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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors
See JDLand's 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors Project Page
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1333 M St.
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54 Blog Posts Since 2003
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You can't tell from the street, but there is some demolition-like work underway today on the roof of the old Capper Seniors building at 7th and M. However, the showy stuff with a wrecking ball will probably start later in the week, perhaps on Wednesday. It would be fab if folks who have a birds-eye view of the building could drop me a line if you see the wrecking-ball-crane getting into place, since the building is out of range of any handy web cams.
More posts: 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
 

As I posted a few days back, the old Capper Seniors building across from the Navy Yard is in its last days, and with hazmat abatement having been completed, the Housing Authority is on schedule to start demolition on Monday. And while I'm sure they had far better things to do, the powers that be were nice enough to escort me up to the roof for a few minutes of camera time to document the skyline from that vantage point. I also took a walk around the block for some last shots of the building, which has stood in this location since the 1950s.
You can see all of the day's photos here, with the overhead shots starting about a third of the way down the page. Remember as always that I use a somewhat wide-angle lens (a Canon Digital Rebel XT with an 18-55 lens for you shutterbugs), so you get to see more in the images at the expense of everything looking smaller and farther away than it really is.
After the demolition is done--it's expected to take two months--there will be a temporary surface parking lot installed. Eventually a 500,000-sq-ft office building by Forest City will rise on the southern half of the site, and hopefully they'll be nice enough to let me go up on that roof when it's done.
(And I must say that all these roof sojourns are wonderfully ironic, given that my legs go gooey if I even try to walk down stairs that don't have a handrail. So be assured I'm never as close to the roof's edge as it might look in some of these shots. I'm a total chicken.)
More posts: 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
 

After being vacant since the beginning of the year, the old Capper Seniors building at 601 L Street is in its final days, with demolition scheduled to begin the first week in November. Once the hazmat cleanup that's been going on is finished, the building, which opened in the late 1950s, will be brought down floor-by-floor (no Vegas-style implosion). I was inside the fences yesterday and between the raindrops got a few pictures of this building, though I hope to get some more before the final curtain.
At the same time the old building is coming down, the 139-unit new Capper Building #2 at 400 M Street is going to be opening its doors to residents. Originally designed as a building for low-income seniors, its profile has been expanded to also include renters who earn up to 60 percent of the area median income (from $38,000 for one person to $54,000 for a family of four). I was given a tour yesterday and got photos of the inside; the first floor has a community room with kitchenette, and laundry, computer, fitness, and conference rooms, and the landscaped interior courtyard also serves as a stormwater management system. The two-bedroom corner units at Fourth and M have some pretty nice views of The Yards and DOT (but I think they're all already spoken for). Twenty of the one-bedrooms and one of the two-bedrooms are for the mobility-impaired. A web site for the building will be launched soon, and there will be a rental office on-site. With Building 2's opening, there are 300 new affordable housing units now available in the Capper Hope VI redevelopment (with Capper Seniors #1 having opened late in 2006), with another 400 to come as mixed-income Capitol Quarter gets underway early next year, and the other mixed-income Capper apartment buildings planned for Second Street loom farther at some unannounced date in the future.
More posts: 400m, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper New Apt Bldgs, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
 

My Ballpark and Beyond column in today's District Extra of the Post covers the recent departure of AnA Towing to make way for DRI's Square 696 development; the raze permits for the old Capper Seniors complex and the buildings just north of the stadium along First and N streets; and the planned opening in September of the new Spay and Neuter Center at 1001 L Street. (I can't believe I made it through a column without a single piece about parking!)
More posts: 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, 8th Street, spayclinic, Plaza on K/Square 696, square 976, staddis
 

Along with the Square 701 buildings mentioned yesterday, there are still a few buildings to be razed in Near Southeast (though not many, with 136 of them having already been demolished in the past four-plus years). None of them, however, are as big as the old Capper Seniors building at 601 L Street. All of its former residents have been moved out, and preparations are being made to bring down this building late this year, which will certainly be the most striking of all the demolitions I've watched. In the meantime, as you can see from the latest Approved Building Permit, interior demolition will be starting soon so that asbestos abatement can be taken care of before the building itself can be demolished. In its place there will eventually be a 500,000-sq-ft office building by Forest City, though no timeline has been announced; you can see a rendering of it on my old Capper Seniors page. In the interim, look for a surface parking lot to help ease the Nationals ballpark parking crunch. (Oh, and check out the new photo on that Stadium Transportation and Parking page. I just couldn't resist. I'm sorry.)
More posts: 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, parking
 

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

If you are coming here after reading this week's Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post, here are my information/photo/news pages on Capper Building #2, Capper Seniors #1, the old Capper Seniors building at 6th and L, and the entire Capper/Carrollsburg Hope VI redevelopment. And if you liked all those purty stadium photos displayed next to the column in the print edition, here's my Stadium Construction Gallery for plenty more of those....
More posts: 400m, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, Capper Seniors/900 5th St., Nationals Park
 

The final touches are starting to be put on Capper Building #2, the wraparound addition to the Carroll Apartments at 4th and M. It's expected that new residents will start arriving in July, with full occupancy by the end of the summer. While this was originally planned as a building for low-income senior citizens, there was a modification to its zoning back in March to allow younger residents with lower incomes as well. Seniors who have lived at Capper / Carrollsburg but chose not to move to the new Capper Seniors #1 when it opened in December get first dibs on units in this second building, followed by other former Capper residents who meet the requirements of having an earned income and having participated in their community supportive services program. Applications are also being accepted from non-Capper residents who have incomes between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income (just under $38,000 for a single person or $54,000 for a family of four). If you meet the income requirements and are interested in applying, you can visit the BallparkApts.com web site for more information, or call 202-546-1024.
As for the old Capper Seniors building at 601 L Street, it is scheduled to be demolished sometime this summer late this year. Temporary surface parking lots will be built on the site in time for the opening of the ballpark in spring 2008, but long-range plans call for office buildings to be eventually developed there.
UPDATED 6/19 with the revised timeline for demolition of the old Capper Seniors building; it's now scheduled to happen toward the end of 2007, thanks to hazmat abatement needing to take longer than originally planned.
More posts: 400m, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, zoning
 

The agenda for May ANC 6D meeting has been sent out (though it's not yet available on their web site). In addition to a presentation and vote on the Waterside Mall plans, there's a bunch of Near Southeast-related items on the agenda, ones that I've been posting about here for a while:
* There will be a presentation and vote on 1325 South Capitol's resubmission to the Zoning Commission as a PUD (that hearing is now scheduled for May 31). This is the planned 276-unit residential building across the street from the Nationals ballpark, which because of some procedural muck had to resubmit its plans in a different format.
* Also scheduled is an update by the DC Housing Authority on the latest goings-on at Capper/Carrollsburg, including status reports on the Senior Buildings (which I imagine will include the change for Capper Building #2 [aka the "Ballpark Apartments"] to allow workforce-level residents in addition to low-income seniors), as well as on the planned demolition this summer of the old Capper Seniors building at 7th and M, and the latest with the townhomes at Capitol Quarter, as more market-rate houses go on the market and with infrastructure construction expected to begin soon (and "vertical construction" probably starting in early fall).
* And there's also a presentation and vote on the (gaaaaak) Supplemental Stadium Surface Parking plan that's having its zoning hearing on May 21. My Stadium Transportation and Parking page (and its News Items tab) can give you the gory details.
This meeting is scheduled for the same time as Monday's Zoning Commission meeting, which includes on its newly-posted agenda the final approval vote on the 250 M Street office building project (which has been delayed a bit over the past few months), so it's a tough call which one I'll be focusing on. (Especially since we know how much I love ANC meetings.)
More posts: 1325sc, 250 M, 400m, Homewood Suites, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, ANC News, Capper, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, Capitol Quarter, parking, zoning
 

On April 9, the DC Zoning Commission will be entertaining Case 07-08, an emergency request to allow for changes to the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay to allow for the construction of temporary surface parking lots--to last no more than five years--on certain squares within Near Southeast. There is also a companion case, 03-12E/03-13E, specifically requesting a minor modification to the Capper/Carrollsburg zoning orders to allow surface parking lots on four squares within Capper--the three blocks bounded by 2nd, I, M, and 3rd (next to Canal Park) and on Square 882, the current home of the old Capper Seniors building, which is expected to be demolished this summer.
I'm not going to go into great detail, because I need to pace myself on the subject of parking or else I will pop a vein before Opening Day. But here's the gist: the city and the Nationals want to be able to build temporary surface parking to handle the estimated 3,800 cars that will need parking beyond the 1,225 spaces on the stadium site. These lots will be available as public parking during non-event times (so you DOT workers who want to drive to work should be paying close attention). This zoning request covers certain squares directly around the stadium and at Capper; apparently there will be a subsequent submission requesting similar amendments to the Southeast Federal Center Overlay to allow surface parking there as well.
As to why the Office of Planning is supporting this request, here's a quote from their report to the Zoning Commission (emphasis mine): "Although much of the parking needed to serve the Ballpark's patrons will eventually be accommodated by parking within nearby future buildings, these buildings will not yet be constructed when the Ballpark opens in 2008. While OP strongly encourages the use of mass transit and encourages the Nationals to provide meaningful incentives for the use of mass transit and other alternatives to the private automobile, OP shares their concern that a short term shortage of parking available to patrons could lead to illegal parking on streets and private property in the surrounding area, and could have an impact on the short term success of this important District facility. This proposal would help to address the short term need for an interim parking solution."
And, another OP quote (again, emphasis mine): "Normally, OP is not supportive of surface parking lots. In addition to being a poor use of the District's valuable land base, extensive surface parking lots disrupt neighborhood fabric; can be a source of crime, noise, trash, and light-spill; encourage the use of the private automobile over other less environmentally damaging forms of transportation; and contribute significantly to storm water run-off water pollution problems facing our great river systems. OP would not support surface parking on these squares as a permanent use to address currently perceived parking need."
For more background and explanation of OP's stance, I strongly suggest reading the OP report (specifically the last four pages).
And, against my better judgment, I have created a new Planning for Stadium Transportation and Parking page, pulling together the various documents that have been released recently (mainly from last month's TOPP meeting). I've also thrown together a map that is nowhere near official marking what I understand to be various possible locations for stadium parking. It will change as time goes on, and do not take it as gospel, but it does show which sites come under this zoning request, along with other possible sites. Opening Day is still a year away, and there will be much jawboning on this subject over the coming weeks and months. So, everyone take a deep breath, keep an eye on updates as more information gets released, and try not to panic too far ahead of time.
UPDATE: And with fine timing, Near Southeast's councilman Tommy Wells has just announced the creation of a new transportation task force for Near Southeast and Southwest, bringing together representatives of the government, residents, and developers to address the concerns of neighborhoods facing not only baseball, but also the coming influx of thousands of new workers and residents.

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More posts: 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper, Capper New Apt Bldgs, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, parking, staddis, Nationals Park, The Yards, zoning
 

The latest weekly permit report from the DC Historic Preservation Office shows that a raze permit application has been filed for 601 L Street, SE, which is the address of the old Capper Seniors apartment building. This is not a huge surprise, I've been hearing that the plans are for this building to be demolished by the end of this year (mainly so that the lot can be cleared in time for Opening Day 2008 so that it can be used for baseball parking). Some of its residents have already been moved to the newly opened Capper Seniors #1, and the rest should be moved by the end of spring into Capper Seniors #2. It will be quite something to watch that building come down.

More posts: 400m, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, Capper Seniors/900 5th St.
 
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