Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Construction Begins at The View at Waterfront

Construction fencing started going up in early August around the two parking lots for The View at Waterfront apartments at 6th and K and 6th and M streets, located between Arena Stage and Waterfront Station. Last week, demolition of the parking lots began, which will make way for two new mid-rise apartment buildings with 276 units (h/t to reader Alexander for the scoop that demolition had begun). Back in the spring, some upgrades were made to the courtyard between the Pei buildings. There will also be courtyards between the Pei and new buildings. Each will be about 57 feet wide. 

K St. side of The View
M St. side of The View

Mill Creek Realty Trust owns The View and is developing the new apartment buildings. Parking for the new construction and the existing I.M. Pei-designed apartment buildings will be below-grade. The M Street building will have some ground floor retail. Both buildings are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019 while leasing will commence in the second half of 2018. 

Construction of The View joins 301 M Street, The Eliot on 4th, and the St. Matthew's site (its groundbreaking will be on September 11), which are all in the vicinity of Waterfront Station. In addition, there are three apartment buildings and two condominium projects underway at The Wharf (525 Water received its certificate of occupation last month). Other multifamily buildings that may get underway in 2016 around the quadrant include The Portals (1200-block of Maryland Avenue), Riverside Baptist Church at 7th Street and Maine Avenue, and the addition at Capitol Park Tower (4th and G streets).

Rendering courtesy of SK&I Architecture

St. Matthew's Groundbreaking Set for September 11

A ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Sunday, September 11 for the new St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran church and apartments, planned for the intersection of Delaware Avenue and M Street. The event will be held at the lot at 222 M Street starting at 11:30am. It will be a festive occasion open to the public and will include a BBQ, along with a DJ, face painting, and other family-friendly activities.

Utility work for the project has been underway on Delaware Avenue since June. Once construction begins, it will take about two years to finish the church and apartment building, putting completion sometime in late 2018.

Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Friday, August 19, 2016

Case Bridge Illumination Ceremony

Last night at a lighting ceremony held on District Pier at The Wharf, Mayor Bowser had the honor of pressing a big button to illuminate the Case Bridge over the Washington Channel. The bridge now has a blue light strip along the south-facing side of the bridge and soft white lights highlighting the stonework on the pillars. The reflection of the blue light strip gives the waters of the Washington Channel near the bridge a blue hue. Citelum designed the LED lighting scheme for the bridge. Accompanying the unveiling was a fireworks show - below is a video clip.


The new lighting scheme on the Case Bridge is permanent (minus the fireworks) and is part of the two billion dollar transformation of the Southwest waterfront to The Wharf. Blue lighting will also be located along the Wharf promenade. Over the next year or so, other components of The Wharf will be coming online, including Waterfront Park, a revamped Municipal Fish Market, Wharf Hall concert venue, three apartment buildings, two condominium buildings (525 Water delivered last month), two office buildings, three hotels, several restaurants and other retail, a new St. Augustine's Church, as well as a water taxi service, public piers and marina.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Transpoint Building to be Redeveloped as Riverpoint

The former Coast Guard headquarters building at 2100 2nd Street in Buzzard Point is slated to be redeveloped as a mixed-use project with apartments, condos, and 80,000 SF of retail. Per the Washington Business Journal, a development team including Akridge Development, Western Development, Jefferson Apartment Group, Orr Partners, and Redbrick LMD will take on the Transpoint Building project, which has been renamed Riverpoint. From the article: 
Riverpoint is slated to include roughly 425 apartment units and 110 condo units, Orr said, though that mix could change, and the team is in the midst of screening architects. Early plans are to add a floor or two to the 609,265-square-foot building and to seek permission for some restaurants to extend onto the waterfront or even float on the Anacostia River, though those details are still being worked out. 
This is one of two office buildings in Buzzard Point that are planned to convert to residential. Earlier this year, Douglas Development filed plans with the Zoning Commission to convert an office building on Half Street to 462 apartment units and 24,032 SF of retail space. Riverpoint is located just to the south of 100 V Street, an empty lot owned by Akridge that was partially taken by the city through eminent domain to build the new D.C. United stadium. Previously, 100 V Street was envisioned as an office campus for a federal tenant; however, the changing dynamic of Buzzard Point and a soccer stadium next door will likely mean those development plans will be altered. With 100 V Street and Riverpoint, Akridge will have a large presence in Buzzard Point. 

Construction of Riverpoint could start within 12 months, adding to the bevy of construction activity coming to Buzzard Point over the next 2-3 years, including Douglas’ project, a new D.C. United stadium, Pepco substation, Marina View condos and a new Frederick Douglass Bridge and traffic oval.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

525 Water Begins Settlements

The first units have settled at 525 Water, one of the condo buildings at The Wharf. According to the Washington Business Journal, four units have settled so far, and all of them belong to leadership at PN Hoffman, the master developer of the mega project on the Southwest waterfront. More than 50 percent of the units at 525 Water have sold so far, which means that settlements can begin. The article states that the building received its certificate of occupancy within the past week. 525 Water is part of Parcel 11 at The Wharf, which will be the first buildings to deliver in phase one. The new St. Augustine’s will open its doors next month with a convocation service on September 24. The remaining buildings in phase one from 7th Street to the Municipal Fish Market will deliver in the fall of 2017.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Buzzard Point Construction Activity

A stroll down 2nd Street in Buzzard Point reveals a much changed landscape. In two years, there will be a new Pepco Waterfront substation and a D.C. United soccer stadium, but for now, the area is a large construction zone. Hardly any buildings exist from Q Street to T Street, save for the historic Dent house at the corner of 2nd and R streets, which is owned by Pepco and will be preserved while they build their new substation. The Pepco substation construction is further along – digging has reached 15 feet below grade and excavation is complete with the foundation being poured (see above photo). Construction should be complete by June 2017. 

Looking NE toward Nationals Park from S Street
Meanwhile, demolition of existing structures at the D.C. United stadium site is complete and utility work is about to begin. The District is responsible for horizontal development, so the District’s portion of the process will be complete this fall.  A demolition ceremony was held in April when Mayor Bowser helped take down a metal-clad building at 2nd and S streets. Once utility work is complete and D.C. United finishes the PUD process for the design of the stadium, the team will be responsible for building the stadium, along with implementing the environmental remediation plan the District devised. The latest estimate of when construction could begin is the end of 2016 with the stadium opening in 2018. 

Both projects are happening simultaneously, so the two are coordinating a traffic control plan with phased street closures as delivery trucks haul away dirt and bring in concrete. There will be an enforced work zone around Buzzard Point with a 15 MPH speed limit in the area; cameras will be set up by MPD; and no construction trucks will be allowed in the residential neighborhood north of Q Street. The traffic consultant from Dewberry presented phase one of the Traffic Control Plan at Monday’s ANC meeting, which involves street closures at Potomac Avenue, Half Street, and R Street.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Parcel 11 Update

Construction will be wrapping up at the new St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in the next couple of months. On Wednesday, September 24, the church will celebrate its reopening with a convocation, starting at 4pm. Meanwhile, 525 Water condos are approaching 50% pre-sold and the building is open for unit tours. Move-ins are scheduled to start this summer. These are the first buildings at The Wharf that will be completed. Infrastructure work continues at Waterfront Park, a three-acre open space adjacent to 525 Water, and construction should be completed either late this year or by early next year. The remaining buildings in phase one are supposed to be complete in the fall of 2017.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Breaking: STC and Erkiletian to Withdraw The Bard PUD Application

Erkiletian Development and Shakespeare Theatre Company announced this morning that they have withdrawn their PUD application for 501 I Street. Known as The Bard, the project would incorporate administrative, educational, and rehearsal space as well as a costume design shop for Shakespeare, as well as actor and fellow housing and an apartment building. The development team plans to resubmit the application this fall. From the press release: 
The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Erkiletian Development is committed to staying in the District of Columbia and Southwest DC, and will continue working with community leaders and neighbors on a building that meets the requirements articulated through the planning process.
Last week, the development team submitted a revised PUD with additional community benefits. Community opposition and the Office of Planning's recommendation that the project not get a set-down hearing may have prompted the PUD withdrawal.  Stay tuned...

Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More Community Benefits Added to Bard PUD

An amendment was filed last week to the Planned Unit Development (PUD) application for The Bard, a planned development at 501 I Street by Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) and Erkiletian. These amendments are the result of meetings with the community and the ANC to discuss community benefits. These new benefits are in addition to those previously included in the PUD. Below is a summary of the additional benefits proffered by the development team: 
  • The number of Inclusionary Zoning units has increased by two to 11, which is set aside for households earning up to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). 
  • Two units at 40% of AMI will be set aside for at least 10 years for top leadership and teaching talent at neighboring Amidon-Bowen Elementary School and Jefferson Academy. 
  • STC will create a long-term curriculum with Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson, including live performances twice a year at each school and after school programming twice a week. 
  • STC will bring up to 100 students and teachers to one STC production each year for free, including bus transportation.
Whether these proposed additions will be sufficient to the vocal opposition to this project remains to be seen. The Office of Planning has recommended that a set-down hearing not be scheduled for the project since the proposal is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan or the Southwest Neighborhood Plan. Those plans call for institutional uses or moderate density, but the proposed mixed use building would vary in height between four and seven stories, which is inconsistent with moderate density.

Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Adios Z-Burger, Eliot Getting Closed Up

At Waterfront Station, a new sign is up outside of the restaurant formerly known as Z-Burger. It is now called All About Burger. The Southwest location was one of four former Z-Burger restaurants that were affected by a settlement agreement between the ownership groups. In addition to the new sign, the beverage cups no longer have the Z-Burger logo. Otherwise, the restaurant decor and the menu don’t look much different than they did before.

Up the street from All About Burger, Eliot on 4th has most of its windows now installed on the 4th Street side of the building. What's not shown in the above photo is the red facade that's now being placed on the south-facing facade. The 365-unit apartment building is scheduled to open in early 2017 with about 5,000 SF of ground floor retail.