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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Onyx
See JDLand's Onyx Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
Homewood Suites Hotel
1111 New Jersey
Yards/Parcel A
1244 South Capitol
Florida Rock
Ballpark Square
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
New Barracks
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
Posts on Food/Fun
Retail News
Restaurants/Nightlife
 

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78 Blog Posts Since 2003
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After a week of days that were either overcast and drizzly or ridiculously hot and humid, today's sunny-and-warm profile gave me no choice but to venture out for a reconaissance mission. My report:
The masses of workers and the well-positioned fences make it nearly impossible to take photos of the current state of South Capitol Street, but I have added a decent photo to my Douglass Bridge makeover page showing the new South Capitol and Potomac intersection, which appears very close to being ready for traffic. Streetlights are in place, curbs have been built, paving has begun, and the historic globe streetlamps are installed all along the length of the bridge.
I also snuck a peek into the huge hole where Monument Realty's Half Street project is underway, and from N Street you can see what appears to be vertical construction is already underway at the bottom of the hole. It's along the M Street portion of the site, which will be home to the 55 M Street office building, which itself will contain the expanded entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. Because that Metro work must be completed by Opening Day 2008, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're already pouring concrete and working upward, eight months into construction. The office building itself and the rest of the Half Street Phase I won't be completed until 2009.
And I unexpectedly found Demolished Building entry #138, as the beige garage that has long sat on the northeast side of the Half and I Street intersection bit the dust today, which I'm sure JPI is happy to see, given that 70/100 I Street is growing like a weed right next door.
Speaking of 70/100 I, it got updated photos today, along with Onyx on First and 100 M Street. You can look at those project pages (and their accompanying expanded archives), or you can browse this page showing all photos I've posted from today, which includes a few new shots of Capper Building #2, which I believe is just minutes from opening. And I even finally added a photo of the "Starbucks Coming Soon" sign out in front of the DOT HQ, for the caffeine-deprived.
 

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

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

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

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

They're not really that exciting to look at, but I now have a few photos from yesterday evening showing that the ground floor of the Onyx on First condo project has sprouted. (Its sibling 100 M Street, coming out of the same hole, is on a slower schedule, it appears.)
And with the Douglass Bridge viaduct now gone, I've started making some additions and deletions to my Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery to change out the photos I had been taking from up on the viaduct and replacing them with some new angles. And there will probably be more changes to come, especially with the western parking garage at South Capitol and N now clearly visible. If you scroll through the stadium page, you'll be rewarded about halfway down with a photo showing the first panes of glass installed on the southwest side of the ballpark. And I'll be doing my usual photo update on Sunday for the other three sides of stadium.
More posts: Onyx, Nationals Park
 

I've been posting over the past couple days all sorts of new photos: first off, there's the usual update to the exterior views in the Stadium Construction Gallery's main page and the more detailed north-south-east-west pages. The big change is the arrival of the scoreboard steel on the First Street side, which has also helped to give the stadium its more rounded feel when looking at it from the north. And, if you know what you're looking for, you can see the first real shots of progress on the west parking garage at Half and N, although it's still kind of hidden by trees and construction equipment. There's also my final shots from up on the South Capitol Street viaduct north of Potomac Ave. (waaaah!).
You can also see some new shots from inside the stadium, where you can get a better view of the scoreboard's progress and also of the seats being installed in right field. And the outfield restaurant is moving along as well.
I got a big surprise when I rounded First Street onto Potomac Avenue Saturday morning--all of the trees and growth on the south side of Potomac were removed this week, and the fence marking Florida Rock's property was moved back, in preparation for the widening of Potomac Avenue. I posted a bunch of new pictures showing the change on my Florida Rock page, but I'm not sure the photos do it justice. And of course it's about to change even more late this week when the Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover starts.
And finally there's a lot of new shots from various locations north of M that I took on Thursday, catching things like a new "Capitol Yards" sign at 909 New Jersey, progress on the Velocity Condos sales center, and even the new sidewalks on the northern portion of New Jersey Avenue if you have x-ray vision. It's hard to see in the photos, but the vertical construction at both Onyx on First and 70 I Street is now right at street level, so in the coming weeks expect those buildings to burst on the scene. You can see all these non-stadium updated photos compiled here if you don't want to poke around on the project pages.
That ought to keep everyone busy during a slow vacation-tinged week....
 

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

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

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 Click to see all available photos of this location. 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.)
I also did what is probably the final major photo update for 20 M Street, and updated some other intersections as well--Half and M, Cushing and M (both of which are part of the Monument Half Street footprint); Cushing and L; and 1st and M and 1st and L, home of the construction sites for 100 M Street and Onyx on First, which each got updated as well, although the pictures aren't particularly exciting (still just a big hole in the ground). Or you could just look at all the photos I took today, then click on the intersection link if you want to see previous photos.
And now, I must go watch my Gators.

 

Goings on about town.... Earlier this week the construction crane arrived at the Onyx on First/100 M Street construction site, signaling the beginning of the end of the digging-down phase and the start of the building-up phase. (Though these two projects are being developed by different companies, they are being built concurrently--that's synergy, and cost savings!) Two blocks over, a big sign has gone up at 2nd and M advertising Washington Canal Park--the graphic on the sign is the same one I found a few weeks back in the Capitol Riverfront BID executive summary. And, today, fences have been erected around Square 699N, the entire block bounded by Half, K, L, and 1st, the former home to Wet/Edge and various other small businesses. Permits appear to be in place for demolition and excavation, so with the fences up I'd expect something to start happening soon--now if only the Cohen Companies would tell us WHAT! You can see a few new shots on my Square 699N and Canal Park pages, or here in the Photo Archive all at once. UPDATE: I should add that, back in September 2005 when Ron Cohen purchased Square 699N, it was reported that the block would be developed with 650 condos, a hotel with condos, a stand-alone 250,000 sq ft office building, and retail. But there's been little reporting since on his plans.
 

The draft agenda for the March 12 ANC 6D meeting has been sent out (although not posted on their web site as yet, alas), and there are a few Near Southeast items of interest: discussion and vote on an construction agreement (presumably between the developers and the neighborhood/ANC) for 1325 South Capitol Street (the 276-unit residential project across from the ballpark); a presentation on modifications being requested in front of the Zoning Commission to the plans for the office building at 100 M Street (I don't know any details, will post when I find out); and a presentation on streetscapes at the The Yards/Southeast Federal Center (ooooh, more hints of moving forward!). There's also a meeting on the planned Monument Realty project on the Randall School site at Half and I Streets SW (blissfully outside of my purview). The meeting is at St. Augustine's Church at 6th and M Streets, SW at 7 pm.
UPDATE: The 100 M Street change is quite minor, according to Opus East, a result of actual construction drawings evolving from the original design drawings. I also hear tell that First Street is going to be widened at some point by DDOT, which means that 100 M and Onyx on First won't have a wide/deep sidewalk along as originally thought. (I don't have any details on the First Street work.)
UPDATE II: The ANC 6D report in the new issue of the Hill Rag has more details on the 1325 South Cap construction agreement as discussed at the February meeting, though I don't know whether it's changed or not going into tonight's meeting. It also says the project has 276 units, not 244 as I've been reporting.
 

Today I was able to take some photos from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott--since it was a clear day, I could indeed see forever. First off, with the Capper/Carrollsburg demolition west of 5th Street now complete, I've posted before-and-after photos of the Capper footprint that illustrate the astonishing difference 10 months and six blocks' worth of demolition can make; this page also has new photos as you scroll down showing ground-level shots of the final demolished block north of K between 2nd and 3rd. Next are photos-from-above of the holes in the ground at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx, with comparison shots from last year (scroll down a bit from the top of the page). And, if you can bear to scroll ALL the way to the bottom, I have views of the Nats ballpark construction from this Courtyard vantage point--it's pretty much like looking into the stadium from dead center field, except four blocks away. And, at the top of the Capper Seniors page, there's a neat shot of all three Capper Seniors buildings. Alas, now I will have to return to taking boring street-level shots for a while....
 

Adding to the projects that look to be starting in 2007, it appears that the 1111 New Jersey Avenue office building being developed by Donohoe is moving forward--they've recently applied for a zoning special exception ("for a waiver of the rear yard requirement"), which has been added to the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment's May 8 agenda. This is slated to be a 146,000-sq-ft, 12-story project with ground-floor retail, and I've heard tell that they're planning a mid-2007 start date. It will be on the land between the Navy Yard Metro station entrance at New Jersey and M and St. Matthew's Baptist Church at L Street (St. Matthew's is not being demolished)--and no, it won't be built up on the grassy hill, they'll dig down to street level! This will make the third project underway on what is known as Square 743N, along with the 100 M Street office building and the Onyx on First residential tower on the other side of the block, along 1st Street.

 

As we slide into the New Year's weekend, I'm bringing 2006 to a close with a pile of new photos. The most comprehensive update would be on my Department of Transportation HQ page, with updated photos from almost every angle, including the not-yet-open-to-the-public views from the south side of the project, along Tingey Street. And I had a lovely time on Christmas Eve morning being briefly detained by security and then escorted off the premises, so I hope you appreciate my sacrifice. I also updated all the 20 M Street shots, as workers have switched into a high gear to have the building ready for a Spring 2007 delivery. The demolition work on the last Capper block has brought some new photos to the Capper Apartments page (updated since yesterday), and my wanderings around the Capper footprint made me also add some new shots to the Capitol Quarter page and even at the bottom of the main Capper/Carrollsburg Overview page. Then I had to go take a few new Nationals ballpark shots (yes, new just since Christmas Eve). Then, because I never want to be accused of ignoring a construction site, I've even posted fabulously exciting pictures of the excavated holes at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx. And sprinkled two new M Street images, too. The beloved icon is your guide to all the latest, of course. And I hope to have another big update early in 2007 with some new overhead shots, once the Capper demolition is complete. In the meantime, enjoy this overwhelming bounty.
 

With no debate, the four Near Southeast alley closing bills that have been snaking their way through the DC legislative process in 2006 were passed at today's city council session, with both emergency and permanent bills being passed (emergency bills allow the statutes to take effect immediately, allowing the closings to be considered law as the permanent bills await mayoral and congressional approval). To recap, this batch included the closing of alleys on the west side of Square 701 between M, N, Cushing, and Half (at Monument Realty's 55 M Street site); the closing of alleys and the creation of streets named 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and an official designation of a portion of L Street, all part of the Capitol Quarter footprint; the closing of alleys and the eventual reopening of H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey to make way for W.C. Smith's 1-million-sq-ft mixed-use project at 800 New Jersey; and finally the closing of alleys on the east side of Square 700 (between Half, Van, M, and N), where Monument will eventually add to their Half Street domination. That makes seven Near Southeast alley closings and street changes put on the books in 2006, when you include the stadium street closings, the Willco land on the east side of Square 701 (M, N, Cushing, and 1st) and the Square 743N west-side alley closings that allowed the start of construction on the 100 M Street office building and the Onyx on First residential tower. There's one more potential alley closing wandering around out there somewhere, and that's for Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street office building; representatives came before ANC 6D way back in April, but (believe it or not!) a squabble broke out about an acceptable community benefits package in return for the ANC's report, and nothing's been heard on this since.
 

The was a ceremonial groundbreaking today at Onyx on First, the 266-unit residential tower at 1st and L streets scheduled for delivery in 2008. Just-Minutes-Away-From-Being-Mayor Fenty was in attendance, as were representatives of Faison Enterprises and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (I had thought that maybe Magic himself might be in attendance, but we had to settle for Screech, the Nats mascot). A few photos of the ceremony are at the bottom of my Onyx on First page. UPDATE: Here's the WashTimes piece on the groundbreaking and the project.
More posts: Onyx, Square 743N
 

Faison Enterprises and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds are holding a ceremonial groundbreaking (with Most-Likely-To-Be Mayor Fenty in attendance) for the Onyx on First residential project, on Nov. 1 at 10:00 am. This is the 260-unit residential building at 1100 First Street SE; the project will also "include a rooftop pool, underground parking, a fitness center, an outdoor courtyard, a game room, and great views of the city from the upper floors. Condos will range from studios to 2-bedrooms, and prices are anticipated to start in the upper $200s." UPDATE: Here's a GlobeSt.com blurb on the project.
More posts: Onyx, Square 743N
 

A web site has been launched for the 260-unit residential building at 1st and L, which I've been referring to as 1100 First Street but which has been dubbed Onyx on First. Not much in the way of actual information there, but there is a registration form to fill out. (And I hope people who aren't in-the-know about Near Southeast aren't baffled by the "Ballpark Metro" references, since there's no station with that name, of course.) This is the project being developed jointly by Faison and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund (Magic Johnson being the "Johnson" part of that).
More posts: Onyx, Square 743N
 

Speaking of taking pictures, I've added some ones to my 100 M Street, 1100 First Street, Capper Seniors #2, and M Street photo galleries. 1100 First in particular has some striking before-and-afters now that trees have been removed along 1st and L streets. I also did some creative cropping of a Sept. 2000 photo of M Street to document (barely!) a solitary rowhouse that used to stand on the 100 M Street lot (where those steps-to-nowhere just west of the alley had been for the past few years, until meeting the wrecking ball over the past few weeks).

 
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