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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: West Half St.
See JDLand's West Half St. 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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10 Blog Posts Since 2003

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.
 

To prove (to myself) that I am not completely out of commission, I attended this morning's Bisnow event focusing on current goings-on development-wise in the Capitol Riverfront.
Here are a few bullet points of the development-type items I found of most interest:
* Dock 79 is 92 percent leased, and MRP Realty expects to begin construction on the residential building next door (71 Potomac) late this year or early next year--and that it is expected to have a lot more 2-bedroom units than Dock 79. I was also told that All-Purpose will probably open in the fall, and Dacha in the spring--and also that the planned small additional storefront for All-Purpose fronting Potomac Avenue has fallen by the wayside.
* One Hill South is 60 percent leased, and the developers have just begun design meetings for the project's second phase, another 300ish-unit building fronting South Capitol Street. That could get underway in a year or so.
* As the attendees were taking their seats at Arena Stage, a splashy video was played for the 25 M Street office building project planned by Brandywine REIT and Akridge. I can't link directly, but go to the (new to me) official web site at 25mst.com and scroll down to click on Property Video. Janet Davis of Brandywine did say that this building will not get underway until it's about 50 percent leased.
* Skanska's 99 M office building at 1st and M is expected to top out in about a month or so. Skanska's EVP Mark Carroll said that they expect to announce their first signed tenants soon, and that they are "not typical tenants." Both Carroll and Davis agreed that there has been a clear uptick in interest in Capitol Riverfront office space in the past six months or so.
* District Winery is crossing its fingers for a September opening. (Perhaps even earlier than September, but best not to get ahead of the permitting process.) Owner Brian Leventhal was on the Yards panel, and told the story of branching out from the original operations in Brooklyn without having any specific location in mind, and how once they narrowed to DC, everything about the lot at the Yards "was perfect, [so] we didn't consider any other space." (He also has moved to DC from Brooklyn, and said that living at the Yards is "like living in a resort.")
* 1221 Van is expected to begin move-ins later this year, and leasing should start in the relative near future.
* Forest City's Debbie Ratner Salzberg talked about how the Yards came to be, and said that "the minute Bluejacket opened [in 2013], we were on the map."
* And we definitely appear to be referring to the blocks immediately north of Nats Park as the "Ballpark District" once again.
* It was only mentioned in passing, but I should still officially note here that Cosmopolitan Nail Salon is now open in Arris at the Yards.
Comments (48)
More posts: 1221 Van, 20 M, One Hill South, 99m, Development News, Florida Rock, West Half St.
 

Eagle-eyed readers have noted that in the past day or so shipping containers have begun to be removed from the site along Half St. SE known as the Fairgrounds. However, I have confirmed that a smaller version of the Bullpen will be back for 2017, on the northern portion of the block, nearest M Street and across from the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station entrance.
The southern end of the block, just north of Nats Park, is being cleared to make way for construction expected to begin in coming months on JBG's as-yet-unnamed rental/condo/retail project. The northern end is slated to eventually be an office building (currently known as 25 M), but there's been no timeline announced.

The Bullpen first arrived on the southern end of the block in 2009, and in 2011 the beer garden that an esteemed local blogger dubbed Das Bullpen debuted on the north end. It was in 2012 that the entire block was ringed by shipping containers and christened as the Fairgrounds, though the planned gameday flea market lasted about two days, leaving the space to become the beer, cornhole, live music, and food truck establishment that existed until now.
Comments (7)
More posts: 25m, Fairgrounds/Bullpen, West Half St.
 

Continuing to catch up....:
* JBG HALF STREET ZONING OK: On Monday night the Zoning Commission gave unanimous final approval to JBG's plans for its 420-unit apartment/condo/retail building on Half Street immediately north of Nats Park. Construction could get underway late this year (after baseball season).
* CRANE RESCUE: A construction worker at F1rst on 1st St. SE had to be rescued by firefighters via "high-angle rescue" on Tuesday. (Fox 5)
* DCBFIT OUT, CHURCH IN: I alas never got it posted here that the little DCBFit gym in the ground floor of the Courtyard Marriott/Capitol Hill Tower closed back in February. But now the space has a new tenant--the Waterfront Church, which has been operating out of the Courtyard since its founding in 2014.
* THE NEW FLAVORS ARE HERE!: Ice Cream Jubilee, fresh off its second-in-a-row Best Ice Cream in DC title in City Paper's Best of DC voting, announced new seasonal flavors on Tuesday: Chocolate Matzo Crack, Cherries Jubilee, Double Stout Caramel, and a Fig, Port, & Goat Cheese combo.
* TUNNEL OPEN HOUSE: Time for another Virginia Avenue Tunnel Quarterly Open House, on Thursday, April 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Courtyard Marriott at New Jersey and L. There's no formal presentations, but representatives of the project are on hand to provide updates and answer questions. Lots of lane-shifting going on these days as temporary bridge decks get built on 3rd, 8th, and 11th. And the intersection of 7th and Virginia is expected to close for about two weeks starting in early May to get its deck installed. CSX also expects to return 3rd Street to two-way traffic "near the end of April."
Comments (10)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, jubilee, waterfrontchurch, West Half St.
 

The weather forecast isn't exactly optimal (hence my use of the photo from the holy-crap-it's-miserable-out Opening Day 2008), but nevertheless we have made it to April 7, when the Nats are scheduled to play their first home game of the 2016 season, vs the Marlins starting at 4:05 pm.
At this point everyone probably knows everything they want or need to know about the plans and festivities, but I'll still do a quick link-filled rundown, because, well, even though I'm coming down with the same cold that clobbered me on Opening Day 2008 (symmetry!), the guilt would be too incapacitating to not post something.
Here's:
* How to Get to the Ballpark: WaPo Version | DDOT Version

As for what will be going on outside the ballpark before and after the game, here's the current lineup:
* Bluejacket Opening Day Fest 2016, 12 to 4 pm, 4th and Tingey Streets, SE.
* Due South Opening Day Pop-Up Beer Garden at Arris, 11 am to 5 pm., 1331 4th St., SE.
* Opening Day at the Fairgrounds/Bullpen, gates open at 11 am, 1201 Half St., SE.
* The Budweiser Clydesdales Procession, starting on 1st Street at 2:15 pm.
(Note that 106.7 The Fan's planned Opening Day party at Canal Park is now apparently re-scheduled for April 22, thanks to the weather forecast.)
Speaking of the Fairgrounds/Bullpen, I see that they are billing this as their final season, which has been my assumption but it's interesting to see it in black and white.
If you haven't been following along, you may not know that this is because it's likely that by the 2017 season construction will be underway on JBG's 420-unit condo/residential building with 65,000 square feet of retail on the south end of that block, which will change the look of Half Street pretty substantially, as seen here. Hard to set up row upon row of cornhole when a massive hole is being dug!
I may continue to update this post if any additional links come in, and/or be doing a lot of retweeting on Twitter. Or I may be in bed. Or both. (Have laptop, will blog.)
Feel free to use the comments as a game thread, should you wish to discuss actual on-field goings-on.
Comments (11)
More posts: Fairgrounds/Bullpen, Nationals Park, West Half St.
 

While I like passing along news to the 15 of you out there who read this stuff, the reality is that my favorite part of continuing to maintain JDLand is the photos. I like taking them, I like archiving them, I like choosing which ones to post, I like updating the before-and-after Sliders and the project pages, and I like looking at the old photos to remind myself of what I used to see when wandering around the neighborhood.
However, with so many active construction sites, by the time I walk around to visit all of them and do all of the photographing and database-ing and project page-updating and slider-updating, my energy wanes when it comes time to write actual posts.
Oops.
So here's a few tidbits while I recover, and if you want to see new pictures taken in Sunday's glorious sunshine, I invite you to check out the updated sliders as well as my pages on Dock 79/Florida Rock, 909 Half, Agora/Whole Foods, Insignia, F1rst, Homewood Suites, the Bixby, the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, and Southeast Blvd., where I, ahem, finally posted photos of the finished project a mere 13 months after it opened.
In the meantime:
* JBG HALF ST. ZONING: Last Thursday the Zoning Commission heard testimony on JBG's plans for its 420ish-unit combination condo/rental building planned for just north of Nats Park at Half and N.
Urban Turf has a detailed summary of the hearing, but having watched it myself, I can boil it down to: the commissioners didn't really spend much time talking about the not-a-typical-DC-box design, which they seemed to like. Instead, most of the discussion was centered around zoning issues of setbacks and LEED certification. It comes back for an expected vote on April 11.
However, developers working on designs of future projects might want to know that Commissioner Peter May took a moment to tell the hearing that he's "getting tired of all of the glass buildings" coming to the commission, apparently losing interest in "seeing the inside of everyone's apartment and the inside of everyone's office."
* BRIDGE PARK DELAY: Did we say 2018? How about late 2019? A feasibility study will be happening soon to see whether the piers that were left in the Anacostia when the old 11th Street bridges were demolished are going to be able to in fact be used for the bridge park. One other note: the project has currently raised a little more than $11 million of the expected $35 million construction costs.
* OKAY, ONE PIC: A JDLand gold star to Clark Construction for what has to be the tidiest excavation hole I've looked into. This is the hole from which JBG's 1244 South Capitol residential building will arise, just north of the ballpark's western parking garage.
* JDLAND HAPPY HOUR: Been wanting to meet fellow residents/office workers/JDLand readers? Then mark your calendar for Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 pm at Scarlet Oak, and come say hello and hang out! I'll even have a few coveted JDLand t-shirts available for purchase.
Comments (13)
More posts: bridgepark, Development News, West Half St., zoning
 

Another piece of the puzzle that has been Half Street directly north of Nats Park is falling into place, as JBG filed plans last week with the Zoning Commission for a 424ish-unit combination condo/rental project at Half and N Streets, SE, with more than 65,000 square feet of retail on two floors, in a design that most assuredly can't be described as a typical Washington, DC "box."
The Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay requires buildings just north of the ballpark to "minimize unarticulated walls," and there is no doubt that this design, by ODA Architecture of New York, passes that test, with "extensive modulation" through the use of "balconies [and] extensive landscaping incorporated into the elevations." (This mondo-articulated approach to building design seems to be an ODA hallmark, as you can see from the company's portfolio.)
The condo portion, on the south side of the building at Half and N facing the ballpark, would have approximately 224 1- and 2-bedroom units, while the rental portion on the north end would have 200 units, mostly studio and 1-bedroom units but also with about 10 3-bedroom units. (And the units will have irrigation systems for the balconies, to keep that greenery nice and lush, though I'd still suggest branded watering cans placed strategically as well.)
The rendering above is the view at Half and N, like you were standing at the Nats Park ticket booths looking to the northwest, on the site currently home to the southern portion of the Fairgrounds. Here's a few more drawings, looking down Half Street toward the ballpark (maybe from just a little south of Buffalo Wild Wings) and looking down from On High.
The residential entrances would be on Van Street, facing JBG's just-underway residential building at 1244 South Capitol, which also has two stories of retail, as you can see in the rendering at below left, looking north on Van from N. In the below-right rendering, you can see at left the "Via," a wide pedestrians-only alley that will run along the north end of this project and the south end of Brandywine's planned 25 M Street office building.
For zoning geeks, this filing is actually a modification, revising the design that Akridge received approvals for back in 2009, which planned one office building and one residential building for this portion of the west side of Half Street. A graphic included in the new filing gives a handy siteplan comparison of the modifications, and made me laugh as I realized the line drawing of the new design looks like it could have been drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch. These massing drawings are also worth a look, to give an idea of exactly how the building undulates along Half, as well as how the condo (green) and rental (orange) units are situated.
The only thing that will probably dismay observers is that it's likely the project won't get underway until after the 2016 baseball season ends, making it likely that it won't be completed by the time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game arrives at Nats Park in July of 2018, though the exterior should at least be finished by then.
And because JBG gets a gold star for the thoroughness of its filing, I'll just toss in a few more of the renderings they included, showing the building's interior courtyard (open to Van Street and the west) and the anticipated view from inside the ballpark, with the view of this new building flanked by 1244 South Capitol and the Jair Lynch condo/rental/retail project coming to the Half Street Hole site.
I've added a few of these renderings to the project page, which of course also has a big pile of Before photos and some history of the lot--part of the corner of Half and N has a history that's a bit spicier than we normally discuss around here.
Next, we'll wait to see how the zoning commissioners feel about such an outside-the-box design.
Comments (11)
More posts: Development News, West Half St.
 

I see that the two new owners on Half Street decided it was time to clear away the traces of the previous occupants and introduce themselves to the neighbors:
Also now appearing on Half Street (below left) is a spiffy logo for Due South, the restaurant coming this year to the Lumber Shed at the Yards. (The restaurant is a Bo Blair enterprise, as is the Fairgrounds, hence the cooperative crossover deal.) And, one block to the east (below right), it didn't take long for Grosvenor to make its F1rst presence known.
(Yes, I finally went out and took pictures. Be prepared for the coming onslaught.)
 

From WBJ: "D.C. developer Akridge has sold the majority of its Half Street parcel across from Nationals Park to The JBG Cos., which is expected to redevelop the site with two new residential buildings and a large amount of what one executive called "dramatic" retail."
JBG has acquired the southern two-thirds of the block, far better known as the shipper container-ringed location of the Fairgrounds, directly across N Street from Nats Park and also directly across Van Street from JBG's own under-development 1244 South Capitol residential project.
Akridge apparently is maintaining a minority stake in that portion of the site, but JBG will "take over day-to-day development duties." WBJ says Akridge is also apparently "under contract to recapitalize the northern third of Half Street."
After Akridge acquired the site in 2008--which was once home to WMATA's Southeastern Bus Garage--plans were run through the Zoning Fun Factory for two office buildings on the north end of the site and a 280-unit residential building on the south end (along with 55,000 square feet of retail), but WBJ says that JBG's portion of the block is now expected to include two residential buildings, with one office building on the land Akridge still owns along M Street. Plus "dramatic retail."
WBJ pegs the sale price for the JBG portion of the site at $45 million.
This is not unexpected, as news had surfaced back in September that Akridge was looking for a new partner to develop the site.
It also dovetails with the sale of Monument Valley on the east side of Half Street to the MacFarlane/Lynch development team, which is early in the process of bringing residential offerings along its own portion of N Street.
You can look at my Akridge Half Street project page for reminders of what had been planned for the site, though I look at that page (and my Monument Valley page) more as a marvel of the tens of thousands of words I have expended on plans for these sites over the past 10 years.
Comments (21)
More posts: West Half St., Development News, West Half St.
 

Does everyone want some more Half Street news? Last night's Monument Realty news about the east side of the street isn't enough for you? Are you tapping your toes, wanting to know when the shipping containers are going to disappear from the other side of the street?
The Washington Business Journal, having now heard the same rumors I heard a few weeks ago (hence my sneaky comment in my Monument post about "whether Akridge is currently making any moves"), is reporting that Akridge is working to market its Half Street project to potential investors, with the company needing to replace a capital partner "that desires to leave the project." WBJ says that Akridge "expects to have some closure on a new partner by the fourth quarter," and that "All forms of transaction are on the table."
Akridge has been planning since 2008 to build two office buildings, a residential building, and 55,000 square feet of retail on the west side of the street. Whether those plans will stay the same once capital is found, well, We Shall See.
Comments (3)
More posts: West Half St., Development News, West Half St.