Arena Stage Looms Large
Progress was made in 2009 towards creating the city's very own Consolidated Forensic Lab (CFL), but not without delays. On the progress front, MPD's First District moved in April from their old building on 4th Street to their new headquarters on M Street at the former Bowen Elementary School. This move would allow the old headquarters building to be demolished and replaced by the CFL. The city then named Whiting-Turner the contractor for the construction project. However, after the announcement, the mayor had to withdraw the contract after an appeals court ruled that the Mayor skirted city laws when awarding the contract. After more than a five month delay, the city's appellate board dismissed the case a rival contractor had against Whiting-Turner and the city was free to re-award the contract to the same contractor in November and start interior demolition in December. The CFL is now scheduled to open in 2012. Above is a rendering of the CFL, from the CFL website.
Several parcels in Southwest were leveled during the past year, but not replaced with new buildings, in order to wait for the recovery of the economy. For example, Vornado demolished the Bernstein Liquors building and other small structures at South Capitol and M Street and paved over the site to serve as a parking lot. Eventually, the developer has plans for a mixed-use project. Along South Capitol Street, the Ruben Companies demolished a gas station and the old Taco Bell/KFC site in September to make way for their planned 1101 South Capitol Street office building, which hasn't gotten underway yet. In December, the old Market Inn restaurant was demolished and will most likely be replaced by an office building. Also in December, interior demolition started at the old First District headquarters building on 4th Street. Above is a photo of the lot owned by the Ruben Companies on South Capitol Street, which was taken this fall after the Exxon gas station on the site was demolished.
Engine 13 Not That Unlucky
Bellevue will soon get a new library. The new Washington Highlands library was designed by London architect David Adjaye and will be located at 115 Atlantic Street. Once the community saw the plans for the library, there was some criticism of the design. The new library will be three stories tall, contain approximately 20,000 square feet of space, and will aim for LEED-Silver certification. By the spring of 2011, the new library should be open. Above is a rendering of the Washington Highlands Library, from the DCPL website.
L'Enfant Promenade Renovations Begin
Back in November, the JBG Companies began a $40 renovation of the retail promenade at L'Enfant Plaza. The first phase of renovations will be complete in 2011 and will bring a revamped food court to the corridor nearest the Metro entrance. Subsequent phases of the renovation will include a new sculptural glass entryway and expanded retail options. In addition, the developer has plans to expand L'Enfant Plaza by building two new office buildings, an extended-stay hotel, and an apartment building. Above is a rendering of the renovated food court area, courtesy of JBG.
Southeastern University Shuts Its Doors