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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Retail
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Thompson Hotel ('20)
West Half ('19)
Novel South Capitol ('19)
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Capper/The Harlow ('19)
New DC Water HQ ('19)
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Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
 
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UPDATE: Whole Foods is *not* coming to the Blue Castle--I've confirmed this with Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc., the owner of the Blue Castle.
Original entry: In this week's The Hill, Duncan Spencer reports (scroll down a bit) that it's "confirmed" that a Whole Foods grocery store is coming to the Blue Castle at 8th and M. There's no mention of it on the web site of the castle's owners (Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc.), but we all know that SOME web sites are better at updating with new information than OTHERS! Back when the sale was announced, the owners said they'd be trying to get Whole Foods and a national bookstore chain. Am trying to track down some confirmation. Meanwhile, Spencer's column also mentions two other Near Southeast items, one being the Anacostia Riverwalk and the issues with it running along the Navy Yard's waterfront (i.e., right now no one can get to it without going through the Navy Yard gates and showing ID). The article also says that the Southeast Federal Center financing has not been settled between GSA and Forest City Washington, although I thought it indeed had been back in June of 2005 when the development agreement was signed. Spencer also says that no SFC construction is expected for at least a year and a half--but the recent article from Shopping Center Business magazine quotes a Forest City representative as saying that "bulldozers will be moving by the end of the year at Southeast Federal Center." So make of all of that what you will.
More posts: Blue Castle, 8th Street, Navy Yard, Retail, The Yards
 

It's a good day for tips from readers! Another correspondent passes along this piece from Shopping Center Business magazine, "Washington DC Focuses on the Waterfront," a roundtable with lots of big names in DC development and government discussing the state of retail in downtown DC. One of the participants was Forest City Washington, which is developing Capper/Carrollsburg and the Southeast Federal Center, plus is one of the four companies working on the Ballpark District. There's no real *news* on the projects, but they indicate that they are getting a tremendous amount of interest from retailers who want to be part of the combined 300,000 sq ft of retail planned for Capper and the SFC. They also say that "bulldozers will be moving by the end of the year at Southeast Federal Center." Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the box highlighting Forest City, with the following sentence that will warm the hearts of Near Southeast residents and neighbors: "Forest City Washington believes a grocery store would be a good addition, and several are interested." Yes! And please hurry!
More posts: Capper, Retail, staddis, The Yards
 

With the stadium now moving forward, attention will turn to the areas immediately surrounding it and the mixed-use developments the city wants to see in order to make the Ballpark District a year-round destination. In Friday's Post article "D.C. Stadium Likely to Open Without Entertainment Area," developers are quoted as saying that first phases probably won't be done before 2009. The four developers chosen by the AWC have hired urban planning firm Cooper, Robertson & Partners to create the master plan for the 40 acres of mixed-use development. In the meantime, Monument Realty says it expects to begin construction in early 2007 on the land it owns in the blocks just north of the stadium footprint. So, be prepared to walk through a lot of construction to get to the stadium in the early days. (On the other hand, the delays that everyone seems to anticipate will occur with the stadium could help get the ballpark district further along before the ballpark debuts.) Also, the article mentions that the plans for the stadium itself incorporates retail space within the park's facade along 1st Street, and also manages to sneak in another mention that the parking garages raising eyebrows in the stadium renderings will most likely disappear.

 

Catching up a bit here after the holiday.... Preferred Real Estate Investments has purchased the "Blue Castle" building on the corner of 8th and M, for $20 million. According to the Post: "Executives at the Conshohocken, Pa., developer said the location of the 100,000-square-foot building makes it ideal for retail stores such as a Barnes & Noble bookstore and a Whole Foods grocery. The upscale stores eventually would supplant three charter schools that now are in the building." They hope to start construction in 2007. (And they're planning to de-Blue the building a bit, too, by painting it a more sedate shade; but they plan on preserving the arched windows and exposed brick interior.) Note that it doesn't sound like there are as yet commitments from any retailers for the site.
More posts: Blue Castle, 8th Street, Retail
 

More non-stadium news! I've got a tidbit or two on the Capitol Hill Tower project, as it heads toward the finish line. The Courtyard by Marriott hotel that makes up the southern portion of the block is anticipating an opening date of March, 2006 (I'll let you know when reservations start being accepted). Also, the site's developers are working on filling the 9,000 sq ft of ground floor retail that's available--a drycleaners has already been lined up, and there are hopes that a restaurant can be brought in as well. I've added a new rendering of the Courtyard elevation along L Street to my Capitol Hill Tower page--and I'm embarrassed at how the photos on that page are getting way out of date, I'm going to do some mammoth photography sessions next week, I promise. UPDATE: And I also hear that an on-site Sales Center for the residential/co-ops side of the project will be opening soon. The residences are supposed to open sometime in the second quarter of 2006. UPDATE II: And coffee lovers will rejoice to hear that there's also going to be a mini-Starbucks counter in the lobby of the hotel!
 

Friday's print edition of the Washington Business Journal reports that developer Ron Cohen has purchased the entire block bounded by Half, K, L, and 1st Streets, SE (square 699N), for $55 million, with plans for a mixed-use project that may include 650 condos, a hotel with condos, a stand-alone 250,000 sq ft office building, and possibly retail as well. Tenants on the block--including the nightclubs Wet, Edge, and Club 55--have been told that the buildings will be razed in late spring 2006. Phase I of the project will have 250 condos, and hopes are to begin construction in October 2006, and to have the entire project completed in four years. A few pictures of the block in its current state are on my South Capitol Street Corridor page (you'll have to scroll down a bit for them--this project will eventually get its own page, but not just yet!).

 

Some fun tidbits:
· CVS, Subway, and Chevy Chase Bank reportedly have secured space in 1100 New Jersey Avenue, and local restaurant fave Five Guys is in negotiations to move there as well;
· The demolition of the first "ribbon" of Capper / Carrollsburg buildings--on 5th Street--is slated to begin in August, while the construction of the first Seniors Building is scheduled to begin in September (I'll believe it when I see it!);
· While the Canal Park will take a while to be designed, chosen, and constructed (ETA 2006), there are plans to remove the buses, take down the fences, and smooth out and sod the area. DC just needs to figure out where to park the buses first... (I've heard that before, too ;-) )
· I've added to the site renderings for planned office buildings in the 'Hood, at 76 L Street and 250 M Street (you'll have to scroll down a bit to see them). And one new construction shot each for Capitol Hill Tower and the DOT HQ (which got me a $100 parking ticket in the process; donations accepted!).
 

One of the "landmarks" of the old M Street disappeared at some point in the last month--the boarded up gas station on the northwest corner of 3rd and M. Eventually there will be another office building there (250 M Street), but there's no firm construction date yet ("maybe in 2004", according to a William C. Smith rep). (May 2004 update: fences have gone up around the lot, but not for construction--it's been turned into a parking lot, so it doesn't look like they're planning for development anytime soon.)

More posts: M Street, Retail
 
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