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It was back in June that we saw the first hints of the six-story green-glassed undulating LEED-platinum building that DC Water is proposing for its new headquarters, to be built on top of and surrounding the existing red brick O Street Pumping Station. (No, not the historic main pumping station.) This location is also immediately to the south of the planned Showcase Icon movie theater, which you can as the top-right "Development by Others" box in the site plan.
This week, in advance of the project's Oct. 26 hearing, additional documents were filed with the Zoning Commission, and of course I can't resist drawings depicting bright sunny vistas with shiny new structures, so here's a big pile of views, starting with the ones that most people will see, looking east and west along the bridge between Diamond Teague Park and the Yards Park (click to enlarge):
Next up are the wider views, from above the Anacostia River (left), the Yards Park (center) and from the interesection of 1st and Potomac, a view which shows the plans to extend Potomac Avenue one block eastward, which is also visible in the from-above view along with general concepts of the expansion of Diamond Teague Park and also where Forest City will be putting residential buildings across from the ballpark:
This last batch shows a closer street-level view from the new Potomac Avenue extension (with the movie theater building immediately to the rear), from a new behind-the-security-fences plaza at the foot of the building that most of us will never set foot on, a rooftop view, and then the cute little combination guard house/covered bike parking on the north end of the site.
The project received the unanimous support of ANC 6D at its September meeting, albeit with having secured a letter from DC Water stating that the agency "will take any and all reasonable measures to prevent our employees from parking on residential streets," a concern given that the plans have only 20 on-site spaces. Steps include a $75 transit subsidy, negotiations for additional off-site parking spaces, and "maximum flexibility" for telework and alternative work schedules when there are events at the ballpark. DC Water also pledges to have the displays in the building's public lobby "to share community news, [and] advertise Yards Park or Capitol Riverfront BID events."
You can check out my DC Water page for more views of the footprint, and also read my previous post on the HQ for more details.
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More posts: DC Water (WASA), zoning

Earlier this week Monument Realty filed plans with the Zoning Commission for what it is calling 10 Van Street, its 13-story, 163-unit residential project immediately to the south of its planned headquarters of the National Association of Broadcasters at the corner of South Capitol and M Streets, SE.
The new project, designed by Gensler and which is Monument is "contemplating" as a condo building while still "keeping all options on the table," will have a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units as well as multi-level two-bedroom townhouses facing both Van and South Capitol.
In the renderings provided by Monument, you can see the red-and-black-and-glass 10 Van paired with the more beige One M (and also the Self Storage building and JBG's 1244 South Capitol at the far end of the Van Street rendering below). The townhouse portions are visible as the areas with the dark "glazed brick material" at street level. In the rendering at below right, you can see the building from above South Capitol Street and how it is paired with the NAB HQ and also its west-facing courtyard that will front South Capitol.
It's expected to be built concurrently with NAB/One M beginning next spring, with completion in 2018. The project will need to complete this Capital Gateway Overlay Review first.
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More posts: 10van, Development News, One M, zoning

Last Thursday the Zoning Commission held a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review hearing for One M Street, the building planned for the southeast corner of South Capitol and M Streets that is to be the new home for the National Association of Broadcasters.
Monument Realty had come to the commission back in 2013 with plans for a 328,000-square-foot office building, but now the developer is planning both this 120,000-square-foot NAB HQ (seen at right) and a 175ish-unit residential building immediately to the south that will come to the commission at a later date. (More on that below.)
Architect Bill Hellmuth of HOK testified that the location is a "gateway" that presents an "opportunity to make a building that is unique" to the city and also acts as separate gateway to the neighborhood by Nats Park. He also mentioned that having the very un-Washington curved facade start at an overhang 29 feet above the sidewalk is a "special moment" for the building.
Retail will make up about 35 percent of the ground-floor space, although there's a possibility that some of that space will be taken by a broadcast studio in the space facing M Street (and that there would also be a window to see into the studio from the lobby). NAB will apparently occupy about half of the building, which it will be buying from Monument Realty once it's constructed.
The filing contained a few new renderings, which I of course have pilfered (UPDATE: and two of which are now nice high-res versions, thanks to Monument Realty), showing the building as seen from both the west and east along M and also from the south on South Capitol:
All in all, there were no major issues, with most commissioners commenting on the "tremendous improvement" of this design over the original one, and the board was also happy that the developers will now be applying for LEED Gold certification.
There were also discussions about whether the concrete on the penthouse is light gray or dark gray, whether portions of the facade are a dark tan or a light tan, about whether the "rectilinear" facade is more appropriate for South Capitol and the curved one being better suited for M Street, and whether a small portion of the penthouse was in violation of the Height Act or could be handled by a special exception allowing for enclosing walls of different heights. There were also a few minutes taken to dicuss whether the glass in the building is the type that can help prevent birds from flying into it (WAKE UP, I'M STILL WRITING HERE).
It's expected that the commission will take its vote on this case at its July 27 meeting.
As for the 175ish-unit residential building being planned for the south half of this site, you can see its ghost in the new rendering up top and in two of the other new renderings, plus the filing had this keen photo showing a model of the two buildings, as seen from the northwest. You may note that the residential building has its courtyard open to South Capitol Street, in a very similar fashion to JBG's 1244 South Capitol Street residential project that will be at the south end of the same block (also ghosted in the main photo up top).
See my somewhat paltry One M Street project page for shots of the site's past (spoiler alert: it's the old Domino's site) as well as links to my posts about it over the years.
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More posts: Development News, One M, zoning

On Monday night, with all of about three minutes of discussion, the Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Capitol Gateway Overlay Review for Jair Lynch's new residential and retail plans for the northeast corner of Half and N Streets, immediately north of Nats Park.
At the initial hearing for the project back in May, commissioners reacted positively to the design, which includes at least 60,000 square feet of retail on two floors topped with somewhere between 350 and 445 rental and condo residential units and possibly a small hotel as well.
The issues that prevented a vote back in May appear to have been addressed, among them the removal of plans for catenary lights to be strung across Half Street and for bollards that had been placed to protect pedestrians on the curbless sidewalks during non-game times, when traffic will be allowed on Half.
New renderings were also provided to the commission, showing the view of the building along both Cushing Place and the new "Monument Place" between this building's north end and the south side of 55 M. And of course it is required that I snag them from the filing and show them to you, with the Cushing Place view looking down from M Street, showing the "intersection" with Monument Place, and then the Monument Place view looking in from Half Street:
The developers have said that their plan is to begin construction in 2016, with completion by 2018, a timeline that gets speeded up somewhat since the bulk of the excavation was done, ahem, about eight years ago.
For much more about this project, including additional renderings, you can read my summary of the May zoning hearing, my look at the initial submission, and the project page.
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More posts: Development News, lynchhalf, zoning

While most residents and observers have been eyeing DC Water's operations site at 1st and O Streets, SE and wondering when Forest City's movie theater/residential/retail project is going to get underway, details are now emerging on the other shiny new development in the works in that same general area: DC Water's plans to build a new headquarters building on top of the existing O Street Pumping Station just east of Nats Park.
A PUD application has now been filed with the Zoning Commission for the project, to be design/built by Skanska with architect SmithGroupJJR as a "world-class headquarters that integrates efficient building systems with the [existing O Street Pumping Station] to create a dynamic workplace environment" that would be " a bold, innovative statement on the Anacostia River shoreline that reflects DC Water's mission to provide reliable and cost-effective water and wastewater services."
It would be designed as a LEED Platinum building, with stormwater retention, "heat recover and rejection systems" that will use the residual heat from the sewage that is pumped to Blue Plains, and low-impact development landscaping features by OvS "such as bio-swales, pervious pavements, and native vegetation."
The proposed DC Water HQ, as seen from the Anacostia (left), the west looking east (center), and from the Yards Park looking west (right). Renderings from zoning filings. Click to enlarge; and compare to the current view from the river.
The O Street station would keep right on pumping during and after construction, and the HQ design, which encapsulates the pumping station on the south and east and so removes it from view from the river, will include a four-story 190-foot-long east-west truss that will support the new HQ without bearing on the existing pumping station.
As for the PUD itself, it proposes to rezone the site from W-2 to CG/CR, and to only include 21 parking spaces instead of the mandated 69 (yay, nearby transit!).
It also requests flexibility from public space requirements because the building is "deemed essential to supporting the United States government," and so it must "therefore incorporate certain security measures and access restrictions, which impact operation and design of the new building and surrounding area." Here is DC Water's memo on this security topic.
This new headquarters will consolidate and relocate all of the agency's administrative personnel, and get non-essential types away from its currently overcapacity Blue Plains site.
The zoning filing says that this new building "will demonstrate that DC Water's mission is essential to every living organism," and will also "emphasize DC Water's historic role in serving the DC metropolitan area for over a century by providing scheduled educational programming inside the building."
Forest City's planned movie theater would be one block to the north of this site, with the two planned new residential buildings to its west, and a new "1 1/2 Street" would run just to its west (as seen in the left-most rendering of the group of three above).
This will come before ANC 6D for its support before getting to the Zoning Commission on some as-yet unannounced date in the future.
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More posts: DC Water (WASA), zoning

Developer Jair Lynch's plans to finally get development going on the site at Half and N just north of Nats Park known in some parts as "Monument Valley" or the "Half Street Hole" went before the Zoning Commission on Thursday night for a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review.
I went into detail on the updated designs a few weeks ago, but the quickie summary is that there will be somewhere between 350 and 445 residential units (including condos!) in two buildings, and as much as 68,000 square feet of retail on two floors. (There could possibly be a small hotel as well, which would bring the residential count to the lower end of the proposed spectrum.) There would also be 231 parking spaces and bike parking in three underground levels, the hole for which, as we all know, has already conveniently been dug.
Both Jair Lynch and project architect Chris Harvey of Hord Coplan Macht talked about how the building is designed to bring the "indoors out, and the outdoors in," with huge windows for retail spaces and with the upper floors designed to take in views not of the surrounding skyline but of the street below, especially as the festive gameday atmosphere unfolds. "We believe it will define the ballpark entertainment district," Lynch said, calling it a "unique destination" for the three million people who visit the ballpark and the neighborhood every year.
The comments from the zoning commissioners were uniformly positive*, with the discussion going through especially zoning-y zoning issues, such as the design of the roof, the status of LEED certification (they're going for Silver, apparently), the lack of affordable housing (short version: this project is expensive!) and the location of a lobby entrance at the corner of Half and the new pedestrian-only Monument Place.
Much of the remaining discussion ended up centering around the streetscape plans, with commissioners agreeing that a curbless street being a wise decision with thousands of people walking through and not watching where they are going, but with DDOT needing to work with Lynch's group to decide exactly how to approach, since as of now DDOT really has no guidelines for such a design.
DDOT also appeared to be putting the kibosh on the idea of "catenary lights" across both ends of Half Street (which has been in the drawings for the site for many years), as well as wanting planned bollards ditched and wanting a different layout for sidewalk trees, since the lack of overhead wires on Half means that there could be a substantial tree canopy if the proper trees are used.
In response to a question from commissioner Robert Miller, who described the project as "very long-awaited and dynamic and exciting," Lynch said that the expectation is to break ground in 2016 and be finished in 2018 (presumably in time for a certain all-star event). Cushing Street would be used as the route for construction vehicles (though work would stop three hours before any Nats game), but Lynch also said that the fact that the excavation is mostly complete "should help tremendously."
With the Office of Planning and DDOT each supporting the plan as long as a few items are addressed, and with ANC 6D having voted to support it as well, there appears to only be the need for some mopping up submissions (renderings from street level for Cushing Street and Monument Place, better roof plans, the fixes for OP, yadda yadda), it sounds as if this project should be voted on favorably, perhaps at the June 29 commission meeting.
My page for this Half Street project gives additional details on the site, as do my previous posts.
And maybe before too much longer we'll see some details of JBG's plans for the other side of the street.
* Or, in the case of Peter May, not actually negative.
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More posts: Development News, lynchhalf, zoning

With a May 28 Capitol Gateway Overlay design review on the calendar, the Jair Lynch/Half Street Hole project has within the past few days submitted additional materials to the Zoning Commission. And since I know how much everyone loves renderings....
The one I know will be of most interest is above left, showing what the new skyline would look like just to the northeast of Nats Park as seen from home plate, where Lynch's planned residential project will be situated. (They seemed to have tried to go for some sort of tilt-shift look, so it's not your eyes or my image file that's blurry, it's the original.) At right is a sharper/snazzier view of the building as seen from ground-level at Half and N, with the glass-walled corner portion of the planned 60,000-plus square feet of retail space a definite focal point. The darker fa├žade facing N Street delineates the planned condo portion of the project from the rental units (and possibly a hotel, or possibly not) around the corner on Half.
I wrote in detail about the plans for the site a few weeks ago, or you can check my Lynch Half project page for additional details.
Meanwhile, in other Ballpark District 2.0 news, I see an indication of forward progress on JBG's planned 290-unit residential project just north of the ballpark at 1244 South Capitol: an application was filed last week for a shoring/sheeting/excavation permit (got to dig down before you can build up!). The company has said they are looking to begin construction in late 2015 or early 2016.

At Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, Monument Realty presented to the commission an early look at revised plans for the company's One M Street site on the southeast corner of South Capitol and M streets (i.e., the old Domino's site).
And instead of a third variation of the previously presented 328,000-square-foot office building, Monument is now proposing a 120,000-square-foot office building on the northern portion of the lot, fronting M Street, with a new 175ish-unit residential building immediately to the south (and just to the north of the self-storage building).
While there is no signed tenant for the office building, Monument's representative told me that they have a "user" that they "feel pretty good about," and that they hope to have an announcement within the next few months. (Note that "user" was a very specific choice of words.) In the presentation to 6D, the notion of some of the space being used for "conferences and events" was mentioned, and that they would be shooting toward starting construction in the latter part of 2016.
The residential building is not quite as far along in the design process, but the architects are apparently toying with the notion of a "townhouse"-like feel for the ground-floor units that would face South Capitol Street. There was also talk of some three-bedroom units being included in the plans.
Monument expects to file a new case with the Zoning Commission within the next few weeks, at which point there will be purty drawings and much more detailed information.
(As for the rest of the goings-on at the ANC meeting, that can wait until morning!)
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More posts: Development News, One M, zoning

Not quite six months after buying the land on the northeast corner of Half and N streets across from Nats Park currently known as Monument Valley, the MacFarlane/Jair Lynch joint venture has now submitted to the Zoning Commission its new plans for the site, a 10-story building with 461,700 square feet of residential (and possibly hotel) development, combined with at least 60,000 square feet of retail.
Back a couple of lifetimes ago, Monument Realty also planned a residential, retail, and hotel project on this site, so this filing is actually a modification to the previously approved plans. The new designs by architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht, seen in these renderings purloined from the zoning filing, would add at least 23,000 square feet of retail to what had been planned, mostly in the second-floor space along Half Street, as shown in the drawing below, as well as potentially an additional 8,000 square feet on the second floor facing N Street, depending on the all-important "market conditions."
The new project would have either 445 residential units and no hotel at all, or 365 residential units and a 80-room hotel on the north end of the site (down from a 200-room hotel in Monument's designs). The new design includes condos (apparently 130ish of them) in the south wing along N Street, with the rest being rental units.
As in the original designs, there would still be a small street called "Monument Place" running between this building and its neighbor to the north, 55 M Street, allowing the retail offerings to wrap around onto the building's north side--however, in these new plans it would be a pedestrian-only street, negating the need for a curb cut on Half Street.
In addition, the basically-an-alley Cushing Place would still be extended through to N Street, through an opening in the ground floor of the south side of Lynch's building. (If you look closely at the top rendering, you can see it.) There would still be three levels of underground parking with approximately 231 spaces. And there would be all manner of streetscape work to make the sidewalks--and the walk to the ballpark--a bit more inviting than they are now.
For you zoning groupies, there's also one special exception being requested, that the project be allowed to have two roof enclosures instead of one on the south wing of the building that fronts N Street. And note that this is all under the Capitol Gateway Overlay design review process.
These new plans will be presented to ANC 6D on Monday night (March 9), with a zoning hearing date apparently as yet unannounced. My Monument Valley project page has a few of the old Monument renderings, should you wish to compare.
UPDATE: The zoning hearing is apparently now scheduled for May 28.

With unanimous agreement that the need to get former public housing residents back to the neighborhood is paramount, the Zoning Commission on Monday gave first approvals to the DC Housing Authority's request for flexibility in how it allocates 206 affordable units still to be built within the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD boundaries, while still being required to have no fewer than 15 percent and no more than 50 percent of the units on any square be affordable.
ANC 6D remains adamantly opposed to the flexibility idea--or at least to the idea that this flexibility would then allow a possible all-affordable building next to a market-rate condo building on Square 767--saying it "would circumvent the theme of HOPE VI revitalization and the goal of the PUD."
But Zoning Commission vice-chair Marcie Cohen disagreed, saying that the success of Capper's revitalization is that "the area is mixed income, the neighborhood is mixed income," and that she doesn't have a problem "when public housing is a single project within a mixed-income neighborhood." Noting that some of Capper's previous residents were relocated from the site now more than 10 years ago, Cohen said that "the people who have been displaced have a right to come back"--and given that "financing vehicles are now driving housing policy," meaning that getting affordable housing units financed has become so difficult--the Housing Authority has in her view come up with a plan that is "satisfactory," and should be able to go ahead and "secure the proper financing, build the project, and get some of the people back if they choose."
Her fellow commissioners concurred, with both Robert Miller and Michael Turnbull also noting that all projects on the three remaining residential squares at Capper will need to come to the Zoning Commission for review before moving forward.
And in its response to the ANC 6D letter, the Housing Authority emphasized this point, saying that the concerns raised by 6D will be addressed at that time, and that the reviews "will also demonstrate that the design of the buildings and distribution of the units in those applications are consistent with the PUD's overall goal of providing a vibrant, mixed-use and mixed-income community."
This case also will allow 30 of the Capper affordable units to be relocated to Square 737, to be included in both the 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods building and the eventual third-phase residential building on the eastern portion of that block.
My previous post on this zoning case gives plenty of additional detail if you desire.
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More posts: Capper, Development News, zoning
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