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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Jul 12, 2007

JDLand.com's Official Unofficial Guide, Updated for 2018!
In the Pipeline
Yards/Icon Theater
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
SC1100
Completed
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
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 Cap. ('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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4 Blog Posts

On this gorgeous late afternoon (which would have been PERFECT for a Topping Out ceremony!), I got back down to the Douglass Bridge demolition for the first time in a few days, and whether it was the deep blue sky or the new camera lens or what, I snagged some pretty striking photos of the changed landscape on South Capitol Street between N and Potomac. I've posted them on my Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover page, of course--I also added some more stitched-together panoramas of what the intersections looked like before. All the new shots today are from the west side--access to the east side of South Capitol is far more limited thanks to the stadium, so shots looking westward from anywhere other than Potomac Ave. may just have to wait until the work is all done. I'm going to be working on getting more photos of these intersections into the Photo Archive; but I've been just a wee bit busy over these past few days (!) and so haven't had the chance.
Speaking of the work, there was nothing left of the old viaduct on my visit other than the pile of dirt that used to make up the earth-fill ramp between O and P streets (well, there's whole lot of rubble, too). So we can say that the demolition took six days. Now we get to watch for the lowering of the northernmost remaining portion of the bridge, the building of the new earth-fill ramp up from Potomac Ave. to meet the existing bridge, and the streetscaping of the rest of South Capitol. And we get to see just how quickly the contractor can pull this off ahead of the eight-week schedule. (Up to $1 million in incentives are being dangled in front of them.)
Getting it done quick will certainly ease the burden of thousands of commuters, who are really taking it on the chin with this project. Today there's a number of stories about Metro ticketing the folks who are parking illegally in the lots on the east side of the Anacostia. Channel 9, Channel 7, Channel 4, WTOP, and the Post's Marc Fisher all weigh in. And the Southern Maryland Gazette writes about the traffic problems from an outside-the-Beltway perspective.

More posts: South Capitol St.
 

This afternoon, the National Capital Planning Commission gave their "does not adversely effect federal interests" approval to the recent zoning amendment allowing temporary surface parking lots on various blocks near the stadium, subject to the removal of the Canal Park parcels from the amendment and also that any of the temporary lots on waterfront parcels be set back a minimum of 75 feet from the Anacostia shoreline. They also want the final order of the text amendment to make clear that the five-year cap on these lots cannot be extended via a Board of Zoning Adjustment Special Exception.
The staff report indicated what we've heard in the last day or so, that the Office of Planning will indeed be modifying the amendment to take out Reservation 17 parcels B, C, and D (the Canal Park blocks) before the Zoning Commission's final vote on July 30. There was also slightly curt exchange between two of the commissioners during the discussion of the parking situation about why the US Department of Transporation headquarters can't make some accommodation to allow public parking (as the Reagan building does) in some of its 800 parking spaces; as is now so often the case in this city, "Sept. 11" was the answer.
The commission also approved the 35% design plans for The Yards--many of the renderings and drawings that were in the presentation to the board today are already on my Yards First Phase page. This submittal to the NCPC covered the streetscape, landscape, and infrastructure improvement plans, and the plans for the first four developments on the site--renovation of two existing buildings to create 430 residential units, the renovation of Building 167 into a 46,000-sq-ft retail space, and the construction of two new buildings at 4th and M that would have 320,000 sq ft of office space, a grocery store, and 170+ apartments. Work on the streetscape and infrastructure improvements will be starting this summer, and the first of the building renovations will get underway next year, with 170 apartments and the Building 167 retail to be delivered in mid-2009. This plan will also be in front of the Commission on Fine Arts on July 19.
I hope to get electronic versions soon of the staff recommendation documents for both of these votes, which contain lots of good summary information for people who haven't been following these cases quite as, um, closely as SOME people. I'll update here when I get them.
So, for Canal Park fans, everything seems to be pointing to the hoped-for conclusion, though it won't be 100% written in stone until the July 30 Zoning Commission meeting.
UPDATE: Here's the recommendation document for The Yards; I hope to have the parking one on Friday, so check back.
UPDATE II: Believe it or not, NBC 4 covered the meeting today. (Maybe they got the idea from today's District Extra!)
 

At Tuesday's council meeting, an emergency resolution was passed to allow the issuance of bonds that will bring $140 million in proceeds to fund various Anacostia waterfront projects, including the waterfront park at The Yards and Diamond Teague Park. The money is coming from a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes agreement for the Department of Transportation HQ, land that can't be taxed by the city because it's federal property. The original PILOT bill laying out the specifics was passed last October and the city and DOT developer JBG signed the agreement in February. I'm not 100% sure why there's now this new emergency resolution, although my bleary-eyed morning reading of it sees that perhaps the council was required to officially approve which projects were designated to get the funding. And, in order to issue the bonds before the end of this fiscal year, the council needed to act quickly, hence the emergency legislation.
A tidbit from the resolution: one of the projects listed as needing this funding is "a new ferry pier at the foot of First Street, SE"; this is the Diamond Teague Park location that's right across the street from the ballpark. I've been hearing rumors lately that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has the building of this pier on a very fast track, with the intention of getting it ready by Opening Day 2008; there's scuttlebutt is that the permit applications have already been filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers, though I don't see evidence of that just yet. Perhaps we'll hear more about this at tomorrow's hearing on the move of the AWC into the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
 

My Ballpark and Beyond column in The Post's District Extra today covers the Canal Park parking lot brouhaha. If you're arriving here looking for more background, here's the zoning amendment that started it all, last night's news that the Office of Planning looks firmly committed to rectifying the oversight, my page with details on all the plans for stadium parking around Near Southeast, today's NCPC meeting agenda, and my Canal Park page for details on the plans for the park itself. I'll be posting later today on the outcome of the NCPC meeting.
More posts: Canal Park, zoning