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This is mainly an excuse for me to post photos I got by schlepping up onto the Douglass Bridge on Sunday, but it's worth noting that it was announced last week that vertical construction is now finished on Dock 79, the 305-unit residential building that is the first phase of the never-thought-it-would-finally-happen redevelopment of the Florida Rock site along the Anacostia River. And so let's take a moment to look back to what the site looked like in 2005, and what it looks like now:
One other item of note at the site--as seen below, beams have been placed connecting a portion of the main concrete walkway at Diamond Teague Park to what will be Dock 79's plaza and Anacostia Riverwalk footprint, and without realizing it I did a pretty good job of matching my photo of the beams to the rendering of the same location:
There will be over 15,000 square feet of retail in the building, and in a press release from developer MRP Realty last week, John Begert is quoted as saying the retail space is being "programmed" with "a dynamic mix of local authentic restaurant operators," though no retail tenants have been announced as yet.
Most of this retail space will be facing the "esplanade" and this plaza, which MRP's press release says is "inspired by the concept of the “ecotone,” an ecological term referring to the transitional zone between two ecosystems."
The plaza also is directly south of the "grand staircase" of Nationals Park, ensuring that (some) views of the river from those steps and the viewing platform on the upper concourse are not completely lost.
The building is expected to deliver in the summer of 2016, and will have a ground-floor club/game room, a health club, a rooftop swimming pool, WiFi, air-conditioned storage, bike storage, a business lounge, and a 24-hour front desk.
The subsequent phases of the six-acre project are currently envisioned as a second residential building with 282 units and 5,600 square feet of retail, followed by a 313,000-square-foot office building with 11,500 square feet of retail, and then a fourth building that could be a hotel or another residential or office building, with 260,000 square feet of space and 12,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. (The footprint of the final two phases is, however, right up against the western end of the existing Douglass Bridge, so it might be awhile before those come to pass.)
See my Dock 79/Florida Rock page for lots more photos and renderings.
Comments (3)
More posts: dock79, Florida Rock, riverwalk

One of the things that makes me sometimes fail at posting tidbits is that there just aren't necessarily any good photos to go with the items, and then I lose the will to continue. So I'm now making an executive decision that I'll just hit the archives for calendar-appropriate photos when necessary. Hence, this completely unrelated photo from Oct. 6, 2012, showing the demolition progressing at the old trash transfer station. I actually find it hard to believe it's only been three years.
* GARBER GREET: DC council at-large candidate and neighborhood alumnus David Garber returns to #NavyYard today (Tuesday, Oct. 6) for a meet and greet at the Big Stick at 20 M St. SE starting at 6 pm.
* RIVER RIDE: As part of Mayor Bowser's FitDC health and wellness initiative, there will be an eight-mile bike ride through Anacostia Park on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 2 pm. If you haven't ventured across the way to use the eastern part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, this might be a nice introduction to it. (Those of us already familiar with it are now just tapping our toes waiting for the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment to open, hopefully next year, though I now see "Fall 2016" as the date.)
* AGUA ATTENTION: It isn't technically neighborhood news that Zest Bistro on 8th Street SE has apparently closed its doors, but within the statement about the closure is the tidbit that the owners "look forward to the opportunity to focus solely on our most recent venture, Agua 301."
* POLL PESTERING: C'mon, you know you'd rather click a few radio buttons and checkboxes on the JDLand Reader Poll than work! Plus there's at least one tight race in one of the Favorite Lunch/Dinner/Bar categories, so every vote counts.
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More posts: agua, Pedestrian/Cycling Issues, politics, riverwalk

With the western portion of the 5.5-acre Florida Rock site along the Anacostia River just south of Nats Park not likely to be built on for a number of years (thanks to that pesky little detail of needing to demolish the existing Douglass Bridge first), there are again plans being discussed to "activate" the area with an interim use, even while construction continues to the east on the project's first-phase apartment building.
Developer MRP Realty will be going to ANC 6D in the coming days/weeks to look for feedback on what the space could offer, but the basics they are envisioning at this point are to use the space as an outdoor "brew garden" while also providing a large neighborhood-oriented park.
MRP would partner with the brewing team from Bardo, who would be in charge of the on-site vats and the craft beer-filled taps, while the rest of the site could see a number of sub-vendors offering various activities, like a putt-putt course or maybe even batting cages. There would also be picnic tables along the river, food (on-site offerings and food trucks are both possibilities), and family-friendly programming as yet undetermined.
What the site will not offer is large concerts or private events, though smaller-scale music could be a possibility. I'm told the site would have a maximum capacity of around 1,000 guests.
This is not the first rodeo for the idea of using this large open space, although previous notions were on a larger scale and perhaps might be described as more Fairgrounds-like, a comparison that this new proposal is apparently trying very hard to avoid.
Since it's all still in the brainstorming phase, and still has to go through the ANC, the alcohol/beverage folks, and various city agencies for permits, it remains a bit nebulous. (Feel free to use the comments to pass along any ideas for activities and offerings.)
In the meantime, work continues on the Riverfront, the 300-unit apartment building on the east end of the site, by Diamond Teague Park. This first phase construction will also see an expanded plaza between the building and Teague Park, a westward extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail into the Florida Rock site, and an already planned temporary use space separating the brew garden/park from the new building, with some surface parking, a small green space, and "The Beach," a sand-covered spot with volleyball courts. The building is expected to be completed in 2016.
More details as they become available....
Comments (11)
More posts: Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, riverwalk

* LESS NGA: While demolition of Spooky Building 213 at 1st and M has technically been underway for a few weeks, the showy portion got started this week. But my camera hasn't gotten down there yet--look for photos this weekend, if you don't already have a front-row seat for the festivities.
* MORE CBS RADIO: WBJ provides more information on CBS Radio's move to 1015 Half Street, which was officially announced on site by the mayor and other poobahs on Monday. A CBS Radio exec is quoted as saying that the street-level studio and performance area "will allow an unfettered look into how we operate and provide fans of our stations with the chance to meet some of the top names in the music business and our own beloved personalities.” Another quote says that CBS Radio "wanted a ‘Today Show’ type street-level studio and the only place they could get that was in the city.” Construction on the space is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
* MORE XAVIER: Not exactly sure why the Wall Street Journal is so all-over the Barracks Row Entertainment bankruptcy, but here they are again with more details: "Lawyers for eight restaurants including Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Molly Malone’s and Boxcar Tavern [and Park Tavern and Willie's] said in new court papers that Xavier Cervera, who became a consultant for the restaurants in August after selling the restaurants in late 2012, intentionally hindered their performance," so that the new owners would struggle to make payments and then Xavier and his partners could retake the properties. There's a battle over a scooter, too.
* MORE RIVERWALK: DDOT announced this week that work is about to begin on the four-mile-long stretch of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail from Benning Road through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to the DC/Maryland line.
* MORE FAT: Mark your calendars, the Tour de Fat returns to Yards Park on May 31. (Yes, the link includes the beer list.)
* LESS INCENTIVE: In the latest step to make all my work completely unnecessary, you can now go back in time on Google Street View. (But it's only to 2007, so at least my 2003-2007 photos aren't totally useless.)

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.
Needless to say, I had to create a photo gallery of the remants and the progress, where you'll also see that work is speeding along on the new flyover to the outbound I-695 bridge.
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.)
Lots of images of the new trail, the landing, the bridge, and the surroundings are in a second new photo gallery.
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 L to M to N to O 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.]

The latest presentation slides from last week's 11th Street Bridges project's Community Communications Committee Meeting have been posted, and a few of them caught my eye (or bought my eye, for you fans of obscure Monty Python references). TheWashCycle recently posted a photo of the work underway on the overlooks that are now under construction just down-river of the new local bridge, using the old piers as their bases, and this is what they are expected to look like when completed (click to enlarge):
There is also a rendering (seen at right) of how the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail will run both under the bridges and down from O Street when finished; it also shows the small overlook that will be built out into the river just to the east of the entrance gate to the Navy Yard Promenade. WashCycle also got a recent photo of the path under construction, where you can see the outlines of what the rendering shows is coming.
The presentation slides also have some photos of the demolition underway on the old outbound freeway flyover, and aerial photos of the work that's completed and still underway on the east side of the river. There's also, on page 21, an image which looks like they've already almost completed the filling-in of the portion of the Southeast Freeway between 8th and 11th, since it shows dirt almost up to the underside of the existing bridge that takes 11th Street across the sunken freeway between I and L.
What all of this really means is that I need to get back to 11th Street with my camera pretty soon, since my last batch of photos is now a bit dated (waaah!).

A hail of bullets on various retail, restaurant, and recreation-type items, some of which are relatively new, but some of which decidedly aren't:
* The boxing and fitness club DCBFIT opened last week in the ground floor of Capitol Hill Tower, at the corner of New Jersey and L SE. While their web site makes me tired and sore just looking at it, I'm sure there are plenty of folks who will find this offering intriguing.
* Gordon Biersch, coming soon to 1st and M, has "Now Hiring" signs up: go to
* Also hiring, according to commenter JT who passed along the Craigslist link, is the Park Tavern at Canal Park. The Hill is Home says that it's opening "very soon," even saying "around the 20th of February," but We Shall See.
* Nando's Peri-Peri now has signage up at the Boilermaker Shops--it's a little more than halfway down Tingey between 3rd and 4th, closer to the Bluejacket end of the building. It's supposed to be opening this spring.
* The Navy Yard portion of the Riverwalk was supposed to reopen today--anyone give it a shot yet? And, if so, is there any actual trail once you go out the east gate? As I showed a couple of weeks ago, the old asphalt had been ripped up as part of the 11th Street Bridges work, though of course it will be back at some point.
* Maybe now is finally a good time to mention the opening of petcare store Wagtime Too at 900 M Street, where it has been for a number of weeks now, offering boarding, daycare, grooming and "cool stuff." And I actually have taken a photo of it.
* Apparently the Quizno's at 8th and Potomac closed permanently back in December. And Chicken Tortilla at 8th and L was closed when I walked by a few weeks ago, though I don't know the story on that.
UPDATE: Yes, the Riverwalk is apparently open. And I meant to also mention that Kruba Thai and Sushi's web site is now up and running.

* The Post writes about Virginia Avenue residents battling CSX on tunnel plans. (The comments section is festive as well.)
* The Navy Yard alerts folks that the 11th & O gate to their part of the Riverwalk will be closed for approximately three weeks because of demolition work on the old outbound 11th Street Bridge. (This means that the Navy Yard Riverwalk itself isn't closed, it just means you can only access it west of 11th Street.)
* Speaking of the old bridge, City Paper writes that this demolition doesn't mean the end of the "recreation bridge across the Anacostia" idea, just that it was determined that it would be better to take off the old bridge deck than to try to maintain it while working on the recreation bridge idea, which will still need financial backing even after the design competition is held this fall.
* Speaking of the river, DDOT has launched as a new online home for information on projects along the river, such as the 11th Street Bridges, the planned new South Capitol Street Bridge and associated corridor upgrades, the Riverwalk, and other projects.
* One tidbit unearthed in the new web site: An environmental assessment is expected to start this fall on reconstructing Barney Circle and transforming the "easternmost dead-end section of the Southeast/Southwest Freeway into a boulevard between the circle and 11th Street, SE."
(As always, follow JDLand on Twitter or Facebook if you want quicker access to these types of tidbits, most of which I sent out over the past week or so.)

Not quite up for anything other than short takes today:
* Nationals: The Nats arrive home tomorrow to a series with the Braves. On Friday, there will be an attempt to set the world record for the largest all-trombone ensemble (no, really). Saturday brings Pups in the Park #2 along with the first NatsLive post-game concert, featuring Dierks Bentley. More info on the weekend's promotions and specials here.
* Thursday Movie, Friday Concert: Tonight's Outdoor Flick is Sahara, and the Friday Evening Concert at the Yards Park is Carribean Night with Sam'O and JFC.
* Yard Sale: Some Capitol Quarter neighbors are having a community yard sale on Saturday, June 2, on I Street between 4th and 5th, from 8 am to noon.
* Family Day: Another Family Day at the Fairgrounds on Sunday, June 3, from 11 am to 4 pm.
* Wednesday Music: I never received any official announcements on this, but apparently the Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Series started at the Fairgrounds on May 23, each week from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm through Sept. 5.
* Who Was This "Tingey"?: Find out Wednesday June 6 in a lecture at the National Archives.
* Walking Good, Biking Bad: The Navy Yard reminds people that biking is prohibited on the Navy Yard portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk. And the Tales from the Sharrows blog rebuts.
* "Our Parking": Curbside advocacy in action on K Street.
* Armed Robbery Attempt: From MPD: On Saturday, May 26, at approximately 4:10 am, "while in the 300 Block of K Street, SE, a complainant was approached by a suspect. The suspect brandished a handgun and demanded the complainant’s property. No property was obtained. The suspect is described as a black male, 20-25 years of age, wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans. The suspect was last seen on fleeing on 3rd Place SE." If you have information, call 202-727-9099, or you can text 50411.

After the flurry of the past few months, real news is taking a bit of a breather. In the meantime, here's some reading material I've scraped up, so that it doesn't look like I've completely quit working:
* Joel Osteen Ministries' "America's Night of Hope" is coming to Nationals Park on Saturday--here's the Washington Post's story on Osteen and the plans for the event. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the festivities start at 7 pm, if you're wanting to plan your evening around the crowds. If you're coming to the neighborhood for it, my Visiting Nats Park page can help you find your way.
* Want to know how the Nats Park field is cared for, and who takes care of it? The Post profiles head groundskeeper John Turnour and his work.
* A reader tells WashCycle about being stopped from biking on the Navy Yard portion of the Riverwalk. That promenade has always been signed as prohibiting bicycling, but with increased publicity for using the Riverwalk as a biking trail (including Tuesday's ribbon cutting of the new bridge across the CSX tracks), the issue of bicycles along the Navy Yard/Yards Park/Teague stretch is going to keep bubbling up, perhaps even moreso when the new 11th Street Local bridge opens soon with its wide pedestrian/cycling paths making the connection between both sides of the river even easier.
* Speaking of that new 11th Street Local bridge, much streetscape work has been done recently on O Street (new pavement, curbs, and brick paver crosswalks), and it looks like the concrete should be poured before too long to complete the connection from O to where the bridge begins to rise above the river. Maybe I'll actually get over there with my camera soon.
* Speaking of streetscapes, there's a new sidewalk on L Street between 1st and New Jersey, to go with the new sidewalk on Half between I and K.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID would love it if you'd fill out either their residential survey (if you live in the neighborhood) or the employee survey if you work here.
* Jonathan O'Connell at WaPo looks at how developer Opus East hit the skids, right as it was trying to finish 1015 Half Street. (Opus was also the developer behind 100 M, but it was completed before everything truly fell apart.)
* The Mayor is having a Ward 6 Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting tonight (April 25) at 6:30 pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street.
* The next meeting of Police Service Area 106 is on Saturday, April 28, at 10 am at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE.
What else is going on?
UPDATE: Adding a link to Washington City Paper's profile of "The Nautical Yards", a "site-specific dance and theater piece inspired by the Washington Navy Yard" being performed at the Yards Park Thursday through Saturday (April 26-29) at 7 pm. Premium seating is $30, general admission is free.
And I should probably remind that tickets for Springsteen at Nats Park on Sept. 14 go on sale Friday (April 27) at 10 am.
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