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City Paper's Housing Complex blog has some new details on the plans for the Miles Glass site at 8th and Virginia by the new owners, the National Community Church (aka the Ebenezer's Coffeehouse folks). Pastor Mark Batterson says that he's envisioning "two performance spaces, one at about 500 seat capacity and another at a thousand, with at least one level of underground parking to handle the crowds. To keep the kids busy while adults are worshiping–or drinking coffee, or going to a play–there will be a large childcare center so special that they've retained the architects who created downtown Disney to design it."
They are also negotiating with adjacent parcels (which Batterson alluded to a few weeks ago, which by his description seems to include the empty lot on 7th), to make the "campus" somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000 square feet of developed space when completed. Batterson hopes to break ground within a year, with construction taking 12 to 18 months (so, probably 2013).
With a coffee house/performance space/church at the north end of the block and a beer garden at the south end, I may have to dub this spot the Saints and Sinners Stretch of 8th Street.
UPDATE, 11/18: If you've got ideas or notions for what you'd like to NCC do on this site, leave them in the comments--Mark Batterson has posted there this morning that everything's still really "up in the air" at this point, and they'd love to hear feedback.
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BillP says: (11/17/10 3:54 PM)
does anybody know if they are definitely purchasing that adjacent lot on 7th facing the main entrance of the marine BEQ (as i thought was reported previously) or is that still under consideration, not yet under contract, etc.?


JD says: (11/17/10 3:57 PM)
I assume that's the one they're talking about being in negotiations in, that I mentioned above. Hasn't shown up in the property sales database yet. I'm watching.


mikescorpio says: (11/17/10 4:03 PM)
Saints & Sinners. I like it!


Mark says: (11/17/10 6:10 PM)
Awesome, fantastic news JD! Thanks for passing it along!!


Mark Batterson says: (11/18/10 9:58 AM)
Our plans are SO FLUID right now. We're meeting with community leaders, community groups. We're trying to assess community needs or gaps that we can help meet with this property.

We're pretty locked into a coffeehouse on the corner of 8th and Virginia. We'll take our Ebenezers concept at 2nd and F, NE to the next level (I think the parking + seating will make it a draw to lower barracks). We probably will do some sort of performance theater/event space like the Atlas but larger. And we're exploring daycare or early ed possibilities given the growth of Navy Yard and the needs of young families on the Hill and Riverfront. But everything is really "up in the air" right now. We don't want to put too many ideas out there because we're still in our due diligence phase.

It'll take 4-6 months to really assess needs and consider options. We are working with architects in the meantime!

We'd love to hear feedback, ideas, etc.

Thanks for this forum!


Interested Party says: (11/18/10 10:55 AM)
Have you talked with the immediate neighbors at all to get their input?


Kelsey says: (11/18/10 11:05 AM)
I am an immediate neighbor and we have not had a chance to submit any input yet. However, I know the announcement/news are still in the early stages.

We currently live next to the empty lot on 7th St. that looks out to the barracks. I would be very interested in learning more about what Mark's plans are for both empty lots as any construction will greatly impact our house.

What are your plans for parking? Due to the navy yard and department of transportation, parking during the week street parking is already at it's max.

Should we be concerned about noise levels during church activities?

Thanks for answering our questions.


Mark Batterson says: (11/18/10 12:43 PM)
Great questions!

We've met quite a few neighbors, but not everyone yet.

We'll do a subterranean parking garage that I think will actually help parking situation during the week. I've lived on the hill for 14 years so I know the hassle of finding a parking spot by your home :)

When we built Ebenezers Coffeehouse our objective was to make sure the neighbors loved it first and foremost. And I think we've accomplished that. In fact, i think we've added significant value to adjacent properties given the fact that we took a nuisance property and turned it into a first-class coffeehouse. Hope this project has the same effect.

In terms of noise, we'll be very conscientious of making sure there is great sound-proofing in the performance theater so noise doesn't travel beyond our building.

Keep the questions/concerns/ideas coming!

Mark


C says: (11/18/10 4:43 PM)
One vote for a daycare, right between the coffeehouse and beer garden, perfect!


BillP says: (11/18/10 10:24 PM)
I lived on F St NE during and after the time that Ebenezer's coffeehouse and the Church offices were being constructed in a partial rehab / partial new construction project.

Mark's church was a great neighbor during the process, they came up with a great design that maximized the adaptive reuse possibility at the site as well as making the new construction minimally (if at all) intrusive onto the brick 1890s era rowhouses that abutted Mark's site on all sides. Their development continues to be a fantastic asset to F Street NE and the surrounding neighborhood.

I would expect nothing less with their new development here in Barracks Row. I am hopeful that, although this project will be much larger and present far greater challenges, it will also provide more opportunities for an iconic design and a very positive contribution to the entire neighborhood.


Mark Batterson says: (11/19/10 7:16 AM)
Thanks Bill.

And I daresay that it will be a little easier doing construction on a lot that is larger than the Ebenezers lot.

Mark


Mark says: (11/19/10 9:46 AM)
Mark - my family and I could not be happier to welcome you and your church community into our neighborhood. We are pleased with all of your plans - the coffee house, the theater space - and, with two small children in our home, the child care and early education opportunities. While my wife currently stays at home with the children we would be interested in pre-school for our children, particularly if there will be some Christian foundation to the child care/ early childhood education.

Bottom line, we are excited about visits to the coffee shop and everything else your community and building will bring to our neighborhood. Welcome!

Cheers,
Mark


Sarah says: (11/20/10 7:39 AM)
I second the excitement for the possibility of a nursery school/day care. Our options are so limited in the area, and the idea that the foundation may be Christian-based, (or at least in a positive space) is great!
Hope all works out!

Sarah

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