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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Square 696 Residential
See JDLand's Square 696 Residential Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
25 M
Yards/Parcel I
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
More Capper Apts.
Yards/DC Water site
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
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)
 
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37 Blog Posts Since 2003
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First, summer was hot, then it was really hot, then the Nationals were hot, then the Nationals were REALLY hot, and suddenly it's November and the JDLand camera has been crying out from neglect. But I took care of that this weekend (oh boy, did I), and wanted to catch up on the latest downward digging and upward construction.
Let's start by peeking through some fences to look at the digging portion, where excavation is now underway at New Jersey/Canal and N/Tingey on the first office building to come to the Yards, which will be the headquarters for Chemonics International. (Yes, it's the project that chased the Trapeze School down to 5th Street.) The other two digging locations are Lerner's residential building at 1000 South Capitol and the CSX East site on New Jersey Avenue just south of the freeway, where a hotel and 800 units of residential will be coming. In order:
Next, we have three buildings that are above ground but not yet topped out. We'll start with the reconstruction of the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia, which started just a smidge more than one year after the fire. With the pad not needing to be redone and the concrete-encased stairwells still standing, it isn't taking long for the wood-based construction to look familiar. (It is an odd thing to be watching the same building go up twice, 14 years apart--the first photo below was taken on Nov. 28, 2005, then after the fire in Sept. 2018 and March 2019, and now ).
The other skeletons are the new headquarters of the District Department of Transportation at 3rd and M Streets, which at this time of year can only been seen in sunlight for about one hour, from the west.. A few blocks away, on L Street between South Capitol and Half, the neighborhood's first "sliver" residential building (condos!) at 37 L is now a few floors away from its roof.
Beyond that we have a mere, oh, 12 additional projects that are topped out but not finished. Three of them are getting their faces put on (DC Crossing, Meridian on First, and One Hill South Two):
The rest have long since stopped looking particularly different while they plod toward completion, but there are updated photos on their project pages if you wish to see some. And yes, I'm looking at you, Thompson hotel and Estate apartments, Parc Riverside Phase 2, NAB HQ, Avidian, The Kelvin, Envy, the Garrett, and the Maren.
Now I'll turn my attention finally getting caught up on sliders. Wheeeee!
 

A few small things as we head into summer:
* DC CROSSING: We still don't have an officially sanctioned rendering (so you know what that means!), but we now know that what we've been calling Square 696 will now be known as DC Crossing, with an address of 949 1st Street, SE. The new placeholder web site says that apartments will be delivered in 2020, and it will be managed by Bozzuto. My photos from last week show that the eastern half of the project, along 1st Street, is making good progress, and, if you can decipher it, this site plan schematic I found in public records shows the layout of the block, from above.
* CONGRESSIONAL CLEANERS 2.0: This is not quite as exciting as neighborhood cafe concepts or Nashville chicken, but I've confirmed that Congressional Cleaners will be returning to the neighborhood this summer, this time in the ground floor of the Park Chelsea on I Street just east of New Jersey. This is the cleaners that was located at Capitol Hill Tower from 2007 to 2017. Hopefully it won't get robbed on its opening day, like it did last time. But that was a different era.
* COOL PIC: A reader on a flight leaving DCA last week happened to be in the right place at the right time and got this great overhead shot of the neighborhood and the Douglass Bridge construction. Guess I'll need to start paying a fortune in airline tickets.
* ICE CREAM SOCIAL: A final reminder that--weather permitting!--there will be an Ice Cream Social at Canal Park on Thursday, May 30, at 6:30 pm, with free scoops from Altani Gelato and Ice Cream Jubilee, to celebrate the BID's "Then and Now" exhibits. And I'll be there, pointing at the photos and saying, "I took that. I took that. I took that one, too." RSVP on the BID's Facebook page, so that there's enough scoops to go around and we don't end up with The Great Ice Cream Riot of 2019.
Comments (58)
More posts: 880 NJ/Park Chelsea, congressionalcleaners, Events, Square 696 Residential
 

Losing track of which project is which? Time for another photo tour....
First, let us welcome the two new skeletons now above ground level, the Maren on Potomac Avenue and Paradigm's project at 1000 1st St., SE, both of which are apartment projects:
(Tishman Speyer's massive Square 696 residential project is just now starting to peek up, but didn't make the above-ground cut this time.)
It's a sign that the frantic construction pace of the past two years that we only have three projects coming out of the ground, and only one where excavation is stlll underway (One Hill South 2). A breather will be nice.
That said, there are still nine other projects that are in the getting-their-faces-on stage of construction. So let's look at the National Association of Broadcasters HQ (and its sibling Avidian condos to the rear) at South Capitol and M, the Funnel on Half Street (aka West Half), the combo project of the Estate apartments at 3rd and Water by the Yards Park and a Thompson hotel at 3rd and Tingey (shown in closeup because I dig the windows), the second phase of Novel South Capitol, Parc Riverside Phase 2 at Half and L, and the Garrett at 2nd and K. The last photo in the bunch is 1250 Half, which is both a still-rising skeleton on its southern end and a face-being-put-on project on its northern end, completely mucking with my flow.
(Follow the links to the project pages for details--I've already written enough words this week!)
Still under construction as well are residential projects the Harlow and the Bower condos/Guild apartments, but I didn't take any updated photos because their exterior work is mostly done. Plus I might have collapsed.
Tired out by this? Now you know why I for the first time grabbed a scooter to cover all of the territory.
But I also used my newfound scooter freedom to get some sorely needed shots at the far edges of the JDLand coverage area. Here are my first photos of the work on the new Douglass Bridge, as seen from the old Douglass Bridge (and no, that platform is not the new bridge), as well as a picture of the Emblem on Barracks Row condo building at 8th and Virginia, now completed despite my having almost completely ignored it during its construction:
Speaking of the new Douglass Bridge, if you go to the official web site and scroll down to Project Gallery, you will see what I think is a new animation of the new bridges and ovals and whatnot.
As for what's on the boards to get underway in 2019, I'd say that the most likely contenders are the new DDOT HQ at 250 M and Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street residential building, and maybe one other I will write about soon. As for others? We Shall See.
I also belatedly have added the GSA warehouse at 49 L to my Demolished Buildings Gallery, as #181. That's a lot of demo.
 

* TRANSPORTATION STUDY KICK-OFF: On Wednesday, Nov. 28, DDOT and ANC6D are holding the first public meeting for a study of transportation issues in {insert preferred neighborhood name of your choice}. It's at 7 pm at the Capper Community Center at 5th and K Streets, SE. Along with a list of desired changes (such as a stop sign at 3rd and Virginia and protecting the bike lane on 1st south of M), the flyer notes that a stoplight is expected to be coming to the harrowing New Jersey and I intersection in 2019.
And now some of increasingly old tidbits:
* ALBI/MAXWELL: Washingtonian reports news of two restaurants coming to the Yards in 2019: Albi, a "modern American eatery inspired by {chef Michael Lee Rafidi's} Middle Eastern and Mid-Atlantic roots," and another branch of Shaw's "oenophile haven," the wine bar Maxwell. The JDLand commentariat has analyzed the situation and are positing that the new garage door-style panels on the 4th Street side of the Bower might be the home for these ventures.
* CHEMONICS: Not a restaurant, but Washington Business Journal reports behind its paywall that Chemonics, a USAID contractor among other things, is close to a deal to move its 1,200-person headquarters from near Farragut West to Yards Parcel A Yards Parcel G (updated 1/2/19 with the correct location--oops). This northern portion of Spooky Park has long been planned to be Class A office space--as for the rest of the block, I wrote a few weeks ago about the plans for residential along N Street and the new streets coming. This new office building would be north of the hotly awaited Quander Street. (h/t commenter Westnorth)
* SQUARE 696 UNMASKED? With thanks to commenter CL85, we may have our first look at what is coming to Square 696, the block just about out of the ground on the south side of I Street between Half and 1st. (If Clark pulls it down, here is the rendering.) This is going to be an 818-unit residential project spanning the entire block when both phases are complete in 2022. (It sounds like they are going to build the "structure and skin" of the entire project, but will first complete the eastern tower before moving to the interior work of the western tower.)
* NEW BIKESHARE STATION: If you haven't stumbled across it yet, there is now a 19-dock CaBi station on 4th Street SE just north of M (alongside the new Sprint store and kitty corner from Teeter).
* NEW ANC COMMISSIONERS: In local local local election results, ANC 6D07 (the seat left open by Meredith Fascett's retirement) has been won by Edward Daniels, while in 6D02 Anna Forgie clobbered incumbent Cara Lee Shockley.
 

It would be terribly hokey for me to say something along the lines of, "It's almost Halloween, and the neighborhood is appropriately decked out with skeletons." So, I won't. But there is a whole lot of construction going on, counting not only nearly finished buildings, but also buildings getting their faces put on or heading toward topping out or now "going vertical" below ground level.
I'll go in order from newest to oldest, starting with peering down into holes that you might not be looking into yourselves.
Three residential projects that began excavating in the spring are already starting to climb upward, as you can see in the above photos from 1000 1st Street and the Maren at Florida Rock. Tishman Speyer's mystery residential project that covers all of what's known as Square 696 is a hybrid, with some excavation still underway while the eastern half is now starting to rise. (and no, we still don't have renderings.) Then there's phase two of One Hill South (Two Hill South? One Hill South Two? Return of One Hill South? One Hill South, Electric Boogaloo?), where digging is being hampered by complaints of fumes emanating from the site's past life as a gas station.
Next we turn to the neighborhood's EIGHT projects that are above ground but not yet topped out. (I could call it six, since there are two projects with two buildings going up concurrently, but let's call an eight an eight.)
Let's start with residential projects The Garrett at 2nd and I, Parc Riverside Phase II at Half and L, and the second phase of Novel South Capitol at 4 I, which was kind of a shocker to see go up since it was never really announced that the entire project would be under construction at once:
I'll note that the photo of the Garrett is a bit of a triumph, because it's the first one I've gotten from the northeast, now that the wrapping up of tunnel construction has given me some sidewalk access to the intersection at 2nd and H. (Which hopefully will be open completely by Oct. 18, the Whole Foods Day of All Days.)
Next, let's wander down to the Ballpark District, where the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters is a whisker away from topping out and its sibling the Avidian condo building is now well visble. One block away, 1250 Half is in its final minutes of not being completely above ground, as the portion closer to N Street is now right even with the street, while its northern portion has been skeletoning for quite some time. And at 3rd and Tingey, the combo project of the Thompson hotel and the Estate apartment building are beginning to change the feel of the western side of the Yards Park.
{Pant, pant.}
Now, a quick look at the buildings getting their faces on, since this is the stage when everyone is pretty much tapping their toes and waiting for the projects to be finished already. (There's a section of Virginia Avenue that qualifies for that, too.) May I present West Half at Half and N, the Harlow mixed-income building at 3rd and L, the Bower/Guild condo/rental buildings, and the new DC Water headquarters.
To wrap it up, there's one additional ghostly building to keep an eye on, though I don't wish to be flippant about it. Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen is holding a hearing on Oct. 25 about the fire and response, for those interested.
And that's "it." Ha. Ha. I imagine the next major update will be in December, when I will spend most of the time complaining about how the low sun angle and a decade's worth of construction has made it impossible to take photos unruined by shadows. I may have to (gasp!) go out on cloudy days until spring.
 

I'll make this one a little more succinct. These are holes. They are all holes being dug for new residential buildings. There may be two additional holes by the end of the year.
May I present to you the residetial projects of: Square 696, 1000 1st Street, and the Maren. Check the project pages for details.
And, speaking of Square 696, there still are no publicly available renderings for this 800-unit two-phase residential project by Tishman Speyer. So, you know what that means....
Comments (3)
More posts: 10001st, 71potomac, Development News, Florida Rock, photos, sq740, Square 696 Residential
 

Yes, it's time for another edition of JD Looks Behind Fences and Into Holes So You Don't Have To, and we start the rundown with two new spots to add to the lineup, where dirt has just begun to be moved: 71 Potomac, the 264-unit sibling to Dock 79 at Florida Rock, and "Square 696," Tishman Speyer's still-not-publicly-unveiled residential and retail project on the block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half Streets. Plus I'll add an up-to-date shot of the excavation at Paradigm's 1000 1st Street project, just because it doesn't fit anywhere else in this post:
(Note that I'm giving Tishman a few more weeks before I craft my own rendering. And thanks to the 71 Potomac folks for the pretty wood fences with holes in them that are perfect for snooping bloggers to look through!)
Next, let's talk about the "hybrid" hole in the ground at 1250 Half Street, aka the old Monument Valley site just across N Street from Nats Park. This is where two cranes mark the slow beginnings of vertical construction at the bottom of the hole, while six-plus floors of construction are already complete at the north end of the project, since that part of the hole was dug and the foundation was completed back in 2007 when Monument thought it would be building out the entire block instead of just the 55 M office building. This is where a two-phase project with up to 440 units of residential and more than 60,000 square feet of retail will be built:
(I need this project to hurry up and get to ground level because it's impossible to get a shot of the bottom of the hole without going up to a nearby roof.)
Now we'll move to the corner of South Capitol and M, where the National Association of Broadcasters HQ is graduating from hole-in-the-ground to skeleton, while its sibling, the condo building Avidian, is still not quite yet visible above the fence line. I forgot to walk down to get a photo through the fence of the Avidian footprint, so instead I'll just include this very bad shot I took a few weeks ago of the first hints of construction on the new Douglass Bridge, because it needs to be documented.
Three more projects are on their way upwards, including the Garrett at 2nd and I and the co-projects Parcel L residential/Thompson Hotel hole at 3rd and Tingey in the Yards shown here. (I forgot to get a shot of the Parc Riverside II hole. Probably looks like a hole with concrete and rebar, like the others):
So, in case you're not counting, that's nine projects either still below ground or just at ground level (or 10 if you include the permanently below-ground Virginia Avenue Tunnel, or 11 if you include the currently below-water Douglass Bridge work).
Then you can add those to the eight other projects that are above-ground, topped out, or nearing completion, and you can understand why it's okay to feel like the neighborhood is still a perpetual construction site, and will be for a while yet. Here's shots of seven of them, in order of progress: the 99 M office building, the DC Water headquarters, the Bower condos and sibling Parcel O rental building, and additional residential projects 2 I Street, Square 769N, and West Half (alas, I haven't made it over recently to check out the status of the Emblem condo project at 8th and Virginia, so I'm one short):
No wonder I'm so tired.
 

Some bits of tid for you:
* NEW PROJECTS STARTING SOON: Residents at Capitol Yards and at Velocity have received notices in recent days about the pending start of two residential projects outside their windows: a 275-unit building by Paradigm on the east side of 1st Street between K and L (the old Market Deli site, for you long-timers), and Tishman Speyer's 800-unit project with potentially more than 40,000 square feet of retail on the Square 696 parking-lot block bounded by I, K, 1st, and Half. There is precious little additional information about either development--when projects are "at right" and don't have to go through zoning approvals, easily grabbed details and renderings can be scarce, but hope springs eternal that more deets will pop up soon. As will the fences, pedestrian detours, and backhoes.
* ONYX SALE: It's been announced that the sale of the Onyx on First apartment building at 1st and L has closed, with local company UIP (Urban Investment Partners) structuring a $95.5 million deal for the building that is now 10 (!) years old. UIP owns and manages about 2,800 apartments in DC and Maryland, and is also behind a lot of local renovations, including the old Howard Johnson's across from the Watergate. What makes this sale a little interesting is that when the previous owners notified residents of an impending sale, they organized under the District's Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and then chose UIP to take the tenant acquisition rights. The press release says that "UIP has committed to installing cell phone repeaters" and will also improve the roof deck kitchens, install dog runs, and undertake other "building enhancements."
* THE BLUE CASTLE: The Hill Rag has shared a neat documentary by the students of the Richard Wright charter school about their school's 8th and M location, entitled "9 Lives of the Blue Castle." Wright focuses its curriculum on journalism and "media arts," for students in grades 8 through 12.
* TUNNEL UPDATES: The presentation from the latest "Coffee with Chuck" has a lot of cool pictures from inside the new Virginia Avenue Tunnel(s), where the JDLand camera does not tread. There's also continuing updates of schedules for cross street closures as the temporary bridge decks get demolished and the roads get rebuilt. Be prepared that a multi-month closure of 4th Street is coming, once 3rd Street is reopened.
Comments (37)
 

There have been hints in recent weeks (soil borings, the removal of signage) and now there's confirmation via the Washington Post that the block bounded by Half, 1st, I, and K has been sold, with former plans for 825,000 square feet of office and retail now out the window, to be replaced with "800 upscale apartments along with at least 44,000 square feet of retail space."
The block's multiple parcels were bought for nearly $70 million in 2007 by DRI Development Services and Jamestown Properties, with the project first dubbed Plaza on K and then Congressional Square. However, given both the overall climate for office space in the city and the neighborhood's clear shift toward being a residential center, it's not surprising that this project never found its way.
The Recorder of Deeds database lists $63.75 million as the purchase price, but sometimes that doesn't tell the entire story. (And since the RoD site uses Java for its viewer and these days I don't have Java installed, that's the most I can give you right now.)
The Post says that Tishman Speyer is the new owner, and quotes a company representative as saying that the "first apartment building will be completed at the end of 2019 and the second in 2021." No architect has been chosen as of yet. Also, the project could have as much as 80,000 square feet of retail, but "we'll balance supply with demand as the project moves forward."
This block was once home to a firewood lot, a towing company, and a cab company garage, but was mostly cleared by 2008. You can see my older photos and lots of renderings of the now-defunct office project on my Not-Congressional-Square-Anymore project page.
(h/t to commenter jdc)
Comments (42)
More posts: Development News, Square 696 Residential
 

I've got a few more itty bitty items, so let's have another tidbit go-round:
* LOT LAYING: Enough people have written (and progress has been so slow) that I finally have to post that the work many of you are seeing on the Congressional Square block at 1st and I isn't the beginning of development there--the word is that the parking lot on the west side of the block is being extended eastward.
* PILE DRIVING: Pile driving has started at 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods, if your ears haven't already alerted you.
* TRAILER PLACING: A building permit just came through the pipeline for a temporary sales trailer at 1000 1st St. SE. The land. owned by Akridge, is unlikely to be about to see any large-scale construction, so might this instead be the beginnings of a leasing center for Toll's River Parc across the street?
* FERRY DOCKING: Following up on the ferry news from last week, I finally heard back from the office of Frank Principi in Woodbridge--it sounds like the routes and docking locations are still not 100 percent decided on. There is a stakeholder's group that will ultimately make the decisions, and it is meeting later this month to work on the project. So reports of a "Navy Yard" destination or a St. Elizabeth's destination or a Bolling destination appear to be premature.
 
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