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It will be a mere 11 years ago next week that I wrote my first real post focusing on the site on the banks of the Anacostia known as Florida Rock, and there's been at least 120 posts since then, covering numerous changes in plans and designs.
And yet all of a sudden, here we are, with the first residents now moving into Dock 79, the development's first-phase 305-unit rental building. I'm getting verklempt!
The new JDLand camera got its first workout on Thursday with a tour of much of the building, and it should come as no surprise that this camera, as previous ones, was as interested in the views out of the windows as in the inside of the building itself. To the north, Nats Park fills the field of vision, while to the south (and east and southwest), the Anacostia River and its banks make for a vista that is not a standard Washington D.C. apartment building offering.
You'll want to browse the entire gallery of course to get better views of the model unit, the current state of the Riverwalk and new public plaza, and the common areas, but here are a few highlights:
Plus, there's this stitched-together panorama taken from one of the unit's balconies. Thank heavens it wasn't raining.
As for Dock 79's retail spaces, there are already announced plans for restaurants The Salt Line and All-Purpose Pizzeria to arrive in 2017, and I'm told that there should be announcements of additional tenants Any Minute Now.
For more specifics on the building, such as rents, floor plans, amenities, and all the stuff that normal people would be interested in, visit Dock79.com. For many more photos and details on the long road to this point, see my Florida Rock project page.
And with hardly a chance to catch our breath, Dock 79's forthcoming sibling next door is now in the early stages of its own trip through the Zoning Fun Factory.
Comments (23)
More posts: Development News, dock79, Florida Rock
 

The output of the current official JDLand camera (an eight-year-old Canon 50D with a Sigma 18-200 lens) has been a bit less sharp of late (like me!), and given that the shutter has fired more than 110,000 times since 2008, I have been figuring it's probably time for a new camera. But since I knew I'd also want a new lens as well, I decided to buy that first and see if maybe the far cheaper component was the problem. I finally got the chance to take the new lens for a workout on Sunday, and the ruling after looking at the 730 photos I took is: I need a new camera. (Will probably be the 80D.)
All of that is just a time-wasting intro to a roundup of the progress photos I took.
Dock 79 is getting pretty close to the finish line, with the sidewalk along Potomac Avenue now open and work proceeding on the open plaza to its east. (Yes, those are sculptures.) There's also emerging placeholding signage for The Salt Line in advance of its 2017 opening.
ORE 82 now has some completed balconies overlooking New Jersey Avenue and I Street, but mainly I just wanted the excuse to post my rather striking shot (below left). And speaking of red buildings, the Homewood Suites at 50 M is making steady progress as well.
The walls of windows at 909 Half Street are making for some interesting reflections, not only from the reflected bright blue sky but from the patterns of recesses and bump-outs, as well as the windows that are left open to presumably give the poor workers a little air.
If you stand at New Jersey and M, you can get good views of Insignia on M to your north and the F1rst apartment/Residence Inn hotel project to your west.
Then we have the even newer neighbors, the ones who we can't quite see just yet, although the 1244 South Capitol apartment building now has one floor above ground level. (I admit, this is one I am looking forward to watching rise up.) Then there's the office building at 99 M, which seems to be slooooowly getting ready for vertical construction, though a peek down in the hole indicates that a skeleton is still some weeks away.
I also took photos of the Bixby, but nothing much is changing on the outside there. And I only took morning-light photos, which means I don't have any good ones of Agora, unless you like looking at its backside. (So to speak.)
Then there's Parcel O at the Yards, where one condo and one apartment building are to be built. Fences are up, and there is some infrastructure work going on along with breaking up the concrete pad that the trapeze school stood on until last year. I believe the shoring, sheeting, and excavation permit is approved, but whether the true Digging of the Dirt is underway, well, We Shall See.
There are more new photos than just the ones above--follow the links for additional shots, plus I've also updated a bunch of before-and-after sliders. And maybe soon I'll get out in the afternoon light to get photos of the western side of all of these projects--with a new camera!
(If you're thinking that these photos don't look that blurry, it's really more on the edges of the shots where the problem lies, plus I do some sharpening of all photos after I size them down for posting.)
 

With the 305-unit Dock 79 apartment building very close to completion, the developers of the site on the Anacostia River that us oldsters still refer to as Florida Rock have now filed with the Zoning Commission their plans* for the project's next phase, a 130-foot-tall 253-unit residential building with 12,500 square feet of retail at 71 Potomac Avenue.
There will be at least two levels of underground parking, with a third level being pondered "given the parking demands of [Nationals Park] and the pending soccer stadium." And although the building is not covered by the city's Inclusionary Zoning laws, the filing says that eight percent of the units will be set aside for households with incomes up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
The construction of this building will also bring the completion of "Florida Rock Alley," running between 71 Potomac and Dock 79 and providing another route for pedestrians to move between Potomac Avenue and the waterfront along with the access to parking and loading for both buildings. The waterfront Esplanade will also be extended along 71 Potomac's frontage.
The 12,500 square feet of retail is an increase the previously approved 5,600 square feet. In the filing statement, developers Florida Rock Properties and MRP Realty mention that "based on the success in leasing retail space in Dock 79, the Applicant is confident that there is a retail market along Potomac Avenue," and that "the desire for retailers to locate in this area has only increased" since the previous plans were approved in 2013.
The site plans are very helpful to not only understand where this Phase 2 building at 71 Potomac will be, but how the eventual third and fourth phases are dependent on the construction of the new Douglass Bridge and its accompanying traffic oval, and the demolition of the existing bridge. (The filing mentions DDOT's current estimated schedule of a notice to proceed on the new bridge in 2017 and completion in 2020, but We Shall See.)
There are a slew of renderings in the zoning packet, which of course I'm snagging (we'll call it a one-for-one exchange for all of the photos of mine they used in the site overview portion of the package!).
These plans will require ANC presentations and a vote and zoning hearings and building permits and financing, so don't pack your bags just yet.
*For those to whom such things matter, this is a second-stage PUD filing.
Comments (12)
More posts: 71potomac, Development News, Florida Rock
 

The second I posted the news of Slipstream I realized I had forgotten one other restaurant announcement* that slipped through recently while I was otherwise occupied, which is that All-Purpose Pizzeria has been announced as the second restaurant tenant at Dock 79, joining The Salt Line.
All-Purpose is another venture from the folks behind Red Hen an Boundary Stone, with its first location having opened earlier this year at 1250 9th St., NW.
That location is open six days a week for dinner, and the the menu has flights of cheese, cold and hot antipasti in addition to the centerpiece pizzas.
City Paper profiled All-Purpose back in May, describing the process with a 650-degree oven that results in a crust "crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and sturdy enough for the 'New York fold hold.'"
*Though, if you are a wise reader of the JDLand comments, you would already know about this, since we discussed passing references to this without any official announcement back in May.
UPDATE: Washingtonian has additional details, including that there will be a separate takeout shop serving square Sicilian-style slices.
Comments (6)
More posts: allpurpose, Florida Rock, Retail
 

Earlier this week the leasing center opened for the 305-unit Dock 79 apartment building at 1st and Potomac on the old Florida Rock site. It's in a trailer west of the building (not in the building itself), so I wandered by to (of course) document it and say hello to the new neighbors.
The current rate sheet shows studio units starting at $1,875, 1 BR/1 BA starting at just under $2,000, 1 BR/den starting at $2,740, 2 BR/1 BA at $2,885, and 2 BR/2 BA at $2,740. There are also additional parking fees, pet fees, amenity fees, and application fees.
They are currently expecting the first move-ins to happen somewhere mid-summer-ish.
The official web site has floor plans and additional info. The residential portion of the building is being managed by Kettler.
As for the building itself, the exterior is getting close to being finished, and when I was there I also saw the planks being laid for the extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail west of Diamond Teague Park, as you can see in the first photo below. The second photo gives a decent view of the rest of the walk that is under construction:
Comments (11)
More posts: dock79, Florida Rock
 

The first news of a retail tenant at Dock 79 arrives today, with the news that "The Salt Line," a seafood restaurant from the group behind Sixth Engine, Town Hall, and the Dubliner, will open in the Spring of 2017.
Featuring a "New England-inspired menu in a casual and relaxed 3,500-square-foot space with ample outdoor dining and an outdoor riverfront bar," the menu from Chef Kyle Bailey will have seafood and a raw bar at its heart, with "a selection of straightforward New England classics, along with Bailey's own intepretations on the regional fare, and a few Chesapeake Bay-influenced specials."
The restaurant will also have a lineup of regional craft beers and a "creative cocktail program."
The Salt Line will join Whaley's, coming this spring, up river at the Lumber Shed, as seafood restaurants along the west bank of the Anacostia River. The name "Salt Line" apparently "pays homage to the delicate nature of DC's waterways, referring to the point in an estuary in which the water salinity transitions from salt to fresh water."
Dock 79 will have 305 rental units, and is expected to be finished later this year. It's on the site known in these parts as "Florida Rock," the old concrete plant footprint on the river just south of Nationals Park. It has 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space overall, facing both the Anacostia and the new plaza that is being built between it and Diamond Teague Park.
Comments (11)
More posts: Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Word has arrived today (h/t Barred in DC) that the city's Alcohol Beverage Control Board has denied the application for a liquor license submitted by Bardo for its proposed outdoor beer garden and "neighborhood-oriented park" on the west end of the Florida Rock site, just across Potomac Avenue from Nats Park.
This was Bardo's second attempt at a license for this site (having withdrawn the original application before a ruling was made), and a previous similar notion for the site was denied a liquor license for similar reasons back in 2013.
You can read the entire ruling here, but the gist of it is on page 2:
"While Bardo has presented a modified Application, the Board is not convinced that this new business plan alleviates the problems previously identified at this site. Specifically, the Board is still not convinced that an open air tavern has the capability to prevent unreasonable noise disturbances; that the neighborhood has a sufficient amount of parking; that Bardo can coexist or be included in the neighborhood's official traffic plan; that encouraging stadium attendees to cross Potomac Avenue, S.E., is safe; and that Bardo can exist without delaying or interfering with people and vehicles attempting to the leave Nationals Park after games or other events. Consequently, Board finds itself compelled to once again deny an application at this location."
Bardo optimistically started construction on the site more than a month ago, plus started advertising for staff, and was telling outlets that it "might start serving customers as early as April." As recently as this morning Bardo tweeted a photo of the "freshly milled wood going into the construction of our riverfront brewgarden."
However, this afternoon, there was this tweet:
In the meantime, construction continues on the Dock 79 apartment building just to the east of the Bardo footprint, with leasing about to start and move-ins coming later in 2016.
Is the writing now perhaps on the wall/bulkhead for the notion of an outdoor drinking/congregation establishment on this site?
PS: It's probably worth emphasizing for people wandering through who don't read this stuff religiously that this is not the Fairgrounds site north of the ballpark.
UPDATE: The full transcript of the Feb. 10, 2016 hearing may be illuminating, as might be the first Bardo hearing in April of 2015, and perhaps the ruling rejecting the pre-Bardo venture back in 2013.
 

How's that Metro Shutdown Day working for you? At least it was a beautiful morning for a walk/ride/telecommute to your sofa, for those lucky enough to have those options.
Here's a few things, some of which could be their own posts, but, well, my walk wore me out.
MOVIE THEATER EXTENSION: On Monday night the Zoning Commission granted Forest City's request for a two-year extension to the PUD governing the plans for the Showplace Icon movie theater on the current DC Water site, which has continued to see delays because of DC Water's issues with moving some of its operations off of the site as planned. And, probably in response to a WBJ story a few days ago headlined "Big trouble for proposed multiplex at The Yards? Site 'may be in limbo for many years'," Forest City issued a press release quoting its president, Deborah Ratner Salzberg, as saying that "We look forward to beginning construction on the Showplace Icon Theater at The Yards by the end of this year," and that "DC Water, the District and Forest City meet weekly on this project to ensure that this first-ever theater complex for Southeast DC opens on time." There is also a quote from the CEO of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters, Tony Kerasotes, saying that "We realize this is a complicated site and remain fully engaged in seeing it through and moving forward with construction."
HISTORIC DESIGNATION: The little Lincoln Playground Field House at 555 L Street SE, now nestled between Van Ness Elementary School and the Bixby, has been designated a DC historic landmark. It was built in 1934, and you can read more about its significance here. As for getting it rehabilitated, ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett says there will be a community meeting upcoming on both the field house and a redesign of the adjacent Joy Evans Park.
POLLING PLACE MOVE: The DC Board of Elections has announced that the polling place for Near Southeast's Precinct 131 will be moving from Van Ness Elementary School to the gym at the new Capper Community Center one block to the north, starting with the June 14 primary. However, DCBOEE might want to double-check the address they are using for the community center, since in the past it's always been 1000 5th St., SE, and "1005" would be one of the townhouses across the street.
DOCK 79 LEASING: Pre-leasing of the apartment building on the Florida Rock site just south of Nats Park starts on April 7, the day of the Nats home opener.
BIG STICK HOURS: The beer and brats place at Half and M SE has applied for a "substantial change" to its liquor license, looking to extend its allowed beverage sales/service/consumption hours to 1 am Sunday-Thursday and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
Comments (2)
More posts: the Big Stick, Florida Rock, lincoln, The Yards at DC Water
 

This is mainly an excuse for me to post photos I got by schlepping up onto the Douglass Bridge on Sunday, but it's worth noting that it was announced last week that vertical construction is now finished on Dock 79, the 305-unit residential building that is the first phase of the never-thought-it-would-finally-happen redevelopment of the Florida Rock site along the Anacostia River. And so let's take a moment to look back to what the site looked like in 2005, and what it looks like now:
One other item of note at the site--as seen below, beams have been placed connecting a portion of the main concrete walkway at Diamond Teague Park to what will be Dock 79's plaza and Anacostia Riverwalk footprint, and without realizing it I did a pretty good job of matching my photo of the beams to the rendering of the same location:
There will be over 15,000 square feet of retail in the building, and in a press release from developer MRP Realty last week, John Begert is quoted as saying the retail space is being "programmed" with "a dynamic mix of local authentic restaurant operators," though no retail tenants have been announced as yet.
Most of this retail space will be facing the "esplanade" and this plaza, which MRP's press release says is "inspired by the concept of the “ecotone,” an ecological term referring to the transitional zone between two ecosystems."
The plaza also is directly south of the "grand staircase" of Nationals Park, ensuring that (some) views of the river from those steps and the viewing platform on the upper concourse are not completely lost.
The building is expected to deliver in the summer of 2016, and will have a ground-floor club/game room, a health club, a rooftop swimming pool, WiFi, air-conditioned storage, bike storage, a business lounge, and a 24-hour front desk.
The subsequent phases of the six-acre project are currently envisioned as a second residential building with 282 units and 5,600 square feet of retail, followed by a 313,000-square-foot office building with 11,500 square feet of retail, and then a fourth building that could be a hotel or another residential or office building, with 260,000 square feet of space and 12,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. (The footprint of the final two phases is, however, right up against the western end of the existing Douglass Bridge, so it might be awhile before those come to pass.)
See my Dock 79/Florida Rock page for lots more photos and renderings.
Comments (3)
More posts: dock79, Florida Rock, riverwalk
 

* BARDO RIVERFRONT, AGAIN: Last week a new "placard" was posted for an alcoholic beverage license application for Bardo Riverfront, the proposed combination outdoor brew pub and family-friendly riverfront park at Florida Rock.
This is Bardo's second attempt at the ABC process for this site (the first placard having been rescinded just a few weeks after a filing in August), and is now technically the fourth time that the notion of a large outdoor activity/party/drinking/whatever space has been attempted at this spot across from Nats Park.
This application is for a Retailer's Class D Tavern license (as opposed to a Class C Tavern license last time), and is described thusly: "Outdoor Beer Garden. Beer made on premise. Food Trucks to supply food. Total number of Summer Garden seats: 700. Total Occupancy Load: 750. Brew Pub Endorsement."
As to why Bardo's application earlier in 2015 never made it all the way through after being announced back in March, one might want to read this transcript from the April hearing at the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to see the many (many) concerns raised by the board and by MPD, which clearly is not supportive of any venture of this type in this location. (And I can't not highlight the comments from Commander Jeff Brown of MPD about how the "applicant here says it's going to be cornhole bean-bag toss, which I'm not even going to pretend to know what that is, but I think I'll be safe to say that it's not very popular.")
* DOCK 79 FLOOR PLANS: While the potential Bardo Riverfront footprint is on the western, later-phase portion of the Florida Rock site, construction is progressing on Dock 79, the 320ish-unit residential building at the east end of the property (seen above from across the Anacostia River at Poplar Point). The project's web site and Facebook/Twitter accounts having been active for a while, and there are now virtual tours available of studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom units, as well as the roof.
* JUST BECAUSE: Like that photo up top? Here's the same spot, more than 10 years ago.
Comments (8)
More posts: bardo, dock79, Florida Rock
 
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