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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: DC Water (WASA)
See JDLand's DC Water (WASA) 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 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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60 Blog Posts Since 2003
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The siren song of a stunningly clear and breezy Saturday in August was of course irresistible to me, and I walked more than nine miles over four hours to grab a whole lot of pictures from a whole lot of locations. Here's some highlights. Click to enlarge, as always.
It turns out having a public roof space at a central location in the neighborhood is going to be veeeeery handy for me, as it allowed me to grab a great shot of the DC Water Headquarters construction that shows exactly how the new steel is wrapping around the existing O Street Pumping Station. It also allowed me to check on the progress of the excavations at 1250 Half, West Half, and the One M/10 Van combo project in a single shot.
Then there's the Any Minute Now retail offerings, with the Juice Laundry telling Instagram followers that they really are coming soon (really!), and representatives of the new Taylor Gourmet on 1st Street telling nearby office tenants that they expect to open on Aug. 23. We shall see!
Meanwhile, exterior work seems to be starting to wrap up at the 1221 Van residential building just north of the ballpark (and note all that retail space on the first two floors), while the 99 M office building is celebrating its topping out later this month. And while the neighborhood waits with baited breath to see exactly when the Whole Foods build-out will begin at Agora, there are now nice new sidewalks on the stretch of H Street SE that is in the process of materializing.
Finally, there are holes in the ground that now show evidence of the start of vertical construction, so these might be my final downward peeks into the two residential projects at the Yards Parcel O on 4th Street, the large residential project at 2 I Street, and the mixed-income Capper Hope VI apartment building at 3rd and L.
And, finally, while I have no intention of adding the new DC United soccer stadium to my lineup, I was surprised to see how visible it is from just within the JDLand boundaries at South Capitol and Potomac. So, here.
But this is just a very small sample. If you want to see a whole lot more of the shots I took, here's 333 of them. Or follow any of the above links, or click on the projects on the map at the upper right of any JDLand page to see the latest for those projects under construction.
 

Enough tidbits in the hopper to actually go less than a week between posts. Yay!
* 816 POTOMAC: Developers of the empty lot on the northwest corner of 9th and Potomac, SE have gotten an initial green light from the Historic Preservation Review Board for a four-story residential building with below-grade parking. This project will also incorporate an existing historic building at 819 L (sort of visible here), which will remain separate from the new building. Here is a video showing what the project would look like, and a screengrab from it of the proposed building is at right. No word on timing, and this does not include the existing old apartment building next door at 812 Potomac.
* 99 M TENANT: The under-construction office building at the corner of 1st and M has signed its first tenant, with Pyxera Global taking 17,000 square feet on the fourth floor. As I mentioned a few posts ago, Skanska said recently that some tenant announcements would be in the offing, and this would appear to be one of them. (Bisnow)
* POP-UP BBQ: If you've noticed the picnic tables on the northwest corner of 1st and N, where the F1rst sales trailer was, it's the home of a Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company pop-up offering on Nats game days, from now through the end of the season (and post-season). Service off of the "full food truck menu." including beer and wine, will start 90 minutes before gametime, through the first 30 minutes after first patch.
* MORE PROGRESS: On my way to and from the ballpark this weekend, I took a few smudgy cellphone photos of progress, showing the new DC Water HQ, District Winery, and (water-filled) holes in the ground at Parc Riverside II and West Half (forgot to go across the street to Lynch Half), and evidence of previously tidbitted items about the warehouse at 49 L Street and the A1 Garage site. Maybe I'll get out with the real camera this weekend for a full update, weather and energies permitting.
One that I didn't take was the view southward from M Street between 1st and New Jersey--I have to admit I was not expecting the DC Water HQ to be so visible from the north.
 

Sunday morning brought a confluence of a clear calendar, clear skies, and a sort-of-unexpected desire to "get back to work," such as it is, so I took a long walk to get the JDLand camera caught up with the goings-on in the neighborhood. Here's the rundown:
* UPWARD: The biggest news (for me, anyway) is that at last the 99 M office building project has peeked up above ground-level. Also worth getting excited about is seeing the structural steel going up for the new DC Water headquarters along the banks of the Anacostia.
* DOWNWARD: There's digging underway (or about to be) in multiple locations, and the camera peeked past the fences to check out the holes. In order, may I present the current state of: the former McDonald's site at 2 I Street (where a 380-unit apartment building will rise), the Yards Parcel O site at 4th and Tingey (where a joint condo/apartment project has been slooowly underway thanks to the need to dig very carefully when it's an old munitions site), the mixed-income Capper apartment building at 3rd and L, and the JBG West Half residential project directly north of Nats Park.
(I missed the hole at South Capitol and M where the new NAB headquarters and the 10 Van residential building will rise, but it probably doesn't look all that much different from this.)
Then there's the Half Street Hole, where work does appear to be underway, but since excavation was done in 2007, it's kind of hard to tell what's new (I should have gone up to the Hampton Inn roof). Finally, there's the lot at Half and L where fences recently went up around the site that will be Phase II of the Parc Riverside apartment building, but while some dirt has been turned, heavy equipment isn't quite yet on site.
So, if you are counting, that is eight additional projects that will rise out of the ground in the coming year or so, along with the four others that are already above ground but not done.
* OUTWARD: Vertical construction has been finished for a while at the residential building 1221 Van just north of the ballpark, but exterior work has progressed since I last wandered by. And ditto for the District Winery building at 4th and Water.
* ONWARD: Some additional catching up.
And there are going to be lots of other "for the historical record" photos that have been needed to be taken for some months added to various project pages in coming days. Just click around from the main map--you'll never know what you might find.
Coming Soon, a Coming Soon post.
 

The blistering pace of new projects slowed a bit this year, allowing me some (needed) breathing space in terms of keeping up with construction progress. But I wandered around on Saturday, and here's a few things of note I saw:
* The JBG apartment project now known as 1221 Van is speeding along, and has changed the skyline along South Capitol considerably. Taking southward-facing photos in the winter months is always dicey, but I couldn't pass up a shot of the new structure and its neighbor directly to the south.
* Insignia on M's logo at the top of its New Jersey Avenue face does easily catch one's eye.
* The preparation work to transform the O Street Pumping Station into the glimmery new DC Water Headquarters is now underway.
* CSX announced this week that the new second-track Virginia Avenue Tunnel is "nearing completion," and it certainly looks that way at the western mouth of both new and old tunnels. And I got to see a train coming out, too! (But the project isn't over--next work will shift to reconstructing the 100-year-old original tunnel.)
* The excavation for the combination condo-and-rental buildings project known as "Parcel O" at the Yards has proceeded apace.
* Conversely, the hole for the 99 M office building has remained basically unchanged since late summer. (Compare the below photo to this one taken in August.) There was a new crane-related after-hours permit approved for the site last week, so maybe things are about to start moving again. UPDATE, 12/13: A representative for the 99 M project has gotten in touch with me to say that there has actually been considerable "complex" work going on at the site, it's just that it's mostly underground/out of sight.
 

Another construction project is now confirmed to be starting soon, with the announcement earlier this month that Skanska has signed a $60 million contract to build the new DC Water headquarters on the banks of the Anacostia River.
For those who haven't been following along, the new building will be built as a "surround" to the existing red-brick O Street Pumping Station (no, not the historic Main Pumping Station).
Skanska's press release says that construction will begin this year, and is slated for completion in late 2017.
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail bridge between the Yards Park and Diamond Teague Park will offer a prime viewing location for the construction, as you can see in the latest renderings passed along with the announcement (and I've included one of my shots of the existing O Street building for those who need refreshing).
This is the second office project that Skanska currently has in the neighborhood, as it is building the on-spec 99 M office building a few blocks to the north.
Comments (14)
More posts: Development News, DC Water (WASA)
 

There's no good "art" to go with any of these tidbits, so instead I present to you the northwest corner of Half and N, SE, taken May 4, 2003, which now looks like this and will someday look like this.
* HAMBURGLARY: Fresh on the news of its pending demise, the McDonald's at South Capitol and I was robbed early Saturday morning, with the three suspects jumping through the drive-through window to get to the cash. And here's MPD's Persons of Interest video. (WaPo, MPD)
* CSX DERAILMENT: The derailment in Northeast of a CSX train carrying hazardous materials has reignited {sorry} the concerns over both the city's need to boost its oversight of freight rail and the movement of hazmat through the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. (WaPo, plus a City Paper piece as well)
* TENANT NEWS: "Global public strategy firm" Mercury Public Affairs, LLC has signed a lease for the 8,020 square feet of office space in the upper levels of the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, and will move in this summer. As for other Yards tenants, I hear that Whaley's could be opening Any Minute Now, with Philz not far behind. (Elsewhere, the Brig is probably still a couple of weeks away.)
* THE VERY MODEL OF A MINOR MODIFICATION: Forest City is back to the Zoning Commission with some changes to the design of the planned Showplace Icon movie theater. But you might need a microscope to spot the difference between old vs new on the exterior renderings. (And it's technically not a "minor modification," but I was feeling all Gilbert and Sullivan this morning.)
* BEHIND THE CURTAIN: DCist profiles a crazy blogger who has spent years taking photos of construction sites. I mean, honestly! Get a life!
 

How's that Metro Shutdown Day working for you? At least it was a beautiful morning for a walk/ride/telecommute to your sofa, for those lucky enough to have those options.
Here's a few things, some of which could be their own posts, but, well, my walk wore me out.
MOVIE THEATER EXTENSION: On Monday night the Zoning Commission granted Forest City's request for a two-year extension to the PUD governing the plans for the Showplace Icon movie theater on the current DC Water site, which has continued to see delays because of DC Water's issues with moving some of its operations off of the site as planned. And, probably in response to a WBJ story a few days ago headlined "Big trouble for proposed multiplex at The Yards? Site 'may be in limbo for many years'," Forest City issued a press release quoting its president, Deborah Ratner Salzberg, as saying that "We look forward to beginning construction on the Showplace Icon Theater at The Yards by the end of this year," and that "DC Water, the District and Forest City meet weekly on this project to ensure that this first-ever theater complex for Southeast DC opens on time." There is also a quote from the CEO of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters, Tony Kerasotes, saying that "We realize this is a complicated site and remain fully engaged in seeing it through and moving forward with construction."
HISTORIC DESIGNATION: The little Lincoln Playground Field House at 555 L Street SE, now nestled between Van Ness Elementary School and the Bixby, has been designated a DC historic landmark. It was built in 1934, and you can read more about its significance here. As for getting it rehabilitated, ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett says there will be a community meeting upcoming on both the field house and a redesign of the adjacent Joy Evans Park.
POLLING PLACE MOVE: The DC Board of Elections has announced that the polling place for Near Southeast's Precinct 131 will be moving from Van Ness Elementary School to the gym at the new Capper Community Center one block to the north, starting with the June 14 primary. However, DCBOEE might want to double-check the address they are using for the community center, since in the past it's always been 1000 5th St., SE, and "1005" would be one of the townhouses across the street.
DOCK 79 LEASING: Pre-leasing of the apartment building on the Florida Rock site just south of Nats Park starts on April 7, the day of the Nats home opener.
BIG STICK HOURS: The beer and brats place at Half and M SE has applied for a "substantial change" to its liquor license, looking to extend its allowed beverage sales/service/consumption hours to 1 am Sunday-Thursday and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
 

Residents anxious to see the construction get underway on the planned Showplace Icon movie theater will be displeased to read this, but...:
Earlier this month Forest City filed a two-year extension request with the Zoning Commission, as the continuing bureaucratic machinations to move DC Water's fleet maintenance and customer care operations off of the site at 1st and O SE have moved slowly enough that Forest City has been unable to file for a building permit by the date required in the zoning approvals received in early 2014.
While there have been steps that have moved the process forward, including the official execution of a lease with Showplace Icon theaters back in July, Forest City writes in its letter to the Zoning Commission that the lack of a building permit filing "is due to continuing challenges in identifying and developing appropriate relocation facilities that are acceptable to DC Water. DMPED and DC Water have worked diligently--with continued assistance from Forest City--to identify appropriate relocation facilities [for the operations], but substantial work still remains."
Land in Prince George's County has been acquired for the fleet operations, but Forest City says that DMPED and DC Water "are currently negotiating an agreement on the scope of improvements to be built out at the new site," and that once those are completed, "the improvements must be designed, permitted, and built."
As for a potential new customer care operations site, there is apparently work underway between DMPED and WMATA "to acquire a property that would serve as a new location." But, while "the parties are actively discussing the terms of the site control with DC Water," there would still need to be design and construction before a move could happen.
The letter goes on to say that DMPED and DC Water--the entities with "sole responsibility" for the moves--"estimate that the relocation of one of the two operations could be completed within 10 months," but that "out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of the complex negotiations and construction required" for either or both of the operations to be relocated, Forest City is requesting the two-year extension, because even after relocation, the movie theater parcel will need environmental remediation before construction can proceed.
There are also plans for two residential buildings to be built along 1st Street, once both sets of operations are moved and the construction of the movie theater is finished.
(For those zoning fanboys out there, I'll be a bit more precise and say that technically Forest City is requesting a two-year extension of the consolidated PUD approval for the movie theater parcel and the first-stage PUD approval for the remaining parcels, plus a two-year extension of the original first-stage approval, because doing that would reset the clock on the twelve-year time frame originally approved for filing for a second-stage PUD for the remaining parcels. {pantpantpant})
Finally, while only tangentially related, I'll remind readers that not all of DC Water's operations will be leaving this plot of land between Nats Park and the Yards, and that DC Water's plans for its new headquarters to be built on top of the existing O Street Pumping Station immediately to the south of the movie theater site received final approvals from the Zoning Commission in recent weeks, and construction should/could be underway there this summer.
My DC Water and Yards at DC Water pages give more details and background on these projects, should you so desire.
Comments (20)
More posts: Development News, DC Water (WASA), The Yards at DC Water, zoning
 

It was back in June that we saw the first hints of the six-story green-glassed undulating LEED-platinum building that DC Water is proposing for its new headquarters, to be built on top of and surrounding the existing red brick O Street Pumping Station. (No, not the historic main pumping station.) This location is also immediately to the south of the planned Showcase Icon movie theater, which you can as the top-right "Development by Others" box in the site plan.
This week, in advance of the project's Oct. 26 hearing, additional documents were filed with the Zoning Commission, and of course I can't resist drawings depicting bright sunny vistas with shiny new structures, so here's a big pile of views, starting with the ones that most people will see, looking east and west along the bridge between Diamond Teague Park and the Yards Park (click to enlarge):
Next up are the wider views, from above the Anacostia River (left), the Yards Park (center) and from the interesection of 1st and Potomac, a view which shows the plans to extend Potomac Avenue one block eastward, which is also visible in the from-above view along with general concepts of the expansion of Diamond Teague Park and also where Forest City will be putting residential buildings across from the ballpark:
This last batch shows a closer street-level view from the new Potomac Avenue extension (with the movie theater building immediately to the rear), from a new behind-the-security-fences plaza at the foot of the building that most of us will never set foot on, a rooftop view, and then the cute little combination guard house/covered bike parking on the north end of the site.
The project received the unanimous support of ANC 6D at its September meeting, albeit with having secured a letter from DC Water stating that the agency "will take any and all reasonable measures to prevent our employees from parking on residential streets," a concern given that the plans have only 20 on-site spaces. Steps include a $75 transit subsidy, negotiations for additional off-site parking spaces, and "maximum flexibility" for telework and alternative work schedules when there are events at the ballpark. DC Water also pledges to have the displays in the building's public lobby "to share community news, [and] advertise Yards Park or Capitol Riverfront BID events."
You can check out my DC Water page for more views of the footprint, and also read my previous post on the HQ for more details.
Comments (13)
More posts: DC Water (WASA), zoning
 

The news that so many people have been waiting for just crossed the transom, with a press release from Forest City announcing that a lease has at last been signed with Showplace Icon Theaters and that construction on the planned 16-screen, 1,500-seat "premium cinema complex" on DC Water land just east of Nats Park is "expected to begin in early 2016 with opening projected for early 2018."
From the release: "Each theater in the new Showplace Icon at The Yards will feature wall-to-wall screens and premium sound, deluxe leather recliner seats and reserved seating. The facility will also have exclusive VIP levels with adults-only access and tables for enjoying food and beverages inside the auditoriums. The theatre's Lobby Lounge will feature a full bar, along with a tasty menu of appetizers, small plates, snacks and desserts for enjoying before, during or after the show." The theater will also have its own 320-space parking garage.
Word of Forest City's plans for a movie theater first leaked out in the spring of 2013, but it wasn't until just a few months ago that the deal to take control of this portion of the DC Water site was locked down. Though note that the press release also says that "the theatre construction start is dependent upon DC Water’s timetable for vacating that portion of the property."
There are also plans for two residential buildings along 1st Street, though no timeline for those has been announced.
(PS: deep in the release, it mentions that the Due South restaurant at the Lumber Shed is expected to open "this summer." No date for Nicoletta, though. It also says that the PN Hoffman condo building and Forest City's apartment building immediately to its south on the current trapeze school lot are expected to break ground in early 2016.)
 
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