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14 Blog Posts Since 2003

This afternoon the city's Board of Zoning Adjustment approved unanimously two requested variances that will allow 801 Virginia Avenue to go forward as a 19,000-sq-ft office building with 3,000 feet of ground-floor retail. I admit to listening to the webcast with only about half an ear, but the bulk of the discussion seemed to be centered around the applicant's request to only have 17 underground parking spaces instead of the required 30 (17 is still four more than were allotted in the original condo-building design). As I wrote about a few weeks back, the developers say that groundwater levels and potential soil contamination issues would make it prohibitively expensive to dig two additional levels of parking (and having to have the garage entrance on L Street apparently doesn't help, either).
The 17 spaces will all be assigned to the office tenants, so there will be no parking for retail customers. (There was some discussion of creating overflow parking if necessary at 816 Potomac Avenue, another property owned by the same developer.) The applicant's traffic consultant also laid out the proximity of the site to Metro subway stations and bus lines, and with the request having the full support of the Office of Planning, ANC 6B, and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, the board voted to approve the variances.
No word on when the project might get underway.
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More posts: 801va, 8th Street, meetings, Retail, zoning
 

At Monday night's ANC 6B Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, there was a presentation about the new plans for the southeast corner of Eighth Street and Virginia Avenue, where a few years ago a small group of investors planned a four-story condo building dubbed "The Admiral." As I mentioned a few days back, the owners are now wanting to switch to an office building that would still have ground floor retail, and are going in front of the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Nov. 25 for some items that need to be addressed as part of this change.
According to the presentation, the new office building would use the same design as the condo building, with a few tweaks (they appear to be wanting to get rid of the turret in the original design). But because of the switch to office space, the number of parking spaces required goes up to 30, far more than the 13 in the condo design. According to the architects, groundwater and possible soil contamination issues (since a gas station used to be located there) would make digging two extra levels of parking prohibitively expensive, and so they are seeking relief from the 30-space requirement. (And, for those wondering, the garage entrance would be on L Street, not Eighth or Virginia).
Commissioner David Garrison asked about the ownership of the lot (which has been on the market for nearly a year) and about the property's tax status, given that it was listed on the city's tax sale rolls last month. He was told that the lot has not been sold but that investment partnerships are being shuffled and sold, which should be completed soon, and that the delinquent taxes are to have been taken care of; Garrison asked for some sort of documentation on both before the ANC votes (presumably on Oct. 14) on whether or not to support the zoning exception requests.
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More posts: 801va, ANC News, 8th Street, meetings, zoning
 

I wrote a few days back about the appearance of a zoning variance request for a new office building at 801 Virginia Avenue, site of the once-planned Admiral condo project that fell by the wayside last year. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will be taking it up on Nov. 25, and I now see this request on the ANC 6B docket, first at its Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on Oct. 7, and then in front of the full ANC on Oct. 14. Both meetings are at 7 pm at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE. (As always, all these dates are on my nifty Near Southeast Events Calendar, brought to you by Google Calendar with all sorts of bells and whistles to either subscribe to an RSS feed of calendar updates or add the events to your own Google Calendar or other iCal-enabled offering.)
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More posts: 801va, ANC News, 8th Street, meetings, zoning
 

When last we left the plot of land on the southeast corner of Eighth Street and Virginia Avenue, we had learned that the owners (known as "801 Virginia Avenue LLC") had landed on the city's tax sale list, a few months after they put the site up for sale, with their plans for "The Admiral" condo-building-with-ground-floor-retail appearing to have collapsed. There's no indication in the land records that the lot has sold, and nothing on the Office of Tax Revenue web site to indicate what might have happened with the tax sale, but now appearing on the agenda for the Nov. 25 meeting of the city's Board of Zoning Adjustment is an application by "801 Virginia Ave LLC by Phillips Ocilla Davis Development LLC" for variances "to allow the construction of a new commercial office building with ground floor retail [...] at premises 801 Virginia Avenue, S.E." Hmmmm.....
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More posts: 801va, 8th Street, zoning
 

(Thanks to reader K. for the tip.) With the real estate market and general economy in their current states, it's not surprising that quite a few properties in the city are heading to tax sales, which is what happens when property taxes have gone unpaid. The 2008 DC Real Property Tax Sale is scheduled to begin on September 17, and there are some notable Near Southeast addresses:
* 801 Virginia Avenue, where "the Admiral" condo building was planned until the investors put the site up for sale last year. Its tax bill is listed at nearly $78,000.
* 1010 Seventh Street (the empty lot across from the Marine Barracks), where a small developer had been planning a 12-unit condo building and where the tax bill is just over $30,000. (UPDATED to correct address, though the three parcels that make up the lot are owned by the 1012 Seventh Street Southeast LLC.)
* 1026 Third Street, the brown multi-unit building on the corner of Third and L that's been boarded up and for sale since at least 2003, though the unpaid tax bill is only $417. (Maybe if we all look under our sofa cushions....)
But, as the notice states: "Purchasers must be aware that additional liabilities, which are not reflected in the total amount" may be due, including liens previously sold to a third party. So don't pull out your checkbook unless you know what you're doing.
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More posts: 801va, 8th Street, square 906
 

The buildings along Potomac Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets--the white corner building that houses Quizno's (810 Potomac) and the boarded-up brown brick apartment building next door at Ninth and Potomac--are now up for sale (asking price not listed). The current owners, ICP Partners, purchased the properties in February 2006 for $9 million; they're currently assessed at around $6.5 million. These owners are part of the group that has been trying to develop 801 Virginia Avenue since 2005--and I imagine it's a sign of what might be happening with that project that the splashy AdmiralCondo.com web site that they launched back in August is now gone. Perhaps someone with better access to commercial property listings than I have might want to peek and see if the 801 Virginia lot (0929 0007) is up for sale as well?
(I should also note that the Dogma lot on the *other* end of the block from the Admiral, at 821 Virginia, is apparently for sale, for $4 million. Dogma's lease runs through 2014.)
UPDATE: Thanks to reader A. for letting me know that the 801 Virginia lot is indeed listed for sale, for $4.5 million.
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More posts: 801va, 816-20 Potomac, 8th Street
 

It must be admitted that lately I've spent most of my Near Southeast on-the-ground time west of New Jersey Avenue, given that all of the active projects are in that area. So I'm embarrassed to see that there's now fence drapes around the lot at 801 Virginia Avenue, advertising a new web site for this condo-and-retail project, at admiralcondo.com. There's not really much more there than a somewhat balky Flash video and a preview list registration form, but if you're interested in this 40,000-sq-ft project that is slated to have 17 residential units (with parking) on top of ground-floor retail and some office space, take a look. There's also the web site of the realtor selling the commercial space, for additional detail. I've updated my own 801 Virginia page with a few new photos as well.
More posts: 801va, 8th Street
 

I've received word that all permits have at last been secured for 801 Virginia Avenue, the 40,000-sq-ft residential/retail/office project on the southeast corner of 8th and Virginia. It will have 17 residential units (condos), plus about 8,000 sq ft of office and retail space. The developers expect to begin construction within the next 90 days, with completion expected in summer 2008. More information is available on the this web site (geared toward selling the office/retail space)--marketing of the condos should begin "soon", I'm told.
More posts: 801va, 8th Street
 

After some delays, it appears that the mixed-use project on the southeast corner of 8th and Virginia may be moving forward soon. 801 Virginia Avenue will have 15 residences on it's upper floors, with 3,200 sq ft of retail at ground level and 4,750 sq ft of office space. The developers were nice enough to pass along a new rendering, which I've added to my 801 Virginia page. They are anticipating delivering the project in 2007.
More posts: 801va, 8th Street
 

While we wait for the city council to get to the baseball stuff on today's agenda, I'll pass along this news item--according to the DC Land Sales database, on Feb. 3, "ICP PARTNERS POTOMAC 810 LLC" purchased 10 lots along Potomac Avenue between 8th and 9th streets for $9 million. This includes the boarded up apartment building on Potomac, the building on M Street housing Quizno's, and the lots along 9th and the eastern edge of L. No word yet as to what their plans for this spot may be, but it is a prime location, just across the street from the Latrobe Gate of the Navy Yard. (Note that ICP Parnters is part of 801 Virginia Avenue LLC group currently developing the 801 Virginia Avenue project.)

More posts: 801va, 816-20 Potomac, 8th Street
 

In addition to the pictures I posted earlier from the site of the new baseball stadium, there's also new pictures now on my Capitol Hill Tower, DOT HQ, and 20 M Street pages. I've also got a few new shots and some additional information on the project at 801 Virginia Ave. (if you've been past there, you may have noticed that the buildings on the lot have been demolished.)
 

ICP Partners, the developers of the new project at 801 Virginia Avenue, have been kind enough to pass along a rendering of the four-story building that is going to be built on the southeast corner of the 8th and Virginia intersection--you can see it at the top of the "My Photos" section on my 8th Street Historic District page. The project is to have 15 residences, and retail spaces along 8th Street, and could be completed by the end of 2006.
More posts: 801va, 8th Street
 

In case you don't have enough Near Southeast items on your calendar:
· The October meeting of ANC 6D (which includes about 85% of Near Southeast in its borders) will be held Monday, Oct. 17. The agenda includes two presentations of Near Southeast interest: one on the Capper/Carrollsburg Second Stage PUD, and one on the Florida Rock PUD. [entry repeated from a few days ago as a reminder]
· The Capitol Hill Restoration Society will be hosting a forum about the Anacostia Waterfront Initiatve on October 25. In addition to outlining the framework of the redevelopment plans (from the South Capitol Street corridor to the new stadium (!) through the Navy Yard up through Reservation 13 and RFK), the presentation will highlight how the initiative will relate to Capitol Hill in terms of business opportunities, urban density, and historic preservation. 
· The small mixed-use project at 801 Virginia Avenue winds its way through the bureaucracy with a hearing in front of the Historic Preservation Review Board on October 27. The developer wishes to demolish the auto repair shop and replace it with a four-story building with 17 residences and ground-floor retail.
 

I will admit that I have tended to focus on news west of 7th Street, SE, ignoring the small additional sliver of Near Southeast south of the freeway between 7th and the 11th Street Bridge. (Some would argue that the land east of the 11th Street Bridge, including Maritime Plaza, is also part of Near Southeast, but I'm putting my foot down and deeming that Hill East.) But I promise now to add those few blocks to their rightful place on this site (if not on the map at right, at least not yet!). So, with that, a few items:
· The land at 801 Virginia Avenue (the southeast corner of the 8th and Virginia intersection, currently occupied by an auto repair shop and a gas station), was bought in early August for $2.5 million. According to August's Voice of the Hill (see page 5) (along with a correction on page 3 in its September issue), the developer is planning a four-story building with 15 residential units, with retail spaces along 8th Street. ANC 6B has approved the project along to the Historic Preservation Review board. More as I get it.
· The DC Department of Transportation has scheduled two public meetings on the East Washington Traffic Relief Program, a six-year, $263-million project to build four ramps on the east side of the 11th Street Bridge, two of which will provide direct connections between the 11th Street Bridge and the Anacostia Freeway. The meetings, Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, are both "scoping" meetings to begin preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for the project (the Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS was published in the Sept. 13 Federal Register).  See the EIS project web site (which was just launched sometime in the last 12 hours, it was "coming soon" when I first looked this morning!) for more information. This March 26, 2005 press release from the mayor's office gives more details on the project, as does the Middle Anacostia River Crossings Transportation Study site.
 




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