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Today was the annual preseason media tour at Nationals Park, and while I did attend, I think it has been better covered elsewhere, so I am just going to stick to my wheelhouse and let folks know what they will see *outside* the ballpark when they venture to Half Street for the first time in 2018, whether it's for tomorrow's signs-point-to-frigid exhibition game at 4:05 pm against the Twins, or for the official home opener on April 5 against the Mets.
I've put together my annual What's New page with an overview of the latest on construction, development, and food offerings, but of course I must give an overview of the overview:
I think it's safe to say that even the less observant fans will notice that Half Street is now undergoing the change that has been expected for a decade, since the ballpark opened officially on March 30, 2008. Two residential projects that will eventually offer a combined 850-plus units and more than 120,000 square feet of retail are now sprouting vertically, with West Half edging out 1250 Half for the lead at this time.
But these are just two of the seventeen projects currently underway or about to be, which you can see on the map at the top right of each page, or on the full JDLand development map. Once again, driving/walking/biking/scootering in the neighborhood requires vigilance to one's surroundings with all of the activity. If you like to see photos of skeletons or holes in the ground, just start clicking on that map to get your fill.
As for new food options since the end of last season, we'll start with a headline that came down the pike today, which is that All-Purpose has announced it will open on April 3 in the ground floor of Dock 79, just across Potomac Avenue from the ballpark. (Here's Eater's preview of the place.) There's also rumors afoot that two more pizza places--Declaration on 1st south of M and Oath Pizza at 110 M--are targeting April 5 for their own Opening Days. And summer is expected to bring another pizza offering, as Wiseguy Pizza arrives at Canal Park with not only pies but also gelato.
There will also be a milestone of sorts later this season if/when the 10,000-square-foot Mexican restaurant Mission Dos becomes the first outlet to open on N Street, in the ground floor of the new 1221 Van apartment building that opened to residents earlier this year directly across from the ballpark (well, directly across from one of the garages, but you get the idea).
As for eateries that have opened since the end of last season, you can now add Chipotle, Roti, Rasa Indian Grill, Cava, and Chloe to your options if you're looking to get food and/or drink before and/or after a game.
Plus there's also the added riverfront options of District Winery, Due South Dockside, and Morini Piccolo if their mid/late-season arrivals last year didn't make it onto your radar.
See the JDLand food map for the full lineup of current and anticipated outlets east of South Capitol. It's come a long way from 2008.
There's also some other items to be anticipating, such as the start of construction on the new Douglass Bridge and other improvements to South Capitol Street on both sides of the river. There's also the no-really-it's-coming-we-just-don't-know-when opening of Whole Foods at New Jersey and H, which should be by the end of the year, but {insert shrug emoji}. Plus there's the impending arrival of Audi Field up Potomac Avenue, but it's in Southwest and so is outside of my purview (though I couldn't resist sneeking a peek today).
And I imagine I'll being doing something like this again in July, when the masses really descend on Natstown.
Play Ball!
UPDATE: I should have mentioned that I have made a very preliminary update to my Stadium Parking Map, but it's hard to really know the state of affairs until the season starts.There is one big change that is definite--the large surface lot at Half and I is no more, since construction is supposed to start Any Minute Now on a block-wide project there. There is underground parking across the street at One Hill South, though. But it's likely that parking is going to be a little tighter this year.
UPDATES II AND III: It's been announced today that the Aslin Beer Company will be creating a pop-up beer garden in the empty lot between the wings of the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, immediately north of the ballpark. It will first be for home games only, then may expand in May to other days as well. Also, it's being reported that Declaration has a sign in its window announcing that it will open on April 5.
Comments (25)
More posts: allpurpose, Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park
 

Getting caught up on a few things after my terribly busy week of laying on the sofa rehabbing my hip:
* NAVY YARD DENTAL OPENS: Now open and accepting appointments in the ground floor of the 55 M Street office building at Half and M (the one on top of the Metro station entrance) is Navy Yard Dental, where Chad Jones, DDS is available for all your toothy needs. (Sorry I don't have a current photo. Will update with one when I get there.) But maybe don't race across the street to Shake Shack right after getting your teeth cleaned.
* BISCUITS POPPING UP: Commenter Ampersand reports that Eater DC reports that next week Ice Cream Jubilee will partner with the Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. to offer savory biscuit sandwiches and shortcake-like strawberry sundae sandwiches during afternoons through the end of May.
* CLOSING THE ROOF: The Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction team reports that the final roof panel of the entire two-tunnel project was placed this week. Still a lot of work to do, but CSX says that the project remains "on time" and expected to be completed this fall.
* SPEAKING OF CLOSINGS: I mentioned this in my last post, but that was forever ago so I'll mention again that in order for the tunnel project to continue along toward completion, CSX is expecting to temporarily close both the 4th Street and 5th/6th Street intersections next week, possibly as early as March 14. The closures are expected to last 3-4 months, and it means that the now-once-again-two-way 3rd Street will be seeing a lot of extra traffic.
* VAN NESS SILENT AUCTION: Sorry to mention this with only a day left to go before it finishes (I did mention on Twitter and Facebook, at least), but the Van Ness Elementary PTO is having a silent auction fundraiser, and among such items as tickets to see Pink, dinner at Rose's Luxury, Nats tickets, and other highly enticing offerings is the chance to take a neighborhood walking tour guided by none other than yours truly this spring. (Or, if I haven't recovered sufficiently, the chance to pull me around the neighborhood in a little red wagon.) There are ten bidding slots to win two tickets, with the bids right now ranging from $45 to $75 with 24 hours to go.
Comments (43)
More posts: 55 M St., CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, dentist, Restaurants/Nightlife, icecreamjubilee, Retail
 

A few of these deserve their own posts, but, well....
* DECLARATION DECLARING: A press release from Grosvenor says that Declaration will be opening at F1rst, in mid-March, as the building's first full-service dining option. "This new location will be double the size of its counterpart in [Shaw] and will offer pizza and Philadelphia-oriented menu items, including some ballpark staples." The release also says that Barre3 will open in spring late summer or fall [error in press release, I'm told]. With these openings, only one retail space at F1rst remains unleased.
* BARRACKS DECIDING: The Record of Decision and Final EIS for the new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters have been published, ending a study phase that feels like it began in 1936. The chosen site plan is to build the new BEQ immediately to the north of the barracks at 7th and L, SE (Building 25), which will spell doom for either some or all of the athletic field (it's been so long, I don't remember anymore). Read the MBEIS web site for actual details that aren't from memory.
* SOUTH CAPITOL PROJECTING: DDOT announced some temporary lane closures this week in multiple locations "for pre-construction work associated with the South Capitol Street Corridor Project and the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge project." I believe this is the first mention of "pre-construction work" for these projects--or at least they are since the design-build contract was awarded.
* PEPCO DISRUPTING: ANC 6D07 Commissioner Fascett reports that PEPCO will be digging up portions M Street SE between 1st and 6th and 1st south of M to install underground pipes and then cables during February and March. Watch for daytime traffic disruptions weekdays and Saturdays.
* WILLOW VALENTINING: If you are in a red-heart mood on Saturday (Feb. 10), retail boutique Willow is having a Valentine's Day party, from 11 am to 7 pm. There will be valentine-making, cupcakes, a photo booth, and more. (Strangely, the valentines give out all look like this.) Willow is in the ground floor of Arris, on Water Street across from District Winery, just north of the Yards Park.
 

It's been a rumor rampant in the JDLand comment threads for a number of weeks, but this morning signage went up confirming that Wiseguy Pizza will be coming to the former Park Tavern/Il Parco space in Canal Park.
What was not rumored is that there will also be a gelato and coffee offering as well, which should go well with the space's location immediately next to the park's fountains in summer and ice rink in winter.
A JDLand reader on Twitter reports that the workers hanging the signs said that Wiseguy would open in about three months, but We Shall See.
This will be Wiseguy's third DC location.
In other neighborhood pizza news:
* All-Purpose tweeted last week that its Dock 79 location is opening "this February," and there is now a "Coming Soon" badge for it on its web site.
* Oath Pizza also now has a Coming Soon page for its location on M Street next to Bethesda Bagels in the ground floor of Insignia on M. interested parties can sign up for an invite to their (undated) grand opening.
* The build-out at Declaration in the ground floor of F1rst seems to be proceeding apace, as this photo from last weekend shows.
Comments (30)
More posts: allpurpose, Canal Park, declaration, Restaurants/Nightlife, oathpizza, wiseguy
 

Washington Business Journal has an Exclusive! that Mission Dos, a 10,000-square-foot, two-level, 400-seat restaurant from the owners of Hawthorne and Mission will be opening in 2018 at the corner of Van and N Streets, in the ground floor of the new apartment building 1221 Van.
(It's the space at the center of this photo, as seen from the Center Field Gate of Nats Park a short block away.)
The owners are planning to keep the 125-foot bar and the restaurant open late, and will "work to make Mission Dos a 365-day-a-year business," says WBJ. And there is a "stretch goal" to open in time for the All-Star Game, but We Shall See.
This is the first announced retail tenant for 1221 Van, which has 290ish apartments with leasing now underway. There is still an additional 17,000 square feet of retail space in the building to be spoken for.
Comments (13)
More posts: 1221 Van, Restaurants/Nightlife, missiondos
 

Greetings, and somehow we (read: I) have made it to 2018. Here's a few brief tidbits before I head off onto yet another stint on the disabled list (arthroscopic hip surgery, which partially explains why I have not been doing a lot of walking around the neighborhood with camera). I expect to be back at the keyboard in plenty of time for the gala celebration of JDLand's 15th anniversary, on Jan. 19.
* RESTAURANT CHLOE: Washingtonian gets the scoop, and lots of details, on the Jan. 5 opening of Chloe, the first solo venture by Chef Haidar Karoum. It's located on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey, in the ground floor of Arris, across from Bluejacket. Washingtonian reports that the menu "is a mismash of all the cuisines Karoum has cooked professionally (Spanish, Southeast Asian, modern American), grown up with (Lebanese), and fell in love with while traveling (Mediterranean and beyond)."
* NEW FOOD PANTRY: At the other end of the food spectrum is the news that St. Vincent de Paul--the church at South Capitol and M that brings you Nats Mass in the summer--has launched a new monthly food pantry. It will be open on the 4th Saturday of every month from 10 am to noon, and donations can be dropped off inside the main doors of the church. It is part of the network of food pantries run in partnership with the John S. Mulholland Family Foundation, and monetary donations can be made here. If you are interested in volunteering, contact St. Vincent de Paul.
* GSA WAREHOUSE: Looks like someone out there has bid $31 million to buy the GSA warehouse on the southeast corner of Half and L Streets, SE. Will that be the final purchase price? We shall see!
Comments (15)
More posts: chloe, Restaurants/Nightlife, svdp, The Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards
 

In addition to confirming the news of Oath Pizza, it was announced this morning that Peet's Coffee will be opening in the ground floor of Insignia on M, and that both establishments plan to be open in the spring of 2018.
The press release says that Peet's will be facing New Jersey Avenue adjacent to the Metro station, and Oath will be in the space to the west of Bethesda Bagels.
This leaves two retail spaces open in the building, 3,000 square feet at New Jersey and M and 1,500 square feet at New Jersey and L.
Another victory for you coffee types!
Comments (24)
More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, Restaurants/Nightlife, oathpizza, peets
 

According to a Facebook ad (!) found by commenter Ampersand, the Chipotle in the ground floor of F1rst on 1st Street SE south of M is opening at 10:45 am on Thursday, Dec. 14.
"The first 25 people in line will receive a Buy-One-Get-One voucher good for your next visit and a Chipotle t-shirt, with purchase."
Chipotle joins F1rst's foodie lineup of Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Roti, and Rasa Indian Grill, along with Solidcore to burn off all those calories. The development's next eatery, Declaration, looks to open in 2018.
Comments (32)
More posts: chipotle, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Short and sweet, just in time for dessert:
* RASA ALMOST HERE: According to City Paper, Rasa Indian Grill will be opening its doors in the ground floor of F1rst on Wednesday, Dec. 6. (I'm not surprised that I don't have a recent shot of the Rasa front, but I can't believe I don't have a decent NOT-recent shot of it, either. Argh.) The City Paper piece has a lot of background on the restaurant's format and background. And on Instagram Rasa says that they will be opening from 12-2 on Tuesday Dec. 5 to support DC Central Kitchen.
* OATH PIZZA: The sight of workers in the retail space next to Bethesda Bagels in the ground floor of Insignia on M has been noticed; but what I and my normally deep-digging commenters missed was the news back in October that Boston-based Oath Pizza would be coming to that address in early 2018--and boxes inside the space do indeed say "Oath Pizza" on them. A Merrifield/Mosaic location opened about a month ago, and WTOP says that not only does Oath bill itself as the "only existing certified-humane pizza restaurant in the country," it "has what it calls a trade secret thin crust, that’s hand-stretched, grilled and seared in avocado oil."
Comments (22)
 

This morning's news of note:
* With this tweet (and the graphic at right), Cava is announcing that it is ready to open, starting with a "free community lunch" on Friday, Oct. 27, from noon to 2 pm. It's at 52 M Street between Half and Cushing, in the ground floor of the Homewood Suites (and next to Shake Shack).
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing that the Canal Park ice rink is expected to have its grand opening on Friday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 8 pm. It may actually open to the public in the days before that, weather permitting, but We Shall See. There is a new operator this year, Tri-State Ice Management, which operates rinks at Pentagon Row, Glen Burnie, and Rockville. The BID's announcement says that the company with be "revitalizing and bolstering the programming at the ice rink," and that will be new skates, that "guarantee sharpness throughout the season." There's also a new web site, at CanalParkIceSkating.com. (No word on a new restaurant operator in the Il Parco space, however.)
Comments (31)
More posts: Homewood Suites, Canal Park, cava, Restaurants/Nightlife, icerink
 
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