, which should be of interest even without the accompanying narration. The renderings are much more detailed and "showier" than those given to the Zoning Commission back in February, which was part of what the developers were tasked with providing in their next go-round with the ZC.
Most obviously, the developers appear to have gotten the "more retail!" message that had been delivered pretty clearly at the last two
zoning commission sessions on the new design, with 18,650 square feet of retail now covering most of the first floor of the Phase I residential building, bumped up from 12,520 sf in the previous version (some of which the developers had been wanting to mark off for "temporary resident uses" until the market for retail in the area could be proven). The entire site is now designed to have 48,360 sf of retail, but this is still down from the 64,200 sf that was in the plans approved by the Zoning Commission back in 2008
. (This increase in retail also means that the "four red doors" facing Potomac Avenue that sent zoning commissioner Michael Turnbull through the roof back in February
are now gone.)
There was also much time spent on the designs for the public spaces that span the 5.5-acre site. With large lawns, wetlands-type areas that would actually be bio-filtration mechanisms, quieter tree-covered spaces, and a marina that could potentially have 40-50 slips, the additions could be seen as echoing the Yards Park
a couple blocks to the east.. But there are also some "beach" areas where sand would be placed, and a large sculpture could be included in the "Riverfront Plaza" at the foot of 1st Street. The esplanade is still a major part of the design, but there is no longer a separate bike path--pedestrians and cyclists would share the boardwalk as it runs through the entire site, from South Capitol Street to Diamond Teague Park
. And there may even be locations where some of the concrete blocks from the old concrete plant site would be incorporated into the public spaces.
I could write more about the specifics, but since the project will be back in front of ANC 6D looking for a resolution of support in July, and then at the Zoning Commission on Sept. 20, I'd prefer to save some words for the presentations to come.
I've added some of the renderings from this presentation
to my Florida Rock project page
. And, when looking at all of this, remember that the western two buildings (phases 3 and 4, an office building and a hotel), are not be able to be built until the new South Capitol Street/Douglass Bridge
is built a bit to the south of the current bridge, which now runs directly through the Florida Rock footprint. And there's as yet no timeline for that new bridge.
ANC 6D Recap 2: Canal Park, Community Center, CSX Letter
May 15, 2012 1:35 PM
Moving from the "P" portion of Monday's ANC 6D meeting (pylons and parking
) to the "C"s:
* Canal Park
: Chris Vanarsdale of the Canal Park Development Association gave an update on construction, the bottom line of which has not changed from what's been mentioned the past few months, that because of unexpected issues, the park's opening has been delayed until November. Unmapped utilities that required a redesign of the stormwater management system have been a big stumbling block, but Vanarsdale also mentioned the soil-related difficulties when building on the site of an old canal. Construction is now 60 percent complete, and the work on the pavilion is almost done. Here are the presentation slides
, and you can also check out the official web site
for more details (along with my project page
). Oh, and they're thinking about offering Zamboni driving lessons!
* Community Center
: The DC Housing Authority has filed a request with the Zoning Commission for an extension for construction of the planned Capper Community Center
, which already received one extension back in 2010
that 6D supported
. DCHA has apparently requested that the Zoning Commission act within 30 days on the request, news of which the ANC received on Monday. So the commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter urging postponement of the zoning case so that the ANC can address the request and form a response with a vote at next month's meeting. Commissioners Litsky and McBee also both commented that the project shouldn't be getting another extension.
Here is the letter sent on behalf of DCHA
to the Zoning Commission asking for the extension: it would be for two years, requiring building permits by July 1, 2014 and construction underway by July 1, 2015.
* CSX/Virginia Avenue Tunnel
: The commissioners voted 6-0-1 to send this letter
to the appropriate parties laying out the ANC's opinion on the plans to reconfigure the Virginia Avenue Tunnel
. After listing the various ways that the proposed construction "would put people, homes, businesses, and fragile historic resources at risk," the letter states: "[W]e strongly believe that the best options for our community are for CSX to either leave the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in its current state (Concept 1) -- with the suggestion that if this option were chosen that the tunnel would be fully maintained for the safety of both the trains below and the communities above, or to reroute additional train traffic outside the District of Columbia [...] instead of in an expanded Virginia Avenue Tunnel." But, if the construction does occur, "it is absolutely imperative that the health and safety of our many residents, the economic and physical well-being of our businesses, parks, religious institutions, homes, and historic buildings, and the north-south access for all existing modes of transportation be preserved and enhanced." A number of Capitol Quarter
residents in attendance also spoke in support of the ANC's support. The next public meeting
on the plans for the tunnel will be May 21 at 6:30 pm at Nats Park.
One more recap post to go, probably tomorrow.
ANC 6D Recap 1: Water Pylons, and Parking
May 15, 2012 9:49 AM
It was a busy ANC 6D meeting on Monday night for Near Southeast-related issues, so I'm going to put it all in a series of posts:
* New Jersey Avenue Underpass Art
: The Capitol Riverfront BID
gave an update on the "Water Pylons" art installation, which is now moving forward after being "dormant" for about a year. This is the project partially funded by a grant from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities
that will paint and light the pylons holding up the Southeast Freeway in a "modern representation of water that announces New Jersey Avenue, SE as a gateway to the Capitol Riverfront community." The reflective blue paint should go up in July, followed by light fixtures in August, and the installation should be dedicated in September, which will be right around the time that DCCAH moves into its new nearby digs at 225 Virginia/200 I
. Passers-by may note that new fences and LED overhead lighting have already been installed along New Jersey as part of the transformation of the underpass. The BID's presentation to the ANC, with more information about the project
, is here.
* Parking Parking Parking
: There was a discussion about issues with game-day parking
in the neighborhood, specifically the prohibition of parking along K and L streets, as well as other restrictions that have made residents unhappy. Damon Harvey of DDOT says that the agency is "reassessing" the current configuration, to figure out how to provide better access to residents while not allowing stadium-goers to then hog all the parking. He expects that changes will be announced in a month or so that will allow for "greater residential protection during games." One other non-game day change for residents has already gone into effect: meters are now turned off at 6:30 pm (but still 10 pm on game days).
However, those who came to the meeting hoping to hear about changes in the Residential Parking Permit system that would allow residents in the high-rise buildings west of Canal Park to park on the street throughout Ward 6 were disappointed, as DDOT continues to hold that large residential buildings in mixed-use neighborhoods will not qualify for RPP. (Harvey used the Ellington on U Street as a specific example of this being the case elsewhere in the city, but there are more buildings in this situation than just that one and the Near Southeast ones.)
Also, in somewhat related news the ANC unanimously passed a resolution protesting the plan in the mayor's new budget to redirect most performance parking
proceeds to other areas, such as Metro, rather than their being used as originally intended, to fund non-automotive transportation improvements in the neighborhood.
ANC 6D Monthly Meeting Comes to Near Southeast May 14 (Updated)
May 14, 2012 11:14 AM
For its May 14 business meeting, ANC 6D is venturing east of South Capitol Street, holding the session at the Courtyard by Marriott
at 140 L St., SE, starting at 7 pm. The full agenda isn't posted
yet, but a flyer sent around by chair Andy Litsky includes the following items: ANC 6D CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel
letter, Update on Canal Park
Construction, Discussion of Game Day Parking Issues, and New Jersey Avenue Public Art Piers (which I assume is the "Water Pylons
" project that the BID received a grant for a while back).
I bumped this to the top of the page as a reminder, since the meeting is tonight. The agenda has been posted
, and now includes an update on the Florida Rock/RiverFront
plans, in addition to the items mentioned above along with some issues of importance in Southwest and various races and events that want approval to come through the neighborhood(s).
Judging from a new case filed with the Office of Zoning, it looks like the Florida Rock folks are asking for a one-year time extension on their previously approved PUD, but I imagine that will all be discussed this evening.
UPDATE II: Should clarify that the original PUD extension was through June 27, 2012, which was going to be pretty hard to meet with their filings from earlier this year to change the first phase from office to residential still working through the process. This new request would give them until June of 2013 to either get their requested modifications approved, or revert back to the original approved plans.
M Street SE/SW Transportation Study Public Meeting May 24
May 8, 2012 9:08 AM
DDOT has announced
that a meeting to update the public on the progress of the M Street SE/SW Transportation Study
has been scheduled for May 24, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 I St. SW.
The study area covers
the stretch of M from 12th Street, SE to 14th Street, SW, along with the adjacent areas from the Southeast/Southwest Freeway south to the Anacostia River/Washington Channel. DDOT is looking at "how to integrate transit, bicycling and walking with motor vehicle traffic," while also trying to figure out how to balance residents' preferences for how M Street should be configured versus how visitors, workers, and commuters expect it to flow.
The first meeting, back in January
, included an introduction to the study before attendees broke up into small groups to give feedback about the issues they feel need addressing.
According to the web site
, a draft study report is expected this summer, with the final report and a final public meeting coming in the fall.
Next Virginia Avenue Tunnel Public Meeting May 21
May 4, 2012 9:06 AM
, just posted on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project web site
, announces that the next public meeting about the project will be on May 21 from 6 to 8 pm at Nationals Park
. "During this public meeting, the concepts to move forward in the EIS will be announced." Read my post from Wednesday
for more information on the whole EIS thing, and this one from the last meeting
to find out more about the initial concepts that were looked at, and that will form the basis for the ones chosen to be studied further.
Monday Tidbits: Justin's Block Party and Farther-Off Events
Mar 26, 2012 10:05 AM
I'm going to be a bit scarce this week, so here's few events-related tidbits to keep the home page from having the equivalent of electronic tumbleweeds blowing across it:
* Don't forget that the public meeting about the possible recreational re-use
of the old outbound 11th Street Bridge
span is on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 pm
* Justin's Cafe
has now posted the information on its April 14 block party
, both on Facebook
and its new JustinsCafeEvents.com web site
. It will run from 11 am to 9 pm, offering a line-up of local craft brews (including "beer trucks" from Port City Brewery and DC Brau), and 106.7 The Fan FM will be broadcasting from there. "All ages welcomed, 21 and over to drink." Money is also being raised for free youth baseball and softball programs through the DC Grays
and S.M.A.R.T. Camps and Clinics. (The Nats play the Reds at 4:05 pm that day.)
* On April 1 (well, April 2, technically), the Union Station-Navy Yard Circulator bus
starts its summer hours, running from 6 am to 9 pm weekdays and 7 am to 9 pm Saturdays, with extended service on Nationals game days.
* The Southwester reports
that there's a Neighborhood Night
at Nationals Park
on Thursday, April 19. "The team will honor the vibrant spirit of the neighborhood by featuring local residents in various pregame activities, including throwing out the first pitch, delivering the lineup card and greeting the players as they take their positions on the field." Near Southeast and Southwest residents can also get discounted tickets to games throughout the season, but I'll make you follow the link to find out about that!
11th Street Bridges
, Earth Conservation Corps
, meetings, Stadium Events
, Teague Park
, The Yards
, Yards Park
March 28 Meeting on Potential 11th Street Recreation Bridge
Mar 19, 2012 3:16 PM
This was mentioned last week when the news first came out
, but now there's confirmation via a flyer from the Office of Planning
that an "informational meeting" will be held on March 28 at 6:30 pm about the "Potential Recreation Reuse of 11th Street Bridge, SE."
If you missed the hullabaloo, the city is looking at the notion
of reusing the structure of the soon-to-be-abandoned downstream/outbound 11th Street Bridge
as a recreation destination, linking both sides of the Anacostia River "in a unique and dramatic way."
And there's also now a page on the OP web site
about the project, noting that no decisions have been made or even committted to on the project. The page also makes sure to mention that "actually seeing this project realized will be very ambitious and challenging." A design competition will be held later this year, and apparently the process will "involve local youth in generating ideas." And, as Lydia DePillis noted
, there will have to be a "significant level of partnership with the private and non-profit sectors" in order for this to work.
will be held in the DCRA office space at 1100 4th St., SW. Bring your ideas!
Could Old Outbound 11th Street Span Become Recreation Bridge?
Mar 12, 2012 12:15 PM
Via TheWashCycle, the city is apparently looking at the concept of transforming the downstream, soon-to-be-abandoned outbound 11th Street Bridge into an "11th Street Recreation Bridge," calling it an "opportunity for a destination linking river trails and recreation amenities." This PDF from the Office of Planning (interestingly, it has the file name "Constituent Request.pdf") has a couple of concept drawings, some graphs about development in the surrounding areas, and keeps mentioning a "proposed design competition" to generate ideas for how the span could be used after the new 11th Street Local Bridge opens this summer.There's been back-room chatter for a while that Office of Planning director Harriet Tregoning has been interested in preserving one of the existing bridge spans as a potential "High Line" for Washington, DC, and there have also been calls from various residents (including Near Southeast's own Man About Town David Garber) to build some sort of pedestrian bridge linking the two shores of the Anacostia River.WashCycle says that DPW (? maybe OP?) is holding a meeting on March 28 at 6:30 pm on the concept, though I can't find any press releases or anything about it on dc.gov.I'll be interested to see how it's proposed to get people up to it from the western shore, given that the approach to the old bridge is supposed to be demolished in order to complete the new 11th Street Local bridge's "arrival" at street level near 11th and O, and then allowing two-way traffic to run on 11th Street by the Navy Yard.I'm guessing there will be plenty of chatter about this to come!
Tuesday Tidbits: Briefer-than-Brief Briefs
Feb 7, 2012 9:26 AM
I'm a bit under the weather these days, so I'll go with a minimalist approach of mostly Tweeted
* Lost in the digital piles on my digital desktop was the CapBiz tidbit about a Bang Salon
being housed in the new Vida Fitness gym that is supposed to be coming to the neighborhood as part of the Yards' Teeter/Residential project
on 4th Street. (As for the "at the Navy Yard" description, I'm pretty sure that this project isn't happening inside the walls of the Washington Navy Yard.) Note that Forest City has yet to officially announce Vida as a tenant for the project, though they sure came close
a few weeks back.
* If the neighborhood seems locked down on Wednesday, it's probably because of this little get-together
at Nats Park
* Speaking of the stadium, the Nats have launched "Take Back the Park"
to try to head off the Philly Fan Invasion for the May 4-6 games.
* The agenda for ANC 6D's next meeting
is out, with the only Near Southeast item being "Half Street Shipping Container Fairgrounds Concept," which according to David Garber
will be on the Das Bullpen site at Half and M and is something along the lines of this
. Looks hipster-riffic! The meeting is Feb. 13 at 7 pm.
M Street Transportation Study Meeting Documents
Jan 12, 2012 8:27 PM
The meeting probably isn't even finished yet, but if you didn't (or did) stop by the first of DDOT's public meetings on their nine-month M Street SE/SW Transportation study, you can browse the presentation slides
and take the stakeholder survey
, already posted on the new web site for the project
There were a pile of high-powered bloggers
and transportation geeks
in attendance, so I'm sure there will no shortage of coverage of both this meeting and the entire study that I will happily link to, but there wasn't much news coming out of this first session--it was mainly to introduce the study, talk about the methodology (which you can see in the slides
) and then break up into small groups to stand around maps and give feedback about what attendees see as issues that need addressing. (But first, just as at the 2010 meeting, one woman who is particularly anti-bike once again made her feelings
DDOT's representatives say they will be using some 33 other studies that have been done on the area in question as part of this overall study, covering the area from 14th St. SW to 12th Street SE south of the freeway down to the waterfront(s), though that then brought a comment from the audience about when studying is going to stop and there's going to be action.
There will be two more public meetings, one in March-ish and another in June-ish, with the study expected to be completed in August-ish.
Reminder: M Street SE/SW Transportation Study Meeting Thursday
Jan 11, 2012 9:27 PM
Just a reminder that Thursday night (Jan. 12) is the first public meeting for DDOT's M Street SE/SW Transportation Study, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I St., SW.
As the meeting announcement says
, "The purpose of the public meeting is to provide an overview of the transportation study, outline the study process/schedule and gather public feedback. Following a brief presentation, attendees will be asked to help identify concerns and issues on maps of the study area and also via a brief survey."
It isn't just about the six lanes on M Street
, either: the study area goes from the Southeast/Southwest Freeway south to the Anacostia River and Washington Channel, from 12th Street SE all the way to 14th Street SW.
So, if you think there should be fewer lanes, more lanes, less parking, more parking, more bike lanes, fewer bike lanes, more pedestrian-friendly changes, fewer pedestrian-friendly changes, or just like watching people with wildly divergent views all trying to get their position to be the "right" one, come on down.
(You can also read my post on