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Within the past few weeks I've posted a lot about the MPD move to 225 Virginia Ave. and the falderal over the surface parking lots zoning amendment including Canal Park, but if you can't get enough, the August issue of the Hill Rag has pieces on both items. And a summary of the July ANC 6D meeting, too.

The Zoning Commission shoe-horned in one last public meeting tonight before its August break, and took up a couple of Near Southeast-related items.
After having asked for revisions, clarifications, and refilings on three previous occasions, the commissioners once again had before them a first vote to approve the planned 276-unit residential project by Camden Development at 1325 South Capitol Street, across the street from the Nationals ballpark. The major sticking point in the last two meetings has been the design of the western side of the building, which is technically the "rear" of the building but will be on full display to much of Southwest because only low-rise buildings back up to the project site. Commissioner Turnbull had led the complaints in previous meetings about the need to "step up" the architecture, and while he was not jumping up and down for joy (calling the latest revisions "brutal at times"), he indicated that the plans had indeed made some progress. Commissioners Parsons and Hood agreed, and the commission voted to give first approval to the project three votes to zero, with commissioners Mitten and Jeffries not voting (having not participated in the case). The project now goes to the National Capital Planning Commission for its review, with a final vote by the Zoning Commission in the fall.
The Commission also gave its final approval to Case 07-08, which amends the zoning regulations to allow temporary surface parking lots on various blocks near the stadium. This is the case that stirred an outcry a few weeks ago when it was discovered after the commission's preliminary approval that the language specifying the parcels approved for parking included the three blocks slated for Canal Park. But with a supplemental report from the Office of Planning amending the language, and also with the report from the National Capital Planning Commission indicating its support of the amendment as long as the Canal Park boo-boo was fixed, the zoning commission approved the amended amendment three votes to zero, with commissioners Parsons and Jeffries not voting. And then they amended the original emergency amendment, too, just to make 100% sure that there were no loopholes big enough to build a parking lot on.
More posts: 1325sc, parking, South Capitol St., zoning

The Examiner has a piece today entitled "City Considers 'Ballpark Fare' For Fans Who May Ride Metro to Games": "Concern about game-night gridlock on the roads surrounding the new Washington Nationals ballpark is leading D.C., transit and team leaders to consider a special 'ballpark fare' for those fans who ride Metro to the stadium." But most of the quotes in the piece seem to emphasize that this is not anything close to a done deal, that it is just one of many options being looked at as planners try to figure out how to get as many fans as possible off the streets and onto Metro or other transit options. And: "Neither side would release details of talks between Metro and the Nationals -- including what entity or government would absorb the cost." This idea is apparently mentioned in the latest Transportation Operations and Parking Plan draft.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

With little discussion, the Zoning Commission tonight took final action and approved Case 07-17, the request for a special exception and a Southeast Federal Center Overlay District review of plans for temporary surface parking lots to last no more than five years at The Yards. The only news coming out of the hearing (other than the approval itself) was that just today it was decided to not include Parcel L, the lot just to the east of the WASA building, because of property line, fencing, and other issues still being negotiated with WASA. This means that approximately 785 spaces can be created at The Yards with this zoning approval (down from the 900 or so originally anticipated, though the Parcel L lot may still be requested at a later date). The National Capital Planning Commission will be voting on this case at its August 2 hearing, but zoning Commissioner Hood announced that the NCPC staff was recommending approval of the case as well. You can see the locations of the Yards lots on my Stadium Parking page, with the Parcel L lot now removed from the map. UPDATE: Should have included this link for folks looking for more information--the Office of Planning's report to the Zoning Commission on this case, which lays out the request in greater detail and explains OP's support.
More posts: parking, The Yards, zoning

The long-awaited draft version of the stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan is becoming available online, in either the full version (58 MB!) an executive summary, or individual chapters and appendices. According to a press release just out from DDOT and the DCSEC (not yet online), there will be an open house about the TOPP on Thursday, Aug. 2 from 6-8 pm at 20 M Street SE with information stations "manned by DDOT, Sports Commission and traffic consultants to allow residents to learn about Traffic Operations and Parking; Transit, Pedestrian Access and Bikes; and Residential Parking Permits, Curbside Management (including shuttle and charter buses)."
I haven't read it yet, so check back for any tidbits I find. But I didn't want to delay getting the link out....
UPDATE: Links are now working.
UPDATES, as I read: Immediate headline jumping out at me: plans for parking spaces and lots aren't completed. Not going to go over well. On the other hand, they are recommending that the restricted residential-parking-only areas (similar to what's been used around RFK) cover all of Near Southeast, Southwest (except possibly a few blocks in Buzzards Point), and Capitol Hill from South Capitol Street to 7th Street SE and from C Street SE to the freeway. (Map on page 20 of the main report).
As has been mentioned for months, they are trying to set up satellite parking at RFK, add a new Circulator line from Union Station, and perhaps get water taxi service running to the foot of First Street. But there's no updated status in the TOPP on any of these ideas (except for RFK parking, for which they are "securing agreements" and having shuttle companies test various possible routes). They're also now looking for between 5,000 and 7,000 total parking spaces. Parking for charter buses is still being worked on as well.
Note: This is a huge document. I'll try to hit highlights, but if there's something of particular concern to you, I suggest putting on your snorkel and flippers and diving in to get your answers, especially in the main report. If you want further background, there's my Stadium Transportation and Parking page, with presentations and flyers from the public meetings that were held as this was being drafted.

More posts: circulator, parking, Nationals Park

Back in mid-June there was a Saturday morning public roundtable by the city council's Committee on Economic Redevelopment on current development projects in Southwest and Near Southeast. If you didn't get to go, you can watch it tomorrow (Thursday June 26) at 6:40 pm on DC Cable 13, or via live streaming video. Of course, that's at the same time as the Zoning Commission hearing on Forest City's request to add temporary surface parking lots to the The Yards (also available via streaming video) so you'll have to make a choice.
And if you want to give over your entire day to monitoring developments (welcome to my world!), at 10 am Thursday is the WMATA board meeting where they will decide whether to sell the Southeastern Bus Garage to the city; this will also be available via live and archived streaming audio.
More posts: Metro/WMATA, parking, staddis, The Yards, zoning

My Ballpark and Beyond column in this week's District Extra of the Post covers the NCPC votes on the surface parking lots and The Yards design, the water and sewer special assessment on the blocks north of the stadium, and the $140 million in bonds that will help finance various projects along the Anacostia River, including Diamond Teague Park and its rumored ferry pier. The links above will take you to the news items originally posted here or to the pages I maintain on the various projects; in particular, check out The Yards First-Phase page for many of the renderings that were shown to the NCPC.
More posts: Canal Park, parking, Teague Park, The Yards

Just a reminder that Wednesday night, July 18, the Metropolitan Police Department is holding a Community Meeting on the Relocation of the Metropolitan Police Department to the old Post Plant site at 225 Virginia Ave. Tommy Wells will be in attendance, as will representatives of MPD, the Office of Property Management, ANCs 6B and 6D, and other officials. It should be a well-attended meeting: there's the residents of Southwest, who are not happy that these proposed relocation plans include the move of the First District police station from Southwest over to Southeast; and the Friends of Garfield Park and other close-by residents, who are concerned about the parking and traffic issues.
The meeting is at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 3rd and A Streets, SE, at 6:30 pm. If you want more background on this proposed move, scroll down through the "News" tab of my 225 Virgina Ave. page.

As I posted a few weeks ago, a request is now making its way through the process that would allow the construction of another batch of temporary surface parking lots, this time at The Yards, totaling an additional 950 spaces. Temporary surface lots are actually already allowed at The Yards under the Southeast Federal Center Zoning Overlay, subject to this mandatory review. The Zoning Commission hearing is on July 26, and the Office of Planning has completed its report supporting the request, saying among other things that these lots would actually improve the appearance of the parcels and surrounding area--if you've looked at the south side of Tingey Street, you know thiis isn't very far off. (The OP report has a lot of good detail on the Yards parking proposal, so be sure to read it.)
My network of moles inform me that at last week's ANC 6D meeting, after a presentation on the plan, no one made a motion to support it, and when one commissioner made a motion to oppose, no one seconded. (Voice of the Hill has a blurb on this meeting as well.) Ouch!
The case will also then be reviewed by the National Capital Planning Commission at its August 2 meeting.
If you want to know more about the state of ballpark-related parking, my Stadium Parking and Transportation page has the gory details, including a map of the possible lots and links to the slew of documents that have been generated over this subject. And the clock is now ticking on when that draft Transportation Operations and Parking Plan is supposed to be released (it was going to hit the streets in June, it was said...).
More posts: ANC News, parking, Nationals Park, The Yards, zoning

The city's Director of the Office of Planning, Harriet Tregoning, spent an hour on Monday talking about city development and planning issues with WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi; you can listen to it here. Topics covered included the H Street corridor, Southwest, industrial uses, retaining local retailers, green development, Poplar Point, and livability and walkability. She mentioned that retail around the stadium is going to be an issue at first, since there won't be much of it ready by Opening Day 2008, and seemed to indicate that vendors ("something other than hot dogs and FBI t-shirts") could be an option. When asked about the status of Canal Park by a Near Southeast resident (wave to the crowd, Sophia) She also reiterated what I've reported here over the past few days: there will be no overflow stadium parking on the Canal Park site, but negotiations have not yet been completed to get the current lease holders (i.e., the school bus lots) off the site, so there is no start date for the park's construction.
More posts: Canal Park, parking, Nationals Park

This afternoon, the National Capital Planning Commission gave their "does not adversely effect federal interests" approval to the recent zoning amendment allowing temporary surface parking lots on various blocks near the stadium, subject to the removal of the Canal Park parcels from the amendment and also that any of the temporary lots on waterfront parcels be set back a minimum of 75 feet from the Anacostia shoreline. They also want the final order of the text amendment to make clear that the five-year cap on these lots cannot be extended via a Board of Zoning Adjustment Special Exception.
The staff report indicated what we've heard in the last day or so, that the Office of Planning will indeed be modifying the amendment to take out Reservation 17 parcels B, C, and D (the Canal Park blocks) before the Zoning Commission's final vote on July 30. There was also slightly curt exchange between two of the commissioners during the discussion of the parking situation about why the US Department of Transporation headquarters can't make some accommodation to allow public parking (as the Reagan building does) in some of its 800 parking spaces; as is now so often the case in this city, "Sept. 11" was the answer.
The commission also approved the 35% design plans for The Yards--many of the renderings and drawings that were in the presentation to the board today are already on my Yards First Phase page. This submittal to the NCPC covered the streetscape, landscape, and infrastructure improvement plans, and the plans for the first four developments on the site--renovation of two existing buildings to create 430 residential units, the renovation of Building 167 into a 46,000-sq-ft retail space, and the construction of two new buildings at 4th and M that would have 320,000 sq ft of office space, a grocery store, and 170+ apartments. Work on the streetscape and infrastructure improvements will be starting this summer, and the first of the building renovations will get underway next year, with 170 apartments and the Building 167 retail to be delivered in mid-2009. This plan will also be in front of the Commission on Fine Arts on July 19.
I hope to get electronic versions soon of the staff recommendation documents for both of these votes, which contain lots of good summary information for people who haven't been following these cases quite as, um, closely as SOME people. I'll update here when I get them.
So, for Canal Park fans, everything seems to be pointing to the hoped-for conclusion, though it won't be 100% written in stone until the July 30 Zoning Commission meeting.
UPDATE: Here's the recommendation document for The Yards; I hope to have the parking one on Friday, so check back.
UPDATE II: Believe it or not, NBC 4 covered the meeting today. (Maybe they got the idea from today's District Extra!)
More posts: Canal Park, parking, The Yards, zoning

In advance of Thursday's National Capital Planning Commission meeting that will review the surface parking lots zoning amendment, the Voice of the Hill has posted a piece about the controversial inclusion of the Canal Park blocks within the parcels approved for parking. Much of the piece covers territory I've written about over the past few days, but has some new nuggets. Money quote: "Joel Lawson, the Office of Planning's acting deputy director for neighborhood and long-range planning, said the portions of squares containing Canal Park were never intended to be used for parking and should not have been included. 'I can understand why people are concerned about this,' he said. But, he added, 'We knew the parking wasn't going to go there.' He said the planning office will amend its request to make explicit this provision." Another quote, from the spokesman for Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development Neil Albert: "We have no intention to use this three-block site for stadium parking, and we fully expect to move forward in building this important public amenity on schedule." This would appear to make the NCPC meeting less of a critical juncture, but I'll still be there to check it out. Besides, they're also having a big presentation on the first-phase plans for The Yards.
More posts: Canal Park, parking, The Yards, zoning

With the calendar inching toward DC's annual August shutdown, there's a boatload of meetings and hearings on the agenda this week as everyone tries to get their work done before heading for the beach. Here's a not-very-detailed rundown, so follow the links if you want more detailed information:
* Monday starts bright and early with the "public hearing and preliminary finding" by the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District application, in Room 301 of the Wilson Building, 10 am.
* The Zoning Commission's monthly public meeting on Monday night includes a final vote on the plans for the 250 M Street office building and a first vote on the 1325 South Capitol Street residential project. In addition, there's a new case looking for various amendments to the Southeast Federal Center overlay; here's the Office of Planning report spelling them out. The commission is also scheduled to address Florida Rock's request for guidance on its revised design, which has the support of the Office of Planning. The meeting is at 6:30 pm at One Judiciary Square (Suite 220 South), but also can be watched via live webcast.
* At about the same time, ANC 6D is having its monthly meeting, and will be having a presentation and vote on Forest City's July 26 zoning hearing to allow temporary surface parking lots at The Yards. This meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, 6th and M Streets, SW. (Having to make a choice, I'm opting for the zoning meeting, so it might take a little while before I find out what happened at the ANC.)
* Tuesday's city council meeting at 10 am will include a final vote on the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District.
* On Tuesday night WMATA is having a public hearing on the proposed move of the Southeastern Bus Garage from its current location at Half and M to a new facility at DC Village in Southwest. (It's probably geared more toward residents near the new location.) There's an open house at 5:30 pm, and the hearing itself starts at 6:30, at 2700 Martin Luther King Dr. SE.
* The Nationals ballpark is having its "Topping Out" party on Wednesday at noon.
* WMATA's Planning, Development and Real Estate Committee is meeting in executive session on Thursday morning to address something having to do with the Southeastern Bus Garage, but they're not saying what.
* Thursday also sees the National Capital Planning Commission meeting that Canal Park fans mobilized for, with the NCPC's agenda including the zoning commission case approving temporary surface parking lots on various blocks in Near Southeast that include Canal Park in their boundaries. There's also a presentation on the the first phase of The Yards. The meeting is at 12:30 pm at 401 9th St., NW, Suite 500.
* Wrapping up the week (pant pant pant) is a city council Subcommittee on Economic Development hearing on the transition plans for folding in the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; it's in the council chamber at the Wilson Building at 10 am, and may also be broadcast on DC cable channel 13 and via streaming video.
And then I will spend the weekend alseep.

While I've been following for weeks the zoning procedures around the plans for temporary surface parking lots in the blocks north of M Street, I'm hearing today for the first time that there may be some pressure behind the scenes to delay construction of Canal Park, so that its three blocks of space could be used for temporary surface parking to help fulfill the necessary spaces for Nationals ballgames.
It is indeed true that those three blocks are covered under Zoning Case 07-08, which was approved back in May, but because of some odd tax parcel configurations (where the parcels 767, 768, and 769 actually stretch across the eastern half of 2nd Street over to 3rd and so also include the three blocks where Capper buildings were demolished earlier this year), I always just assumed that those references in the zoning requests were merely for the Capper portions of the parcels and not the Canal Park portions. Plus, plans seemed to be moving forward for Canal Park to begin construction in time for a Spring 2008 opening, so it didn't appear to be an issue (much the way that Case 07-08 asked for the ability to build temporary lots on the Pepco site in Buzzards Point even though Pepco says they wouldn't be vacating those blocks anytime soon).
However, with apparently some salivating going on in some quarters over those additional lots (where school buses currently reside), some people fear that the near-term building of Canal Park could be in jeopardy. There is a meeting on July 12 of the National Capital Planning Commission, where approval of Case 07-08 is on the agenda; if this issue of parking lots/no parking lots on the Canal Park site is something that concerns you one way or the other, you may wish follow the NCPC guidelines for participation in the meeting. And getting in touch with the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation (which is in charge of the park's development) and/or Tommy Wells's office may also be an approach you want to take.
UPDATE, 7/6: I'm now hearing whispers that the salivating over Canal Park might not actually be completely stadium-related, but also a part of the continuing need for the Metropolitan Police Department to find about 150 extra spaces to have enough parking for their proposed move into 225 Virginia Avenue....


From Saturday's Post: "Under a clear blue sky perfect for a baseball game, 500 construction workers responsible for one of the most expensive and most important projects in the District took a break yesterday for a quick pep talk. 'The closer we get to next year, the more people are looking at us to bring this project in on time and on budget,' Mayor Adrian M. Fenty told them on his first trip to the stadium site near the Navy Yard and South Capitol Street in Southeast." And while the article is based around Fenty's visit, the meat of it is really about the handoff of responsibility for ensuring the ballpark opens on time from outgoing DCSEC chair Allen Lew (heading off to try to repair the DC schools) to his replacement, Greg O'Dell.
Some quotes:
* "Lew said this week that the ballpark is on schedule, and remains within budget, with no indication that will change."
* " 'I'm going to be involved in this a lot more than I was," said [council member Jack] Evans, who keeps a small countdown clock on his desk, showing the number of days, hours and minutes until the anticipated first pitch at the stadium next April. 'I had kind of taken a step back because of the confidence I had that Allen would get this thing done. There was no need for me to be calling everybody up every week, saying: 'Where are we? Where are we?' But now I'm going to reinsert myself in terms of being in the loop constantly.' "
* "The stadium's steel framework and concrete seating decks are largely in place, as are miles and miles of ducts, electrical wires and pipes. Workers are drilling tens of thousands of holes in the decks to anchor seats. And a 200-foot tower crane has been erected to lift concrete and other materials for construction of a Nationals office building. Next month, workers plan to complete the steel framework for the ballpark's restaurant and main scoreboard and to start putting in the stadium seats. The project's schedule calls for installation of the scoreboard to begin in August. Then, in October, sod will be laid. The grass will take root before going dormant during the winter and then spring to life for Opening Day." [Dedicated readers of JDLand know all this already, of course!]
* "Still, problems remain, including a long-vexing issue that O'Dell will inherit when he takes control of the project. 'The biggest thing still out there,' Lew said, 'is coming up with an inventory of parking spaces to meet game day requirements.' " (The article says that 9,200 spaces will be needed; the March transporation presentation and various Office of Planning documents have been quoting 4,900 as the maximum needed for a sellout game. I guess when the draft Transporation Operations and Parking Plan comes out [Any Minute Now!], we'll see what the real number is.)
Read the entire article for additional details. And of course you can look at my stadium construction photo galleries or the official webcam if you want to see what it's looking like.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Just a quick sleep-inducing update on actions at today's City Council legislative meeting (have I mentioned that you people don't pay me enough?):
* B17-0208, creating the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District that would cover all of Near Southeast and Buzzards Point, passed on the consent agenda on its first reading. There will now be a Public Hearing and Preliminary Finding on the BID application by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on July 9. The bill's second reading will be on July 10. (See my previous BID entries for background.)
* Bill 17-0011, the "Ballpark Hard and Soft Costs Cap Act of 2007," makes permanent the legislation passed in 2006 that set a city spending cap of $630 million. There was some bickering when council member Catania asked to add an amendment updating the soft costs amount in the bill to $117 million from the originally specified $111 million as a result of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission's May 31 report. Council member Evans was quite vehement about not changing numbers on dais without consulting the CFO's office to be sure that even an innocuous-seeming change like this one wouldn't end up having unintended consequences (and he also was miffed that Catania hadn't shown him the amendment before the meeting), but in the end the amendment was agreed to.
Council member Kwame Brown said that a new report by the DC Auditor indicated that the stadium remains on budget at this time, although there items that will need "close attention paid" to them. Catania expanded on that by citing a series of numbers from the auditors' report indicating that the city still has up to $95 million in additional costs when there is only $6.7 million left in the contingency fund; however, $72 million of that is the amount that the eminent-domain'ed landowners are seeking from the city in compensation, which may not be exactly how much they receive once the hundred years' worth of court battles are finally completed. Catania said that the council needs to face these potential problem numbers instead of "putting our head in the sand."
* Finally, Bill 17-0021, the "Ballpark Parking Completion Amendment Act of 2007," was passed, creating permanent legislation exempting from zoning restrictions the parking garages on the north end of the stadium site; council member Mendelson asked that before second reading, a sunset provision originally in the emergency legislation that requires the exemption to end by the end of 2008 be inserted into this permanent legislation.

As expected, there is now a request in front of the Zoning Commission to approve temporary surface parking lots on parcels totaling 396,000 sq ft in the Southeast Federal Center (i.e., "The Yards"), to last no more than five years and to be available for Nationals ballpark parking (among other uses). There are four lots, which I highlighted a few months back on my Stadium Parking page map: on the southeast corner of 1st and N (where there is already a parking lot, along with a one-story brick building scheduled to be demolished); two spots on the SEFC land south of Tingey and DOT and east of the WASA pumping plant; and on the southeast corner of 4th and M, behind the red brick wall, where a surface lot already exists. According to the meeting notice, temporary lots at the SEFC are already permitted under the existing Southeast Federal Center overlay, subject to approval by the Zoning Commission.
I don't know anything more about this other than that there will be a ZC hearing on July 26; I'll be working to find out exactly how many spaces these lots may make available, although in the presentation slides from the March public meeting there was an indication that 1,700 additional spaces could be available at the Federal Center. These would be on top of the other temporary surface lots recently approved, and would bring the count of potential available spaces on all temporary lots to 5,475 spaces, on top of the 1,225 spaces being constructed on the stadium footprint (adding up to 6,700 spaces, higher than the 4,900 spaces that planners anticipate will be needed for the highest-attendance games). Of course, not all of the identified potential lots will end up being used, and the likely total count from all lots is probably closer to 5,200, but this is clearly a healthy-sized addition to the lots approved last month. More information as I get it.
UPDATED with corrected numbers on the potential spaces, because math is apparently not my strong suit late on a Friday night. But these new numbers are still just speculation on my part based on that March public meeting on parking--we have to wait to see exactly how many spaces planners are anticipating at the SEFC.
UPDATE, 6/11: This zoning request apparently would allow for 925 paking spaces in four lots at The Yards; so it's far lower than what was projected for the SEFC at the March public meeting on the stadium transportation planning. It does mean that, if approved, up to 5,925 permanent and temporary spaces are in the mix around the stadium site (1,225 on the ballpark site itself and the rest from the temporary surface lots). And that doesn't count any possible spaces in lots beneath already-constructed buildings near the stadium. But hopefully some clarity will arrive when the draft Traffic Operations and Parking Plan is released by the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, supposedly this month.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park, The Yards, zoning

I gave you the short-and-sweet update yesterday on the progress at the Nationals ballpark, but if you want the real nitty-gritty of all aspects of the project, here's the 10-page Monthly Report submitted by the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission to the City Council on May 14 (posted on Councilmember David Catania's ballpark page). It describes the current state of the schedule, budget, procurement, design, construction, coordination, and public outreach. For example, you can learn from it that approximately 65% of the stadium's structural steel and concrete is now in place, as well as 58% of the precast concrete. Typical daily manpower on the site in April? 432 workers.
One piece of development-type news in the report: the DCSEC is "drafting a request for proposals for the sale of the First Street retail development rights as a means to offset any hazardous material cleanup costs in excess of the budgeted amount and to provide the non-program retail required by the Zoning Commission final order while remaining in conformance with the Council cost cap legislation."
Also, as I've mentioned in other posts, it's expected that the draft Transportation Operations and Parking Plan will be released sometime in June.
But, if you're interested in the state of, say, the sand filters or the service level slab-on-grade concrete, this is the document for you.
UPDATED because the original headline made it sound like the DCSEC *might* report, as opposed to this being their report for the month of May. Oops.

More posts: parking, Nationals Park, Traffic Issues

For those of you not obsessively checking the Stadium Construction Cam at five-minute intervals, I've got a few recent highlights of the stadium construction's progress you might be interested in:
A 200-foot-tall crane is now in place along South Capitol Street, which will be used to help construct the Nationals' new office building adjacent to the ballpark.
On the north end of the site, concrete columns are now being poured for the two aboveground parking garages.
Inside the stadium itself, along the first-base line, the first area of "cast on slope" seating is almost complete; in addition, the drilling of what will end up being nearly 100,000 holes for anchoring the seats in the stands has begun, and workers are also now installing the cast-in-place aisle steps between the seating sections.
And, away from the camera's glare, drywall framing is in progress in the locker rooms and other service level areas.
But if you decide to drive down there for a visit, beware of dust clouds, massive potholes, and heavy construction vehicles. (Actually, right now that description pretty much applies to all of Near Southeast between South Capitol Street and New Jersey Avenue. Enter at your own risk!)
UPDATE: And the Washington Business Journal is reporting that a small DC company, Gelberg Signs, has been hired to make and install more than 3,000 signs for the stadium, in a contract worth more than $1 million, with the work starting next month. The contract was awarded under the ballpark's Local, Small, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. Gelberg has been in business since 1941. UPDATE II: Here's the press release.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

I don't know if these are new, or just new to me, but I found today two new drawings of the infamous parking garages now under construction on the north end of the ballpark site, which I've put on my Stadium Renderings page (they came from the DC Sports and Entertainment Commissions' Ballpark Gallery). One shows an overhead view of the two garages, and the second appears to be a ground-level view of the western garage as it would look to fans arriving via the main plaza at Half and N streets. I guess we won't have to wait all that much longer to see if the pretty watercolor renderings match what ends up being built.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park
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