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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Square 701
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Community Center
Homewood Suites Hotel
Ballpark Square
Yards/Parcel A
Yards/Condo Project
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Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
1333 M St.
Southeast Blvd.
Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
New Barracks
1111 New Jersey
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Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
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1000 South Capitol
SC1100
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Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('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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The Washington Business Journal reported on Friday that the city has put 300,000 square feet of "combined lot development rights" that it controls near Nationals Park up for bid, and that the likely target is the new Square 701 project that would bring a combined office/hotel/residential/retail project to the block along 1st Street SE where Nats Parking Lot F currently resides.
A few months back I detailed the plans for the site as described in zoning filings:
* a 224,500-square-foot office building at the corner of 1st and M;
* a 180-unit hotel just to the south of the office building, separated by a 30-foot-courtyard;
* a 292-unit residential project south of the hotel in two buildings, both parallel to 1st Street, with a courtyard between them and a glass bridge connecting them; and
* 43,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 sf of which will be in the office/hotel/residential buildings (called the "Main Parcel"), while the remaining 7,000 sf will be in a separate two-story retail-only building at the corner of 1st and N (on the "South Parcel"), with a design "inspired by the industrial character of the existing neighborhood."
The zoning hearing for this project--technically a Capitol Gateway Overlay District Review--has now been scheduled for October 1. (And hey, look at that, the hearing announcement mentions the applicant is also seeking approval "for the use of Combined Lot Development rights ['CLDs'].") The project will also likely come before ANC 6D at its September meeting. You can see some early renderings here, though I understand there have been some changes to the design since these were filed with the Zoning Commission.
(Note that WBJ lists the likely CLDs buyer as Willco, the developers who controlled the block for many years, but that the zoning filings on the project list Grosvenor as the Owner/Developer and McCaffery Interests as Development/Construction Management Services Consultants. Plus, "Ballpark Square LLC and SCD Acquisitions LLC" is described as the "contract purchaser" of the 81,000-square-foot lot. But no deals have shown up in land records just yet.)
And, commiserations to DC United Fans who saw "Buzzard Point" in the initial reporting on this story and immediately began dreaming of the team's new stadium....
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More posts: Development News, Square 701, zoning
 

News has gotten a little sparse of late, though there's suddenly plenty of little updates and whatnot, some that I've tweeted (and some that I haven't). Sorry that this is a bit of a monster post, but that just means you need to read it all carefully!
* Redistricting: With the redistricting committee's proposed map of redrawn boundaries coming out no later than their meeting at 1 pm on Thursday, news has begun to trickle out of what it will look like. Mike DeBonis reported on Monday that any part of the city west of the Anacostia River being moved to Ward 8 is "off the table," since the split neighborhood of Fairlawn is expected to be moved entirely into Ward 8, which would satisfy the ward's population requirement. (He also lays out some of the other "on the table" moves.) In an "op-ed" today at The Hill is Home, Tommy Wells says that Ward 6's new eastern boundary may be 17th Street NE and SE, moving Hill East and its landmarks (RFK, Eastern High School, Eliot-Hine Middle School, and Reservation 13) into Ward 7. After the committee votes on its map Thursday, there will be a public hearing at 6 pm on June 1, before the entire council votes on the plan on June 7.
* Retail: The big International Council of Shopping Centers' REcon convention is underway in Vegas, and the Post's Jonathan O'Connell is tweeting all the DC-related retailer news, including that Mayor Gray and members of the city council had lunch on Monday with representatives of Forest City, who gave a presentation on The Yards. Will there be an announcement soon on things getting started at the Boilermaker Shops, as Forest City said there would be a few weeks ago? A Post feature on Capitol Hill restaurateur Xavier Cervera mentioned that he has "deals in the works for 400-seat and 140-seat restaurants on the waterfront," the first of which would seem to be the sportsbar rumored for the Boilermaker space. The rumblings below the surface that the official Boilermaker announcement is coming soon continue to be strong (with any opening being at least a year away, since there's a lot of exterior work to be done to the building), but there's been no official announcement of this or any other Boilermaker lease.
* In an Examiner article about Wegman's being wooed for DC's Walter Reed site, it's mentioned that Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront BID and city officials are meeting with AMC Theaters to discuss potential locations. The article describes a possible spot as "First Street, south of M Street and adjacent to Nationals Park." I'm a little skeptical of "First Street", mainly because the big empty lot along First (Nats parking lot F), owned by Willco and slated in the past for a mixed office/residential/retail development, hasn't seemed to be in play for any movement on any development. On the other hand, there's been talk that Akridge has been interested in having a movie theater as part of its Half Street development, also south of M and adjacent to Nationals Park, and construction could be starting there late this year. Either way, nothing is firm.
* Kittehs: Are you looking to adopt a cat? How about a Market Deli-branded kitten? Some residents have captured and spayed/neutered/vaccinated two of them, estimated to be 4-6 months old, and are looking for someone to adopt them. Here's the additional information. (I would have leapt at this, but my two cats, ages 17 and 14, would kill me in my sleep if I brought home new "siblings" for them.)
And, some upcoming events to note:
* The Yards Park folks have passed along the news that the fountains are off all this week for maintenance. No water-based frolicking for you!
* The Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Movie Series gets underway this Thursday (May 26). The theme this summer is Best of the Oscars, and they're starting off with "Casablanca." Movies start at 8:45 pm (or sundown), and there will be food trucks and snacks for sale. The movies have moved back to Tingey Plaza, just south of US DOT at New Jersey and Tingey.
* Harry's Reserve Wine and Spirits at 909 New Jersey is going to be having a free "community cookout" on their courtyard on Friday, May 27 from 5 to 8 pm, and again on Saturday, May 28 from 4:30 to 8 pm. They are doing it to thank the neighborhood for the support they've received since opening. There will be free "high-end" beverage tastings in addition to grilled offerings. The owners also want to pass along that they're getting fresh shipments of a variety of cheeses this week, and that they now have 800 beers in stock.
* Ryan Zimmerman's annual "A Night at the Park" fundraiser is scheduled for June 30, benefitting his ziMS Foundation. Tickets are now on sale, and it's been announced that country star Rodney Atkins is the featured performer.
* The Zoning Commission hearing on allowing Forest City to temporarily use the second floor of the Lumber Shed building as office space has been scheduled for July 7.
 

* Just out from DDOT (press release now online), a new "Where's My Bus" app for the Circulator buses. Go to circulator.dc.gov (it's formatted for cellphones and PDAs, but works in any browser), pick your line and stop, and find out how far away the next bus is. (Here's the information for the 4th and M stop, heading toward Union Station.) They say an iPhone app will be coming will be coming later this summer.
* From the BID's newsletter (which I'm not finding on their redesigned web site), the latest update on residential leasing and sales for the second quarter of 2009: The buildings known as Axiom and Jefferson (at 70 and 100 I) and Onyx on First are at a combined 60 percent leased for the 960 units in the three buildings; 909 New Jersey (which opened in early April) has 25 percent of its 237 units leased. The Capitol Quarter townhouses are listed at 88 of 113 units sold (though I'm not sure how the public housing rental and for-sale units figure into that number), and Capitol Hill Tower is reported as being 80 percent sold. No numbers are reported for Velocity Condos, which according to a presentation by Michael Stevens last week is supposed to open in late August or September. All told, the BID says there are an estimated 1,863 residents in the Capitol Riverfront.
* A WBJ piece from today's print edition on Willco Cos.'s new $100 million fund says that the company "does not plan to dip into the fund for development projects in the pipeline, such as its 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project adjacent to Nationals Park, at Square 701, the intersection of M and First streets SE. That project is in pre-development mode right now without a major tenant; Willco doesn't expect to kick off construction until it sees 'signs of life in that neighborhood,' Goldblatt said." This lot is probably better known as Nats Parking Lot F, and the former home of Normandie Liquors and other small businesses.
 

From today's Washington Business Journal print edition (subscribers only): "The Department of Agriculture, in search of 330,000 square feet, has been poking around the ballpark district. Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, says the government has heard proposals from Opus East LLC, planning 411,000 square feet of offices at 1015 Half St. SE, and the mixed-use project planned for First and M streets SE by Potomac-based Willco Cos., which will have 350,000 square feet of offices. The agency is looking to relocate 1,255 employees from seven other locations, at a max rate of $47 per square foot." The Willco space is the current location of Nats parking lot F, on the southwest corner of First and M; and of course Opus isn't *planning* office space at 1015 Half, they're already digging the hole. The blurb also says that the FBI is looking for 180,000 square feet of new space, and that Akridge pitched their as-yet-untapped three-block space on Second Street SW in Buzzard Point.
Also in the WBJ, a story on two small investors who spent 18 years amassing a batch of 23 small properties in Southwest, who are finding that the new ballpark still hasn't brought anyone calling to meet their $12 million asking price for the lots, which are encircled by the Syphax Gardens and James Creek public housing developments. They apparently are hoping that the city would decide to redo the two projects (a la Capper), but the DC Housing Authority says that they don't currently have the funding, and that the residents would have to be really supportive of any redevelopment plans as well.
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More posts: 1015 Half, square 697, Square 701
 

Today is the city council's monthly legislative meeting, and since they don't have one in August, this one--like all July ones--has an agenda a mile long, with a few items related to Near Southeast:
There's an emergency bill to correct a problem with the 2005 bill that transferred Tingey Street to the city--a drafting error apparently drew the road through part of the Pattern Shop Lofts.
And the "Taxation Without Representation Federal Tax Pay-Out Message Board Installation Act of 2007" (Bill 17-0028) is finally getting a vote--this is the bill that would put electronic tote boards on the Wilson Building and the ballpark showing the federal taxes that District residents pay while still having no votiing representation in Congress. You can read more about it here and here--I don't know if the bill being voted on today has the same language as the original one introduced in 2007, since the council was told pretty clearly by the Sports and Entertainment Commission that the stadium's lease agreement states that the Nationals control the signage on the stadium's interior, exterior, and perimeter, and the DCSEC's outside counsel feels that this tote-board bill "could conflict" with the lease.
But first up, on the consent agenda, is the bill to close the alley between South Capitol and Van just north of the old BP Amoco station on N Street across from the ballpark. This request is coming from Monument Realty, so they can combine the Amoco lot with the parking lot to the north of the alley and develop the site as a residential building with somewhere between 180 and 210 rental units, with 15 or 16 of them being affordable units priced at between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income. There would also be about 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
I failed my fiduciary duty to ever post a summary of the hearing on this bill held back in May, but most of what was said at the council hearing wasn't too different from the presentation about the closing to ANC 6D in January. Monument's representatives told the council that they would expect to start the project approximately 18 months after receiving the alley closing (depending on market conditions, of course), meaning it wouldn't deliver before 2011. Monument is not so far committing to any sort of LEED certification for the building (though I imagine that changes if they don't build it before the city's new green building laws go into effect). The project would also need a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review by the Zoning Commission.
The hearing starts at 10 am, and can be seen on DC Cable 13 or via streaming video. I'll update this entry later today with the various outcomes.
UPDATE: I haven't started watching the proceedings yet (I'll be spending my evening fast-forwarding through them), but the Post's DC Wire blog has an entry on another bill of interest being brought up today, to improve upon the locations carved out for street vendors near the ballpark (here's the map). Some council members want the vendors much closer (presumably, along Half and N streets), which the Nationals and MLB are not much in favor of. Other council members say that bringing the vendors closer should wait until the construction near the ballpark is completed. We'll see what happens with the bill today.
FAST-FORWARDING UPDATE: What more could I want to do with my evening than to sit here speeding through 8-plus hours of city council proceedings? Here's what I'm finding:
* The Square 700 alley closing passed its first reading on the consent agenda.
* The Tax Pay-Out Message Board bill passed its first reading--Chairman Gray said that the second message board would be built "on public space near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium," which gets around the problems I described above with the original bill. Apparently Chairman Gray had discussions with the Nationals earlier this year about putting the sign at the ballpark, and the Nationals did not indicate any sort of desire to have the sign, so the compromise was hatched to put it on public land near the ballpark (I'm trying to find out where). Marion Barry pronounced himself "appalled" at the Nationals' refusal to put up the sign at the city-funded ballpark, calling the team "not good citizens." The sign at the Wilson Building is to be erected in time for the 2009 presidential inauguration, so that the entire parade can march right past it.
* The "Tingey Street, SE Right of Way Amendment Emergency Act of 2008" passed its first reading, so the street will no longer run through Building 160. Whew!
* I'm going to address the vending expansion bill in a new entry. Check back later for that.
 

Just a bunch of tiny items worth highlighting on a dreary Saturday (no new photos today in this muck):
* A building permit has been approved to build a surface parking lot along First Street between M and N, where Normandie Liquors and its brethren were demolished last month. And the Archdiocese of Washington has applied for a public space permit for the 1300 block of First Street, SE--does the Popemobile need special parking permits?
* As plans at The Yards continue to move forward, there's now official names for the first-phase projects. Say hello to The Boilermaker Shop, The Pattern Shop Lofts, and Factory 202. (And 401 M and 400 Tingey, but those aren't anywhere near as catchy.)
* The 55 M web cam is no longer available to the public. Perhaps they want the Opening Day vista to be a big surprise. Or they don't want people watching the last-minute work on the Navy Yard Metro station. (I wonder if the gas main hit on Thursday was caught by this camera.)
* Some commenters are discussing the idea that's been floated of someday demolishing the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. Getting rid of this Berlin Wall that separates Capitol Hill and Near Southeast (and splits Southwest) was brought up in the National Capital Planning Commission's 1997 Extending the Legacy framework plan, if you want to see it actually on paper. (Apparently an updated NCPC framework plan is scheduled to come out this spring, which looks like it continues to have Virginia Avenue marked where the freeway currently is.) As to whether I'll see this done in my lifetime, well, it would be a nice surprise.
If you really want to go high-concept, you can read DDOT's 2003 South Capitol Street Gateway and Improvement Study to see their ideas for a tunnel that would link I-295 and the SE/SW Freeway for through traffic, leaving South Capitol Street to become the grand urban gateway boulevard planners envision. At Wednesday's public meeting on the South Capitol Street Draft Environmental Impact Statement, DDOT said that the tunnel isn't totally off the table, but they decided that a new Douglass Bridge and other South Capitol Street improvements could move forward separately. But could a tunnel still work if the dream of dismantling the SE/SW Freeway were realized?
* I've tried to remain (mostly) unopinionated on various projects during the five years I've run this site. But sometimes, it's necessary to take a stand, to come out from behind the cloak of neutrality and crusade for what you believe in. So I'm going to take advantage of this bully pulpit and fight for one thing: Arched Bascule!
 

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 and north 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....
 

With thanks to reader PK for the news flash (confirmed by the 55 M web cam), we can officially mark this morning's demise of the Normandie Liquors building at First and M by adding it to the Demolished Buildings pantheon. (The irony is not lost on this former lover of high-alcohol-content rum that a liquor store is Demolished Building #151.) I'll get photos of the Normandie-less corner this weekend.
In fact, so many buildings have been torn down in Near Southeast since 2003 that I've now had to break up the Demolished Buildings page by year, so that the dang thing doesn't take three weeks to load. This has also allowed me to separate out the buildings demolished in the Nationals Park footprint into their own mini-gallery, which will be handy in the coming weeks as no doubt many people will want to know what got leveled to make way for the stadium.
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More posts: staddis, Nationals Park, Square 701
 

Readers with bird's-eye views of the southwest corner of First and M are writing in to say that fences and equipment have been put in place around Normandie Liquors, with perhaps the final bell ready to toll. I'm on Super Tuesday duty in "real life" tonight, so anyone with a view (either in real life or via the 55 M web cam) should feel free post any updates on the little building's fate in the comments.
(The Normandie is on the Willco/Square 701 site, which in the near-term is expected to be a surface parking lot, followed eventually by an office/residential/retail mixed-use project that little is known about.)
UPDATED, 2/6: Demolition is indeed underway this morning, as seen from the web cam and by folks at 80 M and elsewhere.
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More posts: staddis, Square 701
 

I wandered around on Sunday for a photo session, wishing that spring would hurry up and get here so that the sun will rise higher during the day and set farther west so that I can stop dealing with the damn glare whenever I face southward.
* I have new images along N Street just north of the ballpark between Half and First, which show the work at the entrance plaza at Half Street, including glass now being installed on the ground floor of the western parking garage, as well as the structures that will make up the entrance gates.
* In fact, I updated all 12 angles of the Half and N intersection, which now that it has its new wide sidewalks, curbs, streetlights, and an initial paving job, is really a stunning testament to 24 months of change, not only on the four corners of Half and N but the blocks to the north as well. It's definitely worth a look.
* I took a lot of photos of the now-demolished Willco stretch along First Street (and gave the project its own page as well), and of course I got all the usual angles of 55 M Street.
* On Half Street between I and K, where JPI's 23 I Street residential project is expected to start this year, a pile of red-and-black advertising banners have been hung on every available surface, and a "JPI Permit Parking only" sign has appeared on the entrance to the former towing company's parking lot on that block. I'm guessing JPI's purchase of the property just closed. I haven't heard anything about potential start dates for this project, or when the Wendy's might close.
* If you browse all the photos I took yesterday, you'll also see a smattering of 70/100 I and 100 M shots as well as images of the two blocks along Third Street where temporary surface parking lots are going in (so now my pictures of those blocks have changed from post-demolition views of nothing to pre-blacktop views of nothing). And the always popular shots from the SE Freeway at South Capitol are updated, too.
And don't forget to click on the icon wherever you see it to see all photos in the archive of a certain location.
 

A few items:
* This week the three low-rise buildings at First and N across from the ballpark met their maker, and have now joined the Demolished Buildings pantheon. The 55 M web cam shows that Normandie Liquors remains standing, for now.
* In addition to the official council hearing on Wednesday Jan. 30 at 6 pm on Tommy Wells's Performance Parking bill, there's now a public roundtable hearing on "Parking Management Strategies for the New Columbia Heights Retail Development and the New Ballpark," starting at 5 pm. (Apparently Jim Graham is interested in trying a Performance Parking-like plan near the new DC USA project.) There will be a presentation of data and strategies by DDOT at this hearing. Both sessions will be in Room 412 (note that this is room change for the 6 pm hearing).
* The Post has "Ex-Worker Calls Noose Incident an Overblown, 'Stupid Prank'", where fired worker Stephen White says a co-worker threw a tied rope to him and said, "Steve, I made you a necktie." He says he threw it back, and "I guess it fell on the floor. I got fired because somebody put a noose together to put around my neck." The Post says: "White said he never picked it up and did not know whether the co-worker had." A second worker--who White said was the thrower of the noose--was fired as well.
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More posts: parking, staddis, Nationals Park, Square 701
 

I braved the chilly temps and gusty winds on Sunday morning for what turned out to be an abbreviated venture to get some updated photos. (I didn't post them yesterday because I thought I might go out this afternoon to get more, but it's a holiday, it's still cold, I'm pretty warm and cozy here on the sofa, and, and, and....) You'll see some shots of the demolition along First Street on the Willco site (which is about 50 percent completed), as well as a few updated shots of the ballpark, some of which show that the steps are now being poured on the grand staircase. There's also a smattering of shots of 55 M, 100 M, 70/100 I, and the at-ground-level Velocity construction, and some other vantage points that I got before high-tailing back indoors.
You can see the complete batch of photos, remembering to click on the icon if you want to see all archived photos of a certain view.
This is a good time to mention that I recently made a few changes to the Photo Archive. First, you'll now see links that allow you to toggle between seeing all photos of an angle and just the oldest and newest, which comes in handy as the number of photos continue to escalate. And, because the archive is getting pretty big, I've changed the default for when you choose to look at all angles of an intersection to show just the oldest and newest of each angle--you can then choose to see all photos for a specific angle.
 

The bulldozers have finally started to move on the land bounded by First, M, Cushing, and N (known for want of a better title as the Willco site on Square 701), and, as of late this afternoon, the warehouse buildings along Cushing across from 55 M are gone, as are the garages north of N and (I think) the Admiral Limousine building. The old storefronts along N are still there, but their backs were gone when I looked. Normandie Liquors is still standing, for now. I've added these first knockdowns to my Demolished Buildings page (numbers 144 to 147) and I'll be getting some "after" photos on Sunday, frigid windchills be damned. Word is a temporary parking lot will be built on this site; eventually Willco plans an office/residential/retail project.
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More posts: staddis, Square 701
 

I've been told by "someone with knowledge of the Ballpark District" that demolition of the old buildings on the Willco Construction site bounded by M, N, Cushing and First is scheduled to start on Monday. And that a temporary surface parking lot is slated to be built in this spot, just north of the eastern garage at the ballpark. We shall see if this does indeed come to pass....
UPDATE: Seeing that there's no bulldozers in action on this block today, I'm officially never believing a start-of-demolition rumor ever again. Though I did see heavy equipment parked near one of the buildings a few hours ago.
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More posts: parking, staddis, Nationals Park, Square 701
 

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, Half, Cushing, 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.
I also trudged around the road construction along First Street north of M as best I could to update photos of 100 M, Onyx, and 70/100 I, and also got a good new batch of 55 M photos as well as the always showy views from the freeway at South Capitol. And I finally got the last set of old Capper Seniors photos to show that the building is indeed gone. And heaven help me I even took a photo of the new sign advertising the Square 696 project, and also a few shots barely showing that work started this week on the first Capper parking lot at Third and I (because there's nothing more exciting than documenting the construction of a parking lot). There's just too much change, and I couldn't stop until it had all been documented! Aaaiiiieeeeee!!!!
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....
 

In today's attempt to read the Building Permit tea leaves, I see that a plumbing and heating company has received a slew of permits along N, Cushing, and First streets, where Willco Construction is planning a 500,000-square-foot office/residential/retail project. I'm not an expert in these things, but a few years of watching the flow of permits has shown me that plumbing and heating companies get permits to shut off the pipes prior to buildings being demolished, and these addresses do have raze permits approved for them. Details about the Willco project are few, and there's been no announcement of any start date.
And now that 55 M's construction has mostly obscured these lots from the view of the Half Street web cam, I'm hoping those of you at NGA and 80 M Street with bird's eye views of these spots can drop me a line if you see any demolition happening.
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More posts: staddis, Square 701
 

This morning's quick hits:
* The Voice of the Hill has posted a piece on its web site surveying the community reaction to the 11th Street Bridges EIS, while the December issue of the Hill Rag looks at the project from the perspective of Hill East.
* The Hill Rag also has a recap of the November ANC 6D meeting, which focused mainly on Southwest issues, though there is a small blurb about the ballpark liquor license (it sounds like there were some concerns about the 8 am to 3 am time frame listed on the application).
* Meanwhile, the December Southwester reports on the Oct. 3 groundbreaking at The Yards by reprinting much of the Forest City press release on the project.
* Out of my realm, but I'll still pass along that the four short-listed development teams will be presenting their proposals for Poplar Point at Dec. 12 at 6:30 pm at Birney Elementary School, 2501 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave., SE.
* I'm watching with interest a public space permit application this week by Cofeld LLC for 1271 First Street, which is the lot on the northwest corner of First and N, which had a raze permit filed for it in June. Hints of demolition? We'll see if the permit data, when approved, tell us anything further.
* UPDATE: One more quickie to add. The Garfield Park-Canal Park Connector Project has posted notes and summaries of discussions at their Oct. 24 workshop. Topic areas discussed included Biking and Walking, Under the Freeway, Public Art, Urban landscape, and History & Neighborhood Heritage.
 

In what can't be considered a surprise, raze permit applications were filed in June for the remaining buildings along N, First, and Cushing just north of the stadium. This site is where three landowners are coming together to develop a combined office, residential, and retail project that would stretch from M Street to N, and is next to the big hole in the ground where Monument Realty's Half Street project is underway. (The raze permit for Normandie Liquors at First and M, part of the same development site, was filed separately.) No word on when the demolition or the development will get started, but I would imagine there's some interest in seeing these buildings demolished before Opening Day 2008. You can see more photos of these buildings on my Ballpark Distrct page and in the Photo Archive.

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I'm hearing a rumor--that I haven't been able to get confirmed/denied yet--that the Normandie Liquors site at First and M (which has a raze permit now winding through the bureaucratic maze) is going to be home eventually to the sales center for Onyx on First, one block to the north. Like I said, unconfirmed as of now, but intriguing (and logical) nonetheless. This of course would just be temporary until Willco Construction moves forward with its office/residential retail plans for that stretch of First between M and N, though no dates for that project have been announced.
UPDATE, 6/16: Duh, I'm an idiot. The trailers have been on 1st Street south of M for weeks now, south of the Normandie. And the building permits in the trailer window say that they're for a sales center. But no doubt the Onyx folks would prefer to not have the Normandie in their sales front yard, hence the raze permit.
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A raze permit has now been filed for 83 M Street, which is the address of the defunct Normandie Liquors on the southwest corner of First and M. It's working its way through the approval process, so who knows when demolition might actually take place. Willco Construction is planning an office/residential/retail project for that entire stretch of First between M and N, but haven't as yet announced any timeline. Plans submitted during the request to close an alley on that side of block indicated that the project would have 324,000 sq ft of office space and 430 residential units; I don't know whether that's still the case. Hopefully we'll hear something soon. (Hint, hint, Willco.)
UPDATE: I forgot to also mention that raze permits have also been requested for the properties on the site of Camden Development's 1325 South Capitol Street residential building, across from the stadium.

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