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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Parcel A/Yards
See JDLand's Parcel A/Yards Project Page
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In the Pipeline
Community Center
Homewood Suites Hotel
Ballpark Square
Yards/Parcel A
Yards/Condo Project
Yards/Icon Theater
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
1333 M St.
Southeast Blvd.
Florida Rock
1244 South Capitol
New Barracks
1111 New Jersey
Akridge/Half St.
Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
Nat'l Community Church
909 Half St.
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
Posts on Food/Fun
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31 Blog Posts Since 2003
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Some photos from Saturday, taken before I melted into a puddle. (Anything over 80 degrees is kryptonite to me.) Click to enlarge and view as a photo gallery, if you're on a desktop machine, that is.
At Twelve12, where the first residents have begun moving in and Sweetgreen is now open, TaKorean looks to be making progress toward its own launch:
Up above TaKorean, VIDA Fitness's signs have gone up, with an opening looming probably in August.
(And, no photos, but 100 Montaditos at the Boilermaker Shops appears to finally have its building permit.)
Over at 1st and L, fence signage has sprouted for the River Parc apartment building (announcing a web site at, you guessed it, riverparc.com, though there's nothing pertinent there just yet). Plus the leasing trailer is now landscaped and outside the Akridge fence.
In grocery store news, I haven't yet posted photos of the fun artwork hanging on the historic brick wall outside of Harris Teeter's space at 4th and M (below left). And below right, the Whole Foods/800 New Jersey hole in the ground is indeed being dug. (Never say I withhold important information.) Teeter is expected to open this fall, while Whole Foods is not going to be seen before 2017.
But of course, the showiest action in the neighborhood continues to be the long (LONG) farewell to Spooky Building 213, which is starting to edge into How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away? territory. But the very south end of the structure began its march into the sunset this weekend, which means that, yes, the bat is about to vanish.
Finally, given the vagaries of both Mother Nature and the summer calendar, it's possible I might not get too many more shots of St. Matthew's church at New Jersey and L, with its raze permit now approved and demolition expected to get underway in the next couple of weeks to make way for 1111 New Jersey. So, maybe a final before-and-after, comparing the view eight years apart:
 

Part of my laziness over the past two weeks was being sure that Fort Spooky had probably completely disappeared while I was out of town, and I was hating having missed some final demolition shots. But whaddya know! Some of it is still hanging on:
My Building 213 Expanded Photo Archive gives you the before-and-afters from more than 50 angles, which still probably isn't every spot in the neighborhood that has/had the building in its vista.
And, late in the week another long-sought demolition wrapped up, as seen in this terribly exciting before-and-after:
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More posts: Trash Transfer Site/DPW, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

It was Saturday. It was beautiful. I wandered.
(Click on any of the photos and get a pop-up gallery of all of them--at least for non-mobile, non-RSS, non-email readers)
First, the obligatory Building 213 demolition shots. Let's compare the state of things on June 2 (left) and June 14 (right):
It's also fun to move back a block and get a better view from the east side, from November 2007 to this weekend. Where did all that sky come from?
And of course there's your basic Om Nom Nom shots:
There's also more peeks at other spots. First, I bring you the holes in the ground at the Hampton Inn on 1st Street (left) and the new residential building at Yards Parcel N (right):
Next, the still-papered over Sweetgreen at Twelve12, in advance of its opening this week, and a nose-pressed-up-against-the-dirty-window shot of the progress at the Harris Teeter in the same block, scheduled to open Oct. 1:
And I'll wrap up with the two photos below. At left, Twelve12's all-but-completed new service nestled between the new building and Building 202. And at right, on 1st south of K, the trailer that arrived this week, which is the one I posted about on Friday--and my guess that it is to be the leasing office for River Parc across the street has been confirmed.
The links to the project pages will show you these photos and many more....
 

As I spend a glorious late spring day reading the Office of Planning setdown report for Forest City's request for additional building height allowances in Yards West, my eyes lit up at this paragraph, in reference to the "Parcel A" site where Building 213 is currently in its final days:
"Finally, the site is located about a block east of one entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station, and across M Street from the west entrance[.] Both entrances can be quite congested, particularly during rush hours and on baseball stadium game/event days. WMATA has indicated a desire to increase capacity and convenience to passengers by providing an additional entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station on the south side of M Street on Parcel A. To faciliate this, OP is proposing that, as part of Zoning Commission review of any development on Parcel A, facilitation in the site and building design for a new entrance be provided - this would not require [Forest City Washington], the developer, to provide the new entrance, but rather would ensure that any construction on the site would accommodate this additional entrance."
Not something that would happen anytime soon, I imagine, but good to know that it's at least being thought about.
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More posts: Metro/WMATA, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

It's a lot of building to knock down, but a milestone of sorts was reached late last week at Building 213 when the demolition punched through from the west to the east, splitting the remnants in two and giving a peek at the vistas to come once it all comes tumbling down.
So I've added a bunch of new photos of the destruction to my Yards Parcel A page, and I also think the destruction is now far enough along to add the 171st entry to my Demolished Buildings Gallery.
In addition, I've scoured the archives and have come up with more than more than 40 vantage points where Spooky Central has been visible from and will be for just a bit longer.
But if you want a few more moments of the building not looking torn apart, go stand about halfway between M and N on first and look eastward above the "Event Parking" sign, as I did above. (I didn't even notice this quirk until I got home and looked at the photo.)
A few blocks away another man-made creation that won't be much lamented is being dismantled, as seen here in its before-and-after, with the Park Chelsea now looming:
Then there's some signage I have needed to officially record, that of the Subway Café and the Big Stick at 20 M (which got its tenant layout building permit approved recently), and the new Homewood Suites banner at 50 M. Plus there's now a tower crane at the Hampton Inn site.
To bring some green to the page, I'll close with this lovely photo of the increasingly lush Monument Valley just north of the ballpark.
And I'll have an even more interesting batch of photos coming soon.
(Click on any of these to launch a mini-slideshow of all of them.)
 

Time to check in again on the conscious uncoupling of Building 213 from the rest of the neighborhood.
The 1st Street frontage now has quite a bite taken out of it (om nom nom), and some demolition is also now underway at the corner of New Jersey and Tingey.
A few closeups, from 1st Street on the left and New Jersey on the right:
Meanwhile, three blocks to the east, on the site of the still-as-yet-officially-named-apartment-project-we-are-forced-to-continue-calling Parcel N, there's a fair amount of downward action as well:
(Beta pages here and here, if you want the open-and-airy version of the details.)
And, for the heck of it, here's what the entrance to the Harris Teeter from M just east of 4th is looking like, with the new bite out of the historic brick wall finished:
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More posts: photos, teeter, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards
 

If I were in control of this demolition, I'd have started by punching through right in front of the mouth of the dinosaur on the south end, but that's just me.
I've started an expanded photo archive that isn't too extensive right now but eventually will include before-and-afters of most every vantage point that this building is visible from--as I've said before, I'm not sure people will realize how much this building dominates the neighborhood until it's gone. I can't wait to not see it. And I'll certainly be continuing to document its demise.
For those not following along, once this building is gone Forest City will remake this block (known as the Yards's Parcel A) by creating a temporary public park, along with a new home for the trapeze school and a parking lot.
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More posts: The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

* LESS NGA: While demolition of Spooky Building 213 at 1st and M has technically been underway for a few weeks, the showy portion got started this week. But my camera hasn't gotten down there yet--look for photos this weekend, if you don't already have a front-row seat for the festivities.
* MORE CBS RADIO: WBJ provides more information on CBS Radio's move to 1015 Half Street, which was officially announced on site by the mayor and other poobahs on Monday. A CBS Radio exec is quoted as saying that the street-level studio and performance area "will allow an unfettered look into how we operate and provide fans of our stations with the chance to meet some of the top names in the music business and our own beloved personalities.” Another quote says that CBS Radio "wanted a ‘Today Show’ type street-level studio and the only place they could get that was in the city.” Construction on the space is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
* MORE XAVIER: Not exactly sure why the Wall Street Journal is so all-over the Barracks Row Entertainment bankruptcy, but here they are again with more details: "Lawyers for eight restaurants including Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Molly Malone’s and Boxcar Tavern [and Park Tavern and Willie's] said in new court papers that Xavier Cervera, who became a consultant for the restaurants in August after selling the restaurants in late 2012, intentionally hindered their performance," so that the new owners would struggle to make payments and then Xavier and his partners could retake the properties. There's a battle over a scooter, too.
* MORE RIVERWALK: DDOT announced this week that work is about to begin on the four-mile-long stretch of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail from Benning Road through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to the DC/Maryland line.
* MORE FAT: Mark your calendars, the Tour de Fat returns to Yards Park on May 31. (Yes, the link includes the beer list.)
* LESS INCENTIVE: In the latest step to make all my work completely unnecessary, you can now go back in time on Google Street View. (But it's only to 2007, so at least my 2003-2007 photos aren't totally useless.)
 

The title of this post says it all (in other words, I am not in full blogging mode this week).
* PUMP IT UP: City Paper reports that DC Water is soliciting bids for the design of a new headquarters, which would move from Blue Plains to a new building atop the existing O Street Pumping Station. (NOT the beautiful Main Pumping Station just to the north!)
And, if one looks at the renderings that Forest City released during its quest for zoning approval to develop three blocks around the station, you can deduce that this idea did not crop up in the last few days. The rendering above shows the O Street station in the right foreground, and you can see how it does look similar to the description reported by City Paper: "[It] will have five stories of offices perched above the pumping station. The offices will be supported by columns; there may or may not be a small gap between them and the pumping station."
(Note that this is a separate issue from the stalled drive to move some of DC Water's operations before Forest City can start work on the proposed movie theater there.)
* THUMBS UP: The Zoning Commission has issued the final orders to allow veterinary hospitals in the Southeast Federal Center Overlay and for the Trapeze School to move to New Jersey and Tingey.
* BOTTOMS UP (OR NOT): An application for a Class C liquor license is now in the pipeline for the The Big Stick, the new restaurant coming later this year to 20 M Street, The application describes the venture thusly: "A sports bar featuring an alpine lodge theme and décor serving casual foods such as bratwursts, sausages and kielbasas, salads, sandwiches, wraps and crispy oven-baked macaroni and cheese. Occasional DJ. No nude performances."
That's all that's up with me. What's up with you?
 

Forest City Washington, desiring to begin development on the western portion of the Yards, is requesting a change to the Southeast Federal Center Overlay that would "align the height and density of any residential development in the Yards West with similar residential density to the west in the CG/CR Overlay and the south in the DC Water Sites PUD."
(And yes, this "Yards West" thing is new, but it does make some sense, given how the properties along 1st Street are mostly separated from the heart of the Yards between 3rd and 4th.)
As shown on the graphic Forest City provided to the Zoning Commission, the four parcels along N Street just east of 1st dubbed F, G, H, and I currently have a maximum allowed height of 110 feet, while to the north, south, and west there's a 130-foot maximum. (There's also a density difference that caps Yards residential development at 6.0 FAR versus 7.0-8.2 in the Capitol Gateway (CG) Overlay.)
This means that the SEFC Overlay permits less height and density than on the surrounding properties because, Forest City says, "no one fully anticipated the success of the tremendous public and private investment that is transforming the area."
Further proposed text amendments would "require Zoning Commission design review for any property utilizing bonus height and density for residential use" and would "authorize deviations from the ground-floor preferred use requirements, only after approval from the Zoning Commission."
During the zoning hearings a few weeks back to allow some changes to the NGA building site (known as Parcels A, F, and G, but which for now I just call Parcel A because I'm lazy), it was mentioned that Forest City was in the process of hiring an architect to design a residential building on Parcel H, which is on the southeast corner of 1st and N, with hopes of beginning development in 2015. Though I'm guessing they'll want to find out whether they can build to 130 feet instead of 110 before finalizing that design.
More as it develops.
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More posts: Development News, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards, Yards/Parcel H, zoning
 

Yay!
It's not going to be all gone for a number of months, though. Clearly they're mostly working inside as of now. But still....
This will be probably the second-largest building to be demolished in the neighborhood, after the old Capper Seniors building at 7th and M. But I can't wait to see how Building 213's departure alters the horizon--when I look at my photos, it amazes me how many times there's a glimpse of it in the background from all manner of angles.
And then there will be a park. And the trapeze school. For a while.
My camera stands at the ready.
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More posts: The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

* PREPARING TO DIG: After a couple of articles highlighting residents' opposition to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, the Post takes a look at how CSX and some rail experts view the reconstruction and expansion of the tunnel as a necessary step.
* PREPARING TO DECLARE: Also, there's now scheduled a council hearing about the tunnel project, on March 25 at 11 am. The hearing is actually on proposed resolution PR 20-601, "Sense of the Council for a Hearing on the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project Resolution of 2013," which "is to the declare sense of the Council that the Unites States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit should hold a hearing on the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project." (So it's a hearing by one governmental body about whether they should tell another governmental body to hold a hearing.)
* PREPARING TO DE-SPOOK: The arrivial of bulldozers and dumpsters on site at the old NGA building at 1st and M SE has sharp-eyed observers tapping their toes waiting for the demolition to start, but as was mentioned previously, it's going to take about six months to complete. But maybe they can at least knock out some exterior walls before Opening Day, as a statement of intent to Nats fans who haven't kept up with the latest news (tsk, tsk).
* PREPARING TO ROCK: I showed a touch of hard-won skepticism last week in reporting that developers told ANC 6D that they expect to begin work on the first phase of Florida Rock's redevelopment in June. So I will follow that up by noting that, two days later, they appear to have filed an application for a shoring/sheeting permit. (Not seeing an application for any building yet, though.)
* PREPARING TO WANT: The WashBiz Journal last week looked at the retail states of four "hot neighborhoods" (subscribers only), highlighting what they "flaunt" and what they "want." After the flaunting (20 restaurants, Nats Park, Vida Fitness, and Whole Foods), Michael Stevens of the BID listed the "wants": child care facilities, apparel retailers, a large home furnishing store, and college classrooms (saying that the area "is positioning itself as a satellite campus destination for those maxed out on their space"). Non-subscribers can watch some video of Stevens's talk at the BID's annual meeting, at least..
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More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Florida Rock, Retail, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

During Monday night's Zoning Commission hearing on allowing the move of the trapeze school from "Parcel O" at 4th and Tingey in the Yards to another space at New Jersey Avenue, Forest City's Ramsey Meiser revealed that the company is planning to sell a portion of Parcel O to allow for the development of a condo project there.
Meiser explained that while Forest City doesn't do condo development, "we want to have for-sale product at the Yards," hence the potential deal. The zoning filings say that "Parcel O will be developed in 2014/2015 and construction on Parcel O is expected to be completed by 2016/2017."
I've asked for further detail on this, which I may or may not get anytime soon, and I will update when I receive more.
Other tidbits that came out of the hearing:
* Forest City is in the process of hiring an architect to design a residential building for Parcel H, which is the western half of the parking lot on the southeast corner of 1st and N, directly across from Nationals Park and north of DC Water. There appears to be a desire to develop that site within the next couple of years.
* The company expects the demolition of the NGA building at 1st and M to take approximately six months, and that the reconfiguration of the block to include the trapeze school, a new park on the north end, and a slightly shrunken parking lot would be completed by the end of 2014.
* The new park, which with the rest of the block would be a temporary use until office buildings are constructed, has enough open green space that Forest City expects to work with the BID to activate it for some sorts of smaller sports activities (bocce and kickball yes, softball probably not).
Oh, and the commission voted 5-0 to approve the special exceptions to allow trapeze school and parking lot on the south end of the 1st and M block, on the sites technically known as Parcels F and G. (The park would be on Parcel A.) There was some back-and-forth about the need for trees on the site--they weren't included in the plans because Forest City expects buildings to eventually replace the temporary uses, but Forest City has agreed to work with DDOT and the Office of Planning on the issue, and the zoning commissioners did not feel it warranted delaying their vote.
UPDATE: In my haste to get this posted, I should have mentioned that the original Yards plans did include a condo project--a plan to have PN Hoffman convert Building 202, the red brick building at 5th and M east of what's now Twelve12. But that project has seemed to stall.
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More posts: Development News, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards, Yards/Parcel O, zoning
 

In a nice break from its evaluations of boxy 13-story buildings, the Zoning Commission this week has on its agenda two cases dealing with somewhat unusual development requests at the Yards.
The first, which is being heard tonight, has to do with the reconfiguration of the block at 1st and M streets SE after spooky Building 213 gets demolished sometime in the coming months.
As I wrote back in December, Forest City is wanting to move Trapeze School New York from its current 4th and Tingey location to the northwest corner of New Jersey and Tingey, shrink and reconfigure the existing 1st Street parking lot by 22 spaces, and build a temporary public park on the north half of the block. (The overview drawing at right can help you visualize this.)
The parking lot and the trapeze school move each require zoning approvals for these new temporary five-year uses--if you want the serious details on why, and the evaluation of the zoning rules therein, read the Office of Planning report.
ANC 6D and the Office of Planning have both supported this request, and this week the National Capital Planning Commission is adding its support.
So, in honor of what apparently will be a year of change on this block, I've built a Yards Parcel A project page, to be sure that Building 213's soulless windowless existence (and its brief ArtYards fling with color) is not forgotten.
The second zoning request, to be heard on Thursday, Feb. 6, is to amend the text of the Southeast Federal Center Overlay to allow "veterinary boarding hospital and veterinary hospital uses" subject to a number of conditions within the footprint of the Yards.
This text is being added because of apparent interest from a veterinary hospital in leasing space in the ground floor of the soon-to-be completed Twelve12 apartment building at 4th and Tingey, and the SEFC overlay does not specifically allow veterinary services, so it has to be spelled out.
And it's not a surprise that a vet is looking at the area--the Office of Planning report sites a Capitol Riverfront BID survey saying that 40 percent of neighborhood residents have pets.
The Office and Planning and ANC 6D also support this request.
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More posts: The Yards, Parcel A/Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards, zoning
 

ArtYardsDC, the project that has been breathing a bit of life into the spooky old National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building at 1st and M SE for the past few weeks, is coming to a close this weekend.
For the finale they are presenting "Illuminated Ops," which will project three specially commissioned video art pieces more than five stories tall and twice as wide onto the NGA building's façade at New Jersey and N/Tingey. There will also be custom audio tracks, and the Wonka Factory-like NGA gate at New Jersey and Tingey will be open so that viewers can get up close to the building should they wish.
The display begins at 6 pm for the next three nights, starting tonight (Thursday, Dec. 12). The images seen here are stills provided by Forest City Washington showing what the video projections should look like.
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More posts: Events, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

While I keep trying to get myself reacquainted with blogging (a process that clearly is not proceeding smoothly), I'm going to cheat and go with some Tidbits lists every so often, so that at least I can feel like I'm getting the spigot working better, even if it's still sputtering. Also, I have to get used to all these events, specials, and activities, which didn't used to be part of the Near Southeast blogging landscape.
* The BID reports in its latest newsletter that the Canal Park ice rink is scheduled to open on Monday, Dec. 16. And speaking of the park, if you haven't wandered by, you may not know that Christmas trees and wreaths are for sale there this year. See the market web site for details.
* On Saturday (Dec. 7), the 11th Street Bridge Park project is holding two "community design meetings" that will provide an update about the project and break out attendees into smaller groups to work on ideas. A nationwide design competition for the project is expected to be launched early in 2014. The bridge park itself is expected to cost $35 million, which at this point is mostly unfunded. One meeting is at 200 I Street SE from 2 pm to 6 pm (details and RSVP here) but there is also a morning meeting. (via DCist)
* ArtYards has the Chalk a Lot street art event on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 7-8) at the NGA parking lot, 1st and M SE. And see also this Going Out Guide look at the ArtYards project.
* Osteria Morini is now open for lunch, and here's the menu. Plus there's Happy Hour specials now, too, from 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday. And Post food critic Tom Sietsema took a First Bite there earlier this week.
* Bluejacket is going big with its first New Year's Eve celebration. For your $160 ticket, you'll get an open bar for all Bluejacket brews, plus a DJ and "passed bites." Then there will be a champagne toast as part of the ceremonial midnight keg drop. (No, seriously.) And Bluejacket/Arsenal is now open for lunch, too, and is serving Sunday brunch from 11 to 3, but you probably already know these things.
* VIDA Fitness, coming to the Twelve12 building at the Yards in 2014, is now offering membership pre-sales. Their site says that the Penthouse Pool Club will open on July 1, 2014 and the VIDA Fitness itself on Aug. 25, 2014.
* If you want to look a little farther into the future: WMATA has scoped out the subway alignments it would like to pursue as part of its 2040 "core configuration" plan. How would you feel about a new Blue and Yellow line under 2nd Street from Union Station, turning west with a station at New Jersey and I before heading to Virginia? (It would also run under M Street NW from Georgetown to New York Avenue.) I can't wait to set out from my retirement home with my brain-embedded camera to take photos of this project.
 

With the currently be-muraled former NGA building at 1st and M Street SE expected to be demolished early in 2014, Forest City Washington is making plans for temporary uses for that block while it works on longer-range plans to build office and retail space on the site, which is at the northwest corner of the Yards footprint.
To that end, the company has filed a request for the Zoning Commission's approval of a temporary (unfenced!) park/open space along M between New Jersey and 1st, as well as the relocation of the Trapeze School from its current location at 4th and Tingey to the northwest corner of New Jersey and N/Tingey.
There would also remain a parking lot on the site, but it would be shifted to just the southwest corner of the block, and would have 208 spaces instead of the 230 currently there. Access to the lot would be from N Street. (At the same time, because of DC Water's ongoing construction, the parking lot immediately to the south across N would be losing 50 spaces, down to 344.)
As you can (kind of) see in the site plan, there would be a path running from northeast to southwest across the park, making for a nice shortcut to the ballpark for fans coming out of the Metro at New Jersey and M. And it would give the four corners of this block a slightly different feel than the current vistas:
The filing says that the Trapeze School needs to be moved not only because the zoning order allowing it to be on its current site expires at the end of 2014, but also because development is planned for that 4th and Tingey site ("Parcel O") to be completed by 2016/2017. It also says that Parcel H, on the southeast corner of 1st and N where the Yards "tent" display and parking lot is, is expected to be developed beginning in 2015, and that an RFP process is currently underway to select an architect. This would be another residential building with street-level retail.
There is no timeline laid out for when this NGA block is expected to be fully developed, though it's always been expected to be part of the final phase of the Yard's planned 10-to-20-year timeline.
UPDATE: Speaking of the be-muraled building and the ArtYards project going on at this block, there will be a "Chalk Art Street Festival" at the site this weekend (Dec. 7 and 8). There will be hot chocolate and treats, along with lots of chalk for kids of all ages to create their own masterpieces on the parking lot.
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More posts: The Yards, Parcel A/Yards, zoning
 

Covering cultural events is not quite my forte (plus I've got some other stuff going on this week), but since people might wonder why the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building at 1st and M SE is suddenly awash in color, I'll pass along that it is an "Art Takeover" known as ArtYardsDC, running through Dec. 14.
Quoting from the official site (because I really *am* lazy), I can tell you that this project will bring "seven internationally renowned artists to turn the building and its surroundings into a massive, evolving canvas."
It officially started this morning, as many of you might have seen, when 111 gallons of paint were poured down the M Street facade, as you can see in this photo taken from Gordon Biersch and all manner of shots in the Yards Twitter feed and via the #artyardsdc hashtag.
As part of all of this, there is scheduled a two-night "Silent Disco at the Yards," this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 22 and 23) at 9 pm on the mezzanine level of the Boilermaker Shops. Everyone gets a set of wireless headphones and can choose their music from the three DJs working simultaneously. (You crazy kids and your crazy technology!) There is a $10 cover, which will be donated to BUILD Metro DC. It's a 21-and-over shindig, and there are cash bars.
There will be other numerous events as well, so keep checking the official web site for details.
And maybe I'll actually get down there and get some pictures.
This is all in advance of the NGA building being demolished sometime in early 2014. Which is the event I'm really waiting for!
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More posts: Events, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

There's a bit of news on one of my favorite buildings to rag on over the years, the all-but-windowless formerly armed encampment at 1st and M that housed the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and other spook-ish groups over the years before it was vacated in 2011.
You may have seen the holes punched into the side of the building recently, but if you're fearing that any work is a precursor to the brown-and-white structure being salvaged and redeveloped, don't worry your pretty little heads.
Yards developer Forest City has passed along word that after the current environmental remediation is finished late this summer, the former Building 213 will then be going off to meet its maker. It will cease to be. Bereft of life, it will rest in peace. (Sorry, I'm a bit punchy tonight.)
Demolition, once started, is expected to take about six months.
As the northwestern edge of the Yards, this prime corner spot just northeast of Nats Park will eventually see new construction, most likely an office building.
But that's a good ways off--in the meantime there will continue to be parking on the site, and Forest City is also looking at maybe putting in some grassy areas both as open space and possible special events uses, though their plans aren't firm as yet.
And it also will be a bit different to be able to see well into the Yards when standing at 1st and M instead of looking at the remnants of a cloak and dagger operation.
(And, for the record, I'm allowed to be snarky about this place. Back in 2005 the guards there called DC cops to chase me down on 1st Street when I was taking photos in the opposite direction of the building, never having once taken any shots of 213 itself. And I did get tired over the years of seeing them reach for their guns as I walked by their fence with camera in hand.)
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More posts: Development News, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards
 

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.]
 
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