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5 Blog Posts Since 2003

On Tuesday reader F. reported that the long-dormant Exxon at South Capitol and I was being demolished; and today neighboring blogger DG_Rad has Tweeted that the not-quite-as-long-dormant Exxon at 11th and M is being torn down today. There's been no big movements that I've heard for either of these lots, both of which were "sold" by the main ExxonMobil Corporation to its nonprofit ExxonMobil Foundation. Perhaps the city's recent blighted property tax doings spurred the demos?
For those of you who haven't been around for the long haul, let's revisit the tale of when the South Capitol Exxon went out of business:

[Here's the] link to a DOJ press release [now dead, alas] from January detailing that the Exxon's owner pleaded guilty "to fraudulently double-billing government contractors more than $120,000. [Mahmud] Rashid, 46, of Raleigh Lane, Stafford, Virginia, entered a plea of guilty yesterday in United States District Court to one count of wire fraud. According to the terms of the plea agreement, Rashid could be sentenced to between 12 to 18 months of incarceration when he is sentenced before the Honorable Richard J. Leon on June 2, 2006."

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More posts: exxon697n, Square 697n, square 976
 

Digging in the DC land records database late on a Friday afternoon (isn't that what everyone does to get ready for the weekend?), I see that the ExxonMobil Corporation deeded its land at South Capitol and I in November to the ExxonMobil Foundation. There's nothing stated in the deed about any planned uses for the land, except to spell out restrictions on future uses and requirements for cleanup since the site may have contaminated soil. As for the foundation itself, a little blurb describes it as the "primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations." Is this the prelude to selling the land (assessed at $16 million in 2008) and having the foundation get the proceeds? Or is something else afoot?
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More posts: exxon697n, South Capitol St., Square 697n
 

Time again to dig into the What's the Deal With....? mailbag. Reader BH has asked about the two boarded-up gas stations and the old KFC along South Capitol Street, wondering when they're going to be demolished.
I have no answer, alas, for the former Exxon station on the east side of the street at I, which has been closed since May 2006 after its owner pleaded guilty to double-billing government contractors for more than $120,000; JPI was apparently somewhat interested in acquiring it so that they could build 23 I on the entire block, but that doesn't seem to have happened.
The KFC/Taco Bell closed in June after being bought by Ruben Companies, which has long-term plans for an office building on the site, to match their SC1100 on the east side of the street and 21 L Street to the north. However, they are not planning to demolish the KFC anytime soon, and in fact are looking to rent the space to a food-related business in the near-to-medium term.
The second Exxon, on the west side of the street south of K, closed at the end of August. The rumor was that the lot was going to be sold, but so far no transactions have shown up in the DC property sales database. (Ruben owns the other two-thirds of that block, which is the 21 L Street site.)
(I went 1 for 3 on this. Yeeech. This is what I get for not anticipating that WTDW.... questions wouldn't necessarily be ones I know the answers to! But I'm willing to keep trying--if you have a WTDW.... question, pass it along. Be advised, though, that I'm posting these as I can get to them, so submissions may not get addressed right away.)
 

The speed of events is leaving me breathless these days. Today JPI held a groundbreaking ceremony at 909 New Jersey Avenue, where digging is about to get underway for the 237-unit residential building to be built on that block (former home of the Nexus Gold Club). You can see the obligatory photos of Dignitaries-With-Shovels here. (Yes, I did get my invite after all. Thank you!)
But there was big news tucked into the press release touting what JPI is now calling its "Capitol Yards" neighborhood along I Street (with 70 and 100 I Street across the way from 909 New Jersey about to sprout out of their deep hole): the announcement of plans for 23 I Street, a fourth JPI residential project on I Street, slated to have 421 residential units and as much as 35,000 square feet of retail space. Its location would be on the south side of I Street between Half and South Capitol, from Half over to (and including) the current Wendy's lot. (The moribund Exxon station does not currently appear to be part of the plans.) Construction wouldn't start before 2008. I haven't added it to my main map yet, but I've put up a few boring shots of what the block looks like as of now.
With that, the number of not-spoken-for lots in Near Southeast has just about dwindled to zero. Pretty much there's the block on New Jersey across from Capitol Hill Tower (though Akridge now owns a portion of it), the Exxon at South Capitol and I if JPI doesn't grab it, and the Metro Chiller Plant on the southwest corner of Half and L, which might not be made available anytime soon. (And I'm assuming that the rumors of Monument Realty picking up the Sunoco site at 50 M are true.) Everything else west of 7th Street is now spoken for. So if you were hoping to make your millions in Near Southeast and you haven't already staked your claim, your time's just about up, unless you can wrest some parcels out of some other developer's hands.
UPDATE, 6/11: Five days later, here's the Post's blurb on Capitol Yards.
 

The Exxon at South Capitol and I streets has apparently shut down--a correspondent reports that the building is boarded up, and their phone number has been disconnected. Their page on exxonstations.com says "Temp. Closed", but it would seem odd that a temporary closing would result in a disconnected phone number. I've heard nothing about a sale of that property, but certainly it could be considered a somewhat prime location (although that's a ghastly intersection). Will pass along more as I find out.
UPDATE: From another very on-the-ball correspondent, a link to a DOJ press release from January detailing that the Exxon's owner pleaded guilty "to fraudulently double-billing government contractors more than $120,000. [Mahmud] Rashid, 46, of Raleigh Lane, Stafford, Virginia, entered a plea of guilty yesterday in United States District Court to one count of wire fraud. According to the terms of the plea agreement, Rashid could be sentenced to between 12 to 18 months of incarceration when he is sentenced before the Honorable Richard J. Leon on June 2, 2006." As my correspondent noted, "this might help shut down your gas station."
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More posts: exxon697n, Retail, South Capitol St., Square 697n