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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: square 697
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1333 M St.
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250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
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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While I was on the roof of F1rst earlier this week, the view to the west was striking. Immediately north of Nats Park, with the long-forlorn block of Half Street between the Center Field Gate and the Metro station running down the middle of the frame, my camera spied:
* The first piles being driven for JBG's West Half residential and retail project;
* Some evidence of initial activity at Monument Valley, where Jair Lynch's 1250 Half Street residential and retail project is set to finally fill in the hole that has existed on the east side of Half Street since 2007; and
* Shoring/sheeting/excavation underway on the southern part of Monument's combination project of the new headquarters for the National Association of Broadcasters and a residential building at 10 Van Street (here's a closer shot).
Here's what West Half, 1250 Half, and the NAB HQ will look like when they are finished, perhaps in very late 2018 or probably 2019:
These three projects join the other buildings that complete the N Street lineup across from the ballpark--JBG's under construction apartment building at 1221 Van (at the upper left of the above photo) and the Hampton Inn that's been open at 1st and N since late 2015.
What this means is that we will now move from nine years' worth of complaining about how nothing has been built directly north of Nats Park to two years of complaining about construction noise and ickiness, leading into the inevitable future complaining about how these new buildings with all of the retail people have complained about not having end up ruining what views remained of the Capitol dome from inside the ballpark.
Progress!
And these are not the only projects just getting started. Piles have also been driven for the DC Housing Authority's latest Capper Hope VI mixed-income apartment building at 3rd and L, and digging is well underway for the new apartment building at the old McDonald's site at 2 I St., which I don't actually have a recent photo of and so one from February will have to do. I suck. Plus, digging sloooowly continues at the Yards Parcel O apartment/condo dual project.
On the bright side, we're about to have a long-watched hole finally graduate to above-ground construction, as Skanska's 99 M office building is at last reaching street level.
With the completions in 2016 and early 2017 of eight apartment buildings, and with eight more buildings looking to join them in the next two years, the neighborhood now has what can not-so-charitably be called a "glut" of new apartments, as Bisnow reported last week in its story on how the city is seeing a record number of residential units deliver in the second quarter of 2017. (I should of course give you hard numbers of total units, but see my earlier comment about my current state.)
However, if you are looking for a place to live in Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards, having multiple buildings vying for your business is certainly good news for you.
 

Another large apartment building for Near Southeast appears to be on the boards, with word filtering my way that Ruben Companies has begun working with Shalom Baranes Architects on designs for a 400-unit rental building on Half Street between I and K.
With the working name of "20 K," this building would be on the eastern portion of Square 697N, which Reuben picked up via foreclosure when JPI gave up on its plans for "23 I" on the site. There would be retail along the entire Half Street frontage, and Ruben is apparently looking around for any "organic markets" that might be interested. (Cue stampede of "OMG! OMG! OMG!" in the comments, but don't get ahead of yourselves, since there's no indication that That Particular Organic Market is displaying any interest in the site.)
Ruben owns the rest of the block as well, and envisions an eventual Phase II project along South Capitol Street (where the Exxon used to be) that could be residential, commercial, or a hotel, depending on what the market will bear.
No timeline at this point, so don't start packing up your things for a move just yet.
The up-tick in the development of mutlifamily residential properties in Near Southeast after a three-year lull during the Economic Difficulties is obvious: Forest City's 220-unit 1212 4th Street is just underway at the Yards, William C. Smith's 430-unit Park Chelsea is on the boards to get started later this year, Akridge is "hoping" to move forward in 2012 with the 280-unit residential part of its Half Street project, and Florida Rock's developers have replaced a planned office building with a 300-unit residential offering for the project's first phase, which could get underway in 2013. (And it's worth noting, as mentioned in the comments, that every one of these is planned to be a rental building, not condos.)
And I wouldn't be surprised if there were more to come.
 

There's been a whirlwind of "big" posts as 2012 has gotten underway, so here's a few items I've neglected:
* BID Reports: At its annual meeting last week, the Capitol Riverfront BID released both its annual report and the "Green Print of Growth" study they commissioned, which showed that the portion of the Green Line from the Navy Yard station to Georgia Avenue/Petworth has become over the past 10 years a "regional leader" in "capturing highly-prized young professional housing demand and high-wage employment," just nosing ahead of the Orange Line's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and outstripping the Red Line's stretch in Northwest DC when looking at household growth in the 18-to-34 demographic. The report also says (shocker!) that "the analysis conducted suggests that the Capitol Riverfront--given its Green Line access at the Navy Yard Station and its significant amount of development capacity--is among the most competitive locations in the region for households, companies, and retailers."
You can read the executive summary, the complete version, and the slides that RCLCO's Shyam Kannan displayed during his presentation at the meeting. (Additional coverage from WBJ and CapBiz.)
This was followed by a commentary by BID chief Michael Stevens in Monday's Washington Post/Capital Business in which he argued: "It's time for business and residents to recognize and acknowledge a new reality: The Green Line corridor has emerged as a powerful economic engine for the District and the region. And it's time for Metro, the city and the private sector to invest more in the area to support this growth trajectory."
UPDATE: Also coming out of the annual meeting, the BID voted to change how it handles its taxes, which still needs to be approved by the city council to take effect. (WBJ)
* On a parallel track, though it doesn't have to do with Near Southeast specifically, the Post's Steve Pearlstein wrote over the weekend about how signs suggest "that the next phase of growth in the Washington region will focus on these underdeveloped areas in the eastern quadrants of the District and some of the region’s older, closer-in suburbs."
* New Views: While I was at the BID's meeting, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the inside of 1015 Half Street, plus one shot looking out that shows not all views of the U.S. Capitol dome are, by default, "majestic." (Alternate caption: "Would you like fries with that democracy?") One Twitterer suggested that the rock circle at far right, on the Capitol Hill Power Plant's property, is where the ritual sacrifices are held. So, if you see the Congressional leadership skulking around I Street late at night....
* Artomatic Decision: The Post's Jonathan O'Connell tweeted this morning that Artomatic is headed to Crystal City. Organizers had been looking at both 1015 Half and the old National Geospatial Intelligence building at 101 M.
* CSX: The Virginia Avenue Tunnel web site now has public comments on the Nov. 30 "concepts" meeting, as well as the transcript of that session. Comments are still being accepted through the end of January.
* Protest: A reader who lives on 7th Street just across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters has passed along that the neighbors on that block have decided to lodge a formal protest at the liquor license renewal of the 7th and L Market, thanks to having witnessed multiple examples over the past few years of public drunkenness and urination, loitering, littering, drug dealing, indecent exposure, and even one proposition by a prostitute. There's no doubt that that market is a bit of a throwback to the neighborhood's previous incarnation; it will be interesting to see how this proceeds, and also how the eventual arrival of the National Community Church on that block changes (or doesn't change) things.
* AIIIEEEE!: Don't have enough to worry about these days? How about rising sea levels inundating areas along DC's waterfronts? (WaPo/Capital Weather Gang)
* Neighborhood News Roundup: The Post's new Where We Live real estate blog has a rundown and photo gallery today on the latest progress on the development and food fronts in Near Southeast. If it all looks and sounds strangely familiar, that shouldn't be a surprise.
 

* 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.
 

Jonathan O'Connell has a piece in Monday's WaPo Capital Business about Artomatic's search for a 2012 home, and how the organization wants to replicate the success of the 2009 version at the then-vacant 55 M St., SE: "This year's search is down to about four buildings, two near Nationals Park: 1015 Half St. SE, an empty 414,000-square-foot building being purchased by Prudential Real Estate Investors; and the former offices of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, at 101 M St. SE. Artomatic also is considering the People's Building in Northeast, and another location in Crystal City."
1015 Half Street (left), on the site of the old Nation nightclub, is currently home to more than 400,000 square feet of Class A office space emptiness right now. The NGA recently departed 1st and M (right), and while I would love for Artomatic to come to this spot merely for the chance to finally get inside the formerly armed encampment before its inevitable demolition as The Yards moves forward, I wonder how excited the organizers would be to have a building with almost no windows, except on the top floor. (I know that 55 M's large windows and great views of Nationals Park, Near Southeast, Southwest, and north to the Capitol were a big hit with 2009 Artomatic attendees.)
It was in December 2008 that word first began to trickle out on the 2009 Artomatic location, so perhaps the decision one way or the other won't be too long in coming.
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More posts: 1015 Half, artomatic, Events, square 697, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

Deeds have been recorded this afternoon indicating that the Ruben Companies has bought the two empty Exxon lots on South Capitol Street, at I Street SE and K Street SW.
The purchase of the 35,000-square-foot lot at South Capitol and I gives Ruben control of the entire block known as Square 697N; the company picked up the other 47,000 sq ft of the block back in 2009 after developer JPI defaulted on its loan for what was then the site of a Wendy's restaurant.
The other lot Ruben bought from Exxon, just south of the Capitol Skyline Hotel at South Capitol and K streets SW, is about 31,000 square feet and also gives the company control of that entire block, known as Square 648, after Ruben bought the other two lots in 2005 and 2007.
This now makes four sizeable sites that Ruben owns on this three-block stretch of South Capitol Street, since the company also owns 1100 South Capitol St. SE and 1101 South Capitol St. SW across the street, both of which are being marketed as office buildings.
The South Capitol and I Exxon closed down back in 2006, when the station's operator pleaded guilty to fradulently double-billing government contractors more than $120,000.
I don't know any more specifics about the sales at this point, and it's unlikely any buildings will be immediately sprouting on either site. But it is yet another bit of commercial development news that would seem to indicate that the worst of the downswing is past.
 

Here's a bunch of little items that aren't ridiculously newsworthy, but that might be of interest. Since it's Friday and many of you actually have lives, I suggest reading a few at a time, and keep coming back over the weekend until you get through all of them. Some I've already passed along via Twitter (which you can also follow by being a Facebook Fan of JDLand), but some are surprisingly fresh. Here goes:
Top items:
* The process that will beget the new Southwest Waterfront is now underway, and SWill at Southwest: The Fabulous Blog With the Funny Name (did I get that right?) reports on this week's public meeting by the developers. Current plans call for 560 residential units, three hotels totalling 600 rooms, 840,000 square feet of office, 335,000 square feet of ground floor retail, some sort of music hall / museum / maritime education offering, 2,500 underground parking spaces in five garages, and 400-500 marina slips, with 60 percent of the site area being public space.
* Back before 1015 Half Street was a slow-to-finish office building, it was an old industrial building that in 1995 became the Capitol Ballroom and then eventually the Nation nightclub. But from its construction in 1931 until it was sold at auction in 1992, the southwest corner of Half and K was home to the J.E. Hurley Machine and Boiler Works company. And thanks to the Kinorama Flickr stream that took the Twitterverse by storm this week, here's a shot of the Hurley building, undated but probably in the early 1990s. The outlines of the more-familiar Nation building are clearly visible.
* Pastor Mark Batterson, writing about the National Community Church's purchase of the Miles Glass site at 8th and Virginia, says that they are looking at some of the adjacent properties as well. "Our current lot serves our current purposes, but when we think in twenty year terms the additional lots would give us more upside potential."
Calendar items:
* On Friday, Oct. 8, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure will be holding its opening ceremonies at Nationals Park. It's not just for participants, and friends and family are also being encouraged to attend. Walkers will start arriving around 6 am, with the opening ceremony beginning (with "community stretching" at 7 am). Afterward, the participants will begin their 60-mile walk (though I can't find a map to figure out their route). More information about the opening ceremonies and race here.
* Mayor-in-Effect Vince Gray is having a series of town halls during October, with the Ward 6 one scheduled for Oct. 27 at 8:30 pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol St. NE.
Tidbits:
* Because I'm worried that the Marines' hunt for a new barracks site isn't engendering enough conversation around here, I'll point people to Norm Metzger's report on last week's Community Leadership Group meeting that I wrote about here.
* The Examiner did a Three-Minute Interview with Sam Fromartz of the Virginia Avenue Park's community garden.
* It's time once again for the Capitol Riverfront Perception Survey. Tell 'em what you perceive.
Off-Topic:
* I've written a few times about my interest in Detroit, and whether it can come back from so far down. If you haven't been following along, here's a great essay with lots of photos, written by David Byrne. (Yes, that David Byrne.) (thanks to reader EH)
* And, for the ultimate Friday time-waster, here's my bottlecap chasing cat that thinks he's a dog.
 

There have been a lot of photos I've been needing to take recently, and the stars finally aligned today for me to go get them. (I sure could use some Gatorade about now, though.) Here's a run-through:
I made my first visit to the 11th Street Bridges site, and now that all 63 river piles have been driven, it's kind of an interesting tableau. You can see my new photos, as well as background on the project if you need some orientation on what exactly you're seeing. I also got some "final" before-and-after photos of the view at 12th and M now that the RFK ramps are mostly gone.
I also wandered over to 1015 Half Street, now that I've been convinced that they're truly working on the building again. The main project page has an overview, but if you can't get enough before-and-afters, the Expanded 1015 Photo Archive shows even more angles (though you Nation fans might find them bittersweet).
I know I just unleased a big pile of Yards Park photos a few days ago, but the big hole in the lineup has been a lack of shots from across the Anacostia River, at Poplar Point. So I got over there today, and while they aren't as exciting as you might imagine (though you can see that they're doing some priming or test painting on the pedestrian bridge), I've still added some to my Yards Park page, denoted with the icon. I also finally got my official "after" photos from Poplar Point for Diamond Teague Piers, which you can see on the project page and also here. And, for the fun of it, you can also "watch" the stadium go up from that spot.
If you want to see all the "intersection" shots I took today (all 131 of them!), they're here, on three pages, and you can then click on the icon to see the historical images. (I had a lot of spots that needed updating. Yeesh!)
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We went through this back in early March, when sharp-eyed JDLand readers passed along indications of work re-starting at the stalled 1015 Half Street office building project, with a Skanska sign going up at the skeleton. But it disappeared soon afterward, along with the workers that had briefly materialized. But last Tuesday, faithful Tweeters again reported signs of life at the work site, and now WBJ is reporting that Skanska USA Building is indeed about to re-start construction, expecting to finish the 440,000-sq-ft office and retail project by the end of the year.
This building, on the site of the old Nation nightclub, was first started in late 2007 before the collapse of developer Opus East ground work to a halt in May 2009. (These photos show the timeline pretty well!) The Douglas Wilson Companies was named receiver a few months later, and originally announced that work would re-commence in October of last year, but nothing has happened until now.
No tenants have been announced. See my 1015 Half page for more details on the long and winding road this project has taken.
UPDATE: Here's the press release from DWC announcing the restart.
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More posts: 1015 Half, Development News, officespace, square 697
 

Some alert readers reported today via e-mail and Twitter that there is renewed activity at the site of 1015 Half Street, where construction of the 440,000-sq-ft office building was halted in the middle of 2009 when owner Opus East went bust and liquidated. (The Douglas Wilson Companies was named receiver for the property in August.) I've heard no official announcements, but the many liens against the property were settled in January, and apparently people are on-site, and a new fence and "Skanska" sign are now up at Half and L, so we'll see if the project is in fact moving again.
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More posts: 1015 Half, Development News, officespace, square 697
 
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