78 Blog Posts Since 2003
Go to Page:
Tuesday Tidbits: More Post-Vacation Catching Up to Do
Aug 21, 2012 10:25 AM
Here's a few more items that came across the transom while I was on my annual Hiding Out in Wyoming and Montana trip
* Residents of Onyx
have filed paperwork with the city under the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act
and are investigating options to buy the building themselves, after news came a few weeks back that the building is under contract to be sold
for $82.5 million. If the city accepts the filing, the tenants' group would then have 120 days to come up with a competing offer. See the tenants' press release
for why the group is pursuing this, including its hope that buying the building, which opened in 2009, will "reverse problems which plagued the area for years - poor housing conditions, rent increases, and attempts by developers to force residents out of the District." (If they succeed, I guess I'll have to stop using my standard joke about tenants looking in the sofa cushions for millions of dollars in spare change to buy their buildings.)
* DC Water has leased 16,450 square feet of office space on the 7th floor of 80 M Street through 2019 (GlobeSt.com
). With or without telescopes for spying on the Main Pumping Station
a few blocks to the south?
* The Capitol Riverfront BID
is having an Urban Design Framework Plan prepared, to "examine the quality of the public realm in the BID and develop strategies for a comprehensive framework and public investment plan in the right-of-way." They've also commissioned a Retail Analysis Study "that will provide forecasts on future retail demand and absorption possibilities." Because if there's one thing a neighborhood can never have enough of, it's studies and analyses. (BID newsletter
* Another rumination on Near Southeast's development timeline
, at GGWash. As I've said many times--of course things were happening in Near Southeast before the ballpark (I wouldn't have started this blog in 2003 otherwise). But to not recognize that the ballpark sped up *plans* considerably is to not have watched the 18-month landrush in 2004 and 2005 after the ballpark's location was announced, when so many little lots between 1st and South Capitol south of the freeway were snapped up by the big guns. And to say that the ballpark didn't drive development right after it opened is to neglect the worldwide financial market near-collapse, and the years needed to recover from that. But I bet there's a lot of retailers and developers looking at the Nats this year and rueing that they didn't make their move already.
Onyx on First Apartment Building Under Contract for $82.25M
Jun 23, 2012 5:27 PM
Hot on the heels of the sales (completed and pending
) of JPI's three
" buildings, there's another notice in another lobby that a neighborhood apartment building is under contract to be sold. This time it's Onyx on First
, the 266-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of 1st and L, which was developed by Faison with an assist from Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and opened in late 2008
The sale price is listed on the form as $82.25 million, with the buyer being ERP Operating Limited Partnership, which is the operating partnership of Equity Residential
, owner of a slew of DC-area buildings
including 425 Mass and 2400 M, as well as a huge slate
of properties around the country. (As an aside, the company was started by Sam Zell, a name that certainly has resonance for folks in the newspaper biz.)
Onyx went on the market
more than a year ago, but that initial offering didn't result in a buyer so it was re-offered
later last year. The notice to tenants specified that there are only 11 units currently unoccupied.
As we all learned during the JPI sales, it's required by DC law
that residential buildings of more than five units under contract to be sold be offered to residents to purchase. (Insert here my standard joke about looking in the sofa cushions for $82 million in spare change.)
JPI's Axiom and 909 buildings were sold
for around $95 million each, with the the Jefferson's contract price/purchase price for tenants listed at about $165 million.
Onyx's next-door neighbor, the office building 100 M
, was put up for sale in March
. (Which is apparently just now news to WBJ
, though I had heard rumors that it had been taken off the market after that original offering, so maybe this is a new push.)
A Few Oh-Yeah-I-Meant-to-Mention-That Tidbits
Jan 9, 2012 9:52 AM
* 1015 Half Buyer
: On Friday the Post debuted a "What's Going On With....?" feature at their new Where We Live Real Estate blog
(reminds me of my old "What's the Deal With...?" days), and the first item
was on the empty office building at 1015 Half Street
. One tidbit not mentioned there, or at JDLand before now, is that apparently Prudential Real Estate Investors is buying the building, with the deal supposed to be closing this month, according to Bisnow
. Bisnow says that the deal was always for Prudential to buy out Bank of America's stake in the building when it was finished, even back when it was Opus East doing the developing, not current receiver Douglas Wilson Companies.
* Navy Yard Riverwalk Closure
: It was announced on Twitter last week
that the Navy Yard
Riverwalk will be closed from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 to install fences around the piers. (What? You thought I meant the entire Riverwalk and not just the portion controlled by the Navy Yard? Why ever would you have thought that?)
Onyx on First Apartment Building Up for Sale
Mar 8, 2011 5:49 PM
With an instruction to residents to Please Don't Panic, I'll pass along the news that Onyx on First
, the 266-unit apartment building at 1100 1st St. SE, is up for sale
. With a brochure
touting "Excellent Transportation Infrastructure, Phenomenal Employment Opportunities," and "Shopping and Entertainment Options Abound," the sellers look to be trying to get in on what is clearly a rebounding multifamily market in DC
Apparently there's no price set for the sale, and with a building that's 92 percent occupied with what looks like pretty high average rent numbers, I imagine investors will be taking a close look. The eventual sale (should there be one) could also be an interesting barometer of how "the markets" view the neighborhood. Proposals are due April 14.
The building, originally planned to be condos but converted to apartments during the construction phase, was developed by Faison and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and completed in 2009. It was built the same time as its neighbor 100 M
, the office building that recently bought for $57 million
in a foreclosure sale. Onyx is on the same block as the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, two blocks north of Nationals Park
, and one block west of the Courtyard by Marriott that is being bought for $68 million
. And, of course, just across the street from the Market Deli
New 'Where's My Bus?' App for Circulators; Q2 Residential Numbers; Square 701 Not Starting Soon
Jun 26, 2009 2:05 PM
* Just out from DDOT (press release now online
), a new "Where's My Bus
" app for the Circulator
buses. Go to circulator.dc.gov
(it's formatted for cellphones and PDAs, but works in any browser), pick your line and stop, and find out how far away the next bus is. (Here's the information for the 4th and M stop
, heading toward Union Station.) They say an iPhone app will be coming will be coming later this summer.
* From the BID's newsletter (which I'm not finding on their redesigned web site
), the latest update on residential leasing and sales for the second quarter of 2009: The buildings known as Axiom and Jefferson (at 70 and 100 I
) and Onyx on First
are at a combined 60 percent leased for the 960 units in the three buildings; 909 New Jersey
(which opened in early April) has 25 percent of its 237 units leased. The Capitol Quarter
townhouses are listed at 88 of 113 units sold (though I'm not sure how the public housing rental and for-sale units figure into that number), and Capitol Hill Tower
is reported as being 80 percent sold. No numbers are reported for Velocity Condos
, which according to a presentation by Michael Stevens last week is supposed to open in late August or September. All told, the BID says there are an estimated 1,863 residents in the Capitol Riverfront.
* A WBJ piece from today's print edition on Willco Cos.'s new $100 million fund
says that the company "does not plan to dip into the fund for development projects in the pipeline, such as its 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project adjacent to Nationals Park, at Square 701
, the intersection of M and First streets SE. That project is in pre-development mode right now without a major tenant; Willco doesn't expect to kick off construction until it sees 'signs of life in that neighborhood,' Goldblatt said." This lot is probably better known as Nats Parking Lot F
, and the former home of Normandie Liquors and other small businesses.
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.
"[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.
1111 New Jersey
, Akridge/Half St.
, Casa Degli Angeli
, Navy Yard
, Onyx, Square 743N
, Nationals Park
, The Yards
Heading to Opening Day? What You'll See That You Didn't See Last Year
Apr 12, 2009 7:59 PM
[Note: I'm back in town after almost a week away (reminder to self: next year don't skip town the week before the home opener), so apologies if my coverage of the various events and media pieces has seemed even less scintillating than usual. And now I'm going to end the week with one more less-than-perfect entry, which I should have written before I left but didn't do it until now....]
If you haven't been back to Nationals Park
or the surrounding Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards neighborhood since last year's Opening Day, here's what you'll see that wasn't completed on your last visit:
* 55 M Street
- Right on top of the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station, at the head of Half Street, is Monument Realty's 275,000-sq-ft office building, which has been finished in the last few months and which will be home to Artomatic
this summer. No office or retail tenants have been announced, although WBJ reported a few weeks back
that Gordon Biersch
may be eyeing some of 55 M's ground-floor space. The rest of Monument's Half Street site remains a large hole in the ground, with financing for the planned 350 residential units and adjoining hotel directly across from the ballpark nowhere to be found.
* 70 and 100 I Street
- Sibling apartment buildings officially known as the Axiom and Jefferson at Capitol Yards first began move-ins in late summer 2008, and their combined 700 units are reported to be about 50 percent leased. (They're the big brick buildings sitting just south of the Freeway.)
* Onyx on First
- Another apartment building (though it had been originally planned as condos), Onyx opened at the corner of First and L streets in late fall of 2008. It has approximately 266 units.
* 100 M Street
- On the site of the old On Luck cafeteria at First and M, this 240,000-sq-ft office building opened right at the tail end of 2008, and is close to 40 percent leased, with Parsons occupying about one-third of the space. A SunTrust Bank branch is under construction on the ground floor--there's additional retail space where a restaurant could be a possibility, though no deals have been announced.
* 909 New Jersey
- Finished mere moments ago (it opened last week), this 237-unit apartment building at New Jersey and I by JPI (developers of 70 and 100 I) is catching eyes with its blue-edged nighttime profile, and is generating piles of "have they signed anyone for their retail space?" messages in my inbox (answer: not that I've heard so far). Baseball fans walking down from Capitol South will also appreciate the wide new sidewalk now just one block south of the freeway.
As for what's currently underway, there's the first phase of townhouses at Capitol Quarter
(where the first residents will move in this month and where work will continue into next year), the 200-unit Velocity condo building
at First and L, and the 440,000-sq-ft office building at 1015 Half Street
(which will be completed in 2010 but will already be cursed for obscuring the view of the Capitol dome from some seats in the ballpark that had it last year). There's also construction continuing at Diamond Teague Park
, right across from the ballpark's grand staircase, but the somewhat optimistic timeline of having the water taxi piers completed by Opening Day has now been revised to "midseason."
Work had begun on rehabbing the brown-and-white Pattern/Joiner Shop
at the Yards
last year (which folks walking to the ballpark from the Nats Express drop-off will see), but financing problems brought the work to a halt early in 2009, and Forest City continues to look for money to restart the project.
The most prominent structure that's disappeared in the past 12 months is the former WMATA bus garage
on Half Street just across from the subway entrance, demolished two weeks ago to make way for Akridge's planned 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use development, though that project won't get underway before 2010. (The south end of Akridge's Half Street land is where the [not-a-]beer garden
may appear later this summer.)
But, as has been written about extensively elsewhere, as of now there's no new places to eat since last year (though a deli is coming to Third and K
in May), and most likely no additional projects will get underway before next year.
So, study this little guide and amaze your friends with your knowledge of what's what as you look at the ballpark's surroundings.
, Akridge/Half St.
, Capitol Quarter
, Foundry Lofts/Yards
, Monument/Half St.
, Onyx, Retail
, Square 743N
, Square 699n
, Nationals Park
, Water Taxis/Riverboats
, The Yards
The $6 Billion Neighborhood (Better, Stronger, Faster)
Mar 15, 2009 10:38 PM
It certainly doesn't feel like it's the case, so you might be surprised to find out that the District of Columbia thinks that Near Southeast is worth about $1.5 billion more than it was a year ago, at least in terms of the latest tax assessments
now available. With a total assessment last year of around $4.5 billion for the blocks bounded by the SE Freeway, South Capitol Street, and the Anacostia River (to just west of the Sousa Bridge), this bump up edges the neighborhood's "worth" to just over $6 billion.
A chunk of that change is coming from the first official assessment of Nationals Park
, valued at $999,982,800 (geez, Mr. Tax Assessor, just round it to $1 billion and be done with it), a rise of nearly $650 million from the assessed value of just the land last year. Blocks that saw projects get completed in 2008 (70/100 I
, 100 M
, and 55 M
) got hefty bumps in their valuations, while other spots (20 M
, the Capper
, Maritime Plaza
) saw their assessments go down.
I created a report
comparing 2008 and 2009's numbers overall and by block, though I wouldn't swear to the exactness of each number down to the penny (but they're probably close enough).
As for the trend of the overall valuation of Near Southeast over the past nine years, it's still *up*:
, 20 M
, 70/100 I
, US Dept. of Transportation HQ
, Maritime Plaza
, Monument/Half St.
, Onyx, Square 743N
, Nationals Park
Groundbreaking at Diamond Teague on Friday; 909 New Jersey Soon; Occupancy Numbers; More
Feb 12, 2009 7:38 PM
* On Friday at 10:30 am the mayor will be hosting a groundbreaking at Diamond Teague Park
; construction started back in December (photos on my project page
from a few weeks ago show the piers and ramps around the pumphouse have already been dismantled). The timeline as described to me at the end of January
is that the new piers are to be ready by Opening Day, with the landscaping and land-based improvements to be completed by July; we'll see if those dates are still operative at tomorrow's event.
* Also from the BID newsletter (which isn't posted on their web site, otherwise I'd link to it), some occupancy numbers for the three buildings participating in this weekend's "Luck of the Draw
" art extravaganza: Velocity has sold 52 of its 200 units (which is still right around the 25-percent mark reported back in July
of last year); 100 I Street
is 25 percent leased (it was reported at around 16 percent leased in December), and Onyx on First
is 27 percent leased (after having been 8 percent leased in December).
Details on 'Luck of the Draw' This Weekend
Feb 10, 2009 12:37 PM
From a just-sent-out press release
, more details on the "Luck of the Draw Art and Music Event" being put on by Artomatic
, Pink Line Project
, and the Capitol Riverfront BID
in the neighborhood this weekend:
"Luck of the Draw will transform selected units, lounges, courtyards and the parking lots at Velocity
at Capitol Yards and Onyx on First
residential buildings with photography, installation art, graffiti artists, live music, DJs and dancing to create a threeday neighborhood art and entertainment event. Start the night at the Velocity Condominium's entertainment tent on Half Street between L St and K St SE, and then head over to Axiom at Capitol Yards at 100 I (Eye) St SE and Onyx on First at 1100 First St SE. Draw playing cards at each location and, in traditional Washington, DC style, barter, trade and negotiate with others for the best 5-card poker hand to enter a raffle and win an iPod Nano. Beverages and snacks will be available at the venues as well."
It's free and open to the public. Hours are 6 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday (the 13th and 14th) and 2pm to 6 pm on Sunday the 15th.
City Paper on the 'Capitol Riverfront', and Other Links
Dec 10, 2008 1:10 PM
Piling a bunch of stuff together, again:
* Just posted
on its Housing Complex blog (and in this week's print edition), the City Paper takes a look at the "Capitol Riverfront," both in the attempts to brand the neighborhood and in how empty it currently is (the subhed for the piece says "Developing a Name for the Southeast Waterfront Is Easier Than Actually Developing It" ).
* Reader J. reported yesterday that interior work seems to have begun at the old dialysis building at 900 M Street
. They're rehabbing the interior and the exterior to create three retail storefronts, though no tenants have been announced yet.
* Planners are trying to figure out where to put all the charter buses
coming to town for the inauguration. I'm guessing that the surface parking lots all around Near Southeast are going to be pretty enticing.
* One more add: Dr. Gridlock reports
that Metro will be testing more eight-car trains on the Green line.
, Capitol Hill Tower
, M Street
, Onyx, parking
, Douglass Bridge
, Square 743N
, Square 699n
, Nationals Park
Reminders for Wednesday: Parking Meeting, Onyx
Nov 18, 2008 2:45 PM
Two reminders for your Wednesday planning:
Quick Photos from the Anacostia Waterfront Fair, Plus a Few Other New Photos and Pages
Nov 15, 2008 4:35 PM
I have to admit that information fairs aren't quite my gig (especially since I'm immersed in this stuff everyday), but I did wander past today's Anacostia Waterfront Community Information Fair at the ballpark
to see what there was to see. I got there pretty early and left pretty early, so didn't see any of the panel discussions (and didn't take any of the bus tours), but if you want to see how they configured the exhibitions within the Stars and Stripes clubs at the ballpark, here's a batch of photos
. (And, if you were there, maybe you're in one or two of them!)
Plus, I felt a burst of inspiration yesterday the likes of which I haven't seen in months, and *finally* created project pages for William C. Smith's 800 New Jersey Avenue
development and for the 11th Street Bridges reconstruction
. The 800 NJ page has almost no information (since there's so little to be had about the project beyond the basic 1.1-mil-office-residential-retail-and-maybe-Whole-Foods
profile); the 11th Street Bridges page is a little better, but still is just a lot of pictures of overpasses and flyovers. Better than nothing in both cases, though!
Onyx Grand Opening Party on Nov. 19
Nov 11, 2008 6:31 PM
The folks at Onyx on First
apartments are throwing a Grand Opening party on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 8 pm, which will include a "special tour," as well as jazz, wine, and hors d'oeuvres. Here's the invitation flyer
, along with the information on how to RSVP. (Though I don't imagine they'll lock the door if you try to show up without having called first.)
Interior Photos from Onyx and Axiom/100 I
Oct 7, 2008 2:17 PM
Although the leasing office has been open for a few weeks now, I only just visited Onyx on First
this past weekend. They're still putting on the finishing touches (their certificate of occupancy came through not too long ago), so I was only able to see the main floor and one of the model units, but at least now I do finally have photos from the inside of the building
(scroll down if the link doesn't jump you down the page). I also got a couple shots from the roof, but things aren't quite completed up there, so I didn't get a photo of the pool. And since they're now open, I've moved Onyx to "completed" status.
The Axiom apartment building at 100 I
has been open for a little while, but I hadn't gotten myself in there since a pre-occupancy construction-dust tour back in June. That has now been rectified, and I've posted photos of the common areas and one of the model units
. (Didn't get back to the roof, though.) You can also see my interior photos from sibling Jefferson/70 I
, to see the warehouse vs. modern differences in the designs.
Onyx Opening Monday? And Other Quick Links
Aug 8, 2008 9:46 AM
A few quick hits to start the day:
says that Onyx on First
is opening Monday (so my post earlier this week
on it looking close to opening wasn't too far off). I'm trying to confirm, but haven't heard back yet. UPDATE:
They tell me that yes, they're opening Monday.
* The Examiner reports
on allegations by DC auditors of an ethics violation by former Anacostia Waterfront Corporation chief Andrew Altman back in 2005, having to do with the AWC signing a contract with a real estate services company that listed Altman as a reference.
* The Nationals have announced that they have donated more than 10,000 tickets to August games at the ballpark to local community and civic groups, as part of MLB's "Commissioner's Initiative for Kids" program. Southwest's King Greenleaf Recreation Center was one of the recipients.
Onyx Looking Close to Opening; 909 Getting Bricked
Aug 4, 2008 1:06 PM
A few weeks ago I was told that the Onyx on First
apartment building would probably be opening its first three floors in early August, and judging by the newly installed sidewalk along First Street and a peek into the lobby, it doesn't appear to be far off. The building will have approximately 260 units, and began construction in fall 2006. On my Onyx project page
, you can see updated photos, along with a few new images of the buildings that preceded Onyx on this site.
Two blocks to the north, 909 New Jersey
speeds along, with its distinctive roofline now visible from many locations around the neighborhood, as you can see both on the project page
and in the Expanded 909 Photo Gallery
. (What do we call this roof thing? The crow's nest? The bow?) The photos also show that brick is now being added to the First Street side of the building. This 237-unit rental building with ground-floor retail space will be the third of JPI's four "Capitol Yards
" residential developments, and is expected to be completed next year.
(And while you look at all the latest photos, be sure to take a moment to thank the supreme being of your choice for bestowing upon us Sunday's gorgeous weather and severe clear blue sky, which is such a rarity given DC's normally haze-filled Augusts.)
In Case You Missed It (Last Week's News Again)
Jun 2, 2008 10:11 AM
There was a big pile of news this past week from Near Southeast, so I'll boil it down to bullet points and links in case you couldn't keep up:
* 100 M
will be substantially completed in November
, and tenants should start moving into the office building early in 2009. SunTrust Bank is the first retail tenant, and the developer is looking for restaurants for the other spaces;
Onyx Opening Late July/Early August; Starting Prices
May 30, 2008 1:29 PM
I had a nice chat today with a representative of Onyx on First
, the almost-finished 266-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of First and L streets. Confirming what a commenter mentioned a few entries back
, they're expecting to deliver the first five floors of the building in late July or early August. Rents have not been set for the individual units, but are expected to range up from $1,950 for a studio, $2,050 for 1 br, $2,225 for 1 br/den, $2,500 for 2 br/1 ba, $2,450 for 2 br/2 ba, and $2,800 for 2 br/2 ba/den. (You can compare them to the out-of-the-gate rents at 70 and 100 I here
.) The new web site is OnyxApts.com
, though as of now there isn't much there beyond a sign-up sheet if you want them to contact you with more information.
Onyx: New Web Site, and Leasing This Summer
May 25, 2008 8:42 PM
Mere moments ago I saw for the first time new banners hung on the temporary plywood walkway that runs along M Street between First and New Jersey, announcing that Onyx Apartments
at 1100 First Street is now leasing. (Perhaps the signs have been there for days, but if so, my vast network of eyes-on-the-ground missed a spot.) There's also a new URL, OnyxApts.com
. The web site itself says "Leasing Summer 2008," and is nothing more than a slightly updated rendering and a sign-up form. But for folks who've been wondering if Onyx was going to be making any sort of progress toward opening, it is evidence of some forward motion. Between Onyx and 70 and 100 I
, close to 1,000 rental units will be opening in Near Southeast over the next few months.
Go to Page: