Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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Courtyard Hotel on New Jersey Ave. Bought for $68 Million
Feb 28, 2011 5:54 PM
Just crossing the wires
: "Chesapeake Lodging Trust
announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the 204-room Courtyard Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard located in Washington, DC for a purchase price of $68 million, or approximately $333,000 per key." The hotel
, at New Jersey and L, SE, opened in spring 2006 along with its next door neighbor, the Capitol Hill Tower
co-op; both were developed by Valhal Corp. (whose principals then formed Ranger Properties in 2007). It will apparently remain a Courtyard; no word of what if any impact this sale would have on Capitol Hill Tower.
Monument Officially Announces FAA Lease at 55 M
Feb 17, 2011 3:19 PM
This was referenced in the flurry of stories on the company a few weeks ago
, but Monument Realty has now officially announced that they have signed a 10-year 50,000-square-foot lease with the Federal Aviation Administration at 55 M Street
, the building on top of the Navy Yard Metro station just north of Nationals Park
. With this lease, DDOT's 150,000-square-foot lease signed last fall, and two other smaller tenants, the 275,000-square-foot building is now 85 percent leased, with only three smaller office suites remaining (as well as all of the building's ground-floor retail space).
The press release says that the FAA is expected to move into their new spaces on the 8th and 9th floors in April, and that DDOT is expected to complete its move to the fourth through seventh floors during the second quarter of the year.
As for the rest of the Monument Half Street
project, which as designed includes a 200-room hotel and 332 residential units and plenty of ground-floor retail to the south of 55 M, the press release quotes executive vice president Douglas Olson as saying that they are"actively working to move forward with Monument's next phase of Half Street."
New York Times on 8th Street; NCC Moving Forward
Feb 16, 2011 4:09 PM
Flying around the Twitterverse yesterday and today has been a pile of links to "In Washington, a Historic Retail Strip is Revived
," a New York Times article on Barracks Row, with a big focus on the portion of it south of the freeway often called "Lower 8th
A quote: "But like many cities around the country, Washington is stuck with the consequences of allowing a highway to slash through an urban neighborhood. In 1962, the Southeast Freeway bisected Barracks Row. 'That became the moat,' said Michael Stevens, the executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, which has helped to promote development around the new ballpark. 'It created a large physical barrier.'"
The article, which has a festive accompanying photo of Madison Marquette representatives outside of the Blue Castle, mentions the Lower 8th Visioning Report that I wrote about last week
, and also the National Community Church's plans
to build a church and performance space at the corner of 8th and Virginia, which the head of Barracks Row Main Street is quoted as saying "will definitely be a catalyst for development. We have a number of investors who just didn't want to be first."
Speaking of which, NCC's Mark Batterson has posted on his blog today
that their Capitol Hill campus "footprint is finalized," which I would guess means that the deal has closed for the auto-repair garage at 7th and K that I mentioned
NCC was trying to acquire (if in fact that's the lot they're looking at, because it's never been said publicly). Batterson also says NCC is "doing another set of conceptual drawings," and that with the site finalized "we're full-steam ahead with designs." And: "Looking forward to initiating meetings with Historic Preservation, ANC, Riverfront Bid, Barracks Row Main Street, Office of Planning, etc. I think our development will be a catalyst for and part of the renaissance that will happen in that part of the city."
Quick Pictures from 225 Virginia/200 I Ceremony
Feb 15, 2011 12:07 PM
I keep saying I'm never going to take any more photos of politicians at microphones, but who can resist them slinging sledgehammers
? This morning there was a brief ceremony officially kicking off the redevelopment of 225 Virginia Avenue
, turning what was the old Washington Star building and then Washington Post printing plant into 200 I, a 320,000-square-foot LEED Gold office building housing three city agencies. Here's a slew of photos
, not only of the ceremony but also a few images from inside the building, as well as two renderings of what the lobby will look like when it's completed.
Though the sun was out, the assembled guests (and gate-crashers!) probably wished this little shindig had been held yesterday, when it was about 25 degrees warmer. But at least it made for a quick event, which didn't seem to bother anyone too much.
The renovation is expected to be complete and tenants moved in by the second quarter of 2012. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Child and Family Services Agency will all be occupying the building, and there may also be some "incubator retail space" on the ground floor's southwest corner. There will also be an art gallery in the new lobby that will open out onto I Street and Canal Park
, showcasing works from the Arts and Humanities commission's collection. There will also be 180ish parking spaces on site, some in the building's basement but about 100 of them in a two-level parking deck on the 3rd Street side of the building (where the current surface lot is). And the loading dock will now be just west of 3rd, on Virginia.
The building was bought by the city for $85 million in 2009, and then leased it to StonebridgeCarras in a 20-year lease/leaseback agreement to fund the construction. You can check out my 225 Virginia project page
for lots (and lots!) of background on this building, though the page isn't quite up-to-date with today's stuff. Yet.
More Property Moves on Lower 8th; The Visioning?
Feb 10, 2011 3:25 PM
In my post about the Bier Garden plans
for the northeast corner of 8th and L, SE, I promised a couple of extra tidbits about Lower 8th Street. To wit:
* Rumors abound that the National Community Church
has acquired the auto repair garage at the corner of 7th and K/Virginia, SE
, but despite someone saying otherwise at Tuesday's ANC 6B meeting, I'm told that no deal has been completed as yet. But even that at least confirms my not-terribly-hard-to-guess suspicions that NCC would be eyeing that lot for their new coffeehouse/performance space/offices, since they now own the land to both the east
of the site. The garage's lot is 5,300 square feet, and was assessed in 2010 for just under $1.5 million.
* Madison Marquette
, the developer who owns the Blue Castle at 770 M St., SE
and is also now a partner in the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront, is entering into a joint venture with the ICP Group, owner of the gray building (with Quizno's) at 8th and Potomac and other Square 929 properties
that have been suffering from extended financing troubles. WBJ reported on this in late January
, noting that those familiar with the deal "say Madison and its 'fairly deep pockets' will take over as lead developer for all the parcels." This also presumably gives Madison access to ICP's properties on Square 929, just across 8th Street from the NCC/Bier Garden block and to the north of the Quizno's block.
Squares 929 and 930 have been the subject of a lot of discussion as one of the sites that the Marines might be looking at as a location for their new barracks
, because a development team could submit a proposal for a public/private partnership on that site if they controlled all properties on those two blocks. (This assumes the Marines do decide to go the public/private route; they could instead build additional barracks space on their existing land at 7th and L or manage to acquire some other government-owned site, such as the old Capper Seniors/Square 882
site, which is owned by DCHA but which seems to be stalled in its attempts to get funding for the mixed-income apartment project on the north side of the block.) There's also the Navy's potential plans
to expand outside their walls, which could include some of the close-by lots along 8th or maybe the old Exxon site at 11th and M.
In fact, in an e-mail to me last month, ICP President Leon Kafele referenced these possibilities by saying that the joint venture with Madison Marquette will "position [ICP's] assets to better respond to the Marines Corps and Navy Yard supply and demand for a BEQ, retail, and office space on or around lower 8th Street Barracks Row." And Madison has mentioned in public meetings that the Blue Castle could become home to some of the "shared uses" that the Marines are hoping to have be part of any new barracks venture.
So, with NCC and the Bier Garden making moves on Square 906, Madison Marquette increasing its presence by making deals on Squares 929 and 930, and the Navy and Marines in the mix as well, does this mean that Lower 8th is starting to perk up? And, how will any new projects tie in with the Lower 8th Street Vision Report
developed by the Capitol Riverfront BID along with all manner of representatives of Barracks Row, the Navy and Marines, business owners, and local residents?
I haven't written much about the whole vision thing, especially once the discussion of the Marines' land needs began to focus south of the freeway and it became clear that until they decide what they're doing about their barracks, any real discussion of what Lower 8th may look like in the future is very much up in the air.
That said, the vision report has mostly general recommendations that aren't exactly controversial: "Encourage a Mix of Uses," "Historic Preservation is a Must," improve the underpass to encourage pedestrians to come down from north of the freeway, address parking/circulation issues, and others.
But there is one concrete suggestion in the report: increasing height and density limits on some of these squares. The current 45-foot limit on 8th would be maintained for new structures, but greater heights (65 to 85 feet) could then allowed 20 to 30 feet behind existing historic 8th Street structures.
You can see on page 17 of the report
some drawings of what the Bier Garden corner at 8th and L would look like with a 45-foot building on the site, and there are other drawings depicting height changes on the following pages, including allowing the less-historic western side of the Blue Castle to be built up higher.
The Bier Garden's one-story-plus-roof-deck design
would seem to be not exactly what the visioners envisioned, but the developer has said he anticipates it to be a temporary structure (though that's not a guarantee). There's been no public opposition to the Bier Garden from the BID or Barracks Row Main Street--but no letters of support, either.
It will be interesting to see what the National Community Church comes up with for their design, and whether it'll try to take advantage of the desire for larger building heights set out in the vision document, if that idea ends up being embraced by the city.
And, there's still the Marines' decision to look for, which could be the biggest driver of all for redefining Lower 8th.
Bullpen Looking to Add Beer Garden at Half and M
Feb 2, 2011 9:22 PM
The Bullpen, the outdoor bar and festivities spot that has operated just across the street
from Nationals Park
during stadium events since 2009, is making plans to open a "Beer Garden" at the northern end of their current block, at Half and M streets, SE
, facing the western entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. (See my high-quality graphic at right.) With 79 picnic tables holding eight people each, it would have a seating capacity of 632 people, and would offer draft German beers (and perhaps other European beers) along with German sausages, kielbasa, and other light (ahem) fare.
"Das Bullpen" [copyright JD] is being envisioned as having a very different atmosphere from the current Bullpen, with the beer garden not having game areas with lots of kids running around. There would be no amplified music, and it would operate during the same hours as Bullpen 1.0 (which will be remaining open this year as well). It would have its own entrance, right across from the Metro station's entrance, and would be fenced in and partially covered/tented in the same way as the existing Bullpen.
At an ANC 6D ABC subcommittee meeting tonight, a Bullpen rep explained that Akridge, the owners of the entire block
bounded by M, N, Half, and Van, has informed the Bullpen owners of plans to begin construction perhaps as early as October of this year on the southern end of the block, where Bullpen 1.0 is located. (There seems to have been some sort of "hint" that if the Bullpen wants to have a shot at a permanent home in the new ground-floor retail spaces that will be available when the block is completed
, they need to expand to this additional area this year.) If Akridge's plans are unchanged from what went through the zoning process a few years ago
, the southern end of the block would be a 300-unit residential building with ground-floor retail. You can see renderings on my Akridge Half Street page
As you can see on my cruddy map, there will still be substantial parking available between the two locations. (For old-timers, this new site is where WMATA's old Southeastern Bus Garage entrance was located.)
The Bullpen's lawyers are trying to determine whether this constitutes an expansion of the current operation, to allow Das Bullpen to open under their existing liquor license, or whether a new license (and then a new voluntary agreement with the ANC) will be needed. More to come, I'm sure.
And it should be noted that this is a completely separate venture from the Bavarian Beer Garden plans
at 8th and L, SE. Beer gardens to the left! Beer gardens to the right!
To clear up any confusion, they are intending to have Das Bullpen open this spring, with Bullpen 1.0 open as well through the end of the 2011 baseball season.
Another clarification: The new site has no official name yet. "Das Bullpen" is purely my invention, because I wanted something catchy to describe it.
Monument Realty: Back from the Brink? (FAA Lease at 55 M, But No Half Street Movement)
Jan 28, 2011 4:04 PM
Both the Washington Post
and the Washington Business Journal
(subscribers only) came out with stories this week chronicling the rise and fall and now re-rise of Monument Realty. They both describe Monument's high-flying ways during the real estate bubble of the early 2000s with "high-risk, high-return deals and an aggressive, cowboylike approach to development that rubbed the old guard the wrong way," followed by their near dissolution thanks to the collapse of their backer, Lehman Brothers. But thanks to some new deals around the region with different financing partners, Monument appears to be rebounding.
There's not been an announcement from Monument that I've seen, but the WBJ article says that Monument has signed the Federal Aviation Administration to a 55,000-square-foot lease at 55 M Street
, which I believe would bring the building to about 90 percent leased. (At the time Monument announced their deal
to lease 150,000 square feet to DDOT, they said the 275,000-square-foot building's office space was 70 percent leased.)
However, in detailing what it says are $500 million in new Monument projects around the Metro area leveraged from a $10 million deal with Atlas Capital Group, WBJ makes no mention of any intentions for construction to get underway on Monument's remaining Half Street plans
just north of Nationals Park
. The well-known hole in the ground, dug in 2007 when 55 M was built, is eventually supposed to be 330 residential units and a 200-room hotel, which you can see a rendering of on my project page
or on Monument's Half Street web site
. Monument also owns all of the land on the east side of South Capitol between M and N except for the self storage building, as well as the 50 M street lot on the northeast corner of Half and M.
Nat'l Community Church Buys Empty Lot on 7th
Jan 11, 2011 4:23 PM
This has been hinted at
throughout the fall, and property records now reflect that the National Community Church/Ebernezers
folks have added to the Miles Glass site on Virginia Avenue they bought in August
by purchasing an empty lot around the corner on 7th Street, SE, for $875,000 in December. This now gives them about 19,000 square feet of land on Parcel 906, if my math is correct.
If you look at the satellite view
of the block, you can see how NCC's holdings--the Miles Glass building, the empty lot just to its west, now and this separate empty lot on 7th across from the Marine Barracks--are connected. And one certainly has to wonder if the car shop on the corner of 7th and K/Virginia, now surrounded by a single landowner, is going to be staying in that spot much longer. (The other empty lot on the block, at the lower right, is where the Bavarian Beer Garden
may be going in, creating the Saints and Sinners stretch along 8th.)
If you haven't been following along
, the church's head, Mark Batterson, wrote on his blog in late August
about the purchase of the 8th and Virginia site, saying that church is running out of space for services and staff at Ebenezers near Union Station, and since his vision for NCC is 20 locations and more than 100 staffers, they're looking at "going vertical" and constructing a building with about 50,000 square feet of space. They have been doing some "visioning" to figure out their plans for the site, and Batterson told City Paper
in November about ideas of "two performance spaces, one at about 500 seat capacity and another at a thousand, with at least one level of underground parking to handle the crowds," but nothing specific has been announced yet.
20 M Signs Another Tenant, Now 97% Leased
Dec 8, 2010 10:56 AM
On the heels of Monday's news
of a new tenant for 20 M St., SE
, Lerner Enterprises has just announced another 20,000-square-foot lease, bringing the building to 97-percent occupancy. This tenant is Systems Planning and Analysis
(SPA), which will be occupying the 8th floor. They are expected to move in this spring, and will join the Bureau of Land Management, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Columbia Group as the building's office tenants; Wachovia Bank at this point is the building's only retail tenant. 20 M was completed in March 2007.
Columbia Group Takes 20,000 Sq Ft at 20 M
Dec 6, 2010 4:23 PM
Lerner Enterprises has just passed along the news that The Columbia Group
has signed a lease for 20,039 square feet at 20 M St., SE
, bringing the building to about 84 percent leased. The company--which does "technical services support" for the US military--is expected to move in this spring, and will be occupying space on the 7th floor. The other tenants--the Bureau of Land Management and Booz Allen Hamilton--are expected to start moving in in January.
Kaplan Looking for Law School Space in Near Southeast
Nov 29, 2010 12:26 AM
From Monday's WaPo Capital Business
: "Real estate developers and brokers in Southeast Washington say that Kaplan has been looking for office space suitable for the opening of a law school near the Washington Nationals' baseball stadium
"Speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized by Kaplan to discuss the company's plans, the sources say Kaplan hired the real estate brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle and has been seeking up to 130,000 square feet in the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, around the Nationals' park, so it can open a law school there in 2013."
There's not much additional meat in the story, other than saying that Akridge (which owns the Half Street block
northwest of the ballpark) is one of the developers vying for Kaplan's attentions. There's certainly a number of planned office buildings
that could accommodate 130,000 square feet, and maybe the credit markets have shaken out enough that a lease taking 50 percent-ish of a building would be enough to get a construction loan. But there's also the issue of whether some proposed federal aid rules
might hamper Kaplan's plans for expansion. [Full disclosure: Kaplan is owned by the Washington Post Co., my corporate overlords in my non-JDLand real life.]
We shall see....
A Few More Details on NCC/Miles Glass Plans
Nov 17, 2010 3:48 PM
City Paper's Housing Complex blog
has some new details on the plans for the Miles Glass site at 8th and Virginia by the new owners
, the National Community Church (aka the Ebenezer's Coffeehouse
folks). Pastor Mark Batterson says that he's envisioning "two performance spaces, one at about 500 seat capacity and another at a thousand, with at least one level of underground parking to handle the crowds. To keep the kids busy while adults are worshiping–or drinking coffee, or going to a play–there will be a large childcare center so special that they've retained the architects who created downtown Disney to design it."
They are also negotiating with adjacent parcels (which Batterson alluded to a few weeks ago
, which by his description seems to include the empty lot on 7th), to make the "campus" somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000 square feet of developed space when completed. Batterson hopes to break ground within a year, with construction taking 12 to 18 months (so, probably 2013).
With a coffee house/performance space/church at the north end of the block and a beer garden
at the south end, I may have to dub this spot the Saints and Sinners Stretch of 8th Street.
UPDATE, 11/18: If you've got ideas or notions for what you'd like to NCC do on this site, leave them in the comments--Mark Batterson has posted there this morning that everything's still really "up in the air" at this point, and they'd love to hear feedback.
100 M Bought for $57 Million in Foreclosure Sale
Oct 28, 2010 7:03 PM
I wasn't able to attend* today's foreclosure sale of 100 M Street
, but word filtered to me early this afternoon that the 220,000-square-foot office building was picked up for a cool $57 million by Northwood Investors
, a real estate investment management firm based in New York City. I've been told (and I'm trying to confirm) that Northwood had bought the original loan/note from Bank of America, and then had the high bid today against one other bidder, whose identity I don't know.
This appears to be Northwood's first foray into the DC market, and the rumor is that they plan to hold 100 M and get it leased up. Perhaps the DC biz media will have more on this sale in coming days....
As I wrote about previously
, this sale was for the building itself and not the land, since 100 M's developers (Opus East) never bought the land and instead paid rent to the owners. You can read more about the building's history here
; it opened in late 2008 and is currently about 43 percent leased.
[*My exile from blogging is coming to an end soon, I promise--though there really hasn't been much going on this week that I feel like I've missed completely, since I have managed to tweet
from time to time.]
National Community Church Buying More Property
Oct 15, 2010 9:39 AM
A few weeks ago
I wrote about the purchase of the "Miles Glass" site on the southwest corner of 8th and Virginia by the National Community Church
, the "theater church" group that's also behind the rehabbed Ebenezers Coffeehouse
near Union Station. Now, in a post on his blog
, NCC leader Mark Batterson says that he has "just locked in another contract on an empty lot that abuts 733 Virginia Avenue, SE."
Given Batterson's description that the church will now have frontage on 7th, 8th, Virginia, and L, it would appear that the new lot under contract is the empty one
directly across from the Marine Barracks on 7th, where a few years back a small developer had dreams of an apartment building
, but never followed through; the lot then sold for $400,000 through a foreclosure sale last year
Batterson says that this lot will enable NCC to add about 15,000 square feet to their final footprint--"and I don't think we're done yet." (Maybe that auto garage on the southeast corner of 7th and K
is noticing that the church will soon own the land on both sides of it.)
The church is buying the properties because they're running out of space for services and staff at Ebenezers, Batterson has written
. There's been no official announcement of what exactly they're planning for the site, but in a tweet to me
right after I wrote about the first land purchase, Batterson said, "definitely another Ebenezers and we'd like to design a theater."
Some More Details on the 100 M Foreclosure
Oct 4, 2010 6:52 AM
While normal people have spent their weekend recreating and taking it easy, I've been trying to find out more about the just-announced foreclosure sale
of 100 M
, the 220,000-square-foot office building that has been tied up in Opus East's Chapter 7 liquidation
My big question was about why this is being billed as a sale of a "60-Year Leasehold Interest," and what I've found out is that Opus never owned the land, but instead had entered into a lease with and paid rent to the landowners. (Who are the people behind "Square 743 Inc"? I'd love for someone to tell me
!) When Opus's operations went south, their lender (Bank of America) stopped funding the construction loan, so contractors stopped being paid, liens were filed, bankruptcy case got ugly, etc. etc.; basically, it's been a mess.
BoA is now washing its hands of it all, and is looking to get back some amount of the $58 million currently owed on the construction loan. (The land ownership is not being foreclosed on.) I've heard that BoA contracted with CB Richard Ellis earlier this year to sell the loan, and there's speculation that BoA may have a deal with an investor already, even though the Notice of Foreclosure Sale still lists BoA as the holder of the note. This would be similar to the way JPI's empty lot at 23 I Street
changed hands a year ago
, with SunTrust Bank selling the note to Ruben Companies, who then instituted foreclosure proceedings and took ownership of the property when no bidders came forward.
However, while the word "foreclosure" usually conjures up feelings of doom and gloom, for 100 M this should be a step up from Opus's liquidation. Instead of continuing to be tied up with companies and lenders and courts who have no interest or wherewithal to spend the money needed to clean up the mess and to market and lease the building's office and retail spaces, there may now be at least one investor--and maybe others, if the foreclosure sale brings bidders--who feels that the building is worth taking a gamble on now for a return on investment later. (Though it's worth noting that there is not a similar feeling of optimism about any new office projects in the area any time soon, with on-spec construction still completely DOA.)
We shall see how it all shakes out.
The auction is scheduled for Oct. 28 at noon
, so this building can be yours for a mere $5 million deposit and an all-cash winning bid. It's currently 43 percent leased.
100 M Street SE Headed for the Auction Block
Oct 1, 2010 5:30 PM
[Great--big news at 5 pm on Friday. Hope somebody actually reads this] On Sept. 21, a notice of foreclosure sale was filed for 100 M Street SE
, the 220,000-square-foot office building built by Opus East and completed in late 2008. A few months later, Opus became the biggest Near Southeast casualty of the recession, filing for Chapter 7 liquidation
and leaving their 440,000-square-foot office project at 1015 Half St.
unfinished. While 1015 Half was soon picked up by the Douglas Wilson Companies and is now being completed, 100 M has remained at sea, despite a rumor
a year ago (quickly shot down
) that Mayfield Gentry was buying it for $80 million.
The 100 M auction is scheduled for Oct. 28 at noon
; I admit to being pretty clueless on foreclosures and auctions and CRE minutiae, so I don't know if the fact that it is technically an auction of a "60-Year Leasehold Interest" in the building has any significance to us lay folks. I imagine the business press will have more on this story.
According to the auctioneers, 100 M is currently 43 percent leased.
(And, by the way, the blue sky in the above image is not faked. I've never ever seen as electric blue a sky as I did the morning I took that photo.)
[hat tip to reader J]
Maritime Plaza Changes Hands for $119M
Sep 28, 2010 11:10 PM
A release went out on the wires today announcing that Corporate Office Properties Trust has spent $119 million, including the assumption of a $70.1 million mortgage, to buy Maritime Plaza, the 12-acre site at 12th and M, SE.
This is the third time the site has changed hands since construction on the second office building was completed in 2003, with Bernstein Cos. selling it for $92 million in 2004
, and then Brickman Associates
reportedly paying $115 million in October of 2005
. The site, which has two completed office buildings with 100 percent occupancy, has included plans for two additional 175,000-square-foot office buildings and a 250-room hotel; leasing is handled by Lincoln Property Company
. The land beneath the buildings and plans, however, continues to be owned by Washington Gas, as it has been since pretty much the dawn of time.
[The rumors of this sale were reported back in early August
, and I'm exhausted from three days of dealing with computer issues after my one-year-old machine up and croaked, forcing me to buy a new box, so apologies for basically just pasting-and-editing my previous entry. I figure no one read it anyway. :-) ]
Miles Glass Site at 8th and Virginia Bought by National Community Church
Sep 22, 2010 10:56 AM
The "Miles Glass" site on the southwest corner of 8th and Virginia
has been vacant and for sale
for a number of years now, but in late August it was purchased for $3.5 million, by the National Community Church
, the group behind the rehabbed Ebenezers Coffeehouse
near Union Station in Northeast. According to their web site, NCC is "one church with [six] locations," broadcasting their Sunday services at multiple locations in addition to Ebenezers, such as the old Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights and movie theaters in Georgetown, Ballston, Kingstowne, and Potomac Yard.
The church's head, Mark Batterson, wrote on his blog in late August
about the purchase of the 8th and Virginia site, which he called "the last piece of property on Capitol Hill." The church is running out of space for services and staff at Ebenezers, he wrote, and since his vision for NCC is 20 locations and more than 100 staffers, they're looking at "going vertical" and constructing a building with about 50,000 square feet of space.
I don't know anything at this point about timing, design, or anything, but I'm guessing because of its location on 8th Street any proposed building will have to go through the city's zoning processes (as well as probably historic preservation and ANC 6B). And it looks like they may be in the very early stages of design themselves, because today is apparently the "visioning charrette"
for the new property.
Note that the purchase covers the Miles Glass building and attached garage as well as the vacant lot just to the west. But the adjacent storefronts on 8th Street, including Al's Deli, are not part of the purchase.
As for managing to secure the property, apparently there must have been some divine intervention, because according to Batterson, NCC lost the contract to other parties three times before finally purchasing the site.
City to Move 225 Virginia Avenue, So to Speak
Aug 5, 2010 1:31 PM
While wandering around the web site for the city's Department of Real Estate Services
, I found out that the deadline has been extended until noon tomorrow
for the request for offers to lease data center space
at the revamped 225 Virginia Avenue
(aka the old Star/Post Plant). They've also posted a Q&A
about the RFO that may or may not hold any nuggets of interest.
But what broke my heart is the last sentence of a press release from mid-July
touting the financing deal that's allowing construction to begin on the project late this year:
"In related news, the address for 225 Virginia Avenue, SE will change. The new address will be 200 I Street, SE."
Waaaaaaahhhhh! It will always be 225 Virginia to me!
But, looking at the rendering of the redesign, it appears that they're moving the main entrance to the south side of the building, facing Canal Park
, hence the I Street designation.
Maritime Plaza About to Change Hands?
Aug 2, 2010 9:34 PM
Multiple anonymous sources are allowing CityBiz Real Estate
to report: "Corporate Office Properties Trust
is awaiting lender approval on a $120 million acquisition of Maritime Plaza
, a 12-acre site located at the East End of the Washington, D.C. Naval Yard, multiple sources tell citybiz real estate." This follows a story earlier today
saying that COPT was close to purchasing an unnamed site, described only as being a fully leased location occupied primarily by defense contractors.
If this goes through, it would be the third time the site has changed hands since construction on the second office building was completed in 2003, with Bernstein Cos. selling it for $92 million in 2004
, and then Brickman Associates
reportedly paying $115 million in October of 2005
. The site, which has two completed office buildings, has included plans for two additional 175,000-square-foot office buildings and a 250-room hotel; leasing is handled by Lincoln Property Company
. The land beneath the buildings and plans, however, continues to be owned by Washington Gas, as it has been since pretty much the dawn of time.
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