Here's a few things, some of which could be their own posts, but, well, my walk wore me out.
MOVIE THEATER EXTENSION
: On Monday night the Zoning Commission granted Forest City's request
for a two-year extension to the PUD governing the plans for the Showplace Icon movie theater
on the current DC Water site, which has continued to see delays
because of DC Water's issues with moving some of its operations off of the site as planned. And, probably in response to a WBJ story a few days ago headlined "Big trouble for proposed multiplex at The Yards? Site 'may be in limbo for many years
'," Forest City issued a press release quoting its president, Deborah Ratner Salzberg, as saying that "We look forward to beginning construction on the Showplace Icon Theater at The Yards by the end of this year," and that "DC Water, the District and Forest City meet weekly on this project to ensure that this first-ever theater complex for Southeast DC opens on time." There is also a quote from the CEO of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters, Tony Kerasotes, saying that "We realize this is a complicated site and remain fully engaged in seeing it through and moving forward with construction."
The little Lincoln Playground Field House
at 555 L Street SE, now nestled between Van Ness Elementary School and the Bixby, has been designated a DC historic landmark
. It was built in 1934, and you can read more about its significance here
. As for getting it rehabilitated, ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett says
there will be a community meeting upcoming on both the field house and a redesign of the adjacent Joy Evans Park.
POLLING PLACE MOVE:
The DC Board of Elections has announced
that the polling place for Near Southeast's Precinct 131 will be moving from Van Ness Elementary School to the gym at the new Capper Community Center
one block to the north, starting with the June 14 primary. However, DCBOEE might want to double-check the address they are using
for the community center, since in the past it's always been 1000 5th St., SE, and "1005" would be one of the townhouses across the street.
Vertical Construction Completed on Dock 79 at Florida Rock Site
Nov 8, 2015 10:02 PM
This is mainly an excuse for me to post photos I got by schlepping up onto the Douglass Bridge on Sunday, but it's worth noting that it was announced last week that vertical construction is now finished on Dock 79
, the 305-unit residential building that is the first phase of the never-thought-it-would-finally-happen redevelopment of the Florida Rock site
along the Anacostia River. And so let's take a moment to look back to what the site looked like in 2005, and what it looks like now:
One other item of note at the site--as seen below, beams have been placed connecting a portion of the main concrete walkway at Diamond Teague Park
to what will be Dock 79's plaza and Anacostia Riverwalk
footprint, and without realizing it I did a pretty good job of matching my photo of the beams to the rendering of the same location:
There will be over 15,000 square feet of retail in the building, and in a press release from developer MRP Realty last week, John Begert is quoted as saying the retail space is being "programmed" with "a dynamic mix of local authentic restaurant operators," though no retail tenants have been announced as yet.
Most of this retail space will be facing the "esplanade" and this plaza, which MRP's press release says is "inspired by the concept of the “ecotone,” an ecological term referring to the transitional zone between two ecosystems."
The plaza also is directly south of the "grand staircase" of Nationals Park, ensuring that (some) views of the river from those steps and the viewing platform on the upper concourse are not completely lost.
The building is expected to deliver in the summer of 2016, and will have a ground-floor club/game room, a health club, a rooftop swimming pool, WiFi, air-conditioned storage, bike storage, a business lounge, and a 24-hour front desk.
The subsequent phases of the six-acre project are currently envisioned as a second residential building with 282 units and 5,600 square feet of retail, followed by a 313,000-square-foot office building with 11,500 square feet of retail, and then a fourth building that could be a hotel or another residential or office building, with 260,000 square feet of space and 12,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. (The footprint of the final two phases is, however, right up against the western end of the existing Douglass Bridge, so it might be awhile before those come to pass.)
Tidbits, Florida Rock Edition: Bardo Again, Dock 79 Virtual Floorplans
Oct 20, 2015 8:08 AM
* BARDO RIVERFRONT, AGAIN:
Last week a new "placard" was posted
for an alcoholic beverage license application for Bardo Riverfront
, the proposed combination outdoor brew pub and family-friendly riverfront park
at Florida Rock
This is Bardo's second attempt at the ABC process for this site (the first placard having been rescinded just a few weeks after a filing in August), and is now technically the fourth time that the notion of a large outdoor activity/party/drinking/whatever space has been attempted at this spot across from Nats Park.
This application is for a Retailer's Class D Tavern license (as opposed to a Class C Tavern license last time), and is described thusly: "Outdoor Beer Garden. Beer made on premise. Food Trucks to supply food. Total number of Summer Garden seats: 700. Total Occupancy Load: 750. Brew Pub Endorsement."
As to why Bardo's application earlier in 2015 never made it all the way through after being announced back in March
, one might want to read this transcript
from the April hearing at the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to see the many (many) concerns raised by the board and by MPD, which clearly is not supportive of any venture of this type in this location. (And I can't not highlight the comments from Commander Jeff Brown of MPD about how the "applicant here says it's going to be cornhole bean-bag toss, which I'm not even going to pretend to know what that is, but I think I'll be safe to say that it's not very popular.")
The Changing Skyline: Catching Sight of Dock 79 and 801 New Jersey
Oct 11, 2015 8:04 PM
As someone who has, shall we say, a pretty firm grasp on the plans and locations for new buildings in the neighborhood, I admit to a jolt here or there when skeletons arise and become visible--especially in spots at which I hadn't yet imagined seeing them.
With the residential buildings at Florida Rock
and 801 New Jersey
now in the showy above-ground portion of construction, I got jolted quite a few times during a four-hour walk around the neighborhood on Sunday to catch up on photos.
Here's a few images that perhaps might jolt you too, starting with the one above, looking directly at Dock 79
from the DC Water bridge along the Riverwalk
, which also should be compared to this view from just before the final demolition of the concrete plant
. And while there's this one that I've been waiting to see, looking east along Potomac Avenue from South Capitol Street, with work on the top floor now underway, there's also the "surprise" view from the Yards Park (click to enlarge):
Dock 79 is also quite visible now when looking south along 1st Street
, and even from New Jersey and M (in person, not with a wideish-angle lens!).
As for 801 New Jersey
, it hasn't risen more than a couple floors, but it's still starting to show itself at locations other than the intersection of New Jersey and I--like along K Street, at 1st and at 2nd Place (I've added a small helpful pointer in case you aren't seeing it). It's going up a total of 13 floors, so it's only going to get more noticeable from more locations.
Of course, if a favored view is being eclipsed by this "progress," my sympathies. At least someone thought to take "before" photos.
Out and About: The Latest Above-Ground Report
Sep 3, 2015 8:39 AM
For posterity's sake, here's a quick survey of the late-summer state of construction at various sites--hope you like the Douglass Bridge-based views of the Arris
and Dock 79
residential projects, for a bit of variety. Arris is close to having all of its exterior glass installed, while Dock 79 is just about halfway through to its eventual 10-floor height.
Otherwise, the masonry work continues slowly at the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
(lower left), while the windows are in at the new Community Center
(lower middle) and the Brig
beer garden at 8th and L does show evidence of progress.
Pictures That Have Been a Very, Very Long Time in Coming
Jul 13, 2015 8:41 AM
Post-Vacation Tidbits: Cranes Up, Roads Closed, and Carryout Pizza
Jun 29, 2015 9:26 AM
I'm now back from a much-needed respite in north-central and northeast Wyoming, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play (sometimes in your yard), and where the skies are (mostly) not cloudy all day.
While I'm miffed that all work in Near Southeast did not grind to a halt while I was gone, I will still pass along these quick tidbits of news, for those who weren't doing their own newsgathering over the past 10 days.
* CRANES A'PLENTY
: The residential projects at 801 New Jersey
and 1111 New Jersey
have now joined the lineup of sites where tower cranes are in place. This of course means that vertical construction at these locations won't be too far off, should everything go according to plan. And there's probably a crane coming before long at 909 Half
as well. (Speaking of cranes, they are often lightning rods--literally
, as the Dock 79
crane found out last week.)
* ROADS A'CLOSING
: On Wednesday, June 24, Virginia Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets SE was closed and fenced, as part of initial Virginia Avenue Tunnel
work. And a missive from CSX a few days ago says that the expectation is that Virginia will close between 4th and 5th "on or about" Wednesday, July 1. (But the cross streets will remain open.) Drivers will need to use K Street over to 5th to then continue north under the freeway, or to continue east on Virginia Avenue until that portion of road is closed as well.
* PIZZA PIZZA
: There's still the pesky detail of actual construction, but at last a building permit has been approved for Nicoletta
, the pizza/pasta carryout kiosk long planned by Osteria Morini's Chef Michael White
in one of the small retail bays beneath the Yards Park overlook, on the Riverwalk.
* BARDO DELAYED
: The plans for an outdoor park and "brew garden"
on the west end of the Florida Rock
site are "now looking like a fall opening," according to WBJ
--"if we're lucky." "Red tape" is the reason given. WBJ also notes that the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that was looking for $200,000 to help fund the venture closed with $4,330 in contributions.
There's probably more to come, but that's good enough for now.
A Real Name for Florida Rock's First Building: Dock 79
Apr 28, 2015 7:39 PM
I imagine there's some sort of more official rollout to come, but I'll just jump the gun as I see evidence this evening that "Riverfront" isn't going to be the name for the apartment building currently under construction at the old Florida Rock
Instead, say hello to "Dock 79
," now on Twitter at @Dock79DC
It looks like there will be an official web site in the near future, but I don't think they are ready for company just yet.
Way (way!) back when, the project was christened "Riverfront on the Anacostia
," so I admit to never quite being sure that the "Riverfront groundbreaking
" was referring to the project or the building, but no one ever corrected any of posts here or in lots of other outlets using that name for this building.
But now we know.
And I now I must roam through my site to add the new name everywhere.
Catching Up with the Cavalcade of Shoring, Sheeting, and Excavation
Apr 27, 2015 9:44 AM
"Honey, what do you want to do when you grow up?"
"I want to peek through construction fences to take pictures of huge holes in the ground!"
While I'm pretty sure this wasn't on my childhood list of aspirations, I'll still present to you the latest JDLand State of the Dirt report.
From oldest hole to newest hole, we have residential projects 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods
*, Florida Rock/Riverfront
, 1111 New Jersey/Galley at Capitol Riverfront
, 909 Half
, and 82 I
, then the Homewood Suites
at 50 M, and finally the F1rst/First
residential and Residence Inn combo.
* If you are wondering about the new one-story structure
at the far left of the above photo that has popped alongside the Park Chelsea
and the 800 NJ excavation, which you can, it is the "covered vehicle court" that will serve the garage and loading docks for these two projects and the eventual third building on the block.
(Click to enlarge, as always)
If you wish for more context with any of these photos, follow the links up top to go to the project pages.
The Riverfront Apartments at Florida Rock, Now Going Vertical
Mar 29, 2015 10:23 AM
It's been a while since I've been down to the shores of the Anacostia at 1st Street (I'm old/it's been cold/I'm tired/I'm lazy), but on Saturday I finally made the trek to Florida Rock
, and saw what I expected to see--a concrete slab at the bottom of the two-story excavation for the 305ish-unit residential building "The Riverfront
," along with the base of the project's crane being put together.
I snagged a peek-through-the-fence shot of the hole, though before long I'll get to start taking photos of it from up above, on the viewing platform
at Nats Park. (While I, uh, watch baseball, too. Yeah, yeah, that's it.)
Here's the riverfront view of the Riverfront footprint (below left), matched to the rendering of the same spot (center). Plus, at right, a shot looking from Diamond Teague's pier to the staircase at Nats Park, giving a sense of the plaza that will be there (and that one sightline from the staircase to the river will still exist after the apartment building is completed).
This building, the first phase of the overall 1.1-million-sq-ft mixed-use redevelopment, is expected to be finished in late 2016. It will have a little more than 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and two levels of underground parking (as you see!). There will also be an extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
The Phase 2 land immediately to the west of the new building is expected to be temporarily remade as a "beach" area, including volleyball courts, with additional space for parking and other temporary uses. Which is all separate from Bardo's potential "brew garden" plans
for the two acres to the west of THAT site, on the portion of the Florida Rock footprint that edges up to the current Douglass Bridge
See my Florida Rock page
for lots more photos and renderings.
I finally made it up onto the Douglass Bridge on Sunday for the first time in forever to take some photos, and got an even better view of the excavation and its position in relationship to the ballpark. So, let's all look at this and start to mentally prepare for the change in the view not only of the ballpark, but from the ballpark.
Bardo Looking to Raise $200K for Florida Rock Brew Garden
Mar 27, 2015 4:53 PM
I wrote a few weeks ago
about the latest plans to use two acres on the western part of the Florida Rock
site along the Anacostia River as a "brew garden" and neighborhood park while waiting for the project's later phases to get underway--and I also wrote about the muted reception the idea got from ANC 6D
after a somewhat nebulous presentation by developer MRP Realty and representatives of Bardo
Now the Bardo folks, who already operate a similar brew garden in Northeast, are trying to raise $200,000
to "do this thing deluxe," to create what it calls Bardo Riverfront
, described as "100,000 square feet of BeerDisneyLand." This would include flush toilets instead of porta-potties, a bike shop, a kiddie playground, and "the largest dog park in DC," as well as parking for 500 bicycles, cornhole, food trucks, outdoor movies "projected onto a floating screen in the river," and other ideas.
(Their main web site has a festive graphic of how they envision the layout
of $20 now will get you four pints of beer when it opens, or four pitchers for a $50 donation, or numerous other options up to a $5,000 donation allowing you to take over the entire place on any Monday-Thursday when the Nats aren't playing. If you don't have money to contribute, you could donate wood trips, or "big tree logs to make into totem poles."
More details as they become available....
6D Report: Due South Liquor License, Half Street Support, More
Mar 11, 2015 9:30 AM
Well, that was a fun few hours. Sorry about the outage--fingers crossed that we're back. It's the price I pay for keeping JDLand on a shared hosting service. (I actually kind of enjoyed the respite!)
I somehow managed to make it through four hours of Monday night's ANC 6D meeting (yay?). I already gave you the big headline
(at least from the JDLand vantage point), but here's some other tidbits:
* DUE SOUTH
: After initially applying for a Class CT Tavern license, the southern food restaurant planned for the Lumber Shed
agreed to amend the application and change to a CR license as part of the settlement agreement negotiated with 6D. However, the city's liquor license board apparently voted on March 4 to approve a CT license. After much (much!) discussion and consternation about process, 6D voted 4-2-1 to send a letter to ABRA saying that if in fact Due South is being given a CT license, the ANC requests to be reinstated as a protestant to the license application and also moves for reconsideration of the CT order.
* HALF STREET HOLE
: A presentation was made on the new plans I posted about
for the northeast corner of Half and N, i.e., Monument Valley, i.e., the Half Street Hole, which received a generally positive response from the commission, along with suggestions for a better external differentiation between the condo wing facing N Street and the rest of the building and a request that the new sidewalks be made of softer materials if possible. The commission then voted 4-0-2 to support the project, which is now scheduled for its Capitol Gateway Overlay review on May 28.
* BREW GARDEN AT FLORIDA ROCK
: Representatives of MRP Realty and Bardo presented their brew garden/neighborhood park concept
. It was very late in the meeting, and so the discussion was hurried, but the commission raised issues based on concerns
from when similar
were made to use this site in previous years. These ranged from the fact that initial discussions with MPD and DCRA have apparently not yet been had, nor has the BID been talked to (which came up when the MRP/Bardo folks said they were looking to the ANC to "program" the site's offerings beyond the brew garden). One thing emphasized to the commission was that this is not envisioned as a place for baseball fans to come and swill down Bud Light, and that no hard liquor would be served. In the end, with time running out and the somewhat muddled presentation leaving the commissioners a bit quizzical as to exactly what the team is planning to do at the site, no vote was taken.
Brew Garden, Park Envisioned as Interim Use at Florida Rock
Mar 3, 2015 1:59 PM
With the western portion of the 5.5-acre Florida Rock
site along the Anacostia River just south of Nats Park not likely to be built on for a number of years (thanks to that pesky little detail of needing to demolish the existing Douglass Bridge
first), there are again plans being discussed to "activate" the area with an interim use, even while construction continues to the east on the project's first-phase apartment building
Developer MRP Realty will be going to ANC 6D in the coming days/weeks to look for feedback on what the space could offer, but the basics they are envisioning at this point are to use the space as an outdoor "brew garden" while also providing a large neighborhood-oriented park.
MRP would partner with the brewing team from Bardo, who would be in charge of the on-site vats and the craft beer-filled taps, while the rest of the site could see a number of sub-vendors offering various activities, like a putt-putt course or maybe even batting cages
. There would also be picnic tables along the river, food (on-site offerings and food trucks are both possibilities), and family-friendly programming as yet undetermined.
What the site will not offer is large concerts or private events, though smaller-scale music could be a possibility. I'm told the site would have a maximum capacity of around 1,000 guests.
This is not the first
rodeo for the idea of using this large open space, although previous notions were on a larger scale and perhaps might be described as more Fairgrounds-like, a comparison that this new proposal is apparently trying very hard to avoid.
Since it's all still in the brainstorming phase, and still has to go through the ANC, the alcohol/beverage folks, and various city agencies for permits, it remains a bit nebulous. (Feel free to use the comments to pass along any ideas for activities and offerings.)
In the meantime, work continues on the Riverfront
, the 300-unit apartment building on the east end of the site, by Diamond Teague Park. This first phase construction
will also see an expanded plaza between the building and Teague Park, a westward extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail into the Florida Rock site, and an already planned temporary use space separating the brew garden/park from the new building, with some surface parking, a small green space, and "The Beach," a sand-covered spot with volleyball courts. The building is expected to be completed in 2016.
More details as they become available....
Ground Ceremonially Broken for The Riverfront at Florida Rock
Dec 9, 2014 12:58 PM
When you schedule an event for December, you have to be prepared for Mother Nature to be uncooperative, but a cold rain didn't stop the ceremonial groundbreaking for The Riverfront, the 300-unit apartment building that's the first phase of the redevelopment of the Florida Rock site
on the west bank of the Anacostia River next to Nationals Park. (Unlike a lot of these events, this one actually came after the real breaking of ground, which started last month
The theme throughout the remarks by MRP Realty's Frederick Rothmeijer and David deVilliers of Florida Rock Properties was one of relief. Rothmeijer spoke of the trials of getting this phase--originally planned as an office building--approved by the Zoning Commission after MRP joined the project in 2011
, and even mentioned Commissioner Michael Turnbull's broadsides about the design
and the "four red doors
" originally facing the ballpark (which was probably one of the most memorable diatribes I've seen in my years of watching these proceedings).
FRP's deVilliers was even more relieved, as well he should be--he spoke of his initial discussions with the Office of Planning about redeveloping the site, which occured in 1994
--a mere 20 years from there to construction! (I came in at about the halfway point, and have probably spent more time writing about the zoning ins and outs of this project
than any other.)
Soon it was time to leave the warm, dry tent for The Flinging of the Dirt, and there were a lot of people with shovels in hand, as you can see above (and that's not even the full lineup).
It was not a prime day for photography, but I still have thrown together a quick gallery of shots from the day
, including a few showing the current progress of the site footprint. It also occurred to me that this was the first time I've been inside the fences at the site--and it quickly becomes even more obvious than I already thought that this is one prime piece of riverfront property. And my Riverfront/Florida Rock project page
has more renderings and photos, including nice ones from when the sun is actually out.
Banfield Getting Closer; 82 I Hints; Florida Rock Shindig; Food Updates
Dec 8, 2014 9:30 AM
More notes about buildings and food:
The sign is now up, and "early 2015" looks on track for the Banfield Pet Hospital at Twelve12
on Tingey Street in the Yards.
* 82 I
: The lot has been cleared of cars, a new fence has been put up and construction-related signage ("Hard Hats Required") has appeared on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I, where Graystar's 234-unit residential building
appears to be ready to get underway the second its shoring/excavation permit comes through.
* FLORIDA ROCKIN'
: Excavation permits for the first phase of Florida Rock's redevelopment
were approved a few weeks ago (hence the beginning of earth-moving
), and as of Friday there's now an approved permit for the nine-story apartment building itself. The project's ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for tomorrow morning (Dec. 9) at 10 am--in a tent, thank heavens. Given that it took more than a decade to get this project to the digging phase, you can't blame developers MRP Realty and Florida Rock Properties for going beyond the normal speeches and ornate shovels: they are having a pig roast as well, after the ceremony until about 3 pm.
* 100 MONTADITOS
: It looked very very close to opening last week
, but there appears to have been some sort of fly in the ointment (or a Spaniard in the Works
, if you will). The Yards tweeted this morning
that it is opening this Thursday. Mr. JDLand is monitoring the situation closely. UPDATE:
A missive from the Montaditos folks confirms the Thursday opening, with a "Dollarmania" promotion through Sunday, Dec. 14, with all Montaditos sandwiches
selling for $1. There will also be $2 beers and sangria and $3 premium beer and wine for the eatery's first 100 days.
Visual Confirmation of Work Now Underway at Florida Rock
Nov 17, 2014 9:14 AM
I was a bit skeptical when I got the heads up that construction "had started"
on the 321-unit first phase apartment building at the old Florida Rock
site (which I guess we're eventually going to have to start calling The Riverfront). Even with a ceremonial groundbreaking coming in a few weeks, the twists and turns on this project over the past decade
left me scarred enough to want to really see some movement before I believed it could finally be happening.
So let's compare the site as seen back in June, and then yesterday (click to enlarge, as always):