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From the Examiner: "The [Anacostia Waterfront Corporation] and [National Capital Revitalization Corporation] are the targets of a public hearing scheduled at 10 a.m. today before the council's economic development committee to help determine the fate of both agencies. Council Member Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, introduced legislation in January that seeks to dissolve both agencies and transfer their assets to the mayor's office." That's a better lede to their story than what they actually used: "Drive down to the area around the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium being constructed on the Anacostia Waterfront today, and it's hard to believe it's someday supposed to be a city showcase." Bah. The hearings aren't being shown on DC Cable 13 or via streaming video (a welcome reprieve for a sick blogger); I'll update this entry as news from the session comes out.
UPDATE: Here's the first story out, from the Washington Business Journal:"A pair of highly scrutinized D.C. development agencies received high marks from some community activists Tuesday, but city officials still aren't convinced the organizations are getting the job done. [...] 'I have had a steady stream of disgruntled and unhappy economic development people coming to my office complaining about these organizations,' [Jack] Evans says. 'We are here today to figure out how to make this work.' "
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(Yes, I'm running a bit behind. Will be back to normal next week.) On Wednesday the Economic Development subcommittee of the city council held an oversight hearing that included testimony about the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. From the Washington Times piece on the hearing: "Council member Kwame R. Brown, at-large Democrat, said he was not trying to stop progress by the organizations, but that he would be 'holding them accountable' for questionable expenses and delays in completing deals. A hearing on whether to dissolve them is scheduled for March 13." And, from the Washington Business Journal: "Wednesday's hearing was focused more on the agencies' interaction and cooperation with neighborhood groups, says Kwame Brown, D-at Large, chairman of the council's economic development committee. The March 13 hearing will look at the actual performance of both agencies and how they've progressed with their development efforts."

More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp.

Tomorrow night (Feb. 22), the DC Zoning Commission is having a public hearing on Case 06-41, a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review for 1325 South Capitol Street, the planned 244-unit residential building at South Capitol and O streets SW, right across from the ballpark. The ZC hearing is available via live webcast. Apparently this project was presented at the Feb. 12 ANC 6D meeting, but since the ANC for four of the last five months has been unable or unwilling to send out its agendas before the meetings or post them on their web site (check out those dates!), I wasn't able to post a heads up that this project was going to be discussed.
On the other hand, the agenda has already been released for the Feb. 28 Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting, where one of the main items will be a presentation and public comments on the AWC's Draft Environmental Standards, and also a presentation on their new Workforce Intermediary Services. See the agenda for time and place and how to participate.

More posts: 1325sc, ANC News, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., South Capitol St., zoning

In other news from the same press release announcing the interim AWC CEO: "Yesterday, the District of Columbia, AWC and the JBG Companies signed a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) agreement to secure the development of the US Department of Transportation headquarters, a JBG-owned property. The PILOT will fund $140 million in infrastructure investments for the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. The revenue stream from the agreement will be dedicated to support District issued bonds. These projects include: Southeast Federal Center, Anacostia Metro, Reservation 13, Ward 7 Waterfront, Marvin Gaye Park, [and the] Southwest Waterfront." See previous posts on this PILOT agreement here, here, and here.
That $140 million must be burning a hole in the AWC's pocket, because they've already posted an RFP for a Construction Manager for several AWC capital projects: "The total construction value for these activities is up to $140 million." There is a good tidbit buried in the accompanying press release, that AWC intends to break ground in 2007 on both Washington Canal Park and on the first phase of Diamond Teague Park, the planned 39,000-sq-ft public plaza at the terminus of First Street on the banks of Anacostia, nestled between Florida Rock, the Earth Conservation Corps, WASA, and the Nationals ballpark. (And who is Diamond Teague? Read this NOW With Bill Moyers transcript from 2004.)

Not posted on the AWC web site yet, but here's a portion of the press release: "The Board of Directors of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation (AWC) announced the resignation of its President and CEO Adrian G. Washington today. Washington, who served in that capacity from December 2005 to now, is returning to the private sector to resume his previous activities as a local developer and entrepreneur. [...] Mr. Washington's resignation is effective immediately." Will add the link to the press release when it's available online. UPDATE: Still not on the AWC, but here's a PDF of the press release.
UPDATE, 2/14: Here are the Post and Washington Business Journal pieces on Washington's departure, both of which also mention the additonal recent departure of the head of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, the other quasi-government organization that, along with the AWC, has recently come under fire by members of the city council (with hearings to be held in March).
UPDATE II: Hi, Wonkette visitors. The nausea-inducing mouseovers are on that map over there to the right. After you're finished playing, click on a project or two, you might learn something.
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The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has released a set of Draft Environmental Standards for "integrated environmental design, green building, stormwater control, and site planning and preservation" for projects that fall within the AWC boundaries; the accompanying press release says that "The Committee's recommendations would establish some of the most environmentally protective development standards in the United States, requiring use of 'sustainable development' techniques to help restore the Anacostia River and provide a cleaner, healthier environment for District residents." Comments are being solicited through March 13.
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There doesn't appear to be anything Near Southeast-related on the agenda, but I'll still note that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting is scheduled for 5:30 pm tomorrow (Monday), at 5:30 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. Of course, if you obsessively check my Calendar of Events, you knew this already!
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Jack Evans's office was kind enough to pass along a copy of the bill he introduced (along with David Catania) to abolish the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. There's no hearing date set yet, I'll let you know whenever I hear about it.
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As I posted last week, the Nexus Gold Club is auctioning off its furnishings and, more interestingly, its nude dancing license tomorrow (Tuesday), and today the Post picks up the story. One piece of news, JPI says that the demolition of the site (which will eventually be home to the 909 New Jersey Avenue residential project) will begin in March. On the same page as the Post story, there's also a box with a short piece on the surprising move by Jack Evans reported last week to abolish both the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the NCRC. UPDATE: Here's an Examiner article noting that Tommy Wells, the new Ward 6 council member whose district includes a lot of the Anacostia Waterfront, is "not convinced that legislation proposed Tuesday to dissolve a District organization charged with the redevelopment of the Anacostia River's waterfront is the best way to proceed. [...] Wells campaigned in part on redeveloping the Anacostia's waterfront into a walkable community for families, with green space, shops and restaurants. He said Friday he wondered whether putting Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration in charge of redeveloping the waterfront now is prudent considering his desire to take over the District's schools."
UPDATE, 1/16: The Post reports that no one ended up bidding on the Nexus nude dancing license, perhaps because the minimum required bid was set at $2 million. But they have a cute little sidebar noting the prices that some of the furnishings went for--the 13-foot brass dancing poles went for $50.
UPDATE, 1/17: Oops, I dropped a rather important part of the Tommy Wells quote above. He is quoted as saying he is "not convinced" the legislation is the best way to proceed.
More posts: 909 New Jersey, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Restaurants/Nightlife, jpi, Monument Valley/Half St.

Here's an interesting bit of political maneuvering.... From the Examiner:
"D.C. City Council Member Jack Evans, D-Ward 2 [...], who chairs the finance and revenue committee, introduced legislation Tuesday called the National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Reorganization Act of 2007. The bill seeks to transfer the assets of both organizations back to the District and would revert all of their power to the mayor's office. Council Member David Catania, I-at large, signed on as a co-sponsor.
"Catania and Evans complained the agencies have become barriers to getting things done in the District, saying the organizations have too often clashed or engaged in what Evans referred to as 'turf wars.' Evans also accused the agencies of being unresponsive to the council, adding that the legislative body should have more oversight."
We'll have to watch how this unfolds, I think it's very interesting that Jack Evans is the one who introduced it. I'd link to the bill, but it's not in the council's online legislation system yet.

More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp.

I am trying soooooooooo hard to not get sucked into tracking the goings-on at Poplar Point, but I know that a lot of visitors to this site are very interested in what's going on just across the river from Near Southeast. So once again I'm posting a few items of interest, with the disclaimer that you shouldn't depend on me for up-to-the-minute Poplar Point news, and that maybe some enterprising soul will start an East of the River blog that I can happily point people to. Anyway, yesterday brought the official announcement that Victor MacFarlane, whose MacFarlane Partners company owns a 25% stake in the Southeast Federal Center redevelopment, has partnered with other investors to purchase DC United's operating rights, and to build the team a new stadium at Poplar Point and develop the land around it. The team is hoping to get a new stadium built by the 2009 season (!), but no one's officially announced any proposals for how a stadium will be paid for. In the meantime, the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, which is overseeing the redevelopment of Poplar Point, has announced a January 20 Ward 8 Public Meeting about the plans for the site. And now you're all charged with going out and learning more about it on your own :-).
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp.

A nice pick-me-up on this dreary Monday morning--the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has unveiled a redesigned web site, and it's certainly more pleasing to the eye. There's a page listing all of their projects, including pages on the South Capitol Waterfront & Ballpark District and Washington Canal Park in Near Southeast as well as the Southwest Waterfront, Poplar Point, Hill East, Kingman Island, and others. One new item from the South Capitol page, that the 40,000-sq-ft public plaza we've started hearing about planned for the foot of First Street at the waterfront will include a new ferry pier. Lots of people interested in the ballpark and Near Southeast in general have been wondering whether ferry/water taxi options would be incorporated, and I had always seen general discussions that they would, but this is the first specific description I've seen for a planned location of such a pier. Yay! (But I'm guessing we won't be seeing it by Opening Day 2008.) For more information (what little I have) on the First Street Plaza, see my Florida Rock page (whose developers have pledged $3.7 million toward the plaza's design and implementation costs, for what is expected to be a $15 million project); my Canal Park page has info and photos on that project as well.
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Canal Park, Florida Rock, Teague Park, DC Water (WASA), Water Taxis/Riverboats

From time to time, I mention goings-on close to Near Southeast that might be of interest, but aren't projects I'll be tracking. Here's a roundup from the past week or so, you'll probably want to ask Mr. Google for details, I'm just giving you the basics:
Today Mayor Williams officially announced the redevelopment of the old Waterside Mall at 4th and M SW, to be "transformed into a 2.5 million square foot mixed-use town center featuring office, residential and retail space including an improved, full-service grocery store for the neighborhood." Construction of the first phase is expected to begin in 2007.
Last week the Mayor announced that another delayed Southwest project is now moving forward, the redevelopment of the Randall School at Half and I, to be handled by Ballpark District bigwigs Monument Realty. "The Corcoran will develop the property into a mixed-use facility that will accommodate residential, museum and art school uses. The Corcoran will occupy 80,000 square feet that will be used for art education, art display, an art gallery, adult education, dance, theater, and community outreach. The residential portion of the development will include at least 200 units, at least 40 of which will be classified as affordable."
And the first proposals for the redevelopment of Poplar Point (the land directly across the Anacostia River from Florida Rock and the Southeast Federal Center) were presented last week by the AWC. There were two proposals, according to the Post: "one with a stadium and parking for the D.C. United soccer team and one without. Both plans show office, retail and residential development clustered in three neighborhood areas: near Good Hope Road SE to the east, W Street SE in the middle and Howard Road SE further west. The soccer field scenario shows the soccer field in place of the development near W Street, with a 4,000-space parking garage and a 500-room conference center and hotel. In addition to Major League Soccer games, the stadium would probably be used as a concert venue. [...] The preliminary plans call for 1,400 to 2,300 residential units -- 30 percent of which would be priced below market rate, to make them affordable to residents of the surrounding Anacostia neighborhoods -- two to four office buildings and one or two hotels." The plans are still months away from being final.
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Here's a few recent stories from some rather varied publications that reference Near Southeast in someway:
The Chesapeake Bay Journal has a long story about the Anacostia River ("There's Still Hope for the Anacostia In Spite of All the Strikes Against It") talking about the problems the Anacostia contends with (such as antiquated sewage systems resulting in untreated wastewater being dumped into the river, toxins that are giving fish tumors, and all the trash), then describes the efforts being made to clean up the river, including green roofs and other low-impact development possibilities (the DOT's green roof, the stadium's attempts to "be green") and the AWC's pledge to make the Anacostia a clean, healthy river.
It's not yet online (sacrilege!), but this month's Dwell magazine has a feature story on the Anacostia Waterfront ("Even if politics remain dirty, at least DC's ambitious Anacostia Waterfront will make the city a little cleaner").
The Financial Times Deutschland (JDLand scans the globe to bring you the news!) has a quick blurb detailing the city's "decade-long transformation from financial laughing-stock to boom town," mentioning specifically the rise of the Ballpark District.

More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Canal Park, staddis, Nationals Park

The planned 1.1-million-sq-ft Florida Rock development at 1st and Potomac Avenues (across the street from the new Nationals ballpark) had another Zoning Commission hearing last night, to address some of the concerns expressed by the ZC at the first hearing in September, chief among them the design of the east end of the east office building (see map to orient yourself), which commissioners felt disrupted the line of sight to the Anacostia River from the stadium's grand staircase and viewing platforms. This section of the building--which will house a signficant portion of the project's retail offerings--has now been redesigned so that one will be able to see the Earth Conservation Corps pumphouse from the center of the staircase. This eastern end of the development also faces the new planned First Street Plaza, a 40,000-sq-ft public park to be placed at the terminus of First Street, to draw people to the riverfront. Florida Rock is proffering $3.7 million toward the design, construction and maintenance of this park that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation will develop (total cost estimated to be $15 million). The record is being held open for two more weeks, so look for a vote on the project at the January 8 meeting; I hope to have updated renderings showing the redesigned east building by that point. As for a timeline, Florida Rock estimates that construction on the first phase--the east office building--would begin in early 2008; there has been no announcement from the AWC as to any sort of timeline on the First Street Plaza (which presumably also depends on the acquiring of the WASA land on that site).
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Earth Conservation Corps, Florida Rock, Teague Park, DC Water (WASA), zoning

In the second part of today's Dana Hedgpeth column in the Post, various developers of projects near the stadium (Monument Realty, Faison, and Ron Cohen) are quoted about their feelings on the tortuous process that led to the aboveground parking garages at the baseball stadium. Said F. Russell Hines of Monument Realty, who owns much of the land directly across N Street: "It's an unfortunate solution[.] Our development would be better if there was complimentary retail and a mix of uses on the other side of N Street. It's not a disaster . . . but this is a significant setback[.] We spent months and months of great plans of what this area was going to look like with the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., and in the end it feels like it's every man for himself. We're going to do what we can to create an area where people come off the Metro and they walk along the streets, where there's restaurants and stores and a real experience." (I wonder if this could be interpreted as also a bit of a smack against the AWC's still-never-released "Ballpark District Master Plan" process.) One of Monument's principals, Jeffrey T. Neal, is quoted as saying "We have a vision for Half Street SE between M and N streets Southeast that has the potential to be one of the most exciting neighborhoods in the mid-Atlantic, but that vision won't happen if the process looks like the one that produced two parking garages[.] There's a better solution . . . than two parking garages. Let the private sector do it. There are zoning laws already in place." For balance, there's Ron Cohen, developer of Square 699N (bounded by Half, K, L, and 1st): It's not going to be good, bad or indifferent[.] "It would have been nice to have buildings lining the parking but there's so much activity and energy in that corridor that it doesn't make a heck of a difference one way or the other."
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Monument Valley/Half St., Square 699n, staddis, Nationals Park, Velocity Condos

Lookee here at what's popped up on the agenda for tomorrow's City Council session, a reading and vote on "Ballpark Parking Completion Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2006" and "Ballpark Parking Completion Emergency Amendment Act of 2006." (No sign of either of them in the online system, though.) I don't know what either of them contain, so we'll just have to wait for news to trickle out. The fun never stops. UPDATE: Speaking of the parking, WTOP is reporting that Herb Miller is suing the city, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, saying that his agreement with the city and Mayor Williams to build the Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness has not been honored. Says Miller: "D.C. will realize it has lost a remarkable opportunity to renew a neighborhood and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefit to the city. It is a major loss that didn't have to happen." (Says JD: Just because this plan fell through doesn't mean there will never be development on those two blocks, not to mention that there's already plenty of other development on the blocks just north of the stadium.) UPDATE II: Here's the Washington Business Journal story on Miller's lawsuit.
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., parking, staddis, Nationals Park has a brief on MacFarlane Partners, the San Francisco-based real estate investment firm that has fronted 25% of the capital for the development of the Southeast Federal Center (hey, buddy, that's "The Yards" to you!). The article says that "the company plans to make significant investments in the Baseball district" and that "MacFarlane says he expects to announce three mixed-use projects in the area by the end of the year. These will consist of residential, retail and office totaling some $300 million to $400 million. Right now these projects are in the early planning stage, but MacFarlane says that, depending on the density patterns, he expects the projects will cover between one million sf to two million sf." I've seen MacFarlane mentioned recently as part of the group working on Herb Miller's stadium garages plan, but I don't know whether this statement about the three soon-to-be-announced projects would include the garages, or if it includes any part of the SFC/Yards, or if it's partnering with Forest City and Western Development (Herb's company) on the AWC's drive to develop the WASA site, or if it's three completely new projects. I guess we shall see. (Read the GlobeSt brief quick, because they archive after seven days.)
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., staddis, DC Water (WASA), The Yards

There are projects immediately adjacent to Near Southeast that I won't be tracking with my usual level of obsessive-compulsiveness (no photos, dedicated pages, etc.), but I will mention big milestones if I hear about them. And so first is the announcement of a pending public meeting by the AWC on October 10 on the Poplar Point Site Development Plan process--this is the 70-acre on the Anacostia on the east side of the South Capitol Street Bridge, just across the river from Florida Rock, where possibly a new DC United stadium may be built. (Note that the transfer of this land from Federal to District control is still pending in Congress.) The other project is 1325 South Capitol Street SW, on the western side of the street between N and O (in other words, directly across from the stadium). reports (hat tip to reader RR) that Camden Property Trust is planning a 244-unit 210,000-sq-ft building on the site, with construction to start in Q2 2007. (I know, it's just across the dang street from Near Southeast, and maybe by the time the project starts I'll cave and decide to track anything that actually fronts South Capitol. Because there aren't enough projects for me to track :-).)

More posts: 1325sc, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge

In case you don't make it a habit to look at my Neighborhood Events Calendar halfway down the home page (boo!), I'm making mention of a few upcoming meetings: Sept. 20 has the Capitol Hill Restoration Society's Preservation Café, "Barracks Row Below the Freeway"; Sept. 21 has a Washington Canal Park Community Stakeholders Meeting; Sept. 28 has an Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting. See my calendar for times and places.
More posts: Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Canal Park, 8th Street
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