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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
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909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
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70/100 I ('08)
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400 M ('07)
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US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
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From an Anacostia Waterfront Corporation press release (not yet posted on their web site): "JBG Companies will present $4 million to help fund neighborhood improvements in the Near Southeast neighborhood, including Washington Canal Park and Diamond Teague Park, at a ceremonial event scheduled for Monday, April 30, 2007 at 11:00 am. The ceremony will take place at the planned site for Washington Canal Park, located at the corner of 2nd and M Streets, SE. Participants in the check presentation ceremony will include District Mayor Adrian Fenty, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and AWC Interim President and CEO Neil O. Albert, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, and Ben Jacobs, President of JBG Companies, who will present a ceremonial check to District officials and AWC. JBG Companies, developer of the new U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building on M Street, SE, is contributing $2.5 million toward development of Washington Canal Park and $1.5 million toward the development of Diamond Teague Park." And, this additional bit of info about Diamond Teague Park: "The park is being completed in a partnership arrangement with surrounding land owners for area-wide benefit and use. The park's first phase will incorporate interim improvements to include a ferry landing [emphasis mine] and esplanade. Future improvements will include connecting the Ballpark District to The Yards (formerly Southeast Federal Center) with the construction of the Anacostia Riverwalk adjacent to the river bank site currently occupied by the DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA)."

 

A nice pick-me-up on this dreary Monday morning--the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has unveiled a redesigned web site, and it's certainly more pleasing to the eye. There's a page listing all of their projects, including pages on the South Capitol Waterfront & Ballpark District and Washington Canal Park in Near Southeast as well as the Southwest Waterfront, Poplar Point, Hill East, Kingman Island, and others. One new item from the South Capitol page, that the 40,000-sq-ft public plaza we've started hearing about planned for the foot of First Street at the waterfront will include a new ferry pier. Lots of people interested in the ballpark and Near Southeast in general have been wondering whether ferry/water taxi options would be incorporated, and I had always seen general discussions that they would, but this is the first specific description I've seen for a planned location of such a pier. Yay! (But I'm guessing we won't be seeing it by Opening Day 2008.) For more information (what little I have) on the First Street Plaza, see my Florida Rock page (whose developers have pledged $3.7 million toward the plaza's design and implementation costs, for what is expected to be a $15 million project); my Canal Park page has info and photos on that project as well.
 

The planned 1.1-million-sq-ft Florida Rock development at 1st and Potomac Avenues (across the street from the new Nationals ballpark) had another Zoning Commission hearing last night, to address some of the concerns expressed by the ZC at the first hearing in September, chief among them the design of the east end of the east office building (see map to orient yourself), which commissioners felt disrupted the line of sight to the Anacostia River from the stadium's grand staircase and viewing platforms. This section of the building--which will house a signficant portion of the project's retail offerings--has now been redesigned so that one will be able to see the Earth Conservation Corps pumphouse from the center of the staircase. This eastern end of the development also faces the new planned First Street Plaza, a 40,000-sq-ft public park to be placed at the terminus of First Street, to draw people to the riverfront. Florida Rock is proffering $3.7 million toward the design, construction and maintenance of this park that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation will develop (total cost estimated to be $15 million). The record is being held open for two more weeks, so look for a vote on the project at the January 8 meeting; I hope to have updated renderings showing the redesigned east building by that point. As for a timeline, Florida Rock estimates that construction on the first phase--the east office building--would begin in early 2008; there has been no announcement from the AWC as to any sort of timeline on the First Street Plaza (which presumably also depends on the acquiring of the WASA land on that site).
 

GlobeSt.com has a brief on MacFarlane Partners, the San Francisco-based real estate investment firm that has fronted 25% of the capital for the development of the Southeast Federal Center (hey, buddy, that's "The Yards" to you!). The article says that "the company plans to make significant investments in the Baseball district" and that "MacFarlane says he expects to announce three mixed-use projects in the area by the end of the year. These will consist of residential, retail and office totaling some $300 million to $400 million. Right now these projects are in the early planning stage, but MacFarlane says that, depending on the density patterns, he expects the projects will cover between one million sf to two million sf." I've seen MacFarlane mentioned recently as part of the group working on Herb Miller's stadium garages plan, but I don't know whether this statement about the three soon-to-be-announced projects would include the garages, or if it includes any part of the SFC/Yards, or if it's partnering with Forest City and Western Development (Herb's company) on the AWC's drive to develop the WASA site, or if it's three completely new projects. I guess we shall see. (Read the GlobeSt brief quick, because they archive after seven days.)
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., staddis, DC Water (WASA), The Yards
 

I've been meaning to post this for weeks, during a "lull", but since there hasn't been a Near Southeast lull since about August 2004.... If you've noticed over the past months the construction activity around the WASA site (that's "Water and Sewer Authority"), it's because they're in the midst of a $45-million-plus rehab of the Main/O Street pumping stations located there. And, for those baseball fans who've been a bit concerned about having to spend your time sitting a little closer to a sewage plant than perhaps you'd like, I hope that it eases your mind to see that the two bid solicitations for the project both mention "odor control" as part of the projects....
More posts: Nationals Park, DC Water (WASA)
 

The Florida Rock mixed-use project had a second-stage PUD hearing at the DC Zoning Commission on Monday night; I missed the first 90 minutes, so I can't really give you a solid feel for how it all went; I did detect a fair amount of concern about the easternmost building of the project, an office building (now redesigned to include three floors of retail) at the terminus of First Street, specifically how it impacts the views of the river from the "grand staircase" of the ballpark. There were also still apparently some issues to be resolved with DDOT, the Office of Planning, and the AWC's new plan for a 39,000-sq-ft plaza at the foot of First Street. The Florida Rock folks will be back in front of the Commission in November to address the concerns brought forward. One interesting tidbit did sneak in during Adrian Washington's testimony--he said that the plans for the Ballpark District portion of the WASA site (AWC and Forest City are still in negotiations to acquire the land) is for it to be all residential, perhaps as many as 800 units. If that Ballpark Development Strategy ever sees the light of day, we'll get more details, I'm sure.

 

In advance of the Sept. 18 Zoning Hearing, representatives on behalf of the development project at Florida Rock made a presentation to last night's ANC 6D meeting on some changes that they've made to their design after consulting with the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation as the AWC works to create a Ballpark District around the stadium. One big change is a 52,000-sq-ft increase in the amount of retail planned for the site, now pegged at 92,000 sq ft. Much of it will be along Potomac Avenue, facing the stadium, but also in the first three stories of the office building planned for the eastern part of the site, at First Street--it's in this location where the AWC is now envisioning a 39,000 sq ft public plaza, with some of the WASA waterfront land being used for this park (Florida Rock has offered to contribute $3.5 million to the design, development, and initial maintenance of the plaza). It would serve to far better connect the stadium to the Anacostia River, and with the retail there as well, it's hoped it could be a destination that would draw many people down to the southern side of the stadium. Florida Rock has also been able to tweak the design of the western side of their land (which for now is under the old Frederick Douglass Bridge), and will now be able to build a large pedestrian pier sticking out into the Anacostia in that area. They've also been able to "twist" the upper floors of a the buildings to allow for much more open views. Building heights, density, and the 75-ft-deep esplanade along the riverfront all remain the same. In a stunning display of unanimity (for them), the ANC passed a resolution in support of the changes 6-0. I hope to have updated renderings and site maps of the new design within the next few weeks.
 

Here today, I am righting a wrong that has left me filled with guilt for years--I'm finally adding a page on my site about the Earth Conservation Corps's Old Capitol Pumphouse location, tucked away between Florida Rock and WASA on the edge of the Anacostia River. See the ECC's own web site for more information about what this group does for local youngsters and also for the river. (They certainly will have a front-row seat to the stadium!) And while I was out, I snapped a couple of shots to add to the WASA page as well as the Capper Seniors page, with construction on both #1 and #2 proceeding along. I also updated the Capper Seniors #1 slideshow. Just because.
UPDATE: I got on a slideshow roll this afternoon, and updated and enlarged the three existing ones (DOT, Capper Seniors #1, and Capitol Hill Tower), and then added two more Capitol Hill Tower slide shows, including one of the project's southeast corner, so you can watch the Star Market go from stand-alone to oppressed neighbor. So go play with them.

 

Today the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation named two teams of development companies to "enter into exclusive negotiations" to develop mixed-use projects on two sites in the ballpark district. Forest City Washington (developers of Capper/Carrollsburg and the Southeast Federal Center) and Western Development Corporation (Herbert Miller's company, responsible for Potomac Mills and many other projects) lead one team, and Monument Realty LLC (which has purchased many parcels of land along N and Half Streets) and The Cordish Company LLC (developers deeply involved in the Baltimore Harbor) lead the other. What does this mean? Not as much as it sounds right now--the Forest City/Western team will be negotiating with AWC to develop the 6 acres of excess land at the WASA site on 1st Street, and Monument/Cordish will be negotiating for the 3 acres of WMATA parcels along Half Street. However, at this time AWC does not own either of these properties. The teams will be working together (coordinated by Forest City/Western) to create a Development Strategy for the entire ballpark district, which is due to the AWC in draft by March 15, 2006 and in final version by April 15, 2006. The teams have committed to provide payment to the AWC through a combination of up-front payment, annual base rent, and participation in development profits. UPDATE: Here is the mayor's office press release. UPDATE II: The Post's web site now has its story about the announcement. UPDATE III: And here is the AWC's press release. UPDATE IV: Here is the Baltimore Sun's Cordish-centric story.
 

It's been a busy busy weekend here at the Near Southeast page. To reflect the true boundaries of the area I'm tracking, the map at right has been expanded, to 11th Street to the east and to South Capitol and S Streets in the south. I've also added two new pages to the site: the New South Capitol Street Bridge page, and the Near Southeast East End page, both of which have lots and lots of photos, and links to information about what's happening in those spots. I've also finally made my Navy Yard page more than an afterthought, adding many more pictures (although not so many from inside the Navy Yard walls, I don't want a visit from the Homeland Security folks). I know this makes the map smaller and a bit harder to read, but I also needed to leave some space for when more projects get underway. And, in the midst of all that, I added new photos to many of the existing pages: check out the DOT HQ, Washington Canal Park, Capitol Hill TowerFlorida Rock, and WASA pages to see them. (You'll also find a few new pictures on some other pages, but it'd be embarassing to mention them here when there's only one new photo on a page.)

 

The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has posted the draft summary of its Ballpark District Urban Development Strategy (PDF). This is an important document that should be read by anyone interested in the development plans around the stadium. It defines the Ballpark District as 60 acres surrounding the baseball stadium site, including the two blocks north of the stadium site, the western portion of the Southeast Federal Center, a few acres of the WASA site, the Florida Rock site, and additional land at the foot of South Capitol Street (currently owned by Douglas Jemal). The document describes its vision for a "vibrant mixed-use waterfront district":

· Shops, and restaurants and entertainment venues along Half Street, First Street and the Anacostia River;
· An engaging pedestrian environment with strong linkages to and along the waterfront;
· Major public gathering spaces along Half Street, at the ballpark, and at the foot of First Street at the river;
· A grand promenade along the Anacostia River and Potomac Avenue;
· Upper-level offices, hotel rooms and housing that create a diverse population of residents, workers and visitors; and
· A state-of-the-art ballpark that contributes to the life and identity of the neighborhood.

In all, the AWC envisions 465,000-785,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant uses, 350,000-1.6 million sq ft of office space; 1,900,000 to 3,600,000 sq ft (1570 to 2980 units) of housing; and 7,000 to 8,000 parking spaces. (We also find out that the traffic circle being planned as the terminus for the new South Capitol Street Bridge will be called "Potomac Circle.")  Vision documents are wonderful things, I look forward to living long enough to see what the reality actually ends up being :-).

 

The DC government is negotiating to purchase five acres of land in the area near the new baseball stadium, reports the Post, to help influence the development in the neighborhood by creating a "ballpark district" with restaurants, stores, and residential units. Two of the acres would come from the DC Water and Sewer Authority's land at 1st and O Streets, with another 3.2 acres to be acquired by taking control of the WMATA (Metro) bus depot and parking lot at Half and M Streets. Developers are already snapping up plenty of parcels in the area (specifically Monument Realty, which is assembling the acreage to build 750,000 sq ft of mixed-use offerings in the block north of the stadium), but by controlling some of the most desirable land (the Metro land on Half Street lies directly along the envisioned "promenade" entrance to the stadium), DC can do more to ensure that the stadium area sees the sort of development the city wants, and that the area is made into an attractive destination even on non-game days. And in other news, the article mentions that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation is close to unveiling its master plan for the waterfront redevelopment. (It also reminds us again that DC will be tendering their offers to landowners in the stadium footprint "within the next several weeks.")

 
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