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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Plaza on K/Square 696
See JDLand's Plaza on K/Square 696 Project Page
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JDLand.com's Official Unofficial Guide, Updated for 2018!
In the Pipeline
Yards/Icon Theater
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
 
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31 Blog Posts Since 2003
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Yes, it's time for another edition of JD Looks Behind Fences and Into Holes So You Don't Have To, and we start the rundown with two new spots to add to the lineup, where dirt has just begun to be moved: 71 Potomac, the 264-unit sibling to Dock 79 at Florida Rock, and "Square 696," Tishman Speyer's still-not-publicly-unveiled residential and retail project on the block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half Streets. Plus I'll add an up-to-date shot of the excavation at Paradigm's 1000 1st Street project, just because it doesn't fit anywhere else in this post:
(Note that I'm giving Tishman a few more weeks before I craft my own rendering. And thanks to the 71 Potomac folks for the pretty wood fences with holes in them that are perfect for snooping bloggers to look through!)
Next, let's talk about the "hybrid" hole in the ground at 1250 Half Street, aka the old Monument Valley site just across N Street from Nats Park. This is where two cranes mark the slow beginnings of vertical construction at the bottom of the hole, while six-plus floors of construction are already complete at the north end of the project, since that part of the hole was dug and the foundation was completed back in 2007 when Monument thought it would be building out the entire block instead of just the 55 M office building. This is where a two-phase project with up to 440 units of residential and more than 60,000 square feet of retail will be built:
(I need this project to hurry up and get to ground level because it's impossible to get a shot of the bottom of the hole without going up to a nearby roof.)
Now we'll move to the corner of South Capitol and M, where the National Association of Broadcasters HQ is graduating from hole-in-the-ground to skeleton, while its sibling, the condo building Avidian, is still not quite yet visible above the fence line. I forgot to walk down to get a photo through the fence of the Avidian footprint, so instead I'll just include this very bad shot I took a few weeks ago of the first hints of construction on the new Douglass Bridge, because it needs to be documented.
Three more projects are on their way upwards, including the Garrett at 2nd and I and the co-projects Parcel L residential/Thompson Hotel hole at 3rd and Tingey in the Yards shown here. (I forgot to get a shot of the Parc Riverside II hole. Probably looks like a hole with concrete and rebar, like the others):
So, in case you're not counting, that's nine projects either still below ground or just at ground level (or 10 if you include the permanently below-ground Virginia Avenue Tunnel, or 11 if you include the currently below-water Douglass Bridge work).
Then you can add those to the eight other projects that are above-ground, topped out, or nearing completion, and you can understand why it's okay to feel like the neighborhood is still a perpetual construction site, and will be for a while yet. Here's shots of seven of them, in order of progress: the 99 M office building, the DC Water headquarters, the Bower condos and sibling Parcel O rental building, and additional residential projects 2 I Street, Square 769N, and West Half (alas, I haven't made it over recently to check out the status of the Emblem condo project at 8th and Virginia, so I'm one short):
No wonder I'm so tired.
 

Some bits of tid for you:
* NEW PROJECTS STARTING SOON: Residents at Capitol Yards and at Velocity have received notices in recent days about the pending start of two residential projects outside their windows: a 275-unit building by Paradigm on the east side of 1st Street between K and L (the old Market Deli site, for you long-timers), and Tishman Speyer's 800-unit project with potentially more than 40,000 square feet of retail on the Square 696 parking-lot block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half. There is precious little additional information about either development--when projects are "at right" and don't have to go through zoning approvals, easily grabbed details and renderings can be scarce, but hope springs eternal that more deets will pop up soon. As will the fences, pedestrian detours, and backhoes.
* ONYX SALE: It's been announced that the sale of the Onyx on First apartment building at 1st and L has closed, with local company UIP (Urban Investment Partners) structuring a $95.5 million deal for the building that is now 10 (!) years old. UIP owns and manages about 2,800 apartments in DC and Maryland, and is also behind a lot of local renovations, including the old Howard Johnson's across from the Watergate. What makes this sale a little interesting is that when the previous owners notified residents of an impending sale, they organized under the District's Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and then chose UIP to take the tenant acquisition rights. The press release says that "UIP has committed to installing cell phone repeaters" and will also improve the roof deck kitchens, install dog runs, and undertake other "building enhancements."
* THE BLUE CASTLE: The Hill Rag has shared a neat documentary by the students of the Richard Wright charter school about their school's 8th and M location, entitled "9 Lives of the Blue Castle." Wright focuses its curriculum on journalism and "media arts," for students in grades 8 through 12.
* TUNNEL UPDATES: The presentation from the latest "Coffee with Chuck" has a lot of cool pictures from inside the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel(s), where the JDLand camera does not tread. There's also continuing updates of schedules for cross street closures as the temporary bridge decks get demolished and the roads get rebuilt. Be prepared that a multi-month closure of 4th Street is coming, once 3rd Street is reopened.
 

There have been hints in recent weeks (soil borings, the removal of signage) and now there's confirmation via the Washington Post that the block bounded by Half, 1st, I, and K has been sold, with former plans for 825,000 square feet of office and retail now out the window, to be replaced with "800 upscale apartments along with at least 44,000 square feet of retail space."
The block's multiple parcels were bought for nearly $70 million in 2007 by DRI Development Services and Jamestown Properties, with the project first dubbed Plaza on K and then Congressional Square. However, given both the overall climate for office space in the city and the neighborhood's clear shift toward being a residential center, it's not surprising that this project never found its way.
The Recorder of Deeds database lists $63.75 million as the purchase price, but sometimes that doesn't tell the entire story. (And since the RoD site uses Java for its viewer and these days I don't have Java installed, that's the most I can give you right now.)
The Post says that Tishman Speyer is the new owner, and quotes a company representative as saying that the "first apartment building will be completed at the end of 2019 and the second in 2021." No architect has been chosen as of yet. Also, the project could have as much as 80,000 square feet of retail, but "we'll balance supply with demand as the project moves forward."
This block was once home to a firewood lot, a towing company, and a cab company garage, but was mostly cleared by 2008. You can see my older photos and lots of renderings of the now-defunct office project on my Not-Congressional-Square-Anymore project page.
(h/t to commenter jdc)
Comments (42)
More posts: Development News, Plaza on K/Square 696
 

I've got a few more itty bitty items, so let's have another tidbit go-round:
* LOT LAYING: Enough people have written (and progress has been so slow) that I finally have to post that the work many of you are seeing on the Congressional Square block at 1st and I isn't the beginning of development there--the word is that the parking lot on the west side of the block is being extended eastward.
* PILE DRIVING: Pile driving has started at 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods, if your ears haven't already alerted you.
* TRAILER PLACING: A building permit just came through the pipeline for a temporary sales trailer at 1000 1st St. SE. The land. owned by Akridge, is unlikely to be about to see any large-scale construction, so might this instead be the beginnings of a leasing center for Toll's River Parc across the street?
* FERRY DOCKING: Following up on the ferry news from last week, I finally heard back from the office of Frank Principi in Woodbridge--it sounds like the routes and docking locations are still not 100 percent decided on. There is a stakeholder's group that will ultimately make the decisions, and it is meeting later this month to work on the project. So reports of a "Navy Yard" destination or a St. Elizabeth's destination or a Bolling destination appear to be premature.
 

I didn't really intend to go completely off-grid for a long weekend, but a road trip to and from north Florida didn't leave me much time or energy for blogging. What did I miss?
* I assume everyone's heard by now that Bruce Springsteen will be playing at Nats Park on Sept. 14. Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 27 at 10 am at tickets.com. (If I'm not showing appropriate enthusiasm, I apologize, but Springsteen just hasn't ever really done it for me. I think I was permanently scarred by everyone around me going so crazy for him when I was in college, during the whole Born in the USA era. I just hid in my room and listened to R.E.M., and U2, and the Smiths, and Squeeze, and Elvis Costello, and....)
* The Nats' current homestand continues for the rest of the week, with tonight being the first $2 Ticket Tuesday of the season. Then there's Neighborhood Night on Thursday, April 19, followed by the season's first Pups in the Park game at 1:05 pm Saturday, April 21, and Kids Opening Day at 1:35 pm Sunday, April 22.
* If you're not availing yourself of tonight's $2 Ticket Tuesday, perhaps you might want to check out the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce's session on real estate development in and around Capitol Hill, which will be focusing on the areas east of South Capitol and south of East Capitol, which includes Near Southeast. Tommy Wells is scheduled to be part of the lineup. It's from 7 to 9 pm at the Meader Theater (NCC's new home) at 535 8th St., SE.
* Saturday, April 21 is Lantern Making Family Day at the Yards Park, as part of the lineup of events as the Cherry Blossom Festival comes to a close. There are two sessions, at 10 am and noon, followed by a parade/procession through the park.
* It's a bit outside my boundaries, but residents and others may be interested to know that the new Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Bridge crossing the railroad tracks just north of Pennsylvania Avenue will be opening on April 24.
And, some non-event tidbits:
* Square 696, the block bounded by I, K, Half, and First owned by DRI and Jamestown and originally branded as "The Plaza on K," is apparently being relaunched as "Congressional Square," though that doesn't seem to have filtered down to any web sites just yet. It's still an 825,000-square-foot office and retail project.
* On Opening Day, I noticed a lot of cars parked in the fenced-off lot on the southeast corner of 1st and M SE that belongs to the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building. I asked Forest City about it, and they said that they will offer parking in that lot for certain games where big crowds are expected, but aren't planning to make it available for daily use.
* In the 700 block of Virginia Avenue, the Miles Glass building and the auto repair shop next door are no more, but at least they are now permanently enshrined as entries #168 and #169 in the Demolished Buildings Gallery. A parking lot is expected to be built for temporary use, while the National Community Church works on its plans for a larger events space on the site.
 

If you see some work being done on the block bounded by 1st, K, L, and Half in the next couple of days, don't get all excited that construction might be starting on the Plaza on K project. DRI--who bought the block for $69.4 million in 2007--tell me that they are going to be doing some leveling work to get rid of the eight-foot hill in the middle of the lot, to make it show a little nicer for prospective tenants who might be looking at the site. There will also be new fences put up.
Plans for the site currently call for buildings totaling approximately 825,000 square feet of LEED Gold office and retail. The first phase would be 300,000-sq-ft 88 K, along with 77 I, a "headquarters" space that could provide either 125,000 or 250,000 sq ft of space. There are also plans for a 10,000-sq-ft public plaza, surrounded by 14,000 sq ft of retail, along with another building (50 K) in a later phase. You can see my project page for more details, or visit the official web site. There's no timeline at this point for when the project might get underway.
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More posts: Plaza on K/Square 696
 

Late night items:
* Here is the map from Wednesday's performance parking meeting, showing where the $288,000 in "non-automobile" improvements are going to be spent.
* I received a message today from Potomac Parking, the company that will be running the new surface parking lot on Half Street between I and K (the eventual home of the Plaza on K). They tell me that, once they get their lot finished and permits secured, it will be a 24-hour lot, available for monthly/daily/hourly/gameday parking, which might make it a possibility for residents looking for a place to park where they won't get a ticket and where the space (presumably) won't cost $40,000. Judging from the web site, it looks like it'll be an unmanned lot, with various technologies to handle payments. More information when I get it.
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More posts: parking, Plaza on K/Square 696
 

Still knee-deep in inauguration craziness in real life, so can't devote much time to Hood things these days. Here's some quick bullet items, which at least I've managed to Twitter over the past few days so that I'm not completely shirking my responsibilities. (Don't forget that these Tweets get displayed at the upper right of the JDLand home page, if you just want to check them every so often.)
* I've received some swell new renderings of the Plaza on K office/retail project at First and K. The official web site also now has a whole lot of detailed information as well. Transwestern announced last week that they have officially begun marketing the project, and that the two buildings along First Street--88 K and 77 I--would make up the first phase. There's also a 10,000-square-foot public plaza at First and K that would be surrounded by ground-floor retail. It also is "designed to LEED Gold standards." See the above links for additional details. No timeline for the start of the first phase--I'm guessing they're not building on spec in this environment.
* The final Connect Barracks Row report has been posted; this was the study by University of Maryland students on how to reconfigure the southern end of Eighth Street below the freeway to better connect it with its neighbors to the north.
* I mentioned the other day that none of the *hundreds* of Near Southeast bars would be taking advantage of the special Inauguration extended hours, but I was incorrect. A lot of people (like me!) probably don't know that the "Bachelor's Mill/Back Door Pub" at 1104 Eighth Street SE in the block north of the Navy Yard even exists (even though their web site lists it as "The District's oldest and largest entertainment complex exclusively dedicated to the gay and lesbian communities"), but they're on the list of approved late-hours venues.
* A resident reports that last two little buildings standing on the 1345 South Capitol footprint have been demolished in the past few days. But no word on whether this means Camden is starting to move forward on this apartment project.
* I failed again, and couldn't make the ANC 6B meeting on Tuesday night. But I'm hoping that the update on the South Capitol Street Final EIS--my main reason for going--will be done for ANC 6D next month.
* Every year I've celebrated on January 20 the anniversary of my starting to track the goings-on in Near Southeast (Jan. 20, 2003 was the first day I went out to take photos, which I then posted on my web site). The past few years I've marked it by posting my annual State of the Hood roundup. However, this year, given that the lead-up to January 20 is going to be just a touch busy, I'm guessing I'll miss my self-imposed deadline by a few days. Waaah!
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More posts: ANC News, 8th Street, inauguration09, Plaza on K/Square 696
 

Before the storm clouds arrived yesterday (literally and figuratively), I got out and took an incomplete smattering of pictures along Second, New Jersey, First, Cushing, and Half. (Use those links to see all the before-and-nows of these latest shots.) These new photos are mainly of 909 New Jersey, Velocity, 55 M, the empty skyline where 1015 Half is just about to reach ground level, and the final "after" photos from the demolition of the Merritt Cab building at First and K on Square 696. The sun disappeared before I could get over to Capitol Quarter, so new photos from there will have to wait a few days, and since the afternoon remained cloudy (and busy), I didn't take an afternoon batch (i.e., no photos looking east).
And, if you haven't wandered through them for a while, the gallery of my favorite before-and-afters is a striking walk through the past few years, as the memories of the old Near Southeast start to get just a wee bit hazy.
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More posts: 1015 Half, 909 New Jersey, jpi, Plaza on K/Square 696, square 697, Square 699n, Velocity Condos
 

* As I mentioned below, the garage that housed both the Merritt and Four Star cab companies started getting brought down today. They didn't get it all on Thursday, but I imagine by sundown Friday the rest will be gone. (See pictures from midmorning, though it's hard to see much in the way of a difference from First and K, since they took out the back of the building and only a smidgen of the K Street facade.)
* Only a few hours after I said that Capitol Quarter framing would start "in the next few days," lumber went up on the first house on the south side of L east of Fourth. (No pictures yet--this weekend!)
* Sometime this week the crane was put up at 1015 Half Street, so we should be seeing vertical construction before too long.
* Building permits for the external renovations to 900 M Street are now winding their way through the bureaucracy. No word yet on any retail tenants.
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More posts: 1015 Half, 900m, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Retail, Plaza on K/Square 696, square 697
 
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