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Southern Style Food Coming to the Lumber Shed?
Mar 28, 2014 11:49 AM
From Going Out Guide's preview of drinking options around the ballpark, there's this little tidbit: "By May 1, you’ll see a food truck preview of an as-yet-unnamed Southern-style restaurant, which Fairgrounds owner Bo Blair and Bayou chef Rusty Holman plan to open in the Lumber Shed in Yards Park, currently home to Osteria Morini and Agua 301. (Holman is a native of North Carolina.)"
If so, this would go into the empty space on the northwest corner of the building (across from Kruba Thai). It would also join Ice Cream Jubilee, which should be opening soon in the northeast corner of the building.
Forest City, as always, does not comment on leases before they are executed, so there is no confirmation of this as yet.
(Those Forest City staffers up on the second floor better all be getting memberships at Vida.)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, lumbershed, The Yards, Yards Park

Ice Cream Jubilee Coming to the Lumber Shed
Jan 21, 2014 3:19 PM
Perhaps a snowy January day isn't the best one to announce this, but Forest City has just put out the word that Ice Cream Jubilee will be opening in the Lumber Shed at the Yards this spring. This will be the brand's first dedicated store location, and will be a 1,076-square-foot space on the northeast corner of the Shed, on the edge of the Yards Park. In addition to scoops, the store will sell pre-packaged half pints of many of its flavors.
Ice Cream Jubilee was the winner of the People's Choice award at the DC Scoop competition last July.
The army of kids who are brought to the Yards Park throughout the year will certainly figure out this new offering pretty quickly.

A Sneak Peek Inside Agua 301, Now Opening Dec. 21
Dec 16, 2013 12:14 PM
With Agua 301 now set to open at the Lumber Shed in the Yards Park on Saturday, Dec. 21 (a day later than reported last week), of course I had to get inside with camera in hand to check it out.
I was sidestepping a busy crew of people still getting everything in place, so the images do not have the sheen of a minutes-from-opening space, but you can see the layout and take in the views that the various tables will have. (I even tossed in one "before" photo, which is just a teensy bit different.)
The modern Mexican restaurant will begin with just dinner service, expanding to lunch and then brunch probably at the beginning of next month. And in spring, an additional 44 seats will be available outdoors, along both the southern and western sides of the building.
And this will bring to a close 2013's run of restaurant openings in Near Southeast--it takes some remembering that, one year ago, there was no Gordon Biersch, or Park Tavern, or Bluejacket, or Buzz Bakery, Osteria Morini, or Nando's Peri-Peri.
As for what 2014 will bring, expected openings include Nicoletta, 100 Montaditos, Willie's Brew and 'Que, Sweetgreen, and TaKorean.
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More posts: agua, Restaurants/Nightlife, lumbershed, photos, The Yards

Tidbits: Whole Foods Dough, Blue Castle For Sale, Yards Doings
Dec 13, 2013 2:29 PM
* WC Smith has lined up $87 million in financing for its planned apartment building at 800 New Jersey Ave., better known as the home-to-be of Whole Foods. Construction is expected to start next year, just north of the currently climbing Park Chelsea. (WBJ)
* The old trolley barn known as the Blue Castle at 770 M Street has been put on the market by owners Madison Marquette, who bought it for $25 million in 2007 from Preferred Real Estate Investments, who bought it for $20 million in 2005. (WBJ)
* Forest City held a little shindig at the Yards today to celebrate the official "topping out" of the Twelve12 apartment/Teeter project and also to officially receive the 2013 Urban Open Space Award from the Urban Land Institute for the Yards Park.
The party also celebrated the "groundbreaking" of the Yards's next project, the 325-unit residential building just east of the Foundry Lofts on Parcel N, but until the heavy equipment shows up and starts digging up the existing parking lot on the site, let's just note that the actual work should be getting underway sometime soon. But in the meantime, you can gaze upon the latest rendering of the project (this is looking toward the northwest, up 4th from Water Street).
UPDATE: I also should have mentioned that Forest City is now expecting an official mid-January move of its offices to the 2nd floor of the Lumber Shed (hence the visible work underway up there).

Agua 301 Reportedly Set to Open on Dec. 20
Dec 11, 2013 3:02 PM
City Paper's Young and Hungry blog is reporting today that Dec. 20 is the expected opening date for Agua 301, the Mexican restaurant by the Zest folks on the southwest corner of the Lumber Shed in the Yards Park, next door to Osteria Morini.
CP says that the menu will have a "modern Mexican bent with a few less traditional touches." Tacos? Si! Small plates? Si! Guacamole? Si! Margaritas? SI! (But probably not fajitas, burritos, or enchiladas.) There will also be large entrees such as pan-seared black bass in case a small plate of beef barbacoa flautas doesn't quite fill you up.
The restaurant is expected to be open just for dinner to start, adding lunch and brunch service in January. And in the spring there will be 44 seats of outdoor patio seating, to take in the views of the Anacostia River.
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More posts: agua, Restaurants/Nightlife, lumbershed, The Yards

Osteria Morini Opens Today at the Lumber Shed
Nov 19, 2013 10:57 AM
The neighborhood dining options take another leap forward today as Osteria Morini officially opens to the public in the southeast corner of the Lumber Shed at 3rd and Water in the Yards Park. There's a web site (though, um, oops), and City Paper has the menu.
Morini now joins Bluejacket, Buzz Bakery, Nando's Peri-Peri, Park Tavern, and Gordon Biersch on the list of new 'hood eateries in 2013. Morini's next-door neighbor, Agua 301, is under construction, but whether it makes it under the wire as the last opening of 2013 or ends up being the first of 2014 is still up in the air. Morini's sibling Nicoletta, which will serve pizza out of one of the retail bays along the Yards Park riverwalk, is expected to open next year.
What say you about the Morini menu?
UPDATE: And I guess I should have thought to include a small memory of what the exterior and interior of the Lumber Shed used to look like:

Photos: Morini De-Wrapped, Turret Makeover, New I Street Forming
Nov 11, 2013 11:21 AM
With the news that the window coverings had come off of the Osteria Morini space in the Lumber Shed, I went racing down there with hopes of pressing my camera up against all that glass to get some photos of the opening-any-minute-now restaurant from Chef Michael White. Alas, I arrived during training, and so was THWARTED (because I'm way too shy to have just gone ahead and taken the up-close shots with 40 people staring at me).
I did get at least a couple of surveillance-type shots from a respectable distance, which I posted in a new photo gallery you should check out, but here's a preview:
The restaurant is expected to open next week, perhaps the 19th or the 20th, but at this point we know it will open when it opens.
The photo gallery also has a few other fun shots from the other projects currently under construction (residential buildings Twelve12, Park Chelsea and Toll Brothers's River Parc), such as the turret at 4th and M getting quite a makeover:
Plus, the Park Chelsea has gotten new signage, but more interesting is the outlines now forming of the new stretch of I Street that will run between 2nd and New Jersey when it opens (probably not any sooner than spring 2014):
But just go ahead and check out the full gallery.
Also, while they aren't terribly showy just yet, I have built two more of what I call my Expanded Photo Archives for both the Park Chelsea and River Parc projects, to bring together more before-and-afters from a wider/farther array of angles than I usually display on the project pages. (Yep, I'm partying like it's 2007.)

Photos: Tearing Down, Filling In, Building Out, Building Up
May 27, 2013 9:54 PM
The showiest demolition in the neighborhood in years is coming to an end, and while I haven't been able to document it in the obsessive-compulsive way I would have liked, I did manage to make it to 11th Street this weekend to see the gator tail-like final remnants of the old flyover to the outbound 11th Street Bridges before it completely comes down.
At the same time, I was able to check out the progress on the filling-in of the sunken eastern portion of the Southeast Freeway to build Southeast Blvd., and dang if they haven't already piled the dirt up so that 11th Street is now level with the "land" just to its west.
Needless to say, I had to create a photo gallery of the remants and the progress, where you'll also see that work is speeding along on the new flyover to the outbound I-695 bridge.
But I wasn't just interested in the tearing down and filling in, so I continued down to O Street, where not only is the 11th Street Local Bridge inching ever closer to getting all of its lanes and pedestrian path opened, but the new asphalt Anacostia Riverwalk Trail path to the river has been laid, which also takes you to the spiffy new landing just completed by the riverside. And from that landing you can see the spiffy new overlooks that reach out onto the old bridge piers from the new local bridge. (For the record, I could have easily sidestepped the construction barrels and ventured onto the overlooks, but I am a good little citizen.)
Lots of images of the new trail, the landing, the bridge, and the surroundings are in a second new photo gallery.
If these two galleries aren't enough, you might take some time to browse my before-and-afters all the way down 11th Street, from the freeway to L to M to N to O to the river, as nearly four years of construction have altered the vistas from a maze of flyovers and embankments to, well, a completely different maze of flyovers and embankments. (But the new flyovers are a little lower on the horizon, at least.)
I also checked out the other projects that are in various stages these days, from Twelve12 to the Lumber Shed to the leafed-out and fountain-ed Canal Park to the hole in the ground that will be the Park Chelsea.
There's new pictures on each of those pages, but I also couldn't help myself and pulled together a third photo gallery, with photos from those spots and a few others that were particularly photogenic on a particularly photogenic day. (It even includes my very first visit to the footprint of one of the neighborhood's most central locations. Where might that be?)
[A postscript: I truly think Sunday was the most perfect day for taking pictures in the 10-plus years I've been wandering the neighborhood, with the achingly clear deep blue sky perfectly matched with the late-May sun strength and positions. I ended up walking more than eight miles in three separate treks, and came home with a smidge more than 1,000 photos, about 300 of which are now in my photo archive.]

Osteria Morini Sibling Nicoletta Pizza Coming to Yards Park
May 13, 2013 1:29 PM
Thanks to a small tidbit on the notice of a liquor license application by Osteria Morini for its coming location in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, I can pass along that Morini's chef Michael White will also be bringing his Nicoletta pizza/pasta carryout and delivery operation to one of the small retail spaces built into the park's overlook, on the boardwalk near the pedestrian bridge.
Though the boardwalk retail spaces have been envisioned as housing "seasonal" offerings, Nicoletta will be a year-round tenant. The space Nicoletta will occupy is about 250 square feet, so it will have no interior seating, but it will have outdoor seating in the warm months.
Nicoletta is expected to open a few months after Morini, which is still targeting a late summer debut. So, it could be by late fall or by the end of the year, while keeping in mind that restaurant target dates are often a bit fluid.
Nicoletta NYC's web site includes the menu, if you want to start preparing your taste buds well in advance.
As for additional Morini information via the liquor license application, the space, in the southeast corner of the Lumber Shed, is described as a "full service, fine dining restaurant specializing in authentic Italian food" will have an interior seating capacity for 165 and two outdoor seating spaces/"summer gardens" totalling 136 spaces, though that's probably for both Morini and Nicoletta. It also says there will be background music, "and occasional live music and/or DJ will be provided."
There's no web site for Osteria Morini's DC location yet, but the sites for the Soho and New Jersey locations, as well as those for White's other restaurants, may provide some information if you're, ahem, hungry for it.
And if you're wanting to keep up on the neighborhood's new and pending food options, here's the map.

Vats, Nats, Glass, Concrete, and Rebar
Mar 14, 2013 8:16 PM
I wandered around on Thursday, it was sunny, I had my camera in hand, etc., etc., yadda yadda yadda.
Some items of note (click photos to embiggen):
On your left, hard-to-get evidence of the ongoing work at Bluejacket at the Boilermaker Shops. They've covered up all the eye-level windows, but peeking through the (dirty!) glass above the large door on 4th shows the fermenters now installed on the mezzanine level.
At right, my first viewing of the renovated Team Store at Nationals Park's Center Field Gate.
Below, the Lumber Shed in the sun.
Agua 301's space is to the left, and Osteria Morini's is to the right. (On the ground floor.)
And, everyone's dream come true, a parking garage being born:
Of course, it's actually the parking garage that will be underneath the Harris Teeter in the Twelve12 apartment building at 4th and M, so it's probably allowed. If you want even more photos of rebar and concrete, my Twelve12 page has them.

Agua 301 Shooting For July Opening at Lumber Shed
Mar 12, 2013 9:54 AM
The Washington Business Journal has a short piece on Agua 301, the "modern Mexican" restaurant coming to the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park.
The restaurant, developed by the same people who run Zest Bistro on Barracks Row, will be on the building's southwest side (the left side in the photo at left, closest to the pedestrian bridge), and buildout is apparently now getting underway, with the owners "hoping for" a late July opening.
It is a 3,500-square-foot space, and will have 107 seats indoors, plus another 43 on the patio.
So, let's do a run-down of the next few months:
Canal Park's Park Tavern could be close to opening {ahem}, so let's call that March.
Bluejacket says "May/June" for its highly anticipated arrival at the Boilermaker Shops.
Nando's Peri-Peri says June for its opening, also at the Boilermaker Shops.
Agua shooting for July.
No dates other than "summer" have been announced recently for Osteria Morini, Chef Michael White's Italian restaurant planned for the southeastern corner of the Lumber Shed. So, August or September might not be out of the question, though until a buildout is underway, that would just be speculation.
Also no dates for Buzz Bakery or Willie's Brew and Que at the Boilermaker, though since Buzz is by the Bluejacket folks, perhaps it'll come around the same time? UPDATE: A Facebook commenter passed along this Hill Rag piece by the Capitol Riverfront BID's director, saying that Buzz is aiming for an April opening. Willie's remains a mystery, though.
Anyway, basically one new restaurant a month from now through summer is a little bit different from what the neighborhood has seen since, well, ever. (Though, of course, we know how targeted opening dates can sometimes slide...)
For Nats fans doing a little preseason salivating, here's my map of where the neighborhood's restaurants are, and will be. (If you haven't been to the neighborhood since last season ended, you'll also want to note the arrival of Kruba Thai and Sushi at 3rd and Water Streets, in the Foundry Lofts building at the Yards.)
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More posts: agua, Restaurants/Nightlife, lumbershed, The Yards, Yards Park

Progress Check: Lumber Shed and Twelve12 at the Yards
Jan 29, 2013 1:55 PM
Some quick shots from today of the other projects underway at the Yards, in case a new dry cleaners just isn't exciting enough for you.
The new exterior glass is now almost completely on the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, where Osteria Morini and Agua 301 are slated to be tenants when it opens later this year (along with Forest City Washington on the second floor):
A before-and-after that can't possibly be resisted:
Facing the Anacostia:
Meanwhile, over at the Twelve12 apartment building project on 4th Street (more popularly known as the Harris Teeter/Vida Fitness building), the progress isn't quite as showy, unless you're a construction nerd and you know what the arrival of a tower crane means:
Yes, it means that vertical construction is not far off. The building is expected to be completed in 2014. And in case you want one more shot of the hole in the ground:
See the project pages for the Lumber Shed and Twelve12 for renderings and additional details.

Agua 301 Restaurant Coming to Yards Lumber Shed
Nov 29, 2012 3:05 PM
Forest City Washington is announcing today that a "modern Mexican" restaurant to be called Agua 301 will be coming to the Lumber Shed building at the Yards next summer.
The 3,600-square-foot restaurant, to be located on the Shed's southwest corner (nearest to the Yards Park's pedestrian bridge) is coming from the creators/owners of Zest Bistro on Barracks Row, and takes its name from the address of the Lumber Shed, at 301 Water St., SE. The menu is being developed by Zest's executive chef, Dot Steck.
The Lumber Shed is already the announced location of Italian restaurant Osteria Morini (on the building's southeastern corner) and has spaces still to lease for three additional restaurants.
The press release from Forest City also says that Bluejacket and Buzz Bakery are still expected to open in the Boilermaker Shops in the "first quarter" of 2013, with Willie Brew and 'Que opening there "by spring." UPDATE: But one thing I am noticing that isn't mentioned in the press release: any reference to Huey's 24-7 Diner, which was one of the originally announced restaurants for the Boilermaker Shops. Hmmm. Anyone close by want to check and see if that banner has been pulled down from the Boilermaker facade?
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Construction on Lumber Shed at Yards Park Set to Begin
Jun 19, 2012 3:22 PM
Yards developer Forest City Washington is putting out the word that construction is about to begin to transform the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park from its current open-air skeletal structure to the 30,000-square-foot glass-walled retail and office structure that has been in the works for a number of years.
Construction is expected to take 12-14 months, so look for completion probably in early fall 2013. The southeast corner of this building will be home to Osteria Morini, the Italian restaurant from New York City chef Michael White, and Forest City will be moving its offices to the second floor. The ground floor is designed to offer indoor and outdoor seating for five restaurants in all, and apparently a second unnamed offering is expected to be announced later this summer.
Look for fences to be going up around the structure by the end of this week, with actual construction activity probably beginning by early July.
See my Yards Park Phase 2 section for more renderings of the Lumber Shed's final form, along with photos from its faaaaahbulous salmon-exterior days and the more recent stripped down version. There are also plans for two more pavilions directly to the east of the Lumber Shed, though there's no timeframe for them.
And, in other Yards news:
* Kruba Thai and Sushi is expected to open in July in its location on the southwest corner of the Foundry Lofts (directly across from the Lumber Shed).
* The Boilermaker Shops are still expected to open "later this year," with its lineup of Bluejacket Brewery, Willie's Brew and 'Que, Buzz Bakery, Huey's 24-7 Diner, Austin Grill Express, and brb ("be right burger") well known by now, along with a dry cleaners and with spaces for other non-food/service retailers yet to be filled/announced.
* And the 218-unit residential building at 4th and M with the ground-floor Harris Teeter and unnamed-fitness-club-that's-Vida-Fitness is going to be called Twelve12 (for its address, 1212 4th Street SE). Excavation of the site has taken a little longer than expected (thanks to those surprises that kept being dug up), so the official start of construction there is now going to be "later this summer," with the opening in early 2014 (which is pretty much what I kept telling people to anticipate, anyway).

Lumber Shed Restaurant Announced: Osteria Morini
Feb 14, 2012 2:25 PM
The first tenant for the Lumber Shed building at the Yards Park has just been announced by Forest City: the Italian restaurant Osteria Morini, by New York City chef Michael White. It will be a 4,250-sq-ft space, and is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Osteria Morini currently has two locations, in Soho and Bernardsville, New Jersey, and is described in Forest City's press release as a "mid-priced, casual restaurant with lunch and dinner menus featuring innovative pasta dishes, grilled meats, fish and regional specialties."
It is part of the Altamarea Group, which also includes Marea, Ai Fiori, Due Mari, Al Molo, and the soon-to-be-opened Nicoletta. Chef White is a James Beard nominee and was named best new chef by Esquire magazine in 2002.
The Lumber Shed is one of the Yards Park's planned retail pavilions, which will also (temporarily) house Forest City's offices on the second floor. The restaurant will be located on the southeast corner of the building (seen at right), facing the Anacostia River and the Navy Yard, and will have outdoor seating on the east and south sides. With this announcement and Forest City's occupancy, the building is 60 percent leased, with the unleased space all on the ground floor for additional retail/restaurants.
This building is just to the south of the Foundry Lofts that opened in late 2011, and one block south of the Boilermaker Shop, where six restaurants will be opening over the next year or so. All three buildings are "adaptive reuse" projects of structures from the site's old days as part of the Navy Yard.
UPDATE: A bit of additional detail on the venture from Washingtonian's Best Bites blog. And here's the full press release.

Landmark Designation for Pumping Station; New Structures Coming
Feb 3, 2012 2:38 PM
I'm a week or so behind on this, but, honestly, I've moved slowly because I just can't believe that only now is the beautiful Beaux Arts WASA O Street Pumping Station being moved through the city's historic landmark designation process.
But it's true, and on Jan. 26 the Historic Preservation Review Board voted 8-0 to designate the 1907 building a landmark to be entered into DC's Inventory of Historic Sites. Then, after being "enhanced by additional research and context," it will be forwarded to the National Register of Historic Places.
The staff recommendation report describes the building, designed by local architect Clement A. Didden, as "an example of a high-style public works project and ... a premier example of Beaux Arts architecture and an important manifestation of the City Beautiful Movement." If you have spent much time looking at it, my refreshed DC Water page has photos from many angles (except inside!).
The first few minutes of the hearing actually are very much worth watching if you want to learn about the building's history and architecture. (Kind of like getting a building tour without going inside.) And it was good to see a representative of DC Water testify that it "stands ready to help" the landmarking: "we are proud of this beautiful building and its prominence on the waterfront." The staff recommendation report gives more information about the application, and you can even wander through the original 2005 (!?!) application.
This was not the only action taken in regards to the Pumping Station, however. DC Water needs to build two new structures--the Shaft Structure and the Tide Gate Structure--on the building's north side (facing Tingey Street) as part of the DC Clean Rivers/Combined Sewer Overflow project. Unfortunately, there are no drawings of these designs in the HPRB's staff report, but there are some descriptions, indicating that DC Water and city staff have worked to make them smaller and placed farther apart from each other to lessen the impact on the view of the main building from Tingey. "Overall, staff believes the new structures have been designed to be as compatible as possible with the Main Pumping Station given the significant design constraints." The conceptual designs were approved by HPRB 7-0. (You can watch that part of the hearing, too, should you wish.)
That wasn't the only neighborhood decision on the board's agenda. The HPRB also approved on its consent calendar Forest City's plans for rehabbing the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, about which I've written much during its trip through the ANC and Zoning processes.
The board did request that Forest City work "to develop and incorporate interpretive signage for the site that will feature historic photographs of the Lumber Shed and narrative information about the history of the structure."
Hope they include shots of its salmon-colored glory days!
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More posts: lumbershed, DC Water (WASA), The Yards, Yards Park

Tidbits: Catching Up After a Lazy Holiday Season
Jan 2, 2012 12:42 PM
Hope everyone has had a good holiday season, and made it into the New Year relatively unscathed. I took some blog vacation time myself, but while it's looked like pure slacking, I've actually been hard at work on my 2012 State of the Hood roundup, which will be coming tomorrow.
Until then, here's a few very short tidbits to catch up on, some of which were already tweeted (so blog-only folks might have missed them) and others of which were just little things that have piled up on my To-Do list.
* In the days before Christmas, the final demolitions were finished up at Florida Rock, making the concrete tower #166 in my Demolished Buildings gallery. I didn't get down there for mid-demo photos, but DCMud has a few stylized shots.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID said last week on Facebook that construction will begin in April on turning the Lumber Shed at Yards Park into a combination retail pavilion and office space for developer Forest City. No such announcement from Forest City yet, and no details on who any of the retail tenants may be.
* Suspect fleeing from police jumps the fence into Nationals Park on Dec. 28, finally found hiding in a public restroom.
* The Examiner surveys what's coming for DC's various waterfronts in 2012.
* The Post's annual list includes "Renting in Navy Yard" as one of the "In"s. (To which the smart-ass in me replies, "Oh, you mean actually in the Washington Navy Yard, the Navy's oldest shore establishment, now 202 years old?")

Zoning Commission Approves Office Space in Yards Lumber Shed
Jul 7, 2011 7:33 PM
In a wonderfully short hearing on Thursday night, the Zoning Commission voted 5-0 to approve Forest City Washington's request for an amendment to the current Southeast Federal Center Zoning Overlay to allow the company to temporarily move its offices to the second floor of the historic Lumber Shed building at the Yards Park.
The company made the request because, while there has been "great interest" from potential retail tenants for the first floor of the building, the second floor has not as yet been as enticing, and filling the ground-floor spaces alone is not enough to get construction financing secured. Because Forest City is "anxious" to get the building started, their move to occupy the second floor can settle the financing issues and finalize deals with interested tenants, which means that construction on the 34,000-square-foot building could begin this year and be open by early 2013.
There had been some concerns at the setdown hearing back in April about the "temporary" request being for a period of 20 years, but Forest City's representatives emphasized (as they also did to the ANC in April) that their intent is to be in the Lumber Shed only until there is office space elsewhere in the Yards to which they can move. Alex Nyhan of Forest City explained that getting retail uses into the second floor is currently "challenging" because the building is "by itself" at the Yards (without much built out around it), which is exacerbated by the fact that it's a somewhat seasonal destination. But Forest City feels that once the other projects in the first phases of the Yards are built out, there will be a demand for the second floor, plus "the onus is on us" to make the Yards into a location where second-floor retail not only at the Lumber Shed but in other Yards buildings is attractive to tenants.
The discussion seemed to satisfy the zoning commissioners, and with the Office of Planning in support of the change and no voices in opposition, the unanimous vote came quickly.
Nyhan also gave the commission a quick update on the status of the other first-phase Yards projects, to help illustrate that "after many years of planning" things are starting to move:
* The Foundry Lofts 170-unit apartment building will begin pre-leasing in August, and will open in October;
* The Boilermaker Shops retail space has announced five restaurant tenants, and will begin construction this month, opening in Fall 2012;
* And 401 M Street, home to a planned Harris Teeter and 200ish-unit apartment building, is expected to start construction this fall.
If you want to give up 30 minutes of your time to check out the proceedings yourself, the hearing should be available for on-demand viewing sometime on Friday. My post from the ANC deliberations on the request also has more information.

ANC Recap No. 2: Lumber Shed Zoning Change Request OK'ed
Apr 12, 2011 2:31 PM
Although the Yards Park has been open since September of last year, the historic Lumber Shed that sits just south of Water Street between 3rd and 4th is not yet in its final form. Second-phase plans have always been for the shed to be turned into a glass-enclosed retail pavilion; however, as Forest City has been seeking tenants they have discovered that the vast majority of leasing interest has been for the first floor, not the second.
In order to get the building to the required percentage of leased space in order to get financing to start construction, Forest City is wanting to move their offices to the second floor of the shed, which requires a text amendment to the site's zoning. It would be on an interim basis, for no more than 20 years, and would allow Forest City to move its offices elsewhere before the end of that 20 years, and would require a return to retail or restaurant uses on the second floor after they move out. If the Zoning Commission approves the change, Forest City says they are looking to start construction this year and open the building in 2012. As part of the process for this zoning change, Forest City prepared a series of renderings of the completed renovation, which they have been kind enough to pass along to me. (Click on them to see enlarged versions.)
When Forest City first came to ANC 6D with information about this zoning text amendment request in March, the commissioners had concerns on three areas: the design of the roof (and whether it would be "green"), whether there would be controls in place to prevent the office workers from marring the look and feel of the glass walls by hanging posters or papers on them or putting other clutter too close to the glass, and whether the nighttime lighting of the shed on both floors would be designed to create a desired "jewel box" look.
Forest City addressed these issues at Monday's meeting. A green roof was studied, they said, but ultimately it was decided that it couldn't be implemented in a fashion that would respect the historic profile of the roof and the building, and given that the building is surrounded by almost 100,000 square feet of "permeable" surface (i.e, the park), they felt that another 300 or 400 square feet was not a necessity. The color of the roof will be a charcoal gray. As for the "Post-Its on the Glass" issue, Forest City said that they will stipulate rules as to not hanging items on the glass and how far away other items should be. And the company also agreed to the "jewel box lighting" concept of both floors, provided that it's left up to Forest City to determine the appropriate lighting levels. The rendering at top right (see larger version) shows the nighttime lighting of the building as envisioned.
In addition, David Garber suggested/requested that a sign or plaque of some sort be affixed to the building (but not on the glass!) to explain its historic significance, which Forest City also agreed to.
With questions answered, agreements reached, and plaques affixed, the ANC voted 6-0 to support the zoning change. No date for the hearing with the Zoning Commission has been set as of yet.
The Lumber Shed is not the only retail pavilion planned for the park's later phases--designs call for two additional buildings along Water Street on the empty lots to the east of the shed. You can see more information and renderings on my Yards Park page (scroll down a ways if the link doesn't jump you down to the Second Phase section).
(Coming tomorrow, one more post on 6D's meeting, with a roundup of the other Near Southeast-related items on the agenda.)
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More posts: ANC News, lumbershed, meetings, Retail, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning

Forest City Looking to Move Offices to Yards Park Lumber Shed
Mar 4, 2011 10:55 AM
Tucked away in today's DC Register is a zoning request by Forest City Washington to allow the second story of the currently de-skinned Lumber Storage Shed at the Yards Park "to be used for general office purposes, on an interim basis, for no more than 20 years." The filing says that Forest City wants to temporarily relocate "in order to facilitate the leasing of the ground floor and to finance the building's restoration."
The intention has been for the shed to be given glass exterior walls and be a retail space--this new plan would still include ground-floor retail (in a very picturesque location at the Yards Park, right by the 3rd Street Plaza and the overlook). There are two other retail pavilions planned for later phases of the park as well, on the open spaces just to the east of the shed.
Comments (6)
More posts: Development News, lumbershed, Retail, The Yards, Yards Park
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