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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: The Yards
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JDLand.com's Official Unofficial Guide, Updated for 2016!
In the Pipeline
One M/10 Van
Yards/Icon Theater
DC Water HQ
Yards/Parcel O
Lynch/Half St.
JBG/Half St.
Capper/Square 769N
2 I Street
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
SC1100
Completed
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 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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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.
 

I escaped town for this past week, so apologies on being late on this, but if you've wandered by the Yards Park this weekend and saw either a bunch of scaffolding or a big show, it's Light Yards, which through March 6 will be "melding light, sculpture, and music to create wonder!"
The large "Point Cloud" and its sibling "Cube" seen in the image provided by the organizers were designed by New York-based light artist and architect John Ensor Parker, and will be joined starting on Feb. 27 by "giant luminescent rabbits," with a special family-friendly event from 3 to 6 pm that Saturday, "to delight in the sight of the enormous glowing bunnies, while enjoying children’s activities, including a giant Lite-Brite."
Also on Feb. 27, from 6 to 10 pm, there will be another light show set to music, performed by electric violinist DC Manifesto.
It's free and open to the public.
Comments (3)
More posts: Events, The Yards, Yards Park
 

The Washington Post's Tim Carman is reporting today that the owners of DGS Delicatessen are planning to open Whaley's, a "small raw bar and restaurant" in the final ground-floor space of the Lumber Shed at the Yards, facing the Anacostia River between Osteria Morini and Agua 301.
It will have a 40-seat dining room and a 20-seat bar, and "will offer shellfish towers, crudos and seafood dishes," but won't focus exclusively on Mid-Atlantic seafood--but "will serve only sustainable seafood, wherever it may be found."
The timeline sounds surprisingly fast--"this spring"--and there's already a placeholder web site at whaleysdc.com.
This is not the first seafood raw bar attempted in this space--it was announced in the summer of 2014 that the Navy Yard Oyster Company would be opening there, but by July 2015 that venture fell by the wayside.
In the WaPo article, Whaley's owner Nick Wiseman speaks of Crisfield's in Silver Spring and its "personal neighborhood feel" as a model for Whaley's--but also is "not naive" about the "seasonal nature" of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood:
"'It's a place that, in the summer, it's booming, and we have to be special enough that people want to come in the winter,' he says. 'We're trying to design a restaurant that can do that.'"
And, just as I hit the button to post this, I received the press release from Forest City confirming the lease. It adds that the name "honors the Revolutionary War hero Zedechiah Whaley, commander of the tiny Maryland Navy. History holds that Commander Whaley was a casualty during a storied Chesapeake Bay battle while single-handedly confronting a small squadron of British ships in an effort to protect the local watermen."
The Forest City press release also has these details on other Yards projects, for those itching to know:
* Arris is to "welcome its first residents in early March";
* Philz Coffee is still planning to open in Arris's northwest corner, on Tingey, "this spring";
* The Yards Park marina is also scheduled to open in spring 2016;
* The Showplace Icon movie theater construction is expected to start "later this year with completion anticipated for 2018."
* District Winery construction is expected to start this year, with opening expected in late 2017.
* The combo 191-unit Forest City apt bldg/138-unit PN Hoffman condo bldg at 4th and Tingey on "Parcel O" to start in 2016 as well, but doesn't say when.
 

Recent zoning filings are giving interested observers (i.e., me, and most likely you) a watercolor'ed early rendering of the new Yards Park "pavilion" expected to be home to District Winery, a "boutique" winery/restaurant/event space on the southwest corner of 4th and Water Streets, SE.
As described in the filings, the winery "will produce premium small batch wines served on the premises and occasionally sold in bottles for patrons to consume elsewhere. Guests will be able to tour the winery, taste wines at the wine bar, have dinner at the restaurant and reserve the second floor venue for a private event, such as a wedding receptions, corporate event or private function." It will have a capacity of 750 persons, with 450 seats.
The filing goes on to say that the winery, the "first of its kind" in DC, is expected to open in the fall of 2017.
The drawing above is the view as seen from the Yards Park, on the southwest side of the building (so, as if you are walking east from Osteria Morini). Here are slightly less impressionistic but still early drawings of the elevations from all four sides (click to enlarge):
There will eventually be a third pavilion positioned between the winery and the Lumber Shed--the filing says that Forest City is "working on securing a retail tenant(s)" and that it will "most likely be a restaurant."
The zoning hearing for the winery is scheduled for February 18. This plan was supported by ANC 6D in a 7-0-0 vote on Jan. 11, "contingent upon the execution of a mutually agreed construction management plan."
Comments (22)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, winery, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning
 

I ended 2015 with a quick look back at the major development news of the neighborhood over the previous twelve months, so it would be fitting to not get too far into 2016 without a look ahead. But it is to be remembered of course that crystal ball gazing is inherently dicier, which is why I like writing posts that look back a whole lot more than I do ones that look forward.
First Out of the Gate
Let's start with the easy ones, the 436-unit Park Chelsea at 880 New Jersey and the 325-unit Arris at 4th and Tingey, both of which are showing signs of opening their doors in coming weeks.
In fact, let's look at photographic evidence from this weekend to support this theory, starting with the Park Chelsea's still-fenced-but-prepped front entrance and New Jersey Avenue frontage, plus the new section of I Street that at this point I believe is being kept closed merely for the fun of driving me insane.
At Arris, the sidewalks on Tingey and Water, on the building's north and south sides, are now open, and landscaping and lighting has arrived in the courtyards on the building's west side--along with most interesting sculptures/screens/whatever you want to call them that serve to give the courtyards and the units that face them a little bit of privacy.
Other Expected 2016 Deliveries
The JDLand crystal ball feels confident that the DC Housing Authority's two current projects, the Community Center at 5th and K and the 195-unit mixed-income Bixby/Lofts at Capitol Quarter at 7th and L will be the next developments to make it across the finish line, though the specific time frames are still a bit cloudy.
And work is now underway on the Yards Park Marina, which is supposed to be finished in spring/summer 2016.
Beyond that? The 305-unit Dock 79 at Florida Rock topped out in early November, and the exterior masonry and glass work are well underway. MRP Realty has said that it expects the building to deliver in July, but at the very least Signs Point to Yes on a delivery before the end of the year.
While 82 I/801 New Jersey looks about finished with vertical construction, and its red brick exterior is already up to its third floor, and a 2016 delivery had been announced last year, this one should probably be filed under We Shall See.
Otherwise, the rest of the current lineup of skeletons and holes in the ground are probably coming to you in 2017.
Retail on Tap for 2016
There's not a lot of announced retail in the 2016 pipeline at this point. All we have so far is that Philz Coffee will arrive Arris this spring and that optimists believe that the Brig beer garden at 8th and L will at last open its gates. The new Italian venture at the Park Tavern should (?) be arriving at some point as well, and maybe the Bardo Riverfront venture.
But there's at least 30,000 combined square feet of additional retail space in both Arris and Dock 79 that I imagine we'll be hearing about as the year goes on.
Projects That May Get Underway in 2016
(This category always gives me the shakes.)
The crystal ball feels reasonably confident that the condo and rental projects on what's known as Yards Parcel O will get started, with financing for the PN Hoffman condo portion already announced and various types of construction permit applications submitted and awaiting approvals.
Also looking likely to join the 2016 lineup is the new National Association of Broadcasters headquarters at the corner of South Capitol and M, presumably along with the 163-unit residential building that development Monument Realty is also planning for the site.
DC Water is itching to get going on its new headquarters, which will be built as a wraparound to the existing O Street Pumping Station, which happens to be immediately to the south of the Showplace Icon movie theater site, which is supposed to see construction start in 2016.
JBG's recently unveiled condo/rental/retail project for the west side of Half Street is scheduled to begin construction late in 2016, if all zoning and permitting goes according to plan.
Beyond that? The crystal ball would not be totally shocked to see the Jair Lynch condo/rental/retail project on the east side of Half Street get started sometime before the end of the year, and would be equally not totally shocked to see that wait until early 2017.
Movement on a new Douglass Bridge might also be on the boards for 2016, but whether actual start of construction can happen within the next 12 months, well, hope springs eternal.
As always, if this slew of words has you overwhelmed, check out the full development map and the guide down below it (yes, scroll down!) to give more clarity.
 

"Time to back up the U-Haul, honey--we're heading to New Jersey Avenue!"
The nice folks breaking down the inside of the tent told me that they expect to open in their new digs in a couple of weeks.
The move is underway to clear what's known as Parcel O at the Yards for two residential projects expected to get underway this year, a 138-unit condo building by PN Hoffman and a 190-unit rental project by Forest City.
 

Last week developer PN Hoffman announced the completion of a $20 million financing deal that will allow its 138-unit condo project at 4th and Tingey in the Yards to break ground in the first quarter of 2016.
The building, seen on the left side of this rendering, will have about 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail as well as below-grade parking, and is expected to be finished in 2018. It was designed by Handel Architects and WDG, and it's not hard to see brick-and-glass echoes of Arris, its cousin across 4th Street.
The financing was provided by Grosvenor Americas' Structured Development Financing program, for those of you keeping score at home.
According to the sign erected a few weeks back, sales are supposed to start this spring.
And at the same time Hoffman's condo project is being built, Forest City will be building its own rental building immediately to the south, with 190 units in two towers (as seen on the right side of the rendering and in other renderings on the project page).
This is the site where the trapeze school has been camped for the past few years, and it's why they are moving to their new digs at New Jersey and Tingey Any Minute Now.
Hoffman's building (technically known at this point at as Parcel O-1) will be the first condo project in the Yards, and will also be the first condo project to get underway in the neighborhood since Velocity started its construction in 2007--and looks to be on the vanguard of a mini-wave of condo offerings, as both developments at Half and N just north of Nats Park are slated to have condos, along with perhaps a future project at Half and L and one on Square 767 on the old Capper footprint.
Comments (25)
More posts: Development News, The Yards, Yards/Parcel O
 
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