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Diverse Markets Management, the company which was overseeing the "market" portion of the new Fairgrounds shipping container market and events space on Half Street, alerted its vendors and other exhibitors via e-mail that "[a]fter much deliberation, DMM has concluded it must drop out of this project, effective immediately."
In the e-mail, DMM executive director Michael Berman said he was sorry that the plans didn't work out, having had "high hopes for the venue," but: "Taking a hard look at the site, I believe it cannot support retail, vending, artists or farmers as we had imagined that it might. I think the space is well designed to serve alcohol products and that the stage, sound, and food trucks compliment that use, but the vending and retail aspect does not fit in at all, without a complete redesign, which is not envisioned."
In what is probably related news, the Fairgrounds web site now says that it will be open "daily" (i.e., operating on non-game days in addition to game days) beginning May 4. The food, drink, and entertainment portions of Fairgrounds's operations were not being handled by DMM and presumably will be continuing. I've reached out to Fairgrounds developer Bo Blair to find out whether another vendor will be brought in to try to revive the market aspect of Fairgrounds' plans, and will update with any information I get.
UPDATE: Describing the Fairgrounds team as "disappointed" that DMM pulled out after only five days of business, Bo Blair had this to say via e-mail:
"From the beginning of the Fairgrounds concept, we all were very aware that the retail aspect was going to be a difficult task. Unfortunately, DMM was not the right fit. We are fully committed to moving forward quickly with a host of other vendors, artists, real estate brokers, and entrepeneurs who see the incredible potential to create something unique and interesting on the site. We did not go out and spend over $350,000 and waste an incredible amount of time and effort to have the containers sit empty. We will fill them soon. The other aspects of Fairgrounds, such as the food trucks, The Bullpen, games, and live music have been very well received. We have many events planned for the summer and will be open daily starting May 4th. We look forward to new ideas and concepts to fill the container stores as soon as possible and are excited for the great season ahead."
Comments (15)
   
 
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PJY03 says: (4/18/12 3:00 PM)
I'm not totally surprised by this, having just visited on Monday night. Regardless of their best-laid plans, the Bullpen is still the Bullpen. The crowds that go to the site are going to drink, they aren't going to shop. Let's face it -- its kind of fratty, and you're not going to sell hand made jewelry to that crowd.

I was an initial proponent, and still don't think a container market is a bad idea. You just can't be both The Bullpen and craft market at the same time.


lester says: (4/18/12 3:24 PM)
*Shock.* It's not the least bit surprising that a seasonal "fairgrounds" a 20 minute walk, 10 minute bike ride, and 3 minute car ride from Eastern Market, one of the largest, most established daily (except Monday) venues in the area (with a weekend flea market, year around) would fail.


Bruce says: (4/18/12 4:24 PM)
They apparently didnt think that they could overcome the site's reputation as a drinking establishment. Oh well.


Robert says: (4/19/12 8:47 AM)
I didn't support the idea originally but thought I'd give it a try. It does make a great impression at first glance, but once inside it’s just the bull pin. The vendors there were selling $300 paintings of the DC flag; you could still see the pencil marks in the painting where they traced the stars. If that was their idea of retail then maybe DMM wasn't a good fit. Those vendors seemed to be part of that annoying Sober/non-drug-using hippy movement, who will by anything (bad clothes, bad paintings, etc.) at any cost to come off as counter culture. There is potential for retail but it has to complement its primary function as a drinking venue. Maybe a coozy outlet, hand spun shot glass stand, neon colored sun glasses container, and a custom bean bag table for corn hole...



Bob says: (4/19/12 9:16 AM)
How odd and disappointing. You’d think retailers would flock to a location that looks like a dumping ground for discarded CSX equipment. I mean, what could be more inviting than rusting and dented shipping containers piled one on top of the other?


Maelstrom says: (4/19/12 9:50 AM)
You know, I thought the site was 'rusting and dented shipping containers' at first, then they welded on window ends and did some fairly inventive stuff with wood palets. I agree with Robert that they should just sell stuff that goes with the theme of the bullpen.


58Model says: (4/20/12 11:11 AM)
Welcome to Near Southeast. Have a drink.


Westnorth says: (4/20/12 2:35 PM)
I was curious to see what vendors would appear, and a bit disappointed to see so few there. However, they're charging the equivalent of $200/sq.ft., with a full month commitment -- for a space which only reliably gets crowds at game time, and then only because there's a bar.

The other shipping-container markets appeared as more-permanent alternatives to already successful craft fairs; events like Brooklyn Flea established a market before DeKalb, and Shoreditch is around the corner from the thronged Brick Lane Market. Their concept could probably work as an adjunct to Eastern Market, but this location's just not on most residents' radars yet.


TheJCG says: (4/20/12 11:57 PM)
And we get lester and Bob with snarky comments that add nothing and are just more trolling from angry people with nothing going for themselves.

The choices of retail did seem really odd. Things don't have to be gameday/drinking oriented, but they do have to be quality for good prices. This is an idea that is going to have to build up and gain a reputation, the retail vendors need to know that.


MJM says: (4/21/12 1:06 AM)
TheJCG - what do yo want people to add to a failed concept? This thing was billed as the next great "If they build it they will come project" - I'd like to think the folks did their business/marketing plan and came to the conclusion that it would draw people as a retail spot. I would have liked to open something there but really outside of game day what is gonna drive traffic over there on the end of the neighborhood w/o an event?

Maybe Akridge can sell the land to someone who will actually develop a pretty prime piece of real estate and make it more than a booze destination?

$200/sq ft - is that right? The avg DC rent is in the $48/sq ft range...


JD says: (4/21/12 10:02 AM)
For a bit more detail, and ruminations on retail in a place that's mostly sports fans, read Housing Complex: link


lester says: (4/23/12 7:28 AM)
@TheJCG, If I were trolling, how on earth is a comment about trolling any more productive to the conversation? And honestly, leveling a personal attack at two individuals after accusing them of trolling? Brings me back to grade school.

I'm not an angry person at all, and I've got a lot going for me. Thanks for your concern regarding my well being.

For the record, I was attempting to add some market analysis, and was questioning why on earth Georgetown Events thoughts this concept would work here. Several others have made similar comments, and understood where I was coming from.

Have a nice day.


JD says: (4/23/12 10:29 AM)
Okay, seriously, leave the comments thread policing to me. Just talk about the topic(s) at hand....


Westnorth says: (4/23/12 4:01 PM)
The $200 figure comes from DCRE's listing, which is visible at their DCMud blog; it's not entirely comparable to the $50/foot you'll find nearby since (a) it's not for an entire year and (b) it's not triple net [appears to include utilities].

One 8x20 container is $3000 per month, or $5000 for two months. That, plus staff and inventory costs, is a lot of money for a small retailer to put at risk.


Robert says: (4/25/12 9:44 AM)
The link below is a great example of container retail done right! If Akridge, a very prominent developer, wants this to be a more respectable venue to be patronized by more than your baseball pre-gamers, I believe it will require more than they a currently willing to invest. You can't take an epic idea, execute it with mediocre precision and expect great results.

link

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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  
1200 B/O VAN ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 02/26/20
1500 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 02/24/20
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree - Felony (theft From Building)
 02/24/20
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/24/20
1200 B/O VAN ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/23/20
900 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree - Felony (all Other Larceny)
 02/22/20
900 B/O 11TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/19/20
900 B/O M ST SE   BURGLARY
Burglary Two
 02/19/20
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   ROBBERY  02/18/20
UNIT B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/15/20
400 B/O M ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  02/08/20
300 B/O TINGEY ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/02/20
700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/01/20
600 B/O VIRGINIA AVE SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  01/29/20

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
909 4TH ST SE   
02/12/20 
MEREDITH FASCETT / null
E2004655 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1300 4TH ST SE APT 214   
02/03/20 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP20983190 / HOME OCCUPATION
1021 5TH ST SE   
02/13/20 
KEVIN WILLIAMS / KEVIN WILLIAMS; KEVIN WILLIAMS
B2005053 / CONSTRUCTION
Apply for building permit to have final closing inspection for permit #B1602481 & B1602513 per inspector inspection report since these permits has expired.
150 I ST SE   
02/14/20 
SQUARE 737 LLC / JASON D DORRIS
AH2000818 / CONSTRUCTION
Construction of a new 13 story apartment building with three below grade parking levels, 1st floor retail, and amenity areas; 375 units and 181 parking spaces. To include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, elevators and structural work.
250 M ST SE   
02/14/20 
SQUARE 769 LLC / null
P2003901 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20003   
02/14/20 
BROOKFIELD PROPOERTIES / TIM GOOD
AH2000849 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours to conduct work on 1275 New Jersey Ave SE on the upcoming holiday, Presidents Day, February 17, 2020. Operations would include below grade concrete and waterproofing activities with access limited to N Street. This permit would not include extended work hours beyond the normal 7am to 7pm period.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/25/20 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / WILL ROWELL; NA NA
B2000625 / CONSTRUCTION
Scope of Work; Plumbing additional bathroom and new fixtures-running lines under slab & within a 15' radius. Electrical installation of approx. 10 outlets / 5 switches / 200 amp services / sub panel & new lighting / wiring. HVAC relocating / dropping 2 new heat fans & installation of 2 ductless split systems. Sprinkler System Turn down of all sprinkler heads, re-balance and restart / re-charge
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/07/20 
MILLER AND LONG / WILLIAM MOORE
AH2000699 / CONSTRUCTION
Afterhours to put up towercrane with mobile crane saturday 2 / 8 / 2020 and 2 / 9 / 2020 from 5am to 1159pm
1299 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/18/20 
FOREST CITY SEFC LLC / STRAUCHON; SEE BELOW
BCIV1800153 / CONSTRUCTION
Phase 1A BCIV Permit Description - BCIV 1800153 - The subject BCIV permit is for the Phase IA development of Quander St SE, N Pl SE, and 1-1 / 2 St SE within the overall Forest City, Yards West (FCYW) development area which emphasizes: pedestrian-focused public realm, optimized utility corridor, fully integrated SWM design, and complete street and vision zero design. The FCYW Phase IA is comprised...
1322 PATTERSON AVE SE   
02/13/20 
JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA BOLLING - UNITED STATES NAVAL OBSERVATORY SI / TONYA HARRIS; TONYA HARRIS; TBD
BCIV2000046 / CONSTRUCTION
***FEDERAL PROPERTY*** PROJECT WILL CONSIST OF DREDGING THE EXISTING RETENTION POND AND INSPECTING AND CLEANING THE OUTLET CONTROL STRUCTURE (S1) LOCATED ON THE UNITED STATES NAVAL OBSERVATORY TO REMOVE SEDIMENT ACCUMULATION. CONTRACTOR SHALL AVOID THE CLEARING OF VEGETATION ON POND EMBANKMENTS AND SURROUNDING AREAS SO AS TO KEEP RESTORATION AND REPLANTING TO A MINIMUM.
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
02/13/20 
MRP REALTY / JAMES VANEGAS
AH2000681 / CONSTRUCTION
Perform interior and exterior construction activities. New construction 14-story new residential multi-family building.
   
02/19/20 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS II, LLC / JUSTIN BISHOP; JUSTIN BISHOP
SP1900054 / CONSTRUCTION
Construct a 680 sqft concrete swimming pool inside an existing waterproofed structural box on the 14th floor. All MEP, decking and fencing work by other trades under separate permits.
227 TINGEY ST SE   
02/12/20 
GONE YARD HOTEL OWNER LLC / BOB BIROONAK; BOB BIROONAK
SG2000048 / CONSTRUCTION
one double face illuminated blade sign
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
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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)
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One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
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Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
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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)
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909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
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100 M ('08)
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70/100 I ('08)
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400 M ('07)
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20 M ('07)
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