At tonight’s ANC 6D meeting, representatives from the Hoffman-Madison Marquette Waterfront team and the District government gave the Commissioners an update on their plans to activate the Southwest Waterfront as they go through the approvals process. What occurred at 7th Street Landing this fall will be taken to a different level at what I’m calling “9th Street Park”. While Near Southeast has Nationals Park, Southwest will have (at least for two years) a tennis stadium. Elinor Bacon from ER Bacon Development mentioned they are in negotiations with the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis organization to move their stadium to the Hogate’s site at 9th & Water Street after demolition of the restaurant is complete this winter. The Washington Kastles currently play their matches at a temporary stadium in the large parking lot downtown where the old convention center used to be located. Since that site is supposed to start construction next spring and become CityCenterDC, the Kastles need a new home. Under the pending agreement with Hoffman-Madison Marquette Waterfront, the Kastles will move to the Hogate’s site for two seasons until construction begins on the Southwest Waterfront redevelopment. Some potential community benefits the Kastles may provide include fixing the tennis courts at Jefferson Middle School and offer tennis lessons to students.
David Roberts from the DC government was also present at the meeting and said the District is willing to pay for infrastructure to build the temporary stadium, including bleachers and the court. Roberts mentioned that permits for the demolition of Hogate’s should be pulled this week and the building should be gone and the site cleared by mid-January. Interior demolition is already underway. In addition, an RFP will be released later this week for the stadium construction so it can be ready by March 2011.
Matthew Steenhoek from PN Hoffman and a representative from Struever Brothers described the layout of the Hogate’s site post-demolition. The stadium is just one of the uses planned for the site, since the Kastles’ season only lasts about one month during the summer. Besides bleachers and a court, a tent will be set up closer to Zanzibar for use by the Kastles during their season in July, but can be removed to allow space for programming, as well as a stage near 9th Street for concerts. Some of the interim uses mentioned for the site outside of tennis matches include a seafood festival, events with the Capitol Yacht Club, a sock monkey day for kids, and A-Cappella concerts, but the first event planned for the space will revolve around the National Cherry Blossom Festival in March. Hoffman-Madison Marquette Waterfront will seek the ability to serve wine and beer at both 7th Street Landing and “9th Street Park”, since the Kastles already sell beer & wine at their downtown stadium and the development team heard from the community that 7th Street Landing would be a more enjoyable experience if beer and wine were available. The ANC did not vote on any proposals tonight – the presentation was just informational, although their approval will be needed at least to allow beer & wine sales.
I'll write about other items from the ANC meeting later this week.