Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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Addendum on Parking Meter Revenue
Nov 21, 2008 1:48 PM
In yesterday's wrap-up
of the Performance Parking
meeting, I mentioned how the program wasn't yet "operating in the black," because of the substantial cost of putting in the meters. However, I've been gently reminded that the legislation that created the pilot
spells out that, initially, 60 percent of the program revenue will be put toward the repayment of the cost of the meters, with 20 percent of the revenue to be used "solely for the purpose of non-automobile transportation improvements in the zone." (The other 20 percent goes to the DDOT's operating fund.) This means that there will already be some dollars available at the end of 2008 toward improvements.
In a few years, once the meters are paid in full, only five percent of the revenue goes toward meter and signage upkeep in the zone, and 75 percent goes to non-automobile transportation improvements in the zone, such as bike racks, sidewalk repair, etc.
Wrap-Up From Performance Parking Meeting
Nov 20, 2008 4:53 PM
Despite my subconscious desire to return to those days when I didn't bother going to public meetings, I ventured out on Wednesday night to DDOT's first quarterly public meeting on the Ward 6 Performance Parking Pilot Program
. Much of the discussion centered on issues outside of Near Southeast (such as how Southwest's parking-enforcement hours still run from 7 am to midnight seven days a week, even though Capitol Hill rolled theirs back to 9:30 pm six days a week and no restrictions at all on Sundays), so I don't really have a lot to report in terms of any changes that might be happening to the streets south of the freeway and east of South Capitol.
There are a few numbers to pass along--so far in 2008 (from the start of the program on March 26 through the end of October) the Ward 6 pilot zone grossed a bit over $235,000 in parking fees, with it splitting pretty evenly between the 80 game days ($118k, averaging $1,650 per day) and the other non-game days ($115k, averaging $1,300 per day). However, it cost the city more than $860,000 to install the meters and signage, so the program isn't exactly operating in the black yet.
The current red visitors passes are scheduled to expire on Dec. 31--however, DDOT's Damon Harvey acknowledged that the realities of trying to send them out in late December (in the midst of the holiday mail deluge) and the issue of on-street parking enforcement for the inauguration means that it's likely DPW will be told to not consider the old passes expired until Feb. 1 or some other date.
There was really only one attendee who was vociferously against the pilot's restrictions; others who got up to spoke had concerns about portions of it, but given how these meetings can sometimes go, it seemed that most people were accepting of the program. DDOT's Harvey made sure to emphasize a number of times that this program is not just about ballpark parking--it's to get ahead of all of the expected development and commerce coming to Capitol Hill, Near Southeast, and Southwest, and protect resident and business parking before it gets out of hand.
There were no specific changes announced for 2009--however, it sounded like if there were changes they'd be put in place closer to Opening Day. Although most of the people who spoke at the meeting mentioned that they didn't really see any influx of ballpark-related on-street parking on the Hill or areas further away in Southwest, it would be wise to keep in mind two things for 2009: the possibility
that the free Nats Express won't be running
(no decision yet), and, on the flip side, the opening of two new office buildings within two blocks of the ballpark that will have three levels of underground parking that could become available (100 M
and 55 M
, and perhaps also the underground parking now being built in the hole just north of the ballpark, though there's been no announcements of whether any of these will be offering gameday parking). The potential lack of free parking could drive more fans to try to find on-street parking, but perhaps the growth of close-in garage spaces will mitigate that.
Tune in again in February when I'm sure the traffic and parking discussions will heat up for the new season! (Yippee.)
Don't miss my addendum
, where I clear up that just because the meters haven't been paid for yet doesn't mean that the neighborhood won't already be seeing some of the revenue.
Link Roundup: This and That
Nov 20, 2008 8:16 AM
* The WashTimes says
that Eleanor Holmes Norton "has asked Congress's Joint Commission on Inaugural Ceremonies to consider opening up more space for visitors than just the Mall, including Verizon Center and Nationals Park
." I guess she means as a space to allow people to watch the ceremonies on the big screen (rather than, say, sleeping bags in the outfield)?
* City Paper does a piece
on Super Salvage, across the way in Buzzard Point, and how they feel that the city is pushing them to leave but how there's nowhere else inside the District to go. In a related story, the Post reports
that one of the concrete plants shut down in early 2006 thanks to the ballpark's eminent domain land takeover has just gotten approval (over neighbors' objections) to build a new facility just outside of Cheverly.
* Over the past couple of days the construction pedestrian walkways at 100 M Street
have been taken down, and the sidewalks look pretty close to being ready for use. Does this mean that M Street is going to get its two traffic lanes back soon? It was reported a few months back that Parsons Technology (which has leased about 30 percent of the building) would be moving in in early 2009. We should also be watching for the arrival of a Sun Trust Bank branch in the ground floor, presuming that deal is still done (you never know these days).
* Looks like they're putting the glass panels in around the Navy Yard station entrance in 55 M
's ground floor (hence the closures of the entrance after 8 pm that continue today and tomorrow, along with an all-day closure on Saturday).
Reminders for Wednesday: Parking Meeting, Onyx
Nov 18, 2008 2:45 PM
Two reminders for your Wednesday planning:
Mini-Roundup: Metro Station Entrance Closed, Zoning News, Taxation w/out Representation Street Hearing
Nov 16, 2008 5:42 PM
A bunch of items to start the week with:
* Remember that the west entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station at Half and M is closed every evening this week from 8 pm until closing, thanks to work on 55 M Street
* On Monday (Nov. 13), the Zoning Commission gave final approval to moving 225 Virginia Avenue
into the Capitol South Receiving Zone, which will allow any construction on the block to have greater height and density than the 6.5 FAR/90-ft-height currently allowed. This was approved with two caveats: that there is Zoning Commission review of the design of the portions of a building proposed to rise higher than 90 feet to confirm that the building will be sufficiently setback from the eastern building face, and that any structure will provide a suitable northern focal point for the Canal Blocks Park
. Read my entry from the hearing a few weeks ago
for more information.
* On Nov. 24 at 2 pm, the city council will be having a hearing
, the "Taxation Without Representation Street Renaming Act of 2008," which would "designate the portion of South Capitol Street, SE that intersects with N Street SE and Potomac Avenue SE as 'Taxation Without Representation Street, SE." It just so happens that this is the portion of South Capitol Street
that runs alongside Nationals Park
, where the council was thwarted in earlier attempts to install an electronic tote board
showing the federal taxes that DC residents pay while still having no voting representation in the US Congress.
* Tommy Wells is taking nominations for the Second Annual Livable, Walkable Awards
* For weeks I've been meaning to post that Nationals Park made the list of Travel and Leisure Magazine's "Must-See Green American Landmarks
," thanks to being the first LEED-certified professional sports facility.
Quick Photos from the Anacostia Waterfront Fair, Plus a Few Other New Photos and Pages
Nov 15, 2008 4:35 PM
I have to admit that information fairs aren't quite my gig (especially since I'm immersed in this stuff everyday), but I did wander past today's Anacostia Waterfront Community Information Fair at the ballpark
to see what there was to see. I got there pretty early and left pretty early, so didn't see any of the panel discussions (and didn't take any of the bus tours), but if you want to see how they configured the exhibitions within the Stars and Stripes clubs at the ballpark, here's a batch of photos
. (And, if you were there, maybe you're in one or two of them!)
I also took a few new photos on First, Third, and New Jersey
of 909 New Jersey
, and the Foundry Lofts
, which will serve mainly as a reminder of why I don't normally go on photo expeditions on cloudy days. If the weather finally shifts, I expect to be out taking some additional ones on Sunday, especially of 1015 Half
, since the first columns are visible above ground-level.
Plus, I felt a burst of inspiration yesterday the likes of which I haven't seen in months, and *finally* created project pages for William C. Smith's 800 New Jersey Avenue
development and for the 11th Street Bridges reconstruction
. The 800 NJ page has almost no information (since there's so little to be had about the project beyond the basic 1.1-mil-office-residential-retail-and-maybe-Whole-Foods
profile); the 11th Street Bridges page is a little better, but still is just a lot of pictures of overpasses and flyovers. Better than nothing in both cases, though!
Mayor Talks About Progress Along the Anacostia; Status Updates on Parks, Bridges, and the River
Nov 14, 2008 2:56 PM
This morning Mayor Fenty held a press conference at Nationals Park
with various city officials to highlight tomorrow's Anacostia Waterfront Information Fair
, and also talk up the recent progress and near-term next steps for the more than $8 billion worth of economic development, transportation, and infrastructure projects in the pipeline along the Anacostia River (not only in Near Southeast, but from the Southwest Waterfront all the way up past RFK).
Having sworn off taking any more photos of The Mayor at the Microphone (unless he shows up in a Hawaiian shirt and swimtrunks or something), I decided to record the 20-minute event
instead, so that the five or six of you interested in hearing the remarks can do so. (It's a 2.6-mb MP3 file
; the first few seconds are rough, but then it settles in.)
If you listen, you'll hear how the mayor managed to cajole the notoriously camera-shy Stan Kasten
into saying a few words about what's happening along the river and in the neighborhood from the point of view of the area's largest tenant. Deputy Mayor Neil Albert, DDOT Director Frank Seales, Office of Planning head Harriet Tregoning, and the director of the city's Office of the Environment George Hawkins spoke as well. There was some discussion throughout (and especially at the end) about how the slowing economy might be impacting both the city's plans and developers' projects, but the mayor remains optimistic.
The press release from the mayor's office
sums up the main points of today's event, but here's the Near Southeast-specific highlights from both the remarks and some other chatter of the day. First up, news of the three big parks:
The city "will break ground at Diamond Teague Park
by the end of 2008." (And the guide for tomorrow's fair says that the park will be completed in spring 2009, which is the same date we've been hearing for a while.) The mayor also touted the operating agreement with Forest City Washington to build and maintain the $42 million, 5-acre Park at the Yards
(but you knew about this already
), as well as the the agreement with the Canal Park Development Corp. to build the $13.1 million, three-block-long park
. (No mention of school buses.)
Then there's the bridges: Reconstruction of the 11th Street Bridges
is scheduled to begin in mid-2009. (The shortlist of firms vying for the design-build contract was announced a few weeks ago
.) Whether we actually see heavy equipment moving in mid-2009, or whether this just marks the first part of the design-build project is not quite clear. I was also told that the contract to demolish the flyover ramps
to and from RFK could be completed soon, and that demolition would happen not long after the contract is signed.
Plus, the final Environmental Impact Statement
for South Capitol Street
and the Douglass Bridge
is expected in spring 2009; that's when we'll hear which of the four bridge designs
has been chosen.
As for the river itself, the city has started real-time water quality monitoring, updated automatically online
24 hours a day. There's also now the Anacostia 2032 Plan
"to make the Anacostia River boatable, swimmable, and fishable in 25 years." And a Green Summer Jobs Corps
was created earlier this year to "engage youth in the cleaning and greening of District neighborhoods and parks and to introduce them to green-collar job opportunities."
Finally, a planning process is underway to revamp Boathouse Row, the stretch of boat clubs along the Anacostia between 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. (I took a bunch of photos near the boathouses a few months back, and have been lazy about ever getting them posted, though you can see a few boathouse-free shots of the environs here
There's more about projects elsewhere along the Anacostia, but other bloggers get to cover those. Will update this post if there's any media coverage from today's event, and will have a fresh post on Saturday after the fair. I imagine I'll Twitter
a bit from those festivities (like I did from today's); remember that if you aren't a Twitter-er, you can read my tweets on the JDLand homepage
--check 'em out frequently, because I do sometimes post news there first, before I write full blog entries.
SATURDAY FAIR UPDATE:
They're now going to be providing
free shuttle bus service from the New Jersey & M Metro entrance to/from the ballpark, from 12:30 pm to 5:15 pm. (After they heard somewhere
that the Half and M subway entrance is going to be closed on Saturday.)
Reminder: Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair on Saturday, at Nationals Park
Nov 12, 2008 4:18 PM
A reminder that this Saturday (Nov. 15)
at Nationals Park
is the second Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair
, with representatives from not only developers but city agencies manning booths with all sorts of information about all the projects planned along the Anacostia River corridor. It's from 1 pm to 5 pm
, and will also have (according to this DDOT press release
) "free bus tours to several locations being revitalized on both sides on the waterfront, such as Poplar Point, Waterside (formerly Waterside Mall), Boathouse Row, and Southwest Waterfront." And refreshments, too!
(Let me also just state for the record that I was planning on posting this reminder today, even if I hadn't
gotten a robocall just a few minutes ago from Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Neil Albert inviting me to the shindig.)
Public Meeting on Ballpark Performance Parking
Nov 10, 2008 1:54 PM
Just out from DDOT (now online
): "The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a quarterly public meeting on the Ward 6 Ballpark District Performance Based Parking Pilot Program
on Wednesday, November 19, 2008
. The meeting is an opportunity for residents, business owners, churches and other stakeholder groups to provide feedback on the first year of parking operations under the Performance Based Parking Pilot Zone Act of 2008.
"The meeting agenda will include:
"Presentation of the Ward 6 Committee that will assist DDOT in determining how curbside revenue will be allocated.
"Update on multi-space meter revenue collected since the inception of pilot zone.
"Update on Ward 6 Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program.
"Discussion of potential signage improvements or modifications for 2009.
"Recommendations from community stakeholders for 2009."
It's scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Friendship Baptist Church, 900 Delaware Ave., SW (on the corner of I Street). For more information on the Performance Parking program around the ballpark, check my Stadium Parking page
Nats Want Obama for First Pitch; Six Weekday Afternoon Games on 2009 Schedule
Nov 6, 2008 7:04 PM
Some news out of this afternoon's unveiling of the team's 2009 uniforms
* "Nationals manager Manny Acta and outfielder Lastings Milledge said on Thursday afternoon they would like President-elect Barack Obama to throw out the first pitch at the team's home opener against the Phillies on April 13." (MLB.com
* "The Nationals also released a preliminary schedule that features six weekday games. They include the April 13 opener against the World Series champion Phillies at 3:05 p.m., 12:35 p.m. starts against Houston on May 5 and Florida on Aug. 7, and three 4:35 p.m. games on the final days of home stands. The team did not play any weekday afternoon games last year, during its inaugural season at Nationals Park
, because of worries how traffic and parking would be impacted in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium. Additionally, the start time for Friday night games has been moved from 7:35 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. Last season, several scheduled Friday fireworks nights were canceled because slow-moving games pushed the Nationals past a curfew team officials had agreed upon with neighborhood leaders." (Examiner
Wells Wants to End Stadium Shuttles from RFK
Nov 5, 2008 9:15 PM
(Sorry that this is about a week old) From WTOP
: "Baseball fans who took free shuttle buses from RFK Stadium to Nationals Park
as a way to get to games this past season -- may be out of luck next year. D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells tells WTOP he is recommending to the Nationals that the shuttles stop running in 2009. 'The buses add a layer of traffic that is not necessary. I would like to see them stop running.' Wells says he has received numerous complaints from residents in Ward 6 about the danger of the buses as they pass through neighborhoods. Some buses also sit and idle in less than desirable locations. Traffic troubles that were predicted around the stadium never really did materialize in the ballpark's first year. Wells thinks that's all the more reason to discontinue the bus service." What do the Nats say? "As of right now, the Nationals have not announced any plans to change the shuttle bus service next season."
Nats to Expand WiFi Offerings at the Ballpark
Oct 22, 2008 11:28 AM
From PC World
(and also a ton of other places via press release): "After a first successful season running 802.11n high-speed Wi-Fi throughout its glimmering new ballpark
, Nationals Park officials in Washington plan to add more applications for next year, including video game clips that fans at the park can wirelessly pick up on their handhelds. [...] In addition to sending video clips of spectacular game plays to fans at Nationals Park, Zachariah said he hopes to have other types of wireless interactions between fans. Among these is making it possible for fans to send text comments or photos that could be posted on the park's 4,800-square-foot high-definition scoreboard. Plans also include using RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to track cash bags over the Wi-Fi network as they are carried from a concession stand to the safe, Zachariah added. The tags could also be distributed to parents who could attch them to their children, in case they get lost in the ballpark. Plans for next spring also include allowing a voice over Wi-Fi system for stadium staff to use during emergencies when cellular networks may be overtaxed, Zachariah added. Fans could also place food orders over Wi-Fi and have the orders delivered to their seats."
The article says it cost about $280,000 for all the equipment and installation.
Stadium Now $688M; Council Unhappy with Rent Deal
Oct 21, 2008 10:00 AM
Two ballpark items (both Twittered
* The Post's DC Wire blog reports
that David Catania is pointing to the latest Sports and Entertainment Commission cost report
that says the ballpark
costs to the city are now up to $688 million. (The Examiner has a piece
on this, too.)
* That estimate does not include the $4 million that the city agreed to pay for additional stadium improvements in Friday night's rent agreement
with the team, a deal which some council members are expressing unhappiness
about. " 'On its face, I've got some questions about it,' said Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D). 'The way I read it, we got the $3.5 million we would have gotten anyway, and we gave up $4 million in additional concessions.' "
Nats, City Tentatively Agree on Unpaid Rent
Oct 17, 2008 11:07 PM
: "A tentative agreement has been reached between the District and the Washington Nationals over millions of dollars in unpaid rent for the new ballpark
. D.C. Acting Attorney General Peter Nickles informed D.C. council members he has received an email from the Nationals indicating the team is ready to sign an agreement. He did not talk about the specifics. There has been ongoing dispute between the Lerner family and the Nationals over more than $3 million. The Lerners say Nationals Park was not 'substantially complete' by Opening Day of the 2008 baseball season. D.C. officials disagreed."
Here's the Post's DC Wire blog entry
, which has some detail: "Acting D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said tonight that he is on the verge an agreement with the Washington Nationals in which the team would pay $3.5 million in rent for the ballpark that it has refused to pay since the spring. In exchange, the District would seek extended warranties to cover repairs on the ballpark, Nickles said. Nickles said the agreement could be finalized tonight." More to come, I imagine.
UPDATE, 10/18: WTOP says
the agreement was indeed signed last night: "Acting Attorney General Peter Nickles says the Nationals will pay the District $3.5 million on Monday. In exchange the city will return letters of credit to the Lerners, who own the team, extend the park's liquor license, and resolve 3-to-4-thousand unfinished items in the stadium. The city will also try to get warranty extensions from builders on things like elevators. Both the Nationals and the District say this solves all their issues and the team will pay full rent going forward." And, for posterity's sake, here's the Post piece
on the agreement.
Roundup: ANC 6D Agenda, 11th Street Bridges Short List, Metro Ballpark Crowds
Oct 15, 2008 2:20 PM
* The ANC 6D agenda for its meeting on Monday Oct. 20
has been sent around (though not yet posted online
). There will be a discussion of the Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan
as it relates to Southwest, plus public space requests for building signage at 909 New Jersey
and "Brick Walls for Trash Enclosures" at Capitol Quarter
. (These are also on the Oct. 23 agenda
of the city's Public Space Commitee.)
* The short list
for a design/build team to reconstruct the 11th Street Bridges
is out--Shirley Design-Build LLC, Skansa/Facchina, Archer Western Contractors LLC, Perini/Parsons Joint Venture, and KCA Constructors Joint Venture. According to the procurement schedule
, a draft RFP should already be out (haven't found it online), and final RFP should be issued by the end of the year, with a contract signed with the vendor by June 1, 2009.
* Metro announced yesterday
that 53 percent of baseball game attendees this year arrived at Nationals Park
via Metrorail. That's 1.8 million bodies, averaging 23,000 people entering and exiting the Navy Yard station at the 80 home games in 2008. (It apparently doesn't count people who took the bus or walked down from Capitol South.) In the last two years at RFK, only 38 percent of attendees took the subway. Marc Fisher has some thoughts
on it all (including some questions on Metro's math).
Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair on Nov. 15
Oct 14, 2008 6:01 PM
Back in January
the city held the first Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair
, with representatives from not only developers but city agencies manning booths with all sorts of information about all the projects planned along the Anacostia River corridor. It seemed to have been well received at the time, and clearly it was judged a success because they've now scheduled a second go-round, on Saturday Nov. 15 from 1 pm to 5 pm
, this time at Nationals Park
. Here's the "save the date flyer
"--the e-mail alert I received about the event says that, in addition to info on projects and refreshments, there will be "waterfront tours."
New Ballpark Didn't Mean Big Attendance
Sep 25, 2008 1:02 PM
From the Post's Chico Harlan, on his Nationals Journal blog
: "Today, the Washington Nationals play their final home game of the season; it's fan appreciation night. In conjunction, the franchise will likely clinch an undesired distinction, finishing with the poorest cumulative attendance for any team in the first year of a new ballpark in the post-Camden Yards era. Going into tonight's game, the Nationals have drawn 2,320,400 into Nationals Park
. Unless at least 34,859 come out to the ballpark tonight -- and entering yesterday, they were averaging 29,077 per game, 20th in baseball -- they will fall shy of the 2003 Cincinnati Reds, who inaugurated their ballpark with 2,355,259. Since 1992, when Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened -- redefining both the design and potential of new ballparks -- 17 teams have started the season in new venues." Obligatory quote from Stan: "I think given where our record is, I've been thrilled with our attendance."
But, will there be a game played tonight? It's looking to be wet and windy
. This gray sky is giving me nightmarish flashbacks to the damp and cold weather on Opening Night
, which I'm not sure I've ever warmed up from.
Tiny Items to Mask the Reality That I Have No News
Sep 24, 2008 3:37 PM
* The Congress for the New Urbanism
has named the 11th Street Bridges (along with the Southeast Freeway) to its Freeways Without Futures list
, recognizing the top 10 locations in the U.S. "where the opportunity is greatest to stimulate valuable revitalization by replacing aging urban highways with boulevards and other cost-saving urban alternatives." It mentions the opposition of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society
to the plans to reconstruct the 11th Street Bridges
, scheduled to start next year.
* A few folks wrote in to mention that there's a new sign up advertising the planned office building at 1111 New Jersey
. Despite some building permits recently in the pipeline, developer Donohoe told me a few weeks ago that no announcement of a groundbreaking is imminent.
* I seem to always manage to be out of town during WalkingTown DC
, and so missed last weekend's jaunt around the "Capitol Riverfront." Blogger fourthandeye from The Triangle was there
, however, and gives a nice overview via eyes that don't look at these streets every day.
* The weather forecast does not look good for Thursday night's final home game of the season at Nationals Park
End-of-Season Oktoberfest Party on Thursday
Sep 23, 2008 1:55 PM
From the Nats: "The Washington Nationals will host the Oktoberfest End-of-Season Party Presented by Hard Times Cafe and Budweiser American Ale on Thursday, September 25, prior to the final home game of the 2008 season. The party will take place on the Rooftop Party Deck, located on top of Nationals Park Garage B, from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. Tickets for the game and event may be purchased for $25 at nationals.com/Oktoberfest
and include a Scoreboard Pavilion seat (Sections 240 - 243, normally $27) and admission to the event. Fans may enjoy complimentary food and drinks provided by Hard Times Cafe and Anheuser-Busch, music and dancing."
Metro Board to Vote on N22 Bus Changes
Sep 22, 2008 1:47 PM
As I wrote a few days back
, there are apparently plans to add a DC Circulator bus route in spring 2009 that would run between Union Station, the new US Capitol Vistors' Center (if it ever actually opens), and the Navy Yard station entrance at New Jersey and M (two blocks from Nationals Park
). Since it would run on a similar route to Metro's N22 bus, Metro would then discontinue the N22, a move which requires a public hearing. So, on the agenda
for this Thursday's WMATA board meeting is an item to both authorize the scheduling of the public meeting and also to amend Metro's FY09 budget to extend through March 2009 the current N22 service, which was expanded to evenings and weekends just before Opening Day as a way to move people to and from the ballpark. Here is more information
detailing the agenda item.
One thing the board will not be voting on this week is the selection of a developer for the Navy Yard station's chiller plant site on the southwest corner of Half and L
. Back in July there were discussions by WMATA's Planning, Development and Real Estate Committee in executive session about this selection, but nothing has been announced publicly and no items on the chiller site are on any of Thursday's agendas