Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

It was a blockbuster piece of news a few weeks ago that the National Community Church had decided to buy the Navy Yard Car Barn, aka the Blue Castle, at 770 M St. SE.
There hasn't been any official statement about the purchase from the church, but recently its lead pastor, Mark Batterson, agreed to reply by e-mail to a list of questions I sent his way about how this move came about and what the church may be envisioning for the landmark building. (Hyperlinks added by me.)
JD: How did the idea of buying the Blue Castle end up on your radar?
MB: Our team had been actively seeking ways to build out our Virginia Ave property, but we’ve been in a holding pattern because of the CSX project. When we heard that the Blue Castle was for sale, it made sense. We just had to make the math work. After quite extensive research with a development team, we came to the conclusion that it will be easier, faster, and perhaps less expensive, to build on top of the castle than it would be to build on Virginia Avenue.
We feel very fortunate to have gotten the contract. We know this is an incredibly iconic building that is interwoven into our city's history. We hope to steward it well.
JD: What are your plans for the building? i.e., Will it be purely uses for your church, or will the neighborhood see some sort of benefit as well? Also, do you have any plans to expand the building itself? How much additional square footage could that potentially include?
MB: We plan to develop the Blue Castle property by building what NCC needs on the roof deck of the existing structure. The key components of the build-out are a multi-purpose performance space with 1500-2000 seats, as well as a central location for our staff. The performance space will be designed for seven day a week use as a music venue and/or theater space. We will assess community needs to make sure the castle serves the best and highest use. We have some preliminary ideas that we think the community will be excited about, but we need to get a little further down the planning road. One thing we know for sure is that we’d like to build out another Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, like our coffeehouse at 201 F Street, NE.
JD: What about the existing tenants?
MB: The existing tenants have a lease through July of 2018. We have not made any decisions beyond that, but our goal is for the space to serve community needs. Part of our process will be listening to the needs and goals of neighbors, as well as figuring out what best compliments NCC. We will explore a wide variety of uses, along with current uses; in determining it's future.
JD: What sort of timeline are you looking at for making it into what you are hoping it will be?
MB: Until the architectural designs are completed, we can't estimate an accurate timeline. But we have already initiated some conceptual design work. So the wheels are turning. National Community Church continues to outgrow our spaces, so we need it as soon as possible. We also know that there is a timeline and protocol to follow. This is an iconic building, and we want to make sure we get it right.
JD: How does this impact your previously announced plans for your land along Virginia Avenue?
MB: We view the Blue Castle as a better path forward in addressing spacing needs because development of the property is not directly impacted by CSX. The building is also three times larger than Virginia Avenue. This will help us move toward our 2020 vision of 20 expressions of NCC by 2020.
Ultimately, our goal is to master plan both the Blue Castle and Virginia Avenue. Because we own both properties, it positions us to have a more coordinated development.
JD: And, finally... What. About. the. Blue?
MB: Honestly, we hope that someday the Blue Castle will just be the Castle. Of course, we have to factor in the financial impact. And we'l obviously need to work with DCRA and HPRB to make a determination on any changes to the exterior of the Blue Castle.
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Comments

SWag says: (12/3/14 12:41 PM)
take my earlier comment back about not wanting anything built on top. I can see it now...


Capitol Hill SE says: (12/3/14 5:21 PM)
NCC made vague promises about neighborhood benefits when they bought the theater on 8th Street, but it hasn't functioned as anything other than a church. So I'm not holding my breath on this. Another Ebenezer's would be nice though.


JD says: (12/3/14 11:05 PM)
Not speaking pro or con or anything, but I imagine the Castle needs a whole lot of work to do what they want, which I would imagine will require city approvals, which will require hearings, meetings, etc.


Tom says: (12/4/14 10:30 PM)
No mention of who exactly is occupying the castle now. Must be an evil charter school.


JD says: (12/4/14 10:32 PM)
I don't think there was any malice in not mentioning the schools.


Blue says: (12/4/14 10:55 PM)
Are there any security restrictions with vertical growth directly opposite the Navy Yard?


JD says: (12/5/14 12:36 PM)
@Blue, I imagine the Navy Yard gets to, ahem, weigh in on any plans, but because any vertical growth of the Blue Castle can't go up very high (and I think only on the side facing L), I imagine it's less of an issue.

Speaking of the part of the Castle facing L, I came across this photo from when I was up on top of the old Capper Seniors building before it was demolished in 2007. Interesting to see the windows from the true old building peeking out above the roof of the addition (which if I remember correctly is not historic):

link



JD says: (12/5/14 12:41 PM)
Actually, though, I'm looking at the 2010 "Lower 8th Street Visioning Process" document, and on page 19 there are some massing studies of what could be built on that 7th Street side of the Blue Castle. However, I don't think those heights are allowed yet--it's just what the study process looked at in terms of what maybe could be submitted to the Office of Planning for rezoning (see page 16).

link



Tom says: (12/6/14 11:24 PM)
JD, no not at all.

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 10/17/19
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/13/19
80 M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/11/19
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/10/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/10/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 10/10/19
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
 10/08/19
1400 B/O 11TH ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  10/08/19
1200 B/O VAN ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 10/03/19
1200 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/03/19
1100 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 10/02/19
800 B/O VIRGINIA AVE SE   ROBBERY
Assault W/i To Commit Robbery (simple Assault)
 10/02/19
700 B/O M ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 09/24/19
900 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 09/23/19
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   ROBBERY
Assault W/i To Commit Robbery (simple Assault)
 09/23/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 09/21/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 09/19/19

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1300 4TH ST SE   
10/07/19 
DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC / ARI BELMONTE; KONE
EN1903394 / SHOP DRAWING
Installation of (2) MRL KONE elevators in single hoistway. 15 Landings.
900 5TH ST SE   
10/08/19 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / TIMOTHY S CLEMONS; TIMOTHY S CLEMONS
M2000081 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/08/19 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / RICHARD V CAREY; RICHARD V CAREY
P2000201 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/15/19 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / WILLIAM B. CRIST; WILLIAM B. CRIST
E2000633 / SUPPLEMENTAL
4 I ST SE   
10/07/19 
CRESECENT CAPITOL VIEW MF LL / KIM MITCHELL; BEN KUNKLE
B1912371 / CONSTRUCTION
Third Party Review - Revision to Permit B1804349 (Approved Under the Velocity Program),Revision associated with additional occupiable spaces provided at the "Roof Floor" with corresponding egress, revised common space layouts and corresponding use and occupancy calculations, revisions to ground floor retail south entrance and amenity spaces at the ground level.
409 I ST SE 20003   
10/11/19 
JOSEPH KOCH / null
P2000322 / SUPPLEMENTAL
409 I ST SE   
09/27/19 
JOSEPH KOCH AND ELLEN FONG / ELIZABETH S MITCHEL; ELIZABETH S MITCHEL
B1915266 / CONSTRUCTION
Interior alteration including new kitchen, master bathroom and loft.
   
10/15/19 
SCOTT A FAULK TRUSTEE / FRED LATIMORE
E2000620 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE 200   
10/09/19 
SQUARE 743 INC / ;
P2000249 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE 7TH FL   
09/26/19 
SQUARE 743 INC / ;
P1909869 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE 7TH FLOOR   
10/03/19 
3NW 100 M STREET LLC / DANNY L COLEY; DANNY L COLEY
E2000146 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
09/24/19 
SQUARE 743 INC / PHILIP J. MISEY; PHILIP J. MISEY
E1911913 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/25/19 
SQUARE 743 INC / NAVID PARTOVI; NAVID PARTOVI
M1904391 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/27/19 
SQUARE 743 INC / MIGUEL A. MOROTE; MIGUEL A. MOROTE
E1912028 / SUPPLEMENTAL
250 M ST SE   
09/26/19 
SQUARE 769 LLC / JEFFREY D WOLF
AH1901292 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours permit is respectfully requested from 3 am to 7 am daily.
   
10/03/19 
SQUARE 769 LLC / STEVEN CHEN
AH2000003 / CONSTRUCTION
Work Onsite Only - Columbus Day
300 M ST SE   
10/01/19 
FEDERAL CENTE LP C/O CHARLES E SMITH / DANI B RADOYE; TBD
B1908440 / CONSTRUCTION
interior build out new tenant into existing space to include installation of cabinetry, flooring, wall base, ceiling system, and light fixtures, hvac system and distribution / difusers, electrical panel / equipment, accessible restrooms,drinking fountain and service sink. First 1st floor only.
   
10/17/19 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / SUKWON KIM; SUKWON KIM; NA
SG1900286 / CONSTRUCTION
To install a set of illuminated LED channel letters on raceway onto wall
139 N ST SE 19714   
10/01/19 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / MIKE BOONE
AH1901332 / CONSTRUCTION
PEPCO-WO#1588714505-ALLEN / EFF / PATRICK-CREWS WILL BE CHANGING A TRANSFORMER.
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/09/19 
GRAYSTAR GP 11,LLC / KIM MITCHELL; NA TBD
SH1900078 / CONSTRUCTION
Phase 2 - Excavation and support of excavation within 50' of DC Water Trunk Sewer line include pile installations
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20003   
10/14/19 
BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / null
P2000362 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE STE# 102A   
10/17/19 
SQUARE 742 LLC / STEPHEN TAYLOR; CHRIS PADBERG
B1913851 / CONSTRUCTION
Convert 'office' tenant space to 'The UPS Store'. Interior work only. minimum work done. 990 sq ft. No plumbing. Change diffusers and ceiling tiles. Install UPS furniture and add a few outlets.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
09/26/19 
SQUARE 742 LLC / ;
P1909863 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/01/19 
SQUARE 742 LLC / SUKWON KIM; SUKWON KIM; JJ ELECTRIC SERVICE, INC
SG1900513 / CONSTRUCTION
To install a set of LED channel letters "SUBWAY"
   
10/17/19 
SQUARE 742 LLC / WILLIAM SNODDY; TBD
B1915102 / CONSTRUCTION
Revision to previous permit number B1911194 Expansion of Tenant's Current suite into Adjacent Suite has already been "white boxed". Expansion space to consist only of workstation and Offices. Some Minor Demolition will occur in tenant existng suite in order to rework existing tenant entry and enlarge tenant reception. addition of storage closet will be added in place of existing corridor.
   
10/17/19 
SQUARE 742 LLC / WILLIAM SNODDY; CHRIS CONDON
B1913780 / CONSTRUCTION
Tenant Finish Out. Existing Conditions to be Demolished and New Space Built to Landlord Standards to Include new Ceiling grid lighting and Finishes **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/03/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / JUSTIN BELLOW;
SH1900050 / CONSTRUCTION
Sheeting and shoring for new building
1299 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
09/24/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / FRED T FALCONE; FREE STATE DRILLING INC
SB1900446 / CONSTRUCTION
Six 7 inch hollow stem auger probe borings to 60ft and the installation of 2.75inch inclinometer casing.
301 TINGEY ST SE C-1   
10/03/19 
SEFC 160, LLC / JEFF NOLD
AH2000017 / CONSTRUCTION
CCTV Inspection of sewer system. on 3rd Street SE btween Tingey St. & Water St.
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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Parc Riverside ('14)
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Camden South Cap. ('13)
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70/100 I ('08)
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Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
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US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
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Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
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