Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
August 6, 2005
September 7, 2010
3rd at River St., Looking South (see more)

It was quite a night at the ballpark on Monday as the Nationals clinched the NL East Divsion Title, bringing Washington its first first-place finish since 1933.
As I watched the celebrations (and boy, that was some celebrating going on), I thought about the pretty woeful team that moved into the neighborhood in March 2008, and how if we had all been guaranteed that at the end of the fifth season at the new ballpark the team would be division champs, we would have thought it an amazingly short timeline (once we stopped laughing at the improbability of such a notion, especially after the dreadful '08 and '09 seasons).
Along those same lines, if we had been told on that night in March 2008 that no additional construction other than 55 M would be seen on Half Street by the time the Nats hit the playoffs, and that there would only be one new restaurant/bar south of the freeway/east of South Capitol available for post-season revelry, we might also have laughed at the improbability of such a notion. (Though by the end of that first season, with the global economy having all but collapsed, that same notion wouldn't have seemed quite so far-fetched.)
Even at the beginning of this year, with Davey Johnson fully installed, Strasburg coming back, Harper on deck, and Werth past his "rookie" struggles, a division title in 2012 looked like something that could happen, but that more likely 2013 would really be the year that the team would contend.
However, you wonder what developers, retailers, tenants, and the banks that control so many of the commercial real estate purse strings have been thinking as the team's stellar year unfolded, probably also having thought that 2013 would really be the year the team caught fire but then watching those tens of thousands of fans traipse down to N Street throughout 2012, and now realizing that the team will be bringing the national spotlight to Near Southeast, and the neighborhood is not quite ready for its close-up yet.
"Wait 'til next year!" is the symbolic phrase of eternal hope in baseball, and it does seem that 2013 may be the beginning of a new wave of openings and groundbreakings that have mostly been on hold for the past few years. Canal Park, with its Park Tavern restaurant and ice rink, should be opening this November, and maybe Kruba Thai at the Foundry Lofts will at last cross the finish line. Early 2013 should bring the launch of the Bluejacket Brewery and Willie's Brew and Que and other offerings at the Boilermaker Shops, two blocks east of the ballpark. Perhaps Gordon Biersch actually will open at 100 M in time for Opening Day. And later in the year Osteria Morini will come to the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park.
And there could be a wave of groundbreakings on major projects--residential projects at Florida Rock and the Yards have 2013 start dates currently attached to them, along with the Park Chelsea at New Jersey and I, and maybe the new office/residential/hotel/retail projects along 1st Street as well. (Note also that 2013 start dates for big projects would dovetail nicely with the rumored 2015 arrival of the MLB All Star Game at Nats Park.) But Akridge and Monument remain silent about start dates for their Half Street projects, and really, the only start dates that should matter at this point are the ones when dirt actually starts to be dug.
In the meantime, there will be much revelry as fans pass through the neighborhood to and from the ballpark in October, and everyone associated with Near Southeast can hope that Thomas Boswell is right, that this title could be "the first of many," so that the Ballpark District can begin to resemble the grand plans made for it with much optimism a few years ago at the same time that the Nats have already begun to resemble the grand plans made for them with much optimism a few years ago.
Comments (7)
 
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ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (10/2/12 10:57 AM)
The feeling is mutual JD. Our neighborhood is its own neighborhood and doesn't want to copy other neighborhoods. In a few years, it will be a mega downtown. Forget, the gallery place. I don't even know why people try to compare it with that. I am thinking a very clean, safe, well lit, respectful and family oriented neighborhood. You are in a city but you feel like you are in a suburb. You can have it all...city and the suburb.


PJY03 says: (10/2/12 11:12 AM)
I was by Kruba Thai's space about 6 weeks ago, and it looked like their (very detailed) interior buildout was nearly complete. Do we really think its going to be 2013?

I think it won't become readily apparently that this neighborhood is not only viable but awesome until the Half Street development is complete. All the Forrest City developments are great, but the vast majority of people from MD/VA and even most of DC who ever come to the neighborhood get off at the Half & M metro exit and see empty lots and excavation pits. The neighborhood is a lot further along than public perception would suggest. We have a "front door" problem.


JD says: (10/2/12 11:21 AM)
@PJY, re Kruba, no, sorry, I wasn't hinting 2013. I paired it with Canal Park, opening in November, as a pre-2013 possibility.

And you are right of course about the "front door" issue. I can only reiterate so many times all the things that have gone on in the neighborhood, so I admit to skipping yet another rehash. And really, right now, even what's been going on elsewhere still isn't really what people are looking for when they come to a ballgame. There's Justin's, and there's the Fairgrounds. You can get food at a (few) other places, but mainly, people want food *and* drink, and even with the forward motion of the neighborhood, that still isn't available now. The Boilermaker Shops will change that, but still not in a way that Nats fans will see before Opening Day 2013.


conngs0 says: (10/2/12 11:39 AM)
JD, I got chills reading your post, and they weren't from arriving in my air-conditioned office after a wet commute either.

True, I'll bet that a lot of the establishment owners (and their financial backing) sure wish they had gotten the neighborhood up to speed in time to profit from the Nationals' success this season. But like a consistent contender in baseball, a great neighborhood needs to be built with patience and discipline. I'm absolutely ok with the fact that the neighborhood isn't yet ready for its close-up because I think that when it is ready, that close-up is going to look awfully good.


ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (10/2/12 12:00 PM)
@ conngs0..Are you still having a nightmare from the 2008 financial meltodown?


natitude says: (10/3/12 11:54 AM)
We should put Lerner and Rizzo in charge of Half Street development.


MJM says: (10/4/12 9:10 AM)
Akridge and Monument - your eyesores next week are gonna be an embarrassment

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1 (Theft F/Building)
 03/02/15
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 03/01/15
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 03/01/15
1000 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
Theft From Auto 1
 02/28/15
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 02/28/15
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
Theft From Auto 1
 02/27/15
1000 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 02/27/15
100 B/O CANAL ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 02/24/15
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1 (Theft F/Building)
 02/19/15
1000 B/O 2ND ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 02/18/15
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 02/06/15

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
No records added or modified in the past two weeks.

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1000 5TH ST SE   
02/24/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
B1412422 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW BUILDING PERMIT FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER INCLUDING STEEL STRUCTURE BRICK AND MASONRY BACKUP
1240 12TH ST SE   
02/19/15 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / CARLTON W ROBINSON
E1503465 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 HALF ST SE   
02/25/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / DAVID MILLER
SB1500157 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION AND MONITORING OF 8 INCLINOMETER MONITORING SYSTEMS. THREE INCLINOMETER CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE K STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT. THREE CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE I STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT. TWO CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE HALF STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT.
   
02/23/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / 23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES; ANDREW DANCE
SB1500132 / CONSTRUCTION
A HOLLOW STEM AUGER WILL INSTALL UP TO 30 TEMPORARY DEWATERING WELLS BY ADVANCING A 12 OD / 8 1 / 4 ID BOREHOLE TO A DEPTH OF 65 FEET. AT DEPTH A 4 INCH PVC FLUSH JOINT THREADED WELL ASSEMBLY WILL BE SET AND SELECT FILTER PLACED. INTO EACH WELL WILL BE INSTALLED A 1 HP TURBINE SUBMERSIBLE PUMP. EFFLUENT WILL BE DIRECTED THROUGH A COMMON MANIFOLD TO A BAFFLED SETTLING TANK AND DISCHARGED TO THE LO...
   
03/03/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / JOHN DIEHL ECC INC.
UT1500019 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVAL OF THREE UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS ENCOUNTERED DURING EXCAVATION FOR REDEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES. ONE 1 000-GALLON HEATING OIL TANK ONE 1 000-GALLON KEROSENE TANK AND ONE 500-GALLON OIL / WATER SEPARATOR.
1015 HALF ST SE   
02/18/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / STEPHEN R. HOLMAN
P1503532 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/02/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1503861 / SUPPLEMENTAL
50 M ST SE   
02/18/15 
ENGLEWOOD LLC / FVI2020
FD1500010 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION OF GRADE RELATED TO CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOTEL
55 M ST SE   
02/24/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / ANDREW P CARAYIANNIS
M1501184 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
02/13/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1503331 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/13/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1503495 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/19/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1503597 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / GREGORY E LIGON
E1503498 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/23/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1503518 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
02/19/15 
US GOVERNMENT NAVY PWC / SUMMIT CONSTRUCTION AND ES
B1504570 / CONSTRUCTION
REQUEST AND E&S PERMIT FOR WORK ON FEDERAL INSTALLATION. INSTALLING FOOTINGS AND SLAB WITH PORTCH SUPPORTS. MINOR GRADING AND SEEDING. BUILDING FOOTPRINT IS UNDER 700SF. LAND DISTURBANCE INCLUDING GRADING AND SEEDING IS UNDER 2 500SF.
100 M ST SE   
02/19/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOHN H THOMSON
E1503464 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID RAINE; SQUARE 743 INC; DAVID RAINE
P38575591 / SUPPLEMENTAL
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/24/15 
NEW JERSEY AT H LLC / JOHN H THOMSON
E1503556 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/13/15 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500246 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 7:00PM THRU 7:00AM
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/26/15 
909 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / DAVID L. HAHN
P1503815 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/23/15 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / SHAWN ALEX HELLER
HO1500118 / HOME OCCUPATION
HOME OFFICE (LAW OFFICE).
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
03/03/15 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC /
P1503907 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
03/02/15 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS STADIUM LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1503862 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/03/15 
NATIONALS PARK / KEVIN HOOVER; NATIONALS PARK; KEVIN HOOVER
E21362502 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
02/13/15 
RICHARD CERVERA / NATHANIEL GILL
B1504014 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW SUMMER GARDEN
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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