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* Sorry I missed this until now: the Post reported that on Saturday evening "[a] motorcycle was headed west on M Street SE about 6:30 p.m. when a car traveling south on Seventh Street began to turn onto M Street. The car and motorcycle collided, and the motorcyclist was fatally injured, police said."
* The Post's Grounds Crew blog has only now discovered that there's a Five Guys just around the corner from the Navy Yard subway station east entrance (on Second Street north of M, if you haven't discovered it yet, either).
* The PSA 105 mailing list announced yesterday that they are having a "Summer of Safety Ice Cream Social" at Capitol Hill Tower "to show unity with the citizens of Capitol Hill and the Metropolitan Police Department by sharing some nice and cool ice cream while sharing information." The message said that the social is from 2 to 5 pm on June 25. A Wednesday afternoon? I wrote asking for confirmation, but haven't heard back. Anyone out there with the {ahem} scoop?
* Washington City Paper and WBJ both note layoffs at MacFarlane Partners through the prism of how it might affect the drive to put a soccer stadium at Poplar Point; I see the news and wonder about the capital that MacFarlane is supposed to be investing in both The Yards and Monument Realty's Half Street.
* Is the report in the July Southwester that Monument Realty and the Corcoran Gallery have received zoning approval to delay to 2015 (from 2011) their planned redevelopment of the the Randall School site at Half and I SW something to wonder about, too?
* And, while I'm heading off the reservation with all of this wondering, did anyone else read this Post story on fuel prices causing problems for school districts' transportation budgets and ponder whether buses would have to drive farther to and from their daily routes from a parking lot at DC Village as compared to one at Second and M, SE?
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More posts: Canal Park, Capitol Hill Tower, Restaurants/Nightlife, Monument/Half St., The Yards
 

From the Nationals: "The Washington Nationals will host the first of two Ladies Night Out and Home Run Happy Hour promotions on Thursday, June 5 when the Nationals take on the [St. Louis Cardinals] at 7:05pm. The happy hour will take place at 5:00pm in the Rooftop Party Zone, located on top of Nationals Park Garage B and will include live entertainment, happy hour drink specials, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, wine tasting, massages and manicures. Demonstrations and product samples will be offered by 20 exhibitors and guests will have the opportunity to meet Nationals players. The Savvy Girls of Summer will present and sign copies of their new book, It Takes More Than Balls, a female's guide to understanding and enjoying the game of baseball. Tickets may be purchased for $30 by visiting nationals.com/ladiesnight. A ticket to the event includes admission to the Home Run Happy Hour as well a Scoreboard Pavilion game ticket for the evening's game. Scoreboard Pavilion Seats are located on the Mezzanine Level in Sections 240 through 243 and are valued at $27 apiece." Exhibitors include Anheuser Busch, Cantina Marina, Honest Tea, Jewelry By Paula, Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd w/ The Curious Grape, Nail Taxi, Noah's Pretzels, Potomac Massage Training Institute, Slumber Parties by Beth, and Washington Sports Clubs.
(This is the first I've heard of the Garage B "Rooftop Party Zone." And the team name is in brackets because of a boo-boo in the Nats press release. But the game is indeed against the Cardinals.)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park
 

* The Post has an article on how today's Nationals game against the Brewers is the second of only two weekday afternoon games at Nationals Park this season. " 'We love afternoon weekday games but had to hold off this year due to the uncertainty about daytime parking availability,' Nationals President Stan Kasten said. 'We'd certainly like to have more next season, but no decisions have been made about '09.' " The article also talks to hookey-playing grownups who miss these games. Given that it's a holiday, and the gorgeous weather, and Sunday's second-highest-of-the-season attendance (35,567), this final weekday game might see a pretty big pile of people.
And, catching up on a recent few links that I've been slow to post:
* Columnist George Solomon Saturday's Post has a brief preview of the upcoming Congressional Bank Baseball Classic, which will showcase the the first-ever, city-wide high school baseball championship game, at Nationals Park on May 31. Games begin at 9:30 a.m., with private schools St. Albans and Maret meeting, followed by the DCIAA's Wilson High facing McKinley. Tickets are $5, and kids get in free--read more here.
* Dr. Gridlock hears that using the Capitol South station on the Orange and Blue lines and then walking down New Jersey Avenue to go to games is a great idea. Yes, it certainly is, even if it isn't exactly a news flash. (But use the JDLand Recommended Route instead!)
In non-ballpark news:
* Metro Weekly looks at the planned reopening of Ziegfield's and Secrets on Half Street SW in Buzzards Point, a few blocks away from their original homes at Half and O SE (now shallow left field).
* The Naval Historical Center at the Navy Yard takes a bit of a beating in a piece from Saturday's Post, comparing it with the shiny new Marine Corps museum at Quantico.
* For those of you counting the moments until the armed encampment at First and M departs, here's a May 14 story from the Mount Vernon Gazette on the progressing construction at Ft. Belvoir of the new home for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It's expected to be completed by August 2011, with NGA employees from Reston, Bethesda, and the windowless white box on the old Southeast Federal Center footprint starting to move in early in 2011. Eventually that First-and-M site will be redeveloped as office space as part of The Yards.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Navy Yard, Nationals Park, Parcel A/Yards
 

Thanks to reader E. for the tip that demolition work is underway today along Half Street between I and K, where the little gray Alpha Towing building stands; as of earlier this morning, the brick wall was apparently down. This is the site of JPI's planned 23 I Street apartment building, which is expected to start construction by early fall. I don't yet know the fate of Wendy's next door, which is also part of the 23 I site and which was supposed to be closed down as of today. I will go check it out as soon as the rain stops. (This frickin' weather, I am so tired of it. And it scuttled plans I had today for something cool, which hopefully will happen next week--you'll have to wait to find out what it is. So do a sun dance!)
UPDATE: Yup, all gone. Building #152 demolished since 2003. Wendy's is still open, though, and one of the workers there told me they're open through the end of June. I've added a few new photos on my 23 I page to show the changed landscape as of this afternoon. (The sun appeared about 20 minutes later. Damn you, Old Sol!)
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More posts: 23 I, 909half, Restaurants/Nightlife, jpi, Square 697n
 

Just a quick note that both the zoning review and special exception applications for the office/residential/grocery project planned at 401 M Street at The Yards and the Public Space Committee's consideration of an application for Five Guys to operate a sidewalk cafe appear to have been approved. (I didn't get to see either meeting, so I know nothing more than that.) See the entry below for additional links and details to find out what the heck I'm talking about. And normal posting here on the blog will resume very soon (I promise), since the JDLand batteries are now just about recharged.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards, zoning
 

A somewhat busy Thursday (April 24) is on the boards:
* We might be getting some news on the state of Monument Realty's lawsuit against WMATA over the sale of the Southeastern Bus Garage to Akridge--the WMATA Board of Directors is meeting at 11 am, and the agenda for their executive session includes "Legal Issues - Monument vs. WMATA." I know nothing beyond that.
* Forest City's plans for the office/residential/retail project at 401 M Street will be getting a Southeast Federal Center Overlay District Review in front of the Zoning Commission at 6:30 pm at Suite 220 South, 441 4th St., NW; you can also catch it via live webcast, if it's working. Read more about this from my ANC 6D wrapup last week and an earlier entry on the project.
* And, if you want to make your voice heard about the public space application by Five Guys for a sidewalk seating area, the Public Space Committee will be bringing it up at its monthly meeting, at 941 North Capitol Street, NE, 7th Floor, starting at 10 am. This is the application that ANC6D refused to support last week because of the lack of a community benefits package for the "loss of public space."
 

I'm just going to bullet-point all this stuff. Follow links for additional background. (See my entry from last night for news on the ANC's discussion about parking and traffic issues during the first games at the ballpark.)
* The commissioners voted to support Forest City Washington's plans for an office/residential/retail project (including a grocery store) at 401 M Street in The Yards. This support hinged on a Memorandum of Understanding on community benefits being offered by Forest City, including a lottery that could allow a 25 percent preference (or higher) for ANC 6D residents when it comes to the 30ish affordable housing rental units in the 194-unit project. (The final verbage of the MOU was hashed out at the meeting; talk about watching the sausage get made.) An audience member complained that LEED certification for the project should not be considered an amenity, but Forest City replied that the city's green building law does not go into effect until 2012, and these buildings are expected to be completed in 2011. Other components include preferences for ANC 6D certified business enterprises and a promise to report yearly to the ANC about the project. A lack of a community benefits package had tripped up this request for support at the ANC's April meeting. This project now goes to the Zoning Commission for a Southeast Federal Center Overlay Review on April 24.
* A request to support William C. Smith's modifications to its plans for 250 M Street (raising the height of the building to 130 feet) was postponed, as the commissioners expressed their unhappiness at the lack of any community benefits. The developer's representatives said that community benefits were part of the original approval of the project as part of the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD, and that this modification is not resulting in any increase in square footage from that original plan. Commissioners had no suggestions for what benefits they would be seeking, only that they want more. This project may be back in front of the ANC at its May meeting, since the Zoning Commission hearing on the PUD modification isn't until late May.
* A request to support a public space permit request by Five Guys to add an outdoor seating area at its Second Street location was turned down, not only because the commissioners said that Five Guys had not provided information on the request to all the commissioners in a timely manner but because there's no offer of, you guessed it, a community benefits package in return for the "public space" being taken.
* A representative of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs updated the commission on plans to add 40 vendors on the streets surrounding the ballpark, thanks to emergency legislation passed on April 1 by the council. The mayor is expected to sign the act today, at which point DCRA will have 21 days to identify sidewalk locations for the vendors to set up shop. It's not expected that any will be on South Capitol Street or on M Street (thanks to narrow sidewalks), and rules prohibit vendors on residential streets. However, in a few months a larger initiative will get underway, with the Capitol Riverfront BID's involvement, to create a "Development Zone" allowed for in the recent overhaul of city vending regulations, which will give the city and residents greater say in where vendors are placed, what they sell, and the appearance of their carts. And, in response to questions from commissioners and audience members: no cigarettes or alcohol will be sold at these carts, and there don't appear to be any concerns on the city's behalf about terrorism related to these carts or their operators. (I'm just reporting what was asked.)
* The commission voted to support the liquor license application of former O Street clubs Ziegfield's and Secrets to reopen at 1824 Half St., SW, at the site of the old "Lime" nightclub. A voluntary agreement with the clubs' owner was reached to address concerns about traffic, cooperation with police, and community input.
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More posts: 250 M, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Nationals Park, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards, zoning
 

The Washington Blade has an article about the possibility that Ziegfield's and Secrets--two gay bars at Half and O SE that were shut down in 2006 to make way for Nationals Park--may be reopening in Buzzards Point, at 1824 Half St., SW. The first part of the article is about how DC police chief Cathy Lanier had to weigh in after initial comments from 1D commander David Kamperin made it sound like the police would oppose the relocation. The rest of the article deals with the application for a liquor license, for which a hearing is scheduled May 14.
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More posts: Alcohol/Liquor Licenses, Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park
 

(Yay! More non-ballpark news!) Word has arrived that work has officially begun at 1015 Half Street, the new 410,000-sq-ft office building by Opus East on the site of the old Nation nightclub. (I think that's where the pile-driving echoing across the neighborhhod today is emanating from.) Delivery is expected by early 2010.
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More posts: 1015 Half, Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, officespace, square 697
 

Mar 5, 2008 9:22 AM
Raze permits have now been filed for the Wendy's at 23 I Street and its little gray neighbor at 901 Half Street on the corner of Half and I. These two lots totaling about 47,300 square feet were purchased in late July for $28.625 million by JPI, and the company is planning "23 Eye at Capitol Yards," a 421-unit residential building with up to 35,000 square feet of retail space. Late last year JPI was saying that 23 I would start construction this August--I haven't seen anything lately on whether that's still the case. I haven't had a chance to swing by Wendy's to see if they have a closing date, so if anyone thinks to ask while they're at the drive-through window, let me know. This project would be the youngest of the four Capitol Yards siblings, joining 70/100 I arriving later this year just across the street and 909 New Jersey coming in 2009 one block to the east.
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More posts: 23 I, 70/100 I, 909half, 909 New Jersey, Restaurants/Nightlife, jpi, Retail, Square 697n
 

Jan 25, 2008 12:22 PM
Thanks to sharp-eyed reader E. for the tip that there's now a sign on the Domino's at South Capitol and M that says they are "moving" to 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue. Monument Realty owns the land--I haven't heard of any plans for developing it (it's a pretty small spot), but perhaps a few stadium parking spaces could be squeezed in. I'm checking to see what might be transpiring....
UPDATE: Monument has told me that they are indeed "currently negotiating a parking deal for the property." Note that it's not a done deal. It's an 8,000-square-foot lot, if anyone's interested in doing the calculations of how many spaces could possibly be placed there (if the Domino's building were demolished).
And I just called the Domino's (because, ahem, I know the number by heart) and they said they're closing Monday (Jan. 28). And really, they're not moving to 15th and Pennsylvania, because that's an already existing Domino's location. The number is (202) 546-3030 if you need to update your speed dial.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Monument/South Capitol St., onem
 

Nov 2, 2007 9:08 AM
This week's Washington Blade has a long story describing the continuing difficulties seen by the old Near Southeast nightclubs in their attempts to reopen elsewhere in the city. Nexus (now becoming 909 New Jersey Avenue), Edge/Wet and Club 55 (on the block being redeveloped with the Velocity project), Ziegfield's-Secrets, and Heat (taken by eminent domain to make way for the ballpark) are all still trying to either find new locations or get approvals for locations they've chosen. Follies and Club Washington will not be reopening elsewhere. Velvet Nation, a gay dance night that was held at Nation, is looking like it will be reconstituted at a new gay dance club called Town, in Shaw.
More posts: 1015 Half, 909 New Jersey, Restaurants/Nightlife, jpi, Square 699n, Nationals Park, Velocity Condos
 

Aug 14, 2007 9:12 AM
According to GlobeSt.com (story free for seven days), JPI as expected has completed acquisition of the eastern two-thirds of the block bounded by I, K, Half, and South Capitol, comprising the Wendy's lot and the lot to its east, with plans to build what is being called "Jefferson at the Ballpark," a 416-unit residential building at 23 I Street. This will be JPI's fourth building on I Street, joining 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey, which are all already under construction. Construction on 23 I is expected to begin in August 2008, and will raise JPI's total number of units in Near Southeast to 1,350. According to the article, this building will be "green," and will have a dog run and large open courtyard. For what the block currently looks like, check my not-terribly-exciting 23 I page. When the DC Property Sales database ends its summer vacation (apparently even web sites get to take August off in Washington), I'll tell you how much JPI paid for the 43,313-sq-ft lot, last assessed at $21.7 million.
More posts: 23 I, 909half, Restaurants/Nightlife, jpi, Square 697n
 

Jul 16, 2007 3:30 PM
The word has arrived that last week the rumored sale of the old Nation nightclub site at 1015 Half Street was completed, with Opus East (backed by institutional investors) paying a rumored $41.5 million for both the land and the existing plans for a 411,000-sq-ft office building. The fine folks at Opus tell me that they are planning to start construction (on spec) in October, with delivery of the building by October 2009. You can see a rendering of the glass-a-riffic building, which will front Half, K, and L streets, on my 1015 Half Street page.

More posts: 1015 Half, Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, officespace, square 697
 

Jun 6, 2007 10:49 AM
Tucked in the stories (Post and WashTimes) about the bill that passed its first reading in front of the council yesterday--allowing the relocation of the strip clubs that have left Near Southeast because of the arrival of the stadium and surrounding development--was word that an amendment to the bill had passed allowing clubs to relocate to certain zoned areas within 5,000 feet of the ballpark. People are already e-mailing me with the vapors, so here's what I've been able to find out.
The circle covered by a one-mile radius around the stadium site stretches across all of Near Southeast, most of Buzzards Point, a fair amount of Southwest, and even into Anacostia and small portions of Capitol Hill. But the text of the amendment says that the clubs can relocate "in any C-3, C-4, or C-5 zone within 5000 feet from the Baseball Stadium footprint"; once you take into account those restrictions, when you look at the zoning maps you'll see that there are very few locations that have those zone designations; in Near Southeast, the only areas meeting that criteria are the land bounded by South Capitol, I, M, and New Jersey (what I call the "North of M" area) and the area just south the freeway over to the Post Plant. In Southwest, the area between I, M, South Capitol, and 2nd St. SW, and the Waterside Mall parcel, are the only C-3/4/5 zones within the 5,000-foot radius. And across the river in Anacostia there is only one small area zoned C-3-A.
But, given the character of the areas in Near Southeast where these one-time strip club relocations would be allowed, it would appear to be a remote possibility--after all, what the clubs generally look for are large spaces with low rents, and with most C-3 parcels in Near Southeast now purchased by developers with grand plans for shiny new buildings, it would seem that the large-space/low-rent options east of South Capitol are few and far between. Unless the club owners decide to build big tents beneath the freeway.
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, mnorth, staddis, Nationals Park, zoning
 

May 21, 2007 12:46 PM
Within the last few days, a sign has popped up in a ground-floor window on Capitol Hill Tower's New Jersey Avenue frontage announcing "Congressional Cleaners Coming Soon." Word was out many moons ago that this dry cleaner would be moving to CHT, but finally it looks like it's not far off. (There have been some recently approved building permits that pointed in this direction as well, but the sign is even better evidence.) So soon you'll be able to add dry-cleaning to the list of every-day tasks available in Near Southeast, along with banking (Chevy Chase bank at New Jersey and L), eating (Five Guys, Subway, Wendy's, McDonald's, and Sizzlin' Express), and of course, all of your beauty supply and wig needs.
More posts: Capitol Hill Tower, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail
 

May 19, 2007 1:12 PM
It took awhile, but the demolition of the old Nation nightclub at 1015 Half Street is finally all-but-complete. (They left the three-story shell up for quite a while, but it's finally gone.) You can see Nation befores-and-afters on my 1015 Half Street page, or check how the Half and K and Half and L corners have changed over the past seven weeks (with the additional demolition happening on Square 699N across the street from Nation). And Nation is now immortalized as #136 on my Demolished Buildings page.

More posts: 1015 Half, Restaurants/Nightlife, square 697
 

May 11, 2007 7:54 PM
With Edge, Wet, Secrets, Ziegfield's, and the other adult nightclubs having now been gone from Near Southeast for quite some time, I'm going to stop giving updates on their progress as they try to find new homes. If you're wanting to keep up with the latest, check out Frozen Tropics, who has been adding a number of entries over the past few days on the plans for some of the clubs to move to Northeast.
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Square 699n, Velocity Condos
 

May 9, 2007 9:59 AM
A couple of quick links in quick succession:
"Stadium Legal Expenses Mounting" from the Examiner, about the escalating legal costs still being incurred from the battles over the taking of the stadium land via eminent domain (Kwame Brown says the $611 million spending cap is not in danger even while the council introduces legislation to pay Venable LLP up to $3.8 million over the next two years to continue to work out the lawsuits by displaced landowners still pending.)
To cleanse the palette from that, you can read about the new 47-ft-by-101-ft high-definition video screen (scroll to the bottom of the page) that the Nationals will be installing, the second-largest one in baseball. The Nationals' owners ponied up the additional $2.8 million to upgrade from the smaller scoreboard that the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission was paying for.
Yesterday a DC Council subcommittee approved B17-0109, "The One-Time Relocation of Licensees Displayed by the Ballpark Amendment Act of 2007", which if passed would allow Ziegfield's and Heat (which closed because of the stadium's eminent domain land takeover) and Edge/Wet and Club 55 (which weren't on the stadium footprint but closed in Sept. 2006 to make way Square 699N's redevelopment), to relocate in Ward 5 near Mt. Olivet cemetery. The Post reports that Ward 5 council member Harry Thomas will oppose the bill, and that his office heard from more than two dozen residents yesterday complaining about it. You can also read a couple of pieces from last week about the bill being introduced.
Also, there isn't really anything new in it, but just for archiving sake (or for those of you coming in late), here's a quick blurb from Costar on the Metropolitan Police Department's planned move to the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia. Here's my previous entry on the move, for more background.
More posts: 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I, Restaurants/Nightlife, Square 699n, Nationals Park
 

For those of you interested in the plight of the gay nightclubs with nude dancing that have left Near Southeast and their attempts to reopen elsewhere in the city, today's Washington Blade has an update on a new bill introduced by Jim Graham to attempt to fix a zoning issue that stalled an attempt by Wet/Edge to reopen (with "straight" nude dancing) in Northeast. UPDATE, May 8: Here's a short Examiner piece on Graham's expectations of meeting resistance when trying to get his bill passed.
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Square 699n, Nationals Park, zoning
 
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