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Photos: Much Catching Up to Do in the Name of Progress
Feb 23, 2014 3:53 PM
Finally, the weather and the calendar cooperated, and I spent Saturday taking a slew of photos around the neighborhood. To whit:
* HAMPTON INN
: I can report that dirt is indeed being moved (if not necessary removed) from the site of the Hampton Inn
on the northwest corner of 1st and N. This is the L-shaped hotel that will wrap around a planned two-story retail building right on the corner (which is not yet under construction). But, in case you weren't around pre-2008 and want to know what this hotel is "displacing," I give to you a peek at the hotel's N Street and 1st Street frontages in their previous lives:
* YARDS/PARCEL N
: Men in hard hats operating heavy equipment are now found on most of the block where Forest City's next residential project
is planned, south of Tingey and west of 4th. The new photos
aren't really all that interesting other than as another tick on the historical timeline, so how about a shot of what the Parcel N lot looked like in 2004
(right), before any of the work on The Yards began.
Toll Brothers's River Parc
apartment building at 1st and K is almost topped out (below left). A couple blocks away, WC Smith's Park Chelsea
has reached the halfway point of its vertical construction (below right).
* ST. MATTHEWS: While all sorts of newness is erupting around the neighborhood, there is one farewell worth noting, as St. Matthew's Baptist Church as New Jersey and L has left the neighborhood that had been its home since 1905 and the building that had been its home since 1972. Compare how it looked in 2006 (left) to today (right):
This site is part of the footprint for Donohoe's 1111 New Jersey apartment building
, and with a raze permit application filed, this corner will probably be emptied before too many months go by. The church has found temporary quarters in Ft. Washington as it looks for a new permanent home.
1111 New Jersey
, 880 NJ/Park Chelsea
, photos, Square 701
, WC Smith/Square 737
, Toll Brothers Lots
, The Yards
Tuesday Tidbits: Speeding on By
Jan 21, 2014 9:00 AM
* TEETER AND VIDA
: At last week's BID meeting, Michael Stevens said that Forest City would soon be "handing the keys" to Harris Teeter
to begin their build out at the north end of Twelve12
. And apparently the Vida Fitness
space on the south end of the block will be turned over very soon to its tenants as well. Vida is looking at a summer opening, and Teeter in the fall. And leasing for the apartments themselves should start this spring.
* WHOLE FOODS
: Meanwhile, at that other grocery store/residential site
, I'm told that some initial infrastructure work is already underway (probably hard to really differentiate it with all the work going on at the Park Chelsea
next door). The plan is still for 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods
to officially get underway this spring, probably in March (which so often is the month that a developer's thoughts turn to excavation).
* A VIEW OF THE PARK
: And, speaking of the Park Chelsea
, I can now offer this high-speed photo of the construction from a different vantage point from usual (and no, I didn't walk up onto the freeway):
Of course, this view of the Park Chelsea will only last until 800 New Jersey
starts sprouting in the spot in between this construction and the freeway.
At center of the new image is the River Parc
residential building speeding along next to Velocity. But these two don't even tell the entire story of the eight years that passed between them--check out the complete lineup of images
from this angle to see the other buildings that went up since 2005 but are now obscured.
* THE CRAZY AUNT AND HER SLIDES
: Sunday was the 11th anniversary of that fateful drive around the neighborhood that resulted in some photos on my web site, and then yadda yadda, here we are. So of course I have to point you to those pictures
. (Though yes, technically I took my first photos of the area in fall 2000
, but those were on bad film and I didn't even rediscover them until 2004.)
: Adding on to this post with the news that Bluejacket and its much-touted head brewer Megan Parisi have parted ways, according to the Post
800 NJ/Square 737
, 880 NJ/Park Chelsea
, photos, WC Smith/Square 737
, The Yards
A Sneak Peek Inside Agua 301, Now Opening Dec. 21
Dec 16, 2013 12:14 PM
With Agua 301
now set to open at the Lumber Shed
in the Yards Park on Saturday, Dec. 21 (a day later than reported
last week), of course I had to get inside with camera in hand to check it out
I was sidestepping a busy crew of people still getting everything in place, so the images do not have the sheen of a minutes-from-opening space, but you can see the layout
and take in the views that the various tables will have. (I even tossed in one "before" photo, which is just a teensy bit different.)
The modern Mexican restaurant will begin with just dinner service, expanding to lunch and then brunch probably at the beginning of next month. And in spring, an additional 44 seats will be available outdoors, along both the southern and western sides of the building.
And this will bring to a close 2013's run of restaurant openings in Near Southeast--it takes some remembering that, one year ago, there was no Gordon Biersch, or Park Tavern, or Bluejacket, or Buzz Bakery, Osteria Morini, or Nando's Peri-Peri.
Progress and More Progress on 900-Plus Residential Units
Dec 15, 2013 7:40 PM
After not having a new high-rise residential project under construction in the neighborhood since spring 2009, it's sort of amazing to realize there are now three such buildings up out of the ground, with more than 900 new rental units in the pipeline for delivery within the next year to eighteen months. (And there could be another 650 units added to tally if both the Yards/Parcel N
and 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods
projects get going as expected in the coming months.)
The farthest along is the Twelve12
building at 4th and M, SE, at the Yards, which has its two residential towers topped out and its Harris Teeter space glassed in. Plus, it is also now seeing the glass being hung
on the Vida Fitness/retail area at 4th and Tingey:
It will have 218 units, and the first move-ins are expected to happen by mid-year. This project is also where Sweetgreen and TaKorean will be located.
Meanwhile, the Toll Brothers building dubbed River Parc
is racing right along, with five-plus of its 13 stories completed, helping to make the southwest corner of 1st and K look a teensy bit different than it did seven years ago:
This building will have 277 units, and is expected to begin leasing toward the end of 2014.
And up near the freeway, at New Jersey and I, the Park Chelsea
is moving along, though the vertical progress of this 433-unit building is a bit slower than its smaller brethren. But as of now neighborhood eyes are probably more fixed on the completed paving of the new block of I Street between 2nd and New Jersey, though when the street will actually open to the public is not being trumpeted. (Spring 2014? Late 2014? We shall see!)
I think that, of the three, the Park Chelsea will have the biggest impact on the neighborhood skyline, both from on the ground (as you can now start to see in the various vantage points in the project's expanded before-and-after archive
) as well as when looking into Near Southeast from the freeway. (And then it won't be too long until the Chelsea's sibling 800 New Jersey sneaks in just to its north and tweaks the views even further.). The downside is that a lot of views of the Capitol dome from Canal Park and Capitol Hill Tower are going to be lost to progress....
For more information/renderings for each project, and for more photos showing how these construction sites looked before work got underway, check out the Twelve12
, River Parc
, and Park Chelsea
project pages. And join in with me in looking forward to the days starting to get longer, so that I can stop having to deal with the rotten winter sun angle and shadows.
Photos: Morini De-Wrapped, Turret Makeover, New I Street Forming
Nov 11, 2013 11:21 AM
With the news that the window coverings had come off of the Osteria Morini
space in the Lumber Shed
, I went racing down there with hopes of pressing my camera up against all that glass to get some photos of the opening-any-minute-now restaurant from Chef Michael White. Alas, I arrived during training, and so was THWARTED (because I'm way too shy to have just gone ahead and taken the up-close shots with 40 people staring at me).
I did get at least a couple of surveillance-type shots from a respectable distance, which I posted in a new photo gallery
you should check out, but here's a preview:
The restaurant is expected to open next week, perhaps the 19th or the 20th, but at this point we know it will open when it opens.
The photo gallery
also has a few other fun shots from the other projects currently under construction (residential buildings Twelve12
, Park Chelsea
and Toll Brothers's River Parc
), such as the turret at 4th and M getting quite a makeover:
Plus, the Park Chelsea
has gotten new signage, but more interesting is the outlines now forming of the new stretch of I Street that will run between 2nd and New Jersey when it opens (probably not any sooner than spring 2014):
Also, while they aren't terribly showy just yet, I have built two more of what I call my Expanded Photo Archives
for both the Park Chelsea
and River Parc
projects, to bring together more before-and-afters from a wider/farther array of angles than I usually display on the project pages. (Yep, I'm partying like it's 2007.)
Inside Bluejacket and Arsenal - In Daylight!
Nov 10, 2013 2:46 PM
Toll Brothers Apartment Building Quickly Out of the Gate
Oct 27, 2013 2:41 PM
At 1st and K SE
, the neighborhood is getting a great demonstration of how quickly a just-started apartment building project can pop into view if the below-ground infrastructure is already completed.
Toll Brothers bought the site
from the Cohen Companies last year, and because Cohen had originally planned a sister building to Velocity
on the lot, it had gone ahead and built the garage and other underground necessities at the same time Velocity was built in 2007. But then, well, Phase 2 never actually happened, and the covered garage remained a Tetris-like landscape
until Toll came along.
It was at the end of last month that nearby residents started seeing the first hints of work
at the site, and now a few weeks later the ground floor of the building is already up, as you can see.
Toll is keeping details about the building pretty close to its vest--unless you're a Velocity resident. That group received a briefing in September and was told that the building will be called River Parc, will have 277 rental units, no retail, and is expected to start leasing next fall with completion in spring 2015.
And Velocity residents were even shown a rendering
of the new building (thanks to Jake
for grabbing a pic of the poster board, which I've straightened out a bit--UPDATE:
and see below for two more).
This stretch of 1st Street between K and L used to be made up of small auto-related businesses, with the buildings facing K having a bit more tawdry offerings, such as the "In & Out Video 'and so much more'". All were demolished in Spring 2007, and now the vista looks a little different, not only on this block but elsewhere:
UPDATE: And now two additional renderings have fallen into my hands, showing the view that the Velocity folks will see across the courtyard (left), and the view coming up 1st Street from L (right):
Checking Out the Changes Along on 11th Street
Oct 24, 2013 3:18 PM
I was otherwise occupied on Sept. 7, the day of the big celebration on the now-completed 11th Street Local Bridge
, but I finally wandered down to that neck of the woods a few days ago with my camera to capture the current state of affairs. And one might say that the landscape at 11th and O
has changed a bit thanks to this project:
But there's more than just the newly wide open spaces at 11th and O. The girders for the new flyover that will carry traffic from the Southeast Freeway to the outbound I-695 bridge are all now in place; couple that with the demolition earlier this year of the old outbound flyover, and you have a very different vista at 11th and L
than what's been there up to now:
(The low height of the flyovers above 11th does make that little stretch a bit claustrophobic, though, especially on foot.)
You also now have two-way traffic on 11th between O and M, so that vehicles coming across the local bridge from Anacostia can drive straight north on 11th.
And the dirt-fill-in work for Southeast Blvd.
has progressed enough that the west side of 11th at the freeway no longer feels like an overpass, just the regular road.
Plus there's also work at 8th Street and Virginia Avenue to create a new on-ramp and also fashion the new exit to Southeast Blvd./11th Street.
If you don't feel like clicking on each of these photos, just head to my 11th Street Bridges
and Southeast Blvd.
pages to see them alongside a few other new shots. You may also want to dig into my photo archive to check out the before-and-afters at 11th and the freeway
, 11th and L
, 11th and M
, 11th and N
, and 11th and O
. Though the photos don't quite seem to do the changes justice, especially if you're someone who has walked those blocks of 11th many times over the past few years.
A Small-Scale Before-and-After on 3rd Street
Oct 21, 2013 3:18 PM
In early 2011, the two-story multi-unit apartment building at 1010 3rd Street, SE (a little south of Cornercopia) was hit by an early-morning fire
. Subsequently, a building permit was issued to add another floor, and after close to 18 months of work, the project is now mostly finished. What do you think of the change? (click the photos to enlarge)
Catching Up on Photos - Park Chelsea
Sep 29, 2013 4:03 PM
Construction at the 430ish-unit Park Chelsea
apartment building at New Jersey and I is now poking out of the ground:
The skyline in this location will be changing quite dramatically over the next few months, but the ground-level view already has evolved a whole lot in eight-plus years, as evidenced when looking westward along the footprint of the can't-open-soon-enough new stretch of I Street between 2nd and New Jersey:
Or, you can look at the change at 2nd and I this way:
(Told you I was working on something new. More to come.)
See before-and-after photos and information about the project here
Catching Up on Photos - Twelve12
Sep 29, 2013 4:02 PM
Work is speeding along at Twelve12
, the apartment-Harris Teeter-Vida Fitness project at 4th and M at the Yards:
The Teeter portion of the building is even getting some windows:
See before-and-after photos and information about the project here
Catching Up on Photos - Boilermaker Shops
Sep 29, 2013 4:01 PM
A sunny Sunday peek at new tenants GNC
and Nando's Peri-Peri
, which both opened in August in the Boilermaker Shops
at the Yards
Or, if you want to see them all in one long-lens shot:
Also in August, it was announced that fast-casual Spanish-small-sandwiches outlet 100 Montaditos
will be coming to the Boilermaker Shops as well. And, who knows, maybe someday Bluejacket, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que may actually open.
See more new photos, as well as before-and-after photos and information about the project here
Catching Up on Photos - Toll Brothers
Sep 29, 2013 4:01 PM
Some work appears to be underway on the southwest corner of 1st and K
, where Toll Brothers now has building permits for a 13-story, 250ish-unit apartment building. The Tetris-like boxes that have covered rebar and other infrastructure since work was completed on Velocity and the accompanying garage under what's now the Toll site are being removed:
This will allow Toll to begin work on their building more or less at ground level, rather than spending months on excavation and below-ground construction.
See more photos and information about the project here
Color Images of 1990s Near Southeast From Above
May 31, 2013 9:34 AM
Thanks to a tweet from Martin Austermuhle
(back in March, but I've been busy), I've added a new batch of shots to my page of 1990s Photos of Near Southeast
It's really just one photo taken at helicopter height from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive
at the Library of Congress, but since it is available
as a 72 MB .TIF, I was able to zoom in for some looks back into the years right before I started my own photo journey. Judging by the landscape, the best I can say is that it was taken sometime between 1992 and 1999.
Go to the page
to see all of them (with explanations of what you're seeing), but see if you can figure out what you're looking at in these captionless sneak peeks:
They certainly trump the black and white overhead photos taken at about the same time that are also on my page
, though at least those have some views that the trees obscure in these new ones.
Photos: Tearing Down, Filling In, Building Out, Building Up
May 27, 2013 9:54 PM
The showiest demolition in the neighborhood in years is coming to an end, and while I haven't been able to document it in the obsessive-compulsive way I would have liked, I did manage to make it to 11th Street this weekend to see the gator tail-like final remnants of the old flyover to the outbound 11th Street Bridges
before it completely comes down.
At the same time, I was able to check out the progress on the filling-in of the sunken eastern portion of the Southeast Freeway to build Southeast Blvd
., and dang if they haven't already piled the dirt up so that 11th Street is now level with the "land" just to its west.
But I wasn't just interested in the tearing down and filling in, so I continued down to O Street, where not only is the 11th Street Local Bridge inching ever closer to getting all of its lanes and pedestrian path opened, but the new asphalt Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
path to the river has been laid, which also takes you to the spiffy new landing just completed by the riverside. And from that landing you can see the spiffy new overlooks that reach out onto the old bridge piers from the new local bridge. (For the record, I could have easily sidestepped the construction barrels and ventured onto the overlooks, but I am a good little citizen.)
If these two galleries
aren't enough, you might take some time to browse my before-and-afters all the way down 11th Street, from the freeway
to the river
, as nearly four years of construction have altered the vistas from a maze of flyovers and embankments to, well, a completely different
maze of flyovers and embankments. (But the new flyovers are a little lower on the horizon, at least.)
I also checked out the other projects that are in various stages these days, from Twelve12
to the Lumber Shed
to the leafed-out and fountain-ed Canal Park
to the hole in the ground that will be the Park Chelsea
There's new pictures on each of those pages, but I also couldn't help myself and pulled together a third photo gallery
, with photos from those spots and a few others that were particularly photogenic on a particularly photogenic day. (It even includes my very first visit to the footprint of one of the neighborhood's most central locations. Where might that be?)
[A postscript: I truly think Sunday was the most perfect day for taking pictures in the 10-plus years I've been wandering the neighborhood, with the achingly clear deep blue sky perfectly matched with the late-May sun strength and positions. I ended up walking more than eight miles in three separate treks, and came home with a smidge more than 1,000 photos, about 300 of which are now in my photo archive
Capturing How Spring Has Sprung at Canal Park
May 3, 2013 9:39 AM
When last I wandered around Canal Park
with my camera, it was cold
. And brown. (But skateable
!) With Thursday's gorgeous weather surprisingly managing to win a tough battle against my inherent laziness, I took a far warmer and greener walk, and updated my Canal Park page
with some springeriffic images.
And, if you really want to see how the three blocks along 2nd Street SE between I and M have changed in the past decade, I invite you to scroll through the many before and afters in my Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive
. After all, with my work at the park pretty much done, this might be the last time I have the excuse to make you look at numerous photos of school buses and overgrowth.
Speaking of the buses, I do have one "new" before-and-after I can't resist highlighting.
First, October 14, 2006:
And the same location, May 2, 2013:
Vats, Nats, Glass, Concrete, and Rebar
Mar 14, 2013 8:16 PM
I wandered around on Thursday, it was sunny, I had my camera in hand, etc., etc., yadda yadda yadda.
Some items of note (click photos to embiggen):
On your left, hard-to-get evidence of the ongoing work at Bluejacket at the Boilermaker Shops
. They've covered up all the eye-level windows, but peeking through the (dirty!) glass above the large door on 4th shows the fermenters now installed on the mezzanine level.
At right, my first viewing of the renovated Team Store at Nationals Park
's Center Field Gate.
And, everyone's dream come true, a parking garage being born:
Of course, it's actually the parking garage that will be underneath the Harris Teeter
in the Twelve12 apartment building at 4th and M, so it's probably allowed. If you want even more photos of rebar and concrete, my Twelve12 page
Full Closure of SE Freeway East of 8th Begins Jan. 31; New Southeast Blvd. Page, and 11th Street Bridges Progress Pics
Jan 30, 2013 11:02 PM
As I wrote a few days back
, the portion of the Southeast Freeway between 8th Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue will be fully closed after the evening rush hour on Thursday, Jan. 31, to both begin work on the new Southeast Blvd.
and to demolish the existing outbound flyover ramp and replace it with a new three-lane one.
One thing I didn't mention in that post is that, with these closures Thursday, both the 8th Street SE on-ramp to the outbound I-695 freeway bridge and the 9th Street ramp toward Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed.
As the helpful graphic at right
from DDOT shows, if you're wanting to get on I-695 outbound, you'll need to use the ramp on the southeast corner of 11th and M.
Since this closure now makes the Southeast Blvd. project truly seem underway, I've been spurred into an unexpected burst of action, and have created a Southeast Blvd. project page
, separate from my recently refreshed 11th Street Bridges page
. Right now it's mainly drawings, "before photos," and links to my previous posts
on the project, but I will keep it updated throughout the expected 18-to-20-month span of construction:
I also threw together a new 11th Street Bridges Progress Photo Gallery
with some new shots from this past weekend, when I traipsed around N and O streets and up on the local bridge for the first time in way too long.
And now I think my guilt over some long-neglected photos is assuaged, at least for a little while.
Progress Check: Lumber Shed and Twelve12 at the Yards
Jan 29, 2013 1:55 PM
Some quick shots from today of the other projects underway at the Yards, in case a new dry cleaners
just isn't exciting enough for you.
The new exterior glass is now almost completely on the Lumber Shed
at the Yards Park, where Osteria Morini
and Agua 301
are slated to be tenants when it opens later this year (along with Forest City Washington on the second floor):
A before-and-after that can't possibly be resisted:
Facing the Anacostia:
Meanwhile, over at the Twelve12 apartment building
project on 4th Street (more popularly known as the Harris Teeter/Vida Fitness building), the progress isn't quite as showy, unless you're a construction nerd and you know what the arrival of a tower crane means:
Yes, it means that vertical construction is not far off. The building is expected to be completed in 2014. And in case you want one more shot of the hole in the ground:
Another 'Finally': Canal Park's Opening Day (and Night)
Nov 17, 2012 9:59 AM
I've been to a fair number of ribbon cuttings over the past decade, and I have to say that Friday's opening of Canal Park
seemed to be infused with a level of excitement and joy that I don't think I've seen at any of the others.
While getting Nationals Park
open in 2008 was a triumph of speed and scale, the 13-year journey of the three-block park at the heart of Near Southeast required so many hands and so much patience and resulted in a space with which the stakeholders are clearly thrilled that it shouldn't really be a surprise that on a gorgeously crisp late fall day so many attendees were walking around with what Tommy Wells described as "a huge smile on their face."
The speakers standing at a podium in the center block's small pavilion ran through the list of names and agencies that brought the park to fruition, starting with developer William C. Smith, whose CEO Chris Smith started the long drive to build the park, creating the Canal Park Development Association back in 2000. Then there was money from the federal government and the DC government, additional dollars and much support from the DC Housing Authority, work by OLIN landscape architects and STUDIOS architecture to design the park with innovative sustainable development
and storm water management components (and a skating rink!). Props were given for the hiring of Housing Authority residents for 15 of the park's 25 part-time jobs.The Capitol Riverfront BID and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities also took bows for their parts in the park's creation (and future).
After the speeches, the festivities moved to the skating rink, where the ribbon was cut and Mayor Gray drove the Zamboni, and then the public laced up its skates and got out on the ice. And they kept skating, well into the night
. (And I have no doubt there will be big crowds at the rink and park today as well.) For all the happiness seen in the park's founders about getting it finally opened, I saw equal measures of surprise and cheer that so many residents and neighborhood office workers had come to the opening, had stayed through the long speechifying, and now were skating and strolling.
I took a lot of photos of fenced-off schoolbuses
in the early years, posted a lot of renderings (some for the park's first design that never materialized), and bugged a lot of people to find out the latest. It was, after all, one of the few projects that was already in planning when I started tracking Near Southeast in early 2003, along with the Capper
redevelopment and Capitol Hill Tower
And now the park is open (with the Park Tavern restaurant to follow "within a few weeks"), and everybody can enjoy it. Finally!
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