Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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15 Blog Posts Since 2003

New Tweak: 'More Posts' Tags on Blog Entries
Jul 21, 2009 6:40 PM
Those of you who actually visit the site to read my blog (rather than using RSS or e-mail) may have noticed a little addition late last week: the "More Posts" links at the bottom of each entry. These take you to all previous blog posts about a certain subject/development/location--it was possible to get to these lists by going to the project pages and clicking on the "News" tabs, but there are some subjects (like Cornercopia or the Little Red Building or the inauguration) that don't really have a project page but where people might want to easily browse past posts. You'll also find these categories (and there's a boatload of them) on my Blog Archive page.
I haven't yet added them to my RSS feed--because I'm lazy.

Earth Conservation Corps and Day of Service
Jan 16, 2009 3:11 PM
So far I haven't heard of any events in Near Southeast for Monday's Day of Service that is part of the inauguration schedule, but I have received word that the Earth Conservation Corps (who occupy the pumphouse where Diamond Teague Park is soon to be) is participating in "Renewing the Anacostia Together," which is "a tree-planting and community service project in celebration of the Presidential Inauguration Day of Service." This event at Anacostia Park has been put together by Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, along with other members of the Maryland congressional delegation and DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. Alas, I see from the info page that it's already reached the maximum number of RSVPs (350!).
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More posts: Earth Conservation Corps, inauguration09, Teague Park

Inauguration Road Closures Map (Again), Plus Some Bus Parking News
Jan 15, 2009 1:27 PM
Since it's slipped down the home page a bit, here's my Near Southeast Inauguration Road Closures and Parking Restrictions page, again. I've also added the information on parking at Nationals Park to the page as well.
I also did a bit of wandering around the Click and Park web site where bus companies can reserve their parking, and I see that all bus parking at Nationals Park is sold out. Also, all bus parking spots on Second Street, SE between Virginia and M are sold out, but the other Near Southeast streets are still available for reservations. (All Southwest bus parking is sold out.)
Residents by these bus-parking streets might want to put in earplugs on Monday night at bedtime, since the buses are being told to arrive at their parking zones between 4:30 and 6:30 am Tuesday morning.
Also, the city now has this map (3 MB PDF) showing the bus parking zones, "pedestrian priority" walking routes, bus routes, and other information for the Mall and the areas to the south. I can't quite figure out if you can continue up South Capitol Street toward Washington Avenue and then get to Independence Avenue and the Mall that way because that's part of the restricted area, but maybe as long as you're on the south side of the Independence it's okay? So look for a pretty fair amount of foot traffic on New Jersey Avenue and I Street as people walk from Capitol Hill and points south and east.
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More posts: inauguration09, parking, Nationals Park, Traffic Issues

Inauguration Parking Available at Nationals Park
Jan 14, 2009 8:23 PM
With a hat tip to the DC Sports Bog: Nationals Park is offering covered parking for the Inauguration starting on Friday in Parking Lot B, at N and South Capitol, though read all of the restrictions carefully:
"Beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday January 15 {sic?} and continuing through midnight on Monday, January 19, Parking Lot B will be open to the public on a 24-hour basis. The garage will operate on a cash only, first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations will be taken. Vehicles can be left overnight and will be charged the full day rate for each night in the garage. Rates are $20.00 for daytime parking and $35.00 for overnight. No in and out privileges will be allowed.
"Due to the security requirements for the inauguration, no additional cars will be allowed to park in the garage after midnight on Monday, January 19. If a customer has previously parked their vehicle in the garage prior to midnight on Monday, they can exit the garage but will be required to defer to security and police requirements for exit routes from the area which could be severely restricted. Any vehicle can be retrieved after 6 p.m. on January 20 when the travel and parking restrictions are released."
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More posts: inauguration09, parking, Nationals Park

Lots of Little Items (Real Life Still Intervenes): Plaza on K Renderings, Barracks Row, More
Jan 14, 2009 2:38 PM
Still knee-deep in inauguration craziness in real life, so can't devote much time to Hood things these days. Here's some quick bullet items, which at least I've managed to Twitter over the past few days so that I'm not completely shirking my responsibilities. (Don't forget that these Tweets get displayed at the upper right of the JDLand home page, if you just want to check them every so often.)
* I've received some swell new renderings of the Plaza on K office/retail project at First and K. The official web site also now has a whole lot of detailed information as well. Transwestern announced last week that they have officially begun marketing the project, and that the two buildings along First Street--88 K and 77 I--would make up the first phase. There's also a 10,000-square-foot public plaza at First and K that would be surrounded by ground-floor retail. It also is "designed to LEED Gold standards." See the above links for additional details. No timeline for the start of the first phase--I'm guessing they're not building on spec in this environment.
* The final Connect Barracks Row report has been posted; this was the study by University of Maryland students on how to reconfigure the southern end of Eighth Street below the freeway to better connect it with its neighbors to the north.
* I mentioned the other day that none of the *hundreds* of Near Southeast bars would be taking advantage of the special Inauguration extended hours, but I was incorrect. A lot of people (like me!) probably don't know that the "Bachelor's Mill/Back Door Pub" at 1104 Eighth Street SE in the block north of the Navy Yard even exists (even though their web site lists it as "The District's oldest and largest entertainment complex exclusively dedicated to the gay and lesbian communities"), but they're on the list of approved late-hours venues.
* A resident reports that last two little buildings standing on the 1345 South Capitol footprint have been demolished in the past few days. But no word on whether this means Camden is starting to move forward on this apartment project.
* I failed again, and couldn't make the ANC 6B meeting on Tuesday night. But I'm hoping that the update on the South Capitol Street Final EIS--my main reason for going--will be done for ANC 6D next month.
* Every year I've celebrated on January 20 the anniversary of my starting to track the goings-on in Near Southeast (Jan. 20, 2003 was the first day I went out to take photos, which I then posted on my web site). The past few years I've marked it by posting my annual State of the Hood roundup. However, this year, given that the lead-up to January 20 is going to be just a touch busy, I'm guessing I'll miss my self-imposed deadline by a few days. Waaah!
Comments (1)
More posts: ANC News, 8th Street, inauguration09, Plaza on K/Square 696

Akridge Gets ANC Backing for Half Street
Jan 13, 2009 9:38 AM
I was unfortunately unable to get to Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, thanks to an avalanche of Inauguration-related work at my real job that couldn't wait, plus there was the arrival yesterday afternoon of my brother's third child, Teddy. (And if you think you've got it bad over the next week, light a candle for him--he's Washington correspondent for the Cox Radio Network, and has to cover all of the inauguration while tending to a newborn and two other kids under the age of five who will be wondering what that squirming, crying package is that arrived at the house.)
Anyway, I've been able to find out that the ANC gave its support to Akridge's planned 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use project on Half Street between M and N, subject to the finalization of the community benefits package. I wrote a long entry after last month's ANC meeting describing Akridge's designs for the project, if you want all the details. I hope to get renderings within the next few weeks, in advance of the January 29 Capitol Gateway Overlay Review.
I hope to find out soon whether the illustrious Capitol Quarter trash enclosures discussions have been brought to a close.
(And I hope to make it to tonight's ANC 6B meeting, which will have a briefing on the South Capitol Street EIS. But only if work doesn't intervene again.)
Comments (3)
More posts: Akridge/Half St., ANC News, Capper, Capitol Quarter, inauguration09

More Info on DC Inaugural Gala, River Restrictions, and Recently Twittered Items (and a Manifesto!)
Jan 11, 2009 4:55 PM
* Last week I posted about the "DC Inaugural Gala" scheduled for Monday, Jan. 19 at the US DOT HQ at New Jersey and M. I didn't have much information, but a little more has come down the pike. It will be featuring the O'Jays and Salsa "king" Johnny Pacheco, as well as local artists Brian Lanier, Familiar Faces, Tommy Bryant and the Giants of Sound, and Nuera.
Mayor Fenty, Council Chairman Gray, and DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton are scheduled to attend, and it's being billed as the first (outside) event ever held at US DOT. Also, according to the press release, "The hundreds of guests in attendance also will be able to visit small intimate parties in special 'neighborhood rooms' that will be decorated by residents to make local people feel at home and give visitors a taste of District of Columbia communities."
Ticket prices have been, um, revised to $144 per person, along with higher-priced tickets with additional bells and whistles. Tickets can be purchased online at DCPresidentialGala.com (though as of Sunday afternoon it still lists the previous higher price for single tickets).
And, FYI, my employer doesn't let me go to inaugural balls other than on official business, so everyone be sure to tell me all about the parties, and think about me while I stay home cleaning the house and cursing my wicked stepmother and stepsisters.
* The Coast Guard has released the specifics of the security on the Anacostia and Potomac rivers surrounding the inauguration. On Jan. 18 and 19, recreational boaters will not be allowed in the security zone (which, for the Anacostia, is from Route 50 down to the Potomac), and those moored within the zone must not move without authorization. From 11 pm Jan. 19 until early Jan. 21, all vessel movements (recreational and commercial) will be prohibited.
And now, rehashing the other Twitter updates of the past few days:
* Tommy Wells has posted the list of Ward 6 establishments that have applied to stay open during the Inauguration extended hours. None of the hundreds of Near Southeast restaurants and bars are on the list (unless you want to count the Capitol Skyline Hotel at South Capitol and I, SW), but a number of Southwest Waterfront, Barracks Row, and Pennsylvania Avenue joints are on the list.
* It's a shame that Diamond Teague Park isn't done yet, because it could have gotten into the Inauguration Water Taxi biz--the Post's Inauguration Watch blog reported on Friday that there will be water taxi service from Alexandria to 600 Water Street, SW (Pier 4). $90 round-trip, $50 one-way. More info starting Monday at InauguralWaterTaxi.com, which just redirects to the Potomac Riverboat Company's web site. (They're the ones gunning for Teague service, when the docks are ready.)
* The comments on my new Douglass Bridge design post from Friday veered off unexpectedly into my posting a bit of a manifesto in response to the people who from time to time admonish me or implore me to lead some sort of "movement" of one kind or another for or against some project in Near Southeast. If you find my bland just-the-facts recitations of the latest news items aggravating or bewildering, this might help explain a bit.
And it also reveals why I leapt off the fence for the first time and expressed a design preference against the cable stayed swing that so many people wanted: on the arched bascule bridge (as well as the retractile and stayed bascule designs), there will be pedestrian/bike paths on both sides of the bridge, while the cable stayed swing design would only have one path, smack in the center of the bridge, slightly elevated but still surrounded by six lanes of high-speed traffic. To me, if I'm going to cross a grand promenade bridge by foot or bike from one liveable, walkable community to another (someday!), I'd rather be able to stop and gaze out at the waterfront and the shorelines instead of white-knuckling across it as fast as possible to get away from the cars whizzing by me on both sides.
Now I shall return to keeping my preferences to myself!

ANC 6D Meeting Monday Night
Jan 9, 2009 9:38 AM
The agenda is out (though not net yet online) for Monday's ANC 6D meeting, and if you've liked the past few meetings, you'll love this one, because it's pretty much a rehash of recent agendas: the Capper PUD modifications (described here), the Capitol Quarter trash enclosures (perhaps the fourth time's the charm), and Akridge's Half Street project, which is going to the Zoning Commission at the end of this month. (For Southwest folks, the Hogate's liquor license discussion is back, too.) And, although it's not on the agenda now, I'm guessing there might be some inauguration-related discussions. The ANC meets at St. Augustine's church, Sixth and M streets, SW, at 7 pm.
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Inauguration Day Street Closures/Public Entry Points; Much of Near Southeast to Be Closed to Traffic
Jan 7, 2009 4:49 PM
This afternoon the Secret Service and local jurisdictions released the Inauguration Joint Transportation Plan (the list of street closings and restrictions), and a map that shows the main closures and restrictions around the Mall, as well as where visitors will be able to enter the Mall and the parade route. I'll let the major media outlets dissect what it means city-wide, but for Near Southeast, here's the early scoop:
* The Southeast-Southwest Freeway, the 11th Street Bridges, and the South Capitol Street (Frederick Douglass) Bridge will be restricted to buses and authorized vehicles only.
* Although no streets in Near Southeast are specifically listed in the Secret Service's batch of street closings, that doesn't mean that they aren't going to be a whole bunch of closures. I mentioned a few days back that much of Near Southeast will be bus-only parking, and apparently the specific streets have now been decided on. And, according to the city's web site on Inauguration Day Street Restrictions, the Emergency No Parking Zones will be established starting at 3 pm Monday, Jan. 19, with the streets then being closed beginning at 12:01 am Tuesday Jan. 20, through 12:01 am Wednesday, Jan. 21 to vehicular traffic except for "charter buses, metro buses, taxis, postal vehicles, law enforcement vehicles and emergency vehicles, as well as residents with government issued identification or vehicle registration showing residency inside the restricted area" (emphasis mine).
It would be great if they posted a map, because the lists of streets are pretty hard to work with. It looks like M Street and Virginia Avenue will be closed to Ninth Street, Half and First will be closed from I Street to N Street, New Jersey will be closed from I to M, and I, K, and L, will be closed to Sixth Street. So, this would mean that north/south streets from Third eastward will be open between M and the freeway.
* There's also this on the city street closure page, which I can't quite decipher: "The following access points have been identified as pedestrian-only routes to the National Mall: [...] East Capitol Street, NE to North Carolina, SE to New Jersey Avenue, SE to I Street, SE." I guess this means these streets will be closed to traffic and will be where pedestrians are funneled to? (But then, where to? Up South Capitol?) Like I said, I need a map!
More to come, I'm sure, especially once all the media's mapmakers get on the case.
My advice? Do what I'm going to do--pretend there's a snowstorm a'comin, get a week's worth of provisions ahead of time, and just hunker down until Wednesday, with no plans to go anywhere except on foot.

DC Presidential Inaugural Gala To Be at USDOT on Jan. 19
Jan 5, 2009 3:44 PM
There's now a second inaugural shindig scheduled for the neighborhood, with the Post reporting on a "DC Presidential Inaugural Gala" to be held at the US DOT HQ at New Jersey and M on January 19 from 8 pm to midnight. It's being run by the "District of Columbia Presidential Inaugural Committee" (I don't yet know whether it's an official city entity or not; sure sounds like it, but I haven't yet confirmed). This is not Mayor Fenty's official ball (at the DC Armory) or the council's official ball (at the Wilson Building). Still trying to find out more.
Tickets are a mere $244.51 per person, says the Post. More when I get it. This is the night after the Capitol Riverfront Gala being thrown at 70 I Street. No actual inauguration-night balls for Near Southeast yet, though. Here's a comprehensive list of all the galas, balls, and other festivities planned throughout the four-day extravaganza.
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More posts: US Dept. of Transportation HQ, inauguration09

No Inauguration Day Parking Unless You're a Bus (And No Boating In, Either)
Dec 26, 2008 1:36 PM
The city is apparently planning to give over almost all of Near Southeast's and Southwest's on-street parking to charter buses on Inauguration Day, according to the Post: "With the exception of some residential areas, all curbside parking will be set aside for buses; streets will be restricted to charter bus, transit bus and official inaugural vehicles, he said. [...] The charter bus restrictions will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 20. Other vehicles parked on the streets after that will be towed." Here's the map with the parking zones. I imagine the neighborhood's numerous surface parking lots might be handed to buses as well, though I'm not sure they can get through the gates.
UPDATE: Shoot, I meant to include this, from WTOP: "The U.S. Coast Guard has proposed closing the Potomac and Anacostia rivers for the 11 days surrounding the inauguration. [...] Boats already docked or anchored in that area before Jan. 14 could stay. The Anacostia River would have the same restrictions from New York Avenue/Route 50 to the the Potomac River. It's likely the the closures will go into effect at 4 a.m. Jan. 14 and last until 10 p.m. Jan. 25."
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More posts: inauguration09, parking, Traffic Issues

Near Southeast Gets an Inaugural Bash
Dec 22, 2008 2:20 PM
(It's a guarantee that as soon as I put up a "I won't be posting for a while" entry, something comes down the pike.) As part of the four-day party-packed inauguration celebration, there's going to be a Capitol Riverfront Gala, officially entitled "Sunday Night on the Hill," on January 18 at 70 I Street (the Jefferson at Capitol Yards). Food will be provided by Eighth Street's Cafe 8, and music by "international DJ TFresh." The festivities will start at 8:30 pm, in both indoor and "heated outdoor" spaces (maybe this includes the roof?). Tickets are $110 (which includes food and an open bar), with discounts available for active military members in uniform. Dress code is "creative black tie."
For more information, check the official web site, and the FAQ.
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More posts: 70/100 I, inauguration09, jpi

City Paper on the 'Capitol Riverfront', and Other Links
Dec 10, 2008 1:10 PM
Piling a bunch of stuff together, again:
* Just posted on its Housing Complex blog (and in this week's print edition), the City Paper takes a look at the "Capitol Riverfront," both in the attempts to brand the neighborhood and in how empty it currently is (the subhed for the piece says "Developing a Name for the Southeast Waterfront Is Easier Than Actually Developing It" ).
UPDATE: I should also mention that Housing Complex has also posted occupancy numbers for the new buildings in Near Southeast: 70 and 100 I are 18 and 14 percent leased, Onyx is at 8 percent, Capitol Hill Tower is at 75 percent, Capitol Quarter Phase I is sold out, and Velocity is 25 percent sold.
* Reader J. reported yesterday that interior work seems to have begun at the old dialysis building at 900 M Street. They're rehabbing the interior and the exterior to create three retail storefronts, though no tenants have been announced yet.
* The Douglass Bridge is having another early-Sunday-morning-closure on the 14th.
* Planners are trying to figure out where to put all the charter buses coming to town for the inauguration. I'm guessing that the surface parking lots all around Near Southeast are going to be pretty enticing.
* The WBJ picks up on what I reported last week about 810-816-820 Potomac Avenue going up for sale in a sealed bid.
* One more add: Dr. Gridlock reports that Metro will be testing more eight-car trains on the Green line.

Link Roundup: This and That
Nov 20, 2008 8:16 AM
* The WashTimes says that Eleanor Holmes Norton "has asked Congress's Joint Commission on Inaugural Ceremonies to consider opening up more space for visitors than just the Mall, including Verizon Center and Nationals Park." I guess she means as a space to allow people to watch the ceremonies on the big screen (rather than, say, sleeping bags in the outfield)?
* City Paper does a piece on Super Salvage, across the way in Buzzard Point, and how they feel that the city is pushing them to leave but how there's nowhere else inside the District to go. In a related story, the Post reports that one of the concrete plants shut down in early 2006 thanks to the ballpark's eminent domain land takeover has just gotten approval (over neighbors' objections) to build a new facility just outside of Cheverly.
* Over the past couple of days the construction pedestrian walkways at 100 M Street have been taken down, and the sidewalks look pretty close to being ready for use. Does this mean that M Street is going to get its two traffic lanes back soon? It was reported a few months back that Parsons Technology (which has leased about 30 percent of the building) would be moving in in early 2009. We should also be watching for the arrival of a Sun Trust Bank branch in the ground floor, presuming that deal is still done (you never know these days).
* Looks like they're putting the glass panels in around the Navy Yard station entrance in 55 M's ground floor (hence the closures of the entrance after 8 pm that continue today and tomorrow, along with an all-day closure on Saturday).
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More posts: inauguration09, Nationals Park, Traffic Issues

JPI Renting Out 70/100 I Units for Inauguration
Nov 13, 2008 10:19 PM
Now here's some quick-thinking: "With high-end hotels completely booked and District residents renting out their homes to tourists, JPI has joined the inauguration rental frenzy and will rent unleased apartments at two of its recently delivered projects near Nationals Park. The Dallas-based developer will require a three-night minimum stay at the Axiom at Capitol Yard and Jefferson at Capitol Yards. The company did not release pricing information, but said it will offer guests a choice of furnished one or two-bedroom units. They also will receive access to 24-hour concierge service and conference rooms, gym facilities, free wireless Internet access in common areas." (WBJ)
UPDATE: Per Ed's link in the comments, the prices are $750/$1,000 per night for 1 and 2 BR units (with that three night minimum). Here's the Craigslist post.
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More posts: 70/100 I, inauguration09, jpi



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