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Boswell Looks at Everything Wrong By the Ballpark
Feb 26, 2008 11:15 PM
Wednesday's Post has a column by Tom Boswell ("Nationals Park: Best of a Bad Lot
") listing the myriad problems he sees with the ballpark
and its surroundings, with Opening Day now just a month away. The Navy Yard subway station. The parking situation. The Florida Rock site
("an enormous and inexcusable 5.8-acre eyesore" that will be "sitting there all season, damaging the river views
from all the ramps to the first base upper deck"). (He does mention that fences to obscure the view at ground level will be going up, which I posted about a few days ago
.) The WASA site
(which "would be the Most Unsightly Thing Near Any Big League Park if Florida Rock and Gravel hadn't already retired the trophy.") The Monument Half Street site
, where he says "construction has stopped." The fact that city views
are only available in the cheap seats.
But he ends with a stab at optimism: "Someday, the Anacostia riverfront will amaze us, just maybe not as soon as we hoped. When it comes to fulfilling huge civic dreams, what's a few years, more or less. In for a dime, in for a decade. "
On the other hand, the article confirms that the garages, which have long been a focal point of much complaining, will indeed be covered, as has long been shown in the renderings, with "league logos, replicas of the 'Washington All-Stars' from the right field scoreboard in RFK as well as colorful baseball-themed ads."
Diamond Teague Park: First Phase by End of 2008
Feb 21, 2008 1:03 PM
As the clock ticks toward Opening Day (38 days away!), it's normal to be wondering about the status of some of the other projects near the ballpark
. I've just gotten an update from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on Diamond Teague Park
, the planned public plaza with water taxi piers on the banks of the Anacostia just across from the stadium's grand staircase at First and Potomac
. The design of the park is being finalized, but you can see recent site maps and renderings on my project page
(there are also links to enlarged versions of those images for better viewing).
The city is continuing to work with the Army Corps of Engineers
to get permits for the piers. After the Army Corps signs off, some DC permits will need to be approved, and then construction on the park's first phase can begin--this will include all of the "in-water improvements" (i.e., the piers) and the portion of the park that's closest to the waterline. It's expected that this first phase will be completed by the time winter arrives in late 2008
. The northern portion of the park site sits on land controlled by WASA
, and must wait for those operations to be relocated before that part of the park can be built.
In the meantime, the park site will be "beautified" for Opening Day, with plans for a bit of a cleanup, new plantings, sandstone, etc.
As for the RiverFront
site next door (which we all know as Florida Rock but which the developers want me to call either "FRP" or "RiverFront" to prevent confusion between themselves [Florida Rock Properties/FRP Development Corp.
] and the not-involved-with-developing-the-site Florida Rock Industries
)--I've been told that new fences will be put up around the site by Opening Day, to pretty things up a bit along that stretch as well.
Ballpark and Beyond This Week - ANC Wrapup
Jan 24, 2008 10:52 AM
This week's Ballpark and Beyond column
is a shortened summary of last week's ANC 6D meeting; but here's the links to my more detailed reports on the what transpired at that meeting with 1111 New Jersey
, an alley closing request
by Monument Realty, and Florida Rock
And, since it's been a busy week, you might have missed my 2008 State of the Hood
, which rises above all the daily minutaie to look at what's happened in Near Southeast in the last 12 months and what's coming in 2008; if you're coming late to the party and are looking for an overview, take a few moments to browse it.
ANC 6D Report #3: Newest Florida Rock Design
Jan 18, 2008 1:35 PM
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.
ANC and Zoning Commission Reports - Coming Soon
Jan 14, 2008 11:48 PM
Having pledged to pace myself a bit better over the next three months so that I don't have to cover Opening Day from a padded room, I'll be posting the results of Monday night's ANC 6D and Zoning Commission meetings in drips and drabs over the next few days. So stay tuned, especially if you're interested in Florida Rock
, or Diamond Teague Park
, or Monument Realty's projects north of the ballpark
, or 1111 New Jersey
, or 250 M Street
This of course means that all the local media outlets checking in at JDLand looking for leads and tips will have to wait too. (The information is all free, of course, but some small hat tip some day would be nice. Although I do enjoy being an assignment editor of sorts....)
Jan. 14 Public Meetings (And One from Last Night)
Jan 11, 2008 3:18 PM
Agendas are out for two public meetings on Monday night (Jan. 14) that have Near Southeast items of interest:
*ANC 6D's agenda
includes presentations and requests for support on the following: a new request for an alley closing on the southern end of the block bounded by Half, M, N, and South Capitol (B17-0552
, "Closing of a Public Alley in Square 700"); the Capitol Gateway Overlay Review
for 1111 New Jersey Ave.
, which will be at the Zoning Commission on Jan. 31; and new design/modified second-stage PUD for RiverFront on the Anacostia
(Florida Rock), which is expected to go to the Zoning Commission in the next few months. The meeting is at St. Augustine's Church, 6th and M Streets, SW, at 7 pm.
* The Zoning Commission will hear requests for "minor modifications" to William C. Smith's 250 M Street
project and Monument's Half Street
project; alas, I haven't been able to find out what these modifications are. That meeting is at 6:30 pm at 441 Fourth St., NW, and is also available via live webcast
I should also mention here that last night the Zoning Commission voted preliminary approval of a series of text and map amendments
at the Yards
, most of which are far too dull for even me to get into; read the hearing announcement
if you want more details.
Updated Florida Rock Renderings
Dec 14, 2007 9:12 AM
I've received two new renderings of RiverFront on the Anacostia
, the 5.8-acre mixed-use development planned for the Florida Rock site that sits on the Anacostia River just south of the ballpark. There's a view from the river showing the four buildings that make up the project (two office buildings, one residential, and one hotel), and a detailed view from Potomac Avenue and First Street showing the eastern office building (which would be the first building under construction) and the others along Potomac Avenue that would face the ballpark. The developers will be having a hearing in front of the Zoning Commission sometime within the next few months to get this latest iteration of the design approved; once that process is complete, construction could begin. The entire project will take a number of years to complete. As for the question most often asked--when will the concrete business still operating on the site be shut down?--my learned answer is: I don't know.
Take a look at my RiverFront page
for much more detail on the current design for the site, which also includes a public plaza at the eastern end of the site that will abut Diamond Teague Park
(and that helps to give unobstructed views of the river from the ballpark
's grand staircase). The planned Anacostia Riverwalk runs all along the site's south side, with a promenade area no less than 75 feet wide (and with separate bike and pedestrian paths). There's also "Potomac Quay", a glass-enclosed retail walk running between the eastern office building and the residential building and a huge water feature at the "Piazza Cascade", tieing together the three western buildings of the project. And, for a look at some of the long and winding road that this project has traversed over the years, scan the news items
Florida Rock, zoning
Latest Florida Rock Design Moves Another Step Forward
Nov 20, 2007 1:54 PM
At Monday night's Zoning Commission hearing, Florida Rock's request for a hearing on the revised design for RiverFront on the Anacostia
was approved. (See Monday's post
for the quick description of the project.) You can read the Office of Planning report
on the latest design, which also includes a lot of good history as to the twists and turns this project has taken over the years.
There have been some small changes since this revised design was first unveiled back in June
, and even some further changes from renderings I posted here in September, with the Office of Planning looking for more variation of materials used for the four buildings proposed for the project instead of being all glass (to "minimize the potential campus effect," according to the report
). There's also been some changes to the amenities package that the developer is offering, though this is still being worked out between the developer and the Office of Planning. As of this filing, they have expanded the amount of workforce-level housing to 29,000 square feet/25 units to bring it in line with the city's inclusionary zoning requirements. On the flip side, they have scaled back their financial contribution to the creation of Diamond Teague Park
to $350,000 from $3.5 million, since the park is now fully funded from other sources.
You can see some new renderings of the latest design and specifics about the project on my Florida Rock/RiverFront
page (though note that the site map and the rendering of the entire project are older; I hope to get updated versions soon). And, just as a reminder, this is a project that is planned to be completed in multiple phases over many years. The developers would start with the eastern office building and the plaza known as "The Pitch" adjacent to Diamond Teague Park, perhaps in 2008.
The developers have asked for an expedited hearing on this new design (technically known as a modification to the project's second-stage PUD), so it could appear on the commission's calendar before too long.
Florida Rock, zoning
Florida Rock Back at the Zoning Commission
Nov 19, 2007 12:02 AM
Monday (Nov. 19) is the monthly Zoning Commission
meeting, and Florida Rock
(or, "RiverFront on the Anacostia") is one of the agenda items. I *believe* it's going to be a request for a new hearing on the project's revised design, which I first posted here in June
, and which received favorable comments
from the Zoning Commission in July. (This is a modification to the second-stage PUD, for those In The Know.) The meeting is at 6:30 pm, and will be shown via live webcast
As always, this monthly zoning meeting overlaps with ANC 6D
's monthly meeting; I haven't yet seen an agenda for that meeting, so at this point, I'm going to commit myself to finding out what's up with Florida Rock. (I knew I shouldn't have given the entire JDLand staff the week off at Thanksgiving.)
If you're arriving late and don't know what Florida Rock
is, the project page will give you most of the scoop. But the short version is that it's the nearly six acres of land directly south of the ballpark
, on the Anacostia River. The developers have been working for nearly 10 years to get this property transitioned away from the concrete business currently there to a 1.1 million square foot mixed-use waterfront destination.
At the February meeting where approval of the design was expected, 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." And now the developers are hoping to get this project moving forward, so that perhaps the first phase--an office-building with ground-floor retail and a public plaza on the easternmost end of the site, next to Diamond Teague Park
--could get underway in 2008. The rest of the project, with a hotel, residential building, office building, public spaces, retail, and the riverwalk along the Anacostia, could take a while to be completed, especially given that the western portion of the site is probably not going to be ready until the current Douglass Bridge
is demolished and the new new Douglass Bridge
You can see the latest renderings, along with some watercolors and much more detailed descriptions of the revised design, on the project page
Diamond Teague Park on Thursday CFA Agenda
Nov 14, 2007 10:21 PM
The draft agenda
for tomorrow's (Nov. 15) monthly meeting of the Commission on Fine Arts indicates that there will be a presentation of a revised design for Diamond Teague Park
. The city initially brought the park in front of the CFA back in September, where according to the meeting's minutes
the design was met with a number of concerns about its "fussy and timid" small-scale design when compared to the grand scope of the ballpark
across the street; it was described as "overly focused on small elements that are conceptually inappropriate within the large-scale context." (And I'm not sure that the landscape architect's response that the grand staircase of the ballpark
should be reduced in size in order for it to better relate to this new smaller park was the best reply.) A post-meeting letter from the CFA after the meeting
outlined the revisions the commission was seeking.
I suggest reading the CFA minutes
, which give a very detailed description of the initial plans for the park as well as the back-and-forth between the commissioners, Judi Greenberg of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and landscape architect Jonathan Fitch; you can look at these original park designs on the web site of Fitch's Landscape Architecture Bureau
, by navigating through all the Flash ridiculousness to Projects, then Green, then Diamond Teague.
According to the minutes
, the plans are to build the park in three phases, starting with the commercial and recreational piers and the central portion of the park (on the one section of land the city currently owns); later phases would be dependent on Florida Rock's development of its planned public plaza abutting Teague Park and the development of the southern portion of the WASA site
as well as the construction of a floating boardwalk to connect the park to the waterfront park at The Yards
(scheduled for completion in 2010). If you're interested in the water taxis
that the city envisions docking at Teague Park, the minutes have a lot of detail about how their operations would work; apparently a lot of coordination is going on with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, though there's yet to be any design released by the Corps for public comment
There was a fair amount of discussion about whether the park's scale can accommodate the large number of visitors that will be drawn over by the ballpark and by the proposed water taxi piers, as well as questions about whether the park should even be built if WASA (right next door) is not addressing sewer overflow issues. (Lovely.)
Six weeks later, on Nov. 1, the park went through another of its many required reviews, this time by the National Capital Planning Commission
, which "commented favorably
" on the park's design without discussion; the staff recommendation document
has a black-and-white site plan for the park that does seem to have been reworked in response to the CFA comments, but I don't know for sure if that's the same design being presented to the CFA on Thursday.
I won't be able to go to the CFA meeting, so hopefully I can get some information on what transpires without having to wait too long, although so far the city has held information about the park very close to its vest. In the meantime, you can look at my pictures of the site
and see what little background links and info I've been able to scrounge up.
Commission of Fine Arts Reviewing Diamond Teague Park Design
Oct 12, 2007 4:12 PM
I don't know how I missed this (I'm going to blame my RSS reader), but back in September the Commission on Fine Arts
was shown a design for Diamond Teague Park
, the new public space being planned for the foot of First Street across from the ballpark
. Just posted on the CFA web site is a letter from the commission to Deputy Mayor Neil Albert
, whose office is now handling the park's creation, laying out some problems that the commission had with the initial design. The letter led me to the web site of Landscape Architecture Bureau
, which is designing the park, and I found deep in it some sitemaps and renderings of the park that look to be of the initial design shown to the CFA. (What is it with architecture and design firms and their insistence on building Flash sites that make it impossible to link directly to anything? Aaaaargh! Stop it! Stop it!!!!)
I've added one of these drawings to my Diamond Teague page so that you don't have to spend a bunch of time digging to find it
, and on it you can see "the small triangular subdivisions and narrow walkways to the floating docks" that the CFA described as "fussy and timid and not in scale with the stadium and its visual connection to the river."
The city seems to have responded quickly, because a revised design for the park is now on the CFA agenda
for its Thursday, October 18 meeting. (A pretty speedy turnaround--does this mean they are trying to get something done with the park to coincide with Opening Day 2008?)
Even if the specifics of the design change, I'm guessing the general layout will remain the same. The map shows a water taxi pier to be built near the Earth Conservation Corps pumphouse, and the floating bridge connecting this part of the riverfront with the waterfront park at The Yards
. I'm also interested to see on this site map that apparently Potomac Avenue is going to be extended east of First Street, to then turn north on a line with a new "1 1/2 Street" that will eventually run parallel to First Street in The Yards.
(As for Florida Rock
next door, there had originally been rumors that it was going to have a setdown hearing at this month's Zoning Commission public meeting, but it's not on the agenda, and appears to have been delayed at least until November.)
UPDATE: I've removed the sitemap of the park, after having heard that it's an older design that doesn't show what the proper boundaries of the park will be, especially on the western side that abuts the Florida Rock property. Hopefully we'll be able to see a copy of the newer design they're working on soon.
Florida Rock Heading Back to Zoning Commission; New Renderings
Oct 2, 2007 2:50 PM
The developers of the Florida Rock
site immediately to the south of the new ballpark
have been spending the past few months working to flesh out the new design unveiled back in June, and apparently will be going to the Zoning Commission
on Oct. 15 for setdown of their new application for a second-stage PUD. (If you understood almost nothing in that last sentence, don't worry about it.) That means a full hearing on the new design could possibly happen before the end of 2007, and if the bureaucratic gods align, perhaps work could begin on the first phase of the project in 2008. I've received a few new renderings showing a bit more detail, and have added them to my Florida Rock page
(I'm not ready to start officially calling it RiverFront on the Anacostia just yet). Look for the
icon to see them.
Florida Rock, zoning
Zoning Commission Meeting Wrapup
Jul 10, 2007 9:11 AM
Once again venturing reluctantly into the world of live human beings, I went to last night's Zoning Commission
meeting. Here's a wrapup:
* After waiting a month to get input from the Office of Planning
, the ZC gave some guidance on Florida Rock's revised plans
for its 5.8-acre site on the Anacostia. The phrase uttered most often was "on the right track" -- each commissioner mentioned something in the new designs that they weren't completely crazy about (the glass "campanile" viewing tower on the east building seemed not to have wowed them), but they were mainly complimentary, making clear that the new design was an improvement over the last go-round and is closer to what the ZC wants to see on the site. (Read my entry from February
for more background on the ZC's objections to the last design.)
This was not any sort of decision-making stage--the Florida Rock developers were wanting to make sure that they didn't expend vast amounts of energy pursuing a design that would end up again being nixed by the commission, and now with the sense that their latest idea has the ZC's support, they can work on their designs in more detail and apply for a modification to their second-stage PUD, which would then have a public hearing. I don't have any idea at this point what the time frame on this would be.
* Camden Development's planned 276-unit residential building at 1325 South Capitol Street
was looking for a vote to approve its PUD
, after a hearing a few weeks ago
when Commissioner Turnbull complained that the western side of the building (facing Southwest) wasn't designed well enough given how "on display" it will be, and Commissioner Hood wanted more information on how the affordable units would be allocated throughout the building. So tonight, after some revised submittals, it came before the commission for a vote to approve its design--and Commissioner Turnbull complained that the western side of the building wasn't designed well enough given how "on display" it will be, and Commissioner Hood wanted more information on how the affordable units would be allocated throughout the building. In other words, neither felt that their concerns from last time had been addressed, and so have requested further filings before a scheduled vote on July 30.
* In an easier item, the commission voted 5-0 to give final approval to the design of the planned office building at 250 M Street
. But, as reported a few weeks ago
, developer William C. Smith has indicated that they are waiting for the building to be about one-third leased before starting construction.
* Finally (yay), the commissioned approved for setdown (meaning there can be a hearing) on Forest City's request for various amendments to the Southeast Federal Center Overlay
as part of their plans to develop The Yards
. These requests address some pretty darn technical issues in the overlay and are pretty baffling, even for obsessives like me, so I will just point you to the Office of Planning
report if you really want to know what's happening. Please note that this is not the case requesting surface parking lots at The Yards--it's having its hearing on July 26
Jul 8, 2007 2:27 PM
With the calendar inching toward DC's annual August shutdown, there's a boatload of meetings and hearings on the agenda this week as everyone tries to get their work done before heading for the beach. Here's a not-very-detailed rundown, so follow the links if you want more detailed information:
* At about the same time, ANC 6D
is having its monthly meeting, and will be having a presentation and vote on Forest City's July 26 zoning hearing
to allow temporary surface parking lots at The Yards
. This meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, 6th and M Streets, SW. (Having to make a choice, I'm opting for the zoning meeting, so it might take a little while before I find out what happened at the ANC.)
* On Tuesday night WMATA is having a public hearing
on the proposed move
of the Southeastern Bus Garage from its current location at Half and M
to a new facility at DC Village in Southwest. (It's probably geared more toward residents near the new location.) There's an open house at 5:30 pm, and the hearing itself starts at 6:30, at 2700 Martin Luther King Dr. SE.
* WMATA's Planning, Development and Real Estate Committee is meeting in executive session
on Thursday morning to address something having to do with the Southeastern Bus Garage, but they're not saying what.
* Wrapping up the week (pant pant pant) is a city council Subcommittee on Economic Development hearing on the transition plans
for folding in the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; it's in the council chamber at the Wilson Building at 10 am, and may also be broadcast on DC cable channel 13 and via streaming video
And then I will spend the weekend alseep.
, 250 M
, ANC News
, Capitol Riverfront BID
, Canal Park
, Florida Rock, Metro/WMATA
, Nationals Park
, The Yards
Piles of New Photos (Stadium and More)
Jul 2, 2007 9:13 AM
I've been posting over the past couple days all sorts of new photos: first off, there's the usual update to the exterior views in the Stadium Construction Gallery's main page
and the more detailed north
pages. The big change is the arrival of the scoreboard steel on the First Street side, which has also helped to give the stadium its more rounded feel when looking at it from the north. And, if you know what you're looking for, you can see the first real shots of progress on the west parking garage at Half and N, although it's still kind of hidden by trees and construction equipment. There's also my final shots from up on the South Capitol Street viaduct north of Potomac Ave. (waaaah!).
You can also see some new shots from inside the stadium
, where you can get a better view of the scoreboard's progress and also of the seats being installed in right field. And the outfield restaurant is moving along as well.
I got a big surprise when I rounded First Street onto Potomac Avenue Saturday morning--all of the trees and growth on the south side of Potomac were removed this week, and the fence marking Florida Rock's property was moved back, in preparation for the widening of Potomac Avenue. I posted a bunch of new pictures showing the change on my Florida Rock page
, but I'm not sure the photos do it justice. And of course it's about to change even more late this week when the Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover
And finally there's a lot of new shots from various locations north of M that I took on Thursday, catching things like a new "Capitol Yards" sign at 909 New Jersey
, progress on the Velocity Condos
sales center, and even the new sidewalks on the northern portion of New Jersey Avenue if you have x-ray vision. It's hard to see in the photos, but the vertical construction at both Onyx on First
and 70 I Street
is now right at street level, so in the coming weeks expect those buildings to burst on the scene. You can see all these non-stadium updated photos compiled here
if you don't want to poke around on the project pages.
That ought to keep everyone busy during a slow vacation-tinged week....
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
Florida Rock Background
Jun 14, 2007 10:36 AM
If you're visiting here after reading this week's Ballpark and Beyond column
on the plans for Florida Rock, here's my page with more background and photos
on the project. (And thanks for dropping by!)
Florida Rock Zoning Correspondence Deferred
Jun 12, 2007 8:18 PM
Last night there was scheduled to be a discussion at the Zoning Commission's public meeting about Florida Rock
(aka "RiverFront on the Anacostia"); the developer and architect had requested guidance
from the commission about whether the project's new design is what the commission was looking for when it asked for revisions back in February. However, chair Carol Mitten announced that the agenda item was being deferred to the commission's July 9 public meeting, so that the Office of Planning can submit comments on the plans. That'll teach me to drag myself down there and show up in person instead of just hanging out at home watching the webcast!
Florida Rock, zoning
New Florida Rock Designs Now Posted
Jun 6, 2007 2:00 PM
I've now added to my Florida Rock page
the new proposed site map and some watercolors illustrating the revised design of "RiverFront on the Anacostia." As I said yesterday
, the architect has written to the Zoning Commission asking if these new plans are in line with what the ZC was looking for when it sent the planners back to the drawing board in February
(by the way, here's the transcript
of that meeting); the commission will be addressing this letter at its Public Meeting on Monday, June 11. It would be expected that then more hearings would be held on the new designs later this year.
I've tried to highlight the changes and new features of the plan beneath each of the new images, but apologies in advance if my text comes up short; I'm not exactly known for flowery prose and colorful descriptions.
Florida Rock, zoning
Florida Rock Project Revised, Rechristened
Jun 5, 2007 8:30 PM
When last we left the planned redevelopment of the Florida Rock
site that sits on the Anacostia River just south of the new baseball stadium back in February, the Zoning Commission had surprisingly sent the architects back to the drawing board
, concerned with how the project's design was fitting in with its new neighbor to the north and with the its now-prime location as a gateway to the Capitol Riverfront area. It's been quiet for a few months, but I received word today that Florida Rock Properties and Davis Buckley Architects and Planners have a revised design for this project, as well as a new name--RiverFront on the Anacostia
--and are requesting that the Zoning Commission review the new plans (described as "a holistic re-thinking", especially of its public spaces) to confirm that they "respond positively" to the concerns expressed by the ZC back in March.
There are still two office buildings, a residential building, and a hotel, but the configuration has now changed to create three distinct public spaces, including a large new commercial public plaza called "The Pitch" (with sculptures of a pitcher and catcher on a grassy mound) directly across from the grand staircase of the ballpark
and next to the proposed Diamond Teague Park
. There is also a "multi-story transparent atrium space" called "Potomac Quay" linking Potomac Avenue to the riverfront, and a large oval "Piazza Cascade" with a central water feature that is at the center of three of the four buildings on the site. The esplanade and bike path running along the riverfront remain unchanged.
Although the overall density of the development remains unchanged (4.4 FAR for those of you in the know), residential space is now 557,700 square feet or 2.2 FAR, which is 50% of the density (up from 40%); to achieve this, the residential building and the hotel building (which in the new plan would have two residential floors on top) would be 130 feet high; the east office building by "The Pitch" would be 92 feet high, and the west office building 112 feet. The amount of retail has also been expanded, to 85,000 square feet.
I hope to have electronic versions of the new site plan and some early watercolor imaginings of the revised design within the next day or so, and when I post them I'll include better descriptions of what the new design is hoping to accomplish. (Yes, I'm looking at hard copies right now, so I can see all these designs and you can't. Nyaaah! But hopefully you won't have to wait too long.)
The Zoning Commission has put this request for review of the new plans on the agenda for next Monday (June 11); if the commission indicates that the revised design is on the right track in terms of how it responds to the issues that the ZC brought up in February
, then there would be a hearing scheduled on this proposed modification for the second-stage PUD, probably in the fall.
UPDATED to fix the incorrect amount of total residential space, which is 557,700 square feet.
Florida Rock, zoning
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