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I took advantage of great weather and an unplanned opening in my schedule to make a photo run through the Hood on Monday. The pictures that will probably be of most interest are of the east and south sides of the stadium exterior, which I've been unable to get shots of since First Street and Potomac Avenue were closed to traffic and pedestrians a number of weeks back. While the stadium itself doesn't look incredibly different on those sides (lots more window glass being installed, including in the areas along First Street slotted for retail), I did get a nice surprise when I found a new sidewalk already in place on the south side of Potomac Avenue east of South Capitol. But don't be expecting to get to "drive the ballpark circuit" again much before Opening Day--the infrastructure work on Potomac and on First (and eventually on I) is scheduled to continue through February. (I also want to plead my case that I've now lost a lot of my "guideposts" around the stadium that I used to line up my before and afters, so if you determine that new photos aren't 100 percent in the same location as the old ones--just remember, as usual, you get what you pay for here at JDLand.)
I also made it to Poplar Point with camera in hand for the first time in two months, and posted a few of those shots, with more to come in the next few days. And there's a lot of photos of 70/100 I, Onyx, and 100 M, although not the complete lineup that I usually post--I hope to get the rest, along with the north and west sides of the ballpark, this weekend. Onyx and 70 I appear to be within seconds of completing their top floors, with their siblings 100 I and 100 M not too far behind. And believe me, I can't wait for those four buildings to get their exteriors finished, so I can rest a bit! Of course, it'll be a short breather, since Monument's 55 M is now at ground level, and the concrete is being poured at the bottom of the Velocity Condos hole.
You can also see all the photos I posted from today on a single page, though it might be too much to digest in a single sitting.
 

The breadth of construction around Near Southeast is now so vast that I'm forced to break my photo sojourns up into multiple sessions. Today's batch includes a few from the eastern side of the stadium, which are somewhat hard to come by these days--make sure to see the second photo down on the Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery, which shows the red stars that were added to the scoreboard in the past few days as part of the installation of the clock. (The "Nationals" lettering is cool to see as well, even if it's backwards.) The rest of the new stadium photos are more toward the bottom of the gallery (look for the icon) and on the First Street and N Street expanded galleries, but I'm planning to take a complete batch of photos of the western side of the ballpark on Sunday.
There's also the usual updates to the project pages for residential projects 70/100 I and Onyx on First and the 100 M Street office building, as well as plenty of other vantage points that can be seen on the expanded galleries or on the see-'em-all-on-one-page output. Try not to be blinded by the incredibly blue sky when looking at these shots, and cross your fingers I get that weather again on Sunday.
I've also got one not-so-good comparison showing the slow progress on the demolition of the GPO building at The Yards, though fences and construction vehicles are making it very hard to get good shots of what's going on there.
I did also notice that the DC Foreign Car garage on K west of Half is definitely now abandoned, sometime within the past month or so. No "we've moved" sign is up anywhere, and so it's possible that it's been a number of weeks since they closed, but now all the windows and doors are busted, so it was obvious even to my sometimes-distracted brain. Opus East has said they're planning to start construction on 1015 Half Street in October, which would mean this garage should be gone before much longer.
Tune in tomorrow for the next batch.

 

I've posted a nearly full complement of construction update photos, taken on Sunday. There's new shots of the stadium's exterior from along South Capitol Street and N Street (read my miffed post from a week ago about why I'm not getting shots from First or Potomac these days), and the expanded photo stadium exterior archives along South Capitol and N Street are updated as well. I also shifted around the exterior construction gallery to get the more-likely-to-be-updated photos higher up on the page.
I also took the standard shots of the residential projects at 70/100 I Street and Onyx on First, as well as the 100 M Street office building, and also updated the expanded photo archives for each of those, if you can't get enough before-and-afters. Or, you can see all the new photos on one page.
(PS: I know the site is slow today. The tech support people are "working on it." Apologies....)
More posts: 100 M, 70/100 I, jpi, Onyx, Nationals Park
 

Having decided that overhead views of Near Southeast from the ballpark and the Southeast Freeway over the past few days weren't enough, I've also now added a bunch of updated overheads from a vantage point at the Courtyard by Marriott, focusing on the many construction projects west of New Jersey Avenue. You can browse these new photos, or see the ones displayed with previous shots from the same location (scroll down a bit) to watch the changes since March of last year. (Hint: old buildings, followed by empty lots where old buildings used to be, followed by holes in the ground, followed by new buildings going up.)

 

After getting all those purty stadium interior photos and shots of the surrounding skyline on Saturday, I ventured out Sunday morning to do my usual rounds, and so have posted some updated pictures of 100 M, 70/100 I, and Onyx, along with new shots from the Southeast Freeway showing how much that view is changing (again) as these projects progress. (Here's all the images from yesterday on one page, if you prefer.)
But when I started down First Street south of N to get my usual shots of the stadium's exterior, I was thwarted by guards informing me that access along First (and, by proxy, Potomac Avenue) is now restricted to construction vehicles and workers only. I protested somewhat vigorously--after all, there are still fences around the stadium on that side, and the signs say "Local Traffic Only" and not "Road Closed"--but I lost.
I'll still manage to get photos of the ballpark's south and east side eventually, and really at this point the eye-catching part of the construction on those sides is slowing, so a more leisurely schedule of updates of those pictures will not be catastrophic. (Plus I can always set up my zoom lens at Poplar Point and the Douglass Bridge. That'll show 'em!)
I did take this roadblock as an opportunity to rejigger my Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery page a bit, breaking up the old let's-walk-around-the-perimeter format by bringing the showier shots from all vantage points to the top. You'll see a few new photos from along N Street taken yesterday, but I was too cranky from my run-in with The Man to get new shots from South Capitol. Grrrr.
 

After a week of days that were either overcast and drizzly or ridiculously hot and humid, today's sunny-and-warm profile gave me no choice but to venture out for a reconaissance mission. My report:
The masses of workers and the well-positioned fences make it nearly impossible to take photos of the current state of South Capitol Street, but I have added a decent photo to my Douglass Bridge makeover page showing the new South Capitol and Potomac intersection, which appears very close to being ready for traffic. Streetlights are in place, curbs have been built, paving has begun, and the historic globe streetlamps are installed all along the length of the bridge.
I also snuck a peek into the huge hole where Monument Realty's Half Street project is underway, and from N Street you can see what appears to be vertical construction is already underway at the bottom of the hole. It's along the M Street portion of the site, which will be home to the 55 M Street office building, which itself will contain the expanded entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. Because that Metro work must be completed by Opening Day 2008, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're already pouring concrete and working upward, eight months into construction. The office building itself and the rest of the Half Street Phase I won't be completed until 2009.
And I unexpectedly found Demolished Building entry #138, as the beige garage that has long sat on the northeast side of the Half and I Street intersection bit the dust today, which I'm sure JPI is happy to see, given that 70/100 I Street is growing like a weed right next door.
Speaking of 70/100 I, it got updated photos today, along with Onyx on First and 100 M Street. You can look at those project pages (and their accompanying expanded archives), or you can browse this page showing all photos I've posted from today, which includes a few new shots of Capper Building #2, which I believe is just minutes from opening. And I even finally added a photo of the "Starbucks Coming Soon" sign out in front of the DOT HQ, for the caffeine-deprived.
 

With Saturday being one of those glorious clear days, I of course raced out with camera to make the rounds. 70/100 I, Onyx on First, and 100 M continue to rise, so the usual photos of those are now posted. The Stadium Construction Gallery is updated with views of the ballpark's northern and western vistas, which are changing markedly thanks to the work being done on the parking garages and on South Capitol Street in conjunction with the Douglass Bridge work.
And while you might think it's pretty much become rote for me to watch these changes, I must admit that when I scurried very briefly out into the middle of South Capitol Street at P Street to grab a shot or two, I was just about overcome by what it's all starting to look like. The holes are cut for the new South Capitol median, the curbs are being put in place for the new wider sidewalks, and the stadium's fake-limestone (I'm sorry, "precast concrete") exterior just pops in the late afternoon sun. Check my Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover page photos that try to capture the new vista, along with a new Expanded Project Archive that I built if you can't get enough of looking at the before-and-afters of this stretch of road.
UPDATE: Oops, forgot to add the obligatory link to all the new photos on one page. There are also some additional here-and-there shots of spots that needed fresh photos.
 

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.
 

I couldn't bear the icky gray photos I had to post last week with the overcast weather, so I went out again this morning and took a new batch of icky gray photos. So check the main Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery as well as the north/south/east/west additional views. The most striking change at the stadium in the last week is the work near Half and N on the west parking garage, which now has its fake limestone facade that matches the stadium.
I also added a couple shots of the Douglass Bridge extreme makeover, although this time there aren't really any new pictures of the bridge, but some updated shots of South Capitol Street, which has now been paved from the freeway south almost to P Street. (And kudos to the nice construction worker who told me about "this really cool site on the web" that's tracking the construction.) I also updated a few shots on my main South Capitol Street page (the first comparison is the most striking). Both of these pages are getting away from me a bit, and so are going to need some TLC to clean them up during this August lull, but today I opted for speed.
And I also updated the Onyx on First and 70/100 I Street pages again, with Onyx now having another floor added in the last week. And I managed to find a couple new 70 I angles to make up for my lack of access to I Street. (Speaking of I Street, I should note that in the past few weeks the old firewood lot that will eventually be part of the 99 I Street development has been cleared out. And, for that matter, I don't think I've mentioned that digging has truly begun at JPI's 909 New Jersey Ave. residential project.)
You can also just browse all of today's photos on a single page, and click the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon if you want to see older photos in the archive of a certain location.
 

Yeeech. I managed to get out this morning before the rain started, and while there was a smidgen of sunlight at first, I've mainly got a bunch of gray, gray photos for you to look at. I updated the main Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery (and have added a few new angles), plus the north/south/east/west additional views for the diehards. New things to look for: the arched steel atop the scoreboard, the rounded steel marking the construction of the outfield restaurant, a lot more glass installed on the southwest side of the ballpark, and the ever-growing west parking garage. There's also now a big ole' trench dug down the middle of Potomac Ave. and rounding up onto First Street (two roads now completely closed south of N Street to anything but construction traffic). But with these photos being so dingy, if there wasn't something obviously new and different in the shot, I didn't update every angle on every page.
I also posted some shots of the Douglass Bridge extreme makeover, as work continues on the new ramp up from Potomac Avenue to the existing bridge. The rest the closed section of South Capitol Street doesn't look too different, although I did see that new sewer drains/curbs have started to be installed. (I also spied from the freeway a nice fresh layer of pavement on South Capitol heading into the underpass beneath M Street, but no pictures.)
And I also updated the Onyx on First and 70/100 I Street pages as both those projects now have an additional floor since last week. And 100 M looks to be getting close to coming out of the ground.
You can also just browse all of today's photos on a single page, and click the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon if you want to see older photos in the archive of a certain location.
 

Took advantage of a Simpsons-like afternoon sky to grab some quick shots of the construction on the residential projects Onyx on First and 70 I, which both now have their first floors built. You can look at those two pages to see the shots along with their "befores", or just browse all of my photos from today on a single page. It should be noted that I'm somewhat hamstrung with documenting 70 I's construction, thanks to the closure of I Street between Half and New Jersey--I can really only take shots from Half and I looking eastward. But as it comes farther out of the ground, I can go with other farther-away vantage points to get the good befores-and-afters.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi, Onyx, Square 743N
 

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-south-east-west 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 starts.
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....
 

At the groundbreaking ceremony a few weeks ago for JPI's new residential project at 909 New Jersey Ave., an updated rendering of the 70/100 I Street project just across the way was on display as well. JPI was nice enough to pass the image along to me, and you can now see it on my 70/100 I Street page. And it looks like within the next few weeks the 70 I building will start to peek up above ground level, giving me a new site to photograph relentlessly.
Speaking of the groundbreaking, DC Cable Channel 16 will be showing it on Wednesday and Friday (June 20 and June 22) at 11 am, and perhaps later times as well. You can watch it on your District cable, or on live streaming video. And don't turn it off right when it's finished, because at 11:30 they're replaying the April check presentation ceremony at Canal Park.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi
 

The speed of events is leaving me breathless these days. Today JPI held a groundbreaking ceremony at 909 New Jersey Avenue, where digging is about to get underway for the 237-unit residential building to be built on that block (former home of the Nexus Gold Club). You can see the obligatory photos of Dignitaries-With-Shovels here. (Yes, I did get my invite after all. Thank you!)
But there was big news tucked into the press release touting what JPI is now calling its "Capitol Yards" neighborhood along I Street (with 70 and 100 I Street across the way from 909 New Jersey about to sprout out of their deep hole): the announcement of plans for 23 I Street, a fourth JPI residential project on I Street, slated to have 421 residential units and as much as 35,000 square feet of retail space. Its location would be on the south side of I Street between Half and South Capitol, from Half over to (and including) the current Wendy's lot. (The moribund Exxon station does not currently appear to be part of the plans.) Construction wouldn't start before 2008. I haven't added it to my main map yet, but I've put up a few boring shots of what the block looks like as of now.
With that, the number of not-spoken-for lots in Near Southeast has just about dwindled to zero. Pretty much there's the block on New Jersey across from Capitol Hill Tower (though Akridge now owns a portion of it), the Exxon at South Capitol and I if JPI doesn't grab it, and the Metro Chiller Plant on the southwest corner of Half and L, which might not be made available anytime soon. (And I'm assuming that the rumors of Monument Realty picking up the Sunoco site at 50 M are true.) Everything else west of 7th Street is now spoken for. So if you were hoping to make your millions in Near Southeast and you haven't already staked your claim, your time's just about up, unless you can wrest some parcels out of some other developer's hands.
UPDATE, 6/11: Five days later, here's the Post's blurb on Capitol Yards.
 

I'm not sure how often readers look at my DC Government Feeds box on the home page, but I wait with baited breath each day as they're released, hoping for some tidbit of news; and today there's a double reward in the Building Permits list.
First, at the Velocity Condos lot at 1001 First Street, a sheeting/shoring/excavation permit has now been approved, so that digging work can begin on the three-level underground parking garages that will serve the two condo buildings that are the first phases of this project on Square 699N, the block that used to be home to Wet/Edge and Club 55. (I'm trying to make the switch away from the 699N designation, so for a few weeks I'll be referring to both the old and new names.) The first condo building is scheduled for completion in 2009; we should see the official web site launching soon, and the sales center at Half and K opening this summer. If you can't bear to wait to see what the first building is going to look like, I've added a rendering to my Velocity page (scroll down a bit); there are others on ADC Builders web site, but you'll need to click on "Portfolio", then on "Planning", then on "L Street Project" to page through them. (Damn Flash sites!) These renderings have been there for a while, but I've only recently confirmed that they are indeed of Velocity; but I've also been told that far nicer ones will be available with the official web site comes online. Anyway, look for the digging to begin along the west side of First between K and L soon.
The other issued building permit is for 909 New Jersey Avenue, the site of the old Nexus Gold Club and where JPI is building its second residential project in Near Southeast, across the street from the soon-to-be-above-ground buildings at 70/100 I Street. Quoting directly from the permit, but with typos fixed: "INSTALL ONE 40X70 TENT: NO LIGHTING GENERATORS COOKING PROPANE OR HEATERS. TEMPORARY USE FOR GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY EVENT ON JUNE 6TH 2007." Fun! So if you see a big party at New Jersey and I on Wednesday, that's what it is. Alas, I haven't been invited; but there's still time to contact me, JPI!
 

What a beautiful day! And with that weather, what luck that I had arranged some trips high up into a few of the tall buildings around the neighborhood to get new shots of the latest demolished lots and holes in the ground. I've uploaded these new pictures From Above and matched them with "before" shots on a whole slew of pages (you might have to scroll a bit to see the new pictures): Nation/1015 Half, the old Edge/Wet block on Square 699N, the North of M overview page, the Monument Half Street page (that's a biiiiig hole in the ground), the 100 M/Onyx on First page (where the construction on the Onyx end of the block is getting close to street level), 70/100 I Street, 909 New Jersey (showing the A1 garage all alone) and even the Stadium Construction Gallery (waaaaaay at the bottom, with a view from just a bit to the side of Dead Center Field, albeit four blocks away). I also created a new Overhead Photos page, showing all the ones I've posted on the site, grouped together by location. And I also created a special view with larger-than-usual pictures from today (don't miss it!), because it was so beautiful and you really could see forever from those high-up locations, and I wanted people to be able to see more than just little specks of buildings.
 

Today I saw for the first time new signs hung on the fence surrounding the firewood lot on the southwest corner of 1st and I Streets, emblazoned with "DRI Development/Office and Retail" (or some such). I have absolutely no information on this--this lot has been owned for quite some time by the Potomac Development Corporation, but I don't see any records as of yet in the online public records to indicate a sale has taken place, so perhaps it's a joint venture. Or not. I don't know. Anyway, I'll try to see what I can find out (whispers in my ear always welcome!), and hopefully some light can be shed on perhaps ANOTHER project getting started in the North of M section of Near Southeast, to go along with JPI's two residential towers, ADC Builders' Square 699N, Faison's Onyx on First condos, and Opus East's 100 M office building (and maybe the Nation site, too?), and perhaps something on the Sunoco lot by Monument Realty.
 

Thanks to the eyes on the ground for the news that Nation is indeed now being demolished--I'm out of pocket for another day or so, but will have a full report on all the North of M demolition (including also Square 699N and the Nexus/909 New Jersey site) by the end of the weekend.
 

Today's demolition news: Edge/Wet and Food and Friends on Square 699N are just about gone. The Nexus Gold Club has lost its rear wall and its innards have been mostly scooped out. And a new entrant has possibly appeared in the Demolition Derby--innard-scooping appears to be going on as well at Nation/1015 Half Street (which now has a "Wrecking Corporation of America" sign hung on its fencing). I took photos of some of these sites this morning (although this 967th overcast day in a row hampered the results): check the New Jersey and I, New Jersey and K, and 1st and L angles in the Photo Archive to see the before-and-after comparisons of those corners, or see all the shots from today in a single group. I also skipped ahead a few hours and added the three all-but-gone structures to the Demolished Buildings Gallery--there must be something about April, because we've had 17 buildings bulldozed in the last 18 days (will Nation be added to the list before the month is out?). UPDATE: Just clarifying, there's no heavy machinery or obvious demolition going on at Nation yet--but a medium-sized hole has been punched in one outer wall, some doors were opened, and it looked like the interior has been newly stripped down.
And while it doesn't really qualify as a demolition, I'll also pass along that the temporary WMATA employee lot on the Monument Half Street site has now been closed and is being dug out (they received their Certificate of Occupancy for the new lot one block over on South Capitol last week)--this means that the entire Monument site on the east side of Half has now been cleared--and no time is being wasted with excavation, as you can tell if you go peek at the massive hole already dug around the Half and M Navy Yard Metro entrance or watch the digging at the lower left of Stadium Construction Camera #2.
 

The sudden whirlwind of demolition in Near Southeast continues, as today work started on bringing down the Nexus Gold Club, but not until after the bulldozing of its neighbor, the old Four Star Cab brick townhouse at New Jersey and K (whose own neighbors were demolished almost exactly a year ago). This block will be home to 909 New Jersey Avenue, JPI's 230-unit residential tower; it should be noted that the A1 Tires garage on the southwest corner of the block (at 1st and K) shows no sign of selling out to JPI, so it appears for now that 909's residents will have no problem getting car repairs. (Glass half full!)
In the meantime, across the way, demolition proceeds apace on Square 699N, as all buildings along 1st Street between K and L have now been brought down, including the festive gold, green, white, and cranberry garage on the corner of 1st and L. Only Food and Friends and Edge/Wet remain standing; if you have respects to pay to them or the Nexus, you'd better do it tonight or tomorrow morning.
All this means three new entries on my Demolished Buildings page, with space being saved for Nexus and the others. And as soon as Mother Nature remembers that it's April and not November, I'll post pictures of the new streetscapes.

 
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