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Inching from Quarantining to Reopening, Open Thread
May 24, 2020 4:14 PM
I continue to shirk my duties here, as I am still spending vast amounts of time on the COVID-19 Numbers beat for the Post. But I wanted to post some links if you haven't yet found them on where to keep up with the current status of things, including what's open, what might be open, what could be opening, etc.
The Capitol Riverfront BID has a listing all of the open restaurants and how you can patronize them, and has a similar one for neighborhood retail outlets.
Charles Allen's Twitter feed provides Ward 6 news and guidance (and is also reminding you to return your census questionnaire and also to request your DC vote by mail ballot by May 26).
You can read the daily coronavirus updates from the DC government and look at all of their data viz on case demographics, etc.
You can also read the latest news and dig into current case and death numbers for the DMV with the Post's local tracker, (shameless plug since it's my work that gets the numbers into it)
Plus, you can read the JDLand comments threads, as readers continue on-the-ground reports while I remain deeply involved in my Numbers Racket.
And you can wear masks and avoid indoor gatherings so that we can get a smidge further down the road to whatever the next phase will be.
With that, I return you to your holiday weekend, and I will return to the numbers. Stay safe, everyone.
Comments (111)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail

Friday Tidbits: Stop! A Light!, Hood Numbers, Bridge News, Slideshows
Jan 24, 2020 1:05 PM
A few morsels:
* NJ & I: ANC 6D07 commissioner Edward Daniels put out the word on Facebook this week that "after numerous emails, walk-throughs, and (personal) hours spent watching the intersection from Slipstream, DDOT has finally responded and are working on a design and construction plan to install a traffic light at the intersection of New Jersey Ave & I Street SE." It's still a ways off, but there's no doubt that this intersection is a busy one and in need of some containment. (Wish I had a better picture to illustrate, but I usually try my best to let roads clear before I click the shutter. Which is not easy at New Jersey and I.)
* BID ANNUAL REPORT: It's time once again for the Capitol Riverfront BID's annual report, which has all sorts of information about the neighborhood's progress, but I think it's worth highlighting some of the numbers. The BID estimates there are now 11,200 residents in 7,100 residential units, 78 restaurants, 44 shops and services, two grocery stores, and two professional sports stadiums (alas, the BID mucks with my statistics by also having Buzzard Point in its boundaries). I'm so old I remember a brief period when the resident count was about 300, if that.
* BRIDGE LATEST: The progress on the arches keeps right on going, and if you want to know more about the new Douglass Bridge, the winter newsletter is available for your perusal.
* SLIDESHOWS: I got on a bit of a tear and finally figured out how to more easily create a "representative" photo slideshow for projects, using larger photos to illustrate a project's progress from before to after, without completely rebuilding the existing small-image'd photo archive. (Not much space in my brain for this level of creativity for, oh, the past 10 years or so.) You can see these on pages for active projects, like Capper Seniors 2.0 (which is a good example, since the slideshow captures the rise and fall and rise) and others on the homepage map. I'm going to work my way through older projects, which will take some time. This also means that it's going to be much quicker to update the project pages when I take new photos, since I've been manually adding the large photos each time I go out. Kind of wish I had figured this out a few years ago, when this crazy stretch of new construction was getting started, but, like I said, I've had a lot on my mind. You'll also note that there are mini-slideshows showing up randomly on the JDLand home page, as well as the sliders (which remain a very labor-intensive activity). I imagine some day I will redo the photo archive in larger versions, but not this week.
Comments (13)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, photos, JDLand stuff, Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues

Wednesday Tidbits: Maialino Mare, Thompson Hotel, UPS Store Now Open
Jan 8, 2020 8:29 AM
It's 2020, the holiday lull is over, we've been plunged back into the real world, and we've got some tidbits to catch up on:
* MAIALINO MARE OPENING: Tuesday night saw the swank pre-opening party, but today is the official arrival of Maialino Mare, the Roman seafood restaurant from the Danny Meyer Restaurant Group. Eater DC got a preview, and it looks like quite an operation. (Hopefully before too long I will learn to spell it, though I might go with MMare.) To start it will be open every day at 5 pm for dinner, though breakfast, lunch, and brunch service are said to be coming. Note that, like all Danny Meyer restaurants, there is no tipping, with menu prices adjusted accordingly. And, with this opening, it is also a safe assumption that....:
* THOMPSON HOTEL OPENING: The first hotel in the Yards, which also happens to be the home of MMare, is officially open as of today as well, Both the hotel and MMare are located at 221 Tingey Street, SE on the north end of what we once called Yards Parcel L. (Anchovy Social, the rooftop bar also from Mr. Meyer, is "expected to open by the end of the winter." Which kind of makes sense.)
As has become a tradition when a new building opens, here's a before-and-after, with the "before" being from May 2004, back before 3rd Street even existed south of Tingey. The "after" picture is alas from a few weeks back. You get the idea, though.
* ESTATE NOW LEASING: As for the Thompson's next-door neighbor, the apartment building known as The Estate is now leasing, and it looks like move-ins might be starting at the end of this month. No announcements of any retail tenants as of yet.
* UPS STORE NOW OPEN: This is probably old news for most residents, but it's still incumbent upon me to mention that The UPS Store opened in mid-December on New Jersey Avenue between L and M (the old Capital One bank space).
* FLOOD ZONE: The District Department of the Environment is looking at amending its Flood Hazard Rules to cover the city's 500-year floodplain rather than just the 100-year, which could include restricting new constructions in those areas. See the city's floodplain map at Urban Turf, and imagine snorkeling to Harris Teeter.
* MONTHLY MEETUPS: The Capitol Riverfront BID has posted its planned monthly Neighborhood Meetups in 2020, starting with a "Skate Through the 80s" event at Canal Park on Thursday, Jan. 23.
* CRIME REPORTS: Yahoo's shutting down of its Groups messed with my running list of crime reports from the neighborhood, but I've now fixed that and gotten caught up. (They are on the home page in the right margin, after you scroll down a bit.) One recent incident that has caused some concern was an armed robbery in one of the parking lots along N Street east of 1st, when two victims were set upon by four men, all in black clothing, who assaulted them before producing a handgun and taking two cell phones. If you want to get more involved in neighborhood safety, the next MPD PSA 106 meeting is on January 28 at 6:30 pm at the Capper Community Center at 5th and K, SE.

Tidbits: Meet the Photographer, Retail (and Sportsbook?) News, More
May 5, 2019 12:11 PM
Pulling myself together to pull together recent tidbits for those who don't wander by the site often or don't follow me on Twitter (or don't wander by the site to see my tweets in the handy box on the home page):
* ICE CREAM SOCIAL/MEET AND GREET: On Thursday, May 30, the Capitol Riverfront BID is kicking off its summer lineup of events with an Ice Cream Social at Canal Park, starting at 6 pm. In addition to having free scoops from Altani Gelato and live acoustic music, the event will celebrate the Then and Now photo exhibits, and I'll be on hand to say hello and point at the photo displays and say "I did that!" Hope to see everyone there! And if you haven't been to the Yards Park in the past few days, that portion of the photo exhibit has now been moved down to the boardwalk, which is a pretty cool spot.
* NATS PARK RETAIL SPACES: For 11-plus years now, readers have been asking me when the empty retail spaces along Nats Park's 1st Street facade would get any tenants. Now, WBJ is reporting that the Nats have a deal for a year-round 35,000-square-foot "restaurant and entertainment venue." Given that a similar announcement about Capital One Arena quickly morphed into confirmation of a sportsbook there, it's being assumed that this Nats Park venue will be a sportsbook as well. More as it becomes available.
* WELCOME TO WALTERS AND DACHA: If you haven't heard yet, Walters Sports Bar is now open at South Capitol and N in the ground floor of 1221 Van (as previewed by Washingtonian), and Dacha has now opened its interior space in Dock 79 at 1st and Potomac across from the Nats Park grand staircase (as also previewed by Washingtonian). Its 800-person beer garden on the plaza is expected to open later this month.
* MEDSTAR PRIMARY CARE: On the heels of the news that CVS will be coming to the corner of Half and I in the ground floor of One Hill South, I've received confirmation that Medstar has signed a lease to open a primary care facility in the building.
* SALON?: A recently approved building permit indicates that a hair salon will be coming to the Harlow, the new apartment building at 2nd and L facing Canal Park. That's all I know for now.
* SUMMER SERIES-ES: The lineup has been announced for the Friday Night Concert Series at Yards Park for the Friday Night Concert Series at Yards Park, which will run from June 7 through Aug. 30. And, if I didn't already share it, here's the lineup for the Thursday Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park, which runs from June 13 to Aug. 22.
* CONSTRUCTION AT 1ST AND K: For those wondering about the new construction happening at the old A-1 Tires garage at 1st and K, it's becoming additional space for the Waterfront Church. (The wrangling over whether developers can build a "sliver" residential building on that site is as-yet unresolved.)
(A new post also means a fresh thread for the JDLand commentariat. If you don't read or participate in the comments, you should--it's a great place to talk about neighborhood goings-on.)

Tuesday Tidbits: Food Now, Food Later, and More
Feb 12, 2019 8:05 AM
Foodie news is the main focus in this roundup:
* CIRCA OPEN, EL BEBE SOON: The neighborhood's newest restaurant opened on Monday, with Circa finally arriving on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, not quite 3 1/2 years after it was first announced. As for now, it's open daily at 4 pm. And its sibling El Bebe is coming Any Minute Now.
* MEYER TO THOMPSON: The Thompson Hotel at 3rd and Tingey is still under construction, but the Post's Tom Sietsema reported in his chat last week that uber restaurateur Danny Meyer (he of Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and more) will be opening a "full-service restaurant and rooftop bar" in the hotel sometime in 2020. There aren't many details (not even a chef), but this will be a project that will garner a lot of interest.
* ALBI POPUP: If you are looking forward to Albi, which is bringing a "contemporary vision of Middle Eastern cooking as soon through the lens of Modern American techniques and Mid-Atlantic ingredients" to the Bower at 4th and Tingey in "early summer" 2019, there is a two-day "pop up" of "preview dinners" on March 3 and 4. Reservations now available, with prices set at $85 per person, plus optional wine pairings for $35.
And in non-food news:
* CAPPER SENIORS GONE: The first building I watched be built is now the first building I've watched be both built and demolished, though the concrete stairwells and elevator shafts remain and await the building that will replace the structure destroyed by fire last year. This makes for a sad entry #182 in my Demolished Buildings gallery.
* VOTE FOR MOVIES: Time once again to make your preferences known in the Capitol Riverfront BID's 2019 Outdoor Movie Series poll. Voting ends March 4.
* PILE DRIVING: That pounding you heard in your head on Saturday morning wasn't your hangover, it's the start of Saturday pile driving as part of the new Douglass Bridge construction. The approved hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. (And, while I'm speaking of it, a shout-out to the NFDMB folks, who are doing a nice job of outreach with a very complete web site and social media offerings.)
* LOWER 8TH STREET STUFF: ANC 6B commission Kirsten Oldenburg reported in her latest newsletter about some changes to traffic flow near 8th and Virginia, now that the tunnel is completed: "The 800 block of Virginia Avenue and the 900 block of 9th Street SE are now two-way streets and the 1000 block of 9th Street SE between L and M Streets will join them as a two-way street but awaits adjustments to the traffic signal at 9th and M SE. The 800 block of L Street is to become two-way (instead of one way westbound). Pedestrian crossings markings will be added to the 9th & Potomac Avenue SE and 10th & Potomac Avenue SE intersections. " She also says she is in the process of asking DDOT for a traffic calming study of the 8th and L intersection (i.e., where the Brig is).

Ramen Coming; More Tacos and Tequila Coming; Tidbits
Jul 18, 2018 11:23 AM
The party's over, the All-Stars have gone home (except for the three who already live here), and it's time to catch up on a few things that were easily missed during the five-day brouhaha.
* HATOBA: The neighborhood will finally get a ramen outlet in early 2019, when Hatoba opens in the old 100 Montaditos space in the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards. (You may have caught their pop-up with "Japanese hot dogs.") Washingtonian has more about this fourth venture from the team behind Daikaya, Bantam King, and Haikan. (And apparently "hatoba" means "dock.")
* EL BEBE: There's finally an official replacement for Open Road as Circa's sibling in the ground floor of the 99 M office building at 1st and M, and that's "El Bebe," which is billing itself as "tacos and tequila." Eater DC has more, including that both Bebe and Circa are shooting for a "late 2019 2018" opening. {fixed my own typo}
* WALTERS: The sports bar in the ground floor of 1221 Van isn't coming until next year, but they tweeted out this rendering of the planned interior.
* ALL-PURPOSE: Their rooftop is now open.
* DEEP DIVES: The Post had a long piece this weekend on the neighborhood 10 years after the ballpark's arrival (with some photos that will look familiar), and Washington Monthly has a long and interesting look at Business Improvement Districts, with a focus on the Capitol Riverfront BID.
* CAPPER MEETING: The DC Housing Authority is having a public meeting to give an update on the status of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment on Wednesday, July 25, at 7 pm at the Capper Community Center, 1000 5th St., SE. I imagine this will discuss the remaining three blocks of the redevelopment footprint, which are planned as mixed-income residential buildings, including one condo building, if that is still on the boards. (UPDATE: The 25th is the correct date, but the flyer called it Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Waiting for an updated flyer.)
* BRIDGE SURVEY: Interested in the new Douglass Bridge? DDOT wants to hear from you in this survey.
* ME ME ME: I always feel weird about including these links, but if you want the quick version of how this crazy project came to be, read Urban Turf's look at the "Unofficial Historian of the Ballpark District."

Capitol Riverfront BID Annual Report and Meeting
Jan 18, 2018 2:16 PM
With the room buzzing about DC making the short list in the Amazon HQ2 season of Survivor, the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District celebrated its 10th anniversary at its annual meeting, in the Norfolk Southern Club at Nationals Park.
You can see the full annual report here, or page through the presentation slides, or check out "Riverfront Recaptured," a report on the neighborhood's fiscal impact on the city, which says that this year the District will break even on its $1.1 billion of public investments in the neighborhood (Nats Park, 11th Street Bridges, etc.). I grabbed the At a Glance page of the annual report so you can see the bullet points at a, you know, glance.
Mayor Bowser and Councilmember Charles Allen both spoke, and there was a panel discussion featuring Adam Gooch of Akridge, Chris Smith of WC Smith, Deborah Ratner Salzberg of Forest City, and some blogger, who also was surprised with a presentation of the BID's Community Partner award.
As for tidbits gleaned during the festivities, there's probably really only one that anyone will want to know, which is that It was whispered to me that Whole Foods is ready to roll on its buildout, except that its permits still haven't made it through the DCRA Play-Doh Fun Factory.
Meanwhile, outside the stadium gates, a new member of the Half Street Crane Farm was being birthed this morning, and the photo I took gives a hint of how much the block immediately north of Nats Park is about to change. ("Finally," some people might be saying.)
So, happy 10th to the BID, and happy almost 15th to JDLand, as it was on January 19, 2003 when I made Mr. JDLand take me on that fateful car tour so I could get some pictures of that strange, somewhat forbidding area south of the freeway.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Tidbits: A Roof View, a Brown Plague, the Barry Prep, and a Derby Day
Apr 26, 2016 12:44 PM
F1RST VIEW: The 325-unit apartment building known as F1rst is still a number of months away from completion, but that hasn't stopped the developers from sharing a rendering of the eventual view from the roof, billed as the city's "first rooftop stadium-seating view into Nationals Park." (Which is true, though spoil-sport me must mention that there will eventually be another building between F1rst and the ballpark, with as-yet-unknown impacts on the F1rst line of sight.) It's expected to be ready by Opening Day 2017.
BROWN PLAGUE: I have said on a couple of occasions that it sometimes seems like every new resident of Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/#NeCaBaRY is issued a dog upon arrival, and there's now a colorful missive from the BID and Anacostia Riverkeeper about the impact of un-picked-up-poop on the neighborhood and the river. THIS MEANS YOU. (Signed, the owner of two indoor-only cats with zero patience for dog owners who don't clean up.)
BARRY PREP: The prep work for the May 7 departure of the USS Barry is now underway, and users of the Riverwalk should expect closures at various times between now and the departure date.
DERBY DAY: If you find yourself in need of a libation or two after waving goodbye to the Barry on May 7, Due South is inaugurating its first annual Derby Day, from 3 to 7 pm. There will of course be juleps (including mint, sweet tea, bourbon punch, and a bottomless frozen mint version for $40), along with Derby-themed food specials like Beer Cheese Crostini, Kentucky Hot Browns, ham and biscuits, "Kentucky Fried Chicken," and more. There's also going to be prizes and giveaways, and a hat contest for the ladies.
Comments (6)
More posts: barry, Capitol Riverfront BID, duesouth, F1rst Residential/Hotel

Lineup Announced for Summer Outdoor Movie Series
Mar 14, 2016 8:44 AM
The official lineup for this summer's Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park has been released, and I see that my subliminal attempt to sway the voting had an 80 percent success rate.
The series is once again being held in the northern block of Canal Park at 2nd and I Streets SE, and will run on Thursdays from June 2 to August 18, with movies beginning at sundown.
The lineup:
June 2: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
June 9: Inside Out
June 16: Ocean's 11
June 23: Hitch
June 30: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
July 7: Mean Girls
July 14: Jurassic World
July 21: Minions
July 28: Creed
Aug. 4: Pitch Perfect 2
Aug. 11: The Martian
Aug. 18: Skyfall
Comments (4)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Events

Choose Your Favorites for the 2016 Outdoor Movie Series
Feb 26, 2016 10:27 AM
While Mother Nature is sending February out like a lion (instead of waiting until March comes in, as custom would dictate), you can dream of warmer days by telling the Capitol Riverfront BID which movies you'd like to see during the 2016 Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park.
You get to choose up to five movies from the list, and the image at right in absolutely no way would be trying to tell you which movies to pick.
The series will run this year from June 2nd through August 18.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Events

Capitol Riverfront BID Annual Report: A Neighborhood on the Grow
Jan 15, 2016 10:26 AM
The Capitol Riverfront BID held its annual meeting on Thursday, and while I wasn't there (don't ask), both the Annual Report and the presentation slides are now available for your perusal.
It won't shock anyone who passes by here with any regularity, but the main topic was the neighborhood's current building frenzy, described as "the largest development boom in its history" (ahem), one that is expected to last at least through 2018 and that was responsible for 32 percent of all apartment construction starts in DC in 2015.
The neighborhood's population is up to an estimated 4,800 residents, with that number expected to rise above 9,000 in the next three years, thanks in large part to the nine residential projects currently under construction and at least another seven (and probably more) in the near-time pipeline.
There don't appear to have been any announcements of new retail or anything, though I do see confirmation of the rumors I've heard that 82 I Street is going to be named ORE 82.
One thing that hasn't been important up to now but will be going forward is that the Capitol Riverfront boundaries and the JDLand Coverage Area are not a 100 percent match, because the BID includes Buzzard Point and hence the coming development thanks to DC United's stadium.
Read both the slides and the report for more details, and then just keep coming back here to read about it all As It Happens.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Tuesday Tidbits: Side Yards, BID Survey, Hampton Inn, Va. Ave. Park
Nov 2, 2015 11:33 PM
A Look Back, eight years ago today: The southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, with Normandie Liquors long closed and in its final few months.
* SIDE YARDS: Back for a second year is "Side Yards," an "evening of quirky amusement and wonder" showcasing top sideshow performers at the Yards Park on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 6 to 10 pm. Contortionists, magicians, juggling, escape artists and snake handling will all be showcased (sounds like a typical day in Congress!). There will also be burlesque acts, live music, and a beer garden. Tickets are free, but available in advance.
* DC BEER FESTIVAL: Also on Saturday, Nov. 7 is the DC Beer Festival at Nats Park. Admission is $40 and includes unlimited tastings (wheeeee!).
* PERCEPTION SURVEY: It's time for the Capitol Riverfront BID's annual Perception Survey, so take a few moments to tell them your feelings about the neighborhood, whether you are a resident, office worker, or visitor.
* OKAY, HOW ABOUT DECEMBER: Back in September I posted about reservations being accepted for the new Hampton Inn at 1st and N starting November 19. It's now December 9.
* THE NEW VIRGINIA AVE. PARK: ANC 6B commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg looks at the ideas that came out of last month's public meeting to come up with a post-tunnel-construction design for Virginia Avenue Park.
* THE OLD VIRGINIA AVE. (NOT) PARK: And speaking of Virginia Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, SE, this week's Lost Capitol Hill series on The Hill is Home looks at the owner of a lumber yard in that spot during the mid-1800s.
* INSTAGRAM: I'll just mention again that JDLand is now on Instagram, if that's your social media landscape of choice.
* MOBILE: I've been tweaking the mobile version of the JDLand home page to add some of the items that have only been on the desktop page--a random Look Back photo, the Highlighted Projects development map, and even the Latest Tweets box. Visit on your phone to see what I mean.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, hamptoninn, JDLand stuff, Virginia Ave Park

2015 Capitol Riverfront Thursday Movie, Friday Concert Lineups
Mar 26, 2015 8:36 AM
* MOVIES: You voted a few weeks back, and now the lineup has been announced for this year's Capitol Riverfront's Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park:
June 4: Back to the Future
June 11: Selma
June 18: The Princess Bride
June 25: Rush Hour
July 2: Independence Day
July 9: Bring It On
July 16: LEGO Movie
July 23: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
July 30: Big Hero 6
August 6: Pitch Perfect
August 13: The Goonies
August 20: Guardians of the Galaxy
August 27: To Kill A Mockingbird
September 3: The Sound of Music
The official start time each week is "sundown," but the BID invites you to come around 7 pm with picnic in hand. All movies are free and open to the public.
* MUSIC: The Friday Night Concert Series at the Yards Park is coming back for its fifth (!) year, starting at 6:30 pm each week. The schedule of musical acts:
May 15: Jimi Smooth
May 22: Still Surfin'
May 29: Sponsored by Tour de Fat: Lineup TBA
June 5: Scott's New Band
June 12: DC JazzFest at The Yards: Soul Rebels & Sharón Clark
June 19: Texas Chainsaw Horns
June 26: Jah Works
July 3: Almost Journey
July 10: Hand Painted Swinger
July 17: Wesley Spangler
July 24: Justin Trawick
July 31: White Ford Bronco
August 7: Morrison Brothers
August 14: Jeff From Accounting
August 21: Lloyd Dobler Effect
August 28: Special Guest TBA in August!
September 4: Crowded Streets
September 11: Sara Gray
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

Vote for the 2015 Capitol Riverfront Summer Outdoor Movie Lineup
Mar 2, 2015 10:56 AM
As you watch the ice melt off the trees and drip onto the snow, take a moment or two to vote on the movies you want to see in the lineup for this summer's Capitol Riverfront 2015 Outdoor Summer Movie Series, which will show movies weekly in the northernmost block of Canal Park on weather-appropriate summer evenings between June 5 and Aug. 27,.
There's no theme this year other than "People's Choice," and the candidates are a mix of pretty recent offerings (The LEGO Movie, Hunger Games - Mockingjay, The Fault in Our Stars, and Big Hero 6, to name a few) and classics (Back to the Future, The Princess Bride, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and To Kill a Mockingbird).
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

BID Annual Meeting: Documents, a Video, and Some Tidbits
Jan 22, 2015 4:00 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID held its annual meeting on Thursday in the PNC Diamond Club at Nationals Park, where Max Scherzer was not in attendance, though Matt Williams stopped by and spoke for a few moments.
The main purpose of an annual meeting--beyond the networking and schmoozing--is the unveiling of the Annual Report, which is worth digging into for all sorts of numbers and graphs and summaries, though note that it hides no truly bombshell pieces of news for loyal JDLand readers (whew!).
That said, there were some items I haven't passed along before, one being that Forest City is planning to build a 190ish-unit apartment building alongside the PN Hoffman condo building coming to 4th and Tingey on the current Trapeze School site, with construction expected to begin on both late this year or early next. Forest City is also apparently planning to begin work this year on the marina and piers at Yards Park, and expected 2015 start dates were shown for Skanska's 99 M Street office building and Ruben's 909 Half Street residential building, alongside the already expected pending starts of Ballpark Square, Homewood Suites, and 82 I.
Also unveiled was a spiffy new promotional video for the neighborhood, which I encourage all residents to watch mainly to see if you are in it anywhere (UPDATED with the link).
The featured speaker was Andrew Altman, who helped spearhead the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative during the Williams administration, then became the first chief executive of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation before moving on to jobs that including helping London plan for the future of its Olympic Park and other sites after the 2012 summer games. A quick characterization of one aspect of speech--which included visuals of a lot of watercolor renderings and photos that took me down memory lane--could be something along the lines of "Wow, all this stuff we planned is actually happening!"
I took the opportunity of a visit to the ballpark to get a few photos, including one that may address the question many people have had: will any of the rooms at the new Hampton Inn have views of the playing field? I'm still not sure if the angle will allow unobstructed views of anything other than the center of the infield, but it is at least visual confirmation that the skyline outside the ballpark has changed for the first time in a few years.
In other news, fences went up this week in front of the Center Field Gate, leading some to hope that perhaps the planned move of the team store to its new home inside the stadium and the arrival of a restaurant in the N Street space might be moving forward. But apparently the work (which I captured sneakily from above) is to move the entrance gates a few feet closer to N Street.
I also had to get a shot I shall call Monument Valley in Winter, plus a decent view of the No Longer Spooky Parcel A at 1st and N. Forest City says that the parking lot planned for the near portion of the lot should arrive in late spring, with the sidewalks, grassy areas, and Trapeze School space coming later in 2015.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Development News

Yards Park to Host 'Nationals Celebration' for Games 1 and 2
Sep 30, 2014 4:26 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing plans to host a "Washington Nationals Celebration" in Yards Park for the Nats' first two playoff games, on Friday Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 4. These events will feature "favorite local bands, broadcasting from CBS Radio, and family-friendly activities to celebrate the Washington Nationals' home stand during the first round of the National League Division Series postseason playoffs."
On Friday, the festivities will be held post-game, where a not-yet-named local band will play on the boardwalk while food trucks and the nearby restaurants will offer eats for your picnicking pleasure. (The start time for Friday's game will not be known until after Wednesday's NL Wild Card game, but it is expected to be either 12:07 pm or 3:07 pm.)
On Saturday, the Natitude will start in Yards Park at 3 pm, "with a pre-game concert by fan favorite Hand Painted Swinger, family-friendly activities such as face painting, and broadcasting from CBS Radio personalities with Nationals-focused commentary and interviews." (And don't forget to walk the Riverwalk to the 1st Base Gate!)
All this is free and open to the public.
UPDATE: Since this just arrived in my inbox, I'll add that the Fairgrounds is offering "viewing parties" for all home playoff games on their 16x16 oudoor big screen, with full audio.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, Yards Park

Capitol Riverfront BID 2013 Annual Report
Jan 16, 2014 2:40 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID held its 7th annual meeting today, this time in the PNC Diamond Club at Nationals Park.
The centerpiece of the event (other than the food and networking) was the presentation of the 2013 Annual Report, a bonanza of facts and figures about not only the services that the BID provides but also the state of the neighborhood's progress.
And after a few tough years on the neighborhood's economic development front, the latest report has plenty to trumpet, from the opening of seven restaurants to the progress on four under-construction residential projects to showy newly announced developments (particularly the Whole Foods and Icon movie theater projects). All of which of course you already know by being loyal JDLand readers!
I could go more in depth to pull out a bullet list of tidbits, but I'm all about empowering self-education, so here's the report for you to read. And yet, since we live in a Quirky Infographic world these days, I couldn't help myself to grab the two pages above for an easy at-a-glance peek.
UPDATE: City Paper's Aaron Weiner reports on the other part of the annual meeting, a presentation by Heather Arnold of Streetsense about how the neighborhood's retail development has been "overcompensating" for what was a shortage a few years ago, and that the area needs to look at some alternate ground-floor uses. "'We're not going to put retail on the ground floor of every building,' she said. 'My greatest fear is that we'd build all these retail spaces and have a high vacancy rate.'"
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Summer Outdoor Movie Series Announced: Clash of the Comics
Feb 15, 2013 3:12 PM
It might be a little hard to think of sitting in Canal Park watching movies on a warm summer night when folks are still skating on the park's rink, but the Capitol Riverfront BID has now released the list of 10 movies that will be shown at the park in this year's Summer Outdoor Movie Series, on Thursdays beginning May 30th.
This year they are going with a comic book theme, so get your inner geek fired up for these offerings:
May 30th - Captain America
June 6th - Green Lantern
June 13th - Iron Man
June 20th - Batman and Robin
June 27th - The Hulk
July 4th - No Movie (Holiday)
July 11th - Batman Begins
July 18th - Thor
July 25th - The Dark Knight
Aug 1st - The Avengers
Aug 8th - The Dark Knight Rises
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Events

Tuesday Tidbits: More Post-Vacation Catching Up to Do
Aug 21, 2012 10:25 AM
Here's a few more items that came across the transom while I was on my annual Hiding Out in Wyoming and Montana trip:
* Residents of Onyx have filed paperwork with the city under the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act and are investigating options to buy the building themselves, after news came a few weeks back that the building is under contract to be sold for $82.5 million. If the city accepts the filing, the tenants' group would then have 120 days to come up with a competing offer. See the tenants' press release for why the group is pursuing this, including its hope that buying the building, which opened in 2009, will "reverse problems which plagued the area for years - poor housing conditions, rent increases, and attempts by developers to force residents out of the District." (If they succeed, I guess I'll have to stop using my standard joke about tenants looking in the sofa cushions for millions of dollars in spare change to buy their buildings.)
* DC Water has leased 16,450 square feet of office space on the 7th floor of 80 M Street through 2019 (GlobeSt.com). With or without telescopes for spying on the Main Pumping Station a few blocks to the south?
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is having an Urban Design Framework Plan prepared, to "examine the quality of the public realm in the BID and develop strategies for a comprehensive framework and public investment plan in the right-of-way." They've also commissioned a Retail Analysis Study "that will provide forecasts on future retail demand and absorption possibilities." Because if there's one thing a neighborhood can never have enough of, it's studies and analyses. (BID newsletter)
* The Earth Conservation Corps is offering "bird of prey demonstrations" on Friday nights through Sept. 28 at Diamond Teague Park, from 5:30-7:30pm. (via e-mail, no link!)
* Another rumination on Near Southeast's development timeline, at GGWash. As I've said many times--of course things were happening in Near Southeast before the ballpark (I wouldn't have started this blog in 2003 otherwise). But to not recognize that the ballpark sped up *plans* considerably is to not have watched the 18-month landrush in 2004 and 2005 after the ballpark's location was announced, when so many little lots between 1st and South Capitol south of the freeway were snapped up by the big guns. And to say that the ballpark didn't drive development right after it opened is to neglect the worldwide financial market near-collapse, and the years needed to recover from that. But I bet there's a lot of retailers and developers looking at the Nats this year and rueing that they didn't make their move already.
* So, in line with all that, check out nine years ago today, windshield edition.
* Cat with Natitude, Guga edition. (I don't think I'll tell him about the bird of prey demonstrations.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Development News, Onyx, Nationals Park, Teague Park, DC Water (WASA)

ANC 6D Recap 1: Water Pylons, and Parking
May 15, 2012 9:49 AM
It was a busy ANC 6D meeting on Monday night for Near Southeast-related issues, so I'm going to put it all in a series of posts:
* New Jersey Avenue Underpass Art: The Capitol Riverfront BID gave an update on the "Water Pylons" art installation, which is now moving forward after being "dormant" for about a year. This is the project partially funded by a grant from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities that will paint and light the pylons holding up the Southeast Freeway in a "modern representation of water that announces New Jersey Avenue, SE as a gateway to the Capitol Riverfront community." The reflective blue paint should go up in July, followed by light fixtures in August, and the installation should be dedicated in September, which will be right around the time that DCCAH moves into its new nearby digs at 225 Virginia/200 I. Passers-by may note that new fences and LED overhead lighting have already been installed along New Jersey as part of the transformation of the underpass. The BID's presentation to the ANC, with more information about the project, is here.
* Parking Parking Parking: There was a discussion about issues with game-day parking in the neighborhood, specifically the prohibition of parking along K and L streets, as well as other restrictions that have made residents unhappy. Damon Harvey of DDOT says that the agency is "reassessing" the current configuration, to figure out how to provide better access to residents while not allowing stadium-goers to then hog all the parking. He expects that changes will be announced in a month or so that will allow for "greater residential protection during games." One other non-game day change for residents has already gone into effect: meters are now turned off at 6:30 pm (but still 10 pm on game days).
However, those who came to the meeting hoping to hear about changes in the Residential Parking Permit system that would allow residents in the high-rise buildings west of Canal Park to park on the street throughout Ward 6 were disappointed, as DDOT continues to hold that large residential buildings in mixed-use neighborhoods will not qualify for RPP. (Harvey used the Ellington on U Street as a specific example of this being the case elsewhere in the city, but there are more buildings in this situation than just that one and the Near Southeast ones.)
Also, in somewhat related news the ANC unanimously passed a resolution protesting the plan in the mayor's new budget to redirect most performance parking proceeds to other areas, such as Metro, rather than their being used as originally intended, to fund non-automotive transportation improvements in the neighborhood.
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More posts: ANC News, Capitol Riverfront BID, meetings, New Jersey Ave., parking

Wednesday Tidbits: Osteen, Groundskeeping, and More
Apr 25, 2012 10:09 AM
After the flurry of the past few months, real news is taking a bit of a breather. In the meantime, here's some reading material I've scraped up, so that it doesn't look like I've completely quit working:
* Joel Osteen Ministries' "America's Night of Hope" is coming to Nationals Park on Saturday--here's the Washington Post's story on Osteen and the plans for the event. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the festivities start at 7 pm, if you're wanting to plan your evening around the crowds. If you're coming to the neighborhood for it, my Visiting Nats Park page can help you find your way.
* Want to know how the Nats Park field is cared for, and who takes care of it? The Post profiles head groundskeeper John Turnour and his work.
* A reader tells WashCycle about being stopped from biking on the Navy Yard portion of the Riverwalk. That promenade has always been signed as prohibiting bicycling, but with increased publicity for using the Riverwalk as a biking trail (including Tuesday's ribbon cutting of the new bridge across the CSX tracks), the issue of bicycles along the Navy Yard/Yards Park/Teague stretch is going to keep bubbling up, perhaps even moreso when the new 11th Street Local bridge opens soon with its wide pedestrian/cycling paths making the connection between both sides of the river even easier.
* Speaking of that new 11th Street Local bridge, much streetscape work has been done recently on O Street (new pavement, curbs, and brick paver crosswalks), and it looks like the concrete should be poured before too long to complete the connection from O to where the bridge begins to rise above the river. Maybe I'll actually get over there with my camera soon.
* Speaking of streetscapes, there's a new sidewalk on L Street between 1st and New Jersey, to go with the new sidewalk on Half between I and K.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID would love it if you'd fill out either their residential survey (if you live in the neighborhood) or the employee survey if you work here.
* Jonathan O'Connell at WaPo looks at how developer Opus East hit the skids, right as it was trying to finish 1015 Half Street. (Opus was also the developer behind 100 M, but it was completed before everything truly fell apart.)
* The Mayor is having a Ward 6 Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting tonight (April 25) at 6:30 pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street.
* The next meeting of Police Service Area 106 is on Saturday, April 28, at 10 am at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE.
What else is going on?
UPDATE: Adding a link to Washington City Paper's profile of "The Nautical Yards", a "site-specific dance and theater piece inspired by the Washington Navy Yard" being performed at the Yards Park Thursday through Saturday (April 26-29) at 7 pm. Premium seating is $30, general admission is free.
And I should probably remind that tickets for Springsteen at Nats Park on Sept. 14 go on sale Friday (April 27) at 10 am.

Tidbits: Miles Glass Raze Permits, Navy Yard-Ballpark, More
Mar 19, 2012 11:57 AM
Couldn't leave all these morsels until the normal Tuesday Tidbits slot:
* More Demolitions Coming: Raze permits have now been approved for the Miles Glass building at 8th and Virginia and its next-door neighbor, the closed auto repair shop at 7th and K. National Community Church, which owns the lots and others on the same block, said back in January that a temporary parking lot and "community green space" will be coming to the site while the church continues to work on its final plans for the site, which in the past have been described as being a combination of coffee house, performance space, and church offices.
* Yup, Navy Yard-Ballpark. The new Metro subway map is out, and confirms that Navy Yard-Ballpark is official.
* Bike to Work: May 18 is DC's Bike to Work Day. One of the pit stops is the Yards Park, from 7 to 9 am, and you get a t-shirt if you register and then stop at your designated pit stop.
* Bridge Recreation: If the notion of the "11th Street Recreation Bridge" captured your fancy, you can see some additional stories on the idea by Lydia DePillis, BeyondDC, and WJLA. DePillis notes that the city isn't intending on paying for this entire thing itself, and a decision needs to be made by May whether or not the new 11th Street Local bridge will have the bulb-out viewpoints built (they'd be unnecessary if the current downstream bridge was being kept). WJLA, on the other hand, mentions that "some" are concerned it "could become a hotbed for crime"--which led to a fun Twitter back-and-forth that devolved into using the new bridge for a Jason Bourne/James Bond-type chase sequence.
* Mobile 'Hood: The Capitol Riverfront BID has launched a mobile version of its web site, which uses your phone's GPS to give you information on food, developments, and events near your location.
And, of course, if you want to know what your current location looked like before all the changes started happening, you can go to my mobile site (m.jdland.com) or jdland.com/here on your phone and you'll get my oldest photos looking in each direction from the corner nearest to where you're standing. (Read more about how that works.)
* Fairgrounds: DCMud looks at the plans for the Half Street Fairgrounds (which I broke the news of back in February), with a few neat new renderings. And then the piece drops a mention at the very end that "DCRE Real Estate" is handling the retail leasing for the project--that's DCMud's company, and the writer of the blog post is also the agent handling the leasing. (Just in case you like to be aware of those sorts of things when getting your news.) In the meantime, a few shipping containers were spotted on the site last week.
* Across the Way: A 5,000-seat concert hall is being designed for the Southwest Waterfront. (If you haven't been keeping up with the plans for The Wharf, SWill can help.) And the de-skinning of the old EPA buildings, visible from parts of Near Southeast, is part of their rehabilitation into the Sky House apartments.

Front Flicks Outdoor Summer Movie Lineup Announced
Feb 16, 2012 10:19 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID has announced the lineup for its 2012 outdoor Front Flicks summer movie series, which will run on Thursday nights for 10 weeks this summer at Tingey Plaza behind USDOT at New Jersey Avenue and Tingey Streets. It's a "treasure hunting" theme this year:
May 24: Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
May 31: Sahara
June 7: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
June 14: National Treasure
June 21: The Goonies
June 28: Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 5: City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold
July 12: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
July 19: The Da Vinci Code
July 26: Muppet Treasure Island
They haven't posted their flashy flyer yet, and the e-mail says "stay tuned for more announcements on Pinkberry at the movies and Pacers Adventure Races before Thursday movies!"
(UPDATED 2/23 with some switches in the schedule.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, movies

Tidbits: BID Reports, Artomatic to Crystal City, Tunnel Items, More
Jan 18, 2012 2:33 PM
There's been a whirlwind of "big" posts as 2012 has gotten underway, so here's a few items I've neglected:
* BID Reports: At its annual meeting last week, the Capitol Riverfront BID released both its annual report and the "Green Print of Growth" study they commissioned, which showed that the portion of the Green Line from the Navy Yard station to Georgia Avenue/Petworth has become over the past 10 years a "regional leader" in "capturing highly-prized young professional housing demand and high-wage employment," just nosing ahead of the Orange Line's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and outstripping the Red Line's stretch in Northwest DC when looking at household growth in the 18-to-34 demographic. The report also says (shocker!) that "the analysis conducted suggests that the Capitol Riverfront--given its Green Line access at the Navy Yard Station and its significant amount of development capacity--is among the most competitive locations in the region for households, companies, and retailers."
You can read the executive summary, the complete version, and the slides that RCLCO's Shyam Kannan displayed during his presentation at the meeting. (Additional coverage from WBJ and CapBiz.)
This was followed by a commentary by BID chief Michael Stevens in Monday's Washington Post/Capital Business in which he argued: "It's time for business and residents to recognize and acknowledge a new reality: The Green Line corridor has emerged as a powerful economic engine for the District and the region. And it's time for Metro, the city and the private sector to invest more in the area to support this growth trajectory."
UPDATE: Also coming out of the annual meeting, the BID voted to change how it handles its taxes, which still needs to be approved by the city council to take effect. (WBJ)
* On a parallel track, though it doesn't have to do with Near Southeast specifically, the Post's Steve Pearlstein wrote over the weekend about how signs suggest "that the next phase of growth in the Washington region will focus on these underdeveloped areas in the eastern quadrants of the District and some of the region’s older, closer-in suburbs."
* New Views: While I was at the BID's meeting, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the inside of 1015 Half Street, plus one shot looking out that shows not all views of the U.S. Capitol dome are, by default, "majestic." (Alternate caption: "Would you like fries with that democracy?") One Twitterer suggested that the rock circle at far right, on the Capitol Hill Power Plant's property, is where the ritual sacrifices are held. So, if you see the Congressional leadership skulking around I Street late at night....
* Artomatic Decision: The Post's Jonathan O'Connell tweeted this morning that Artomatic is headed to Crystal City. Organizers had been looking at both 1015 Half and the old National Geospatial Intelligence building at 101 M.
* CSX: The Virginia Avenue Tunnel web site now has public comments on the Nov. 30 "concepts" meeting, as well as the transcript of that session. Comments are still being accepted through the end of January.
* Protest: A reader who lives on 7th Street just across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters has passed along that the neighbors on that block have decided to lodge a formal protest at the liquor license renewal of the 7th and L Market, thanks to having witnessed multiple examples over the past few years of public drunkenness and urination, loitering, littering, drug dealing, indecent exposure, and even one proposition by a prostitute. There's no doubt that that market is a bit of a throwback to the neighborhood's previous incarnation; it will be interesting to see how this proceeds, and also how the eventual arrival of the National Community Church on that block changes (or doesn't change) things.
* AIIIEEEE!: Don't have enough to worry about these days? How about rising sea levels inundating areas along DC's waterfronts? (WaPo/Capital Weather Gang)
* Neighborhood News Roundup: The Post's new Where We Live real estate blog has a rundown and photo gallery today on the latest progress on the development and food fronts in Near Southeast. If it all looks and sounds strangely familiar, that shouldn't be a surprise.

ANC 6D January Agenda: M Street Study/BID Previews, More
Jan 4, 2012 4:02 PM
ANC 6D has sent around (and posted! yay!) the agenda for its January meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 at 7 pm at 1100 4th St., SW in DCRA's second-floor meeting room.
The Near Southeast items of interest could mostly be looked at as sneak previews, or perhaps as items that could be missed if you are better able to fit other upcoming meetings into your calendar (especially, if, say, you were looking for an escape hatch because you'd kinda rather be watching the BCS championship):
* There's a M Street SE/SW Transportation Study agenda item, in advance of the DDOT public meeting on the study coming three days later, on Jan. 12;
* There's an update on Capitol Riverfront BID doings, in advance of the BID's annual meeting three days later, on Jan. 12; and
* There's the application for historic landmark status for the DC Water main pumping station, which will be heard by the Historic Preservation Review Board at its January 26 meeting.
There's also an update on the ANC 6D redistricting outcome, various Southwest-related items (including the big Maryland Avenue SW Draft Plan, and whatnot. And, since it's the first meeting of the new year, there will also be the election of commission officers.

Gordon Biersch to 100 M? and BID Surveys/Planting Day
Oct 20, 2011 8:19 PM
My post on Wednesday about the rumors of a not-quite-yet-signed tenant for the ground-floor restaurant space at 100 M Street SE shook loose quite a few mouths, and it is unanimous amongst those gabbers that the newcomer in negotiations is Gordon Biersch, the brewery/restaurant that already has a location at 9th and F Streets NW, not too far from the Verizon Center. With 100 M being within sight of Nationals Park, it would seem a plausible destination, assuming the final papers get signed (which does not appear to be imminent). It'll be interesting to see their timeline, especially vis-a-vis the baseball season (getting it done by Opening Day, 5 1/2 months from now, would seem to be a bit optimistic, I think?).
On a 100 percent unrelated note (I really do hate teeny tiny posts, so felt the need to combine these), the Capitol Riverfront BID's latest newsletter is out, and they're asking for respondents for their annual "online perception surveys" for both the BID itself and for the Yards Park.
But don't you dare click on either of those survey links if you haven't yet filled out my readership survey--my feelings will be terribly hurt! (Argh! I'm snakebitten with the dang survey. This link was a bad one until about 9 am on Friday. Sorry! Please try again!)
The BID also is co-hosting a Community Planting Day on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 am to noon, along with the US Green Building Council National Capital Region. They're going to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs throughout the neighborhood.
The rest of the newsletter is here.
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More posts: 100 M, Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail

Bikeshare Birthday Party, Blocktoberfest, and Other Tidbits
Sep 5, 2011 11:33 PM
First, some events coming to the neighborhood later this month (if anyone can think past the return of Stephen Strasburg, weather permitting, ahem):
* Capital Bikeshare is celebrating its first birthday at the Yards Park on Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 pm, with live music, food, games, giveaways, and moonbounces. Note that this is the same evening as Opera in the Outfield a few blocks away, so you can double your pleasure and double your fun.
* Two days later, on Sept. 24, the park will host Blocktoberfest, "DC's Largest Oktoberfest Music Festival." I believe there is beer involved. See the web site for info on tickets, etc.
* In a more professional vein (i.e., probably no live music or moonbounces), the 2nd Annual Anacostia River Business Summit and Expo is being held at 100 M St. SE on Sept. 20 from 8 am to 12:30 pm. Former mayor Anthony Williams is scheduled to be one of the speakers, and there will be three separate panel discussions. There will also be boat tours given afterwards, though space is limited.
* And I mentioned it in my last tidbits post, but why not pass along again that the next Truckeroo is scheduled for Sept. 30.
Other pieces of this-and-that:
* The city's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development named the Yards Park the "One City Location of the Month for August," calling it "one of the city's most beloved, yet fairly untapped, attractions." The agency is doing this to promote "cinematically compelling locations that are available to film and television producers."
* Should have mentioned this sooner, but the Foundry Lofts folks ran a "Twitter Tour" of the building on Aug. 25, then posted some additional shots of the interior and the views.
* The Washington Business Journal reported last week (subscribers only) that Kaplan has abandoned its search for space to open a law school in the DC area. Late last year it had been reported that they had been looking for up to 130,000 square feet of space in Near Southeast. [Full but probably unnecessary disclosure: in my real life I work for the Washington Post newspaper, which is under the same Washington Post Co. umbrella as Kaplan.]
* The Sunday Post Magazine's cover story focuses on the McDonald's at 2 I St. SE, its staff, and its manager, Raul Reyes, who in 2009 won a Ray Kroc Award as one of the top 1 percent of managers from the 14,000 McDonald's nationwide.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, Foundry Lofts/Yards, truckeroo, The Yards, Yards Park

BID: Rename Navy Yard Metro to 'Capitol Riverfront/[Curly W]'
Jul 26, 2011 7:28 PM
Michael Stevens, the executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, has sent a letter to the mayor, the city council, the WMATA board and other city officials, formally requesting that the Navy Yard station on Metro's Green Line be renamed " Capitol Riverfront/" (aka Curly W, for Nationals Park).
With Metro letting it be known this week that any new station names will have to be 19 characters or less thanks to the transit agency's decision to begin enforcing their own naming rules again, the BID's earlier desire to add their name and the Nationals' logo to the existing station name would not be allowed. Therefore, in order to get Capitol Riverfront added, the BID feels that "Navy Yard" can be, well, shipped out to sea.
Stevens' letter says that "the name Navy Yard station has served this area well for approximately 20 years and was very descriptive 20 years ago when the federal government owned the majority of the land up to the metro station." But the letter also says that Navy Yard "no longer accurately describes the neighborhood and destinations served" by the station.
The letter goes on to describe the changing demographics of the area since the station opened in 1991, makes mention of the fact that Capitol Riverfront is "an established office submarket recognized and named by Co-Star," and notes that "the entrance to the Navy Yard is located at 6th St., SE and M St., SE, which is approximately a half mile away and a twelve minute walk from the metro."
In explaining how the name change meets WMATA's stated principle that a new name incorporate "customer input," the letter describes the "coalition of public and private stakeholders [who] conducted a study and provided input that led to the development of the Capitol Riverfront name for the neighborhood," back in 2007.
DC and the other jurisdictions are supposed to come up with any new station names by September in order to make the new June 2012 map that Metro will be preparing to coincide with the plans to realign the Yellow and Blue lines; the Examiner wrote earlier this week about the plans to shorten 11 of the more lengthy station names.
Greater Greater Washington also wrote recently on the plans to shorten names, and in describing the focus groups that WMATA conducted on current and proposed station names, said: "The participants did like two potential station name changes: 'Smithsonian-National Mall' and adding some information about the Nationals to Navy Yard, whether a curly W logo or the words 'Ballpark' or 'Nationals.' They didn't like also adding 'Capitol Riverfront,' the name of the BID."
The Navy Yard was established in 1799; from World War I until 1963, the Navy Yard's acreage included the land south of M and east of 1st, in what then became the Southeast Federal Center and is now The Yards. The neighborhood directly around the Navy Yard has also been known as "Navy Yard," with "the near Southeast" starting to be used in 1960s if the Washington Post's archives are an accurate guide. (I have always avoided the "Navy Yard" moniker for the neighborhood so as not to have to spend every day of my life saying "No, not in the Navy Yard, near the Navy Yard.")
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Metro/WMATA

Holiday Weekend Events: Baseball, FreedomFest, and More
Jun 29, 2011 10:32 PM
With July 4 being nice enough to fall on a Monday this year, the three-day holiday weekend is particularly chock full of events, with plenty of goings-on in Near Southeast. Here's a rundown. (Though, judging by how sparsely populated my office already is, just on Wednesday, I'm not sure how many people are left in town to read this.) And, for neighborhood residents, even if none of these events are on your dance card, you still might want to be prepared for heavier than normal crowds wandering around.
* For a headstart on the weekend, there's two events on Thursday, June 30. Ryan Zimmerman will host his 2nd annual "Night at the Park" fundraiser for his zIMS Foundation, which raises money for Multiple Sclerosis. It starts at 6 pm, and tickets are still available. Country star Rodney Atkins will be performing, as will David Blaine (for the VIP ticketholders). More details at the official web site.
* A few blocks away, in what could be considered a bit of counterprogramming, the Capitol Riverfront BID's Outdoor Movie Series will be showing "Shakespeare in Love," starting at 8:45 pm at Tingey Plaza behind USDOT.
* On Friday, the weekly Yards Park concert series continues, with rhythm and blues by the group Special Occasion rhythm and blues band Framewerk [my boo-boo, sorry], from 6 to 8 pm.
* The weekend at Nationals Park will be a busy one, starting with Saturday's doubleheader against the Pirates, the first of the Nats' upcoming 11-game homestand leading into the All-Star brealk. The first game (which won't be broadcast on TV, by the way), is at 3:35 pm, with the second game starting at 7:05 pm or later. The $2 tickets are sold out, but tickets bought for Saturday get you in to both games. And, bang zoom, there will be fireworks after the second game, "presented by Marvel Studios' new motion picture Captain America: First Avenger." (Might be interesting to wander to the Yards Park to watch from there, to see if it's a good vantage point.)
Sunday's 1:35 pm Pirates game is also "Nickelodeon Day" at the ballpark, with all sorts of family-friendly activities featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.
And, on Monday, July 4, the Nats will be hosting the Cubs at 1:05 pm, which will probably be a hot ticket. There's a series of special ticket offers for this "Patriotic Series" game.
See this Nats press release for additional details on all the promotions and festivities.
* Meanwhile, on both Sunday and Monday, the National FreedomFest concert will be in full swing at the Yards Park, from 2 pm to 9 pm on Sunday and 1 pm to 9 pm on Monday. The organizers say there will be more than 40 bands and DJs on five stages, along with food vendors, craft vendors, and more. Tickets start at $25, and are available via the web site, along with more information about the lineup and other details.
(Note that the concert and the baseball, running at the same time, may make finding spaces in the neighborhood surface parking lots a bit tougher than usual.)
I was going to include some other upcoming events in this post, but nobody's reading this anyway, so I'll save those for another time.
As always, if you want continuing updates on these sorts of events, my Near Southeast Businesses/Organizations Twitter list, which are also displayed in a box on the JDLand homepage, will give you all the news and late-breaking tidbits.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, Nationals Park, Stadium Events, The Yards, Yards Park

Outdoor Movie Lineup; FreedomFest; Harry's Grand Opening
Apr 22, 2011 9:33 AM
A couple of event tidbits:
* The BID has announced the lineup for this year's "Best of the Oscars" summer outdoor movie series, running on Thursdays from May 26 through July 28. The movies, which are free and open to the public, will start at 8:45 pm (or sundown) at Tingey Plaza, which is directly behind USDOT at the corner of New Jersey and Tingey. There will be food trucks, popcorn, cotton candy, and Micha's sorbet.
* The National FreedomFest, a two-day music and arts festival, is coming to the Yards Park on July 3 and 4. They are advertising "over 40 bands and DJs" on five stages, along with food and craft vendors (and yes, beer, since the event is co-sponsored by Budweiser). Tickets are $19.99 per day or $29.99 for a two-day ticket, or if you're feeling special you can get special VIP and/or "Taste of Freedom" tickets, which get you access to VIP areas, free beer, private bathrooms (!), and more, but which are a bit pricier.
* And, on a somewhat smaller scale (but sooner!), Harry's Reserve has passed along word of its official Grand Opening, scheduled for Saturday, April 30, from 4 to 7 pm. There will be appetizers, wine tastings, and "high-end whiskey tastings" (wheee!). Savita also tells me that they've added a selection of cheeses, patés, and salamis to their lineup, as well expanding their lineup of spirits. Harry's also does wine tastings every Friday and Saturday from 4 to 7 pm.
* I should also mention Marcatus, the "creative art market" being held on the first Sunday of every month at the Yards Park. It's from 11 am to 6 pm, and offers live music and food in addition to artists displaying their works. Next one is May 1.
* And, just as I posted this, the BID sent out the flyer on the summer Wednesday lunchtime concerts, running from May 11 to August 17 from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Yards Park. This is in addition to the Friday evening concert series at the park that begins on May 13.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, Harry's Reserve, The Yards, Yards Park

Performance Parking Brings Monies for New Bikeshare Station(s), Transportation Study; Some Parking Costs Going Up in 2011
Mar 24, 2011 1:38 PM
Michael Perkins at GGW got his hands on the draft version DDOT's 2010 Ballpark District Performance Parking Report, and while I'll leave it to him to handle the in-depth discussion of pricing and meter use in Near Southeast as well as other neighborhoods, there are a few action items in the report that might be of general interest (you should read all 31 pages if you want the nitty-gritty).
Now, this is a draft report, but assuming it becomes final...:
Revenues from the parking program have been able to provide $812,100 for "non-automotive transportation improvements" in 2011, which will include a new Capital Bikeshare location at the Yards Park and $135,000 for a new fence along New Jersey Avenue by the railroad tracks (presumably it won't hide the "Water Pylons" public art coming to the freeway underpass). There will also be two or three other new bikeshare stations somewhere in the Ballpark District parking zones (Near Southeast, Southwest, and southern Capitol Hill), but those haven't been announced.
There will also be a $70,000 grant to partially fund a Capitol Riverfront BID Transportation Study, which the page 25 of the report says will happen during this fiscal year and will look at:
* The need for additional traffic signals and stop signs based on pedestrian and vehicular patterns (and recent accidents);
* Neighborhood traffic circulation patterns including one way street circulation and freeway access and turning movements onto the freeway frontage roads;
* How the CSX tunnel reconstruction will impact traffic flow and SE/SW freeway access/egress;
* Existing and future parking demand and the proposed parking supply to meet that demand;
* On street parking strategies and supply for commercial, residential and visitor populations;
* Optimum Circulator routes and hours of operation;
* Recommended routes for bike lanes that tie into the Riverfront Trail system;
* The optimum route for a streetcar line in the M Street right of way and how it would service the Buzzard Point subdistrict; and
* How M Street is designed and works as a multi-modal transit corridor while exhibiting a high quality of design in the public realm.
Gosh, I'm just not sure if residents will be interested in any of these! If perchance a reader or two might have an idea or data point for the above items, feel free to discuss in the comments.
Note that this study doesn't quite seem to match the overarching Near Southeast/Southwest combined traffic study that got some discussion late last year, but perhaps there's more going on than what's mentioned in the DDOT report.
DDOT is also proposing that non-gameday parking rates at the multispace meters between South Capitol and 2nd Streets from the freeway to M Street go up to $6 for three hours (first hour $1.50, second hour $2.50, third hour $3). Plus, the boundaries of the parking zone will move eastward to 11th St. SE from 9th St.
By the way, if you have a fab idea for how some of the proceeds from the parking revenue can be spent on the aforementioned non-automotive transportation improvements, you can submit a written proposal to DDOT (further information on page 26 of the report). And if you want background on how the Performance Parking Pilot came into existence back in 2008, my Stadium Parking page can help with that.

Vote for Summer Movies, and Yards Park Events Gearing Up
Mar 7, 2011 2:55 PM
With "Academy Award Movies" having been the winning theme for the Capitol Riverfront BID's 2011 summer outdoor movie series, the BID is now asking people to vote on which Academy Award movies should be screened. The series starts on May 26, and will once again be on Tingey Plaza, at New Jersey and Tingey just behind the USDOT building. (Last year's screening location, the Canal Park footprint, will be unavailable this summer because the locusts have arrived, dogs and cats are sleeping together, and it appears that construction is about to get underway.)
While the movie series isn't being held at the Yards Park (just a smidge to the north of it) the BID is working on an ever-growing list of events that will keep the park hopping through the year:
* Kicking off the slate, there will be a Family Fun Day on April 2 from 11 am to 4 pm, in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. According to the press release, activities at the free event will include sake tasting and a Japanese beer garden by Mie N Yu, lantern making, sushi from Nooshi Sushi, a moonbounce, and more. (Then everyone can take a leisurely walk down M Street to the Southwest Waterfront for the Fireworks Festival, which actually starts at 1 pm and runs until the fireworks kick off at 8:30 pm.) This is also the day of the first Saturday home game of the year at Nationals Park, just two blocks to the west, starting at 1:05 pm against the Braves.
* Sensorium, the "culinary and sensory experience" announced a while back, starts its multi-week run on April 12.
* The previously mentioned DC Music Fest on May 7 has now announced its lineup.
* While the summer movies will be on Thursday nights, the park will also host a free summer concert series on Friday nights from 6 to 8 pm, kicking off on May 13 and running through August 19. This will be in addition the the lunchtime concert series that the BID has run for the past three years, and is expected to feature music ranging from jazz and blues to rock and reggae. (If you're a food provider and you want to serve at the concerts, here's the RFP.)
* July 9 will see MetroDash, the "country's premier obstacle race series," which includes obstacles such as tire flips, rope swings, 15-foot cargo net climbs, wall jumps, monkey bars, the "strongman shuffle." You can sign up here (if you dare), though the web site doesn't seem to be responding right now.
There are also plenty of private events already on the park's calendar, so if you were thinking about throwing your own shindig there, you won't be alone.
UPDATE, 3/20: According to their web site, the May 7 DC Music Fest has been cancelled, "due to lack of funding and sponsorships."
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, US Dept. of Transportation HQ, Events, The Yards, Yards Park

BID Summer Movie Survey; 225 Virginia Kick-Off
Feb 13, 2011 11:22 PM
Two very small items to start off the week:
* The BID has posted a survey to find out which movies people are interested in seeing during the summer's Outdoor Movie Series, scheduled for Thursday nights beginning May 26. (The movies have moved back to Tingey Plaza behind USDOT, since Canal Park will presumably be under construction.) They're offering two themes to choose between: Summer Vacation Movies and Academy Award Winners.
* StonebridgeCarras has e-mailed invitations to VIPs (a list that doesn't include moi) announcing a "ceremony to celebrate the official beginning of the redevelopment" of the former Post Plant, aka 225 Virginia Avenue, aka 200 I St., SE. It's scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 am at the corner of 3rd and Virginia, with Mayor Gray and other luminaries expected to be in attendance. Will the Bobcats now parked on site then start punching out the walls from the inside, as was the case when the old Capper Seniors building was demolished? Of course, in the case of the Post Plant, they're only "de-skinning" it, not bringing down the entire building. You can see a rendering of the new building on my project page.
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More posts: 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I, Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

'Water Pylons' Coming to New Jersey Ave. Underpass
Jan 10, 2011 3:22 PM
In its latest newsletter, the Capitol Riverfront BID reports that it has received a 2011 Public Art Building Community Grant to spruce up the underpass where New Jersey Avenue crosses under the Southeast Freeway. The installation is called "Water Pylons," and will "transform the underpass into a modern representation of water that announces New Jersey Avenue as a gateway to the Capitol Riverfront community."
The 18 freeway support columns will be painted with reflective paint in various shades of blue, and four LED lights will help to illuminate both the art and the underpass. The BID says that the "painted blue pylons will reference the neighborhood's waterfront in an abstract theme that is distinct and surprising, but not distracting to motorists or pedestrians."
There will be public meetings on the project this spring, with installation expected to be finished by September.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, New Jersey Ave.

Residents Day at Holiday Market Saturday
Dec 16, 2010 11:07 AM
The BID wants to remind neighbors that Saturday is Residents Day at the Holiday Market at 1100 New Jersey Avenue. It will run from 10 am to 3 pm, and in addition to the lineup of craft exhibitors, Christmas greens, and live music at lunch time, there will also be empanadas, free coffee and pastries from Starbucks, free doggie treats from Metro Mutts, the Eat Wonky and Dangerously Delicious Pie trucks and.... The Red Hook Lobster truck at lunchtime. (The footsteps you hear are my husband's, as he races to be first in line.)
Of course, the market is also running today and Friday as well, from 11 am to 7 pm, with the CapMacDC pasta truck scheduled to make an appearance on Friday. Here's the flyer, for more details on vendors and whatnot.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Retail

2010 Capitol Riverfront Annual Report; Connector Between Teague and Yards Coming in 2011?
Dec 14, 2010 2:27 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID just wrapped up its 2010 Annual Meeting, which certainly seemed to be the largest of them so far. The big part of the meeting is the unveiling of the Annual Report, chock full of statistics and photos. I'm not going to summarize it, mainly because I've been writing all year about most of the news and data contained in it, and also because if you're truly interested in the neighborhood you should read it yourself. :-)
There were two items in Michael Stevens' remarks that I thought were of note, though:
* Apparently an agreement has been worked out with DC Water (aka WASA) that will allow the "connection" between Diamond Teague Park (across from Nationals Park) and the Yards Park to be built, starting this spring. In the past, a floating bridge has been discussed as how this connection would be completed, but have asked the BID for more info and will post when I know more.
* In discussing the many parks of the neighborhood, Michael Stevens said that they are "hoping" that Canal Park will be completed in 2011--though, as he said that, the slide being displayed showed 2012 as the expected completion date. Given that the park is supposed to take 12-14 months to build, it would seem to be unlikely that the entire park would be ready before the end of next year, though perhaps some portions of it might be able to be open sooner.
UPDATE: Here's the slides used by Michael Stevens during his remarks; the information on the connection between Teague and the Yards is on pages 22-24, with a rendering showing a walkway out over the water, looking exactly like an extension of the boardwalk at the Yards. The proposed project is listed as "a partnership among Forest City Washington, DC Water and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development." And, on slide 27, Canal Park is listed with a delivery date of 2012.
(PS: I also enjoyed seeing one of my Yards Park photos on the second of the slides shown by DC Water's George Hawkins; maybe next time they'll ask me if they can use it!)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, floatingbridge, riverwalk, Teague Park, The Yards, Yards Park

Upcoming Calendar of Events (Through Dec. 17)
Dec 6, 2010 10:46 AM
This is a painful post for me to write. (No, seriously--I hurt my left thumb last week, and typing doesn't help.) But I will power through to bring you news of upcoming events, all while wondering why Decembers are always so busy with public meetings--because it's not like we don't we have enough to do already....
ADD: Oops. Tonight (Dec. 6) is the 4th Annual Livable Walkable Community Awards, at Arena Stage at 6:30 pm.
* Tuesday (Dec. 7) is the second Marine Barracks site search public forum, in Eastern Market's North Hall. I can't find the agenda for it, but the CIMP web site describes it thusly: "Session 2 will begin with at 5:00 pm with an open house where information will be provided in displays, and subject matter experts will be present to discuss various aspects of the CIMP with a facilitated discussion to authenticate community development objectives to begin at 7:00 PM." You can see the draft community objectives handed out at last week's meeting, and read my summary of that session, as well as the scads of posts through the past year of this process.
* Wednesday (Dec. 8) is the neighborhood meeting with DC Public Schools interim chancellor Kaya Henderson on the movement to reopen Van Ness Elementary at 5th and M, SE. The meeting is at 6 pm (note the time change) at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L, and while no decision on reopening the school will be announced, DCPS will be talking about the preliminary findings from the survey they did this fall about whether there would be enough students to justify reopening the school. Read my previous posts for details.
* On Thursday (Dec. 9) the ANC 6B ABC Committee will meet at 7 pm at the Southeast Neighborhood Library at 403 7th St., SE, and it will be taking up the new liquor license application for the Bavarian Beer Garden at 8th and L, SE. It's looking to be a 99-seat tavern, with an additional 200 outdoor seats in summer, and would operate from 11 am to 2 am Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays. There's also apparently the possibility of live entertainment. The application will also be taken up by the full ANC at its regular meeting on Dec. 14 at 7 pm at 535 8th St., SE.
* Monday (Dec. 13) is ANC 6D's monthly meeting--the agenda should be out later this week.
* Tuesday, Dec. 14 is the BID's Annual Meeting, at 11:30 am at 100 M St., SE. There will be a keynote address by George Hawkins, general manager of DC Water, plus the BID will release its 2010 Annual Report and State of the Capitol Riverfront.
* The BID also launches its Holiday Market on the 14th, running daily through the 18th on the sidewalk outside of 1100 New Jersey Ave., SE, across from the Navy Yard Metro station. "Shop the market for wool sweaters and mittens, homemade soaps, jewelry, antique maps, wreaths and holiday greenery, paintings, and much more!" See the flyer for more details, or the latest BID newsletter.
* Also on the 14th is the aforementioned ANC 6B monthly meeting, which includes a report by Michael Stevens of the BID on the Lower 8th Street Visioning Process report that's being submitted to the Office of Planning. (This will also be presented to the ANC's Planning and Zoning Committee on Dec. 7 at 7 pm at 535 8th St., SE.)
* Finally, on Dec. 17, the James L. Brooks movie "How Do You Know" opens--this is the one that was filmed at Nationals Park (and all around DC) back in 2009, and stars Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson.
Ow.

Kaplan Looking for Law School Space in Near Southeast
Nov 29, 2010 12:26 AM
From Monday's WaPo Capital Business: "Real estate developers and brokers in Southeast Washington say that Kaplan has been looking for office space suitable for the opening of a law school near the Washington Nationals' baseball stadium.
"Speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized by Kaplan to discuss the company's plans, the sources say Kaplan hired the real estate brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle and has been seeking up to 130,000 square feet in the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, around the Nationals' park, so it can open a law school there in 2013."
There's not much additional meat in the story, other than saying that Akridge (which owns the Half Street block northwest of the ballpark) is one of the developers vying for Kaplan's attentions. There's certainly a number of planned office buildings that could accommodate 130,000 square feet, and maybe the credit markets have shaken out enough that a lease taking 50 percent-ish of a building would be enough to get a construction loan. But there's also the issue of whether some proposed federal aid rules might hamper Kaplan's plans for expansion. [Full disclosure: Kaplan is owned by the Washington Post Co., my corporate overlords in my non-JDLand real life.]
We shall see....
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Development News, kaplan, officespace

A Few Pre-Turkey Day Bullet Points
Nov 23, 2010 1:48 PM
I imagine it'll be pretty quiet around these parts for the rest of the week. So here's a few recently Tweeted items -- and one new one -- to make it look like I haven't completely given up blogging:
* It appears that the owner(s) of multiple lots along the 700 block of L Street (the brown apartment buildings plus the corner lot where the beer garden is headed) has sold half-interest in those properties to "Calle Ocho, LLC" (8th Street, get it?). But note that the empty lot that comes through from the Miles Glass property on the north end of the block and splits these four lots (0013, 0014, 0824, and 0825) is not (as of now?) part of this block of properties.
* EYA and the DC Housing Authority were awarded last week a Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Model of Excellence Award for the first phase of Capitol Quarter. (I just wish that the ULI folks who put out the press release hadn't said that the neighborhood is "The Yards.") The Jack Kemp awards are given to "workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability."
* Speaking of Capitol Quarter, if you scroll down my homepage to the Building Permits feed, you'll see that the first permits have been approved for Capitol Quarter Phase II houses, for lots on 3rd, I and K.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID's Holiday Market is back for another year, running from Dec. 14-18 on the sidewalk outside of 1100 New Jersey Avenue. "Shop the market for wool sweaters and mittens, homemade soaps, jewelry, antique maps, wreaths and holiday greenery, paintings, and much more!" See the flyer for more details.
* You can check out the BID's latest newsletter for more tidbits, including that work on 225 Virginia/200 I is scheduled to start next month, with occupancy expected in mid-2012. (Just in time to have a big old railroad trench dug in their backyard!) UPDATE: Yes, yes, there's already been a hole punched in the east side of the building, as people have been telling me for a more than week now. I wouldn't quite call that start of construction if nothing much has happened since....
* And, not a news item per se, but some pondering: as part of the need to close what is expected to be a nearly $500 million budget shortfall, Mayor-Almost Vince Gray announced on Monday a freeze on all capital projects that are not yet underway, while a "blue-ribbon panel of experts" reviews which are necessary. There's no specifics on the list of frozen projects reported yet, but I am wondering if Canal Park, which is getting $13.5 million of its $20 million price tag from the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, might be on this list. We shall see....
Enjoy your holidays, everyone!

BID Statement on Dangerous Neighborhood Ranking
Oct 6, 2010 4:44 PM
Just passed my way from the Capitol Riverfront BID, a statement taking strong exception to the WalletPop/NeighborhoodScout.com ranking of "L Street, SE" as the 9th Most Dangerous Neighborhood in the US.
[Note: If you want to peruse the crime statistics for the neighborhood from 2005 to today, here they are, viewable by year, crime/type, etc. The information comes directly from the city's data feed for crime.]
"In direct contradiction to recent media reports, the popular Capitol Riverfront neighborhood around L Street, SE hosts one of the safest streets in the nation's capital, according to the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID).
"'The Capitol Riverfront is a safe and welcoming neighborhood,' said Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront BID. 'The Capitol Riverfront BID District takes crime very seriously and will not allow fictitious reporting about crime rates in our neighborhood to go unchallenged.'
"On October 4th, the Website walletpop.com posted a ranking of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America based on data credited to another site, neighborhoodscout.com. The ranking listed the L Street SE neighborhood, a significant portion of the Capitol Riverfront BID, as the ninth most dangerous neighborhood in America, a fact the BID vigorously refutes.
"'We demand that walletpop.com and Dr. Andrew Schiller of neighborhoodscout.com remove L Street SE from their ranking and correct this inaccurate and fictitious data,' said Stevens.
"According to the Metropolitan Police Department 2009 statistics for the L Street SE corridor, there have been zero homicides in the area since 2004, and the violent crime rate was 8.98 crimes per 1,000 people, in sharp contrast to the overinflated and erroneous violent crime rate of 111.34 per 1,000 reported by neighborhoodscout.com and walletpop.com. The scant rate of 8.98 of violent crimes per 1,000 along the L Street SE Corridor, is below even Walletpop.com's overall DC average of 14.59 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Even as far back as 2007, the L Street Corridor SE saw only 45 violent crimes.
"'NeighborhoodScout.com's disclaimer that "Although we work hard to provide premium quality information, the content contained in any NeighborhoodScout Report is a work of art" is not a justification for inaccurate data, erroneous conclusions, and the posting of unsubstantiated rankings and misinformation about a safe neighborhood to the public,' said Stevens."

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Free Tickets to RiverFrontFest for Hood Residents
Sep 21, 2010 1:32 PM
I wrote over the weekend about RiverFrontFest, a new arts and music festival that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, on Fourth and Water streets near the Yards Park. While tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, the organizers are offering complimentary tickets for residents of Near Southeast. The tickets are limited to two per resident, and proof of residency with ID must be shown. The tickets can be picked up any time between now and Oct. 9 at either Justin's Cafe or Cornercopia, though both businesses ask that if possible people avoid coming to get tickets during the busy 11 am to 2 pm rush times. Here's the flyer with details on the free tickets, which you'll probably also see being handed out in the various apartment buildings in the neighborhood over the next few days.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, RiverFrontFest, The Yards, Yards Park

WalkingTown DC 'Hood Tours Sunday Morning
Sep 21, 2010 11:25 AM
Missed this in yesterday's post on this week's events: WalkingTown DC is this weekend, and among the many (many!) walking and biking tours is once again a Capitol Riverfront BID-branded tour, "Capitol Riverfront: From Navy Yard to Front Yard", on Sunday (Sept. 26) from 10 am to 11 am. The tour, lead by BID executive director Michael Stevens, meets at the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station.
If you're in really (really!) good shape, you can then zip from this tour to the Stadium-Armory Metro station for a Ward 6 biking tour led by Tommy Wells, "Ward 6 Past Meets the Future Bike Tour." It's a 6.5-mile ride from 11 am to 12:30 pm that will start at Kingman Island and hit Eastern Market and Barracks Row before hitting the parks of Near Southeast (Canal, Yards, Teague, and Nationals) and then continuing on into Southwest.
No reservations are required for either tour. (I'd link directly to the entries for each, but the WalkingTown site isn't set up for that. So here's the lists of Sunday morning walking tours and the biking tours. Start scrolling!)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Pedestrian/Cycling Issues, Events

Tidbits: Spiffying Up the NJ Avenue Underpass; CSX Archaelogy Digging; More Near SE History
Sep 7, 2010 9:09 AM
A few things to pass along as we kiss summer goodbye (yes, I know it technically doesn't end for another few weeks, blah blah blah):
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is applying for a DC Public Art Building Communities grant to get funding to "improve the look, feel and experience of traveling into and out of the Capitol Riverfront along New Jersey Ave., SE, while also creating unique gateway art that represents the identity, sense of place and community in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood." They will be presenting their concepts at the Sept. 13 ANC 6D meeting, with applications being due on Oct. 13. If the project is selected to receive a grant, there would be public meetings sometime next year to "refine" the concepts, with hopes to complete the project by fall 2011. Though I can't imagine why anyone would want to beautify THIS!
* I'm not seeing this on the posted agenda yet, but a reader reports to me that CSX will be making presentations to ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning Committee tonight (Sept. 7) and the full ANC on Sept. 21 about a permit the freight company is apparently requesting to conduct an archaeological survey of Virginia Avenue Park prior to their planned expansion of the tunnel that runs under the park.
* Tonight you might see some folks with clipboards hanging around the Navy Yard Metro station entrances; they will be part of the Public Transportation Takes Us There petition drive by the American Public Transportation Association, trying to convince Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation funding bill. For the point of view of someone who has signed the petition, read this recent Richard Layman post. (I am wondering, and have no answer, whether this is the bill that CSX has been looking toward [along with other public money options] for funding the rest of the National Gateway project, which includes the expansion of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.)
* You may have seen commenter MJM referencing recently his newfound obsession with the history of Near Southeast, and now he's put up a blog where you can share in the fruits of his research.

More Info on Yards Park Opening Weekend Festivities
Aug 18, 2010 2:35 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID is gearing up for its job as maintainer, programmer, and promoter of the soon-to-open Yards Park by sending out this flyer with details on the festivities planned for the park's opening weekend, planned for Sept. 10-12.
Live music, food tasting, and a "beer garden" will be available all three days, along with special activities such as an art show by the Art Whino gallery, fitness classes, a Trapeze School demonstration, contests at the dog run, and a fireworks show on Saturday (in addition to being a new spot to watch the Nationals' postgame fireworks on Friday).
The events, which are free and open to the public, run from 3:30 to 11 pm on Friday, Sept. 10, 9 am to 10 pm on the 11th, and 10 am to 1 pm on the 12th.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, The Yards, Yards Park

Summer Doldrums Bullet List (Light Tower, Traffic, Hula Hoops, Signage, BID Survey, DC Blogs)
Aug 13, 2010 12:37 PM
Hasn't been much swirling around lately worthy of a full blog post, but here are a couple items so that people don't think I've shut down (though most of them have already been seen on my Twitter feed, aka the "I'm Too Lazy to Blog" feed):
* The light tower at the Yards Park is being installed today, about four weeks in advance of the scheduled grand opening on Sept. 10. I hope to have pictures at some point.
* Greater Greater Washington reports that MPD fanned out around Nationals Park on Wednesday night, ticketing drivers and pedestrians and handing out flyers on safety. GGW also brings up the public meeting held by Tommy Wells back in March about the notion of reworking M Street under the "Complete Streets" principles of creating road networks that work for pedestrians young and old, cyclists, public transportation users, and drivers. by doing things such as adding dedicated bike lanes, creating safer crosswalks, etc. At that meeting, residents of Southwest were unimpressed with the possibilities, but the few Southeast residents in attendance seemed more open to it.
UPDATE: TBD reports that the truck driver in last week's incident is not being cited.
* The Post did a video feature on Hoopernatural, the hula hooping fitness outfit. They are running classes for mixed-levels of hoopiness during August at Canal Park, on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11 am.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is running a survey to get feedback from residents, workers, and visitors on the types of events the BID holds (concerts, outdoor movies, farmers' market, etc.). Let your feelings be known here.
* While my griping about the bad signage on the SW Freeway (highlighted again by the Post on Thursday) is technically out-of-boundaries, it is on topic to also mention to DDOT that the various blue "services" signs for the South Capitol Street exits on I-395 probably need to get rid of the gas station icons, since the days of having three gas stations right on South Capitol and two within a few blocks to the east are long gone. (But @DDOTDC has put me in a time out after Thursday's flurry of transit-related tweets, which also included this good suggestion from a reader about the need for a left-turn signal on northbound Third Street, SE at Virginia Avenue, for people needing to get onto I-395 southbound.)
* And I stumbled across this study by the New America Foundation about "online-only" news outlets in DC. It counted 61 of them, noting that the "city's oldest local blogs that still command an audience began to spring up in 2003," with JDLand being one of the "original few," thanks to my January 2003 vintage. The piece looks at DCist, GGW, Prince of Petworth, And Now Anacostia, and TBD (though it hadn't yet launched), along with a few nice words about this site. But I have been thinking a lot lately about how I'm an old lady compared to the rest of the DC neighborhood blogosphere, and this article (coming on the heels of my [redacted] birthday) certainly reminded me of it. :-)

Upcoming Events: Seabiscuit, Dave Matthews, SoS
Jul 22, 2010 2:33 AM
For your scheduling pleasure:
* Thursday's BID outdoor movie is Seabiscuit, the heartwarming tale of a horse swimming across the ocean for food (no, wait, that's not right). It starts at Canal Park at Second and M streets, SE, at 8:45 pm, but you can arrive early for some hula hooping with Hoop Jams at 8 pm. Rain cancellations will be posted on the BID web site by 4 pm.
* On Friday night (July 23) the Dave Matthews Band will be in concert at 7 pm at Nationals Park, with the Zac Brown Band opening. Tickets are still available, and the concert will go on rain or shine. (If you're heading to the ballpark for the concert and are unfamiliar with the territory, here's my Stadium Parking information page. But make it easy on yourself just take Metro.) Speaking of the stadium parking page, I've now added the new (tiny) $10 lot on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I.
* The rest of the weekend will be quiet (and hot), but then on Tuesday the 27th the Summer of Strasburg will return to the neighborhood, as Stephen is expected to pitch against the Atlanta Braves in a 7:05 pm game.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, parking, Nationals Park, Stadium Events

Neighborhood Heritage Trail Creation Meeting
Jun 19, 2010 2:37 PM
Via the BID's latest newsletter: "Share your stories of the historic Southeast DC neighborhood as we embark on the creation of a new Neighborhood Heritage Trail in the Capitol Riverfront. Cultural Tourism DC, in partnership with the Capitol Riverfront BID, is holding two community meetings for the public to share stories, bring photos and help shape the community's heritage trail. The first meeting will be on Wednesday, June 23rd at 7 PM at Arthur Capper Senior I, 900 Fifth Street, SE." See the flyer for more information.
(This is also a good time to mention that there won't be a Sunday Rearview Mirror this weekend--I have a good one on tap for next week, though.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Rearview Mirror

Upcoming Events: Shrek, SoS Continues, More
Jun 16, 2010 8:59 PM
Highlighting doings of interest over the next few days in convenient bullet form:
* Thursday is BID day, with three separate activities, starting with the Capitol Riverfront Farmers Market at New Jersey and M (up behind the fences) from 3 to 7 pm. Then there's the "Front Run Club," a new gathering for runners of all fitness levels that meets every Thursday night at 6 pm at Second and M. And of course it's movie night, as the Ultimate Underdog Movie Series continues with Shrek, with festivities starting at Second and M at 7:30 pm and the movie itself beginning around 8:45 pm. There will also be a hula hooping "Hoops Jam" before the movie.
* The Summer of Strasburg (SoS) continues with the phenom's second home start, on Friday night against the White Sox. Game time is 7:05 pm, with the gates at Nationals Park opening at 4:30 pm, and the swarms of sudden baseball fans descending on the neighborhood soon after. Be prepared for big crowds on Metro, roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.
* Also at Nationals Park this weekend is "Nats U," which is being held on Saturday and offers women ages 15 and up "the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of America's favorite pastime from the experts at the Washington Nationals." For $50, female fans can sign up for either beginner or advanced sessions, and also receive tickets to Saturday's 4:10 pm game against the White Sox.
* There's also a series of additional events and promotions at the ballpark tied into Father's Day (you DID remember that Sunday is Father's Day, right?), which you can read about here.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Nationals Park

Tidbits: Five Guys; Gump; 295 Lane Closures; SoS
Jun 10, 2010 1:12 PM
* There's been discussion on Twitter about this, but I guess it needs to be elevated to the blog--last week a sign went up at Five Guys on Second Street saying that it would be closed for maintenance from June 4 - 14. It certainly looks like they're doing work in there, and I doubt that if it were closing for good they would have given a timeframe, but I know people are nervous, given the dearth of other choices. I don't know any additional details, so feel free to post in the comments if you have any scuttlebutt to add.
* The BID's summer outdoor movie season continues tonight (Thursday) with Forrest Gump. Festivities start at Second and M streets, SE, at 7:30 pm, though the movie itself doesn't begin until after sundown. (I'm already making plans for the July 8 showing of Star Wars--if anyone wants to hang out with me, I can regale you young whippersnappers with tales of seeing it at the Uptown in the summer of 1977, and how my mother almost made us leave because she couldn't quite get hip to robots walking around in sand dunes.) Aak! They've taken it off the list, and replaced it with Legally Blonde! Waah!
* From DDOT, a notice about some lane closures this weekend on DC-295, which are technically outside my iron-clad boundaries but which do have to do with the 11th Street Bridges project: "From 9 pm on Friday, June 11 into the evening of Sunday, June 13, DDOT contractors will close one travel lane in each direction of DC 295 between the 11th Street Bridge and Pennsylvania Avenue. The work is part of the 11th Street Bridge Project. In addition, there will be single lane closures Saturday on both the northbound and southbound sides of Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295) at Eastern Avenue. This work if related to the replacement of the Eastern Avenue Bridge." They warn that there could be backups of two miles or more.
* I didn't really blog about Wednesday's phenomenal debut of Stephen Strasburg (though I was at the game and Tweeted here and there) because I figured that there might be one or two other outlets where you could get the latest. But it will be interesting to watch the impact on the neighborhood if he continues to pitch like an alien being--will all of his games bring huge crowds? Will attendance start to lift at games when he isn't playing? Will game-day traffic and transit issues that haven't really been at the forefront become a sore point if more people come to games more often? And will restaurants and bars (and retailers and office tenants and residents) start thinking a little more about being near the ballpark? The Summer of Strasburg (SoS) could get quite interesting....
QUICK ADD: From the Nats: "The Washington Nationals will host their annual blood drive, in partnership with Inova Blood Donor Services, this Saturday, June 12 in the Nationals Park Conference Center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition to helping save a life, blood donors will receive two tickets to a future Nationals game, a limited edition Build-A-Bear Workshop bloodhound and the opportunity to take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Nationals Park." There will be a second drive on Aug. 28, from 8 am to 2 pm.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Capitol Riverfront BID, Restaurants/Nightlife

WPArade! An Art Parade on Saturday
Jun 3, 2010 9:00 PM
A reminder that on Saturday (June 5) is "WPArade! An Art Parade in the Capitol Riverfront" (their exclamation point, not mine), presented by the Washington Project for the Arts. It's described as "an extravaganza of artists connecting with community to create a moving visual spectacle of art and culture" with "[a]rtists, performers, musicians, and visual arts organizations will come together in Washington's first Art Parade to display moving art, floats, placards, portable sculpture and street performance along Half Street SE." It starts at Half and M at noon, with a midblock stop for performances before culminating in a party alllllllllll the way down at the Bullpen at N Street, running until 3 pm. All portions are free and open to the public; see a list of the artists here.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Fairgrounds/Bullpen

Summer with the BID: Movies and Music
May 14, 2010 11:06 AM
The BID has released its Summer Outdoor Movie lineup, with the theme for this year being "Ultimate Underdogs." It kicks off June 3 with Hoosiers, then runs most Thursdays through August 5, with Forrest Gump, Finding Nemo, The Karate Kid, To Kill a Mockingbird, Star Wars (I'm so there), Slumdog Millionaire, Cool Runnings, Happy Gilmore, and Rocky. They'll be held on the Canal Park site at Second and M, with the movies starting at 8:45 pm but with activities (including big-screen Wii beforehand). The Sauca food truck will be in attendance, and the weekly Farmers Market at New Jersey and M will also be open to buy goodies.
Also getting underway is the Lunchtime Concert series, starting on May 19 and running every Wednesday through August 25. They'll be from noon to 2 pm on the plaza behind USDOT.
Here's the full BID newsletter from whence this info came.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, US Dept. of Transportation HQ

Upcoming Events (ANCs and Business Summit)
May 9, 2010 9:00 PM
On your agenda for the near future, should you choose to accept the mission:
* ANC 6D (Southwest and most of Near Southeast) meets Monday night at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Church at Sixth and M streets, SW. (When are they moving to their new meeting space, dangit?) The agenda is posted--no big Near Southeast items, except for perhaps an update from the Nationals, a brief update on Traffic/Parking issues from a member of Tommy Wells's staff, and request for support for a liquor license for the new Patriot II river cruise ship operating out of Diamond Teague Park. One other item that might be of interest is an update on the 14th Street Bridge Environmental Impact Statement, which has been quiet for a while.
* ANC 6B (south side of Capitol Hill and Near Southeast south of the freeway east of Seventh [excluding the Navy Yard]) meets the next night, Tuesday, at 7 pm at its new meeting place, the People's Church at 535 Eighth Street, SE. Here's the agenda, which is chock full of liquor license renewals and home remodeling projects.
* Looking ahead a bit to next week, a reminder that the Anacostia River Business Summit is being held on Tuesday, May 18, starting at 1:30 pm at 20 M St., SE. Admission is $30 per person; the agenda includes a presentation on the Anacostia River Watershed Restoration Plan and panels on "Federal and District Leadership Efforts" and "The Business Impact." There will also be an exhibit hall and a networking reception after the sessions. More info here, and online registration available here.
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Upcoming Events (Market, Leukemia Fundraising)
May 5, 2010 7:30 AM
For your calendars:
* Thursday (May 6) is the first Capitol Riverfront Farmers Market of 2010, running from 3 pm to 7 pm through November on the northwest corner of New Jersey and M, adjacent to the Navy Yard Metro station entrance. More than 10 local farmers and vendors will sell produce, baked goods, prepared foods, and more. The first 50 customers to attend the farmers market on Thursday will be given a $5 off coupon for any purchase at the market.
* Alas, I missed the kickoff of the USDOT farmers' market, which started today (oops) and will be held every Tuesday from 10 am to 2 pm on the pedestrian plaza between the two buildings, at Third and M.
And, here are two events that I'm passing along on behalf of Lisa Pagano, the Nationals' manager of communications, who has been very good to JDLand over the years. She is running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year award, and is trying to raise $75,000 by June 12 (more info here and here), with two fundraising events being held in Near Southeast over the next week or so:
* A Cornhole Tournament is being held at the Bullpen on Wednesday, May 12, with the party starting at 6 pm and the tournament itself at 7 pm. There will be live music and raffle items in addition to the tournament. Admission is $5 for the event and $20 for teams of two entering the tournament (with one free beer per player!). More info can be found on Facebook.
* Buy a $22 Scoreboard Pavilion seat for the May 20 Nats vs. Mets game, and $8 of the ticket price will go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For more information, and to purchase tickets online, visit nationals.com/mwoy.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, US Dept. of Transportation HQ, Nationals Park

Big Pile of Upcoming BID-Sponsored Events
Apr 28, 2010 2:34 PM
It's almost May, when a business improvement district's thoughts turn to.... programmed events! And the Capitol Riverfront BID is not disappointing. Here's what's coming over the next couple of weeks:
* The weekly farmer's market, now dubbed the Capitol Riverfront Market, is returning for another run, starting May 6 and running through Nov. 18. This year it'll be set up on the plaza on top of the Navy Yard Metro station at New Jersey and M, each Thursday from 3 pm to 7 pm, and will feature fresh produce, "specialty products," and locally prepared foods. Here's the flyer.
* Fitness in the Front is coming this Saturday, May 1, at Second and M from 9 am to noon. Classes are free, with no sign-up ahead of time, and feature boot camp, kickboxing, yoga, pilates, "Hoopnotica," and Zumba dance. There will also be information tables for Results the Gym and other groups. More details here. Along the same outdoor activity vein, the DC Pickup Frisbee League will be playing at Canal Park Tuesdays at 6 pm, and the resident-organized Front Run Club will be starting up again on May 6, meeting at 6 pm also at Canal Park.
* In a slightly more serious vein, the BID is organizing, along with the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, an Anacostia River Business Summit on May 18, "to launch a historic effort to restore the river and its watershed." Here's the flyer with more information; registration is $30. You can also visit the restoration partnership web site for more background, including the newly released Anacostia River Watershed Restoration Plan.
Here's the link to the BID newsletter from whence this information came.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Updates from Capitol Riverfront BID Newsletter
Apr 11, 2010 10:25 AM
It's not online that I can see, but here are some items from the most recent "FRONT Page News" e-mail newsletter from the BID:
* "Capitol Riverfront neighborhood day at Nationals Park will be Wednesday, April 21st with ticket discounts available to residents, employees, and friends of the BID." The on-street supervisor of the BID's Clean and Safe Team will be singing the National Anthem. [I think, though, that Southwest is going to be part of this "neighborhood day" as well, even though it's not in the BID. This was mentioned at an ANC 6D meeting a few weeks ago.]
* There will be a "Fitness in the Front" event at Canal Park on May 1, with free classes offered by local instructors and information tables (and freebies!). See the link for the lineup and additional info.
* Residential update: "The residential population in the Front is estimated to have reached 3,030 as of the first quarter of 2010. Rental properties including the Onyx, Axiom, Jefferson and 909 are 95% leased. For sale units including Capitol Quarter, Capitol Hill Tower and Velocity are 71% sold. The residential population is predicted to reach 3,500 by the end of 2010."
* And Justin's opens on April 16, but you knew that already. :-)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, Justin's Cafe, Nationals Park

2010 State of the Hood: Looking Back, and Ahead (and Updated Residential Occupancy Numbers, Too)
Jan 19, 2010 1:22 PM
It's become a tradition for me to do a yearly overview of what's happened in Near Southeast over the preceding 12 months, and what the next 12 months are looking like, and in my typically understated way, I've dubbed it "the State of the Hood." This year's missive is now posted, and while the expectation would be that 2009 was a whole lot of nothing, there were more milestones of note than perhaps it seemed--two residential buildings and one office building were finished, the first residents moved into Capitol Quarter, water taxis and Circulators arrived, Cornercopia opened, and work began on the new 11th Street Bridges. There were less auspicious events, too, with construction being halted on two projects, foreclosures hitting various commercial properties and private homes, and the drying up of the "development pipeline." But there's still a few new things coming in 2010, like the Park at the Yards and Justin's Cafe.
Whether you're new to the neighborhood, or an old hand, I hope you'll take a few minutes to plow through the whole thing. (And maybe even read the old ones, too, to relive the insane years of 2006, 2007, and 2008.)
As part of putting the SOTH together, I got the updated residential occupancy numbers from the BID--they say that nearly 2,800 people now live in the "Capitol Riverfront." Here's the breakdown of leasing/sales percentages for the multi-unit buildings:
Rentals
Onyx 95.5% leased, 94% occupied (250 of 266 units occupied)
Axiom 91% leased, 89% occupied (219 of 246)
Jefferson 77% leased, 76% occupied (340 of 448)
909 New Jersey 82% leased, 75% occupied (178 of 237)
400 M 100% leased and occupied (138 of 138)
Condos and Co-ops
Capitol Hill Tower (Co-op) 83% sold and occupied (285 of 344)
Velocity 32% sold, 8% occupied (16 of 200)
Capitol Quarter

82% sold, 28% occupied (32 of 113)
(ownership units, 56 still under construction)
(Note that Capitol Quarter's numbers are a little behind the others, so these are higher now as the move-ins continue)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, JDLand stuff, stateofthehood

Capitol Riverfront BID Annual Meeting Summary
Dec 18, 2009 2:37 PM
The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District held its annual meeting and luncheon on Thursday, on the ninth floor of 55 M Street. Stan Kasten of the Nationals opened the festivities with some brief but energetic remarks about how excited the Nationals are about the neighborhood's continuing development. He was followed by Tommy Wells, who is equally enthusastic about the neighborhood as a prime example of a "liveable, walkable community," saying that people are increasingly choosing "five-minute living." But, he added that if this area ends up looking like every other neighborhood, "then we've failed."
After making presentations and awards to the BID's Clean and Safe team members, BID executive director Michael Stevens presented his State of the Capitol Riverfront report, chock full of statistics, including my perennial favorite, the number of bags of trash collected during 2009 (7,526!). The BID estimates there are now about 2,500 residents in the area, with another 500 expected to arrive in 2010. He also spent some time comparing the size and scope of the plans for "the Front" to other waterfront redevelopment projects such as Battery Park City in New York and Mission Bay in San Francisco, and of course detailing the many ways the BID works to publicize and advocate for the neighborhood.
Stevens was followed by Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution, who discussed "The Structural Shift in Building." This area and DC as a whole, he said, are the model for the sort of development that cities want to emulate going forward, as he described the pendulum swing from the suburban model of the second half of the 20th century to the new "walkable urbanism," being driven mainly by the Millennial generation, empty-nested retirees, and the growth in the percentage of child-free households.
Leinberger's presentation slides are definitely worth paging through, and folks who are big fans of public transportation will especially appreciate his feeling that the slogan going forward should be "The Green Line is the New Red Line," since the biggest opportunities for development around transportation hubs exist near those stations, and that the BID should actually consider expanding its consulting and other offerings to the smaller emerging neighborhoods along the Green Line that need those types of services. (Perhaps this is what Michael Stevens was alluding to in his report, where a Green Line Research Project was mentioned. And, by the way, next year will mark the 20-year anniversary of the opening of the Navy Yard metro station.)
Finally, BID chairman Eric Siegel announced that the BID is planning an environmental summit in May 2010 (perhaps at Nationals Park), to focus on the cleanup of the Anacostia River and other environmental issues with the many public and private stakeholders along the river.
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This Week's Events, and a Few Other Quick Items
Dec 14, 2009 10:41 AM
Rounding up the items on this week's agenda:
* Tonight is ANC 6D's monthly meeting. Alas, no agenda released yet, a common occurrence that should put them on Santa's "naughty" list.
* Tuesday through Friday is the BID's Holiday Market, running each day on Canal Park from noon to 6 pm, with live music from noon to 2. (If you're seeing activity at Second and M today, that's what it is.)
* Tuesday has the next Lower Eighth Street Visioning meetings, at 8:30 am and 7 pm at 535 8th St., SE. These sessions will "focus on best practice examples and build-out scenarios," and an agenda just mailed out by the BID (which is running the sessions) shows guest speakers Richard Lake of Roadside Development (the folks behind the redo of the O Street Market) and Wayne Dickson of Blake Real Estate. There's also an agenda item on "The Need for a Community Center."
* On Wednesday (Dec. 16) the BID is throwing a free Residents' Holiday Party at the Courtyard by Marriott, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. They'll also keep the Holiday Market open an extra hour (until 7 pm) for residents, and there'll be live music.
* The BID is having its annual meeting on Thursday, with speakers Tommy Wells, Stan Kasten of the Nationals, and Christopher Leinberger, a walkable urbanism expert from the Brookings Institution. In previewing the event on the Breaking Ground blog last week, WBJ's Melissa Castro listed a series of stats about the Capitol Riverfront provided by Jones Lang LaSalle, including that the total office vacancy rate for the area through the third quarter is at 19.2 percent (though it's listed as being at 14.7 percent at the end of October in this subsequent WBJ article). It would have been nice, though, if she'd given @capitolhilldc credit (rather than just "a Twitter user") for the tweet about being the 24th person in line at the DOT Starbucks Thursday morning, which also brought a few fun responses when I retweeted it.
* ANC 6D07 rep Bob Siegel mentioned this at last week's ABC committee meeting, and it's confirmed in the city's land records: there are now 12 units occupied at Velocity.
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More posts: ANC News, Capitol Riverfront BID, meetings, Square 699n

BID Holiday Market; Justin's Cafe Photos
Nov 27, 2009 9:28 AM
News from the Capitol Riverfront BID:
* They've announced their second annual Holiday Market, running Dec. 15-18, from noon to 6 pm each day, at Second and M, on the Canal Park footprint.. "For four days, the Capitol Riverfront will present a festive holiday market with local artisans selling handcrafted jewelry, crafts, photography, holiday trees and greenery, and more. Enjoy a variety of festive foods and live music daily from noon - 2 pm."
* The BID has also posted a few photos of the construction work (and the sign) at the "soon-to-open" Justin's Cafe at Velocity on their Facebook page.

Donate Coats at Nats Park; Buzzard Point Study; Other Tidbits; Meeting Reminders
Nov 17, 2009 2:06 PM
Today's tidbits:
* The Nationals are in the middle of the One Warm Coat Drive, which is collecting "clean, reuseable" coats and jackets that will be distributed to District adults and children free of charge by the Coalition for the Homeless. Coats may be taken to the Team Store on the southwest corner of Half and N streets, SE, which will be open at 11 am everyday between now and Dec. 11 (except for Thanksgiving), with the store staying open until 3 pm from now to Nov. 25, 6 pm on the 27th and 28th, and 4 pm from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
* Buzzard Point--the peninsula south of Potomac Avenue where the Anacostia and Potomac meet--is 95 percent outside of my boundaries (technically there's a sliver of Southeast over there since South Capitol Street runs down to R Street), but I'll still pass this along. The American Planning Association is going to develop a Strategic Vision for Buzzard Point, and there's a community meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 18) from 6 to 8:30 pm, followed by a walking tour on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 8 to 9:30 pm, and then an "initial findings" meeting on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 2 pm. The Thursday and Saturday meetings are at the MPD-1D station at the old Bowen Elementary School at 101 M St., SW, and the walking tour leaves from King-Greenleaf Rec Center at 201 N St., SW. More information about the project and meetings here. (Note: meeting locations revised from original post)
* This is from last week, but WBJ reports that the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is joining a regional group looking at possible ferry service from Occoquan to points along the Potomac and Anacosita Rivers (including the Navy Yard).
* The city has announced the first move related to the reconstruction of the 11th Street Bridges--they're going to close the pedestrian bridge over DC295 in Anacostia on or about Nov. 30, because it needs to be demolished to make way for the construction of a new ramp that will link southbound 295 with the new bridges.
And, two last-minute meeting reminders:
* If you're reading this in the next few hours, you can still make tonight's Lower 8th Street Visioning session, at 7 pm at 535 8th Street, SE. @CapitolHillDC live-tweeted this morning's session, if you want to see what went on. The agenda is available on the blogspot site.
* Competing with the Buzzard Point meeting is DDOT's public meeting on the Ward 6 Performance Parking Pilot, starting at 6:30 pm Wednesday (Nov. 18) at Friendship Baptist Church, 900 Delaware Ave., SW. This is a meeting I'm actually going to be able to attend! Woo-hoo!

Sunday Football Get-Together for Residents
Nov 16, 2009 10:52 AM
Now that the Redskins are on a massive winning streak, the BID is hosting an afternoon of football watching this Sunday, Nov. 22, starting at 12:30 pm in the lounge at the Jefferson (70 I Street). Snacks and sodas will be provided.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, jpi

A Roundup of Recently Tweeted Tidbits (Mostly)
Oct 29, 2009 1:07 PM
Not much big news these days, but here's some tidbits, most of which are links that I've Tweeted in the past few days:
* The BID and the Washington DC Economic Partnership held a "Capitol Riverfront Storefront Summit" on Tuesday morning, which The Hill is Home summarized, with quotes from the owners of Cornercopia and the Subway on Second Street. No splashy announcements of new retailers, though.
* The WBJ's Top Shelf blog pivoted off of the summit to write about Justin's Cafe at Velocity, which the owner now says "hopes to open in about two months from now."
* UrbanTurf asks: How do People Like Living in "Capitol Riverfront"?
* Beyond DC went to the Columbia Heights streetcar meeting on Monday, and posted more details about DDOT's plans. The Ward 7 public meeting is tonight, at 650 Anacostia Ave., NE, from 7 to 8:30 pm.
* The Bullpen is still selling tickets for its big Halloween night bash, from 9 pm to 1 am (with a fully heated tent!). An e-mail says that more than 400 tickets have been sold.
* The American Cancer Society is hosting Making Strides for Breast Cancer, a 5K walk to fund breast cancer research, at Nationals Park on Saturday. Two laps around the stadium, and one inside lap on the First Concourse. (I think I've done that walk a whole bunch of times over the past four years!)
* The council's Committee on Finance and Revenue has scheduled a November 12 hearing on the pending bill that would allow the city sell bonds to pay for phase 3 infrastructure work at Capper. (Though I don't see the hearing notice online yet.) For more about this, read my entry from a few days back.

Calendar Items (Confirmed, Cancelled, Moved)
Oct 5, 2009 2:40 PM
A few changes and confirmations to note:
* It appears that the foreclosure auction of nine lots along Potomac Avenue and Ninth Street is going forward, scheduled for 12:15 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 6) at the Alex Cooper offices.
* From The BID: "Due to lowering fall temperatures, the BID has decided to cancel the rescheduled outdoor showing of Star Wars this Thursday, October 8th."
* And the Lower Eighth Street Visioning Community Input meetings originally scheduled for Oct. 7 have been moved to Oct. 20, at 8:30 am and 7 pm.
These items and more appear on my Events Calendar....
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More posts: 816-20 Potomac, Capitol Riverfront BID, 8th Street

Roundup of Recent Little Items
Sep 28, 2009 7:23 PM
Some recently Tweeted tidbits, and a few other morsels:
* Cornercopia is now open on Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm, according to a Tweet from Albert today.
* It's the last homestand of the 2009 season at the ballpark, with a 7:05 pm start on Tuesday and a 4:35 pm on Wednesday. (Oh--it's the Mets.)
* There's going to be a big Halloween shindig at the Bullpen on Oct. 31 from 9 pm to 1 am; three bands, a DJ, and costumes required.
* Velocity Condos is having its "Grand Opening" event on Oct. 3 and 4. Settlements on units in the building were supposed to begin on Sept. 21, but I haven't heard whether they have indeed started.
* WAMU did a brief report this morning on the BID's work (via events like the recent picnic and walking tour) to drum up interest in the neighborhood, especially to show retailers that there's a customer base. "Some 2,100 people live in the redevelopment zone, but McManus says more 'urban pioneers' need to arrive before retailers can move in."
* A group of owners, merchants, and residents working on ideas to perk up the southern end of Eighth Street (south of the freeway) now have a blog. There are apparently going to be a series of public meetings as part of the "visioning process," on Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, and Jan. 19, at 8:30 am and 7 pm. Their aim is to "attempt to gain consensus on a vision for the area and to address issues of height, density, mix of uses, parking and access, as well as what should be the character of a redesigned Virginia Avenue Park as an amenity or community benefit for the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood and Capitol Hill. If consensus can be reached on the vision, it could serve as the basis for asking the Office of Planning to develop a small area neighborhood plan that could then be used as justification for any agreed upon zoning or density changes."
* The Examiner reported last week that CSX is proposing to expand the amount of freight it moves through DC, which would require the expansion of the Virginia Avenue tunnel, the New Jersey Avenue overpass, and other locations to allow for double-height rail cars. The plan is supported by the National Capital Regional Transportation Planning Board and by DDOT.

Canal Park Picnic/Home Tour on Saturday
Sep 14, 2009 10:30 AM
I think I mentioned this a few days back, but here it is again: On Saturday (Sept. 19) from 10 am to 2 pm, the BID is hosting a Canal Park Picnic and Home Tour: "Enjoy live music, food, drink, and lawn games at Canal Park! Tour selected rowhouses, condos, apartments and townhouses of residents in the new Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. See what it's like to live in the Front!" It's free and open to the public. Food will be provided by Cornercopia, "Smokin' Somethin'" (BBQ) and Sweetgreen (frozen yogurt). The two 45-minute neighborhood walking tours start at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm.
This also seems to be somewhat in place of a Capitol Riverfront WalkingTown DC tour, since there isn't one on WalkingTown's fall lineup this weekend. My bad--I didn't see the "FRONT" tour on the WalkingTownDC lineup.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park

Snippets, Reminders, and Whatnot
Sep 9, 2009 10:47 AM
Pulling together smallish items from hither and yon:
* Last night saw the first arrival of a commercial water taxi at Diamond Teague Pier; WTOP covered the trip, which is a good thing, since I neither rode the boat nor stood on the dock to watch it sail in. I suck.
* A stroll through the city's building permits feed (which alas isn't as easy or useful as it used to be, since they pile every single permit into the feed over and over, rather than just posting new/updated ones) uncovered that back in August, a raze permit was issued for 156 L Street, home of the old Star Market and better known as the "Little Red Building"; the owner has spoken of plans to build a new two-story structure that would be a combination liquor store and deli. I haven't heard of any timeframe for the demolition, new construction, or store opening.
* From And Now, Anacostia, a heads up that today's Kojo Nnamdi show will include a segment called "Paris on the Anacostia: A Provocative Idea for DC's Waterfront," which will discuss the idea of *narrowing* the Anacostia River, "with the goal of bringing in new businesses, training new workers, and completely changing the relationship between folks East and West of the River." It'll be available online here.
* Tomorrow night (Thursday) is the second Outdoor Space Movie at Canal Park; this time it's Star Wars. The Force will be with you, starting at 7:30 pm.
* And Thursday night is also the deadline for pre-registration for ULI Washington's Urban Marketplace conference and expo on Sept. 15. Among lots of other sessions about urban development, it includes a panel discussion about the ballpark neighborhood, with Michael Darby of Monument Realty, Matthew Klein of Akridge, Michael Stevens of the BID, Harriet Tregoning of the Office of Planning, and me. It'll be a barn-burner!
* Saturday night is the second annual Opera in the Outfield at Nationals Park; the Washington Times previews it here. It's the Barber of Seville; but don't be alarmed when the first lines aren't "Welcome to my shop/let me cut your mop, let me shave your crop/Daintily, Daintily!"
* Forest City announced its second-quarter earnings, for those who know how to decipher these things. It does mention the Park at the Yards, still listing the completion date of the first phase as summer 2010. And their outlook? "While some see signs of a potential end of the recession, we are taking a conservative course based on what we can observe and are experiencing directly: continued weak fundamentals and little improvement in overall near-term conditions. As a result, we remain very cautious going forward. We expect the second half of the year to be challenging for our Company and for the entire industry, and we do not anticipate meaningful improvement in market conditions in the near or mid-term."
* I don't think I've officially linked to Cornercopia's Twitter feed, if you haven't seen it yet. (And there's my Twitter feed, too, of course.)

Outdoor Space Movies at Canal Park this Fall
Sep 1, 2009 9:39 AM
The Capitol Riverfront BID has decided that everyone liked the summer outdoor movie series so much, they're launching a four-week fall outdoor movie series, held this time at Second and M, on the future Canal Park site. The lineup is: Star Wars on Sept. 10, Toy Story on Sept. 17, Spaceballs on Sept. 24, and Apollo 13 on Oct. 1. (And the press release on the movie series says that construction on Canal Park will begin in Spring 2010, which is pretty much the same start date that's been on tap for awhile now.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park

Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting Tomorrow; A Few Late-Summer Not-Really-News Links
Aug 25, 2009 1:16 PM
* A reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 am the DC Housing Authority is holding an official ribbon cutting and grand opening at Capitol Quarter, Fourth and L, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. If the sun is out, I may use this as the motivation to finally get some updated photos of the construction, with the framing in block three (north of K between Fourth and Fifth) now well underway.
* The Post reports on how the many new apartment buildings in the area are aggressively competing for tenants, with the new buildings in Near Southeast apparently leading the way: "The ones around Nationals Park, for instance, collectively have offered the deepest concessions since Delta started tracking rents 18 years ago. Some of those projects gave away the equivalent of four months' rent in concessions, which helps explain why effective rents in the District plunged 7.8 percent in June compared with a year ago. Without the ballpark area, rents fell 4 percent."
* From the BID's newsletter last week: "Mark your calendars for September 19th for the FRONT Door Home Tour & Canal Park Picnic from 10 am - 2 pm. The FRONT Door Tour will feature a variety of unique residents' homes and highlight the Capitol Riverfront as a new residential neighborhood in DC. The event will include a community picnic at the future site of Canal Park (located at intersection of M St., SE and 2nd St., SE) with food, music, and lawn games. The FRONT Door Tour will be free and open to the public. More information to come soon."
And, two items about off-topic projects by Near Southeast developers:
* Monument Realty announced yesterday that its long-planned renovation of Potomac Place Tower on Fourth Street in SW is now going to move forward. From their press release: "Monument Realty acquired the Potomac Place project in 2001 and in 2005 completed construction of a new, 302-unit condominium adjacent to the existing Potomac Place Tower, which was built in 1959. In 2003, Potomac Place Tower was designated a historic landmark by the District of Columbia and in 2005 the residents of Potomac Place Tower elected to convert the property to a condominium. Monument Realty's longstanding history and commitment to the project gave the new lender the confidence to retain its services for the completion of Potomac Place Tower."
* Forest City Washington has been selected by the government of Puerto Rico as the program manager for the redevelopment of a 100-acre portion of San Juan's waterfront district. Residential, hotel, office, retail, public parks, and a marina--sound familiar? (I don't think I mentioned that a few weeks ago the District selected Forest City as an advisor for the redevelopment of Poplar Point.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Monument Valley/Half St., The Yards

Upcoming Events (11th Street Bridges, Last Movie, Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting)
Aug 18, 2009 12:40 PM
A slew of upcoming events to pass along:
* On Wednesday (Aug. 19), there's going to be an 11th Street Bridges Open House, billed as an update for Ward 8 residents about the status of the bridge replacement project. (But I'm guessing people from other wards can come, too.) It's from 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Union Temple Baptist Church at 1225 W St., SE.
* Thursday (Aug. 20) is the last night of the BID's 80's Outdoor Movies series, with "Ghostbusters" on the bill (rescheduled from a rainout earlier this year). Apparently the BID is planning a four-week fall movie series starting in September; I'll pass more along on that when I get it.
* Next Wednesday (Aug. 26) the DC Housing Authority is holding an official ribbon cutting and grand opening at Capitol Quarter, from 10 am to noon at Fourth and L, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. This is just a little over two years after the ceremonial groundbreaking, held on a sweltering day in June 2007.
* If you're desperate for something to do Wednesday morning but a ribbon cutting isn't your thing, the U.S. Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard will host "Pirate or Privateer? War of 1812 Day," a series of demonstrations and lectures on the War of 1812. The program, which runs from 10 am to 2 pm, includes Gun Drills in the replica of the USS Constitution and Sea Chanteys. The event is free and open to the public, though note that there's no parking available inside the gates for visitors.
* The National Capital Planning Commission again has the design of the 11th Street Bridges on their tentative agenda, for their Sept. 3 meeting. It had also been on the tentative agenda for the July meeting, but didn't make the final cut; hopefully that won't happen again, because NCPC always puts together such great reports on the projects it votes on (and posts them on their web site), so it's a good place to get details that have been hard to find elsewhere.
* This is still a few weeks away, but residents might want to mark their calendars that the next ANC 6D meeting, on Sept. 14 will be held in Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. I've been attending ANC meetings off and on for six years, and this is the first one I remember that will be crossing South Capitol Street.
* The next day, Sept. 15, Urban Land Institute Washington is holding its third Urban Marketplace Conference and Expo, which brings together "the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to explore redevelopment opportunities and best practices in emerging neighborhoods and corridors across the Washington metropolitan region." One of the day's discussions, from 3 pm to 4 pm will focus on the ballpark district (and I'm one of the panelists).
All of these are of course on my Upcoming Events Calendar.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, ANC News, Capitol Riverfront BID, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Events, meetings, Navy Yard

Outdoor Movie Thursday: Dirty Dancing
Jul 29, 2009 10:04 PM
The BID's Best of the 80s outdoor movie series is winding down, and while I haven't been posting about them every week (I don't like to be a nag), I didn't want to seem as though I've been completely ignoring them, so I'll remind everyone that tomorrow (July 30) they're showing the epic tale of love, lust, and summer camp longing, Dirty Dancing, which stars one of my all-time favorite actors, Jerry Orbach. (Plus some other people, too.) They're encouraging you to wear your snazziest legwarmers (though that's more of a Flashdance reference), and there will be "free 80s candy giveaways," though I can't think right now of what candy was specific to that era. The movie will start 8:45ish at Tingey Plaza (on New Jersey Avenue behind USDOT), and On the Fly will be there with its vending carts.
Next week was supposed to be the final movie of the summer (Big), but rainouts caused the rescheduling of Back to the Future to Aug. 13 and Ghostbusters to Aug. 20.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

New 'Where's My Bus?' App for Circulators; Q2 Residential Numbers; Square 701 Not Starting Soon
Jun 26, 2009 2:05 PM
* Just out from DDOT (press release now online), a new "Where's My Bus" app for the Circulator buses. Go to circulator.dc.gov (it's formatted for cellphones and PDAs, but works in any browser), pick your line and stop, and find out how far away the next bus is. (Here's the information for the 4th and M stop, heading toward Union Station.) They say an iPhone app will be coming will be coming later this summer.
* From the BID's newsletter (which I'm not finding on their redesigned web site), the latest update on residential leasing and sales for the second quarter of 2009: The buildings known as Axiom and Jefferson (at 70 and 100 I) and Onyx on First are at a combined 60 percent leased for the 960 units in the three buildings; 909 New Jersey (which opened in early April) has 25 percent of its 237 units leased. The Capitol Quarter townhouses are listed at 88 of 113 units sold (though I'm not sure how the public housing rental and for-sale units figure into that number), and Capitol Hill Tower is reported as being 80 percent sold. No numbers are reported for Velocity Condos, which according to a presentation by Michael Stevens last week is supposed to open in late August or September. All told, the BID says there are an estimated 1,863 residents in the Capitol Riverfront.
* A WBJ piece from today's print edition on Willco Cos.'s new $100 million fund says that the company "does not plan to dip into the fund for development projects in the pipeline, such as its 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project adjacent to Nationals Park, at Square 701, the intersection of M and First streets SE. That project is in pre-development mode right now without a major tenant; Willco doesn't expect to kick off construction until it sees 'signs of life in that neighborhood,' Goldblatt said." This lot is probably better known as Nats Parking Lot F, and the former home of Normandie Liquors and other small businesses.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, circulator, jpi, Onyx, Square 701, Square 743N, square 697, staddis, Square 701

Friday Tidbits: BID Newsletter, ANC Agenda
May 8, 2009 10:38 AM
Between it being Friday and the sun finally being out, I bet everyone's feeling a bit better today. Maybe even Biking to Work! So, a few tidbits:
* The latest Capitol Riverfront BID newsletter is out, with a few items of note. First off, there's a new "branding" campaign going on--"Be Out Front." Look for signs promoting "Front Yard," "Front Office," "Front Door," "Store Front," etc. And they'll soon be launching an equally rebranded web site.
Also, the current estimated population within the BID is 1,584 residents; the newsletter says that there are now more than 2,000 residential units, more than half of which are leased/sold and occupied.
The newsletter also gives the Bullpen's official opening date as May 15, and also mentions that the weekly Tuesday farmer's market at USDOT is now underway, and that the weekly Wednesday lunchtime concerts start on May 20.
* The agenda for Monday's ANC 6D meeting is out (hopefully it'll show up online before the meeting itself), and the only Near Southeast item is a presentation by Michael Stevens of the BID--kind of a BID 101 tutorial for the ANC commissioners. Otherwise, it's voting on marathons, bus stops, after-school programs, and also an announcement of a "Southwest Night" at Ft. McNair on July 1. The meeting is at 6th and M streets, SW, at 7 pm. (Maybe next month it'll finally move to the new digs at the new 1D police station at the former Bowen Elementary.)
* The Examiner reports that the 2010 federal budget includes $15 million for "Southeast Federal Center remediation." There's certainly been piles of environmental cleanup there over the years (not surprising when it used to be blocks and blocks of munitions factories).
* EYA has spiffed up its web site a bit--their Capitol Quarter page is worth a visit if you haven't checked it out before.

BID Newsletter; Bike Rack Ceremony; Capper Zoning Vote?; Teague Dedication
Apr 26, 2009 6:18 PM
The latest Capitol Riverfront Connections newsletter from the BID was sent out late last week, with updates on the LEED for Homes plaque presentation last week at Capitol Quarter, an interview with BID executive director Michael Stevens on Newschannel8, and news of a ceremony coming tomorrow (Monday) at 2 pm on the Tingey Plaza at USDOT, where Mayor Fenty will kick off the launch of 28 new artistic bike racks around the city.
Also on Monday, at 6:30 pm, is a Zoning Commission hearing where a first vote could possibly come on the batch of zoning changes being requested for Capper/Carrollsburg to which I've dedicated so many bytes lately.
And, on Tuesday morning at 8:30 am is a dedication ceremony and breakfast fundraiser (also with the mayor) for Diamond Teague Park, being held across the street at the foot of the stadium's grand staircase. Tickets are $50 per person.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Capper, Capitol Quarter, meetings, Teague Park, zoning

Pre-Weekend Roundup
Jan 30, 2009 12:57 PM
Some little items to head into the weekend:
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is going with a Best of the 80s theme for its Riverfront Reel summer outdoor movie series, and has a survey up to determine the most popular flicks. (Though let me just say that the omission of Die Hard has me white with rage....)
* DDOT is holding an "Anacostia Waterfront Forum" on Feb. 17 at the MLK Library at 6:30 pm, "on the role that replacing the 11th Street Bridges will have in creating a more inclusive and sustainable Distrct."
* Also from the BID, news that the Earth Conservation Corps has scheduled a dedication ceremony for Diamond Teague Park on April 28. I've been told that if all goes "as planned," the construction of the in-water structures (the docks and the piers) should be completed by Opening Day, though the plantings and other work on the dry-land portion of the park would be completed by the beginning of July.
* Greater Greater Washington is not happy that the US DOT is having a "sale" on its parking spaces.
* City Paper's Housing Complex blog is bewildered about where this Capitol Quarter "neighborhood" might possibly be. (Teh Google probably could have answered that.)
* The US Department of Justice and some Shell Oil entities are nearing a $2.1 million settlement for damages and cleanup costs at the Southeast Federal Center (now the Yards) after what the feds allege was benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene contamination of soil and groundwater "from leaking underground storage tanks located at a former filling station adjacent to the contamination."
* I did attend last night's zoning hearing on Akridge's Half Street project, and will post a summary when I recover from the nearly four-hour session. But I did hear that the bus garage on the site will be demolished pretty soon, to make way for temporary parking. Both Akridge and Monument are talking with the Nationals about providing their spaces for gameday parking. (Monument has told me that their underground garage at 55 M--and the little addition to the south--will be complete by Opening Day.) That's a lot of spaces that weren't around last year....
* DCRA has restarted the Building Permits feed. And there was much rejoicing.

Roundup: NatsFest, Wendy's, Yards Park, Teague Park, Lower Barracks Row
Jan 22, 2009 1:53 PM
Pulling together some reminders and other recent Twittered tidbits:
* This Sunday is NatsFest at the ballpark, from 1 pm to 5 pm. It's being held indoors in the various club areas, so if you've never gotten to see some of the lounges, or the conference center, or the clubhouse, this might be a good opportunity. Season-ticket holders get four free tickets; for the rest of the world it's $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
* Last week a raze permit was issued for the defunct Wendy's on I Street. No word on when demolition will actually occur. This is where JPI is planning its fourth Capitol Yards apartment building, 23 I Street, but there's been no recent intelligence on when they might decide to get underway.
* Construction hasn't yet begun on the Park at the Yards, but some additional information and more detailed renderings should be coming to light over the next month. Forest City is scheduled to make presentations to the National Capital Planning Commission on Feb. 5, and the Commission on Fine Arts on Feb. 16, and possibly ANC 6D on Feb. 9.
* A reader is reporting this morning that a derrick crane is going up at Diamond Teague Park--perhaps that's to begin work on the water taxi piers. (Though note that there was already a crane of some sort there back in December when I took these photos.)
* Apparently the various property owners surrounding the section of Eighth Street south of the freeway have gotten together along with the Capitol Riverfront BID to start working on plans to perk up the area, using the Connect Barracks Row report by University of Maryland Urban Studies and Planning students as a jumping-off point. Look for public meetings in February-ish.

News and Notes from the BID Annual Meeting
Dec 18, 2008 3:53 PM
Today the Capitol Riverfront BID held its first annual meeting luncheon, on the seventh floor of the all-but-completed 100 M Street, showcasing great views of Nationals Park and of M Street (though the gray skies didn't make for good picture-taking). I didn't take copious notes, but here are a few items of note that I Twittered in between bites of chicken and a key lime tart for dessert:
* It's confirmed that Artomatic will be held in Near Southeast in May and June of 2009.
* The opening date for Diamond Teague Park continues to be set at March of '09. However, the BID's executive director said that Canal Park would be coming "in late 2010."
* The Capitol Riverfront area (which is a bit larger than my Near Southeast domain, since it also includes Buzzard Point) now has 1,100 residents.
Hopefully they'll be posting the spiffy Annual Report online, since it gives a lot of detail about development in the Capitol Riverfront area and the work that the BID does to promote and "brand" the neighborhood. (Though JDLand readers will be familiar with most of it already.) Best stat? The BID's Clean and Safe team members collected 3,600 bags of trash this year.
The keynote address was given by Greg Leisch of Delta Associates, and provided a flurry of statistics about the residential and commercial office space markets in DC compared to the rest of the country (in short: It Could Be Worse). Leisch said that he felt that the Capitol Riverfront area is well-positioned to benefit from the recovery that's expected to begin in late 2009/early 2010, in much the same way that the East End did after the 1990-91 recession and the Capitol Hill submarket did after the 2001-2002 recession. He also said that only about 1,600 new condos will have been sold across the Metro area in 2008. Ouch. You can see some of the stats from this presentation on the Delta web site.
UPDATE: From the BID, here's the Annual Report, and Greg Leisch's presentation.
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More posts: 100 M, artomatic, Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Teague Park

Reminder: This Week's Flurry of Events
Dec 15, 2008 12:32 PM
Though I'm ready to give a stern talking-to to the folks who thought jam-packing the time just before the holidays with so many events was a good idea, here's a reminder of all that's happening Near Southeast-wise this week:
* On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the BID is putting on a Holiday Market at 1100 New Jersey Avenue. It will run from 11:30 am to 6 pm, and will feature "local artisans selling handcrafted jewelry, pottery, crafts, watercolors, photography, and more."
* On Tuesday at 6:30 pm is a community meeting on the planning process for Boathouse Row, which I wrote about recently. It's at Watkins Elementary, 420 12th Street, SE, and is being held by the Office of Planning. There's a pile of information from the city on this Master Plan process, if you want more information.
* Also on Tuesday, the city council will be having its final vote on the Taxation Without Representation Street bill, along with a pile of other legislative items they'll be trying to get out of the way before the end of the year.
* On Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association is having its annual Boathouse Lighting and Community Awards Ceremony. City Administrator Dan Tangherlini will be honored, and then will flip the switch to illuminate the boathouse's holiday lights. The boathouse is at 1115 O Street, SE (between the spans of the 11th Street Bridges).
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is having its Annual Meeting and "State of the Capitol Riverfront" at 11:30 am on Thursday.
* The group of urban planning students at the University of Maryland who have been studying the lower part of Eighth Street will be presenting their "Connect Barracks Row" findings at a public meeting on Thursday from 7:30 pm to 9 pm at the Navy Yard Car Barn, better known as the Blue Castle, at 770 M Street, SE. You can see the presentation from their Oct. 29 community meeting and read a little more about the project on their web site.
These are all listed on my Events Calendar. I wish I could live up to my normal obsessiveness and say that I'm going to be at every one of these, but real life is intervening all over the place.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Boathouse Row, 8th Street, East of 11th Street, South Capitol St.

Capitol Riverfront BID Perception Survey
Sep 9, 2008 12:04 PM
The folks at the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District have asked me to point interested readers to an online "perception survey" they've currently got underway. From the intro page: "Your answers are an important way to measure the effectiveness of services, progress made, and gauge community priorities as further programs are being planned."
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Summer Outdoor Movie Series Starts Wednesday
Jun 2, 2008 4:11 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID launches another summer series to go with its Tuesday DOT farmers market and Wednesday noontime concerts; now it's "Riverfront Reel" on Wednesday nights, starting June 4. The shindigs start at 6:30 pm on the plaza behind DOT at New Jersey and Tingey with "inflatable baseball themed interactive games, snacks, beverages, music", followed at 7:30 pm by big-screen Wii baseball competitions, and then heading toward home with movies at 8:50 pm on the 32-foot screen. You can see the lineup of baseball-themed films on the promotional flyer, and I've added them to my Upcoming Events calendar.
They open up this week with Field of Dreams, followed on July 11 by what is truly the greatest baseball movie ever, Bull Durham. As for the July 2 showing of Bad News Bears, it darn well better be the untouchable original one with Tatum O'Neal and Walter Matthau, though I fear it'll be the totally weak remake. (Boo.) Five of these movie nights coincide with games at Nationals Park, so you can either stop by for food and the inflatable games (?!) before heading to the ballpark, or plop down for the movie after you leave the game. Or both.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Series Launches
May 27, 2008 10:25 PM
Starting Wednesday May 28, the Capitol Riverfront BID and US DOT developer JBG are launching a 10-week lunchtime concert series, to be held every Wednesday at noon on the Southwest Plaza behind DOT at New Jersey and Tingey. Quoting from the press release: "Capitol Riverfront Concerts is a ten week summer concert series with lively and diverse musical artists, performing everything from original pop to Latin Jazz, R&B, bluegrass, Caribbean and more. Bring your lunch or enjoy a special outdoor grill menu provided by the U.S. DOT cafeteria."
Folks desperate for outdoor recreation space in the neighborhood might note this line from the release: "The concerts are part of a growing number of programs that you will see in the Capitol Riverfront as several new parks begin to open next spring 2009." (There could indeed be three parks opening in some capacity next year, if previously announced [or hinted at] timelines hold: Canal Park, the waterfront park at The Yards, and Diamond Teague Park.)
Here's the flyer with the lineup of performers, and a map if you can't quite figure out where the plaza is. I've also added the schedule of performances to my own Near Southeast Upcoming Events Calendar.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, US Dept. of Transportation HQ

Retail Space Survey, in Graphic Form
May 14, 2008 10:13 AM
Handy timing: not long after my long and wordy survey of retail space that will be coming online in Near Southeast over the next few years, the Capitol Riverfront BID has released a Retail Opportunities map, showing basically the same data in a purty graphic format, for those of you who prefer colors to prose....
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Retail

DOT Farmers' Market Resumes May 6
May 5, 2008 10:07 AM
From the folks at the Capitol Riverfront BID, word that the Farmers' Market is returning for its second year, starting May 6 (tomorrow!) and running through Nov. 18, from 10 am to 2 pm each Tuesday. They've moved the location slightly--it's now at Third and M Street, SE, on the pedestrian plaza between the two US DOT buildings.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, US Dept. of Transportation HQ

WalkingTown DC Capitol Riverfront Tour
Apr 12, 2008 10:04 AM
The spring 2008 edition of WalkingTown DC includes a tour of "Capitol Riverfront: the New Neighborhood Around the Ballpark," on Saturday, April 26, from 10:30 am to noon. The description: "Alongside the Nationals ballpark, between the Anacostia River and the U.S. Capitol Building, a new cityscape is emerging - the Capitol Riverfront. Visit industrial buildings where the Navy once produced weapons ammunition and landmarks such as the blue castle trolley barn and beaux-arts WASA building. Learn how new development projects are transforming the Capitol Riverfront into a business center, urban neighborhood, and entertainment district." It's being led by the executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District as well as a representative of Forest City Washington (developers of The Yards). Meet outside the New Jersey Avenue exit of the Navy Yard Metro station. (As for this whole "Capitol Riverfront" versus "Near Southeast" thing--technically, Near Southeast is a subset of it, since the Capitol Riverfront BID also includes Buzzards Point. And I'm just remaining kinda old school about it all, too.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

Morning Roundup
Dec 13, 2007 10:32 AM
Here's your dreary Thursday morning reading material:
* The Post writes about the labor disputes at the ballpark: "Labor leaders are defending the hiring practices at the construction site of the new Washington Nationals ballpark, saying that efforts to give jobs to D.C. residents have been an 'unequivocal success.' [...] [T]he leader of the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO said the project has been successful in hiring District workers. The letter disputed criticism from some local activists that the ballpark had not come through with jobs for city residents."
* The Examiner, NBC4, WBJ, and the Post write about the presentations last night of the four finalists' plans for redeveloping Poplar Point. Channel 4 also includes a slideshow of the designs and links to information on each plan's community benefits. Apparently one of the propsals includes "an aerial tram that would carry passengers across the river to the new baseball stadium." And Now, Anacostia has some bullet points on the various presentations as well.
* Also from the Post, a District Extra piece on last week's council hearing on the Taxation Without Representation tote boards that some city council members want to put on the Wilson Building and the stadium. (Here's my report on the hearing.)
* My Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post adapts my recent blog posts on the sale of St. Matthew's, the Capper PILOT bill, and the recent Capitol Riverfront BID meeting.
* UPDATE: I should also add this opinion piece in the Examiner by Phil Wood on his impressions of the new ballpark. "If you asked me to describe the place in a single word, I'm ready to answer. Compelling."
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Capper, St. Matthew's Church, Square 743N, Nationals Park

BID Elects its Board of Directors, Picks Up the Trash
Dec 5, 2007 6:54 PM
Braving the flakes of snow, the fledgling Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District held its first general membership meeting today, which included the election of its Board of Directors. From looking at the list of the 21 new board members, it seems the BID has made sure that every major developer in Near Southeast and Buzzards Point is represented on the board. Five "at-large stakeholders" were also named, allowing organizations who are a big part of the neighborhood's future but who don't actually own land within the BID's borders to be included in the BID's activities. This group includes representatives of the Nationals, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, and Forest City Washington (developer of The Yards). One actual resident of the neighborhood was elected, too. (Hi Darryl!) At subsequent meetings the directors will get down to the board-ly business of electing a chair and vice chair and populating and executive committee and additional committees on Marketing/Public Relations, Economic Development, Transportation and Access, and Public Realm. Anything else you could possibly want to know about the BID's governing structure can be found in the bylaws.
The press release about the meeting also reports that the six "clean team members" have collected more than 1,200 bags of trash around the BID, and two "hospitality/safety ambassadors" have provided "over 50 informational assists."
UPDATE: WBJ writes a blurb from the press release, too.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

The Near Southeast Traveling Road Show, On Demand
Nov 23, 2007 9:26 AM
During my poking around on the DC Office of Cable Television web site recently, I discovered that many of the groundbreakings and other events in Near Southeast this year that have been broadcast on the city's cable channel 16 are also available On Demand; the same goes for council hearings, available on Channel 13's On Demand page. (I kinda sorta knew that the On Demand stuff was there, but when I checked it many moons ago, it didn't seem quite so complete, so I hadn't looked back in on it for a while.)
So if you've missed any of the following four-star telecasts from 2007, you can watch them at your leisure:
* The Oct. 3 groundbreaking ceremony at The Yards;
* The Aug. 27 ceremony marking the reopening of the Frederick Douglass Bridge (and, for that matter, the time-lapse video of the lowering in July);
* The July bill-signing ceremony at the Earth Conservations Corps pumphouse where the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation were officially abolished;
* JPI's June "groundbreaking" for its four projects along I Street ("Capitol Yards");
* The April presentation of $4 million for Canal Park/Diamond Teague Park;
* The January groundbreaking marking the start of the Navy Yard Metro renovation and Monument's Half Street project;
* And pretty much any ceremony anywhere in the city the mayor was at since the beginning of the year, plus a lot of other presentations and events. (Be sure not to miss the Reporters' Roundtable "Snitching Debate.") Check the dropdown boxes on the On Demand page for the offerings. I've added the above links to all of the various project pages in case you're desperate to find them again someday.
Two of the most recent shindigs haven't gotten added to the lineup yet--the Oct. 22 kickoff ceremony for the Capitol Riverfront BID (in which you can find out where the "Traveling Roadshow" moniker originated), and the mayor's remarks at the Nov. 13 turf unveiling at the ballpark. Ditto with the Waterside Mall Demolition program, which is currently playing on Channel 16 but hasn't yet made it to On Demand. But perhaps they'll show up eventually.

New Interactive Map from the BID
Nov 5, 2007 1:27 PM
Today the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (which covers both Near Southeast and Buzzards Point in Southwest) has launched an interactive map, allowing users to browse the neighborhood's developments, attractions, retail, parks, and transportation options. [Insert self-pitying comment about watching my readership flee here.] You can click on points of interest or additional details and distances to other attractions, or filter the map to only display different types of data.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Quick Morning Links and Site Updates
Oct 26, 2007 9:44 AM
I don't normally do this, but I've got a bunch of pretty small items, so I'll just run them together:
* There's finally a small piece in the big media about the plans to redo the 11th Street Bridges, from WTOP. Nothing new, except that DDOT hopes to begin the construction in 2009, contingent on that pesky little thing called federal funding.
* Monday's kick-off ceremony for the Capitol Riverfront BID is making its debut on DC Cable 16 tomorrow (Saturday), at 3 pm, with additional showings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday also at 3 pm. If you don't have cable, you can watch its feed via streaming video.
* I've now posted Monument's 90-second animation of what the east side of Half Street will look like when finished. If it goes by too fast (or if you can't get it to work), you can see the stills I took from it on my Monument Half Street page. There's no sound, and in order to make it small enough to download in less than 12 hours, the quality is lower than the crystal clear original. But you'll get the idea.
* You may notice that the map at right on my homepage has acquired a bunch of new stars. Showing that razor-like sharpness I'm known for, I took just under five years to figure out that I could display projects on the map even if I didn't have enough room for them under the "selected projects" lists at left. But at least the stars are color-coded! Just hover your mouse over them, and you'll get the descriptions. And don't forget that you can also click on the tabs above the map to get to the directory of all completed, under construction, and in-the-pipeline projects. Now I just need to work on freshening up some of the neglected interior pages of the site; I'll do it during all that spare time I have.
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Capitol Riverfront BID, Monument Valley/Half St.

BID Kickoff Event Today
Oct 22, 2007 12:46 PM
This morning the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District held a kick-off celebration on the 10th floor of 20 M Street, the latest stop on the 2007 Traveling Road Show of Near Southeast groundbreakings. Mayor Fenty, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Council Member Tommy Wells, and others saluted the changes happening in Near Southeast--and fans of Canal Park will be happy to know that Wells took time to stress the importance of getting the park built, not just from a greenspace standpoint but also because of its stormwater management operations. Renderings of the projects underway were displayed on easels throughout the room, most of which are available as well here at JDLand. There were also diplomas presented to the first graduates of the "Clean Team" program, the blue-jumpsuited workers now starting to be visible around the neighborhood as they work to keep the streets and sidewalks clean, no mean feat when the entire area is basically one big construction zone. For more about the BID, visit their web site. I took some pictures of the proceedings, a few of which I've tossed up on a page (opting for speed rather than depth of coverage). And I also took the opportunity to get some updated overhead shots of the neighborhood from the 20 M vantage point, which I'll be posting along with the rest of the photos I took this weekend as soon as I can finally get through all of them.
UPDATE: Not sure how much coverage there will be of the event, but here's a GlobeSt.com brief on it, and on the BID itself. And here's the press release from the mayor's office.
UPDATE II: And a story from the Washington Times. Quick reminder on what the BID is here for: "Business leaders said they were willing to agree to pay thousands of dollars in taxes to fund the BID.[...] The money will fund basic cleaning and security efforts as well as marketing and coordination of transportation and parking."
UPDATE III: An audio piece on the BID from WAMU-FM.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

BID Signing Ceremony on Monday
Oct 19, 2007 5:29 PM
On Monday (Oct. 22), there's going to be a "signing ceremony" to officially enact the law creating the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (Near Southeast and Buzzards Point). Mayor Fenty will wield the pen, and the Usual Suspects are expected to be in attendance (Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tommy Wells, other council members, developers, nosy bloggers, etc.). It's at 20 M Street at 10 am.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Today's Oversight Hearing on AWC/NCRC Transition
Sep 24, 2007 10:52 AM
This morning the DC Council Committee on Economic Development is having a public oversight hearing on "Projects Managed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development" (it's being broadcast live on DC Cable 13 and live webcast, if you're interested). The hearing is still ongoing, and is addressing many projects around the city, but there were two Near Southeast-related items in Deputy Mayor Neil Albert's opening statement that I thought were worth passing along now.
First, it's been decided to not continue to use the old Anacostia Waterfront Corporation space at 1100 New Jersey Avenue after all, and so the expanded Deputy Mayor's office will be split between the Wilson Building and the old National Capital Revitalization Corporation office space at 2020 M Street, NW, and the office moves should happen this week.
Second, Deputy Mayor Albert mentioned Canal Park, saying that "coordination of the site survey, and various site management plans including erosion and stormwater management are scheduled to begin in the next month." He also said that his office is in discussions with the Office of Property Management to relocate the school buses currently occupying two of the park's three blocks to other sites in the city, and that he "expects to have a solution soon." Canal Park is one of the items specifically on the agenda for an Oct. 1 oversight hearing, so hopefully there will be more concrete news then.
If there's additional news from today's hearing, I'll update this entry.
UPDATE: Nothing earthshattering from the rest of the hearing (which, admittedly, I've been listening to with one ear, since the vast majority of it has been on topics outside of Near Southeast). In answering council member Wells's concerns about who will be in charge of the upkeep of the new parks being planned, Deputy Mayor Albert mentioned possible public-private partnerships with the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District for Canal Park and the Earth Conservation Corps for Diamond Teague Park, though he stressed that neither of these have been officially decided on. Wells also asked about whether there's thoughts of creating a Water Authority to help streamline decisions that will have to be made that effect the rivers (such as water taxis, ferry piers, possible new boathouses, etc.); Deputy Mayor Albert said that they've hired a consultant to help them decide how to handle these issues. And, one last tidbit--Albert mentioned that there will be a groundbreaking at The Yards in mid-October.
(If you're interested in Poplar Point or the Southwest Waterfront or the West End library deal, you might want watch for a replay of the hearing broadcast, because those subjects were much discussed. Marion Barry made clear he was not pleased with how the city has handled Poplar Point, and said that he and the Ward 8 community "will oppose any Poplar Point proposal that doesn't include a stadium.")
UPDATE II: Here's a Washington Business Journal blurb on today's hearing, focusing on the savings to the city from the consolidation of the AWC and NCRC functions in the Deputy Mayor's office.

This Week's Ballpark and Beyond Column
Sep 20, 2007 8:03 AM
My Ballpark and Beyond column in today's District Extra covers a number of items I wrote about here on the blog recently: Metro's lack of decision on relocating the buses at the Southeastern Bus Garage, the WalkingTown DC Fall Edition tour of "Capitol Riverfront," the demolition of the GPO building at the Yards, and the proposed 12-unit condo project at 1006 Seventh Street.
More posts: West Half St., Capitol Riverfront BID, Metro/WMATA, square 906, The Yards, Yards/Parcel H

Capitol Riverfront BID Survey
Sep 16, 2007 9:49 PM
The folks at the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (covering Near Southeast and Buzzards Point) have posted a small online questionnaire about the current state of the area and priorities for service as the BID gets itself up and running, if you feel like spending a few minutes passing along some feedback and opinions...
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WalkingTown DC Includes Near Southeast
Sep 12, 2007 4:21 PM
On September 29, the WalkingTown DC Fall Edition, presented by Cultural Tourism DC, will offer 45 free walking tours in neighborhoods all across the city, and one of them is in Near Southeast. (Pardon me, "Capitol Riverfront." Bah.) Here's the description: "Between the Anacostia River and the US Capitol Building, alongside construction of the Nationals' ballpark, a new cityscape is emerging based on a unique nautical history: the Capitol Riverfront. Explore the industrial buildings of the Yards where the Navy once produced ships' instruments and ammunition. Move on to the Washington Canal and the new environmentally sustainable Canal Park, then visit the historic Pump Station that previously supplied power to the Capitol. End the tour with a boat ride along the river." It will be led by Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. The tour starts at 10:30 am at the Navy Yard Metro station entrance at New Jersey and M. There's also tours of Poplar Point, the Southwest Waterfront, Barracks Row, Capitol Hill, etc. etc.; the list of tours is on the WalkingTown DC web site, and here's a press release with additional information.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

Capitol Riverfront BID Web Site Launched
Aug 8, 2007 11:12 AM
The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District has launched its "real" web site today, at capitolriverfront.org. The BID covers all of Near Southeast, plus Buzzards Point, and the web site contains information about the neighborhood, renderings of upcoming projects, maps of development plans, and links to news stories. In other words, just like my site! So perhaps I'm now on the road to being muscled out of business.....
UPDATE: I should note, after hearing a few questions, that the "Berdor's" rendering on the site's homepage is from renderings for The Yards's Building 167 (the old Boiler Maker's Shop), showing what the exterior of the building might look like after its renovation into a retail space. It doesn't mean (necessarily) that a certain national bookstore chain is coming to that spot, at least not that's been announced. And, if it were, it probably would fix the typo in its sign. :-)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

New Capitol Riverfront Web Site
Aug 1, 2007 12:12 PM
A few weeks back I linked to a new video created by the Washington DC Economic Partnership showcasing all of the plans for the Anacostia waterfront, not only in Near Southeast but also the other areas along the Anacostia River. Since then, the WDCEP has launched a full web site devoted to this "Capitol Riverfront" area, with details on the various projects in the pipeline. While there's not much there about Near Southeast that you can't already find on certain obsessive-compulsive web sites, there's a good deal of information and renderings about planned projects in Southwest and Anacostia. (And you can watch the video again, too.)
Note: this is not the web site for the new Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District--that site is still under development, though it will probably feature much of the same information, specific just to Near Southeast and Buzzards Point.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Capitol Riverfront BID Approved
Jul 10, 2007 5:20 PM
The city council has approved today the creation of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, covering all of Near Southeast as well as much of Buzzards Point in SW. They enacted not only the permanent legislation but also an emergency bill allowing the BID to be created immediately, rather than waiting for the permanent legislation to wind its way through Congress. (Check out my previous BID entries for more background on what a BID is.) Welcome to the neighborhood, BIDders....

More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Week O'Meetings
Jul 8, 2007 2:27 PM
With the calendar inching toward DC's annual August shutdown, there's a boatload of meetings and hearings on the agenda this week as everyone tries to get their work done before heading for the beach. Here's a not-very-detailed rundown, so follow the links if you want more detailed information:
* Monday starts bright and early with the "public hearing and preliminary finding" by the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District application, in Room 301 of the Wilson Building, 10 am.
* The Zoning Commission's monthly public meeting on Monday night includes a final vote on the plans for the 250 M Street office building and a first vote on the 1325 South Capitol Street residential project. In addition, there's a new case looking for various amendments to the Southeast Federal Center overlay; here's the Office of Planning report spelling them out. The commission is also scheduled to address Florida Rock's request for guidance on its revised design, which has the support of the Office of Planning. The meeting is at 6:30 pm at One Judiciary Square (Suite 220 South), but also can be watched via live webcast.
* At about the same time, ANC 6D is having its monthly meeting, and will be having a presentation and vote on Forest City's July 26 zoning hearing to allow temporary surface parking lots at The Yards. This meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, 6th and M Streets, SW. (Having to make a choice, I'm opting for the zoning meeting, so it might take a little while before I find out what happened at the ANC.)
* Tuesday's city council meeting at 10 am will include a final vote on the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District.
* On Tuesday night WMATA is having a public hearing on the proposed move of the Southeastern Bus Garage from its current location at Half and M to a new facility at DC Village in Southwest. (It's probably geared more toward residents near the new location.) There's an open house at 5:30 pm, and the hearing itself starts at 6:30, at 2700 Martin Luther King Dr. SE.
* The Nationals ballpark is having its "Topping Out" party on Wednesday at noon.
* WMATA's Planning, Development and Real Estate Committee is meeting in executive session on Thursday morning to address something having to do with the Southeastern Bus Garage, but they're not saying what.
* Thursday also sees the National Capital Planning Commission meeting that Canal Park fans mobilized for, with the NCPC's agenda including the zoning commission case approving temporary surface parking lots on various blocks in Near Southeast that include Canal Park in their boundaries. There's also a presentation on the the first phase of The Yards. The meeting is at 12:30 pm at 401 9th St., NW, Suite 500.
* Wrapping up the week (pant pant pant) is a city council Subcommittee on Economic Development hearing on the transition plans for folding in the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation into the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; it's in the council chamber at the Wilson Building at 10 am, and may also be broadcast on DC cable channel 13 and via streaming video.
And then I will spend the weekend alseep.

Council Actions Today - BID and Ballpark
Jun 21, 2007 1:24 PM
Just a quick sleep-inducing update on actions at today's City Council legislative meeting (have I mentioned that you people don't pay me enough?):
* B17-0208, creating the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District that would cover all of Near Southeast and Buzzards Point, passed on the consent agenda on its first reading. There will now be a Public Hearing and Preliminary Finding on the BID application by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on July 9. The bill's second reading will be on July 10. (See my previous BID entries for background.)
* Bill 17-0011, the "Ballpark Hard and Soft Costs Cap Act of 2007," makes permanent the legislation passed in 2006 that set a city spending cap of $630 million. There was some bickering when council member Catania asked to add an amendment updating the soft costs amount in the bill to $117 million from the originally specified $111 million as a result of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission's May 31 report. Council member Evans was quite vehement about not changing numbers on dais without consulting the CFO's office to be sure that even an innocuous-seeming change like this one wouldn't end up having unintended consequences (and he also was miffed that Catania hadn't shown him the amendment before the meeting), but in the end the amendment was agreed to.
Council member Kwame Brown said that a new report by the DC Auditor indicated that the stadium remains on budget at this time, although there items that will need "close attention paid" to them. Catania expanded on that by citing a series of numbers from the auditors' report indicating that the city still has up to $95 million in additional costs when there is only $6.7 million left in the contingency fund; however, $72 million of that is the amount that the eminent-domain'ed landowners are seeking from the city in compensation, which may not be exactly how much they receive once the hundred years' worth of court battles are finally completed. Catania said that the council needs to face these potential problem numbers instead of "putting our head in the sand."
* Finally, Bill 17-0021, the "Ballpark Parking Completion Amendment Act of 2007," was passed, creating permanent legislation exempting from zoning restrictions the parking garages on the north end of the stadium site; council member Mendelson asked that before second reading, a sunset provision originally in the emergency legislation that requires the exemption to end by the end of 2008 be inserted into this permanent legislation.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, parking, Nationals Park, zoning

Capitol Riverfront BID Moving Forward
Jun 13, 2007 8:56 AM
The legislation creating the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District had its hearing on Tuesday in front of the DC Council Committee on Finance and Revenue. (Need to know what the heck a BID is? Start here.) It was a pretty straightforward session, with BID executive director Michael Stevens giving a quick summary of the amount of investment coming to Near Southeast and Buzzards Point, repeating the mantra about how the area will eventually rival the downtowns of medium-sized cities. There were also representatives of the CFO's office and RestoreDC testifying in support and one concerned resident of Southwest testifying about his wish that the BID's boundaries be expanded across South Capitol Street instead of stopping in the middle of the street.
Along those lines, council member Tommy Wells expressed his concern about not covering both sides of South Capitol, given the work DDOT is going to be doing on streetscape improvements, and not wanting only one side of the street to be maintained. He also talked about M Street's importance as the "Main Street" of this part of town, especially since it will eventually be connecting the revitalized Southwest Waterfront to the revitalized Waterside Mall to the revitalized Near Southeast.
There was some discussion about how currently the new ballpark is not part of the BID (because it is government-owned property), but that there are negotiations to see if the BID's "clean and safe services" could be extended to the stadium site during the 81 home games each year, which would cost about $250,000. The Capitol Quarter townhome development is also not a member of the BID, even though it is surrounded on all sides by the BID; Wells questioned that area being left out of the BID's services, but the BID's executive director Michael Stevens mentioned that residents of Capitol Quarter will be paying monthly public-space maintenance fees. He also said they hope to cover the three Capper apartment buildings that will eventually be constructed east of Canal Park, but it depends on the amount of market-rate units.
The bill (B17-0208) will be marked up on Thursday June 14 at 11 am, and is expected to have its first vote in front of the full council on June 19.

More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

June: Month O'Meetings
May 29, 2007 12:41 PM
The calendar for June is quickly filling up with all sorts of meetings and hearings on various Near Southeast-related projects, and although I've been adding them to my Upcoming Events list, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight them. So mark your calendars, and if you're interested in participating, many of the links have information on how to do so.
* It's not actually in June, but on May 31 at 6:30 pm (close enough!), the Zoning Commission is having another public hearing at 6:30 pm at One Judiciary Square on Case 06-41, Camden Development/1325 South Capitol Street, this time to consider the project as a consolidated planned unit development and map amendment request to rezone as C-3-C.
* The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation public board meeting originally scheduled for last week was postponed and will now be held on June 1 at 1105 New Jersey Ave., SE, at 6 pm; agenda items include "South Capitol Waterfront Modification of Contract for Parsons Brinckerhoff" (which I believe has to do with the project to design Diamond Teague Park) and "Baseball District: Western Development Litigation" (which is the lawsuit that resulted from when the city opted not to move forward with Herb Miller's Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness plan for on-site stadium parking).
* On June 7, the DC Council Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations is having a Public Oversight Hearing at the Wilson Building at 9 am on the proposed relocation of the Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters to 225 Virginia Ave., SE, also known as the old Star/Post plant. (UPDATED with a date change to June 7.)
* On June 12, the council's Committee on Finance and Revenue will have a public hearing at 11 am on the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (bill B17-0208, "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Amendment Act of 2007").
* On June 14, WMATA's Planning, Development, and Real Estate Committee will be meeting, and included in their anticipated agenda items is "approval of developer selection and term sheet for the Navy Yard station east entrance", which is referring to a joint development solicitation proposal back in September 2006, looking to develop the 4,400 square feet owned by WMATA above the Navy Yard station entrance at New Jersey and M with some combination of a public plaza at ground level and development above it.
* On June 16, the council's Committee on Economic Development is having a Public Roundtable on "Progress of Economic Development Projects in Southwest and Near Southeast DC," at the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I St., SW, at 10 am. (This was listed in the June issue of the Southwester, I don't have a link to an official announcement yet.) UPDATE, 6/1: I've now got a copy of the meeting notice.
* And on June 20, the Zoning Commission is having a public hearing at One Judiciary Square at 6:30 pm on Case 06-32, a proposed text amendment to add Square 766 [the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Ave.] to the Capitol South Receiving Zone, a move that would allow greater height and density on the lot than under its current zoning.
So, don't ever say that this stuff sneaks through the political process without anyone knowing about it! The trick is trying to stay awake through it all.
UPDATE: I should add, even though it's outside of my purview, that on June 7 there will be a Zoning Commission hearing on the updated plans for Waterside Mall on M Street in Southwest.

Capitol Riverfront BID Legislation Introduced
May 25, 2007 10:31 AM
It's a Capitol Riverfront kind of day here, as I now see that the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District was introduced to the DC city council last week by Tommy Wells and Jack Evans; it's B17-0208, "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Amendment Act of 2007." The text of the bill is online; it describes the boundaries as being all of Near Southeast and most of Buzzards Point (from 2nd Street SW eastward, with a few jogs along Q and P), and it sets out the taxes it will assess on commercial properties within the BID. No word yet on when hearings will be. You can visit the Capitol Riverfront BID web site to read their executive summary, bylaws, and operating plan, and also take a look at some of my previous entries on the creation of the BID. And what exactly is a Business Improvement District? It's an area where the majority of property owners agree to an "self-tax" that pays for services that aren't provided by the city, like security, public space maintenance and cleanup, marketing, promotion, development, parking, transportation, etc. Here's the Wikipedia entry, if you want more general background on BIDs, and RestoreDC also has a page on DC's BIDs.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Coming Soon - The Future! (In Video)
May 17, 2007 2:22 PM
From a press release, word arrives that soon we'll be seeing a spiffy video showing us what the Southeast and Southwest Waterfronts are projected to look like in the future: "Interface Multimedia, a leading provider of state-of-the-art visualization services, and WDCEP, the Washington DC Economic Partnership, announced today the debut of the Capitol Riverfront video, the highly anticipated overview of $13 billion of development along the southern waterfronts of Washington, DC. Following a five-month collaboration with the WDECP and 25+ area developers and architects, Interface Multimedia's Capitol Riverfront video will debut on Monday, May 21st at the ICSC Spring Convention in Las Vegas. The five-minute video fuses massing models, renderings, map graphics, fly-by animations, copy writing and narration into a montage of the current and planned development of this highly sought-after area of Washington, DC. [...] The high-density area embraces neighborhoods around the new 26-acre Washington Nationals' baseball stadium, delivering in the Spring of 2008, and creates a vibrant, walk-to-work lifestyle with retail, shopping and entertainment at every doorstep. Within the next five years, development is expected to bring 1.3 million SF of retail and 10.1 million SF of office space to the Capitol Riverfront. More than 11,500 residential units are set to deliver by 2012. Cultural additions include the new 250,000 SF Arena Stage, pedestrian-friendly bridges, 10 scenic parks, waterfront promenades and the 22-mile Anacostia Riverwalk trail. " There will soon be a web site hosting the video, according to the release. The video's creation has been sponsored by a laundry list of the heavy hitters of the neighborhood's redevelopment: the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, Forest City Washington (The Yards), JBG (the new DOT HQ), Monument Realty (bringing you Half Street in the Ballpark District), PN Hoffman (the Southwest Waterfront and also the redevelopment of Building 202 at The Yards), and Urban-City Ventures. And it should be noted that "Capitol Riverfront" is the name given to the Business Improvement District now being set up that will cover most of Near Southeast (just in case you might have thought that a branding opportunity was being passed up, which as we know rarely happens).

Capitol Riverfront BID Operating Plan and Bylaws
Apr 4, 2007 10:58 PM
The in-development Business Improvement District for Near Southeast (which they're branding as "Capitol Riverfront", though I currently remain unconvinced) has posted its Operating Plan and Draft Bylaws, after having released their Executive Summary a few weeks back. The Operating Plan sets out how they plan to address the areas identified as the biggest needs in the neighborhood: Clean, Safe, Marketing PR & Branding, Business Development, Infrastructure Development, and Community Building. In other words, the streets will be clean before Nats games and trash cans will be installed, fear not! Note that the BID still needs to get buy-in from neighborhood commercial property owners, and go through the legislative process and get approval from the city council before being officially created.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Getting Organized - Executive Summary Posted
Mar 13, 2007 12:20 AM
A little birdie was kind enough to pass along a URL for the "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District", the BID in its initial organization phase that's slated to cover the entire Near Southeast footprint. (I'm not letting them rename my Hood just yet.) Right now there's only an Executive Summary posted, but it's certainly chock full of information about what's planned for the area, and how important a BID would be (they seem to be fixated on how dirty the neighborhood currently is). The city council must approve the creation of a BID, so this document is very much focused on persuading The Powers That Be that this BID is necessary; it's chock full of vision statements, goals, boundaries, number crunching, yadda yadda yadda. But considering that the initial directors of the BID are heavy hitters from WC Smith, Forest City Washington, Monument Realty, JBG, and Potomac Investment Properties, it's clear that there's plenty of muscle behind this proposal. But if you don't care about any of that, at least check out the cool previously unseen renderings of the Nats ballpark (on page 15) and the proposed Canal Park on the back cover (I'm adding the renderings to my project pages as well). You can see my previous entry about the formation of this BID (and more about what the heck a BID is) here. But definitely browse through the BID's Executive Summary, they clearly mean business [ahem].
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Nationals Park

Southeast Waterfront BID Proposed
Jan 4, 2007 5:24 PM
From the Dec. 28 issue of Voice of the Hill (PDF only, see page 13): "[...] Southeast Waterfront property owners have embarked on the creation of a [Business Improvement District] to serve their rapidly developing area." What exactly is a BID? "BIDs are geographic areas in which the majority of property owners agree to a supplementary real property tax that goes toward special services, beyond what's provided by the city. Services typical include cleaning, security, hospitality, marketing, and business development. BIDs also address issues like transportation, access, parking, infrastructure, and homelessness in their realms." The BID would cover basically all of Near Southeast (from the Freeway to the river, and from South Capitol Street to the 11th Street Bridges); the Navy Yard, while not an official member, would collaborate on some initiatives. As for when this would take place? "Legislation for the proposed Southeast Waterfront BID should be submitted to the DC Council and the Office of the Mayor for review by late January. It is anticipated that the BID will become operational upon approval of the legislation in late April or early May." There are five other BIDs already in place in DC, including DowntownDC.org and the Golden Triangle BID.

More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID

Business Improvement District for Near Southeast?
Jul 28, 2006 8:46 AM
Today's Washington Business Journal (which as of this week is now holding all of their print content behind a subscription wall for 30 days) reports that the William C. Smith company--which has on the boards a number of projects on Near Southeast--is working to organize a Business Improvement District (BID) that would stretch from Maritime Plaza (east of the 11th Street Bridges) to just over South Capitol Street into Buzzards Point. The plan is being run by Michael Stevens, the former head of the city's marketing center. Forest City Washington (developers of the Southeast Federal Center, Capper/Carrollsburg, and the WASA/SFC portions of the Ballpark District) are quoted as being enthusiastic. Fifty-one percent of property owners within the zone would need to agree to a property tax increase to fund the BID, then the council would need to approve it. As for what exactly a BID would do, the article says: "At first ... making sure the area is clean, safe and friendly. That means a litter patrol, graffiti removal, and public relations. As the neighborhood matures, the BID's role would likely expand to tracking economic development in the area." (Yeah, if only someone were doing that now!)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID