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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Square 701
See JDLand's Square 701 Project Page
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In the Pipeline
Homewood Suites Hotel
82 I
Yards/Parcel A
Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
Ballpark Square
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
New Barracks
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('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)
Posts on Food/Fun
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20 Blog Posts Since 2003

ANC 6D ventured across South Capitol Street into Southeast for its meeting on Monday night, with enough items of interest on this side of the street to draw even me to attend. The rundown:
BALLPARK SQUARE: Grosvenor and McCaffery Interests, developers of this hotel/residential/retail project along the west side of 1st Street north of N Street, say that they hope to start construction before the end of the year, though at this point the building permits are still pending. The 325-unit apartment building and 170-room hotel (operator not yet announced) are expected to take about two years to complete once construction gets underway. Their "intention" is to construct at the same time the separate two-story retail pavilion nestled between the arms of the Hampton Inn on the corner of 1st and N, with an eye toward completing it before the 2016 baseball season, though no tenants have been secured at this point.
Once construction begins, the existing sidewalk will be blocked, with pedestrian traffic expected to be moved to a covered structure in the 1st Street parking lane (and bike lane), though the final configuration is still under negotiation with DDOT, with the Nationals offering input as well, given the site's location just north of the ballpark.
Also, note that the 99 M Street office building planned for the north end of this block is being developed separately by Skanska and is on its own schedule, separate from these projects. (Building permits are filed, not yet approved.)
250 M: WC Smith is asking the Zoning Commission for a second third extension to the second-stage PUD for its long-planned 230,000 square foot office building, which was originally approved in 2007, then revised in 2008, and given its first extension in 2010 (and another in 2012). This would push the required date to file for a construction permit to Sept. 2016, with construction being required to commence by Sept. 2017. WC Smith's representatives noted the current state of office development basically requires a building to be 70 percent leased before financing can be procured, but that recent activity in the office leasing market "gives us hope" (especially with about 33 million square feet of GSA leased space turning over in the next few years.) Smith's Brad Fennell said that the company is "committed to the site," feels that office space "is the right use for this spot," and has been working hard to find potential tenants. (All of which is laid out in more detail in the zoning filing.)
The ANC supported the request for an extension 6-1, with Roger Moffatt voting against.
Fun fact for readers who haven't been around for this building's history: it is actually part of the Capper/Carrollsburg Planned Unit Development. It would only occupy about half of the block bounded by 2nd Place, 3rd, L, and M--the north end of the block is slated to someday be a Capper mixed-income apartment building.
(In other WC Smith-related news, I was told that the company hopes/expects to begin pouring the slab at the bottom of 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods in two months or so.)
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL: JBG came to the ANC looking for its support for this project's Capitol Gateway Overlay Review, which I wrote about in detail a few weeks back and which is scheduled for Nov. 13.
There have been some small tweaks to the design, along with now an additional variance request to have two 20-foot and two 30-foot loading bays, since original plans to have a 55-foot bay and two smaller bays has run afoul of the teensy width of the block's alley and of Van Street, where the bays will be located. Otherwise, this remains designed as an apartment building with 290ish units and about 26,000 square feet of retail.
The ANC voted to support the project 7-0.
 

As a public service, I bring you the latest views behind some neighborhood fences. And on some neighborhood fences. And even behind some glass.
In fact, there's so many fence-related photos of note that I've broken up all this fence news into multiple posts, so that you don't miss a single fence-related factoid.
(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them)
Let's begin along L Street west of 7th, where concrete is sprouting for the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, the 195-unit mixed-income building being built by the DC Housing Authority on the older Capper Seniors site.
The footprint is on a decent-sized hill, so what's two levels underground on the project's east end is more or less ground-level at the west end.

Over at Arris, the 325-unit residential building along 4th Street south of Tingey in the Yards, there's an awful lot of square footage to build up, but progress toward ground level is being made.

And the showiest construction these days is the Hampton Inn on the northwest corner of 1st and N. It's even visible now from certain spots inside the ballpark, and here takes up a good chunk of the view northward from Nats Parking Garage C.
(The "Go Nat's" signage has brought much mocking on Twitter from the Apostrophe Police, and hopefully that will be rectified before long.)
Next up: Site work that is (and isn't) happening behind neighborhood fences.
 

I admit, it's been a while since I've done any wandering south of the freeway (newcomers to JDLand may not be aware that I don't actually live in the neighborhood I've been photographing for the past 11 1/2 years). So on Saturday morning I went out to check on the progress in various locations.
Thanks to the demolition of Spooky Building 213 (STILL not done!), it was at New Jersey and M where I was able to catch my first glimpse of exactly how behind I've gotten. My exact words can't be printed on a family blog, but I quickly hustled down to 1st and N to document the vertical construction of the Hampton Inn, now five floors above ground.
The developers are looking to have the 168-room hotel open by mid-2015, and clearly they aren't dilly-dallying.
And if you're wondering about the space in between the wings of the hotel, where the white fence is, that's not part of the Hampton project--it's an annex of the big Ballpark Square residential/hotel/office/retail project that will be filling up the rest of 1st Street between M and N. As you can see on the project page, a two-story retail building is planned for that site.
As for a before-and-after of the Hampton Inn site, let's go to the north side of N Street, just across from the stadium's Parking Garage C, and see the difference:
A bit of a change from the Quality Carryout.
And when I say that the Spooky Building 213 demolition isn't done, here's all that's left, other than rubble. So close. So very close.
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More posts: Development News, hamptoninn, photos, Square 701
 

The dinosaur is gone, the bat is gone, the soulless brown-bricks-instead-of-windows are gone, and all that's left is just a few final smidgens of what was once Building 213.
The aforementioned smidgens:
And, in other news worth noting, TaKorean at Twelve12 has its sign up and doesn't look too far from opening, and the first hints of vertical construction have peeked out above the fence at the Hampton Inn site at 1st and N. (That's how fast things can go when you're not digging out three levels of underground parking.)
 

It was Saturday. It was beautiful. I wandered.
(Click on any of the photos and get a pop-up gallery of all of them--at least for non-mobile, non-RSS, non-email readers)
First, the obligatory Building 213 demolition shots. Let's compare the state of things on June 2 (left) and June 14 (right):
It's also fun to move back a block and get a better view from the east side, from November 2007 to this weekend. Where did all that sky come from?
And of course there's your basic Om Nom Nom shots:
There's also more peeks at other spots. First, I bring you the holes in the ground at the Hampton Inn on 1st Street (left) and the new residential building at Yards Parcel N (right):
Next, the still-papered over Sweetgreen at Twelve12, in advance of its opening this week, and a nose-pressed-up-against-the-dirty-window shot of the progress at the Harris Teeter in the same block, scheduled to open Oct. 1:
And I'll wrap up with the two photos below. At left, Twelve12's all-but-completed new service nestled between the new building and Building 202. And at right, on 1st south of K, the trailer that arrived this week, which is the one I posted about on Friday--and my guess that it is to be the leasing office for River Parc across the street has been confirmed.
The links to the project pages will show you these photos and many more....
 

Even readers without untold millions available to invest might be interested to see Grosvenor's recently released solicitation for a joint venture partner to help fund the development of its portion of Ballpark Square, on 1st Street just north of Nationals Park.
Grosvenor's part of the project includes a 325-unit apartment building, a 170-room hotel by an as-yet-unnamed operator, and 22,000 square feet of retail, with some of the retail in a planned two-story building at the corner of 1st and N. (Skanska is developing 99 M, the office building at the north end of Ballpark Square; the under-construction L-shaped Hampton Inn toward the south end of the block is a separate development.)
There's a colorful brochure with highlights and renderings of the "shovel-ready" project (I especially like the fake "McCaffery's Irish Pub"), along with the basic information page, which has a gallery with a few not-quite-high-res renderings of the buildings' interiors. There's also the details on the amenities, which will include "a 5,000 sf fitness center, indoor/outdoor clubroom, multi-level rooftop amenity space with two pools, grilling stations, stadium seating and a dog run."
The documents say that Grosvenor is expecting to start construction this summer, which tracks with what I heard when doing my shoeleather parking lot reporting a few weeks ago.
Grosvenor also now has a page about the project on its own web site.
Let me look in my sofa cushions....
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More posts: ballparksquare , Development News, Square 701
 

While normal people were streaming toward the ballpark on this bright sunny spring Sunday, I was wandering the periphery, taking notes and chatting up parking lot attendants, in order to get my Nats Park Parking Lot Map scrubbed and fresh for the 2014 season. (Three games late, I know.)
The prices are what were being charged today, though for some of the lots it might be that lower prices will be charged for games with smaller crowds. So use the prices on the map as a guide, not 100 percent gospel.
Since the 2013 season pretty much went down the rabbit hole for me, I can't say for certain what's truly new and changed among the offerings, but here at least is What's New to Me:
* There is a $10 lot in the McDonald's parking lot at South Capitol and I, SE.
* The surface lots on the former Monument Realty properties at South Capitol and N and Half and M are back, charging $30.
* The little parking lot that popped up on South Capitol south of N next to the Camden apartment building was charging $30 this weekend, but it sounds like their rates will be pretty fluid depending on demand.
* We already knew that the lot at the NGA building would disappear this year (as the building itself will be), but it should return next year.
* It looks like Lot W hasn't been cut in half yet by the start of construction at the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, but be prepared for that to happen.
There's also the story of Nats Lot F at 1st and M, which a few weeks ago had disappeared from the team web site's parking inventory. But it is now back, albeit shrunken to a footprint that looks remarkably similar in size to the one that the Skanska 99 M office building will be built on as part of the sizeable Ballpark Square mixed-use development.
Small traffic cones separate this new Lot F from a now-unofficial lot immediately to the south, and a birdie told me that this is because the owner of that lot--which looks remarkably similar in size to the mid-block portion of Ballpark Square being developed by Grosvenor--is planning to start construction there Any Minute Now, so that lot is expected to be closed within the next few months.
Whether this is actually the case, and whether it means both the planned 325ish-unit apartment building and the 170ish-room hotel will both get underway, or just one or the other, I guess we'll have to see. No announcement yet as to an operator for this hotel, which is different from the Hampton Inn now under construction at the south end of the block.
The new signs for 99 M say "fall 2016," so that would track with this smaller Lot F being able to remain in inventory through the end of this season.
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More posts: ballparksquare , parking, Square 701, Nationals Park
 

It ain't quite the cherry blossoms, but this year Near Southeast has spiffy fence signage erupting with full color as spring finally has sprung.
Ground zero for the new offerings is 1st Street between M and N (coincidentally, right where all those fans going to Nats Park will see them!).
Skanska has put up a new fence on the west side of the street and big ads for its 99 M office building (which also now has a web site, and the first clear rendering I've seen of the building). Click to enlarge:
Then, across the street, the Yards folks have unveiled their new logo along with other avatar-ready design elements and hipsteriffic promo photos:
A few blocks away, on the Tingey Street fence that will partially prevent me from watching the construction of Parcel N (boo), ads for the Twelve12 apartment building offer several tweet-appropriate slogans, though I will try to not add a magic marker-ed hashtag to "Find Your (#)Awesome."
I also got updated photos of the under-construction Park Chelsea and River Parc apartment buildings, but since they don't have new pretty signs on their fences they don't make the front page this time.
 

* PACHYDERMS ON PARADE: The annual DC Elephant Walk, which gets the stars of the Ringling Bros. circus from their train to the Verizon Center, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, at 8 pm. It starts at New Jersey and Virginia avenues, so it can be seen from the overpass (and perhaps from Garfield Park?), before heading toward downtown. UPDATE: Alas, DCist says that the parade has been cancelled.
* ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM: On March 21, there is to be a forum with DC mayoral candidates focusing on sustainability and environmental issues, at the Boilermaker Shops at 300 Tingey St., SE, from 6 to 8 pm. It has been organized by the local chapter of the Sierra Club along with the Capitol Riverfront BID, the neighborhood group Near Southeast Community Partners and a coalition of multiple groups now operating under an umbrella group called United for a Healthy Anacostia River. The clock is ticking down toward DC Primary Election Day, on April 1.
And, speaking of the river, the Anacostia Riverkeeper group is having a fundraiser on April 3 from 5 to 8 pm. Bring this flyer (and your appetite) to Nando's Peri-Peri at the Boilermaker Shops to help support its efforts to clean up the Anacostia watershed. They'd like an RSVP in advance, for an accurate head count.
* AT THE DRIVE-IN: Presumably in anticipation of their not-as-yet-underway Ballpark Square office/residential/hotel/retail project, developers Grosvenor, McCaffery and Skanska are co-sponsoring with the BID a "Groundbreaking at the Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Weekend" on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. They are inviting folks to "pull into the converted drive-in movie theater at 1st and M Streets, SE to watch great films and purchase popular DC food truck cuisine." Friday's movie will be Toy Story, and Saturday's will be The Matrix. Both screenings start at 7:30 pm.
* TRUCKEROO: The monthly DC food truck festival is returning to the Fairgrounds at Half and M SE for another year, starting on April 11.
* LA LA LA LA LA: The always successful Opera in the Outfield is back for another year, this time on May 3 with a simulcast of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Gates open at 5 pm for the variety of "pre-game" activities, and the show starts at 7 pm.
And, I suppose I should mention that, nestled in between these various events, there will also be the Nationals' exhibition game against the Tigers on March 29, and the team's home opener on April 4 against the Braves. Just in case you weren't aware.
Have an event happening in the neighborhood? Let me know.
 

* CSX NEAR: The Kojo Nnamdi Show hosted on Monday a roundtable on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, with David Garber and others. You can listen to it here.
* CSX FAR: Heads will explode, but I will pass along that CSX's J&L Tunnel Modification project has recently won two engineering awards. What is this tunnel? "The J&L Tunnel was constructed in the 1880s as part of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad to allow trains to run beneath the former J&L Steel Company’s Pittsburgh Works Southside facility." And what was the project? CSX "increased the vertical clearance of a 130-year-old tunnel running through Pittsburgh’s SouthSide Works, a mixed-use residential and commercial development. CSX worked closely with public officials, local businesses and residents to minimize noise and disruption during construction. Upon completion of the tunnel work, CSX restored trees and plantings, and invested in landscaping improvements that left the overlying Tunnel Park a more usable recreational space."
* HAMPTON: The building permit has been approved for the 168-room Hampton Inn just north of Nats Park. (The shoring permit was approved back in December.)
* THE MASTER PLAN: DDOT has officially released its update to the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Master Plan. This covers projects like the new Douglass Bridge and South Capitol Street makeover, the Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard redo, the M Street SE/SW transportation study, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and all other manner of projects and studies for infrastructure updates and improvements in the area. (Though, at 194 pages, maybe the Executive Summary will be a good place to start.) If I were a good blogger, I'd write a big in-depth entry about this, but, well, we know the answer to that these days....
* POLITICS: The Post grades the recent Southwest/Near Southeast Mayoral Forum, and the Hill Rag looks closely at the Ward 6 council race. Primary day is now less than a month away, on April 1. And note that tonight (March 4) there is a forum with the candiates at 7 pm at Westminster Church at 400 I St. SW, and there will be a Ward 6 candidate forum on education issues on Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 pm at Stuart-Hobson Middle School.
* DE-W'ED: Have you noticed that the Curly Ws are gone from various freeway signs? Here's why.
* PASTOR MILLS: Unfortunately, a sad piece of news to mention is that Karen Mills, pastor of the St. Paul's church at 4th and I SE, passed away on Feb. 21. I only met her a few times, but she was a very welcoming and pleasant presence, and condolences go out to her family, friends, and members of the church.
Anything else catching peoples' eyes?
 

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.
* PARC/PARK: 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.
 

With newish Sigal Construction signs now up on the fences on 1st Street just north of Nats Park acting as confirmation, WBJ reports today that construction is going to start "any day now" on the 168-room Hampton Inn and Suites that was announced a little while back. A shoring/sheeting permit for a portion of the site was approved in late December, though the building permit itself is still in process.
The article says that construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2015--perhaps the lack of underground parking for the project and the shoring permit only for one of the five lots the hotel will be situated on means that there won't be as much digging as one would normally see for a 13-story project, which would speed up the timeline.
This hotel, being developed by the Buccini/Pollin Group, is an L-shaped building that will be wrapping around a separate two-story retail project by Grosvenor right on the northwest corner of 1st and N. And Grosvenor has its own hotel (and a residential building) planned on the same block, just to the north of the Hampton Inn, though no start date has been announced.
The start of this project may be taking some parking away from the far southern end of Nats Lot F, though I have to admit that I'm not 100 percent sure that this portion of the lot was used last season. Rocklands BBQ had set up a food truck during games on the corner lot (where the retail building will go), but I don't remember if more fences went up a little north of that lot or not. Perhaps someone who parks in Lot F as a commuter can help with the timeline.
Confused? Don't worry, it'll all become clear, but perhaps checking out my Square 701 page--which covers the Hampton Inn, and the Grosvenor/Skanska Ballpark Square project--will help.
This is the first non-residential new construction building in the neighborhood since the 1015 Half Street office building was completed in 2011. And it is the second hotel in Near Southeast, joining the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L that opened in 2006.
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More posts: Development News, hamptoninn, hotel, lhotel, Square 701
 

Trying to start 2014 off right--even if it means posting a few things I didn't quite get to in 2013.
* ANC: Ed Kaminski has resigned as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for 6D02, the area basically from the ballpark northward to the south side of I Street. A special election will be in the offing before too long.
* METRO: Via CapBiz, Metro has put out "development concepts" for the five station sites it is touting to developers. However, when it came to the Navy Yard/Chiller Plant site on the southwest corner of Half and L, there were no pretty drawings, just a suggestion to acquire the privately owned lot next door, and that maybe a project with ground-floor retail would be nice, too. If you want to know the increasingly long history of WMATA's attempts to find a developer for this land (and get a new chiller plant as part of the deal), here's some reading for you.
* BALLPARK SQUARE: New fence signage along 1st Street north of Nats Park touting the Ballpark Square residential/hotel/retail development, "delivering in late 2015." There do appear to be building permits for the residential and hotel parts of the development currently working through the pipeline, though there is No Time To Lose to hit that "late 2015" date (and co-developer McCaffery hedges a bit with "early 2016"). I will note, though, that there is something kind of missing in the rendering shown on the fence signage. (Hint: It's L-shaped, and is by a different developer, and is supposed to start soon too.)
* WAYBACK: The Hill is Home's "Lost Capitol Hill" series looks at the Anacostia Engine House, located at 8th and Virginia for most of the years from 1839 until the glorious arrival of the Southeast Freeway in the 1960s.
* NO, REALLY: My latest excuse explanation for my decreased blogging output. (Though if you follow JDLand on Facebook or Twitter, you already know this.)
 

The latest edition of the Capitol Riverfront BID's newsletter reports this evening that the Buccini/Pollin Group is planning to break ground by the end of the year on what I've referred to as the "L Hotel" on the northwest corner of 1st and N streets, just across from Nationals Park on Square 701.
It is going to be a 13-story, 168-room Hampton Inn and Suites, says the BID, and would be completed by spring 2015.
This all jibes with some guessing I did back in April when it was reported that PM Hospitality Strategies (an affiliated company to Buccini/Pollin) was close to a deal to manage a hotel "in Capitol Hill." BPG owns many properties throughout the mid-Atlantic, including the Madison Hotel.
Note that the hotel project does not include the two-story building it wraps around in the rendering above; that is anticipated to be a retail building and is part of Grosvenor's planned mixed-use project immediately to the north, which currently has no announced timetable for construction.
This would be the second hotel built in Near Southeast, along with the Courtyard by Marriott that has had the neighborhood to itself since 2006. There are plans on the boards for three other hotels, including on the same block as this Hampton Inn, in the aforementioned Grosvenor project, plus around the corner on Half Street in Monument's long-planned Half Street project, and perhaps even at 50 M Street, as was recently reported by WBJ.
As of now there is no approved building permit for this site, though there is an application currently working its way through DCRA with an address of 1299 1st Street SE, filed back in August. So, until a permit is approved, don't look for any action.
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More posts: Development News, hamptoninn, lhotel, Square 701
 

A report this morning from GlobeSt.com says that PM Hospitality Strategies is close to a deal to manage a hotel located in what they describe as "in Capitol Hill, specifically the Navy Yard" (eww). "Principal Joseph Bojanowski tells GlobeSt.com that the developer is currently wrapping up development financing and will ink a deal on the project shortly. 'The land was purchased last month and the hotel is expected to roughly deliver in mid-2015,' he says."
The article doesn't give any additional details on where the hotel might actually be, and the story's RSS summary describes it as "a 165-key hotel in Capitol Hill," but given that the story's headline is actually "PM Hospitality Eyes Navy Yard Hotel," and assuming that the project won't actually be *in* the Washington Navy Yard, signs point to this being the L-shaped hotel planned for the corner of 1st and N SE on land formerly owned by the Welch family. Those plans for a 13-story 167-room hotel were okayed by the Zoning Commission in December, and in mid-March a $5.44 million sale was recorded of the Welch lots to Capital Riverfront Hotel LLC. (The rendering at right is from the zoning filings.)
At the zoning hearing, representatives of the developer said that it was expected that construction would take about 16 months, which would point to a start date sometime in early 2014 to then deliver in mid-2015 as the article says.
This is one of three hotels currently planned for the block just north of Nationals Park, along with no-timeline projects by Monument Realty and Grosvenor.
The 1st and N hotel will have no on-site parking, and no ground-floor retail space. (UPDATE: Per commissioner David Garber in the comments, there will be no "traditionally leased" retail space, but there will be a retail space operated by the hotel facing N Street, which is shown in the final zoning drawings as a restaurant or bar.). It wraps around Grosvenor's planned two-story retail building, and would be nestled between the residential buildings also planned by Grosvenor and Monument. My previous post on this hotel project has additional details.
PM Hospitality Strategies is an affiliated company of the Buccini/Pollin Group, which is the developer listed on this project's zoning documents. BPG owns properties throughout the mid-Atlantic, including the Madison Hotel. Not known at this point is the brand this hotel will operate under, though of course I hope they call it the L Hotel. (UPDATE: Or not, given how now we're all mistakenly referencing it being on L Street.)
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More posts: Development News, lhotel, Square 701
 

I can now finally stop obsessively checking Square 701 property records, as Grosvenor Americas and Skanska finally completed earlier this week their purchases of the former Willco properties along 1st Street SE between M and N, and each officially announced their plans for the site, which of course JDLand readers have known about for a while now.
The now-announced plans track pretty closely with what we've been hearing through the zoning process:
* a 224,000-square-foot Class A office building at the corner of 1st and M;
* a 180-unit hotel just to the south of the office building, separated by a 30-foot-courtyard;
* a 292-unit residential project south of the hotel in two buildings, both parallel to 1st Street, with a courtyard between them and a glass bridge connecting them; and
* 43,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 sf of which will be in the office/hotel/residential buildings, while the remaining 7,000 sf will be in a separate two-story retail-only building at the corner of 1st and N.
But we've also now learned that the office building (seen at left) will be developed by Skanska, is designed by Gensler, and will likely be self-financed, according to Bisnow. It will have 11,000 square feet of retail, and will be 11 stories tall. Looking at property records (always a somewhat dicey proposition), it appears that Skanska's Ballpark Square 701 LLC paid about $19.2 million for the multiple small lots at 1st and M where Normandie Liquors used to stand.
Grosvenor will be developing the rest of the project, with Hickok Cole designing the residential buildings and the hotel, and with McCaffery Interests providing "advisory services" and construction management. Grosvenor's Ballpark Square LLC appears in property records to have paid $25.8 million for its portion of the site.
Jon Carr of Grosvenor tells me that there is "strong interest" from potential tenants in the two-story 7,000-square-foot retail building at 1st and N (bet they wish they could have it built by tonight!) and that there are discussions with a couple of potential operators for the hotel.
Of course, the question most interested observers want to ask doesn't have an answer yet--neither announcement gives a start date. There's still the need for final approvals from the Zoning Commission (expected to come at the Oct. 29 public meeting), but for the Grosvenor portion of the site, there's one more pending item before the path to construction is truly clear, and that is the plans by another developer for the L-shaped lot between the residential buildings and the retail building.
Grosvenor apparently did attempt to purchase that property, but with no agreement able to be reached, those owners are now heading to the Zoning Commission in early December with their desire to build a 176-room hotel on the site (initial design seen at right, wrapping around Grosvenor's two-story retail building). If approved, Grosvenor's plans to have the courtyard of its residential buildings opened to the south would be impacted, and there is apparently an "alternative" design in the hopper if needed.
You can check my Square 701 page for more details about this site (including lots of Before photos from its days before becoming Nats Parking Lot F). The next steps to watch for, beyond how the L Hotel [copyright JD] turns out (which we may not know until early 2013), will be the filing of building permit applications, along with any announcements of office tenants, hotel operators, etc.
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Late last week, "Capital Riverfront Hotel LLC" * submitted to the Zoning Commission plans for a 167ish-room hotel on the small L-shaped lot that the Welch family has owned for a number of years at 1st and N Streets just north of Nationals Park.
According to documents submitted as part of the required Capitol Gateway Overlay Review, the development would have no ground-floor retail along either 1st or N.
Also, the developers are requesting that they be able to provide zero below-ground or on-site parking instead of the 44 spaces that would be required by current zoning regulations, saying that the hotel would provide valet parking services, and also would emphasize the building's location near Metro, Circulator, and other transit options.
(Needless to say, it would be interesting to see exactly how valet service on 1st just north of N would work during a sold-out baseball game going on a few feet to the south, given how 1st fills up with traffic heading toward the parking lots at the Yards.)
As seen in the above rendering, the site for the proposed hotel wraps around the two-story retail building that has been proposed as part of its 660,000-square-foot Ballpark Square development that I've written about over the past few months, which would have its own 170ish-unit hotel, positioned between a 224,000-square-foot office building fronting M Street and a 285ish-unit residential building toward the south end of the street, as well as the retail building, separated from the rest by the Welch lot.
Recently "Ballpark Square LLC and SCD Acquisitions LLC" (which appears to be a team headed by Grosvenor, with Skanska and McCaffery Interests also on board) submitted updated designs for that project in advance of its Oct. 1 zoning hearing, in which the residential building just to the north of the L-shaped lot has had its U-shaped design reconfigured to open to the south, giving residents in the courtyard-facing units some amount of a view toward Nats Park. Which of course would completely disappear if the hotel were to be built right up against the property line. (You can compare the white box in the top rendering to the red-brick building at the right of this rendering to place the proposed hotel's location vis-a-vis the residential building.)
The updated filing by Grosvenor et al even gives oblique reference to the goings-on, saying "As will be discussed at the hearing, the Applicant is exploring alternative residential layouts to address the potential future development of the parcel to the south of the residential component."
It does lead one to wonder what if anything might be going on behind the scenes between the two parties. And also exactly how the Zoning Commission might feel about the hotel's designs as initially submitted.
* Points immediately deducted for the wrong spelling of Capitol.
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Last week I wrote about the new mixed-use project just north of Nationals Park that has begun its trek through the city's zoning review process. And now I have a few renderings, and some new pertinent details. First, the pretty stuff, since that's what most people want to see (click to enlarge):
Quoting myself, the lineup from right (M Street) to left (N Street) is:
* a 224,500-square-foot office building at the corner of 1st and M;
* a 180-unit hotel just to the south of the office building, separated by a 30-foot-courtyard;
* a 292-unit residential project south of the hotel in two buildings, both parallel to 1st Street, with a courtyard between them and a glass bridge connecting them; and
* 43,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 sf of which will be in the office/hotel/residential buildings (called the "Main Parcel"), while the remaining 7,000 sf will be in a separate two-story retail-only building at the corner of 1st and N (on the "South Parcel"), with a design "inspired by the industrial character of the existing neighborhood."
Here's the view from the other direction, at 1st and N, with the two-story retail building that would be just across from the Nats' parking garage at left, with the two parallel residential buildings to its right, then the hotel, then the office building:
Having now seen more of the zoning filing, I can pass along that the "Owner/Developer" is listed as Grosvenor, with Chicago-based McCaffery Interests listed as "Development/Construction Management Services Consultants." I'm sure there will be some sussing out of the land deal before long. (Note: I had the wrong Grosvenor link for the first few minutes this post was up. I'm blaming it on being medicated.)
Read my previous post for more details....
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Back in March I wrote that something was afoot on the block just north of Nationals Park where Nats Parking Lot F resides, and new confirmation of that is a filing with the Zoning Commission for a review of a new mixed-use project that would bring office, hotel, residential, and retail spaces to 1st St. SE between M and N.
The applicant is listed only as "Ballpark Square LLC and SCD Acquisitions LLC," with a footnote mentioning that they are the "contract purchaser" of the 81,000-square-foot property, currently owned by a number of LLCs but generally described as controlled by Willco Companies. My sources continue to tell me that the purchaser is McCaffery Interests, the developer behind the Market Common residential/retail project in Clarendon, Georgetown Centre, the renovation of Mazza Gallerie, the big Potomac Yard redevelopment across the river, and other local developments, along with a number of big projects in Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere.
The zoning filing lays out the design of the 1st Street project ("Ballpark Square", mayhaps?) as:
* a 224,500-square-foot office building at the corner of 1st and M;
* a 180-unit hotel just to the south of the office building, separated by a 30-foot-courtyard;
* a 292-unit residential project south of the hotel in two buildings, both parallel to 1st Street, with a courtyard between them and a glass bridge connecting them; and
* 43,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 sf of which will be in the office/hotel/residential buildings (called the "Main Parcel"), while the remaining 7,000 sf will be in a separate two-story retail-only building at the corner of 1st and N (on the "South Parcel"), with a design "inspired by the industrial character of the existing neighborhood."
(And there might be a juicy story behind the retail-only building, because apparently the Ballpark Square folks couldn't successfully acquire the 9,000 sq ft of lots owned by the Welch family in an L shape around the corner lots at 1st and N, necessitating the two separate parcels.)
The buildings will be 130 feet high, and there will be approximately 366 parking spaces, all beneath the main parcel (and there will be bike parking, too). The residential and hotel buildings are being designed by Hickok Cole, and Gensler is the architect for the office building.
The zoning filing describes the site as having "the opportunity to become a linchpin for the entertainment district that the Distrct has long envisioned in the Ballpark area," and that it will "attract people who attend baseball games, but also provide the everyday amenities essential to the residents living in the project and nearby." And, "[p]erhaps most importantly, this project will convert a vacant site to vibrant and active uses that contribute to the rejuvenation of the Capitol Riverfront by complementing the epicenter of this community, the Ballpark."
In addition to needing a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review for the plans, the developers are also needing some zoning relief, to be allowed to scrap four required parking spaces for the separate retail building on the south parcel along with variances for loading, rear yard, and open court requirements that I'm just not up to writing much about right now.
Goodies like renderings, elevations, and additional details (like a timeline!) will be coming (though the ANC commish tweeted a sneak peek a few days ago), and this would be brought up before ANC 6D for its support before the Zoning Commission would vote on the review and variances.
This site is just to the east of Monument Realty's stalled Half Street project, which has similar plans for hotel, residential, and retail to the south of its 55 M Street office building. And across from that is Akridge's Half Street project, looking to bring office, residential, and retail to the west side of the street. In other words, there's a whole lot of mixed use on the boards just north of Nats Park. Who will get out of the blocks first?
UPDATE, 6/4: Renderings!
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There is no official announcement of this, but after finding a detail buried deep in some public records that jibes with some whispering I heard a few weeks ago, I'm going to pass along the rumor that a deal is in the works that would bring developer McCaffery Interests to the empty Willco Companies lot on Square 701 along 1st Street south of M, where Nats Parking Lot F currently operates.
The chatter I've heard says that McCaffery has the land under contract, but no transaction has shown up so far in online property records to confirm this. However, a number of just-issued permits for soil borings on the lot have McCaffery Interests listed as the "agent," though not the land owner. Perhaps due diligence before completing a deal, or....?
This site has been owned by a mixture of long-time DC development families for many years (some since 1948!), and longtime observers may also remember it as the block where the old Normandie Liquors stood along with a number of other small buildings until 2008. Willco has been marketing the site since 2006 as a 700,000-square-foot mixed use development that would have had an office building at M Street, a residential building at N Street, ground-floor retail, and underground parking.
McCaffery is the developer behind the Market Common residential/retail project in Clarendon, Georgetown Centre, the renovation of Mazza Gallerie, the big Potomac Yard redevelopment across the river, and other local developments, but also has a number of big projects in Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere. Its web site says the company's purpose is "to add value through the opportunistic acquisition and subsequent development or redevelopment of land or buildings in high quality urban locations," and that McCaffery's typical properties are characterized by "high pedestrian traffic; within or adjacent to vibrant shopping districts; proven residential and/or office appeal; access to public transportation; and proximity to cultural or sporting activities," all of which would certainly seem to describe a one-block-long empty lot directly north of Nationals Park and right by the Navy Yard Metro station.
Any designs for the site would need to go through a zoning commission review because of its location in the Capitol Gateway Overlay, and I've heard that there has been a recent meeting with at least one city agency, so *something* is afoot with this site. Whether the previous design concept of office/residential/retail is in play or something new is coming remains to be seen.
This property is one of the four "strips" of land directly north of the ballpark between M and N and 1st and South Capitol that have seen little movement since the stadium opened four years ago. Monument Realty's Half Street project abuts it to the west across Cushing Street, with Akridge's Half Street project to the west of that across Half, and then the final strip across Van along South Capitol that Monument owns most but not all of. Akridge has hinted that they may begin work later this year on its side of Half Street, but there's no firm announcements from either developer.
If the chatter turns out to be accurate, it will be interesting to see what's in store....
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