8 Blog Posts Since 2003
Zoning Commission Approves Trapeze School at the Yards; A Revised Tentative Phase I Timeline
Sep 21, 2009 7:47 PM
In a blissfully short 26-minute hearing, the city's Zoning Commission approved tonight the series of amendment requests to allow the Trapeze School New York
to set up shop on Parcel O at the Yards
, on the southeast corner of Fourth and Tingey
The commissioners seemed satisfied with the information they had in the Office of Planning report
and the submissions from Forest City and the Trapeze School, and asked few questions (Chairman Hood was clearly trying to move things along). This is a temporary approval, allowing the Trapeze School to be at the Yards for five years, or longer if a Special Exception is later granted. The text amendments also waved the on-site parking requirement for the school, with new commissioner Konrad Schlater saying he was "comfortable" with it because parking "is definitely overbuilt" in the area around the ballpark. ANC 6D had voted 7-0 in support of the case as well. It's now expected that the National Capital Planning Commission
will address the Trapeze School at its Oct. 1 meeting.
No date for the opening of the school in its new home was mentioned, though it was explained that Forest City was trying to expedite the process since the school is having to vacate its home at the old convention center site. There will still be building permits to be filed for and approved before the tent can be lifted.
Toward the end of the hearing, Ramsey Meiser of Forest City gave a bit of an update on the other projects in the first phase of the Yards. Here's the latest:
* They are continuing to work with the city's Housing Finance Agency to get the money together to (re)start on the Foundry Lofts
, with a hoped-for completion date of late 2010 or early 2011.
* The Boilermaker Shop
could open in 2011; this dovetails with what a commenter in this thread
reported hearing over the weekend, although earlier today Forest City would not officially confirm for me any scheduled start date for the project, only that some retail tenants have been signed, but that Forest City can't name them publicly just yet. (Maybe in October.)
* The first retail in the Park at the Yards
(in the old Lumber Shed building) could open in 2012; the park itself is expected to open next summer.
* "Parcel D
", on the southeast corner of Fourth and M, is the site of the expected Harris Teeter
(though Meiser didn't name them, saying only "a grocery store," since neither Forest City nor Harris Teeter have confirmed this rumor yet), and is now apparently going to be a residential building instead of office, which had been hinted at recently. It's expected delivery date is currently 2013.
* The Factory 202
lofts building at Fifth and M is not expected before 2014.
And all that's just the first phase! Meiser also said that Parcel N, the site of a surface parking lot on the southwest corner of Fourth and Tingey, would probably be the first project of Phase 2. But no date on that yet.
Lots of New Photos From Around The Yards
Oct 31, 2008 1:15 PM
As I mentioned a few days ago
, I was able to snag some time behind the fences at The Yards
this week (with permission!!) and took a bunch of pictures. I also took this opportunity to do a bit of cleanup on the many Yards pages on this site, so if you haven't wandered through all of them in a while, I suggest taking the time to do so, keeping an eye out for the ubiquitous
icon. Some highlights (click through to the pages for more details on each project):
* I posted a fair number of photos (plus some new renderings) of the Foundry Lofts
at Third and Tingey, where the new top two floors are starting to be framed. You can also see how the a portion of the new Water Street just south of the Foundry has been paved, and curbs have been installed; ditto with the new portion of Third Street that will run alongside the building down to the park.
* There aren't really many exciting new photos of the Yards Park
yet, but I added in new renderings and also spruced up the page some. The park and the Foundry Lofts apartments (along with the Boilermaker Shop
retail pavilion) are expected to deliver in mid-2010.
* I made my first close-up visit to the Factory 202
building at Fifth and M (the old Gun Assembly Building), and got a few new images like the one at right. (Look for the "Pistol Range" photo for added entertainment.) This building is expected to be condos, delivering in 2011.
* I added a lot of new images to the Later Phases page
, where you can see a good close-up of the little Building 74 next to Factory 202, which will eventually be townhouses. You'll also see more of the infrastructure work going on, including curb cuts already in place at Fourth and Tingey (even though the southern part of Fourth doesn't exist there yet). There's also a new red brick wall going in along the boundary with the Navy Yard, where a new block of Fifth Street will be built.
* You should also check out my Yards Overview page
for the hard-to-read map, to help orient yourself to all the locations.
* Or, if you just want a pile of pictures without the "guided tour," here's all the new photos on one page
(which includes images not posted on any of the above pages.) Click the
icon to see other photos from the past few years from the same location.
Hopefully that's enough to keep everyone entertained for a while.
New Yards Photos: Inside the Boilermaker Shop, and New Pattern Shop Pics; WTDW The Hole in the Wall
Jul 22, 2008 7:39 AM
Last week the folks at Forest City
were gracious enough to take me on a behind-the-fences tour of the The Yards
, so that I could stock up on "before" photos before too much more work gets underway. The first stop was Building 167, also known as the Boilermaker Shop
, on the northeast corner of Third and Tingey streets behind the US DOT HQ. This steel-and-glass industrial workshop (such a rarity for Washington) was built in 1919, and by the end of 2009 Forest City expects it to be transformed into a 46,000-square-foot retail space, with a new loft-like mezzanine in the middle of the building that will provide additional square footage without sacrificing the wide-open feel of the high glass-lined ceiling. I have wanted to get inside this building for a long time, so I'm glad to now have photos in advance of the shop's makeover, which you can see on my Boilermaker Shop page
along with renderings of what's coming.
Across the street at the old Pattern Joiner Shop
, interior demolition work continues, along with the removal of all the windows and the white paint from the building's exterior. We didn't get to go inside, but I've still posted some updated photos
, which you can compare to shots from the past three years to see what's been done in just a few months. By late 2009 this will become the Pattern Shop Lofts
, with 170 apartments, ground-floor retail, an interior courtyard, and two new floors on top.
I also snagged some photos from a few other locations, too, and I'll get those posted soon.
And, if you're wondering What's the Deal With
the big hole punched in the historic red brick wall
on M Street east of Fifth--apparently that's the start of the necessary work to create 5 1/2 Street, SE (no, I'm serious), which will run between the big red brick Building 202
(to be turned into condos by 2011) and Building 74 (forecast to be converted into townhouses in a future phase of the Yards). Here's an overhead photo of the spot in question
, taken from the roof
of the old Capper Seniors building
before it came down last year.
Yards/401 M Street at NCPC, ANC 6D (Again)
Apr 2, 2008 3:46 PM
As I wrote a month ago in an entry
that was visible for about five minutes thanks to all of the ballpark news, the first new-construction buildings
at The Yards
are now winding their way through the zoning process. It's two buildings that look like one--a 320,000-square-foot 10-story office building at 401 M Street
and an 11-story 180ish-unit apartment building to its south at 400 Tingey Street
. They would both have ground-floor retail, but it's what's planned for 401 M that will probably have everyone's attention, because a grocery store
is proposed for that space, just inside the historic wall and sentry tower on the southeast corner of Fourth and M. The office building would be LEED certified, and the 20 percent of the residential building would be affordable housing units (up to 50 percent of the area median income).
The Zoning Commission Southeast Federal Center Overlay Review
of the plans and three associated variance requests is now rescheduled for April 24
. ANC 6D will be bringing it up again at its April 14 meeting, after electing not to vote on the project at its March 10 meeting because of the lack of a community benefits package--see the summary of the meeting
in the April Hill Rag (I was out of town, and so don't have any additional details).
As for start dates, documents earlier in the year had the office portion getting started in 2008 for a 2010 delivery, and the residential portion starting "based on market conditions." However, a reader is reporting that a sign now up at Fourth and M says "Coming 2011." I'll see if I can get any further details. (UPDATE: Yup, 2011 is now the current "estimate" for the project. So, don't stop shopping at the Capitol Hill Safeway just yet.)
In the meantime, work on renovating the Boilermaker Shop
at Third and Tingey into a 46,000-sq-ft retail pavilion should be starting Any Minute Now, as should the rehab of the Pattern Joiner Shop
across the street into a 170-unit apartment building. Both are expected to be finished in 2009. (Did you see the light displays being projected onto the Pattern Joiner building during the ballgames?) The Factory 202
residential rehab of the old Gun Mount Shop at Fifth and M, which is a joint project between Forest City and PN Hoffman
, also now has a "Coming 2011" sign.
Tidbits: Permits, Yards Names, No SE Freeway?, South Cap Tunnel, 55 M Web Cam, A New Crusade
Mar 8, 2008 10:48 AM
Just a bunch of tiny items worth highlighting on a dreary Saturday (no new photos today in this muck):
* A building permit
has been approved to build a surface parking lot along First Street between M and N, where Normandie Liquors and its brethren were demolished last month. And the Archdiocese of Washington has applied for a public space permit
for the 1300 block of First Street, SE--does the Popemobile need special parking permits?
* The 55 M web cam
is no longer available to the public. Perhaps they want the Opening Day vista to be a big surprise. Or they don't want people watching the last-minute work on the Navy Yard Metro station. (I wonder if the gas main hit
on Thursday was caught by this camera.)
* Some commenters are discussing
the idea that's been floated of someday demolishing the Southeast-Southwest Freeway
. Getting rid of this Berlin Wall that separates Capitol Hill and Near Southeast (and splits Southwest) was brought up in the National Capital Planning Commission's 1997 Extending the Legacy
framework plan, if you want to see it actually on paper. (Apparently an updated NCPC framework plan
is scheduled to come out this spring, which looks like
it continues to have Virginia Avenue marked where the freeway currently is.) As to whether I'll see this done in my lifetime, well, it would be a nice surprise.
If you really want to go high-concept, you can read DDOT's 2003 South Capitol Street Gateway and Improvement Study
to see their ideas for a tunnel that would link I-295 and the SE/SW Freeway
for through traffic, leaving South Capitol Street
to become the grand urban gateway boulevard planners envision. At Wednesday's public meeting on the South Capitol Street Draft Environmental Impact Statement
, DDOT said that the tunnel isn't totally off the table, but they decided that a new Douglass Bridge
and other South Capitol Street improvements could move forward separately. But could a tunnel still work if the dream of dismantling the SE/SW Freeway were realized?
* I've tried to remain (mostly) unopinionated on various projects during the five years I've run this site. But sometimes, it's necessary to take a stand, to come out from behind the cloak of neutrality and crusade for what you believe in. So I'm going to take advantage of this bully pulpit and fight for one thing: Arched Bascule!
, Factory 202/Yards, Foundry Lofts/Yards
, Monument/Half St.
, South Capitol St.
, Douglass Bridge
, Nationals Park
, Traffic Issues
, Square 701
, The Yards
A Bit More Info on Yards Building 202
May 6, 2007 4:43 PM
In late March, in my big update
on the plans for The Yards
, I mentioned that the old Gun Assembly Shop at 5th and M
(also known as Building 202) would be in the first phase of residential renovations (beginning in 2008), and that Forest City Washington
would be partnering on this one portion of The Yards with PN Hoffman
(the folks who will be revitalizing the Southwest Waterfront). The DCMud blog has more
on this project (they're in the real estate biz, so they've got a leg up on this poor unconnected blogger), saying that "The former naval gun factory will metamorphose into one of the coolest projects in DC, according to the developer, which intends to fully renovate the interior space, leaving the existing shell and giant six-story atrium - to become the amenities center, encircled by the residences. There will be nothing like this in the District or its environs, according to Dave DeSantis
of PN Hoffman." No wonder I was smart enough to dub this building the JD Lofts, way back in 2003....!
All Sorts of Tiny Items
Apr 12, 2007 9:57 PM
A reconaissance mission through the Hood today yielded a lot of new tidbits; click on the links for project details and new photos added to the Archive:
* The new stoplights along M Street at New Jersey and at 4th are now flashing red, no doubt to be turned on Any Minute Now with the impending start of DOT HQ
move-ins (next week?);
(UPDATED to fix a lot of stupidly broken links.)
More Information on The Yards
Mar 28, 2007 9:50 AM
Today I've added some expanded information on The Yards
, the 44-acre redevelopment project by Forest City Washington
on the Southeast Federal Center site (behind DOT
on M Street, stretching from 1st Street to the Navy Yard
at Hull Street, and down to the Anacostia River). They are beginning to move forward with their first phase of projects, which will start this spring with the building of roads and infrastructure within the site (we should see new signs for The Yards at 1st and N and other locations relatively soon). In early 2008, work should begin on the first two big projects, which are the redevelopment of Building 167 (the old Boiler Maker's shop on Tingey between 3rd and 4th) into a retail building, and the rehabilitation and expansion of Building 160 across the street (the Pattern/Joiner shop) into a residential building; these are expected to be completed in 2009. This first phase will also include the renovation of Building 202 (the Gun Assembly Shop) at 5th and M into another residential building; this site (which I long ago dubbed the "JD Lofts") will be a joint project between Forest City and PN Hoffman
. Also, expect to see demolition within the next few months of the beige brick building at 1st and N
across from the Nationals ballpark
, so that this parcel can be turned into stadium parking, at least for a few years until office buildings are built there. Rounding out Phase 1 will be the construction of the Waterfront Park at the Yards, a 5.5-acre public space along the banks of the Anacostia, which is just now starting to be designed. This will be connected to Diamond Teague Park
south of 1st Street by a floating pedestrian bridge, which sounds kind of cool.
You can get a better feel for all of this by looking at the map and photos I've added to a new Yards Overview tab
, and then also look through the photos
I have of the site, or use the Photo Archive to check out the perspectives at 1st and N
and along Tingey at New Jersey
, and Hull