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400 M ('07)
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5 Blog Posts Since 2003

First, summer was hot, then it was really hot, then the Nationals were hot, then the Nationals were REALLY hot, and suddenly it's November and the JDLand camera has been crying out from neglect. But I took care of that this weekend (oh boy, did I), and wanted to catch up on the latest downward digging and upward construction.
Let's start by peeking through some fences to look at the digging portion, where excavation is now underway at New Jersey/Canal and N/Tingey on the first office building to come to the Yards, which will be the headquarters for Chemonics International. (Yes, it's the project that chased the Trapeze School down to 5th Street.) The other two digging locations are Lerner's residential building at 1000 South Capitol and the CSX East site on New Jersey Avenue just south of the freeway, where a hotel and 800 units of residential will be coming. In order:
Next, we have three buildings that are above ground but not yet topped out. We'll start with the reconstruction of the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia, which started just a smidge more than one year after the fire. With the pad not needing to be redone and the concrete-encased stairwells still standing, it isn't taking long for the wood-based construction to look familiar. (It is an odd thing to be watching the same building go up twice, 14 years apart--the first photo below was taken on Nov. 28, 2005, then after the fire in Sept. 2018 and March 2019, and now ).
The other skeletons are the new headquarters of the District Department of Transportation at 3rd and M Streets, which at this time of year can only been seen in sunlight for about one hour, from the west.. A few blocks away, on L Street between South Capitol and Half, the neighborhood's first "sliver" residential building (condos!) at 37 L is now a few floors away from its roof.
Beyond that we have a mere, oh, 12 additional projects that are topped out but not finished. Three of them are getting their faces put on (DC Crossing, Meridian on First, and One Hill South Two):
The rest have long since stopped looking particularly different while they plod toward completion, but there are updated photos on their project pages if you wish to see some. And yes, I'm looking at you, Thompson hotel and Estate apartments, Parc Riverside Phase 2, NAB HQ, Avidian, The Kelvin, Envy, the Garrett, and the Maren.
Now I'll turn my attention finally getting caught up on sliders. Wheeeee!
 

My last post talked about a new oval coming to South Capitol Street, and now the geometric tour of the neighborhood moves onto a new square, specifically Tingey Square, which is part of the reconstruction of the intersection(s) of New Jersey and Tingey and N Streets. Oh, and now there's Canal Street, too. And a new 2nd Street. (And a new Quander Street, but we're not talking about that right now.)
Tingey Square will be a green space/park-like outpost in the midst of what is becoming a lot of concrete, especially with the Chemonics HQ now underway on the west side of the intersection, and a residential building on the south side of N in the near-term pipeline as well.
And of course I had to dig through my archives to find on-high photos from multiple angles showing the progression of the intersection of New Jersey and Tingey, starting in 2004, before there even was an intersection (it arrived in early 2007), then in 2012, and then 2015. You can see how N flowing into Tingey was originally only slightly off-center, before becoming the double-curve once New Jersey Avenue was completed.
For more visualization assistance, here are two graphics from various zoning filings, with the first one overlaying the new design on top of existing roadways.
Most traffic will rarely go around the square, as both Tingey Street and the west side of the square (now Canal Street) will remain two-way. But it will allow traffic to arrive at the entrances of the new Thompson Hotel and Estate apartment buildings on the new stub of 2nd Street (which turns into a pedestrian walk down to the Yards Park). I of course can provide illustrations of the nearly completed south side of the square, and the new east side by the Thompson/Estate duo:
As for the new Canal Street, it is really only a one-block public street, as it heads behind the fences of DC Water once it crosses N Street. But a new sidewalk has been completed and given streetlights outside the fences, and the walk should eventually be open for the non-DC Water public.
If you've wandered through this sizable intersection lately (like, say, to go to the WORLD SERIES), you've seen a lot of work underway, some of which you may not really even realize is all that different. But New Jersey has been narrowed and given a bend westward, and the traffic flow from N Street to Tingey is no longer via a curve, but an actual intersection. Here you can compare the wide wide pedestrian crossing in 2013 with the new building-out of the northeast corner to straighten the road.
And I have to admit that these new rights-of-way sent me waaaaaay down the photo archive rabbit hole, to reclassify a lot photos taken over the years, some of which you can now see in the archive pages for Canal and Tingey or Canal and N. Here's a few, though even when you pop them up they'll still be small:
 

Late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, many readers noticed police activity and caution tape outside of Scarlet Oak at New Jersey and K, SE. According to the MPD 1-D mailing list, a person got into a "dispute" with a group of people and that person was subsequently assaulted by the group. The person is apparently in the hospital. That's the latest as of this writing.
Now, rounding up a week's worth of tidbits:
* DC WATER OPEN HOUSE: DC Water is throwing an open house to mark the "grand opening" of its sparkling headquarters along the Anacostia, on Thursday, May 30, starting at 3 pm. But be sure to not stay so long that you miss the ice cream social/JDLand camera meet-and-greet that starts at 6 pm at Canal Park.
* HELLO, MERIDIAN: The apartment building under construction at 1000 1st Street SE now has a name and a placeholder web site, so say hello to Meridian on First.
* SOMEWHERE, ALMOST HERE: Washington City Paper reports on the arrival later this month of "Somewhere," the combination clothing-and-coffee venture from the DC native behind Maketto and streetwear brand DURKL coming to the retail row on 1st Street SE south of M.
* CFA VS CHEMONICS HQ: The Commission on Fine Arts does not like the design for the planned Chemonics headquarters at New Jersey and Tingey. Really, really does not like it. (WBJ)
* REMEMBERING TRACKS: Marty Chernoff, the creator of the legendary Tracks nightclub that ruled the northwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, from 1984 to 1999, died on May 3. The Washington Blade printed a nice remembrance of both Chernoff and Tracks, and subsequently a reader pointed me to two YouTube videos from 1998 and 1999 touring the club.
 

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.
 




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