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Search term: (jpi) : 137 matching blog entries

Sales Apparently Pending on Three JPI Apartment Buildings
Jan 30, 2012 9:10 PM
Residents at three of the neighborhood's "new" apartment buildings--the Jefferson and Axiom at 70 and 100 I Street, and the 909 New Jersey Avenue building, branded together as "Capitol Yards"--are reporting the posting today of public notices, along with e-mails from management, announcing that the buildings are under contract to be sold.
Who is (are) the buyer(s)? As of now I've only seen the paperwork for 100 I (thanks to reader B.), which says that it's "100 Eye Street Acquisition LLC c/o J.P. Morgan Investment Management." UPDATE: Plus, via reader S., I hear the buyer for 909 New Jersey is, as suspected, "909 New Jersey Ave Acquisition LLC," and reader M. says that the buyer for 70 I is, you guessed it, "70 Eye Street Acquisition LLC."
So, as required by DC law, the buildings are now being offered for sale to the tenants, which happens "after the owner has accepted (ratified) a third party sale contract for the housing accommodation."
That paperwork says that the price of 100 I for any tenant organization that may form to purchase the 246-unit building would be $93,879,000; readers report that the number for 70 I (448 units) is about $165 million, and 909's price (237 units) is around $95 million, which presumably are all somewhere in the neighborhood of the contract sales prices.
Apparently the buildings went up for sale sometime over the summer (can't believe no one blabbed!), joining the Onyx on First apartment building a few blocks south on the sales block.
JPI East, which developed the three buildings during the high-flying mid-2000s, was already a wounded casualty of the Economic Difficulties when two of its executives took what was left of the company and partnered with folks from Akridge to form the Jefferson Apartment Group. But 70/100/909 apparently remained part of JPI's holdings, as did the empty lot at 23 I Street where JPI's fourth apartment building had been planned, until it was foreclosed upon and picked up by Ruben Companies in late 2009. The three buildings, completed in 2008 and 2009, have been managed by Greystar ever since JPI sold its property management division to the company.
I'm sure there's much more to be told, and I'm hoping this barebones blog post (written by a very bleary blogger back from an unexpected 36-hour road trip) will shake out a bit more info. If anyone from 909 NJ or 70 I wants to check the paperwork to see if the buyer listed is some similar variant to 100 I's LLC/JP Morgan entry, that'd be fab.
Also, if any tenant groups are planning to form and shake out their collective sofa cushions in search of $95 million or more, be sure to let me know.
UPDATE: I've reworked the opening of this post a bit after getting some additional information. And an e-mail going out to residents about the sale reminds tenants that "your tenancy, including your rent, lease term, and the services and amenities you receive, are governed by your lease."

Harry's 'Upscale' Liquor Store on Track for Fall Opening
Aug 23, 2010 5:21 PM
Today was the day that the city's Alcohol Beverage Control board was to have had its hearing on a liquor license for Harry's, the new "upscale wine and spirits" store looking to open on the southwest corner of New Jersey and I, SE, in the ground floor of 909 New Jersey. However, there were no protests filed, so all systems would appear to be "go" for this store to open. I talked with one of the owners, and she told me that they are looking toward somewhere in October-November time frame to open, and that construction work should start to be visible within a few weeks, and some "Coming Soon" banners should appear before long as well.
I wrote in detail about their plans for the store a few months ago--the owners are the same people who currently own Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE, and previously they ran the Harry's liquor store that was in Waterside Mall until about five years ago. The hours would be 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday (or possibly 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), and closed on Sunday. They would sell beer, wine, and liquor, as well as milk, sodas, juice, cheese, and other "quick stop" items, and are very much wanting to emphasize that this is going to be a "community" store, with higher-end products, wine tastings, and other offerings beyond what people normally think of when they hear "liquor store." This is a similar path to that being taken by the owner of the soon-to-be Parkway Wine and Spirits at Second and K (on the site of the late lamented Little Red Building), which is also looking to open by the end of the year.
Whether the neighborhood in its current incarnation (and size) can support both stores plus Cornercopia remains to be seen, although each store's location could be said to have its own "sphere": Harry's will be positioned to serve the foot traffic to and from Capitol Hill/Capitol South along New Jersey Avenue as well as the residents from the three I Street apartment buildings; Parkway will have the Courtyard guests, nearby office workers, and Canal Park visitors; and Cornercopia will have its existing loyal clientele as well as the ever-growing Capitol Quarter population (and also Capitol Hill foot traffic and Canal Park-goers).

Discounted July 27 Nats Tickets for Jefferson Residents
Jul 23, 2010 9:21 AM
If you're feeling like taking in a Nats game soon, and you live at the Jefferson (70 I), the Nats are offering discounted tickets for the Tuesday, July 27 game against the Braves [*cough*Strasburg*cough*]. Details are here; tickets start at $7.
Comments (4)
More posts: jpi, Nationals Park

Justin's Applying for Sidewalk Tables; Additional Info on the New Liquor Store (and the Little Red Building)
Jun 3, 2010 10:49 AM
The report from Wednesday night's ANC6D ABC Committee meeting:
* Justin's Cafe is seeking to add four tables, with umbrellas and four chairs each, on the sidewalk directly in front of the restaurant. They would be available the same hours as the restaurant itself, until 1 am Monday through Thursday, 2 am Friday and Saturday, and 10 pm Sunday. There were concerns from a commissioner or two about whether people might walk away from the outdoor seating area with alcoholic drinks, about the additional noise brought by 16 or so people outside, and about whether cigarette smoke from the tables would waft up and bother the Velocity units directly above. Justin Ross replied that a sign would be posted about alcohol only being consumed on the premises, and that smokeless ashtrays would be available for the tables (and that since people can't smoke inside the restaurant, there's already a lot of smoking going on outside on the sidewalk). Velocity's management had sent along a letter in full support of the plan.
The committee voted 4-0 in favor of recommending that the ANC support the application, and that vote should come at the ANC's June 14 meeting, if Justin's voluntary and community cooperation agreements are revised in time.
* The owners of Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits on Pennsylvania Avenue SE came to talk with the committee about their plans for a new "upscale" liquor store at 909 New Jersey Ave., SE, which they will be calling Harry's SE & SW. (For about nine years they ran the Harry's liquor store at Waterside Mall in SW, which closed about five years ago.)
They have signed a lease agreement to take the two retail spaces on the north side of the building, at the corner of New Jersey and I, and they will be knocking down the wall between them in order to end up with about 2,200 square feet of space. The hours would be 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday (or possibly 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), and closed on Sunday. They would sell beer, wine, and liquor, as well as milk, sodas, juice, cheese, and other "quick stop" items, but would not sell sandwiches as had been mentioned on the meeting agenda. They hope to open in September or October.
Much of the discussion centered around whether they will try to get an exemption in order to allow sales of "singles," which is a very hot-button issue. The owners said that they want the exception so that they can sell "high end" Belgian beers, which come in single bottles, and have no intent to sell the cheaper singles that can attract a somewhat less desirable element. However, ANC 6D chairman Ron McBee said that he imagines it would be very difficult to get support from the full ANC for the exception, and that there would also be concerns about any attempts to amend the singles law that might make it look like the law was targeted toward one socioeconomic class and not another.
Also discussed was the possible impact of this new store on the long-held plans for a similar high-end liquor store at Second and L SE on the site of the "Little Red Building." The ABRA rules state that liquor stores can't open within 400 feet of each other, and these two would be more than 500 feet apart as the crow flies. But Mr. Park, the owner of the LRB, is clearly concerned about whether the neighborhood can support two very similar operations. He is moving forward with plans to demolish the LRB and put up a new structure, and is also looking at an October-ish opening date. (He said he'd send me the building plans soon.)
In the end, the committee voted 4-0 in favor of recommending that the ANC support Harry's license application. A voluntary agreement and a community cooperation agreement will now need to be hammered out, and those involved weren't sure if one could be ready by the June 14 ANC meeting, in which case it would probably come up at the July 12 one.

Near Southeast Residents Demand a Grocery Store! (The More Things Change...)
Jun 1, 2010 8:49 PM
I'm just now coming across a Washington Post story entitled "Housing Area Pushing for Supermarket," which says that a group of residents "in a small triangle of Southeast Washington launched a 'supermarket project' yesterday to persuade a grocery chain to build a store in their neighborhood," with a planned petition drive looking to get 1,500 signatures.
But, of course, I'm yanking your chain, since this Post article is dated Dec. 16, 1965.
The group, the "Community Commitee Group," planned to visit the regional offices of Safeway, Giant, and Kroger to present the case that the residents of the area bounded by 8th, Virginia, M, and New Jersey had only two corner groceries, with the closest supermarket being at Seventh and G, SE, which was too far for the "aged who live in the Carrollsburg Dwellings project at Fourth and M." Also, because many of the residents in the area qualified for food stamps, they needed to be able to shop at a full supermarket, where the stamps would stretch farther.
The group "also hopes to interest a chain drug store and a combination dry cleaning-shoe repair shop to locate next to the proposed supermarket." Their suggested locations? "The west side of New Jersey Avenue between K and L Streets to replace some condemned buildings [ahem], the Washington Navy Yard parking lot on 2nd Street between M and I Streets [ahem], and the Lennox School annex at 4th and M Streets [ahem]."
In the meantime, while you're mourning the fact that no progress has been made in the brief 45 years since this article was published, you can think about another big development that Near Southeast missed out on: In the early 1990s the Federal Bureau of Prisons was looking for a location for a new 1,000-bed federal detention center, and one of the spots it considered was on the north side of I Street between South Capitol and New Jersey, the spot that's now home to the Axiom and Jefferson apartment buildings. And McDonald's. And Splash. (The other possible locations were in Northeast, but after battles with the National Capital Planning Commission and thanks to some pretty staunch opposition by city officials and residents, the Justice Department scrapped the plans in 1993.)

Liquor Store Coming to 909 New Jersey?
May 25, 2010 2:31 PM
Some potential retail news might have just come onto the radar screen: on the agenda for ANC 6D's next ABC Committee meeting is a proposed Class A license at 909 New Jersey Avenue for an entity called "Harry's SW & SE". They are proposing apparently to sell beer, wine, bread, milk, cheese, and sandwiches (and no "singles"), which is in line with a Class A/liquor store license. If anyone who lives at 909 has heard any rumors, or if anyone else has some scoop, drop me a line. I'm trying to find out more, and will update as I can. (Though the last time I started asking questions about a license application when one appeared on the ABC agenda was a few months ago for 55 M, and it disappeared from the lineup almost as soon as I hit "send." So be forewarned.)
Also on the ABC agenda is a change to Justin's Cafe's license, with Justin now seeking to add a sidewalk cafe.
The meeting is on June 2 at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Recreation Center.
UPDATE: There was a Harry's Liquor Store at 401 M St., SW back in the old Waterside Mall--I don't think it's reopened in the new building(?). I imagine this is the same owner.
UPDATE II: It is indeed the same owner as the old Waterside Mall store, and he also owns Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE.

Links Roundup (Evergreen Media Coverage, Justin's, Nexus Gold Club Memories, Marines Meeting Reminder)
Mar 23, 2010 9:46 AM
* WBJ is first out of the gates with what I expect to be an avalanche of whats-new-around-the-ballpark stories, tied to Opening Day and now a March staple for all DC media outlets. Nothing new in it, and a few quibbles (Justin's Cafe isn't open yet, the water taxis also ran late last year, Sayres lease is 20k), but I guess it's a decent quick roundup if you're not keeping track. Which, if you're reading this blog, you are. :)
UPDATE: Ah, now I know where WBJ got the idea--the BID's State of the Capitol Riverfront Spring Update. Basically a straight copy-and-paste. (Not the end of the world, of course, but never a bad idea to be straight with readers about your sourcing.)
* Speaking of Justin's, ABRA said yesterday that there were no protests filed for its liquor license application. A reader reports that Velocity is telling residents that the restaurant will open April 16, but after watching rumored opening date after rumored opening date come and go for other places in the past, I remain skeptical of any rumor other than "it's opening tomorrow." (That isn't to say that the dates that get floated are necessarily propaganda--just that the final road to opening a business has a lot of potential pitfalls, especially in the permit process.) On the other hand, a reader passed along an electronic version of the menu, if you want to whet your appetite while waiting; though note that the web site listed hasn't launched yet.
* From the Post: the nude dancing license that used to belong to the Nexus Gold Club--on the site of what is now 909 New Jersey--is now being rebirthed as the "Stadium Club," a strip club getting ready to open on Queens Chapel Road, NE.
* Don't forget that the second public workshop in the Marines' project to build a new barracks, focusing on potential development sites, is tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Van Ness Elementary (1150 5th St., SE), with a repeat tomorrow from 8:30 to 10:30 am at the North Hall of Eastern Market. The agendas are here (and if you're trying to figure out how to get into Van Ness, the project web site says: "Enter through the main doors on the eastern side of the building (where the parking lot is) and follow the signs to the auditorium downstairs"). If the discussion going on in this comments thread is any indication, it's going to be an interesting meeting.

Near Southeast Assessments, Down 1.8 Percent (Or Up 1.9 Percent, Depending on Your Point of View)
Mar 2, 2010 9:52 AM
It's assessment season again, and the Examiner reports that, citywide, commercial property assessments are down 10 percent, with residential numbers dropping between three and four percent. So I fired up the database I keep of the numbers for Near Southeast, added the new data as I do each year when the new numbers come out, and came up with a total assessed value for all properties of just under $5.9 billion, which is a 1.8 percent drop from the $6.01 billion tally reported in March of 2009.
But, wait! As I dug a little further, I found a flaw in my methodology that hadn't quite occurred to me before this year (though it probably hadn't been an issue too often before now): 11 of the big commercial buildings in Near Southeast had apparently appealed their initial 2010 assessments (sent out last year), lowering their tax bills by between 2 percent and 38 percent, from a combined $1.13 billion in the initial assessments to $909.36 million post-appeals. (Ten other buildings are showing no change in those assessments, and one--909 New Jersey--actually saw an 8 percent bump upwards, which was probably more of a function of the initial estimate being from before the building was completed.)
Taking these changes into account, the total assessments for 2010 for the neighborhood is closer to $5.88 billion, meaning that tally of the 2011 numbers just released of $5.89 billion would actually be a 1.9 percent increase. Except that I imagine that some property owners will be appealing again (since some of the 2011 numbers go right back to the original 2010 numbers that were appealed), and the $5.99 billion number will come down again.
Not all property in the neighborhood took a hit--with the opening of the first portions of Capitol Quarter, the blocks between Fourth and Fifth Street saw an increased value of $33 million, and the completion of Velocity raised the assessed value of its block from $99 million to $162 million.
And, since everyone will want to know: the behemoth of the area--Nationals Park--has an assessment unchanged from last year, at just a hair under $1 billion.
I'll check the numbers again later this year to see how many proposed 2011 assessments get altered.
Here's a quick table of the big properties that saw their 2010 assessments change from the original number released early in 2009:
Property Original 2010 Revised 2010 % Diff. Proposed 2011
300 M $132.26M $82.00M -38% $74.69M
55 M $162.60M $110.66M -32% $110.66M
80 M $124.08M $92.75M -25% $111.27M
100 M $90.98M $68.18M -25% $90.98M
1201 M (Martime #1) $87.97M $72.57M -18% $64.74M
1100 NJ $142.79M $121.40M -15% $139.16M
100 I $85.20M $73.00M -14% $85.20M
70 I $132.28M $119.00M -10% $132.28M
1000 NJ * $84.46M $81.06M -4% $79.75M
770 M (Blue Castle) $23.93M $23.17M -3% $23.93M
1220 12th (Maritime #2) $66.99M $65.57M -2% $47.57M
909 NJ $68.05M $73.58M 8% $79.93M
* This is for the residential portion of Capitol Hill Tower; the 2010 assessments on the Courtyard by Marriott show no change.

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.
Comments (0)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, jpi

No Bids at 23 I Foreclosure Sale; Land Now Owned by Ruben Companies
Oct 13, 2009 10:40 AM
I attended my first-ever foreclosure sale this morning (yay...?), where the two lots at 23 I Street (the old Wendy's site) that JPI had purchased in 2007 for $28.6 million were to be auctioned off after JPI defaulted on its $25 million loan. However, there were no bidders for the 47,000-sq-ft piece of land (which doesn't include the Exxon next door), and so the property is now owned by Ruben Companies, which bought the original note from Key Bank earlier this year.
Ruben Cos. also owns the 1100 South Capitol lot (plus 1101 South Capitol, across the street and outside of my boundaries), and had at one point been working to purchase the St. Matthew's Church land at New Jersey and L before opting out.
The company has no plans to build anything soon on the 23 I lot--but if anyone's interested in renting the land for some interim entertainment use (a la Akridge's deal with the Bullpen on Half Street and even the trapeze school at the Yards), Ruben says they'd be willing to listen. Maybe the neighborhood could get a putt-putt course or something!

Foreclosure Notices for JPI's 23 I Street Lots, and Nine Potomac Ave./9th St. Parcels Owned by ICP
Sep 22, 2009 10:28 AM
On Sept. 10 a Notice of Foreclosure Sale was filed for the two now-vacant parcels of land on the southwest corner of Half and I streets where the Wendy's used to stand. (Note that this doesn't include the adjoining Exxon land.) The lots, totalling about 47,000 square feet, were bought in July of 2007 by JPI for $28.6 million, with the intent of building 23 I Street, the fourth of JPI's "Capitol Yards" residential buildings (along with 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey). JPI owes $25.1 million on the loan, which came due on Aug. 1 and which is held by Ruben Companies, owners of 1100 South Capitol Street and 1101 across the street. The foreclosure sale is scheduled for Oct. 13.
JPI East pretty much fell apart over the past two years, with its principals taking what was left and forming a new company in June with bigwigs at Akridge; stories at the time mentioned their continued stake in 70/100/909, but said nothing about 23 I.
Another, smaller commercial foreclosure is happening further east, where nine parcels owned by ICP Partners along Potomac Avenue between Eighth and Ninth (including the brown boarded-up apartment building at Ninth and its parking lot) received a notice of foreclosure on Sept. 4, with a debt of $2.3 million on the properties. ICP tried hard earlier this year to drum up interest in these lots plus the gray building at Eighth and Potomac that houses Quiznos (which is not part of this foreclosure), after a previous sale attempt in 2008 went nowhere. ICP paid $9 million for all 10 properties in 2006; this foreclosure sale is scheduled for Oct. 6. (The properties are also on the city's September Tax Sale list.)
Whether the properties will actually go on the block, or if deals will be struck or lawsuits filed in advance of the sale dates, remains to be seen, but foreclosures are about to be a big part of the commercial real estate landscape throughout the US. (Spend a few days reading Calculated Risk if you want some insights into the predicted onslaught.)
As for the neighborhood's other "distressed" properties, Opus East's 100 M and 1015 Half office buildings are part of the company's liquidation proceedings, with rumors flying but no news of new owners yet. And the empty lot in the 1000 block of Seventh Street (across from the Marines), where a developer had been planning an apartment building, was sold in late July for $400,000 after a foreclosure; it had been purchased along with the two townhouses alongside it for $1.25 million in 2004. One townhouse was subsequently sold, the other was foreclosed on as well, though so far no evidence of a sale has turned up.

Graffiti (or is it Street Art) in the Neighborhood
Jul 13, 2009 10:46 AM
I am passing this message from a reader along without comment (though I may try to get some photos of the panels in question later today, which are on I Street between Half and First), to throw open the floor to the folks who live and work in Near Southeast (or who are thinking about it). What's your opinion of this reader's concerns? Leave your thoughts in the comments:
"Just wondering what is going on with the grafitti panels across from the Axiom/Jefferson building. I am trying to convince a couple of friends to move into the building, but this is making it difficult. Yesterday, one of these friends and I walked over to the Jefferson building. We immediately saw these panels since they are very prominent and look like grafitti on NYC subway cars back in the late 80s. My friend then said that she feels unconfortable moving to an area where there is grafitti all over the place. I am also noticing more and more grafitti in the neighborhood and this doesn't help with convincing people to move to this area."
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More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

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.

JPI East, Akridge Principals Form New Company
Jun 12, 2009 10:25 AM
From today's Washington Business Journal (subscribers only), news that Jim Butz and Greg Lamb of what was once JPI East have taken over what was left of that company (down to 22 employees from 380 a few years ago) and are partnering with Matt Klein and other principals at Akridge to create the Jefferson Apartment Group. Butz and Lamb "continue to hold a partnership stake in JPI [Multifamily]'s holdings," which includes 70 and 100 I and 909 New Jersey. The article says that Jefferson Apartment Group is "already targeting five properties" in DC, Philadelphia, and Boston, and "is in the early stages of planning and zoning new developments in Fairfax Count and Philadelphia," but doesn't mention what may be happening with 23 I, the fourth JPI property in Near Southeast on the Wendy's site at Half and I.

North End of Canal Park Cleared; Wendy's Gone
May 23, 2009 5:45 PM
The clearing of the northern block of Canal Park is now pretty well complete, so I had to go get some photos, from both the east and west sides (you'll see the new ones paired with their "befores", in case you've already forgotten the fences and overgrowth). I also scooted past Wendy's, where the demolition was continuing and is probably done by now, making it #155 in my Demolished Buildings gallery--as soon as I get around to actually adding it.
I also swung over to 12th and M to check on the demolition of the ramps to and from RFK, but the first few days of work appears to have been on decking (not viewable from street level), so no before-and-afters from there yet. Maybe next week.

Pre-Holiday Roundup of Tidbits and Links
May 22, 2009 12:47 PM
For those of you still in town....
* As Twittered yesterday, reports are that the Wendy's on I between Half and South Capitol was being demolished yesterday (haven't gone to look for myself yet). This is the site of JPI's proposed 23 I Street apartment building, though I've heard nothing about a timeline since its original Sept. 2008 start date came and went.
* If you didn't make Tuesday's Anacostia Waterfront Forum on "Waterfronts and the World's Great Capital Cities," here's Harriet Tregoning's presentation slides.
* If the demolition of the RFK ramps has you all excited about the new 11th Street Bridges (and I'll note that "excited" can connote either positive or negative energy), here's a new schematic from design/builders Skanska/Facchina showing their plans for the project. It says that 70 percent of the five-year project will be built "off-line," meaning away from the existing travel lanes. (UPDATE: But I should note that, upon closer inspection, this schematic seems to be missing a few components, such as the eastbound flyover and approach to the new bridges from the SE Freeway as well as the exit to I Street from the new inbound span.) In the meantime, I'm going to try to go get some photos of whatever's left of the RFK ramps this weekend.

Scads of New Photos: Bullpen, Fence-less Canal Park, 1015 Half, Capitol Quarter (Again)
May 10, 2009 6:02 PM
With thanks to Mom for decreeing that my Mother's Day responsibilities had been taken care of last week, I was able to take not one but two treks through Near Southeast on this beautiful Sunday, and have uploaded a pile of new photos. Some--like the ones I took at 909 New Jersey and 55 M--are the last ones I expect to take of certain angles for a long time to come, but I did get some good "change" shots:
There's now a sign up at "The Bullpen" at Half and N (opening Friday?), and I also snuck a shot of the tent and piled-up picnic tables, which you can see on my Akridge Half Street page (scroll down a bit if the link doesn't jump you down). You'll also see updated shots of the garage-less Half and M corner.
It's not very easy to take a picture that well-represents the lack of cyclone fences, but I gave it a shot with a few different angles of the south end of Canal Park. I have to admit that was I was surprised by how much wider the block now seems; when it becomes a real park, with tall buildings on all sides, that extra width will be welcome.
Next up is 1015 Half Street, the 400,000-sq-ft office building now topping out on the old Nation nightclub site. With Half, K, and L being so narrow, it's not a bad idea to step back a block or two to see 1015's impact on the skyline, so check out the Expanded Photo Archive. The next phase of construction should be the hanging of the exterior glass.
It's pretty hard to stay away from the goings-on at Capitol Quarter, as brickwork is all but complete along Fourth between I and K. The Expanded Archive shows all the CQ shots I took today, along with the ones from two weeks ago showing the first completed stretch of homes, on the south side of L between Fourth and Fifth.
You might also see a few new shots of Onyx, 100 M, and Velocity if you visit those pages, and some other images in the random shots at the top (and bottom) of the JDLand home page, since I took a pretty complete set of photos from New Jersey to Half and from M to I. And, without much new construction going on, I don't anticipate taking many photos other than at Capitol Quarter and 1015 Half (and I guess Teague and Canal parks) over the next few months. (I'll also be ready if/when Akridge demolishes the buildings along First between K and L.) So, enjoy these, and take the time to really compare them to their "befores."

Design Ideas for South of the Capitol
Mar 31, 2009 7:50 PM
(h/t reader M.) Last week, the Congress for the New Urbanism named the winners of its 2009 Charter Awards, and one of them is the "House Office Buildings Facilities Plan and Preliminary South Capitol Area Plan." I won't go into too much detail, since the majority of the area that the plan looked at is north of the freeway, but it is worth noting that, while it's a very neat plan that looks forward to both 2025 and 2050 and takes into account the vision of the NCPC's Extending the Legacy (no more freeway!), the designers of the HOB facilities plan perhaps didn't do a lot of research as to the reality of the land ownership south of the freeway. If you look at the maps of their proposed 2025 and 2050 implementations, you see all sorts of new government buildings on the block now dominated by 70 and 100 I Street, as well as a big park at Second and H, which might come as a surprise to the William C. Smith Co., which owns the block and is planning a 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use project on that square. And yet the Post Plant remains, 41 years in the future, which probably is not what city planners would consider an optimal solution. And the Capitol Power Plant is still there, too!
All this aside, if you live or work on the Hill, you might be interested in what the future could bring for the parking garages, House Office Buildings, and other structures that are part of the Capitol Complex. And, if I'm missing something about how this plan is approaching the privately owned land south of the freeway, I'd love clarification....

New Photos: 909 New Jersey
Mar 22, 2009 9:31 AM
Part of my trek(s) on Saturday included getting a slew of updated photos of 909 New Jersey, the 237-unit apartment building between I and K that's now all-but-completed. The landscaping is done, and the fences are down from most of the sidewalks--which will make baseball fans walking to and from the Capitol South subway station happy, I imagine. No word yet on any tenants for the ground-floor retail spaces.
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More posts: 909 New Jersey, jpi, Retail

The $6 Billion Neighborhood (Better, Stronger, Faster)
Mar 15, 2009 10:38 PM
It certainly doesn't feel like it's the case, so you might be surprised to find out that the District of Columbia thinks that Near Southeast is worth about $1.5 billion more than it was a year ago, at least in terms of the latest tax assessments now available. With a total assessment last year of around $4.5 billion for the blocks bounded by the SE Freeway, South Capitol Street, and the Anacostia River (to just west of the Sousa Bridge), this bump up edges the neighborhood's "worth" to just over $6 billion.
A chunk of that change is coming from the first official assessment of Nationals Park, valued at $999,982,800 (geez, Mr. Tax Assessor, just round it to $1 billion and be done with it), a rise of nearly $650 million from the assessed value of just the land last year. Blocks that saw projects get completed in 2008 (70/100 I, 100 M and Onyx, and 55 M) got hefty bumps in their valuations, while other spots (20 M, the Capper blocks, USDOT, Maritime Plaza) saw their assessments go down.
I created a report comparing 2008 and 2009's numbers overall and by block, though I wouldn't swear to the exactness of each number down to the penny (but they're probably close enough).
As for the trend of the overall valuation of Near Southeast over the past nine years, it's still *up*:
2001: $221,096,652
2002: $428,312,487
2003: $640,209,280
2004: $771,006,345
2005: $894,123,520
2006: $1,781,481,650
2007: $2,539,618,280
2008: $4,467,137,880
2009: $6,004,334,490
UPDATE: Here's a link to a map of the square numbers, in case a bit more visual assistance would be helpful.

Catching Up With a Few Small Items
Mar 8, 2009 11:05 AM
I've been out of town for most of the week, so posting was kind of haphazard. Here's some additional items, starting with news from just this morning:
* Reader atweber passes the news via Twitter that workers have told him that the Third and K Market will be opening next month. So, those wishing to stay in the neighborhood to shop won't have to use CVS as their "supermarket." (And the new windows and door are so pretty!)
* Not officially confirmed, but the WashTimes is reporting that President Obama has agreed to throw out the first pitch at the April 13 Nationals home opener.
* Via the BID's latest newsletter: the little beige building at 900 M Street that once was a Hudson car dealer (and more recently a dialysis center) is scheduled to open in April in its new incarnation as a retail building. It's said that the owner has received one letter of intent from an undisclosed tenant. (Just speculating, but maybe it's the Dunkin Donuts franchise that was reportedly looking in the Navy Yard area?)
* The BID has also announced the lineup for this summer's lunchtime concert series at the plaza behind USDOT, though you have to page through their calendar to see the schedule of artists. It runs on Wednesdays at noon from May 20 through Sept. 16.
* When I posted about FiOS internet at 70/100 I and asked "is this news?", I should have referenced this post from last summer, about the "First Community to Offer FiOS" sign on Half Street, where we discussed that FiOS internet was already listed as available at those addresses on the Verizon web site.
* The day after I posted about the calls from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to convert the Capitol Power Plant from coal to natural gas, ABC7 reported that "several thousand demonstrators "urged Congress to pass legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, and they targeted the government's own Capitol power plant as a symbol of the problem. An enthusiastic crowd of mostly young people marched from a park near the Capitol to the power plant several blocks away, where they planned to block entrances and were prepared to get arrested. The group chanted along the way, 'We don't want the world to boil, no coal, no oil!'" Darryl Hannah and Robert Kennedy Jr. were among the protestors. When they arrived at the power plant they were met with "about a dozen" pro-coal counter-demonstrators.
* On Thursday the Post looked at how the office building development biz in DC has all but ground to a halt: "Not a single office building has been started in the District since October, a sign that the slowdown that began in the far-out suburbs has now reached prime city locations." The Hood (surprisingly) isn't mentioned, though WBJ reported a few months back that Donohoe was looking for (but unable to secure) funding for 1111 New Jersey.

FiOS Internet at 70/100 I (TV to Come)
Mar 4, 2009 12:07 PM
I didn't think it was actually news that 70 and 100 I Street have FiOS internet, but this announcement today from Verizon could be read like it is. "Residents at two new apartment buildings in this city's revitalized Capitol Riverfront neighborhood now have access to Verizon's FiOS Internet, the most advanced broadband service available." Maybe the real lede is this: "The service also will be available this spring in a third building [909 New Jersey] currently under construction in the same neighborhood." As for the more desperately awaited FiOS TV service, no word on *when*: "JPI's buildings in Washington -- and other single- and multifamily residences throughout the District -- will also ultimately have access to Verizon's award-winning FiOS TV as the company rolls out the service over the next few years under a recently approved franchise agreement."
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More posts: 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, jpi

Scraping the Barrel for News
Feb 25, 2009 9:37 AM
I'm still here, though perhaps you can't see through the large tumbleweeds currently blowing across the JDLand.com landscape. There just hasn't been hardly any news of late, and in a strange way, the less news there is, the harder it is for me to carve out time from real life (where a couple big projects are consuming much of my time) to do the deeper digging. Plus, I'm on strike from taking photos until the weather gets warmer.
That being said, I can report (h/t to reader E. and the 55 M construction cam) that the new sidewalks around 55 M are starting to go in. There's also some utility work being done across Half at the bus garage to prepare for its demolition. The web cam also has a view of the back of the Red Porch restaurant at the ballpark, where I'm keeping an eye on when the upgrades might start to that space.
Speaking of sidewalks, there's some very nice public space work being done at 909 New Jersey, with a combination of concrete and brick sidewalks being put in along New Jersey (along with the front steps to the building). And anyone who's been close to Near Southeast at night has now seen the blue lights that run along the top of the building's "bow." (They match the color of the lights on the Douglass Bridge.)
And Capitol Quarter framing work has now made the turn up Fourth Street north of L.
If the lack of news is bumming you out, you can always go back and read what was happening this time last year. It was *slightly* busier, as we were hitting the final weeks before the opening of the ballpark. Then again, if we go way back, to February 2004, I posted one entry for the entire month. (I'm just now realizing there's no easy access to the monthly archive of blog entries from the home page--but if you look down the right margin of any "interior" page on the site, you'll see the "Browse by Month" links.)

Groundbreaking at Diamond Teague on Friday; 909 New Jersey Soon; Occupancy Numbers; More
Feb 12, 2009 7:38 PM
* On Friday at 10:30 am the mayor will be hosting a groundbreaking at Diamond Teague Park; construction started back in December (photos on my project page from a few weeks ago show the piers and ramps around the pumphouse have already been dismantled). The timeline as described to me at the end of January is that the new piers are to be ready by Opening Day, with the landscaping and land-based improvements to be completed by July; we'll see if those dates are still operative at tomorrow's event.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID newsletter says that JPI's 909 New Jersey is "set to open ahead of schedule in April." The "909 at Capitol Yards" official web site has floor plans and more information.
* Also from the BID newsletter (which isn't posted on their web site, otherwise I'd link to it), some occupancy numbers for the three buildings participating in this weekend's "Luck of the Draw" art extravaganza: Velocity has sold 52 of its 200 units (which is still right around the 25-percent mark reported back in July of last year); 100 I Street is 25 percent leased (it was reported at around 16 percent leased in December), and Onyx on First is 27 percent leased (after having been 8 percent leased in December).
* The BID also has the list of public events over the next few weeks at the Navy Yard. (I used to be on a mailing list for these and would add them to my calendar, but that ceased a while ago and the Navy Museum's own web site calendar hasn't been updated since last year.)
* Off-topic, but DC United says they're moving to Prince George's County.
* And Now, Anacostia has more on the legislation introduced today by Tommy Wells to place a five-cent fee on paper and plastic bags with the goal of helping to clean up the Anacostia River. (There's also a web site, trashfreeanacostia.com.)

Details on 'Luck of the Draw' This Weekend
Feb 10, 2009 12:37 PM
From a just-sent-out press release, more details on the "Luck of the Draw Art and Music Event" being put on by Artomatic, Pink Line Project, and the Capitol Riverfront BID in the neighborhood this weekend:
"Luck of the Draw will transform selected units, lounges, courtyards and the parking lots at Velocity Condominium, Axiom at Capitol Yards and Onyx on First residential buildings with photography, installation art, graffiti artists, live music, DJs and dancing to create a threeday neighborhood art and entertainment event. Start the night at the Velocity Condominium's entertainment tent on Half Street between L St and K St SE, and then head over to Axiom at Capitol Yards at 100 I (Eye) St SE and Onyx on First at 1100 First St SE. Draw playing cards at each location and, in traditional Washington, DC style, barter, trade and negotiate with others for the best 5-card poker hand to enter a raffle and win an iPod Nano. Beverages and snacks will be available at the venues as well."
It's free and open to the public. Hours are 6 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday (the 13th and 14th) and 2pm to 6 pm on Sunday the 15th.

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.

Images and Updates from the Last Photo Trek of 2008
Dec 29, 2008 6:26 PM
I don't dare tally up how many photos I've taken over the past 12 months, but suffice to say it's a lot. That didn't stop me from a quick lunchtime trek around the neighborhood to grab my final pictures of 2008, with a starkly blue sky as an end-of-year gift. Here's a boatload of before-and-afters for your perusal:
I started at Capitol Quarter, where the first three townhouses at Fourth and L are already framed, wrapped, and window'ed (I imagine the developers are trying to get those units finished as close to "on schedule" as possible). Here's the before-and-afters for the intersection's southwest corner; be advised that taking southward-facing photos in winter is no fun at all, so apologies for all glare, skipped angles, etc.

I next ventured to The Yards (USDOT security guards be damned!) for updated photos of the Foundry Lofts construction, where most of the framing of the two new top floors appears to be finished. And both Third and Tingey streets are now nicely paved and curbed, which you can see along with the Foundtry Lofts construction in these Third and Tingey photos, and also in shots from one block west, at what someday will be Second and Tingey. And, for the heck of it, here's a few new New Jersey and Tingey images. (Remember to look for the icon, as always.)
And, acting on tips from alert readers, I checked out the Third and K Market, which is now being gutted. There was no one around to answer any questions as to what is up, but seeing work getting done a few months after a For Rent sign went up (and quickly disappeared) would seem to be a good sign....?

I also went to First and M, where workers at 100 M have now given back one lane of M Street and told me that the median east of First will be rebuilt soon (as the one west of M recently was). The silver bullding against the unbelievably blue sky makes for a nice tableau in these updated photos.
There are also a few updated shots of 909 New Jersey, taken mainly from the First and I intersection, which is also notable for the nice little fence and landscaping that's now gone in across the empty lot to the east of 100 I, visible in many of these new photos.

Will that tide everyone over until the new year? I know I'm now good for a while....!

Near Southeast Gets an Inaugural Bash
Dec 22, 2008 2:20 PM
(It's a guarantee that as soon as I put up a "I won't be posting for a while" entry, something comes down the pike.) As part of the four-day party-packed inauguration celebration, there's going to be a Capitol Riverfront Gala, officially entitled "Sunday Night on the Hill," on January 18 at 70 I Street (the Jefferson at Capitol Yards). Food will be provided by Eighth Street's Cafe 8, and music by "international DJ TFresh." The festivities will start at 8:30 pm, in both indoor and "heated outdoor" spaces (maybe this includes the roof?). Tickets are $110 (which includes food and an open bar), with discounts available for active military members in uniform. Dress code is "creative black tie."
For more information, check the official web site, and the FAQ.
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More posts: 70/100 I, inauguration09, jpi

City Paper on the 'Capitol Riverfront', and Other Links
Dec 10, 2008 1:10 PM
Piling a bunch of stuff together, again:
* Just posted on its Housing Complex blog (and in this week's print edition), the City Paper takes a look at the "Capitol Riverfront," both in the attempts to brand the neighborhood and in how empty it currently is (the subhed for the piece says "Developing a Name for the Southeast Waterfront Is Easier Than Actually Developing It" ).
UPDATE: I should also mention that Housing Complex has also posted occupancy numbers for the new buildings in Near Southeast: 70 and 100 I are 18 and 14 percent leased, Onyx is at 8 percent, Capitol Hill Tower is at 75 percent, Capitol Quarter Phase I is sold out, and Velocity is 25 percent sold.
* Reader J. reported yesterday that interior work seems to have begun at the old dialysis building at 900 M Street. They're rehabbing the interior and the exterior to create three retail storefronts, though no tenants have been announced yet.
* The Douglass Bridge is having another early-Sunday-morning-closure on the 14th.
* Planners are trying to figure out where to put all the charter buses coming to town for the inauguration. I'm guessing that the surface parking lots all around Near Southeast are going to be pretty enticing.
* The WBJ picks up on what I reported last week about 810-816-820 Potomac Avenue going up for sale in a sealed bid.
* One more add: Dr. Gridlock reports that Metro will be testing more eight-car trains on the Green line.

JPI Renting Out 70/100 I Units for Inauguration
Nov 13, 2008 10:19 PM
Now here's some quick-thinking: "With high-end hotels completely booked and District residents renting out their homes to tourists, JPI has joined the inauguration rental frenzy and will rent unleased apartments at two of its recently delivered projects near Nationals Park. The Dallas-based developer will require a three-night minimum stay at the Axiom at Capitol Yard and Jefferson at Capitol Yards. The company did not release pricing information, but said it will offer guests a choice of furnished one or two-bedroom units. They also will receive access to 24-hour concierge service and conference rooms, gym facilities, free wireless Internet access in common areas." (WBJ)
UPDATE: Per Ed's link in the comments, the prices are $750/$1,000 per night for 1 and 2 BR units (with that three night minimum). Here's the Craigslist post.
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ANC 6D Report (909 NJ and Cap Quarter Permits)
Oct 21, 2008 3:11 PM
Here's a brief wrap-up of Near Southeast-related items from last night's ANC 6D meeting (though the folks following my Twitter feed got some pithy tidbits in real time):
* JPI was there requesting support for a public space permit to put up a sign at 909 New Jersey. If you've been thinking that this apartment building looks pretty far along, you're correct: the JPI rep said that they're looking to deliver the first units in February. The building has 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, of which 4,000 is expected to be leased to restaurants. The discussion about the sign permit devolved into concerns about the main staircase on New Jersey Avenue splitting up the public space, which DDOT's public space committee has already approved but which ANC members weren't sure they'd ever seen. The vote on the sign permit request was 4-0-2 in favor of asking DDOT to postpone the decision on the sign as a protest against the sign and NJ Ave public space permits not having been done together.
* EYA and the DC Housing Authority presented their request for ANC support for some new brick "screens" on certain public housing units at Capitol Quarter that won't have alley access and so will need to have their trash and recycling cans placed by the buildings' fronts. There are nine corner buildings in Capitol Quarter with 27 public housing units that will need these screens, though there are also corner buildings at CQ that are not public housing, and there are additional public housing units that are not in these corner buildings. But the ANC felt that these trash screens would make the affected units easily identified as public housing, which would negate what commissioners described as the "concept of Hope VI" where you're not supposed to be able to "tell the difference" in market-rate and public-housing units from the outside. There were also concerns about units with windows above the trash enclosures (i.e., the smell and also having to look out at the trash bins). The rep from DCHA asked the ANC to table the request for support rather than oppose it (so that EYA and DCHA could come back with some revised designs), but the ANC voted 5-0 to oppose the request anyway.
Both these public space permits are on Thursday's agenda of the city's Public Space Committee.
There was also to be a discussion of the stadium Traffic Operations and Parking Plan, but it got moved to late in the agenda, and it sounded like it was going to be just in terms of the impact on Southwest, so I will admit that I didn't stick around.

Roundup: ANC 6D Agenda, 11th Street Bridges Short List, Metro Ballpark Crowds
Oct 15, 2008 2:20 PM
* The ANC 6D agenda for its meeting on Monday Oct. 20 has been sent around (though not yet posted online). There will be a discussion of the Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan as it relates to Southwest, plus public space requests for building signage at 909 New Jersey and "Brick Walls for Trash Enclosures" at Capitol Quarter. (These are also on the Oct. 23 agenda of the city's Public Space Commitee.)
* The short list for a design/build team to reconstruct the 11th Street Bridges is out--Shirley Design-Build LLC, Skansa/Facchina, Archer Western Contractors LLC, Perini/Parsons Joint Venture, and KCA Constructors Joint Venture. According to the procurement schedule, a draft RFP should already be out (haven't found it online), and final RFP should be issued by the end of the year, with a contract signed with the vendor by June 1, 2009.
* Metro announced yesterday that 53 percent of baseball game attendees this year arrived at Nationals Park via Metrorail. That's 1.8 million bodies, averaging 23,000 people entering and exiting the Navy Yard station at the 80 home games in 2008. (It apparently doesn't count people who took the bus or walked down from Capitol South.) In the last two years at RFK, only 38 percent of attendees took the subway. Marc Fisher has some thoughts on it all (including some questions on Metro's math).

Interior Photos from Onyx and Axiom/100 I
Oct 7, 2008 2:17 PM
Although the leasing office has been open for a few weeks now, I only just visited Onyx on First this past weekend. They're still putting on the finishing touches (their certificate of occupancy came through not too long ago), so I was only able to see the main floor and one of the model units, but at least now I do finally have photos from the inside of the building (scroll down if the link doesn't jump you down the page). I also got a couple shots from the roof, but things aren't quite completed up there, so I didn't get a photo of the pool. And since they're now open, I've moved Onyx to "completed" status.
The Axiom apartment building at 100 I has been open for a little while, but I hadn't gotten myself in there since a pre-occupancy construction-dust tour back in June. That has now been rectified, and I've posted photos of the common areas and one of the model units. (Didn't get back to the roof, though.) You can also see my interior photos from sibling Jefferson/70 I, to see the warehouse vs. modern differences in the designs.
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More posts: 70/100 I, jpi, Onyx, Square 743N

Some Late-Afternoon Pics (With Others to Come)
Oct 5, 2008 9:51 AM
I took a few quick pictures on First Street and Fourth Street on Saturday, to capture 909 New Jersey and Capitol Quarter in the late-afternoon sun--you can see all of them with their befores here.
I also finally got to some other shots to fill in two glaring holes in my portfolio, but it might be a couple of days until I get those posted. Until then, you'll just have to guess.

JPI East Lays Off Staff; Says I Street Projects Okay
Oct 3, 2008 2:22 PM
From today's print edition of the Washington Business Journal (subscribers only): "In response to the burgeoning credit crisis, local multifamily developer JPI East has reduced its development and production capacity, laying off half its development divisions. The company would not say how many people were involved, but insiders say it was fewer than 10."
As for JPI's projects in Near Southeast, including the almost-completed 70 and 100 I, the under-construction 909 New Jersey, and the in-development 23 I? "The company still has 10 deals under construction in the region, including three luxury apartment projects in the Capitol Riverfront district near Nationals Park. All three have the debt and equity to go forward, [JPI East's president] says." It might be worth noting, however, that the previously announced September 2008 start date for 23 I has come and gone; and the Wendy's building is still standing, and I haven't so far seen any raze permits coming through the pipeline for it.

Hit-or-Miss Batch of New Photos
Sep 30, 2008 10:18 AM
Before the storm clouds arrived yesterday (literally and figuratively), I got out and took an incomplete smattering of pictures along Second, New Jersey, First, Cushing, and Half. (Use those links to see all the before-and-nows of these latest shots.) These new photos are mainly of 909 New Jersey, Velocity, 55 M, the empty skyline where 1015 Half is just about to reach ground level, and the final "after" photos from the demolition of the Merritt Cab building at First and K on Square 696. The sun disappeared before I could get over to Capitol Quarter, so new photos from there will have to wait a few days, and since the afternoon remained cloudy (and busy), I didn't take an afternoon batch (i.e., no photos looking east).
And, if you haven't wandered through them for a while, the gallery of my favorite before-and-afters is a striking walk through the past few years, as the memories of the old Near Southeast start to get just a wee bit hazy.

More New Photos: Progress at 909 New Jersey, and the Latest Views from the Southeast Freeway
Aug 25, 2008 2:03 PM
The facings and brick continue to go up at 909 New Jersey (and there's even a window or two). I took a pretty complete set of the close-up photos, some of which you can see on the project page; for more, and to see the building from farther away (to get an idea of how prominent it is these days in the neighborhood's ever-changing skyline), check the Expanded Project Archive.
I also got updated shots of the northwestern part of Near Southeast from one of the more popular vantage points, up on the Southeast Freeway approaching South Capitol Street. The before-and-afters (especially the grainy one from September 2000) are a good reminder of how much has happened, and how fast. And with 1015 Half's crane now front and center, we know that this view will be changing (again!) within a few months. (And this is where I need to remind that I take these freeway photos from a passenger seat at 55 mph, not on foot or behind the wheel. Duh!)
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Onyx Looking Close to Opening; 909 Getting Bricked
Aug 4, 2008 1:06 PM
A few weeks ago I was told that the Onyx on First apartment building would probably be opening its first three floors in early August, and judging by the newly installed sidewalk along First Street and a peek into the lobby, it doesn't appear to be far off. The building will have approximately 260 units, and began construction in fall 2006. On my Onyx project page, you can see updated photos, along with a few new images of the buildings that preceded Onyx on this site.
Two blocks to the north, 909 New Jersey speeds along, with its distinctive roofline now visible from many locations around the neighborhood, as you can see both on the project page and in the Expanded 909 Photo Gallery. (What do we call this roof thing? The crow's nest? The bow?) The photos also show that brick is now being added to the First Street side of the building. This 237-unit rental building with ground-floor retail space will be the third of JPI's four "Capitol Yards" residential developments, and is expected to be completed next year.
(And while you look at all the latest photos, be sure to take a moment to thank the supreme being of your choice for bestowing upon us Sunday's gorgeous weather and severe clear blue sky, which is such a rarity given DC's normally haze-filled Augusts.)
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More posts: 909 New Jersey, jpi, Onyx, Square 743N

Wendy's Now Closed
Jul 26, 2008 7:42 PM
Not sure exactly when this happened, but sometime within the past few days the Wendy's on I Street between South Capitol and Half streets, SE, has finally closed down, after being rumored to be coming Any Minute Now since May. JPI has announced plans for its fourth Capitol Yards residential building on the site, a 420-unit "loft-style" building called 23 Eye that would also have ground-floor retail. Previous statements from JPI had pegged the start of 23 I's construction this fall--I haven't heard whether that's still the plan.

100 I (Axiom) Now Open for Business
Jul 18, 2008 8:51 AM
An e-mail went out late yesterday announcing that Axiom at Capitol Yards (better known around these parts as 100 I Street) is now open for business, almost exactly one month after older sibling Jefferson/70 I went live. Axiom, with about 246 units, has a more modern design in comparison to Jefferson's "warehouse/industrial" look, but has many of the same amenities, such as a roof pool, fitness center, "resident pub," etc. (I've got interior photos from about two months ago, which I hope to get updated soon--I almost took a photo yesterday afternoon of the main entry that now has an "Axiom" sign above it, but I thought to myself, "Oh, I'll just wait until it's officially open." Oops.)
The official web site is at AxiomCapitolYards.com, and leasing has been underway for a few months. And, like all younger siblings, Axiom's debut into the world will probably be less of an event, with fewer announcements, parties, photos, home movies, birthday presents, etc. (Do I sound bitter?)
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First Neighborhood to Get FIOS - Sort of
Jul 16, 2008 3:20 PM
Reader AW was nice enough to pass along news of a fence banner along Half Street, SE, just south of 70 I that is shouting "1st Community in DC to Offer Verizon FIOS!" (This is the high-speed fiber optic TV/internet service that is available throughout the 'burbs.) I went to verizonfios.com, and did some address searching via the Check Availability page, and got positive results for 70 I, 100 I, and 1000 New Jersey (Capitol Hill Tower). However, if you click one of the addresses and continue along, you're then told that FIOS TV isn't yet available for that address, but FIOS high-speed Internet is. (As I posted back in June, JPI has been marketing 70 and 100 I as "pre-wired" for FIOS.)
UPDATE: Read this entry's comments to see that, not surprisingly, "First Community to Offer FIOS" isn't quite what it seems just yet. But if there's any neighborhood in the city where the infrastructure work could already have been done to get fiber in place, it'd be the one that's being entirely rebuilt from scratch....
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Wendy's Not Dead Yet - Now End of July?
Jun 30, 2008 10:16 PM
The fine folks working the Wendy's drive-through window this evening at South Capitol and I tell me that their closing date is now the end of July. At this point (this is the third date I've now heard, starting with end-of-May, then end-of-June), I'm just going to not say anything more about it until I see locks on the doors. The property is part of the footprint for JPI's fourth Capitol Yards apartment building, 23 I at Capitol Yards, which JPI has said would be starting constuction this fall. We shall see....

Updated Photos from Inside 70 I (and Up Top, Too)
Jun 29, 2008 11:13 AM
The "Jefferson at Capitol Yards Block Party" was held Saturday afternoon, and I used it as an opportunity to get inside of this now-opened apartment building at 70 I Street to update the not-quite-finished-yet interior photos I originally posted back in May. You can see the new batch here, which includes lots of photos of the resident pub, the other amenities, two of the models, and of course the views from the roof. For now, the first three floors are available for leasing; the rest will open in phases over the next few months, with the building expected to be completed this fall.
I also added a few of the roof views to my Overhead Photos Archive, which you can compare with the ones I took at 70 I a month ago to see the progress in four weeks at 909 New Jersey, Velocity, and even the hole in the ground that will become 1015 Half Street.
Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to do the same thing for sibling 100 I when they open its public spaces and models.
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Block Party at Jefferson (70 I) on Saturday, June 28
Jun 23, 2008 6:30 PM
From JPI, in a press release announcing the official opening of the Jefferson at Capitol Yards (always known here as 70 I Street), an invitation to a "free block party for prospective residents on Saturday, June 28th, from 4:00 p.m. until game time at the nearby Washington Nationals ballpark. Visitors will enjoy barbeque, beverages, and tours of newly opened model apartments and amenity spaces."
While chowing down you can learn about the "resort-style swimming pool, rooftop deck, high-tech business center with private workstations and Internet access, executive conference center, movie theater with stadium seating, available bicycle storage and personal storage space, and 24-hour fitness center with cardio equipment, individual TVs, circuit training and free weights" as well as "a large pub room with plasma TVs, billiards, shuffleboard, foosball, darts, poker, Ipod docking station, and video gaming stations."
And all apartments are pre-wired for Verizon FIOS, easing the loading of all those resource-intensive JDLand photo pages, including my photos from a few weeks ago of the then-not-quite-finished interiors of Jefferson and Axiom next door.
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JPI's 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey, Updated
Jun 23, 2008 2:03 AM
Three weeks is way too long to go between updates when a building skeleton is on its way up, so seeing 909 New Jersey now starting its 11th story is a bit of a shock. The latest photos on the project page capture the building from all angles (and show that the facing work is already starting on the lower floors), and the Expanded Gallery includes photos from farther away showing the impact 909's rise is having on the Near Southeast skyline. This 237-unit rental building will have 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and is expected to be completed next year.
And, on the pages for both 909 NJ page and its siblings 70 and 100 I, I've now added a few more "old" photos of the lots before they were bought and cleared. I've been so focused on matching before-and-afters, which is simplest when done standing at intersections, that I've forgotten how many mid-block photos I used to take, especially waaaaaaaaay back during 2003 and 2004 (heh). As always, let the icon be your guide for the latest additions to the project pages, and use the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon wherever you see it to view all photos in the archive from a certain vantage point.
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70 I Now Open for Business
Jun 16, 2008 12:24 PM
Taking a break from my break to pass along word from JPI that, as of today, the first three floors and the clubhouse of the 70 I Street/Jefferson at Capitol Yards apartment building are complete and officially open for business, so visitors can stop by and see the spaces for themselves. They'll be working on the rest of the building with plans to have it completed in the fall; its official web site is at JeffersonCapitolYards.com. Sibling 100 I/Axiom will be following suit in the next month or so.
(PS: Looks like the jdland.com server has been taking some vacation time itself today--hopefully it'll be mended soon.)
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Updated Views from the Freeway
Jun 11, 2008 2:30 PM
It's almost hard to believe that in 2001 there were only two buildings taller than five stories in Near Southeast; gazing now across the neighborhood from the vantage point of the Southeast Freeway gives off a decidely different vibe, with 14 taller-than-five-stories buildings completed or under construction. (And there's a baseball stadium, too.)
You can see the changes via the Photo Archive, where I've just added updated photos from the freeway at South Capitol Street that you can browse by looking at just the oldest and newest shoots or by including all the photos in between. And, in honor of 909 New Jersey now being visible from the freeway, I've added photos starting in late 2005 of the view down New Jersey Avenue while zooming east on the freeway at [redacted] mph.
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A Smattering of Ballpark and Soccer Links
May 29, 2008 9:41 AM
* The Post's DC Wire blog is reporting that at 5 pm today DCRA will be having a lottery for the 28 street vending spots near Nationals Park. "Winners will enjoy their spots for one month, starting on June 1. Then the process starts all over again with a lottery on the last Tuesday of each month until the baseball season ends." (Vendors grumbling about neon-green On the Fly's vending on Half Street have found out that the eco-vendor is actually on private property.)
* From the Examiner: David Catania gets back into the baseball carping business, saying the city should get its money back from the consultants who predicted in 2005 that the Nats would average 39,000 fans in the first year at Nationals Park, since there's only been an average of 29,000 fans during the first third of the season. Catania says "that ERA may have seriously overestimated ticket sales, which represents a major portion of stadium-related revenues." However, DC CEO Natwar Gandhi has replied that "the ballpark bonds are structured in such a way "that a significant drop in attendance would not hinder our ability to pay debt service" and that "in a worst-case scenario, total attendance at the new stadium could drop to approximately 10,000 people per game without affecting debt-service payments." The Examiner also says: "Ticket prices at the new ballpark are 20 percent higher than the consultant predicted, Gandhi said, which will drastically reduce the effect of reduced attendance." I wonder if the consultants factored in cold and miserable April weather? The Post's DC Wire has more on this.
* The Nats announced earlier this year that tours of the ballpark are available on non-gamedays; yesterday they sent out word that proceeds from those tours will benefit the team's Dream Foundation, which currently has a number of initiatives underway, including the Neighborhood Initiative that's providing three years of funding to the Earth Conservation Corps. Info about the tours is available here.
* My Ballpark and Beyond column in today's District Extra is short and sweet, with blurbs on the RiverFront/Florida Rock zoning approval and the almost-arrival of 700 new residential units at 70 and 100 I Street.
* Also in the District Extra is a big piece on whether the diversity of the Nats' roster, "combined with their state-of-the-art stadium, will be enough to attract young blacks and Latinos to the game in the District."
* DC United wants the city to pay $225 million for its Poplar Point stadium, which the Post says is "far more than some city leaders say they would support" and that "even the amount officials have considered, $150 million, has raised some concern with D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, whose analysis has concluded such a deal could push the government above a Wall Street debt ceiling that he recommended last year." In the meantime, Marc Fisher thinks it's all a bad idea.

New Overhead Vantage Points: 70 and 100 I
May 27, 2008 12:10 AM
Watching from ground level as new buildings pop up is all well and good--but when they are completed, it also means a new vantage point for overhead views of the neighborhood (as long as I can convince the owners to indulge a pesky camera-toting neighborhood blogger). So, thanks to the folks at JPI, I'm now able to add 70 I and 100 I to the Overhead Photo Gallery, joining existing perches on top of 1000 New Jersey, 20 M, and various spots at the ballpark. Even though it wasn't a brilliantly sunny day when I visited, I still got some good photos of the current state of Near Southeast (such as 100 I's southward view seen above, showing the renovated First Street, Onyx, 100 M, Velocity, Nationals Park, and 20 M). In these new 70 I and 100 I overhead galleries, you'll also see 909 New Jersey, the hole being dug for 1015 Half, and even some views east toward 225 Virginia and west toward Southwest. Enjoy. (And, if you want to see the photos I took *inside* 70 and 100 I this week, check out the project page.)
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First Look: 70-100 I Street Interiors (and Roof Decks!)
May 22, 2008 3:07 PM
The folks at JPI were kind enough to take me on a walk-through today of their getting-close-to-opening Jefferson and Axiom apartment buildings (better known as 70 and 100 I Street). Jefferson, with its warehouse/industrial feel, is about a month away from opening its shared spaces and first few floors of apartments, with all 12 stories expected to be open to tenants by late fall; Axiom will see its first units open in July, and also is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Together, the two buildings total nearly 700 apartments, and will be the first rental units to open in Near Southeast.
My interior photos of Jefferson/70 I give you a glimpse of the huge "sports pub", the interior courtyard, the other shared spaces, and the roof deck and pool, with hints of the amazing views of the city from up on high. (Don't worry, I'll be adding lots of big images to my Overhead Photos Gallery soon.)
Since Axiom/100 I is not quite as far along in its construction, the interior photos don't hint as much at the final look-and-feel of the shared spaces; but I actually got more photos inside the units in 100 I. And it's on 100 I's roof deck that I got the above photo.
The temporary rental office in the trailer at Half and I is open for business. At Jefferson, rents start at about $1,600 for a studio, $1,855 for a 1-bedroom ($2,225 for a 1 br/den), $2,555 for a 2-bedroom, and a $3,320 for a 3-bedroom; Axiom's prices are a little higher. For both buildings, a single parking space is $200 per month, or $275 a month for a tandem space. And pets are allowed, but there are size and breed restrictions, and additional fees. There are also some special deals being offered on lease terms.
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Official Web Sites for 70/100 I (Jefferson/Axiom)
May 18, 2008 4:54 PM
I haven't officially visited the rental office/trailer at Half and I yet, but I can still pass along that 70 and 100 I Street now have their own web sites: 70 I is officially the Jefferson at Capitol Yards, and its sibling 100 I is known as Axiom at Capitol Yards. The sites (which could perhaps use a bit more horsepower or a bit less Flash) have floor plans (just for the Jefferson, Axiom coming soon), amenities lists, and photo galleries.
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New Sunny Day Photos!
May 17, 2008 12:16 PM
Now this is what Spring is supposed to be like. I didn't have much time, but I wandered around to get mainly new photos of 909 New Jersey, which is sprouting like a weed. Here's the entire batch of today's photos, centered mainly on the area bounded by Half, New Jersey, I, and K (with a few from Second Street thrown in). You can also look at the Half and I, Half and K, First and I, First and K, New Jersey and I, and New Jersey and K intersection archives to see the before-and-after comparisons. (You'll also see the new rental office trailer for 70/100 I on the southwest corner of Half and I.) Watch for the icon, though the photos I took on gloomy May 1 are marked as "new" still, too. And, as always, the See All Photos of This Angle icon will show you all photos in the archive of a certain intersection (like the northwest corner of New Jersey and K, which you can watch get demolished, then see 70/100 I rise up in the distance, and now watch 909 New Jersey climb up.)

Breaking News: 70/100 I Apartments Having a 'Preview Grand Opening' This Weekend
May 15, 2008 7:32 PM
Word has just arrived that there's a "Preview Grand Opening" this weekend for JPI's first two "Capitol Yards" apartment buildings, the brick siblings at 70 and 100 I Street (officially known as Jefferson and Axiom at Capitol Yards). There's apparently now a leasing trailer on I between Half and South Capitol (next to Wendy's perhaps? I haven't been by in a few days), and tours of the new buildings will start there, with the preview running from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday (the 17th and 18th). The two buildings will have almost 700 rental units available, and should have some pretty amazing views of the neighborhood and the Capitol dome (and the freeway!). (The building permits for rooftop pools on both buildings just came through within the past few days.) The official web site is at capitolyardsdc.com; you can see the history of the project (which broke ground in fall 2006) on my 70/100 I project page. These are the first residential units to open in Near Southeast since Capitol Hill Tower was completed in spring 2006, and they are the first rentals. It's expected that Onyx on First (now apartments, at least last I heard) will be opening later this year as well, adding another 266 rental units to the neighborhood.
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New Photos from On Top of 20 M
May 9, 2008 2:01 PM
Since it's such a rotten day, I'll go back to when the sun was shining (Tuesday), and give you my first-ever photos from the roof of 20 M Street. (I've taken a few photos from inside the 10th floor going back to April of last year, but from the roof I don't have deal with the pesky glass reflections.) Here are these new photos matched with the oldest ones from the same angle, so you can compare 13 months' worth of changes easily; you can also look at all the photos if you want to watch the progression of changes. There's views to the north (above), showing the digging now underway at 1015 Half Street along with the construction progress at 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, and Velocity (plus the site-clearing at 23 I). To the south is the increasingly-shiny 55 M, as well as the ballpark, of course. I also tossed in some photos toward the west, showing the skyline of Southwest.

Small Photo Update (Along I and K)
May 2, 2008 3:17 PM
When I went out yesterday to get photos of the demolition getting underway at 23 I, I also took a fair number of photos along the way on First, Half, New Jersey, I, and K, even though the weather was less than optimal. (Some day I'll get bright blue skies again.) The ones of 909 New Jersey show how it's now almost three stories above ground, and they hint at how much this 12-story building is going to change the northern end of New Jersey Avenue.
You can see all the shots paired with their befores at these links: New Jersey at I and K, First at I and K, and Half at I and K (where those with xray specs might be able to make out the excavation work underway at 1015 Half). The icon is a bit misleading on some of these, because it's still showing for pics taken in April that I didn't update this time around (but perhaps you missed them in the ballpark whirlwind, anyway). And use the See All Photos of This Angle icon to see the range of photos between the "before" and the "after." I hope to get some more photos this weekend, weather permitting.

Now, About that Retail..... (A Space Survey)
May 2, 2008 10:09 AM
With the ballpark now humming along like it's been here forever (Tom Boswell has a litany of good things to say in today's Post) , interest is starting to turn toward what sort of retail/restaurant options are going to come to the neighborhood, and when. For your Friday time-killing pleasure, I've tossed together a quick a survey of what's either available now or will be coming within the next two years. (I'm not including already existing retail; I'm just looking at where new stuff could arrive.) As of now, I've seen no announcements of tenants for any of these spaces, but maybe if residents, workers, and ballpark fans clap their hands and wish real hard....
* 20 M - Completed in March of 2007, its 11,000 sq-ft of ground-floor retail space would seem to be an enticing location (just across the street from the Navy Yard subway station's ballpark exit), but so far there's been no takers. "Coming soon" signs that were in the windows last year for Wachovia and Kinko's are now gone.
* Capitol Hill Tower - A 7,000-sq-ft restaurant space in the ground floor of this co-op building has been advertised ever since the building opened in 2006, but no takers so far.
* 100 M - The 240,000-square-foot office building at First and M is scheduled to be completed later this year, and they're offering 8,500 sq ft of "corner restaurant/retail space" with "great ceiling heights, storefront and outdoor seating." (There's no ground-floor retail planned for Onyx on First in the same block.)
* 55 M - The first part of Monument's Half Street project is this 275,000-sq-ft office building now under construction at Half and M (it's the building on top of the subway station entrance). It has over 10,000 sq ft of retail spaces on Half, M, and Cushing, and should be completed by mid-2009. (See retail spaces 1 through 4 on this page at the official web site.)
* 909 New Jersey - For the folks who choose to walk from the Capitol South Metro station, the under-construction residential building at New Jersey and K is going to have 6,000 sq ft of ground-floor retail space when it's completed in summer 2009.
* Velocity - The ground floor of this 200-unit condo building at First and L will have retail (I can't find how much), and will be finished by late 2009.
* The Yards - By the end of 2009, the renovation of the old Boilermaker Shop at Third and Tingey into a 46,000-sq-ft retail space should be completed, and there is also 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space planned for the Pattern Shop Lofts building on the south side of Tingey, which should have its conversion into a rental building completed by the end of next year as well. Both of these are situated on the route that most Nats Express users walk along to get from the shuttle stop at 300 M to the ballpark. (But will the Nats Express run after this year?)
* Half Street Part 2 - The southern part of the east side of Half Street north of the ballpark is going to be a combination of a 200-room hotel and two residential buildings totaling 340 units, with about 40,000-sq-ft of ground floor retail to entice the throngs that walk along Half Street before and after games. (See retail spaces 5 through 8 on this page at the official web site.)
* 1015 Half - Opus East hasn't yet committed to whether there will be ground-floor retail in this 410,000-sq-ft office building at Half and L, though about 10,000 sq ft of space will be there.
* 23 I - If this 420-unit apartment building does indeed begin construction in September of this year, there could be 15,000 sq ft of retail available at Half and I by the end of 2010.
That's about 200,000 square feet of space to be filled within the next few years--and this doesn't include the retail spaces in the ground floor of the baseball stadium along First Street (who knows when those will be occupied). It's possible other buildings slated to have ground-floor retail could pop up between now and the end of 2010--1111 New Jersey and 250 M are the main candidates.
And there will also could be more offerings at the Yards by 2011 (including that grocery store planned for 401 M as well as the Lumber Storage Shed and other to-be-built pavilions at the Waterfront Park). And maybe the first building at Florida Rock, across from the ballpark's grand staircase, could be done by the end of 2011. But this is getting a little too far down the road....

Demolition Today at 23 I Street Site
May 1, 2008 12:48 PM
Thanks to reader E. for the tip that demolition work is underway today along Half Street between I and K, where the little gray Alpha Towing building stands; as of earlier this morning, the brick wall was apparently down. This is the site of JPI's planned 23 I Street apartment building, which is expected to start construction by early fall. I don't yet know the fate of Wendy's next door, which is also part of the 23 I site and which was supposed to be closed down as of today. I will go check it out as soon as the rain stops. (This frickin' weather, I am so tired of it. And it scuttled plans I had today for something cool, which hopefully will happen next week--you'll have to wait to find out what it is. So do a sun dance!)
UPDATE: Yup, all gone. Building #152 demolished since 2003. Wendy's is still open, though, and one of the workers there told me they're open through the end of June. I've added a few new photos on my 23 I page to show the changed landscape as of this afternoon. (The sun appeared about 20 minutes later. Damn you, Old Sol!)

Updated Before and Afters: Half Street (and Others)
Apr 11, 2008 1:18 PM
The surprise appearance by the sun on Thursday gave me the chance to update some north-and-east photos on the way to the ballpark, mainly along Half Street, with a few from First, Cushing, and Van thrown in. You can see the entire batch of new photos, or you can check the 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, Velocity, and Monument Half Street pages for a little bit of context as to what you're seeing, or you can look for the icon by intersection (Half and I, Half and K, Half and L, Half and M, First and I, Cushing and L, Cushing and M, Van and M). Make sure to check out the new photos I took last week along First Street if you missed them, to get a pretty complete view of what's happened in the neighborhood in the past two years. (Or just come down and see for yourself.) Hopefully soon I'll get some additional updated shots from along South Capitol Street and New Jersey Avenue (which will be changing thanks to 909 New Jersey now beginning the showy phase of its construction).

Before and Afters: Unrecognizable First Street
Apr 6, 2008 12:15 PM
The sunlight wasn't fabulous when I ventured out yesterday, but I still took a pretty complete set of photos along First Street between I and N. With 909 New Jersey now peeking up above ground level, and Velocity racing upwards, the skyline is morphing yet again. And of course work continues on Onyx and 100 M (both due to be completed this summer). As I've mentioned a few times lately, the streetscape improvements to First Street have made the stretch from I Street southward pretty much unrecognizable from what it was a year or so ago (or even three months ago).
While you can look at the complete set of photos I took yesterday, I'd suggest taking a little extra time and looking at these new shots by intersection, where you can see the photos paired with their "befores": check out First and I, First and K, First and L, First and M, and First and N (above); and there's also some updates at Half and N by the ballpark Center Field Gate and New Jersey and I thrown in as well. Click on the See All Photos of This Angle wherever you see it to see the photos between the Before and the After (or, more precisely, the "During").
Soon I'll post some additional photos from yesterday of portions of The Yards, which is now more accessible thanks to the new parking lots. And if the sun ever comes out again, I'll venture along Half Street and other locations that need updating.

Clear Sunny Skies. That Must Mean....
Mar 20, 2008 3:51 PM
Caught a break with such beautiful weather today, and so I snagged a new batch of overhead photos from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott. I took the entire batch, both east and west, and have paired them with the first ones I took, in March 2006. It's quite a difference; these are the views that people should see when they're carping about "how the area around the ballpark is one big construction zone" -- yes, it is, but look what that construction has done in just two years. (And think of what the commentary would be if this construction *weren't* happening.) You can also toggle to include all the photos from here in 2007 as well, to watch the process step-by-step.
These photos show the progress of 100 M, Onyx, Velocity, 70/100 I, the changes with the Capper Seniors buildings and all the demolitions (and new parking lots!) at Capper. There's even the first views of 909 New Jersey coming up above ground level. I'm still adding some updated photos to those project pages, but you'll get the idea.

WTDW: The A1 Garage at First and K
Mar 18, 2008 1:47 PM
Let's dip into the What's the Deal With.... mailbag for some more non-ballpark-related content. Reader M has asked about the garage on the northeast corner of First and K, which remains in place while JPI's 909 at Capitol Yards starts to rise up around it.
This is actually a very simple question (and is precisely the one I envisioned when I started WTDW)--the owner, Davood Miraizee, refused to sell to JPI. He's quoted in a big Post piece from 2005 about not wanting to leave his spot. (Quick chats I've had with him have included slightly more, um, colorful language.)
So, JPI is continuing to build the 237-unit apartment project around him (and no, they won't be building on top of the garage), and as far as I know at this point, he's not going anywhere. But with a 2009 projected tax assessment of $1.47 million for the site (up from around $200k when he bought the lot), you do wonder about the economics of his staying put. As is the case with Positive Nature around the corner, assessments in the area are skyrocketing, which would seem to make it hard for any of the few small businesses still operating to stick around much longer. (The cab company and garage just across First Street from A1 is leaving at the end of this month, its land purchased last year to make way for DRI's 99 I Street office/retail development.)
If you have a What's the Deal With question, drop me a line, though it might be a while before I get to it.
And, coming tomorrow--a WTDW on a very high-profile project.
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Photos: The New First Street, Views of I (Finally), and (Too) Much More
Mar 16, 2008 2:50 PM
When setting out to photograph a changing neighborhood, it might initially seem like a good idea to create a scheme where you take photos of 16 different views at each intersection (from up to four different angles) so that you don't miss anything and so that you can easily match photos as time goes on--until you arrive at a time when there are more than 30 intersections where visible change is happening on a day-to-day basis. Then you end up taking nearly 500 photos in one 90-minute walkabout on a sunny Saturday afternoon (without even venturing near the shiny new ballpark that's only two weeks away from opening), making you almost embarrassed when it's time to post a selection of them on your obsessive-compulsive web site.
This is all just hypothetical, of course.
Yesterday was the first time I saw the striped and open-to-traffic First Street north of M, now widened to four lanes with a bike path, and it's kinda different from the First Street I've spent so much time on these past few years. (The four new buildings with one more about to pop up might be part of the feeling, too.) Here's a gallery of before-and-afters for First Street at I, K, L, and M so you can see the changes. This was the first time I've been able to take a complete set of pictures at First and I in nearly a year, so it was especially nice to get those updated.
I also took new photos along Half Street between I and M, Cushing at L and M, and a smattering along M at South Capitol, Van, and New Jersey. And the wide views from the freeway at South Capitol Street. (My previous entry has the links to the photos I took of the various parking lots under construction.) For all of these, don't forget that clicking on the icon will show you all photos in the archive of that location if you want to see the progression of the changes.
Of course, many of these new photos are also now on the project pages for the under-construction buildings: see 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, Velocity, Onyx, 100 M, and 55 M for details.
(There sure were a lot of folks taking either a drive or a walk through the area yesterday--let the onslaught begin! And thanks to those who said hi while I was out and about ["Are you the one who does that web site?"]. As always I appreciate everyone who made the effort to not run me over when I was standing in the middle of the street taking pictures. My days of being able to do that may be at an end, though.)

Wendy's Out by May; 23 I Starts in September
Mar 14, 2008 12:40 PM
With raze permits having been filed recently for the Wendy's on I Street and its little gray neighbor to the east along Half Street, we knew that their days were numbered. JPI informs me that Wendy's will be closed by May 1, and that demolition on the two sites will happen over the summer, to allow construction on the 421-unit 23 Eye at Capitol Yards to begin in September.
Also, JPI's Capitol Yards buildings at 70 and 100 I, which together will have nearly 700 rental units, are now scheduled to open in June and July, respectively. 70 I is known as "Jefferson at Capitol Yards", while 100 I has snuck in a name change and is now "Axiom at Capitol Yards" (after a brief interlude as "Mercury").
In the meantime, the fourth Capitol Yards sibling, 909 New Jersey, is just about at ground-level, meaning that Nats fans walking on New Jersey Avenue to get to and from Capitol South will soon see a new skeleton rising up. The 237-unit rental building is scheduled to open next year.
The official web site has animated computer renderings on Jefferson, Axiom, and 909, and a mailing list for those interested in more information.

Raze Permits for 23 I Street Lots
Mar 5, 2008 9:22 AM
Raze permits have now been filed for the Wendy's at 23 I Street and its little gray neighbor at 901 Half Street on the corner of Half and I. These two lots totaling about 47,300 square feet were purchased in late July for $28.625 million by JPI, and the company is planning "23 Eye at Capitol Yards," a 421-unit residential building with up to 35,000 square feet of retail space. Late last year JPI was saying that 23 I would start construction this August--I haven't seen anything lately on whether that's still the case. I haven't had a chance to swing by Wendy's to see if they have a closing date, so if anyone thinks to ask while they're at the drive-through window, let me know. This project would be the youngest of the four Capitol Yards siblings, joining 70/100 I arriving later this year just across the street and 909 New Jersey coming in 2009 one block to the east.

More Updated Photos and Progress Reports
Mar 3, 2008 1:59 PM
Yesterday I posted a whole batch of updated photos of the ballpark's exterior; today you can check out the project pages for the residential projects 70/100 I Street, Onyx (both opening later this year) and Velocity (2009) along with the office projects 100 M (2008) and 55 M (2009) for lots of new shots of those projects, or you can look at alllllll the photos from yesterday on a single page (ballpark shots, too). Don't forget the icon if you want to look at how an intersection has changed over the past few years.
Items of note from my wanderings:
* The south side of I Street is now paved between New Jersey Avenue and Half Street, and I've been told that I Street will be "driveable" by Opening Day;
* First Street is now paved south of K, and paving up to I doesn't look far off;
* The Merritt Cab garage at First and K now has a "Moving March 31, 2008" sign on it; and
* JPI's 909 New Jersey Avenue residential building (between I and K) is not far from reaching ground level, so be prepared for the arrival of another skeleton in the skyline before long.
If *I'm* finding it all hard to comprehend and harder to keep up with, I can only imagine how non-obsessive observers must feel. I'm kind of looking forward to the pace slowing back down a bit come May....

New Photos, from Up High and from Across the River
Feb 28, 2008 1:01 PM
Let's take a breather from all this parking stuff (which I had my fill of about two years ago) and get back to the original JDLand modus operandi--posting lots of photos of the neighborhood. Yesterday's press conference on the-subject-I-just-said-I-wasn't-going-to-talk-about was held on the 10th floor of 20 M Street, giving me a chance to update my photos from that perch, with views of 70/100 I, Velocity (now working on floor #2), the 1015 Half Street site (where nothing seems to be happening just yet), 55 M, and the ballpark. You can see all photos I've taken from atop 20 M in the past 10 months, or just compare the oldest and newest ones (there's been a few changes!).
Switching to the opposite side of the neighborhood, I took a few shots from Poplar Point on Sunday of the ballpark and The Yards.
You can also see all the new photos (along with the ones taken inside the ballpark looking out at the surrounding neighborhood) on a single page.
I hope to get out this weekend and update the ground-level photos of all the latest happenings.

Photo Update: N Street, 55 M, Willco, 23 I
Jan 28, 2008 11:02 AM
I wandered around on Sunday for a photo session, wishing that spring would hurry up and get here so that the sun will rise higher during the day and set farther west so that I can stop dealing with the damn glare whenever I face southward.
* I have new images along N Street just north of the ballpark between Half and First, which show the work at the entrance plaza at Half Street, including glass now being installed on the ground floor of the western parking garage, as well as the structures that will make up the entrance gates.
* In fact, I updated all 12 angles of the Half and N intersection, which now that it has its new wide sidewalks, curbs, streetlights, and an initial paving job, is really a stunning testament to 24 months of change, not only on the four corners of Half and N but the blocks to the north as well. It's definitely worth a look.
* I took a lot of photos of the now-demolished Willco stretch along First Street (and gave the project its own page as well), and of course I got all the usual angles of 55 M Street.
* On Half Street between I and K, where JPI's 23 I Street residential project is expected to start this year, a pile of red-and-black advertising banners have been hung on every available surface, and a "JPI Permit Parking only" sign has appeared on the entrance to the former towing company's parking lot on that block. I'm guessing JPI's purchase of the property just closed. I haven't heard anything about potential start dates for this project, or when the Wendy's might close.
* If you browse all the photos I took yesterday, you'll also see a smattering of 70/100 I and 100 M shots as well as images of the two blocks along Third Street where temporary surface parking lots are going in (so now my pictures of those blocks have changed from post-demolition views of nothing to pre-blacktop views of nothing). And the always popular shots from the SE Freeway at South Capitol are updated, too.
And don't forget to click on the icon wherever you see it to see all photos in the archive of a certain location.

New Frozen Tundra Photos; Archive Tweaks
Jan 21, 2008 11:40 AM
I braved the chilly temps and gusty winds on Sunday morning for what turned out to be an abbreviated venture to get some updated photos. (I didn't post them yesterday because I thought I might go out this afternoon to get more, but it's a holiday, it's still cold, I'm pretty warm and cozy here on the sofa, and, and, and....) You'll see some shots of the demolition along First Street on the Willco site (which is about 50 percent completed), as well as a few updated shots of the ballpark, some of which show that the steps are now being poured on the grand staircase. There's also a smattering of shots of 55 M, 100 M, 70/100 I, and the at-ground-level Velocity construction, and some other vantage points that I got before high-tailing back indoors.
You can see the complete batch of photos, remembering to click on the icon if you want to see all archived photos of a certain view.
This is a good time to mention that I recently made a few changes to the Photo Archive. First, you'll now see links that allow you to toggle between seeing all photos of an angle and just the oldest and newest, which comes in handy as the number of photos continue to escalate. And, because the archive is getting pretty big, I've changed the default for when you choose to look at all angles of an intersection to show just the oldest and newest of each angle--you can then choose to see all photos for a specific angle.

Too Darn Many New Photos, Including N Street, At Last
Jan 6, 2008 9:32 PM
It was time this weekend to catch up on photos for a bunch of locations, including the most aged batch of them all, the views of the ballpark's northern footprint along N Street, which haven't been updated since September, so you can now have your fill of photographs of imposing parking garages. The curbs and historic streetlamps are now in, and N Street has been paved from South Capitol to Half, and it looks like the paving east to First isn't far behind. So even though the half-shadow half-sunlight conditions weren't the best to work with, I took full updates of the First, Half, Cushing, and Van intersections along N, all of which you can see here.
One thing that really struck me today for the first time is just how wide First Street is becoming, as you can see in this batch of northward-looking photos. I also saw that all the businesses on the west side of First south of M have now vacated--as you can see above, it's odd to see those old about-to-be-demolished buildings with sparkly new sidewalks and streetlamps in front of them.
I also trudged around the road construction along First Street north of M as best I could to update photos of 100 M, Onyx, and 70/100 I, and also got a good new batch of 55 M photos as well as the always showy views from the freeway at South Capitol. And I finally got the last set of old Capper Seniors photos to show that the building is indeed gone. And heaven help me I even took a photo of the new sign advertising the Square 696 project, and also a few shots barely showing that work started this week on the first Capper parking lot at Third and I (because there's nothing more exciting than documenting the construction of a parking lot). There's just too much change, and I couldn't stop until it had all been documented! Aaaiiiieeeeee!!!!
For those of you brave enough to try, here's all the photos from the past two days on one page. (Thank heavens I've done a lot of work over the past year or so to automate the update process as much as possible.) Don't forget to click on the icons to see all photos of a location over the years....

WTDW: South Capitol Boarded-Up Properties
Dec 12, 2007 10:23 AM
Time again to dig into the What's the Deal With....? mailbag. Reader BH has asked about the two boarded-up gas stations and the old KFC along South Capitol Street, wondering when they're going to be demolished.
I have no answer, alas, for the former Exxon station on the east side of the street at I, which has been closed since May 2006 after its owner pleaded guilty to double-billing government contractors for more than $120,000; JPI was apparently somewhat interested in acquiring it so that they could build 23 I on the entire block, but that doesn't seem to have happened.
The KFC/Taco Bell closed in June after being bought by Ruben Companies, which has long-term plans for an office building on the site, to match their SC1100 on the east side of the street and 21 L Street to the north. However, they are not planning to demolish the KFC anytime soon, and in fact are looking to rent the space to a food-related business in the near-to-medium term.
The second Exxon, on the west side of the street south of K, closed at the end of August. The rumor was that the lot was going to be sold, but so far no transactions have shown up in the DC property sales database. (Ruben owns the other two-thirds of that block, which is the 21 L Street site.)
(I went 1 for 3 on this. Yeeech. This is what I get for not anticipating that WTDW.... questions wouldn't necessarily be ones I know the answers to! But I'm willing to keep trying--if you have a WTDW.... question, pass it along. Be advised, though, that I'm posting these as I can get to them, so submissions may not get addressed right away.)

New Batch of Overhead and St. Matthew's Photos
Dec 10, 2007 2:21 PM
I visited my perch above New Jersey Avenue today and got updated photos looking to the south and west and northwest, which provide quite the overview of the changes in the past 21 months on the blocks I've wittily dubbed North of M (between M, South Capitol, the freeway, and New Jersey). The two links above show you just the oldest and the newest photos for each angle, or you can try these links to see all the photos I've taken of those angles, at about three-month intervals.
Of course, the arrivals of 100 M, Onyx, and 70/100 I are the biggest changes; you can also see that Velocity is building the garage levels and will be above ground by late winter, and that 909 New Jersey's crane is now in place, meaning that vertical construction there is not far off. But thanks to the 100 M/Onyx construction, peeks at the ballpark and Monument Half Street from this vantage point are now pretty well gone.
I also took a few ground-level photos of the New Jersey and L intersection to capture the change in the skyline above St. Matthew's, which is easier to see now that that big old tree has dropped its leaves. You can see just today's ground-level shots, or compare them with past photos.
If none of these billion links tickle your fancy, all ground-level and sky-high photos from today can be seen on a single page.

Monday-Morning Follow-Ups on JPI, Stolen Cars, 225 Virginia
Dec 3, 2007 9:37 AM
A few notes to add to recent items:
* I don't get on the Southeast Freeway on a regular basis, so only yesterday did I see the huge Capitol Yards sign hanging on the side of 70 I, facing the freeway. Oops; would have helped me write Saturday's entry on the new project web site a day or two sooner! UPDATE: And, with good timing, here's a new press release touting the "topping out" of 70 and 100 I Street. They are scheduled to open in summer 2008.
* Both the PSA 105 and MPD 1D mailing lists (registration required) have been discussing the November spate of car thefts, which included not only Near Southeast but Capitol Hill and other neighborhoods. Apparently the three thefts recently listed for the unit block of L Street (which I didn't blog about because I was a little suspicious that there might be a mistake in the data flow) were three cabs stolen from the same lot. Also, 1D commander David Kemperin says that the Auto Theft Unit was deployed to the area, and that "an arrest was recently made for auto theft and other information obtained from an arrest for unregistered auto that may link some of these thefts." If you're interested in ongoing discussions about crime in the area, a subscription to these lists is probably a good idea.
* On Friday I wondered aloud what Phil Mendelson's response would be to Mayor Fenty's press conference on 225 Virginia and the Consolidated Forensics Lab, and, like magic, his complete statement appeared in my inbox. "Learning about today's announcement, I am unsure about what can be considered 'new' news regarding the progress of the Consolidated Forensics Lab and the relocation of various public safety facilities. We learned of the probability of Bowen Elementary School being used to house the First District Police Headquarters at an oversight hearing I held on this issue on September 20th of this year. We also knew then that the administration was looking for suitors for the property at 225 Virginia Avenue, SE; nothing new was announced about this today." Read the rest here.

New Web Site for JPI's Capitol Yards
Dec 1, 2007 1:27 PM
With a hat tip to a tipster who shall remain nameless, I'm passing along CapitolYardsDC.com, the new splashy web site launched by JPI to market its four Near Southeast apartment buildings along I Street, which will total 1,350 rental units and which together are being called "Capitol Yards."
The two buildings I always cover together as 70 and 100 I Street have been dubbed Jefferson and Mercury at Capitol Yards, and although they're right next to each other they will have distinctly different looks-and-feels. The Jefferson will have more of a "warehouse" feel, with "exposed brick and hardwood floors" for a "spacious loft-style atmosphere", while the Mercury next door will be going for "up-to-the-minute finishes."
Across the street, 909 New Jersey is now known as 909 at Capitol Yards, and its page touts a "two-story lounge with a modern bar, plasma TVs and a 90-inch projection TV" as well as an Asian-themed spa and a rooftop deck with "lounging and grilling areas." This building will also have restaurant and retail tenants on the first floor (which might also prove to be a handy stop for Nationals fans walking along New Jersey going to or from the Capitol South Metro station).
The pages for each of these projects also include animated views of the building's exteriors.
There's also a page for what's now 23 Eye at Capitol Yards (though I haven't decided yet if I'm going to always indulge that whole "Eye" thing), which has the first rendering I've seen of the building that will eventually go up west of Half Street (where the Wendy's and a towing company currently reside). Its page touts not only a rooftop pool, but also a rooftop dog park, which one would like to assume will be outfitted with very high fences. The 421 units are being described as "two-story true loft homes with 18-foot windows"; the site also says that the building will be Washington's first LEED silver-certified residential building.
You can wander through my project pages for each of these buildings to see where they're at (and what their lots looked like before). The furthest along are 70 and 100 I, scheduled to open in the summer, and are now topped out and getting their brick facades. The hole has been dug for 909 New Jersey, and it is supposed to open in mid-2009. Nothing has changed yet at the 23 I site, but construction is expected to start in 2008.

23 I Street Cleanup Story in the Examiner
Nov 28, 2007 7:23 AM
The Examiner today has a piece on the planned cleanup of contaminants at 23 I Street--and we can take a moment to ponder where the story idea might have come from (I say as I point you to my "Environmental Cleanup at 23 I Street" post from a few days ago--someday newspapers will stop treating blogs as freebie no-credit tip lines). The story headline is "Ballpark May Be Contaminated", which doesn't actually have anything to do with the story because even the story itself says that the ballpark already had its environmental cleanup, to the tune of $14 million. And the photo accompanying the story is of 70/100 I, not the 23 I Street site (which still has a Wendy's and a towing company on it).
UPDATE: The Examiner's reporter has quickly written me to say that he didn't get the story from here.
UPDATE II: And now the headline is changed to a not-altogether-better "Ballpark Area Contaminated," which still sounds like the article is talking about the ballpark and its surroundings being contaminated. "Area Near Ballpark Contaminated" would have worked just splendidly.

New Photos, and a Moratorium on Ballpark Pictures
Nov 25, 2007 12:06 PM
Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to take photos of the neighborhood, given that traffic is close to nonexistent. (Great weather helped, too.) The showy construction work has now slowed down at 70/100 I, Onyx on First, and 100 M, so after this update I'm now going to scale back the updates to those project pages (and their expanded photo archives). Demolition continues at old Capper Seniors, though not much happened to the building itself in the past week as work appeared to focus on clearing the ground of the debris from the initial work. And 55 M continues along, though it's hard right now to get a feel for the progress from ground level (beyond the festive steel beams along M Street), which is why having the webcam is so handy.
You can see all of the weekend's photos on this page, and of course feel free to click on the icons to see all photos of a certain location to watch the buildings go up (or down, in the case of Capper Seniors).
Then there's the ballpark.
[Long pause. Sigh.]
Taking photos of the stadium's exterior started to be constrained in late summer by the infrastructure work being done along First Street and Potomac Avenue; and by October access to N Street had pretty well been cut off too, again because of the infrastructure work. While I grumbled about the loss of access to those locations, I respect the perimeters of construction sites, and totally understand the need for security to keep people out of the ballpark, and so I stayed north of N. But yesterday, while standing on the northeast corner of First and N streets, on an open public sidewalk outside of the stadium footprint, I was approached by a security guard telling me repeatedly that I was "not allowed" to take photos of the ballpark. (At least I wasn't screamed at through a megaphone, as happened to a correspondent of mine at the same location recently.) This is, of course, ridiculous--there are no laws against taking photographs of anything while standing on public property, and it deserves its own separate rant about stupid attempts to clamp down on civil liberties in public spaces.
But the cumulative effect of the run-ins I've had over the past few months when I am absolutely positively 100% in no way trying to set foot inside the ballpark (my favorite being the time I was shadowed by a guard all the way down South Capitol from N to Potomac and back despite never coming any closer to the ballpark than South Capitol's median) have left me drained and uninterested in continuing the battle. At the same time, I'm dealing with the fallout from a recent memo sent out by the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission reminding ballpark contractors and subcontractors that they are not allowed to talk to "the media" without prior approval by the DCSEC, leaving workers who have been nice enough to answer such probing questions as "how many panels make up each row of the HD scoreboard?" feeling that they can no longer be helpful.
I imagine something could be worked out, though right now I'm worn out from all the drama and not quite ready to fight the fight. In the meantime, I'm not going to update any ballpark photos or post news of the stadium other than links to accounts in the ("real") media. (Of course, the vast majority of the exterior work of the ballpark is already completed, so this isn't exactly a breathtakingly brave stand!) Once the roads are reopened, and the ballpark is close to opening, I'll of course get back in gear, but until then I'm taking a breather.

Ridiculous Number of New Photos
Nov 12, 2007 10:11 AM
It started innocently enough. On Sunday morning, when I woke up to find such a brilliant sunny day, I decided to go take a new batch of photos of the demolition at old Capper Seniors to replace the dreary ones from Saturday. Then I started moving away a few blocks, to catch more distant views of the building. Then I decided that there were a bunch of locations where 70/100 I and Onyx on First were changing the skyline that I hadn't captured. Then I realized that it had been a long time since I had taken a complete set of photos of the western side of South Capitol Street at O and P streets, to show the changes since the demolition of the viaduct and all the streetscape improvements. And then of course, while I was there, I had to take a set of shots of the ballpark's western facade. Then there were more shots needed of the changes along M Street thanks to 55 M and 100 M. By the time I was done, I had a ridiculous number of new images up on the site, which you can see all on one page; you can also see most of them paired with past shots by clicking on the "Photo Archive Before-and-Afters" links at the top of that page, like the "South Capitol Street Makeover", which shows the new photos from both sides of the street (along with some older angles I didn't update). After a while they all run together, I know. But they make for some spiffy before-and-afters!

Environmental Cleanup at 23 I Street
Nov 9, 2007 9:57 AM
A notice in this week's District Register says that JPI has applied to remediate the land it recently purchased at 23 I Street, as part of the District Department of the Environment's Voluntary CleanUp Program. Quoting: "The application identifies low to elevated levels of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Benzene in soil and TPH, Benzene, and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in groundwater." JPI is planning a 420-unit residential building with ground-floor retail on the site, with construction expected to begin sometime in 2008. The VCP application for 23 I is not yet online, but you can see JPI's 2005 application for 100 I Street and the city's 2006 application to clean up the stadium site to get the idea.

New Photos (Everywhere but the Stadium)
Nov 4, 2007 8:33 PM
As I took two ventures out over the weekend to take pictures (and cursed the skies for only seeming to be cloudy when I was hitting the shutter, so be prepared for rotten lighting), I came to realize that my desire to capture the changing skyline means that I pretty much have to take photos at every intersection between New Jersey, I, South Capitol, and N, because there's hardly any spot covered by those 10 blocks or so that isn't seeing a big change to its view.
The new player is 55 M Street, with the signature steel beams above the Metro station now visible from two blocks in any direction. And I had to capture the brick work on 70 I, and the continuing climb of 100 M, and the preparations for glass hanging on the sides of Onyx, which gave me way too many photos to post, so it's probably just as well that I have no ballpark photo updates for you. (But be patient, there might be some coming soon.) You can see all of this weekend's photos here, or check out the Expanded Project Archives if you want to see the new photos paired with their "befores."
A couple things to note: 1015 Half Street now has signs marking it as a construction zone, and apparently all that stands between it and the start of excavation is waiting for permits from DCRA. (Snicker.) And Tingey Street, behind DOT, closed last week, I imagine for infrastructure work and perhaps streetscape work as well.
Looking ahead, this coming week should see the start of demolition at old Capper Seniors; I'll be lurking there pretty regularly for the next few weeks, I imagine.
And by the way, a general hat tip to the various folks who have said "hey" when coming upon me taking photos over these past weeks and months. Always nice to talk to people who read the site, and I also always appreciate everyone's kindness in not running over me when I'm standing in the middle of the street.

The Long Road for the Old Near Southeast Nightclubs
Nov 2, 2007 9:08 AM
This week's Washington Blade has a long story describing the continuing difficulties seen by the old Near Southeast nightclubs in their attempts to reopen elsewhere in the city. Nexus (now becoming 909 New Jersey Avenue), Edge/Wet and Club 55 (on the block being redeveloped with the Velocity project), Ziegfield's-Secrets, and Heat (taken by eminent domain to make way for the ballpark) are all still trying to either find new locations or get approvals for locations they've chosen. Follies and Club Washington will not be reopening elsewhere. Velvet Nation, a gay dance night that was held at Nation, is looking like it will be reconstituted at a new gay dance club called Town, in Shaw.

More New Photos Than Should Be Allowed by Law
Oct 23, 2007 1:17 AM
For months now, I've been dreading this part of 2007, when so many projects would be underway--and it turns out I was right to be worried. Goodness gracious, tons and tons of photos were needed to keep to my perfectionist mandate, but at last I've gotten them up on the site, even though it's pretty much taken a week to get every shot I wanted. For your perusing pleasure:
*The Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery is more updated than it's been in nearly three months, though N Street was unavailable to me this weekend thanks to lots of digging going on. The photos on that page, as well as on the expanded galleries of views along Potomac Avenue, South Capitol, and from the ballpark's viewing platform at First and Potomac show not only the progress on the stadium but also on the streetscape improvements. Sidewalks, curbs, and streetlamps continue to be installed--and the stoplights along South Capitol are gearing up as well (it looks like the P Street light that's now flashing yellow is going to get turned on pretty soon).
* 70 I Street and Onyx are just about topped out, while their siblings 100 I and 100 M aren't far behind. In fact, progress at 70 I is outpacing me so much that within the five days since I took photos of its western side, the bricking of that wall has begun, and is already reaching the second floor in some spots. There's some nice long-distance shots of these projects, from the freeway and the ballpark, highlighting how much the skyline has changed in just a few short weeks.
* Velocity's three-story-deep hole is now getting a concrete floor, which means vertical construction is starting before long. (The crane arrived within the past few days.) And Monument's 55 M Street office building (where the Navy Yard Metro west entrance is being expanded) is poking up above street level, with the first concrete pillars poured along M Street. And it's been hard to get any photos of the work at The Yards, but I finally snagged a few from up on high.
* Plus there's the shots from the top of 20 M Street this morning, including a few panoramic views across Southwest.
If you don't want to plow through all those links above, you can see all the new photos on one page, though it's just a touch overwhelming. (Yes, even I know it's overwhelming.) But the project links above (and their expanded archives) are really worth it, because the scope of the changes is now so amazing. So click on a or two to watch the progression.
And now I will rest myself and my camera for a while. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Big Photo Update - South and East Stadium Exteriors, and More
Oct 15, 2007 10:08 PM
I took advantage of great weather and an unplanned opening in my schedule to make a photo run through the Hood on Monday. The pictures that will probably be of most interest are of the east and south sides of the stadium exterior, which I've been unable to get shots of since First Street and Potomac Avenue were closed to traffic and pedestrians a number of weeks back. While the stadium itself doesn't look incredibly different on those sides (lots more window glass being installed, including in the areas along First Street slotted for retail), I did get a nice surprise when I found a new sidewalk already in place on the south side of Potomac Avenue east of South Capitol. But don't be expecting to get to "drive the ballpark circuit" again much before Opening Day--the infrastructure work on Potomac and on First (and eventually on I) is scheduled to continue through February. (I also want to plead my case that I've now lost a lot of my "guideposts" around the stadium that I used to line up my before and afters, so if you determine that new photos aren't 100 percent in the same location as the old ones--just remember, as usual, you get what you pay for here at JDLand.)
I also made it to Poplar Point with camera in hand for the first time in two months, and posted a few of those shots, with more to come in the next few days. And there's a lot of photos of 70/100 I, Onyx, and 100 M, although not the complete lineup that I usually post--I hope to get the rest, along with the north and west sides of the ballpark, this weekend. Onyx and 70 I appear to be within seconds of completing their top floors, with their siblings 100 I and 100 M not too far behind. And believe me, I can't wait for those four buildings to get their exteriors finished, so I can rest a bit! Of course, it'll be a short breather, since Monument's 55 M is now at ground level, and the concrete is being poured at the bottom of the Velocity Condos hole.
You can also see all the photos I posted from today on a single page, though it might be too much to digest in a single sitting.

New Batch of Photos, Pt. 1 - Scoreboard Stars and More
Sep 29, 2007 5:08 PM
The breadth of construction around Near Southeast is now so vast that I'm forced to break my photo sojourns up into multiple sessions. Today's batch includes a few from the eastern side of the stadium, which are somewhat hard to come by these days--make sure to see the second photo down on the Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery, which shows the red stars that were added to the scoreboard in the past few days as part of the installation of the clock. (The "Nationals" lettering is cool to see as well, even if it's backwards.) The rest of the new stadium photos are more toward the bottom of the gallery (look for the icon) and on the First Street and N Street expanded galleries, but I'm planning to take a complete batch of photos of the western side of the ballpark on Sunday.
There's also the usual updates to the project pages for residential projects 70/100 I and Onyx on First and the 100 M Street office building, as well as plenty of other vantage points that can be seen on the expanded galleries or on the see-'em-all-on-one-page output. Try not to be blinded by the incredibly blue sky when looking at these shots, and cross your fingers I get that weather again on Sunday.
I've also got one not-so-good comparison showing the slow progress on the demolition of the GPO building at The Yards, though fences and construction vehicles are making it very hard to get good shots of what's going on there.
I did also notice that the DC Foreign Car garage on K west of Half is definitely now abandoned, sometime within the past month or so. No "we've moved" sign is up anywhere, and so it's possible that it's been a number of weeks since they closed, but now all the windows and doors are busted, so it was obvious even to my sometimes-distracted brain. Opus East has said they're planning to start construction on 1015 Half Street in October, which would mean this garage should be gone before much longer.
Tune in tomorrow for the next batch.


New Photos: Stadium Exterior, Onyx, 100 M, 70/100 I
Sep 17, 2007 12:39 PM
I've posted a nearly full complement of construction update photos, taken on Sunday. There's new shots of the stadium's exterior from along South Capitol Street and N Street (read my miffed post from a week ago about why I'm not getting shots from First or Potomac these days), and the expanded photo stadium exterior archives along South Capitol and N Street are updated as well. I also shifted around the exterior construction gallery to get the more-likely-to-be-updated photos higher up on the page.
I also took the standard shots of the residential projects at 70/100 I Street and Onyx on First, as well as the 100 M Street office building, and also updated the expanded photo archives for each of those, if you can't get enough before-and-afters. Or, you can see all the new photos on one page.
(PS: I know the site is slow today. The tech support people are "working on it." Apologies....)
More posts: 100 M, 70/100 I, jpi, Onyx, Nationals Park

One More New Batch of Overhead Photos
Sep 6, 2007 3:17 PM
Having decided that overhead views of Near Southeast from the ballpark and the Southeast Freeway over the past few days weren't enough, I've also now added a bunch of updated overheads from a vantage point at the Courtyard by Marriott, focusing on the many construction projects west of New Jersey Avenue. You can browse these new photos, or see the ones displayed with previous shots from the same location (scroll down a bit) to watch the changes since March of last year. (Hint: old buildings, followed by empty lots where old buildings used to be, followed by holes in the ground, followed by new buildings going up.)


Some Additional Photos, And a Note on Stadium Exterior Shots
Sep 3, 2007 5:27 PM
After getting all those purty stadium interior photos and shots of the surrounding skyline on Saturday, I ventured out Sunday morning to do my usual rounds, and so have posted some updated pictures of 100 M, 70/100 I, and Onyx, along with new shots from the Southeast Freeway showing how much that view is changing (again) as these projects progress. (Here's all the images from yesterday on one page, if you prefer.)
But when I started down First Street south of N to get my usual shots of the stadium's exterior, I was thwarted by guards informing me that access along First (and, by proxy, Potomac Avenue) is now restricted to construction vehicles and workers only. I protested somewhat vigorously--after all, there are still fences around the stadium on that side, and the signs say "Local Traffic Only" and not "Road Closed"--but I lost.
I'll still manage to get photos of the ballpark's south and east side eventually, and really at this point the eye-catching part of the construction on those sides is slowing, so a more leisurely schedule of updates of those pictures will not be catastrophic. (Plus I can always set up my zoom lens at Poplar Point and the Douglass Bridge. That'll show 'em!)
I did take this roadblock as an opportunity to rejigger my Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery page a bit, breaking up the old let's-walk-around-the-perimeter format by bringing the showier shots from all vantage points to the top. You'll see a few new photos from along N Street taken yesterday, but I was too cranky from my run-in with The Man to get new shots from South Capitol. Grrrr.

New Photos and News
Aug 27, 2007 7:19 PM
After a week of days that were either overcast and drizzly or ridiculously hot and humid, today's sunny-and-warm profile gave me no choice but to venture out for a reconaissance mission. My report:
The masses of workers and the well-positioned fences make it nearly impossible to take photos of the current state of South Capitol Street, but I have added a decent photo to my Douglass Bridge makeover page showing the new South Capitol and Potomac intersection, which appears very close to being ready for traffic. Streetlights are in place, curbs have been built, paving has begun, and the historic globe streetlamps are installed all along the length of the bridge.
I also snuck a peek into the huge hole where Monument Realty's Half Street project is underway, and from N Street you can see what appears to be vertical construction is already underway at the bottom of the hole. It's along the M Street portion of the site, which will be home to the 55 M Street office building, which itself will contain the expanded entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. Because that Metro work must be completed by Opening Day 2008, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're already pouring concrete and working upward, eight months into construction. The office building itself and the rest of the Half Street Phase I won't be completed until 2009.
And I unexpectedly found Demolished Building entry #138, as the beige garage that has long sat on the northeast side of the Half and I Street intersection bit the dust today, which I'm sure JPI is happy to see, given that 70/100 I Street is growing like a weed right next door.
Speaking of 70/100 I, it got updated photos today, along with Onyx on First and 100 M Street. You can look at those project pages (and their accompanying expanded archives), or you can browse this page showing all photos I've posted from today, which includes a few new shots of Capper Building #2, which I believe is just minutes from opening. And I even finally added a photo of the "Starbucks Coming Soon" sign out in front of the DOT HQ, for the caffeine-deprived.

Lots of New Photos - Stadium, SouthCap, Onyx, Etc.
Aug 19, 2007 9:20 AM
With Saturday being one of those glorious clear days, I of course raced out with camera to make the rounds. 70/100 I, Onyx on First, and 100 M continue to rise, so the usual photos of those are now posted. The Stadium Construction Gallery is updated with views of the ballpark's northern and western vistas, which are changing markedly thanks to the work being done on the parking garages and on South Capitol Street in conjunction with the Douglass Bridge work.
And while you might think it's pretty much become rote for me to watch these changes, I must admit that when I scurried very briefly out into the middle of South Capitol Street at P Street to grab a shot or two, I was just about overcome by what it's all starting to look like. The holes are cut for the new South Capitol median, the curbs are being put in place for the new wider sidewalks, and the stadium's fake-limestone (I'm sorry, "precast concrete") exterior just pops in the late afternoon sun. Check my Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover page photos that try to capture the new vista, along with a new Expanded Project Archive that I built if you can't get enough of looking at the before-and-afters of this stretch of road.
UPDATE: Oops, forgot to add the obligatory link to all the new photos on one page. There are also some additional here-and-there shots of spots that needed fresh photos.

JPI Acquires Land for Project #4
Aug 14, 2007 9:12 AM
According to GlobeSt.com (story free for seven days), JPI as expected has completed acquisition of the eastern two-thirds of the block bounded by I, K, Half, and South Capitol, comprising the Wendy's lot and the lot to its east, with plans to build what is being called "Jefferson at the Ballpark," a 416-unit residential building at 23 I Street. This will be JPI's fourth building on I Street, joining 70/100 I and 909 New Jersey, which are all already under construction. Construction on 23 I is expected to begin in August 2008, and will raise JPI's total number of units in Near Southeast to 1,350. According to the article, this building will be "green," and will have a dog run and large open courtyard. For what the block currently looks like, check my not-terribly-exciting 23 I page. When the DC Property Sales database ends its summer vacation (apparently even web sites get to take August off in Washington), I'll tell you how much JPI paid for the 43,313-sq-ft lot, last assessed at $21.7 million.

Photos Updated Again
Aug 5, 2007 6:13 PM
I couldn't bear the icky gray photos I had to post last week with the overcast weather, so I went out again this morning and took a new batch of icky gray photos. So check the main Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery as well as the north/south/east/west additional views. The most striking change at the stadium in the last week is the work near Half and N on the west parking garage, which now has its fake limestone facade that matches the stadium.
I also added a couple shots of the Douglass Bridge extreme makeover, although this time there aren't really any new pictures of the bridge, but some updated shots of South Capitol Street, which has now been paved from the freeway south almost to P Street. (And kudos to the nice construction worker who told me about "this really cool site on the web" that's tracking the construction.) I also updated a few shots on my main South Capitol Street page (the first comparison is the most striking). Both of these pages are getting away from me a bit, and so are going to need some TLC to clean them up during this August lull, but today I opted for speed.
And I also updated the Onyx on First and 70/100 I Street pages again, with Onyx now having another floor added in the last week. And I managed to find a couple new 70 I angles to make up for my lack of access to I Street. (Speaking of I Street, I should note that in the past few weeks the old firewood lot that will eventually be part of the 99 I Street development has been cleared out. And, for that matter, I don't think I've mentioned that digging has truly begun at JPI's 909 New Jersey Ave. residential project.)
You can also just browse all of today's photos on a single page, and click the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon if you want to see older photos in the archive of a certain location.

Rainy Days: Good for Droughts and Naps, Bad for Construction Photography
Jul 29, 2007 6:19 PM
Yeeech. I managed to get out this morning before the rain started, and while there was a smidgen of sunlight at first, I've mainly got a bunch of gray, gray photos for you to look at. I updated the main Stadium Exterior Construction Gallery (and have added a few new angles), plus the north/south/east/west additional views for the diehards. New things to look for: the arched steel atop the scoreboard, the rounded steel marking the construction of the outfield restaurant, a lot more glass installed on the southwest side of the ballpark, and the ever-growing west parking garage. There's also now a big ole' trench dug down the middle of Potomac Ave. and rounding up onto First Street (two roads now completely closed south of N Street to anything but construction traffic). But with these photos being so dingy, if there wasn't something obviously new and different in the shot, I didn't update every angle on every page.
I also posted some shots of the Douglass Bridge extreme makeover, as work continues on the new ramp up from Potomac Avenue to the existing bridge. The rest the closed section of South Capitol Street doesn't look too different, although I did see that new sewer drains/curbs have started to be installed. (I also spied from the freeway a nice fresh layer of pavement on South Capitol heading into the underpass beneath M Street, but no pictures.)
And I also updated the Onyx on First and 70/100 I Street pages as both those projects now have an additional floor since last week. And 100 M looks to be getting close to coming out of the ground.
You can also just browse all of today's photos on a single page, and click the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon if you want to see older photos in the archive of a certain location.

Quick Photo Update - Onyx and 70 I
Jul 21, 2007 5:46 PM
Took advantage of a Simpsons-like afternoon sky to grab some quick shots of the construction on the residential projects Onyx on First and 70 I, which both now have their first floors built. You can look at those two pages to see the shots along with their "befores", or just browse all of my photos from today on a single page. It should be noted that I'm somewhat hamstrung with documenting 70 I's construction, thanks to the closure of I Street between Half and New Jersey--I can really only take shots from Half and I looking eastward. But as it comes farther out of the ground, I can go with other farther-away vantage points to get the good befores-and-afters.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi, Onyx, Square 743N

Piles of New Photos (Stadium and More)
Jul 2, 2007 9:13 AM
I've been posting over the past couple days all sorts of new photos: first off, there's the usual update to the exterior views in the Stadium Construction Gallery's main page and the more detailed north-south-east-west pages. The big change is the arrival of the scoreboard steel on the First Street side, which has also helped to give the stadium its more rounded feel when looking at it from the north. And, if you know what you're looking for, you can see the first real shots of progress on the west parking garage at Half and N, although it's still kind of hidden by trees and construction equipment. There's also my final shots from up on the South Capitol Street viaduct north of Potomac Ave. (waaaah!).
You can also see some new shots from inside the stadium, where you can get a better view of the scoreboard's progress and also of the seats being installed in right field. And the outfield restaurant is moving along as well.
I got a big surprise when I rounded First Street onto Potomac Avenue Saturday morning--all of the trees and growth on the south side of Potomac were removed this week, and the fence marking Florida Rock's property was moved back, in preparation for the widening of Potomac Avenue. I posted a bunch of new pictures showing the change on my Florida Rock page, but I'm not sure the photos do it justice. And of course it's about to change even more late this week when the Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover starts.
And finally there's a lot of new shots from various locations north of M that I took on Thursday, catching things like a new "Capitol Yards" sign at 909 New Jersey, progress on the Velocity Condos sales center, and even the new sidewalks on the northern portion of New Jersey Avenue if you have x-ray vision. It's hard to see in the photos, but the vertical construction at both Onyx on First and 70 I Street is now right at street level, so in the coming weeks expect those buildings to burst on the scene. You can see all these non-stadium updated photos compiled here if you don't want to poke around on the project pages.
That ought to keep everyone busy during a slow vacation-tinged week....

New 70/100 I Street Rendering
Jun 18, 2007 5:28 PM
At the groundbreaking ceremony a few weeks ago for JPI's new residential project at 909 New Jersey Ave., an updated rendering of the 70/100 I Street project just across the way was on display as well. JPI was nice enough to pass the image along to me, and you can now see it on my 70/100 I Street page. And it looks like within the next few weeks the 70 I building will start to peek up above ground level, giving me a new site to photograph relentlessly.
Speaking of the groundbreaking, DC Cable Channel 16 will be showing it on Wednesday and Friday (June 20 and June 22) at 11 am, and perhaps later times as well. You can watch it on your District cable, or on live streaming video. And don't turn it off right when it's finished, because at 11:30 they're replaying the April check presentation ceremony at Canal Park.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

JPI Adds Project #4: 23 I Street
Jun 6, 2007 5:31 PM
The speed of events is leaving me breathless these days. Today JPI held a groundbreaking ceremony at 909 New Jersey Avenue, where digging is about to get underway for the 237-unit residential building to be built on that block (former home of the Nexus Gold Club). You can see the obligatory photos of Dignitaries-With-Shovels here. (Yes, I did get my invite after all. Thank you!)
But there was big news tucked into the press release touting what JPI is now calling its "Capitol Yards" neighborhood along I Street (with 70 and 100 I Street across the way from 909 New Jersey about to sprout out of their deep hole): the announcement of plans for 23 I Street, a fourth JPI residential project on I Street, slated to have 421 residential units and as much as 35,000 square feet of retail space. Its location would be on the south side of I Street between Half and South Capitol, from Half over to (and including) the current Wendy's lot. (The moribund Exxon station does not currently appear to be part of the plans.) Construction wouldn't start before 2008. I haven't added it to my main map yet, but I've put up a few boring shots of what the block looks like as of now.
With that, the number of not-spoken-for lots in Near Southeast has just about dwindled to zero. Pretty much there's the block on New Jersey across from Capitol Hill Tower (though Akridge now owns a portion of it), the Exxon at South Capitol and I if JPI doesn't grab it, and the Metro Chiller Plant on the southwest corner of Half and L, which might not be made available anytime soon. (And I'm assuming that the rumors of Monument Realty picking up the Sunoco site at 50 M are true.) Everything else west of 7th Street is now spoken for. So if you were hoping to make your millions in Near Southeast and you haven't already staked your claim, your time's just about up, unless you can wrest some parcels out of some other developer's hands.
UPDATE, 6/11: Five days later, here's the Post's blurb on Capitol Yards.

Fun With Approved Building Permits (Velocity, 909 NJ)
Jun 3, 2007 10:43 AM
I'm not sure how often readers look at my DC Government Feeds box on the home page, but I wait with baited breath each day as they're released, hoping for some tidbit of news; and today there's a double reward in the Building Permits list.
First, at the Velocity Condos lot at 1001 First Street, a sheeting/shoring/excavation permit has now been approved, so that digging work can begin on the three-level underground parking garages that will serve the two condo buildings that are the first phases of this project on Square 699N, the block that used to be home to Wet/Edge and Club 55. (I'm trying to make the switch away from the 699N designation, so for a few weeks I'll be referring to both the old and new names.) The first condo building is scheduled for completion in 2009; we should see the official web site launching soon, and the sales center at Half and K opening this summer. If you can't bear to wait to see what the first building is going to look like, I've added a rendering to my Velocity page (scroll down a bit); there are others on ADC Builders web site, but you'll need to click on "Portfolio", then on "Planning", then on "L Street Project" to page through them. (Damn Flash sites!) These renderings have been there for a while, but I've only recently confirmed that they are indeed of Velocity; but I've also been told that far nicer ones will be available with the official web site comes online. Anyway, look for the digging to begin along the west side of First between K and L soon.
The other issued building permit is for 909 New Jersey Avenue, the site of the old Nexus Gold Club and where JPI is building its second residential project in Near Southeast, across the street from the soon-to-be-above-ground buildings at 70/100 I Street. Quoting directly from the permit, but with typos fixed: "INSTALL ONE 40X70 TENT: NO LIGHTING GENERATORS COOKING PROPANE OR HEATERS. TEMPORARY USE FOR GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY EVENT ON JUNE 6TH 2007." Fun! So if you see a big party at New Jersey and I on Wednesday, that's what it is. Alas, I haven't been invited; but there's still time to contact me, JPI!

All Sorts of New Overhead Photos Posted
May 24, 2007 10:46 PM
What a beautiful day! And with that weather, what luck that I had arranged some trips high up into a few of the tall buildings around the neighborhood to get new shots of the latest demolished lots and holes in the ground. I've uploaded these new pictures From Above and matched them with "before" shots on a whole slew of pages (you might have to scroll a bit to see the new pictures): Nation/1015 Half, the old Edge/Wet block on Square 699N, the North of M overview page, the Monument Half Street page (that's a biiiiig hole in the ground), the 100 M/Onyx on First page (where the construction on the Onyx end of the block is getting close to street level), 70/100 I Street, 909 New Jersey (showing the A1 garage all alone) and even the Stadium Construction Gallery (waaaaaay at the bottom, with a view from just a bit to the side of Dead Center Field, albeit four blocks away). I also created a new Overhead Photos page, showing all the ones I've posted on the site, grouped together by location. And I also created a special view with larger-than-usual pictures from today (don't miss it!), because it was so beautiful and you really could see forever from those high-up locations, and I wanted people to be able to see more than just little specks of buildings.

Another New Development North of M?
May 5, 2007 4:00 PM
Today I saw for the first time new signs hung on the fence surrounding the firewood lot on the southwest corner of 1st and I Streets, emblazoned with "DRI Development/Office and Retail" (or some such). I have absolutely no information on this--this lot has been owned for quite some time by the Potomac Development Corporation, but I don't see any records as of yet in the online public records to indicate a sale has taken place, so perhaps it's a joint venture. Or not. I don't know. Anyway, I'll try to see what I can find out (whispers in my ear always welcome!), and hopefully some light can be shed on perhaps ANOTHER project getting started in the North of M section of Near Southeast, to go along with JPI's two residential towers, ADC Builders' Square 699N, Faison's Onyx on First condos, and Opus East's 100 M office building (and maybe the Nation site, too?), and perhaps something on the Sunoco lot by Monument Realty.

Nation Demolition Underway
Apr 25, 2007 6:12 PM
Thanks to the eyes on the ground for the news that Nation is indeed now being demolished--I'm out of pocket for another day or so, but will have a full report on all the North of M demolition (including also Square 699N and the Nexus/909 New Jersey site) by the end of the weekend.

Demolition Update
Apr 18, 2007 5:31 PM
Today's demolition news: Edge/Wet and Food and Friends on Square 699N are just about gone. The Nexus Gold Club has lost its rear wall and its innards have been mostly scooped out. And a new entrant has possibly appeared in the Demolition Derby--innard-scooping appears to be going on as well at Nation/1015 Half Street (which now has a "Wrecking Corporation of America" sign hung on its fencing). I took photos of some of these sites this morning (although this 967th overcast day in a row hampered the results): check the New Jersey and I, New Jersey and K, and 1st and L angles in the Photo Archive to see the before-and-after comparisons of those corners, or see all the shots from today in a single group. I also skipped ahead a few hours and added the three all-but-gone structures to the Demolished Buildings Gallery--there must be something about April, because we've had 17 buildings bulldozed in the last 18 days (will Nation be added to the list before the month is out?). UPDATE: Just clarifying, there's no heavy machinery or obvious demolition going on at Nation yet--but a medium-sized hole has been punched in one outer wall, some doors were opened, and it looked like the interior has been newly stripped down.
And while it doesn't really qualify as a demolition, I'll also pass along that the temporary WMATA employee lot on the Monument Half Street site has now been closed and is being dug out (they received their Certificate of Occupancy for the new lot one block over on South Capitol last week)--this means that the entire Monument site on the east side of Half has now been cleared--and no time is being wasted with excavation, as you can tell if you go peek at the massive hole already dug around the Half and M Navy Yard Metro entrance or watch the digging at the lower left of Stadium Construction Camera #2.

Nexus Gold Club Demolition Underway; Square 699N Continues to Disappear
Apr 17, 2007 6:07 PM
The sudden whirlwind of demolition in Near Southeast continues, as today work started on bringing down the Nexus Gold Club, but not until after the bulldozing of its neighbor, the old Four Star Cab brick townhouse at New Jersey and K (whose own neighbors were demolished almost exactly a year ago). This block will be home to 909 New Jersey Avenue, JPI's 230-unit residential tower; it should be noted that the A1 Tires garage on the southwest corner of the block (at 1st and K) shows no sign of selling out to JPI, so it appears for now that 909's residents will have no problem getting car repairs. (Glass half full!)
In the meantime, across the way, demolition proceeds apace on Square 699N, as all buildings along 1st Street between K and L have now been brought down, including the festive gold, green, white, and cranberry garage on the corner of 1st and L. Only Food and Friends and Edge/Wet remain standing; if you have respects to pay to them or the Nexus, you'd better do it tonight or tomorrow morning.
All this means three new entries on my Demolished Buildings page, with space being saved for Nexus and the others. And as soon as Mother Nature remembers that it's April and not November, I'll post pictures of the new streetscapes.


Sale of Nexus Site Completed
Apr 2, 2007 9:17 AM
The DC Property Sales database has a lag time of 6-8 weeks, so pretend today is February 1--that way I can tell you that Just Yesterday the sale was completed of the Nexus Gold Club land to developer JPI, for $7.85 million. They also purchased 920 First Street (the little grey auto repair garage next to the Nexus) for $2.45 million. In 2005 and 2006 they purchased other properties on this block (Square 738) for about $2.64 million, so they've now spent just under $14 million to get 18,000 square feet of land for what will be 909 New Jersey Avenue, a 230-unit residential tower schedule to start construction Any Minute Now. Note that the owner of the garage right on the northeast corner of 1st and K has steadfastly refused to sell (and has some choice words for JPI if you talk to him), so it will be interesting to see how that section of the site shakes out. Considering his neighbor got $2.4 million for 2,186 square feet of property, who knows how much he has turned down for his lot of the same size. There's one other lot on the block still not owned by JPI (925 New Jersey, 1412 sq ft), but I haven't heard anything about purchase problems with that lot, and it was covered by a zoning variance JPI received in 2006.

Looking Up.... And Down
Feb 21, 2007 8:07 PM
Wasting no time after the permits were approved last week, JPI has within the past few days put up a construction crane now towering over the Southeast Freeway at 70 I Street, where the digging down for the company's 448-unit residential project must be pretty close to done. I imagine there will eventually be another crane for 100 I Street (the companion 246-unit building) within a few months.
A few blocks to the south at the Nationals ballpark, the roof canopy has started to be installed--they've even repositioned the Stadium Construction Cam to give a good view of the work. Before long, the lighting that will sit beneath the canopy will start to be put in place as well.
But be careful while you're wandering around looking upward at these new sites--some monster potholes have erupted as the temperatures have warmed. If you do the circuit around the stadium site, this is your fair warning to drive incredibly slowly until the holes get filled in, because otherwise your car is a-gonna-get swallowed.

More posts: 70/100 I, jpi, Nationals Park

Building Permits Approved for 909 New Jersey
Jan 22, 2007 10:38 PM
With the daily Building Permit feed continuing to be on the fritz, it's back to finding out about approved permits on Mondays, via the Never-Ending PDF File. Today's news (on pages 182 and 186, for those of you following along at home) is that the building permit has been approved for 909 New Jersey Avenue, JPI's 244-unit residential project on the block where the Nexus Gold Club recently closed; an excavation permit was approved as well. In one of the articles on the Nexus closing, JPI said it was planning to begin demolition on the site in March. In other permit news, a bunch of soil boring permits were approved (page 183) for the Monument Realty/Half Street site.

Navy Yard Station Expansion Groundbreaking
Jan 17, 2007 8:32 AM
Thanks to correspondent John for passing along news that slipped through (no advisories from Metro or the Mayor's office, darn them!). Tuesday (Jan. 16) at 10 am Mayor Fenty will be making remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Navy Yard Metro station's expansion project. This is to increase the station's capacity from 5,000 riders an hour to 15,000, and is to be finished by Opening Day 2008, while work continues above it on Monument Realty's mixed-use project along Half Street. And maybe after the mayor's remarks, everyone can parade over en masse to the Nexus Gold Club auction. (And I do see now that the event is buried on the Mayor's schedule. I thought that religiously checking the News Releases and the Advisories was good enough, alas.)
UPDATE, 1/16: Here's Metro's press release summarizing today's event.
UPDATE II: There's also now a post on the Post's DC Wire blog (I know, it stunned me, too) about the groundbreaking, and some background on how exactly the $20 million to cover the station expansion was found; I imagine this will be similar to whatever story is in tomorrow's paper, though hopefully without the somewhat misleading "More DC Stadium Spending Woes" title. ("Woe" would be if the station weren't expanded before Opening Day; paying for it is just a shell game that governments go through all the time, and it's not like it really has anything to do with the stadium itself.)
UPDATE III: If you want video, here's WJLA's report on the event.
UPDATE, 1/17: And we'll bring this linkathon to a close with the Examiner story on the groundbreaking and the expansion.

Post Piece on Nexus Auction; Also, Reaction to AWC Dissolution Bill
Jan 16, 2007 10:20 PM
As I posted last week, the Nexus Gold Club is auctioning off its furnishings and, more interestingly, its nude dancing license tomorrow (Tuesday), and today the Post picks up the story. One piece of news, JPI says that the demolition of the site (which will eventually be home to the 909 New Jersey Avenue residential project) will begin in March. On the same page as the Post story, there's also a box with a short piece on the surprising move by Jack Evans reported last week to abolish both the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the NCRC. UPDATE: Here's an Examiner article noting that Tommy Wells, the new Ward 6 council member whose district includes a lot of the Anacostia Waterfront, is "not convinced that legislation proposed Tuesday to dissolve a District organization charged with the redevelopment of the Anacostia River's waterfront is the best way to proceed. [...] Wells campaigned in part on redeveloping the Anacostia's waterfront into a walkable community for families, with green space, shops and restaurants. He said Friday he wondered whether putting Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration in charge of redeveloping the waterfront now is prudent considering his desire to take over the District's schools."
UPDATE, 1/16: The Post reports that no one ended up bidding on the Nexus nude dancing license, perhaps because the minimum required bid was set at $2 million. But they have a cute little sidebar noting the prices that some of the furnishings went for--the 13-foot brass dancing poles went for $50.
UPDATE, 1/17: Oops, I dropped a rather important part of the Tommy Wells quote above. He is quoted as saying he is "not convinced" the legislation is the best way to proceed.

New Photos, from On High
Jan 11, 2007 5:51 PM
Today I was able to take some photos from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott--since it was a clear day, I could indeed see forever. First off, with the Capper/Carrollsburg demolition west of 5th Street now complete, I've posted before-and-after photos of the Capper footprint that illustrate the astonishing difference 10 months and six blocks' worth of demolition can make; this page also has new photos as you scroll down showing ground-level shots of the final demolished block north of K between 2nd and 3rd. Next are photos-from-above of the holes in the ground at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx, with comparison shots from last year (scroll down a bit from the top of the page). And, if you can bear to scroll ALL the way to the bottom, I have views of the Nats ballpark construction from this Courtyard vantage point--it's pretty much like looking into the stadium from dead center field, except four blocks away. And, at the top of the Capper Seniors page, there's a neat shot of all three Capper Seniors buildings. Alas, now I will have to return to taking boring street-level shots for a while....

Nexus Auctioning Inventory, Nude Dancing License
Jan 10, 2007 2:55 PM
Thanks to correspondent Garrett for passing this along--next Tuesday (Jan. 16), Nexus Gold Club will be auctioning off all its fixtures, furniture, and equipment, followed by its coveted nude dancing license (one of only 20 remaining in DC, with no new ones being created anymore). The auction is being held at the club, 900 First Street, starting at 11 am. From the license auction page: "It should be noted that this year, the Seller has successfully relocated his other nude dancing license and intends to reopen the Nexus Gold Club at the new location." The Nexus has closed to make way for 909 New Jersey Ave., JPI's 244-unit residential tower that is supposed to start construction soon.

Year-End Photo Bonanza
Dec 29, 2006 6:55 PM
As we slide into the New Year's weekend, I'm bringing 2006 to a close with a pile of new photos. The most comprehensive update would be on my Department of Transportation HQ page, with updated photos from almost every angle, including the not-yet-open-to-the-public views from the south side of the project, along Tingey Street. And I had a lovely time on Christmas Eve morning being briefly detained by security and then escorted off the premises, so I hope you appreciate my sacrifice. I also updated all the 20 M Street shots, as workers have switched into a high gear to have the building ready for a Spring 2007 delivery. The demolition work on the last Capper block has brought some new photos to the Capper Apartments page (updated since yesterday), and my wanderings around the Capper footprint made me also add some new shots to the Capitol Quarter page and even at the bottom of the main Capper/Carrollsburg Overview page. Then I had to go take a few new Nationals ballpark shots (yes, new just since Christmas Eve). Then, because I never want to be accused of ignoring a construction site, I've even posted fabulously exciting pictures of the excavated holes at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx. And sprinkled two new M Street images, too. The beloved icon is your guide to all the latest, of course. And I hope to have another big update early in 2007 with some new overhead shots, once the Capper demolition is complete. In the meantime, enjoy this overwhelming bounty.

New Year's Eve Last Night for Nexus?
Dec 29, 2006 2:18 PM
Rumors and other tea-leaf-reading seem to indicate that the Nexus Gold Club will be closing after one last bash on New Year's Eve (the sign on their front door that used to show their hours now says only that there's a big party New Year's Eve, "Wear Black"). Rumors also indicate that the last night for seeing de-clothed ladies (employed by the club, at least) is Saturday, Dec. 30. It will most likely be demolished early in 2007 as work gets underway on the 238-unit residential tower at 909 New Jersey, JPI's second project in Near Southeast. If Nexus does indeed close on New Year's, it means that every nightclub operating in Near Southeast back on Jan. 1, 2006, will have shut down (Ziegfield's, Secrets, Follies, Heat, Club Washington, Wet, Edge, Club 55, Nexus). Somewhat of a bellweather of a changing neighborhood, one might say.

JPI New Jersey Ave. Project Moving Forward?
Dec 13, 2006 9:53 AM
Today's batch of Public Space Permits shows a pending request for a staging permit for 909 New Jersey Avenue, JPI's 230-unit planned residential project, on the block that currently includes the Nexus Gold Club. The rumor has been that Nexus would be closing at the end of the year, and by this permit (which admittedly can take some time to wind its way through the byzantine DC permitting system) would appear to show that JPI is indeed moving forward with this project, as its sister project 70/100 I speeds along a block away.
More posts: 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, jpi

Old Near Southeast Nightclubs Still Struggling to Relocate
Nov 17, 2006 1:02 PM
Washington City Paper surveys the state of the strip club business in DC, and describes the difficulties that nightclubs formerly of Near Southeast--Wet/Edge, Club 55, and the O Street gay nightclubs owned by Robert Siegel--have had trying to relocate elsewhere in the city. One big item that needs better explanation in the story--the Nexus Gold Club isn't just "contemplating" leaving Near Southeast, the land it sits on is soon going to become JPI's 909 New Jersey Avenue residential tower, and the scuttlebutt continues to be that Nexus will be closing by the end of the year.

100 I Street Building Permit Approved; Soil Borings at Canal Park
Oct 30, 2006 10:07 PM
Alas, the new DCStats Building Permits RSS Feed is still undergoing some birthing pains (updates daily around 10 pm instead of 9 am, leaving it well behind the other feeds, and seeming to miss some day's permit issuings), so I have to go back to the old-fashioned report to learn that last week the JPI's 100 I Street residential project received its building permit, so work can begin on its section of the lot, next to the already under construction 70 I Street. Together, the two towers will have nearly 700 units when they are delivered in mid-2008. Also, permits have been issued for six soil borings (4" wide and 30' deep) in two locations (200 L and 200 M streets) in the Canal Park footprint.
More posts: 70/100 I, Canal Park, jpi

Nexus Not Closed Quite Yet
Oct 9, 2006 8:38 PM
I heard from two people this weekend saying that the Nexus Gold Club (the last night club, and also the last strip club, left in Near Southeast) was either closing immediately or had in fact already closed. Terrified that I had missed a critical piece of news, I marched up to the front door (ignoring the gales of laughter coming from throughout the neighborhood) and made my inquiries, and was told by an unidentified staffer that Nexus is still open, with December still being the rumored closing date. Coming to that location will be 909 New Jersey Avenue, a 238-unit residential project by JPI. (I did notice the last time I drove past the 900 block of 1st that the tire alignment shop right next to the Nexus appeared closed in the middle of a workday. While last I heard the A1 auto shop directly on the corner of 1st and K was not selling to JPI, perhaps it's next-door neighbor has decided to move on; no property sale has been recorded through late August, the most recent records available in the city's online sales database, but perhaps that's changed.)

Teeny Tiny Tidbits
Oct 5, 2006 5:38 PM
Pieces of news so small that I'm practically embarrassed to be posting them: Landscape work is being done at DOT, with a whole slew of trees and shrubs having been installed in the past few days along M and 3rd. The digging of what will be a very big hole for 70/100 I has begun, along I Street and now moving north into the property. And steel beams have started to be installed at the stadium site. Tomorrow's update: 15 leaves fall from a tree at 1st and K.

909 New Jersey Avenue Rendering
Sep 29, 2006 1:13 PM
I've gotten my hands on a rendering of 909 New Jersey Avenue, the 238-unit residential tower being developed by JPI on the block currently occupied by the Nexus Gold Club. No official word yet on when construction will begin, I've heard mentions in the past of early 2007, and I've also heard rumors that Nexus will close by the end of 2006. This is also a good time to mention that in late July JPI paid $1.989 million to the William C. Smith Co. for two lots on this block, totalling a mere 2,873 sq ft of land. (It should also be noted that the official sale of the Nexus land to JPI from current owner Marty Chernoff has not yet happened; in 2005 JPI paid Chernoff $1 million for two lots on the block, and the Post reported in January that the total sale price for all four of Chernoff's lots [incuding Nexus] will be $8.9 million.)

70/100 I Photos
Sep 18, 2006 11:20 PM
I've added some new photos of the now-cleared 70/100 I Street construction site. The buildings that were on the site were demolished back in April, but the site wasn't truly cleared of foundations, trees, etc., until last week.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

Work Begins at 70/100 I Site
Sep 13, 2006 5:48 PM
Another big project has now gotten underway--new fences have gone up, the green windscreens have come down, construction office trailers have been delivered, a "Construction Zone" sign has been posted, and there was even a bit of site clearing being done, so I think it's safe to decree that work has begun on JPI's 70/100 I project. These two buildings, when finished in mid-2008, will total nearly 700 residential units. (And I'm dispensing with the technicalities where 70 I construction is supposedly starting in September, and 100 I in October. They're gonna share a wall, they're by the same company, as far as I'm concerned, they're being constructed together!) A big batch of demolition took place in April 2006, but there's still a fair amount of leftover foundations and other stuff that will need to be dug up. UPDATE: Here's the GlobeSt.com piece on the 70/100 project; it says that they plan to break ground next year on their New Jersey Ave. project.

More posts: 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, jpi

70 I Street Construction About to Start
Sep 8, 2006 9:39 PM
Within the last few days a bunch of "No Parking" signs have appeared along the north side of I Street between 1st and Half, which is the location of JPI's 70/100 I Street condo project, two buildings totalling more than 600 residential units. The signs give a date range of (get ready) Sept. 11, 2006 until March 27, 2009. I hope they're just being cautious with a time frame--could erecting those two buildings at the same time take really that long? 70 I's building permit has been approved, 100 I's is still in process. Anyway, let's see if they start the digging in the near future. UPDATE: About 30 minutes after I posted this, I found an article in today's Commercial Property News about 70/100 I: "Ground will break on the first apartment community, Jefferson at 70 Eye Street [...] this month, paving the way for the creation of a building with 448 units, a three-level underground parking facility, a fitness center, community movie theater and conference room. The project carries a price tag of $130 million. The second apartment property will cost approximately $80 million to develop. Located [at] 100 Eye St., the second development will yield 246 residences and is scheduled for an October groundbreaking." The article says that 70 I is on target to deliver in June 2008. (And you won't ever catch me using that stupid "Eye" construct.) As for calling it the Jefferson at 70 I, I thought that the other JPI project, on the Nexus site, was supposed to be called the Jefferson, but JPI holds it's cards close, so it's hard to know what's going on. With this and 100 M office/1100 First Street residential projects about to start (and perhaps the Cohen/Square 699N project too), 1st Street is going to be a zoo for the next couple of years. UPDATE II: It looks like "Jefferson at" is actually JPI's preferred nomenclature for their DC condo projects.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

70 I Street Building Permit Approved
Aug 30, 2006 10:37 PM
The DCRA has approved JPI's building permit application for its 70 I Street residential project, which is listed as valued at $20 million. Still pending is the permit app for 100 I Street, it's sister building to be built right next door. JPI has said that they planned to begin construction on this project in Fall 2006, so that would appear to still be on track. There's also an application filed for 909 New Jersey, JPI's other pending residential tower in Near Southeast (on the site of the Nexus Gold Club), which may also get underway by the end of the year.
More posts: 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, jpi

Building Permit for JPI/NJ Ave. Project
Jun 30, 2006 6:21 PM
A Building Permit Application has appeared on the DCRA web site for 909 New Jersey Ave., SE, which would be JPI's residential tower on the current site of the Nexus Gold Club. I've heard nothing recently about when Nexis will close, when demolition will begin, or when construction on this project will begin.

ANC 6D Doings
Jun 6, 2006 7:36 PM
ANC 6D's monthly meeting is coming up (Monday June 12), and although the agenda hasn't been posted on their web site yet, I've gotten a peek at it, and the main event is a presentation of the baseball stadium plan, in advance of it's June 26 Zoning Commission hearing. Like all ANC discussions, I'm sure this one will be calm and collegial and without incident. Speaking of which, the Hill Rag has the summary of last month's meeting, where the commission voted to oppose a both zoning special exception for the JPI residential project at 901 New Jersey Avenue as well as a public space permit application by the Courtyard by Marriott for an outdoor seating area. (Note that the JPI project received approval by the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment for its project, anyway.)

JPI NJ Ave. Project Gets BZA Approval
May 22, 2006 9:37 AM
A teensy bit slow on this, I apologize, but I did want to note that the second of JPI's two residential projects in Near Southeast, at 901 New Jersey Avenue (sometimes better known as the "Nexus Site") received approval last Tuesday from the Board of Zoning Adjustment for its variance and special exception applications. There was one condition put on the application--that any antennas on the roof be hidden from view--and JPI agreed to that. Construction will probably begin on this site late in 2006 (ditto for JPI's other site, on I Street).

Renderings of 70/100 I
May 5, 2006 6:28 PM
I've now posted renderings of the 70/100 I Street residential project by JPI, grabbed from the public documents filed with the BZA adjustment application for the site. The renderings show two very tall buildings, attached to each other. Certainly will change the look and feel of I Street just a bit! The site continues to be cleared in preparation for construction, which will likely start late in 2006.

More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

New Photos Here and There
Apr 20, 2006 11:15 PM
Getting to be a busy time of photo-taking, so I've added a smattering of photos here and there to my Capper/Carrollsburg, JPI Residentials, Capitol Hill Tower, DOT HQ, New Jersey Avenue, M Street, and new baseball stadium pages. Let the icon be your guide. With demolition continuing at Capper and JPI's 70 I Street, I expect to be updating those pages steadily over the next few weeks. (They appear to be moving more quickly with the Capper demolition at 3rd, 4th, K, and L, and I expect the block to the north, between 3rd, 4th, K, and I, to be next to come down.) And starting soon I'll be updating 20 M Street much more frequently, with the tower's construction finally coming up out of the hole and above ground level. And then there'll be that stadium demolition and construction....

More Demolition (900 Block of New Jersey)
Apr 19, 2006 6:03 PM
A correspondent reports that the long-shuttered row homes in the 900 block of New Jersey Avenue started being demolished today. That block will eventually be the site of a 238-unit residential tower by JPI--everything currently on the block except the car repair shop at the corner of 1st and K will be demolished to make way for the construction, although there's still a few months before the Nexus Gold Club will close (I don't know an exact date), so get your ogling of naked chicks in sooner rather than later. You can see "before" photos of the houses being demolished on my JPI Residential Projects page (toward the bottom, so do some scrolling)--I'll add demolition photos as soon as the sun moves to an optimum position.


Strip Clubs Being Forced Out (Heterosexual Version)
Apr 12, 2006 7:49 AM
The Post does the now-ubiquitous story on how the land rush in Near Southeast is forcing out long-time neighborhood nightclubs ("Forced Out by Baseball, Whither the Strip Club?")--this time, the focus is on the Nexus Gold Club, whose landlord sold the property last year to make way for one of JPI's residential projects. The story recounts that the Nexus appears to be having just as much trouble as the now-closed O Street gay clubs in finding a place to move to, even with all the good deeds that the owner has done for the neighborhood over the years. The story says that the club must be out by December 2006, but given the speed with which JPI is moving, and also given some rumors I've heard, I would not be surprised if it's more like early fall.

Demolition Underway at 70 I Street
Apr 11, 2006 8:31 PM
Demolition appears to have begun on the site of JPI's 70/100 I Street residential development. (Although, when it comes to a rundown former trash transfer lot, it's kind of hard to tell that demolition has begun.) I'll get pictures soon. With two building permit applications on file (70 I, 100 I), they appear to be on target for starting construction later this year.
UPDATE, 4/11: I've added a couple of pictures to my JPI Projects page--I'll post more as the demolition becomes more obvious, it's still in the pretty early stages. And I heard today that the property to the north and east of 70/100 I--owned by CSX Rail--is going to get a bit of a cleanup at the same time the 70/100 property is prepped for construction. Which is a good thing, because I'm not sure how much of a marketing draw it is to have a dumping ground of trash and abandoned tires surrounding a new high-rise residential project.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi

Tidbits on Upcoming Projects
Apr 10, 2006 9:42 PM
Also at the ANC meeting, I found out a bit more about some of the new projects in the Near Southeast pipeline: the JPI residential project at 901 New Jersey (which was called "Jefferson at New Jersey and K" on the display boards) will have 237ish units, a pool, fitness room, conference center, etc. The Preston Partnership is the architect (fun web site, guys!). This project was before the ANC to ask for support in advance of its BZA hearing on May 16; however, its requests for a special exception for roof requirements and also a lessening of the residential recreation space were referred to the ANC's development subcommittee, and the ANC voiced its concern about the lack of an affordable housing component within the project, which will probably be something that developers coming to Near Southeast will need to address. As for the Square 743N Faison/Opus East projects along 1st Street, the alley closings brouhaha over the past few months has been settled (the city council approved the bill on its final reading April 4), the developers were back again, now asking for the ANC's support in its hearing before the Zoning Commission on May 25 for approval of the plans for the office building portion of the project, at 100 M Street. The commission voted 4-0-1 to give its support. Finally, a request for closing a portion of an alley on Square 0697 as part of Lerner Enterprises's 1000 South Capitol Street project came before the commission, and after the requisite squabbling over payments to the community for the loss of "public space", this too was referred to the development subcommittee.

70/100 I Street Variances Approved
Mar 16, 2006 8:29 AM
It doesn't appear on the web site yet, but the grapevine informs me that on Tuesday the DC Bureau of Zoning Adjustment approved JPI's variance application for their 700-unit, two-building project at 70/100 I Street. With a building permit application already submitted, this project would appear to be on track for the beginning of construction later this year. JPI's other residential project in Near Southeast, 901 New Jersey, will have its own BZA hearing on May 16. Hopefully now I can get some renderings of the projects.... UPDATE: And like magic, a new building permit app for 70 I appeared in the DCRA database today.
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi, zoning

Three New Pages; Other Additions
Mar 2, 2006 5:47 PM
While at the Courtyard by Marriott today, I got some great overhead photos of Near Southeast; as I worked to put them on the site, I realized that it was also now time to launch separate pages for three developments that are in the pipeline: JPI's two residential projects on I Street, the mixed-use development project on Square 699N at 1st, Half, K, and L streets; and the Faison and Opus East 1st Street office and residential towers between L and M. Right now the pages are kind of short on specifics, and I don't have renderings of any of the projects, but with JPI and Square 699N looking to start construction later this year, I figured it was time to break them out into their own pages. Also, I added overhead shots to my Capper/Carrollsburg and North of M pages. (And, in looking at my 2006 pictures, have you all figured out yet that I got a new camera?)


Building Permit Application for 70 I Street
Feb 10, 2006 3:31 PM
JPI is not wasting time with their plans for a big residential development at 70 I Street, SE; they're going before ANC6D on Monday, and the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment on March 14, and today they've submitted a building permit application for the project. Plans are for two towers and 700+ units; the company has said in various news articles that they plan to start construction this summer. As soon as I can get my hands on a rendering, I'll create a new page for the project.

More posts: 70/100 I, ANC News, jpi, zoning

ANC 6D February Meeting Agenda
Feb 9, 2006 5:35 PM
Let's see if I can remember how to post an entry that doesn't have to do with the stadium... ANC 6D has posted its February Meeting agenda, which has a number of Near Southeast items. First, there will be a presentation by the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation on their plans. Then there will be a (re?)discussion of the proposed alley closings on Square 743N petitioned for by Faison to allow for the construction of two towers on 1st Street. There will also be presentation on the BZA application for the planned JPI residential project at 70/100 Street SE, which should give us our first peek at what's being planned for that site. Finally, there is a public space permit application by the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 1st and L streets SE for a sidewalk cafe (which might be just fancy talk for an outdoor seating area connected to any food service the hotel will be having). The ANC meeting is on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 pm, at 65 I Street SW.


The End of the Old-Time Landowners
Jan 26, 2006 10:30 PM
Near Southeast makes the front page of the Post on Friday with "The Last Handshake Deal", a long feature on colorful real estate investor Marty Chernoff and other men who bought land in the area years back and are now cashing out. (As an example, Chernoff bought the trash transfer station at 70 I Street for $800,000 in 1988, and sold it last year for $35.9 million.) The print version also has a huge fabulous half-page graphic with a map of the neighborhood (centered mainly on the North of M area) with nine stunning and brilliant photos of streetscapes along 1st, K, L, and M streets. (Yes, they're my photos.) The Post's web site has an interactive version of the graphic, which is a nice companion to their interactive map of all of Near Southeast (which has been updated with six months' worth of new information). And if you're visiting here for the first time as a result of the Post story, welcome to Near Southeast, and try not to be too scared by all that this site contains.


Zoning News
Jan 12, 2006 3:33 PM
In zoning news this week... On Monday night the Zoning Commission approved the Capper/Carrollsburg 2nd Stage PUD--PUDs leave me bewildered, so I'm not 100% sure if this means that all systems are go for work to begin at Capper, or if there's still some other post-approval approval that still needs to happen (like with the DC Council). In easier-to-digest news, JPI has a second case ready to go in front of the Board of Zoning Adjustment, this time for the 900 block of New Jersey Avenue, where the Nexus Gold Club is. The application requests "a variance from the residential recreation space requirements under section 773, and a special exception for multiple roof structures with walls of uneven height pursuant to sections 411 and 770.6, to allow the development of a multi-family residential building ... at premises 900 New Jersey Avenue, S.E. " (I hate to tell them that this is going to have to be called 90*1* New Jersey, because it's on the west side of the block!) The lots they list seem to indicate that they plan on developing the entire block except for one lot, on the northeast corner of 1st and K. The hearing will be on May 16--JPI's other variance hearing for 100 I Street is scheduled for March 14. You can see pictures of both sites on my new North of M page.
More posts: 70/100 I, 909 New Jersey, Capper, jpi, zoning

JPI Residential Project on I Street Moving Forward
Jan 8, 2006 1:22 PM
It appears that JPI is moving forward pretty quickly with its plans for a 700-unit, two-13-story-building residential project at 100 I Street (just west of New Jersey Avenue, and just south of the SE Freeway; I'll add it to my map once there are drawings and a scheduled start date, but for now you can see a few pictures of the site on my South Capitol Street Corridor page). The March 14 agenda for the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment includes an application from JPI Development Services for variances "to allow the development of a multiple family residential building at premises 70 and 100 Eye Street, S.E."
More posts: 70/100 I, jpi, zoning

ANC 6D Meeting
Jan 8, 2006 1:17 PM
ANC 6D's January meeting is Monday, Jan. 9, and its agenda is now available. It contains mostly items pertaining to SW (including a presentation by Forest City Enterprises on Waterside Mall, which I know is of interest to many of you), but what caught my eye was this: "Presentation: Variance and Special Exception, 900 New Jersey Avenue SE." Whaa? For those of you who don't know the street grid inside out, 900 New Jersey would be on the east side of the street between K and (the nonexistent) I Street, and is currently occupied by a DC Department of Public Works facility (the one with the tall brick chimney). The DPW site is part of the Capper / Carrollsburg PUD, which calls for a mid- to high-rise residential building on that lot. Are they moving forward with this? Is this something else? Or is it some boring little thing about eventually re-opening I Street, and nothing more? I'm doing some digging, and maybe I'll have an answer before Monday's meeting. But it is intriguing....  UPDATE: The agenda has been changed, and the 900 NJ Ave presentation is no longer there; it has been replaced with a presentation on proposed alley closings on the east side of Square 743, the 1100 block of 1st Street, SE. And apparently the "900 NJ Ave" label was an incorrect reference to the zoning adjustment request for the JPI project, which is not on New Jersey Ave (it's at 100 I Street). So for now, the DPW site is not going anywhere. UPDATE II: These JPI projects have driven me crazy since the beginning. To clarify a bit, JPI is also in the process of buying land on the west side of the 900 block of New Jersey (which includes the Nexus Gold Club), so they do plan on giving a presenation to ANC 6D soon about desired variances and exceptions for that project. But nothing for this second JPI project has shown up yet on any of the zoning calendars....

Aug 2, 2005 10:57 PM
Wednesday's Post reports that apartment developer JPI has contracts for two deals in Near Southeast. Later this month they will close on a two-acre site on the north side of I Street (I believe between 1st and New Jersey, although the article is indicating further west on I), with hopes to begin construction next summer on a 700-unit residential project. Just south of that lot, at First and I, JPI is buying the property that currently houses the Nexus Gold Club (a "gentlemen's club"). Their plans for that block aren't yet firm (because they are still trying to buy some of the neighboring parcels), but more residential space would be a good bet. That transaction won't close until late 2006, to give the Nexus time to find a new location. UPDATE: The article was wrong about the location of the two-acre site, but I was wrong, too--it's at 70 I Street, which is between Half and First streets.