says: (4/13/17 9:56 AM)
Great update, JD!
The Bower website still says "Sales Begin Spring 2017". What are the Vegas odds on that actually happening? They still had the physical "Sales 2016" sign up well into 2017.
As for the glut of units, I can report that several neighbors have told me they were offered a lease renewal with no increase in rent, or even a cash incentive not to leave (possibly to compete with the free month incentives if you pack up and move down the street to another building). Not that rents are cheap to begin with, but it seems like there's finally some pressure keeping them at least flat.
says: (4/13/17 10:17 AM)
Excited to see so much development move to Half St. corridor vs the prior focus around DOT HQ.
says: (4/13/17 12:11 PM)
@RMP this fits with some increased competition along non-rent dimensions (Park Chelsea is offering free parking, several apartments are waiving fees, f1rst is outright offering cash bonuses)
I know I intend to negotiate for no rent increase when renewal time comes
says: (4/13/17 12:54 PM)
I'm not following the opening dates of these buildings very closely, but on my bike ride home last night it looked like Insignia and One Hill South already have residents. It was harder to tell with F1rst. There were some lights on but I couldn't tell if anyone was home.
says: (4/13/17 4:22 PM)
Ahem. RMP. Psst. RMP. ~Cough~ Bower sales ~ cough~ in June ~ cough~ What? I didn't say anything.
says: (4/13/17 4:52 PM)
It is exciting to see Half St buzzing with so much activity. It looks like they finally finished taking down that grey fence that has been on the east side of the street for the past several years. What an eyesore that was!
says: (4/14/17 9:15 AM)
This is a very insightful post JD - not only are you so right about the fascinating changes and the varying pace of change, you are absolutely on target with the likely complaining that comes with each phase!
It's great to see some of the fill-in effect really get going, although we who frequent the area may regret losing some of the interesting empty spaces (lumber shed I mean you).
says: (4/15/17 11:42 AM)
Saw some folks poking around yesterday -- April 14 -- inside the Boilermaker spot that housed Hugh & Crye. When they came out, I inquired about their intentions. One of them indicated that the spot was being examined as the next home for the Steadfast pop-up operation which had formerly been in the Arris at 4th & Tingey.
says: (4/15/17 8:00 PM)
Is West Half still a combo condo/rental project? The official website only mentions rental apartments. I hope they didn't nix the condo plans.
says: (4/16/17 8:21 AM)
If there are going to be tests of the Capitol Police emergency broadcast system on the weekends, at least braodcast 80s dance party or the Nationals games instead.
says: (4/17/17 6:35 AM)
Did Huge & Crye close its neighborhood location?
says: (4/17/17 9:58 AM)
jdc says: (4/17/17 6:35 AM)
Did Huge & Crye close its neighborhood location?
I was in there about 2 weeks ago and they told me they were moving as they needed a bigger store. I think they said they were looking to go back to Georgetown and get a bigger location.. I guess they aren't quite big enough to have a separate storefront and warehouse, but also would have liked a place with a little more clothing shopping foot traffic.
says: (4/17/17 6:01 PM)
Let's make the record very clear, JD does NOT suck!
I'll try to give you the hard numbers as close as possible, while giving all deference to JD's comments above.
Last 8 to open: One Hill South (383 units), Insignia on M (324), F1rst (325), ORE 82 (227), Park Chelsea (430), Dock79 (305), Arris (327), Bixby (195). Grand total of 2,516 or thereabouts.
Currently under construction: 2 I ST - McDonalds (355 units), Agora - Whole Foods (334), Ten Van (172), 1221 Van Street (291), West Half at 1241 Half Street (437), Joule at 1250 Half Street (432), 299 L ST SE (179), Bower/Parcel O Apartments (138 condos/191 apartments). Grand total of 2,529 or thereabouts.
Hope this helps even as I worry about the lashes from JD's red pencil correcting any mistakes I may have inadvertently made!
says: (4/17/17 7:25 PM)
So, doing some real rough calculations:
the 2011-2015 ACS estimate for census tract 72 (approx Near Ballpark Southeast Navy Yard Riverfront) is 4,584. Take that as a baseline for now.
Let's assume 1.5 people per unit, 10% vacancy rates in equilibrium. When everything that's currently built is in equilibrium, that add 1.5*0.9*2516 = 3396 new residents added to baseline. So once everything fills up, we'll be at 7980.
Once everything in pipeline is in equilibrium, that adds another 1.5*0.9*2529, which brings us above 10,000, to 11,395.
What's the estimate for when everything is fully built up? 15k? 20k?
says: (4/18/17 11:37 AM)
Can someone point me to recent stats about how many current and planned units are rental vs. owned?
For you renters out there...how long do you plan to live in the neighborhood?
I'm just trying to get a handle of how invested people are in schools, neighborhood amenities, safety, and long-term focus.
says: (4/18/17 2:37 PM)
Expect delays on the Green line this weekend.
Metro Plans Full Scale Response Drill at Navy Yard Station Sunday link
says: (4/18/17 2:38 PM)
I rent, and would like to stay in the area for as long as possible. But I'd also like to buy in the pretty near future, so that could push me out of the 'hood. I wish the developers would start balancing out the rental vs. condos numbers.
says: (4/18/17 2:54 PM)
H&C's website now directs visitors to the old Georgetown location (across from the cat cafe). However, the retail-associate job listing says that there are shops in both locations.
says: (4/19/17 8:21 AM)
Just got an email from hugh and crye that says they have their warehouse/fulfillment center in NE (Langdon) and are keeping their Georgetown showroom open until they open their first retail store later this fall (did not disclose if that would be in DC)
says: (4/19/17 8:40 AM)
Just wanted to say sorry to the Nats fan that lives across South Cap from the ballpark that you'll seemingly no longer be able to keep your Nats flag out there thanks to your neighbors...
says: (4/19/17 8:47 AM)
@walt it's honestly hard to see how people can be invested in the long-term if the neighborhood winds up being 90% rentals with very limited (and expensive) ownership opportunities when the build out is complete. The turnover in a lot of the buildings is already incredibly high (or at least what I would consider incredibly high). People who want to buy and stick around for the long-term will eventually run out of patience if the developers keep switching all of the projects over to rental apartments.
A lot of us have been complaining about this for years to anyone who will listen and it's been mostly for naught.
says: (4/19/17 9:52 AM)
Hugh and Crye is confusing af. Do they sell stuff or what?!? I would much rather have n'hood servicing retail that actually does something. A dress shirt warehouse? no thanks...
says: (4/19/17 10:02 AM)
knavyyard & RMP -- that's the feeling I get too. Everyone wishes there were more ownership units available and there seems to be a market for them....so where are they?
says: (4/19/17 10:48 AM)
Re: rentals vs. ownership, I'd be interested to hear from someone with some industry expertise on the topic of the market analysis a developer uses to determine whether to go with a rental vs. condo building, including whether there is an ideal ratio communities and zoning boards should seek to achieve. Although I'm inclined to agree that it feels like the development is skewing further towards rentals than ideal, I really have no idea. On the bright side, JD's handy project directory does indicate that there are quite a few condo developments in progress or in the pipeline - link
Re: long-term commitment to the neighborhood: it's worth noting that there's already been enough long-term commitment in the neighborhood to reopen Van Ness Elementary. Moreover, the parent association is (anecdotally) quite proactive when it comes to ensuring that the school functions in a high quality manner. So even without the incoming additional ownership opportunities, there exists considerable long term interest/investment in the neighborhood. And even if you dismiss renters as not being as committed to the quality of the neighborhood as owners (an arguable point), you still have to acknowledge that the developers/administrators of the rental buildings are totally invested in the long term health of the neighborhood because they prefer to keep charging such high rents! The same logic applies to the local businesses. I tend to agree it's good to maximize the amount of skin all residents have in the game, but it's not folks will treat the neighborhood as their first dorm room....
says: (4/19/17 11:05 AM)
basically apartments are more profitable to developers, and competition is stiff among developers. building condos at this point is almost doing the neighborhood a favor...
says: (4/19/17 12:08 PM)
You can always convert a rental building to condos if there's another real estate bubble. Converting a condo building to rentals I would assume would be much more difficult.
says: (4/19/17 1:55 PM)
JD was wonderful enough to post this spreadsheet of units counts last July link
and it sounds like the 200 from JBG Half need to now be moved to the rental column?
I get that developers are just chasing the money and can't really argue with that. But it doesn't make it any less frustrating for folks who are actually trying to put down long term roots in the neighborhood. I can tolerate renting for maybe a few more years, but at some point will need to move on.
says: (4/19/17 2:33 PM)
The only thing I'll point out is that I am sure the opposite is true, that there are neighborhoods where nothing exists but places you have to buy and that there are people who would prefer the ability to rent and be flexible...I guess the counter to that point is that in those places there exists the ability to sublet from the owner....
says: (4/19/17 9:39 PM)
It's more complex than "developers chasing money". Apartments aren't *necessarily* more profitable than condos, but consider the factors in play here:
- DC has a highly transient population, and that's particularly true in this neighborhood with strong military and political presence. Many condo buildings are 40-50% renters, not owner-residents
- The purchase price of property is driven up by high demand in a new, hot area in one of the more expensive cities in the country, driving condo costs up even more
- Many DC residents are younger and have not owned previously; they have the discretionary income to rent a nice place, particularly when sharing with a roommate or two, but not the savings for a down-payment on a much more expensive condo. I rent a two bedroom in one of the newer buildings in the neighborhood with a great view of the Capitol. My rent is high, but affordable for me. This building was originally designed as condos and converted to rentals. There's no way I would be able to afford to live here if it were a condo. Would have sold for close to a million or more.
Lots of factors in this. What people seem to be saying is not just "I want more ownership opportunities", but "I want more affordable ownership opportunities". In which case DC isn't exactly the place to look.
says: (4/20/17 9:19 AM)
I don't imagine the developers are worried about the condos selling. A large chunk of those condos in the Yards will sell before the building is complete.
says: (4/20/17 10:11 AM)
(I'm out of pocket, but am reading along, and you guys are doing just fine without me :-) )
says: (4/20/17 1:33 PM)
@SWAG re: H&C
I like Hugh & Crye and think their approach to sizing is novel and welcomed -instead of S, M, L or neck sizes, they price by height (short, average, tall) combined with body type (skinny, slim, athletic, broad). Once you know what size you are, their stuff is great, but...
That was an odd location for them. It's not a place that would get a lot of men's clothing retail shopping and if you are going to use it primarily as a warehouse to fulfill online orders, why not do that somewhere cheaper. Which is apparently the same conclusion they came to opening a warehouse location and keeping a retail location in Gtown.
says: (4/20/17 1:55 PM)
Thanks, JD. I hope that your out-of-pocket status is a consequence of doing something enjoyable and relaxing!
I agree with NavyYardNittany that the question for the developer of whether to go with a condo, rental, commercial, etc. building is a complicated one. But either way the developer is approaching the matter from the perspective of self interest. Sometimes that's tied to the long-term health of the community but not always.
It's also complicated from the standpoint of the zoning commission, the ANC, etc., who are ostensibly supposed to prioritize the long-term health of the neighborhood. But even then these entities have to take into consideration short-term goals of spurring development of some sort. So I'm not per se opposed to allowing developers to change their projects from condos to rentals (or vice versa), but I am interested in learning about what the zoning commission takes into consideration when they approve such requests.
On Hugh & Crye, maybe they just couldn't hang in there long enough for the man salon to open up and give them some business?
says: (4/23/17 2:36 PM)
Remember that developers ultimately build what the banks want, not what end users want. (Or even what developers want.)
Why not build condos?
- Lending is tight. Construction lenders are very wary of condos, having seen their compatriots go up in flames in 2008. Because there aren't many condos nearby, there aren't many comps to point to.
- The few new condos out there are in small buildings, financed by local banks that are more adventurous than nationals, or in megaprojects whose foreign investors have a greater risk appetite. (Most JDLand buildings are neither small nor huge.)
- Condo buyers aren't a sure bet. Between student loans and $100K down payments, many DC millennials don't qualify for mortgages. They could get FHA loans, but not in under-construction buildings.
- Developers and GCs are afraid of construction defects lawsuits, which can be filed years after the fact.
Why build apartments instead?
- Construction lenders were quite happy to make apartment loans a few years ago, when many people were moving to DC.
- Pension funds will pay top dollar for shiny new apartment buildings, which are a much better way to earn 5% over 20 years than a Treasury bond.
Thus, new condos are in short supply nationwide -- but all of this goes double for JDLand, since most of the area's housing happens to have been built in an era subject to the above market dynamics. The shine's off the new-apartment market, so the number of deliveries drops way off after 2018. However, now everyone's pulling back on lending for all buildings.
says: (4/23/17 8:14 PM)
Not to be paranoid, but what's up with the helicopter circling the neighborhood all evening?
says: (4/24/17 12:09 AM)
Just turn yourself in, 202_cyclist, so everyone else can get some sleep.
says: (4/24/17 8:35 AM)
Out of curiosity - which do you guys think IS more profitable for a developer (in DC in 2017). Building a condo (assuming it will sell out) or an apartment building (assuming it is fully leased)?
says: (4/24/17 11:07 AM)
“Helicopters? C’mere. I’ll show you helicopters.”
says: (4/24/17 11:09 AM)
In other non-black helicopter news, it looks like Chopt is about to open soon.
says: (4/24/17 1:20 PM)
Re: rental vs. homeownership
Thanks everyone...great information shared. I learned a few things today!
says: (4/24/17 5:02 PM)
Does anyone have any insight into what is possibly holding up construction at Agora (the Whole Foods building)? Construction has been at, what looks like, a near standstill for weeks. What gives?
says: (4/24/17 6:29 PM)
Most likely interior build out is going on. Electrical, plumbing, drywall, etc etc. It may not be visible from the exterior but they're most likely making progress on the inside.
says: (4/24/17 7:53 PM)
I've seen them doing work on the roof amenity space and on the balconies in the last week or two, but it does seem slow going.
says: (4/24/17 8:30 PM)
Tidbits from a walk around the 'hood tonight and random thoughts:
- Parc Riverside phase two will start construction in May or June, I'm told. That's the lot bordering Half between L and K. Walls at the west end of the current building will be adjoining, though there won't be any pass-through.
- Build-out at the Salt Line seems to be progressing more rapidly. What looks to be an outside bar is coming along, open shed-style structure with a tin roof, and plumbing/wiring being run in the middle where the bar presumably will be. The inside is actually relatively small - most of the space is taken up by the bar, which looks to have a tile finish around the lower section, evoking a seashell-like look. Limited seating otherwise, one smallish section on the south wall looks to be the main area. Assume they will maximize outdoor space.
Not in love with what I saw of the architecture - they've built in some low ceilings in areas, and are using half-moon windows above regular residential-style windows. I'm guessing that they are going for a seafood-shack theme, but as of right now it looks like a hybrid of a Palm Harbor mobile home and a bad Ocean City tourist trap. (Being a bit Judgy McJudgerson here, might look great when thy finish it up. Maybe.)
- Going to be interesting to see how Dacha uses that outside space next door to the Salt Line. Whoever decided to authorize those giant metal sculptures directly in the middle of the retail/restaurant outside footprint might be having second thoughts. Either way, that area will be buzzing when those two and All-Purpose open up.
- With regard to Agora, glad someone else noticed the painfully slow pace there. Looking at switching buildings later this summer, and have been watching for floorplan/pricing updates. Nadda. It does look like they are working on interior framing/plumbing/electrical, but the pace just seems very slow as compared to say One Hill South. I'm also impatient for the WF to open so I can stop being frustrated at the meat and veggie situation at the world's worst Harris Teeter.
- Lastly, starting a pool to take odds on how much longer Il Parco survives. Every time I go by there there are 2-4 people inside, rarely any more. Ice rink traffic was limited this year too. That's a decent location for the right concept with the right management. Shame it continues to be wasted.
says: (4/24/17 8:46 PM)
"Lastly, starting a pool to take odds on how much longer Il Parco survives. Every time I go by there there are 2-4 people inside, rarely any more. Ice rink traffic was limited this year too. That's a decent location for the right concept with the right management. Shame it continues to be wasted."
It's been a running joke for me and my wife about how long that place can last. There's never anyone in there and I'm shocked it has lasted this long. Ironically, the pizza isn't horrible and it is way better than Park Tavern ever was. (Though that is an incredibly low bar.) I once saw a group of parents order Pizza Boli for their kids while they were ice skating--Il Parko couldn't even pull in the most obvious group of customers ever.
I do agree; the right concept should do well there. I'd think maybe just simple burgers and hot dogs would be fine. Some solid and fairly priced lunch specials should be able to pull in enough DOT business to be okay.
says: (4/25/17 8:29 AM)
Signage is up for Steadfast Supply in the old H&C space. Looks like it could open as early as next month.
Shilling Canning Co. has a liquor license notice posted in their window. Looks like they're asking for "live entertainment on premise" as part of their application. Not sure what they have in mind with that, or if they'll actually go until 2am and 3am as indicated, but good luck neighbors on that side of the building.
says: (4/25/17 9:31 AM)
Re: Il Parco, I agree with keith18 that the pizza is actually decent - I even have occasional craving for their pizza diavola! I know I'm preaching to the choir re: the restaurant group, but it just doesn't seem like Il Parco ever really had a chance. If you search Il Parco on Google, the Park Tavern menu and website still come up. The updated web presence should have been the management company's first order of business, no? While the folks working there have always been pleasant and professional in my experience, they're chronically understaffed (same with Willie's). And so many missed opportunities to ingratiate themselves to the neighborhood. I understand the desire to close on New Years, but the ice rink was swamped! How easy would it have been to set up a stand with some beverages and maybe a limited menu (perhaps with samples!)? Anyway, I really hope they turn it around because I still think it has promised, but I give the half-baked Il Parco until the end of the Nats' season.
says: (4/25/17 1:38 PM)
Regarding the Agora, WH Smith certainly turns the typical construction model ('time is money') on its head. While most construction projects are built as quickly as is feasible, Smith takes their time. That model seems to work for them, I guess. Whole Foods may be open by Christmas, it seems.
says: (4/26/17 11:00 AM)
Has anyone heard when the bridge replacement will begin? The article says Spring 2017 but I have not heard anything lately. link
says: (4/26/17 11:07 AM)
I always assumed a Christmas opening for WH - right around time for holiday meals.
says: (4/26/17 1:11 PM)
When I was running this morning, I saw that the DC Metropolitan Police Department and other agencies were holding a mock emergency evacuation (complete with an announcement on the address system) at Nats Park. Hopefully they won't need to use the training but it is good to know that our emergency responders are practicing for this.
I was wondering, however, if some of the neighboring residential buildings or hotels have agreements with the Nationals as evacuation/triage sites if there was an emergency at Nats Park and 30,000 - 40,000 fans needed to evacuate.
says: (4/26/17 5:00 PM)
I think the more likely partner would be hotels, who have larger capacity open rooms. Beyond some community rooms, I cannot imagine most apartment buildings could handle even 250 random folks showing up after an emergency.
says: (4/26/17 5:14 PM)
Am I the only one that thinks this thread feels like when you were in grade school and the teacher left the room and the entire class is sitting there by themselves with no idea when the teacher is coming back? That was always very disconcerting because half the kids would try to be very good and half would end up being very bad. So far, the deportment on the site has been admirable.
says: (4/26/17 5:19 PM)
I think this particular classroom is aware that the teacher has a video camera on them at all times. :)
Not feeling the posting vibe these days, but you guys are doing well on your own. Carry on.
says: (4/26/17 6:05 PM)
Here's DC Fire's Twitter post of this morning's training exercise. It was a simulated coordinated terrorist attack.link
says: (4/26/17 10:48 PM)
Whaleys Rose Garden was open tonight and it was hopping. Free Chopt next Tuesday.
says: (4/27/17 9:32 AM)
Has anyone heard anything about what retail is going to be at the new Eastern Market Hine School development? Rumors were Stanton Development was going to announce the leases that will be joining Trader Joes mid-April. Does the DC government keep a database on these things so we can do some snooping?
says: (4/27/17 1:36 PM)
CHC recently had a post that included some information (jd, I hope this is okay to post a link to another site)link
---(quote from the CHC article below)
Eastbanc partner Stanton Development is expected to announce the retail leases for the north building of the Hine Project in mid-April. There are four street level retail spaces in the north building plus one large lower level retail space below grade. One of the street level spaces will be reserved for two “incubator” retail tenants – local businesses who have not graduated to independent brick and mortar status – which means a total of six retail tenants for the project. Stanton characterized the tenants as a mix of food and non-food retail.
Stanton is still working on leasing the retail space for the south building which will accommodate as many at ten street level retail tenants, plus a day care center at the corner of 8th and Pennsylvania and a Trader Joe’s.
says: (4/27/17 2:21 PM)
@walt Thanks for the info. I've been checking CHC since that post from the beginning of the month and haven't seen anything! What would you all like to see in those retail spaces?
says: (4/27/17 3:22 PM)
Stanton will be announcing any day. I wonder which will open first Trader Joes or Wholefoods? The race is on.
Just so you all know I heard that the Monument project is indeed condos not rentals as of now.
says: (4/28/17 3:37 PM)
What I'd like to see in the retail spaces:
1. Some fun home furnishings store -- the kind of place where if you're looking to spend some money on something completely unnecessary, you can do it.
2. A mani/pedi place where BOTH services can be done at the same time. (I love the massage chairs, but can't stand spending 2 hours of my life in a salon on a regular basis)
3. A tattoo parlor where you can watch the tattoos being done over CCTV.
4. A bar with only one TV, at least one shuffleboard-bowling game, pinball, darts, trivia, etc. And a garage door instead of windows that can be opened up on the really nice days so that everyone gets to sit outside even if they're technically inside.
5. Vintage & thrift stores
6. Art Gallery
7. Bespoke clothing shop
8. Bespoke shoes. I cannot find a decent pair of shoes that fits my bizarre feet!
9. Pop-up space for sometimes-vendors
10. Restaurant space with room for private parties at affordable prices.
That's all I can think of.
says: (4/28/17 3:39 PM)
202_cyclist -- thanks for the twitter link. By gods, what is the average age of our first responders? I'm no spring chicken, but that looks like an AARP convention!
says: (4/29/17 3:08 AM)
I think the award for the slowest construction has to go to the new WASA headquarters building. They've been working on it for months and, at most, it is 3 1/2 feet above ground.
Also, when I was running yesterday along the river, I saw several large fish jump. Forget the JD Land happy hr, we need the JD Land fishing tournament and fish fry!
says: (4/29/17 8:54 AM)
202_cyclist: fishing tournament, yes, fish fry, no. Mercury poisoning is not so much fun. Maybe my grandkids will be able to eat fish they catch someday, but not me.
says: (4/30/17 10:30 AM)
"And a garage door instead of windows that can be opened up on the really nice days so that everyone gets to sit outside even if they're technically inside."
I can't figure out why more DC places don't do this. Either that or windows that are more like folding french doors and open all the way to the floor (or at least close to it). I understand that outside seating is at a premium due to it being an expensive city and needing to maximize use, but to your point, it's like you are sitting outside even if you are not when they have this option.
Bluejacket has the garage door, but never opens it. Whatever The Chesapeake Room is called now has windows like that, but no one wants to go there.
says: (5/2/17 9:49 PM)
When the dust settles on the interior construction in the southeast corner of the Arris, that spot will be the sales office for The Bower across the street.
The sales office will still open, as the sign now at the corner of 4th & Water says, in "Spring 2017" . . . if you embrace the concept of "alternative spring," which apparently now extends at least until the middle of July.
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