Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pub, Live Music Venue, and Ethnic Cuisine Announced for The Wharf

The Wharf continues to roll out its restaurant and entertainment lineup for the first phase of development which is scheduled to open starting in October 2017. Four new establishments have been announced: 
  • The Brighton: A “high-energy” waterfront pub by the Hilton brothers, who are known for places such as The Gibson at 14th and U streets NW and Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown. 
  • Pearl Street Warehouse: A small-format, live music venue and tavern on Pearl Street, an east-west alley running parallel to Maine Avenue by Nick Fontana, Bruce Gates and Henry Gandy, the owners of Cantina Marina. 
  • Kaliwa: An Asian fusion restaurant on Pearl Street with Filipino, Thai, and Korean cuisine by Cathal Armstrong. 
  • A yet-to-be-named Indian concept by chef K.N. Vinod and Surfy Rahman, who operates Indique and Bombay Bistro. 

These are in addition to the other restaurants and retailers announced in recent months. So far, there are 16 confirmed retail tenants. Needless to say, these new dining options will vastly change the restaurant scene in Southwest! 

Rendering courtesy of The Wharf

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Groundbreaking for St. Matthew's Mixed-Use Project

On Sunday, September 11, community leaders, members from St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, project developers, and the community at-large gathered at a lot on the corner of M Street and Delaware Avenue for a groundbreaking ceremony. The groundbreaking ceremony was for a new St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. Speakers at the event included Pastor Philip Huber of St. Matthew’s, Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen, Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, and Chris Roth from Trammell Crow, one of the developer partners in the deal. 

In designing the project, architecture firm Shalom Baranes Associates placed the apartment building on the west side of the site and the church at the corner of Delaware Avenue and M Street, in order to preserve what is left of the view shed along Delaware Avenue north to the Capitol dome. The new St. Matthew's will be constructed with stacked stone masonry and colored glass will be inset using cut glass from the old church building that will form an image - perhaps an image of the giving of the Holy Spirit. Glass will be back-lit so it will be illuminated at night. The square immediately to the right of the base of the cross on the M Street fa├žade is a large window that will allow people to see into the sanctuary, look through to the baptistery, and into the courtyard in the back. Architecturally it conveys that St. Matthew’s is open to the community and welcomes everyone to venture inside. The sidewalk will have an indenture at the window with a backless bench, so people can "sit a while" and rest while looking into the interior space. The green panel to the right of the window (and left of the door) is the exterior wall of the sacristy and is where the name of the church will be located. There will be 10,000 SF of community space and meeting rooms, as well as the Thurgood & Cecilia Marshall Southwest DC Community Center and Sacred Grounds Cafe. 

Meanwhile, the apartment building is shaped like the letter L, with an 11-story building fronting M Street and an 8-story building on the west side perpendicular to M Street. Approximately 220 residences are planned, with 10% set aside under inclusionary zoning as affordable housing. The apartments are not affiliated with St. Matthew's, so anyone can apply to rent a unit. There will be metal cladding on the apartment building along with two-story metal panels. Design cues for the building were taken from neighboring residences like River Park and Waterfront Tower, and the incorporation of a courtyard was done to fit in with the Southwest building style of having apartments frame courtyards. Approximately six private patios will be on the ground level for tenants. Other apartment amenities include a fitness center, lounge, screening room, and two levels of below-grade parking. 

Local landscape architectural firm Oculus has designed the courtyard - the same firm that designed the Waterfront Station Metro plaza. The courtyard area will be shared between the church and apartment building with a seating area and a shallow pool that will be connected to the fellowship hall of the church. There will be a bosque of trees in the center of the courtyard and a paved area in front, facing Delaware Avenue. A landscaped buffer will be installed along Delaware Avenue to shield the outdoor space and provide some security. The existing trees on the site will be maintained on three sides, including along Delaware Avenue, the western border with 240 M Street, and on the south. New landscaping will be planted on M Street. Parking will be accessed via Delaware Avenue and loading will be done on M Street. All main pedestrian entrances (for the church, community center, and apartment building) will be on M Street. 

It will take about two years to build the project. Construction completion is expected before the end of 2018.

Renderings courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Monday, September 19, 2016

Compromise Reached in Eisenhower Memorial Design

Plans for the Eisenhower Memorial will move forward now that the Eisenhower family has expressed their support for the Frank Gehry-designed memorial, to be located on Maryland Avenue between 4th and 6th streets. The project has been delayed since there were disagreements about the design for Eisenhower Square, a four-acre park where the memorial will be located, which includes metal tapestries and bronze statues depicting Eisenhower during his military days as Supreme Allied Commander and as president. Modifications to the memorial include a representation of the D-Day landings in Normandy on the tapestries and a renewed focus on Eisenhower’s home state of Kansas, incorporating one of his famous quotes, “The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.” 

Fundraising is underway for the memorial with the goal of dedicating it on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019. 

Rendering courtesy of Eisenhower Memorial Commission

Monday, September 12, 2016

Italian Market Purveyor Announced for The Wharf

Back in 2015, a PUD filed for Parcel 1 and the area in and around the Municipal Fish Market mentioned space for a market hall with an “Italian butcher/deli and large market hall/restaurant.” Now we know who will operate the market hall space. It was announced that Nick Stefanelli, which opened Masseria at Union Market in NE last year, will operate the Italian market at The Wharf. The planned three-story building along Maine Avenue will contain nearly 12,000 SF of space, as well as a 5,600 SF private roof deck. In addition to the roof deck, the concept includes an artisanal Italian Market with a salumeria, cheese cave, and butcher shop, among other things, and a trattoria on the second floor with an exclusive 12-seat table in the wine cellar. 

Stefanelli's market hall is scheduled to open by the spring of 2018, a few months after the first phase of The Wharf is expected to deliver. 

Renderings courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Demo Permit Application Filed for Riverside Baptist

A demolition permit application was filed last month for Riverside Baptist Church, located at 6th Street and Maine Avenue. Back in March, the Zoning Commission approved the PUD for the site, which will be redeveloped with a new Riverside Baptist Church and a 173-unit apartment building. The church’s location will shift south to the intersection of 6th Street and Maine Avenue while the apartment building will be located at 6th and I streets. About 10% of the apartment units will be set aside as affordable housing for households earning up to 50%, 80% and 100% of Area Median Income. There will be space on the ground floor of the apartment building for community-serving uses, such as a daycare center. 

Construction on the project is expected to start before the end of the year with completion in 2018. 

Rendering courtesy of PN Hoffman

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Living Hope Church Site For Sale

A for-sale sign has gone up in recent weeks on the Living Hope First United Pentecostal Church of Washington DC, located at 1200 1st Street. (H/T to reader @MichaelMills_DC) It is located next to James Creek and across the street from the DMV. According to the listing on LoopNet, the church was built in 1957 with an elevator added in 2002 and new windows in 2011. It is approximately 7,500 SF and contains a fellowship hall, office space, commercial kitchen and baptismal pool. The sanctuary seats over 260 people. 

Prior to Living Hope, the church was home to Second Baptist Church Southwest, which originally built the church in 1957 after purchasing the site from the Housing Authority – it was last for sale in 2012 when Second Baptist moved from the space to District Heights, Maryland. It appears that Second Baptist still owns the church and is leasing it to Living Hope. The current sale price is $1.6 million and the property is zoned R-4. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Revised Stadium PUD Application

Last week, D.C. United submitted a revised PUD application for their planned 19,000-seat, LEED-Gold stadium on Buzzard Point and released new renderings via social media. Compare to the original filing from January.  The application was revised based on comments from the Zoning Commission back in the spring. In their letter to the Zoning Commission, submitted with the application, the team identifies two major changes to the stadium design, including: 
  • A two-way private street will run along the east side of the stadium site. This street is an extension of 1st Street and will be open to the public on non-game days, but closed on days when D.C. United has a match. The street will allow a pedestrian and vehicular connection north-south through the site. It will be 23 feet wide with sidewalks on both sides of the street, ranging from 13 feet to 30 feet. South of S Street, there will only be a sidewalk on the west side of the street. On the south side of the stadium site, there will be a coffee shop and the team offices. 
1st Street extension (stadium is at left)
Main entry gate (1st Street extension & Potomac Avenue)
  • The PUD boundary now includes the large plaza located on the northeast portion of the stadium site near the main entrance. The southern edge of the plaza will have a canopy park with trees, seating area and structural canopies for vendors to use or for farmers’ markets. In the middle of the plaza, there will be a sculpture with the letters “D.C. United”. On non-game days, the D.C. United sculpture letters will be surrounded by a splash fountain. The plaza will be activated on match day with a variety of activities, including food trucks and other food vendors, merchandise sales, sponsor booths, kids zone, games like soccer tennis, beer garden, tailgating, live music, and a broadcast set, a la College Gameday. Other yard games will be held on an adjacent parcel (Parcel B) where future development is planned. 

Plaza area on match day
In addition to these major changes, D.C. United addressed some other issues, such as: 
  • 3,950 parking spaces in the vicinity of the stadium have been identified for use by D.C. United on game days. These include many of the same surface lots and garages used for Nationals games, as well as street parking. There will be zero parking spaces in the stadium. 
  • Pedestrian routes to the stadium have been identified – most fans will use Potomac Avenue via South Capitol Street and 1st Street SE. 
  • Development on the adjacent Parcel B will likely start in 1-2 years and may include multiple uses, including a hotel, office, ground floor retail, and/or event space. 
Concept rendering of Parcel B, south of large plaza
  • The revised drawings are more clear, refined and have more color. 
  • Along 2nd Street on the west side of the stadium, parklets will be installed which will include seating areas and bike parking. 
  • There will be 83 bicycle parking spaces and a bike valet at the corner of 2nd and T streets holding up to 150 bikes. 

Below are a few more renderings.

Team store on R Street
Staff entry and ticket office on 1st Street extension
NW entry gate at 2nd and R streets
If approved by the Zoning Commission, construction of the stadium could start before the end of the year and be ready in time for the 2018 MLS season. Demolition was completed earlier this summer.

Renderings courtesy of D.C. United and Populous

Update: The WBJ (subscribers only) reports that the team will issue a RFP for the 2-acre Parcel B within the coming weeks to a select pool of developers, but construction will not start at least until the end of the inaugural season at the new stadium in 2018. However, that timetable could be pushed up based on market forces. 

Photo Tour Part Three: Museums

There are currently two museums under construction in Southwest. Construction on The Museum of the Bible at 4th and D streets started in 2015. The 430,000 square-foot Museum of the Bible will include three exhibit floors that will tell the impact, narrative, and history of the Bible. Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2017.

Over on 10th Street at L'Enfant Plaza, construction began this summer on the site of the relocated International Spy Museum. The new International Spy Museum will occupy 140,000 SF, much larger than the current facility in Penn Quarter and will allow for three levels of permanent exhibition space in addition to event space. It's scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.

Renderings courtesy of SmithGroupJJR and Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners

Monday, August 29, 2016

Photo Tour Part Two: Parcel 11 & Waterfront Park

Parcel 11 at The Wharf is further along than the other portions of phase one of development. 525 Condos started settlements in late July while St. Augustine's Church will have its convocation service celebrating its grand opening in September. Utility work is complete at Waterfront Park and some vertical construction is now evident - the large trellis has now been built.

Kitchen in model unit in 525 Water
Living room in 525 Water model unit

525 Water lobby area

Street access to units at 525 Water
Trellis at Waterfront Park
St. Augustine's Church

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Photo Tour Part One: The Wharf

Last weekend, I took a lot of pictures around the neighborhood to capture most of the major construction projects. First up is The Wharf. The buildings in phase one are getting closer and closer to their maximum height. Looking across from Hains Point, the waterfront skyline has changed significantly. The only building that hasn't reached above street level yet is 1000 Maine Avenue. Aside from 525 Water and St. Augustine's church, the Parcel 4 buildings are furthest along, with glass going up on VIO condos and brick appearing on the exterior of the apartment building facing Maine Avenue.

1000 Maine, Wharf Hall & apartments
District Pier & Intercontinental Hotel

Hyatt House & Canopy by Hilton
VIO condos

Here are a few photos of the buildings looking from Maine Avenue:

Wharf Hall & apartments 
800 Maine
Parcel 4 apartments
Hyatt House & Canopy by Hilton