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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
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1015 Half Street ('10)
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909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
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400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
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Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
 
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It's been rainy for so long that I forgot that I should actually go out and take photos when the sun is shining. So this morning I went for a quick visit to the Yards to finally get photos of the latest arrivals and soon-to-be-arrivals.
First, there's Philz Coffee on Tingey Street, which already looks to be a popular addition to the neighborhood. (I'll leave it to folks who actually partake of this particular beverage to speak to the coffee itself.) The Conte's Bike Shop pop-up is next door through this weekend, though its permanent space will be around the corner on 4th Street when it opens in 2017.
Next I pressed my camera up against the windows at Whaley's, in advance of what I hope is a visit that involves actual eating before too much longer. (There's also this shot that better shows the high ceiling of the space.)
The Yards Park Marina is said to be opening in June, and the entrance to the slips is looking pretty close to ready. These three shots are a pseudo-panorama, showing the view from the entrance to the east (with a big hole in the horizon where the Barry should be), straight ahead down the ramp where vessels such as water taxis will be able to dock, and to the west. (The large gates will lock.) There will be 50 slips all told.
I did not take any photos of the other "news" in the Yards today, of some initial site work underway at the Parcel O site on the southeast corner of 4th and Tingey. Don't look for a big hole to open up just yet, though.
I also took what might be a final "before" shot of the lot at 4th and Water where construction is expected to start in coming weeks on the District Winery building.
But, dang it! I forgot to wander over to Spooky Park to check out the final landscaping touches! This mission was a failure!
 

Conte's Bike Shop, a bicycling retailer with nine Virginia locations, will be opening a full-service operation at Arris at the Yards in early 2017, it's being announced today.
But if you can't wait that long, Conte's will be running a 10-day pop-up version in one of Arri's open retail spaces on Tingey Street starting Thursday, May 19 through May 29th, opening on Thursday through Sunday during each of those two weeks. This means that the store will be open during both Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20 and Tour de Fat at the Yards on Saturday, May 21.
This pop-up version will have bikes for sale or rent, repair services, clothing, gear, and "expert advice."
The permanent Conte's location will be 2,200 square feet in size, located in the 4th Street portion of Arris's ground floor.
Conte's was founded in 1957 in Newport News, and is apparently still a family-owned operation, with locations in Arlington and Falls Church in addition to elsewhere in Virginia.
The press release from Forest City also says:
"Their shops carry a full line of bikes and accessories including hybrids, mountains, cruisers and road bikes by leading brands including Giant/Liv, Eddy Merckx, BMC, Scott and more, as well as offering gear, accessories clothing and lots of expert advice. They also offer a trade-in policy and used equipment for sale. What’s more, Conte’s Bike Shop prides itself on being a community center and resource for the cycling community, offering events, clinics, structured rides and online resources."
 

UPDATED: It looks like an Instagram post wasn't even quite solid enough of a source, as there's now been a press release that Whaley's is officially opening on Monday, May 16. The web site has been updated with that date, and reservations can now be made.
UPDATED II: And here's a peek inside, from Washingtonian.
Original post:
It was a little circuitous, but this evening on Instagram Whaley's announced that it will be opening its doors on Saturday, May 14th.
(The folks on the Yards Instagram account "got too excited" and announced an earlier date, which the Whaley's Instagram account corrected in the comments, as seen in the screen shot.)
The official web site still says "Opening Soon," but the dinner and drinks menus are now posted and the menus are "coming soon" as well (UPDATED because I'm an idjit). The hours (which I'm guessing are not the permanent ones) are listed as 5 to 10 pm Sunday through Wednesday and 5 to midnight Thursday through Saturday, with the kitchen closing at 11 pm.
The seafood and raw bar is located in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, in the ground-floor space between Osteria Morini and Agua 301, facing the park's overlook and the Anacostia River.
The web site's About page gives the lowdown on the Whaley's theme, and that "there was indeed a man named Whaley," who was the commodore of the Maryland Navy early in the Revolutionary War, and then became the first casualty in the Maryland Navy in the Revolutionary War.
 

Last week the Capitol Riverfront BID announced the lineup of its 6th annual Friday Night Concert Series at the Yards Park, starting on May 20 and running through September 2.
In addition to passing along the news that this year the concerts will be located on the "great lawn" on the west side of the park rather than the past location along the boardwalk (which might be tied to the expected construction later this year of the new District Winery building), there was this tidbit:
"This year, Modelo and Corona will be the exclusive beer and wine vendor, featuring beverages for every taste. A variety of food vendors will be onsite in The Yards tailgate area, or attendees can pack a picnic from the 32+ neighboring restaurants. In order to maintain the beauty of Yards Park, reduce its environmental footprint, and provide a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy, no outside alcoholic beverages may be brought into the premises, and security officers reserve the right to inspect all items brought into Yards Park, including coolers."
As one might imagine, this isn't going over well with some longtime attendees, and there's already a Change.org petition with more than 1,100 signatures asking the BID to reverse the decision, with a lot of very pointed comments from signees about the choice of a non-local sponsor, the impact on the family-friendly atmosphere of the events, and more.
UPDATE: Here is a letter from the BID in response to the displeasure about this move. As one observer posited in this comment thread, the crowd size was indeed one of the concerns, with attendance now "routinely" topping 3,000 attendees, causing problems with the park's insurance and cleanup, as well as raising concerns about safety. As for not going with a local beverage offering for the concert sponsorship this year, the BID says that Bluejacket declined an opportunity similar to their role as a 2014 concert sponsor--and that the sponsorships "directly support ongoing maintenance, repairs, or programming in the park."
Comments (15)
More posts: Events, Yards Park
 

The neighborhood's next coffee offering is now apparently only days away from arriving, as Philz Coffee has announced an opening "celebration" for its location in the ground floor of Arris in the 300 block of Tingey St., SE, on Friday, May 13, with complimentary coffee and pastries from 11 am to 3 pm. (If you think you're going to swing by, let them know via this Eventbrite invite so that they can gauge how many people will be coming.)
Full operating hours for Philz haven't yet been posted on either the corporate web site or the Yards location Facebook page, but I imagine they will open at the crack of dawn as they do at their other locations. While waiting for that information, you can check out the menu of coffee and tea offerings.
(h/t to commenter RMP)
 

There's no good "art" to go with any of these tidbits, so instead I present to you the northwest corner of Half and N, SE, taken May 4, 2003, which now looks like this and will someday look like this.
* HAMBURGLARY: Fresh on the news of its pending demise, the McDonald's at South Capitol and I was robbed early Saturday morning, with the three suspects jumping through the drive-through window to get to the cash. And here's MPD's Persons of Interest video. (WaPo, MPD)
* CSX DERAILMENT: The derailment in Northeast of a CSX train carrying hazardous materials has reignited {sorry} the concerns over both the city's need to boost its oversight of freight rail and the movement of hazmat through the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. (WaPo, plus a City Paper piece as well)
* TENANT NEWS: "Global public strategy firm" Mercury Public Affairs, LLC has signed a lease for the 8,020 square feet of office space in the upper levels of the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, and will move in this summer. As for other Yards tenants, I hear that Whaley's could be opening Any Minute Now, with Philz not far behind. (Elsewhere, the Brig is probably still a couple of weeks away.)
* THE VERY MODEL OF A MINOR MODIFICATION: Forest City is back to the Zoning Commission with some changes to the design of the planned Showplace Icon movie theater. But you might need a microscope to spot the difference between old vs new on the exterior renderings. (And it's technically not a "minor modification," but I was feeling all Gilbert and Sullivan this morning.)
* BEHIND THE CURTAIN: DCist profiles a crazy blogger who has spent years taking photos of construction sites. I mean, honestly! Get a life!
 

How's that Metro Shutdown Day working for you? At least it was a beautiful morning for a walk/ride/telecommute to your sofa, for those lucky enough to have those options.
Here's a few things, some of which could be their own posts, but, well, my walk wore me out.
MOVIE THEATER EXTENSION: On Monday night the Zoning Commission granted Forest City's request for a two-year extension to the PUD governing the plans for the Showplace Icon movie theater on the current DC Water site, which has continued to see delays because of DC Water's issues with moving some of its operations off of the site as planned. And, probably in response to a WBJ story a few days ago headlined "Big trouble for proposed multiplex at The Yards? Site 'may be in limbo for many years'," Forest City issued a press release quoting its president, Deborah Ratner Salzberg, as saying that "We look forward to beginning construction on the Showplace Icon Theater at The Yards by the end of this year," and that "DC Water, the District and Forest City meet weekly on this project to ensure that this first-ever theater complex for Southeast DC opens on time." There is also a quote from the CEO of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters, Tony Kerasotes, saying that "We realize this is a complicated site and remain fully engaged in seeing it through and moving forward with construction."
HISTORIC DESIGNATION: The little Lincoln Playground Field House at 555 L Street SE, now nestled between Van Ness Elementary School and the Bixby, has been designated a DC historic landmark. It was built in 1934, and you can read more about its significance here. As for getting it rehabilitated, ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett says there will be a community meeting upcoming on both the field house and a redesign of the adjacent Joy Evans Park.
POLLING PLACE MOVE: The DC Board of Elections has announced that the polling place for Near Southeast's Precinct 131 will be moving from Van Ness Elementary School to the gym at the new Capper Community Center one block to the north, starting with the June 14 primary. However, DCBOEE might want to double-check the address they are using for the community center, since in the past it's always been 1000 5th St., SE, and "1005" would be one of the townhouses across the street.
DOCK 79 LEASING: Pre-leasing of the apartment building on the Florida Rock site just south of Nats Park starts on April 7, the day of the Nats home opener.
BIG STICK HOURS: The beer and brats place at Half and M SE has applied for a "substantial change" to its liquor license, looking to extend its allowed beverage sales/service/consumption hours to 1 am Sunday-Thursday and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
 

A visit that the Official JDLand Camera has been hoping for came together on Monday morning, as representatives of Forest City Washington were nice enough to lead a tour of Arris, the 327-unit apartment building that is not only now leasing but also has its first residents beginning to move in as well.
The full photo gallery is here, with a slew of photos of the lobby, the amenity spaces, and the model units, a 1 BR/den, a 2 BR, and a 385-square-foot "micro" unit complete with built-in Murphy bed.
But of course I can't just expect you to click on that link to see all the pictures, so here's some previews (click to pop up/enlarge). The gallery has the captions, though!
The official web site has specifics on amenities and the floor plans and rents, which start at just under $2,000 a month and then head well north of $5,000 for 2-bedroom units--though note that 66 of the units are earmarked as affordable housing units for people earning up to 50 percent of the area median income. I was told that about 50 units have already been leased.
Also, given Arris's location just north of the Yards Park, it boasts some sweeping views from its roof and a number of units, which as you might imagine I was powerless to resist. (The views to the east aren't bad, either, but it was too early to take photos in that direction.)
Check out the full gallery for many more photos than these, including shots of the progress on the Yards Park marina and of the initial work underway at Philz Coffee, Arris's first retail tenant. Forest City as always remains tight-lipped about any other leases, though I did pass along the impatience of a number of my readers for announcements on that front.
With that, Arris moves into the Completed column, as the first delivery of 2016 and the 32nd (!) since I started this little project back in early 2003.
PS: if you are wanting to visit the building, be aware that the leasing center is actually around the corner at 301 Tingey Street, in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts--for now anyway, because the plan is for the leasing center, which covers all of Forest City's buildings at the Yards, to move to the empty retail space on 4th Street, between the Twelve12 lobby and TaKorean.
 

Residents anxious to see the construction get underway on the planned Showplace Icon movie theater will be displeased to read this, but...:
Earlier this month Forest City filed a two-year extension request with the Zoning Commission, as the continuing bureaucratic machinations to move DC Water's fleet maintenance and customer care operations off of the site at 1st and O SE have moved slowly enough that Forest City has been unable to file for a building permit by the date required in the zoning approvals received in early 2014.
While there have been steps that have moved the process forward, including the official execution of a lease with Showplace Icon theaters back in July, Forest City writes in its letter to the Zoning Commission that the lack of a building permit filing "is due to continuing challenges in identifying and developing appropriate relocation facilities that are acceptable to DC Water. DMPED and DC Water have worked diligently--with continued assistance from Forest City--to identify appropriate relocation facilities [for the operations], but substantial work still remains."
Land in Prince George's County has been acquired for the fleet operations, but Forest City says that DMPED and DC Water "are currently negotiating an agreement on the scope of improvements to be built out at the new site," and that once those are completed, "the improvements must be designed, permitted, and built."
As for a potential new customer care operations site, there is apparently work underway between DMPED and WMATA "to acquire a property that would serve as a new location." But, while "the parties are actively discussing the terms of the site control with DC Water," there would still need to be design and construction before a move could happen.
The letter goes on to say that DMPED and DC Water--the entities with "sole responsibility" for the moves--"estimate that the relocation of one of the two operations could be completed within 10 months," but that "out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of the complex negotiations and construction required" for either or both of the operations to be relocated, Forest City is requesting the two-year extension, because even after relocation, the movie theater parcel will need environmental remediation before construction can proceed.
There are also plans for two residential buildings to be built along 1st Street, once both sets of operations are moved and the construction of the movie theater is finished.
(For those zoning fanboys out there, I'll be a bit more precise and say that technically Forest City is requesting a two-year extension of the consolidated PUD approval for the movie theater parcel and the first-stage PUD approval for the remaining parcels, plus a two-year extension of the original first-stage approval, because doing that would reset the clock on the twelve-year time frame originally approved for filing for a second-stage PUD for the remaining parcels. {pantpantpant})
Finally, while only tangentially related, I'll remind readers that not all of DC Water's operations will be leaving this plot of land between Nats Park and the Yards, and that DC Water's plans for its new headquarters to be built on top of the existing O Street Pumping Station immediately to the south of the movie theater site received final approvals from the Zoning Commission in recent weeks, and construction should/could be underway there this summer.
My DC Water and Yards at DC Water pages give more details and background on these projects, should you so desire.
 

On Feb. 18 the Zoning Commission unanimously approved the submitted plans for a new-construction building at the Yards on the southwest corner of 4th and Water Streets, SE, that is to be home to District Winery, DC's first-ever winery (at least, as far as the owners can tell).
Brian Leventhal, one of the owners of both Brooklyn Winery and the coming DC venture, told the commission that this will be a full commercial winery, processing fresh grapes brought in from various US locations (including Virginia).
And since "you can't have wine without food," there will also be a 90-seat interior restaurant open seven days a week, which will also have outdoor seating.
In addition, the 2nd floor will be an events space, which the winery hopes will become a "very coveted wedding space," as well as a location for corporate and political events. There will also be tours of the winery, and bottles will be available for purchase (with "Bottled in the District of Columbia" on the labels).
Leventhal also showed some slides of Brooklyn Winery's operations to the commission, which you can see here.
Forest City's Jonathan Gertman testified that the company is targeting June 1 for the start of construction, and Leventhal said that they are hoping to be open by September of 2017. A liquor license is already in hand.
I posted a few weeks ago the early designs for the building, which will be a sibling of sorts for the Lumber Shed (and eventually there will be a third retail pavilion nestled between the two). The image at the top of this post is a slightly more realized version, though note that the red dots and lines aren't actually part of the design (I grabbed it from the zoning filings). The entrances will be on the wall facing west toward the Lumber Shed, and the restaurant will be on the south end of the building, where outdoor seating will look toward the Anacostia River.
Other than concerns about whether a winery would be a permitted use or an associated use under the zoning overlay, and some small frustrations about not being exactly sure what the differences were between the original approvals back in 2009 and the new case, all the zoning commissioners were enthusiastic about the project and the design. Michael Turnbull said that "I think this is going to be such a cute little building, and I think it'll be a fun place to go," while Robert Miller called it a "very exciting project, a very attractive building, a unique activating use in this Yards area," and that he looks forward to sampling it.
The commissioners felt no need to request additional information or changes, and with the Office of Planning recommending approval, and with ANC 6D's unanimous vote in support earlier this month, the commission took final action and approved the case 5-0-0.
 
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