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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: 8th Street
See JDLand's 8th Street Project Page
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JDLand.com's Official Unofficial Guide, Updated for 2016!
In the Pipeline
One M/10 Van
Yards/Icon Theater
DC Water HQ
Yards/Parcel O
Lynch/Half St.
JBG/Half St.
Capper/Square 769N
2 I Street
Yards/Parcel L
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Square 696
SC1100
Completed
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
 
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Not sure what I can write beyond this:
The Brig is located on the northwest corner of 8th and L Streets, SE (1007 8th for your GPS). See my project page for photos and links to posts on the long and winding road to this milestone. And see you all there for a JDLand Happy Hour at some point in the relative near future.
UPDATE, 6/17: Yup.
Comments (15)
 

Not much to report these days, but instead of digging digging digging looking for teeny tiny stuff to pass along, the reaction of someone who's been doing this way too long is "Hey! Extended vacation!" But here's a few items:
* PARC RIVERSIDE PHASE 2: These are "studies", with materials and colors subject to change, but the architects for the second phase of Toll Brothers' Parc Riverside apartments at Half and K passed along to ANC 6D02 commissioner Stacy Cloyd some images of what the building could look like. (And now you see why when I mentioned them in another post recently I said that Phase 2 doesn't look very different from Phase 1.) The middle image, as seen from Half and I, shows the two Parc Riversideseseses as one long facade, albeit with slightly altered treatments. The other two are views from Half and L.
* REHAB CENTER PROPOSED ON LOWER 8TH: Capitol Hill Corner reports on a proposal to the Bureau of Prisons for a 300-bed resident rehabilitation center (aka "halfway house") to be located at 810 Potomac Ave., SE, across the street from both the Blue Castle and the historic Latrobe Gate to the Navy Yard. Council member Charles Allen and ANC 6B both have weighed in with strong opposition, listing all manner of reasons that this building at the corner of 8th and Potomac (and 8th and M, for that matter) "is not the right site," with 6B commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg quoted as saying, "This is an egregious thing to do to lower 8th, which is transitioning from being under-developed into a residential neighborhood." UPDATE: ANC 6D commissioner Meredith Fascett has posted on Facebook that she is opposing this as well, and says that MPD, Barracks Row Main Street, and the Capitol Riverfront BID are also in opposition.
* COFFEE WITH CHUCK SLIDES: If you want the latest update from the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, here's the slides from the May 18th neighborhood session. There's lots of photos of sections the new tunnel, including some that bloggers would probably be shot on sight for trying to get.
And, an addition a few hours later:
* AKRIDGE SELLING: WBJ says that Akridge is putting on the market its holdings along the east side of 1st Street between K and L, across from Velocity and the Parc Riverside and home until 2011 to the Market Deli and a slew of other now-gone buildings.
Comments (17)
 

Here's a good object lesson in reading the fabulous JDLand comment threads on a regular basis--because if you did, you would already know that on Friday, in the midst of the spirited discussion about the Bardo Big River liquor license, a comment appeared from the owner of the Brig, the long (long long) in-process beer garden at 8th and L Streets, SE:
"the brig is on track to open in 30-60 days.
"Pavers are going in as are the 40 taps.
"More info and probably a big story after JD reads this.
"Bring your well behaved dogs here too.
"1007 8th Street SE at the corner of 8th and L."
And lo and behold, as my pictures from mere minutes ago attest, pavers are indeed going in, and temporary signage has appeared, and a new iron fence (currently still behind the existing cyclone fence).
There is still work to be done on the inside of the building, and then certificates of occupancy and health department approval, so I wouldn't carve any date in stone just yet, but the homestretch does appear to be in view.
The road to this point began all the way back in late 2010 with plans for a combination restaurant/beer garden in a new building right on the corner. It spent most of 2011 in historic preservation review, then returned in 2013 with a simplified design that eventually was approved, and a building permit was issued in November 2014, with construction getting underway in early 2015. The work proceeded, shall we say, slowly, with the service building's exterior looking complete in November, but by then it was, well, winter.
When it does open, perhaps it will be a good spot for the next JDLand Happy Hour.
Comments (28)
 

Perhaps the third time will be the charm for the long-empty lot at 801 Virginia, as in recent weeks the bureaucratic wheels have been turning on a new plan to put 22 condos and 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail in a four-story building on the southeast corner of 8th and Virginia.
Both Urban Turf and Capitol Hill Corner have reported on the plans by Northfield Development, which include 16 one-bedroom units, three studios, and three two-bedroom units, along with 11 ground-floor parking spaces tucked in behind the ground floor. Both the parking entrance and the resident entrance will be on L Street.
Developers apparently told a supportive ANC 6B that they anticipate breaking ground in March 2016, making it a busy time for that stretch of Virginia, which is currently closed for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction.
In late October the Historic Preservation Review Board found the plans to be "generally compatible" with the Capitol Hill Historic District, though the developers are being asked to "refine the design so that it has more of the character of Capitol Hill, including a weightier base, an attention to details and materials, [...] and more substantial corners."
If one takes a long stroll through the JDLand archives, one can read about how the land was bought in the summer of 2005 (not a typo) for $2.5 million with plans for a mixed residential/office/retail building advertised in 2007 as "The Admiral." The former gas station seen here that stood on the site was demolished in early 2006 (#34 in the Demolished Buildings gallery), but the lot remained unbuilt. Then in the fall of 2008 it reappeared as a planned office building, which actually got BZA approval before also not moving forward. Then the land was purchased by Northfield in July, for what property records say is $1.825 million.
While for a few years the tunnel construction will be yet another hurdle (literally) to getting visitors at the main section of Barracks Row to cross under the freeway, the opening of Ziaafat Grill as well as the arrivals Any Minute Now of Las Placitas and the Brig at 8th and L plus potential plans by the National Community Church for the Blue Castle could perhaps be the first tugs southward that Lower Barracks Row has been looking for. We Shall See.
As for the condo lineup in the neighborhood, the list of potential projects is finally starting to grow, with PN Hoffman's 140-unit building at 4th and Tingey (Yards "Parcel O") looking to be the first out of the gate with construction expected to start next year. The Jair Lynch Companies have said that a portion of his project to fill in the Half Street Hole will be condos, and of course there's the possibility of a condo building on Square 767 in the Capper redevelopment footprint. And 10 Van Street is being "contemplated" as condos, as is the MRP building slated for the Navy Yard Metro station Chiller Plant site at Half and L. It will be interesting to see what comes to fruition.... (If you are keeping track at home, the last [well, only] condo building to be built in the neighborhood was Velocity, which opened in 2009. The co-ops at Capitol Hill Tower opened in 2006.)
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More posts: 801va, Development News, 8th Street
 

* LOWER LAS PLACITAS: Capitol Hill Corner reports that the owners of Las Placitas told ANC 6B that they hope to open in their new location at 8th and L Streets SE on Nov. 1. The space will have 40 seats inside and another 38 along the building's north side.
* 'CAPERS: Excerpts from the one-woman play "'Capers," about how residents of Capper/Carrollsburg dealt with the housing project's demolition, is being performed tonight (Oct. 15) at 7 pm at 400 M St. SE, hosted by the Arthur Capper Carollsburg Community Village. You can also catch the entire play four nights next week at the Forum Theatre in Silver Spring.
* DSS BARRY CEREMONY: The Display Ship Barry isn't actually leaving just yet, but on Saturday Oct. 17 the Navy is holding a departure ceremony at 10 am inside the fences of the Navy Yard. See the announcement for details, including how to get into the base if you wish to attend. It was announced in February that the ship will be dismantled and removed from its home along the Anacostia Riverwalk.
* WATCH. BOX.: A "watch box" (guard shack) that stood as part of the sentry post at the Navy Yard's 8th Street entrance from 1853ish until 1905ish and was passed through by Abraham Lincoln just hours before his assassination has been restored and formally ribbon-cut on Oct. 8 after its return earlier this year from a 110-year stay at Indian Head. (Though unfortunately it's on display on a portion of the grounds that most of us will never see.)
* SODOSOPA: South Park took on gentrification last week, with the new neighborhood of SoDoSoPa, the Lofts at SoDoSoPa, and the Residences at the Lofts at SoDoSoPa. And there was this: "What this town needs is a Whole Foods. It will instantly validate us as a town that cares about stuff." (And yet you people still refuse to adopt my new name for this neighborhood, Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards, #NeCaBaRY.)
* BRIDGE BEFORE AND AFTER: DDOT's historic photos Tumblr recently included a shot from 1966 of the early construction of the downriver 11th Street Bridge span. And I realized I have a photo taken from a very similar location as the span was dismantled in 2012 and its offspring was built. (The piers remain in the water, though, as the potential underpinnings of the 11th Street Bridge Park.)
 

Perhaps I haven't had my ear to the right parts of the ground, so it's a bit of a shock to see these photos, passed along by the official JDLand stringer this morning, announcing that Ziaafat Grill and Restaurant is now open for business at 1102 8th Street SE, in the old Levi's Port Cafe space and next door to the eventual new home for Las Placitas.
The menu shows a lineup of Indian food, with a buffet at all times as well as chicken tikka, kabobs, lamp chops, biryani, and karahi. And nan, of course.
I do not know the hours (not seeing a phone number to call on the menu posted in the window), so if anyone feels like heading over there for lunch and coming back with a report, you'll get a JDLand Gold Star. UPDATE: The BID says the hours are 10 am to 10 pm daily.
(I'll update here as I get more info, but didn't want this dish to be served cold, as it were. Also, the "Muy Pronto" sign in the Las Placitas window is pretty funny.)
If you never went to Levi's, you may not know that it's not exactly a spacious interior, so be prepared for more of a carryout option than fine sit-down dining.
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More posts: 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, ziaafat
 

It was back in July that the Barracks Row folks tweeted out that 8th Street mainstay restaurant Las Placitas would be moving to the old Quizno's space at 8th and M SE--but now it's being reported by PoPville that the new location will actually be the old Chicken Tortilla space at 1100 8th St., SE, on the southeast corner of 8th and L.
And if I had just walked on that side of the street during a long photo-taking excursion on Sunday that included multiple shots at 8th and L, I would have seen the signs in the window, but at least the high resolution of my camera can now confirm that the signs were/are there.
This spot is one block south of the freeway, and let's call it three blocks south of Las Placitas's existing home, which will eventually become expansion space for Matchbox.
 

I cannot tell you a thing other than what is contained within this tweet from Barracks Row Main Street, so I will just repeat it:
"Very happy that Las Placitas is staying on Barracks Row! They'll move this fall to the old Quiznos space at 8th and M on lower 8th Street."
Las Placitas with its Mexican fare is of course one of the mainstays of 8th Street, but it had been announced a few weeks back that its lease was not being renewed, and that next-door neighbor Matchbox would be expanding into the space.
As for the new location, there hasn't been much going on since Quizno's left a few years back, and other restaurants in the 1100 block of 8th--Chicken Tortilla and Levi's Port Café--have been closed for a while as well.
This space, on the northeast corner of 8th and M, is immediately to the north of the Navy Yard's Latrobe Gate, and is also across the street from the Blue Castle, which was bought late last year by the National Community Church. Plus, one block to the north is where The Brig will open, someday. And this may be especially good news for the eventual tenants of the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, now under construction at 7th and L, who will have a sit-down restaurant a block away.
 

On the northwest corner of 8th and L streets, SE, work is proceeding on the space that will become the beer garden now known as The Brig.
As we found out a few months ago, the design has been scaled back from a restaurant with a roof deck and patio to a more typical beer garden look--a big outdoor space with tables along with a "service" building that has no seating.
As you can see, there is definite progress on the service building, with a mid-year-ish opening looking to be doable.
The driveway at the west side of the lot will allow for food trucks to sell their wares.
The photos give a feel for the amount of patio acreage as well, and show that some noontime shade will come from a group of trees along L Street, though they could maybe benefit from a bit of a haircut (to, ahem, spruce the look up a little).
You can read my past posts on The Brig to catch up on the long and winding road to this point. And this group of before-and-afters shows the lot over the past not-quite-10-years. (And I can't decide if I need to add the corrugated tin shack visible behind the stockade fence in the early shots to my Demolished Buildings Gallery.)
Comments (1)
 

It was a blockbuster piece of news a few weeks ago that the National Community Church had decided to buy the Navy Yard Car Barn, aka the Blue Castle, at 770 M St. SE.
There hasn't been any official statement about the purchase from the church, but recently its lead pastor, Mark Batterson, agreed to reply by e-mail to a list of questions I sent his way about how this move came about and what the church may be envisioning for the landmark building. (Hyperlinks added by me.)
JD: How did the idea of buying the Blue Castle end up on your radar?
MB: Our team had been actively seeking ways to build out our Virginia Ave property, but we’ve been in a holding pattern because of the CSX project. When we heard that the Blue Castle was for sale, it made sense. We just had to make the math work. After quite extensive research with a development team, we came to the conclusion that it will be easier, faster, and perhaps less expensive, to build on top of the castle than it would be to build on Virginia Avenue.
We feel very fortunate to have gotten the contract. We know this is an incredibly iconic building that is interwoven into our city's history. We hope to steward it well.
JD: What are your plans for the building? i.e., Will it be purely uses for your church, or will the neighborhood see some sort of benefit as well? Also, do you have any plans to expand the building itself? How much additional square footage could that potentially include?
MB: We plan to develop the Blue Castle property by building what NCC needs on the roof deck of the existing structure. The key components of the build-out are a multi-purpose performance space with 1500-2000 seats, as well as a central location for our staff. The performance space will be designed for seven day a week use as a music venue and/or theater space. We will assess community needs to make sure the castle serves the best and highest use. We have some preliminary ideas that we think the community will be excited about, but we need to get a little further down the planning road. One thing we know for sure is that we’d like to build out another Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, like our coffeehouse at 201 F Street, NE.
JD: What about the existing tenants?
MB: The existing tenants have a lease through July of 2018. We have not made any decisions beyond that, but our goal is for the space to serve community needs. Part of our process will be listening to the needs and goals of neighbors, as well as figuring out what best compliments NCC. We will explore a wide variety of uses, along with current uses; in determining it's future.
JD: What sort of timeline are you looking at for making it into what you are hoping it will be?
MB: Until the architectural designs are completed, we can't estimate an accurate timeline. But we have already initiated some conceptual design work. So the wheels are turning. National Community Church continues to outgrow our spaces, so we need it as soon as possible. We also know that there is a timeline and protocol to follow. This is an iconic building, and we want to make sure we get it right.
JD: How does this impact your previously announced plans for your land along Virginia Avenue?
MB: We view the Blue Castle as a better path forward in addressing spacing needs because development of the property is not directly impacted by CSX. The building is also three times larger than Virginia Avenue. This will help us move toward our 2020 vision of 20 expressions of NCC by 2020.
Ultimately, our goal is to master plan both the Blue Castle and Virginia Avenue. Because we own both properties, it positions us to have a more coordinated development.
JD: And, finally... What. About. the. Blue?
MB: Honestly, we hope that someday the Blue Castle will just be the Castle. Of course, we have to factor in the financial impact. And we'l obviously need to work with DCRA and HPRB to make a determination on any changes to the exterior of the Blue Castle.
 
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