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Search term: (capquarter) : 150 matching blog entries

Wrapping Up at Capitol Quarter: Construction Completed, Nearly a Decade of Photo Treks Now Finished
Nov 12, 2012 11:16 AM
For close to 10 years, there has almost always been something going on to photograph between 5th, 3rd, L, and Virginia. Between 2003 and 2007 there was the boarding up and demolishing of the old Capper/Carrollsburg dwellings and the construction of the two new Capper apartment buildings. Then, in 2008, work finally began on Capitol Quarter's mixed-income townhouses, starting at 5th and L and working northward then back southward.
And now, as 2012 comes to a close, the final batch of homes, on the south side of L between 3rd and 4th, have been completed, and with the photos I took Sunday, my work in the Capitol Quarter blocks is done.
There will be more to come at Capper--apartment buildings are still to be built on the empty lots between 2nd and 3rd, and on the trash transfer site, and at the old Capper Seniors site at 7th and L, plus office buildings at 250 M and 600 M--but until those get underway (timelines all currently unannounced), my days of traipsing around the old Capper footprint with camera in hand are at an end.
I've taken more than 5,000 photos of just this portion of Near Southeast, and while not all of them are on the web site, if you go to the Photo Archive map and click on a star or use the search form, you can follow the progression I've witnessed at the 14 Capitol Quarter intersections (such as the one above, showing the southwest corner of 4th and L from 2006 to 2012, and the one below, showing the northeast corner of 4th and K from 2004 to 2009).
The photos, of course, mostly just track the physical change, and don't really reflect how these blocks now have so much more foot traffic, so many more strollers, and so many more bikes (and so many more shades of pastels on the buildings!). The photos probably do hint at the, ahem, shift in demographics from a nearly 100 percent public housing community to a mixed-income area that includes some of those previous public housing residents alongside newcomers who've paid close to $1 million for their new homes, which probably still elicits a grumble here or there, though that's also an on-going discussion across the city, not specific just to Near Southeast.
But for those of us who saw what this area south of the freeway had looked like for so many years, there can still be moments of wonder that this redevelopment actually happened. It's been amazing to watch, and I'm so glad I got to see it up close from start to finish.
Comments (16)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, photos

Canal Park Progress: Peeking Through the Fences (and the Trees)
Jun 10, 2012 5:25 PM
Although the temperature was a bit high for my liking, it still felt good to take a walk with camera in hand for the first time since April around Canal Park and Capitol Quarter to get a new batch of photos. And, thanks to the planting of numerous trees along with other visible improvements, my months and months of complaining about not really having much to photograph during the park's construction have come to an end.
With the arrival of the trees and some initial streetscaping now in place on the portion of L Street that runs through the park, you can now see how narrow the street is going to be in order to work to slow vehicular traffic as it crosses the park. (The completed streetscape will also give a visual cue to Slow The Hell Down.) K Street will get a similar treatment.
So check out the slew of progress shots on my Canal Park project page. And I do also recommend a run through my Expanded Canal Park photo archive, to make a time-traveling virtual visit to the park's three blocks, which will get you comparison shots like these:
(Southeast corner of 2nd and K. I love the first shot, from nearly nine years ago, with lots of school buses and without USDOT.)
The official Canal Park web site can also give you more information, along with these slides from a presentation at last month's ANC 6D meeting. Though, judging from the people who chatted me up while I was poking my camera through the fences, we're long past the "what" stage and deep into the "when" ("WHEN!?!") stage. An opening in November is still the target.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Quarter's last block, framing has now gotten underway on 4th Street, with bricking and painting finished on the houses on the 3rd Street side. My suggestion is to scroll through the Capitol Quarter Phase 2 Expanded Photo Archive, because I can't imagine at this point the before-and-afters need much narration.
(Southeast corner of Third and L, in December 2004 [through the windshield!] and today.)
Comments (4)
More posts: Canal Park, Capper, Capitol Quarter, photos

Updated Photos from the Usual Spots (Holiday Edition)
Apr 8, 2012 6:35 PM
Because of a need to burn off some calories before digging into my "Reeseter's Bunny" (milk chocolate-coated peanut butter bunny, which the label says is four servings [ha!] at 180 calories per), I did my usual wanderings this morning to grab updated photos around, Capper, 200 I, Canal Park, and the Boilermaker Shops. Alas, I did not hide any Easter eggs in any of these shots, nor did I find any.
The framing and Tyvek-ing is underway on 3rd Street south of L, in the shadow of the 300 M Street office building, as Capitol Quarter continues its march toward completion. I also took a lot of photos of other CQ Phase II blocks, so spend some time in the Capitol Quarter Phase 2 Expanded Photo Archive (and scroll down a bit) to hop through the many (many!) before-and-afters.
Then there's the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, where some work was being done even on Easter Sunday. The walling off the interior space for the different tenants has begun, with the studs visible--and some drywall has even gone in on the mezzanine level, as seen at right, in a view from 4th Street, through what will be the Bluejacket space.
The work is on-going at Canal Park, but continues to not be terribly exciting from a photographic standpoint, unless you're wowed by images of new curbs. But the Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive can take you for a walk around the park's perimeter to see the current views, if you don't see it every day. (I also like my barbed wire shot [above right], the result of desperation after being without photos from the east side of 2nd and L for a very long time now. But, no, I didn't jump the fence.)
I also enjoyed being watched very closely by a USDOT security guard with a clipboard as I took photos of the park's progress from the south side of M Street. "What are you taking photos of?" she finally asked, trying to sound stern. "Stuff," I replied, as I smiled and kept walking.
There's also updated shots from 225 Virginia/200 I (seen at right), with the landscaping now starting to go in.
If you want to see today's entire batch (213 of 'em), here they are, remembering to click the fun little Click to see all available photos of this location. icon if you want to see the entire range of photos for a certain location. If you want even more new-ish pictures, here's photos I took around 1st and Half Streets on Tuesday, to get the Fairgrounds exterior into the official archive.
Now I need to go find that peanut butter bunny. I think I earned it.

Capper Milestone: Capitol Quarter Townhouses Now Sold Out
Mar 29, 2012 9:40 AM
It's a real milestone in the redevelopment of Near Southeast to report that the entire stock of townhouses for sale at Capitol Quarter has now sold out.
The first reservations for units were taken in October 2006 (remember the people camping out?), construction began in summer 2008, Phase 1 finished construction and Phase 2 reservations began in 2010, and now, with construction underway on the last group of houses on L between 3rd and 4th, the finish line for the project is not far away.
The development has been the third phase of the Hope VI redevelopment of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project, replacing the old housing with nearly seven blocks of brightly painted rowhouses, containing not only 130ish market-rate townhouses (a few of which have broken the $1 million barrier) but also 90ish special workforce-rate houses for smaller incomes, in addition to nearly 90 subsidized rental units.
Those units, combined with the 300 built at Capper Seniors #1 and 400 M Street, mean that more than half of the 700 units in the old Capper have now been replaced. The rest are slated to come in five mixed-income apartment buildings, located on the west side of 3rd Street, on L Street south of the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, and on the DPW/trash transfer station site at New Jersey and K. No timelines have been announced for any of the remaining buildings, but you can see on my main Capper page a map with estimated unit counts for each.
I've taken a lot (a LOT) of photos of the Capper footprint since 2003: my Capitol Quarter Phase 2 and Phase 1 pages give a good overview, or you can just pick a spot along 3rd, 4th, or 5th Streets in my Photo Archive and take a look.
Comments (5)
More posts: Capper, Capper New Apt Bldgs, Capitol Quarter

Thursday Tidbits: Minutiae from Wandering the Streets (and Twitter)
Mar 22, 2012 3:38 PM
With Pictures:
* Shipping containers have been arriving at the Fairgrounds (Bullpen) site. (They say there's going to be a "preview" event on March 30--looks like a lot of work to do in eight days. But the real opening is supposed to be in time for the Nats' season opener on April 12.)
* Greenery is arriving at 200 I/225 Virginia, and the sidewalks are done. Apparently the fences will be moved back sometime next week to keep the building perimeter secure but to allow the sidewalks to be used. (In other words, the "street sidewalk" will finally disappear.) There should also be repaving and crosswalk striping around the site coming in early April.
Without Pictures:
* Framing is racing along on the stretch of Capitol Quarter townhomes on 3rd south of L.
* Curbs are going in on 2nd Place next to Canal Park and the pavilion.
* The cherry trees in the Center Field Plaza at Nats Park are budding, but don't look on the verge of popping yet. Perhaps they can hold on until April 3.
Elsewhere:
* Mark Batterson says the demolition of the Miles Glass building and the garage next door on Virginia Avenue will happen next week.
* Yesterday we were talking about the possibility of a little BOOM, but here's what might happen 'round these parts if there's a really BIG BOOM.
* The Post writes about the neighborhood as part of the big Mega RealEstate focus on walkable communities, and keys in on the fact that the area has a number of different names. (For the record, it's not like I made up "Near Southeast"--I was just following the city's lead.) Within a few hours, though, Greater Greater Washington may have solved the problem by pointing us to the area's late-19th-century moniker: "Bloodfield." Wouldn't that work great for ballpark headlines? ("Phillies Dismembered at Bloodfield.")
Anything else folks are seeing?

Tuesday Tidbits: Best Evaluated by Volume, Not Weight
Mar 13, 2012 9:19 AM
So many Tweets recently, such small items. Let's see how short I can keep them:
* Justin's Cafe is looking to have a block party on Saturday, April 14 (when the Nats and the Reds play at 4:05 pm), and ANC 6D has supported the request to close 1st Street between K and L. (Thanks to SWill for, once again, picking up my slack.) Still probably some bureaucratic hoops to jump through before all is confirmed. This was moved from Opening Day so it would be on a weekend, Will says,
* Looks like DPW's trucks have departed a couple weeks earlier than expected from the agency's longtime home at New Jersey and K, although all the lights may not be turned out just yet. Demolition is in the cards, though some environmental abatement has to happen first.
* New striping and bike lanes were installed Monday on I Street SE between South Capitol and New Jersey.
* Start starving yourself now to prepare for the Red Porch's eight-pound "StrasBurger."
* Photographic evidence of fences down at the old Bullpen, clearing the way for Fairgrounds.
* Only four houses left for sale at Capitol Quarter.
* Bank of America is now building out its new space in the ground floor of 55 M south of the Metro entrance, informed sources say. (They're closing their Southwest location in June.)
* Could DC United be setting up shop just a few blocks up Potomac Avenue from Nationals Park?
* Near Southeast gets off relatively easy in this Sunday's National Marathon Street Closure Sweepstakes (just South Capitol south of L, and the Douglass Bridge).
Anything else going on these days? Besides that sandwich shop opening?
UPDATE: Let's add the elephant parade! Starting tonight at 8 pm, on the southern edge of Garfield Park at the train tracks where Virginia crosses under New Jersey, says WTOP.
UPDATE II: And, from the Hill is Home, a Q&A with ANC commissioner David Garber.
UPDATE III: I sent a lackey down to Potbelly to get a few opening-day shots. Hope he's not expecting to get reimbursed for his lunch.

Photos from All Over, Feb. 2012 Edition
Feb 27, 2012 11:34 AM
Take a gorgeous Sunday, add an obsessive-compulsive need to document all the change underway, and what do you get? Nearly eight miles of walking and a shameful number of new photos.
The Foundry Lofts building is all but done, with only the retail spaces left to be built out, so I took a bunch of "after" photos that will probably last for a while. But that new Potbelly sign sure stands out! I also pressed my nose against the glass to peek inside the sandwich shop's space--it sure doesn't look far from opening.
Embarrassingly, I haven't had a camera in hand on the Navy Yard's portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk since 2004. (I'm always worried they're going to toss me in the brig as a security threat, especially after a run-in a few years back where I was chased down by both a gate sentry and the DC police after taking photos of the Hull Street gate from across M Street.) But I pushed forward yesterday and got a bunch of new shots that I've added to my Navy Yard page, taking care to demonstrate to the many security cameras that I was photographing the river and not the installation. (Don't miss the especially cool before-and-after of the gate to the Yards Park.)
I will probably be creating a separate Riverwalk page before too long, but not today.
Along 11th Street at N and M, photos are more notable for what's not there anymore, as the demolition of the embankment for the old outbound RFK ramp is done, and the path of the new ramp from M Street for traffic headed to the outbound 11th Street Bridges freeway traffic becomes more obvious. Also see this picture of the work on the 11th Street Local bridge, showing the demolition of part of the old outbound bridge approach, which has to be done before the new local bridge can hook up with 11th Street. (You can see it as well in my O Street before-and-afters, if you figure out what to look for.) Check my 11th Street Bridges photo page for more images.
Then there's Canal Park, where I mainly took some new photos of the pavilion under construction near M Street, since photos of digging and ground work don't quite rise to the level of "interesting." I also hit most of the angles for the Boilermaker Shops, as well as for Capitol Quarter Phase II, where the security guard expressed concern about my actions (I need a laminated Photography Approved card or something). And I wandered the 225 Virginia/200 I perimeter.
If you're a glutton for punishment, you can browse the 267 pictures from this trek that are now in my Photo Archive, using the links to see before-and-afters.

Tidbits, Capper Edition: Trailers Leaving, New Curbs, More
Feb 22, 2012 8:05 PM
It's not often I have enough content for a location-specific tidbits post, but there's a few items of note from the Capper/Capitol Quarter neck of the woods worth passing along:
* Capitol Hill Day School has moved back into its digs at the Dent School north of the freeway after spending the fall and early part of 2012 in "modular classrooms" on the Capper Community Center site at 5th and K, SE.
The trailers are scheduled to be hauled away sometime next week; I hear that the Housing Authority folks are looking into keeping the fence that CHDS put up and laying down some additional sod in order to create a small playing field for kids.
There's still no word on when the community center itself may get built, though DCHA is (still) working on getting the financing.
* If you've seen new granite curbs and gutters going in along 3rd, K, and L in front of Cornercopia and the "legacy" houses around which Capitol Quarter has been built, those are being installed by the Housing Authority as a small community benefit for those homeowners who have been surrounded by a whole lot of construction over the past few years. New brick sidewalks will be coming as well; new street lights are also a possibility, though that's not confirmed.
* Foundations are being poured for the townhouses along 3rd Street south of L that are part of the last block of Capitol Quarter construction. Didn't see framing underway when I rode by on Saturday, but perhaps that's started since?
* There's also apparently some kerfuffling these days within the CQ homeowners association, sparked by working on the community's response to the plans for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction (the project that continues to put a smile on everyone's faces!). I mention it here because I wouldn't want to be accused of sweeping such important news under the rug, but I'd really prefer that my comments section not become a place for the battle to be litigated.
Comments (2)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Community Center

A Slew of Shots Snapped on a Sunny Saturday Sojourn
Dec 4, 2011 5:24 PM
Yes, it's time for another batch of updated construction photos. This is a tough stretch of year to take these--the sun never gets very high in the sky, so anything facing due south is about impossible to get without glare. And, for places like Canal Park, it's hard to even get some locations out of the shadows long enough to get a photo that you can decipher. But you can see (below left, and on the project page) a couple of shots of the progress on the park's pavilion where the Park Tavern restaurant will be housed, along with plenty of shots vaguely showing the other ongoing ground-level work. Meanwhile, at Capitol Quarter (below right), they continue to just zip right along, with framing now well underway on the north side of L and around up 4th, and prep work for foundations continuing in the project's final block, on the south side of L.
In the Renovation/Rehabilitation portion of the tour, we have a few updated images of the Boilermaker Shops (above left), another building that's tough to shoot in winter, even more so when there's not much of it other than steel beams at the moment (though they have recently been painted white). Meanwhile, 225 Virginia/200 I is coming pretty close to the end of its exterior renovations, though work inside will continue in preparation for the arrival of three DC agencies later this year.
There isn't much new to see of Lot 38 Espresso (aka the Little Red Building 2.0, above left), which the grapevine says is now shooting for a mid-December opening. (But, really, at this point, it opens when it opens--the last batch of permits and approvals is always slow going, and I bet the owner wants it open even more than you do.) I also took a bunch of shots of the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building at 1st and M (above right), not because there's been any changes to it, but because I really enjoyed finally being able to aim a camera at it without having guards reaching for their guns. (Nyaah! Nyaah! Click! Click! Click!)
I came home with 438 new photos (yikes), and you can browse the 180-plus I decided to upload to the online archive here. (Yes, it's true, you don't actually get to see every photo I've ever taken. Which is probably for the best.)
Remember to click the icon to see the entire range of photos for any location, while the project pages linked to above are your best bet if you're looking for paired before-and-afters and/or narrated tours.
And, in case you didn't see my tweet or my late-night update, the residential/Teeter project at 4th and M got all the dotted i's and crossed t's I mentioned in my initial post, and is officially now considered by Forest Ctiy as "commenced." (I just can't call it 1212 4th Street yet. Doesn't really make the location pop as well as "4th and M.")

Updated Photos: Capitol Quarter Phase II and 225 Virginia/200 I
Oct 23, 2011 2:43 PM
October may be my favorite month for taking photos of Near Southeast--if you can get a bright clear day, the just-starting-to-change trees give a nice additional color pallette, plus the sun still gets high enough in the sky to (mostly) allow for southward-facing photos. It was eight years ago I first found this out, as you can see in this October 2003 gallery--there's still a lot of shots where clearly I hadn't found my routine yet (and you can see my dirty windshield here and there!), but there is still something special about the light in them. And looking at how different things look is kind of cool, too.
There isn't really all that much to take photos of in the neighborhood right now, especially since I did a full set back in September, but I did take a quick walk through Capitol Quarter and over to 225 Virginia/200 I to get updated images:
The old Post Plant monolith ain't quite so monolith-y anymore, is it?
You can browse the expanded photo archives for 225 Virginia and Capitol Quarter Phase 2 for lots and lots of images (with today's shots marked by the icon, as always), or visit the Capitol Quarter and 225 Virginia/200 I project pages for a more "narrated" tour.
There's apparently been some concern by Capitol Quarter residents about the 200 I construction, but representatives of Stonebridge gave an update to them saying that "base building work" (i.e., outside stuff) will be completed in the next four months, which seems pretty much on the schedule announced when work began back in February. Interior work will begin in December, with DC agencies expected to begin moving in around June 2012. But 3rd and I streets will probably be a bit of a mess as utility work and the construction of the single-deck parking garage continue. My post from March on the parking garage configuration may also be of interest, if you haven't been following along, as might all of my 225 Virginia/200 I posts, going back many years....
And, once you're finished wandering through these shots, how about filling out my Reader Survey? (I PROMISE that this link actually works!) It's only going to be up for a few more days....
Comments (0)
More posts: 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I, Capper, Capitol Quarter

Final Capitol Quarter Workforce Housing Lottery Completed
Oct 18, 2011 1:32 PM
The folks at EYA have passed along that the fourth and final lottery for workforce-housing units at Capitol Quarter was completed on October 1, with 66 people entering for the 12 houses that were made available. (EYA also drew 24 names for a backup list in case any of the chosen 12 withdraw.)
I don't have any of the documents for this round of the lottery (didn't get any notification of it in advance this time around), but here's the information provided for the last lottery, back in March. At that time, household income needed to be under $119,025 in order to qualify, and there were scads of qualifications and requirements that potential lottery entrants needed to be certified as having passed in order to participate.
As for the rest of Capitol Quarter, it is nearing the finish line, with seven or eight market-rate homes left to sell on the second-to-last block (bounded by 3rd, 4th, K, and L), along with the 12 market-rate homes that will be available on the final block on the south side of L between 3rd and 4th (right behind the 300 M Street office building).
This portion of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment should be completed by next summer, with the two phases of the Capitol Quarter townhouse development bringing approximately 120 market-rate houses, 82 workforce-rate units, 25 Section 8 ownership units, and 86 subsidized rental units. This is in addition to the 162 subsidized senior housing units at 900 5th Street and 138 subsidized units at 400 M Street. This leaves five mixed-income apartment buildings and the 250 M and 600 M office buildings still to be built to complete the Hope VI plans that will replace the 707 units of public housing one-to-one, along with constructing an additional 1,000-plus market-rate and workforce-rate units. No timelines have been announced for the next phases.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Tree Planting on Saturday, Metro Name, Nats Park Uses
Oct 12, 2011 8:38 AM
* On Saturday, Oct. 15, a group of neighbors together with Casey Trees is having a tree-planting event in the "triangle park" bounded by Virginia Avenue and 4th, 5th, and I streets, SE. No prior experience is required, and coffee and treats will be provided along with a post-planting lunch for volunteers. More information and how to volunteer here.
* WMATA staff has recommended that "Ballpark" be added to the Navy Yard Metro station name as one of its new "secondary" (subtitle) names, rather than the requested "Navy Yard-Ballpark." However, since there is not yet any organization that has committed to paying for the name change (which a DDOT rep said at a recent ANC meeting would be in the $100,000 range for a two-exit station), WMATA's board will not be voting on this name change at its meetings on Thursday. They will vote on whether to change the Waterfront-SEU station to just "Waterfront," having veteoed the city's request for "Waterfront-Arena Stage" as being over the 19-character length limit and also having a "commercial naming rights issue." (via GGW)
* The ANC 6D October agenda has been sent out (but isn't yet on the web site). In addition to the very important business of giving thumbs up or down to five different races/walks that want to use neighborhood streets, the commission will be getting updates on the 225 Virginia/200 I project and the big DC Water Clean Rivers Project that will be ripping up M Street SE for a number of years. (Won't that be fun if M Street is a construction zone at the same time as Virginia Avenue?)
* DCist spent some time pondering what Nationals Park could be used for during the baseball off-season. (On the other hand, at least baseball stadiums get used 81 times a year. How about FedEx Field, which gets used only eight times for Redskins games and maybe a concert here or there?)
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More posts: ANC News, Capitol Quarter, Metro/WMATA, Nationals Park, DC Water (WASA)

Bullet from Freeway Gunfire Strikes Virginia Ave. SE House
Sep 25, 2011 3:51 PM
Readers are reporting that late Saturday night three or four shots were fired on the Southeast Freeway that resulted in a bullet going through a window of one of the houses in the 300 block of Virginia Ave. SE, with the one of the bullet's shards then ending up either lodged in or very near the bassinet of a 5-day-old baby. No one in the house was injured. The gunfire seems to have been the result of people in one car on the freeway shooting at another car.
There's no police report anywhere as yet, so these are only details I'm getting from readers, but perhaps more information will become available. (I've sent a request into the MPD 1D mailing list.)
UPDATE: This is Commander Hickson's reply to my question on the MPD-1D list: "There was a shooting on the Freeway that involved a passenger in one moving vehicle firing at another moving vehicle. As a result of that shooting a shot struck and entered a private premise in the 300 block of VA Ave SE, causing damage to the home and the targeted vehicle. Thankfully, no one was injured in the vehicle or the home. The only description that was provided was for a black "luxury" vehicle, occupied by three subjects."
UPDATE II: Here's WJLA's story on the episode (though goodness, it needs a copy editor desperately). And Fox5's.
Comments (1)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, crime

A Few Photos Before Downshifting into the August Doldrums
Aug 1, 2011 3:31 PM
I'm anticipating that the next couple of weeks will be pretty quiet, at least the Foundry Lofts start their pre-leasing on Aug. 15, followed by the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force release of its first draft of proposed new ANC/SMD boundaries on or about Aug. 18. So here's a bit of a potpourri, and then I'm going to probably take a blog-breather unless really big news breaks. (As always, I'll still be popping up on Twitter or Facebook with tidbits here or there.)
A smidge belatedly, I've added the three garages demolished a week ago on the southeast corner of 1st and K to my Demolished Buildings Gallery, as entries 163, 164, and 165. (It might soon be time to create a Not Demolished Gallery, which would be far far smaller.) I was surprised when digging in my archives to find a couple of photos of the garages still in operation (above), from 2006 and 2007. You can also see how that stretch of 1st has changed since 2003, looking south from K and north from L.
I also grabbed a quick photo of the progress on the new bridge bring built by the city that will link Diamond Teague Park to the Yards Park, scheduled to be completed this fall. (And I guess it's time to also officially get rid of the "floating bridge" nomenclature, because, as we've seen for months, there are big ole' piles in the river.) It'll be interesting to see if usage of the First Base Gate at Nationals Park at 1st and Potomac increases noticeably next season with this new riverside walkway available. (It will also make arriving at Teague Piers via water taxi to attend events at the Yards Park involve a much more enjoyable walk, compared to schlepping up to N Street and over.)
And, with people now moving into the first completed houses in phase two of Capitol Quarter, I updated my photos of 3rd Street between I and K. And it reminded me how the intersection of 3rd and I has become quite an illustration of change in all directions, with not only new townhouses replacing old public housing but also seeing lots of new high-rises in the distance. (The White Monolith that was the old Post Plant on the northwest corner getting a facelift is an added bonus.)
If you're looking for other links to help kill time over the next few weeks, take a look at the JDLand Headlines to be sure you haven't missed any big items lately.
Comments (2)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, square 740, Teague Park, The Yards, Yards Park

Demolition of the Market Deli at 1st and L Underway; Other Photos
Jul 11, 2011 3:41 PM
With raze permits for the old structures along 1st Street SE between K and L finally approved in mid-June, the days were truly numbered for the Market Deli and its neighbors, and today the demolition got underway, with most of the rear section of the Deli's structure knocked in. Fences are up all around the 1st Street structures, which are all owned by Akridge, and with this initial wrecking underway I imagine it won't be long until the five buildings are added to my Demolished Buildings Gallery, as entries 161 through 165.
There's a few more images here, showing that the demolition isn't quite so obvious from 1st Street (yet). Also, hopefully the folks who have been tending to the cats living in the abandoned building can report in as to their fate. (I heard a rumor that some kittens were removed today, but would defer to an update from anyone with more knowledge. UPDATE: In the comments of another post, reader jenniferp says that five very young kittens were indeed captured this morning, but there are several more still on the loose.) And, if you haven't been following along on the tale of the Market Deli for the past few years, here's some enlightenment.
And, because it would have been silly to wander down there in the ghastly heat and humidity and walk past a whole lot of spots where I needed to take updated photos, you can see the latest progress at 225 Virginia (aka 200 I Street) and the second phase of Capitol Quarter, where framing is being completed on the last portion of its first block, along Fourth Street.

Photo Update: 225 Virginia's New Clothes, Townhouses A'Poppin'
Jun 12, 2011 2:53 PM
While the number of photos I took while in Spain and Italy should have been enough to tide me over for quite a while in the camera department, the guilt at not having taken Hood photos since APRIL (!) shoved me out the door on hot and hazy Sunday morning (ick) for a walk around the major activity zone between 2nd and 4th Streets.
The re-dressing of 225 Virginia/200 I/Old Post Plant/Old Star Plant continues, with most of the north face now sporting the building's new look; some windows have even been installed on the east front, facing 3rd Street. It's expected that the exterior work will be done by early 2012, with tenants from three city agencies starting to move in about a year from now. My 225 Virginia project page has a guided tour of the project, or you can take the virtual walk-around-the-block for a bigger batch of before-and-after photos to watch the building's transformation from Big White Monolith to 21st century office building.
In the meantime, work is speeding along at Capitol Quarter, where the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K (bisected by the soon-to-be-birthed 3rd Place) has construction in all phases, from the nearly completed houses at 3rd and I to the new framing at 4th and I, and foundations now poured at 4th and K. And, as briefly mentioned a few days ago, the trailer that housed the original sales center at 4th and L is now gone. If you just want the short version of Capitol Quarter's second-phase transformation, check out my Capitol Quarter project page, otherwise you can take the virtual walk around the blocks now under construction for a boatload of before-and-afters.
I also took some photos of the northern perimeter of Canal Park, but pictures of fences and digging equipment are never terribly exciting.
As always, remember that the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon on any page gets you to the full batch of photos I've taken at any location. Or, if you're interested in only a certain location, you can use my Photo Archive map to get right to it. The entire set of 178 photos I posted today can be seen all at once, too, if you're so inclined.
(And, as an aside, let me send my huzzahs to Microsoft for getting fixed in IE9 whatever it was in IE8 that would cause the browser to stop displaying local hard drive images after a certain amount of page loads, causing me to having to restart the dang thing eight or nine times during each photo archiving stint. [It's pretty much the only thing I still use IE for.])
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More posts: 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I, Canal Park, Capper, Capitol Quarter

Back from Across the Pond; Lots of Tidbits While I Recover
Jun 8, 2011 9:09 AM
I'm back in DC, having spent 11 wonderful days in Madrid, Barcelona, and cruising across the Mediterranean to Pisa, Florence, Rome, the coast south of Naples, and Mallorca. Needless to say, while I checked in on the news back home from time to time and tweeted an item or two if the timing was right, I wasn't following developments closely, and I'm pretty out of the blogging groove at this point. So I'm going to start back slowly with some easy items.
* Redistricting: The city council voted Tuesday to approve a redistricting map that, as expected, keeps Near Southeast in Ward 6. This continues to make Marion Barry extremely unhappy, and the Examiner reports that he'll be "asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open a Justice Department review of proposed new D.C. ward boundaries because, Barry says, they violate residents' civil rights." There's still a final vote to be had on the plan, probably on June 21. As for the last-minute changes that ended up keeping much of Ward 6 intact (moving Reservation 13 to Ward 7 instead of other areas), you can read Tommy Wells's blog for more details.
* Riverwalk: The Navy Yard announced last week that its portion of the riverwalk along the Anacostia River, running from the 11th Street Bridges to the Yards Park, will now be open from 5:30 am until "official sunset," seven days a week and including holidays; though there will still be closures as needed, which are announced on the Navy Yard Riverwalk Twitter feed. (I admit that I got a bit of a kick passing along this news via Twitter while riding on a train north of Rome.)
* DPW Move: The council passed emergency technical legislation on Tuesday that allows Capper PILOT funds to be used to build a new location for DPW operations in Northeast, which means that they should be moving from the 2nd and K site this fall (before "leaf season").
* Ward 6 Family Day: Tommy Wells's yearly event for Ward 6 residents will be held on Saturday, June 25, and will be at the Yards Park for the first time. It's from 1 to 5 pm, with "free food, live music, games and activities for the whole family as well as raffles featuring gift certificates from local businesses and sporting memorabilia from the Wizards, DC United and Washington Nationals."
* ANC 6D has its next meeting on Monday, June 13, at 7 pm at Arena Stage. The agenda is light on Near Southeast items, with only a resolution by David Garber about Near Southeast bike stations and requests by Cornercopia and Harry's Reserve to be exempted from the ban on the sale of "singles."
* Food Truck Festival: Bo Blair, the owner of the Bullpens and the organizer of Truckeroo on June 3, said in an e-mail that the event was a "massive, incredible success," with somewhere between 17,000 and 18,000 attendees and "zero problems." The next date for the event will be announced soon.
* Construction and Destruction: Construction has stalled on the Little Red Building v2.0 at 2nd and L, which ANC commissioner Garber says is a "building permit issue that is in process of being resolved - construction should start back 'soon.'" Meanwhile, the "re-dressing" of 225 Virginia is well underway, with the new exterior walls being hung on the north side of the building. And if it hasn't already happened, the trailer that was the original sales office for Capitol Quarter is being torn down, since construction of townhouses is now underway on that block. (Photos to come, at some point.)
* The Yards on Facebook/Twitter: I kind of stumbled across these (never saw any announcement about them), but the Yards now has an official Facebook page (which is available on Twitter, too) along with a separate one for the Foundry Lofts (its Twitter account is protected, though).
UPDATE: And, since this just came across Twitter: Dan Steinberg reports that Shake Shack and the other new Nats Park restaurants will open next Tuesday, the beginning of the homestand vs. the Cardinals.

Spring Has Sprung Photos: 200 I, Capitol Quarter, Yards Park
Apr 25, 2011 9:18 AM
With the sun finally coming out, it shouldn't be surprising that I took camera in hand on both Saturday evening and Easter Sunday and did some wandering to catch up with the progress at two locations, and to get shots of a few new items I hadn't yet documented.
The old 225 Virginia, on its way to becoming 200 I (boo), is now almost completely disrobed. (I think I'll go with that from now on rather than "deskinned.") It's been such a monolith for so many years that it's strange to see it broken up. You can take a virtual walk around the block to see how the old Star/Post plant looked before along with its current state, and visit my 225 Virginia project page for more info and background. (If you haven't been following along, by this time next year 200 I is expected to be nearly complete, with three DC city agencies on the boards to move there.)
Just to the southwest, work continues on the first block(s) in the second phase of the Capitol Quarter mixed-income townhouse development, with bricking proceeding on the new houses along I Street while framing has made it around and up the new 3rd Place; plus, foundations have now been poured along 4th Street. Here's your walk around the block to be reminded of the old public housing units that stood there for a long time and to compare them with the construction going on now. For more information, see my Capper and Capitol Quarter project pages.
(If you want to see just the new photos taken Sunday, here they are in one batch.)
Meanwhile, down at the Yards Park, the flowers are in bloom, a geodesic dome that looks like the Earth is hosting foodies, and work appears to have begun on the floating bridge that will connect the Yards Park to Diamond Teague Park (right by Nationals Park) later this year. You can see my quick gallery of photos showing these items, along with a picture of the sign laying out the rules for using the Navy Yard portion of the riverwalk (since it was Saturday, I could only stand forlornly at the gate and look eastward), plus the progress on the Foundry Lofts building just to the north of the park. And some shots of the Navy Yard buildings that are adjacent to the park, just because I like being in a spot where I can take photos of them without having guards chase me down the street.

Updated Photos From the Center of the Neighborhood
Mar 20, 2011 10:16 AM
Saturday was a lovely day for taking a couple of walks with camera in hand, and with work underway at locations that couldn't be any closer to my out-of-neighborhood house, I had no excuse to not get some updated photos of 225 Virginia/200 I, Capitol Quarter Phase 2, Canal Park, and the Little Red Building. (It was also nice chatting with the folks who correctly guessed that the oddball standing in the middle of the street taking photos must have been me.)
The showy demolition work is now well underway at 225 Virginia/200 I, and if the few shots and renderings on the project page aren't enough for you, you can do a virtual walk around the block to see which walls and windows are blown out at this point and to compare the current images with their "befores."
No time is being wasted at Capitol Quarter, where framing has now wrapped around from I to 3rd to K Street on the first block of Phase 2. You can take a "walk" around that block, too, if you haven't lately, or wander through the project page, both of which have plenty of images of the old Capper public housing buildings that were on this block for a very long time. I also added to the database some photos of what will eventually be the intersection of 3rd Place and L, once the new street gets built through its second block south of K. If you're big on old Capper photos, there's a few "before" images of L Street buildings in that sent that haven't been displayed on the site before now.
If photographs of fences are your thing, take a "walk" around the Canal Park perimeter, to see many pictures of the "traffic control" now in place in advance of the start of construction on the park (presuming it ever actually comes). Those barriers are going to put a crimp in some of my standard shooting locations for the next year or so, including where I've stood for the past eight years to take photographs of the Little Red Building, which in its new incarnation is now more of a brick red than the beet red it used to be. ANC commissioner Garber posted on Friday that the roof is going in over the next few days, at which point work on the interior can begin, as it slowly progresses toward becoming "Lot 38 Espresso."
Remember that the Click to see all available photos of this location.icon on any page gets you to the full batch of photos I've taken at any location (which, since I'm getting into the eighth year of doing this, can be kind of voluminous in some spots).
(I know that It seems kind of odd to still be posting photos when so many readers now live in the neighborhood, which of course wasn't always the case. But it's my schtick, and so I continue onward! Plus. there are plenty of people interested in Near Southeast who don't wander around every day--or maybe some of the residents don't know what these spots used to look like before....)

Capitol Quarter Phase II Workforce Lottery March 26
Mar 15, 2011 9:58 AM
EYA has announced that up to 11 houses at Capitol Quarter are being made available at workforce-level prices in another lottery, the third since Capitol Quarter began being developed in 2006. Household income must be under $119,025, and there are a lot of qualifications and requirements to meet, requiring a visit to the sales office before March 20 in order to be certified as eligible. The lottery will be held at 10 am on March 26 at the sales office at 4th and L, SE. (There may be fewer than 11 houses, since former residents of Capper/Carrollsburg are given an opportunity to purchase homes in this program before they are made available.)
Read the financing program document or contact EYA for more details.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Some Updated Photos, Including The Newly Birthed 3rd Place
Mar 3, 2011 5:12 PM
The framing of the next batch of townhouses in Capitol Quarter's second phase continues, and so I headed out to get an updated batch of photos at 3rd and I (which also happen to show the buzz around 225 Virginia/200 I, as workers are prepping to take down the exterior walls, perhaps starting next week I was told).
But it isn't just houses being built--a few weeks ago, curbs and asphalt were put in for the new 3rd Place, a north-south street between 3rd and 4th that will run between I and L streets. (You can see it, although it's unmarked, on this map.) It's the first time I've had to add a street to my Photo Archive, but it seems to have worked, and I not only have photos I took today, but whatever photos I could find from deep in the archives that by chance ended up being taken in the right location.
You can see my photos at both 3rd Place and I and 3rd Place and K and perhaps see some 2004-2006 photos you haven't come across before. These two shots are looking north-northeast at the new 3rd Place & K intersection:
(The street isn't actually open yet, though, since it goes right through the block that's currently under construction.)
I also took a lot of pictures along 11th Street, ostensibly to document the progress on the 11th Street Bridges, but I didn't actually go anywhere close to the waterfront, so you have to be satisfied with various other photos that show progress if you squint at them.
And I grabbed a lot of other shots around Square 906 today (7th, 8th, L, Virginia), since my archive is woefully lacking in images of that block, and things will be a'changin' around there before too long. You can see them as part of the display of the 151 pictures (eek) I've posted today, but I'll have something a bit more targeted within the next few weeks. You can also, as always, browse the photo archive at your own speed, using the map or the search boxes to see the intersection(s) you're interested in.
As for additional construction photos perhaps in the offing, a reader reports that No Parking signs have gone up along Second Street, indicating that parking will be prohibited 24 hours a day starting on March 7 for approximately 15 months. Is a certain park about to see some action?
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Canal Park, Capper, Capitol Quarter

Some Updated Photos, For the First Time in Forever
Jan 17, 2011 11:18 AM
I'm not quite as obsessive about taking photos around Near Southeast as I used to be, mainly because back when I started very few people lived or worked in the area, which meant photos were important to get across to readers the scope of the changes. But that's not the case now, and I figure most readers are seeing this stuff every day, which gives me a great excuse to not pull out my camera when it's 30 degrees and the winter sun angles make for less-than-optimal shots. But the mood struck me on Sunday, so now my photos are updated and my guilty conscience can be eased ever so slightly.
If you haven't wandered down to Third and Tingey lately, you won't have seen all the new windows in the Foundry Lofts building, which look pretty spiffy. When it opens this fall, it will have 170 apartments and ground-floor retail. (While I was there, I updated my 4th and Water Before and Afters, now that the area of the Yards Park south of the Trapeze School is landscaped and close to being finished.)
It hasn't been officially announced as "completed," but I always figure when the sidewalks open next to a newly constructed building, it's as good as done, so I went to get some After photos of 1015 Half Street, the 440,000-square-foot office building on the site of the old Nation nightclub. No tenants have been announced yet. (You can also see the expanded archive of before-and-afters for more shots, especially if you're more interested in remembering Nation.)
Taking photos of poured foundations in weak winter light is not really a recipe for exciting images, but I figured I still had to document the progress being made on the northern of the three Capitol Quarter Phase II blocks. The first framing of houses on this block could happen this month. (And before long it'll start to be apparent that this block is going to be split into two blocks, with the new 3rd Place running north to south.)
Alas, I only just now realized that I totally forgot to take any photos of the new construction at the old Little Red Building site. Will have to do that the next time the sun is out.
Here's the complete batch of Sunday's photos, with the See All Photos of This Angle as your guide to see the full set of before-and-afters for any photo.
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More posts: 1015 Half, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Foundry Lofts/Yards, The Yards

A Few Pre-Turkey Day Bullet Points
Nov 23, 2010 1:48 PM
I imagine it'll be pretty quiet around these parts for the rest of the week. So here's a few recently Tweeted items -- and one new one -- to make it look like I haven't completely given up blogging:
* It appears that the owner(s) of multiple lots along the 700 block of L Street (the brown apartment buildings plus the corner lot where the beer garden is headed) has sold half-interest in those properties to "Calle Ocho, LLC" (8th Street, get it?). But note that the empty lot that comes through from the Miles Glass property on the north end of the block and splits these four lots (0013, 0014, 0824, and 0825) is not (as of now?) part of this block of properties.
* EYA and the DC Housing Authority were awarded last week a Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Model of Excellence Award for the first phase of Capitol Quarter. (I just wish that the ULI folks who put out the press release hadn't said that the neighborhood is "The Yards.") The Jack Kemp awards are given to "workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability."
* Speaking of Capitol Quarter, if you scroll down my homepage to the Building Permits feed, you'll see that the first permits have been approved for Capitol Quarter Phase II houses, for lots on 3rd, I and K.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID's Holiday Market is back for another year, running from Dec. 14-18 on the sidewalk outside of 1100 New Jersey Avenue. "Shop the market for wool sweaters and mittens, homemade soaps, jewelry, antique maps, wreaths and holiday greenery, paintings, and much more!" See the flyer for more details.
* You can check out the BID's latest newsletter for more tidbits, including that work on 225 Virginia/200 I is scheduled to start next month, with occupancy expected in mid-2012. (Just in time to have a big old railroad trench dug in their backyard!) UPDATE: Yes, yes, there's already been a hole punched in the east side of the building, as people have been telling me for a more than week now. I wouldn't quite call that start of construction if nothing much has happened since....
* And, not a news item per se, but some pondering: as part of the need to close what is expected to be a nearly $500 million budget shortfall, Mayor-Almost Vince Gray announced on Monday a freeze on all capital projects that are not yet underway, while a "blue-ribbon panel of experts" reviews which are necessary. There's no specifics on the list of frozen projects reported yet, but I am wondering if Canal Park, which is getting $13.5 million of its $20 million price tag from the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, might be on this list. We shall see....
Enjoy your holidays, everyone!

Current Capper Redevelopment Projects Status Update
Oct 12, 2010 12:49 PM
I was recently successful in pestering David Cortiella, grand poobah of the Capper/Hope VI realm at the DC Housing Authority, into giving me an update on the various projects in Near Southeast that he's currently working on. Here's the latest, while always keeping in mind that dates, especially in These Uncertain Economic Times, are not written in stone:
* At Capitol Quarter, the public infrastructure work on Phase 2 has already started, as people can see by the earth that started being moved in late September on the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K. The financing for this block's construction is expected to close at the end of this week, which would allow for the completion of the first houses by the middle of next year. The entire Capitol Quarter development is expected to be finished by the middle of 2013.
* On Square 882 (the block bounded by 5th, 7th, L, and M), the Housing Authority continues to work toward the construction of an 189-unit mixed-income apartment building on the north side of the block (along L Street, seen below). Their application for an FHA mortgage loan guarantee was submitted earlier this month, and DCHA is expecting that financing for the project will be in place by the end of the year, with construction starting in late winter or early spring of 2011.
As part of 882's new construction, the existing parking lot (known to Nats fans as economy Lot W) will be downsized somewhat, but not eliminated altogether. DCHA is estimating that there will be 190 parking spaces in the new lot, and that the lot will continue to be available during the construction of the new apartment building. There will probably be some disruptions when the building construction gets underway, but DCHA expects them to be minor. There's no timeline for when the 600,000-square-foot office building that's also part of the Capper Hope VI plans would get built along the M Street portion of the block, so people who use the lot on a daily basis are probably safe to bet on having it for a while.
* Residents may not be aware that DCHA is also involved in the disposition of the current DPW operations at New Jersey and K, since that block is part of the Capper redevelopment and is slated to eventually have a 322-unit mixed-income apartment building on it. A new site for DPW's trucks has been identified (I don't know where), and once DPW drives off the lot for the last time, the environmental assessments and abatement of the site can get underway. And, as much as it pains me to imagine the neighborhood without that smokestack, it's anticipated that the building and the smokestack will be demolished by the end of 2012.
* Some of the money that DCHA recently obtained on the bond markets to pay for the second phase of Capitol Quarter is earmarked to go toward the infrastructure work around Canal Park, and DCHA is working with the Canal Park Development Association get this funded. [I'll note that not much seems to have happened along 2nd Street since the park's ceremonial groundbreaking, which would seem to jibe with the delicate "working with" phrasing here.]

Capitol Quarter Phase II Workforce Lottery Update
Oct 1, 2010 1:23 AM
The first lottery of workforce-rate homes in Capitol Quarter's second phase is being held on Saturday, and EYA tells me that 62 people have been pre-certified to particpate. The units are available to households with an income between $82,800 and $119,025, along with a substantial amount of other requirements and restrictions for participating in the program. The now-completed first phase of Capitol Quarter has 42 houses that were sold under the workforce-rate program.
As for when construction on Phase II will get started, the big money financing paperwork is nearly complete, which if finished as expected within the next couple of weeks would have the first batch of houses delivered in the May/June 2011 timeframe. When finished, this second phase will add 60 market-rate, 39 workforce-rate, 17 Section 8 ownership, and 47 subsidized rental units to Phase I's tally of 61 market-rate, 42 workforce-rate, 8 Section 8 ownership, and 39 subsidized rental units.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Workforce Lottery Coming Oct. 2
Sep 13, 2010 8:52 PM
People who are on EYA's Capitol Quarter mailing list should be receiving notification within the next day or so (if not already) that the first batch of Phase 2 workforce houses will be released on Saturday, Oct. 2. There will be up to 10 units for sale, available to households with an income between $82,800 and $119,025 (though applicants will need to be pre-certified by EYA, which will begin this Saturday). More information about the workforce program is available from EYA, with all manner of details spelled out in terms of the many requirements and restrictions for participating in the workforce program.
Forty-two workforce rate homes were included in the first phase of Capitol Quarter, and there will be approximately 91 of them when the entire development is finished.
EYA tells me that sales are going pretty strongly for the market-rate Phase II homes, with 22 of them reserved in the 3 1/2 months since Phase II opened.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

A Few Upcoming Events, and a Few New Photos
Aug 2, 2010 11:23 AM
This week's calendar of events:
* Tuesday at 5 pm is PSA 105's "ice cream social and dog treat event" to celebrate America's Night Out Against Crime. It will be held across the street from the MPD 1-D substation at 5th and E, SE, in Marion Park. (Also, for your long-range calendar, note that the PSA's annual dog show will be on Sept. 25 at 10 am, also at Marion Park.) If you're just tuning in, PSAs are the Metropolitan Police Department's Police Service Areas.
* Also on Tuesday, at 6:30 pm, is the second Capitol Riverfront Heritage Trail Meeting, a joint project between Cultural Tourism DC and the Capitol Riverfront BID to create a Neighborhood Heritage Trail for the area. It's at Capper Seniors #1, 900 Fifth Street, SE. (Here's the flyer for the first meeting.)
* Thursday's outdoor movie, weather permitting, is Rocky. It starts at 8:45 pm at Canal Park.
And, I took a long-delayed photo trek around the neighborhood on Sunday (though remind me to never do it again on a game day--too many cars and buses getting in the way!). They aren't really terribly exciting pictures, and the clouds were uncooperative at times, but I did get updated images of the progress at 1015 Half Street, and of the final block (east and west sides) of Capitol Quarter's first phase. And I documented the now-empty space where the Little Red Building used to be. You can also browse the entire batch of the days' photos, and click on the icon to see all photos for a given location.
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More posts: 1015 Half, Capper, Capitol Quarter, crime

Brief Break from Blogging Breather for Bullet Points
Jul 9, 2010 2:36 PM
I'm still eyeing a couple more days of (mostly) blog-free living, but a few items should probably be mentioned before the weekend, and so that you don't think I'm never coming back. First, the calendar:
* On Monday at 6:30 pm, the Zoning Commission will take up the Housing Authority's new request for another time extension to the zoning order that requires construction of the Capper Community Center. DCHA had asked for a two-year extension last year, but was only granted one year, and made clear at that time that they didn't foresee having the money to start the center in that shorter time frame, and that they'd be back to ask for another extension. And now they are.
* Speaking of the community center, there's now a big sign on its footprint (at Fifth and L) touting that the second phase of Capitol Quarter's townhouses is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But you knew that already.
* Monday at 7 pm is the monthly ANC 6D meeting. I was hoping the agenda would be out before I posted this, but alas, no. Check back here or on their web site to see what scintillating topics will be up for discussion. (UPDATE: the agenda is now out, and there's nothing really major on it, other than a public space permit for the street work for Phase 2 of Capitol Quarter.)
* On Tuesday, July 13, the Capitol Hill Group Ministry is having its "All-Star Party Night" at Nationals Park, offering the chance to take batting practice, throw pitches in the bullpen, tour the locker room, meet Teddy, and more. Tickets are $55 per person and $15 for children under 12, with proceeds going to CHGM's programs for homeless and low-income families.
And a few other items:
* Today's WBJ reports that a third piece of "public" art is coming to Nationals Park; this time it will be 30 "stainless steel-domed forms which will accurately follow the theoretical model of the trajectory of a curving fast-ball pitch," which will be hung early next year on the exterior of the eastern garage. The steel spheres with cutout "laces," each seven feet in diameter, will feature programmable LED lights; the piece will cost about $950,000. As for the other two pieces of public art already at the stadium (the bronze statues in the Center Field Plaza and the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" mobile near the First Base Gate), I'll quote WBJ's Michael Neibauer: "The first two pieces of public art at the stadium were, to be kind, not well-received at their unveiling in April 2009. The works were selected by arts professionals and D.C. residents, according to the arts commission, but some wonder: Did anyone ask the fans?"
* A reader reports that the Anacostia Boathouse at 11th and O, in between the 11th Street Bridges spans, has been demolished, which was expected because of the footprint of the new bridges. Haven't seen for myself yet to confirm.
* And I haven't felt the earth shift on its axis yet, so I assume the Little Red Building's exterior is still standing, although interior demolition has been going on all week.

Agenda for June 14 ANC 6D Meeting
Jun 11, 2010 3:21 PM
The agenda is now posted for Monday's ANC 6D meeting, and it does have a few Near Southeast-related items on it. So it follows logically that I'm not going to be able to be there.
Items include: A report from the housing authority on a request for a zoning time extension for the planned (and long-delayed) community center at Fifth and K streets, SE; an update on the upcoming second phase of Capitol Quarter (which EYA tells me resulted in 11 reservations in the first 15 days); an update on the stadium Traffic Operations and Parking Plan, presumably coming out of the two recent public meetings; and reports/possible votes on Justin's Cafe's proposed sidewalk cafe and the proposed "Harry's" liquor store at New Jersey and I, both of which you can get more detail on from my report on last week's ABC subcommittee meeting.
The meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's church at Sixth and M streets, SW--they're trying to get moved to their space in the new Waterfront buildings, but it still hasn't happened.
I'm going to try to find out more about the community center request, though I imagine there isn't much more to it other than DCHA says it doesn't still have the money to build it yet and so can't meet the deadline that was set in the zoning PUD (planned unit development) for Capper. The time frame for the community center has already been extended once, and in fact DCHA told the Zoning Commission last year that they fully expected that new deadline of filing building permits by Jan. 1, 2011, would be too short and that they'd be back to request another extension. Which appears to be what's transpiring.

Capitol Quarter Phase II Update
May 23, 2010 9:23 PM
I'm untethering myself from Lost long enough to pass along the news from Capitol Quarter that six houses were reserved in today's first offering of Phase 2 units, and apparently more will be released on Monday. (I don't know which, or anymore beyond that.) Now, back to my last precious moments with Desmond.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Presto! Capitol Quarter Phase II Announced
May 18, 2010 8:44 PM
An e-mail has just gone out from EYA saying that "reservations for Phase II market rate townhomes at Capitol Quarter will begin on Sunday, May 23rd, at 11 AM on a first come, first served basis." Nine houses will be made available in this first batch, ranging in base price from $640,000 to $829,000. The specific models and more information are available here; the e-mail also says that other homesites made be made available. (See yesterday's entry for more details.)
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter's Second Phase Coming *Very* Soon
May 17, 2010 10:39 PM
The news has filtered my way that EYA is about to begin taking reservations for market-rate townhouses in the second phase of Capitol Quarter. The timeframe is *very soon*, quite possibly within the next week or so. This phase will cover the three remaining blocks of the development, between Third and Fourth streets SE, south of I down to the stretch just south of L (backing up to the 300 M Street office building). There will be infrastructure work to do first (including carving out the new north-south "3 1/2 Street" running between I and L), with "vertical construction" then starting in the fall, followed by the first move-ins happening in mid-2011. There will be 77 market-rate and 34 workforce-rate houses, 47 affordable rental units, and five Section 8 purchase units. (There will be a lottery for the workforce units, but I don't know when.)
When I get word of when reservations will start being taken, I will post ASAP. I don't know if there will be people camping out like in the old days, but it will be interesting to see the response. I don't know anything about prices or anything else beyond the fact that we'll know more soon.
One footnote that might be of interest: what helped get this second phase kicked off was the $9.5 million grant from HUD that the DC Housing Authority received late last year, which came from a pool of federal stimulus funds. DCHA had been unable to get any financing for the second phase throughout last year thanks to the moribund municipal bond market, but the HUD grant allowed DCHA to pay for the completion of construction drawings, the land preparation costs, and other costs that then made it possible for the second phase to begin to move forward.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

New Photo Batch, at Last (Capitol Quarter)
May 1, 2010 12:19 PM
I haven't been able to go anywhere near Fifth and Virginia for weeks now without feeling desperately guilty--I haven't taken photos of the Capitol Quarter construction there since JANUARY. (In my defense, that intersection is my personal Waterloo--I've never been able to standardize my spots for photos.) I also hadn't gotten updated photos along the northern part of Fourth Street since the snows of February. I've been a little better about the upper block of Third, but not a lot.
So I finally rectified that today. Here are the before-and-afters along Fifth, Fourth, and Third, with a perennial reminder to click on the icon to see all photos of a certain spot over the past seven years.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Recent Tidbits (Cap Quarter Sold Out, Akridge in 2011, Va. Ave. Dog Park?, Photos of 11th Street Bridge Work)
Apr 9, 2010 9:59 AM
With the opening of the 2010 season at the ballpark and lots of other interesting news of late, my blogging time and focus has been geared toward these bigger items. But there's a fair amount of little stuff that I point to every day on my Twitter feed (also available on Facebook), mainly news stories that might be of interest but that aren't really important or newsy enough to devote much more than 140 characters to. I may eventually transition to leaving those completely to Twitter, but I still feel guilty enough for now to round them up here on the blog every so often. But if you're wanting all news items at warp speed, best to start reading the Tweets.
* EYA has passed the news to me that all Capitol Quarter Phase I townhouse units are now sold. They are gearing up to begin sales of the Phase II houses, which will start "soon." (Though I wouldn't take your tent down to their sales office just yet.) I imagine they will do the releases of these next houses in groups based on location, as they did with phase I. It's still expected that the entire townhouse development will be built out by the end of 2012.
* Last weekend Bisnow took a walk around the neighborhood with a camera (a novel idea!), and gave their readers an update on some of the projects. The only section that I've not seen reported before is Akridge now saying that construction for their 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use Half Street project is now pegged at "hopefully before next baseball season," likely meaning 2011. But, "once shovels hit the dirt, the one residential and two office buildings will likely go up at once," Bisnow quotes an Akridge rep as saying. It also says that Forest City is "hoping" to get started on the Boilermaker Shops retail renovation at the Yards before the end of this year. (Lots of "hoping" going on!) There's even a picture of the Pillsbury Doughboy that gazes out over the neighborhood from Capitol Hill Tower.
* Voice of the Hill says there's a possibility of a temporary dog park being installed at the Virginia Avenue Park (Ninth and Potomac, SE), at least until CSX starts on its tunnel construction project (more on CSX coming in another post later today). This is coming to the forefront because the principal of Tyler Elementary has now banned dogs from the school's playing field.
* Some neat overhead photos from DDOT showing the progress on the 11th Street Bridges construction. I'm hoping to get some ground-level images myself before too much longer.
* CNN reports on how Nationals Park has become a very hot venue for political fundraising, actively pursued and encouraged by the team. "[F]ederal candidates, major political parties, and political action committees have spent at least $432,000 on fundraising events either at Nationals games or at their facility, according to campaign finance documents filed with the Federal Election Commission."

Links Roundup (Barracks Meeting Handouts, PSA 105, City Paper 'Best of DC' Nods)
Mar 25, 2010 6:02 PM
* The Marines have posted the slides and handouts from this week's workshops on potential sites for their new barracks. If you didn't see my update, here's Norm Metzger's additional take on Tuesday night's meeting.
* MPD's PSA 105 is having its monthly meeting on Saturday (March 27) at 10 am at the 1D substation at 500 E Street, SE.
* The Washington City Paper's annual "Best Of DC" issue is out, and Near Southeast gets a couple of nods: Cornercopia was given a Staff Pick for Best New Bodega, Capitol Quarter is the Readers' Pick for Best Designed Residential Development, and the 11th Street Bridges reconstruction gets a Staff Pick for Best Construction Project. Alas, this also means that now my year-long reign as Second Best Local Web Site (and "favorite nasty local blogger") has come to an end.
* The Washington Project for the Arts is holding its "WPArade" in Near Southeast, on June 5 at 12 pm along Half Street from M to N. This parade, modeled after similar events in other cities, "is an extravaganza of artists connecting with community to create a moving visual spectacle of art and culture." They've got a call for participants out, and it notes that "participants can traverse the route in any manner that is non-motorized (wagons, bicycles, walking, etc. are acceptable)." It'll culminate with a party at the Bullpen until 3 pm. Who will be the first to enter a giant papier-mache Stephen Strasburg?
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Barracks, Capper, Capitol Quarter, cornercopia, meetings, Retail

Bond Sale Pending for Capper Infrastructure Improvements (and Some Timeline Hints)
Mar 22, 2010 11:43 AM
It's more than 100 pages of high finance and headache-inducing legalese, but nonetheless I've gotten my hands on the "Preliminary Official Statement" for what is expected to be a $29 million PILOT bond sale to fund a series of infrastructure improvements for future phases of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment. (This is the document written for investors to help them decide whether or not to purchase the bonds.) If you want to know all about how these bonds are being structured (with monies from the Downtown TIF playing a part), this is the document for you. It also has some good background on the Capper project if you're just catching up.
But it also has a few tidbits on the current and projected path of some upcoming parts of the overall project, starting on page 19. Here are the items that are probably of most interest, with the usual caveats that no timeline is written in stone anymore:
* Financing for the second phase of Capitol Quarter is being negotiated and is expected to close in mid-2010. Development work would then begin in August, and vertical construction in November. (Phase 2 covers the blocks between Third and Fourth and I and M, and will contain 116 new for-sale townhouses and 47 public housing rental units.)
* All but five of the 121 CQ phase 1 townhouses have sold, and two of those are being held back as model units.
* Financing is "being negotiated" for the planned apartment building on the northern half of Square 882, the site that's been the subject of my recent posts on the Marines coveting the site as well. That financing is expected to close in late 2010 according to this document, with an expected completion date of the apartment building in April 2012.
This $29M bond sale is not the last one for Capper infrastructure; the city council approved a total of $55 million in bond funding back in 2006, and the document says that the city "expects" another bond issuance for the rest of the money, "though the timing of such issuance is currently uncertain" (page 10).
As for what exactly the monies will be funding, the document lays out the following (page 22), though this is for the entire $55 million, so it can't be said that this current $29 million offering will cover all this (which will bum out the people who see the phase "community center"). Some of this work would also happen on the streets surrounding Canal Park:
* Repairing and replacing underground water and utility lines;
* Repairing streets and streetscapes and adding landscaping;
* Demolishing the DPW building (and smoke stack!) at 900 New Jersey, relocating DPW's operations, environmental site remediations (remember, that site was operating as a trash transfer site as far back as 1905);
* Building I Street through to New Jersey Avenue; and
* Constructing the new community center at Fifth and K.
It's expected that the bonds will be "priced" this week, with the sale closing by the end of the month.
I hear rumors that DPW could be out of their site by next spring, as the search continues for a new home for their operations (and maybe is getting close to a resolution).

Updated Photos from On High, Finally
Mar 7, 2010 11:13 AM
I'm embarrassed to admit how long it's been since I've visited the roof perch along New Jersey Avenue to take new photos of the land down below, but I finally got back there on Friday and have eased my conscience (though I wish it had been sunnier), and you can see the results here.
I now have my first overhead shots of the townhouses at Capitol Quarter, seen here compared with the same view in March 2006:
There's also photos of the view to the west, showing the changes the past few years have wrought:
The entire batch is here, though be sure to look for the icon because I wasn't able to update every angle. Also, use the "See All" links if you want to see the "between" photos of each angle.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Near Southeast Assessments, Down 1.8 Percent (Or Up 1.9 Percent, Depending on Your Point of View)
Mar 2, 2010 9:52 AM
It's assessment season again, and the Examiner reports that, citywide, commercial property assessments are down 10 percent, with residential numbers dropping between three and four percent. So I fired up the database I keep of the numbers for Near Southeast, added the new data as I do each year when the new numbers come out, and came up with a total assessed value for all properties of just under $5.9 billion, which is a 1.8 percent drop from the $6.01 billion tally reported in March of 2009.
But, wait! As I dug a little further, I found a flaw in my methodology that hadn't quite occurred to me before this year (though it probably hadn't been an issue too often before now): 11 of the big commercial buildings in Near Southeast had apparently appealed their initial 2010 assessments (sent out last year), lowering their tax bills by between 2 percent and 38 percent, from a combined $1.13 billion in the initial assessments to $909.36 million post-appeals. (Ten other buildings are showing no change in those assessments, and one--909 New Jersey--actually saw an 8 percent bump upwards, which was probably more of a function of the initial estimate being from before the building was completed.)
Taking these changes into account, the total assessments for 2010 for the neighborhood is closer to $5.88 billion, meaning that tally of the 2011 numbers just released of $5.89 billion would actually be a 1.9 percent increase. Except that I imagine that some property owners will be appealing again (since some of the 2011 numbers go right back to the original 2010 numbers that were appealed), and the $5.99 billion number will come down again.
Not all property in the neighborhood took a hit--with the opening of the first portions of Capitol Quarter, the blocks between Fourth and Fifth Street saw an increased value of $33 million, and the completion of Velocity raised the assessed value of its block from $99 million to $162 million.
And, since everyone will want to know: the behemoth of the area--Nationals Park--has an assessment unchanged from last year, at just a hair under $1 billion.
I'll check the numbers again later this year to see how many proposed 2011 assessments get altered.
Here's a quick table of the big properties that saw their 2010 assessments change from the original number released early in 2009:
Property Original 2010 Revised 2010 % Diff. Proposed 2011
300 M $132.26M $82.00M -38% $74.69M
55 M $162.60M $110.66M -32% $110.66M
80 M $124.08M $92.75M -25% $111.27M
100 M $90.98M $68.18M -25% $90.98M
1201 M (Martime #1) $87.97M $72.57M -18% $64.74M
1100 NJ $142.79M $121.40M -15% $139.16M
100 I $85.20M $73.00M -14% $85.20M
70 I $132.28M $119.00M -10% $132.28M
1000 NJ * $84.46M $81.06M -4% $79.75M
770 M (Blue Castle) $23.93M $23.17M -3% $23.93M
1220 12th (Maritime #2) $66.99M $65.57M -2% $47.57M
909 NJ $68.05M $73.58M 8% $79.93M
* This is for the residential portion of Capitol Hill Tower; the 2010 assessments on the Courtyard by Marriott show no change.
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More posts: assessments, Capper, Capitol Quarter, jpi, Square 699n

CapQuarter Framing at Fourth and I; Final Velocity Pics
Nov 28, 2009 2:53 PM
Though I'm about to disappear down the college football rabbit hole for the the rest of the day, I couldn't resist getting a few quick photos of the new framing that's going up on the last block of Capitol Quarter's first phase, on the northwest corner of Fourth and I.
I also wandered over to First Street to get "final" photos of Velocity building now that the building has opened, including a shot of the sign now up at Justin's Cafe (not that you can really see the sign, thanks to poor sun positioning. Might have to sneak back over there early in the morning).
Here's the complete batch of before-and-after photos for the shots I posted today.
And now, time to go bite my orange-and-blue nails for a few hours.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Justin's Cafe, Square 699n, Velocity Condos

NBC4 Covers CSX/Virginia Ave./Capitol Quarter
Nov 17, 2009 8:08 PM
NBC4's Tom Sherwood did a piece today on CSX's plans to expand the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, and he focused on a to-be owner of a Capitol Quarter townhouse on Virginia Avenue (in the block between Third and Fourth, where foundation pouring is currently underway). There wasn't any real news in the piece for people who've been following the story recently, but it does highlight that that one block could really become a problem for CSX, and is perhaps an issue that no one had given much thought to. (But, in their defense, it's not like there was a five-year window when Virginia Avenue was completely deserted. Oh, wait....) I also wonder how the city agencies that will be new tenants at 225 Virginia will handle the impact of three years of construction outside their front door.
There still aren't any details posted online by CSX or the District about exactly how the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project will work (though we do have notes from their various recent public outreach sessions), but at a cost of about $140 million, it's not a small piece of the $842 million "National Gateway" project. In the documents that were part of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board vote on the project back in September, CSX described the Virginia Avenue Tunnel as a "bottleneck that when unlocked improves the freight efficiency and mitigates the expected freight growth in the region."
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel

Canal Park Briefing at ANC 6D; CSX Meetings; Lower 8th Street Documents and Agenda
Nov 5, 2009 9:46 PM
Here's a bunch of little items and event reminders. Alas, next week's pile of happenings come at a bad time on my calendar, and I'm going to have to miss almost all of them, so this would be a good chance for everyone to attend these meetings themselves instead of sitting around waiting for me to tell you what happened at them. :-)
* ANC 6D (Southwest and Near Southeast) has posted the agenda for its November meeting, which includes an update on the plans for Canal Park. It's on Monday, Nov. 9, at 7 pm, at St. Augustine's, Sixth and M streets, SW.
* The next night, ANC 6B (Capitol Hill SE and Eighth Street) is having its November meeting, where there will be a presentation by CSX on its planned Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction. (Voice of the Hill recently wrote about the plans, and you can read my posts about them, which include links to some source documents.) ANC 6B's meeting is Nov. 10 at 7 pm at the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE.
* Plus, the Friends of Garfield Park are having their own informational meeting about the CSX plans, on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 pm at Capitol Hill Day School (Second and South Carolina, SE).
* The Lower 8th Street Visioning Process folks have posted the minutes, historical background, and main presentation slides from their two October sessions. They've also posted the agenda for their November meetings, scheduled for 8:30 am and 7 pm on November 17 at the People's Church, 535 Eighth St., SE.
* And, if these events aren't enough for you, you can also watch on Nov. 12 the city council's Committee on Finance and Revenue Hearing on the bill that would allow the sale of bonds via the city's CFO office that would pay for a considerable amount of "Phase 3" infrastructure work for Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment, encompassing some as-yet-undetermined combination of underground work on the Second Street blocks, the relocation of the DPW operations at New Jersey and K and demolition of that block, and the construction of I Street between Second and New Jersey. (This is above and beyond the $9.5 million in federal stimulus funds that the city is receiving to allow Capitol Quarter's second phase of townhouses to go forward.) The council hearing is on the 12th at 10 am, and you can watch on DC cable channel 13 or via the channel's web site. Here's my post about this proposed bill, if you want to know more.

Updated Photos of Capitol Quarter Progress
Oct 25, 2009 5:06 PM
I played cat-and-mouse with the clouds today and took some photos of the progress in the third block of Capitol Quarter, where the townhouses have sprung up pretty quickly over the past six weeks, meaning that St. Paul's Church at Fourth and I (above) and the private homes along Fifth Street are no longer the lonely outposts they've been since late 2004.
So that your computers (and my server) don't collapse, here are the (separated) links of these new befores-and-todays, which take you on a walk around the block: Fourth and Virginia, Fourth and I, Fourth and K, Fifth and K, and Fifth and Virginia. You'll also see on the northwest corner of Fourth and I that the concrete foundations are now being poured for the fourth and final block of Capitol Quarter's first phase.
It will be five years ago next week that the demolition began on the blocks where all these new townhouses are going up; paging through the photos I took during November 2004 while the wrecking crews worked, it in some ways seems a lot longer than that. The eastward view along K at Fourth is a pretty good representation of what these blocks have been through:
See the whole batch here; you can click on any you see in the archive or use the Photo Archive Map Browser to track the fall and rise of any other location.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

DCHA Gets $9.5M HUD Grant for Capper Phase 2
Sep 24, 2009 3:02 PM
Yesterday the US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the awarding of $500 million in stimulus-money grants to housing authorities around the country, with the DC Housing Authority receiving the $9.5 million it requested to help get the second phase of Capper townhomes at Capitol Quarter moving forward.
In my post on DCHA's application back in June, I explained it this way:

According to this "narrative and schedule" that DCHA included with its application to HUD, the money would finance both public infrastructure and private site improvements needed to begin the construction of the second phase of the Capitol Quarter mixed-income townhouse development (the blocks between Third and Fourth south of I), which will have 163 units, 47 of which are public housing rental units (along with 60 market-rate, 39 workforce-rate, and 17 public housing home ownership units). The narrative indicates that the $55 million Capper PILOT bonds approved by the city council last year that were to fund the new community center and infrastructure improvements not only in the Phase II blocks but also on the north and east sides of Canal Park and over to the DPW site never made it into the bond market; attempts to secure loans from both Fannie Mae and Wachovia also were fruitless.
There's a lot of detail in the narrative that I'm not going to try to summarize (I start to glaze over once I get to Low Income Housing Tax Credits [LIHTC] and anything having to do with "leveraging"):, but it does say that if awarded the HUD CFRC grant money, DCHA would immediately have its engineers complete permit drawings, which can then be put into the city's permitting process (estimated to last 90 days), after which infrastructure work can begin--the schedule at the end of the document estimates a start date of Dec. 1. This work would include repair or replacement underground water, sewer, and "dry utilities" lines, new streets, curbs, and gutters, additional lighting, and public landscaping.
The HUD funds would also be used to pay for the land preparation costs and foundation construction of the 47 public housing units, covering a $1 million gap that occurred in the planned Phase II funding thanks to problems in the LIHTC market.
From what I understand, DCHA is already talking to contractors, with hopes of being able to start delivering the first phase 2 townhomes by late next year; this would be in the blocks between Third and Fourth south of I.
There may also be some money coming for the other Capper-related improvements listed above that were to be paid for by the $55 million PILOT bonds, but not as part of this grant.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

New Photos Posted (Hat Tip: Mr. Blue Sky)
Sep 20, 2009 6:24 PM
Even at my laziest, it's hard to not pull out my camera on a day like today and head to the Hood. But without a lot of projects going on, I had the chance to also wander by some locations I've not paid as much attention to as I should. Here's the highlights:
I stopped by 11th and 12th streets to get caught up on the RFK ramp demolition that's part of the 11th Street Bridges project. The ramps across M have been down for a while now, making M Street along this stretch seem slightly less claustrophobic. The remaining concrete pillars (like the one at left, and the stubs on the south side of M) make for some interesting sculptures.

Capitol Quarter continues to progress on its third block (between K, I, Fifth, and Fourth), with some houses now bricked and framing coming soon to the north side of the block, making St. Paul's church not look quite so lonely anymore. Plus, the first foundations are being poured on the fourth and final block of phase 1, along Virginia Avenue between Third and Fourth.
I even ventured down to the fences at the Park at the Yards to see what I could see, and on the west side of the footprint I could glimpse some of the work being done on the Canal Basin water feature at the foot of Third Street as well as some clearing of the area that will be the Great Lawn. Here's the latest photos, or check the Yards Park page to see some of them matched with the renderings of what the spots will look like.

This isn't the most earth-shattering shot of the day, but I did feel it necessary to finally get a shot of 900 M Street now that Domino's is open.

Last but not least, I wandered around Virginia Avenue Park, finally getting my set of "baseline" photos along Ninth Street (only six years later than I should have). I also took some photos of the park itself but I'm going to take a little more time and not do a rush-job on the park photos; the one above, of the community garden, will have to tide you over a little longer.
As always, on any of these pages, click on the icon to see a complete set of before-and-afters of the location you're viewing. (And boy, am I loving being able to post larger thumbnails of photos here in the blog entries, thanks to the redesign of the home page. But don't forget to click through to see the non-thumbnailed versions.)


Photos from Today's Ribbon Cutting at Capitol Quarter; Updated Before-and-Afters
Aug 26, 2009 1:56 PM
More than five years after the first demolitions at the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing complex, city officials, developers, and residents gathered at Fourth and L today for a ribbon cutting at what is now known as Capitol Quarter, the mixed-income townhouse development that's been under construction since last year. (Residents actually started moving in this spring, but let's not spoil the party.)
As most readers know by now, the old 707-unit Capper complex is being replaced with what will eventually include 1,500 residential units (with a one-to-one replacement of all 700 public housing units), 700,000 square feet of office space, and 50,000 square feet of retail. Two apartment buildings with 300 units for low-income seniors and moderate income residents--Capper Seniors #1 and 400 M--opened in late 2006 and 2007; four more mixed-income buildings will eventually be built on lots by Canal Park.
My photos of the festivities are posted--and enjoy them, because there aren't many ribbon cuttings in Near Southeast's near future!
I also finally updated my photos along Fifth Street this morning, and at Fourth and I and Fourth and K yesterday and today, making for a pretty striking batch of before-and-afters, especially since these are the first photos I've taken since the framing really took off on the north side of K. Also, digging is now getting started on the final block of phase 1 (Square 797, between Third, Fourth, Virginia, and I), and framing should begin in October or November, with those final first phase homes expected to be finished next spring. When will phase 2 start sales and pre-construction? As soon as they get some money, and everyone knows how easy that is right now....
I will be adding some new mid-block photos to my Capitol Quarter Phase I page, and freshening it up a bit, later today.
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Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting Tomorrow; A Few Late-Summer Not-Really-News Links
Aug 25, 2009 1:16 PM
* A reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 am the DC Housing Authority is holding an official ribbon cutting and grand opening at Capitol Quarter, Fourth and L, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. If the sun is out, I may use this as the motivation to finally get some updated photos of the construction, with the framing in block three (north of K between Fourth and Fifth) now well underway.
* The Post reports on how the many new apartment buildings in the area are aggressively competing for tenants, with the new buildings in Near Southeast apparently leading the way: "The ones around Nationals Park, for instance, collectively have offered the deepest concessions since Delta started tracking rents 18 years ago. Some of those projects gave away the equivalent of four months' rent in concessions, which helps explain why effective rents in the District plunged 7.8 percent in June compared with a year ago. Without the ballpark area, rents fell 4 percent."
* From the BID's newsletter last week: "Mark your calendars for September 19th for the FRONT Door Home Tour & Canal Park Picnic from 10 am - 2 pm. The FRONT Door Tour will feature a variety of unique residents' homes and highlight the Capitol Riverfront as a new residential neighborhood in DC. The event will include a community picnic at the future site of Canal Park (located at intersection of M St., SE and 2nd St., SE) with food, music, and lawn games. The FRONT Door Tour will be free and open to the public. More information to come soon."
And, two items about off-topic projects by Near Southeast developers:
* Monument Realty announced yesterday that its long-planned renovation of Potomac Place Tower on Fourth Street in SW is now going to move forward. From their press release: "Monument Realty acquired the Potomac Place project in 2001 and in 2005 completed construction of a new, 302-unit condominium adjacent to the existing Potomac Place Tower, which was built in 1959. In 2003, Potomac Place Tower was designated a historic landmark by the District of Columbia and in 2005 the residents of Potomac Place Tower elected to convert the property to a condominium. Monument Realty's longstanding history and commitment to the project gave the new lender the confidence to retain its services for the completion of Potomac Place Tower."
* Forest City Washington has been selected by the government of Puerto Rico as the program manager for the redevelopment of a 100-acre portion of San Juan's waterfront district. Residential, hotel, office, retail, public parks, and a marina--sound familiar? (I don't think I mentioned that a few weeks ago the District selected Forest City as an advisor for the redevelopment of Poplar Point.)

Upcoming Events (11th Street Bridges, Last Movie, Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting)
Aug 18, 2009 12:40 PM
A slew of upcoming events to pass along:
* On Wednesday (Aug. 19), there's going to be an 11th Street Bridges Open House, billed as an update for Ward 8 residents about the status of the bridge replacement project. (But I'm guessing people from other wards can come, too.) It's from 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Union Temple Baptist Church at 1225 W St., SE.
* Thursday (Aug. 20) is the last night of the BID's 80's Outdoor Movies series, with "Ghostbusters" on the bill (rescheduled from a rainout earlier this year). Apparently the BID is planning a four-week fall movie series starting in September; I'll pass more along on that when I get it.
* Next Wednesday (Aug. 26) the DC Housing Authority is holding an official ribbon cutting and grand opening at Capitol Quarter, from 10 am to noon at Fourth and L, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. This is just a little over two years after the ceremonial groundbreaking, held on a sweltering day in June 2007.
* If you're desperate for something to do Wednesday morning but a ribbon cutting isn't your thing, the U.S. Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard will host "Pirate or Privateer? War of 1812 Day," a series of demonstrations and lectures on the War of 1812. The program, which runs from 10 am to 2 pm, includes Gun Drills in the replica of the USS Constitution and Sea Chanteys. The event is free and open to the public, though note that there's no parking available inside the gates for visitors.
* The National Capital Planning Commission again has the design of the 11th Street Bridges on their tentative agenda, for their Sept. 3 meeting. It had also been on the tentative agenda for the July meeting, but didn't make the final cut; hopefully that won't happen again, because NCPC always puts together such great reports on the projects it votes on (and posts them on their web site), so it's a good place to get details that have been hard to find elsewhere.
* This is still a few weeks away, but residents might want to mark their calendars that the next ANC 6D meeting, on Sept. 14 will be held in Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. I've been attending ANC meetings off and on for six years, and this is the first one I remember that will be crossing South Capitol Street.
* The next day, Sept. 15, Urban Land Institute Washington is holding its third Urban Marketplace Conference and Expo, which brings together "the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to explore redevelopment opportunities and best practices in emerging neighborhoods and corridors across the Washington metropolitan region." One of the day's discussions, from 3 pm to 4 pm will focus on the ballpark district (and I'm one of the panelists).
All of these are of course on my Upcoming Events Calendar.

Updated Photos (Cap. Quarter, Canal Park, 1015 Half)
Jun 25, 2009 4:44 PM
It's been a while since I've posted a big batch of new photos (and be assured that the guilt has been killing me), so I made a couple of quick runs today to rectify this. The showiest shots are to be had at Capitol Quarter, of course, with the houses on both sides of L between Fourth and Fifth now mostly occupied, and those up Fourth and on the south side of K now painted and landscaped. If you want an even fuller set of photos than what's on my CQ page, go to the CQ Phase I Expanded Archive to see all angles of the intersections where construction is either completed or still underway. (The multicolored houses up against the bright blue sky, lit by the summer-solstice-height-sun, show why I tend to wait for sunny days to update the photo archive. Well, that and I'm lazy and am always looking for an excuse to not go take pictures.)
Meanwhile, at Canal Park, I finally got some photos of the sod on the southern block, and the first hints of grass on the other two blocks as the seeding starts to grow in.
And, over at 1015 Half Street, the glass continues to be hung on the northern exterior, so I took some photos of that side of the building. (The southern side looks the same as it did in May, so I happily skipped those photos.) The block does now look a little different from when Nation was there.... (See the expanded archive for additional shots.)
Here's the complete batch of today's photos, but to see their "before"s, as well as the other photos along the way, click the icon. Or you can just browse the Photo Archive by street, direction, and/or date.
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More posts: 1015 Half, Canal Park, Capper, Capitol Quarter, square 697

Sneak Peek: Capitol Quarter Models, Sales Center
Jun 18, 2009 6:26 PM
On Saturday EYA will be opening its new Capitol Quarter Sales Center and two model homes, in the row of houses now being finished along Fourth Street just north of L. They were nice enough to give me a sneak peek this afternoon, and I've posted some very quick photos of the interiors. The models are the Addison II and Banneker II designs, with the sales center in the ground floor of the Banneker. (You'll have to march up to the Banneker's third floor to see all the finishes and options.)
My photos of Capitol Quarter itself are a little outdated (damn rain)--the houses on both sides of L between Fourth and Fifth are now done and owners are moving in, while the houses along Fourth will start having their closings next month. The houses along Fifth are framed but not yet bricked, and foundations are being built in the next block, north of K Street. There's currently 21 houses for sale.
The grand opening is from noon to 4 pm on Saturday, at 1020 Fourth Street, SE, for those of you who need an address for your GPS.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Scads of New Photos: Bullpen, Fence-less Canal Park, 1015 Half, Capitol Quarter (Again)
May 10, 2009 6:02 PM
With thanks to Mom for decreeing that my Mother's Day responsibilities had been taken care of last week, I was able to take not one but two treks through Near Southeast on this beautiful Sunday, and have uploaded a pile of new photos. Some--like the ones I took at 909 New Jersey and 55 M--are the last ones I expect to take of certain angles for a long time to come, but I did get some good "change" shots:
There's now a sign up at "The Bullpen" at Half and N (opening Friday?), and I also snuck a shot of the tent and piled-up picnic tables, which you can see on my Akridge Half Street page (scroll down a bit if the link doesn't jump you down). You'll also see updated shots of the garage-less Half and M corner.
It's not very easy to take a picture that well-represents the lack of cyclone fences, but I gave it a shot with a few different angles of the south end of Canal Park. I have to admit that was I was surprised by how much wider the block now seems; when it becomes a real park, with tall buildings on all sides, that extra width will be welcome.
Next up is 1015 Half Street, the 400,000-sq-ft office building now topping out on the old Nation nightclub site. With Half, K, and L being so narrow, it's not a bad idea to step back a block or two to see 1015's impact on the skyline, so check out the Expanded Photo Archive. The next phase of construction should be the hanging of the exterior glass.
It's pretty hard to stay away from the goings-on at Capitol Quarter, as brickwork is all but complete along Fourth between I and K. The Expanded Archive shows all the CQ shots I took today, along with the ones from two weeks ago showing the first completed stretch of homes, on the south side of L between Fourth and Fifth.
You might also see a few new shots of Onyx, 100 M, and Velocity if you visit those pages, and some other images in the random shots at the top (and bottom) of the JDLand home page, since I took a pretty complete set of photos from New Jersey to Half and from M to I. And, without much new construction going on, I don't anticipate taking many photos other than at Capitol Quarter and 1015 Half (and I guess Teague and Canal parks) over the next few months. (I'll also be ready if/when Akridge demolishes the buildings along First between K and L.) So, enjoy these, and take the time to really compare them to their "befores."

Friday Tidbits: BID Newsletter, ANC Agenda
May 8, 2009 10:38 AM
Between it being Friday and the sun finally being out, I bet everyone's feeling a bit better today. Maybe even Biking to Work! So, a few tidbits:
* The latest Capitol Riverfront BID newsletter is out, with a few items of note. First off, there's a new "branding" campaign going on--"Be Out Front." Look for signs promoting "Front Yard," "Front Office," "Front Door," "Store Front," etc. And they'll soon be launching an equally rebranded web site.
Also, the current estimated population within the BID is 1,584 residents; the newsletter says that there are now more than 2,000 residential units, more than half of which are leased/sold and occupied.
The newsletter also gives the Bullpen's official opening date as May 15, and also mentions that the weekly Tuesday farmer's market at USDOT is now underway, and that the weekly Wednesday lunchtime concerts start on May 20.
* The agenda for Monday's ANC 6D meeting is out (hopefully it'll show up online before the meeting itself), and the only Near Southeast item is a presentation by Michael Stevens of the BID--kind of a BID 101 tutorial for the ANC commissioners. Otherwise, it's voting on marathons, bus stops, after-school programs, and also an announcement of a "Southwest Night" at Ft. McNair on July 1. The meeting is at 6th and M streets, SW, at 7 pm. (Maybe next month it'll finally move to the new digs at the new 1D police station at the former Bowen Elementary.)
* The Examiner reports that the 2010 federal budget includes $15 million for "Southeast Federal Center remediation." There's certainly been piles of environmental cleanup there over the years (not surprising when it used to be blocks and blocks of munitions factories).
* EYA has spiffed up its web site a bit--their Capitol Quarter page is worth a visit if you haven't checked it out before.

Updated Capitol Quarter Photos
Apr 27, 2009 5:15 PM
I took advantage of this sunny July day (what? April?) to refresh my Capitol Quarter photos, showing the now-partially-occupied first row of townhouses (on L between Fourth and Fifth) as well as the progress in the block to their north. I can also report that foundation digging has now begun on the third CQ block, on the north side of K between Fourth and Fifth.
If you want to see more photos than just the ones on my main CQ page (and given all the change, it's worth it), here's my Capitol Quarter Expanded Archive; and don't forget to click the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon if you want to see the photos between the Befores and the Afters, like the progression above, showing the southern side of L Street at Fifth, from 2004 to today.
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BID Newsletter; Bike Rack Ceremony; Capper Zoning Vote?; Teague Dedication
Apr 26, 2009 6:18 PM
The latest Capitol Riverfront Connections newsletter from the BID was sent out late last week, with updates on the LEED for Homes plaque presentation last week at Capitol Quarter, an interview with BID executive director Michael Stevens on Newschannel8, and news of a ceremony coming tomorrow (Monday) at 2 pm on the Tingey Plaza at USDOT, where Mayor Fenty will kick off the launch of 28 new artistic bike racks around the city.
Also on Monday, at 6:30 pm, is a Zoning Commission hearing where a first vote could possibly come on the batch of zoning changes being requested for Capper/Carrollsburg to which I've dedicated so many bytes lately.
And, on Tuesday morning at 8:30 am is a dedication ceremony and breakfast fundraiser (also with the mayor) for Diamond Teague Park, being held across the street at the foot of the stadium's grand staircase. Tickets are $50 per person.
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Capper, Capitol Quarter, meetings, Teague Park, zoning

Capitol Quarter Workforce Lottery; First Settlements
Apr 20, 2009 9:16 PM
I am briefly surfacing from the whirlwind that is my "real" life these days to pass along an update from Saturday's workforce housing lottery at Capitol Quarter: the folks at EYA tell me that 58 prospective buyers entered the lottery for the 15 houses that were for sale. (Three additional houses that were being released for sale under the workforce program were snapped up by former Capper/Carrollsburg residents, who had first option prior to the public release).
Also, it can now be said that Capitol Quarter is an actual residential community: the first purchase settlements took place last week, and homeowners have moved in, six years after the old public housing units in that section of the Cappers first began being closed. Settlements are expected to continue on a regular (even weekly) basis until CQ's first phase is completed, in the middle of next year.
If you're looking for an excuse to go see the considerable construction progress (especially since a certain blogger has completely failed lately at providing updated photos), a reminder that on Wednesday at 11 am EYA will be celebrating Earth Day with a ceremony marking the first CQ house to achieve LEED for Homes certification, with a plaque presentation by the US Green Building Council. The proceedings start at 11 am, with a "light luncheon" at 11:30, at the sales office at Fourth and L, SE.
(And, along those Earth Day lines, a last-minute reminder about Tuesday's Anacostia Waterfront Forum, focusing on "Green Waterfront, Green Jobs, Green Living in a Green DC." It's at the MLK Library at Ninth and G, NW, with an open house beginning at 6:30 pm and the forum running from 7 to 8:30 pm. The April "Waterfront Watch" newsletter has more information on the forum, as part of its focus on "Green DC.")
Finally, as a heads up, unless there's big news (or incredibly quick and easy items to post), I'm probably going to be a bit scarce for the next couple of weeks. (Though every time I say that, I seem to end up posting just as much if not more than usual.) I will probably Twitter some, though, since even from within the maelstrom I can probably manage to string 140 characters together every so often--and, if you're on Facebook but not Twitter, you can now see my Tweets directly in your Facebook news feed by becoming a fan of JDLand.com. Who knows--maybe that Profile Page could even become a "social network" of sorts!
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Heading to Opening Day? What You'll See That You Didn't See Last Year
Apr 12, 2009 7:59 PM
[Note: I'm back in town after almost a week away (reminder to self: next year don't skip town the week before the home opener), so apologies if my coverage of the various events and media pieces has seemed even less scintillating than usual. And now I'm going to end the week with one more less-than-perfect entry, which I should have written before I left but didn't do it until now....]
If you haven't been back to Nationals Park or the surrounding Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards neighborhood since last year's Opening Day, here's what you'll see that wasn't completed on your last visit:
* 55 M Street - Right on top of the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station, at the head of Half Street, is Monument Realty's 275,000-sq-ft office building, which has been finished in the last few months and which will be home to Artomatic this summer. No office or retail tenants have been announced, although WBJ reported a few weeks back that Gordon Biersch may be eyeing some of 55 M's ground-floor space. The rest of Monument's Half Street site remains a large hole in the ground, with financing for the planned 350 residential units and adjoining hotel directly across from the ballpark nowhere to be found.
* 70 and 100 I Street - Sibling apartment buildings officially known as the Axiom and Jefferson at Capitol Yards first began move-ins in late summer 2008, and their combined 700 units are reported to be about 50 percent leased. (They're the big brick buildings sitting just south of the Freeway.)

* Onyx on First - Another apartment building (though it had been originally planned as condos), Onyx opened at the corner of First and L streets in late fall of 2008. It has approximately 266 units.

* 100 M Street - On the site of the old On Luck cafeteria at First and M, this 240,000-sq-ft office building opened right at the tail end of 2008, and is close to 40 percent leased, with Parsons occupying about one-third of the space. A SunTrust Bank branch is under construction on the ground floor--there's additional retail space where a restaurant could be a possibility, though no deals have been announced.

* 909 New Jersey - Finished mere moments ago (it opened last week), this 237-unit apartment building at New Jersey and I by JPI (developers of 70 and 100 I) is catching eyes with its blue-edged nighttime profile, and is generating piles of "have they signed anyone for their retail space?" messages in my inbox (answer: not that I've heard so far). Baseball fans walking down from Capitol South will also appreciate the wide new sidewalk now just one block south of the freeway.

As for what's currently underway, there's the first phase of townhouses at Capitol Quarter (where the first residents will move in this month and where work will continue into next year), the 200-unit Velocity condo building at First and L, and the 440,000-sq-ft office building at 1015 Half Street (which will be completed in 2010 but will already be cursed for obscuring the view of the Capitol dome from some seats in the ballpark that had it last year). There's also construction continuing at Diamond Teague Park, right across from the ballpark's grand staircase, but the somewhat optimistic timeline of having the water taxi piers completed by Opening Day has now been revised to "midseason."
Work had begun on rehabbing the brown-and-white Pattern/Joiner Shop at the Yards last year (which folks walking to the ballpark from the Nats Express drop-off will see), but financing problems brought the work to a halt early in 2009, and Forest City continues to look for money to restart the project.
The most prominent structure that's disappeared in the past 12 months is the former WMATA bus garage on Half Street just across from the subway entrance, demolished two weeks ago to make way for Akridge's planned 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use development, though that project won't get underway before 2010. (The south end of Akridge's Half Street land is where the [not-a-]beer garden may appear later this summer.)
But, as has been written about extensively elsewhere, as of now there's no new places to eat since last year (though a deli is coming to Third and K in May), and most likely no additional projects will get underway before next year.
So, study this little guide and amaze your friends with your knowledge of what's what as you look at the ballpark's surroundings.

Capitol Quarter Workforce Unit Lottery on April 18
Mar 27, 2009 4:41 PM
The Capitol Quarter folks (EYA and the DC Housing Authority) have just released information on the next offering of "workforce" houses for sale, the program where buyers who make between $80,000 and $115,000 annually and meet a host of other requirements and restrictions can buy a townhouse at Capitol Quarter for under $600,000. If you go to the workforce web site at EYACapitolQuarter.com, you'll find all of the information needed to register and be "certified" as eligible in advance of the April 18 lottery. There will be a maximum of 18 houses for sale in this lottery, though possibly fewer if previous Capper residents exercise their options to buy one.
The first workforce lottery was way back in November 2006, when 176 people entered the lottery for 20 houses.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

New Photos: Capitol Quarter
Mar 21, 2009 5:45 PM
If you haven't been by Capitol Quarter in the past few weeks, you might be a bit surprised to see how it's progressing. I've posted a bunch of new photos from Fifth and Fourth streets, where you can see the progress ranging from nearly completed exteriors along L Street (getting painted!) to framing now reaching the Fourth and K intersection.
I took a ton of new photos today (even though the bright blue skies of mid-morning got replaced by icky high clouds), but am rushed at the moment and so will go through the rest of them tomorrow. But these ought to keep folks busy until then.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

New Photos: Capitol Quarter and Freeway Views
Feb 8, 2009 3:20 PM
I took advantage of this beautiful February (!) day to grab some quick photos. First up are the action shots at Capitol Quarter, showing the brickwork underway on the southeast corner of 4th and L and the framing continuing on the north side.
And, for the first time since August, I've updated my views of the neighborhood from the SE Freeway. Clearly I'm out of practice because I kind of screwed up the angles, but you can still get the idea when you compare these new images to their "before"s. This is one of my favorite galleries, since I do have one grainy photo from 2000 (when 80 M was still under construction), and some others from 2005, before the vertical rush really began. You can also see that 1015 Half Street is about to really dominate the view, probably permanently obscuring the view of 55 M from the freeway. Remember to click the See All Photos of This Angle icon if you want to see all the photos between the "before" and now.
I also updated the one shot I have from the freeway at New Jersey; watch the progression from 2005 when Capitol Hill Tower was the dominant building through the construction of Onyx and now with 909 New Jersey and Velocity on display.
You can see all photos from today paired with their "before"s on one page, if you don't feel like clicking around and if you don't mind waiting a bit for it all to load.
(Alas, despite attempts to clean my lens just before taking these shots, they all look like they're being filtered through Vaseline. I'll just pretend I was being arty.)
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More posts: 1015 Half, Capper, Capitol Quarter, square 697

Lazy Weekend Tidbits: Capitol Quarter, ANC 6D
Feb 8, 2009 11:10 AM
Been kind of a nice few days here without much news, so now I'm having to force myself back into the routine. I'll start small:
* An update to the post about the new houses released at Capitol Quarter: EYA tells me that the houses released are spread throughout the development: 421 L Street, under construction and expected to be ready in April (listed for $720,340 on the EYA "Move In Now" list), two houses in the block just to the north (expected to be ready in the fall), and four houses in the block bounded by I/Virginia, Fifth, Fourth, and K that could be ready by the end of the year. On all of these blocks the reservations placed by homeowners over the past few years have now been converted to contracts; that is expected to happen for the final Phase 1 block (between Third and Fourth and Virginia and I) later this year.
* The agenda for Monday night's ANC 6D meeting is posted, and it includes a vote on the Phase 2 designs of the Yards Park that were discussed at last week's special meeting. I've also now added a bunch of those Phase 2 renderings to my Yards Park page. Other items on the ANC 6D agenda are about Southwest subjects, though I should note that the National Marathon on March 21 (which they'll be discussing) will be coming across the Douglass Bridge, briefly using South Capitol Street until it turns west on P Street.
There's also an agenda item about a BZA application for 1101 South Capitol St., SW, which was the old KFC. This is a good opportunity for me to mention that, with two blogs about Southwest now in full flight, I'm going back to my original boundaries, which old-timers will remember stopped in the median of South Capitol Street, which is where Southeast ends and Southwest begins. I'm lucky enough to be watching a neighborhood that has probably the firmest boundaries of any in the city, so I'm going to respect them!
* City budget season is nearly upon us. I've added to my calendar a partial list of dates for FY08-09 oversight and FY10 budget hearings, for agencies that have the most bearing on Near Southeast. Check the DC Council web site for the full list.
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More posts: ANC News, Capper, Capitol Quarter, meetings, Douglass Bridge, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning

Capitol Quarter Houses on the Market; Sunday Concert at Marine Barracks Annex
Feb 5, 2009 9:21 PM
Two small tidbits:
* EYA sent out an e-mail today announcing that they are releasing "the final townhomes in Phase 1" at Capitol Quarter, with prices starting from the $630s. I don't know how many units are in this batch, or where in the Phase I blocks they're located. I'm pretty sure that a while back Phase 1 was billed as "sold out"--if I'm correct, these would be some houses originally reserved but now back on the market. (Buyer decides not to buy, buyer's credit worthiness tanks, etc. etc.)
UPDATE, 2/7: EYA tells me that the houses released are spread throughout the development: 421 L Street, under construction and expected to be ready in April (listed for $720,340 on the EYA "Move In Now" list), two houses in the block just to the north (expected to be ready in the fall), and four houses in the block bounded by I/Virginia, Fifth, Fourth, and K that could be ready by the end of the year. On all of these blocks the reservations placed by homeowners over the past few years have now been converted to contracts; that is expected to happen for the final Phase 1 block (between Third and Fourth and Virginia and I) later this year.
* From the Post calendar listings, word of a concert on Sunday Feb. 8 at the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters. (This is the first time I've ever heard of a concert there, though it's more than possible that the news of previous ones didn't make it onto my radar.) Here's the particulars: "MARINE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE, performance of works by Libby Larsen, Telemann and Stravinsky; followed by a tour of the facility; light refreshments served. 2 p.m., Marine Barracks Annex, John Philip Sousa Band Hall, Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue SE. Free. 202-433-4011." (hat tip to reader S.)
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More posts: Barracks, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Events

Morning Roundup of Recent Little Items
Feb 4, 2009 8:49 AM
A couple small things from the past few days:
* For the second time in eight years, Capitol Quarter's EYA has been named America's Best Builder by Builder Magazine, which cited "its commitment to high-quality design, building in areas featuring life within walking distance, and industry leading results on homebuyer satisfaction and referral sales."
* From WTOP, news that the current occupants of the encampment at First and M are seeing the tab for their move escalate a touch: "The estimated cost of building a sprawling new complex at Fort Belvoir to house [the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency] and its 8,500-strong work force will be $350 million more than prior estimates, according to a report from government auditors." It's mandated that they have to be moved into their new digs by September 2011, but the GAO report "warned that the agency's small window for delays means that 'any unmitigated disruptions can jeopardize' meeting the 2011 deadline." The price tag is now $2.44 billion.
* Today's Examiner has another installment of their Three-Minute Interview series, this time with, um, me. (Nationals historians might enjoy knowing that the accompanying photo [better non-cropped version here] was taken the night the team came home from spring training to see their completed ballpark for the first time.)
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Nationals Park, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards

Pre-Weekend Roundup
Jan 30, 2009 12:57 PM
Some little items to head into the weekend:
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is going with a Best of the 80s theme for its Riverfront Reel summer outdoor movie series, and has a survey up to determine the most popular flicks. (Though let me just say that the omission of Die Hard has me white with rage....)
* DDOT is holding an "Anacostia Waterfront Forum" on Feb. 17 at the MLK Library at 6:30 pm, "on the role that replacing the 11th Street Bridges will have in creating a more inclusive and sustainable Distrct."
* Also from the BID, news that the Earth Conservation Corps has scheduled a dedication ceremony for Diamond Teague Park on April 28. I've been told that if all goes "as planned," the construction of the in-water structures (the docks and the piers) should be completed by Opening Day, though the plantings and other work on the dry-land portion of the park would be completed by the beginning of July.
* Greater Greater Washington is not happy that the US DOT is having a "sale" on its parking spaces.
* City Paper's Housing Complex blog is bewildered about where this Capitol Quarter "neighborhood" might possibly be. (Teh Google probably could have answered that.)
* The US Department of Justice and some Shell Oil entities are nearing a $2.1 million settlement for damages and cleanup costs at the Southeast Federal Center (now the Yards) after what the feds allege was benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene contamination of soil and groundwater "from leaking underground storage tanks located at a former filling station adjacent to the contamination."
* I did attend last night's zoning hearing on Akridge's Half Street project, and will post a summary when I recover from the nearly four-hour session. But I did hear that the bus garage on the site will be demolished pretty soon, to make way for temporary parking. Both Akridge and Monument are talking with the Nationals about providing their spaces for gameday parking. (Monument has told me that their underground garage at 55 M--and the little addition to the south--will be complete by Opening Day.) That's a lot of spaces that weren't around last year....
* DCRA has restarted the Building Permits feed. And there was much rejoicing.

'LEED For Homes' at Capitol Quarter
Jan 26, 2009 3:31 PM
From a press release just out, word that EYA will be seeking LEED for Homes certification for Capitol Quarter: "The neighborhood's proximity to public transportation, employment centers, parks and neighborhood retail reduces the amount of time homeowners spend in their cars. Add to that environmentally friendly building materials such as Energy Star appliances and windows, water saving plumbing fixtures, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, and low VOC paints and finishes. The homes at Capitol Quarter provide more energy savings, better indoor air quality, and less impact on the environment than standard new townhomes -- all qualities that the LEED for Homes program is designed to promote." Also from the release, this: "Traditionally, LEED certification has been sought by builders for commercial buildings and custom residential homes. Capitol Quarter will serve as a model for volume builders in how to implement LEED for Homes on a larger scale."
UPDATE: Here's the release on EYA's site, which reminds me to note that this will be the largest LEED for Homes development in the country.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

New Construction Photos: Teague, Capitol Quarter, 1015 Half (and More)
Jan 25, 2009 5:49 PM
I took a nice tour of the action spots around the neighborhood today, getting updated photos of the very showy progress at Capitol Quarter and 1015 Half Street.
I also snuck across the river (don't tell) to get a peek through my zoom lens at the goings-on at Diamond Teague Park, plus I took a photo or two through the fence at First and Potomac. It looks like the gangplank from the shore to the pumphouse has been dismantled; and there's definitely "in-water" work going on.
I also got a good batch of updated photos for 55 M, and gave my Monument Half Street page a badly needed refreshing--there's also this shot of the construction on the extension of the underground garage (and the shored-up hole on the south end of the block), as seen from Nats Parking Garage B.
I even took my first(!) set of photos at 11th and L, where the Southeast Freeway bends toward the 11th Street Bridges, to get an official "before" baseline in advance of the reconstruction and reconfiguration of it all. (And I found this plaque on one of the flyover pillars, which might be worth a chuckle or two.)
If you want to see the entire batch of new photos on a single page, here they are, though it's about a hundred of them so be patient. But the links above are better if you want to see them matched with their "before"s.
(Oh, and that dinky little For Sale sign at 10th and M by the Exxon that I wrote about on Friday is gone. Drunken property advertising?)

Capitol Quarter Construction Moves North
Jan 22, 2009 11:05 AM
I haven't seen it with my own eyes yet, but a couple readers reported yesterday (as I Twittered) that Capitol Quarter vertical construction has now begun on the north side of L Street between Fourth and Fifth, across from the units already well underway. (There's also a rumor that bricking will begin on those first townhouses soon.) The foundations have been underway on this block for a while, so I'm assuming it's the showier framing work that has begun. I'll give them a day or two to make some progress, and will get photos this weekend.
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Akridge Gets ANC Backing for Half Street
Jan 13, 2009 9:38 AM
I was unfortunately unable to get to Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, thanks to an avalanche of Inauguration-related work at my real job that couldn't wait, plus there was the arrival yesterday afternoon of my brother's third child, Teddy. (And if you think you've got it bad over the next week, light a candle for him--he's Washington correspondent for the Cox Radio Network, and has to cover all of the inauguration while tending to a newborn and two other kids under the age of five who will be wondering what that squirming, crying package is that arrived at the house.)
Anyway, I've been able to find out that the ANC gave its support to Akridge's planned 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use project on Half Street between M and N, subject to the finalization of the community benefits package. I wrote a long entry after last month's ANC meeting describing Akridge's designs for the project, if you want all the details. I hope to get renderings within the next few weeks, in advance of the January 29 Capitol Gateway Overlay Review.
I hope to find out soon whether the illustrious Capitol Quarter trash enclosures discussions have been brought to a close.
(And I hope to make it to tonight's ANC 6B meeting, which will have a briefing on the South Capitol Street EIS. But only if work doesn't intervene again.)
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More posts: West Half St., ANC News, Capper, Capitol Quarter, inauguration09

ANC 6D Meeting Monday Night
Jan 9, 2009 9:38 AM
The agenda is out (though not net yet online) for Monday's ANC 6D meeting, and if you've liked the past few meetings, you'll love this one, because it's pretty much a rehash of recent agendas: the Capper PUD modifications (described here), the Capitol Quarter trash enclosures (perhaps the fourth time's the charm), and Akridge's Half Street project, which is going to the Zoning Commission at the end of this month. (For Southwest folks, the Hogate's liquor license discussion is back, too.) And, although it's not on the agenda now, I'm guessing there might be some inauguration-related discussions. The ANC meets at St. Augustine's church, Sixth and M streets, SW, at 7 pm.
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More posts: West Half St., ANC News, Capper, Capitol Quarter, inauguration09, meetings, zoning

Images and Updates from the Last Photo Trek of 2008
Dec 29, 2008 6:26 PM
I don't dare tally up how many photos I've taken over the past 12 months, but suffice to say it's a lot. That didn't stop me from a quick lunchtime trek around the neighborhood to grab my final pictures of 2008, with a starkly blue sky as an end-of-year gift. Here's a boatload of before-and-afters for your perusal:
I started at Capitol Quarter, where the first three townhouses at Fourth and L are already framed, wrapped, and window'ed (I imagine the developers are trying to get those units finished as close to "on schedule" as possible). Here's the before-and-afters for the intersection's southwest corner; be advised that taking southward-facing photos in winter is no fun at all, so apologies for all glare, skipped angles, etc.

I next ventured to The Yards (USDOT security guards be damned!) for updated photos of the Foundry Lofts construction, where most of the framing of the two new top floors appears to be finished. And both Third and Tingey streets are now nicely paved and curbed, which you can see along with the Foundtry Lofts construction in these Third and Tingey photos, and also in shots from one block west, at what someday will be Second and Tingey. And, for the heck of it, here's a few new New Jersey and Tingey images. (Remember to look for the icon, as always.)
And, acting on tips from alert readers, I checked out the Third and K Market, which is now being gutted. There was no one around to answer any questions as to what is up, but seeing work getting done a few months after a For Rent sign went up (and quickly disappeared) would seem to be a good sign....?

I also went to First and M, where workers at 100 M have now given back one lane of M Street and told me that the median east of First will be rebuilt soon (as the one west of M recently was). The silver bullding against the unbelievably blue sky makes for a nice tableau in these updated photos.
There are also a few updated shots of 909 New Jersey, taken mainly from the First and I intersection, which is also notable for the nice little fence and landscaping that's now gone in across the empty lot to the east of 100 I, visible in many of these new photos.

Will that tide everyone over until the new year? I know I'm now good for a while....!

Monday Mishmash: Framing at Capitol Quarter, BID Holiday Market, Third Street Doings, and More
Dec 8, 2008 5:26 AM
* As Tweeted on Saturday night (after cheering my Gators onto victory), framing has indeed begun on Capitol Quarter v2.0. They're not exactly the most thrilling photos (it was some tough almost-winter lighting conditions), but if you need proof, here they are, with their befores.
* Yet another mid-month event announcement to pass along--on December 16th, 17th, and 18th, the BID is putting on a Holiday Market at 1100 New Jersey Avenue. It will run from 11:30 am to 6 pm, and will feature "local artisans selling handcrafted jewelry, pottery, crafts, watercolors, photography, and more."
* Looks like maybe the 3rd and K Market might be stirring. I haven't heard anything official (though we saw that "For Rent" sign in the door a few months back), but there's been a slew of permits and the concrete surrounding the building has been torn up to apparently do some re-pointing of the bricks near ground-level.
* Less pleasant news from the same block--looks like there was a fire just within the past few days in the second floor of one of the rowhouses on Third Street--the top-row windows are gone, and there's black soot across the upper part of the front of the house. Anyone know what happened?
* I finally gave the new camera its first Hood workout on Sunday morning, despite the 40-mph winds and "variably sunny" weather that provided some icky overcast shots followed seconds later by brilliant blue-sky vistas, though it must be said that this model does a much better job of handling backlit buildings than my previous one. (And it was too dang cold to think about sticking around waiting for clouds to clear.) I'll post them in separate entries over the next few days. Got to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the decent content nowadays.
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ANC 6D Meeting Monday (First Peek at 25 M)
Dec 5, 2008 12:44 PM
The agenda for Monday's ANC 6D monthly meeting is out, and the most enticing item is Akridge looking for the commission's support in advance of its Jan. 29 Capitol Gateway zoning overlay review for its new 700,000-sq-ft mixed-use development at 25 M, on the site of the old WMATA Southeastern Bus Garage, in the block directly north of Nationals Park. At this point, little has been put forth publicly about the project other than it'll be a office/residential/retail mix, and is expected to get underway in early 2010.
Also on the agenda is a third go-round with the DC Housing Authority over the designs for some external trash enclosures for some of the units at Capitol Quarter. I wrote about the first discussion here, and the Hill Rag has the report on the second one. Will the third time be the charm, or will bad things come in threes? There will also be a status report about the Capper redevelopment in general.
There's also apparently a letter being brought by Commissioner Sobelsohn to express the ANC's support for retaining the Nats Express shuttle bus that brings stadium-goers to the neighborhood from the parking lots at RFK. I imagine that the ANC will be expressing some level of concern about increased traffic and parking problems if that shuttle service goes away (it was reported last month that Tommy Wells is in favor of ending it).
The ANC meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Church at Sixth and M streets, SW.

Capitol Quarter 2.0: Moving Forward
Dec 5, 2008 9:10 AM
For those who haven't wandered by Fourth and L recently to check out what's happening at Capitol Quarter, I can report that new slabs have been poured, and vertical construction should get underway (again) next week. (If you haven't been following along, this is a second start for these townhouses, after the initial construction in August showed foundation problems and resulted in the demolition of the first units that were underway.)
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Post Surveys the Commercial Real Estate Slowdown Near the Ballpark and Elsewhere
Dec 1, 2008 11:06 PM
The front page of Tuesday's Post has "Building Slowdown Turns Grand Visions into Vapor," a look at projects in the DC area that are on hold because of the slumping economy: "The economic boom of recent years promised to deliver gleaming homes and high-end retail to struggling and newly forming neighborhoods across the Washington region. But that quest is running headlong into a withering economic slowdown and paralyzed credit markets, bringing new construction to a virtual stop and fueling anxiety among those who dreamed that their neighborhoods were the next frontiers."
Among the examples in the article are three delayed projects near the ballpark--WC Smith's 250 M Street office building, the residential and hotel portion of Monument's Half Street project, and also the Corcoran's Randall School development at Half and I, SW (which Monument pulled out of recently): "Perhaps no area is more central to the District's long-term ambitions than the streets around Nationals Park. At every opportunity, Fenty talks of a cosmopolitan destination featuring new parks, offices, stylish apartments and restaurants, all of it along the Anacostia River. Yet, how soon that vision materializes is fraught with uncertainty."
(Full disclosure: I provided a bit of basic status on ballpark-area projects for the piece, hence the "contributed" line.)
Some additional perspective: Certainly there's a slowdown afoot. (It's almost like there's some sort of cycle of boom and bust in commercial real estate!) I've been joking that I should just put a "Gone Fishin'" sign up here at JDLand during 2009, and come back in 2010 to see what's cooking, because other than the first offerings at the Yards and perhaps Canal Park {cough}, I'm not expecting much to get underway in the next little while. On the other hand, Capitol Quarter is moving forward, 1015 Half Street is now out of the ground, Diamond Teague Park is expected to open in the spring, and 100 M and 55 M and 909 New Jersey and Velocity will all be opening their doors before long, and perhaps the lure of another season of baseball will get some retail into the empty ground-floor spaces of those buildings and 20 M.
So, it's not like tumbleweeds are blowing down M Street or vines are growing on buildings a la Logan's Run--and it would be hard to make the case that it's the neighborhood's fault or the stadium's fault when the entire region is feeling the pain. The expectation would be that when the market improves, development in Near Southeast should pick up again. But we'll all just have to wait and see, won't we?

Brief Zoning Commission Hearing on Post Plant
Oct 28, 2008 10:58 AM
On Monday night the Zoning Commission held a brief hearing on Case 06-32a, the request by the city to move the old Post Plant at 225 Virginia Avenue into the "Capitol South Receiving Zone," which would allow the block to receive transferable development rights, allowing greater height and density than the 6.5 FAR and 90-ft-height currently allowed.
When this was originally brought before the commission by developer Washington Telecom Associates for setdown two years ago, the Office of Planning indicated that they wouldn't support the request because of concerns about the added density on that block affecting both Canal Park to the south and Capper/Carrollsburg townhouses to the east (read the transcript for more details). Since that time, the city subleased the building (paying $500k a month in rent), but has decided not to use it to house police department functions and so is in the process of finding a developer to take over its sublease (which also has an option to buy).
In their pre-hearing report and during last night's session, OP said they are now prepared to support the move to the receiving zone, "provided that there is Zoning Commission review of the design of the portions of a building proposed to rise higher than 90' " which would confirm that the building "will be sufficiently setback from the eastern building face to avoid shadowing the lower buildings in Square 797 to the east" and that it "will provide a suitable northern focal point for the Canal Blocks Park." The OP report says that this lot would not be exempt from the city's inclusionary zoning requirements.
The three commissioners in attendance (Hood, May, and Turnbull) asked a few cursory questions, and noted that there was no report from ANC 6D nor any witnesses in support or opposition. The ZC will vote on this case at its Nov. 10 public meeting.
With the OPM page on the 225 Virginia Request for Expressions of Interest saying that notification was to have happened yesterday, I thought there was a possibility that this hearing would give us some hint as to who might be taking over the city's lease, but the Office of Planning said they didn't know who the developer might be.

ANC 6D Report (909 NJ and Cap Quarter Permits)
Oct 21, 2008 3:11 PM
Here's a brief wrap-up of Near Southeast-related items from last night's ANC 6D meeting (though the folks following my Twitter feed got some pithy tidbits in real time):
* JPI was there requesting support for a public space permit to put up a sign at 909 New Jersey. If you've been thinking that this apartment building looks pretty far along, you're correct: the JPI rep said that they're looking to deliver the first units in February. The building has 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, of which 4,000 is expected to be leased to restaurants. The discussion about the sign permit devolved into concerns about the main staircase on New Jersey Avenue splitting up the public space, which DDOT's public space committee has already approved but which ANC members weren't sure they'd ever seen. The vote on the sign permit request was 4-0-2 in favor of asking DDOT to postpone the decision on the sign as a protest against the sign and NJ Ave public space permits not having been done together.
* EYA and the DC Housing Authority presented their request for ANC support for some new brick "screens" on certain public housing units at Capitol Quarter that won't have alley access and so will need to have their trash and recycling cans placed by the buildings' fronts. There are nine corner buildings in Capitol Quarter with 27 public housing units that will need these screens, though there are also corner buildings at CQ that are not public housing, and there are additional public housing units that are not in these corner buildings. But the ANC felt that these trash screens would make the affected units easily identified as public housing, which would negate what commissioners described as the "concept of Hope VI" where you're not supposed to be able to "tell the difference" in market-rate and public-housing units from the outside. There were also concerns about units with windows above the trash enclosures (i.e., the smell and also having to look out at the trash bins). The rep from DCHA asked the ANC to table the request for support rather than oppose it (so that EYA and DCHA could come back with some revised designs), but the ANC voted 5-0 to oppose the request anyway.
Both these public space permits are on Thursday's agenda of the city's Public Space Committee.
There was also to be a discussion of the stadium Traffic Operations and Parking Plan, but it got moved to late in the agenda, and it sounded like it was going to be just in terms of the impact on Southwest, so I will admit that I didn't stick around.
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Capitol Quarter Demolition Photos
Oct 20, 2008 10:12 AM
For those who haven't wandered past themselves, I've posted a few photos of the post-demolition landscape at Capitol Quarter--this was done because of structural problems uncovered in the foundations, which EYA decided were severe enough to require the demolition of the existing work rather than just trying to patch it or shore it up. If you want to see how the construction went up and then came down, here's all the photos of the southeast corner of Fourth and L taken this year.
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Capitol Quarter Foundations, Frames Coming Down
Oct 16, 2008 2:10 AM
I Twittered this about a half-hour ago, but I thought I'd let the Web 1.0 folks know that demolition is underway on the south side of L Street between Fourth and Fifth, taking down the framing and foundation of the Capitol Quarter townhouses that are going to have to be redone. (Why? Read this.)

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Roundup: ANC 6D Agenda, 11th Street Bridges Short List, Metro Ballpark Crowds
Oct 15, 2008 2:20 PM
* The ANC 6D agenda for its meeting on Monday Oct. 20 has been sent around (though not yet posted online). There will be a discussion of the Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan as it relates to Southwest, plus public space requests for building signage at 909 New Jersey and "Brick Walls for Trash Enclosures" at Capitol Quarter. (These are also on the Oct. 23 agenda of the city's Public Space Commitee.)
* The short list for a design/build team to reconstruct the 11th Street Bridges is out--Shirley Design-Build LLC, Skansa/Facchina, Archer Western Contractors LLC, Perini/Parsons Joint Venture, and KCA Constructors Joint Venture. According to the procurement schedule, a draft RFP should already be out (haven't found it online), and final RFP should be issued by the end of the year, with a contract signed with the vendor by June 1, 2009.
* Metro announced yesterday that 53 percent of baseball game attendees this year arrived at Nationals Park via Metrorail. That's 1.8 million bodies, averaging 23,000 people entering and exiting the Navy Yard station at the 80 home games in 2008. (It apparently doesn't count people who took the bus or walked down from Capitol South.) In the last two years at RFK, only 38 percent of attendees took the subway. Marc Fisher has some thoughts on it all (including some questions on Metro's math).

Foundation Troubles at Capitol Quarter
Oct 13, 2008 3:10 PM
You may have noticed that work seemed to stop a few weeks ago on the new townhouses at Capitol Quarter. Here is the official statement given to me by EYA:
"Several weeks ago we noticed several locations with cracking in the foundations at Capitol Quarter. We immediately put construction on hold, and contacted several geotechnical engineering firms to analyze the situation. While several repair solutions were suggested, we felt the wisest decision to ensure the integrity of the homes was to change foundation designs, and start over with a new enhanced design. Even though this meant removing the framing on several started homes, we feel this solution provides the future residents the confidence of owning structurally sound homes."
Homeowners in these first blocks along L are being told to expect their move-in dates to slide 30 to 60 days as a result of the need to demolish the existing foundations and frames and start construction over again.
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Some Late-Afternoon Pics (With Others to Come)
Oct 5, 2008 9:51 AM
I took a few quick pictures on First Street and Fourth Street on Saturday, to capture 909 New Jersey and Capitol Quarter in the late-afternoon sun--you can see all of them with their befores here.
I also finally got to some other shots to fill in two glaring holes in my portfolio, but it might be a couple of days until I get those posted. Until then, you'll just have to guess.
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Five Capitol Quarter Units Being Released
Sep 17, 2008 4:59 PM
From EYA: "Capitol Quarter will accept contracts on our next 5 market rate homes on Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 11:00 a.m." (I'm on my cell, so can't link right now. Go to eya.com for details.) UPDATE: Okay, I'm back. The five homes are being offered in the $630,000 - $645,000 range. Here's my Capitol Quarter page, just because I can't ever pass up an opportunity to link to it.
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WashTimes Look at Capitol Quarter
Sep 12, 2008 2:51 PM
This is one of those real estate-section puff pieces, not a straight news story, but it's a quiet Friday so I'll link to the WashTimes's "New in DC: Batter, and Buyers, Up,"which gives an overview of Capitol Quarter. If you're looking for a summary of what's there, it runs through all the basics. For photos and lots more information, my Capitol Quarter page has plenty to keep you occupied.
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Quick Capitol Quarter Photo Update
Aug 31, 2008 11:44 PM
It was too pretty of an afternoon to pass up a new batch of photos at Fourth and L, to document 10 days' worth of framing work on these first Capitol Quarter townhouses. (I'm sure the novelty of this construction will wear off soon. Hopefully before my camera gives out.)
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Updated Photos: First Frames at Capitol Quarter, Vertical Construction in the 1015 Half Street Hole
Aug 24, 2008 8:36 PM
I took a lot of photos today, but let's start with the ones showing new construction phases underway. First off, we have the first framing at Capitol Quarter (top), where the wood outlines of the first four houses east of the Fourth and L intersection are now up. (At least the photos are more exciting than the ones a few weeks ago of the concrete block foundations.)
Then there's 1015 Half Street, the 410,000-sq-ft office building under construction on the old Nation nightclub site. The crane arrived within the past week or so, and I finally got to a spot where I could see down into the hole to confirm that the first pillars are underway. So, by Thanksgiving, there should be the beginnings of yet another new addition to the skyline.
More photos in the next few days.
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Late Night Update on Hood Happenings
Aug 21, 2008 9:12 PM
* As I mentioned below, the garage that housed both the Merritt and Four Star cab companies started getting brought down today. They didn't get it all on Thursday, but I imagine by sundown Friday the rest will be gone. (See pictures from midmorning, though it's hard to see much in the way of a difference from First and K, since they took out the back of the building and only a smidgen of the K Street facade.)
* Only a few hours after I said that Capitol Quarter framing would start "in the next few days," lumber went up on the first house on the south side of L east of Fourth. (No pictures yet--this weekend!)
* Sometime this week the crane was put up at 1015 Half Street, so we should be seeing vertical construction before too long.
* Building permits for the external renovations to 900 M Street are now winding their way through the bureaucracy. No word yet on any retail tenants.
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More posts: 1015 Half, 900m, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Retail, Square 696 Residential, square 697

New Capitol Quarter Photos (Foundations. Yay.)
Aug 11, 2008 4:22 PM
I can't pretend that photos of not-very-high cinderblock foundations coming up along L and Fourth streets are really all that exciting (unless you own one of the houses-to-be), but that didn't stop me from taking a quick batch of new Capitol Quarter photos this morning, despite having to tiptoe around the serious infrastructure work clogging up L and Fifth.
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Capper Foundations, Bike Valet, More New Photos
Aug 5, 2008 1:20 PM
* The foundations are rising at Capitol Quarter on the south side of L Street between Fourth and Fifth. Next obsessive milestone to watch out for: delivery of lots of lumber!
* Speaking of foundations, I peeked into the big hole at 1015 Half Street on Sunday and saw that they appear to have reached bottom--there's concrete poured on the northern portion.
* In addition to the other photos I've pointed you to in the past couple days, I've posted updated shots of Velocity and 55 M.
* The August issue of the Hill Rag has an interesting little piece on the bike valet service at the ballpark.
* The annual National Night Out is tonight--the closest event is at 13th and Potomac, starting at 6:30 pm. See Tommy Wells's web site for details.

What's Next at Capper/Carrollsburg
Jul 31, 2008 12:04 PM
While the focus lately has been on the start of the Capitol Quarter townhouses, there is more to the redevelopment of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing complex. There are the two completed seniors buildings (Capper Seniors #1 and 400 M Street), now providing 300 of the 700 old Capper public housing units that are being replaced. The first phase of Capitol Quarter includes 39 subsidized rental units, and the second phase (which is probably not going to start delivering until 2011) will have another 47 subsidized rentals; this is in addition to the sales of 121 market-rate and 91 workforce-rate townhouses throughout both phases. That leaves a little over 300 public housing units to come, which will be included in the 1,300 apartments expected to be constructed at Capper over the next five years or so.
There are five new apartment buildings slated to be built, three of which along the east side of Canal Park where the temporary parking lots are, and another at New Jersey and K on the trash transfer site. And there is a new plan for a fifth apartment building, on L Street across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (B.E.Q), on the northern portion of the old Capper Seniors footprint.
Under the original Capper plans, there was to be a strip of 61 townhouses built on this spot, but the DC Housing Authority has recognized that these homes would be dwarfed by the B.E.Q. to the north and the two planned office buildings directly behind them at 600 M Street. So DCHA has now filed a request with the Zoning Commission to allow an expansion in the total number of housing units allowed at Capper to 1,747, which would allow the construction of a four-story 189-unit apartment building (with a massing very similar to the B.E.Q.) on this stretch of L Street known as Square 882N. This Zoning Commission request is also looking to expand the number of units in the planned apartment building on the south side of L Street between Second and Third (let's call it Square 769N) to 171 units, as a result of its block-mate 250 M Street having recently gotten approvals to be built higher than originally requested.
I've updated the map and descriptions on my Capper Overview page to reflect these latest plans for the area, and it's worth taking a look at if you're not really familiar with exactly how wide-ranging the Capper Planned Unit Development is. (Reading the 2004 zoning order establishing the PUD and laying out the requirements isn't a bad idea, either.) I should also note that the apartment and office buildings will combine to have about 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. There should also be a new community center at Fifth and K, but it doesn't seem to be on the front burner just yet.
Of course, the question then becomes: when? Timelines are always dicey and should be taken with a couple pounds of salt, but it appears that these two L Street apartment buildings (882N and 769N) would be first up on the agenda, perhaps being delivered in 2011. The other two buildings on Second Street would come next, and the anticipated 400-unit building on the trash transfer site would probably be the last one to be built, finishing maybe sometime in 2013. The three office buildings and the second phase of Capitol Quarter townhouses would be sprinkled throughout that time frame as well, with 250 M Street probably being the first office building to get underway, possibly even later this year. (Have I thrown in enough "maybe"s and "possibly"s and "perhaps"s for you?)
At least these plans don't have to wait until school buses get moved!

Updated Capitol Quarter Photos (Digging Underway)
Jul 24, 2008 3:58 PM
You'll probably need your x-ray specs to really glean any progress from my usual vantage points, but that shouldn't stop you from taking a look at today's batch of Capitol Quarter photos, taken on the blocks bounded by Fourth, Fifth, L, and Virginia. As the above photo shows (there's a bigger version on the project page), foundations are indeed now being dug for the first townhouses, on the south side of L between Fourth and Fifth. And meanwhile, the streets are getting pretty new granite curbs and brick gutters. The blocks north of L now have a lot of "private" infrastructure work underway (meaning, the pipes and whatnot that will run beneath the houses), so all in all there's no denying that, after a long long wait, the heart of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment is now underway. We should be seeing the first hints of structures rising out of the ground next month.
And, if you really really can't get enough of seeing what's happening in that section of the neighborhood, go to the Capitol Quarter Phase I Expanded Archive, where you can see all vantage points. And be sure to click on the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon anytime you want to see the complete range of photos from a certain spot (to watch the old Capper buildings come down, then see the weeds grow, then see the beginnings of construction).
UPDATE, 7/25: Within 24 hours of my visit, the first concrete footers were poured.
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Tiny Items of Note from This Weekend's Wanderings
Jun 23, 2008 12:53 PM
* DDOT told me these were coming a long time ago, and a reader whose e-mail I've lost gave me a heads up a few weeks back, but now I've finally visited for myself to see that the ugly cyclone fences on the South Capitol and M overpass have been replaced with pretty gray-painted ironwork.
* You have to look kind of closely, but construction has indeed started at Capitol Quarter, with pretty new curbs being installed on the south side of L Street between Fourth and Fifth. You can see them if you squint at the photos on my Capitol Quarter Phase I page.
* The owner of the Third and K Market at, um, Third and K must be keeping track of what's going on nearby, because there's now a For Rent sign tucked in the door. (Alas, all the info sheets were gone when I got there.) If you've ever dreamed of running a corner market, here's your chance. The market's been closed since about 2006.
* The "Wachovia Coming Soon" sign is back in the window at 20 M, so my building permit reading was on the mark. (It's in the window on the far western edge of the building.)
UPDATE: Speaking of 20 M, GlobeSt.com is reporting (tucked in a piece on LEED Gold certification for 1100 New York Avenue) that several leasing deals are pending for 20 M. So perhaps that's why Wachovia has decided to start moving forward.
* I did a bit of needed housingcleaning to the home page map and project directory--adding in 88 K as a "featured project", demoting 1345 South Capitol to "star-only" status until the project starts moving forward again, and adding a few additional stars for projects like the coming retail renovation of 900 M Street.
I also did some updating of the tabs with the lists of projects--if you don't realize the tabs are even there (look just above the map for "Residential/Office/Retail/Hotel"), take some time during this lazy summer to click on them and be stunned and amazed by the easy access to project information....
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More posts: 20 M, 900m, Capper, Capitol Quarter, cornercopia, M Street, Retail, South Capitol St.

Tweaking My Capitol Quarter Page(s)
Jun 10, 2008 1:04 PM
As I was walking on Third Street toward the ballpark last night, I squinted east down L Street and thought I spied construction equipment on the south side of the street east of Fourth, which is where work is supposed to be getting underway on Capitol Quarter's first townhouses. This spurred me to finally give some long-needed TLC to my Capitol Quarter page: I've now split out onto separate pages the before-and-during photos of the Phase I blocks (between Fourth and Fifth and L and Virginia), the Phase 2 blocks, and some additional photos of the sales center and its street-layout model.
If you're somewhat of a newcomer to Near Southeast, or if you've forgotten what Capper/Carrollsburg used to look like, these pages have a lot of images from 2003 and 2004 that you might find of interest, showing the months when the eastern end of the Cappers was slowly boarded up and then demolished.
If the Phase I page isn't enough for you, I've also created a Capitol Quarter Phase I Expanded Photo Archive, showing every view in the archive of the blocks that make up Phase I. I took a lot of photos last week of the Phase I blocks, so look for the icon, and also remember to click the Click to see all available photos of this location. icon to see all photos between the oldest and the newest ones (especially if you like demolition photos). I'll now be taking photos every few weeks of the Phase I blocks where construction is underway. (This area is substantially larger than the 21-acre tract where I almost killed myself trying to keep track of the ballpark's construction, but hopefully it will be a bit easier to handle.)
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In Case You Missed It (Last Week's News Again)
Jun 2, 2008 10:11 AM
There was a big pile of news this past week from Near Southeast, so I'll boil it down to bullet points and links in case you couldn't keep up:
* Construction is really about to begin on the first townhouses at Capitol Quarter, now that financing has been closed for the public housing units;
* The first phase of the waterfront park at The Yards got the thumbs up from the Zoning Commission, and is expected to be completed by summer 2009;
* Onyx on First will be opening its first five floors of apartments in late July or early August, and initial rents have been announced;
* 100 M will be substantially completed in November, and tenants should start moving into the office building early in 2009. SunTrust Bank is the first retail tenant, and the developer is looking for restaurants for the other spaces;
* The planned office building at 250 M got Zoning Commission approval for a modification to its design; and
* Street vendors will start popping up for ballgames north of M Street on Tuesday (June 3). You can see the map of where they'll be.

Financing Closes for Capitol Quarter Rental Units; Construction Phase Starts Monday
Jun 1, 2008 9:43 AM
On Friday, the DC Housing Authority successfully closed the financing for the 39 public housing rental units scattered within the 121 market- and workforce-rate townhouses at Capitol Quarter. The $5.1 million in bonds and other high-finance actions outside of my limited ability to explain will fund the $10 million in construction costs needed for these Phase 1 rental units, which will be available to persons making between 30 and 60 percent of the area's median income (adjusted for family size).
Because the private financing is already in place for the for-sale townhouses, the closing of this deal and the acquisition of various other approvals, permits, and whatnot allows EYA to start construction forthwith, and they tell me that the construction phase will indeed start tomorrow (Monday) with "land moving." The first buildings should start coming out of the ground in July on L Street between 4th and 5th, behind the 400 M Street apartment building, and residents should start moving in by the end of the year or early 2009. The rest of phase one houses will be built on the blocks between Fourth and Fifth streets and the triangular block bounded by Virginia, I, Fourth, and Third.
EYA also tells me that the next workforce housing release should be coming later this summer.
For more information, you can see my Capitol Quarter project page, or EYA's web site for additional details and contact information.
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First Capitol Quarter Sales Contracts Being Signed
May 6, 2008 5:10 AM
Word has arrived (and EYA has confirmed) that people who snagged reservations for market-rate townhomes at Capitol Quarter are starting to be brought in to sign actual sales contracts. Those with the earliest reservations (which go back to October 2006) are having their contracts written this week, and over the next few months all reservation holders will do likewise. Construction is still expected to start this summer, with some of the early-reservation-people being told to expect delivery of their houses in early 2009, though perhaps a bit sooner.
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Capitol Quarter Building Permits Continue to Flow
Apr 8, 2008 4:36 PM
It's not the same as seeing townhouses sprout from the ground, but it might still be worth noting that today's data feed for DC building permits shows a slew of approvals for Capitol Quarter addresses on Fourth, Fifth, and I street addresses....
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Morning Roundup: Capper in the NYTimes, Photos
Mar 21, 2008 8:57 AM
* The New York Times looks at the plans for replacing Capper/Carrollsburg with Capitol Quarter. (They also sent it out via their news service, so it's appearing in lots of papers around the country.) "Bucking national trends and citing what they call 'a moral goal,' District of Columbia officials have pledged to preserve and even expand low-income housing, replacing dangerous projects with new communities that keep both poor and 'work force' residents -- firefighters, teachers and laborers -- in the mix. The redevelopment of the Arthur Capper and Carrollsburg projects, where Ms. Jackson lived, is the first in the country to promise replacement of all low-income units within the same neighborhood[.]" There's a lot of good detail about the public-housing side of the project, along with comments from former residents.
* Here's a few photos that show the fences around the Capper surface lots that I was blathering about yesterday, if you haven't seen them.
* Don't miss yesterday's photos from on high.
* Coming as soon as I can finish writing it, big news about a milestone finally passed for one of Near Southeast's oldest "new developments."
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

What's the Deal With: Capitol Quarter (Again)
Mar 19, 2008 9:05 AM
About five readers in the past week have submitted the same question: What's the Deal With Capitol Quarter? And it's hard not to be wondering that, as one of the first announced projects to revitalize Near Southeast still hasn't seen the start of construction, with a number of target dates having slipped past. (You can read my WTDW Capitol Quarter from December to see the last update.)
EYA told me this week that they're now looking at June or July as when the first townhomes will get underway, a little past the "Spring" start date that was projected a few months ago. As for the "why", I've mentioned before that we shouldn't really be surprised when companies working on projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars aren't spilling their guts to a pesky neighborhood blogger about the reasons for bad news, so I have no answer. But perhaps the new 2008 reality of a much tougher real estate market and the "credit crunch" are playing a part?
This isn't to say that nothing's happening at Capitol Quarter, since work at the site has been chugging along for the past few months. The first phase of public infrastructure improvements, which has been the cause of all the ripping up of Fourth, Fifth, I, K, and L streets, is all but finished (except for some last work along L Street). And work has started on installing "private infrastructure"--the wet and dry utility lines for the new houses--which will be followed by preparing the lots for vertical construction. But of course none of this is terribly flashy work, and until the townhouses start popping up, it's easy to feel like nothing's happening.
It's still anticipated that all the Phase I townhouses will be completed by the end of 2010.
If you want to get caught up on previous WTDW... entries, here they are. To submit a WTDW question of your own, drop me a line, keeping in mind that I don't always get to these right away.
PS: No need to further inundate me with WTDW Canal Park questions. Many people (including me) are way ahead of you. Rumors are flying, and I'm trying to get some answers, so I'll post as soon as I have something.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, What's the Deal?

WTDW: Another Thrilling 'I Don't Know' Edition
Jan 10, 2008 8:12 AM
Time to dip back into the What's the Deal With...? mailbag, where once again I'm being asked fabulous questions that I don't actually have any answers for. But that hasn't stopped me yet....
* Readers B. and K. are the most recent readers to ask about the Public Space Storage building on South Capitol between M and N, just a few feet north of the ballpark, wondering whether it has any plans to close. I know that Monument Realty was interested in acquiring the building, since it owns the lots just to the building's south as well as all other parts of the block not owned by WMATA, but that was before Metro awarded the Southeastern Bus Garage and its parking lot (on the north side to the storage building) to Akridge. It's certainly a valuable piece of land, and I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that I doubt it will be there many years from now, but as of this point I've heard of no deals.
* Reader R. has asked about Canal Park, which continues to appear stalled, with no public pronouncements on it in months. (And with that "Spring 2008" still displayed for all to see on the sign at Second and M.) Is it still the school buses throwing up the roadblock, which is what we last were told? Is there some new wrinkle? I haven't heard anything, I'm sad to report.
* Reader F. asks about Ann's Beauty and Wig Shop, the dazzlingly pink building sandwiched between St. Matthew's and Onyx at 125 L Street, wondering if it's going to be sold. Ann's came to this block in 2005, after I believe being forced out of Waterside Mall in SW, and the owner has apparently been pretty vehement with potential suitors that she has no intention of selling. Perhaps the pending sale of St. Matthew's to Ruben Companies could change that, but as of now, I've heard nothing.
That's the best I can do for now--absolutely no useful information at all! No doubt there's scuttlebutt on each of these that I'm not privvy to, but I continue to be unsuccessful in my quest to get all city officials and private-sector parties operating in Near Southeast to inform me at all times about all their dealings. It's almost like they think I'm just some sort of powerless pesky neighborhood blogger or something....
Got a WTDW question? (maybe even one that I might know the answer to?) Pass it along. But I'll close with a hint--when it comes to oft-discussed projects around Near Southeast, as soon as I hear information that I can confirm, I post it. (I do tend to stay away from posting rumors, and considering some of the ones I've heard over the years that have turned out to be fabulously incredibly wrong, I don't regret this.) If you haven't seen any updates lately about Canal Park, or Capitol Quarter, or the Post Plant, or any other project, it's because nothing new has come my way. I'm as desperate to post the latest news flashes as you are to read them....

Some Capitol Quarter Building Permits Approved
Jan 3, 2008 1:16 PM
Nineteen building permits for various addresses around Capitol Quarter have been approved in the last week, as you can see in the Building Permits feed (check it out, homeowners-to-be--your address might be there!). These don't mean that houses will start popping up next week, but it is another step in the long process toward work getting underway. As I've mentioned before, the digging you see currently in the old Capper area is the work on the public infrastructure; the laying of the pipes and utilities under the homesites themselves (known as the private infrastructure) will come next, followed by the "vertical construction" of the houses, which people are still telling me should start in the spring.
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More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Council Passes Alley Closing and Capper PILOT
Dec 11, 2007 3:33 PM
Two bills of Near Southeast interest passed their first readings at today's city council meeting, on the consent agenda, no less. (Consent agenda = no discussion or bickering! Yay!) First was Bill 17-0448, which authorizes the closing of the public alley on Square 696 (bounded by Half, First, I, and K), and which had been interesting mainly for the affordable housing trust fund contribution discrepancy that came up during the bill's hearing a few weeks ago, when the developers noted that they expected their contribution to be in the neighborhood of $900,000 and the Office of Planning determined the required sum be closer to $8 million. Apparently the final bill calls for a $1.1 million contribution, which council chairman Vincent Gray said is the largest trust fund contribution ever as the result of an alley closing. The developers also have agreed to create a 20-foot-wide pedestrian right-of-way through the middle of the block to allow for easy access from I Street to the planned public plaza on K Street, though apparently DDOT requested that this right-of-way be upgradable for "motorized access" in the future if necessary. This alley closing will allow DRI Development to move forward with their plans for 800,000 square feet of office space in three buildings with 37,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. There've been noises that the first construction on the site could begin in the summer of 2008, but nothing official has been announced. (The last tenants on the block, in the cab garage at First and K, are expected to move out in February when their lease expires.)
Also passed today was Bill 17-0292, the Capper PILOT funding bill that I just wrote about in detail a couple days ago. This authorizes a bond issuance of up to $55 million that will yield close to $37 million to pay for infrastructure improvements at Capper/Carrollsburg. The bonds will then be repaid by landowners making payments in lieu of property taxes. I should mention that these PILOT funds won't only be repaid by residents of Capitol Quarter--there are two planned office developments totaling 750,000 square feet that are within the Capper PILOT area (600 M Street at the old Capper Seniors site and 250 M Street) that will generate PILOT payments.
Each bill will come before the council again in January for their final votes.

Capper Building 2 (Now 400 M Street) Move-Ins Underway
Nov 25, 2007 10:19 PM
[bump] Residents are now starting to move into 400 M Street, the building long known around these parts as Capper Building #2. They've launched a web site, 400mdc.com, and the sales office at the building is now open. There's a one-bedroom furnished model, of which one measley photo is posted on my Capper #2 page along with other photos from the building's interior.
The 139-unit building was originally designed for low-income seniors, but its profile has been expanded to also include renters who earn a moderate income of between 50 and 60 percent of the area's median income (AMI). This translates to a household income between $33,000 and $38,000 for one person and $38,000 to $45,000 for two people, and up to $54,000 for a family of four. The rental price is then set at 30% of the household income, which makes the rent for a one-bedroom unit range from $877 to $993 per month. But even with the change to allow renters with higher incomes, the building continues to rent to fixed-income seniors and other residents with lower incomes, placed through the D.C. Housing Authority, in order to maintain an overall income level of 45 percent AMI.
Fifty of the building's units have already been rented, including the four two-bedroom corner units facing the intersection at Fourth and M, which have some nice views of The Yards and the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters. Twenty of the one-bedrooms and one of the two-bedrooms are for the mobility-impaired. As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, the building's first floor has a community room with kitchenette, and laundry, computer, fitness, and conference rooms. Outside there's a landscaped interior courtyard that also serves as a stormwater management system, and is also available for use by the residents of the Carroll Apartments low-income senior-citizens building next door.
Between 400 M and its sibling Capper Seniors #1, 300 new affordable housing units have opened at Capper in the past year. Another 400 units are still to come, at both the mixed-income Capitol Quarter townhouse development, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2008, and at additional mixed-income apartment buildings planned for Second Street, SE (no dates yet announced on those).

Capitol Quarter: Another Nine Released, Phase I Finished
Nov 3, 2007 4:34 PM
I received word earlier today that immediately on the heels of the nine home sites that EYA released at Capitol Quarter as scheduled at 11 this morning, they decided on the spot to release an addtional nine units, which have probably been snapped up by now and which complete the market-rate homes that make up Phase I of the project. (Phase 2, with no announced timetable, will be the townhomes on the blocks south of I Street between Second and Third.) There will still be additional workforce-level income houses to be offered, but those will be filled through a different process (last time it was a lottery) and no dates have been announced. (And low-income rental units are sprinkled throughout the development as well.) Bet it was a wild scene at the sales center when word of the additional units hit the people standing in line....
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Nine New Homesites Released for Capitol Quarter
Nov 2, 2007 10:44 AM
Word has just gone out that tomorrow morning (Nov. 3) at 11 am reservations will be accepted for the next nine market-rate houses at Capitol Quarter. Prices range from $610k to $745k, and the offered sites now include lots on the block bounded by Virginia, I, Third, and Fourth. (Contact the sales office if you need more details.) Let the stampede begin!
UPDATE: The line hit the "nine" mark pretty quickly this afternoon, as I understand it. On the downside, word is now getting to some who have reserved homes in previous stampedes that the expected construction start date may be slipping again, perhaps toward the second quarter of 2008, though dates are not in stone. (I'm hearing conflicting things. Will try to sort out.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

The Return of Capitol Quarter Camping
Oct 24, 2007 11:47 AM
It has been observed that a camper has set up shop within the past week or so outside the Capitol Quarter sales center at 4th and L, even though no date has been announced for the next release of market-rate homes. Too bad the weeks of dry weather just gave out! Campers were of course a fixture at the site over the summer, when five house sites were sold each month. It will be interesting to see how long this intrepid soul (and presumably the cadre of friends helping save the camper's place "in line") will have to wait....
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Still More New Photos
Sep 18, 2007 2:05 PM
Yesterday morning, after traipsing down to check on the progress of the GPO building's demolition at The Yards, I took a fair number of pictures along Third and Fourth streets in the Capper/Capitol Quarter areas, since it was a gorgeous day and because it had been a while since I updated those photos in my Photo Archive. Here's the complete batch of yesterday's pictures, all on one page--it's mainly photos of a bunch of empty lots, but you can click on the icon under any image to see earlier photos from the same vantage point. There's also some shots of the GPO building, though they didn't seem to be doing any demo work yesterday.
(If you've come to JDLand fairly recently and aren't familiar with my Photo Archive, go give it a spin. You can choose any intersection in Near Southeast and see all the photos I've posted of that location over the past getting-close-to-five-years. And the icon you see on my project pages will show you the archive photos for the vantage point you're looking at. If you're needing to waste a couple of hours, this is the application for you!)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, The Yards, Yards/Parcel H

Capper Infrastructure Work Now Underway
Aug 2, 2007 8:06 PM
I'm a few days late with this, but it's still worth marking the milestone that infrastructure work has now indeed begun at Capitol Quarter, on the northwest corner of 5th and L. Considering that the announcement in 2001 of the plans for revitalizing Capper/Carrollsburg was one of the first things that got me interested in goings-on south of the freeway, it's quite satisfying to see that forward movement (beyond just demolition) has finally started.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capper Infrastructure Work - Not Quite Yet
Jul 24, 2007 10:17 AM
Some people have written me saying that the work to upgrade the infrastructure around Capitol Quarter has begun--but while it's close, I've confirmed that it hasn't actually started yet, although it shouldn't be too long now. This is work on the water and sewer lines--"vertical" construction (i.e., buildng the townhouses) is still scheduled to start in January 2008.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Links for Today's Ballpark and Beyond Column
Jul 5, 2007 10:24 AM
If you wandered over here from today's Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post's District Extra, here are a few links you might want to follow for additional background: Capitol Hill Tower is the home of the dry cleaners that had the bad first day of business; my Capitol Quarter page has lots of photos and details on the mixed-income townhouse development replacing Capper/Carrollsburg that has generated so much camping activity; I've got plenty of recent exterior and interior photos of the Nationals ballpark and renderings of what it's supposed to look like when it finishes next spring; my 1111 New Jersey Ave. page has details on the Donohoe office building project that will now be expanded after their purchase of the Navy Yard Metro station east entrance; and my Upcoming Events Calendar has links for the pile of meetings and hearings scheduled for next week.


Next Capitol Quarter Release on Sunday - Change in Future Releases?
Jun 30, 2007 11:00 AM
The current batch of campers at 4th and L now have the end in sight, as an e-mail went out this morning announcing that the July release of five market-rate townhouses at Capitol Quarter will happen July 1 (tomorrow) at 11 am. However, if you were thinking about heading down there with tent in hand in anticipation of the next release, this paragraph from the e-mail might be worth digesting: "This will be the last market rate home release until later this year. Once we have established the date and procedures of our next release of market rate homes, we will notify you with this information via email." Sounds like maybe they're changing their release routine? We will have to watch and see.
Also, the lowest base price on the market-rate houses is now just a smidge over $600k, so certainly the prices have responded to the interest!
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Ballpark and Beyond: This Week's Links
Jun 28, 2007 10:09 AM
This week's Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post is on Tuesday's groundbreaking at Capper / Carrollsburg, and Monument's purchase of the Sunoco site. If you're visiting here for more information, you can check out my Capper / Carrollsburg overview page for more details and links on the project's redevelopment as well as photos from the groundbreaking, and my Capitol Quarter page has lots and lots (and lots!) of photos showing the area before, during, and after demolition. You can see what Monument Realty is up to at Half and M on my Monument Half Street page.
More posts: Homewood Suites, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Monument Valley/Half St., staddis

Capper Groundbreaking
Jun 26, 2007 2:06 PM
For those of you who didn't feel like venturing out into the sauna (hello, DC summer!), I've posted photos from today's ceremonial groundbreaking at Capper/Carrollsburg. The tent was air-conditioned, at least, and there was a bit of a revival feel as DCHA executive director Michael Kelly, Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells, and other officials sang the praises of the federal/city/private partnership that has leveraged a $35 million HUD HOPE VI grant into a nearly $500 million revitalization project. Many former Capper residents were there, clearly excited about what they will be returning to; one woman, whose mother moved into the Cappers when it opened in 1956, spoke of being one of the 55 Capper households in the Community Support Services Homeownership Education and Counseling Program, which will help her to buy a home in the community where she's spent almost her entire life.
As for the timeline, infrastructure work at the site is now getting underway, to be followed this fall by "land development", which for us non-construction types is better known as Moving Dirt Around; the start of the houses themselves (i.e., "vertical construction") is scheduled for early 2008.
And the campers waiting for the next release of market-rate homes? They got to take the morning off, but will be back. You can watch the story Channel 9 did yesterday if you need your camping fix.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capper/Carrollsburg Groundbreaking (and Capper Background)
Jun 24, 2007 10:30 AM
The DC Housing Authority is having a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday (June 26) at 11 am for the first phase of the Capper/Carrollsburg mixed-income townhouses (i.e., Capitol Quarter), at 4th and L by the EYA sales office. This isn't a signal for the actual start of "vertical" construction, though--that won't begin until later this year.
And maybe this makes for a good time to have a refresher on what exactly "Capper/Carrollsburg" is:
In 2001, DC received a $34.9 million Hope VI grant to redevelop the 23-acre 700-unit Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project as a mixed-income development, replacing every one of the low-income units and then adding to them another 700-plus market-rate and workforce-rate rental and ownership units. The redevelopment project is being handled as a joint venture by Forest City Washington, Mid-City Urban LLC, and the Housing Authority.
The townhouse portion of the redevelopment, being marketed by EYA as Capitol Quarter, will have approximately 121 market-rate and 91 "workforce"-rate ownership houses; an additional 65 townhouses will contain 111 subsidized rental units and Section 8 ownership units. The market-rate houses are already being made available for reservations in monthly blocks, with the attendant tent cities popping up at the sales center as hopeful homeowners stake their claims. There was a lottery back in 2006 for the first 20 workforce units; I imagine another will be coming before too long.
Three hundred low-income rental units have already been completed (or are about to be) as part of the new Capper Seniors #1 and Capper Building #2 projects. The rest of the public housing rental units will be included in four mixed-income apartment buildings planned along Canal Park, three on the eastern side of the park between 2nd and 3rd and I and M, and a fourth on the site of the DPW Trash Transfer lot at New Jersey and K. None of these are anticipated to start construction before 2010, so in the meantime, temporary surface parking lots will soon appear on those blocks to help ease the expected Nationals stadium parking crunch.
Additionally, 700,000 sq ft of office space will eventually be built within the Capper redevelopment area; 250 M Street is a 190,000-sq-ft joint venture between William C. Smith and the DC Housing Authority, and although it now has all of its zoning approvals, we just learned a few days ago that Smith is going to wait until the building is 30 percent leased before beginning construction. There will eventually be another 500,000 sq ft of office space developed at 7th and M on the site of the old Capper Seniors building (itself scheduled to be demolished late this year), but with no current timetable for that project a temporary surface parking lot is coming to that site as well. There will also be another 30-45 townhomes built along L Street behind these new office buildings, but those are a long ways off.
Topping it all off, a new 28,000-sq-ft community center is planned at 5th and K, replacing the one demolished earlier this year. It could start construction in 2008, but those plans might change if, say, a developer or the Housing Authority manages to snag from DCPS the Van Ness Elementary School site at 5th and M, which was closed in 2006 and is now administrative space. A new elementary school could be then constructed to serve families as they move into the rebuilt Capper neighborhood, and the community center could be part of the school rather than being a standalone project. But with the changes in the structure of the public schools' governance, who knows when any decision like this could happen, if at all. Just some Sunday morning speculation for you.
(This info has all been available on my Capper overview page, but it's good to get it out front once in a while.)

New Stadium Photos (Inside and Outside) and More
Jun 17, 2007 1:11 PM
It seems like it's been forever since I updated my Nationals Ballpark Construction Gallery, but I'm actually only a week behind my usual schedule--it's now updated with a pile of pictures I took during yesterday morning's beautiful weather, but beware that some of the showiest shots didn't get updated this time around thanks to actual construction going on at the construction site.
But to make it up to you, I have a whole new series of photos from inside the stadium so you can see stuff that the Webcam might not be showing real clearly.
And I've also finally expanded the construction gallery to include four additional pages of befores-and-afters (well, befores-and-durings) that have vantage points you don't see on my "main" gallery page. So knock yourself out looking at more shots from First Street, Potomac Avenue, South Capitol Street, and N Street. (There's also links to these new pages from the top of the main gallery.)
I also updated the Photo Archive with a fair number of photos from other spots around Near Southeast. You can see every new photo posted on this page; if you look really closely, you'll see a few shots that include the campers' tents at the Capitol Quarter sales office on 4th Street, as well as photos of the colorful new fence drapings that now surround the Velocity Condos site.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Square 699n, Nationals Park, Velocity Condos

Post Profiles the Capitol Quarter Campers
Jun 17, 2007 11:25 AM
The Post profiles the hardy souls giving up weeks of their lives to camp out for the next release of Capitol Quarter townhomes, in "Line Forms and Sleeps Here to Live Near Stadium."
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Campers Are Back at Capitol Quarter
Jun 7, 2007 11:57 AM
Yup, there's a new bunch of campers now staked out in front of the Capitol Quarter sales office at 4th and L, even though the next release of market-rate houses isn't expected until July.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Camp Out About to End - For Now
Jun 1, 2007 10:47 AM
EYA has just sent out an e-mail announcing that they will accept reservations on the next five market-rate homes at Capitol Quarter starting tomorrow, June 2, at 11 am. So the tent city outside the sales office at 4th and L will presumably be folding up shop--at least until the next batch of campers arrives in anticipation of a July offering.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

NBC4 on Camping at Capitol Quarter
May 31, 2007 10:20 PM
I was trying desperately to ignore this, because of inexcusable factual errors from the text version that make me want to prevent them from getting any traffic from this link, but people are inundating me with the clip, so here you go: NBC 4 ran a piece on Wednesday about Capitol Quarter, with video of the folks camping out. So if you can get past the labeling of the development as being "East of the River" (grrrrr) and the mention of its location as being near the "East-West Freeway" (GRRRRRRRRRRRR), enjoy. Impossibly high standards aside, the piece gives a good overview of what's happening, although there's no real news in it for regular readers here.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Camping Out at Capitol Quarter
May 23, 2007 10:27 AM
The next offering of market-rate townhouses at Capitol Quarter is planned for sometime in June, but even with no official date announced, people are already camping out in to make sure they get their chance at a unit. I dunno, maybe EYA needs to shift its strategy of how it determines who gets to buy their houses--Sack races? Skeeball tournaments? Scavenger hunts? Weekly televised talent shows where the audience votes on who wins? For those of you whose lives prevent a three-week camping expedition to the wilds of 4th and L, go to the official Capitol Quarter web site to sign up for their e-mail list to be notified about the next releases.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

ANC 6D May Agenda - And 250 M Back at the Zoning Commission
May 9, 2007 12:46 PM
The agenda for May ANC 6D meeting has been sent out (though it's not yet available on their web site). In addition to a presentation and vote on the Waterside Mall plans, there's a bunch of Near Southeast-related items on the agenda, ones that I've been posting about here for a while:
* There will be a presentation and vote on 1325 South Capitol's resubmission to the Zoning Commission as a PUD (that hearing is now scheduled for May 31). This is the planned 276-unit residential building across the street from the Nationals ballpark, which because of some procedural muck had to resubmit its plans in a different format.
* Also scheduled is an update by the DC Housing Authority on the latest goings-on at Capper/Carrollsburg, including status reports on the Senior Buildings (which I imagine will include the change for Capper Building #2 [aka the "Ballpark Apartments"] to allow workforce-level residents in addition to low-income seniors), as well as on the planned demolition this summer of the old Capper Seniors building at 7th and M, and the latest with the townhomes at Capitol Quarter, as more market-rate houses go on the market and with infrastructure construction expected to begin soon (and "vertical construction" probably starting in early fall).
* And there's also a presentation and vote on the (gaaaaak) Supplemental Stadium Surface Parking plan that's having its zoning hearing on May 21. My Stadium Transportation and Parking page (and its News Items tab) can give you the gory details.
This meeting is scheduled for the same time as Monday's Zoning Commission meeting, which includes on its newly-posted agenda the final approval vote on the 250 M Street office building project (which has been delayed a bit over the past few months), so it's a tough call which one I'll be focusing on. (Especially since we know how much I love ANC meetings.)

Updates from Here and There
May 6, 2007 5:23 PM
Let's see.... The most interesting news of the day is that, as of 2:00 this afternoon, there were already folks camping out in front of the Capitol Quarter sales office, six days ahead of the next offering of five market-rate townhouses. Next, I took some new photos of the Nation demolition (which is not exactly proceeding with lightning speed)--check either my 1015 Half Street page for the basics, or the Photo Archive for Half and K and Half and L for additional shots. I also updated with what might be my final M Street photos for the DOT HQ, recording that both New Jersey and 4th Street are now open to traffic south of M (a couple weeks after the stoplights were turned on). And I took photos of the new DRI sign at 1st and I (though the photos don't show them real well, and one's already falling down)--they say "DRI Development Services, LLC | A Transwestern Company | Office/Retail." Still trying to get some info on what's coming there. Anyway, you can poke around those pages, or you can look at all the photos from today that I've posted and then click on the intersection/direction links to compare today's shots to what that view has looked like over the past few years.

Five Market Homes Being Released at Capitol Quarter
May 5, 2007 4:39 PM
From an e-mail just sent out by EYA, word that "Capitol Quarter will accept reservations on our next 5 market rate homes on Saturday May 12th, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. [...] Reservations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis beginning at 11:00 a.m on May 12th. [...] Please note that no reservations will be accepted before 11:00 a.m on Saturday May 12th, 2007, and this offering does not include any workforce homes, which will be released at a later date." And: "We anticipate an additional 5 market rate homes will be made available each month for the next several months." So, for those folks waiting to see additional movement at Capitol Quarter, it looks like they're kicking into gear. And note that the sales center is now back to being open seven days a week. For more on Capitol Quarter, check out my Capper/Carrollsburg pages. If you want to receive these announcements directly from EYA, go to their Capitol Quarter web site and sign up.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Articles on Capitol Quarter and Parking
Apr 13, 2007 11:04 PM
A few articles to note in the latest neighborhood newspapers--nothing really new in them (especially if you stop by here with regularity), but they might be good roundups for people who haven't been following along closely. The April Hill Rag has a profile of Capitol Quarter, the mixed-income townhome component of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment. And the latest Voice of the Hill has "Stadium Parking Plan is 'Managed Chaos'", covering last month's stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan meeting and the reaction of local residents and leaders. My notes from that meeting are here, and my Stadium Parking page has the meeting's presentation slides from Gorove/Slade, DDOT, and WMATA.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Metro/WMATA, parking

Capitol Quarter Sales Office Change in Hours
Mar 27, 2007 4:33 PM
An e-mail has gone out to folks who have registered with the Capitol Quarter townhome development announcing that the hours of the sales office at 4th and L have been temporarily cut back to 11 - 6 Saturdays and Sundays, with weekday hours by appointment. "These new hours are only temporary - once the release date of our next homesites is known, our office will return to being open 11 am to 6 pm daily." Hopefully there will be news on the next release of units by the end of spring; the first 40 houses (market-rate and workforce-rate) were snapped up in the blink of an eye, and it'll be interesting to see if the level of interest is the same on the next go-round.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

DC Gov't Feeds Taking a Timeout - First Capitol Quarter Permit Approvals
Jan 21, 2007 11:38 AM
I've been flying a bit blind for the past couple of weeks when it comes to reading the tea leaves on new projects, because the New Building Permits daily feed that the DC government started last year has decided to take a breather, with no new information since the end of December. There's still the old-fashioned PDF weekly update list, but it doesn't include some of the types of permits that the feed had been including, not to mention the fact that as of this week it's 270 pages long, and can't easily be filtered like the feed to just show Near Southeast data. (Waaah!) And e-mails and questions to CapStat about the state of this feed and other issues go perpetually unanswered (Waaah! again).
Given all of this, I can only very belatedly pass on that in early January the first building permits were approved for 10 townhouses in the Capitol Quarter mixed-income project--the approved houses are on the 300 block of Virginia Avenue, which is interesting given that this is not where they plan on building the first units (along 4th and 5th Streets south of K); I imagine those approvals are not far behind, given that construction is supposed to start in the spring.
As for one of the other feeds, the list of Service Requests--where you can see when people have complained about illegally parked cars, or streetlights not working, or rats needing to be controlled--has been put on hiatus until they do some reworking of the database, with an estimated return date of March 2007. At least they told us this one was going away for a bit.
UPDATE: Surprisingly, my whining above about the Building Permits feed and the lack of response from the folks who run it got noticed by the right people (thanks to the link from DCBlogs, I think), and they say they're aware of the issue. Hopefully it'll get back on track soon.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

New Photos, from On High
Jan 11, 2007 5:51 PM
Today I was able to take some photos from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott--since it was a clear day, I could indeed see forever. First off, with the Capper/Carrollsburg demolition west of 5th Street now complete, I've posted before-and-after photos of the Capper footprint that illustrate the astonishing difference 10 months and six blocks' worth of demolition can make; this page also has new photos as you scroll down showing ground-level shots of the final demolished block north of K between 2nd and 3rd. Next are photos-from-above of the holes in the ground at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx, with comparison shots from last year (scroll down a bit from the top of the page). And, if you can bear to scroll ALL the way to the bottom, I have views of the Nats ballpark construction from this Courtyard vantage point--it's pretty much like looking into the stadium from dead center field, except four blocks away. And, at the top of the Capper Seniors page, there's a neat shot of all three Capper Seniors buildings. Alas, now I will have to return to taking boring street-level shots for a while....

WP Profiles Forest City Enterprises
Jan 1, 2007 6:41 PM
How's that hangover? Let's start the year off with this link to the Post's "A Family Company, Forest City, Sets Out to Transform the District", a profile of Forest City Enterprises, the Cleveland-based company that "owns about 90 acres at three major Southwest and Southeast projects where it plans to invest roughly $3 billion into a mix of parks, housing, shops, restaurants and offices. And it is one of the developers working on transforming the land around the new baseball stadium -- now mostly boarded-up storefronts, car-repair garages and nightclubs -- into a vibrant neighborhood." There's not anything that qualifies as new info in the piece, but it's a good summary piece of the developments Forest City is involved in. Its biggest project in Near Southeast is the Southeast Federal Center, where "[o]ver the next decade, Forest City plans to build an almost $2 billion development of 6 million square feet -- a space almost as large as the Pentagon. Its plans call for preserving the historic buildings and turning a boilermaker shop into a retail area, creating apartments from a former carpentry building and converting an old gun mount factory into condominiums. It will also put in streets, offices, lofts and waterfront parks. In tribute to its Navy history, the project will be called the Yards." Forest City is also behind the revitalization of Capper/Carrollsburg, and, although not mentioned in the article, is likely to be one of the companies who get to redevelop the WASA site across from the stadium (if the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation can ever finish that land negotiation). And, outside my purview, they're also part of the team redeveloping Waterside Mall in Southwest. One interesting quote about the Southeast Federal Center project, from Deborah Ratner Salzberg, head of the company's DC operations: "It really will be a mixed environment that looks like it's been here forever. It won't look like Disneyland. It will be a little edgy and have the feel of the waterfront." Can't wait to see some specific plans; the company has announced in recent months that the first projects on the site are to get underway in 2007, so hopefully we don't have to wait much longer for some concrete information.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, The Yards

Year-End Photo Bonanza
Dec 29, 2006 6:55 PM
As we slide into the New Year's weekend, I'm bringing 2006 to a close with a pile of new photos. The most comprehensive update would be on my Department of Transportation HQ page, with updated photos from almost every angle, including the not-yet-open-to-the-public views from the south side of the project, along Tingey Street. And I had a lovely time on Christmas Eve morning being briefly detained by security and then escorted off the premises, so I hope you appreciate my sacrifice. I also updated all the 20 M Street shots, as workers have switched into a high gear to have the building ready for a Spring 2007 delivery. The demolition work on the last Capper block has brought some new photos to the Capper Apartments page (updated since yesterday), and my wanderings around the Capper footprint made me also add some new shots to the Capitol Quarter page and even at the bottom of the main Capper/Carrollsburg Overview page. Then I had to go take a few new Nationals ballpark shots (yes, new just since Christmas Eve). Then, because I never want to be accused of ignoring a construction site, I've even posted fabulously exciting pictures of the excavated holes at 70/100 I and 100 M/Onyx. And sprinkled two new M Street images, too. The beloved icon is your guide to all the latest, of course. And I hope to have another big update early in 2007 with some new overhead shots, once the Capper demolition is complete. In the meantime, enjoy this overwhelming bounty.

Alley-Closing-Palooza Comes to a Close: Everything Passes
Dec 19, 2006 4:19 PM
With no debate, the four Near Southeast alley closing bills that have been snaking their way through the DC legislative process in 2006 were passed at today's city council session, with both emergency and permanent bills being passed (emergency bills allow the statutes to take effect immediately, allowing the closings to be considered law as the permanent bills await mayoral and congressional approval). To recap, this batch included the closing of alleys on the west side of Square 701 between M, N, Cushing, and Half (at Monument Realty's 55 M Street site); the closing of alleys and the creation of streets named 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and an official designation of a portion of L Street, all part of the Capitol Quarter footprint; the closing of alleys and the eventual reopening of H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey to make way for W.C. Smith's 1-million-sq-ft mixed-use project at 800 New Jersey; and finally the closing of alleys on the east side of Square 700 (between Half, Van, M, and N), where Monument will eventually add to their Half Street domination. That makes seven Near Southeast alley closings and street changes put on the books in 2006, when you include the stadium street closings, the Willco land on the east side of Square 701 (M, N, Cushing, and 1st) and the Square 743N west-side alley closings that allowed the start of construction on the 100 M Street office building and the Onyx on First residential tower. There's one more potential alley closing wandering around out there somewhere, and that's for Lerner's 1000 South Capitol Street office building; representatives came before ANC 6D way back in April, but (believe it or not!) a squabble broke out about an acceptable community benefits package in return for the ANC's report, and nothing's been heard on this since.

Workforce Lottery - 172 Entrants for 20 Homes
Nov 17, 2006 10:33 PM
With the Capitol Quarter workforce housing lottery mere hours away, I've been told that 172 interested parties have been certified and will be entered in the drawing Saturday morning at 9 am. There were a few last-minute changes made by DCHA in the rules governoring the workforce program because of the huge response (though, again, I hope if you're in the lottery you're registered with the EYA web site and not depending on me to tell you this a mere 11 hours beforehand!)--quoting from an EYA e-mail, "the three-bedroom Elliott model may not be reserved by purchasers with a household size of less than two"; and "the Price Control Period will be enforced with a soft second-trust rather than a restrictive covenant. In addition, the Price Control period has been modified to encourage initial occupants to remain in the workforce homes for the first three years after initial settlement." If this makes no sense, read the Workforce Housing Guidelines for more details. I'll be there at 9 am to view the festivities (unless I oversleep, which with my lazy bones is always possible), so wave and say hi. And remember, there will be about 70 more workforce homes available for purchase as more of Capitol Quarter comes on line, so there will be more opportunities in the coming months for qualified buyers to purchase one of these moderate-income-level homes. UPDATE: As you can see from the photo above, it was just like the lottery shows on TV--ping pong balls in a barrel with numbers on them. Fifty numbers were picked, and 20 of those people (going down through the list in the order they were picked) will sign reservation contracts. Four of the top 20 already appeared to not be staying around to sign reservations, so folks lower down the list who thought they didn't have a chance might still see a glimmer of hope....
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Workforce Housing Lottery
Nov 16, 2006 8:44 AM
Hopefully the people who are interested in purchasing a workforce housing unit at Capitol Quarter are already registered with the EYA web site and are receiving the e-mail updates, but I'll still mention here that the first lottery for workforce (i.e., moderate income) units will be held this Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 9 am. There are a series of requirements that must be met in order to participate in the lottery, and a visit to the Sales Center at 4th and L on either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17 is required to be certified. And, like all good drawings, you must be present to win. More information is available on the Capitol Quarter Workforce web site or by getting in touch with EYA (202-484-0360). UPDATE, 11/16: The Washington Times published a piece today on the lottery this Saturday, but I bet EYA wishes that the article mentioned that you can't just show up on Saturday for the lottery, that you need to go to the sales center either today or tomorrow to be certified.... (And also the comment that EYA decided to do a lottery for the workforce housing because the first market-rate units sold out immediately isn't quite right, the lottery concept was announced before the market-rate units sent on sale.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Photo Updates
Nov 12, 2006 11:10 PM
Thankfully I looked at the weather forecast before planning my weekend, and scheduled a photo excursion for Saturday, not Sunday. Lots of new pictures in the Stadium Construction Gallery, now also reorganized so that as you scroll down you're basically walking clockwise around the stadium site from it's construction starting point at 1st and N Place all the way down Potomac, up South Capitol, and over on Half back to 1st. And I also added a new photo or two (and updated the spiffy animated slide shows) for 20 M and Capper Seniors #2. Let the icon be your guide to the additions, as always. UPDATE: Oh yeah, duh, there's also the Capper demolition along the south side of L Street between 3rd and 4th, I added a couple of shots of that as well to my Capitol Quarter page, I'll update when the last of the blue-roofed apartment buildings comes down, probably within the next week.

Small Buildings Along 3rd, L, and 4th Demolished
Nov 9, 2006 9:08 PM
The two- and three-story brick buildings on the southeast corner of 3rd and L, and the one old townhouse on 4th between L and M, have been demolished within the past few days. These are on the northern part of Square 800, which is home to the 300 M Street office building and also the last tall Capper/Carrollsburg buildings. This land will be the southwestern edge of the Capitol Quarter townhome development. Hopefully this means that the long-vacant Capper buildings on that block will soon be demolished, but I don't know anything for sure. I also haven't heard any timeline for the demolition of the two-story Capper buildings on 2nd between I and L--mixed-income apartment buildings will eventually be built on those blocks, but there's no start date that I've heard for those projects. I will post demolition pictures soon--I've been quite remiss in my picture taking duties lately, but guilt is reaching crisis levels, and I promise to go on a photo excursion this weekend.
More posts: Capper, Capper New Apt Bldgs, Capitol Quarter

Alley-Closing-Palooza; 2008 Start for Smith/NJ Ave, W Aloft Hotel Coming to Ballpark District
Oct 31, 2006 4:35 PM
Today was a bonanza of Near Southeast alley closing requests, as four pending bills received their public hearings in front of the city council "Committee of the Whole" (i.e., Chairman Cropp, the only council member in attendance).
The first was B16-0799, alley closings and new street designations as part of the Capitol Quarter/Capper Carrollsburg project. Nothing really new in the testimony, except that it has been requested that the bill be considered by the council on an emergency basis, in order to help speed the process of getting the project underway. Ms. Cropp called the project "very, very exciting" and seemed particularly enthused by the mixed-income aspect of the project, noting that the city's past creation of "economic ghettos" hasn't worked out well.
Next up was B16-0888, which seeks to reopen H and I streets between 2nd and New Jersey, and to close alleys and streets within those two blocks; I was not aware until today that a portion of this land is actually federal land (Reservation 17A), which is part of the land transfer bill currently pending before Congress. The northern block (Square 737, north of I) is where William C. Smith is planning a mixed-use project, which in their testimony they broke out as two office buildings totalling 600,000 sq ft, two apartment buildings totalling 600 units (with a 10% affordable housing component), 1100 parking spaces, and 80,000-100,000 sq ft of retail space. They mentioned that back when they first bought the land in 1999 they got a letter of intent from Whole Foods to include a grocery store in this location, but then Whole Foods came down and saw that at that point there wasn't a whole lot of development going on, they pulled out; but Smith is still very interested in getting a grocery store in this development. They anticipate beginning work on this project in 2008 and completing it in 2011. As for Square 739 (where the DPW trash transfer station currently resides), it is actually part of the Capper/Carrollsburg redevelopment, and plans are for a 322-unit apartment building with 115 affordable units, and also ground-floor retail. They don't anticipate beginning work on the building for at least another 4 to 5 years. Ms. Cropp did express some concerns about where the DPW vehicles will be relocated to, given the lack of industrial land left in the city.
After lunch was B16-0879, Monument Realty's request for alley closings on Square 701 between Cushing, Half, M, and N (in the block just north of the ballpark) as part of their "Ballpark Phase I" project, which also includes the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station at Half Street, which Monument is responsible for as part of their purchase of the WMATA land on the southwest corner of Half and M. New news from the hearing is that there will also be a hotel in addition to the previously announced 275,000-sq-ft office building at Half and M and the 350-unit residential building (mix of rental and condo, with up to 20% affordable housing) at Half and N--Monument is working with W Aloft to develop a 200-key boutique hotel on Half Street. The entire project will have 700 parking spaces, and Monument is planning to begin construction in January 2007 so that these three levels of underground parking (as well as perhaps some of the 50,000 sq ft of planned ground floor retail) can be completed by Opening Day 2008; they will then continue work on the upper floors to have the entire project completed in 2009. UPDATE: I should also note that as part of their plans, Monument will be extending Cushing Place approximately 80 feet, so that it will run through to N Street
Finally came B16-0880, another request from Monument Realty, this time for alley closings on the west side of Square 700, just across Half Street from the Phase I project in the previous alley closing hearing. They are still negotiating with WMATA to attempt to purchase the bus depot land on Square 700, but in the meantime are moving forward with a 115,000-sq-ft/100 unit residential project on the northwest corner of Half and N, on the site of the Good N Plenty carryout (whose lease expires today, it was mentioned). This project will have 12,000 sq ft of ground-floor retail, which, given its location directly across from the stadium plaza entrance, will be quite a prime location. Ms. Cropp was concerned that the project will only have two levels/74 spaces of underground parking (you got the feeling that parking is very much on her mind these days!). There was no stated timeframe for this project, except to say "after Square 701." And of course by then they'll have probably secured the bus depot.
For all of these bills, the next step I believe is getting them on the council consent calendar, for votes to be taken.
Is that enough information? Can I stop now? :-)
UPDATE: These hearings are all available via DC Cable 13's on-demand video offerings.

Capitol Quarter Sales Begin Saturday
Oct 20, 2006 2:50 PM
The Capitol Quarter sales office will begin accepting contracts on Saturday (tomorrow, Oct. 21) for the first phase of townhomes being sold (I believe there are about 20 19 total market-rate and workforce units available in this first batch); I'll wander over a bit before 11 to see how many people are camped on the front doorstep; be sure to wave for the camera if you're one of them. UPDATE: Maybe I should try to remember what I've already written--the first 20 workforce units will be available via lottery on Nov. 18, not tomorrow. Duh. Starting tomorrow there will be 19 market-rate homes going up for sale. And word is that camping out began on Wednesday.... UPDATE, Saturday a.m.: 19 units released for sale, 19 buyers in line (and more turned away). So if you didn't make it down there, you'll have to wait for the next batch.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Sales Office Opens Saturday - Sneak Preview Here at JDLand
Oct 13, 2006 4:48 PM
Just a reminder that the Capitol Quarter sales office will open on Saturday Oct. 14 at 11 am for it's one-week "sneak preview" of the development (meaning no contracts or appointments). I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview today of the sneak preview--if you're at all interested in Near Southeast, even if you're not currently thinking about moving to Capitol Quarter, you must go see the model of the developed neighborhood, it's absolutely stunning. I took a bunch of photos of it and have put them on my Capitol Quarter page, sprinkling them throughout and displaying them alongside the "live" photos of the area. Sales will begin first-come first-serve at 11 am Oct. 21 for the first phase of market-rate and workforce-rate townhomes. Prices and floor plans are supposed to be posted any second now on the official web site. One thing to remember as you look at the model--the low-, middle-, and high-income units are all mixed in with each other, sometimes multi-unit low-income rentals will have facades that make them look like two townhomes, so from the outside you can't tell which units are which. UPDATE: Prices and floor plans are now posted, on a spiffy new Capitol Quarter web site.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Workforce Housing Info
Oct 6, 2006 9:59 PM
EYA has released details on the Workforce Housing program at Capitol Quarter. There are two floor plans to view (which are probably also a hint at the floorplans that will be available in the market-rate homes), as well as an extremely informative Workforce Housing Guidelines sheet explaining how the 90-or-so workforce units will be sold; details on deposit requirements, restrictions (lots of them), and income levels are included (along with a big NOTE: that just because your income falls within the accepted range doesn't mean you'll automatically qualify). Twenty workforce units will be available initially, and there will be a reservation lottery on Nov. 18. There will also be a seminar about the program on Oct. 11 at 7:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Capitol Hill (415 New Jersey Ave., NW), I'm not sure whether you need to be registered with Capitol Quarter's web site in order to attend. The guidelines sheet also mentions that construction at Capitol Quarter is expected to begin in the Spring/Summer of 2007, with units ready for move-in near the end of 2007, into 2008. And don't forget that the one-week preview period for the market-rate homes will begin on Oct. 14, pre-registration required.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Pre-Registration Opens
Sep 19, 2006 11:29 PM
An e-mail has just gone out to folks who have registered previously at EYA's web site, announcing that the Capitol Quarter townhome project (on the site of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project) will open for a one-week preview period on Oct. 14, during which the sales office will be open, and plans and prices will be available, but no appointments, reservations, or contracts will be taken. To get in on the preview, you need to re-register with EYA (at a new URL, www.eyacapitolquarter.com/), even if you've registered in the past, so that they can ensure you're still interested and that they have your correct contact info. The approximately 121 market-rate townhomes will start in the $500s, but there are also 91 "workforce" units: "If your income is less than $72,642 for a household of one, $83,183 for a household of two, $93,533 for a household of three, or $103,883 for a household of four, you may be eligible for the workforce housing program. The base prices of the workforce homes are projected to range from $295,000 to $350,000." Reservations for the first batch of market-rate homes will be accepted starting on Oct. 21; there will be a separate schedule for the workforce units, and EYA willl be holding a homeownership and financing workshop for those qualifying for these units. Plans and prices should be posted on the EYA web site in early October. There will also be 65 additional townhomes comprising 111 affordable rental and Section 8 home ownership units mixed into the community. As I understand it, they are projecting that construction will begin sometime in Spring 2007. (UPDATED to add additional information, and fix some numbers.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capper/Capitol Quarter Update
Aug 25, 2006 12:39 PM
As promised by EYA, a sign announcing the impending Capitol Quarter project at Capper/Carrollsburg has indeed gone up at 4th and L, next to the soon-to-be-sales-center trailers. And with perhaps a stronger level of urgency now felt, the molasses-like demolition of the old Capper buildings on the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K has shifted into a higher gear, with one of the interior buildings finally demolished this week and demolition underway on the buildings facing 3rd Street. Photos of these terribly important developments are now on my Capper photos page. (I guess I might have to start transitioning out of calling this area Capper/Carrollsburg....)

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Sales Center Coming Soon
Aug 22, 2006 6:38 PM
Within the last 24 hours, two well-appointed cream-colored trailers (or small manufactured homes, if you prefer) have been deposited on the now-cleared-and-smoothed lot at 4th and L, smack dab in the middle of Capper/Carrollsburg. I have no information, I'm merely speculating, but these trailers look very much like the trailers that developers use to house Sales Centers before a project's construction begins. And EYA's Capitol Quarter info page still says "Coming Fall 2006." And it's almost fall. Make of it what you will. And I'll see if EYA has anything they'd like to share. Again, I know nothing for sure, I'm just passing along what I saw. UPDATE: EYA confirms to me that the trailers are indeed for the Sales Center, and that a sign should be installed this week as well, with construction on the Sales Center to begin within a week or two. And, if this is a project that you are interested in, I'd suggest registering on EYA's web site to be contacted with more information when the time comes--people on those types of lists tend to get first crack at the offerings.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capper Demolition Moves South One Block
Jul 27, 2006 2:35 PM
I note here that demolition has begun on another block at Capper/Carrollsburg, this one bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K. They're starting with one of the two-story buildings on the interior of the block, so you can't quite see from the street unless you're really looking, but it is underway. (And if people are wondering why I've been so snippy about how long this demolition is taking--it took three months in late 2004/early 2005 for 2 1/2 blocks of demolition to be completed in the first Capper "ribbon" between 4th and 5th, which included many four-story buildings. The demolition on this second ribbon [which admittedly is a bit larger than the first ribbon, but there aren't as many of the taller buildings] has already been going since March, and they're only now approaching what I would consider halfway completed--they still have all of this block to do, plus the four-story buildings just to the rear of 300 M Street. At the current rate, they won't be done before the end of the year. And then there's still the third ribbon, the two remaining blocks of two-story flats between 3rd and 2nd, which you would hope wouldn't take that long, but if current performance is any indication.... And if you're EYA, do you really want to start sales on Capitol Quarter this fall with those abandoned buildings staring prospective owners in the face when they visit?)

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capitol Quarter Prices Go Up
May 26, 2006 7:13 PM
Without a shovel in the ground, EYA has raised the prices on the upcoming Capitol Quarter townhome development at Capper/Carrollsburg--their page now says "Townhomes from $500s" (up from $400s). Cha-ching! They still appear to be targeting Fall 2006 for the start of sales.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capper Demolition Update
May 12, 2006 2:04 PM
Speaking of demolition, work at Capper/Carrollsburg has moved to the block bounded by 3rd, 4th, Virginia, and I. (They've been doing what appears to be a lot of interior demolition for some time now in the next block [south of I Street], where there are four-story buildings to contend with, but haven't started bringing those buildings down yet.) If you're keeping track at home, there are still five Capper blocks not yet completely cleared (the two I just mentioned, the two blocks between 2nd and 3rd and L and I, and the batch of Capper buildings just behind 300 M Street)....
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Some Demolition Coming to Capper
Mar 21, 2006 3:14 PM
Thanks to a tip from a reader, I checked out Capper/Carrollsburg this afternoon, and there are signs that some demolition is about to be started, on the block between 3rd and 4th and K and L, which is the one block where private homes have been existing alongside the abandoned housing. I don't know if this is the start of demolition for all of the remaining buildings, or if there was just a desire to get this particular batch of buildings taken down since they are right next to private homes, but one way or the other this is nice to see, because it's not good for a neighborhood to have so many deserted buildings still standing. And I would certainly imagine that EYA would not want the shells still there when sales start on Capitol Quarter this fall.
UPDATE, 10 days later: Not much progress has been made on the demolition site mentioned above, but I see now that initial work appears to also be going on in the block just to the north, which has nothing but abandoned Capper buildings on it (bounded by 3rd, 4th, I, and K). The roofs above the front stoops are being crow-barred off the buildings, and some piles of trash have appeared in the courtyards.
UPDATE: Also in the Spring-Cleaning department, the Star Market at 2nd and L has just gotten a fresh coat of red paint. Perhaps the new owner is planning on reopening the little bodega once Capitol Hill Tower opens its doors? (See the CapTower SE Corner slideshow to refresh your Star Market memory.)

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, Little Red Bldg/Lot 38 Espresso

Capper/Carrollsburg PUD Approved
Feb 15, 2006 2:05 PM
At last night's Zoning Commission hearing, approval was given for the second-stage PUD for Capper/Carrollsburg, along with some modifications to the first-stage PUD. This should be the last zoning hoop for EYA to leap through before the project gets underway. The Capitol Quarter web site now says "Coming Fall 2006." But is that when sales start, will any sort of construction begin before then? Right now, I don't know. I do hope, though, that the city gets moving and demolishes the rest of the vacant Capper buildings before EYA has to start marketing the new construction, because it appears some scary elements are squatting now in those buildings (fences have been bent back, and doors to the buildings are broken open).
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, zoning

Building Permit Apps Filed for Capper Phase 1
Jan 26, 2006 6:45 PM
For those wondering if the Capper/Carrollsburg ("Capitol Quarter") townhome development would ever get moving.... Today 143 building permit applications were filed with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for addresses in the eastern half of the Capper land. The applications cover lots for all the areas between 4th and 5th streets where the old Capper buildings have already been demolished, plus the triangular sliver of land along Virginia Avenue. As for when shovels will go in the ground, who knows. And sales aren't expected to begin until summer. I just read somewhere that 100 of these will be market-rate, and 40 will be "workforce housing", but for the life of me I can't find the link. Will keep searching. UPDATE: Duh, it's on the Capitol Quarter page itself. I've got to get new glasses.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Capper Townhomes Price
Jan 21, 2006 1:03 PM
For the first time I've seen a price attached to the townhomes at Capper / Carrollsburg (the development, by EYA, is dubbed "Capitol Quarter")--an ad in Saturday's Post says that the townhomes, coming in Summer 2006, will be priced from the low $400,000s. The web site still says nothing more than "Coming 2006." Hopefully with the final zoning approval of the second-stage PUD not far off, they will begin their marketing and provide much more information on the entire development. UPDATE: And just like that, EYA has launched a redesigned web site--it's much prettier, but it doesn't have any additional info on Capitol Quarter.
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter, zoning

Oct 23, 2005 6:39 PM
I've added a graphic to my Capper/Carrollsburg page that shows the general outline of the plans for the area. (I realized that while I know what's going where, and have mentioned it from time to time on my site, perhaps not everyone can read my mind and so might prefer an easy-to-read image that lays out the concepts of this 33-acre revitalization, rather than having to sift through piles of zoning documents or waiting for EYA to add a real "Site Plan" link to their Capitol Quarter page.) I also added a similar graphic and some detail to the Ballpark District page, while we wait to find out what the AWC has up its sleeve.
More posts: Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, Capitol Quarter, staddis

Sep 14, 2005 11:45 AM
A couple of items so small I can't actually believe I'm posting them, but here they are anyway:
• It's not on the schedule for this Thursday's meeting, but it's quite possible that the DC Zoning Commission will vote on final zoning approval for the stadium text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay. UPDATE:  Okay, now it's on the schedule.
• A "notice of environmental cleanup" sign in front of the property acquired by JPI on I Street says that the project will be two 13-story buildings with 700 residences and 600 parking spaces. Also, despite the fact that signs on the lot say 70 I Street, and that the tax parcel information is for 70 I Street, and that the lot is west of 1st Street, and that there's not one but two other lots on I with the "100" address, JPI is insisting on calling this 100 I Street. So I give up. Uncle. I'll call it 100 I Street. Under protest.
• Fences have gone up around the remaining abandoned Capper/Carrollsburg buildings, between 4th and 2nd Streets. No sign of impending demolition.
• A reader reports that pre-construction sales at Capitol Quarter (i.e., Capper/Carrollsburg) are now being delayed until Summer, 2006.
• The demolition a few weeks ago of the retaining walls behind the Carroll Apartments was not the beginning of construction of Capper Seniors #2 (the "wraparound" addition to the Carroll Apartments)--DCHA is still looking for a contractor for the project, so this is not likely to begin before the end of the year.
• For those of you wanting to know about any progress on Washington Canal Park, I've checked and there's officially No Progress.

Sep 8, 2005 10:23 AM
Eakin-Youngentob has christened its Capper / Carrollsburg redevelopment "Capitol Quarter." EYA will be building more than 240 market rate, for-sale homes, and also 130 affordable for-sale and rental homes, with pre-construction sales expected to begin in Spring, 2006.  If you're interested in this project, be sure to sign up for their Preview List, as list members usually get the first word on sales.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Jun 7, 2005 8:20 AM
Eakin-Youngentob has announced that pre-construction sales at its Capper/Carrollsburg mixed-income project will begin in Spring 2006. Eventually the project will include 1,562 rental & ownership units, including 707 public housing units, 525 affordable rental units, 330 market rate homes, and 855 additional moderate/market rate units.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter

Jan 18, 2005
Big news! Real Estate company Eakin Youngentob has added the Capper/ Carrollsburg redevelopment project to its web site, marked as "Coming in 2006." Not much information there, but you can add yourself to the preview list to get first crack at the market-rate for-sale homes in the project. (I don't know exactly how the market-rate versus affordable units will be doled out, nor do I know how the public housing units fit into all of this; I'm sure more information will become available, and I'll bring it to you as I find out. Read my own Capper/ Carrollsburg Revitalization page for background and details.) The first offerings would be in the area of Capper/Carrollsburg that has just been demolished, between 4th and 5th and Virginia and M. The project will move slowly westward, to 2nd Street/Canal Park, over the next few years.

Don't know when construction would start, don't know when homes would be available, don't know nuthin' except that you probably shouldn't pack your bags just yet. :-) But this is a big deal that the project is now being advertised, and another great step forward for Near Southeast.

More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter