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34 Blog Posts Since 2003
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If you have wandered through Canal Park or the Yards Park in recent days, you may have come across the large displays that make up the Capitol Riverfront BID's new two-part "Then and Now" exhibit, showcasing photos that probably look very familiar to longtime JDLand readers. The BID also included explanatory text for the 20 sites highlighted, and they are a very striking way for people who've never heard of a "JDLand" to see exactly what has gone on in the neighborhood in such a relatively short period of time. And no need to be hunched over a computer or squinting at a phone screen! The exhibits will be on display through mid-summer.
In other news that I've been extraordinarily neglectful of:
* NICOLETTA PIZZA: It was almost six years ago that I first wrote of plans for Chef Michael White's plans to bring a sibling of his Osteria Morini to the Yards Park boardwalk.The notion seemed to fall by the wayside, especially when Morini Piccolo arrived in the fall of 2017, but lo and behold, a few weeks ago signage went up, and now it is open. Eater DC wrote a preview, if you are looking for information beyond ***PIZZA*** (and frozen Negronis, which Mr. JDLand would have been quite revved up for).
* MORE APARTMENTS UNDERWAY: My coverage of the eastern portion of the neighborhood is even worse than my coverage of the rest of it, so I haven't written much about either the completed renovations of the 19-unit apartment building now known as the Callisto at 816 Potomac or about the adjoining four-story, 49-unit new construction apartment building apparently dubbed Europa at 818 Potomac, both by MMg Development. Work is now underway on Europa, as I captured in a terrible photo a few weeks ago. (And maybe I'll get my development map updated with these items soon. Any Minute Now.)
* MORE CONDOS UNDERWAY: Readers have been noticing digging underway on the south side of L Street between South Capitol and Half, and it is the start of construction on an 11-story, 74-unit condo building at 37 L Street, a project of DBT Development. Here is a rendering, from the web site of Bonstra Haresign Architects, that shows the building if you are looking toward the southeast from across L Street. This was the site for the former Empire Cab company, and before that, the site of one of the city's deadliest fires. This is not to be confused with the Metro "chiller plant" site next door, on the corner of Half and L, where residential is slated to happen Some Day.
* TACO CITY DC: One other east-end item that I have neglected terribly is the arrival of Taco City DC, next to Las Placitas on the southeast corner of 8th and L in a storefront that has seen at least three other food ventures come and go within the past few years. But it looks like the jinx might be broken, with the Post's Going Out Guide quickly naming it one of the ten best taco shops in the area.
 

I'll make this one a little more succinct. These are holes. They are all holes being dug for new residential buildings. There may be two additional holes by the end of the year.
May I present to you the residetial projects of: Square 696, 1000 1st Street, and the Maren. Check the project pages for details.
And, speaking of Square 696, there still are no publicly available renderings for this 800-unit two-phase residential project by Tishman Speyer. So, you know what that means....
 

Yes, it's time for another edition of JD Looks Behind Fences and Into Holes So You Don't Have To, and we start the rundown with two new spots to add to the lineup, where dirt has just begun to be moved: 71 Potomac, the 264-unit sibling to Dock 79 at Florida Rock, and "Square 696," Tishman Speyer's still-not-publicly-unveiled residential and retail project on the block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half Streets. Plus I'll add an up-to-date shot of the excavation at Paradigm's 1000 1st Street project, just because it doesn't fit anywhere else in this post:
(Note that I'm giving Tishman a few more weeks before I craft my own rendering. And thanks to the 71 Potomac folks for the pretty wood fences with holes in them that are perfect for snooping bloggers to look through!)
Next, let's talk about the "hybrid" hole in the ground at 1250 Half Street, aka the old Monument Valley site just across N Street from Nats Park. This is where two cranes mark the slow beginnings of vertical construction at the bottom of the hole, while six-plus floors of construction are already complete at the north end of the project, since that part of the hole was dug and the foundation was completed back in 2007 when Monument thought it would be building out the entire block instead of just the 55 M office building. This is where a two-phase project with up to 440 units of residential and more than 60,000 square feet of retail will be built:
(I need this project to hurry up and get to ground level because it's impossible to get a shot of the bottom of the hole without going up to a nearby roof.)
Now we'll move to the corner of South Capitol and M, where the National Association of Broadcasters HQ is graduating from hole-in-the-ground to skeleton, while its sibling, the condo building Avidian, is still not quite yet visible above the fence line. I forgot to walk down to get a photo through the fence of the Avidian footprint, so instead I'll just include this very bad shot I took a few weeks ago of the first hints of construction on the new Douglass Bridge, because it needs to be documented.
Three more projects are on their way upwards, including the Garrett at 2nd and I and the co-projects Parcel L residential/Thompson Hotel hole at 3rd and Tingey in the Yards shown here. (I forgot to get a shot of the Parc Riverside II hole. Probably looks like a hole with concrete and rebar, like the others):
So, in case you're not counting, that's nine projects either still below ground or just at ground level (or 10 if you include the permanently below-ground Virginia Avenue Tunnel, or 11 if you include the currently below-water Douglass Bridge work).
Then you can add those to the eight other projects that are above-ground, topped out, or nearing completion, and you can understand why it's okay to feel like the neighborhood is still a perpetual construction site, and will be for a while yet. Here's shots of seven of them, in order of progress: the 99 M office building, the DC Water headquarters, the Bower condos and sibling Parcel O rental building, and additional residential projects 2 I Street, Square 769N, and West Half (alas, I haven't made it over recently to check out the status of the Emblem condo project at 8th and Virginia, so I'm one short):
No wonder I'm so tired.
 

It did not take long for the news to explode on social media that the Aslin Beer Company will be launching a game-day beer garden at the corner of 1st and N, SE, a block away from the Center Field Gate, starting on April 5, the day of the Nats home opener.
It will generally run from about two hours before each game until two hours after, and the company's Instagram post says that "starting as soon as May, we will also be open on non-game days throughout the summer."
However, the Instagram feed for the beer garden itself (which might be hinting at being called the Sandlot) says that the pop-up will run until July 8. My understanding is that the owners of the lot are expecting to start construction after the All-Star Game on the two-story bar/restaurant that has been planned for that site since the F1rst development was announced. (I shall take to calling this lot the Outpost, since it is separated from its F1rst sibling by the Hampton Inn.) Whether that actually comes to pass, We Shall See.
In other tidbits that I really need to get out of the hopper:
* DECLARATION: There apparently are now signs at Declaration that it will open on April 5. Still waiting for an official date from Oath Pizza.
* 71 POTOMAC: Looks like Dock 79's 264-unit sibling currently dubbed 71 Potomac is going to get underway Any Minute Now (if digging hasn't already started). It will also have 12,500 square feet of retail, and will be built immediately to Dock 79's west. (WBJ)
* SUMMER MOVIE LINEUP: Here's the schedule for Canal Park's Thursday Night Summer Movie series, running from June 7 through Aug. 23.
* CIRCULATOR SUMMER HOURS: April 1 is almost here, which means it'll be time for the DC Circulator Union Station-Navy Yard route to switch to its summer hours, running from 6 am to 9 pm Monday-Friday and 7 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, plus extended hours when the Nats are at home, running until midnight for every game beginning at 4:05 pm or later as well as from 10 am to 10 pm for Sunday home games.
* (UPDATE I) CHLOE LUNCH: Just across the transom is the news that Chloe at 4th and Tingey is now serving lunch on weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm. "Designed to be carryout friendly," it will include a rotating selection of options like enchiladas and banh mi.
* (UPDATE II): DUE SOUTH DOCKSIDE: Confirmation that Due South Dockside will open at 11 am on Opening Day.
 

It has taken me much longer to clear the post-surgical cobwebs from my brain than I expected, so don't have many expectations for this post. I just hope it's in English. (But the hip repairs--NOT REPLACEMENT!--went well, and I should start getting off of crutches soon.)
* SPRINT STORE: I have said for years that no new neighborhood has truly arrived until it gets its first cellphone retailer, and I would not have guessed it would take until 2018 for that box to get checked, but numerous approved building permits indicate that Sprint will be opening a store in the old Sizzlin' Express space on the northwest corner of 4th and M.
* DOUGLASS BRIDGE GROUNDBREAKING: As if to taunt me after 15 years of watching and waiting, the Feb. 13 ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Douglass Bridge and associated first-phase improvements to the South Capitol Street Corridor was held while I was very much horizontal and hopped up on goofballs. But since it's right on our DMZ line, SWill was there and took some photos. Estimated completion date is 2021. (Speaking of SWill, he is the one to read for coverage of Buzzard Point, since that is outside my purview.)
* TUNNEL DOINGS: The last section of wall on the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel was poured on Feb. 22. an effort that overall totaled three miles of 24-foot-tall concrete. Meanwhile, 3rd Street should be reopening to two-way traffic Any Minute Now, which then paves the way (sorry) for both the 4th and 5th Street intersections to close, probably in mid-March, to dismantle the temporary bridge decks and complete the new tunnel's roof in those blocks, and wrap up the final street restoration. And no, the 6th Street exit ramp from the freeway won't close. The entire project is "on time," for completion this fall, according to CSX.
* ANOTHER PROJECT READY TO GO: A shoring/sheeting/excavation permit has been approved for the second phase of the "Riverfront" project, aka the Florida Rock site. This will be a 13-story, 260ish-unit residential building with about 12,000 square feet of retail, and will go up immediately to the west of Dock 79. When I'm a little more mobile I'll write a roundup of what's currently underway.
* WINERY HAPPY HOUR: If you don't have a supply of post-surgical painkillers like some people, there's now a Happy Hour at District Winery, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday, with $8 signature cocktails and select wines, $5 select beers, and 50 percent of District Winery wines by the bottle.
There's probably more, but this wore me out. Hey, it's a start.
 

With my trip to the disabled list delayed thanks to a very-last-minute insurance snafu, I decided on Sunday to finally limp over to 8th Street for the first time in forever to see what has sprouted.
* EMBLEM: There's one obvious new sprout on lower 8th, and that is the nearly-topped-out construction of a new condo building on the southeast corner of 8th and Virginia. It's officially known as the Emblem at Barracks Row, a 20-unit building being built and run by Bozzuto. Every unit has a unique layout, according to the web site, and there will be six penthouse units, most with outdoor terraces. (And since it's only four stories tall, it's a sticks-and-bricks building, which we don't see many of in these parts.) There will also be 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Sales on the units should begin this year. (I do not know the price ranges.) A rendering of the finished product can be peeked at here.
* LA MEDITERRA: A new restaurant has opened south of L, next door to Las Placitas in the space once occupied by Ziaffat. It's La Mediterra Fusion Grill, serving kabobs, shwarma, and other Mediterranean offerings (and wings!), and it is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Here's a peek at the menu, if you have your x-ray specs handy.
* NAILS!: I think it's been there a few months, but Navy Nails and Spa is now in the ground floor of the gray building on the northeast corner of 8th and M.
* POTOMAC AVENUE DOINGS: Meanwhile, around the corner on Potomac Avenue between 8th and 9th, the long-vacant apartment building at 816 Potomac is now undergoing renovations to be a rental building with what now is targeted to be 19 units, if designs are approved. As for the empty lot next to that building at the corner of 9th and Potomac, the Board of Zoning Adjustment voted in December to approve plans for a four-story, 49-unit building at 818 Potomac, which would also be notable for plans to have a "parking elevator" garage that would allow 43 cars to be parked/stacked on one level. Both projects are being developed by the Murillo Malnati Group.
 

According to a Facebook ad (!) found by commenter Ampersand, the Chipotle in the ground floor of F1rst on 1st Street SE south of M is opening at 10:45 am on Thursday, Dec. 14.
"The first 25 people in line will receive a Buy-One-Get-One voucher good for your next visit and a Chipotle t-shirt, with purchase."
Chipotle joins F1rst's foodie lineup of Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Roti, and Rasa Indian Grill, along with Solidcore to burn off all those calories. The development's next eatery, Declaration, looks to open in 2018.
 

Enough tidbits in the hopper to actually go less than a week between posts. Yay!
* 816 POTOMAC: Developers of the empty lot on the northwest corner of 9th and Potomac, SE have gotten an initial green light from the Historic Preservation Review Board for a four-story residential building with below-grade parking. This project will also incorporate an existing historic building at 819 L (sort of visible here), which will remain separate from the new building. Here is a video showing what the project would look like, and a screengrab from it of the proposed building is at right. No word on timing, and this does not include the existing old apartment building next door at 812 Potomac.
* 99 M TENANT: The under-construction office building at the corner of 1st and M has signed its first tenant, with Pyxera Global taking 17,000 square feet on the fourth floor. As I mentioned a few posts ago, Skanska said recently that some tenant announcements would be in the offing, and this would appear to be one of them. (Bisnow)
* POP-UP BBQ: If you've noticed the picnic tables on the northwest corner of 1st and N, where the F1rst sales trailer was, it's the home of a Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company pop-up offering on Nats game days, from now through the end of the season (and post-season). Service off of the "full food truck menu." including beer and wine, will start 90 minutes before gametime, through the first 30 minutes after first patch.
* MORE PROGRESS: On my way to and from the ballpark this weekend, I took a few smudgy cellphone photos of progress, showing the new DC Water HQ, District Winery, and (water-filled) holes in the ground at Parc Riverside II and West Half (forgot to go across the street to Lynch Half), and evidence of previously tidbitted items about the warehouse at 49 L Street and the A1 Garage site. Maybe I'll get out with the real camera this weekend for a full update, weather and energies permitting.
One that I didn't take was the view southward from M Street between 1st and New Jersey--I have to admit I was not expecting the DC Water HQ to be so visible from the north.
 

Another fast casual dining option is being announced today, with word from the developers of the F1rst apartment building that Chipotle has signed a lease and is expected to open in Spring 2017, alongside previously announced options Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, and Rasa Indian Grill.
A new rendering accompanying the press release appears to show that Taylor, Chop't, and Chipotle will be in the three spaces on 1st immediately north of the residential entrance to F1rst.
Also speaking of F1rst, there is now a leasing center at the corner of 1st and N, nestled in the "L" of the Hampton Inn. Residences are also expected to be available in spring 2017.
It's getting hard to keep up with the 2017 lineup of offerings, so check out my Food Map to stay up to date.
 

With the 305-unit Dock 79 apartment building very close to completion, the developers of the site on the Anacostia River that us oldsters still refer to as Florida Rock have now filed with the Zoning Commission their plans* for the project's next phase, a 130-foot-tall 253-unit residential building with 12,500 square feet of retail at 71 Potomac Avenue.
There will be at least two levels of underground parking, with a third level being pondered "given the parking demands of [Nationals Park] and the pending soccer stadium." And although the building is not covered by the city's Inclusionary Zoning laws, the filing says that eight percent of the units will be set aside for households with incomes up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
The construction of this building will also bring the completion of "Florida Rock Alley," running between 71 Potomac and Dock 79 and providing another route for pedestrians to move between Potomac Avenue and the waterfront along with the access to parking and loading for both buildings. The waterfront Esplanade will also be extended along 71 Potomac's frontage.
The 12,500 square feet of retail is an increase the previously approved 5,600 square feet. In the filing statement, developers Florida Rock Properties and MRP Realty mention that "based on the success in leasing retail space in Dock 79, the Applicant is confident that there is a retail market along Potomac Avenue," and that "the desire for retailers to locate in this area has only increased" since the previous plans were approved in 2013.
The site plans are very helpful to not only understand where this Phase 2 building at 71 Potomac will be, but how the eventual third and fourth phases are dependent on the construction of the new Douglass Bridge and its accompanying traffic oval, and the demolition of the existing bridge. (The filing mentions DDOT's current estimated schedule of a notice to proceed on the new bridge in 2017 and completion in 2020, but We Shall See.)
There are a slew of renderings in the zoning packet, which of course I'm snagging (we'll call it a one-for-one exchange for all of the photos of mine they used in the site overview portion of the package!).
These plans will require ANC presentations and a vote and zoning hearings and building permits and financing, so don't pack your bags just yet.
*For those to whom such things matter, this is a second-stage PUD filing.
 
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