14 Blog Posts Since 2003
Demolition of the Market Deli at 1st and L Underway; Other Photos
Jul 11, 2011 3:41 PM
With raze permits for the old structures along 1st Street SE between K and L finally approved in mid-June, the days were truly numbered for the Market Deli and its neighbors, and today the demolition got underway, with most of the rear section of the Deli's structure knocked in. Fences are up
all around the 1st Street structures, which are all owned by Akridge, and with this initial wrecking underway I imagine it won't be long until the five buildings are added to my Demolished Buildings Gallery
, as entries 161 through 165.
There's a few more images here
, showing that the demolition isn't quite so obvious from 1st Street (yet). Also, hopefully the folks who have been tending to the cats living in the abandoned building can report in as to their fate. (I heard a rumor that some kittens were removed today, but would defer to an update from anyone with more knowledge. UPDATE
: In the comments of another post, reader jenniferp says that five very young kittens were indeed captured this morning, but there are several more still on the loose.) And, if you haven't been following along on the tale of the Market Deli for the past few years, here's some enlightenment
And, because it would have been silly to wander down there in the ghastly heat and humidity and walk past a whole lot of spots where I needed to take updated photos, you can see the latest progress at 225 Virginia
(aka 200 I Street)
and the second phase of Capitol Quarter
, where framing is being completed on the last portion of its first block, along Fourth Street.
Tidbits: Redistricting Latest, Retail, Outdoor Movies, Kittens, Events
May 24, 2011 2:17 PM
News has gotten a little sparse of late, though there's suddenly plenty of little updates and whatnot, some that I've tweeted
(and some that I haven't). Sorry that this is a bit of a monster post, but that just means you need to read it all carefully!
With the redistricting committee's proposed map of redrawn boundaries coming out no later than their meeting at 1 pm on Thursday, news has begun to trickle out of what it will look like. Mike DeBonis reported
on Monday that any part of the city west of the Anacostia River being moved to Ward 8 is "off the table," since the split neighborhood of Fairlawn is expected to be moved entirely into Ward 8, which would satisfy the ward's population requirement. (He also lays out some of the other "on the table" moves.) In an "op-ed" today at The Hill is Home
, Tommy Wells says that Ward 6's new eastern boundary may be 17th Street NE and SE, moving Hill East and its landmarks (RFK, Eastern High School, Eliot-Hine Middle School, and Reservation 13) into Ward 7. After the committee votes on its map Thursday, there will be a public hearing at 6 pm on June 1, before the entire council votes on the plan on June 7.
The big International Council of Shopping Centers' REcon convention
is underway in Vegas, and the Post's Jonathan O'Connell is tweeting
all the DC-related retailer news, including
that Mayor Gray and members of the city council had lunch on Monday with representatives of Forest City, who gave a presentation on The Yards
. Will there be an announcement soon on things getting started at the Boilermaker Shops
, as Forest City said there would be a few weeks ago
? A Post feature
on Capitol Hill restaurateur Xavier Cervera mentioned that he has "deals in the works for 400-seat and 140-seat restaurants on the waterfront," the first of which would seem to be the sportsbar rumored
for the Boilermaker space. The rumblings below the surface that the official Boilermaker announcement is coming soon continue to be strong (with any opening being at least a year away, since there's a lot of exterior work to be done to the building), but there's been no official announcement of this or any other Boilermaker lease.
* In an Examiner article about Wegman's being wooed
for DC's Walter Reed site, it's mentioned that Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront BID and city officials are meeting with AMC Theaters to discuss potential locations. The article describes a possible spot as "First Street, south of M Street and adjacent to Nationals Park." I'm a little skeptical of "First Street", mainly because the big empty lot along First
(Nats parking lot F), owned by Willco and slated in the past for a mixed office/residential/retail development, hasn't seemed to be in play for any movement on any development. On the other hand, there's been talk that Akridge has been interested in having a movie theater as part of its Half Street development
, also south of M and adjacent to Nationals Park, and construction could be starting
there late this year. Either way, nothing is firm.
Are you looking to adopt a cat? How about a Market Deli
-branded kitten? Some residents have captured and spayed/neutered/vaccinated two of them, estimated to be 4-6 months old, and are looking for someone to adopt them. Here's the additional information
. (I would have leapt at this, but my two cats, ages 17 and 14, would kill me in my sleep if I brought home new "siblings" for them.)
And, some upcoming events to note:
* The Yards Park
folks have passed along the news that the fountains are off
all this week for maintenance. No water-based frolicking for you!
* The Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Movie Series
gets underway this Thursday (May 26). The theme this summer is Best of the Oscars, and they're starting off with "Casablanca." Movies start at 8:45 pm (or sundown), and there will be food trucks and snacks for sale. The movies have moved back to Tingey Plaza, just south of US DOT
at New Jersey and Tingey.
* Harry's Reserve Wine and Spirits
at 909 New Jersey is going to be having a free "community cookout
" on their courtyard on Friday, May 27 from 5 to 8 pm, and again on Saturday, May 28 from 4:30 to 8 pm. They are doing it to thank the neighborhood for the support they've received since opening. There will be free "high-end" beverage tastings in addition to grilled offerings. The owners also want to pass along that they're getting fresh shipments of a variety of cheeses this week, and that they now have 800 beers in stock.
, Boilermaker Shops/Yards
, Harry's Reserve
, marketdeli, meetings
, Nationals Park
, Stadium Events
, Square 701
, The Yards
Photos: Defrocked Deli, 11th Street Changes, LRB, More
May 1, 2011 11:26 AM
I grabbed a smattering of photos yesterday, taking advantage of some gorgeous weather (I walked about as much as the Nats did against the Giants, though I think I was more successful). I put most of them in their usual places in the Photo Archive
, but I thought there were some standouts that would be worth seeing in sizes larger than my normal images, so I posted this gallery
as well. What all is in it?
If you haven't been to 1st and L since Thursday, you might be a bit surprised at what the northeast corner
looks like, because about 24 hours after the decision to reject the landmarking application
, workers arrived at the Market Deli
and removed all the beige siding and the signs. (Dang, I would have offered to hang onto one of those.) I took a bunch of shots of not only the defrocked Deli but also its siblings along that stretch of 1st Street, because with raze permits having been filed, they may not be around much longer.
I also caught the progress
at the Little Red Building version 2.0, where the windows and doors are now in place. And then I figured I'd better save for posterity the signs on the M Street fences
at Canal Park
announcing the availability of 3,500 square feet of restaurant space when construction is completed in (we hope) 2012.
A new demolition project started on Friday, bringing down the last portion of the decommissioned ramp from RFK to the outbound 11th Street Bridge
, which will bring quite a change to 11th Street south of M as the massive retaining wall that has run along the east side of the street will be disappearing. There will be a new ramp from M just east of 11th to take traffic to the new outbound freeway bridge, but it will be set back a bit, and 11th Street itself will be wider since it will have traffic running in both directions to and from the new "11th Street Local" bridge. (UPDATE
, many days later: As I watch the demolition, I now see that most of the retaining wall is going to stay in place, since that is where the new on-ramp to the outbound freeway will be. Duh.)
I walked the circuit down 11th
, across O
, and back up 12th
, and took photos of the work on the new freeway span as it gets closer to crossing above O (above, left), as well as shots of work on the new exit ramp (above, right) that will take drivers off the inbound freeway span all the way up to M Street (rather than dumping them onto 12th as in the current configuration). I put a bunch of before-and-afters on my 11th Street Bridges project page
(where you can also see graphics and information on the new design
), but there's a number of enlarged versions of these construction photos in the photo gallery I posted
(scroll down about halfway).
Market Deli Landmark Status Application Officially Rejected
Apr 28, 2011 1:52 PM
Today the Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously to support the recommendation of preservation office staff, rejecting the historic landmark application
for the Market Deli on the northeast corner of 1st and L streets, SE.
The staff recommendation
seemed to be the primary driver of the board members' votes (with most board members having little comment on the application beyond "I support the staff recommendation"). Its author, Tim Dennee, reiterated its main points in his testimony, saying that while it would have been a good idea to keep the building maintained, the lack of underlying historic merit beyond the building representing the other old structures in the neighborhood that are gone does not allow the Market Deli to rise to the level of a landmark. There was also a lot of discussion about how the neighborhood "context" that would have allowed for a better understanding of the Deli's place in the history of the area is already gone, with so many buildings
having already been demolished.
Testifying in the support of the nomination was ANC 6D07 rep David Garber, who said he ran for the position because "there's such a clear opportunity in this neighborhood to develop something great." He described himself as "100 percent in favor of development in most cases," but feels that the Market Deli represents a "common building type for common people" and that "what's remarkable about the Market Deli is that it's unremarkable." Also testifying was Hayden Wetzel, who said he prepared at the application at Garber's request and who echoed Garber's comments by saying that it's a "sweet and pretty little building" and that the "ordinariness of the building speaks for itself." He said that he formed a task force within the DC Preservation League in 2000 to consider the buildings in the area, but that it didn't result in much interest.
Six people testified in opposition: three residents, Dodd Walker of Akridge (the owners of the building), Michael Stevens of the BID, and a woman hired by Akridge (whose name and affiliation I unfortunately missed) to investigate the building's history. Much of what was said by the residents, Stevens, and Walker were variations on comments made the ANC meeting
and in the Memorandum in Opposition
that was presented to the board with 39 co-signers. With concerns about how an ANC's position is given "great weight," resident Kitty Loyd focused her testimony on the ANC vote a few weeks ago, contending that Garber should have recused himself since he expressed an interest in saving this building before he became commissioner. (Loyd also apparently printed out the JDLand Market Deli comment threads
to give to the board, so you're all famous.) Both Michael Stevens and resident Adam Hall mentioned their feelings that there wasn't enough of a public process followed by Garber in submitting this application, while Hall also said that the building "gives the neighborhood a dangerous feel" because of the neglect.
Stevens also took time to list all the historic buildings in the neighborhood that are still in existence (from the Navy Yard to the Blue Castle to the beaux arts WASA Pumping Plant to the buildings being redeveloped at the Yards
, as well as the private homes and businesses along 3rd, K, L, Potomac, and lower 8th). He also mentioned the 10 to 12 years of planning and analysis (and studies
) by city agencies starting in the late 90s that have gone into the remaking of Near Southeast, back before the demolition of so many properties
--"would this history not have been discovered then?"
There was also a detailed (some might also describe it as "long") presentation from Akridge's historic preservation consultant about the history of the building, which apparently suffered a pretty serious fire in 1921 and appears to have been pretty well gutted at that time. Those who've never seen the interior of the Market Deli might be interested in seeing her presentation, which will be available when HPRB posts the video of the hearing
sometime on Friday.
There were few questions during the hearing from the board members, and, in the end, only chair Catherine Buell seemed anything less than fully supportive of the staff recommendation. She called it a "tough case," and said that she would like to see preservation plans and multiproperty listings done for the area (beyond just the "windshield survey" done by the Office of Planning back around the time of the ballpark). But in the end, saying that she didn't think the building was eligible for landmark status and that the ANC's comments (which are to be given "great weight") didn't really speak to the board's criteria, she called for a vote, and the board voted unanimously.
This was followed by a quick secondary vote on the Deli: the raze permit application for the building was also on the agenda
, in the event that the landmark application was approved. Because it wasn't, the board voted to support the staff recommendation that says the board no longer has jurisdiction over the property, and so the "city's issuance of a raze permit may proceed without further preservation review."
And that would seem to bring this matter to a close. Just after the hearing, Garber tweeted
: "I'm glad there was a chance for discussion on the matter, and I look forward to helping approve new plans to bring vibrancy to the site."
HPRB Staff Recommends No Landmark Designation for Market Deli
Apr 22, 2011 12:04 PM
The staff recommendation
to the Historic Preservation Review Board on the application
for historic landmark status for the Market Deli
has just been posted, and the gist is right at the top: "After careful consideration, staff recommends that the Historic Preservation Review Board not designate the property at 1024 1st Street, SE (Square 740, Lot 802) nor that it forward the application to the National Register of Historic Places with a recommendation for listing."
Recognizing that the argument that as a "building type becomes scarcer in a neighborhood, it takes on the role of representing the whole class of similar buildings that has been lost" is not a "frivolous" one, the staff report nonetheless says that "to accept such an argument absolutely or uncritically would set an unacceptably low bar for significance and thus, designation." It goes on to discuss the history and historical context of the building, as well as the building type, not finding that the structure rises to the level of landmarking in any of the areas.
It then summarizes: "The Board has previously rejected nominations for properties that have been merely typical of their neighborhoods, taking the position that, by definition, these do not rise to the level of landmarks worthy of notoriety. In this case, the nomination and the resource itself do not demonstrate that they are sufficiently associated with historical periods or patterns of growth that have contributed significantly to the development of the District."
You can read my initial entry on the landmark nomination
for more background; it was championed by ANC 6D07 commissioner David Garber, and supported by ANC 6D
, but sparked a pretty vociferous backlash from some neighbors, as can be seen in the comments on those entries. (I hope to have the Memorandum in Opposition prepared by some of these neighbors soon.)
The hearing by the board itself on the landmark designation takes place Thursday, April 28
, so this is not yet a done deal; this is merely the staff's recommendation. There will be plenty of people testifying on both sides, I imagine. (At least it's first up on the agenda
, at 10 am.)
(PS: I'm not sure that the staff document as posted is complete; I'm only seeing two pages, and it seems to not really "conclude." Will see if a revised version pops up.)
Here is the very detailed Memorandum in Opposition
submitted by a group of neighbors; unfortunately there's no credit line as to who submitted it, and the names of the undersigned aren't included.
ANC 6D Votes to Support Market Deli Landmark Nomination
Apr 11, 2011 11:11 PM
ANC 6D voted on Monday night to support the historic landmark nomination
of the old Market Deli at 1st and L
, lending their "great weight" to the application
to save the wood-framed building constructed in 1885, which 6D07 commissioner David Garber (who helped prepare the nomination) has described as being the only remaining wood frame corner store in existence south of the freeway.
In moving the motion, Garber mentioned "vocal" support both for and against the nomination; two of the three 6D07 residents in the audience who spoke to the issue were against saving the building, with the third supporting it as long as it doesn't mean the building will just sit there in its current state (all of them live in the Velocity
condo building across the street). Also speaking from the audience was an employee of Akridge (Dodd Walker
a Mr. Walker, whose first name I didn't catch
), which now owns the lot. He indicated that Akridge is not in favor of this nomination, and mentioned that there were surveys done of historic buildings in the neighborhood back when the ballpark was first proposed that went through the Historic Preservation Office and the DC Preservation League, and there was no move at that time to landmark the building. (I should note that I do not recall any studies like this, but if they happened anytime before 2006 I was not steeped enough in the city's planning and preservation processes to have necessarily been aware of them.)
Commissioner Roger Moffatt was unhappy that the Akridge rep didn't bring any copies of these reports, and Garber was skeptical that they existed at all (referring to "these supposed reports"). Commissioner Andy Litsky felt that if these reports are available, the ANC should be able to study them in order to have more information before taking a vote that would throw the fabled great weight of the commission behind the application.
Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront BID spoke to agree with Litsky, saying that the commission should take time to look at all the available information, and that perhaps a community meeting to discuss the nomination should be scheduled (if the Historic Preservation Review Board could postpone the April 28 hearing). Stevens also mentioned that he was historic preservation officer for the city of Dallas for five years, shepherding many landmarking cases through the city's process, and that he does not believe that the Market Deli would qualify for landmarking status.
[Adding this after initial posting, because I missed it in my notes but didn't want to not include it.] Commissioner Ron McBee mentioned that he knows of one restaurant (unnamed) that is interested in buying the building, which would speed the process of getting the corner perked up (since as of now Akridge has no immediate plans to develop this site). McBee also said that he's not a historian, and would vote the motion forward so that the Historic Preservation Review Board could act on the nomination.
In the end, the commission voted 5-0-2 to support the nomination, with commissioners Litsky and Bob Craycraft abstaining.
The Historic Preservation Review Board will hear this nomination on April 28--the staff recommendation on the nomination should be available on the HPRB web site on April 22. I'm also trying to track down the studies mentioned at tonight's meeting.
(I'll have more from the 6D meeting over the next few days, but figured I'd start with the item that is probably of most interest.)
[UPDATED here and there to clean up some messiness.]
UPDATE II: According to a source I've talked to in the Office of Planning, apparently the survey referenced by Mr. Walker of Akridge was an informal ("windshield") survey done of buildings in the ballpark area by the Historic Preservation Office to look for any buildings that might be candidates for landmark designation, and no written documentation was created.
Historic Landmark Nomination Submitted for Market Deli
Mar 4, 2011 9:40 PM
A Historic Landmark nomination was submitted on Friday for the Market Deli at 1st and L SE, according to 6D07 rep David Garber
. Calling the nomination "potentially controversial" (perhaps remembering this comment thread
from a few months ago), Garber says: "I am 100% pro-development, but stand by my support of this because I think saving pieces of our history will make our neighborhood stronger and more valuable in the end."
He describes the "humble" building as the only remaining wood frame corner store in existence south of the freeway. (The brick building next door, where the Market Deli operated in the last few years of its existence, is not part of the nomination.) He also says it "represents the scale and the history that our neighborhood had for most of its history until very recently." He also says that he did not submit the nomination himself, though helped prepare it (but doesn't say who did submit).
The building, constructed in 1885, is currently owned by Akridge (along with the rest of the block's frontage along 1st Street). There has been no public information on what Akridge plans to do with the block, but raze permits were filed for the Market Deli building(s) and the other buildings on the north end of the block earlier this year
, which presumably is what kick-started this move. You can read about the city's Historic Landmark designation process at the Historic Preservation Office's web site
. Readers may recall that the St. Paul's church at 4th and I received a landmark designation
The hearing date at the Historic Preservation Review Board has been set for April 28; here's the hearing notice
Raze Permit Applications for 1st Street Buildings
Jan 19, 2011 8:49 AM
Within the past few weeks the city has received raze application permits for the five old buildings on the east side of 1st Street between K and L--the three little car repair shops on the north end of the block
, and the Market Deli buildings on the south end
. This stretch is all owned by Akridge, with these five buildings having been bought at various times in 2008 to go along with the mid-block empty lot with the Akridge sign that they've owned for a long time. (They also own the empty lot on the northeast corner of the block, at New Jersey and K, and at one time had an agreement to buy the lots on the southeast corner, at New Jersey and L, but that was allowed to expire with no sale.) There's so far never been any announcement from Akridge about what they plan to do with the site.
Razes aren't always immediate after the filing of a permit application, but keep your eyes out. And, if you feel like seeing the 160 buildings that have already been demolished in Near Southeast since 2003, browse the gallery
Small Businesses Being Squeezed, Previous Stadium Openings, Plus Tuesday's Other Ballpark News
Mar 25, 2008 11:37 PM
* Wednesday's Post uses the plight
of the Positive Nature
youth program to look at how all the remaining small businesses near the ballpark are having a tough time dealing with their skyrocketing tax assessments
. The cab company moving next week mentioned in the article is Merritt Cab at First and K, where DRI is planning its 800,000-sq-ft office and retail project
. There's also an accompanying video
on Positive Nature; and it's interesting to note that Positive Nature arrived in the neighborhood in 2004, so it's not a long-standing business the way the Market Deli is, whose owner is now on the hook for $50,000 a year in property taxes.
* There's also a story that looks back at the openings of DC sports venues
through the years, with highlights such as the Capital Centre getting its final inspection approvals just a few hours before the first Bullets game and the 15-mile backup on the Beltway that greeted the first game at FedEx Field.
Other ballpark stories from Tuesday (keeping in mind that for now
I'm just pointing out pieces that have some slightly different angle from the eight billion other pieces):
* WTOP continues
its ballpark-story-a-day regimen with word (and video!) that, while some of the new temporary surface lots *look* like they're dirt, they're actually a "mixture of compact concrete and other elements that help with drainage."
Your Morning Ballpark Roundup
Feb 28, 2008 8:23 AM
* Washington City Paper's cover story this week is "Inside Baseball
", a series of vignettes about "winners and losers" around the ballpark
. It highlights neighbors such as the Market Deli at First and L
and Positive Force around the corner on New Jersey Avenue (and former neighbors such as Ken Wyban, owner of the house at Van and N
that was demolished), and talks about the "lost" views of the Capitol from many sections within the stadium. Plus there's quotes from a couple of residents of the nearby housing projects in Southwest that they've "been told" they're going to be moved out, despite vehement denials by the Housing Authority.
* A three-person arbitration board ruled unanimously that the Nationals and not the District should pay for "ancillary items at the new stadium, such as golf carts, fork lifts, and medical and office equipment," saving the city $4.2 million and keeping expenditures within the $611 million cost cap, according to WTOP
* Links to the avalanche of stories about the new on-street parking plan
around the ballpark are at the end of my entry about it from yesterday
. Perhaps the saturation coverage--and the advertising campaign by the team scheduled to start next week--will indeed drill into the noggins of the public
what's been said for months now: that really, truly, you're not going to find on-street parking, and traffic's going to be crazy anyway. So just take Metro
. (And read this Dr. Gridlock blog entry
and its comments to get a sense of the wide-ranging views of the public on using Metro. And have fun with the writer who discussed the "questionable neighborhood" the N22 bus goes through--you know, Capitol Hill.)
* But can we also drill into the collective conscience that there's not "only 1,200 parking spaces" at the ballpark? Yes, the ballpark footprint itself has only 1,200 spaces, but the team has contracted with close-by lots to cobble together more than 4,000 spaces. As we found out in the Post
, those didn't even all get taken by season-ticket holders and in fact may now allow for a small number of spaces to be made available on gamedays to non-season ticket holders.
Market Deli and Neighbors On the Market for $11 Million
Oct 21, 2007 5:59 PM
Word has arrived that the Market Deli at First and L
, the cab company at New Jersey and L
, and the small empty lot between them have gone on the market as a joint sale, with an asking price of $11 million
for the 9,000-plus square feet of land. It's one of the last spots in Near Southeast west of Eighth Street where the land is still owned by individuals and not developers, and anyone watching the corner shouldn't be surprised that this is finally happening--and given that behemoth Akridge owns most of the rest of that block's land along First Street, maybe they might be watching this offering with interest. The deal is being spearheaded by the Resnick family, which over the past few years has sold family land on both sides of the 1100 block of New Jersey, and on L Street where Onyx
is now going up. (And their father once operated a 5&10 where the Courtyard by Marriott
now stands.) In the meantime, they're talking with restaurants about perhaps renting some of the existing space to sell "quick food" for ballpark
Post Piece on Near Southeast
Mar 19, 2007 1:02 AM
Monday's Post mines the changes in Near Southeast with another A1 story, "The Far Side of Rebirth
." No new pieces of news, just interviews with people who've been in the neighborhood a long time, plus some new arrivals (hi Scott!). For those of you arriving here at JDLand.com after reading the article, you might want to visit my Capper/Carrollsburg
, Nats Ballpark
and Capitol Hill Tower
pages for more information on the projects mentioned in the story, and you can also see photos of the St. Paul's AUMP Church
, the Market Deli
, Bennie Meeks' firewood lot
, and even the horse stables under the freeway
, and the changes occurring around them that I've been documenting since 2003.
Another Small Business Closes
Feb 6, 2007 2:34 PM
Sometime within the last few weeks another of the auto repair shops along First Street closed; this time it's the United Transmission Center, at 1004 First (the red brick building at right in these photos
). The property was bought in September
, but the company hasn't announced any plans for the 11,000 sq ft of land it now owns on the east side of First (it doesn't own the Market Deli on the south end, nor the two other garages on the north end, but now owns everything in between). See my North of M map
to see what's on the boards in the section of Near Southeast north of M and west of New Jersey--lots of land now owned by developers, but still waiting to see plans begin to move forward on most of the lots. UPDATE:
I should note that the garage has moved to a new location in Northeast, so it hasn't shut down altogether.
Akridge Pays $7 Million For 1st Street Land
Nov 22, 2006 10:14 AM
The DC Property Sales database runs about six weeks behind the calendar, so it's only now reporting that in late September the John Akridge Companies
paid $7 million for six properties totalling 11,145 sq ft on the east side of First Street between K and L, currently home to an auto repair shop and an empty lot. Akridge has owned since the late 1980s an empty lot totalling 3,934 sq ft on this site, so they now own everything in this block of 1st Street except for the Market Deli land on the corner of 1st and L and the two car repair shops on the corner of 1st and K. No announcement so far as to any plans for this land. See my North of M map
to orient yourself--and note that the photo at the top of the North of M page shows the block in question, with the two beige brick buildings at left being owned by the William Cohen/Willco Construction Company, and the red brick building and the empty lots to its right now owned by Akridge.