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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: January 2012
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At a meeting of ANC 6D's ABC committee on Tuesday night, we got some new details on two restaurants coming to Near Southeast in 2012, the Park Tavern at Canal Park and Willie's Brew and Que in the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards. Both are from Xavier Cervera of Lola's/Molly Malone's/Boxcar/Hawk n Dove/etc. fame, and Cervera was in attendance to answer questions from the committee. Let's go to the bullet points, shall we?
Park Tavern - This casual restaurant in the pavilion on the south block of Canal Park near M Street is aiming to be the city's first LEED Gold restaurant, thanks to a green roof, solar panels, and the various stormwater management aspects built into the park itself. And:
* There will be fewer than 100 seats inside the glass-and-steel structure, but outside Cervera expects another 75-125 seats, both in a private "summer garden" area by the park's skating rink/water feature and in a sidewalk cafe on the eastern side, along 2nd Place. Because the building is long and narrow, Cervera said that all of the inside tables will be along the windows. There will be additional space on the roof, where visitors can go to look out over the park or walk through the big light cube, but Cervera isn't planning service up there except for private functions.
* The menu will include Neopolitan pizzas and flatbread offerings along with seafood, steaks, and more, along with full liquor service; Cervera is asking for a CR license, with hours until 2 am Sunday through Thursday and 3 am Friday-Saturday.
* The restaurant is planning to offer breakfast service beginning at 8 am, though Cervera sounded a little skeptical of whether there will be enough business to support it. (Maybe via Congressional-type breakfast business meetings?)
* June 15 is the target opening date for both the park and the Tavern.
Willie's Brew and Que - A few blocks to the south, Cervera is waiting for Forest City to finish construction on the Boilermaker Shops renovation so that he (and other tenants) can then begin their build-outs. It will occupy the western end of the building, at 3rd Street (seen at right), where the full two-story space to the roof will be open. Details:
* There will be 230 seats inside the restaurant, with another 125 or so at outdoor tables in front of the building at 3rd Street.
* It will have "live" barbeque: Cervera said that he has put a lot of money into the kitchen, with charbroilers and custom-made smokers to churn out authentic North Carolina barbeque.
* And there will be plenty of booze to go with the food, as Cervera will be requesting a CT ("tavern") liquor license, mainly, he says, because with 81 home Nats games a year two blocks away at the ballpark, he can't envision being able to meet the requirements of a CR license where 47 percent of sales must be food. (Tavern licenses don't usually go over very well with ANCs, so this will be interesting to watch.) Full operating hours until 2 am Sunday-Thursday and 3 am Friday-Saturday will be requested on the license, along with an "entertainment endorsement" to allow live music inside until 11 pm Sunday-Thursday and 1 am Friday-Saturday and recorded music on the patio. (The entertainment endorsement discussion for both locations sidetracked into whether dancing will be part of the endorsement, with Cervera bemused at the notion of having to make people stop dancing if the music has moved them: "This isn't 'Footloose.' ")
* Cervera has no opening date for Willie's, but he says he expects Forest City to release the space to him for build-out within 2-3 months.
The discussion surrounding Willie's showed the committee members being a bit hesitant to make decisions for this restaurant that then will set the standard for the other Boilermaker Shops tenants who aren't yet applying for their liquor licenses, such the brewery from the Churchkey team. The issue of noise, especially from the outdoor seating space, and how it will effect residents of the Foundry Lofts across the street was brought up, though 6D commissioner David Garber said that no one is moving into this area without knowing that it's going to be an entertainment destination of sorts. Cervera, in arguing his cause, said that he fully expects himself and the Churchkey operation to be "good stewards" of the new nightlife in the neighborhood. The first three years of operations will be "painful fiscally," he said, but they want to be here first and be good tenants.
In the end, for both operations, the committee voted to recommend approval of the license applications to the full ANC, subject to the successful negotiation of a voluntary agreement between the commission and Cervera. (Note that neither liquor license application has actually been filed yet, but Cervera says he expects all paperwork to be completed by early next week.) The full ANC could take these applications up at its Feb. 13 business meeting, if papers have been appropriately shuffled by then.
 

Residents at three of the neighborhood's "new" apartment buildings--the Jefferson and Axiom at 70 and 100 I Street, and the 909 New Jersey Avenue building, branded together as "Capitol Yards"--are reporting the posting today of public notices, along with e-mails from management, announcing that the buildings are under contract to be sold.
Who is (are) the buyer(s)? As of now I've only seen the paperwork for 100 I (thanks to reader B.), which says that it's "100 Eye Street Acquisition LLC c/o J.P. Morgan Investment Management." UPDATE: Plus, via reader S., I hear the buyer for 909 New Jersey is, as suspected, "909 New Jersey Ave Acquisition LLC," and reader M. says that the buyer for 70 I is, you guessed it, "70 Eye Street Acquisition LLC."
So, as required by DC law, the buildings are now being offered for sale to the tenants, which happens "after the owner has accepted (ratified) a third party sale contract for the housing accommodation."
That paperwork says that the price of 100 I for any tenant organization that may form to purchase the 246-unit building would be $93,879,000; readers report that the number for 70 I (448 units) is about $165 million, and 909's price (237 units) is around $95 million, which presumably are all somewhere in the neighborhood of the contract sales prices.
Apparently the buildings went up for sale sometime over the summer (can't believe no one blabbed!), joining the Onyx on First apartment building a few blocks south on the sales block.
JPI East, which developed the three buildings during the high-flying mid-2000s, was already a wounded casualty of the Economic Difficulties when two of its executives took what was left of the company and partnered with folks from Akridge to form the Jefferson Apartment Group. But 70/100/909 apparently remained part of JPI's holdings, as did the empty lot at 23 I Street where JPI's fourth apartment building had been planned, until it was foreclosed upon and picked up by Ruben Companies in late 2009. The three buildings, completed in 2008 and 2009, have been managed by Greystar ever since JPI sold its property management division to the company.
I'm sure there's much more to be told, and I'm hoping this barebones blog post (written by a very bleary blogger back from an unexpected 36-hour road trip) will shake out a bit more info. If anyone from 909 NJ or 70 I wants to check the paperwork to see if the buyer listed is some similar variant to 100 I's LLC/JP Morgan entry, that'd be fab.
Also, if any tenant groups are planning to form and shake out their collective sofa cushions in search of $95 million or more, be sure to let me know.
UPDATE: I've reworked the opening of this post a bit after getting some additional information. And an e-mail going out to residents about the sale reminds tenants that "your tenancy, including your rent, lease term, and the services and amenities you receive, are governed by your lease."
 

When last I visited the Foundry Lofts, it was about a month before the first residents moved in. I took a pile of photos, but while model units were furnished, a lot of the shared spaces were still being worked on. So I finally made a return visit this week to see all the finishing touches on the interior courtyard, lobby, community room, etc. And I took one or two photographs, of course.
The leasing office tells me that the 170-unit building is now about 65 percent leased and 40 percent occupied, and construction on the non-retail spaces is not far from 100 percent completion. The four priciest units--the corner penthouses, which were announced with rents in the $4,500 range--are all taken. And the two eateries in the ground floor--Potbelly and Kruba Thai and Sushi--have their building permits and are working toward opening within 90 days.
Also, because I can't walk past the Boilermaker Shops without taking pictures, I added a few new shots to that page, including the panorama at right that I got from one of the Foundry Loft patios.
As if this all isn't exciting enough, here's a first terribly not exciting photo of the excavation underway at the 1212 4th/Teeter site a block east of the Foundry Lofts and across the street from Boilermaker.
Plus, since I had to walk down 4th Street to get to all of this, I snapped some shots of the continuing Capitol Quarter progress at K and L.
 

If yesterday's news about the brewery coming to the Boilermaker Shops in the Yards wasn't enough, today I can pass along that the liquor licensing process looks to be getting started for Xavier Cervera's two upcoming locations in Near Southeast, the Canal Park Tavern planned for the pavilion at Canal Park and the Willie's Brew and Que sports bar also at the Boilermaker Shops.
Both have been added to the agenda for ANC 6D's ABC Committee next meeting, on Jan. 31 at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Rec Center. Hopefully at this meeting there will be some details on both places (seating capacity, hours, when they expect to open, general menu concepts, etc.).
With the Tavern expected to open along with Canal Park sometime this summer and WBQ probably not until late fall or beyond, this is a pretty early start to the ABC process, so don't get your taste buds primed just yet. But all evidence of forward progress is worth noting.
 

There hasn't been much said so far about the restaurant planned for the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards by the Birch and Barley/Churchkey team, but the Post's All We Can Eat blog posted some morsels today:
* The still unnamed venture will "contain a full-scale production brewery, a brewpub-like tasting room [...] and a 200-plus-seat restaurant."
* A head brewer has been hired: Megan Parisi, former lead brewer at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Massachusetts. And, as a fun side fact, Parisi used to play clarinet for the US Navy Band, right next door at the Navy Yard.
* "Barrel-aged sour beers" will be a major focus. A comparison is made to Belgium's lambic beers, which means I'll be camping on the doorstep (Lindeman's Peche is a personal favorite). Owner Greg Engert called it all "a giant experiment."
* The operation will "open in about a year."
The brewery's neighbors in the building at 4th and Tingey SE, as announced so far, will be an Austin Grill Express, brb ("Be Right Burger"), Buzz Bakery, Huey's 24-7 Diner, and Willie's Brue and 'Que sportsbar, which will be another option for drowning any Prince Fielder-related sorrows, though by the time these places open the Nats will have had a fabulous 2012 season and no one will remember any of the recent drama. Right? Right?
 

This is little more than an off-topic I-want-to-try-it exercise, but after reading JD Antos's latest crunching of the Capital Bikeshare trip data that came out last week, I decided to see what it would be like to map the movements of a particular bike.
I picked bike W01000, for no reason other than I saw it while I was browsing through the tables and thought it looked like a nice round number--I make no statements as to how representative it is of other bikes, except that it was in the system for all of 2011, except for a few brief periods when it either didn't hit the rider lottery or was out for maintenance. (And I ignored trips less than a minute long.)
So, want to know where Bike W01000 went on December 1, 2011? Or July 4? Or my birthday? Or any day of your choosing? Take a look and see. Of course, the green lines for "trips" are just as-the-crow flies, and are not the actual routes taken by riders (since the bikes don't have GPS transponders THAT WE KNOW OF!!!).
There's also a table below the map that shows the trips broken out in order for that day, which is handy on days with a number of trips where sometimes the push pins on the map get piled up on each other. Also, note that some trip lines end without a push pin--that's because the pins mark the start of trips, and so if a bike got re-balanced to another station, that ride's endpoint will be pin-less.
You can also browse by month, but it's pretty spaghetti like.
This is quick-and-dirty, so there are probably bugs.
 

I guess I'm not unhappy that there's not much to pass along right now, given the firehose of content sprayed from these parts last week. So, while we all wait to find out whether Prince Fielder is going to be a new neighbor, here's the best I can come up with:
* The Atlantic Cities writes a paean to the Yards and the Yards Park, noting that Washington "is finally getting a green waterfront to be proud of," after years and years of poor waterfront access throughout the city for residents.
UPDATE: I'll toss this in, since I'm short on content: a writer at the Hill is Home is bummed that the Lumber Shed is going to be enclosed for retail space (and Forest City's offices upstairs), and is taking a poll to find out who does or doesn't agree.
* Exterior work continues to wrap up at 225 Virginia/200 I, with the new parking deck at 3rd and I mostly completed. Visitors to the building will park on the deck's upper level, via an entrance on 3rd just south of Virginia, while staff will enter the deck's lower level on I Street; there is also employee parking in the building's basement. I imagine traffic on 3rd is going to get even more interesting when the building opens to three city agencies later this year.
 

From ground level, it's not especially easy to see (or photograph) the current state of Canal Park's construction--lots of fences, equipment, and bad winter sunlight, and the only above-ground action is hard to photograph through cyclone fencing. But on Thursday I got to see the progress from higher up, where not only is it easier to get a good overview of the site, but you can now see the outline on the southern block of both the plaza *and the ice rink*. (Shadows still wreaked some havoc, alas.) I added a number of these images to my Canal Park progress page, for your perusal.
As I worked on these, I got to thinking about some photos from high up in 1100 New Jersey many moons ago, when the surrounding landscape looked very different. A few have been sprinkled throughout the site, but I was a little embarrassed to find out I'd never put them in my Overhead Photos Archive, which has now been rectified, and you can see them here. They are from September 2004, so most of the old Capper buildings are still visible, and the USDOT and Capitol Hill Tower lots are just holes in the ground. (And there's one cool view of the buildings at the Yards that sure won't ever be replicated.) I paired them with shots from Thursday where possible.
Then I remembered all the photos I took from the top floor of 1015 Half Street during the BID's annual meeting last week (there were a bunch besides just the "majestic" one). Not exactly a trip down memory lane, but they're now posted as well.
At this point, with a deep breath, I ventured into the folder where I've been dumping my rooftop/on-high photos "to deal with later," and found:
* A series of strangely blue pictures I took from the roof deck at Onyx in October 2008, just as the building was opening;
* Shots from 100 M Street taken at the BID's annual meeting on a dreary day in December 2008; and
* Photos from 55 M taken during the kick-off for Artomatic in May 2009. (Nyaah, nyaah, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, I was taking pictures of you!)
For those of you who live and work in the "high-rise" buildings in the neighborhood, many of these views won't be anything exciting, and given the lack of new projects on the west end of the neighborhood, not really much has changed since the 2008-2009 shots. But now they're in the Permanent Collection, to be paired with more photos down the road someday.
If you haven't wandered through the overhead archive before, there's a ton of other photos, including the pictures from atop the Courtyard by Marriott taken from 2006-2010 that really highlight the demolition-and-construction that happened west of New Jersey Avenue. There's also a series of images taken from the roof of the old Capper Seniors building right before it was demolished in 2007, plus all manner of pictures of the waterfront taken from the ballpark's southeast viewing platform starting in 2007 (which I can't wait to update in a few months). And other locations, too.
Hope you find them enjoyable, especially on a Friday afternoon when you might happen to be looking for something to do other than work.
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More posts: Canal Park, photos
 

While there has been lots of news over the past few months about Near Southeast getting some of the amenities that it has lacked for a long time (restaurants, grocery), one service that the neighborhood continues to be without is an open elementary school within walking distance. DC Public Schools closed Van Ness Elementary at 5th and M SE back in 2006 because of a lack of school-aged children in the neighborhood thanks to the emptying of the Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project in advance of its reconstruction as Capitol Quarter, but kept the building in its inventory knowing that eventually the neighborhood would fill back up and a school would again be needed.
Fast forward a few years, and the neighborhood now has a number of families with small children, who get to look at unused Van Ness every day while sending their children across South Capitol Street to Amidon/Bowen Elementary in Southwest. So the Parents of the Capitol Riverfront organized themselves to advocate for getting Van Ness reopened, and put together a "delightful" public meeting with then-interim chancellor Kaya Henderson. But DCPS announced last March that the numbers didn't yet support the reopening of Van Ness, saying that it was most likely the school would not reopen before 2015.
But area parents have continued to try to find a solution, and when word got out a few months ago that the well-regarded School Within School at Peabody Elementary was looking to expand its program and would need a new and larger space, Near Southeast parents began to investigate what it might take to get SWS into the neighborhood, whether in the Van Ness building or in some other solution, perhaps even using the modular classrooms (i.e., trailers) that Capitol Hill Day School has been occupying at 5th and K during its building's renovation.
But today a statement from Henderson being sent out to various neighborhood mailing lists seems to put the kabosh on this movement. While the notion of using the CHDS trailers is "an interesting one," Henderson says that school system "already has too many schools that are too small to sustain themselves," and so it would be a "poor stewardship of the public's resources" to pay rent to put SWS in trailers or wherever if there are already a number of available facilities that could be used. Plus, those other facilities are located where placing SWS "could have an equally or potentially greater positive impact."
The statement doesn't specifically explain why Van Ness itself is not an option to house SWS, and perhaps someone who's been close to the many meetings that parents have apparently had with DCPS could explain that in the comments. It seems to still boil down to the neighborhood just not having enough students to support a school, whether it's SWS or a "normal" elementary school. Van Ness is currently home to some administrative offices, plus needs what has been rumored to be a couple million dollars in renovations to get it ready, and it does appear that DCPS is holding fast to its previous ruling that Van Ness won't be back in the system before 2015. But it's also not hard to imagine that neighborhood parents will continue to try to get a school, any school, as soon as they can.
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More posts: Van Ness Elementary
 

Uh oh, the old bat is bringing out the photo albums....
Yup, it's time for me once again to mention that it was on January 19, 2003 when I made my husband drive me around that neighborhood south of the freeway, which we rarely ventured into, so that I could take some pictures (without getting out of the car, of course), since I'd heard there were some plans to revitalize the public housing and also the areas right along the Anacostia River. (Yeah, right, that'll be the day, we said to each other.) I had no grand plans to launch an all-consuming project that would document what might be coming--I just felt like getting some photos.
And now here we are, starting Year 10 of this.
I'm saving deep ruminations on the journey until (if?) I successfully cross the First Decade finish line, so for now I'll just say my heartfelt thanks to everyone who reads, comments, passes along information, and provides assistance, because there's no way I'd still be here without all of you.
And I think folks should prepare themselves for the coming avalanche of posts and photos, because 2012 looks to be Near Southeast's busiest year since the golden Nationals Park construction/opening era.
(I need a nap already.)
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More posts: JDLand stuff
 

There's been a whirlwind of "big" posts as 2012 has gotten underway, so here's a few items I've neglected:
* BID Reports: At its annual meeting last week, the Capitol Riverfront BID released both its annual report and the "Green Print of Growth" study they commissioned, which showed that the portion of the Green Line from the Navy Yard station to Georgia Avenue/Petworth has become over the past 10 years a "regional leader" in "capturing highly-prized young professional housing demand and high-wage employment," just nosing ahead of the Orange Line's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and outstripping the Red Line's stretch in Northwest DC when looking at household growth in the 18-to-34 demographic. The report also says (shocker!) that "the analysis conducted suggests that the Capitol Riverfront--given its Green Line access at the Navy Yard Station and its significant amount of development capacity--is among the most competitive locations in the region for households, companies, and retailers."
You can read the executive summary, the complete version, and the slides that RCLCO's Shyam Kannan displayed during his presentation at the meeting. (Additional coverage from WBJ and CapBiz.)
This was followed by a commentary by BID chief Michael Stevens in Monday's Washington Post/Capital Business in which he argued: "It's time for business and residents to recognize and acknowledge a new reality: The Green Line corridor has emerged as a powerful economic engine for the District and the region. And it's time for Metro, the city and the private sector to invest more in the area to support this growth trajectory."
UPDATE: Also coming out of the annual meeting, the BID voted to change how it handles its taxes, which still needs to be approved by the city council to take effect. (WBJ)
* On a parallel track, though it doesn't have to do with Near Southeast specifically, the Post's Steve Pearlstein wrote over the weekend about how signs suggest "that the next phase of growth in the Washington region will focus on these underdeveloped areas in the eastern quadrants of the District and some of the region’s older, closer-in suburbs."
* New Views: While I was at the BID's meeting, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the inside of 1015 Half Street, plus one shot looking out that shows not all views of the U.S. Capitol dome are, by default, "majestic." (Alternate caption: "Would you like fries with that democracy?") One Twitterer suggested that the rock circle at far right, on the Capitol Hill Power Plant's property, is where the ritual sacrifices are held. So, if you see the Congressional leadership skulking around I Street late at night....
* Artomatic Decision: The Post's Jonathan O'Connell tweeted this morning that Artomatic is headed to Crystal City. Organizers had been looking at both 1015 Half and the old National Geospatial Intelligence building at 101 M.
* CSX: The Virginia Avenue Tunnel web site now has public comments on the Nov. 30 "concepts" meeting, as well as the transcript of that session. Comments are still being accepted through the end of January.
* Protest: A reader who lives on 7th Street just across from the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters has passed along that the neighbors on that block have decided to lodge a formal protest at the liquor license renewal of the 7th and L Market, thanks to having witnessed multiple examples over the past few years of public drunkenness and urination, loitering, littering, drug dealing, indecent exposure, and even one proposition by a prostitute. There's no doubt that that market is a bit of a throwback to the neighborhood's previous incarnation; it will be interesting to see how this proceeds, and also how the eventual arrival of the National Community Church on that block changes (or doesn't change) things.
* AIIIEEEE!: Don't have enough to worry about these days? How about rising sea levels inundating areas along DC's waterfronts? (WaPo/Capital Weather Gang)
* Neighborhood News Roundup: The Post's new Where We Live real estate blog has a rundown and photo gallery today on the latest progress on the development and food fronts in Near Southeast. If it all looks and sounds strangely familiar, that shouldn't be a surprise.
 

When word gets out that some new data set has been posted in an easily digestible format, I am pretty much helpless before its power. So I spent the Friday night of a holiday weekend knee deep in Bikeshare Trip History Data, culling out the nearly 30,000 more than 28,000 records for trips that either originated or ended at Near Southeast's two docks in 2011. Then I fired up up the Google Maps API to bring it all to you in interactive map form.
You'll choose whether you want to see inbound or outbound data for the dock at New Jersey and M in front of the US Department of Transportation or the dock at 1st and N just across the street from Nationals Park. Optionally, you can filter by month of the year or even a specific date. (Tip: green means starting point, red means ending point.) Then there are tables beneath the map that show, for your chosen data set, the number of registered vs. casual users and the top usage days.
It shouldn't be surprising that the docks at the Eastern Market Metro Station and at 4th and M SW (Safeway) are very popular destinations/starting points for the Near Southeast docks, but I'm surprised to be surprised that the top dock for New Jersey & M trips in both directions is Union Station.
Capital Bikeshare is apparently going to release this data quarterly, so I plan to keep the map/search app updated as long as there's data coming. And there should be a new dock in the neighborhood sometime in 2012, at 3rd and Tingey.
PS: Speaking of Bikeshare, read this fascinating piece on one man's transformation into a bicycling commuter thanks to Capital Bikeshare being a "gateway drug." (Any full disclosure I need to make about this link should be pretty clear in the second and fourth paragraphs.)
UPDATE: After reading this great post by JD Antos with scads of analysis of the city-wide Bikeshare trip data, I dug into my tables a little more closely to clear out "rides" of less than 60 seconds' duration at a single station and found that I had inadvertently doubled the records where the both start and stop stations were the two Near Southeast stations. (Argh.) Not a huge change in the data (about 1,250 records out of nearly 30,000), and most likely the data people would have been looking at today would have been for the trips outside of the neighborhood, but I have now cleaned out that boo-boo. And I've deleted 167 sub-60-second trips at a single station as well, just because.
UPDATE II: I added both Union Station and the new dock just north of the freeway at 3rd and G to my Live Transit Data page, which includes a table of the closest docks and their capacity status, along with other live data like Next Train, Next Bus, and Where's My (Circulator) Bus?
 

Developer William C. Smith is announcing today that the apartment project we've been referring to as 880 New Jersey will be called the Park Chelsea, and is expected to get underway sometime during the second quarter of this year. And there's even a rendering now, and an official web site.
As I reported a few months ago, it will be 13 stories, with 433 units, which I understand will be broken down as 58 studios (about 466 avg sq ft), 281 one-bedrooms (606-738 sq ft), 92 two-bedrooms (1094 sq ft), and 2 three-bedrooms (1788 sq ft). There will be a courtyard garden, club room, gym, pilates/yoga studio, Jacuzzi, and 75-foot indoor lap pool on the ground floor. Then, up on the roof there will be a second pool along with the now-ubiquitous lounging/grilling area, as well as a "community garden" and dog exercise area. There will also be 1,500 square feet of "convenience" retail space on the ground floor, and three levels of underground parking. (They previously mentioned to me a bicycle entrance to a sizeable storage room separate from the car parking areas--I'm assuming that's still part of the plans, but I haven't confirmed.)
It's easy to notice that site clearing that has begun along New Jersey--this is the start of the pre-construction infrastructure work that Smith needs to do in order to relocate some very very deep pipes beneath the block. The company also tells me that they expect DPW to be moving out of their site just to the south of 880 New Jersey about a month from now, which can begin the chain reaction of getting the old trash transfer building demolished so that lots can be split and land transferred along the to-be-built I Street axis. Vertical construction on 880 NJ can't begin until all of that happens, so that will be a pretty easy-to-watch guide to when real work on the new apartment building can begin.
Once started, construction should take about two years.
This is the first phase of Smith's plans for Square 737, seen at right back in 2008. Originally the company had planned two residential buildings and two office buildings, but now they're looking toward filling the block with apartments, totalling around 1,200 units in four buildings. (And note that the entire four-building project is "matter of right," so there will be no zoning reviews or PUDs.) It's anticipated that there will be greater amounts of retail in the two buildings that will front 2nd Street, near Canal Park and across from 225 Virginia.
If you want to see more photos of Square 737 and get additional background, check my project page and previous posts.
While this will be William C. Smith's first apartment project in Near Southeast, they have been working in the neighborhood for a number of years, and literally working here since 2004 (when they opened 1100 New Jersey Avenue and moved their offices there). They have also been a big player in the creation of Canal Park, and are part of the Capper PUD team as the developers of the planned 250 M Street office building.
UPDATE: Lydia DePillis writes about the building's architecture at City Paper, and WBJ has a piece on the project for subscribers. And it gets a mention in WaPo's Capital Business section.
 

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 known.)
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.
UPDATE: Here's DCist's report on the meeting. And SWill's.
 

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 the last M Street traffic meeting, back in 2010, though note it was not part of this current official nine-month study by DDOT.)
 

Do you get excited about new windows? Then this latest batch of photos of the Boilermaker Shops rehab is for you!
But, in addition to all the new glass, you can also see that the construction of the mezzanine level has begun as well. (There's a rendering midway down the page of how the mezzanine level will look, if you're having a hard time envisioning it.)
If you're just joining us, this is the project at the Yards that will bring six restaurants to this historic building by the end of 2012: a brewery by the Birch and Barley/Churchkey Folks, Austin Grill Express, BRB burger joint, Huey's 24/7 Diner, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que.
And, speaking of restaurants at the Yards, interested parties will like to hear that construction has begun on the Potbelly Sandwich Works shop in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts building, just south of Boilermaker on the southeast corner of 3rd and Tingey. It is expected to open this spring, as is Kruba Thai and Sushi, which just received its building permit last week for its space in Foundry's southwest corner, just north of the Yards Park.
 

The news of the two freeway spans of the 11th Street Bridges opening over the past few weeks is of course the most interesting part of the current state of the project's construction, but there's plenty of work still happening on the Near Southeast side of the Anacostia River, from the new "11th Street Local" bridge that will open this summer (seen at right) to various other new ramps and flyovers.
So on Sunday I did a lot of hoofing and driving to bring you this new 11th Street Bridges Project Photo Gallery, showing the most interesting views I came across. I walked up onto the old outbound bridge (totally legal! sidewalk and everything!), I ventured down to N and then O streets, and I went north to where the new girders have been installed above 11th Street to connect the inbound freeway traffic to the Southeast Freeway and where the new ramp up to 11th Street from the old Pennsylvania Avenue/Barney Circle connector is under construction.
I also updated a lot of intersection shots in my official Photo Archive, so if you're wanting to see before-and-afters from the streets surrounding the bridges project, check out 11th & M, 12th & M, 11th & N, 12th & N, 11th & L, and 11th & the freeway (the shots above are a teaser) for all your change-is-a-comin' images. (Though not every photo was updated, so look for the icon.)
And, because I'm a goofball, I also tossed together this quick montage of the photos I took on my first trip across the new outbound freeway bridge. (Yes, that's on a JDLand Google+ page. I haven't done anything with it, but if you want to show me there's interest in my getting more active there, you can follow the page and we'll go from there.)
Plus I freshened up the photo portion of my 11th Street Bridges project page, which is the place to go if you're not up to speed on exactly what all this construction is going to accomplish. (DDOT's recent video will help you with that too.) But really, start with the photo gallery.
 

Back in February, the National Community Church applied for a raze permit for the Miles Glass site on the southwest corner of 8th and Virginia that it acquired along with a number of adjoining lots on Square 906 in 2010 and 2011. However, perhaps something was not quite right, because two new raze permit applications for 733 Virginia are now in the city's database, along with a separate new one for the car garage next door at 701 Virginia, the lot that finalized NCC's footprint.
Last week, NCC representatives told ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning Committee that they plan to have the demolitions completed by March, and will "then move to establish a temporary parking lot and community green space for an estimated two-year period" while the church continues to work on its final plans for the site, which in the past have been described as being a combination of coffee house, performance space, and church offices.
Any goings-on at the site, though, will be impacted by CSX's planned Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction, and in October NCC head Mark Batterson told the Washington Business Journal that "it doesn't make sense to do our project and then have them come through and rip everything up and make it difficult for us to even access our property."
Meanwhile, a couple blocks to the southeast, two raze permits have also now been filed for 816 Potomac, the long-closed-up brown apartment building on the northwest corner of 9th and Potomac. This property is one of the lots on Square 930 that Madison Marquette now co-owns as part of its "joint venture" with ICP Partners.
 

I have been lazy, l-a-z-y, about getting to some of my more far-flung photo spots in recent months, but the guilt of a new year finally overwhelmed me on Sunday, and I ventured up onto the Douglass Bridge and over to Poplar Point with camera in hand, mainly to get updated shots of the now-cleared Florida Rock site (above) and the Yards Park, Yards/Teague Bridge, and other waterside sites.
I pulled the most interesting of them together in an Along the Anacostia Photo Gallery, but you can also see the progression of images I've taken over the years from the Douglass Bridge and at Poplar Point looking toward Florida Rock/Nats Park and toward the Yards. I also gave my Florida Rock project page some much-needed freshening up, and you can also read my post from a few weeks ago about the latest news on the plans for the site. And maybe this year I'll head back to these spots when the ground isn't brown.
And, if you want to see almost the entire Near Southeast waterfront in one (panorama'ed) shot....:
 

* 1015 Half Buyer: On Friday the Post debuted a "What's Going On With....?" feature at their new Where We Live Real Estate blog (reminds me of my old "What's the Deal With...?" days), and the first item was on the empty office building at 1015 Half Street. One tidbit not mentioned there, or at JDLand before now, is that apparently Prudential Real Estate Investors is buying the building, with the deal supposed to be closing this month, according to Bisnow. Bisnow says that the deal was always for Prudential to buy out Bank of America's stake in the building when it was finished, even back when it was Opus East doing the developing, not current receiver Douglas Wilson Companies.
* Onyx Sale: The Onyx on First apartment building never sold when it first went on the block back in March, and a second offering apparently closed in December. Perhaps there will be news soon.
* Navy Yard Riverwalk Closure: It was announced on Twitter last week that the Navy Yard Riverwalk will be closed from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 to install fences around the piers. (What? You thought I meant the entire Riverwalk and not just the portion controlled by the Navy Yard? Why ever would you have thought that?)
* Winter Classic Rumoring: I guess if you haven't been following along for the past couple of years, the notion of an NHL Winter Classic in DC and at Nationals Park could be news to you, but at this point there's nothing new actually being reported, since no official announcement has been made.
 

New Jersey Avenue, south of the freeway, looking east, before and after the clearing of brush and trees that happened late last week:
A slightly different angle, looking south-southeast:
This appears to be the work that William C. Smith mentioned would be coming, as part of their preparations for infrastructure work in advance of their 880 New Jersey Avenue apartment project. More before-and-afters here.
(That's 225 Virginia/200 I in the background, if you're bewildered at what you're seeing in this new view.)
(This is the first in what will be an avalanche of new photos over the next few days, after I drove around for about two hours grabbing scads of shots that I have been guilt ridden about not getting to. Rather than trying to put them up in one overwhelming post, I'll be passing them along in manageable bites.)
 

UPDATE: The new span will indeed open on Saturday, Jan. 7, as confirmed Thursday evening by a DDOT tweet. Watch for detours during the day as they make the switch.
On Tuesday, DDOT tweeted thusly: "Traffic alert: if the weather holds, we expect the new outbound 11th Street Freeway Bridge to open this Saturday."
They also sent out a handy YouTube video explaining the phases of construction that the entire project has seen so far and will see before all is finished, which I urge you to watch so that I don't have to try to summarize it all for the 7,000th time.
One item in the video that I hadn't seen mentioned before (it's at about the 45-second mark): with the opening of the new outbound freeway bridge, commuters from the Southeast Freeway/I-695 who want to get into the neighborhoods just east of the river will need to exit at 6th Street SE and get themselves to the existing ramp at 11th and O SE to go across the old outbound bridge. This will be until the new 11th Street Local bridge opens this summer. So watch for some traffic tieups at the 6th Street ramp and along Virginia Avenue, 8th Street, and M Street.
Dr. Gridlock has more on the changes, and my 11th Street Bridges project page has overviews of the entire reconstruction.
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ANC 6D has sent around (and posted! yay!) the agenda for its January meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 at 7 pm at 1100 4th St., SW in DCRA's second-floor meeting room.
The Near Southeast items of interest could mostly be looked at as sneak previews, or perhaps as items that could be missed if you are better able to fit other upcoming meetings into your calendar (especially, if, say, you were looking for an escape hatch because you'd kinda rather be watching the BCS championship):
* There's a M Street SE/SW Transportation Study agenda item, in advance of the DDOT public meeting on the study coming three days later, on Jan. 12;
* There's an update on Capitol Riverfront BID doings, in advance of the BID's annual meeting three days later, on Jan. 12; and
* There's the application for historic landmark status for the DC Water main pumping station, which will be heard by the Historic Preservation Review Board at its January 26 meeting.
There's also an update on the ANC 6D redistricting outcome, various Southwest-related items (including the big Maryland Avenue SW Draft Plan, and whatnot. And, since it's the first meeting of the new year, there will also be the election of commission officers.
 

In years past I've waited until my Jan. 19 anniversary date, but this year I decided to shift my sixth annual survey of what's happened and what's going to happen to the same approximate time when everyone else on the planet does theirs, right at New Year's. (Except I waited until people are actually back from the holidays.) So here is my 2012 State of the Hood, with its characteristic torrent of words describing Near Southeast's progress over the past 12 months and also what's on the boards for the next 12 months (hint: Food, Glorious Food!).
If you've been religiously following JDLand content, there probably won't be anything new, but if you're a recent arrival or if you only check in so often, this is a good way to get caught up on developments big and small.
In a similar vein, it's become quite a trend for blogs to list their Top 10 Posts of the Year, so I figured I'd hop on the bandwagon (though technically mine is Top 10 Most Visited Posts and Non-Project Pages of 2011). If you look at this, you may not have even need to plow through all the SOTH verbiage, but I hope you do anyway:
After a number of years spent treading water, it's been fun to have some actual news to report during the past 12 months. And it appears there will be no shortage of milestones coming in 2012. Enjoy....
UPDATE: As always, as soon as I post it, I realize there's something I should have included. So if you're wondering about crime in Near Southeast in 2011 compared to other years, here's my 2011 Crime Incidents page, with all the stats broken out for you. There were 40 more crimes reported than in 2010, all of which can be attributed to a jump in Theft reports, which isn't a surprise when more people live in the neighborhood. Other crimes basically stayed the same.
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Hope everyone has had a good holiday season, and made it into the New Year relatively unscathed. I took some blog vacation time myself, but while it's looked like pure slacking, I've actually been hard at work on my 2012 State of the Hood roundup, which will be coming tomorrow.
Until then, here's a few very short tidbits to catch up on, some of which were already tweeted (so blog-only folks might have missed them) and others of which were just little things that have piled up on my To-Do list.
* In the days before Christmas, the final demolitions were finished up at Florida Rock, making the concrete tower #166 in my Demolished Buildings gallery. I didn't get down there for mid-demo photos, but DCMud has a few stylized shots.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID said last week on Facebook that construction will begin in April on turning the Lumber Shed at Yards Park into a combination retail pavilion and office space for developer Forest City. No such announcement from Forest City yet, and no details on who any of the retail tenants may be.
* Suspect fleeing from police jumps the fence into Nationals Park on Dec. 28, finally found hiding in a public restroom.
* The Examiner surveys what's coming for DC's various waterfronts in 2012.
* The Post's annual list includes "Renting in Navy Yard" as one of the "In"s. (To which the smart-ass in me replies, "Oh, you mean actually in the Washington Navy Yard, the Navy's oldest shore establishment, now 202 years old?")
 
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