Then you can add those to the eight
other projects that are above-ground, topped out, or nearing completion, and you can understand why it's okay to feel like the neighborhood is still a perpetual construction site, and will be for a while yet. Here's shots of seven of them, in order of progress: the 99 M
office building, the DC Water headquarters
, the Bower condos and sibling Parcel O rental building
, and additional residential projects 2 I Street
, Square 769N
, and West Half
(alas, I haven't made it over recently to check out the status of the Emblem condo project at 8th and Virginia, so I'm one short):
, 1250 Half St.
, Development News
, Florida Rock
, The Garrett Apts.
, Nat'l Assoc of Broadcasters HQ
, Square 696 Residential
, DC Water (WASA)
, West Half St.
, Thompson Hotel/Estate Apts./Yards
, Bower Condos/Guild Apts/Yards
Catching Up with Holes, Skeletons, Build Outs, and More
Jun 5, 2017 8:15 AM
Sunday morning brought a confluence of a clear calendar, clear skies, and a sort-of-unexpected desire to "get back to work," such as it is, so I took a long walk to get the JDLand camera caught up with the goings-on in the neighborhood. Here's the rundown:
The biggest news (for me, anyway) is that at last the 99 M office building
project has peeked up above ground-level. Also worth getting excited about is seeing the structural steel going up for the new DC Water headquarters
along the banks of the Anacostia.
There's digging underway (or about to be) in multiple locations, and the camera peeked past the fences to check out the holes. In order, may I present the current state of: the former McDonald's site at 2 I Street
(where a 380-unit apartment building will rise), the Yards Parcel O
site at 4th and Tingey (where a joint condo/apartment project has been slooowly underway thanks to the need to dig very carefully when it's an old munitions site), the mixed-income Capper apartment building
at 3rd and L, and the JBG West Half
residential project directly north of Nats Park.
(I missed the hole at South Capitol and M where the new NAB headquarters
and the 10 Van residential building will rise, but it probably doesn't look all that much different from this
Then there's the Half Street Hole
, where work does appear to be underway, but since excavation was done in 2007, it's kind of hard to tell what's new (I should have gone up to the Hampton Inn roof). Finally, there's the lot at Half and L where fences recently went up around the site that will be Phase II of the Parc Riverside
apartment building, but while some dirt has been turned, heavy equipment isn't quite yet on site.
So, if you are counting, that is eight additional projects that will rise out of the ground in the coming year or so, along with the four others that are already above ground but not done.
: Vertical construction has been finished for a while at the residential building 1221 Van
just north of the ballpark, but exterior work has progressed since I last wandered by. And ditto for the District Winery
building at 4th and Water.
Some additional catching up.
And there are going to be lots of other "for the historical record" photos that have been needed to be taken for some months added to various project pages in coming days. Just click around from the main map
--you'll never know what you might find.
Coming Soon, a Coming Soon post.
, 1250 Half St.
, Novel South Capitol
, Capper, Development News
, The Bixby
, The Harlow/Capper
, Parc Riverside Apts
, DC Water (WASA)
, West Half St.
, Bower Condos/Guild Apts/Yards
Renderings for Condo and Public Housing Buildings on Square 767
Nov 15, 2016 10:16 AM
There apparently is a DC Housing Authority "construction progress" meeting tonight at the Community Center
at 6 pm.
I don't have more specifics from that, and I won't be able to be there, alas, but I do know that they will be displaying the renderings showing (at last) the designs for the two new buildings planned for Square 767
, the block bounded by 3rd, 2nd, I, and K, in advance of a planned zoning filing early next year.
Given that it's been almost precisely one year since the specifics for this project were last discussed at a public meeting
, I would prefer to wait for the zoning filing to describe any plans beyond that there will be a condo building by Capitol Quarter
developer EYA on the southern end of the block, and a smaller rental building that will be some mix of affordable units and public housing units on the north end.
The above rendering shows both buildings as seen from Canal Park
, with the taller condo building at right along K Street and the shorter affordable building at left along I. The drawings below show the block as seen from 3rd and I, in both wide and close-up views, along with the current state of that stretch of 3rd.
If you have any feedback for the plans, head to the meeting tonight (sorry for the late notice) or contact the Housing Authority, or just sound off in the comments.
Next Capper Apartment Building Getting Closer to Starting
Sep 13, 2016 8:15 PM
With the Bixby
now apparently targeting late fall for move-in dates*, it's time to look toward the next project in the Hope VI redevelopment of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing projects
, and that's the 171-unit mixed-income apartment building
planned for the north end of the block bounded by 2nd Place, 3rd, L, and M Streets, SE.
There had been chatter that the project (it's the one on the left side of the rendering) would get underway this summer, but alas, delays with permits and financing have pushed that date enough along the calendar that the DC Housing Authority had to file a request with the Zoning Commission for a six-month extension past what was already a two-year extension
"Although financing has been secured for the project," the agency's letter to the ZC says, "the final building permit authorizing construction has not been issued yet, which is a condition to closing." There are also delays associated with the more wide-ranging reviews and coordination apparently inherent in being the first building to implement the shared stormwater management system that was designed as part of Canal Park
The Zoning Commission granted the extension with almost no discussion on Monday night, probably at about the same time that ANC 6D was voting 6-0-0 to support the request. This means that Feb. 14, 2017 is now the date by which construction is required to begin.
The as-yet-unnamed building, which is currently referred to as the "Square 769N Residential project," will share the block with what is currently slated to be an office building
by WC Smith. It will have 34 affordable units and about 4,000 square feet of retail that would face Canal Park
and Il Parco.
This would be the fourth multi-unit building to be built as part of the Capper
redevelopment, and I'll note that it is not the "Square 767
" development that has had residents expressing concerns over a two-building (one condo, one affordable only) configuration. (There should be some zoning filings on that one coming Any Minute Now.)
If you are trying to envision exactly where Square 769N is, perhaps a graphic and/or sort-of-current-ish photo would be of some assistance.
* As apparently told to ANC 6D at Monday night's meeting, though I was not there to hear it with my own ears.
A Look Inside the New Capper Community Building
Aug 12, 2016 9:45 AM
While no deal is as yet inked with an operator, the DC Housing Authority is operating a "Summer Club
" at the new Capper Community Center
through Aug. 19, with activities ranging from Zumba for kids to computer instruction, creative writing, field trips, and more.
There are also plans in the works to have after-school activities available while waiting for the operations bureaucracy to conclude, including basketball in the spiffy new gym. Keep an eye on the building's web site
for additional details, or call 202-547-0581.
Although the building has been open for a number of weeks, the JDLand camera has only just now made a visit--and the resulting photo gallery
is not only a trip through a rainbow of colors, but is also the swan song for JDLand Camera III, which is being retired after eight years of valiant service. (I had hoped it would be the debut of JDLand Camera IV
, but the Postal Service was two hours too late.)
The full gallery is here
. And here's a final before-and-after to wrap up my tracking of this project, from before the demolition of the old center's building in 2007 to the start of construction in spring 2014 to its completion:
Update on the Capper Community Center
Jun 9, 2016 4:45 PM
For those wondering about the status of the Capper Community Center
, now looking fresh and all-but-finished in its spot on 5th Street SE between K and L, I checked in this week with the DC Housing Authority, demanding
that they give me an update, forthwith! And they did!
Getting the bad news out of the way first: the negotiations between DCHA and its original unnamed choice to operate the center "reached a natural conclusion without an agreement to move forward," according to DCHA spokesman Rick White. This means that the agency is "looking at alternatives," but any new agreement does not appear to be in the immediate future. That said, I have heard unconfirmed rumors that there will be some sort of "programming" at the center this summer--if that indeed turns out to be the case, the building will at least then not stand completed-but-empty while waiting for a deal to be struck with a new operator.
But there is a more pressing issue, which is that because of construction at Van Ness Elementary
, the new building has been tapped to function as the Precinct 131 polling station for DC's primary election day on Tuesday, June 14. Even though the center does not yet have its official Certificate of Occupancy, spokesman White says that a temporary certificate of occupancy is in the works, and that DCHA is "not expecting any issues around the election."
So, other than snagging a peek in the gym on Tuesday when you go vote (because OF COURSE you are going to go vote), everyone will just have to gaze longingly at the new building's exterior a little while longer. At least it looks nice in the bright early June sun.
Square 767 Rental Building to Have Public, Affordable Unit Mix
Nov 17, 2015 9:16 PM
At a community meeting Tuesday night to discuss the DC Housing Authority's development plans for the block between 2nd, 3rd, I, and K known as Square 767, DCHA executive director Adrianne Todman confirmed that the agency is continuing to work on a two-building plan for the site: a 120-unit market-rate condo building that would be developed by EYA and partners, and a separate rental building that would be a mix of public housing and "affordable" units.
While the designs of the buildings and specific numbers as to the exact number of units and the income-requirement structure aren't yet available (and probably won't be until the Housing Authority submits its second-stage PUD filing to the Zoning Commission), a presentation slide referred to "48-67 affordable rental units." It was also said that the design of the buildings will be the same, with the same architect and materials for both buildings, and that the rental building will have ground-floor retail facing Canal Park
And, because I'm a sucker for the deep official
detail of zoning filings, I'm going to wait until that second-stage PUD hits the streets instead of delving into too much more into the details given at the meeting, especially given that it sounds like there is still some level of fluidity in the plans (Todman quickly mentioned at one point that she asked her team to "look at adding some market-rate [units] as well") and given that their zoning encyclopedia David Cortiella was not in attendance. But at the very least it seems to be a concrete decision to "integrate different incomes" in the rental building.
Todman did emphasize the Housing Authority is still in pursuit of its "prime directive" to rebuild the 707 units of public housing that were in Capper/Carrollsburg
before it was demolished (398 available so far, 309 to go), and also getting as many of the original Capper families back to Near Southeast if they wish to return. And many of the questions from audience members centered around the issue of returning families, the use of vouchers in the new buildings, and the current lack of affordable ownership opportunities.
One other interesting theme that Todman mentioned a couple of times is how in comparison to other DCHA properties, the Capitol Quarter townhomes
are "mixed income on steroids," with levels of diversity in both income and race that the Housing Authority just did not expect when planning Capper's redevelopment more than a decade ago."We have to work harder to make it a more seamless community," she said.
In other Capper-related tidbits passed along at the meeting: the opening date for the Community Center
is now anticipated to be April 2016, and the financing deal for the 181-unit mixed-income apartment building
planned for the south side of L Street SE between 2nd and 3rd (Square 769N) is expected to be completed in the spring as well.
It looks to be early 2016 before the Square 767 second-stage PUD will be filed, so until then, further specifics for this block may remain hard to come by. But I shall remain vigilant.
Goodbye, Lofts at Capitol Quarter, Hello, The Bixby
Nov 16, 2015 2:56 PM
I am probably stepping on the toes of a big controlled PR unveiling, but my interest was piqued when I was followed on Twitter today by @TheBixbyDC
A little bit of Googling brought me first to the address of 601 L St., SE, and then to this web site
, all of which points to an official rebranding of what we've come to know as the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
, the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building now under construction at 7th and L Streets, SE.
The content of the site at the moment is minimal, but you can see that they are (rightly) highlighting the building's location "between Capitol Hill and Navy Yard":
"At The Bixby, you'll find an inviting apartment that puts you in the middle of DC, just steps to Capitol Hill and the Capitol Riverfront, yet feels far away from it all when you want to relax. Explore the delights of Barracks Row and the Navy Yard, enjoy a quiet afternoon on your balcony or host an evening with friends on the rooftop."
Those of you with long memories may recognize 601 L St. SE as the address of the old Capper Seniors building, which was demolished eight years ago this month.
The Bixby web site
allows you to register to receive more information, but there's no mention on the site yet as to when the building might start leasing.
Project Updates: The Getting-Closer Lineup
Nov 10, 2015 8:23 AM
While the appearance of a canopy over a front entrance does not signal that an under-construction apartment building is ready to start welcoming residents next week, it's still an interesting progress point to see at both the Park Chelsea
residential projects. There's also landscaping starting to go in along the Park Chelsea's sidewalks on both New Jersey and would-you-just-open-already I Street--plus the leasing countdown clock
has remained set for January 2016 for a few months now. As for Arris, the latest word remains "early 2016" for when it will open--and 2016 just isn't as far away as it used to be.
To the east, the not-minor project to do the masonry work and the siding at the 195-unit mixed-income Lofts at Capitol Quarter
at 7th Street continues--apologies for only showing the rear of the building when I take a wide shot, but with the trees and the narrowness of L Street it's basically impossible for me to get a good photograph of the front. (Plus the low sun angle from late October through early March makes southern-facing photos a pretty miserable experience with a pretty miserable outcome, anyway.)
At 5th and K, the Capper Community Center
's exterior isn't changing too much at this stage, but I'd get the shakes if I tried to not photograph it.
At New Jersey and Tingey
, the new trapeze school building's blue-and-white exterior is mostly finished, though I'm such a bad blogger that it didn't occur to me to walk up to the big opening and peek in--but TSNYDC has posted a photo of the inside
As for the Brig
, the beer garden-to-be at 8th and L, the building itself looks pretty well finished now, though the "garden" portion of the venture does not appear to have gotten underway yet. And with two pit bulls on guard (!), I wasn't about to poke my camera through the fence for a better view.
And while I had designs on pressing my camera up against the glass at Buffalo Wild Wings
on Half Street, they were having a staff training session when I arrived, and so I chickened out (Bad Blogger Data Point #2). But the gentleman I spoke with there confirmed again the Nov. 16
opening date, saying that the doors will open that day at 10 am
--and that they generally have people camping out over Sunday nights to be among the first 100 customers through the door, who are then winners of the free-wings-once-a-week-for-a-year prize. Hope y'all have warm sleeping bags!
Still to come, the skeletons-and-holes report.
Nov. 17 New Date for Public Meeting on Capper Square 767 Plans
Nov 9, 2015 8:31 PM
UPDATE, NOV. 9:
This meeting is now going to be on Nov. 17, still at 6:30 pm at 200 I St., SE
. It was rescheduled from its original date that turned out to conflict with a public safety meeting
There's not much detail at this point, but a public meeting has been scheduled
on Oct. 27
at 6:30 pm at 200 I Street to discuss the DC Housing Authority's plans for the block known as Square 767, bounded by 2nd Place and 3rd, I, and K Streets SE.
This block, part of the Capper/Carrollsburg
Hope VI redevelopment footprint, is the location where DCHA is looking to sell a portion of the land
so that an as-yet unnamed developer can build a market-rate condo building. Such a plan would seem to mean that the necessary affordable rental units on that block would be confined to whatever non-condo project is also built on that block, a notion has had neighbors expressing much concern
since it was first revealed nearly two years ago
There's no agenda or materials yet released, so look for a more detailed post once DCHA makes those items available.
Thursday Tidbits: Las Placitas, Navy Yard Items, South Park
Oct 15, 2015 9:50 AM
* LOWER LAS PLACITAS
: Capitol Hill Corner reports
that the owners of Las Placitas told ANC 6B that they hope to open in their new location at 8th and L Streets SE
on Nov. 1. The space will have 40 seats inside and another 38 along the building's north side.
: Excerpts from the one-woman play "'Capers," about how residents of Capper/Carrollsburg
dealt with the housing project's demolition, is being performed tonight (Oct. 15) at 7 pm at 400 M St. SE, hosted by the Arthur Capper Carollsburg Community Village. You can also catch the entire play four nights next week at the Forum Theatre in Silver Spring
* DSS BARRY CEREMONY
: The Display Ship Barry isn't actually leaving just yet, but on Saturday Oct. 17 the Navy is holding a departure ceremony
at 10 am inside the fences of the Navy Yard. See the announcement for details
, including how to get into the base if you wish to attend. It was announced in February
that the ship will be dismantled and removed from its home along the Anacostia Riverwalk.
* WATCH. BOX.
: A "watch box" (guard shack) that stood as part of the sentry post
at the Navy Yard's 8th Street entrance from 1853ish until 1905ish and was passed through by Abraham Lincoln just hours before his assassination has been restored
and formally ribbon-cut on Oct. 8 after its return earlier this year
from a 110-year stay at Indian Head. (Though unfortunately it's on display on a portion of the grounds that most of us will never see.)
: South Park took on gentrification
last week, with the new neighborhood of SoDoSoPa, the Lofts at SoDoSoPa, and the Residences at the Lofts at SoDoSoPa. And there was this: "What this town needs is a Whole Foods. It will instantly validate us as a town that cares about stuff." (And yet you people still refuse to adopt my new name for this neighborhood, Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards, #NeCaBaRY.)
* BRIDGE BEFORE AND AFTER
: DDOT's historic photos Tumblr recently included a shot from 1966
of the early construction of the downriver 11th Street Bridge
span. And I realized I have a photo taken from a very similar location as the span was dismantled in 2012 and its offspring was built. (The piers remain in the water, though, as the potential underpinnings of the 11th Street Bridge Park
Capper 'Flexibility' Gets Initial Okay from Zoning Commission
Feb 24, 2015 1:02 PM
With unanimous agreement that the need to get former public housing residents back to the neighborhood is paramount, the Zoning Commission on Monday gave first approvals to the DC Housing Authority's request for flexibility
in how it allocates 206 affordable units still to be built within the Capper/Carrollsburg
PUD boundaries, while still being required to have no fewer than 15 percent and no more than 50 percent of the units on any square be affordable.
ANC 6D remains adamantly opposed
to the flexibility idea--or at least to the idea that this flexibility would then allow a possible all-affordable building next to a market-rate condo building on Square 767
--saying it "would circumvent the theme of HOPE VI revitalization and the goal of the PUD."
But Zoning Commission vice-chair Marcie Cohen disagreed, saying that the success of Capper's revitalization is that "the area is mixed income, the neighborhood is mixed income," and that she doesn't have a problem "when public housing is a single project within a mixed-income neighborhood." Noting that some of Capper's previous residents were relocated from the site now more than 10 years ago, Cohen said that "the people who have been displaced have a right to come back"--and given that "financing vehicles are now driving housing policy," meaning that getting affordable housing units financed has become so difficult--the Housing Authority has in her view come up with a plan that is "satisfactory," and should be able to go ahead and "secure the proper financing, build the project, and get some of the people back if they choose."
Her fellow commissioners concurred, with both Robert Miller and Michael Turnbull also noting that all projects on the three remaining residential squares at Capper will need to come to the Zoning Commission for review before moving forward.
And in its response to the ANC 6D letter
, the Housing Authority emphasized this point, saying that the concerns raised by 6D will be addressed at that time, and that the reviews "will also demonstrate that the design of the buildings and distribution of the units in those applications are consistent with the PUD's overall goal of providing a vibrant, mixed-use and mixed-income community."
This case also will allow 30 of the Capper affordable units to be relocated to Square 737, to be included in both the 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods building and the eventual third-phase residential building on the eastern portion of that block.
Progress Report: The Long View of the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Feb 5, 2015 9:11 AM
My guess is that the 195-unit mixed-income Lofts at Capitol Quarter
residential project is the current holder of the title of Longest Building Under Development, and while that could refer to the years it took to get the dang thing financed
, in this case I'm describing the footprint of actual construction, running westward from 7th and L for what seems like forever.
The eventual height of the DC Housing Authority building has become clearer in recent weeks with the construction of the elevator shaft/stairwells, but while the rendering of the finished product gives some sense of the size, it's hard to adequately capture in photographs at this stage its length along L Street, especially since it also runs downhill.
But give me credit for at least trying, with shots from all four corners, though admittedly one is actually a stiched-together image of two photos from the southwest side. (Can you tell which one?)
Community Center Submission Booklet for CFA Review
Jan 21, 2015 1:23 PM
Tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 22), the Commission of Fine Arts will be reviewing the plans
for the already under construction Capper Capitol Quarter Community Center Building House*
at 5th and K streets, SE.
Other Capper-related projects have not gone to the CFA, but somehow this one has ended up there, meaning that a permit for construction of the building past the foundation can't be approved by DCRA until the CFA signs off.
The Housing Authority has prepared a lovely booklet
for the commission with the details of the project, including renderings, proposed layouts, construction materials, and more, along with a cover letter
from DCHA executive director Adrianne Todman.
Zoning Hearing on 'Flexibility' for Remaining Capper Projects; Residents Concerned
Jan 8, 2015 10:25 PM
It's been just over a year since the DC Housing Authority initially filed with the Zoning Commission a request for "flexibility" in the location and percentage mix of affordable units on three remaining blocks within the Capper/Carollsburg
Planned Unit Development (PUD), and tonight the hearing was finally held.
The request has been altered a bit since I last wrote about it in February
, but the gist remains the same.
First, DCHA is looking to move 30 affordable units outside of the Capper PUD boundaries and onto the block where WC Smith is developing the Park Chelsea
, 800 New Jersey
, and a third as-yet unnamed residential building.
Second, instead of being held to the originally approved unit counts on the blocks known as squares 767, 768, and 739 (as described in the fuzzy graphic above that I snagged from the Office of Planning report
), the Housing Authority requests the flexibility to change the configuration of the 206 total affordable (ACC) units on each square while not ever going below 15% of the total number of units for that square.
Agency representatives testified at length about the progress at Capper, including that the community center
is finally underway. But they told the commission that the current "financing atmosphere," especially for mixed-income residential projects, is increasingly constraining, and so having some flexibility built in could make it easier to work with potential development partners and financial institutions on designing projects before coming to the commission for Stage 2 approvals. (The four-year process
and convoluted solution that included a "mountain of documents" to secure financing the mixed-income Lofts at Capitol Quarter
was used as an example.)
However, it's been known for a year that one of the creative scenarios that DCHA has come up
with to move forward on Square 767 would be to sell half of the block to EYA (developers of the Capitol Quarter
townhomes) so that a market-rate condo building can be built, and then taking those proceeds to fund a second building on the block that would be all affordable units.
And while this particular zoning case does not specifically cover that not-yet-finalized plan, and putting aside that any plans for that block will have to come back to the Zoning Commission for approval before moving forward, a number of Capper/Capitol Quarter residents along with incoming ANC 6D07 representative Meredith Fascett used the hearing as a forum to make clear their displeasure with the idea of segregating incomes in separate buildings
, saying that it violates the spirit of the entire Hope VI mixed-income vision that the Capper redevelopment has been based on. (Fascett's written testimony is here
David Cortiella of DCHA did say that the agency believes many of the issues with the two buildings/two incomes plan on Square 767 "will be addressed" once a "community engagement process" about the project gets underway, specifically mentioning a "shared courtyard" for the two buildings so that a "more friendly environment takes shape."
The zoning commissioners did not seem overly troubled by the requests covered the current zoning case (though Michael Turnbull made sure to say that they "will look very
carefully" at future second-stage submittals).
The Office of Planning supports the flexibility request--however, DCHA is still wanting to further modify the modifications that OP put forward in its most recent report
, both because of some concerns about the wording about the units to be constructed by WC Smith but also because the Housing Authority wants to come up with a cap on the number of ACC units on each square that is different from OP's suggested 50-percent cap.
It's expected that the commission will vote on this case at its January 26 meeting; if and when this case receives its final approval, there would then be a vote on a concurrent case to grant a five-year extension to the Capper PUD (which I didn't even talk about here because no one is reading at this point anymore anyway).
One other Capper-related tidbit coming out of the hearing is that movement is continuing on the planned 171-unit rental building on the south side of L between 2nd and 3rd, with work on the financing "well underway" (helped no doubt by getting a cut of a $142 million funding pot
(Editor's Note: Leading off with a convoluted post about zoning after an extended holiday layoff is not optimal.)
A Capper Mixed-Income Building Gets a Funding Jump Start
Oct 24, 2014 9:34 AM
Earlier this month, the team developing a planned mixed-income apartment building that is part of the Capper/Carollsburg
redevelopment was one of 18 awardees named to share a $142 million pot
* helping to fund affordable housing units in the city.
The building, as yet unnamed and generally just referred to by some variation of the oh-so-attractive "Square 769N Residential" moniker, is planned for the northern part of the block bounded by 2nd Place, 3rd, L, and M, next door to the recently discussed 250 M Street
office building. It will be 11 stories, and will include 34 units of public housing in its 171 rental units. There will also be about 4,100 square feet of ground-floor retail. (The above image shows the block as seen from Canal Park, with the apartment building at left and 250 M at right.)
This funding is not enough to get the building's construction jump-started, but a) it's better than no funding at all and b) it probably helps move the process toward full funding forward.
It has already spent plenty of time in Zoning Land, having received its second-stage PUD approval back in 2009
followed by time extensions in 2011
This is one of four** large mixed-income apartment buildings still to be built as part of Capper's redevelopment, with two more planned for the other blocks along the east side of Canal Park plus one on the old trash transfer site at New Jersey and K.
* For sticklers, this award is part of the 2014 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) awards from the Housing Production Trust Fund
** It could be five, since the Housing Authority is looking at splitting some units out from one planned mixed-income rental building (not this one!) into a second market-rate condo building. But there has been no public indication of movement one way or the other on that, and a planned Zoning hearing this fall has been pushed back to at least early 2015.
Housing Authority Releases RFP for Community Center Operator
Oct 22, 2014 5:38 PM
The DC Housing Authority has now officially released its request for proposals
for an operator to run the new Capper Community Center
(or, "Community Building").
It states that DCHA is "seeking proposals from qualified service providers with a broad experience in providing programs, fundraising, property maintenance, asset management, and community outreach in a mixed income environment,"
Responses are due on Friday, Nov. 21.
Earlier this year the Housing Authority ran a community "engagement process" to come up with a series of recommendations
on what sort of programming and activites the neighborhood would like to see at this building, which presumably/hopefully/possibly whichever operator is chosen will use to guide their plans. And this gives me an excuse to post the final copy of the report
Community Center Groundbreaking Brings New Rendering
Aug 21, 2014 3:27 PM
I missed Wednesday's groundbreaking
for what is now officially called the "Capitol Quarter Community Building
," but one of the tweets from the event caught my eye: this spiffy new rendering.
It's just a little better than the one we've been seeing up to now
, which I first posted in October of 2005.
And since I failed you by not getting to the event (just add it to my ever-growing List of Shame), here's the Housing Authority's press release on it
(Though one thing not in this rendering that was at least hinted at in the old one: the Marines' parking garage.)
Ceremonial Groundbreaking for Capper Community Center on Wednesday
Aug 18, 2014 9:14 PM
It's been a long (long!) time coming, but work appears to be about to get underway at the planned Community Center
at 5th and L, SE--at least it's close enough that a ceremonial groundbreaking is happening on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 10:30 am. Mayor Gray, DCHA director Adrianne Todman are expected to be there, and I imagine the rest of the usual suspects
will be too.
This will get the structure itself underway, but it's still not yet known who will operate the building, or exactly what sorts of programs and offerings there will be. A few months back the process completed for determining what the neighborhood is looking for
from the new space, but full clarity probably won't arrive until closer to the building's opening, in latelatelate 2015 or early 2016.
Dang it, I forgot to use the phrase "shovel-wielding VIPs."
Neighborhood History Event Exploring Capper's Past on July 5
Jul 3, 2014 6:25 PM
The nascent Navy Yard Neighborhood Association
has put together a "Neighborhood History" event scheduled for this Saturday, July 5, from 1 to 5 pm at 200 I Street, SE
It will kick off with a showing of the 2007 documentary Chocolate City
, which tells the stories of families displaced when the plans went forward a decade ago to replace the old Capper/Carrollsburg
housing project with the mixed-income Capitol Quarter
Afterward, there will be oral histories from some of the neighborhood's former and returning residents, along with some panel discussions.
There will also be activities for the kids and refreshments.
Details on Recommendations for Community Center Offerings
Jun 12, 2014 12:15 PM
At a public meeting on Wednesday night, the team working with the DC Housing Authority unveiled
what programs the consultants will be recommending be offered at the Capper community center
, a list that grew out of the recent survey about residents' wishes
The recommendations are:
* A 7,000-square-foot gymnasium with basketball court that can also be divided into two smaller courts when needed;
* A 3,600-square-foot day care center, which would also include a secured outdoor play area;
* Three multipurpose fitness rooms (for yoga classes or the like):
* Two multipurpose classrooms;
* One individual fitness area, which could include treadmills and weights; and
* A small "soft play area" for little kids.
The recommendations are not a written-in-stone marching order, however. Soon the Housing Authority will be putting out an RFP to find the organization that will run the community center (though apparently we're now calling it a "community building," because #branding). The operator would then have "flexibility" in what it offers, while ostensibly guided by the survey results.
There were 473 responses to the survey, and the meeting slides
show both the demographic breakdown of respondents as well as the top vote-getters in both fitness and "enrichment" activities.
The slides also include conceptual
drawings of how the two-story building could be laid out to handle the recommended offerings, though it was stressed that the operator will be making the final decisions on layout and whatnot. (You may remember that there was at one time a basement planned for the building, but it's now been removed from the design.)
Attendees at the meeting did not rise up in fire-breathing opposition to the presentation, though concerns were raised about the lack of garden space, the seeming preference of fitness activities over learning/cultural/enrichment activities, and the need for space and kitchen access to accommodate private events like kids' birthday parties.
Even though the consultant's report is due to DCHA next week, the team still wants to hear comments
, if you've got them.
The slides also said that the groundbreaking for the building is "about to happen," which of course translates to JDLand Speak as "Any Minute Now."
Next Capper Community Center Meeting Set for June 11
May 27, 2014 5:36 PM
The next step in the planning for the soon-to-be-built Capper Community Center
has been announced, with a public meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 11 at 200 I St. SE at 7 pm*
to discuss the results of the recent neighborhood survey on desired programs and activities
at the center. The consultants hired by the Housing Authority will also present their recommendations.
: "Over the past three weeks, almost 475 members of the Southeast neighborhood answered the 130-question surveys. Of those, more than 85 percent were from within a 10-block radius of the proposed facility. About 46 percent of those surveyed indicated they rented their home. Almost three-quarters of the surveys were completed online."
Alert: Lofts at Capitol Quarter Ground Actually Being Broken!
May 8, 2014 10:59 AM
It was on March 5 that a large number of Very Important Persons gathered at 601 L St. SE to ceremonially break ground
on the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
, the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building that's the next step in the redevelopment of Capper/Carrollsburg. It's not unusual that there's a bit of a lag between the celebration and the actual start of work, but I admit my toes were starting to tap a bit as to when the real digging would begin.
And, lo and behold, this week the heavy machinery arrived, the northern half of Nats Lot W is roped off, and I witnessed with my very own eyes the breaking of ground. And there is plenty of ground to break:
DCHA Releases Survey on Community Center Desires
May 5, 2014 3:22 PM
As promised at a community meeting a few days back, the DC Housing Authority has now released its survey
to help get input from neighbors of the soon-to-be-constructed community center
at 5th and K SE.
The survey is being passed out in the neighborhood in printed form (though you kids may not know what "printed" is), but it also can be filled out online
. Responses are due by May 16.
And, to goose participation, DCHA is offering a chance to win one of six $50 gift cards if you complete the survey.
I wrote last week about the first public meeting in the agency's "engagement process"
, in which they are working to determine what programming will be offered at the center once it opens, by late 2015 or early 2016. Another public meeting will be held in June, followed by a final report.
Presentation Slides, Responses from Community Center Meeting
Apr 22, 2014 11:47 AM
On Monday night the first public meeting was held to begin gauging neighborhood expectations and desires for the programming at the Capper Community Center
, which is expected to begin construction Any Minute Now and open in late 2015.
I wasn't there, but the Housing Authority was nice enough to pass along both the presentation slides that were shown
by the consultants running the meeting and the entire community "engagement process
." These slides also include the breakout of the responses to various questions asked during the meeting. (I'm not going to call it Visioning. I'm just not.)
Attendees were given keypads to register their answers, and so the demographics of the 60ish folks who participated were immediately available: 62 percent of attendees were aged 60 and older, 61 percent were female, 69 percent have lived in the neighborhood for four years or more, etc. Then a series of questions about what the focus of the building's offerings should be and how the building should be operated were asked, followed by breakout small group discussions.
The next step in gathering input will be a survey that will go out in the next few weeks, which will focus on feedback about specific potential programs and activities. Another community meeting is expected in early June, with a final report issued not long afterward.
Public Meeting on Capper Community Center Set for April 21
Apr 10, 2014 4:19 PM
The "engagement process
" between DCHA (and its consultants) and interested parties about the planned Capper Community Center
now has its first public meeting scheduled, for Monday, April 21, at 7 pm, at 200 I St. SE.
The announcement flyer
includes an FAQ with information similar to what I wrote about not too long ago
when the agency announced that it would be working with the community to determine the "inside uses" for the 30,000-square-foot building at 5th and K streets, SE, which DCHA expects to be "a support for the community building process in this new mixed-income community" as well as a "multifaceted enrichment center" and a "hub for activities and positive civic interaction."
It also explains again that DCHA will not be running and funding the center's operations--though will remain "vitally interested" --so it needs to come up with ways to create the necessary revenue to support both staff and programs.
This meeting is planned to be an information session and also hear ideas about programs for the building, then a second meeting later this spring will present preliminary programming recommendations.
Check the flyer for additional information
, including the reminder that government ID is needed in order to get into 200 I St.
DCHA Starting 'Engagement Process' for Community Center
Mar 29, 2014 8:58 AM
With the construction of the long-delayed Capper Community Center
at 5th and K getting ready to start, and with residents having recently made clear
their desire to be consulted on the center's programming, the DC Housing Authority has announced that it will be reaching out
"to the Capper HOPE VI community (homeowners and renters/former residents/current residents) and the broader Near Southeast neighborhood to solicit input into the future programs that will be offered."
Additionally, because the agency says that they have been unable to find funds for the staffing and programming of the center once it opens, it will be looking to contract with some organization or entity to operate and develop programs at the center "that will be responsive to the community's needs and the long-term vision for the center."
Brailsford & Dunlavey and Justice and Sustainability Associates have been hired to (I'll just quote the consultant mumbo jumbo): " 1) develop a process with the purpose of defining impacting programs that will foster personal and community enrichment, and civic participation; 2) create an asset map that will allow the future operator to understand the programs that are offered in the neighborhood; 3) develop financial models and pro forma to guide DCHA in approving future programming; and 4) [work] with our architects to define square footage within the building’s walls so that each space can have the potential of multiple uses."
There will be a series of meetings with the community over the next three months (including all-important charettes) and will also be developing a survey and "other forms of communicating the community's vision and desires for the building."
With the construction funds expiring by November 2015, DCHA has a goal of finding an operator for the center by this September, which would give the new operator one year to prepare for the center's opening.
You can read the entire release from DCHA about the process
for more information.
The new community center has had a long, long path to fruition
, since even before the original one closed and then was demolished in 2007.
There should also be a construction trailer and a sign announcing the project
going up at the site (if not there already), as DCHA gets ready to prepare the site for construction.
Shovel-Wielding VIPs Break Ground for Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Mar 5, 2014 1:10 PM
A clearly happy and relieved group of city officials, developers, and residents gathered this morning on the parking lot at 7th and L, SE, to ceremonially break ground on the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
, the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building that marks the latest phase in the redevelopment of the Capper/Carrollsburg
public housing project.
Mayor Vince Gray, DC Housing Authority director Adrianne Todman, Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells, and other speakers all discussed the importance of making sure that residents are not priced out of the District, focusing on the 39 units of public housing that will be included in this project. When this building is completed, DCHA will have replaced 61 percent of Capper's original 707 units of public housing.
A lot of cooks were in the Lofts's $42 million financial kitchen, since DCHA did not use any of the Capper Hope VI funds to get the project underway. Instead, DCHA is acting as a first-time co-developer alongside Urban Atlantic and Forest City Washington, apparently crafting a "unique and complex legal and financial structure" that involves low income tax credits, DC Housing Finance Agency debt purchased by Citi Community Capital, and a short-term loan made by Industrial Bank.
The building is expected to be completed by 2015. You can read more about it here
, and on my project page
And because I'm a sucker for photos of dirt being flung into the air, here's a gallery of images from the event
, which included not only the usual lineup of officials but also former and current Capper residents.
As for when "real" groundbreaking will begin, let's just say Any Minute Now. (And Nats fans and commuters should be prepared that Lot W will be cut pretty much in half by this development.)
Groundbreaking on March 5 for Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Feb 26, 2014 6:45 PM
It's getting hard to keep track of all of the projects in the ground around the neighborhood
, and now another one is about to be added to the list: the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building christened the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
is having a ceremonial groundbreaking on March 5 at 10 am, with the mayor, Tommy Wells, and other luminaries expected to be in attendance.
This project, on the south side of L Street SE between 5th and 7th, is on the site of the old Capper Seniors building
, and will displace the northern half of Nats Economy Lot W. It faces the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters building
that opened at 7th and L in 2004.
Of course, since this is a ceremonial event, we'll have to see when actual moving of dirt--other than by shovel-wielding VIPs--begins. But financing is in place
, permits are approved, and the DC Housing Authority appears raring to go to get this project underway.
When completed, the building will be run by Forest City's residential management arm, and will have a fitness room, roof decks, interior courtyards, and meeting space. It's expected to take about 20 months to complete once construction begins.
This is the third apartment building to rise up as part of the Hope VI redevelopment of the Capper/Carrollsburg
housing project, and the first to be mixed income, with at least 38 affordable units to be included.
The "Capitol Quarter" moniker comes from the rows of new townhouses
built a few blocks away as part of the Capper redevelopment. In the original plans for Capper's re-do, this site (known as Square 882) was going to be townhouses as well, but was switched to an apartment building in 2009. The south half of the block, facing M Street and the Navy Yard, may someday be the 600 M Street office development, but that does not appear to be happening anytime soon.
Zoning News: Yes to Vet, and Capper Hearing to Come
Feb 14, 2014 12:16 PM
Now that I've come out of my snow bunker (being a weather geek is a terrible disease), I'll pass along these notes from the past week or so in Zoning Land:
* VET: The commission on Feb. 6 approved 5-0-0 Forest City's request for a wording change to allow a veterinary hospital to operate in the