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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: The Yards
See JDLand's The Yards Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
Ballpark Square
Homewood Suites Hotel
82 I Street
1244 South Capitol
Yards/Parcel A
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
909 Half St.
Akridge/Half St.
Ex-Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
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)
Posts on Food/Fun
Retail News
Restaurants/Nightlife
 

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The skyline is definitely going to be changing in the coming weeks at 4th and Tingey and at 7th and L, as the residential projects Arris and the Lofts at Capitol Quarter are now peeking up from behind the construction fences.
You can see the first floor along Water Street, which is the south end of Arris, Forest City's 327-unit apartment building at the Yards--and here's What It Shall Be from the same angle (albeit overhead):
In other words, get ready for that block to look and feel really different when the building is completed, probably in early 2016. And yes, there's ground-floor retail--about 20,000 square feet of it.
Meanwhile, the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building at 7th and L is on quite a hill, so the west end (left) is starting at ground level while the east end (right) is just now coming out of the ground. And these two photos, which don't make it easy to discern exactly what's going on with the construction, do at least give an indication of the length of the building.
Both my Arris and Lofts at CQ project pages have more photos, renderings, etc.
Also, I hope everyone enjoys the Lofts photos taken from Nats Lot W, because when I left there and walked across M at Hull to take pictures TO THE NORTH of the construction TO THE NORTH, a Navy Yard guard approached me and asked to see my photos, to ensure that I was up to nothing nefarious. This even though I had never pointed my camera anywhere close to the direction of the Navy Yard gate--I had even very theatrically held up my camera with its lens clearly pointing in the opposite direction as I crossed M--and even if I had taken photos of the gate, I was on public property the entire time.
"We have to ask, ma'am," he said; "No, you don't," I replied, so really it's a wonder I didn't end up getting thrown into the back of a Suburban and detained. But there's always next time--I told him that they'd better get used to me being there. At least this time they didn't call the DC cops and have one chase me down a few blocks away like they did a few years back.
#PhotographyIsNotaCrime
 

The now-empty lot where Spooky Building 213 used to stand looked plenty big as demolition progressed, but in the past few weeks the old iron-and-brick fence has come down as well, and now the block looks gargantuan. (As well it should--someday it will be three separate blocks, with three different buildings.)
Plus, if you stand in the middle of the south end of the block these days, you get one heck of a panoramic view of the new Near Southeast, as evidenced by the eight (!) photos stitched together to create this image.
From this spot, you can see almost so many of the buildings that have gone up in the neighborhood since 2000--the now-topped-out Hampton Inn, 55 M, 1015 Half, 80 M, Velocity, 100 M, the almost-bricked Park Chelsea, Capitol Hill Tower/Courtyard by Marriott, 1100 New Jersey, USDOT, the Boilermaker Shops, Twelve12, the Foundry Lofts, and even the tower crane for the soon-to-sprout Arris. (I'm kicking myself for not swinging enough to get some portion of the ballpark.)
Before long, the interim phase of this location should start to appear--a public park on the north end, a parking lot in the southwest corner, and a spot in the southeast corner at New Jersey and Tingey for the Trapeze School, if they desire it.
Now, for my next item--anyone who accuses me of going overboard on minutiae probably should stop reading here. But for the rest of you, here's a little item from the intersection of 4th and Tingey, where street signs have recently appeared (left). But, then look a little more closely.....
Are we supposed to be voting? Or perhaps it's like A/B testing for web sites, with DDOT trying to determine which one will leave drivers less bewildered as to their location....
Snark aside, my photo archive indicates that the west-side "Fourth" sign was put up sometime in late summer, with the east-side "4" sign appearing within the past month or so. The numeric version is in fact DDOT's current style (ick), so perhaps this was a corrective measure of sorts.
(And, be forewarned, I took a lot of photos on Saturday. Much more to come.)
 

The fate of Forest City's planned movie theater, residential, and retail project on the east side of 1st Street near Nats Park has remained stalled while DC Water works to find a suitable spot to relocate some (but not all) of its activities.
There has been no public news of a new site, but the DC government has announced that there will be a public meeting on Nov. 20 at 6:30 pm "to receive public comments on the proposed surplus" of a portion of the DC Water site, which presumably includes all or some of the footprint of the Forest City planned development.
The meeting announcement also contains this string of caveats:
"Because DC Water will continue to occupy the Property while pre-development is ongoing, declaration of the Property as surplus will be conditioned on (i) DC Water receiving rights to occupy suitable relocation/replacement property(ies), (ii) available funding for activities necessary to allow DC Water to relocate to and operate on such relocation/replacement property(ies) and (iii) approval by an independent engineer procured by DC Water of an operational plan during and after relocation."
The meeting is at the Boilermaker Shops at 3rd and Tingey, in Unit 140 (the empty space next to Nando's). In addition, written public comments will be accepted until Nov. 25.
If you're just joining us, it was a smidge over two years ago that news first started bubbling up that Forest City was looking to bring a "high-quality theater operator" to a six-acre portion of the DC Water site. In November 2012 the potential operator was revealed to be Showplace Icon, and in 2013 the plans for the entire site went through the Zoning PUD fun factory, and were approved late in the year.
The first phase of the project, which received Stage 2 PUD approvals from the Zoning Comission, will be the movie theater, a two-story 16-screen offering, built above a four-story parking structure, located at a new intersection of N Place SE and the to-be-built 1 1/2 Place.
The rest of the project envisions two residential buildings totaling 600 units, built along 1st Street directly across from the ballpark. with the facade of the existing red brick building at the corner of 1st and N Place preserved and incorporated into one of the buildings. Potomac Avenue would be extended eastward to the new 1 1/2 Place, and Diamond Teague Park would be expanded northward. There would also be a minimum 40,000 square feet of retail.
But all of this has to wait until DC Water can find a suitable new home for some of the operations that currently live at 125 O Street SE.
It's also worth noting with each post on this project that DC Water will not be departing the site completely--the beautiful historic Main Pumping Station building will keep right on pumping, as will the less-beautiful and less-historic O Street Pumping station. In addition, earlier this year DC Water solicited bids for the design of a new headquarters building, which would bring the agency's HQ from Blue Plains to a space on top of the O Street station.
 

At 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 4, the ribbon will be cut and Harris Teeter, the neighborhood's first grocery store, will at last open at 4th and M, SE. And, after the ceremonies and a free tasting event that runs until 8 pm, the store will be open for shopping until midnight, and then will open at 6 am Wednesday for its first full day.
And of course heaven forbid that I'd just wait until the doors open to the public--the folks at Teeter were nice enough to give my camera a quick tour, while dodging the hive of activity that you can imagine marks a 50,000-square-foot grocery store 24 hours before it opens.
I took way too many photos of something that will just become part of the neighborhood's fabric quite quickly, but, well, it was fun.
Check out the gallery. There's a lot more than just these.
UPDATE: Since the numbers just arrived, I thought I'd mention that this store is 6,000 square feet larger than the Jenkins Row store at 14th and Pennsylvania, SE, and basically the same size as the one at 1st and M, NE.
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More posts: Retail, teeter, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards
 

Perhaps it was the teensy bit of publicity garnered over the weekend, because a press release is just out from Forest City Washington officially announcing that the rumors are true:
A new restaurant from Bo Blair's Georgetown Events group named Due South will bring a "heaping helping of southern-style cuisine and hospitality" to the Lumber Shed at the Yards in spring 2015, helmed by Bayou executive chef Rusty Holman.
It will occupy 3,366 square feet on the northwest corner of the Shed, and will have outdoor seating.
A quote of note from the press release: “ 'We were early believers in the Capitol Riverfront as a vibrant location for food and drink since opening The Bullpen in 2009,' said Bo Blair. 'Now, we’re very excited to be able to become a permanent part of The Yards. The growth of the restaurant scene in The Yards is truly a great thing for this city and we certainly wanted to be a part of it.' "
Due South will join Osteria Morini, Agua 301, Ice Cream Jubilee, and the also-coming-in-spring-2015 Navy Yard Oyster Company at the Lumber Shed.
This also means that the Shed's retail spaces are now 100 percent leased.
 

It was way back in March that we heard rumors of a southern-style restaurant coming to the Lumber Shed, to be helmed by Bo Blair of Fairgrounds/Jetties/etc. and his chef at the Bayou, Rusty Holman.
While there has still never been an official announcement of such a venture, Friday's DC register included a public hearing notice for a liquor license application at 301 Water St., SE, under the trade name "Due South." (The sign is up in the window at the Shed, too.)
The application is for a CT Tavern license, for a "Tavern serving Southern food with a seating capacity of 199 and total occupancy load of 250." There is also a request for a 92-seat summer garden (i.e., outdoor patio) as well as an "entertainment endorsement" for the license (i.e., live music, as the Bayou has).
And, with lovely symmetry, the Register also included the news that Shed's other pending restaurant, the Navy Yard Oyster Company, has applied for its Class C liquor license. The posting describes the restaurant as being "a wine-centric oyster bar offering a seasonal, seafood-driven small plate menu drawing its inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay and the states that Washington, DC is connected to, both geographically and culturally." A jazz brunch is also mentioned, along with "other occasional similar performances." It would have seating of 73 and a total occupancy load of 199, along with two summer gardens, with seating for 32 and 18.
As part of normal procedures, both will be taken up by ANC 6D, presumably before the application hearing date of Dec. 29.
 

Quite a few upcoming food-related events in the next few days, plus some items of note:
* TRUCKERBOO: As mentioned elsewhere, Friday brings the Halloween-themed version of Truckeroo, the last food truck shindig of 2014, starting at 11 am.
* WILLIE'S HAPPY HOUR AND "GRAND OPENING" - Willie's Brew & Que at 3rd and Tingey has now launched Happy Hour, weekdays from 4 to 6 pm, with $5 drafts, wine, rail drinks, and vodka or gin gimlets. And Saturday night is said to be its official "grand opening," though there's no recent mention of it on Willie's Facebook page, Twitter feed, or web site. (There will be quite the show outside that night, though.)
Speaking of libations, Willie's "smoked ice" got a rave review from the Post's Going Out Guide.
* BLUEJACKET TURNS 1: The actual anniversary was on Oct. 29, but on Sunday, Nov. 2, Bluejacket Brewery and its Arsenal restaurant will be celebrating out on the patio at 4th and Tingey streets SE from 1 to 5 pm. The wood-fired grill will be operational, with "pig-chetta on the rotisserie plus other bites," and the brewing team is going to break into the vault of barrel-aged brews. And EaterDC has some stats from Year One, starting with 2,396 barrels produced, and 15,715 soft pretzels baked.
Also, with the arrival of baseball's off-season comes the return of Saturday tours at the brewery.
* UNLEASHED OPENS: Hey, pet food is food too, for some critters! Don't forget that Unleashed by Petco officially opens in the Boilemaker Shops on Tingey St. SE on Monday, Nov. 3.
* TEETER'S GRAND OPENING: As momentous as any food event in the neighborhood's recent history is the pending arrival of Harris Teeter at 4th and M SE, in the Twelve12 building. The signage has been announcing the official opening on Wednesday, Nov. 5, but on Nov. 4 at 5:30 pm there will be a ceremonial ribbon cutting, followed by a "Taste of Teeter" sampling event, running until 8 pm. (Because no one in Washington DC will have anything going on the evening of Election Night!) The 50,000-square-foot store will be open seven days a week from 6 am to midnight.
* OSTERIA MORINI TURNS 1: Bluejacket isn't the only one celebrating a first birthday, for on Wednesday, Nov. 5, Chef Michael White will be in the house as Osteria Morini marks its own anniversary with a special five-course menu for $85 per person ($125 with wine pairings). Reservations are available between 5:30 and 9 pm--RSVP via e-mail.
* JUBILEE WINTER HOURS: Not that ice cream isn't wonderful any time of year, but I'm sure we can all respect a switch to shorter hours at Ice Cream Jubilee until the weather warms again. It will still be open from noon to 9 pm every day.
And before long it'll be time to start breathlessly awaiting the 2015 arrivals of the Navy Yard Oyster Company, Scarlet Oak, and Bonchon.
(One would think Subway Café and the Big Stick will arrive at 20 M before Dec. 31, but we shall see....)
 

If your Friday Halloween partying* wears you out, you can fit right in on Saturday night, Nov. 1, at "GraveYards," wherein The Yards will be "transformed into a stylishly spooky playground celebrating Day of the Dead."
It starts at 6 pm, and promises a "mystical environment for guests," with street performers, fortune tellers, a mariachi band, a beer garden, and a "celebrity graveyard," allowing attendees to "pay their respects to the likes of Elvis."
Admission is free, and it runs until 10 pm.
And it took me every ounce of strength to not write this as Stefon: "Near Southeast's hottest ghoul-based event is GraveYards...."
* Note that "Truckerboo" is at the Fairgrounds on Friday from 11 am to 11 pm, billed as "the largest Halloween party in DC."
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More posts: Events, The Yards
 

I mentioned this last week at the bottom of my Willie-is-opening post, as an update, but acknowledge that that may have not seeped into the news-stream consciousness appropriately, so here's an official entry:
The neighborhood's newest retail establishment, Unleashed by Petco, says it will be opening at the Boilermaker Shops in the Yards on Monday, Nov. 3, thus beating Harris Teeter to the finish line by two days.
As you can see in the photo provided by my personal stringer, the store will be open from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week, and 10 am to 7 pm on Sundays.
The shelves are already looking well stocked, and certainly this could become a prime destination for the bajillion dog owners who live nearby. And I suppose I should make a full disclosure that I assume I will duck in there on occasion, as my not-dogs continue to eat us out of house and home. (It's a good thing they are cute.)
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Retail, unleashed, The Yards
 

Last week the Zoning Commission heard Forest City's request for more height (and thereby additional density) in what is being called "Yards West," specifically four sites along N Street between 1st and New Jersey.
The early questions from the commission centered mainly around Peter May's contention that granting this density--which the applicants refer to as an additional 1.0 FAR but which May was happy to always refer to as "264,000 square feet"--was akin to "incentivizing something that's going to get built anyway." May expressed that the additional height and additional density were "perfectly appropriate" but that he was "not seeing the greater good that comes out of this," i.e., what Forest City would be providing in return.
Initially May zeroed in on proposed language he felt was too weak, that the eventual review of any building proposed along the Yards West M Street frontage would ensure that its design and site plan would "facilitate the provision of a public entrance to the Navv Yard Metrorail Station" on the southwest corner of New Jersey and M. (He also mentioned as an aside concerns he said he had heard recently that the explosion in residential development in the neighborhood instead of office projects was restricting the amount of available evening and weekend garage parking for stadium events.)
But then ANC 6D chair Roger Moffatt testified, noting that while the ANC voted 6-0 to support Forest City's request, it did so while strongly encouraging the Zoning Commission "to require units have more than two bedrooms as a condition of this added height and density." He continued: "ANC 6D supports growing DC into a larger population, but we don't want to exclude families who have children from being able to live in our section of the District. We believe this is an issue whose time has come and we hope that Zoning will take a step in the right direction here tonight."
A light bulb then seemed to go on, with each commissioner supporting May's request that Forest City work with the Office of Planning and the Office of the Attorney General to come up with stronger language not only on the Metro issue but on a "greater mix." Marcie Cohen spoke of families being pushed out of the city, and that Forest City needs to offer "compelling evidence" that there is no market and will be no market for units with more than two bedrooms. Michael Turnbull discussed how if a family has a boy and a girl "you are looking at a three-bedroom unit to make things work" and that "two children is not unreasonable for a lot of families."
While agreeing with the desire to have the language of the proposed text amendments looked at, commissioner Robert Miller did say that the board shouldn't treat lightly that granting the additional density would result in an additional 350 residential units to the area beyond what's already allowed, 70 of which would be affordable housing units, which is "something we need."
Finally, chair Anthony Hood admitted that the commission hasn't concentrated on the issue of units with more than two bedrooms ("I don't call it derelict because I'd call myself derelict"), and that it is something that the board needs to "start looking at this in other projects across the city." However, he seemed a bit skeptical that anything could really come of taking the extra time for the Office of Planning to work on the language in this particular case to achieve that end: "Let's see what happens. Make me wrong."
This case is scheduled to be back in front of the commission in late November.
 

As to whether it *will* open Friday at 5, well, we'll see!
Willie's is located on the west end of the Boilermaker Shops, at 3rd and Tingey streets, SE.
If you want to read about the long road to this point, have at it.
In other food news, TaKorean is now going to be open on Sundays from 11 to 7.
UPDATE: In non-food Boilermaker Shops news, the Yards folks also tweeted that Unleashed by Petco is scheduled to open Nov. 3.
 

I have not laid eyes myself, but multiple sources in my inbox and elsewhere are breathlessly reporting a new sign on the sidewalk at 4th and M SE saying simply "Harris Teeter Opening November 5." (This post now UPDATED with a photo of the sign, retrieved by my own personal stringer.)
To say this is a long time coming is an understatement -- it was five years ago, in Sept. 2009, when the first official reports of Teeter coming to The Yards surfaced, and even then, I referred to it as "long-rumored." In 2010 the building at 4th and M with the planned grocery store space changed from office to residential.
It was in June 2011 that developer Forest City finally confirmed that the grocery store space in what was now called Twelve12 would in fact be a Harris Teeter. Work on the site began in early 2012, and now, with a little bit of 2014 left, here we are.
Almost.
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More posts: teeter, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards
 

A tweet late this morning from Richie Poe, general manager of the VIDA Fitness complex at the Yards:
"It is with pride, accomplishment and tears of joy that I can finally announce @VidaFitnessDC Yards opens today at 12noon. "
And now the press release has arrived, saying that VIDA and its Aura Spa and Penthouse Pool Club have indeed officially opened today, with Bang Salon following tomorrow, Oct. 2. (And don't forget Bang's Cut-a-Thon on Sunday for Ovarian Cancer.)
I got my tour before all the equipment was placed, but I'm sure you can poke your head in the front door on Tingey Street and sneak a peek. The Post got a tour as well.
This leaves the Harris Teeter and the not-yet-officially-announced-but-totally-Banfield Pet Hospital as the Twelve12 tenants yet to open. Last word was that Teeter is shooting for an opening in early November.
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More posts: vida, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards
 

The Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing plans to host a "Washington Nationals Celebration" in Yards Park for the Nats' first two playoff games, on Friday Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 4. These events will feature "favorite local bands, broadcasting from CBS Radio, and family-friendly activities to celebrate the Washington Nationals' home stand during the first round of the National League Division Series postseason playoffs."
On Friday, the festivities will be held post-game, where a not-yet-named local band will play on the boardwalk while food trucks and the nearby restaurants will offer eats for your picnicking pleasure. (The start time for Friday's game will not be known until after Wednesday's NL Wild Card game, but it is expected to be either 12:07 pm or 3:07 pm.)
On Saturday, the Natitude will start in Yards Park at 3 pm, "with a pre-game concert by fan favorite Hand Painted Swinger, family-friendly activities such as face painting, and broadcasting from CBS Radio personalities with Nationals-focused commentary and interviews." (And don't forget to walk the Riverwalk to the 1st Base Gate!)
All this is free and open to the public.
UPDATE: Since this just arrived in my inbox, I'll add that the Fairgrounds is offering "viewing parties" for all home playoff games on their 16x16 oudoor big screen, with full audio.
 

Having gotten out of the way the vertical construction going on behind neighborhood fences, we can now move on to the "clearing" portion of this fence survey.
The roof of Nats Parking Garage C gives a great view of Yards Parcel A, and how far the site clearing has come along since the final days of Spooky Building 213.
Next up will be the creation of a park on the far end of the site, a parking lot in the corner closest to this intersection, and the new home for Trapeze School New York at far right. (Here's a map if that's too many words.)

Meanwhile, along New Jersey Avenue....
(Left) This isn't my best work, but you can compare the rubble in this photo to the lush grass-covered hill that used to run along New Jersey Avenue between L and M. All this dirt is being moved to build the 324-unit Gallery at Capitol Riverfront residential building, aka 1111 New Jersey Avenue.
(Right) Up in Whole Foods land at 800 New Jersey Avenue, the hole is still being dug. But the new block of H Street between New Jersey and 2nd is looking like a real street, though no doubt it will continue to taunt us by remaining closed throughout the construction of 800 NJ, like its sibling I Street a block to the south has sat unopened, waiting for the Park Chelsea construction to finish.

Next, do you like construction trailers? How about construction trailers on sites where work isn't yet underway?
(Left) Here's the Capper Community Center site at 5th and K, where a ceremonial groundbreaking a few weeks back was not quite enough to jolt the project into action.
(Right) Looking down upon the vast Florida Rock footprint from the ballpark, and noting the new construction trailer visible at the far end. As I mentioned a few days ago, there's not as yet been an announcement of construction financing for the planned first-phase 350-unit apartment building, nor are the initial necessary building permits approved.
 

As a public service, I bring you the latest views behind some neighborhood fences. And on some neighborhood fences. And even behind some glass.
In fact, there's so many fence-related photos of note that I've broken up all this fence news into multiple posts, so that you don't miss a single fence-related factoid.
(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them)
Let's begin along L Street west of 7th, where concrete is sprouting for the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, the 195-unit mixed-income building being built by the DC Housing Authority on the older Capper Seniors site.
The footprint is on a decent-sized hill, so what's two levels underground on the project's east end is more or less ground-level at the west end.

Over at Arris, the 325-unit residential building along 4th Street south of Tingey in the Yards, there's an awful lot of square footage to build up, but progress toward ground level is being made.

And the showiest construction these days is the Hampton Inn on the northwest corner of 1st and N. It's even visible now from certain spots inside the ballpark, and here takes up a good chunk of the view northward from Nats Parking Garage C.
(The "Go Nat's" signage has brought much mocking on Twitter from the Apostrophe Police, and hopefully that will be rectified before long.)
Next up: Site work that is (and isn't) happening behind neighborhood fences.
 

* VET HOSPITAL PERMITTED: An approved building permit made it through the pipeline on Thursday for the "construction of a new pet veterinary boarding hospital and vet uses" at Twelve12 in the Yards. There has as yet been no official announcement from Forest City as to the name of the operator, but this new retail offering was telegraphed thanks to some necessary zoning reworkings earlier this year. Look for a lot of pet traffic along Tingey Street between this store and the still-as-yet-not-officially-announced Unleashed by Petco that got its building permit for a space in the Boilermaker Shops earlier this month.
UPDATE: A reader reports that promotional signage on Half Street by Nats Park showing the neighborhood's offerings does let the cat out of the bag, that it's going to be a Banfield Pet Hospital.
* CLASSIC UNVEILED: The publicity machine for the NHL Winter Classic at Nats Park on Jan. 1 is beginning to ramp up, with the official announcement (finally) of the game, alongside the unveiling of the Capitals' throwback jerseys, which begat lots of photos of somewhat uncomfortable looking hockey players at the ballpark. There was also the cool outline of where the rink will be set up.
* RAMP REOPENED: This week saw the reopening of the new-ish ramp from 11th Street SE to the westbound SE Freeway/I-695. It had been closed down in June to allow for demolition of the old flyover exit ramp from the inbound freeway to I Street SE. And some day I will actually get over there again to check it all out.
* TRAILER PARKED: A few readers have passed along the news that a construction trailer has appeared within the past week or so on the Florida Rock site along the Anacostia River just south of the ballpark. While plans are to get underway Any Minute Now on the first-phase 350-unit apartment building at the site's eastern end, next to Diamond Teague Park and Piers, there's not yet been any news that the construction financing has been finalized, nor is there as yet an approved shoring/sheeting/excavation permit. But the time does appear to be drawing nigh that development of this 5.8-acre parcel will finally get underway, at which point people will shift from complaining about the empty lot right across from the ballpark to complaining about a tall building ruining the views of the river.
 

While Bang Salon in the VIDA Fitness spread at the Yards is still a few days away from its slated opening date of Sept. 30 (fingers crossed), the operators already have in the works a "Cut-a-Thon" on Sunday, Oct. 5, from 9 am to 9 pm in support of ovarian cancer education and awareness.
For 12 hours, 100 percent of the proceeds from every haircut will be donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. If going to a salon is stressful, the complimentary champagne and small appetizers may serve to soothe you.
More than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, but because of the disease's somewhat vague symptoms and a lack of reliable detection tests, most cases do not get diagnosed until the cancer has reached later stages--approximately 15,000 women die annually from the disease.
So if you're getting a little shaggy, see if you can hang on for an extra week or so and contribute to the cause. It's easier than pouring an ice bucket over your head.
(Note that this is only for getting your hairs cut [as Mom used to say], not coloring or other chemical services.)
UPDATE: Following up on reader JES's question in the comments, Bang is taking taking walk-ins for this event on Oct. 5 but appointments are suggested--appointments can be made online at bangsalon.com or (202) 628-3222.
 

It's still a few weeks from opening, but today my camera was taken on a tour of the mammoth VIDA Fitness space on the northeast corner of 4th and Tingey, including the Bang Salon, Aura Spa, and Penthouse Pool Club offerings. (Does walking through four floors and 30,000 square feet of a fitness center count as a workout?)
I've put a pile of photos in this gallery as a narrated walking tour, so that you can see spots like the "experiential cycling studio" with a virtual reality wall, the "inner fitness" room (with its own HVAC system to allow for hot yoga and rapid cooling afterward), the locker rooms, the pool deck, and much more--you'll just need to pardon their dust as they race toward an opening probably in the first week in October.
The VIDA web site has much more information on all the offerings, which also will include a Kids Zone for babysitting while Mom and Dad sweat. I was told that VIDA expects to have about 900 memberships within the next few weeks--and pre-opening membership rates are still available. (There's also 50 on-site parking spaces, though be sure to appreciate the irony of driving to the gym.)
Here's a couple of shots, but check out the full gallery.
Meanwhile, just up the street, in the same Twelve12 complex, the Harris Teeter is looking very spiffy with its signage--but alas is seeing its own opening date slip, probably to early November.
Comments (2)
More posts: Retail, teeter, vida, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards
 

A reader pointed me today to a new Facebook page for Willie's Brew and Que, the long-delayed sports bar that was first announced as coming to the Boilermaker Shops back in 2011.
It's been a busy day on the page, with a new logo posted ("Willie's, Est. 2014") as well as photos of the interior, including shots of the point of sale kiosks with the caption "Computers almost up and running!" There's no news there of an opening date, but the About page is well filled out with details. (The WilliesBBQ Twitter feed is silent so far, however.)
Certainly with October baseball looking staggeringly likely, it would behoove any restaurant or bar in the neighborhood to rush preparations to completion in order to capitalize on hordes of wild-eyed Nats fans converging on the area. However, the long delay in building out the space, followed by the bankruptcy and associated falderal surrounding owner Barracks Row Entertainment earlier this year, have made it easy to be skeptical that the restaurant would actually ever open.
So, keep an eye on the western end of the Boilermaker Shops (at the corner of 3rd and Tingey) to see if white smoke from barbeque equipment signals the arrival of a new restaurant.
 
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