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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: September 2011
In the Pipeline
Ballpark Square
Homewood Suites Hotel
82 I Street
1244 South Capitol
Yards/Parcel A
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
909 Half St.
Akridge/Half St.
Ex-Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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18 Blog Posts

Just sent out by DDOT: "Today the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced the start of land acquisition and preliminary design work for the South Capitol Street Project, which includes replacement of the current Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. [...] While the Record of Decision (ROD) is still pending, the Federal Highway Administration signed the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) following the requisite 30-day public comment period that ended in May."
I'm posting quickly, so I shall now crib unabashedly from my post on the Final EIS, from back in April:
If you are interested in this subject, there is more verbiage and documentation accompanying the plans than you could ever dream of. (Traffic studies! Environmental consequences! Technical reports!) And I've written a lot about the process, which began more than a decade ago with other studies before the EIS got underway. And I'm sure there will be posts on other blogs delving more specifically into portions of the plans. But, since most people probably want to know "what does this mean for me?", you can see this graphic (from the 224-MB chapter 2 of the FEIS) giving a quick overview of what changes are planned along South Capitol Street if the final EIS is signed off on (and, more importantly, if funding is secured). The short version, for the west side of the Anacostia:
* Add "pedestrian amenities" and enhance the streetcape along South Capitol north of I and along New Jersey Avenue SE north of the freeway.
* Replace the existing ramp to the freeway from South Capitol and I with an at-grade intersection. (This would be a left turn onto a ramp to the freeway from under the freeway, near the current Nats HH economy parking lot.)
* Bring New Jersey Avenue SE back to a 160-foot full right-of-way, and add streetscape enhancements.
* "Reconstruct South Capitol Street as an urban boulevard." This means bringing M Street up to an "at-grade" intersection (no more tunnel), and would include new signalized at-grade intersections to allow traffic to cross South Capitol on K and L streets. (M Street would also get reconstructed between the Halfs [SE and SW].) The section of South Capitol north of M would have the same streetscape that the south portion received during its 2007/08 makeover, with wide sidewalks and a tree-lined median.
* Build a traffic oval at South Capitol, Potomac, Q, as the gateway to a new arched bascule-design Douglass Bridge that would have wide "multi-use trails" (i.e., sidewalks!) in both directions. The existing bridge would be demolished, after the new bridge is built somewhat downriver of the current location.
The Executive Summary (220 MB PDF) gives a good overview of the FEIS and preferred alternative (as it should!), but I also suggest wandering through the Chapter 2: Alternatives section, especially if you came to the neighborhood or JDLand after 2008 and didn't get to follow along during the EIS process, or if you're interested in the additional plans for east of the river, which I'm going to leave to others to discuss. My previous posts on all of this may be of interest as well. If you're wanting to see some of the earlier studies referenced in the FEIS, there are links to them at the top of my South Capitol Street project page.
How much would this all cost? The preferred alternative is priced in this final EIS at $806 million in FY 2014 dollars. (New bridges are expensive, you know.) Note that nothing in today's statement from DDOT says anything about funding, or a construction timeline.
You can also check my South Capitol Street and South Capitol Street Bridge page for all the info about the plans, along with my scores of posts over the past few years.
 

* On October 3, the following changes will be made to the Navy Yard-Union Station Circulator route: "[B]uses will no longer travel west on Constitution Avenue and north on Louisiana Avenue to reach Union Station. Buses will instead stop adjacent to Union Station on Columbus Circle at the flag poles before turning right on F Street, NE and right on 2nd Street, NE to Constitution Avenue. The route will no longer serve the Union Station garage level and the stops located at Louisiana and D Streets, NE will no longer be served." Other Circulator changes--including the end of the SW-Convention Center route and the beginning of an east-of-the-river route that will run down Barracks Row--are listed here.
* DDOT and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), along with ANC commissioner David Garber, have launched "Rack Attack," which will result in the installation of 36 new bike racks around Near Southeast. The first one was installed this morning at Cornercopia.
 

At the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force's meeting on Sept. 22, final recommendations for ANC and SMD boundaries were approved, and the 6D map they are recommending remains close to their original draft proposal, despite 6D's request for substantial changes.
I'm not going to talk about the changes in western Southwest, but you can see on the two maps below the large differences close to and east of South Capitol Street between what the task force is recommending (left) and what the ANC wanted (right) (click to enlarge):
(Task Force final recommendation on left, ANC proposal on right. 6D02 is green, 6D03 purple, 6D07 fuschia)
The task force's original recommendation in August (very similar to the map above left) was for 6D02 to come across South Capitol Street into Southeast, covering the area bounded by I, New Jersey, and N. Then 6D07 would cover the rest of Near Southeast (except for the small cut-out on the northeastern side, which has been and will continue to be in ANC 6B). This would mean that 6D07/Near Southeast commissioner David Garber's current address would no longer be in 6D07 but instead in 6D02, where commissioner Cara Shockley also still resides under the new boundaries.
This, with a number of other changes that the 6D commissioners disapproved of, moved them to proffer their own map (above right), which kept 6D02 all in Southwest and instead expanded chair Ron McBee's 6D03 SMD across South Capitol, in such a way that Garber's block would remain in 6D07. (It also had 6D07 coming west across South Capitol for one small block, bounded by South Capitol, M, Carrollsburg, and N.) Cara Shockley vehemently disapproved of this map at the commission's September meeting, while Garber did not vote on it (citing what he described as his constituents' desire to be instead be a part of ANC 6B).
I was not at the task force's Sept. 22 meeting, but the ANC's arguments do not appear to have held much sway, and the final 6D map being recommended by the task force (above left) is very similar to the original draft map, at least in terms of how it handles blocks east of South Capitol.
The task force will be meeting again on Monday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 pm at 1100 4th St. SW (DCRA hearing room) to approve the report that will "include the narrative to explain the recommendations as well as the required text description of the ANC/SMD boundaries." That report and the maps will then be submitted to Tommy Wells on Sept. 28, who will then submit Ward 6 redistricting recommendations to the council on Sept. 30.
UPDATE: Guess it wouldn't hurt to include a link to the current 6D SMD boundaries.
Comments (6)
More posts: ANC News, redistricting
 

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)
 

A little birdie tells me that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency folks are having a "site closure ceremony" sometime next week for their operations on the southeast corner of 1st and M, SE. (You know, the place with hardly any windows and the guys out front with guns.) As part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, their operations have moved to swank new digs down at Ft. Belvoir.
The closure ceremony is apparently for "cleared personnel only."
This site, officially known as Building 213 from the old Navy Yard/Southeast Federal Center days, is on the footprint of the Yards and as expected to be home to an office building someday, but not anytime soon.
In the meantime, maybe that parking lot will become available to the public?
Comments (3)
 

If you're looking for things to do this weekend beyond the final Nats home games of the season and Blocktoberfest, you've got choices just across the freeway and just across South Capitol Street:
* The inaugural SW ArtsFest runs Friday through Sunday, featuring the (e)merge art fair at the Capitol Skyline Hotel and a series of other artsy events around the neighborhood. See their Facebook page for all the details. (The Post has some info on (e)merge as well.)
* The Barracks Row Fall Festival is on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, transforming 8th Street SE between E and I into "a midway full of music, food, and favorite local traditions."
Comments (0)
More posts: Events,
 

On the calendar for the rest of the week:
* Thursday, Sept. 22 brings both the Capital Bikeshare 1st Birthday Bash at the Yards Park and this year's Opera in the Outfield at Nats Park. Bikeshare's bash runs from 6 to 9 pm; Opera starts at 7:30 pm.
* The Nats play their final home games of the 2011 season against the Braves this weekend, and the team is promoting it as a FAN-tastic FAN-ale. There will be fireworks after Friday night's game (and perhaps during the game, since Strasburg is scheduled to be on the mound). Saturday and Sunday, both afternoon games, have limited $2 tickets available along with food and drink specials and giveaways. Details here.
* And on Saturday the 24th the Yards Park is hosting Blocktoberfest, with multiple stages, more than 10 acts, food, and of course beer. There were complaints from residents about noise levels during a 10-hour event at the park on Sunday the 18th; one reply from the BID to a resident in the aftermath says that they "have learned a valuable lesson about events in the Park and the noise level," and that they are evaluating the types of events that are appropriate rental use for the park.
What will I be doing for the next few days? Praying that my beloved Google Nexus One phone comes back to life after an overnight seltzer soaking (thanks, cat). It's in a Ziploc bag full of rice drying out as we speak....
 

Back in March we learned that the plans were underway to move the gravel/stone/concrete operations that have been at 25 Potomac Ave. since the 1920s around the corner to South Capitol and S Street SE, down in Buzzard Point. All that needed to be done was build some new infrastructure at the new location, and get a raze permit approved, and then the site long known as Florida Rock could be demolished, which the site owners were hoping would be happen by early summer.
Of course, as is so often the case, the actual timeline didn't quite match up to expectations. Most notably, the new site had problems getting electricity, which was a mite ironic given its location within spitting distance of the huge power plant at Half and S SW. But I'm told that a temporary Certificate of Occupancy has finally been secured, and operations are starting to move from Potomac Avenue to Buzzard Point. And, once the raze permit applied for back in March is approved, demolition can begin.
Plans have been on the boards for a number of years now to transform the 5.8-acre site into the mixed-use RiverFront on the Anacostia, and in July it was announced that owners Florida Rock Properties will be partnering with MidAtlantic Realty Partners to develop the first phase of the project, an apartment building on the far eastern end of the site near Diamond Teague Park and across from the Grand Staircase at Nationals Park. This is a change from the office building originally planned for this phase, and will need to go through the Zoning Commission for approvals. It's hoped that construction could begin in spring 2013.
If you want to know more about the plans for the site, my Florida Rock/RiverFront page is chock full of renderings and details.
(Hat tip to eagle-eyed Man About Town David Garber, who noticed on Saturday afternoon that the cement tower on Potomac Avenue appeared to be losing some of its panels.)
 

Clark Construction has delivered the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campus at Ft. Belvoir, says CityBiz Real Estate.
(Not coincidentally, the federally legislated deadline for BRAC moves was yesterday.)
Has NGA finished moving out of the armed encampment at First and M, SE?
Comments (0)
 

Keying off my post about ANC 6D's approval of Navy Yard- as a new name for the Metro station by Nationals Park, Greater Greater Washington expressed some displeasure ("Navy Yard-W" is worst of new station name proposals"). That post was then pondered by DCist and mocked by SB Nation for, among other things, the contention that people would think "Navy Yard-W" was named for former president George W. Bush. And now there's a GGW follow-up saying that, by appending "Ballpark" to the Navy Yard station name, people won't use other stations that might work better for them to get to the stadium. (Though, really, when the Navy Yard station is all of a block away from Nats Park, maybe it's okay to label that as the station people should use.)
Comments (0)
More posts: ANC News, Metro/WMATA,
 

Greater Greater Washington covers the CSX Public Scoping Meeting, focusing on how some attendees were surprised to only find informational displays and no presentations from CSX, DDOT, or FHWA. A shame no one made any mention of that in advance.
The boards from the meeting have now been posted on the official Virginia Avenue Tunnel web site. There's now a 30-day comment period, with a design concepts meeting to follow not long after. That's when the real nitty gritty should appear.
 

The Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force blog has posted ANC 6D's formal recommendations on redistricting, approved at Monday's meeting, with the changes I laid out previously.
UPDATE: Also now posted, 6B's formal recommendations, with no mention of Near Southeast's remaining in 6D instead of moving to 6B.
Comments (0)
More posts: ANC News, redistricting,
 

First, a reminder that Wednesday Sept. 14 brings the Public Scoping Meeting for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project. This is a "we want to hear what YOU think!" meeting, so there will be no presentations of actual plans for the construction. It will just be an open house with information on what exists and what needs to be done, and a chance for interested parties to submit their feedback to DDOT and the FHWA. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Van Ness Elementary School; you can read more about the meeting in my post from last month. There's also the official web site, and this flyer from the newly formed Concerned Citizens of Virginia Avenue that makes clear their opinion on what's to come. Additional meetings where CSX will finally provide some specifics on their designs and plans should come later this fall.
As for doings at Monday night's ANC 6D meeting beyond the Metro station renaming items I already wrote about:
* Capper Time Extensions: The commission voted 7-0 to support the request for two-year extensions on two planned Capper apartment buildings and the office building planned for 600 M Street, which is also part of the Capper redevelopment. (I hadn't realized that 600 M was part of this request when I wrote my entry last week.) This would push the planned start dates for these three projects into the late 2013-early 2014 time frame.
As is usually the case with any Capper issue in front of the commission, Chairman McBee brought up the delayed community center, which Housing Authority representatives said should get its needed $7.4 million in funding when a new bond issuance happens later this year, and a building permit should be filed for in advance of the July 2012 deadline. As is also most always the case with Capper issues, the commission also wanted statistics and information on the former residents of the project, and whether they are being tracked and worked with. The DCHA reps said that 129 residents have returned to Capper, with another 550 on the waiting list, though some of those have turned down recently completed units for various issues (not wanting a walkup, etc.). This is with about half of the required 707 public housing units already constructed.
This extension was to have been heard by the Zoning Commission on Monday night, but since the ANC had not yet had a chance to weigh in, the applicants agreed with a request to delay action until the Zoning Commission's Sept. 26 meeting. If you want to know more, you can read my entry from last week (no need to write it all again!).
* Redistricting: The ANC proffered an alternate Single Member District map from what the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force has proposed. It tweaks the proposed boundaries in a way that moves current commissioner David Garber's building and the 70/100 I buildings back into 6D07 (along with the small block in Southwest bordered by South Capitol, M, N, and Carrollsburg Place), while placing Capitol Hill Tower, 909 New Jersey, and Velocity in 6B03, which reaches across South Capitol from Southwest. (The proposed SMDs that cover Near Southeast are in my quickie map at right.) Commissioner Cara Shockley, whose 6D02 was altered substantially from what the task force had proposed (it would have covered the portion of Near Southeast now given to 6D03, along with 70/100 I and Onyx, but not CHT), told the commission she was completely opposed to the new boundaries, and had no idea that such a big change was being proposed by the ANC, having been unable to open the attachments with the map images. David Garber took no official position on 6D's map, saying that because his constituents have made clear that they feel Near Southeast belongs in 6B and not 6D he would not be voting. In the end, the ANC supported the resolution offering up the alternate map in a 4-1-2 vote, with Garber and Bob Craycraft abstaining and Shockley voting against.
The task force's next public meeting is on Sept. 19 to propose the second draft of SMD boundaries, followed by a final meeting to approve their final draft maps on Sept. 22. Tommy Wells will then submit recommendations on boundaries to the city council by Sept. 30. For more on all the redistricting process, see my previous entries.
 

With WMATA looking to tighten up the naming conventions for Metro stations and also preparing for a new map thanks to the impending service expansion to Tysons Corner and eventually Dulles, the three local jurisdictions have been encouraged to come up with proposals by the end of this month for any station name revisions they may want. This brought Steve Strauss of DDOT to Monday's ANC 6D meeting, to find out whether the community had any feelings about the names of the four stations within the commission's borders, and in particular whether the ANC had any desire to take a second look at two proposed name changes it supported last year in light of WMATA's recommitment to the notion that station names should be no longer than 19 characters (13 for transfer stations).
Yes, it's time for the Curly W discussion again.
Last December the commission voted to support requests from both the Capitol Riverfront BID and the Nationals to change the station name to Navy Yard-Capitol Riverfront-, but that is well above 19 characters (and would be even worse if the Curly W weren't approved and "Nationals Park" were substituted, as called for in the ANC resolution at the time). The discussion on Monday night centered around whether using the logo would set a dangerous precedent, whether it would be confusing in terms of pronouncing the station name, whether it's de facto advertising, and whether riders with vision impairments would or would not be better served by having a logo versus a spelled-out "Ballpark." Commissioner Andy Litsky was also vocal in wanting some assurance that the Nationals would be paying the estimated $100,000 for the changing of the name of a station, and would not try to argue that the city should pay the cost since the stadium is a public building.
Gregory McCarthy of the Nationals told the commission many of the same things he did back in December: the Curly W is the official logo of a city-owned building, and the team wants the logo to appear on transit signage just as it does on freeway signs around the area. McCarthy also said the team very much wants to promote transit as the best way to get to the stadium, and that having the logo on signs and maps helps to emphasize the connection between Metro and the Nationals year-round. There's also no desire to have any variation of "Nationals Park" in the name, given the possibility that the stadium's naming rights will someday be sold and the name changed.
An initial motion to rename the station Navy Yard-Ballpark failed on a 3-3 vote; after more discussion, a new motion to support Navy Yard- if a logo were allowed, and Navy Yard-Ballpark if not, passed on a 4-2 vote. (Technically, these motions were all about amending the resolution from December, but I'm giving you the blessedly short version.)
I should also note that the Capitol Riverfront BID's recent request to simply rename the station Capitol Riverfront- was briefly mentioned at the start of the discussion, but clearly had zero support from the commission or the audience and was never voted on.
The ANC also voted 7-0 to change Waterfront-SEU to Waterfront-Arena Stage. But the resolution acknowledged that the new station name would be 22 characters long, and so a second resolution was passed on a 4-3 vote asking to rename the station as SW Waterfront if Arena Stage does not get added to the name.
There was a brief discussion as to whether there might be interest in adding Banneker Park to the L'Enfant Plaza station, but there was little support, and recognition that the name would be too long anyway.
All requests for changing station names will first go through the city's evaluation procedures, with the mayor's office then submitting formal recommendations to WMATA.
 

I took a lot of photos on Sunday, so many that I'm not going to waste time trying to come up with some pithy introduction. What you see below are just a taste of all the new images I posted, so be sure to follow the links for more.
At the Yards, the Foundry Lofts (left) are looking close to done, and it's striking to compare it to its Before shots to see just how well the exterior of the building has been cleaned up. Meanwhile, the Boilermaker Shops (right) is now defrocked, with work underway to transform it into the 46,000-square-foot retail space that will open about a year from now.
In the Yards Park, work will start this fall to make the Lumber Shed into another retail space, and earlier this summer test panels were hung on one corner of the building (left) to show how currently bare structure will look when it is completely enclosed in glass. And, over on the western edge of the park, the new bridge that will connect Yards Park to Diamond Teague Park (and Nationals Park) is coming along (right), with a number of the signature curved "fence posts" already installed. The bridge is scheduled to open in a few months.
I finally got some not-very-exciting shots of the under-construction pavilion on the south end of Canal Park (left), along with updating what photos I could of the perimeter (the fencing around 2nd Place in particular puts a cramp in my methodology). This pavilion is where a restaurant is planned, which could be home to the latest Xavier Cervera offering if a deal is finally reached. The park is expected to open next year. Plus, I captured the temporary home of the Capitol Hill Day School (right), so that some day many years from now there will be a record of the modular classrooms that stood for nine months or so on the site of the eventual Capper Community Center at 5th and K.
And change is happening at a ridiculously rapid pace at Capitol Quarter, so much so that a trip through the Phase 2 Extended Photo Archive is definitely recommended to see all of the new vistas in comparison to the old Capper footprint. Less showy but still moving forward is the transformation of 225 Virginia/200 I, including the beginnings of the work on the parking deck at 3rd and I.
Want to plow through all 213 new images? Have at it.
 

Apologies for the torrent of words that follows:
* ANC Meetings: The agenda is now out for Monday's meeting ANC 6D meeting. In addition to the Capper apartments time extension request I just wrote about, there will be a discussion of the proposed Single Member District boundaries for 6D. (Ditto on both counts for the ANC 6B meeting the next night.) There is also an agenda item on the proposed renaming of both the Navy Yard and Waterfront-SEU Metro stations, with a DDOT representative. The 6D meeting is at 7 pm in the DCRA offices at 1100 4th St., SW, 2nd Floor.
* Changes to P1/P2/P6 Buses: WMATA has come up with a list of proposed changes to bus routes, and one of them would eliminate the P1 and P2 buses that run along M Street SE during rush hour and would re-route the P6 bus down M Street SE to 4th Street SW, away from its current route that runs along Virginia Avenue and through the southern part of Capitol Hill before heading to Federal Center SW and then across the Mall and into downtown. This could impact the residents of the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE, which has an eastbound stop right on its corner. (I'd also note that the planned closure of Virginia Avenue south of the freeway for two-plus years would necessitate a rerouting anyway.) And, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll say that this rerouting would have an impact on the JDLand household, since we often use this bus (which stops right at our corner) to get to and from downtown. This is not final yet, with public meetings on this and the other proposed changes still to come.
* NCPC Doings: Last week the National Capital Planning Commission approved by consent Forest City's plans to temporarily put their offices in the second floor of the Lumber Shed building at the Yards Park. NCPC also approved an installation of solar panels at the Navy Yard, while humminah-hummining that though the commission had said back in 2010 that "no future submittals at the Washington Navy Yard will be considered until an updated master plan is submitted," they decided that "this proposal is a minor one that does not increase the population at the installation, does not include any interior space, will have 'no adverse effect' on historic resources and is comprised of elements that reduce the installation's energy consumption." Plus, the report says the commission staff has been meeting with the Navy and expects a draft document for updating the Navy Yard master plan to be submitted to NCPC by the end of this year.
* Beer! And a Cookout: In tastier news, the folks at Harry's Reserve tell me they are now approved to sell single beers, and already are building their inventory of 32-40 oz craft beers, imports, and the like. Meanwhile, the Great Heartland Cookout is happening on Saturday at the Yards Park, benefitting the Fisher House Foundation, which donates "comfort homes" built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers for families of hospitalized service members. Cookout tickets start at $40.
* Crime At Capper, Before and After: The Urban Institute has published "Movin' Out: Crime Displacement and HUD's HOPE VI Initiative" that uses the crime statistics around Capper and other DC rehabilitated public housing communities to show that crime not only remains low in the immediate area after a HOPE VI renovation, but is lower in nearby areas as well. The report is a bit hard to read (I have to admit I gave up pretty quickly), but MetroTrends gives a good summary. You can also look at the crime statistics I've archived since 2005 to see how crimes in the neighborhood have changed over the years, while keeping in mind that the initial move-outs began at Capper in 2003. (The huge spike in Theft from Autos in 2006 was mostly a result of the neighborhood being empty except for the cars of construction workers, which were then pretty easy pickings during the daytime when they were busy at Nationals Park or the other projects at the time.)
* Waah Waah Waah: And, speaking of the crime statistics.... I have been downloading those reports from the city's Data Warehouse on a near-daily basis since they were first made available as XML feeds. I've also been able to get Public Space Permit Applications and Approved Building Permit Applications via XML for a number of years, and the many data feeds that were created are something that the city received numerous accolades for during the Fenty administration. However, the Public Space Permits feed now has not been updated since mid-July, and the Building Permits feed hasn't been updated since August 23.
Multiple e-mails to the data warehouse e-mail address have gone unacknowledged (after years of pretty prompt response, even if it was just to say "we know, we're working on it"). The Twitter accounts for both the Data Warehouse project and for OCTO Labs are equally moribund. I've let DCRA and DDOT know about the problems with the feeds, since they are the originators of the data, but if these data feeds are going to go to seed it's going to be a real loss for having easy access to this sort of data (even if I'm probably one of the few people who's ever bothered to take advantage). And, if the data isn't dying and is just getting worked on, a little bit of communication would go a long way (like, say, replying to any of my e-mails). Hopefully the crime feeds won't suddenly stop working, since that one certainly gets the most interest of any of them. (My complaints about the loss of depth in the city's web site offerings after the big redesign are for another day.) Just wait until OCTO moves into 225 Virginia next year and I can start picketing out front.
 

The DC Housing Authority has filed a request with the Zoning Commission for a time extension to construct the mixed-income apartment buildings it has planned for the north half of Square 882 (the old Capper Seniors block along L Street between 5th and 7th, seen at right) and the north half of Square 769, between 2nd and 3rd on L just east of Canal Park (below, the building at left, next to the proposed 250 M Street).
When the plans for these two buildings were approved by the Zoning Commission in 2009 (see the zoning order), it was required that building permits be applied for by August of this year, with construction to begin by August of 2012. However, attempts at funding either the Square 882 189-unit building or 171-unit Square 769N building the have not thus far borne any fruit, and so a time extension is needed. Between them, the buildings would have 72 units reserved for households making less than 60 percent of the area median income, and the Square 769 building would also have just over 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The Zoning Commission will hear this request at its meeting on Monday night; because there is no request to modify any portion of the PUD beyond the time requirement, this will most likely be handled as a consent calendar item. There will also be a presentation on this request and the state of the Capper redevelopment in general at Monday's ANC 6D meeting. (There was also one given at Tuesday night's ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, but I had a baseball game to watch.) But since the Zoning Commission hearing is at the same time as the 6D meeting, it would seem that there is no anticipated opposition from 6D.
The Office of Planning prepared a short report recommending approval of the time extension, showing that the requirements for an extension have been met. It also quotes the development team as saying that there have been 75 outreach efforts for financing, all unsuccessful. "The inability to secure financing for residential projects, especially those including affordable units, is not unusual in the current marketplace."
If you want to know more about these two planned apartment projects, and the other three mixed-income buildings planned along the east side of Canal Park and on the DPW/trash transfer site, my Capper Apartments page has additional background, as do the scads of blog posts I've written on the various plans. And my main Capper page has the background on the entire redevelopment project.
UPDATE: And, of course, within seconds of my pulling the trigger and posting this entry, I've received a copy of the letter to the Zoning Commission requesting the PUD. Which I'm posting before reading.
 

First, some events coming to the neighborhood later this month (if anyone can think past the return of Stephen Strasburg, weather permitting, ahem):
* Capital Bikeshare is celebrating its first birthday at the Yards Park on Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 pm, with live music, food, games, giveaways, and moonbounces. Note that this is the same evening as Opera in the Outfield a few blocks away, so you can double your pleasure and double your fun.
* Two days later, on Sept. 24, the park will host Blocktoberfest, "DC's Largest Oktoberfest Music Festival." I believe there is beer involved. See the web site for info on tickets, etc.
* In a more professional vein (i.e., probably no live music or moonbounces), the 2nd Annual Anacostia River Business Summit and Expo is being held at 100 M St. SE on Sept. 20 from 8 am to 12:30 pm. Former mayor Anthony Williams is scheduled to be one of the speakers, and there will be three separate panel discussions. There will also be boat tours given afterwards, though space is limited.
* And I mentioned it in my last tidbits post, but why not pass along again that the next Truckeroo is scheduled for Sept. 30.
Other pieces of this-and-that:
* The city's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development named the Yards Park the "One City Location of the Month for August," calling it "one of the city's most beloved, yet fairly untapped, attractions." The agency is doing this to promote "cinematically compelling locations that are available to film and television producers."
* Should have mentioned this sooner, but the Foundry Lofts folks ran a "Twitter Tour" of the building on Aug. 25, then posted some additional shots of the interior and the views.
* The Washington Business Journal reported last week (subscribers only) that Kaplan has abandoned its search for space to open a law school in the DC area. Late last year it had been reported that they had been looking for up to 130,000 square feet of space in Near Southeast. [Full but probably unnecessary disclosure: in my real life I work for the Washington Post newspaper, which is under the same Washington Post Co. umbrella as Kaplan.]
* The Sunday Post Magazine's cover story focuses on the McDonald's at 2 I St. SE, its staff, and its manager, Raul Reyes, who in 2009 won a Ray Kroc Award as one of the top 1 percent of managers from the 14,000 McDonald's nationwide.
 




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