Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
US Dept. of Transportation HQ
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Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Series Launches
May 27, 2008 10:25 PM
Starting Wednesday May 28, the Capitol Riverfront BID
and US DOT
are launching a 10-week lunchtime concert series, to be held every Wednesday at noon on the Southwest Plaza behind DOT at New Jersey and Tingey. Quoting from the press release
: "Capitol Riverfront Concerts is a ten week summer concert series with lively and diverse musical artists, performing everything from original pop to Latin Jazz, R&B, bluegrass, Caribbean and more. Bring your lunch or enjoy a special outdoor grill menu provided by the U.S. DOT cafeteria."
Folks desperate for outdoor recreation space in the neighborhood might note this line from the release: "The concerts are part of a growing number of programs that you will see in the Capitol Riverfront as several new parks begin to open next spring 2009." (There could indeed be three parks opening in some capacity next year, if previously announced [or hinted at] timelines hold: Canal Park
, the waterfront park at The Yards
, and Diamond Teague Park
DOT Farmers' Market Resumes May 6
May 5, 2008 10:07 AM
From the folks at the Capitol Riverfront BID
, word that the Farmers' Market
is returning for its second year, starting May 6
(tomorrow!) and running through Nov. 18, from 10 am to 2 pm each Tuesday
. They've moved the location slightly--it's now at Third and M Street, SE
, on the pedestrian plaza between the two US DOT buildings
DOT Curb Cuts Not ADA Compliant; Positive Nature Rally; Douglass Bridge Ceremony Coverage
Mar 18, 2008 9:06 AM
* The Examiner writes about the Washington Area Bicyclists Association
's look last week at the crosswalks and curbs at the US Department of Transportation HQ
, which WABA says are not ADA compliant: "An inspection of the area Friday found security bollards blocking curb ramps, bus shelters with virtually no sidewalk access, and multispace parking meters inaccessible to people in wheelchairs. Also, several crosswalks at non-signalized intersections feed into curbs with no access ramp[.]" DDOT says that the crosswalk at Second and M is not supposed to be used anymore (since there is a fully compliant crosswalk just to the west at New Jersey Avenue) and will be sending crews to take away the crosswalk marks.
* City Paper continues its saturation coverage of the Positive Nature youth program at 1017 New Jersey with video from Saturday's rally
. The organization is trying to stave off eviction thanks to the huge increase in its property taxes.
Why No Nats Parking at USDOT, and Additional Ballpark-Related Items
Mar 12, 2008 11:39 PM
Here's either a late-night or early-morning update, depending on your sleep schedule:
* Marc Fisher of the Post takes a deep (and infuriated) look
at why Nats fans (even just government employees with security clearances) can't park in the 1,060-space garage at the US Department of Transporation headquarters
one block from the ballpark
. "So how did a simple request to use empty parking spaces at night, after Transportation workers have gone home, turn into -- excuse the expression -- a federal case? A report by Transportation's inspector general makes it clear that the feds were desperate to find a way to reject the Nationals' proposal." UPDATE:
Marc's blog includes a link to the inspector general's report
* Boswell talks ticket prices
* The WashTimes describes police plans
to step up patrols during Nats games: "[O]fficers with the department's Special Operations Division would be deployed on foot, on bicycles, in cars and on Segways to at least 39 'static posts' around the ballpark to direct traffic and assist in crowd control. Additionally, he said, 10 beats -- staffed by either one or two officers -- will patrol, mostly on foot, the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium, looking out for auto thefts or other property crimes in the hours before and after games."
* The 55 M web cam
doesn't show it real clearly, but Metro's signature red tile flooring is being installed in the new west entrance of the Navy Yard station at Half and M.
* There's also new stoplights (not yet activated) installed at Half and M. Which is good news for pedestrians, including neighborhood bloggers who have come perilously close to meeting their maker trying to cross that very intersection.
* A large new sign at Third and I announces that the parking lot now under construction there is Nationals Parking Lot T (in the orange zone). And while the asphalt hasn't been pored at this lot or its sibling to the south, the lightposts erected in the center of each lot are now operational, adding a bit of extra light to Third Street after dark.
* Wednesday night's public meeting
on the ballpark traffic management and curbside parking plan
heard many of the concerns that have been raised at previous events (visitor passes, stadiumgoers being directed to use the Maine Avenue exit from the SW Freeway, commuters and residents wondering how they'll get *out* of the stadium area on game nights, and more). Representatives of DDOT spoke what is now the official city and team mantra, along the lines of: "We've tried our best to come up with a system, and we'll be watching it closely to see what works and what doesn't, and we'll make changes to it as we need to. We're asking for patience. But there will be congestion, and there will be problems, and there will be *change.*" Which is a message that doesn't always go over very well. After the group Q&A, city and team officials answered one-on-one questions. (The somewhat striking view of the ballpark at dusk from the 10th floor of 20 M was probably not on the minds of most of these meeting-goers.) Oh, and a DPW official made it very clear: cars parked illegally on the new enhanced RPP streets will
Starbucks Opening Monday? Yes. And Free Coffee on Friday
Sep 27, 2007 4:31 PM
Caffeine-deprived correspondents are writing in to tell me they're hearing that the Starbucks at the corner of New Jersey and M (at the DOT HQ
) is set to open on Monday (Oct. 1). The rumor mill adds that it will be open seven days a week.
I've now had it confirmed that Monday is indeed the opening day for Starbucks. And hours will be 6 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday, and 7 am to 7 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Via the BID, there's also apparently a "Friends and Family Extravaganza
" at the new Starbucks on Friday (Sept. 28) from 1:00 to 6:00 pm. "Free Food and Coffee/Community Networking Opportunities/Special Offers."
US Dept. of Transportation HQ, Retail
New Photos and News
Aug 27, 2007 7:19 PM
After a week of days that were either overcast and drizzly or ridiculously hot and humid, today's sunny-and-warm profile gave me no choice but to venture out for a reconaissance mission. My report:
The masses of workers and the well-positioned fences make it nearly impossible to take photos of the current state of South Capitol Street, but I have added a decent photo to my Douglass Bridge makeover page
showing the new South Capitol and Potomac intersection
which appears very close to being ready for traffic. Streetlights are in place, curbs have been built, paving has begun, and the historic globe streetlamps are installed all along the length of the bridge.
I also snuck a peek into the huge hole where Monument Realty's Half Street project
is underway, and from N Street you can see what appears to be vertical construction is already underway at the bottom of the hole. It's along the M Street portion of the site, which will be home to the 55 M Street office building, which itself will contain the expanded entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. Because that Metro work must be completed by Opening Day 2008, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're already pouring concrete and working upward, eight months into construction. The office building itself and the rest of the Half Street Phase I won't be completed until 2009.
And I unexpectedly found Demolished Building
entry #138, as the beige garage that has long sat on the northeast side
of the Half and I Street intersection bit the dust today, which I'm sure JPI is happy to see, given that 70/100 I Street
is growing like a weed right next door.
Speaking of 70/100 I
, it got updated photos today, along with Onyx on First
and 100 M Street
. You can look at those project pages (and their accompanying expanded archives
), or you can browse this page showing all photos I've posted from today
, which includes a few new shots of Capper Building #2
, which I believe is just minutes from opening. And I even finally added a photo of the "Starbucks Coming Soon" sign out in front of the DOT HQ
, for the caffeine-deprived.
, 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
, US Dept. of Transportation HQ, jpi
, Monument/Half St.
, Square 743N
Starbucks Coming Soon to DOT
Jul 14, 2007 3:41 PM
It's been rumored for ages, and even as of a few days ago I couldn't get confirmation, but reader Dave says we now have a "Starbucks Coming Soon
" sign in the window of the little glassed-in annex on the DOT headquarters
's northwestern corner, at New Jersey and M
. I don't know when they plan on opening. But, fear not, pricey hot caffeinated beverages will be in your grasp before too long!
US Dept. of Transportation HQ, Retail
Commercial Real Estate News in Near Southeast
Jun 22, 2007 1:03 PM
Today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal
has an article summing up what's going on right now with various commercial projects around Near Southeast. (The online article
is for subscribers only for the first 30 days; sorry.) Here are the new items:
* William C. Smith is planning to hold off breaking ground on its 200,000-sq-ft building at 250 M Street
until it pre-leases at least 30% of the building.
* Opus East
has leased 80,000 sq ft at 100 M Street
(33% of the building) to government contractor Parsons Corp.
* Lerner's 20 M Street
does not as yet have any office tenants.
* It also mentions that Opus East is planning to build the 440,000-sq-ft office building at 1015 Half Street
(the old Nation site) on spec; but it should be noted that Opus hasn't yet officially announced its purchase of this property or its plans.
(The article also summarizes what's going on at Florida Rock
, using some source materials
that are hard to find anywhere other than here at JDLand. Note to reporters and other professionals using my site: yup, lots of stuff is posted here, and it's all free, but be a grownup and say where you found it.)
In addition, there's an ad in the print edition
giving us our first peek at the Shalom Baranes design for 1100 South Capitol Street
, Ruben Companies's planned 350,000 sq ft office building on the southeast corner of South Capitol and L. There's currently no timeline for development of this project.
The print edition also has a piece
written by GSA about the US Department of Transportation completing its move to its new headquarters
at New Jersey and M. It describes the HQ's interiors and exteriors, and mentions that this project is the largest lease ever executed in DC.
, 1015 Half
, 1100 South Capitol
, 20 M
, 250 M
, US Dept. of Transportation HQ, Florida Rock
, Square 743N
, square 697
, square 698
Brass Moving to DOT; Blackberrying the Building
Jun 21, 2007 11:00 PM
Friday's In the Loop column in the Post
reports that Friday is moving day for the muckety mucks at the US Department of Transportation, heading to their new digs on M Street
. Says Al Kamen: "Good thing there was a shakedown period [with lower-level staff move-ins having gone on first over the past few months]. Seems the mid-level staff have reported toilets with little pressure and sinks where the water blasted out. (Unclear which is worse.) Some folks apparently got locked in their own offices. But the biggest problem in the two buildings, one eight stories and the other nine, is that cellphones and BlackBerrys didn't work. This was because the structures were built according to post-Sept. 11 government specs, with extra-thick walls and windows. So the buildings are being rewired -- work's almost done, we were told -- so they are almost a virtual cellphone tower and the reception quality will be superb."
US Dept. of Transportation HQ
Farmers Market Launching at New DOT Plaza
May 31, 2007 4:14 PM
A very cool announcement
just arrived in my inbox, with news there is now going to be a Farmer's Market every Tuesday
at the new plaza on the southwest corner of the DOT
site, on New Jersey Avenue. It will run from 10 am to 2 pm, with "Farm-Fresh Produce, Baked Goods and More!" And then you can sit on the new plaza, by the new "water wall", and munch on your goodies. This will be a very nice (and healthy) addition to the food choices in Near Southeast, at least on Tuesdays.... UPDATE:
I should add that this is not technically a new undertaking--DOT (along with the USDA) began running a weekly summer farmer's market back during the Clinton administration at their old building in Southwest, and are bringing the tradition along with them to their new home.
US Dept. of Transportation HQ
Updates from Here and There
May 6, 2007 5:23 PM
Let's see.... The most interesting news of the day is that, as of 2:00 this afternoon, there were already folks camping out in front of the Capitol Quarter
sales office, six days ahead of the next offering
of five market-rate townhouses. Next, I took some new photos of the Nation demolition (which is not exactly proceeding with lightning speed)--check either my 1015 Half Street
page for the basics, or the Photo Archive for Half and K
and Half and L
for additional shots. I also updated with what might be my final M Street photos for the DOT HQ
, recording that both New Jersey and 4th Street are now open to traffic south of M (a couple weeks after the stoplights were turned on). And I took photos of the new DRI sign at 1st and I (though the photos don't show them real well, and one's already falling down)--they say "DRI Development Services, LLC | A Transwestern Company | Office/Retail." Still trying to get some info on what's coming there. Anyway, you can poke around those pages, or you can look at all the photos from today that I've posted
and then click on the intersection/direction links to compare today's shots to what that view has looked like over the past few years.
JBG Donating $4 Million to Two Parks
Apr 24, 2007 5:05 PM
From an Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
press release (not yet posted on their web site): "JBG Companies
will present $4 million to help fund neighborhood improvements in the Near Southeast neighborhood, including Washington Canal Park
and Diamond Teague Park
, at a ceremonial event scheduled for Monday, April 30, 2007 at 11:00 am
. The ceremony will take place at the planned site for Washington Canal Park, located at the corner of 2nd and M Streets, SE. Participants in the check presentation ceremony will include District Mayor Adrian Fenty, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and AWC Interim President and CEO Neil O. Albert, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, and Ben Jacobs, President of JBG Companies, who will present a ceremonial check to District officials and AWC. JBG Companies, developer of the new U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters
building on M Street, SE, is contributing $2.5 million toward development of Washington Canal Park and $1.5 million toward the development of Diamond Teague Park." And, this additional bit of info about Diamond Teague Park: "The park is being completed in a partnership arrangement with surrounding land owners for area-wide benefit and use. The park's first phase will incorporate interim improvements to include a ferry landing
[emphasis mine] and esplanade. Future improvements will include connecting the Ballpark District to The Yards
(formerly Southeast Federal Center) with the construction of the Anacostia Riverwalk adjacent to the river bank site currently occupied by the DC Water and Sewer Authority
DOT HQ Move-Ins Underway
Apr 20, 2007 8:54 AM
The first 300-plus employees (from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
) have indeed begun moving in to the new US Department of Transportation headquarters
on M Street. The moves are scheduled to take about nine weeks, with the east building filling up first over the next few weeks, the west building arrivals then scheduled to start in mid-May, and the nearly 5,000 staffers should almost all moved in by June 30 (DOT has to be out of the Nassif building in SW on July 1 or else the rent goes from $1 million a month to $4 million, I've been told). Be nice to the new arrivals, and welcome them to the neighborhood--I'd say we should all show up at the front door with bundt cakes, but given the realities of post-9/11 "security", we'd probably be shot on sight.
US Dept. of Transportation HQ
Firms Starting to Look at Near Southeast
Mar 30, 2007 9:14 AM
From today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal
: "CNN and a couple of law firms are sampling the wares in Southeast DC by taking tours of new office buildings cropping up around the new baseball stadium
. No leases have been signed yet, but the buzz of these high-profile tenants looking at Southeast as an option is quite a victory for a neighborhood formerly known as an industrial zone crawling with seediness and crime. [...] Also, rents in Southeast are expected to be around $40 per square foot for full service, $20 to $30 cheaper than new or renovated buildings in the Central Business District." Of course, right now, "tours of new office buildings" means 20 M Street
, the only new
office building currently completed and with plenty of space to lease. But by 2009 there will also be 100 M
, 55 M
, and probably 250 M
and 1111 New Jersey
. And maybe a couple more, depending on what happens within the next few months at Square 699N
, Square 697
(Nation), and the Willco site at 83 M. (The article fudges a bit by mentioning 1.8 million square feet of office space was under construction in Near Southeast back in December, but, well, 1.35 million of that was the DOT HQ
Added the link to the story
, since WBJ was nice enough to bring it out from behind the pay wall.
Finishing the Newest Batch of Photo Updates
Mar 19, 2007 6:01 PM
DOT Pilot Agreement; Ground to be Broken on Canal and Diamond Teague Parks in 2007
Feb 16, 2007 5:20 PM
In other news from the same press release
announcing the interim AWC CEO
: "Yesterday, the District of Columbia, AWC and the JBG Companies signed a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) agreement to secure the development of the US Department of Transportation headquarters
, a JBG-owned property. The PILOT will fund $140 million in infrastructure investments for the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. The revenue stream from the agreement will be dedicated to support District issued bonds. These projects include: Southeast Federal Center
, Anacostia Metro, Reservation 13, Ward 7 Waterfront, Marvin Gaye Park, [and the] Southwest Waterfront." See previous posts on this PILOT agreement here
, and here
Deputy Mayor Albert Named Interim CEO of AWC
Feb 16, 2007 4:59 PM
A press release from the Mayor's office
: "Today, with the support of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation (AWC) Board of Directors appointed Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Neil O. Albert to serve as interim president and chief executive officer of the AWC
. The appointment follows Monday's resignation of Adrian G. Washington
as president of the corporation, chartered in 2004 to revitalize land and communities along the Anacostia River." The press release goes on to say that some of Albert's duties, while Mayor Fenty "awaits Council review
of both AWC and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) as well as the findings of a report analyzing alternative structures of the corporations", will be "examining the organization's structure, assessing staff and leadership positions, driving development initiatives, [and] reviewing AWC finances and budget." Hmmm....
Trafficking in Coffee Rumors
Feb 12, 2007 4:30 PM
I've held off posting about this because I was waiting for confirmation, but I've now heard it from enough different sources that I'm at least willing to mention it as a pretty wide-ranging rumor--the word is that the little glassed-in nook on the DOT HQ
building on the southeast corner of New Jersey and M
is going to house a Starbucks
. I don't drink the stuff, but I understand it's a popular place :-). Like I said, I haven't been able to confirm this, but it's what DOT workers are being told. ("Come to Near Southeast..... There's expensive coffee to be had on your walk in from the subway....")
US Dept. of Transportation HQ, Retail
Florida Rock and Monument Zoning Votes on Monday - AWC Meeting Tuesday
Feb 11, 2007 6:23 PM
Tomorrow (Monday) night is a big Zoning Commission
meeting, with votes expected on both the Florida Rock
second-stage PUD and the Monument Realty/Half Street
project (The 250 M Street
vote has been put off again.) This is available on live webcast
if you're so inclined. If the projects are approved, there's then a public comment period before a final approval vote a few weeks down the road.
Also, the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has just announced a Tuesday meeting "to consider resolutions regarding development agreements with the JBG Companies and the Government of the District of Columbia related to the implementation of a PILOT agreement
for the new US Department of Transportation Headquarters
"--no, I can't really tell you what this means. The meeting can be listened to via teleconference (call 877-529-9893 and enter access code 800). See my Calendar of Events
for times and locations.
DOT Move-In Dates Starting to Trickle In
Feb 1, 2007 7:32 PM
Word is starting to dribble in to JDLand about scheduled move-in dates at the new US Department of Transportation HQ
. With 7,000 employees relocating to the M Street Monolith, one can imagine that all the moving trucks aren't going to be showing up on the same day. It looks like, as expected, the moves will begin in April (for instance, the Federal Transit Administration
is scheduled to move April 28-29). If you're a DOT worker and have received word of when your agency/administration is coming to Near Southeast, feel free to drop me a line
with the specifics.
US Dept. of Transportation HQ
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