactly how the Zoning Commission might feel about the hotel's designs as initially submitted.
* Points immediately deducted for the wrong spelling of Capitol.
Another Residential Building on the Boards at the Yards (Updated)
Sep 14, 2012 3:20 PM
With the Foundry Lofts
having quickly reached 100 percent leasing earlier this year, and construction underway on the Twelve12
residential building with a Harris Teeter at 4th and M, it's interesting to hear that Forest City is starting to move on its next residential project at the Yards
, an 11-story 325ish-unit rental building right next door to the Foundry Lofts, on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey
(where a parking lot now resides, across from the Trapeze School). That would also put it just to the south of the under-construction Boilermaker Shops
retail pavilion and kitty
-corner from Twelve12.
The 35 percent design drawings will be presented to both the Commission on Fine Arts
and the National Capital Planning Commission
over the next few weeks, with initial thoughts/plans/hopes that construction could begin in 2013.
That's all I know at this point--more will be revealed as the bureaucratic hoops are jumped through.
With thanks to Z. in the comments, here are some renderings, via the slides for the upcoming NCPC presentation
, which has additional details. Note how the height of the building steps up so that it's not at its full 11-story height directly next to the six-story Foundry Lofts. And remember, these are just the 35 percent drawings--details are still to be fleshed out, and perhaps changed.
The view on the left is looking down 4th at Tingey
; the right is looking pretty much from the Lumber Shed/Yards Park to the northeast.
Also worth mentioning, the design calls for 21,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and 250-300 parking spaces in a three-level underground garage.
Tuesday Tidbits: More Post-Vacation Catching Up to Do
Aug 21, 2012 10:25 AM
Here's a few more items that came across the transom while I was on my annual Hiding Out in Wyoming and Montana trip
* Residents of Onyx
have filed paperwork with the city under the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act
and are investigating options to buy the building themselves, after news came a few weeks back that the building is under contract to be sold
for $82.5 million. If the city accepts the filing, the tenants' group would then have 120 days to come up with a competing offer. See the tenants' press release
for why the group is pursuing this, including its hope that buying the building, which opened in 2009, will "reverse problems which plagued the area for years - poor housing conditions, rent increases, and attempts by developers to force residents out of the District." (If they succeed, I guess I'll have to stop using my standard joke about tenants looking in the sofa cushions for millions of dollars in spare change to buy their buildings.)
* DC Water has leased 16,450 square feet of office space on the 7th floor of 80 M Street through 2019 (GlobeSt.com
). With or without telescopes for spying on the Main Pumping Station
a few blocks to the south?
* The Capitol Riverfront BID
is having an Urban Design Framework Plan prepared, to "examine the quality of the public realm in the BID and develop strategies for a comprehensive framework and public investment plan in the right-of-way." They've also commissioned a Retail Analysis Study "that will provide forecasts on future retail demand and absorption possibilities." Because if there's one thing a neighborhood can never have enough of, it's studies and analyses. (BID newsletter
* The Earth Conservation Corps
is offering "bird of prey demonstrations" on Friday nights through Sept. 28 at Diamond Teague Park
, from 5:30-7:30pm. (via e-mail, no link!)
* Another rumination on Near Southeast's development timeline
, at GGWash. As I've said many times--of course things were happening in Near Southeast before the ballpark (I wouldn't have started this blog in 2003 otherwise). But to not recognize that the ballpark sped up *plans* considerably is to not have watched the 18-month landrush in 2004 and 2005 after the ballpark's location was announced, when so many little lots between 1st and South Capitol south of the freeway were snapped up by the big guns. And to say that the ballpark didn't drive development right after it opened is to neglect the worldwide financial market near-collapse, and the years needed to recover from that. But I bet there's a lot of retailers and developers looking at the Nats this year and rueing that they didn't make their move already.
* So, in line with all that, check out nine years ago today, windshield edition
Relaxing of Security Requirements Could Mean Less Land Needed for New Marine Barracks
Aug 19, 2012 6:52 AM
In a newsletter released last week
, the Marine Corps announced that a recent relaxation
of the Department of Defense's force protection requirements means that the never-ending quest
for space for a new Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) can now be based on the need for a 66-foot standoff distance
between any new building and nearby parking/roads instead of the 82-foot standoff that the Marines had been trying to work with up to now.
This means less land would be needed for both the new BEQ and additional support facilities, though the total amount is dependent on what exactly the Marines end up building. A joint eight-story BEQ and support facilities would need approximately 1.6 acres of land, while separating the two needs could mean something closer to two acres if a five-story BEQ is built.
While this is important news from a neighborhood/urban design standpoint, it also impacts the amount of land the Marines may need to, ahem, "acquire" in order to build the BEQ. Early in the search process, it had been hoped
that a public-private development partnership could be arranged so that the Marines would not have to take land by eminent domain, but it was announced in April
that "federal land acquisition will be unavoidable as a result of recent unforeseen changes in policy and a less favorable funding outlook." And, because of the requirement that the new BEQ and support facilities be within 2,000 feet of the main post at 8th and I, various blocks south of the freeway on and near Lower Barracks Row have long been the sites the Marines have been eyeing as possibilities.
At that time, the Marines said that the EIS would evaluate the two blocks along the east side of 8th between Virginia and Potomac Avenues (Squares 929/930) along with the old Exxon site at 11th and M (Square 976). It was also said that the existing "Annex site
" at 7th and Virginia was ruled out for the 100,000 square feet of housing but that it could be used for the needed 60,000 square feet of support space, but one does wonder whether the setback requirement change can return the Annex site back into the mix.
As also announced back in April
, the Marines will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to both evaluate potential locations for the new BEQ complex as well as the reuse of the current Building 20 barracks on I Street SE. It had been hoped that the formal Notice of Intent for the EIS would have been happening about now, but the new newsletter says this will be delayed until winter. There will then be the attendant public meetings and whatnot.
If you're joining this story late, feel free to read my many posts from the past two years on the evolving BEQ site search
, because I really can't bear to try to summarize it all AGAIN. You can also browse the official project web site
for lots of materials from the process.
District Selling Density Rights Near Ballpark, Maybe for Square 701
Aug 19, 2012 6:48 AM
The Washington Business Journal reported on Friday
that the city has put 300,000 square feet of "combined lot development rights" that it controls near Nationals Park
up for bid, and that the likely target is the new Square 701 project
that would bring a combined office/hotel/residential/retail project to the block along 1st Street SE where Nats Parking Lot F currently resides.
A few months back I detailed the plans
for the site as described in zoning filings:
* a 224,500-square-foot office building at the corner of 1st and M;
* a 180-unit hotel just to the south of the office building, separated by a 30-foot-courtyard;
* a 292-unit residential project south of the hotel in two buildings, both parallel to 1st Street, with a courtyard between them and a glass bridge connecting them; and
* 43,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 sf of which will be in the office/hotel/residential buildings (called the "Main Parcel"), while the remaining 7,000 sf will be in a separate two-story retail-only building at the corner of 1st and N (on the "South Parcel"), with a design "inspired by the industrial character of the existing neighborhood."
The zoning hearing for this project--technically a Capitol Gateway Overlay District Review
--has now been scheduled for October 1
. (And hey, look at that, the hearing announcement mentions the applicant is also seeking approval "for the use of Combined Lot Development rights ['CLDs'].") The project will also likely come before ANC 6D at its September meeting. You can see some early renderings here
, though I understand there have been some changes to the design since these were filed with the Zoning Commission.
(Note that WBJ lists the likely CLDs buyer as Willco, the developers who controlled the block for many years, but that the zoning filings
on the project list Grosvenor
as the Owner/Developer and McCaffery Interests
as Development/Construction Management Services Consultants. Plus, "Ballpark Square LLC and SCD Acquisitions LLC" is described as the "contract purchaser"
of the 81,000-square-foot lot. But no deals have shown up in land records just yet.)
And, commiserations to DC United Fans who saw "Buzzard Point" in the initial reporting on this story and immediately began dreaming of the team's new stadium....
Updated Design for Neighborhood Development Map
Jul 25, 2012 9:20 AM
After about three years of mostly closing my eyes and trying to pretend it didn't desperately need an overhaul, today I am finally posting an updated design to my full Neighborhood Development Map
. Just hover your mouse above the map for quick thumbnails on completed, underway, and proposed projects, and then click to be taken to project pages for additional details. There's also the "tabs" above the map for directory-type listings of the projects, if you're more list oriented rather than visually oriented.
If you haven't come across this map, which used to be on the home page until a redesign a few years back, it's probably because you haven't clicked on the "Project Directory" link on the black menubar atop the home page, or on the "View Full Map" link at the upper right of the "Highlights" home page map, or on the "Near SE Development Map" link at the very top of the side menubar on any interior page.
(I will probably add the nice hover effect to the smaller "highlights" map on the home page at some point, but maybe not today.)
I have one other thing I'm working on that will be coming soon--a page that's been sorely needed for a couple of years for a certain high-interest proposed project. Perhaps tomorrow....
Donohoe Seeking a Residential Option for 1111 NJ Plans
Jun 27, 2012 10:44 AM
A press release from Donohoe posted on the Capitol Riverfront BID web site
says that the development company is designing a 13-story, 310-unit apartment building on its 1111 New Jersey
site, on top of the east entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, and will be acquiring the St. Matthew's Baptist Church next door (seen in the photo at right).
An additional zoning approval is being sought in lieu of an outright change to the existing approvals
for the long-planned 200,000-square-foot office building on the site, "to maintain flexibility as we evaluate options . . . for both office and residential uses."
The building, designed by WDG Architecture
, would have a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units, and approximately 9,000 square feet of retail, "almost" the same amount as the office building. There's an early rendering of what the new building could look like on the BID page
Donohoe passed along the image at left.
Donohoe bought the most of the site's land back in 2005
, then purchased the remaining portion from WMATA
. St. Matthew's has been close to being sold before, when Ruben Companies had a deal back in 2007
that never materialized. And Donohoe had been in discussions about acquiring the site before Ruben. What the acquisition of the church would mean if the office building is built is not clear (would the office building grow in size?).
If the apartment building does happen, it will be in line with other developers seeing the neighborhood
as much more of a residential opportunity than when plans to revitalize the area first started being formulated. That and the fact that office leases are not very easy to come by these days.
Needless to say, no timeline at the present, beyond a trip through Zoning Land.
Onyx on First Apartment Building Under Contract for $82.25M
Jun 23, 2012 5:27 PM
Hot on the heels of the sales (completed and pending
) of JPI's three
" buildings, there's another notice in another lobby that a neighborhood apartment building is under contract to be sold. This time it's Onyx on First
, the 266-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of 1st and L, which was developed by Faison with an assist from Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and opened in late 2008
The sale price is listed on the form as $82.25 million, with the buyer being ERP Operating Limited Partnership, which is the operating partnership of Equity Residential
, owner of a slew of DC-area buildings
including 425 Mass and 2400 M, as well as a huge slate
of properties around the country. (As an aside, the company was started by Sam Zell, a name that certainly has resonance for folks in the newspaper biz.)
Onyx went on the market
more than a year ago, but that initial offering didn't result in a buyer so it was re-offered
later last year. The notice to tenants specified that there are only 11 units currently unoccupied.
As we all learned during the JPI sales, it's required by DC law
that residential buildings of more than five units under contract to be sold be offered to residents to purchase. (Insert here my standard joke about looking in the sofa cushions for $82 million in spare change.)
JPI's Axiom and 909 buildings were sold
for around $95 million each, with the the Jefferson's contract price/purchase price for tenants listed at about $165 million.
Onyx's next-door neighbor, the office building 100 M
, was put up for sale in March
. (Which is apparently just now news to WBJ
, though I had heard rumors that it had been taken off the market after that original offering, so maybe this is a new push.)
Toll Brothers Buys Velocity Sibling Site, Will Build Residential
May 2, 2012 11:08 AM
I've learned today that mega-developer Toll Brothers
has purchased the Square 699N land directly north of the Velocity Condos
building on 1st Street SE for $24 million, with the intention of building a 250ish-unit residential building.
This land has been owned by the Cohen Companies since their purchase of the entire block
bounded by 1st, Half, K, and L in 2005.
In fact, the garage and below-grade structure for the Toll Brothers lot is already built--that's why you see all the funny beige boxes on the land, covering vent shafts and other infrastructure items. Cohen had planned to move forward with a sibling for Velocity soon after it completed the condo building, but that never came to fruition.
This would be Toll Brothers's first building in DC proper, I believe, but they have plenty of offerings in the Metro area
. And, as I found out today, they don't just do single-family homes (White Flint Station
is an example of a condo building of theirs in the area). UPDATE:
SWill from across the way mentions in the comments that TB bought White Flint Station after it was completed and converted it to condos from apartments. Apologies for the assumption.
More to come on this, I'm sure. And it will no doubt be seen as another indication of the strength of Near Southeast's residential market.
[And I should add that Cohen still owns the third lot on the block, along Half Street.]
Sale of Two JPI Buildings Completed - But What About 70 I?
May 1, 2012 8:38 PM
A press release sent out on Tuesday is trumpeting
the sales of two of the buildings in the "Capitol Yards" lineup, 909 New Jersey
and the Axiom at 100 I Street
, the completion of a pending deal that I first wrote about in January
. However, back then, residents in Axiom's sibling, the Jefferson at 70 I, were also notified that their building was under contract, but that deal apparently didn't complete with the other two. The 448-unit Jefferson was the priciest of the three offers, at about $165 million, compared to about $94 million for the 245-unit Axiom and $95 million for the 237-unit 909.
Did the Jefferson's residents go out back with metal detectors and find the $165 million needed to purchase the property themselves? Or are there a few more i's to dot and t's to cross to finish the deal? Or is something else afoot?
In the 100 I and 909 New Jersey sales, the buyers are "institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management."
The three buildings were completed by JPI back in 2008 and 2009, but the recession hit the company hard and eventually two of its executives boltered to partner with folks from Akridge to form
the Jefferson Apartment Group
. But 70/100/909 apparently
remained part of JPI
's holdings, as did the empty lot at 23 I Street where JPI's fourth apartment building had been planned, until it was foreclosed upon
and picked up by Ruben Companies in late 2009. The three buildings, completed in 2008 and 2009, have been managed by Greystar
ever since JPI sold its property management division to the company.
I'm hearing chatter that residents of 70 I did form a tenant association to attempt to buy the building themselves, which then adds some additional time to the deal to allow the residents to find financing to match the initial offer. Anyone from the building want to chime in?
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