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Velocity Phase II Looks to be a Hotel?
Jul 3, 2008 2:32 PM
Rumors of this first came my way over the weekend, and now WBJ has the somewhat official word, in this article
about the closing of a $60 million construction loan to allow the completion of the 200-unit Velocity condo building
at First and L streets: "Rockville-based Cohen Cos. is currently negotiating a deal with a first-class hotel operator for Phase II and is in negotiations for a full building user for the 280,000 square-foot, Class A office building in Phase III." Phase II, on the north side of the block, facing K Street, was originally planned to be a twin of the building currently under construction; the three levels of underground parking are already built, which presumably would speed up any sort of construction timetable for a hotel on that spot. Phase III is the section of the block facing Half Street. The article also says that the condo building is currently 25 percent leased.
More New Photos (and New Old Photos): Velocity
Jun 26, 2008 10:37 AM
Another project for which I've posted a bunch of new photos in the past few days is the Velocity
condo building at First and L streets. It's now topped out at 13 (gasp!) floors, and the exterior facings are starting to be hung on the western and southern sides of the building. When completed next year, it will have 200 units, along with some ground-floor retail. Eventually a twin 200-unit building will be built on the northern side of the block; the garage has already been dug, and is/will be covered with a plaza area until construction is ready to start. Phase 3 of the block, along Half Street, could be office or hotel space, depending on market conditions.
This block, which the Cohen Companies purchased in 2005 for $55 million, was home to a lot of small businesses, including the nightclubs Wet, Edge, and Club 55. At the bottom of my Velocity project page
, past the photos of the sales center/model, you can see additional photos of how the block used to look, including some new ones from 2003 and 2004 that I've just added. And, if all of this isn't enough and you want to see still more images of Velocity's impact on the skyline, browse its Expanded Project Archive
New Sunny Day Photos!
May 17, 2008 12:16 PM
Now this is what Spring is supposed to be like. I didn't have much time, but I wandered around to get mainly new photos of 909 New Jersey
, which is sprouting like a weed. Here's the entire batch of today's photos
, centered mainly on the area bounded by Half, New Jersey, I, and K (with a few from Second Street thrown in). You can also look at the Half and I
, Half and K
, First and I
, First and K
, New Jersey and I
, and New Jersey and K
intersection archives to see the before-and-after comparisons. (You'll also see the new rental office trailer for 70/100 I
on the southwest corner of Half and I.) Watch for the
icon, though the photos I took on gloomy May 1 are marked as "new" still, too. And, as always, the
icon will show you all photos in the archive of a certain intersection (like the northwest corner of New Jersey and K
, which you can watch get demolished, then see 70/100 I rise up in the distance, and now watch 909 New Jersey climb up.)
New Photos from On Top of 20 M
May 9, 2008 2:01 PM
Since it's such a rotten day, I'll go back to when the sun was shining (Tuesday), and give you my first-ever photos from the roof of 20 M Street
. (I've taken a few photos from inside the 10th floor going back to April of last year, but from the roof I don't have deal with the pesky glass reflections.) Here are these new photos matched with the oldest ones
from the same angle, so you can compare 13 months' worth of changes easily; you can also look at all the photos
if you want to watch the progression of changes. There's views to the north (above), showing the digging now underway at 1015 Half Street
along with the construction progress at 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, and Velocity
(plus the site-clearing at 23 I
). To the south is the increasingly-shiny 55 M
, as well as the ballpark, of course. I also tossed in some photos toward the west, showing the skyline of Southwest.
WTDW: Velocity Construction
Apr 27, 2008 10:50 PM
Within the past few days, I've gotten messages from a few people asking What's the Deal With
the Velocity condos project
at First and L, noting that construction has taken a vacation recently (like me!). I've been told that it should be starting back up again within the next week or so, and that it's still on schedule to be finished next year. It's still a condo project (not switching to rentals), and about 40 of the building's 200 units have been sold.
Updated Before and Afters: Half Street (and Others)
Apr 11, 2008 1:18 PM
The surprise appearance by the sun on Thursday gave me the chance to update some north-and-east photos on the way to the ballpark, mainly along Half Street, with a few from First, Cushing, and Van thrown in. You can see the entire batch of new photos
, or you can check the 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, and Monument Half Street
pages for a little bit of context as to what you're seeing, or you can look for the
icon by intersection (Half and I
, Half and K
, Half and L
, Half and M
, First and I
, Cushing and L
, Cushing and M
, Van and M
). Make sure to check out the new photos I took last week along First Street
if you missed them, to get a pretty complete view of what's happened in the neighborhood in the past two years. (Or just come down and see for yourself.) Hopefully soon I'll get some additional updated shots from along South Capitol Street
and New Jersey Avenue (which will be changing thanks to 909 New Jersey
now beginning the showy phase of its construction).
Before and Afters: Unrecognizable First Street
Apr 6, 2008 12:15 PM
The sunlight wasn't fabulous when I ventured out yesterday, but I still took a pretty complete set of photos along First Street between I and N. With 909 New Jersey
now peeking up above ground level, and Velocity
racing upwards, the skyline is morphing yet again. And of course work continues on Onyx
and 100 M
(both due to be completed this summer). As I've mentioned a few times lately, the streetscape improvements to First Street have made the stretch from I Street southward pretty much unrecognizable from what it was a year or so ago (or even three months ago).
Soon I'll post some additional photos from yesterday of portions of The Yards
, which is now more accessible thanks to the new parking lots. And if the sun ever comes out again, I'll venture along Half Street and other locations that need updating.
Clear Sunny Skies. That Must Mean....
Mar 20, 2008 3:51 PM
Caught a break with such beautiful weather today, and so I snagged a new batch of overhead photos
from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott
. I took the entire batch, both east and west, and have paired them with the first ones I took
, in March 2006. It's quite a difference; these are the views that people should see when they're carping about "how the area around the ballpark is one big construction zone" -- yes, it is, but look what that construction has done in just two years. (And think of what the commentary would be if this construction *weren't* happening.) You can also toggle to include all the photos from here in 2007 as well
, to watch the process step-by-step.
, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors
, 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, Square 743N
, Square 699n
Photos: The New First Street, Views of I (Finally), and (Too) Much More
Mar 16, 2008 2:50 PM
When setting out to photograph a changing neighborhood, it might initially seem like a good idea to create a scheme where you take photos of 16 different views at each intersection (from up to four different angles) so that you don't miss anything and so that you can easily match photos as time goes on--until you arrive at a time when there are more than 30 intersections where visible change is happening on a day-to-day basis. Then you end up taking nearly 500 photos in one 90-minute walkabout on a sunny Saturday afternoon (without even venturing near the shiny new ballpark
that's only two weeks away from opening), making you almost embarrassed when it's time to post a selection of them on your obsessive-compulsive web site.
This is all just hypothetical, of course.
Yesterday was the first time I saw the striped and open-to-traffic First Street north of M, now widened to four lanes with a bike path, and it's kinda different from the First Street I've spent so much time on these past few years. (The four new buildings with one more about to pop up might be part of the feeling, too.) Here's a gallery of before-and-afters for First Street at I, K, L, and M
so you can see the changes. This was the first time I've been able to take a complete set of pictures at First and I
in nearly a year, so it was especially nice to get those updated.
(There sure were a lot of folks taking either a drive or a walk through the area yesterday--let the onslaught begin! And thanks to those who said hi while I was out and about ["Are you the one who does that web site?"]. As always I appreciate everyone who made the effort to not run me over when I was standing in the middle of the street taking pictures. My days of being able to do that may be at an end, though.)
More Updated Photos and Progress Reports
Mar 3, 2008 1:59 PM
Items of note from my wanderings:
* The south side of I Street is now paved
between New Jersey Avenue and Half Street, and I've been told that I Street will be "driveable" by Opening Day;
* First Street is now paved south of K
, and paving up to I doesn't look far off;
* JPI's 909 New Jersey Avenue
residential building (between I and K) is not far from reaching ground level, so be prepared for the arrival of another skeleton in the skyline before long.
If *I'm* finding it all hard to comprehend and harder to keep up with, I can only imagine how non-obsessive observers must feel. I'm kind of looking forward to the pace slowing back down a bit come May....
, 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, Monument/Half St.
, Square 743N
, Plaza on K/Square 696
, Square 699n, Nationals Park
New Photos, from Up High and from Across the River
Feb 28, 2008 1:01 PM
Let's take a breather from all this parking stuff
(which I had my fill of about two years ago) and get back to the original JDLand modus operandi--posting lots of photos of the neighborhood. Yesterday's press conference on the-subject-I-just-said-I-wasn't-going-to-talk-about was held on the 10th floor of 20 M Street
, giving me a chance to update my photos from that perch, with views of 70/100 I
(now working on floor #2), the 1015 Half Street
site (where nothing seems to be happening just yet), 55 M
, and the ballpark
. You can see all photos I've taken
from atop 20 M in the past 10 months, or just compare the oldest and newest
ones (there's been a few changes!).
You can also see all the new photos (along with the ones taken inside the ballpark looking out at the surrounding neighborhood) on a single page
I hope to get out this weekend and update the ground-level photos of all the latest happenings.
Velocity Happy Hour on Thursday
Feb 19, 2008 5:03 PM
From the Capitol Riverfront BID
, word of a Happy Hour
on Thursday (Feb. 21) being given by the Velocity Condos
folks (so they just might possibly want to give you all the scoop about their offerings). It's at Sonoma
(223 Pennsylvania Ave., SE) from 6 to 8 pm. There's also another one scheduled for March 13.
Whole Lotta Photos From First and Half Streets
Feb 11, 2008 9:51 PM
While hopefully you've already wandered through the pile of new stadium exterior photos
I posted over the weekend, those aren't the only new pictures I grabbed during my camera time on Saturday and Sunday. Get your clicking finger going:
* The Velocity
condo phase 1 building on L Street west of First is now one floor out of the ground, so that will now be added to my regular rotation of photo updates. For those who haven't been following along, this is a 200-unit condo building that will eventually be joined by a twin on the north side of the block (running along K Street). However, they decided to dig the entire parking garage and below-ground structures for both buildings at once, which is why only half the block is now rising above ground level. The other portion will be landscaped over until Phase 2 begins. (Phase 3, which will run along Half Street where the sales center is now located, could be either an office building or a hotel--I haven't heard of any decision being announced.)
* The Normandie-less corner at First and M
has now been immortalized in digital imagery, and goodness gracious, has that spot changed. (Ditto for the other end of the block, at First and N
.) This stretch is on its way to becoming temporary surface parking until Willco Construction moves forward with its reported office/residential/retail project
on that site (no timeline).
* The road work on First Street continues, and on Saturday they put down the first asphalt between L and M (in front of Onyx
and 100 M
). Looking south
you can see how much wider the street has now become. You can also see the windows starting to be hung at Onyx
and at 100 M
. Meanwhile, First north of L
continues to be a war zone. They *say* it'll all be done (I Street, too) by Opening Day. First Street and Potomac Avenue appear to be pretty much done except for the striping.
* 55 M
is almost topped out. As we heard a few days ago
, they say the Metro entrance in 55 M's ground floor will be ready by Opening Day, too.
* How much has M Street
changed in five years? Take a look
. (This should be one of those list-the-differences-in-the-pictures contests.)
* Or you can just look at all the photos from Saturday and Sunday
on one page (including the ballpark shots), though I cannot be held responsible for any sensory overload you may experience. Imagine how I feel, especially considering that what I've posted is probably only about a third of the photos I actually took....
Morning Link Roundup: Ballpark, Velocity
Jan 31, 2008 9:25 AM
Lots of ballpark and other news stories today:
has sold 21 units since opening its sales center in November, according to this press release
touting the development as the "fastest-selling new condominium project in the District of Columbia, and one of the strongest sellers in the entire National Capital Area."
* The Laborers' International Union of North America, a major supporter of the ballpark's Project Labor Agreement, issued a report saying it should be a model for future projects in the city, and that more than $12 million has been injected into DC neighborhoods thanks to stadium paychecks to local workers. LIUNA says that 72 percent of all apprenticeship hours have been performed by District residents, while 87 percent of all new apprentices are from the District. (The report also touts the ballpark as being on-time and on-budget, though perhaps that budget part refers to the actual construction and not the land acquisiton costs, which have definitely gone over budget.) Reports on the union's numbers are on Tim Lemke's blog
and at the Post
* Washington Times columnist Tony Knott rails
about neighbors of the ballpark who are "coming up with apocalyptic visions" about the 41,000 "Ken and Barbies" coming from the suburbs to the ballpark, writing that urban dwellers who initially are drawn to a city's walking distance to services and entertainment turn against the "crush of humanity", "eventually endeavor to transform their stretch of the urban jungle into the Shenandoah Valley."
* Dear Leader picked
to throw out the first pitch? (Hint: it's not the Dear Leader you might be thinking of, and it's SATIRE, people.)
Too Darn Many New Photos, Including N Street, At Last
Jan 6, 2008 9:32 PM
It was time this weekend to catch up on photos for a bunch of locations, including the most aged batch of them all, the views of the ballpark
's northern footprint along N Street
, which haven't been updated since September, so you can now have your fill of photographs of imposing parking garages. The curbs and historic streetlamps are now in, and N Street has been paved from South Capitol to Half, and it looks like the paving east to First isn't far behind. So even though the half-shadow half-sunlight conditions weren't the best to work with, I took full updates of the First
, and Van
intersections along N, all of which you can see here
One thing that really struck me today for the first time is just how wide First Street is becoming, as you can see in this batch of northward-looking photos
. I also saw that all the businesses on the west side of First south of M have now vacated--as you can see above
, it's odd to see those old about-to-be-demolished buildings with sparkly new sidewalks and streetlamps in front of them.
For those of you brave enough to try, here's all the photos from the past two days
on one page. (Thank heavens I've done a lot of work over the past year or so to automate the update process as much as possible.) Don't forget to click on the
icons to see all photos of a location over the years....
, 1015 Half
, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors
, 70/100 I
, Monument/Half St.
, Square 743N
, Square 699n, staddis
, Nationals Park
, Square 701
New Batch of Overhead and St. Matthew's Photos
Dec 10, 2007 2:21 PM
I visited my perch above New Jersey Avenue today and got updated photos looking to the south and west
, which provide quite the overview of the changes in the past 21 months on the blocks I've wittily dubbed North of M
(between M, South Capitol, the freeway, and New Jersey). The two links above show you just the oldest and the newest photos for each angle, or you can try these links
to see all the photos I've taken of those angles, at about three-month intervals.
Of course, the arrivals of 100 M
, and 70/100 I
are the biggest changes; you can also see that Velocity
is building the garage levels and will be above ground by late winter, and that 909 New Jersey
's crane is now in place, meaning that vertical construction there is not far off. But thanks to the 100 M/Onyx construction, peeks at the ballpark and Monument Half Street from this vantage point are now pretty well gone.
Velocity Sells 10 Units During First Five Days
Nov 5, 2007 6:36 PM
A press release went out this afternoon
announcing that the Velocity Condos
project at First and L sold 10 units during its first five days of sales. Here's the breathless opening text: "If any skeptics still doubt that the rapidly revitalizing Capitol Riverfront, surrounding the new Nationals baseball stadium
, will be DC's hottest new address, they need only look at the initial sales success of one of the neighborhood's first new condo buildings. Velocity held its official Grand Opening on October 26, and homebuyer response to this sleek, contemporary new condo community wowed even its developer, The Cohen Companies."
The Long Road for the Old Near Southeast Nightclubs
Nov 2, 2007 9:08 AM
This week's Washington Blade has a long story
describing the continuing difficulties seen by the old Near Southeast nightclubs in their attempts to reopen elsewhere in the city. Nexus (now becoming 909 New Jersey Avenue
), Edge/Wet and Club 55 (on the block being redeveloped with the Velocity
project), Ziegfield's-Secrets, and Heat (taken by eminent domain to make way for the ballpark
) are all still trying to either find new locations or get approvals for locations they've chosen. Follies and Club Washington will not be reopening elsewhere. Velvet Nation, a gay dance night that was held at Nation
, is looking like it will be reconstituted at a new gay dance club called Town, in Shaw.
Velocity Sales Center Sneak Preview
Oct 25, 2007 8:38 PM
I got a sneak peek today at the new Velocity Sales Center
trailer at Half and K
, which is scheduled to open to the public at 10 am Friday. The big eye-catcher about this sales trailer is that they've built right into it a full-scale replica of one of their one-bedroom-with-den units. I took some photos of it, which I've put on my Velocity page
(you'll also see at the top of the page a new rendering of the building itself). To start they're selling 24 of the building's 200 units, with prices starting just above $300k for studios. The building will have a rooftop pool, and the ground-floor units along L Street will have outdoor patios below the sidewalk line. The building is scheduled to be completed in 2009, followed eventually by a mirror Velocity II building running along K Street and an office building along Half Street, with a shared courtyard between them. The official web site is at VelocityCapitol.com
. Stop by the sales center and tell them you read about it on JDLand, and you'll receive.... a big smile and lots of information about the project.
Velocity Sales Center Opening This Friday (Update)
Oct 23, 2007 4:50 PM
I'm hearing that the Velocity Condos
sales center at Half and K is within minutes of opening--there will be a broker/client open house probably over the weekend. More specifics when I get them. Or just wander by and see if the light's on.
Now official: the sales center will open to the public starting Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm. If you signed up for the contact list at VelocityCapitol.com
, you should be getting an e-mail about this "Grand Opening Weekend"--"During your visit you can experience interactive video and virtual reality presentations, and tour an amazing full scale, one bedroom with den and 2 full baths Model Home right in the Sales Center!"
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