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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
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Yards/Parcel I
Yards/Parcel G
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
More Capper Apts.
Yards/Movie Theater
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
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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If you have wandered through Canal Park or the Yards Park in recent days, you may have come across the large displays that make up the Capitol Riverfront BID's new two-part "Then and Now" exhibit, showcasing photos that probably look very familiar to longtime JDLand readers. The BID also included explanatory text for the 20 sites highlighted, and they are a very striking way for people who've never heard of a "JDLand" to see exactly what has gone on in the neighborhood in such a relatively short period of time. And no need to be hunched over a computer or squinting at a phone screen! The exhibits will be on display through mid-summer.
In other news that I've been extraordinarily neglectful of:
* NICOLETTA PIZZA: It was almost six years ago that I first wrote of plans for Chef Michael White's plans to bring a sibling of his Osteria Morini to the Yards Park boardwalk.The notion seemed to fall by the wayside, especially when Morini Piccolo arrived in the fall of 2017, but lo and behold, a few weeks ago signage went up, and now it is open. Eater DC wrote a preview, if you are looking for information beyond ***PIZZA*** (and frozen Negronis, which Mr. JDLand would have been quite revved up for).
* MORE APARTMENTS UNDERWAY: My coverage of the eastern portion of the neighborhood is even worse than my coverage of the rest of it, so I haven't written much about either the completed renovations of the 19-unit apartment building now known as the Callisto at 816 Potomac or about the adjoining four-story, 49-unit new construction apartment building apparently dubbed Europa at 818 Potomac, both by MMg Development. Work is now underway on Europa, as I captured in a terrible photo a few weeks ago. (And maybe I'll get my development map updated with these items soon. Any Minute Now.)
* MORE CONDOS UNDERWAY: Readers have been noticing digging underway on the south side of L Street between South Capitol and Half, and it is the start of construction on an 11-story, 74-unit condo building at 37 L Street, a project of DBT Development. Here is a rendering, from the web site of Bonstra Haresign Architects, that shows the building if you are looking toward the southeast from across L Street. This was the site for the former Empire Cab company, and before that, the site of one of the city's deadliest fires. This is not to be confused with the Metro "chiller plant" site next door, on the corner of Half and L, where residential is slated to happen Some Day.
* TACO CITY DC: One other east-end item that I have neglected terribly is the arrival of Taco City DC, next to Las Placitas on the southeast corner of 8th and L in a storefront that has seen at least three other food ventures come and go within the past few years. But it looks like the jinx might be broken, with the Post's Going Out Guide quickly naming it one of the ten best taco shops in the area.
 

Some new-ish retail items, in order of likely levels of reader ecstasy:
* ATLAS BREW WORKS: Ivy City's brewery/tap room Atlas Brew Works announced last week that it is coming to JBG's West Half building next year, where it will occupy 4,500 square feet mere steps away from the Nats Park Center Field Gate. The new space, double the size of the Ivy City location, will also have a kitchen and a "limited food program" along side its brewery and 12-draft-line tap room. Atlas is the second announced retail offering at the non-box-like West Half building, along with the previously announced Commons Restaurant and its bakery/breakfast operation Mah-Ze-Dahr.
* DISTRICT DOGS: The neighborhood's second-largest population gets a new retail offering in the coming days, as District Dogs has announced it will officially open its second full-service pet care facility in the ground floor of 1221 Van on Saturday, March 9. In a custom-built space that faces South Capitol Street just north of N, DD will offer daycare (with four separate playrooms), boarding, grooming, walking, sitting, and a "boutique retail shop." There will be an open house on Friday, March 8 from 5 to 9 pm, and services can be booked starting on the 9th.
* EL BEBE: A reminder that Circa's tequila-and-taco sibling El Bebe is opening this Tuesday, Feb. 26, on the southwest corner of 1st and M in the ground floor of the 99 M office building. Here's the menu, should you wish to peruse in advance.
* SHILLING PROGRESS: A reader passed along on Twitter photographic evidence that the Shilling Canning Company seems to at last be inching closer to opening in the ground floor of Arris, on Water Street across from District Winery. The placeholder web site says "Opening Spring 2019," and the restaurant is now hiring.
* WELLS FARGO COMING DOWN THE STREET: If your heart was broken last summer when Wells Fargo closed its branch in the ground floor of 20 M, you can now perk back up, because it was announced last week that a Wells Fargo "Express Center" will be coming to the ground floor of the aforementioned 99 M office building. With this, 99 M's retail space is fully leased.
 

Foodie news is the main focus in this roundup:
* CIRCA OPEN, EL BEBE SOON: The neighborhood's newest restaurant opened on Monday, with Circa finally arriving on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, not quite 3 1/2 years after it was first announced. As for now, it's open daily at 4 pm. And its sibling El Bebe is coming Any Minute Now.
* MEYER TO THOMPSON: The Thompson Hotel at 3rd and Tingey is still under construction, but the Post's Tom Sietsema reported in his chat last week that uber restaurateur Danny Meyer (he of Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and more) will be opening a "full-service restaurant and rooftop bar" in the hotel sometime in 2020. There aren't many details (not even a chef), but this will be a project that will garner a lot of interest.
* ALBI POPUP: If you are looking forward to Albi, which is bringing a "contemporary vision of Middle Eastern cooking as soon through the lens of Modern American techniques and Mid-Atlantic ingredients" to the Bower at 4th and Tingey in "early summer" 2019, there is a two-day "pop up" of "preview dinners" on March 3 and 4. Reservations now available, with prices set at $85 per person, plus optional wine pairings for $35.
And in non-food news:
* CAPPER SENIORS GONE: The first building I watched be built is now the first building I've watched be both built and demolished, though the concrete stairwells and elevator shafts remain and await the building that will replace the structure destroyed by fire last year. This makes for a sad entry #182 in my Demolished Buildings gallery.
* VOTE FOR MOVIES: Time once again to make your preferences known in the Capitol Riverfront BID's 2019 Outdoor Movie Series poll. Voting ends March 4.
* PILE DRIVING: That pounding you heard in your head on Saturday morning wasn't your hangover, it's the start of Saturday pile driving as part of the new Douglass Bridge construction. The approved hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. (And, while I'm speaking of it, a shout-out to the NFDMB folks, who are doing a nice job of outreach with a very complete web site and social media offerings.)
* LOWER 8TH STREET STUFF: ANC 6B commission Kirsten Oldenburg reported in her latest newsletter about some changes to traffic flow near 8th and Virginia, now that the tunnel is completed: "The 800 block of Virginia Avenue and the 900 block of 9th Street SE are now two-way streets and the 1000 block of 9th Street SE between L and M Streets will join them as a two-way street but awaits adjustments to the traffic signal at 9th and M SE. The 800 block of L Street is to become two-way (instead of one way westbound). Pedestrian crossings markings will be added to the 9th & Potomac Avenue SE and 10th & Potomac Avenue SE intersections. " She also says she is in the process of asking DDOT for a traffic calming study of the 8th and L intersection (i.e., where the Brig is).
 

Losing track of which project is which? Time for another photo tour....
First, let us welcome the two new skeletons now above ground level, the Maren on Potomac Avenue and Paradigm's project at 1000 1st St., SE, both of which are apartment projects:
(Tishman Speyer's massive Square 696 residential project is just now starting to peek up, but didn't make the above-ground cut this time.)
It's a sign that the frantic construction pace of the past two years that we only have three projects coming out of the ground, and only one where excavation is stlll underway (One Hill South 2). A breather will be nice.
That said, there are still nine other projects that are in the getting-their-faces-on stage of construction. So let's look at the National Association of Broadcasters HQ (and its sibling Avidian condos to the rear) at South Capitol and M, the Funnel on Half Street (aka West Half), the combo project of the Estate apartments at 3rd and Water by the Yards Park and a Thompson hotel at 3rd and Tingey (shown in closeup because I dig the windows), the second phase of Novel South Capitol, Parc Riverside Phase 2 at Half and L, and the Garrett at 2nd and K. The last photo in the bunch is 1250 Half, which is both a still-rising skeleton on its southern end and a face-being-put-on project on its northern end, completely mucking with my flow.
(Follow the links to the project pages for details--I've already written enough words this week!)
Still under construction as well are residential projects the Harlow and the Bower condos/Guild apartments, but I didn't take any updated photos because their exterior work is mostly done. Plus I might have collapsed.
Tired out by this? Now you know why I for the first time grabbed a scooter to cover all of the territory.
But I also used my newfound scooter freedom to get some sorely needed shots at the far edges of the JDLand coverage area. Here are my first photos of the work on the new Douglass Bridge, as seen from the old Douglass Bridge (and no, that platform is not the new bridge), as well as a picture of the Emblem on Barracks Row condo building at 8th and Virginia, now completed despite my having almost completely ignored it during its construction:
Speaking of the new Douglass Bridge, if you go to the official web site and scroll down to Project Gallery, you will see what I think is a new animation of the new bridges and ovals and whatnot.
As for what's on the boards to get underway in 2019, I'd say that the most likely contenders are the new DDOT HQ at 250 M and Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street residential building, and maybe one other I will write about soon. As for others? We Shall See.
I also belatedly have added the GSA warehouse at 49 L to my Demolished Buildings Gallery, as #181. That's a lot of demo.
 

It was more than six years ago that word first seeped out that Forest City Washington was looking to bring a large movie theater to the Yards, on land owned by DC Water that the development company would acquire.
But those negotiations have still not completely been resolved, and, in a time-extension request filed last week with the Zoning Commission, Forest City described the current situation, which will displease long-frustrated neighborhood moviegoers:
"Because of the extensive delays tied to the important and expansive discussions regarding DC Water's relocation and operational needs, as well as DC Water's need to retain control of the F-1 Parcel to facilitation construction of its headquarters building, Forest City's rights with respect to the lease with the theater operator have expired. Despite efforts to reconstitute that deal, it is clear that Forest City will not be able to proceed with the original approved program for a two-level, 16-screen theater above a four-level parking garage."
The filing goes on to say that the company is "now pursuing additional refinements to the approved plans." While the building's size and scale will likely stay the same, it is possible that the theater will be "reduced in size" and/or "incorporating other appropriate and compatible uses for the site to ensure a viable project." There is also apparently a need to relocate the building's planned loading and service access onto N Place and away from DC Water's ongoing operations. The facade design will likely change as well.
The filing states that the "very complicated planning constraints on this unique site" have "nearly reached final resolution," but that Forest City now requests an additional two years to work on redesigning the plan.
(Of course, this means that the replacement of "When will Whole Foods open?" with "When will the movie theater open?" as the most-asked question at JDLand will continue on for a while.)
Comments (2)
More posts: Retail, theater, The Yards, The Yards at DC Water
 

Last month, Forest City filed plans with the Zoning Commission for a design review of Yards Parcel G, currently home to the Trapeze School and now expected to be the new headquarters for Chemonics International, a USAID contractor.
Note that when the news first broke, it was said that this building would be at New Jersey and M, but that's incorrect--it is planned for the northwest corner of New Jersey and N and/or Tingey and/or the proposed Tingey Square, as seen in this rendering, which helpfully provides Nats Park and the DC Water headquarters building as reference points. (And directly across N from Chemonics HQ is the planned residential building on Parcel I, which you can read about here.)
This would be a 290,000-square-foot, 11-story-plus-penthouse building, with about 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and about 165 below-grade parking spaces. The zoning filing says that approximately 1,200 employees would be expected to move to the building when it opens. There will also be an at-grade bicycle lobby for building users.
This building's west side will face 1 1/2 Street, Yards West's planned pedestrian-oriented-but-not-pedestrian-only "spine," and to the north it will be bounded by the planned Quander Street that is to be (re-)built at the spot where the currently huge empty block is bisected by an east-west sidewalk.
Here's a trip around three of the building's corners, starting at its northwest corner where 1 1/2 and Quander Streets will meet, then at Quander and New Jersey, and then at New Jersey and N/Tingey/Tingey Square:
For those of you concerned for the fate of the trapezers, the zoning filing says that the school would be moved to Parcel E, which is the site of Building 202, and which apparently will soon be its own design review application. (Hmmmmm.....)
I threw together a quick Parcel G page, which will jog longtime residents' memories of Spooky Building 213, which occupied this parcel along with Parcels A and F for 50 years or so.
The zoning design review hearing is scheduled for April.
UPDATE: Forgot to include that Chemonics received a $5.2 million property tax break for its decision to relocate to the Yards. Specifically, it is an eight-year tax abatement running from FY 2023 to FY 2030.
(See, I do still know how to blog. I may found out this weekend if I still know how to take pictures.)
Comments (6)
More posts: Development News, The Yards, yardsparcelg
 

* TRANSPORTATION STUDY KICK-OFF: On Wednesday, Nov. 28, DDOT and ANC6D are holding the first public meeting for a study of transportation issues in {insert preferred neighborhood name of your choice}. It's at 7 pm at the Capper Community Center at 5th and K Streets, SE. Along with a list of desired changes (such as a stop sign at 3rd and Virginia and protecting the bike lane on 1st south of M), the flyer notes that a stoplight is expected to be coming to the harrowing New Jersey and I intersection in 2019.
And now some of increasingly old tidbits:
* ALBI/MAXWELL: Washingtonian reports news of two restaurants coming to the Yards in 2019: Albi, a "modern American eatery inspired by {chef Michael Lee Rafidi's} Middle Eastern and Mid-Atlantic roots," and another branch of Shaw's "oenophile haven," the wine bar Maxwell. The JDLand commentariat has analyzed the situation and are positing that the new garage door-style panels on the 4th Street side of the Bower might be the home for these ventures.
* CHEMONICS: Not a restaurant, but Washington Business Journal reports behind its paywall that Chemonics, a USAID contractor among other things, is close to a deal to move its 1,200-person headquarters from near Farragut West to Yards Parcel A Yards Parcel G (updated 1/2/19 with the correct location--oops). This northern portion of Spooky Park has long been planned to be Class A office space--as for the rest of the block, I wrote a few weeks ago about the plans for residential along N Street and the new streets coming. This new office building would be north of the hotly awaited Quander Street. (h/t commenter Westnorth)
* SQUARE 696 UNMASKED? With thanks to commenter CL85, we may have our first look at what is coming to Square 696, the block just about out of the ground on the south side of I Street between Half and 1st. (If Clark pulls it down, here is the rendering.) This is going to be an 818-unit residential project spanning the entire block when both phases are complete in 2022. (It sounds like they are going to build the "structure and skin" of the entire project, but will first complete the eastern tower before moving to the interior work of the western tower.)
* NEW BIKESHARE STATION: If you haven't stumbled across it yet, there is now a 19-dock CaBi station on 4th Street SE just north of M (alongside the new Sprint store and kitty corner from Teeter).
* NEW ANC COMMISSIONERS: In local local local election results, ANC 6D07 (the seat left open by Meredith Fascett's retirement) has been won by Edward Daniels, while in 6D02 Anna Forgie clobbered incumbent Cara Lee Shockley.
 

I am, shall we say, a bit distracted these days, and so have been taking full advantage of that whole "I'm only going to post when I feel like it" pledge from a few months back. (And I still need to write a longer post on news of Greystar's plans on the CSX land west of New Jersey, but there's only so much blogging blood that can come out of this stone right now.)
Most of these items will sound familiar to the commentariat, but for those who haven't been following the conversation:
* LULULEMON COMING: Yoga pants and other accoutrements will be coming to the Boilermaker Shops on Tingey Street in the Yards, according to the company's web site. It will move into the space vacated by Steadfast Supply's move to Water Street.
* SOMEWHERE COMING: "Somewhere", an "intergrated retail and cafe concept" from folks on the team that created Maketto on H Street will be coming to F1rst in 2019. The press release says it will combine "a highly curated retail mix of high end clothing, sneakers and other footwear, unique brand products, as well as planning and orchestrating community events. The team will also develop programming for the residents of F1RST, including interactive social media opportunities, style consultations and more."
* RETAIL INDUSTRY COMING, SORT OF: WBJ reports that the Retail Industry Leaders Association has agreed to lease nearly 13,000 square feet at 99 M.
* MODERN NAIL BAR ARRIVES: New signage for "Modern Nail Bar" has appeared above the corner space at the Courtyard Marriott at New Jersey and L. I have not poked my nose in, so I do not know if this is one of those newfangled places where they ply you with alcohol while clipping and coating the tips of your digits. (h/t @202FSUNole)
* HALF STREET WAREHOUSE HALF GOING: Partial demolition is underway on the red brick former GSA warehouse on the southeast corner of Half and L, which was purchased by the Lerner Companies last year. According to the permit, they are taking off the roof and the top part of the walls, down to a height of about four feet. What's the plan? An "open uncovered parking lot," according to the permit.
* JUSTIN'S GONE: After eight years, Justin's Cafe has closed its doors. (h/t reader JES)
Enjoy your fresh thread, commenters!
 

Now that everyone (meaning me) has recovered from The Great Grocery Store Opening of 2018, we can turn our attention to the newest project to head into the zoning approvals fun factory: a 348-unit apartment building by Forest City on "Yards Parcel I," which is on the south side of N Street west of New Jersey.
If you're having trouble envisioning this location, it's the eastern portion of the big parking lot on the south side of N. (The rendering above is looking toward the southeast from N Street's north-side parking lot, like this.)
The most striking part of the building's design is the "one-story double-height bridge" that runs across the courtyard at the 8th of the building's 11 floors, and which would have the building's pool on top of it.
The bridge and the open courtyard will both face "1 1/2 Street," the new "spine" of Yards West that will run from M Street to Diamond Teague Park. It will be pedestrian-only from M south to the reconstituted Quander Street, and then will be a "shared curbless street" down to its terminus by Diamond Teague Park. You might need your magnifying glass even after clicking on it to enlarge it, but the image at right shows the full Yards West site plan on the left, and a zoom-in on the new Parcel I footprint at right.
(A tidbit of note in the zoning filing mentions that 1 1/2 Street would lead south from M Street "and a potential additional entrance to the Navy Yard Metrorail station.")
Here's some additional renderings, showing the bridge, and 1 1/2 Street, and even the planned Tingey Square at the current intersection of New Jersey, N, and Tingey.
The zoning filing says that Forest City expects to build out much of the new Yards West street grid beginning next year: which includes the two-block segment of Quander Street between 1st and New Jersey and the "curbless street" portion of 1 1/2 Street between Quander and N Place (the little alley-like street south of the big parking lot and north of the DC Water brick building).
The new building would also have about 13,600 square feet of retail, and two levels of underground parking with 243 spaces.
You can see a couple more images on my new Yards Parcel I page, though I imagine that 1 1/2 Street will eventually get its own page.
In the meantime, here's what the intersection of 1 1/2 and N looks like now, to further help you place it.
(Yes, I have 1 1/2 Street already set up in my Photo Archive, if you want to see the full before-and-afters. Though I guess I'd better add Quander Street now, too.)
The zoning hearing is not yet scheduled, and so there's no firm start date for construction of the building as yet.
PS: Don't blame me about "1 1/2 Street."
 

It would be terribly hokey for me to say something along the lines of, "It's almost Halloween, and the neighborhood is appropriately decked out with skeletons." So, I won't. But there is a whole lot of construction going on, counting not only nearly finished buildings, but also buildings getting their faces put on or heading toward topping out or now "going vertical" below ground level.
I'll go in order from newest to oldest, starting with peering down into holes that you might not be looking into yourselves.
Three residential projects that began excavating in the spring are already starting to climb upward, as you can see in the above photos from 1000 1st Street and the Maren at Florida Rock. Tishman Speyer's mystery residential project that covers all of what's known as Square 696 is a hybrid, with some excavation still underway while the eastern half is now starting to rise. (and no, we still don't have renderings.) Then there's phase two of One Hill South (Two Hill South? One Hill South Two? Return of One Hill South? One Hill South, Electric Boogaloo?), where digging is being hampered by complaints of fumes emanating from the site's past life as a gas station.
Next we turn to the neighborhood's EIGHT projects that are above ground but not yet topped out. (I could call it six, since there are two projects with two buildings going up concurrently, but let's call an eight an eight.)
Let's start with residential projects The Garrett at 2nd and I, Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, and the second phase of Novel South Capitol at 4 I, which was kind of a shocker to see go up since it was never really announced that the entire project would be under construction at once:
I'll note that the photo of the Garrett is a bit of a triumph, because it's the first one I've gotten from the northeast, now that the wrapping up of tunnel construction has given me some sidewalk access to the intersection at 2nd and H. (Which hopefully will be open completely by Oct. 18, the Whole Foods Day of All Days.)
Next, let's wander down to the Ballpark District, where the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters is a whisker away from topping out and its sibling the Avidian condo building is now well visble. One block away, 1250 Half is in its final minutes of not being completely above ground, as the portion closer to N Street is now right even with the street, while its northern portion has been skeletoning for quite some time. And at 3rd and Tingey, the combo project of the Thompson hotel and the Estate apartment building are beginning to change the feel of the western side of the Yards Park.
{Pant, pant.}
Now, a quick look at the buildings getting their faces on, since this is the stage when everyone is pretty much tapping their toes and waiting for the projects to be finished already. (There's a section of Virginia Avenue that qualifies for that, too.) May I present West Half at Half and N, the Harlow mixed-income building at 3rd and L, the Bower/Guild condo/rental buildings, and the new DC Water headquarters.
To wrap it up, there's one additional ghostly building to keep an eye on, though I don't wish to be flippant about it. Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen is holding a hearing on Oct. 25 about the fire and response, for those interested.
And that's "it." Ha. Ha. I imagine the next major update will be in December, when I will spend most of the time complaining about how the low sun angle and a decade's worth of construction has made it impossible to take photos unruined by shadows. I may have to (gasp!) go out on cloudy days until spring.
 
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