Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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Trafficking in Coffee Rumors
Feb 12, 2007 4:30 PM
I've held off posting about this because I was waiting for confirmation, but I've now heard it from enough different sources that I'm at least willing to mention it as a pretty wide-ranging rumor--the word is that the little glassed-in nook on the DOT HQ
building on the southeast corner of New Jersey and M
is going to house a Starbucks
. I don't drink the stuff, but I understand it's a popular place :-). Like I said, I haven't been able to confirm this, but it's what DOT workers are being told. ("Come to Near Southeast..... There's expensive coffee to be had on your walk in from the subway....")
Update on Little Red Building Liquor License App.
Jan 18, 2007 3:41 PM
Yesterday there was a status hearing
before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
in reference to the liquor license application by the owners of the Star Market, better known as the "Little Red Building" on the corner of 2nd and L streets (next to the Courtyard by Marriott
). I wasn't at the hearing, and admittedly am not following this particularly closely, but I've been told that the parties on both sides (the license applicants and the people who've been registered in opposition) have been ordered to attend a mediation session that should happen sometime before the application's next status hearing, scheduled for Feb. 28.
Dry Cleaners Gets Building Permit; Permits for Cohen, Too
Dec 8, 2006 11:05 PM
The latest building permits issued by the DC government (shown in my DC Government Feeds
section) have a couple tantalizing Near Southeast tidbits: one is for the long-planned dry cleaners on the first-floor of Capitol Hill Tower
at 1000 New Jersey, and the other is a series of building permit entries (strangely devoid of detail or even permit numbers) for five addresses on block Square 669N
, the land bounded by 1st, Half, K, and L that's owned by Bethesda developer Ron Cohen. I don't really know anything more than this on either project (except that the dry cleaners won't have actual dry-cleaning operations right on the premises), but news is news. Hopefully Mr. Cohen will be showing his hand before too much longer. UPDATE, 12/10:
Another four building permits for the Cohen block arrived in the latest building permit feed
, and the only additional hint is that the permit type on these is listed as "repair."
Little Red Building Liquor License Application - Update
Nov 8, 2006 4:56 PM
Today was the hearing
on the application by "The Wine Cellar and Spirits" for a Class A (beer, wine, and liquor) license to open what the owners call
a "tastefully designed wine and spirits" store in the Little Red Building at 156 L Street
(next to the Courtyard by Marriott). ANC 6D has been officially designated as a protestant in opposition to the application, and presumably the owner will be in contact with the ANC to resolve any issues (most likely revolving around the sales of singles). There will be a status hearing on the application on Jan. 17, 2007, at 10 am.
Star Market/Liquor Store Update
Nov 1, 2006 10:57 PM
Expanding a bit on recent posts
about the liquor license application
by the owners of the former Star Market (aka the "Little Red Building" at 2nd and L
, next to the Courtyard by Marriott
) to open what the owner has recently described to me as a "tastefully designed Wine and Spirit store." As I reported
(and as now confirmed in the November Hill Rag's ANC 6D report
, since I bailed on the meeting before this came up), the ANC voted to protest the application, but apparently this was as much about timing issues as anything else, and at the same time the application was referred to the ANC's ABC subcommittee to work on a voluntary agreement to ban the sale of "singles." The owner tells me that in fact they are working on plans to redevelop the property, possibly demolishing the little red building (sniff!) and replacing it with a new building that in addition to upscale liquor sales on the first and second floors could also accommodate a "small sushi saki bar in the 2nd and 3rd floor." He guarantees that the new building "will not be your conventional 'mom and pop' liquor store.' (It should be noted that the Star Market's Class B
[beer and wine/convenience store] liquor license conveyed to the current owners, so this application is for a Class A
license [beer, wine. and spirits/liquor store].) The ABC application hearing
is Nov. 8; the owner hopes to have the plans for the renovation ready by spring. (Hat tip to the CHT Shareholder Community
I also wanted to note that the Capitol Hill Tower
developer is opposing this application.
Hearings, Hearings (Updated)
Oct 20, 2006 9:45 AM
Won't Remember What it Looks Like?
Oct 2, 2006 10:59 AM
A portion of today's Dana Hedgpeth column in the Post
describes "observations offered last week by developers and leasing and sales brokers to about 100 real estate professionals in an annual conference." The one comment about Near Southeast: "The area around the planned baseball stadium
in Southeast, many agreed, will eventually develop into shops, restaurants, housing and more offices. But some differed on how long it would take. The area, which is now mostly boarded-up storefronts, empty lots and car repair garages, would look very different by 2008, some said. Others said it would take until 2010 or beyond. 'You'll go down there and forget what it looked like before
,' [emphasis mine] said Daniel P. Dooley, managing director at Tishman Speyer Properties". Gosh, if only someone had thought to take pictures of the neighborhood to capture what it looked like before all the development arrived! :-)
Liquor Sales Return to Near Southeast?
Sep 8, 2006 8:53 PM
The little red building at the corner of 2nd and L, the old Star Market, has been a favorite of mine since January 2003, when it was one of my first pictures taken in Near Southeast (a photo that landed on A1 of the Post
back in August 2005, accompanying a story that includes the tale of how owner refused to sell to Valhal Corp. when they were putting together the plans for the Capitol Hill Tower
project, so the little building remained in place while 14 stories of hotel and coop sprang up around it. The most recent owner even tried earlier this year to sell it on Craigslist for $950k
(after buying it 8 months earlier for $580k). And now? Someone ("Wine Cellar Spirits") has applied for a liquor license to open a liquor store there, according to a sign posted on the building's wall today. The store would be open from 9 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday. The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8. So you can't get groceries in Near Southeast just yet, but all your liquor needs may soon be met.... (hat tip to the CHT blog
for beating me to the keyboard. Damn dinner date!)
Wet and Edge Nightclubs to Close Sept. 23
Sep 1, 2006 9:49 AM
The Washington Blade reports
that Wet and Edge, the nightclubs at Half and L, will be closing on Sept. 23. This is part of the clearing of the tenants on this entire block (Square 699N
, bounded by Half, 1st, K, and L), to begin making way for a mixed-use project by Bethesda developer Ron Cohen. It appears all tenants on the block will be out by the end of September (Club 55 is the only other tenant on the block still operating, with rumors a few weeks back
that it will be closing Sept. 12). I've been unsuccessful in finding out any more details on what exactly Cohen is planning for the site, beyond what was mentioned
when he bought the block for $55 million in Sept. 2005; his company's web site
makes no mention of the project (boo!).
Last Call on Square 699N?
Aug 11, 2006 12:24 PM
This is nothing more than PURE RUMOR
at this point, I have no confirmation, but I'm floating it out there to see if anyone can back it up or shoot it down. A source informs me that one of the nightclubs on the block bounded by Half, 1st, K, and L
that was purchased in 2005 by developer Ron Cohen, has been given until Sept. 12 to close. Hope to be able to tell you more soon. If you have any scuttlebutt (on this or any other Near Southeast news, for that matter), drop me a line
I haven't been able to get any further confirmation on the above, but I'll note that the Holiday/Aspen cab company, located on this same block (at the corner of 1st and K), has closed up shop within the past week.
Sunoco at Half and M Closed - Hotel Coming?
Jul 13, 2006 9:24 AM
Big surprise this morning--a correspondent reported that the Sunoco at 50 M Street (Half and M) is being dismantled as we speak. (Waah, where will I track gas prices
now?) There's been no record of a land sale in the DC Property Sales database (although that currently runs about 6 weeks behind and is only updated right now through late May). However, a call to the station's phone number revealed a change to a new number with a 703 area code, and the person who answered said that Sunoco had sold the land "to a hotel or something." So do we have yet another new development arriving on M Street
? More as I get it.
Preview of Ballpark District (But No Pictures!)
Jun 26, 2006 7:57 AM
Adrian Washington of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation gave a preview of the soon-to-be-released Ballpark District
plans to the Washington Post last week, as described by Dana Hedgpeth ("Anacostia Group Looks Beyond the Ballpark
"). From the article: "Under those plans, about 9 million square feet of residential and commercial buildings and parking garages will be built over the next decade on 50 acres around the stadium, said officials with the Anacostia Waterfront group. They estimate that the new development -- on land that is now mostly auto repair shops, nightclubs and empty lots -- will be worth about $4.5 billion." However, "Washington declined to release any sketches for publication, saying they were not final." Waaaaah!
Garage Compromise Reached
Jun 20, 2006 12:22 PM
From the Post
: "D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams announced plans today to build a mix of underground and above-ground parking adjacent to a new baseball stadium in Southeast Washington as part of a complex that will include shops, restaurants, 660 condominiums and a swanky New York City-based hotel. [...] [T]he compromise plan would call for 900 parking spaces on one level below ground to serve the condo owners, hotel and retailers. Above ground, there would be two different structures. The first two levels of both structures would be restaurants and shops and on top of those would be four levels of parking -- totaling 925 spots -- wrapped by condominiums. Another eight levels on top of that would be more condos, including 140 units priced below market value for lower-income residents. A 180-room hotel also is planned for the corner of First and N Streets SE." Developer Herbert Miller is going to pay the city $70 million for the property, and his investors will finance the additional $300 million needed for the project. He says that the parking will be completed by April 2008, but the rest will take an additional year. And for the ugly foreboding part of the story: "The city still faces a few hurdles. It must win approval for the project from both the D.C. Council, which must authorize the transfer of land rights to Miller, and the D.C. Zoning Commission, which will hear the plans Monday." And we know
how much the council likes passing stadium-related legislation!
Here's the WashTimes story
on the deal, and the Washington Business Journal story
, and says that Miller will be paying about $82 per buildable square foot, with a final price TBD after a deal is reached for the amount of affordable housing to be included.
And here's the press release from the Mayor's office
UPDATE, 10:10 pm:
The print version of the Post story is now available ("Mayor Offers Compromise On Stadium Parking Plan
"), and the big additional news is that the Lerners aren't on board with the new plan, but that it appears it doesn't matter (after all, the stadium is owned by the city, not the team). The important people now are the Zoning Commission (the stadium zoning hearing
is Monday) and the City Council. No reaction in the Post piece from any council members.
UPDATE, 9:17 am:
The WashTimes printed piece
doesn't have much new (all the same quotes from Stan Kasten), but says that a vote is expected at the council's July 11 session.
With not exactly lightning speed, the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has now posted its June 20 press release
about the agreement on its web site.
South Capitol Street Exxon Closed
May 12, 2006 12:57 PM
The Exxon at South Capitol and I streets has apparently shut down--a correspondent reports that the building is boarded up, and their phone number has been disconnected. Their page on exxonstations.com
says "Temp. Closed", but it would seem odd that a temporary closing would result in a disconnected phone number. I've heard nothing about a sale of that property, but certainly it could be considered a somewhat prime location (although that's a ghastly intersection). Will pass along more as I find out.
From another very on-the-ball correspondent, a link to a DOJ press release
from January detailing that the Exxon's owner pleaded guilty "to fraudulently double-billing government contractors more than $120,000. [Mahmud] Rashid, 46, of Raleigh Lane, Stafford, Virginia, entered a plea of guilty yesterday in United States District Court to one count of wire fraud. According to the terms of the plea agreement, Rashid could be sentenced to between 12 to 18 months of incarceration when he is sentenced before the Honorable Richard J. Leon on June 2, 2006." As my correspondent noted, "this might help shut down your gas station."
Blue Castle Rumors - Not True
May 11, 2006 11:51 AM
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.
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.
Retail Interest High at Southeast Federal Center
Apr 24, 2006 8:03 PM
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!
Ballpark District First Phases in 2009
Mar 16, 2006 11:30 PM
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.
Blue Castle Sold; Redevelopment Eyed
Dec 27, 2005 7:17 AM
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.
Capitol Hill Tower News
Dec 23, 2005 10:51 AM
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!
Oct 14, 2005 12:06 PM
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!).