Friday, February 24, 2017

Mi Vida Added to Roster of District Wharf Restaurants

Add Mexican to the list of cuisine to be offered at District Wharf. It was announced that KNEAD Hospitality + Design will be partnering with NY-based Chef Roberto Santibañez to open a new concept called Mi Vida (a term of endearment meaning “my life” in Spanish) this November. It will be located near the entrance to The Anthem concert venue along Wharf Street. The 9,500 SF restaurant will seat 400 with multiple private dining rooms and patio seating. From the press release: 
Mi Vida will raise the bar for Mexican cuisine in Washington, DC and will offer a menu inspired by street food and traditional Mexican home cooking but in a modern, elevated presentation. He plans to serve his take on Mexico City’s famous rotisseries and will feature chicken, beef and pork in unique preparations.  
The design of Mi Vida will incorporate The Wharf’s industrial aesthetic and infuse it with contemporary and historic Mexican décor. Décor will include a modern take on Mexico’s traditional “Árbol de la Vida” or tree of life, an intricate clay sculpture telling Biblical or historic stories.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Eliot on 4th Almost Ready to Open

The placeholder website for the 365-unit Eliot on 4th apartments has been replaced with one that gives more information about the building, which will soon open at Waterfront Station. Floorplans are available, as well as photos of the model apartment units and renderings of the amenity spaces. In-unit features include wood flooring throughout, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, Moen fixtures, quartz countertops, glass tile kitchen backsplash, undercabinet lighting, pantries, Bosch front-loaded washers & dryers, illuminated bathroom vanity mirrors, balconies, elfa-organized walk-in closets, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Project amenities include a fitness center, two clubrooms, saltwater rooftop pool and sundeck, roof lounge, café area, indoor lounges, multiple courtyard spaces, resident and bike storage, and 24/7 concierge service. Move-ins begin on April 1 and leasing is expected to begin shortly. 

I am also hearing that one of the retail spaces on the ground floor of the building may be occupied by Cosmopolitan Nail Lounge, which is also opening at another Forest City building at The Yards in Near SE/Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ANC Softens Tone on D.C. United Stadium PUD Ahead of Zoning Commission Meeting

In a letter sent to the Zoning Commission late last month, ANC 6D stated that progress has been made on addressing the major concerns the body had with the D.C. United stadium PUD, including environmental and transportation issues. Since the last Zoning Commission meeting, the ANC met with D.C. United to discuss these issues and as a result, an additional community benefit was secured in the form of a $50,000 contribution to BreatheDC, which will help purchase and distribute air purifiers to homes near the stadium site. Air quality monitoring continues to be an issue and the frequency of baiting traps for vermin stirred up due to construction. On the transportation front, some hurdles remain, including the lack of coordination between the team and the Nationals on scheduling; insufficient number of parking spaces reserved at lots used for Nationals games; and routing stadium traffic through residential streets. However, a preliminary Traffic Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP) has been developed, as well as the possibility of water taxi service to Diamond Teague Park in Neat SE. The ANC stopped short of supporting the PUD mainly due to lingering transportation issues. The Zoning Commission will likely give final approval to the PUD tomorrow evening after giving preliminary approval in December. 

Speaking of D.C. United, if you didn't notice in the renderings, it was announced today that the team has sold the naming rights to the stadium to Audi of America. The Buzzard Point stadium will now be known as Audi Field (at least the Audi colors match the team's...). If the PUD is approved at tomorrow’s Zoning Commission hearing, construction will begin shortly and Audi Field is scheduled to open around June 2018. 

The monthly D.C. United community meeting will be held on February 21 at 6:30pm at King-Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N Street) where an update on the stadium project will be provided.

Update: The Zoning Commission gave final approval to the stadium PUD on Wednesday night. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for February 27 at 3pm to celebrate the start of vertical construction. It will be held on Half Street between R and S streets. Mayor Bowser, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Audi of America President Scott Keogh, D.C. United Managing Partner Jason Levien, Coach Ben Olsen, players, staff and others are expected to attend.

Renderings courtesy of D.C. United

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

More Residential for Waterfront Station?

Since PUD approval for the two Waterfront Station vacant sites at the intersection of 4th and M streets are nearing expiration, Forest City Washington is seeking a two-year extension. The two-year extension may not be necessary if they get approval for a revision to their plans. Even though the two vacant sites were planned as office buildings, about 600 more apartment units may be built instead. David Smith from Forest City Washington made the company’s intention known at tonight’s ANC 6D meeting to revise their PUD to allow residential development. The change was made because office market conditions are currently not favorable in the area and the anticipation is that won't change anytime soon. This isn’t the first time one of the Waterfront Station sites changed uses. The Eliot on 4th apartment building was originally planned as office, but switched to residential for the same reason. 

The switch in use from office to residential would result in no changes to density or height approved in the original PUD, but the design by Perkins Eastman scales down the height of the buildings along 4th Street to match 1100 and 1101 4th Street, which opened in 2010. Each building would be C-shaped with an elevated courtyard space facing M Street and have a green roof. Development plans are still preliminary, but the two proposed residential buildings would each have 17,500 SF of ground floor retail and 17,500 SF of office space on the second floor. The retail and office space would be along M Street and 4th Street. Above the two-level commercial base would be the rental apartment towers. Entrances to the residential buildings would be on the north side on 4th Street while the entrances to the office space would be on M Street. About 8% of the units will be set aside as affordable to residents earning up to 60% of AMI and some of the units would include 2BR and 3BR units to accommodate families. 

Forest City intends to file their modification to the PUD in about two weeks.

Photo from ANC meeting of rendering courtesy of Forest City Washington

Monday, February 13, 2017

Groundbreaking for Riverside Redevelopment

Construction has begun on a new Riverside Baptist Church and a multifamily rental building at 680 I Street. Back in December, demolition started on Riverside, where some of the façade will be used in the new church building. The church will be located at the corner of Maine Avenue and 7th Street while the 173-unit rental building, developed by PN Hoffman, will be at 7th 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. 

This is the first multifamily project to start construction in 2017. Other multifamily projects that are likely to start this year include The Kiley on 4th Street apartments, 1399 Maryland Avenue apartments at The Portals, 1319 South Capitol apartments, Peninsula 88 condos and Riverpoint apartments & condos. According to a press release, construction is expected to be completed at 680 I Street by late 2018. 

Rendering courtesy of PN Hoffman

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pearl Street Warehouse Opening This Fall at District Wharf

More details have been revealed about Pearl Street Warehouse, one of the venues coming to District Wharf’s entertainment street. According to a press release, Pearl Street Warehouse will include a live music venue that can hold up to 300 people and a 40-seat diner serving comfort food all day. There will be a mix of music genres, ranging from Americana, Rock, Country, Blues, Roots, Bluegrass to Alt-Country. Pearl Street Warehouse will be operated by the same team that owns Cantina Marina. 

Pearl Street will be an alley running parallel to Maine Avenue filled with entertainment venues. Other establishments planned so far along Pearl Street include Kaliwa by Cathal Armstrong and Kirwan’s Irish pub. The first phase of District Wharf, along with Pearl Street Warehouse, is scheduled to open this October.

Rendering courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Website Launched for 301 M Street Apartments

A website has launched for 301 M Street apartments, a project currently under construction adjacent to Waterfront Tower condos at Town Center East. Unit features include wood floors, energy efficient appliances and fixtures, large closets, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Project amenities include concierge services, cyber café, community dining room with professional grade appliances and gas stove, roof lounge with a sundeck, lounge chairs, rooftop misters, bike storage and repair workroom, and pet-friendly features such as a dog run and dog wash. There will be space on the ground floor for retail.The 187-unit apartment developed by The Bernstein Companies started construction last spring and is scheduled to be completed next year. 

Renderings courtesy of Maurice Walters Architects

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wharf Hall to be Called The Anthem

The concert venue formerly known as Wharf Hall, planned by the operator of the 9:30 Club has a new name. According to Billboard, the venue will be called The Anthem and will open on October 12, the same date as the rest of phase one of District Wharf, which relaunched their website. Since the stage and backdrop are movable, seating capacity for The Anthem can vary between 2,500 to 6,000 seats, giving the venue an intimate feel. Aside from the moving stage, concert-goers will be able to see part of the rooftop pool on top of The Anthem since the bottom of the pool will be glass. The $60 million I.M.P. venue will be located at 9th Street and Maine Avenue with an entrance along Wharf Street. 

Rendering courtesy of District Wharf

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dentist Practice Moving to Waterfront Station

A dentist office is signed on to occupy the last vacant retail space at the first phase of Waterfront Station. Smile Beautiful Dental is moving their practice from a few blocks north at 631 4th Street to Waterfront Station. The dentist office will be located on the west side of 4th Street next to Station 4 and will take up just under 4,000 SF of space. It is expected to open in the spring. Prior to Smile Beautiful Dental, Enterprise Rent a Car opened a branch on the east side of 4th Street. It took more than six years for the retail space in the initial phase of Waterfront Station to be filled. There’s about 5,000 SF of retail that will become available later this year when Eliot on 4th is completed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Anchor Tenant Signed for 500 L'Enfant

Urban Institute will take 121,000 SF of space at 500 L’Enfant, covering the first six floors of the 12-story office building.  The economic and social policy research nonprofit founded by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 will relocate its headquarters and over 400 employees to L’Enfant Plaza from the West End by March 2019. After the podium for 500 L’Enfant was built, work stopped on the project due to the lack of an anchor tenant. Now that one has been secured, construction is expected to resume in February. Upon completion, 500 L'Enfant will be a LEED-Gold certified, 215,000 SF building with a direct connection to the shops at L'Enfant Plaza and the Metro station by the same name.

In addition to 500 L’Enfant, the former L’Enfant Plaza Hotel is currently undergoing renovations and will reopen in 2018 as the 367-key Hilton Washington DC National Mall hotel. Also scheduled to be completed in 2018 at L’Enfant Plaza is the new home of the International Spy Museum, which will be located along 10th Street. 

Renderings courtesy of ZGF Architects LLP