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While move-ins are probably still a good two months away, the folks at the Park Chelsea at 880 New Jersey Ave., SE, have now opened their ground-floor leasing center inside the building.
So of course I had to immediately scurry over to get some photos of both this space and the one-bedroom model units that are currently available.
If you have your heart set on a unit on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floors, pre-leasing has already begun, with the "release" of units expanding upwards in coming weeks.
This will actually be the leasing center for all three buildings on this block, officially known as "The Collective." Agora (aka the Whole Foods Building) is already under construction immediately to the north, and then the Garrett will come eventually along 2nd Street. All together there will be close to 1,200 units when build-out is finished.
Alas, despite my best attempts at looking sad, forlorn, depressed, despondent, crestfallen, and miserable, I didn't get to see the amenity spaces throughout the rest of the building, as work is still in progress. And two-bedroom models aren't available just yet, either.
Check out the full gallery, but here's a preview.
The official web site has floor plans, details on the amenities, and contact information.
 

I think a couple of before-and-afters tell the story as well as a pile of words. First, looking west from 2nd Street SE on Feb. 3, 2005, and then today, Feb. 8, 2016:
And the reverse view, looking east from New Jersey on Feb. 23, 2004 and today, Feb. 8, 2016:
And here's a few more shots, because I'm a crazy woman. Note that the sidewalks on the south and west sides of the Park Chelsea are now open, meaning that you can now walk on the east side of New Jersey north of I--at least until you get to the fences that mark the Agora/Whole Foods project, at which point you'd need to cross back to the west.
In case you haven't been around, it was the former DPW/trash transfer station, demolished in 2012, that long ago was built on a diagonal footprint, created from back when the Washington Canal was dug.
And now I at last will be able to photograph the intersections of 2nd and I and New Jersey and I without having to walk down to K and back up to I. And bike to Southwest without having to do the same down-and-back.
I would note, though, that pedestrians and cyclists need to be veeeeeery careful at this intersection--I saw a lot of confusion this morning, and of course the continuing construction right up to the property line at 82 I adds to the difficulties.
Comments (19)
More posts: 880 NJ/Park Chelsea, parkchelsea, Traffic Issues
 

I ended 2015 with a quick look back at the major development news of the neighborhood over the previous twelve months, so it would be fitting to not get too far into 2016 without a look ahead. But it is to be remembered of course that crystal ball gazing is inherently dicier, which is why I like writing posts that look back a whole lot more than I do ones that look forward.
First Out of the Gate
Let's start with the easy ones, the 436-unit Park Chelsea at 880 New Jersey and the 325-unit Arris at 4th and Tingey, both of which are showing signs of opening their doors in coming weeks.
In fact, let's look at photographic evidence from this weekend to support this theory, starting with the Park Chelsea's still-fenced-but-prepped front entrance and New Jersey Avenue frontage, plus the new section of I Street that at this point I believe is being kept closed merely for the fun of driving me insane.
At Arris, the sidewalks on Tingey and Water, on the building's north and south sides, are now open, and landscaping and lighting has arrived in the courtyards on the building's west side--along with most interesting sculptures/screens/whatever you want to call them that serve to give the courtyards and the units that face them a little bit of privacy.
Other Expected 2016 Deliveries
The JDLand crystal ball feels confident that the DC Housing Authority's two current projects, the Community Center at 5th and K and the 195-unit mixed-income Bixby/Lofts at Capitol Quarter at 7th and L will be the next developments to make it across the finish line, though the specific time frames are still a bit cloudy.
And work is now underway on the Yards Park Marina, which is supposed to be finished in spring/summer 2016.
Beyond that? The 305-unit Dock 79 at Florida Rock topped out in early November, and the exterior masonry and glass work are well underway. MRP Realty has said that it expects the building to deliver in July, but at the very least Signs Point to Yes on a delivery before the end of the year.
While 82 I/801 New Jersey looks about finished with vertical construction, and its red brick exterior is already up to its third floor, and a 2016 delivery had been announced last year, this one should probably be filed under We Shall See.
Otherwise, the rest of the current lineup of skeletons and holes in the ground are probably coming to you in 2017.
Retail on Tap for 2016
There's not a lot of announced retail in the 2016 pipeline at this point. All we have so far is that Philz Coffee will arrive Arris this spring and that optimists believe that the Brig beer garden at 8th and L will at last open its gates. The new Italian venture at the Park Tavern should (?) be arriving at some point as well, and maybe the Bardo Riverfront venture.
But there's at least 30,000 combined square feet of additional retail space in both Arris and Dock 79 that I imagine we'll be hearing about as the year goes on.
Projects That May Get Underway in 2016
(This category always gives me the shakes.)
The crystal ball feels reasonably confident that the condo and rental projects on what's known as Yards Parcel O will get started, with financing for the PN Hoffman condo portion already announced and various types of construction permit applications submitted and awaiting approvals.
Also looking likely to join the 2016 lineup is the new National Association of Broadcasters headquarters at the corner of South Capitol and M, presumably along with the 163-unit residential building that development Monument Realty is also planning for the site.
DC Water is itching to get going on its new headquarters, which will be built as a wraparound to the existing O Street Pumping Station, which happens to be immediately to the south of the Showplace Icon movie theater site, which is supposed to see construction start in 2016.
JBG's recently unveiled condo/rental/retail project for the west side of Half Street is scheduled to begin construction late in 2016, if all zoning and permitting goes according to plan.
Beyond that? The crystal ball would not be totally shocked to see the Jair Lynch condo/rental/retail project on the east side of Half Street get started sometime before the end of the year, and would be equally not totally shocked to see that wait until early 2017.
Movement on a new Douglass Bridge might also be on the boards for 2016, but whether actual start of construction can happen within the next 12 months, well, hope springs eternal.
As always, if this slew of words has you overwhelmed, check out the full development map and the guide down below it (yes, scroll down!) to give more clarity.
 

In a sneaky holiday-weekend move noticed by at least one eagle-eyed JDLand reader, WC Smith has posted floor plans and general price ranges for the 436 units soon to be available at the Park Chelsea, at 880 New Jersey Ave., SE. Studios start at $1,700, one-bedroom units at $1,900, and two-bedroom units at $2,900, and one three-bedroom penthouse unit at over $4,800/month for 1,786 square feet of space.
But those little tidbits aren't really the main headline: it's that this information is now found on TheCollectiveDC.com, a combined web site for the Park Chelsea, Agora (i.e., the building currently under construction that will have a Whole Foods on the ground floor), and the Garrett, the planned but until now unnamed third building that will round out the development of the block bounded by New Jersey Avenue and 2nd, H, and I Streets, SE.
It's a vast web site that I won't try to summarize here, except to tell you that there are long lists of amenities, as well as hints of a golf simulator, an indoor basketball court, a tennis court, "indoor green space," and the lap pool we already knew about.
The site says that the Park Chelsea--"at the intersection of elegance and opportunity," will offer "classic, New York-style architecture" when it opens in the first quarter of 2016. Agora, just up the street at the "intersection of style and possibility," will have "contemporary architecture" and "minimalist interior finishes" when it arrives in early 2017 (with the Whole Foods probably needing a few months longer for its build-out). The Garrett, just around the corner at the "intersection of activity and accessibility," will feature "industrial-chic design" when it opens, perhaps as early as 2019.
It's getting so you can't keep all of these projects straight without a scorecard. Let me help you with that.
 

While the appearance of a canopy over a front entrance does not signal that an under-construction apartment building is ready to start welcoming residents next week, it's still an interesting progress point to see at both the Park Chelsea and Arris residential projects. There's also landscaping starting to go in along the Park Chelsea's sidewalks on both New Jersey and would-you-just-open-already I Street--plus the leasing countdown clock has remained set for January 2016 for a few months now. As for Arris, the latest word remains "early 2016" for when it will open--and 2016 just isn't as far away as it used to be.
To the east, the not-minor project to do the masonry work and the siding at the 195-unit mixed-income Lofts at Capitol Quarter at 7th Street continues--apologies for only showing the rear of the building when I take a wide shot, but with the trees and the narrowness of L Street it's basically impossible for me to get a good photograph of the front. (Plus the low sun angle from late October through early March makes southern-facing photos a pretty miserable experience with a pretty miserable outcome, anyway.)
At 5th and K, the Capper Community Center's exterior isn't changing too much at this stage, but I'd get the shakes if I tried to not photograph it.
At New Jersey and Tingey, the new trapeze school building's blue-and-white exterior is mostly finished, though I'm such a bad blogger that it didn't occur to me to walk up to the big opening and peek in--but TSNYDC has posted a photo of the inside.
As for the Brig, the beer garden-to-be at 8th and L, the building itself looks pretty well finished now, though the "garden" portion of the venture does not appear to have gotten underway yet. And with two pit bulls on guard (!), I wasn't about to poke my camera through the fence for a better view.
And while I had designs on pressing my camera up against the glass at Buffalo Wild Wings on Half Street, they were having a staff training session when I arrived, and so I chickened out (Bad Blogger Data Point #2). But the gentleman I spoke with there confirmed again the Nov. 16 opening date, saying that the doors will open that day at 10 am--and that they generally have people camping out over Sunday nights to be among the first 100 customers through the door, who are then winners of the free-wings-once-a-week-for-a-year prize. Hope y'all have warm sleeping bags!
Still to come, the skeletons-and-holes report.
 

I already looked down this month, now it's time to look up.
* ARRIS: Let's start with the now-topped-out Arris apartment building at the Yards. In addition to its having reached its final height, the masonry work on the five lowest floors of the eastern portion of the site is pretty far along, and windows have started appearing in the second floor.
While the three "pavilions" on the western side (not seen real well in this shot, but check the rendering) will be brick-faced all the way up their eight floors, the east tower's upper fa├žade will be all glass, with an undulation that's obvious even with just the concrete in place.
This building will have 325 rental units and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and is expected to open in early 2016.
* PARK CHELSEA: It certainly won't win the prize as Speediest Construction Project Ever, and the countdown to the start of leasing has changed its target from July 1 to September 15, but work on the 430ish-unit rental building on New Jersey Avenue does continue. You may have seen the forms with the planets-and-the-stars design that have now been hoisted up to their final perches on the roof--I've been told this is based on Johannes Kepler's "star polygon tessellations," which I concede is way too much education for JDLand to normally pass along.
* LOFTS AT CAPITOL QUARTER AND CAPPER COMMUNITY CENTER: They may not be tall, but they are wide--as is my lens, thankfully. If you are wondering about the concrete portion on the western end of the Loft's construction, that's parking for residents of the building's 195 mixed-income units. The two projects, both along L Street between 5th and 7th, should be completed in 2016.
* THE BRIG: I certainly could have used a drink after the 11 miles of walking I did in two passes on Sunday to properly update my photo archive, but while work on the beer garden at 8th and L to be known as The Brig continues, it still has a ways to go before it begins quenching thirsts. But it's interesting to now start to see the outline of its contribution to the "skyline" along 8th.
The links above have lots more information on each project, of course. And I skipped the Hampton Inn in the roundup, but I wouldn't want it to feel left out.
 

* BONCHON GETTING CLOSER (MARCH 30!): There's been a whole lot of non-construction people inside Bonchon (as I saw during my most recent nose-pressing), and HillNow quotes the owner as saying the restaurant "is aiming to open near the start of Major League Baseball season," with job postings saying that the restaurant will open next week. Also: "The kitchen of the 140-seat restaurant will stay open late on game days, until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and later on weekends. A happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday is in the works."
UPDATE: Washingtonian has a sneak peek, with pictures, and says March 30 is the opening date. And Eater has its post up now too, and there's confirmation of that date on the Bonchon Navy Yard Facebook page. So, prep your taste buds!
* OPENING DAY GETTING CLOSER: The Capitol Riverfront BID has put together an initial list of Opening Day Specials and Events, which I imagine I will mention again with more fanfare when April 6 is upon us. If you liked 106.7 The Fan hanging out in Canal Park for the Winter Classic, they are doing it again for Opening Day. And Bluejacket is having a big Opening Day Fest.
* PARK CHELSEA GETTING CLOSER: With a July 1 target date to start leasing, the huge residential building at New Jersey and I is rolling along, and they've posted some interior construction photos on their web site. (But what I really want is their update on getting I Street opened....!)
And now I can't get Paul McCartney out of my mind.

 

* 82 I GETS A PERMIT: Add another project to the ready-to-start-anytime lineup. In this case, it's the 234-unit residential project on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I, which as of this morning has an approved shoring/sheeting/excavation permit. They've looked ready for this moment for a few weeks now, so it'll be interesting to see when work gets underway.
* 909 HALF GETS A PERMIT: Late last week 909 Half Street got its shoring permit as well. This is a 380-unit residential building by Ruben Companies and the Related Companies, and at least one resident is sure that activity is already underway at the site on the southwest corner of Half and I, in the wake of construction trailers having arrived within the past few weeks.
This is the first time in my 12 years of JDLand-ing that a project has gotten this far along without making available a least a token rendering of what's coming, so I figured I'd just fill in the blank. Feel free to create your own.
* BALLPARK SQUARE TEA LEAVES: The parking attendant kiosks have disappeared, the gates have been locked, and cars have stopped parking on the former Nats Lot F along the west side of 1st Street south of M. The residential and hotel project known as Ballpark Square has had excavation permits in hand for the southern part of this lot since November--keep an eye out for the arrival of heavy equipment.
(Note that the north end of the block is going to be the 99 M office building--sort of part of Ballpark Square, sort of not. It doesn't have its excavation permits approved yet, though they are in process.)
* FOUR READY TO GO: If you are keeping track, there are now these approved excavation permits for 82 I, 909 Half, Ballpark Square, and the Homewood Suites at 50 M. That's a lot of new digging to kick off 2015--it's also another 940 residential units and 365 hotel rooms about to drop into the pipeline. Already under construction? Residential projects Park Chelsea, 800 New Jersey, Lofts at CQ, Arris, 1111 New Jersey, and Riverfront, plus the Community Center and a Hampton Inn, too.
* MONUMENT VALLEY TEA LEAVES: At Monday night's ANC meeting, a representative from Jair Lynch's development company was there to discuss the revamped plans for the Half Street Hole, aka Monument Valley, which Lynch and partners bought last year. According to reports from the meeting (I wasn't there), the plans are shifting to include 130 condos alongside the rental units, and to scale it all down because it was "too large." SWill was kind enough to tweet a cellphone grab of the design shown to the commission for the northeast corner of Half and N. This will need to go through a Capitol Gateway Overlay zoning review before moving forward, so there will be more opportunities to see renderings and get additional information. Lynch's rep told me after the meeting that the project is expected to be back in front of the ANC "in the very near future."
* THE DEVIL LIVES AT PARK CHELSEA: Curbed DC took a look at the pile of new renderings on the Park Chelsea web site (with a clock counting down to the start of leasing on July 1) and noticed a very familiar someone in a few of them. Clearly this is the week for having a bit of fun with drawings.
 

Thankfully my camera shutter does not seize up in cold weather, because I spent more than two hours on Saturday wandering the neighborhood* to catch up on all of the latest doings, of which there are so many these days.
I looked at The Brig.
I looked at a few other spots that you'll hear about soon.
Unsurprisingly, I also looked up.
And what a sky to look up at.
(Just ignore all those dust artifacts marring the magnificent blue. Time to buy my own sensor cleaning kit.)
I looked up at the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, which now has most of its windows and appears to be about to get its facing. Maybe it looks a smidge less like a grain elevator now.
Then I looked up at the VIDA Fitness complex at Twelve12, originally to document the new Bang Salon and Penthouse Pool Club signs, but how I could resist yet another shot of the VIDA sign when I saw this?
I've mentioned the Banfield Pet Hospital sign before, but seeing it there reminds me that a reader passed along a Banfield tweet from early January saying that Banfield would be opening Feb. 7. Keep an eye peeled for the removal of the window coverings....
And finally, we have the Park Chelsea, which remains thisclose to getting its masonry completed, with the second photo included mainly to give me an excuse to sneak in a shot of the scaffolded Capitol dome.
If you like photos of vertical construction against a deep blue sky, stay tuned.
* But, hey, 11,000 steps!
 

I could blather on in some kind of forced introduction about how the weatherman sold my camera and me a bill of goods this weekend ("mostly sunny," eh?), and how the low sun and weak light and wispy clouds made for less-than-stellar images, but instead let's just jump in.
We'll start with the photo at right, which shockingly reveals that dirt is actually being moved on the northwest corner of 8th and L, where the beer garden now known as The Brig has been planned for such a long time. Clearly work is in the very early stages, but that's a nice change from no progress at all. It's supposed to open in the spring.
Continuing the tour....
Digging continues at the 1111 New Jersey apartment project (above left), with the shoring at far left helping to give a sense of how far down they've gotten so far. (Spoiler: they have a long ways left to go.) And at the Capper Community Center Building House (above right), the foundation on the south end of the site along L Street is now a pretty sizeable structure.
It's hard to get a decent shot of the Lofts at Capitol Quarter construction, because the building is so long, though the wide open space of Nats Lot W helps. Vertical construction continues at the far east end, at 7th Street, while the western end waits its turn. Here's a big version of the latest image, to make it easier to see. (But remember, you can click on all photos to pop up larger versions.)
From there I wandered to the Yards (after rejoicing that the Hull Street Gate to the Navy Yard was closed, so I was able to take photos of the Lofts construction without hassle). The Arris apartment building is now getting its second floor, from south to north, as seen in the below left shot from the corner of 4th and Water. And a different sort of progress is visible a few feet away, in the windows of the northwest corner of the Lumber Shed.
Not pictured is the lunch stop I made at 100 Montaditos, mainly to watch Mr. JDLand's continued march through the menu.
Meanwhile, the Hampton Inn at 1st and N (above left) continues to stand all but alone (I find myself thinking of it as Near Southeast's grain elevator). I also think I managed to capture a construction milestone when I spied its first installed windows. And, up at New Jersey and I, the Masonry Marathon continues at the Park Chelsea (above right), though it does look like that phase may not last too much longer.
There's one other batch of progress photos I took on Saturday, but you're just going to have to wait a bit longer for those.
 
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