Near Southeast DC: Past News Items - Jan 16, 2008
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DC Foreign Car Garage Finally Demolished
Jan 16, 2008 6:06 PM
Just drove by and saw that the little garage on the 1015 Half Street site now is gone, making it the first entry in the Demolished Buildings gallery for 2008, and the 143rd building that I've seen come down in Near Southeast since January 2003. This site--formerly home to Nation, itself demolished in May of 2007--is expected to see the start of excavation on Opus's planned 410,000-sq-ft office building Any Minute Now.

ANC Doings -- 1111 New Jersey CG Overlay Review
Jan 16, 2008 1:42 PM
(This is the first of three dispatches I'll be posting over the next few days from Monday's ANC 6D meeting. Can you feel the excitement building?)
The developers of the planned office building at 1111 New Jersey came looking for the ANC's support in advance of their Jan. 31 Capitol Gateway Overlay Review at the Zoning Commission. This project has been revised over the past few months after Donohoe was chosen by WMATA to acquire the 5,000-square-foot lot on top of the Navy Yard Metro's east entrance at New Jersey and M--by expanding 1111 New Jersey's footprint to this lot, which fronts M Street, the project became subject to a CG Overlay Review (boring tutorial here). While the WMATA land is being sold to Donohoe, this is in fact a joint development project with WMATA, who I imagine will receive a dollar or two over the coming years once the building is built and leased.
The new design was described by WDG Architecture as 220,000 square feet of office space with 5,700 square feet of ground-floor retail in a glass-facade building. While it uses a smidge of the WMATA land, the project will not be built on top of the station entrance as is happening with 55 M--the station canopy will remain, and a there will be a large public plaza at this "important corner", along with a 60-foot setback with a double line of trees stretching up New Jersey. (Non-obsessive observers might not remember that 1111 NJ's footprint does not include the site of St. Matthew's Church immediately to the north--that lot is being acquired by Ruben Companies for a rumored residential project, where no plans have yet been made, a Ruben rep tells me.)
Donohoe indicated that it plans to go for LEED certification for 1111, and mentioned that some of the ground-floor space would be designed with restaurant uses in mind, though the presenters said they remain aware of the requirements for community-oriented retail and preferred uses in the overlay area.
Beyond the LEED certification, retail, and public spaces, the developer offered no community benefits package to the ANC. Donohoe considers this project a matter of right that requires no additional benefits offerings, a stand which reopened the wounds from back in April when the earlier iteration of this project came before the ANC looking for support for a zoning special exception (and was voted down, though the BZA approved the waiver anyway).
The feelings of the commissioners hadn't changed in the intervening months, and they voted 5-0 not to support the project because of the lack of community benefits. (There was some procedural wrangling about the wording of the motion, but since the church where the ANC meetings are held is absolutely impossible to hear in, I didn't get the specifics--something about voting "not to support" versus voting "to oppose", I believe.)
No timeline for the start of construction was mentioned. Perhaps more information will be forthcoming at the Jan. 31 zoning hearing.
More ANC reports coming tomorrow--I'll have news of Monument Realty's plans for the BP Amoco site at South Capitol and N, followed by the latest in the Florida Rock saga. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Donohoe was nice enough to pass along the rendering of the new design, which I've added to the top of my 1111 New Jersey page.
UPDATE II: Correcting a smidge of misinformation on the St. Matthew's site.

Hearing Scheduled for Wells Parking Plan
Jan 16, 2008 10:38 AM
A hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 30 at 6:00 pm on Tommy Wells's Performance Parking Pilot plan (B17-580), in front of the council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment. If you're interested in testifying, read the hearing announcement for instructions. And don't forget that two community meetings about the plan are scheduled for next week (Jan. 22 and 23). See my Upcoming Events Calendar for details; if you're not checking that calendar on a regular basis, you should!
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Morning Links: Parking, and Projects I Don't Cover
Jan 16, 2008 8:49 AM
Your morning linkage:
* The Washington Times has "Parking a National Crisis", detailing what it considers to be the daunting challenges of getting to Nationals Park this year: "[The Nationals reported] that there barely will be enough parking spots (5,000) to accommodate season-ticket holders and that holders of single-game tickets probably won't find any spots in the neighborhood at all. That leaves walk-up fans and holders of single-game tickets with two choices: take the Metro or park at RFK Stadium and hop on the free shuttle. Now, neither of those options sounds all that terrible. But it's easy to envision thousands of stubborn (or clueless) fans driving to Southeast in their cars only to end up circulating around like Chevy Chase in 'National Lampoon's European Vacation.' "
You might want to read my detailed post on Friday's hearing as well as my Stadium FAQ's sections on transit and parking, for more information on the current state of ballpark-related transportation and parking issues. Also, I've posted a shiny new map showing the four zones where the Nationals are offering season-ticket-holder parking, along with the lots that may or may not end up being ones that the team has contracted with. Not an official map, just showing what's out there.
And, two items outside my purview from the past few days, but big enough to worth noting:
* Financing plans to move the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront have emerged, with the mayor seeking to provide up to $200 million in TIF and PILOT financing; the city also has agreed to lease 15 acres of land along the waterfront to developers (Hoffman-Struever Waterfront LLC). Here's the Post on the news and concerns about so much public financing as the real estate market appears to be teetering, as well as article by the Washington Business Journal and the city's press release.
* Last week the city dropped the group led by Mid-City Urban from the short list of developers who could be awarded Poplar Point, leaving three teams in the running, two of which include a soccer stadium as an optional part of their designs. (Mid-City's design was the one that included the "aerial tram" across the Anacostia to carry passengers to Near Southeast.) The city issued a press release about the narrowing of the short list last week, and Post wrote about the status of the competition on Monday. The city could name the development partner next week. Near Southeast behemoth Forest City (of The Yards and the Capper redevelopment, as well as the Waterside Mall project in SW) is one of the remaining three teams. You can see more about the proposals at And Now, Anacostia (which also got mentioned in the Post article).
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park



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