Since January, 2003
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Today was the annual preseason media tour at Nationals Park, and while I did attend, I think it has been better covered elsewhere, so I am just going to stick to my wheelhouse and let folks know what they will see *outside* the ballpark when they venture to Half Street for the first time in 2018, whether it's for tomorrow's signs-point-to-frigid exhibition game at 4:05 pm against the Twins, or for the official home opener on April 5 against the Mets.
I've put together my annual What's New page with an overview of the latest on construction, development, and food offerings, but of course I must give an overview of the overview:
I think it's safe to say that even the less observant fans will notice that Half Street is now undergoing the change that has been expected for a decade, since the ballpark opened officially on March 30, 2008. Two residential projects that will eventually offer a combined 850-plus units and more than 120,000 square feet of retail are now sprouting vertically, with West Half edging out 1250 Half for the lead at this time.
But these are just two of the seventeen projects currently underway or about to be, which you can see on the map at the top right of each page, or on the full JDLand development map. Once again, driving/walking/biking/scootering in the neighborhood requires vigilance to one's surroundings with all of the activity. If you like to see photos of skeletons or holes in the ground, just start clicking on that map to get your fill.
As for new food options since the end of last season, we'll start with a headline that came down the pike today, which is that All-Purpose has announced it will open on April 3 in the ground floor of Dock 79, just across Potomac Avenue from the ballpark. (Here's Eater's preview of the place.) There's also rumors afoot that two more pizza places--Declaration on 1st south of M and Oath Pizza at 110 M--are targeting April 5 for their own Opening Days. And summer is expected to bring another pizza offering, as Wiseguy Pizza arrives at Canal Park with not only pies but also gelato.
There will also be a milestone of sorts later this season if/when the 10,000-square-foot Mexican restaurant Mission Dos becomes the first outlet to open on N Street, in the ground floor of the new 1221 Van apartment building that opened to residents earlier this year directly across from the ballpark (well, directly across from one of the garages, but you get the idea).
As for eateries that have opened since the end of last season, you can now add Chipotle, Roti, Rasa Indian Grill, Cava, and Chloe to your options if you're looking to get food and/or drink before and/or after a game.
Plus there's also the added riverfront options of District Winery, Due South Dockside, and Morini Piccolo if their mid/late-season arrivals last year didn't make it onto your radar.
See the JDLand food map for the full lineup of current and anticipated outlets east of South Capitol. It's come a long way from 2008.
There's also some other items to be anticipating, such as the start of construction on the new Douglass Bridge and other improvements to South Capitol Street on both sides of the river. There's also the no-really-it's-coming-we-just-don't-know-when opening of Whole Foods at New Jersey and H, which should be by the end of the year, but {insert shrug emoji}. Plus there's the impending arrival of Audi Field up Potomac Avenue, but it's in Southwest and so is outside of my purview (though I couldn't resist sneeking a peek today).
And I imagine I'll being doing something like this again in July, when the masses really descend on Natstown.
Play Ball!
UPDATE: I should have mentioned that I have made a very preliminary update to my Stadium Parking Map, but it's hard to really know the state of affairs until the season starts.There is one big change that is definite--the large surface lot at Half and I is no more, since construction is supposed to start Any Minute Now on a block-wide project there. There is underground parking across the street at One Hill South, though. But it's likely that parking is going to be a little tighter this year.
UPDATES II AND III: It's been announced today that the Aslin Beer Company will be creating a pop-up beer garden in the empty lot between the wings of the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, immediately north of the ballpark. It will first be for home games only, then may expand in May to other days as well. Also, it's being reported that Declaration has a sign in its window announcing that it will open on April 5.
Comments (25)
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202_cyclist says: (3/26/18 4:48 PM)
Thank you for the updates. Now that the weather is (hopefully) getting warmer, we should have a JD Land SWTLQTC unity happy hour series-- one at the Wharf and one in the Capitol Riverfront.

malatesta says: (3/26/18 5:47 PM)
Only if we call it "Hands Across South Capitol" and have a local band record a theme song.

CJBabyDaddy says: (3/26/18 9:32 PM)
JDLand vs. SWTLQTC? Hmmm. Are we the Jets or Sharks? Proper matching JDLand gang T-Shirts are a must. Who’s on it? And who’s our choreographer while JD works her way off the DL?

dude says: (3/27/18 7:41 AM)
Yay baseball! Flying to Cincinnati on Friday for the two weekend games!

It's hard to believe that there might finally be some activity across the street from our old 70I stomping grounds. We used to overlook that empty lot fondly as we listened to the roars from the crowd back in 2009.

conngs0 says: (3/27/18 9:44 AM)
Looking forward to the 2018 season! It's unfortunate that so many projects won't be completed prior to the All Star Game, but I think the neighborhood is still going to be ready to make quite an impression. I really can't wait for that entire week. And of course, this could be a big season for the Nats. They'll be at least be decent next year no matter what, but there's a sense of urgency this year with some key free agents (including Mike Rizzo) as well as some up-and-coming teams in the NL East. Should be a fun ride! Thanks for the updates, JD!

202_cyclist says: (3/27/18 10:41 AM)
I am not one of those who thinks we need more parking and we don't own a vehicle but transportation in the neighborhood during game days should be interesting. It seems like there is construction on nearly every street now.

Also, I saw on the Nationals Facebook comments that there was some debate about whether Ryan Zimmerman is injured. Please tell me this isn't so.

Snacks says: (3/27/18 11:23 AM)
As a newish resident at 1221 Van i can attest to the need to keep your head on a swivel as you walk down N St and the various side streets. Plenty of tractors, trucks, cranes, bobcats, etc. driving around with heavy objects. I'm looking forward to the new pizza places opening, i'm tired of Papa Johns.

RMP says: (3/27/18 11:35 AM)
I got a sales email for the exhibition game and they are promising one-dollar coffees and hot chocolates and a "hot soup sampling station". The question is whether or not they run out immediately like they always seem to on cold days.

Ampersand says: (3/27/18 12:12 PM)
@202_cyclist - From what I've heard, he had a chat with new manager Davey Martinez and got permission to basically do his own thang at ST. So, being that he's older than he used to be (aren't we all?) that meant taking it easy and not playing much. Presumably this would mean he's even less injured than usual!

knavyard says: (3/27/18 12:36 PM)
With all of the construction, Half St only has a narrow pedestrian walkway to access the center field gate. Considering that area used to become a cluster when it was a full open street, I can only imagine how annoying it will be for people coming off of the metro or coming from the bullpen, etc.

JD says: (3/27/18 12:40 PM)
I am sure that Half Street itself will have to be cleared of construction material and the gates to the construction zone opened for every game. No way that the city would allow it to be just the small walkway. The new pedestrian walkway is so that the street can be closed fully at other times (instead of the little rabbit warren for pedestrians that has been there the past few months.)

jdc says: (3/27/18 5:15 PM)
I can confirm the construction material has been removed from half Street for the game. Also when is someone going to snap up the location where chix used to be? Finally JD I keep getting alerts on my phone that I have won a prize when I am on your website and trying to leave a comment. You might want to check that no code has snuck in from a malicious source.

JD says: (3/27/18 5:23 PM)
Testing on my phone. No prize for me!

202_cyclist says: (3/27/18 5:32 PM)
It sure would be nice to win a JD Land prize...

@jdc-- it is going to be a huge pain in the rear to remove the construction equipment for the developments on either side of Half Street every day there is a Nats game.

JES says: (3/28/18 11:03 AM)
Given that the Nats are usually home and away in one-week increments, I'd imagine they'll clear it at the beginning of every homestand and leave it that way until they leave town.

ttassa says: (3/28/18 12:39 PM)
What are the chances that the building exteriors of the half street developments are finished by the All Star game?

JD says: (3/28/18 12:45 PM)
Slim to none. West Half should be topped out, and maybe they'll be starting to hang preparation stuff on the lower floors. I don't think 1250 Half will even be topped out yet.

jdc says: (3/28/18 12:49 PM)
Sign at Declaration says opening April 5 at 11 am. So two new pizza places in short order.

JES says: (3/28/18 1:59 PM)
I heard Oath was shooting to open by Opening Day, so that'd be 3

Ampersand says: (3/28/18 4:05 PM)
BEER NERD ALERT: Standout Herndon-based brewery Aslin is apparently opening a beer garden at 1st and N on April 5th!!!! I have died. Instagram text, link below: "We are excited to announce that starting on April 5th we will be hosting @AslinBeerGarden for every Washington Nationals home game this season. Aslin Beer Garden will be at the corner of 1st and N ST SE (1299 1st ST SE) and hours for each game will be posted each day, but generally it will be two hours prior to the game and two hours after the game. Come join us for a few beers throughout the summer! -
Starting as soon as May, we will also be open on non-game days throughout the summer! Music, Beer & Food! Operational days are weather permitted."


jdc says: (3/28/18 4:57 PM)
re: Aslin - can't say I am that interested. Isn't that nearly ground zero for endless dump truck runs to/from all construction on Half St? I guess during game time that may be non-existent, but during the normal non-game days that is a pretty rough location right now....

dude says: (3/29/18 9:34 AM)
Saw Rizzo walking his dog on Tuesday morning. Wanted to yell out the window to make sure he knew they needed to win a playoff series, but restrained myself. I hope he's enjoying living here.

greb22 says: (3/29/18 9:58 AM)
@Ampersand I am also excited about this.

willinrm says: (3/29/18 10:32 AM)
@Ampersand @greb22

I thought my friends were messing with me when they told me this, i've been placing orders through friends for over a year for their beer!! Fingers crossed they aren't going to be charging Bullpen prices... but still 10 bucks for a coors light or 10 bucks for a DDH Orange starfish.....i know which i'll take.

ttassa says: (3/29/18 1:50 PM)
JD says: (3/28/18 12:45 PM)
Slim to none. West Half should be topped out, and maybe they'll be starting to hang preparation stuff on the lower floors. I don't think 1250 Half will even be topped out yet.

Thanks, JD, that's kind of what I expected. In some ways, I wish we got the ASG next year. But then again, there's always something cool to wait for (for example, the Douglas bridge), so why delay.

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1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
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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.
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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.
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