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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Square 697n
See JDLand's Square 697n Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
1000 1st St.
Yards/Parcel L
The Garrett
Square 696
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
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 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)
 
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31 Blog Posts Since 2003
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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.
Comments (38)
More posts: 2ist, Development News, jbghalf, lynchhalf, One M, Square 697n
 

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.
Comments (21)
 

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.
 

I attended my first-ever foreclosure sale this morning (yay...?), where the two lots at 23 I Street (the old Wendy's site) that JPI had purchased in 2007 for $28.6 million were to be auctioned off after JPI defaulted on its $25 million loan. However, there were no bidders for the 47,000-sq-ft piece of land (which doesn't include the Exxon next door), and so the property is now owned by Ruben Companies, which bought the original note from Key Bank earlier this year.
Ruben Cos. also owns the 1100 South Capitol lot (plus 1101 South Capitol, across the street and outside of my boundaries), and had at one point been working to purchase the St. Matthew's Church land at New Jersey and L before opting out.
The company has no plans to build anything soon on the 23 I lot--but if anyone's interested in renting the land for some interim entertainment use (a la Akridge's deal with the Bullpen on Half Street and even the trapeze school at the Yards), Ruben says they'd be willing to listen. Maybe the neighborhood could get a putt-putt course or something!
 

On Tuesday reader F. reported that the long-dormant Exxon at South Capitol and I was being demolished; and today neighboring blogger DG_Rad has Tweeted that the not-quite-as-long-dormant Exxon at 11th and M is being torn down today. There's been no big movements that I've heard for either of these lots, both of which were "sold" by the main ExxonMobil Corporation to its nonprofit ExxonMobil Foundation. Perhaps the city's recent blighted property tax doings spurred the demos?
For those of you who haven't been around for the long haul, let's revisit the tale of when the South Capitol Exxon went out of business:

[Here's the] link to a DOJ press release [now dead, alas] from January detailing that the Exxon's owner pleaded guilty "to fraudulently double-billing government contractors more than $120,000. [Mahmud] Rashid, 46, of Raleigh Lane, Stafford, Virginia, entered a plea of guilty yesterday in United States District Court to one count of wire fraud. According to the terms of the plea agreement, Rashid could be sentenced to between 12 to 18 months of incarceration when he is sentenced before the Honorable Richard J. Leon on June 2, 2006."

Comments (0)
More posts: exxon697n, Square 697n, square 976
 

On Sept. 10 a Notice of Foreclosure Sale was filed for the two now-vacant parcels of land on the southwest corner of Half and I streets where the Wendy's used to stand. (Note that this doesn't include the adjoining Exxon land.) The lots, totalling about 47,000 square feet, were bought in July of 2007 by JPI for $28.6 million, with the intent of building 23 I Street, the fourth of JPI's "Capitol Yards" residential buildings (along with 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey). JPI owes $25.1 million on the loan, which came due on Aug. 1 and which is held by Ruben Companies, owners of 1100 South Capitol Street and 1101 across the street. The foreclosure sale is scheduled for Oct. 13.
JPI East pretty much fell apart over the past two years, with its principals taking what was left and forming a new company in June with bigwigs at Akridge; stories at the time mentioned their continued stake in 70/100/909, but said nothing about 23 I.
Another, smaller commercial foreclosure is happening further east, where nine parcels owned by ICP Partners along Potomac Avenue between Eighth and Ninth (including the brown boarded-up apartment building at Ninth and its parking lot) received a notice of foreclosure on Sept. 4, with a debt of $2.3 million on the properties. ICP tried hard earlier this year to drum up interest in these lots plus the gray building at Eighth and Potomac that houses Quiznos (which is not part of this foreclosure), after a previous sale attempt in 2008 went nowhere. ICP paid $9 million for all 10 properties in 2006; this foreclosure sale is scheduled for Oct. 6. (The properties are also on the city's September Tax Sale list.)
Whether the properties will actually go on the block, or if deals will be struck or lawsuits filed in advance of the sale dates, remains to be seen, but foreclosures are about to be a big part of the commercial real estate landscape throughout the US. (Spend a few days reading Calculated Risk if you want some insights into the predicted onslaught.)
As for the neighborhood's other "distressed" properties, Opus East's 100 M and 1015 Half office buildings are part of the company's liquidation proceedings, with rumors flying but no news of new owners yet. And the empty lot in the 1000 block of Seventh Street (across from the Marines), where a developer had been planning an apartment building, was sold in late July for $400,000 after a foreclosure; it had been purchased along with the two townhouses alongside it for $1.25 million in 2004. One townhouse was subsequently sold, the other was foreclosed on as well, though so far no evidence of a sale has turned up.
 

From today's Washington Business Journal (subscribers only), news that Jim Butz and Greg Lamb of what was once JPI East have taken over what was left of that company (down to 22 employees from 380 a few years ago) and are partnering with Matt Klein and other principals at Akridge to create the Jefferson Apartment Group. Butz and Lamb "continue to hold a partnership stake in JPI [Multifamily]'s holdings," which includes 70 and 100 I and 909 New Jersey. The article says that Jefferson Apartment Group is "already targeting five properties" in DC, Philadelphia, and Boston, and "is in the early stages of planning and zoning new developments in Fairfax Count and Philadelphia," but doesn't mention what may be happening with 23 I, the fourth JPI property in Near Southeast on the Wendy's site at Half and I.
 

Some recent items of note, some Tweeted over the past few days and some I just lazily haven't gotten around to mentioning until now:
* Several readers wrote in to mention the awnings now in place at the Cornercopia Deli at Third and K, which were installed on Friday. Still no word on when it might open--but to make sure that I hear about it ASAP when its doors do open, I pledge to buy a sandwich there for the first reader who alerts me that the deli is open to customers.
* If you haven't been in the unit blocks of either I or K streets--the Wendy's (on the site of the on-hold 23 I Street apartment building by JPI) is now completely demolished, and glass is now being hung on 1015 Half Street. If you're wondering why the west side of 1015 Half is not glassed but has just a plain beige exterior--remember that that side will just be facing an alley, with 1000 South Capitol someday rising between it and South Capitol Street. (Emphasis on the *someday.*)
* The Obama Five Guys on Second Street has seen a 50 percent jump in business since the president's visit on Friday, says Politics Daily. And plenty of people are ordering the "Obama Burger," a cheesburger with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and jalapenos.
* A little excitement at USDOT on Monday when a suspicious package forced the evacuation of the Fourth Street building. According to DC Fire and EMS's Twitter feed, it was a package leaking diesel fuel.
* Greater Greater Washington spent some time looking more closely at the schematic of the new 11th Street Bridges that I posted about last week.
* The Post had a good report on Saturday's high school baseball Congressional Bank Classic at Nationals Park.
* The Mayor wants to clean out the Community Benefits Fund funded by the ballpark to pay for 10 weeks of his summer jobs program, says the Examiner. Members of the council say that six weeks (the amount that can be paid for by the original amount budgeted for the program) is good enough, and that money should go to various projects they've earmarked. (UPDATE: The council voted today *not* to cut the program to six weeks.)
 

For those of you still in town....
* As Twittered yesterday, reports are that the Wendy's on I between Half and South Capitol was being demolished yesterday (haven't gone to look for myself yet). This is the site of JPI's proposed 23 I Street apartment building, though I've heard nothing about a timeline since its original Sept. 2008 start date came and went.
* If you didn't make Tuesday's Anacostia Waterfront Forum on "Waterfronts and the World's Great Capital Cities," here's Harriet Tregoning's presentation slides.
* If the demolition of the RFK ramps has you all excited about the new 11th Street Bridges (and I'll note that "excited" can connote either positive or negative energy), here's a new schematic from design/builders Skanska/Facchina showing their plans for the project. It says that 70 percent of the five-year project will be built "off-line," meaning away from the existing travel lanes. (UPDATE: But I should note that, upon closer inspection, this schematic seems to be missing a few components, such as the eastbound flyover and approach to the new bridges from the SE Freeway as well as the exit to I Street from the new inbound span.) In the meantime, I'm going to try to go get some photos of whatever's left of the RFK ramps this weekend.
 

Pulling together some reminders and other recent Twittered tidbits:
* This Sunday is NatsFest at the ballpark, from 1 pm to 5 pm. It's being held indoors in the various club areas, so if you've never gotten to see some of the lounges, or the conference center, or the clubhouse, this might be a good opportunity. Season-ticket holders get four free tickets; for the rest of the world it's $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
* Last week a raze permit was issued for the defunct Wendy's on I Street. No word on when demolition will actually occur. This is where JPI is planning its fourth Capitol Yards apartment building, 23 I Street, but there's been no recent intelligence on when they might decide to get underway.
* Construction hasn't yet begun on the Park at the Yards, but some additional information and more detailed renderings should be coming to light over the next month. Forest City is scheduled to make presentations to the National Capital Planning Commission on Feb. 5, and the Commission on Fine Arts on Feb. 16, and possibly ANC 6D on Feb. 9.
* A reader is reporting this morning that a derrick crane is going up at Diamond Teague Park--perhaps that's to begin work on the water taxi piers. (Though note that there was already a crane of some sort there back in December when I took these photos.)
* Apparently the various property owners surrounding the section of Eighth Street south of the freeway have gotten together along with the Capitol Riverfront BID to start working on plans to perk up the area, using the Connect Barracks Row report by University of Maryland Urban Studies and Planning students as a jumping-off point. Look for public meetings in February-ish.
 
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