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Navy Yard to Expand, Will Need Additional Office Space
Jan 29, 2010 10:10 AM
From today's Washington Business Journal (subscribers only): "The Navy plans to expand its space in Southeast D.C. by perhaps 700,000 square feet, a move that could dramatically boost office demand and foot traffic in the fledging Capitol Riverfront neighborhood near Nationals Park. Thanks to employee transfers and new programs, the Navy intends to hire an estimated 1,100 workers at the Washington Navy Yard by 2011 and as many 2,400 more four years later[.]" They are expecting to issue a Request for Proposals through the GSA to either buy or lease space, though as of now there's no timetable for the RFP.
The article specifically mentions the Yards as a possible beneficiary, since it's right next door. But there's also a quote from Michael Stevens of the bid cautioning that the expansion "would be a huge driver, but it does come with huge security requirements," though Eleanor Holmes Norton is then quoted as saying "These should be GSA-leased buildings. These are not, mostly, [high-level] security employees[.]"
Comments (18)
More posts: Navy Yard, The Yards

Upcoming Events (11th Street Bridges, Last Movie, Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting)
Aug 18, 2009 12:40 PM
A slew of upcoming events to pass along:
* On Wednesday (Aug. 19), there's going to be an 11th Street Bridges Open House, billed as an update for Ward 8 residents about the status of the bridge replacement project. (But I'm guessing people from other wards can come, too.) It's from 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Union Temple Baptist Church at 1225 W St., SE.
* Thursday (Aug. 20) is the last night of the BID's 80's Outdoor Movies series, with "Ghostbusters" on the bill (rescheduled from a rainout earlier this year). Apparently the BID is planning a four-week fall movie series starting in September; I'll pass more along on that when I get it.
* Next Wednesday (Aug. 26) the DC Housing Authority is holding an official ribbon cutting and grand opening at Capitol Quarter, from 10 am to noon at Fourth and L, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. This is just a little over two years after the ceremonial groundbreaking, held on a sweltering day in June 2007.
* If you're desperate for something to do Wednesday morning but a ribbon cutting isn't your thing, the U.S. Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard will host "Pirate or Privateer? War of 1812 Day," a series of demonstrations and lectures on the War of 1812. The program, which runs from 10 am to 2 pm, includes Gun Drills in the replica of the USS Constitution and Sea Chanteys. The event is free and open to the public, though note that there's no parking available inside the gates for visitors.
* The National Capital Planning Commission again has the design of the 11th Street Bridges on their tentative agenda, for their Sept. 3 meeting. It had also been on the tentative agenda for the July meeting, but didn't make the final cut; hopefully that won't happen again, because NCPC always puts together such great reports on the projects it votes on (and posts them on their web site), so it's a good place to get details that have been hard to find elsewhere.
* This is still a few weeks away, but residents might want to mark their calendars that the next ANC 6D meeting, on Sept. 14 will be held in Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. I've been attending ANC meetings off and on for six years, and this is the first one I remember that will be crossing South Capitol Street.
* The next day, Sept. 15, Urban Land Institute Washington is holding its third Urban Marketplace Conference and Expo, which brings together "the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to explore redevelopment opportunities and best practices in emerging neighborhoods and corridors across the Washington metropolitan region." One of the day's discussions, from 3 pm to 4 pm will focus on the ballpark district (and I'm one of the panelists).
All of these are of course on my Upcoming Events Calendar.

Final Approval for Capper Zoning Changes; More Info on Security Requirements at 7th and M
Jun 9, 2009 3:34 PM
Last night the Zoning Commission voted 3-0-2 to give final approval to the Capper zoning requests that have been wandering through the system for nearly a year. The record was reopened to add correspondence between the developer (Capper-Carrollsburg Ventures LLC, which includes the DC Housing Authority), the Marines, and the Navy Yard in reference to security concerns both service branches have about 90-foot buildings being constructed on the site of the old Capper Seniors building at Seventh and M. (Read more about the concerns here.)
The National Capital Planning Commission documents I linked to last week included letters sent by the Marines and the Navy in early April setting out their objections; the NCPC has now posted new letters from the Navy and also Holland and Knight (representing the developers), laying out the wording of the agreement between the parties to install (at the services' expense) surveillance cameras on the top of both the new office building that faces the Navy Yard and the new apartment building that faces the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, and that the developer will provide to the Navy Yard a list of tenants on the fourth through eighth floors of the office building, though "this provision shall not be deemed to grant the Navy any right to approve or disapprove of any tenants in the office building." There's also a requirement to notify the Navy and Marines about any events to be held on the roof decks of the buildings, but "for informational purposes only," without requiring any type of approval. With the Navy agreeing to the wording of this agreement, its objection to the zoning case was withdrawn.
I'll note that there's also reference in these letters to a June 3 letter from the Marines that is not included in the document packet, which seems to indicate that the Marines did not agree to the wording despite the developer's having believed that there had been an agreement. Quoting (see page 9): "In fact, nothing in the Marines' June 3rd letter indicates why the Applicant's proposed conditions are unacceptable, or what remaining concerns the Marines have." There's then this sentence, which seems to be hinting at plans by the Marines for some new development: "The Marines, beyond the scope of the proposed modifications which are the subject of this pending application, have requested a delay to accommodate their entirely new planning initiative." And what would this new planning initiative be? I'm hearing murmurs that the Marines may be looking for more land for more barracks, though I'm not able to confirm that.
In any event, the developer laid out a list of reasons that this zoning approval should not be delayed, and both the NCPC (last week) and the Zoning Commission (last night) gave their approvals for the zoning changes in spite of whatever objections the Marines were putting forth.
There wasn't much discussion of all of this at the Zoning Commission's meeting, but I need an excuse to link to the Video on Demand section of the DCOZ web site, which apparently has been around for months but which I only noticed last night. So, if you want to watch this or any ZC/BZA public meeting going back to November of 2008, they're now there for the taking. (And it's also nice to see how quickly last night's video was posted.)
Now, with these Capper zoning changes approved, the next milestone to watch for will be when the Housing Authority can find financing for another PILOT bond offering to rebuild the infrastructure on the west side of the Capper footprint (including around Canal Park), as well as the mitigation and demolition of the trash transfer station at New Jersey and K. That PILOT financing will also fund the Community Center that has been the subject of much contentious back-and-forth. Are the credit markets unfrozen enough to get this PILOT off the ground? We shall see....

Navy/Marines Concerned About Buildings at 7th and M
Jun 3, 2009 1:02 PM
Contained in the materials for Thursday's meeting of the National Capital Planning Commission is a document that sheds some light on something I've always wondered about--exactly how does the Navy Yard feel about the planned 90-foot-tall office building right across the street at 600 M, on the site of the old Capper Seniors building? And, concurrently, how do the Marines feel about the planned apartments directly between this new 600 M building and the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters on L Street?
The NCPC board is reviewing the Zoning Commission's approval of the slew of Capper zoning changes that I wrote so much about earlier this year, some of which focus on these two new buildings on the old Capper Seniors site. The Executive Director's recommendation document (which provides some good background if you haven't been following along), refers to letters included in the document to the Zoning Commission from both the Navy and Marines stating that the new buildings on what's known as Square 882 "may pose a safety and security threat to the military personnel at both the Navy Yard and the Marine Barracks and that the there will be a visual impact on the Navy Yard Historic District."
Apparently the Navy, Marines, the DC Housing Authority, and Forest City (developers of 600 M) have tentatively agreed to a few steps to mitigate these concerns: the placement of surveillance cameras on the roofs of the proposed buildings, procedures for notifying the Navy and Marines when the roofs are to be accessed, review by the Marines and Navy Yard of tenants wishing to occupy the third through eighth floors of the 600 M office building, and a "window design to enhance security for Navy and Marines." (On this last point, the document says that "the Navy and Marines would request that the windows facing their sites not be operational," but I wonder how tenants in the proposed apartment building along L Street would feel if none of their windows could ever be opened.) The document says that memorandums of understanding between the housing authority and the Navy and the Marines should be able to be completed within the next few weeks.
Additionally, in its letter to the Zoning Commission, the Navy Yard mentions its belief that "buildings exceeding the currently permitted fifty (50) foot height restrictions located across M Street from the Navy Yard Historic District will negatively impact the view shed from the Navy Yard" and "could potentially compromise the integrity of the Washington Navy Yard Historic District, including the Latrobe Gate." It might be worth noting here that the old Capper Seniors building, built in the 1950s and demolished in 2007, was nine stories high, and so an uninterrupted "view shed" is not something that the Navy Yard has always enjoyed since its arrival in the neighborhood back in 1799.
The NCPC's reason for reviewing Zoning Commission cases in DC is to determine whether the proposed actions would have an "adverse effect" on federal interests, and, in this case, the NCPC staff is advising their commission to vote to advise the Zoning Commission that these Capper cases do indeed meet that "adverse effect" standard. Also, the NCPC staff is recommending that the Zoning Commission delay their final action on this case (scheduled for Monday, June 8) to allow the agreement described above to be finalized.

Slowly Returning to Full-Strength Blogging
May 4, 2009 9:54 PM
I know people have noticed that JDLand's coverage (and quality) has taken a nosedive in 2009--some of it is because of life at My Real Job is particularly hectic in this era of big change (and plummeting revenue), but I can also now finally reveal that my free time for the past few months has been swallowed up by my planning and executing a huge 100-guest surprise party for my mother, which finally went off without a hitch on Sunday morning. With that wrapped up, I will now try to remember exactly how I used to do things here. I'll start tentatively:
* Despite a few readers being told that the Bullpen beer garden at Half and N would open on May 1, it hasn't yet opened. I haven't heard any new date.
* From Friday's WashBizJournal: "Dozens of high-profile projects are facing liens from hard-pressed contractors. In just one week of March, Forest City Washington was slapped with a $191,460 lien for work done at its Yards project near the baseball stadium, while Faison Enterprises Inc. and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds LLC got hit with a $118,674 lien at the nearby Onyx Apartments."
* The Board of Zoning Adjustment calendar for June indicates that Donohoe has filed for a time extension on the special exception it received back in 2007 for its planned office building at 1111 New Jersey Avenue. The original order expires in December unless building permit applications are filed before then; Donohoe's request for an extension would appear to indicate that that won't be happening this year.
* The National Capital Planning Commission has its May meeting on Thursday, and one of the items up for approval is a $63 million planned modernization and 50,000-sq-ft expansion of building W-200 at 11th and N at the Navy Yard. This NCPC document gives a wealth of information about the plans for W-200, but also includes this interesting tidbit:
"[S]taff strongly recommends that the Commission require the Navy undertake and coordinate with NCPC development of an updated WNY master plan, including a transportation management plan that demonstrate how the WNY parking ratio meets NCPC's Comprehensive Plan goals, and submit that plan to the Commission prior to submitting any new project." The Navy Yard's last official master plan update was in the 1990s.
* A postcard that was delivered to our house this morning listed 309 K St. SE (one of the remaining old townhouses) as being scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction this month; however, the auctioner's web site says the property has been removed from the auction. Starting bid was going to be at $50,000.
* Speaking of that block of existing homes, someone has finally begun to renovate the old multi-unit building at Third and L that has been vacant for as long as I've been watching the neighborhood. A local resident has leased it and is turning it into Casa degli Angeli, a nautical-themed "month-to-month" bed and breakfast.

A 'New' Near Southeast Overhead Image: 1949
Feb 3, 2009 4:47 PM
With great thanks to reader G. for passing this along, I can report that the newly released Google Earth 5.0 (beta, of course) now includes an option to page back through older satellite photos. As you might imagine, I raced to see what they had for Near Southeast, and found a not-razor-sharp 1949 image, which you can see on my Near Southeast Satellite Photos page if you don't have Google Earth.
You might enjoy the "Where's Waldo?" test of looking for buildings you recognize, such as the Southeastern Bus Garage, the WASA buildings, and even that big brick warehouse at South Capitol and O that was demolished to make way for the ballpark. Things that *aren't* there: the Southeast Freeway (built in the 1960s), the second span of the 11th Street Bridges, a completed Douglass Bridge, and many of the Capper buildings that came in the 1950s. You'll also see how packed with buildings the Navy Yard was, especially since this was still during the time that its boundaries stretched all the way to First Street (across what is now The Yards). And look at how, north of Virginia Avenue, Garfield Park was bisected by Second Street.
The other image offerings from Near Southeast are mostly variants on the ones I already have on my satellite photos page that came from non-Google sources over the years (1988, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007), though there are a few extras from the later years where the quality of the image isn't all that good.
If this is whetting your appetite, I also have a batch of non-satellite historic photos of the neighborhood you can wander through, along with detailed street maps from 1903 through 1921.
UPDATE: Commenter MJM rightly reminds me of a fact that an American History major such as myself should have remembered: Sputnik was the first *satellite*, launched in 1957. So these overhead images from 1949 are not satellite images, but were taken from planes. Or they attached a camera to Superman and had him fly around the globe a few times.
Comments (4)
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Navy Yard, Nationals Park, The Yards

Mishmash: Liveable, Walkable Awards, Waiting on N22 News, Navy Yard Parking, Tweets
Dec 4, 2008 10:38 AM
* Tonight (Thursday) is Tommy Wells's second Liveable, Walkable Community Awards, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE.
* Metro's live streaming of its board meetings seems to have been taking a lot of time off lately, so I can't yet tell you whether the Customer Serivce, Operations, and Safety Committee has approved at its meeting this morning the request to have a public hearing on discontinuing the N22 line. (Even if they have, the request still needs to be approved by the entire board at its Dec. 18 meeting.)
* Infosnack Headquarters reports on the changes in on-street parking near the Navy Yard to discourage free all-day parking. DDOT chose to use signage to prohibit rush-hour parking, instead of using meters to garner additional revenue, and Infosnack is displeased.
* The Nats will be ending their 2009 exhibition season on April 4 at Nationals Park against the Orioles, in what is apparently going to become a tradition.
Latest Tweets, chock full of goodness:
* '09 Nats home games added to my GCal. (You can add them to yours via the buttons at lower right)
* And I'm reminded that I haven't mentioned the Parsons sign up in the windows at 100 M--they're leasing 30% of the building.
Comments (1)
More posts: Metro/WMATA, Navy Yard

Upcoming Events: Living Classrooms Fundraiser, Navy Yard Special Events
Oct 22, 2008 3:13 PM
* A reminder that Friday night (Oct. 24) is the "Night at the Yards" fundraiser for Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region. Individual tickets are $125 in advance, $135 at the door for the event to be held in a big tent at Fourth and Tingey, with music by the English Beat and Rita Rocks. Living Classrooms is planning to eventually build its new main campus building on the eastern end of the waterfront park at the Yards, near the Navy Yard.
* Also on Friday night is the annual "Ghost Ship Barry" event, where kids can take a haunted tour of the display ship Barry at the Navy Yard. "The Ghost Ship Barry is suitable for children ages 4-9 from 5 to 7pm. After 7pm, Ghost Ship Barry will become much scarier and is only appropriate for children over the age of 9. This event is free and open to the public, but a 24-hour RSVP to 202-433-6897 is required for entry to the Washington Navy Yard. Please do not wear Halloween costumes for safety reasons."
* On Saturday night (Oct. 25) the Navy Yard is offering a candlelight tour, starting at the Navy Museum at 7 pm. This is also free and open to the public, but also requires a 24-hour RSVP for entry. Free parking is available.
Comments (0)
More posts: Navy Yard, The Yards, Yards Park

Reminder: Navy Day Events, Saturday Oct. 11
Oct 10, 2008 12:22 PM
( Reposting this as a reminder) From our friends at the Navy Yard, an invitation to all neighbors (and everyone else) to attend Navy Day in DC festivities, on Oct. 11 from 10 am to 5 pm, both at the Navy Yard and also the Navy Memorial at 7th and Pennsylvania, NW. Events and offerings at the Navy Yard include the Navy Birthday Celebration 9th Annual NJROTC Color Guard Drill Meet, a performance by the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team, the Display Ship Barry, the Navy Museum (with activities for children), a performance by the U.S. Naval Academy Band, and displays from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (though I'm guessing Mark Harmon won't be there), Naval Sea Systems Command, and the Navy Yard Fire Department, and more.
There will be continuous free bus shuttle service between the U.S. Navy Memorial and the Washington Navy Yard via the Eastern Market and Navy Yard Metro stations between 10 AM and 5:00 p.m. Photo ID is required to enter the Navy Yard. If you're walking over, pedestrians should enter at the gate at Sixth and M, SE; vehicles should arrive at the 11th and N gate.
More information about Navy Day in DC is available on the NavyMemorial.org web site.
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More posts: Navy Yard

Last Scheduled Weekday Afternoon Game in 2008; Big Pile of Neglected Recent Items
May 26, 2008 1:36 PM
* The Post has an article on how today's Nationals game against the Brewers is the second of only two weekday afternoon games at Nationals Park this season. " 'We love afternoon weekday games but had to hold off this year due to the uncertainty about daytime parking availability,' Nationals President Stan Kasten said. 'We'd certainly like to have more next season, but no decisions have been made about '09.' " The article also talks to hookey-playing grownups who miss these games. Given that it's a holiday, and the gorgeous weather, and Sunday's second-highest-of-the-season attendance (35,567), this final weekday game might see a pretty big pile of people.
And, catching up on a recent few links that I've been slow to post:
* Columnist George Solomon Saturday's Post has a brief preview of the upcoming Congressional Bank Baseball Classic, which will showcase the the first-ever, city-wide high school baseball championship game, at Nationals Park on May 31. Games begin at 9:30 a.m., with private schools St. Albans and Maret meeting, followed by the DCIAA's Wilson High facing McKinley. Tickets are $5, and kids get in free--read more here.
* Dr. Gridlock hears that using the Capitol South station on the Orange and Blue lines and then walking down New Jersey Avenue to go to games is a great idea. Yes, it certainly is, even if it isn't exactly a news flash. (But use the JDLand Recommended Route instead!)
In non-ballpark news:
* Metro Weekly looks at the planned reopening of Ziegfield's and Secrets on Half Street SW in Buzzards Point, a few blocks away from their original homes at Half and O SE (now shallow left field).
* The Naval Historical Center at the Navy Yard takes a bit of a beating in a piece from Saturday's Post, comparing it with the shiny new Marine Corps museum at Quantico.
* For those of you counting the moments until the armed encampment at First and M departs, here's a May 14 story from the Mount Vernon Gazette on the progressing construction at Ft. Belvoir of the new home for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It's expected to be completed by August 2011, with NGA employees from Reston, Bethesda, and the windowless white box on the old Southeast Federal Center footprint starting to move in early in 2011. Eventually that First-and-M site will be redeveloped as office space as part of The Yards.

Commuter Ferry Makes Trial Run
Oct 27, 2007 9:04 AM
From NBC4 (this is the entire piece): "There could soon be a faster way to get from Prince William County to the District. The Potomac River Express commuter ferry took its first test run Thursday, traveling from Quantico Marina up the Potomac River to Navy Yard. During the trial run, the ferry got to the Wilson Bridge in 47 minutes. The ferry arrived at Navy Yard in just under an hour. That's nearly half the amount of time it can [take] by car during rush hour. More test runs for the ferry are planned for the spring. The company that will run it still needs to get approval to operate from the Virginia Department of Transportation." There's also a much more detailed story from the Potomac News. I don't think they actually docked anywhere along the Anacostia (since there isn't anywhere for a ferry to let people off--yet), they were just testing the time.
UPDATE, 10/29: Here's a Washington Business Journal piece on the ferry trial run and plans, and the press release it was written off of.
More posts: Navy Yard

September Naval Historical Center Events
Sep 11, 2007 10:27 AM
I've updated my Upcoming Events Calendar with the lineup of activities for September at the Navy Yard's Naval Historical Center.
More posts: Navy Yard

Navy Museum Summer Public Events
Jul 10, 2007 7:52 PM
The US Navy Museum has released its July/August schedule of events, which I've added to my Upcoming Events calendar. So take the Little Skippers down to the museum for some maritime craft-making!
More posts: Navy Yard

Media Briefing on Riverwalk - Update
May 7, 2007 2:49 PM
On Monday (May 7), DDOT is having a media briefing to announce that construction has begun on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. This is the first phase, and so doesn't actually include the planned portion of the trail through Near Southeast (from the 11th Street Bridges to the Frederick Douglass Bridge)--according to the AWC page and a meeting AWC held a few weeks back, I believe what's now being constructed is Phase I, the trail on the west side of the Anacostia from the Navy Yard to the National Arboretum. Phase 2 will be on the east side of the river, from Poplar Point to Pennsylvania Avenue, and Phase 3 (the Near Southeast portion) is probably looking at a 2010 date (when the Waterfront Park at the Yards is completed, and they can build the pedestrian bridge to link that park to Diamond Teague Park and Florida Rock.
UPDATE, May 7: A post-briefing press release says that the section of the Riverwalk now under construction is a two-mile stretch that will run from the Navy Yard east to Benning Road. There's also a link to a fact sheet on the trail (albeit from June 2006) that has a map of the planned trail and other information. And here's a WTOP piece on the new section.

May Events at the Navy Yard
May 2, 2007 12:50 PM
I've added the Navy Museum's slate of public programs for the month of May to my Upcoming Events calendar, if you're looking for entertainment and/or book larnin' right here in the Hood.
More posts: Navy Yard

Navy Museum April Public Events
Mar 29, 2007 10:29 PM
I've added the Navy Museum's slate of public programs for the month of April to my Upcoming Events calendar--nice weather to stroll down to the Navy Yard, you can even walk on the completed section of the Anacostia Riverwalk (after you promise your first-born to the guards at the entrance gates) and gaze longingly westward past the fence toward what will eventually be the Waterfront Park at the Yards.
More posts: Navy Yard

March Calendar of Events at Navy Yard
Mar 1, 2007 1:39 PM

I've just added to my Calendar of Events the March schedule of lectures, concerts, and other events at the Navy Yard's Naval Historical Center. The schedule for their monthly Naval History Seminar has been released through June, as well. If any of these events interest you, be sure to contact the museum at least 24 hours in advance so that your entry into Fortress: Navy Yard can be assured.

More posts: Navy Yard

US Navy Museum February Calendar
Jan 31, 2007 12:33 AM
The US Navy Museum has announced its February lineup of seminars, lectures, concerts, and kids offerings, which I've added to my Upcoming Events Calendar. And, for those of you keeping track of the blog via RSS, I'm going to experiment with including the calendar in the feed. It gets updated pretty frequently (I can't stand a messy calendar with out-of-date entries), so this is just a test to see whether it's a good addition or just incredibly annoying. Apologies in advance if there's some kinks.
More posts: Navy Yard

January Navy Museum Public Programs
Dec 29, 2006 10:15 AM
The schedule of public programs at the US Navy Museum for January has been released, and I've added them to my Events Calendar.
More posts: Navy Yard

Navy Yard Honors Ford
Dec 27, 2006 4:24 PM

If you've heard big booms in the vicinity of the Navy Yard today, it was a salute to former President Gerald Ford, with guns fired every half-hour from 8 am until sunset. Ford served in the US Navy from 1942 to 1946.

More posts: Navy Yard
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