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New Web Cam: Monument Half Street
Sep 28, 2007 2:20 PM
Hot on the heels of the uber-successful Stadium Construction Web Cam, there's now a new webcam available, showing the progress of Monument Realty's Half Street project, which includes the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station. And it shows that the vertical construction of 55 M Street (the 275,000-sq-ft office building at the corner of Half and M that will house the subway entrance) is nearly to ground level. Also, I'm psyched that I can now keep an eye on the properties along First Street without taking off my fuzzy slippers, to watch for if and when those buildings get demolished. (It also shows that the GPO building at The Yards is still partially standing.) For baseball fans, it does show a smidgen of the ballpark, mainly from the restaurant eastward and southward, as well as all of the eastern parking garage. The images go back to Aug. 28, but I guess I kept overlooking the webcam link on the official Half Street web site.
Alas, the web cam has spent most of the day frozen at 12:51 pm. Hopefully someone will go to the top of 20 M Street
and kick the tires.
UPDATE II: And now it's back.
Metro Board Approves Bus Garage Sale to Akridge
Sep 27, 2007 1:45 PM
Without too much discussion, the WMATA board of directors has just approved the sale
of the Southeastern Bus Garage
at Half and M streets to the John Akridge Development Company
. There was a brief exchange between Jim Graham and (I believe) the corporate counsel about what was apparently an "escalator clause" in Monument Realty
's bid for the garage site, stating that their $60 million bid should be raised to $250,000 above the higher bid. The counsel indicated that the sale was not being handled under a Request for Proposals, but under a sealed bid process that WMATA procedures stipulate do not allow for alternative bids. The counsel also said that Monument's bid in fact stated that if WMATA's procedures did not allow for alternative bids, to then revert to Monument's $60 million initial bid.
With that cleared up, and with a bit of discussion about how these sorts of property sales should be handled in the future, the board voted to approve the sale. However, settlement on the deal is still contingent on the board's approval of a new Southeastern Bus Garage project at DC Village in Southwest, which Graham pleaded be handled as quickly as possible to ensure that the buses are out of Half and M before Opening Day 2008, so that both pedestrian safety issues and additional ballpark parking can be addressed.
So now we'll wait and see if Monument follows through with the threats detailed in this morning's Post
to possibly file suit over not being awarded the garage site, or slow down their work on the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station across the street
, which would seem to not really be a good way to endear yourself to the public, the city, or WMATA.
If you want to listen to the audio of the meeting, it will be available here
once the meeting itself is finished. And I did put together a new Bus Garage
section under my Ballpark District pages
, with just a few photos of the site. (Finally. Guess I never thought it would turn into such a perpetual topic of conversation.)
New Half Street Renderings
Sep 13, 2007 9:55 AM
Within the past few days Monument Realty has added a couple of new renderings to its Half Street web site (which it's now moved to halfstreet.com from halfstreetdc.com). The new featured view is looking south down Half Street from M Street, toward the ballpark, showing the east entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station at left, on the first floor of their 55 M Street office building. This image also gives the first hint of what they might have planned for the west side of the street, if they did indeed win the bidding for the Southeastern Bus Garage site on the southwest corner of Half and M--I don't see any indication of the garage being preserved. Also, under the "Work" icon, there's a new image of 55 M, which appears to indicate that they've dispensed with the large LED screens they had originally planned to use to shield the Metro entrance from the street, and are now planning a more standard glass-enclosed entrance. I've added both of these images to my Monument Half Street project page; I should also note (h/t to reader Tom) that banners advertising the project have now been hung on the fences along Half and M.
Monument/Half St., staddis
New Photos and News
Aug 27, 2007 7:19 PM
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.
, 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
, US Dept. of Transportation HQ
, Monument/Half St., Onyx
, Square 743N
Ballpark and Beyond: This Week's Links
Jun 28, 2007 10:09 AM
This week's Ballpark and Beyond column
in the Post is on Tuesday's groundbreaking at Capper / Carrollsburg, and Monument's purchase of the Sunoco site. If you're visiting here for more information, you can check out my Capper / Carrollsburg overview page
for more details and links on the project's redevelopment as well as photos from the groundbreaking, and my Capitol Quarter page
has lots and lots (and lots!) of photos showing the area before, during, and after demolition. You can see what Monument Realty is up to at Half and M on my Monument Half Street page
Monument Realty Buys Sunoco Site
Jun 25, 2007 12:25 PM
Thanks to the weekly update of the public version of the DC Property Sales database (which runs about five weeks behind), I can confirm what has been rumored for a little while now: on May 21, Monument Realty paid $14.26 million for the old Sunoco site at 50 M Street, on the northeast corner of Half and M. There's been no announcement as yet as to their plans for the 15,500-sq-ft site located between 20 M, 80 M, and a US government warehouse, and right across the street from the Navy Yard Metro west entrance and Monument's Half Street extravaganza. Just think--if Monument is the successful bidder later this year for WMATA's Southeastern Bus Garage, they'll control three of the four corners at Half and M. Monument Valley, indeed!
All Sorts of New Overhead Photos Posted
May 24, 2007 10:46 PM
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.
WMATA Board Approves Plan to Move to DC Village. Except....
May 24, 2007 1:36 PM
At today's WMATA board meeting, the board approved the plans to move forward with the move of the Southeastern Bus Garage at Half and M streets
to DC Village. The specific actions they approved were to hold a public hearing on the project, advertise the Phase 1 construction contract, negotiate with the city to aquire the DC Village property, apply for a Federal bus facility grant, and authorize the sale of the garage and its parking lot; however, board member (and DC councilman) Jim Graham asked for an amendment to the resolution, stating that if the city does not have an agreement on the relocation of the homeless shelter currently at DC Village (which would be closed with the move of the garage) within seven days, this resolution will not take effect. Graham said that he had hoped the deal would have been completed by today, but that "the word immiment really accurately describes how close we are." If there is no deal, the resolution would have to come back to the WMATA board again for re-approval next month. If the agreement is reached, then Metro is planning to have a public hearing on the proposed plan, probably in July based on now having to wait for the shelter agreement to be struck. Here is the Metro press release
about the board's action and the proposed move of the garage, and also the meeting's agenda
, and the link to the archived audiocast
(the bus garage item is about 50 minutes into the audio).
WMATA Board Meeting - Bus Garage Move, Route Changes for Bridge Closure
May 22, 2007 3:33 PM
On Thursday the WMATA board has on its agenda the approval of series of recommendations to continue moving forward on the plan to relocate the Southeastern Bus Garage from its current spot at Half and M to DC Village. The recommendations are the same as what came out of the Planning and Real Estate Subcommittee earlier this month to hold a public hearing on the project, advertise the Phase 1 construction contract, negotiate with the city to aquire the DC Village property, apply for a Federal bus facility grant, and authorize the sale of the garage and its parking lot (presumably to Monument Realty, though I've yet to see any official announcement that Monument was the source of the unsolicited offer in April for the property). The plan would then be to come back to the board in September with a land transaction agreement to be executed, and a construction contract to be awarded. As I've mentioned previously, WMATA is very much wanting to be out of the Half and M garage before the Nationals ballpark opens in March 2008. In addition to the documents for Thursday's meeting, the background documents from the May 11 subcommittee meeting also have lots of good detail on the proposed move, as do my last few entries on the subject.
And also on the agenda (good thing I scrolled down!) is a request to approve temporary changes in the routes and fares for the A9, P17, P19, and W13 bus lines during July and August's Extreme Makeover: Frederick Douglass Bridge
. If you ride these buses, be sure to read what's being proposed
, but the gist is that because the detour route's expected congestion would impact bus schedules, WMATA is proposing to temporarily end those bus routes at subway stations on the east side of the river, but reducing the fares to help offset the higher cost of riding the subway.
Coming Soon - The Future! (In Video)
May 17, 2007 2:22 PM
From a press release
, word arrives that soon we'll be seeing a spiffy video showing us what the Southeast and Southwest Waterfronts are projected to look like in the future: "Interface Multimedia
, a leading provider of state-of-the-art visualization services, and WDCEP
, the Washington DC Economic Partnership, announced today the debut of the Capitol Riverfront video, the highly anticipated overview of $13 billion of development along the southern waterfronts of Washington, DC. Following a five-month collaboration with the WDECP and 25+ area developers and architects, Interface Multimedia's Capitol Riverfront video will debut on Monday, May 21st at the ICSC Spring Convention in Las Vegas. The five-minute video fuses massing models, renderings, map graphics, fly-by animations, copy writing and narration into a montage of the current and planned development of this highly sought-after area of Washington, DC. [...] The high-density area embraces neighborhoods around the new 26-acre Washington Nationals' baseball stadium
, delivering in the Spring of 2008, and creates a vibrant, walk-to-work lifestyle with retail, shopping and entertainment at every doorstep. Within the next five years, development is expected to bring 1.3 million SF of retail and 10.1 million SF of office space to the Capitol Riverfront. More than 11,500 residential units are set to deliver by 2012. Cultural additions include the new 250,000 SF Arena Stage, pedestrian-friendly bridges, 10 scenic parks, waterfront promenades and the 22-mile Anacostia Riverwalk trail. " There will soon be a web site hosting the video, according to the release. The video's creation has been sponsored by a laundry list of the heavy hitters of the neighborhood's redevelopment: the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
, Forest City Washington
(the new DOT HQ
), Monument Realty
(bringing you Half Street
in the Ballpark District
), PN Hoffman
(the Southwest Waterfront and also the redevelopment of Building 202 at The Yards), and Urban-City Ventures. And it should be noted that "Capitol Riverfront
" is the name given to the Business Improvement District now being set up that will cover most of Near Southeast (just in case you might have thought that a branding opportunity was being passed up, which as we know rarely happens).
More Info on WMATA Bus Garage Move
May 9, 2007 3:18 PM
Tomorrow (May 10), the Planning, Development and Real Estate subcommittee of the WMATA board is meeting, and the agenda
links to a document detailing the continuing process
of moving the Southeastern Bus Garage out of its current location at Half and M Streets
(right across from the Navy Yard subway station entrance, and smack in the middle of the Ballpark District
). The document contains background information so that, at the full board meeting later this month, approval can be requested of a proposed resolution (contained in the document
) for the following items: "[n]egotiate a land transaction with the District of Columbia, by which WMATA may acquire the DC Village property via monetary consideration or an exchange of existing properties; hold a Compact public hearing on the project and its Environmental Assessment, General Plans and Preliminary Financial Plan; advertise the Phase 1 construction contract upon completion of the bid documents; and apply for a Federal bus facility grant." The Phase 1 part of the project would allow the buses to be moved from Half Street quickly and housed temporarily while the new facility is built at DC Village, and the documents indicate that they are hoping to award the Phase 1 contract by WMATA's September board meeting. The document also says that last month WMATA received an unsolicited bid for the garage land, but doesn't say who (and I just can't imagine
who might do such a thing!). Then we can start waiting to see what the Unnamed Bidder comes up with in terms of redeveloping that side of Half Street. UPDATED
to fix stupidly broken links.
This story is now starting to be picked up
, from the angle that the bus garage move will close the largest homeless shelter
in DC. Note that the proposed resolution in the documents talked about above
says that the WMATA board will take no action until "there is an approved final plan for the relocation of any shelter beds" at DC Village, and that DC's city administrator "has approved a final plan for the relocation of any shelter beds displaced by the construction of the Southeastern Bus Garage at DC Village."
Monument Half Street Web Site
May 4, 2007 10:47 AM
Through an embarrassing confluence of events too geeky to explain here, I'm only now seeing that Monument Realty has now launched an exceedingly spiffy web site at its existing HalfStreetDC.com
URL. Not a lot of information that isn't already available on my Monument Half Street
page, but it's certainly flashier! Estimated completion for the east side of Half Street (which I think ought to be called Monument Valley
) is mid-2009; the west side development is still being worked out as plans move forward for WMATA to close its Half and M bus garage
MacFarlane Partners Brings $$$ to Monument Half Street
May 3, 2007 11:17 AM
From today's Washington Times
: "The real estate investment firm MacFarlane Partners
this week joined the $700 million mixed-use redevelopment project in Southeast near the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium
. Although work has already begun on the 1.9-million-square-foot project, San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners said it had agreed to make a large investment in the development. The amount was not disclosed." Uh, WHICH project would that be? Only thanks to a quote from Monument Realty's Russell Hines in paragraph #3 is there any hint of exactly which project MacFarlane is investing in, so I'm really still only guessing when I tell you MacFarlane appears to be investing in the Monument Half Street
project just north of the stadium site. Mr. MacFarlane is of course one of the new owners of DC United, and is spearheading the redevelopment of Poplar Point, a somewhat salient point that isn't even mentioned in the story (and no, I'm not going to start covering Poplar Point, so stop asking!). MacFarlane is also already an investor in The Yards
WMATA Speeding Up Bus Garage Move
Apr 30, 2007 9:47 PM
One of the more central sites in the Ballpark District is the WMATA Southeastern Bus Garage, on the southwest corner of Half and M. But Metro knows that it's time to move (although Monument Realty, which owns almost every other parcel on the block, has no doubt been tapping its toes and saying "Here's your hat, what's your hurry?"). Back in January, the WMATA board approved an effort to start finding a replacement location, with the preferred spot being DC Village, east of the Anacostia. At its April 26 board meeting, the board appears to have sped up its timetable considerably. Quoting from the documentation: "[T]he urgency for a timely replacement has increased and the strategy for replacement has evolved. The goal is to relocate the existing 114 Metrobuses to a Phase 1 facility by late March 2008 in order to avoid the impact of ballpark events upon bus access at the existing Garage. Thus, over the next twelve months, with Board approvals, staff intends to design, advertise, award and construct the Phase 1 facility for 114-bus capacity and to design and advertise the Phase 2 bus facility of 250-bus capacity." At the next board meeting, in late May, WMATA staff is expected to have the environmental assessment, general plans and financial plan and will request approval of a public hearing, the advertisement of the Phase 1 construction contract; and the agreement with the city to take control of the DC Village property. (Speedy!)
As for what will happen on the garage site, Monument has not announced any specific plans, and the site does have what has gently been referred to as "historic preservation issues" (and certainly a good portion of the building ought to be saved), so it could be a while before anything new arises on that spot. But I cannot lie, I will very much be looking forward to no more dodging of the buses that roam in that section of Near Southeast while I take pictures....
Nation and Sunoco Sites to Change Hands?
Apr 27, 2007 10:36 AM
From today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal
(subscribers only for now), word arrives of two big Near Southeast real estate transactions: Opus East
, developer of 100 M Street
, is on track to purchase the 1015 Half Street/Nation
site from Potomac Investment Properties (the story says Republic Investment, but I don't think that's correct). And Monument Realty
is reportedly adding to its vast Hood holdings
by buying the old Sunoco lot at 50 M Street
. (I have heard rumors of these two items for weeks/months, but it turns out what I was hearing wasn't 100% accurate--score one for waiting for confirmation) The article says that Opus plans to retain the plans for a 440,000-sq-ft office building with retail on the Nation site, and are rumored to be paying $100 a square foot; Monument has not disclosed what it might do with the Sunoco site or what it's paying. The article also has some vague mention of some other transaction on the "corner of Half and K
", but doesn't say which corner (the northeast and northwest ones are the two possibilities), or who's buying it. More on these transactions (such as actual prices) as I get it. (And yes, I'll have photos of the Nation demolition as soon as the sun comes out.)
Apr 18, 2007 5:31 PM
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
Views from the Freeway
Apr 10, 2007 8:47 AM
I've added updated photos of the Near Southeast vista from the Southeast Freeway (don't worry, I wasn't driving at the time) to the Photo Archive--I have one shot going back to 2000, when the only new buildings were still under construction (300 M and 80 M), so it's a festive comparison to today, with four additional developments completed and the ballpark now visible as well. And I did post some new "after" photos from Van and from Half of the demolition across on N Street from the stadium.
Today's Demolished Building: 26 N Street
Apr 3, 2007 2:14 PM
I wasn't expecting this one just yet, but today the red brick building at 26 N Street
has been demolished (flip through the Stadium Construction Camera
images from Camera #2 starting at 8:40 am to see it disappear); it was home for many years to the Patent Reproduction Company, until a deal was made by Monument Realty in August 2005 to purchase it for $3 million (see Post
articles from the time of the sale). This site is directly across from the stadium
, but is not part of Monument's first phase of development in the area
(which is in Square 701 on the east side of Half Street--the demolished building is on the west side, in Square 700 at Van and N streets); Square 700 redevelopment will probably not begin before 2009. But I'm guessing there might be some stadium parking made available on the north side of N between South Capitol and Half in the meantime. And 26 N has now been enshrined as #118 in my Demolished Buildings
gallery; I imagine its neighbors
(including the Good N Plenty carryout) are in their last days as well.
Monument/Half St., staddis
Photo Updates - Stadium Shots and More
Mar 31, 2007 7:55 PM
I gave you inside-the-ballpark photos on Monday, and today there's a new set of exterior shots of the Nationals baseball stadium (note that I've now separated the interior and exterior stadium photo galleries into separate tabs). Remember that clicking on the icon will show you all uploaded photos of that angle, not just the oldest and newest (so you can watch the stadium construction change in two-week intervals). I also "freshened" the Photo Archive's database of photos at all the intersections around the perimeter of the stadium, giving you additional viewpoints not shown in the Construction Gallery: check out 1st Steet at N, N Place, O, and Potomac; Half Street at N and Potomac; and South Capitol Street at N, O, P, and Potomac. (You can also browse the archive by map to pick and choose locations.)
And now, I must go watch my Gators.
Firms Starting to Look at Near Southeast
Mar 30, 2007 9:14 AM
From today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal
: "CNN and a couple of law firms are sampling the wares in Southeast DC by taking tours of new office buildings cropping up around the new baseball stadium
. No leases have been signed yet, but the buzz of these high-profile tenants looking at Southeast as an option is quite a victory for a neighborhood formerly known as an industrial zone crawling with seediness and crime. [...] Also, rents in Southeast are expected to be around $40 per square foot for full service, $20 to $30 cheaper than new or renovated buildings in the Central Business District." Of course, right now, "tours of new office buildings" means 20 M Street
, the only new
office building currently completed and with plenty of space to lease. But by 2009 there will also be 100 M
, 55 M
, and probably 250 M
and 1111 New Jersey
. And maybe a couple more, depending on what happens within the next few months at Square 699N
, Square 697
(Nation), and the Willco site at 83 M. (The article fudges a bit by mentioning 1.8 million square feet of office space was under construction in Near Southeast back in December, but, well, 1.35 million of that was the DOT HQ
Added the link to the story
, since WBJ was nice enough to bring it out from behind the pay wall.
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