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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Earth Conservation Corps
See JDLand's Earth Conservation Corps Project Page
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In the Pipeline
Community Center
Homewood Suites Hotel
Ballpark Square
Yards/Parcel A
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
1333 M St.
Southeast Blvd.
Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
New Barracks
1111 New Jersey
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
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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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Let's sing our way into the weekend and the summer:
* KILL THE WABBIT: Don't forget that Opera in the Outfield returns tomorrow (Saturday, May 3), with a simulcast of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." The show is at 7 pm, but the gates open at 5 pm for the variety of "pre-game" activities, including a coloring station, a meet and greet with M&M's Miss Brown (!) and the living statue of Babe Ruth (!!), and more.
* HEY THERE, DELILAH: The NatsLive lineup for this summer has been announced. Mark your calendars for the Plain White T’s on June 5, Austin Mahone on July 19, and Martina McBride on August 16. The concerts are free for anyone who has a ticket to that day's game.
* TAKE ME TO THE RIVER: The Ballpark Boathouse at Diamond Teague Park opens for its second season tomorrow (Saturday, May 3). Kayaks and canoes will be available for rental, if you want to explore the shores of the neighborhood from the other side.
* BUY ME SOME PEANUTS: The Nationals really want you to come to see the team play the Dodgers next week. The Tuesday, May 6 game is "Federal Workforce Day," plus the first 25,000 fans will receive an MLB Network eco-friendly shopping bag. Then on Wednesday, May 7, it's Weather Day, at which the Fox5 weather team "will conduct an interactive presentation to educate local students on the various types of weather conditions in the region and how they affect a Nationals baseball game." It's a 1:05 game, but the weather-related festivities begin at 9:45 am. There's also discounted tickets; see the Nats Weather Day page for details.
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Events, opera, Stadium Events, Teague Park
 

I'm going to be a bit scarce this week, so here's few events-related tidbits to keep the home page from having the equivalent of electronic tumbleweeds blowing across it:
* Don't forget that the public meeting about the possible recreational re-use of the old outbound 11th Street Bridge span is on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 pm.
* Justin's Cafe has now posted the information on its April 14 block party, both on Facebook and its new JustinsCafeEvents.com web site. It will run from 11 am to 9 pm, offering a line-up of local craft brews (including "beer trucks" from Port City Brewery and DC Brau), and 106.7 The Fan FM will be broadcasting from there. "All ages welcomed, 21 and over to drink." Money is also being raised for free youth baseball and softball programs through the DC Grays and S.M.A.R.T. Camps and Clinics. (The Nats play the Reds at 4:05 pm that day.)
* On April 1 (well, April 2, technically), the Union Station-Navy Yard Circulator bus starts its summer hours, running from 6 am to 9 pm weekdays and 7 am to 9 pm Saturdays, with extended service on Nationals game days.
* The Southwester reports that there's a Neighborhood Night at Nationals Park on Thursday, April 19. "The team will honor the vibrant spirit of the neighborhood by featuring local residents in various pregame activities, including throwing out the first pitch, delivering the lineup card and greeting the players as they take their positions on the field." Near Southeast and Southwest residents can also get discounted tickets to games throughout the season, but I'll make you follow the link to find out about that!
* The Earth Conservations Corps will be leading volunteers in a cleanup of the wetlands at Diamond Teague Park on April 21, from 9 am to noon, as part of the Anacostia Watershed Society's Earth Day events. (They do want volunteers to register/RSVP in order to participate.)
* A bit farther down the pike, the Kennedy Center is presenting "Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America," a week-long festival showcasing all manner of free performances and events from May 6-12. One of the May 6 kick-off events will be from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Nationals Park and the Fairgrounds (old Bullpen) on Half Street, and the closing event on May 12 from noon to 6 pm will be at the Yards Park.
 

Just out from the Nats, an announcement about a clean-up day they're holding this Friday (May 22) along the banks of the Anacostia near the ballpark. If you're interested in participating, you can contact Lisa Pagano with the Nats (Lisa.Pagano [at] nationals.com) for more information:
"The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation will host the inaugural NatsTown Green-Up, an Anacostia Clean-Up Day designed to bring attention to the works of the Dream Foundation and their partner, the Earth Conservation Corps. Close to 100 volunteers from the Washington Nationals front office, Alion Science & Technology, Capitol Riverfront BID, Capital Rowing Club, HNTB Corporation, and Sidwell Friends, will "Rally 'Round The River" and help to clean and beautify the nation's most polluted waterway. The day's activities will include mulching, planting and trash pick-up at the Matthew Henson Center, the base of the Earth Conservation Corps located at 2000 Half Street, SW, and removal of trash from the shoreline of the Anacostia at Poplar Point. Boats will take volunteers across the river to the Poplar Point location.
"Waste Management, a Nationals corporate partner, will provide the dumpsters for materials removed from the river banks during the event, along with t-shirts for all volunteers. Hard Times Cafe and Gifford's Ice Cream & Candy Co. will provide complimentary lunch for the volunteers at 1:00pm in the Nats Family Picnic Area. During the lunch portion of the event a Nationals player will meet with the volunteers and thank them for their participation. Each person will also receive two tickets to Dream Foundation Day at the ballpark on Sunday, May 24 when the team faces the Baltimore Orioles in the final game of the homestand. The pre- and in-game entertainment at Sunday's game will highlight the works of the Nationals Dream Foundation and provide fans with information on how they can get involved."
Registration starts at 8:30 am on Friday at the Henson Center at 2000 Half St., SW.
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Nationals Park
 

UPDATE: Here are a few photos from the ceremony, along with a closer peek at the construction underway.
(Original entry) Just got back from the ceremony at Diamond Teague Park; while I'm working on the photos, here's the press release about the event, which I'll note contain the same April-for-the-piers, July-for-the-park timeline I've been mentioning (and yes, I'm being lazy and just reproducing the press release--rough morning!):
"Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Friday joined community leaders in a groundbreaking ceremony for Diamond Teague Park, an $8 million waterfront park that will link Nationals Park to the Anacostia River.
"'Diamond Teague committed his life to restoring, protecting and preserving the Anacostia River,' Mayor Fenty said. 'This park will be a fitting tribute to his legacy and it will mark our commitment as a city to carry on his work.'
"The park is named after 19-year old Diamond Teague, a member of the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) who was murdered in 2003. The ECC members -- many live in communities along the river's banks -- work to improve the river's health and protect the plant and animal species that call the Anacostia home.
"[...]It will connect the ballpark to a pair of public piers and a 20-mile network of waterfront trails. A 250-foot pier will be built to host commercial vessels such as water taxis and charter boats. The pier will also include slips for the ECC and the District's fire and life safety vessels.
"The park will feature a separate 200-foot environmental pier for educational groups, kayaks and canoes. The piers are expected to be complete by baseball's Opening Day, April 13, 2009.
"Construction and planting work on the upland portion of the park will be completed by July. Muralist Byron Peck and City Arts are also working to complete a memorial dedicated to Diamond Teague that will be unveiled later this summer.
"The cost of the $8 million park is being covered through dedicated revenue streams tied to a number of adjacent economic development projects that surround the park including Florida Rock's one million square foot mixed-used project directly to the West of the park and JBG's U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building to the East."
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Teague Park, Water Taxis/Riverboats
 

Some little items to head into the weekend:
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is going with a Best of the 80s theme for its Riverfront Reel summer outdoor movie series, and has a survey up to determine the most popular flicks. (Though let me just say that the omission of Die Hard has me white with rage....)
* DDOT is holding an "Anacostia Waterfront Forum" on Feb. 17 at the MLK Library at 6:30 pm, "on the role that replacing the 11th Street Bridges will have in creating a more inclusive and sustainable Distrct."
* Also from the BID, news that the Earth Conservation Corps has scheduled a dedication ceremony for Diamond Teague Park on April 28. I've been told that if all goes "as planned," the construction of the in-water structures (the docks and the piers) should be completed by Opening Day, though the plantings and other work on the dry-land portion of the park would be completed by the beginning of July.
* Greater Greater Washington is not happy that the US DOT is having a "sale" on its parking spaces.
* City Paper's Housing Complex blog is bewildered about where this Capitol Quarter "neighborhood" might possibly be. (Teh Google probably could have answered that.)
* The US Department of Justice and some Shell Oil entities are nearing a $2.1 million settlement for damages and cleanup costs at the Southeast Federal Center (now the Yards) after what the feds allege was benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene contamination of soil and groundwater "from leaking underground storage tanks located at a former filling station adjacent to the contamination."
* I did attend last night's zoning hearing on Akridge's Half Street project, and will post a summary when I recover from the nearly four-hour session. But I did hear that the bus garage on the site will be demolished pretty soon, to make way for temporary parking. Both Akridge and Monument are talking with the Nationals about providing their spaces for gameday parking. (Monument has told me that their underground garage at 55 M--and the little addition to the south--will be complete by Opening Day.) That's a lot of spaces that weren't around last year....
* DCRA has restarted the Building Permits feed. And there was much rejoicing.
 

So far I haven't heard of any events in Near Southeast for Monday's Day of Service that is part of the inauguration schedule, but I have received word that the Earth Conservation Corps (who occupy the pumphouse where Diamond Teague Park is soon to be) is participating in "Renewing the Anacostia Together," which is "a tree-planting and community service project in celebration of the Presidential Inauguration Day of Service." This event at Anacostia Park has been put together by Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, along with other members of the Maryland congressional delegation and DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. Alas, I see from the info page that it's already reached the maximum number of RSVPs (350!).
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, inauguration09, Teague Park
 

A few items to catch up with from my lazy past few weeks:
* The Examiner looks (again) at the city still paying $500,000 a month in rent for 225 Virginia Avenue (aka the old Post Plant) even though there are no plans to use it, which apparently continues to drive Phil Mendelson nuts. The city requested expressions of interest from developers to take over the lease in the fall, but has yet to announce any deal. The Examiner piece frames the continued payments for an empty building against the District's budget shortfalls: "The last thing Fenty should do, Mendelson said, is 'dump the building below cost' just to escape the lease. 'It makes sense to me to use it,' he said." If you want the entire sordid past of the city's relationship with this building, browse through my 225 Virginia news items.
* Also from the Examiner, a story last week on how the murder of Diamond Teague remains unsolved: "Diamond Teague was 19 years old and going from the rough streets of D.C. on to college when he was gunned down on his Southeast Washington front stoop, and police are still looking for his killer. Teague had earned a scholarship to the University of the District of Columbia by helping with projects for the Earth Conservation Corps, a nonprofit organization for disadvantaged youth. Teague was the drummer at Galilee Baptist Church and an avid basketball player, and friends and family said he had managed to avoid the street life and violence that had marred his neighborhood." The park named in his honor is expected to open this spring.
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More posts: 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I, Earth Conservation Corps, Teague Park
 

A press release from the mayor's office (not yet online) tells us that this afternoon Mayor Fenty accepted $800,000 from the developers of Florida Rock/RiverFront for the construction of Diamond Teague Park next door. This contribution was part of the second-stage Planned Unit Development approval given by the Zoning Commission a few months back for the 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use project.
Here's what the press release says about the park (emphases mine): "The District will use the $800,000 contribution from Florida Rock to help pay for Diamond Teague Park, which is dedicated to the memory of Diamond Teague, a member of the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) who was murdered five years ago. The Park will include a water taxi; new boat slips for the ECC and fire and life safety vessels; an environmental pier for educational groups, kayaks and canoes; and a riverfront boardwalk and a half-acre park. Construction of the park is expected to start in November and will be completed this spring."
The event was also touted as an "unveiling" of the plans for the Florida Rock site, which I'm assuming (since I wasn't able to be at this event today) haven't changed too much since they were approved by the Zoning Commission in May. The press release has the raw numbers, which don't look too different: "Florida Rock's 'Riverfront on the Anacostia' will include about 560,000 square feet of residential and hotel space - with 29,000 square feet is reserved for affordable housing. It will also include about 545,000 square feet of commercial office space, at least 80,000 square feet of retail and a large waterfront plaza with a waterfront promenade."
But there is one line in the release that's going to chagrin those who have been looking forward to this project: "Construction could begin as soon as 2011." During the time leading up to the final zoning approvals, RiverFront's developers had said that it was possible that the first phase of the project--the eastern office building and the public plaza, adjacent to Teague Park--could see construction begin in fall 2009.
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Florida Rock, Teague Park, Water Taxis/Riverboats, zoning
 

From the WashTimes SportsBiz blog: "The District of Columbia has successfully made its first debt service payment on Nationals Park, despite the lack of a rent check from the Nationals. The first debt payment of $13.9 million (all interest) was due Friday and was made without complication[.] The $3.5 million rent payment is a key portion of the money used to pay back the $535 million in bonds used to finance the stadium. But it appears that the city was able to raise enough money through other financing components to cover the gap." (As reported a few weeks ago, the Nats are withholding rent over whether or not the stadium was "substantially complete" on Opening Day.) The debt payment is financed by the ballpark ticket/concessions tax, a utility tax, and the ballpark fee assessed on city businesses (which is coming in substantially higher than was projected).
Speaking of the ballpark, one of the neighborhood's longtime residents was in attendance Sunday, as a guest of the Earth Conservation Corps. (See the full-sized photo--he's quite stunning!--and other shots I've taken here and there in my Scenes from the Inaugural Season gallery.) I also finally updated my photos of the ballpark's South Capitol Street facade from the Left Field Gate down to the admin building, as well as some other new shots along Potomac Avenue that I hadn't updated since March--and that means I can finally declare my Ballpark Exterior Before-and-Afters complete, at least until they rename the place and change all the signage....
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Nationals Park
 

Today's Post has a profile of the Earth Conservation Corps, noting how the environmental awareness group "aims to have events in the children's play zone at Nationals Park as soon as this week. The ballpark plans include having young corps members interacting with an owl and a hawk, and having members facilitate educational games and activities. The group will also encourage fans to walk to its facility in the Old Capitol Pumphouse, steps from the ballpark, at Diamond Teague Park, after games." The ECC is also the recipient of a three-year grant totaling $120,000 from the Nationals Dream Foundation. The article says that the city is still planning to build the new docks at the pumphouse this summer or fall, to enable water taxi service to begin there by the opening of the 2009 baseball season. You can see my ECC/Diamond Teague Park page for photos and renderings of the plans for the park.
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Nationals Park, Teague Park, Water Taxis/Riverboats
 

* The Post's DC Wire blog is reporting that at 5 pm today DCRA will be having a lottery for the 28 street vending spots near Nationals Park. "Winners will enjoy their spots for one month, starting on June 1. Then the process starts all over again with a lottery on the last Tuesday of each month until the baseball season ends." (Vendors grumbling about neon-green On the Fly's vending on Half Street have found out that the eco-vendor is actually on private property.)
* From the Examiner: David Catania gets back into the baseball carping business, saying the city should get its money back from the consultants who predicted in 2005 that the Nats would average 39,000 fans in the first year at Nationals Park, since there's only been an average of 29,000 fans during the first third of the season. Catania says "that ERA may have seriously overestimated ticket sales, which represents a major portion of stadium-related revenues." However, DC CEO Natwar Gandhi has replied that "the ballpark bonds are structured in such a way "that a significant drop in attendance would not hinder our ability to pay debt service" and that "in a worst-case scenario, total attendance at the new stadium could drop to approximately 10,000 people per game without affecting debt-service payments." The Examiner also says: "Ticket prices at the new ballpark are 20 percent higher than the consultant predicted, Gandhi said, which will drastically reduce the effect of reduced attendance." I wonder if the consultants factored in cold and miserable April weather? The Post's DC Wire has more on this.
* The Nats announced earlier this year that tours of the ballpark are available on non-gamedays; yesterday they sent out word that proceeds from those tours will benefit the team's Dream Foundation, which currently has a number of initiatives underway, including the Neighborhood Initiative that's providing three years of funding to the Earth Conservation Corps. Info about the tours is available here.
* My Ballpark and Beyond column in today's District Extra is short and sweet, with blurbs on the RiverFront/Florida Rock zoning approval and the almost-arrival of 700 new residential units at 70 and 100 I Street.
* Also in the District Extra is a big piece on whether the diversity of the Nats' roster, "combined with their state-of-the-art stadium, will be enough to attract young blacks and Latinos to the game in the District."
* DC United wants the city to pay $225 million for its Poplar Point stadium, which the Post says is "far more than some city leaders say they would support" and that "even the amount officials have considered, $150 million, has raised some concern with D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, whose analysis has concluded such a deal could push the government above a Wall Street debt ceiling that he recommended last year." In the meantime, Marc Fisher thinks it's all a bad idea.
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More posts: 70/100 I, Earth Conservation Corps, Florida Rock, jpi, Retail, Nationals Park, zoning
 

From the WashTimes: "It appears that Don Henley's 'Boys of Summer' -- the Eagles -- will likely play the first concert to be held at Nationals Park, on July 26. Although no such date appears on the Web site for the Eagles' summer tour, a VIP ticket request form obtained by The Washington Times lists an Eagles show on July 26 at the new baseball stadium in Southeast. Washington Nationals officials confirmed talks are taking place for such a show. 'It remains a discussion,' team President Stan Kasten said. 'There really isn't a deal yet. But there is no question we would like to be in the big concert business. We hope to know one way or another soon.' "
In other stadium events, I was amazed to find out at few days ago that this Tuesday (May 6) will see a high school baseball game between my alma mater Bethesda-Chevy Chase and rival Whitman; gates open at 5 pm, game starts at 6 pm. Admission is free. Go Barons!
And Saturday night was the big Nationals Dream Foundation gala at the new National Harbor in Prince George's County. One of the beneficiaries of the foundation's largesse is the Earth Conservation Corps (as announced a few weeks ago).
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Nationals Park, Stadium Events
 

Saturday morning, in between raindrops at the ballpark, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation unveiled its new Neighborhood Initiative, which aims to support small non-profits near Nationals Park with grants, donations, and resources from both the foundation and the team.
The first two organizations selected for the initiative are the Hopkins Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, located in the Hopkins public housing project at 12th and K, SE, and Near Southeast's own Earth Conservation Corps, which since 1989 has worked with hundreds of unemployed 17- to 25-year-olds to give them career skills and training while working to restore the Anacostia River. Anyone who's looked out at the river from the ballpark's grand staircase or its Potomac Avenue viewing platform has seen the red brick pumphouse that is one of the ECC's two locations (the other is just down the river at Buzzards Point), and which will anchor the soon-to-come Diamond Teague Park, named for an ECC volunteer who was murdered in 2003.
The Dream Foundation will be giving the ECC $40,000 a year for the next three years; the Hopkins club is receiving a $50,000 gift to hire a "teen director." Foundation chair Marla Lerner Tanenbaum said that the Nationals are committed to "being good neighbors," and that "the health of the Anacostia River is a concern of all District residents."
Nats players Joel Hanrahan and Elijah Dukes helped unveil the new "Wall of Dreams," where fans can contribute to the Foundation's works by purchasing a baseball that displays their name and a short inscription, with various "packages" ranging from $250 to $5,000. (The display is just across from the kid's Strike Zone in the Center Field Plaza.) I took some photos at the event; you can also read the press release, along with a piece on MLB.com.
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, Nationals Park
 

The last Near Southeast item on Monday's ANC 6D meeting was a request for the commission's support of the latest design of RiverFront on the Anacostia, better known as Florida Rock. This is the nearly six acres of land directly south of the ballpark, on the Anacostia River, where developers have spent 10 years trying to transition away from the concrete business currently operating there to a 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use waterfront destination. They came close to an approved design in 2006, but in February 2007 the Zoning Commission unexpectedly sent the architects back to the drawing board, wanting a greater amount of residential space in the project, better views to and from the ballpark, and a better "expression of place."
After nearly a year, a revised design is ready to go to the Zoning Commission for approval. It now includes 323,000 square feet of residential space, 80,000 square feet of retail and 465,000 square feet of office space.
Some of the ideas floated early in the redesign process have been modified or removed, most notably "The Pitch", the plaza directly across from the ballpark's grand staircase and adjacent to the planned Diamond Teague Park. This space no longer has pitcher and catcher statues but is instead now a "festive" open plaza that will be more "integrated" with Teague and will help with the expected flow of ballpark visitors coming to and from the water taxi piers that someday may materialize out by the little red brick pumphouse.
Also, the residential and hotel buildings have had their heights grow to 130 feet, to allow for the extra square footage the zoning commission wanted. But the hotel's top two floors will now be "pure residential".
As for when some movement will actually be seen at the site, David Briggs of Holland & Knight set out a timeline based on zoning approvals, construction drawings, and the vaunted DC permitting process that estimates the start of construction on the first phase (the eastern office building) in probably fall of 2009.
He mentioned a number of times the amount of pressure that Florida Rock is under to shut down the concrete plant and to build temporary parking lots, but he explained that the site currently makes money for its company and shareholders, and there's little interest in closing it down sooner than necessary. (Briggs did say that a temporary landscaping of the eastern plaza, next to Diamond Teague, could be a possibility once the zoning approvals are received, but that the underground parking for RiverFront does extend beneath that plaza, and so excavation and construction work will need to be done there.)
It should be noted that this timeline is really about the first two phases (the eastern office building and the 160-unit residential building), because the western office building and the hotel can't be built until the construction of a new Douglass Bridge allows Florida Rock to use its land that is currently occupied by the old bridge. (The year 2016 was tossed around as a possible date for when these later phases could get started.)
Community benefits remain similar to past presentations, including an estimated 25 units of workforce housing, anticipated LEED certification for the buildings, First Source and LSDBE hiring, and a combined underground loading dock for the three western buildings, as well as the more basic amenity of replacing a huge concrete plant with shiny new buildings and access to the waterfront. The ANC has always been enthusiastic about this project, and this time around was no different, with the commissioners voting 5-2 to support the new design. The Zoning Commission hearing, for what is officially considered a modification to the project's second-stage PUD, is scheduled for March 20.
I'm really trying to just hit the newsiest items here--definitely take some time to look through my RiverFront page (have to stop calling it Florida Rock sometime) for much more detail on the current design. And read all the archived news items, too, if you want a better feel for the twists and turns this project has taken.
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More posts: ANC News, Earth Conservation Corps, Florida Rock, zoning
 

During my poking around on the DC Office of Cable Television web site recently, I discovered that many of the groundbreakings and other events in Near Southeast this year that have been broadcast on the city's cable channel 16 are also available On Demand; the same goes for council hearings, available on Channel 13's On Demand page. (I kinda sorta knew that the On Demand stuff was there, but when I checked it many moons ago, it didn't seem quite so complete, so I hadn't looked back in on it for a while.)
So if you've missed any of the following four-star telecasts from 2007, you can watch them at your leisure:
* The July bill-signing ceremony at the Earth Conservations Corps pumphouse where the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation were officially abolished;
* JPI's June "groundbreaking" for its four projects along I Street ("Capitol Yards");
* The January groundbreaking marking the start of the Navy Yard Metro renovation and Monument's Half Street project;
* And pretty much any ceremony anywhere in the city the mayor was at since the beginning of the year, plus a lot of other presentations and events. (Be sure not to miss the Reporters' Roundtable "Snitching Debate.") Check the dropdown boxes on the On Demand page for the offerings. I've added the above links to all of the various project pages in case you're desperate to find them again someday.
Two of the most recent shindigs haven't gotten added to the lineup yet--the Oct. 22 kickoff ceremony for the Capitol Riverfront BID (in which you can find out where the "Traveling Roadshow" moniker originated), and the mayor's remarks at the Nov. 13 turf unveiling at the ballpark. Ditto with the Waterside Mall Demolition program, which is currently playing on Channel 16 but hasn't yet made it to On Demand. But perhaps they'll show up eventually.
 

In other news from Monday's ANC meeting:
* Council Member Phil Mendelson spoke about his concerns that the new consolidated crime lab construction schedule is continuing to slip. The new lab, which is supposed to be built at Fourth and School streets, SW, can't get underway until a new home (temporary or permanent) is found for the police department's First District station currently located there. Up until recently, of course, 1D was supposed to move to the old Post plant at 225 Virginia Avenue, but with that now scuttled, the Office of Property Management is hunting for a new 1D home somewhere in Southwest, perhaps using either the Amidon or Bowen elementary school buildings, both of which are at only 60 percent capacity and could be consolidated by moving the sixth graders to Jefferson Junior High School. Mendelson, "irritated" at how the city is handling the space shuffling, wants the process of finding a new 1D home speeded up, even if it means taking 1D out of Southwest, which of course was viewed as a nonstarter by this ANC that represents Southwest; Commissioner Sobelsohn commended Mendelson on his "bravery" for coming to Southwest and telling the residents they shouldn't have a police station. (It also sounds like Mendelson is still hoping for a return to using 225 Virginia, given his numerous references to the $500,000 checks the city is writing each month to lease the empty building.)
* The Randall School redevelopment project by Monument Realty and the Corcoran Gallery was approved, thanks mainly to a negotiated community benefits package that includes a $200,000 contribution by Monument to the ANC's Community Investment Fund, preferences for ANC 6D residents when filling the affordable housing component of the project, and agreements with the Corcoran to support various neighborhood art projects and arts education offerings for Southwest residents. The vote was 5-0; vice chair Andy Litsky did not vote, after expressing his displeasure with what he sees as Monument's threat to slow down the Navy Yard Metro station expansion when the company did not win the right to buy WMATA's Southeastern Bus Garage. Monument executive vice president Russell Hines, who attended the meeting, reiterated the points he made last week in an e-mail to Litsky, that the station expansion is not behind schedule as has been reported and that Monument is committed to getting the work completed by Opening Day 2008.
* A local resident informed the commission that three historic police and fire call boxes along First Street have recently gone missing. Those with x-ray vision can see them in my photos (up until yesterday) of First and N and First and O, deep in the heart of ballpark construction territory and along the stretch of First Street being renovated by DDOT; the now-missing First and L box is pretty hard to see behind the Onyx fencing. There's an effort called Art on Call, led by Cultural Tourism DC, to find and restore these boxes, and kids from the Earth Conservation Corps have been painting the boxes in Near Southeast and Southwest. Calls are in to the District Department of Transportation to see if the boxes have perhaps just been temporarily moved, or if they're, um, history. (The box at First and K is still in place, at least.)
 

This morning the DC Council Committee on Economic Development is having a public oversight hearing on "Projects Managed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development" (it's being broadcast live on DC Cable 13 and live webcast, if you're interested). The hearing is still ongoing, and is addressing many projects around the city, but there were two Near Southeast-related items in Deputy Mayor Neil Albert's opening statement that I thought were worth passing along now.
First, it's been decided to not continue to use the old Anacostia Waterfront Corporation space at 1100 New Jersey Avenue after all, and so the expanded Deputy Mayor's office will be split between the Wilson Building and the old National Capital Revitalization Corporation office space at 2020 M Street, NW, and the office moves should happen this week.
Second, Deputy Mayor Albert mentioned Canal Park, saying that "coordination of the site survey, and various site management plans including erosion and stormwater management are scheduled to begin in the next month." He also said that his office is in discussions with the Office of Property Management to relocate the school buses currently occupying two of the park's three blocks to other sites in the city, and that he "expects to have a solution soon." Canal Park is one of the items specifically on the agenda for an Oct. 1 oversight hearing, so hopefully there will be more concrete news then.
If there's additional news from today's hearing, I'll update this entry.
UPDATE: Nothing earthshattering from the rest of the hearing (which, admittedly, I've been listening to with one ear, since the vast majority of it has been on topics outside of Near Southeast). In answering council member Wells's concerns about who will be in charge of the upkeep of the new parks being planned, Deputy Mayor Albert mentioned possible public-private partnerships with the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District for Canal Park and the Earth Conservation Corps for Diamond Teague Park, though he stressed that neither of these have been officially decided on. Wells also asked about whether there's thoughts of creating a Water Authority to help streamline decisions that will have to be made that effect the rivers (such as water taxis, ferry piers, possible new boathouses, etc.); Deputy Mayor Albert said that they've hired a consultant to help them decide how to handle these issues. And, one last tidbit--Albert mentioned that there will be a groundbreaking at The Yards in mid-October.
(If you're interested in Poplar Point or the Southwest Waterfront or the West End library deal, you might want watch for a replay of the hearing broadcast, because those subjects were much discussed. Marion Barry made clear he was not pleased with how the city has handled Poplar Point, and said that he and the Ward 8 community "will oppose any Poplar Point proposal that doesn't include a stadium.")
UPDATE II: Here's a Washington Business Journal blurb on today's hearing, focusing on the savings to the city from the consolidation of the AWC and NCRC functions in the Deputy Mayor's office.
 

On Friday at the Old Capitol Pumphouse at the foot of First Street and Potomac Avenue, Mayor Fenty is scheduled to sign the bill that transfers control of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation to the city's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The ceremony is scheduled to start at 11 am. Work has already begun on the merging of these two quasi-governmental agencies into the DMPED offices, but it is not anticipated to be completed until October. (My post on last Friday's hearing about the transition has more information.)

More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Earth Conservation Corps
 

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, here, and here.
That $140 million must be burning a hole in the AWC's pocket, because they've already posted an RFP for a Construction Manager for several AWC capital projects: "The total construction value for these activities is up to $140 million." There is a good tidbit buried in the accompanying press release, that AWC intends to break ground in 2007 on both Washington Canal Park and on the first phase of Diamond Teague Park, the planned 39,000-sq-ft public plaza at the terminus of First Street on the banks of Anacostia, nestled between Florida Rock, the Earth Conservation Corps, WASA, and the Nationals ballpark. (And who is Diamond Teague? Read this NOW With Bill Moyers transcript from 2004.)
 

The planned 1.1-million-sq-ft Florida Rock development at 1st and Potomac Avenues (across the street from the new Nationals ballpark) had another Zoning Commission hearing last night, to address some of the concerns expressed by the ZC at the first hearing in September, chief among them the design of the east end of the east office building (see map to orient yourself), which commissioners felt disrupted the line of sight to the Anacostia River from the stadium's grand staircase and viewing platforms. This section of the building--which will house a signficant portion of the project's retail offerings--has now been redesigned so that one will be able to see the Earth Conservation Corps pumphouse from the center of the staircase. This eastern end of the development also faces the new planned First Street Plaza, a 40,000-sq-ft public park to be placed at the terminus of First Street, to draw people to the riverfront. Florida Rock is proffering $3.7 million toward the design, construction and maintenance of this park that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation will develop (total cost estimated to be $15 million). The record is being held open for two more weeks, so look for a vote on the project at the January 8 meeting; I hope to have updated renderings showing the redesigned east building by that point. As for a timeline, Florida Rock estimates that construction on the first phase--the east office building--would begin in early 2008; there has been no announcement from the AWC as to any sort of timeline on the First Street Plaza (which presumably also depends on the acquiring of the WASA land on that site).
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Earth Conservation Corps, Florida Rock, Teague Park, DC Water (WASA), zoning
 
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