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This Week's Ballpark and Beyond Column
Aug 30, 2007 11:27 AM
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!)
New Photos and News
Aug 27, 2007 7:19 PM
After a week of days that were either overcast and drizzly or ridiculously hot and humid, today's sunny-and-warm profile gave me no choice but to venture out for a reconaissance mission. My report:
The masses of workers and the well-positioned fences make it nearly impossible to take photos of the current state of South Capitol Street, but I have added a decent photo to my Douglass Bridge makeover page
showing the new South Capitol and Potomac intersection
which appears very close to being ready for traffic. Streetlights are in place, curbs have been built, paving has begun, and the historic globe streetlamps are installed all along the length of the bridge.
I also snuck a peek into the huge hole where Monument Realty's Half Street project
is underway, and from N Street you can see what appears to be vertical construction is already underway at the bottom of the hole. It's along the M Street portion of the site, which will be home to the 55 M Street office building, which itself will contain the expanded entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. Because that Metro work must be completed by Opening Day 2008, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're already pouring concrete and working upward, eight months into construction. The office building itself and the rest of the Half Street Phase I won't be completed until 2009.
And I unexpectedly found Demolished Building
entry #138, as the beige garage that has long sat on the northeast side
of the Half and I Street intersection bit the dust today, which I'm sure JPI is happy to see, given that 70/100 I Street
is growing like a weed right next door.
, 70/100 I
, 909 New Jersey
, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, US Dept. of Transportation HQ
, Monument/Half St.
, Square 743N
Raze Application Underway for Old Capper Seniors
Aug 18, 2007 9:17 AM
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.)
Capper/Carrollsburg Groundbreaking (and Capper Background)
Jun 24, 2007 10:30 AM
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.
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.
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.)
Background on New Capper Buildings
Jun 21, 2007 10:24 AM
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....
Capper Building #2 Almost Finished
Jun 18, 2007 8:58 AM
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.
Meeting Wrap-Up - 250 M Approved, ANC Thumbs Down on Parking
May 15, 2007 12:11 PM
Let's go around the horn and see what happened at last night's various meetings.
* The Zoning Commission voted to give final approval to the plans for 250 M Street
, William C. Smith's planned 190,000-sq-ft office building on M Street just east of what will be Canal Park
. The building, which is actually part of the Capper/Carrollsburg
Planned Unit Development (and will help fund all the redevelopment at Capper), is expected to start construction at the end of 2007.
* ANC 6D had three Near Southeast items on the agenda--unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, so I'm giving you the quick and dirty results, and will hopefully have links later for additional details. First, they gave their approval (again) to the 276-unit residential building planned by Camden Development at 1325 South Capitol Street
, but this was pretty prefunctory since they approved it a few months back and nothing has really changed except a bureaucratic need to resubmit the plan to the Zoning Commission in a different manner; the ZC hearing is on May 31
. Second, they voted not to support Zoning Commission Case 07-08
, the request to amend the city's zoning laws to allow temporary (no longer than five years) surface parking lots on certain squares in Near Southeast
to help provide parking for the new stadium. There was also a presentation by the DC Housing Authority on what's been happening with Capper/Carrollsburg
and the Capper seniors buildings
, but of course you've been reading this site religiously and so know it all already.
Apparently the feelings against the parking case ran pretty strong; and I understand that Andy Litsky of the ANC will be testifying in opposition at the Zoning Commission hearing next Monday
, 250 M
, ANC News
, Canal Park
, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, M Street
, South Capitol St.
, Nationals Park
ANC 6D May Agenda - And 250 M Back at the Zoning Commission
May 9, 2007 12:46 PM
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
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.
* 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.)
, 250 M
, 600 M/Square 882/Old Capper Seniors
, ANC News
, Capper Senior Apt Bldgs, Capitol Quarter
Zoning Changes Requested to Allow Temporary Surface Parking Lots; Transporation Task Force
Apr 5, 2007 4:25 PM
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.
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.
Mar 27, 2007 8:45 AM
A few items of Near Southeast interest were on last night's Zoning Commission agenda. First, the commission unanimously approved the modification to the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD to change the makeup of Capper Seniors #2 (now nearly completed at 4th and M) from all units for low-income seniors to add some workforce-level (30-60% median income) units as well. Seniors will have first preference, followed by former Capper/Carrollsburg residents who meet the income requirements; because there are no one-bedroom units in the public housing portion of Capitol Quarter, making this switch at Capper Seniors #2 means that former residents in need of a one-bedroom have the chance to move back this year, instead of waiting for 2011 when the multifamily mixed-income buildings get built along 2nd Street. In return for this modification, the developers agreed to amendments recommended by the Office of Planning that additional shared parking spaces be created within three blocks of the building, and that two ride-sharing cars be located at Capper/Carrollsburg (also within three blocks of Seniors #2). So, look for more news in the coming weeks on the "Ballpark Apartments".
The commission also unanimously approved a modification to the office building at 100 M Street
that needed to be undertaken because their sidewalk along 1st Street is being narrowed thanks to a decision by DDOT to widen 1st Street north of M to allow for two traffic lanes, two parking lanes, and a bike lane. The commissioners were not
happy with DDOT's move, lamenting that the ZC's attempts to create walkable communities with vibrant ground-floor retail and outdoor seating space can get thwarted by a DDOT decision like this one. But the commissioners also agreed that the 100 M developers shouldn't be penalized for DDOT's mischief.
Zoning Commission and Capper Seniors #2; Other Zoning Items
Mar 16, 2007 3:11 PM
The Zoning Commission
has deferred until its March 26 Special Public Meeting
any decision on whether to allow Capper Seniors #2
to be redesignated
as a mutlifamily workforce (30%-60% annual median income) dwelling in addition to having its low-income senior citizens units. ZC chair Carol Mitten noted a bit of a disconnect between statements offered by the DC Housing Authority and the Office of Planning, and so both are to meet before March 26 to formulate a recommendation.
And, since I gave the Office of Zoning a bit of a hammering
a few weeks back when they debuted their new online calendar
, it's only fair that I now rave over the return of monthly at-a-glance lists for Zoning Commission
meetings, which make finding out what's happening far far easier. Thanks, guys, not only is it great to see this functionality back, but you did a really nice job with it, too.
Request to Add Workforce Housing to Capper Seniors #2 -- And a Mystery Solved?
Mar 7, 2007 2:10 PM
A new item popped up on this coming Monday's (March 12) Zoning Commission agenda
, and apparently it is a request by the developers of Capper/Carrollsburg
to revise one of the conditions in the original PUD
to allow units in the new Capper Seniors #2
building to be made available as workforce housing
(30%-60% annual median income) in addition to the already approved low-income senior units. This will probably be something that the ZC will have to have hearings on, but we'll find out on Monday.
And, let's think for a moment.... Income-limited units, in a building that will be ready this spring, close to Barracks Row and the Navy Yard Metro and the stadium
.... Could this be the mysterious Ballpark Apartments
? It would explain why they're using a portion of one of the Capper drawings in their ads (with no apparent fear of being sued), and there are indeed water and monument views from various angles in that new building (at least for now). It's a cirumstantial case, but a pretty strong one, methinks. Let's see what shakes out.
Raze Permit Filed for Old Capper Seniors
Feb 27, 2007 2:13 PM
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.
'Ballpark Apartments' - Huh?
Feb 27, 2007 9:45 AM
An ad began appearing late last week (h/t Richard Layman
) for "Ballpark Apartments
", trumpeting income-limited units with "Views of the water and monuments/shopping and dining at Barracks Row/Metro Access at Navy Yard Station/Catch a Game at the New Ballpark
." The web site gives no clue as to where they're located, and the contact phone number is just a recording. I have heard nothing about any project like this up to now, and all attempts to figure out who is behind it have come up short. But some of the hints within the ads--coming this spring, income-limited--seem to point toward the conversion/ renovation of an existing property rather than new construction. I suppose It could be remotely possible that this is an ad for one of the rumored Southeast Federal Center
projects or new Capper/Carrollsburg apartment buildings
planned for 2nd Street (the ad is using a portion of one of the Capper images
, but perhaps the Ballpark Apts. folks just assumed no one would figure that out), but those certainly aren't coming this spring, and they wouldn't be only income-limited units. And within the actual borders of Near Southeast (between South Capitol, the freeway, and the river), there's maybe three properties I can think of that could possibly be this project, but none of them have "water views" (maybe one of them could conceivably be marketed as having "monument views")--heck, "water and monument views" could also mean Southwest, or even Anacostia. I've put out some feelers to see if I can dig up more, but it would not surprise me at this point if the marketers are perhaps playing a bit loose with the description of the project (after all, if it were really close to the ballpark, wouldn't you want to say exactly where it is?). If anyone has any scoop, drop me a line
Capper Senior Apt Bldgs
More New Photos
Feb 26, 2007 11:26 AM
In addition to the latest stadium photos that I posted on Saturday, there's also a smattering of new photos on the 20 M Street and Capper Seniors #2 pages, and even the Monument Half Street page (showing the hole in the ground starting to be dug as part of the Navy Yard Metro station upgrade). I also tossed in a few updated photos of the 4th and K and 4th and L intersections into the Photo Archive as well.
New Photos, from On High
Jan 11, 2007 5:51 PM
Today I was able to take some photos from up high at the Courtyard by Marriott
--since it was a clear day, I could indeed see forever. First off, with the Capper/Carrollsburg
demolition west of 5th Street now complete, I've posted before-and-after photos
of the Capper footprint that illustrate the astonishing difference
10 months and six blocks' worth of demolition can make; this page also has new photos as you scroll down showing ground-level shots of the final demolished block north of K between 2nd and 3rd. Next are photos-from-above of the holes in the ground at 70/100 I
and 100 M/Onyx
, with comparison shots from last year (scroll down a bit from the top of the page). And, if you can bear to scroll ALL the way to the bottom, I have views of the Nats ballpark construction
from this Courtyard vantage point--it's pretty much like looking into the stadium from dead center field, except four blocks away. And, at the top of the Capper Seniors
page, there's a neat shot of all three Capper Seniors buildings. Alas, now I will have to return to taking boring street-level shots for a while....
Capper Seniors #1 Opening Any Second Now; Market-Rate Units To Be Available
Dec 13, 2006 3:10 PM
I've heard through channels that the Capper Seniors #1
low-income housing building is possibly within a couple days of receiving its Certificate of Occupancy. 135 of its 162 units are already pre-leased through the DC Housing Authority, but apparently some units at the building are going to be made available to the general public for rental at market rates. There will be a leasing office on site, with the property to be managed by Edgewood Management; when it opens, I'll pass that along, as well as any additional information I get. And there will be an official ceremony marking the opening sometime in early 2007. It's a happy moment for me to see this project completed, because it was its precedessor--the long boarded-up Capper apartment building at the foot of the SE Freeway's 6th Street exit ramp--that helped spur me to start paying attention to news of the plans for south of the freeway....
Capper Demolition Part III Moving Slowly; The End of the Cappers
Nov 30, 2006 3:42 PM
The demolition of the final two blocks of Capper/Carrollsburg buildings got off to a quick start last week with two buildings gone almost immediately, but since then only one building (along K between 2nd and 3rd) has been worked on (now about 75% demolished), and it doesn't look like they've done any work on the site for the past two days. That still doesn't stop me from taking pictures, so there's an ever-so-incremental update to the Capper/Carrollsburg
page. Thanks to the current Google Satellite images of Near Southeast
still being from about 2002, plus this overhead shot
I have from 1999, I was able to count that there were fifty
Capper/Carrollsburg buildings in the late 1990s (ranging from the seven-story Capper Seniors building at 7th and M to the three other five-story apartment buildings along Virginia between 5th and 7th to the four-story blue-roofed buildings along 4th and 5th streets to the two-story dwellings along 2nd and 3rd); there are now six
left (well, 6.25), and five of those will probably be gone within the next month, leaving only old Capper Seniors
standing--but with its residents starting to be moved to the new Capper Seniors #1
soon and to Capper Seniors #2
in spring, it too will probably be gone before too many more months go by. (If you're wondering, the first Carrollsburg Dwellings were built in 1941, and the first of the Capper apartment buildings opened in 1958; old Capper Seniors was originally "all-ages" public housing, but was closed in 1973, then reopened in 1981 [six years behind schedule] as a seniors building.)
Nov 12, 2006 11:10 PM
Thankfully I looked at the weather forecast before planning my weekend, and scheduled a photo excursion for Saturday, not Sunday. Lots of new pictures in the Stadium Construction Gallery
, now also reorganized so that as you scroll down you're basically walking clockwise around the stadium site from it's construction starting point at 1st and N Place all the way down Potomac, up South Capitol, and over on Half back to 1st. And I also added a new photo or two (and updated the spiffy animated slide shows) for 20 M
and Capper Seniors #2
. Let the
icon be your guide to the additions, as always. UPDATE:
Oh yeah, duh, there's also the Capper demolition along the south side of L Street between 3rd and 4th, I added a couple of shots of that as well to my Capitol Quarter page
, I'll update when the last of the blue-roofed apartment buildings comes down, probably within the next week.
Photo Update Day
Oct 16, 2006 10:35 AM
A beautiful fall day on Saturday meant that I had no choice but to go on a photo-taking expedition: see my
photos of the new ballpark
, Capper Seniors #2
, and 20 M Street
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