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While their web site says that a "grand opening" is still a few weeks away, the rooftop lounge at the Hampton Inn dubbed "Top of the Yard" * is apparently open for business, starting at 5 pm every day and with extended hours on days where games at the ballpark start earlier.
With its location immediately north of Nats Park, and with a view of (most of) the field, it will probably be a destination of interest--and a few occupants were caught on camera during MASN's broadcasts this weekend, and I captured MASN capturing them on camera, as you see above.
The menu (scroll down on the official site) features burgers and hot dog-type offerings along with "snacks and shareables." According to the Post's Going Out Guide, the beer lineup is Budweiser-ish, with Bud, Shock Top, and Goose Island. The space will also be available to rent for private events.
I took some photos up on the roof back in December, right when the hotel opened, so the area wasn't quite finished yet, and the low winter sun made for less-than-optimal peeking into the ballpark, but here are some of those images, until I get up there to replace them. (Note that there are also lovely views of the rest of the neighborhood--see more photos here.)
I also hear tell that the Hampton is looking to open a sidewalk cafe where alcohol would be served.
I've now added this to my What's New Outside the Ballpark page (if you need to catch up) and also my Food Map.
* The logo on the official web site is "Top of the Yard," but all of the site's copy says "Top of the Yards." Looks like someone needs a copy editor.
Comments (11)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, hamptoninn, Square 701, topoftheyard
 

The neighborhood's second hotel has now officially arrived, with the Hampton Inn and Suites at 1265 1st Street SE having opened to guests on Thursday, Dec. 17.
I wandered in off the streets without the official JDLand camera, but my S6 stood in pretty well as I took some quick photos of the public areas, and of the views off the roof deck, even though that space doesn't appear 100 percent ready yet. (The door was unlocked, honest!)
The official web site for the location probably tells you more than I can about amenities, etc. It looks like the rates are pretty low for dates over the coming days (starting at $99 if you arrived on Monday the 21st), but I'm guessing that won't be the case for long. And there are rooms that are specifically labeled "Ballpark view."
I tossed together a photo gallery that isn't exactly a barn-burner, but here are a few highlights. Apologies that the shots of the ballpark from the roof are ghastly, but I pretty much couldn't have picked a worse time of day in December to try to take photos to the south-southwest. I think you can get the idea.
As for the space at street level between the wings of the hotel, directly on the corner, that land is not part of the Hampton footprint--it's part of the Grosvenor F1rst/Residence Inn project immediately to the north, and will eventually be home to a two-story retail building, which you can see in this F1rst rendering that helpfully doesn't include the Hampton Inn.
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More posts: Development News, hamptoninn, Square 701
 

A Look Back, eight years ago today: The southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, with Normandie Liquors long closed and in its final few months.
* SIDE YARDS: Back for a second year is "Side Yards," an "evening of quirky amusement and wonder" showcasing top sideshow performers at the Yards Park on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 6 to 10 pm. Contortionists, magicians, juggling, escape artists and snake handling will all be showcased (sounds like a typical day in Congress!). There will also be burlesque acts, live music, and a beer garden. Tickets are free, but available in advance.
* DC BEER FESTIVAL: Also on Saturday, Nov. 7 is the DC Beer Festival at Nats Park. Admission is $40 and includes unlimited tastings (wheeeee!).
* PERCEPTION SURVEY: It's time for the Capitol Riverfront BID's annual Perception Survey, so take a few moments to tell them your feelings about the neighborhood, whether you are a resident, office worker, or visitor.
* OKAY, HOW ABOUT DECEMBER: Back in September I posted about reservations being accepted for the new Hampton Inn at 1st and N starting November 19. It's now December 9.
* THE NEW VIRGINIA AVE. PARK: ANC 6B commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg looks at the ideas that came out of last month's public meeting to come up with a post-tunnel-construction design for Virginia Avenue Park.
* THE OLD VIRGINIA AVE. (NOT) PARK: And speaking of Virginia Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, SE, this week's Lost Capitol Hill series on The Hill is Home looks at the owner of a lumber yard in that spot during the mid-1800s.
* INSTAGRAM: I'll just mention again that JDLand is now on Instagram, if that's your social media landscape of choice.
* MOBILE: I've been tweaking the mobile version of the JDLand home page to add some of the items that have only been on the desktop page--a random Look Back photo, the Highlighted Projects development map, and even the Latest Tweets box. Visit on your phone to see what I mean.
 

The new Hampton Inn and Suites on the northwest corner of 1st and N Streets, SE, still looks to have a ways to go to reach the point of "substantial completion," but signs are now (literally!) pointing to a late fall opening for the neighborhood's second hotel, and the first to open since 2006(!).
Not only did this "Opening Fall 2015" sign recently materialize on the building's west face, but the hotel now appears in the Hampton Inn web site inventory, with a note that it "will soon be joining the Hilton Worldwide Portfolio of Brands and is presently accepting reservations for arrival November 19, 2015 and beyond."
The ad copy suggests meeting for drinks "in our rooftop lounge as you take in spectacular views over the cityscape, Anacostia Riverfront, and Nationals Park."
It also notes that the hotel is within walking distance of the ballpark, which may be underselling the location just a touch.
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More posts: hamptoninn
 

Thankfully my camera shutter does not seize up in cold weather, because I spent more than two hours on Saturday wandering the neighborhood* to catch up on all of the latest doings, of which there are so many these days.
I looked at The Brig.
I looked at a few other spots that you'll hear about soon.
Unsurprisingly, I also looked up.
And what a sky to look up at.
(Just ignore all those dust artifacts marring the magnificent blue. Time to buy my own sensor cleaning kit.)
I looked up at the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, which now has most of its windows and appears to be about to get its facing. Maybe it looks a smidge less like a grain elevator now.
Then I looked up at the VIDA Fitness complex at Twelve12, originally to document the new Bang Salon and Penthouse Pool Club signs, but how I could resist yet another shot of the VIDA sign when I saw this?
I've mentioned the Banfield Pet Hospital sign before, but seeing it there reminds me that a reader passed along a Banfield tweet from early January saying that Banfield would be opening Feb. 7. Keep an eye peeled for the removal of the window coverings....
And finally, we have the Park Chelsea, which remains thisclose to getting its masonry completed, with the second photo included mainly to give me an excuse to sneak in a shot of the scaffolded Capitol dome.
If you like photos of vertical construction against a deep blue sky, stay tuned.
* But, hey, 11,000 steps!
 

I could blather on in some kind of forced introduction about how the weatherman sold my camera and me a bill of goods this weekend ("mostly sunny," eh?), and how the low sun and weak light and wispy clouds made for less-than-stellar images, but instead let's just jump in.
We'll start with the photo at right, which shockingly reveals that dirt is actually being moved on the northwest corner of 8th and L, where the beer garden now known as The Brig has been planned for such a long time. Clearly work is in the very early stages, but that's a nice change from no progress at all. It's supposed to open in the spring.
Continuing the tour....
Digging continues at the 1111 New Jersey apartment project (above left), with the shoring at far left helping to give a sense of how far down they've gotten so far. (Spoiler: they have a long ways left to go.) And at the Capper Community Center Building House (above right), the foundation on the south end of the site along L Street is now a pretty sizeable structure.
It's hard to get a decent shot of the Lofts at Capitol Quarter construction, because the building is so long, though the wide open space of Nats Lot W helps. Vertical construction continues at the far east end, at 7th Street, while the western end waits its turn. Here's a big version of the latest image, to make it easier to see. (But remember, you can click on all photos to pop up larger versions.)
From there I wandered to the Yards (after rejoicing that the Hull Street Gate to the Navy Yard was closed, so I was able to take photos of the Lofts construction without hassle). The Arris apartment building is now getting its second floor, from south to north, as seen in the below left shot from the corner of 4th and Water. And a different sort of progress is visible a few feet away, in the windows of the northwest corner of the Lumber Shed.
Not pictured is the lunch stop I made at 100 Montaditos, mainly to watch Mr. JDLand's continued march through the menu.
Meanwhile, the Hampton Inn at 1st and N (above left) continues to stand all but alone (I find myself thinking of it as Near Southeast's grain elevator). I also think I managed to capture a construction milestone when I spied its first installed windows. And, up at New Jersey and I, the Masonry Marathon continues at the Park Chelsea (above right), though it does look like that phase may not last too much longer.
There's one other batch of progress photos I took on Saturday, but you're just going to have to wait a bit longer for those.
 

Worn out from all these photo updates? Imagine how I feel. But I start getting the shakes if I don't at least touch on the status of each project currently underway, and having given the latest from Florida Rock and Arris and the Lofts at CQ, I need to run through the rest of them. It's a sickness.
Let's start with the holes in the ground. First are the two newest ones, with the initial hints of the foundation at the Capper Community Center Building House (left), and the more substantial digging underway at the 1111 New Jersey/Gallery at Capitol Riverfront apartment building.
Meanwhile, up at 800 New Jersey, the hole, it is deep. (And, as an aside, this poor project desperately needs a name, other than "that building that's going to have the Whole Foods." Even the signage looks a little forlorn.)
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the three topped-out buildings in various stages: at left is the Hampton Inn, which just reached this milestone within the past few weeks, then there's the Park Chelsea residential building, which may someday see the completion of its exterior masonry work, and finally the Parc Riverside apartment building, which is probably about to graduate out of my project updates given that the first units are expected to open in December.
 

I fear I am going to be run ragged by the scope of construction 'round these parts over the next few years. Fitbit tells me I took about 15,000 steps across two outings to snag this slew of photos, and I still didn't quite get everything I wanted. But let's see what's going on. (As always, click on any image to enlarge it, and then page through the slideshow of all of them).
At 1015 Half Street, the new CBS Radio space along L Street is moving along, with a ticker now hung on the building (below left) and the ground-floor studio space being built out (below right).
There's four holes in the ground in various stages of construction, though alas I missed getting pictures of the Arris apartment building at the Yards, which has reached ground level and so should be starting the showy part of its progress within the next few weeks. The Lofts at Capitol Quarter are about at ground level on the east end of their not-at-all-level footprint at 7th and L (left), while digging down down down continues at 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods (right). (The third one, the new 1111 New Jersey apartment project, isn't all that much of a hole just yet.)
(Speaking of 800 New Jersey, I noticed that the rebuilt-but-not-open H Street has had its asphalt laid and is now a good nine inches or more higher than where it meets 2nd Street. Preparation for that intersection and Virginia Avenue to be bumped up with the construction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel?)
Getting close to topping out is the Hampton Inn at 1st and N (left). And, apropos of nothing (but needed here for layout purposes), a photo of the signage for the Subway Café at 20 M Street, which sounds to not be too long from opening.
And wrapping up the tour, here are the two buildings nearest to completion, the Parc Riverside at 1st and K (left) and the Park Chelsea on New Jersey Avenue (right), seen from one block to the south because it's So Freaking Big.
Now, everyone chime in and tell me what I missed.
If you want more photos of these projects (and who wouldn't?), just follow the links to the project pages.
 

As a public service, I bring you the latest views behind some neighborhood fences. And on some neighborhood fences. And even behind some glass.
In fact, there's so many fence-related photos of note that I've broken up all this fence news into multiple posts, so that you don't miss a single fence-related factoid.
(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them)
Let's begin along L Street west of 7th, where concrete is sprouting for the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, the 195-unit mixed-income building being built by the DC Housing Authority on the older Capper Seniors site.
The footprint is on a decent-sized hill, so what's two levels underground on the project's east end is more or less ground-level at the west end.

Over at Arris, the 325-unit residential building along 4th Street south of Tingey in the Yards, there's an awful lot of square footage to build up, but progress toward ground level is being made.

And the showiest construction these days is the Hampton Inn on the northwest corner of 1st and N. It's even visible now from certain spots inside the ballpark, and here takes up a good chunk of the view northward from Nats Parking Garage C.
(The "Go Nat's" signage has brought much mocking on Twitter from the Apostrophe Police, and hopefully that will be rectified before long.)
Next up: Site work that is (and isn't) happening behind neighborhood fences.
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More posts: hamptoninn, The Bixby, photos, Arris/Parcel N/Yards
 

I admit, it's been a while since I've done any wandering south of the freeway (newcomers to JDLand may not be aware that I don't actually live in the neighborhood I've been photographing for the past 11 1/2 years). So on Saturday morning I went out to check on the progress in various locations.
Thanks to the demolition of Spooky Building 213 (STILL not done!), it was at New Jersey and M where I was able to catch my first glimpse of exactly how behind I've gotten. My exact words can't be printed on a family blog, but I quickly hustled down to 1st and N to document the vertical construction of the Hampton Inn, now five floors above ground.
The developers are looking to have the 168-room hotel open by mid-2015, and clearly they aren't dilly-dallying.
And if you're wondering about the space in between the wings of the hotel, where the white fence is, that's not part of the Hampton project--it's an annex of the big Ballpark Square residential/hotel/office/retail project that will be filling up the rest of 1st Street between M and N. As you can see on the project page, a two-story retail building is planned for that site.
As for a before-and-after of the Hampton Inn site, let's go to the north side of N Street, just across from the stadium's Parking Garage C, and see the difference:
A bit of a change from the Quality Carryout.
And when I say that the Spooky Building 213 demolition isn't done, here's all that's left, other than rubble. So close. So very close.
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More posts: Development News, hamptoninn, photos
 
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