Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

A Historic Landmark nomination was submitted on Friday for the Market Deli at 1st and L SE, according to 6D07 rep David Garber. Calling the nomination "potentially controversial" (perhaps remembering this comment thread from a few months ago), Garber says: "I am 100% pro-development, but stand by my support of this because I think saving pieces of our history will make our neighborhood stronger and more valuable in the end."
He describes the "humble" building as the only remaining wood frame corner store in existence south of the freeway. (The brick building next door, where the Market Deli operated in the last few years of its existence, is not part of the nomination.) He also says it "represents the scale and the history that our neighborhood had for most of its history until very recently." He also says that he did not submit the nomination himself, though helped prepare it (but doesn't say who did submit).
The building, constructed in 1885, is currently owned by Akridge (along with the rest of the block's frontage along 1st Street). There has been no public information on what Akridge plans to do with the block, but raze permits were filed for the Market Deli building(s) and the other buildings on the north end of the block earlier this year, which presumably is what kick-started this move. You can read about the city's Historic Landmark designation process at the Historic Preservation Office's web site. Readers may recall that the St. Paul's church at 4th and I received a landmark designation in November.
A slew of photos showing the Deli unchanging in the face of nearby development can be seen in my archive.
UPDATE, 3/7: Here is the nomination form, submitted by Hayden Wetzel of "Historic Washington Architecture."
UPDATE, 3/11: The hearing date at the Historic Preservation Review Board has been set for April 28; here's the hearing notice.
Comments (74)
 More About square 740 Home


Jay says: (3/5/11 7:08 AM)
In my opinion, in the grand scheme of things there is no way that this building should be saved. It will only limit the possibilities for the site. Yes, it has been there for well over a hundred years but nothing around it will have been there for that long. It will look out of place when everything is said and done. I'm a Capitol Riverfront resident, and I disagree with the Historic Landmark Designation.

JT says: (3/5/11 9:45 AM)
Um, what? Old and historic are not the same.

When will the nomination go in to preserve Ann's Beauty Supply and Wigs? That's equally "historic" and important to the 'hood.

Mark says: (3/5/11 10:18 AM)
Maybe we can start designating potholes or broken - but brick! -sidewalks as "historic" as well? Seriously, I would like to believe that David is kidding - but unfortuantely he seems to be all to serious - as we know from his previous written support to preserve an equally unhistoric, and unworthy of preservation, smokestack for burning trash from the 1950s/60s and a taxi repair shop - seriously? It really seems like a bad joke.

There are things in the neighborhood worth saving - however I doubt Mr. Gaber will find more than a handful of his neighbors (and past supporters/ voters) if any who agree that a wooden shack, a smokestack left over from a trash facility, or a taxi repair shop even remotely qualify.

I would requst that Mr. Garber start soliciting input from his community prior to making statements about preserving such eyesores - he needs to remember that he was elected to represent this community of neighbors not the intersts of whatever critters have taken up residence in an old wooden building.

MJM says: (3/5/11 12:49 PM)
Its probably 40 years too late to save that building. It looks like a dump on the inside with trash piled up. Leadership, right or wrong is sometimes making the tough choices when even in the minority. It would be nice to see that building restored somehow but the costs would be pretty high (assuming). I'm sure Akridge could keep that corner with the two old buildings because there is a nice patio type area for outdoor seating and build around it but that is probably not in their plans. Mark you are right - the building needs to go - if it could be restored then it would be nice to keep but probably 40 years too late.

OT - the old smokestack/transfer station is the from the 40s. link

AOT - the garage at 1002 1st SE has had oil leaking out of it for the last few months and on Tuesday Akridge will finally clean it up and the buildings will be razed in about 6/7 weeks.

F says: (3/5/11 1:16 PM)
I do find it a little ridiculous to designate that place a historic landmark. Will it then be eligible for federal $$$ for preservation? Its a waste of money and land.

Who is it that really wants this place preserved? I doubt this is Grabers idea alone. He must be the fall guy for someone. Can someone please post a justification?

Meredith says: (3/5/11 1:38 PM)
We do not need to save this ramshackle market. Examples of the scale of the "old" SE Waterfront area buildings already exist in the private homes/Cornercopia on 3rd and L/3rd and K blocks. If we were to be truly conscientious about saving examples of the neighborhood's various incarnations (not taking structural value into account), we might have petitioned to have one of the buildings from the old projects retained. (It's mid-century modern!) I don't think it's a loss we didn't do that. We have pictures. Sometimes that's good enough.

BTW, I have a museum background, so I'm certainly in favor of preserving buildings of historical value, I just don't think the market fits the bill. Especially when compared to the other historic landmark buildings on the Hill.

Adam says: (3/5/11 2:00 PM)
I also disagree with any attempt to designate this run-down building as a Historic Landmark. Did any historic events happen there or noteworthy people frequent it? What makes it so "historic?" Just because it's been here for a long time doesn't mean it has any lasting significance. Frankly, every time I walk out of my building and see it, with its boarded-up windows, peeling paint, and crumbling sidewalk, I cringe and wonder what it's doing to property values, perception of the neighborhood (How many times have I heard, "Are you SURE it's safe here?"), and potential for growth and development. I was pleased when I heard that Akridge would be razing the block. I will say that, while I don't support artificially designating something as historic, I typically don't mind retaining the facade of existing buildings if the new development incorporates it properly into the design. That's the only way I'd want to see this building remain.

Jonathan Mendez says: (3/5/11 3:09 PM)
Please remove that eyesore from this area. It gives me a splitting headache every time I see it. The only value I see in keeping it would be to have the best looking haunted house for Halloween festivities!

B says: (3/5/11 3:28 PM)
I think trying to get this building a historic designation is one of the most stupid things I have ever seen. How could any reasonble person think that keeping this building would add anything to the history or character of the neighborhood? Even if the building had been kept in good condition (which of course it is not!), it still wouldn't qualify.

Garber needs to stop trying to use his elected position to force his hipster ideals on our neighborhood and to represent the actual interests and needs of the residents and this neighborhood. His failure to do so will likely make him a one-term Commissioner.

not often reliable says: (3/5/11 5:02 PM)
Sorry, off topic, prediction, canal park "major construction" begins the week of March 7. I'll bet $5 USD.

mikescorpio says: (3/5/11 5:21 PM)
I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to preserve one of the last vestiges of the old neighborhood. Adam does have a good suggestion regarding preserving and incorporating the facade, if it could be worked into the plans. It's been done in Clarendon, and other areas, with much success. Incorporating existing structures and/or styles into new construction would help counter the sterile, Crystal City-esque architecture of the area. Does anyone thing Barracks Row would be as successful if it looked like Federal Triangle? Doubtful.
Possibility, like beauty, is in the eye (if not the mind) of the beholder.

Ben says: (3/5/11 5:25 PM)
This shows stunningly poor judgment. If a private citizen wants to submit this nomination, then that is their right. As our ANC rep, however, Mr. Garber should have discussed this issue with those in the neighborhood before lending his support to the initiative. If the comments on this post at all reflect the neighborhood as a whole, which I suspect they do, Mr. Garber would have found that his support of this nomination does not reflect the will of the neighborhood.

While I applaud Mr. Garber's energy for his position and feel he can be an effective advocate for the neighborhood, this decision is very disappointing.

mikescorpio says: (3/5/11 5:34 PM)
At this point, all indications are that a private citizen did submit the application. David, may have helped with the process, which in my estimation, an ANC commish, or Ward council person would do for any of their constituents.

JD says: (3/5/11 5:47 PM)
Hey, Curt, thanks for the Canal Park prediction. We had that March 7 date a few days ago, with the No Parking signs going up. Construction will start at the two southern blocks by M and L, with the block by I waiting a few weeks, presumably so dog owners can start mentally preparing themselves for the loss of their open space. :-)

Andrew in DC says: (3/5/11 8:01 PM)
The less-than-85-yr-old African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church was bad enough (and it is pretty bad - I recall the Pastor promising to scrub the graffiti off the side months ago. Yep, that's still there.)

But this? Who really wants this? Show me a worthwhile plan that incorporates the facade into it. Without that, there's going to be a ton of resistance.

likely more reliable says: (3/5/11 9:21 PM)
I'm going out on a limb here, but I really do think this is it, construction on canal park will start the week of March 7 in earnest. Just thought you all should know and you heard it here first.

F says: (3/5/11 10:08 PM)
Is David Garber just saying "Yes" to every suggestion he receives? He's a new politician and it looks liek he's trying to appease everyone who knocks on his door. I live in his jurisdiction and have so far been underwhelemed by his outreach, involvement and communication.

David - Listen to (the majority of) your constituients before backing foolhardy initiatives. If that eyesore remains it should be dubbed the "Garber Roach Hotel."

Hopefully he reads JDLand and can see there's a resounding tide against his poor judgement.

Bob says: (3/6/11 8:33 AM)
In David's defense, he's still new at this public office thing. I hope he grows into the position and learns to make decisions from an adult's point of view rather than relying on hiptard sentimentality. He also needs to stop posting using the pseudonym of mikescorpio to defend his actions.

Michael says: (3/6/11 11:23 AM)
I didn't realize there were so many experts in the neighborhood, able to judge the historical value of a building and its construction... why not raze the Navy Yard while we're at it and start over with shiny new post-modern buildings that are 10 or 12 stories?

mikescorpio says: (3/6/11 2:09 PM)
Excuse me, Bob. I'm not David Garber, nor do I pretend to be. And I'm sure he wouldn't pretend to be me, if he even knew me. LOL
I live in the community, and expressed a different opinion than your own. I'm very open to mature discussion, however, I will judicially point out juvenile posts, such as yours, in an effort to keep the discussion innuendo free.

m says: (3/7/11 8:22 AM)
I don't know if going the historic preservation route is the best way to go here (I'd have to read the application), but I do appreciate David's effort to encourage good and meaningful design. I think that finding ways to incorporate our neighborhood's history into its future design, and ensuring that design has an interesting and inviting street presence, is smart and will make our community less generic, more desirable, and overall a better place to live.

crin says: (3/7/11 9:26 AM)
Private citizens can't submit landmark applications. Only preservation groups, anc's, or the property owner. It's simple to find out who submitted the application: call HPO and ask.

JD says: (3/7/11 9:32 AM)
Or David could tell us himself, since I would hazard a guess that he's reading all of this.

I've asked HPO for a copy of the nomination.

David made a presentation to the DC Preservation League a few weeks ago, so I imagine they were involved.

HOOD UPDATEs says: (3/7/11 9:41 AM)
Indicators formal construction of canal park begins this week:

Signs all along the western side of the canal indicate parking is prohibited for two months for "construction of canal park." Those words are music!

UtiliQuest marked up all three blocks with fresh spray paint last week noting the location of utilities, current and future.

Each of the three blocks has been remapped with wooden posts to establish the location of park infrastructure.

The first construction truck arrived this morning at 6:50am.

For all those watching this project for the past five years this truly is a momentous time, one that I thought would not come. Congrats to everyone who has had a hand in moving this forward.

In other news, I heard Harry's wine and spirits will open this week, probably Tuesday or Wednesday...the place is stocked already. I'm thinking of getting a nice bottle of champagne and toasting the park...will distribute invites soon.

Also, the tug and barge parked at The Yards weren't there to begin construction of the connector pier to Teague Park but to install what appears to be a steel barrier to protect some parts of the park nearer the waterline. It looks a bit industrial but I suspect it will be painted or improved aesthetically.

Finally, I was wrong about my recent post regarding tearing down the fence at the trash transfer station on L, parts of the fence were taken down but repaired and reinstalled.

Take care -

JD says: (3/7/11 9:45 AM)
Thanks for all those updates and retractions, Curt. Seems like you ought to start a blog.

Alan says: (3/7/11 10:05 AM)
re: the L St fence: That fence was ripped down from the two wind storms last month. Also victim to the wind: the big red Akridge sign next to the aforementioned Market Deli, the gate on the East side of the old Wendy's lot (the wind actually snapped a link of the huge chain), and most of the "Road closed ahead" signs that had been set up on Half St for the 1015 Half St building toppled and/or broke apart.

Side note on the Wendy's lot: Three Killdeer seem to have taken up residence here. They've been on the site for the better part of a week now, so I imagine nesting may be next. For those of you that don't know, Killdeer typically build nests on the ground and get extremely defensive about what they view as intruders so for those of you with dogs, I'd advise staying out of the lot. They will also pretend to have a broken wing so that they divert you from their nest.

MJM says: (3/7/11 10:19 AM)
Just would be nice to see if there is anything historic about the old Market Deli. But I'm sure Akridge isn't happy - does that mean they can't raze the building until the application is reviewed?

For those who have a view of the transfer station - are you seeing the same thing that it looks like ops are winding down? Looks as if they are gutting the inside and there are less trucks there on a daily basis?

Thought those were terns of some kind - interesting - thanks!

JD says: (3/7/11 10:27 AM)
There's a deal in the works to get DPW moved out, but the lot at their new home hasn't been built yet, so they can't 100% move until that's done. I keep hearing it should be this summer, but we know how these things can go.

JD says: (3/7/11 11:45 AM)
By the way, and you know who you can thank for this, commenting at JDLand will soon require a registered account. (I started to do this last year, but the rampant username-changing subsided a bit when I threatened it. But because some people just can't bear not getting attention, I've decided to move forward with it.)

One upside will be that you'll be able to receive notifications via e-mail of new comments in threads you wish to monitor.

If you want to beat the rush and register an account now (before all the good usernames are taken), you can go to: link (Registering now will also help me if you find any bugs while you are going through the process.) You'll still be able to use a screen name instead of your real name if you'd prefer, but you won't be able to change screen names when it suits you anymore.

A few of you already did this last year, so you'll get an error to that effect.

I'll make a wider announcement soon, but I thought I'd start with the people who actually use the comments first.

JD says: (3/7/11 12:21 PM)
PS: And until the full registration kicks in, if you go ahead and register/login now ( link ) you can skip filling out the CAPTCHA box when leaving comments and also subscribe to threads by e-mail.

JD says: (3/7/11 1:44 PM)
Here is the nomination form: link

Bruce says: (3/7/11 1:51 PM)
i am cutting Mr. Garber some slack here. I am not sure whether or not I agree that this little building should be a landmark. He is new at his post and he believes in the things that the area needs. Although I love the idea that the little church on 4th and VA was designated a landmark, the issue remains as to when (or if) the building is restored to its former glory.
The church with its congregation of 20, does not have the revenue coming in to help pay for any restoration. The Pastor is a wonderful person. In an area such as ours, with things changing and evolving at great speed, it would be nice to save some bits of history. I'm just not sure this was it.

Ben says: (3/7/11 3:08 PM)
It appears from the application that the filer isn't a resident of Southeast, let alone our little corner of Southeast. Not quite sure how helping an organization based in Northwest file this application and then lend public support to the initiative falls under constituent services. Moreover, this organization is plenty aware of how to file historic designation applications: link

It is even less clear to me why Mr. Garber needed to be involved in this process, other than his own personal preference that the Market Deli receive this designation. While there may be an argument as to whether this building is worthy of a historic designation, the lack of judgment exhibited by our ANC rep is becoming less of an open question. I don't expect to agree with everything Mr. Garber does, but I do expect him to exhibit good judgment in deciding which projects are worth his assistance and public support.

Kitty Loyd says: (3/7/11 4:17 PM)
i also agree that some 'historic' buildings or landmarks should be saved. i love barracks row, capitol hill, columbia heights, and other areas of town that incorporate the old with the new, and i think this neighborhood has done a great job of that. especially down by the water: foundry lofts, the skeletal building that will be come retail, the biolermaker shops, cornercopia, the little red building (tho it was torn down, the new one will have the same shape - i think) the tire shop in 909 that gets great reviews, the car wash that seems to run a good business, the water/sewage building, the church on M and south cap, the list goes on. i think revitalization is great and important. i dont, however, believe that we should keep around the last building of every kind simply because its the last of its kind. the rest have been torn down for a reason, and this should go for that same reason. as i live across the street and am eager to bring friends and family to this new neighborhood, i always get the "hmmm its great, but whats up with this block?" finally, garber himself posted on his facebook that this was a controversial topic. if he knows that, i'd have appreciated if he had reached out and asked for comments and input from actual constituents before helping out a non-resident in making this terrible decision. this has only delayed progress.

MJM says: (3/7/11 4:55 PM)
Does it matter where you live? Are people from NW/NE/SW allowed to visit the Yards Park? Is David allowed to be (still) involved with Anacostia? It is something taking place in our hood and David should be able to help out?

Hypothetical: Granted this is not the best looking building on the block but what it if it was restored, fixed it up and a business such as a beer garden* w/an outdoor patio moved in - would it be okay to keep? If it was restored that could be made to look really nice and get more retail into the area?

* - seems to be the business of choice for Near-SE :)

JD says: (3/7/11 5:07 PM)
I'd be interested in seeing examples of wood-framed landmarked buildings incorporated into modern multistory commercial structures.

(BTW, if you tried to register a site account earlier today and got an error, it should be fixed now. link )

Ben says: (3/7/11 5:11 PM)
Yes, I think it does matter where the petitioner lives when he is using his position as the elected ANC representative for our neighborhood to assist and advance a project that is meeting with significant opposition from the people he was elected to represent. As I said previously, I have no problem if people/organizations (and I will clarify, wherever they live) with standing to file an application for historical designation wish to do so. That is their right. What I do have a problem with is our elected representative assisting in such an endeavor without any reasonable level of consultation with the neighborhood. No matter what side you come out on regarding the historic value of the Market Deli, I would think you would want an ANC rep that actually took the time to discuss controversial (by his own designation) decisions with the neighborhood before acting. If we wanted an ANC rep that didn't care about seeking input from the neighborhood and acting to advance his own interests and preferences we could have kept the last guy.

Mr. Garber is no longer a regular citizen when it comes to issues impacting our neighborhood. Personally, I don't care what he does with respect to the rest of the city (to the extent it does not negatively impact the district he was elected to represent). But when his actions impact our neighborhood, I expect him to take the time to discuss issues with the neighborhood and not act unilaterally because he desires a certain outcome. If that is an unreasonable expectation, so be it.

Dr. Lovinggood says: (3/7/11 11:34 PM)
Dear Mr. Garber,

Please exercise your common sense and quickly, or we'll vote you out. I'm all for being reasonable and respect divergent views, but this is down right fcking nuts.


The Braindoctor.

JD says: (3/7/11 11:53 PM)
Okay, let's keep the tone of the discussion from heading too far off the rails, folks. I'm all for spirited discussions, but pretend my mother is reading. :)

David Garber says: (3/8/11 3:00 AM)
Hello, all. Whew! Thank you for voicing your concerns, support, and opinions!

I originally posted on this topic on facebook and twitter as a way to be transparent about my interest in the future of this building and lot. I was glad to see JD pick it up, because I see this as an important forum for gathering public opinion from residents of the neighborhood.

Let me step back for a moment to give some background. I first expressed interest in seeing the building preserved last October, before I was elected Commissioner. I had worked with members of the DC Preservation League in the past on a commercial building in Anacostia, so inquired about any efforts to see the Market Deli preserved as part of the new development on the block. My experience is in real estate development, design, and historic preservation - especially buildings that have languished for many years - so it was of personal interest to me. I also knew that Akridge had experience incorporating small-scale buildings into larger development in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, so was aware there was precedent for at least inquiring about the possibility.

After exchanging a few emails in the fall, the discussion didn't resume until the raze permit application was submitted for all of the buildings on the 1st Street side of the block. In my two months as Commissioner, I have taken inventories of a diversity of needs in the neighborhood: intersections that need stop signs and crosswalks, locations for bike racks, etc. I have also been working on a list of possible neighborhood landmarks, including the Market Deli, DC Water buildings at 1st & O, and St. Vincent de Paul church at M & South Capitol. I forwarded that information to contacts within the League, and they began doing research on the Market Deli building because of the pending raze application to see if it was worthy of a nomination. What emerged (and you can read the nomination) was the fact that the building is the last of its kind in this area of DC, and very rare for the city: a wood building with a single use as a corner grocery for most of its life. Wood buildings are rarer because most were either replaced with brick or have succumbed to the elements or intentional demolition over the years. The two story building is characteristic of the scale of development in this very industrial and railyard-driven corner of DC. The nomination was submitted based on its existence as a rare form, not because of any specific historical event than happened inside.

As Commissioner, I stay in touch with all of the developers currently working in the neighborhood. I have been in touch with Akridge during this entire process. As a side note, I met with them a few times recently on design changes to their Half Street project, for which I submitted testimony to the Zoning Commission to give my full support. I have also been in touch with them on this block, and specifically the Market Deli building. I made them aware of the interest in saving the structure, or even just pieces of the structure, and let them know that although I did not think landmarking the building was necessary, that such an action was the only way to force non-dismissive conversation on the topic.

Right now, the nomination has been filed, but the building has not been landmarked. Although I was involved with the process, I was not the writer of the nomination, nor the submitter. I do think that the building is worthy of being saved, but I understand that that is a personal opinion, and will gladly leave any decision-making at this point in the hands of Historic Preservation Review Board.

My understanding is that the developer is still a few years away from any action on this block. In an effort to allay some fears - if this building does indeed get landmarked, it will not stop the block from being developed. It will protect the immediate structure from demolition, but would still allow new construction to surround it on all sides. What has most commonly happened with projects like it in DC is that the old building is tied in with the new structure, but the old part serves as a unique retail space. I know of at least two neighborhood residents that have inquired about using the Market Deli space for retail in the last year. One resident, who wanted to open a bar in the space because it "had more character" than the other available space in the neighborhood, attempted to lease the space but Akridge was not interested due to their plans for demolition.

As I stated in my campaign, my main goal as Commissioner is to see this neighborhood become more attractive, sustainable, business-friendly, and vibrant. That means great design. It means aiding in the creation of a new school, meeting with retailers, and telling positive things about the neighborhood to the news media. It means assessing the needs of the neighborhood and seeing where I can help fill in some of the missing pieces. Keep the emails and calls coming, and let's keep working together.

I very much appreciate your comments, and see this blog as one valuable tool for receiving public opinion. I have heard both positive and negative feedback for the nomination, and understand that I am your representative on these and other issues within our neighborhood.

In the meantime, I look forward to continuing the discussion here or via personal lines of communication: dggarber[at] and 202-374-5340.

Charles says: (3/8/11 8:43 AM)

I am afraid that your post does very little to address so many of the profound points raised here and on your Facebook account.

For instance, you have totally punted on the points raised in my accounting for the realities of the costs and your condemning those who live around the structure to face another eleven years of a vacant, run-down eyesore.

To all interested in this subject, please consider reviewing the material already posted on David's Facebook page.


Charles says: (3/8/11 8:45 AM)

As you punted on a thoughtful response on you Facebook account to the issues and financial realities set forth below, I thought I might post here in hopes that you might feel more inclined to address:


Mr. Garber: Previously you have suggested that the Market Deli could return to form as a "Corner Grocer" and with its return herald the area's retaining a piece of our historic legacy. In the course of our previous discussions you have referenced your experience in the real estate field. Since I make my living in commercial real estate, I must say that your concept does not recognize the fundamental economics of our industry and that your vision is a dream that is not financially viable.

In short, how does the nomination of the property as historic do anything for your constituency aside from condemn them to a building remaining untouched and unkempt for the next 11-years, just as it has sat for the previous 11-years?

The property in question was purchased by Akridge for $2,650,000, presumably at a premium for occupying one of four hard corners. It has suffered significant neglect for at least eleven years, as documented by the photographs found on JDLand.

Assuming incredibly generous CapEx costs of $75/sf just to bring it up to current code and FF&E costs of $50/sf, again a very conservative number given the condition of the property and the costs of cooling equipment for a grocer, Akridge would be all-in for $2,878,500.

According to Grubb & Ellis, the average monthly rental rate in D.C.'s Central Business District is roughly $4.50 a square foot. Given the CBD/Riverfront BID's office split of $58 to $49, one can reasonably extrapolate the retail value to $3.80/sf.

Assuming that the entire 1,100 floor plate for both floors is usable (of course it is not as stairs and ADA requirements will lessen the true space to say the least) this translates to a monthly rental rate of $8,360 and annual rate of $100,320.

Even with these assumptions, were Akridge to do all of this, sign a strong-credit-tenant to a long term stable lease, the best it could expect is to sell the property for is at a 6-cap for $1,672,000 – or a loss of $1,115,500. Of course, for simplicity’s sake this pretends that there are absolutely no above the NNN line expenses for Akridge, which, of course they are, which would further reduce the line and increase the losses.

So why would Akridge ever rehabilitate your "historic" property? The answer is that they would not. The numbers do not even come close to making sense for them to invest additional capital into the property. The consequence is that it will remain an unoccupied eyesore in a neighborhood that is making strong strides toward reinventing itself.

How does your nomination for historic status help the area or your constituency? The answer is that it does not. Your intentions may be well founded, but the results will be the exact opposite of your vision.

Please fight for the Boilermaker Shops. Fight for true historic assets. These serve us all and truly matter. However, please consider the nature of the property at issue, its true character of "old" over "historic" and the fundamental economic realities. After all, this post does not even consider the true costs of development when taking a hard corner and 14-floors worth of FAR away from a developer in these economic times.

Michael says: (3/8/11 9:18 AM)
It helps residents because not all of us enjoy bland and bleak modern architecture.

JT says: (3/8/11 9:26 AM)
I'd like to point out that what you see cropping up in Near SE isn't modern architecture.

Charles says: (3/8/11 9:29 AM)
Bland and bleak is wretched. One need only look to the job Forrest City is doing with larger structures and their renovation and rehabilitation work to see how well history and modern methods can blend.

However, the structure in question does not lend itself to such development.

Saving this building is all concept, without real substance. For eleven years the building has sat vacant. There is a reason for this. Labeling it "historic" does nothing to rehabilitate the asset or find a tenant. To the contrary, it adds costs and time to the renovation process.

In short, we are left with a dilapidated structure only languishing further with the passage of time.

John says: (3/8/11 9:39 AM)
Reading this conversation, I'm inclined to ask what exactly some people qualify as "worthy" of preservation. The Navy Yard community is not new, and did not begin its existence with the construction of Axiom and Onyx. It has a long and storied history and deserves to be celebrated in its own right. This is a wooden frame corner store from 1885, not a public housing unit, not a modern townhouse from the 20th century. Is it the prettiest building? No. Is it rundown and in need of repairs? Yes. That's why the need for preservation is so important - allow the property to live again. There's no question the neighborhood should welcome development and business, but there is no need to raze the remnants of the community's past in order to jump-start the future.

I don't know who submitted what form, nor do I necessarily care. I do know that as Commissioner, I expect David to not only fight for what his constituents want, but to fight for what is in the best interest of the neighborhood. Preserving the limited structures that remain from that past are paramount to any and all efforts to not only grow the community, but embrace its history. This is not Capitol Hill proper with its rows of townhouse-mansions that seem to glorify aesthetic beauty over relevance. No, this is Navy Yard, and like it or not, the Market Deli is a part of this community.

BillP says: (3/8/11 9:42 AM)
unfortunately, as JD has pointed out on numerous occasions, the ship has really sailed for trying to prevent most of near SE from looking like crystal city, especially the blocks north of M.

if there was an entire block of market delis whose facades could be integrated into a modern structure, as akridge, jemal and other developers have done so brilliantly in several downtown and gallery place blocks, that would be a different story.

however, the best case scenario for this situation is retaining and rehabbing an uninteresting building into an otherwise modern structure, making it an obvious white elephant that had to be forcibly incorporated rather than a contributing structure. if you want to look at similar arrangement, which i find ludicrous every time i walk by it, look at the SW corner of 8th and H NW in google maps street level (it's in flash so i can't post a direct link).

Steve says: (3/8/11 9:55 AM)
I don't know if this building was Akridge, but the block that the Wooly Mammoth theater is on is a good example of structures and facades being saved yet incorporated into a larger structure:


JD says: (3/8/11 10:01 AM)
The difference there, Steve, is that those are brick. As are the old Whitlow's and other facades saved along 11th Street, and the one at 8th and H that Bill P mentioned: link

There were three brick structures across the street from the Market Deli that could have been used that way, but were demolished in 2007: link

I mentioned earlier in the thread about looking for examples of wood-framed structures incorporated into multistory modern commercial developments--anyone have any examples?

Scott says: (3/8/11 10:19 AM)
I would imagine the developers are wishing they had demolished this building a few years ago, huh?

Ben in SE says: (3/8/11 10:35 AM)
Until someone can tell me why Charles is wrong (see above for a very detailed analysis of the financial difficulty involved in rehabbing this building), I am inclined to think that while it would be nice to save this building the reality is that there is no business case for doing so. There are a lot of historic buildings that can and should be saved and incorporated into our neighborhood. The Market Deli is just not one of them. As Charles highlights, obtaining a historic designation is not the same thing as rehabbing this building and incorporating it in future development. No one is going to throw good money after bad to resurrect this long-vacant and dilapidated structure simply because it is labeled historic.

(Disclosure: previously commented under just "Ben" before registering)

Charles says: (3/8/11 1:38 PM)
I have been in touch with the District of Columbia Preservation Office. For those interested in registering their thoughts and opinions on this matter, you may do by sending written statements to the Review Board at the following address:

District of Columbia Historic Preservation Office
Attn: Historic Preservation Review Board
1100 4th St., SW
Suite E650
Washington, D.C. 20024

Brett Loyd says: (3/10/11 9:48 PM)
Could we all have a meeting on this? It seems like a handful of people have an interest in this issue, and being it directly affects our neighborhood, could you set up a neighborhood meeting on this? Not with any other ANC districts, just ours? On this issue? In our neighborhood?
I will be the first to admit that I’m not the foremost authority on the economic or architectural benefits gained by submitting this building for historical preservation. I don’t know how much the land is worth, or how few of these buildings are left in District. To quote what you have said; your intentions were “to be transparent” about your interest in the future of this building and lot. It seems like this issue is fairly controversial and many (myself included) have serious questions about what is taking place.
So I guess an honest question would be, if we could all meet this weekend, discuss, would it be worth it? If we decide we want (as a neighborhood) to withdraw this submission, is it too late? If we decide that the preservation is best for the neighborhood, is there a way that maybe we would be able to help insure this issue passing the preservation review?
Unfortunately, the first I heard about this issue was from my wife reading it on JD’s wonderful emporium of near SE (what I woulda named it JD. . .next time), so I’ll admit, maybe I’m a little late on this boat.

MJM says: (3/10/11 11:01 PM)
Would the meeting go something like this (just replace the words with "historical application or eye sore"


David Garber says: (3/10/11 11:20 PM)
Brett and anyone who is interested: I'd be happy to meet outside Market Deli on Saturday morning at 11AM for a casual meeting to discuss the issue.

[Again, I was not the submitter of the nomination, and I'm not sure if retracting it would even be possible if I had been. It is now in the hands of the Historic Preservation Review Board.]

Michael says: (3/11/11 9:33 AM)
If you don't like Garber's work for thew community, you can always vote (or run) against him in an election. I appreciate his dedication to the neighborhood and view anything that lessens the impact of "Crystal City" in Southeast as a benefit...

Ben in SE says: (3/11/11 9:54 AM)
So our only options are to heap praise on him or vote (or run) against him? And opposing the historical designation for the Market Deli means being in favor of our neighborhood looking like Crystal City?

It seems to me that a number of valid concerns have been raised regarding the lack of neighborhood consultation prior to David's involvement in this process and the financial viability of any efforts to rehabilitate the Market Deli in the event it receives a historical designation. Personally, I think this is a very productive and informed discussion (for the most part), and not simply rabble, as some would suggest.

Brett Loyd says: (3/11/11 10:59 AM)
As my question was "if we could all meet this weekend, discuss, would it be worth it?" It would be pointless to meet if we have no say either way.

David, you finish by saying "It is now in the hands of the Historic Preservation Review Board." It doesn't sound like our neighborhood has a say. . .In what is happening in our neighborhood. . .
I guess then I would refer to Charles post on this one, as it sounds like the only thing we could possibly do for this:

"For those interested in registering their thoughts and opinions on this matter, you may do by sending written statements to the Review Board at the following address:

District of Columbia Historic Preservation Office
Attn: Historic Preservation Review Board
1100 4th St., SW
Suite E650
Washington, D.C. 20024

David Garber says: (3/11/11 11:09 AM)
Brett, I think it would still be valuable to meet - if only to bring some human faces into the discussion. I'll be out there, and hope to see some of you there!

Charles says: (3/11/11 11:33 AM)
David - it would have been VERY valuable to meet BEFORE your caused this nominations filing. Too bad you, in your infinite wisdom and experience, elected to ignore your constituents and move forward unilaterally.

The question is, are there circumstances where you will withdraw your support and if so, what are the circumstances? If not, then your offered meeting is merely political theater and not worth our time.

JD says: (3/11/11 1:15 PM)
April 28 has been set as the hearing date. Here's the official announcement from the Historic Preservation Review Board: link

Kitty Loyd says: (3/11/11 2:05 PM)
If you would like to see this nomination voted down, and the building be razed as Akridge plans to do, as well has a permit to do, then please send an email to We are in the process of putting together a report for the Preservation Board detailing why the Market Deli should not be declared a Historial Landmark. If you'd like to work with us, spread the word, or just stay updated, please send us your email. Also, please let us know if you would like your name to be submitted along with our report as a resident who feels that this building should go.

Bruce says: (3/11/11 6:01 PM)
No Matter what, lets keep the banter civil and respectful.

Charles says: (3/11/11 6:26 PM)
I completely agree. But, can I please still (ardently) disagree with David on the nomination?

Bruce says: (3/12/11 11:36 AM)
Yes :)

JD says: (3/12/11 11:42 AM)
Strange, I could have sworn that I'm the arbiter in these parts....

David Garber says: (3/12/11 11:53 AM)
Thank you to all of you (and others) who came out this morning to the Market Deli to meet in person and at least connect names with faces. We won't all agree, but the conversation is important.

Charles says: (3/12/11 12:17 PM)
David: Thank you for taking the time and braving the incredibly cold wind to take the time to meet with your constituents to further discuss the nomination of the Market Deli as a historic landmark. While, our difference remain well articulated, it was a pleasure meeting you and holding a real conversation on the topic.

pedro says: (3/12/11 12:52 PM)
New SE is as faceless as a bus terminal and as anonymous as a room in one of its new hotels.

Preserving one or two of the old buildings will give the neighborhood some roots and a sense of place, just like the warehouse does at Camden Yards.

Restored, 1024 First will be quite picturesque!

H Street Landlord says: (3/12/11 8:16 PM)
Wow, this Charles dude keeps David's name in his mouth. State your point and then sit back for a second, man. I don't know David from anything but come on.

As for incorporating a wood frame building in to a new development, is it that difficult? We put a man on the moon 40 years ago. I don't think incorporating a wood frame building in to a large new development is that challenging.

For those that don't want it to be Crystal City, where does the buck stop? Most of the historic stock has been destroyed. Why do you think there are no comparable food or entertainment rows to Barracks Row or H Street NE?

Andrew in DC says: (3/13/11 11:40 AM)
"Why do you think there are no comparable food or entertainment rows to Barracks Row or H Street NE?"

Call me crazy... but I'm going to take a stab and say "until-recently-very-low population, the recession and the national collapse of CRE..."

But, oh, you're probably right. The Nation would have made a great restaurant. And they should have kept one or two of those old Capper/Carrollsburg homes around to preserve as bed-and-breakfasts. Really would have added some flavor to the place.

JD says: (3/13/11 12:16 PM)
I also wonder why people always seem to forget the buildings at the Yards that have been saved and are being adapted, which are of an industrial stock that are very hard to find anywhere else in DC.

MJM says: (3/13/11 4:44 PM)
The MD may be an eye sore to most but I can probably find a whole bunch of other eye-sores worse than MD starting with the GSA warehouse on Half St/M St, followed by the taxi repair shop on L St/NJ Ave, followed by the portable by the chiller on Half St, taxi repair #2 on L St, the transfer station, remains of Alpha Towing and the NGA building and lets not forget the few/all of the parking lots (they have a tear-down plans one day but they slip). If/when Akridge razes the buildings on Sq 740, it would be nice to see some type of plan for that block otherwise it could be the end of the decade before we see anything there.

OT: Either way, the time for excuses (credit markets) is over. Its time to get other places to eat/grab a drink in and get redevelopment going again because SW, Orange Line corridor, etc seem to not have a problem with credit these days with the 'Wharf' coming on-line and million dollar condos and a 26-story tenant-less building in Rosslyn all underway (not to mention the rest of DC). The boilermaker isn't starting anytime soon and rumor has it there won't be a jazz club in there anymore??? We still don't even know for 'sure' if a Harris Teeter will be coming to the Yards yet....

If it is designated a landmark, fix it up (maybe we can have a bake sale to pay for it) and merge it into Akridge plans. If not - Akridge - tear it down and get something going (please).

pedro says: (3/13/11 8:12 PM)
I believe that the restored MD will add a great signature to Akridge's development...

Add a Comment:

Comments are closed for this post.

JDLand Comments RSS Feed

 More News

See All Current News Items | Full Blog Archive

 Recent Posts

jdc on Making it Official: Maybe someday it'll stop being a habit, but I still find myself coming to JDland...
MJM on Making it Official: Oh wow, was wondering if you were coming back. Its been a great run and to see ...
MalS on Making it Official: Very best wishes and thank you JD! What an incredible resource for those of us w...
goldfish on Making it Official: Thanks JD for the thousands of posts on the goings-on in {insert preferred neigh...
JD on Making it Official: This is the part I'm going to miss most of all, the commenting. With one or two ...
Jaybird on Making it Official: JD, I remember meeting you down by the construction site for the ballpark in 20...
Get JDLand Updates In Your Inbox!

City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
No records added or modified in the past two weeks.

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
1346 4TH ST SE APT 1M   
null / NA NA NA
1331 4TH ST SE R-2   
FC 1331 LLC / FC 1331 LLC
BP2101814 / POST CARD
10 I ST SE   
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
555 L ST SE   
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20003   
Dismantling of tower crane.
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

Real Property Sales Archive  
No commercial transaction records added or modified in the past two weeks.

Project Directory
Thompson Hotel ('20)
West Half ('19)
Novel South Capitol ('19)
Yards/Guild Apts. ('19)
Capper/The Harlow ('19)
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)

Anacostia Riverwalk
New Jersey Avenue
M Street
South Capitol Street
The Yards
Lower 8th Street
East M Street
Boathouse Row

                  © Copyright 2022 JD.