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A looming snowstorm will always divert my attention, but before the flakes fly, here's a few tidbits:
* I was not there, but the developers of the Florida Rock site apparently told Monday's ANC 6D meeting that they are looking at a June start of construction for the project's first phase, a 350-unit residential building. However, no building permit applications have been filed yet, with one reason being the need for some curb cut approvals, which the ANC voted to support. So, We Shall See.
* SWill reports that a developer is in the planning stages for a 260-unit apartment building on South Capitol Street across from Nationals Park, just north of the Camden building that opened last year. There are older rowhomes on the north end of the block, some or all of which could be incorporated into the project in some way. However, this is technically outside of my boundaries, so other than snapping photos of what will come, I'll be leaving this to Will to cover.
* I feel like I've already mentioned this, but in case I haven't, a raze permit has been filed for St. Matthew's Baptist Church on the southwest corner of New Jersey and L, to make way for Donohoe's 1111 New Jersey residential project. UPDATE: And commenter Alan below adds the tidbit that the church's message board out front now says "Looking for our perfect home."
* Washingtonian had very good things to say about Osteria Morini, while the Post's Tom Sietsema waxes saltily on Agua 301.

WBJ reported on Thursday that Donohoe has made its decision to switch the long-planned 1111 New Jersey office development to a 13-story, 324-unit residential building with 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 213 underground parking spaces. It will be called the "Gallery at Capitol Riverfront."
Further, the construction contract has already been "awarded" (to, ahem, Donohoe Construction), and WBJ quotes a company official as saying the project will begin in the first quarter of 2014, with delivery in 2016.
The site, which is above the New Jersey Avenue portion of the Navy Yard-Ballpark subway station, also includes the land upon which sits the St. Matthews Baptist Church at New Jersey and L (seen at right), which Donohoe has apparently acquired. As you can see in the rendering, the building will sit right next to but will not contain the Metro station entrance (the way 55 M Street contains the west entrance at Half Street).
Donohoe bought most of the project's property back in 2005, then purchased the rest from WMATA.
If they do intend to get underway next year, that brings the total of new residential units expected in the neighborhood over the next two years to nearly 1,900, with Twelve12, River Parc, and the Park Chelsea already out of the ground and Yards/Parcel N, 800 New Jersey and now this Donohoe project in the lineup to start in 2014.
I think I might have to buy a new camera.

When wandering by the Gordon Biersch space earlier today, I managed to sneak a peek inside:
I also caught some more fermenters arriving, plus some signage (click to embiggen):
The sign kind of says it all, right? "Early April" -- will they manage to make Opening Day?
Seems hard to believe this is actually coming. There is also a public space permit application in the window for unenclosed sidewalk seating, so you can look forward to dining al fresco at 1st and M while hordes of Nationals fans traipse past in the summer.
(I also added these photos, and a few others, to my 100 M page, which I kind of hadn't really looked at since the building opened in 2008.)
Comments (9)
More posts: 100 M, biersch, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Square 743N

A press release from Donohoe posted on the Capitol Riverfront BID web site says that the development company is designing a 13-story, 310-unit apartment building on its 1111 New Jersey site, on top of the east entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, and will be acquiring the St. Matthew's Baptist Church next door (seen in the photo at right).
An additional zoning approval is being sought in lieu of an outright change to the existing approvals for the long-planned 200,000-square-foot office building on the site, "to maintain flexibility as we evaluate options . . . for both office and residential uses."
The building, designed by WDG Architecture, would have a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units, and approximately 9,000 square feet of retail, "almost" the same amount as the office building. There's an early rendering of what the new building could look like on the BID page. UPDATE: Donohoe passed along the image at left.
Donohoe bought the most of the site's land back in 2005, then purchased the remaining portion from WMATA. St. Matthew's has been close to being sold before, when Ruben Companies had a deal back in 2007 that never materialized. And Donohoe had been in discussions about acquiring the site before Ruben. What the acquisition of the church would mean if the office building is built is not clear (would the office building grow in size?).
If the apartment building does happen, it will be in line with other developers seeing the neighborhood as much more of a residential opportunity than when plans to revitalize the area first started being formulated. That and the fact that office leases are not very easy to come by these days.
Needless to say, no timeline at the present, beyond a trip through Zoning Land.

Hot on the heels of the sales (completed and pending) of JPI's three "Capitol Yards" buildings, there's another notice in another lobby that a neighborhood apartment building is under contract to be sold. This time it's Onyx on First, the 266-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of 1st and L, which was developed by Faison with an assist from Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and opened in late 2008.
The sale price is listed on the form as $82.25 million, with the buyer being ERP Operating Limited Partnership, which is the operating partnership of Equity Residential, owner of a slew of DC-area buildings including 425 Mass and 2400 M, as well as a huge slate of properties around the country. (As an aside, the company was started by Sam Zell, a name that certainly has resonance for folks in the newspaper biz.)
Onyx went on the market more than a year ago, but that initial offering didn't result in a buyer so it was re-offered later last year. The notice to tenants specified that there are only 11 units currently unoccupied.
As we all learned during the JPI sales, it's required by DC law that residential buildings of more than five units under contract to be sold be offered to residents to purchase. (Insert here my standard joke about looking in the sofa cushions for $82 million in spare change.)
JPI's Axiom and 909 buildings were sold for around $95 million each, with the the Jefferson's contract price/purchase price for tenants listed at about $165 million.
Onyx's next-door neighbor, the office building 100 M, was put up for sale in March. (Which is apparently just now news to WBJ, though I had heard rumors that it had been taken off the market after that original offering, so maybe this is a new push.)
Comments (0)
More posts: Development News, Onyx, Square 743N

* 1015 Half Buyer: On Friday the Post debuted a "What's Going On With....?" feature at their new Where We Live Real Estate blog (reminds me of my old "What's the Deal With...?" days), and the first item was on the empty office building at 1015 Half Street. One tidbit not mentioned there, or at JDLand before now, is that apparently Prudential Real Estate Investors is buying the building, with the deal supposed to be closing this month, according to Bisnow. Bisnow says that the deal was always for Prudential to buy out Bank of America's stake in the building when it was finished, even back when it was Opus East doing the developing, not current receiver Douglas Wilson Companies.
* Onyx Sale: The Onyx on First apartment building never sold when it first went on the block back in March, and a second offering apparently closed in December. Perhaps there will be news soon.
* Navy Yard Riverwalk Closure: It was announced on Twitter last week that the Navy Yard Riverwalk will be closed from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 to install fences around the piers. (What? You thought I meant the entire Riverwalk and not just the portion controlled by the Navy Yard? Why ever would you have thought that?)
* Winter Classic Rumoring: I guess if you haven't been following along for the past couple of years, the notion of an NHL Winter Classic in DC and at Nationals Park could be news to you, but at this point there's nothing new actually being reported, since no official announcement has been made.

Word is starting to bounce around that a tenant is close to being signed for the prime restaurant space in the ground floor of 100 M Street SE, on the northeast corner of 1st and M, one block north of Nationals Park.
As to who the tenant may be, I don't have confirmation, but rumors are mentioning a "semi-chain type place." (I'm trying to find out more, but since recent surveys indicate that 93 percent of all JDLand readers are interested in retail/restaurant news, I'm just going to go with what I've got.)
The location is advertised as 8,500 square feet, and I don't know if this rumored lease is for the entire space (though I imagine it is). One way or another, it will probably be a level of food and dining experience that's a step up from the last eating establishment on that corner, the old On Luck Cafeteria that was demolished five years ago.
I hope it goes without saying that as soon as I know more, I'll pass it along. And please remember that this is all still rumor territory, so until there's an official announcement, don't be skipping meals waiting for the new offering to arrive.
UPDATE: The rumor mill is strong that the not-yet-signed tenant is Gordon Biersch. But there's no official confirmation of that. But I've heard it from enough different places since yesterday to pass it along.
Comments (17)
More posts: 100 M, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Square 743N

Catching up after a quick trip to Florida:
* A few readers have mentioned some work underway around the Boilermaker Shops at The Yards, but I'll burst the bubbles and note that it's not a sign of formal construction getting started on the 46,000-square-foot retail space. Forest City is taking care of some remediation on behalf of GSA, involving the paint inside the building along with some potentially tainted soil around the outside.
On the same subject, there was a tidbit in the April Hill Rag on page 85 (hat tip reader J) in an article about Barracks Row restaurateur Xavier Cervera, who runs Lola's, Molly Malone's, the Chesapeake Room, and some other new ventures on the way: "And there's even more in his culinary sights: along the Southeast waterfront near Nationals Park, Cervera has leased half of the glass-and-steel Boilermaker building (1100 New Jersey Ave. SE) for a classy, 450 seat sports bar." (Ay-yi-yi on that really incorrect address!)
I asked Forest City about the report, and received this response: "Forest City Washington expects to announce soon a number of great restaurant and retail venues that will be located at The Yards. Upon completion of these leases we will commence redevelopment construction of the Boilermaker Building. At this point, we are not able to specifically respond to the inaccuracies in the Hill Rag piece. These inaccuracies will become evident when we make our official announcement." Hmmm.
In the meantime, you can see renderings and photos (outside *and* inside!) on my Boilermakers Shops page.
* After having a contract for more than three years, WMATA and Donohoe have finally completed the $3 million sale of 5,165 square feet of land at New Jersey and M where the east entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station sits. This allows Donohoe to build its planned 220,000-square-foot 1111 New Jersey office building, as soon as they find tenants. (The building won't sit directly on top of the entrance, as 55 M does with the west entrance of the station, but is pretty close, as you can see in the rendering on my project page.)
* And, in other land transactions in the 100 block of M, the longtime owners of the tiny 1,500-sq-ft sliver of land between 100 M and the alley have sold the property for Northwood Investors, the new owners of 100 M. (The property records say the price was $250,000, which, if accurate, would seem to a good deal less than what they might have been offered back when Opus East was acquiring the property to build 100 M.)
* On Tuesday, April 19 (tomorrow!), there's a Ward 6 Candidates Forum with the large field of candidates for the open at-large seat on the city council (you didn't know there's an election on April 26? You're not alone). It's in the North Hall at Eastern Market from 6:30 to 8 pm, and being hosted by the Ward 6 Democrats (but it's labeled a non-partisan event, so there will be no endorsement vote). You can submit a question for the candidates, whether you're attending or not.
* American River Taxi is getting some press as it gets its service underway between Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Diamond Teague Park across from the stadium (though Saturday's rains and the subsequent flooding along the Potomac have put a crimp in their schedule over the past few days). WTOP and the The Hoya have posted articles in the past few days.

With an instruction to residents to Please Don't Panic, I'll pass along the news that Onyx on First, the 266-unit apartment building at 1100 1st St. SE, is up for sale. With a brochure touting "Excellent Transportation Infrastructure, Phenomenal Employment Opportunities," and "Shopping and Entertainment Options Abound," the sellers look to be trying to get in on what is clearly a rebounding multifamily market in DC.
Apparently there's no price set for the sale, and with a building that's 92 percent occupied with what looks like pretty high average rent numbers, I imagine investors will be taking a close look. The eventual sale (should there be one) could also be an interesting barometer of how "the markets" view the neighborhood. Proposals are due April 14.
The building, originally planned to be condos but converted to apartments during the construction phase, was developed by Faison and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and completed in 2009. It was built the same time as its neighbor 100 M, the office building that recently bought for $57 million in a foreclosure sale. Onyx is on the same block as the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, two blocks north of Nationals Park, and one block west of the Courtyard by Marriott that is being bought for $68 million. And, of course, just across the street from the Market Deli.
You can see my Onyx project page for photos and more information.
Comments (6)
More posts: Development News, Onyx, Square 743N

I'm now back after a week wandering the Midwest again, this time spending a few days in Chicago and then going up to Milwaukee, where touring time was cut short thanks to that epic windstorm (but at least I got to see the Historic Third Ward and the Milwaukee Public Market). Lots of photos of streetscapes and buildings are here, if you feel like looking at some non-Near Southeast images for a change.
To catch up....
* Dr. Gridlock gave an update on the progress of the 11th Street Bridges project, which is now more than 25 percent complete. A pretty showy part of the construction will be starting soon, "when steel girders arrive for the new bridge spans. They will be trucked out onto the old bridges and lowered onto barges in the river below." The story gives this timeline: in spring 2011, the new alignment of southbound 295 opens; in fall '11, the freeway bridges (the upstream ones) will open; in winter 2012/13 the local (downstream) bridge between Anacostia and Near Southeast will open, with the entire project expected to be completed in summer 2013. (If the alignments and uses of the new bridges aren't clear to you, check my 11th Street Bridges project page for more detail.)
There's also some new lane restrictions that started last week and will run through Nov. 23: the left lane of 11th Street SE from M to N is closed, and N Street SE between 11th and 12th is closed overnight Tuesdays through Fridays. There are other restrictions and closures as well on 295 and the SE Freeway.
* The Post's Capital Business weekly has more information today on the foreclosure sale of 100 M, including this part that is probably of most interest to residents: "Although thousands of fans pour out of the Metro station nearby for baseball games, the Opus bankruptcy has prevented retailers -- other than a SunTrust bank branch -- from occupying ground-level storefronts. Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, said he hoped that with new ownership, that would change. The retail broker for 100 M St., he said, 'has had some tenants that were interested in that property, but he couldn't sign any leases because it was in bankruptcy.' "
* It wasn't exactly a shocker that Greater Greater Washington endorsed David Garber for ANC 6D07 commissioner. Along the same lines, there's a good piece by Housing Complex this morning on the dysfunctional aspects of the ANCs, with some ideas on how to fix them. Having been tortured by sitting through many ANC meetings for more than five years now, I can certainly vouch for a lot of the issues mentioned. Perhaps there needs to be a Rally to Restore ANC Sanity.
* If you've wanted to know about Ann of Ann's Beauty Supply and Wigs Co. at 125 L St., SE, People's District recently profiled her. (Except I think they either mistranscribed the date of her shop opening, or this interview was done when her store was still in the old Waterside Mall in Southwest, because her store opened on L Street SE in 2005, not 1995.)
* American River Taxi, which is working to begin boat service between Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Diamond Teague Park, is hiring deckhands and captains. No word on when they'll get underway.
* Work has started in the ground floor of 909 New Jersey for the new Harry's Wine and Spirits. Alas, their timeline for opening has slipped (as all construction timelines do), and the owners now have their fingers crossed that they will be open by Christmas.
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