Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Six Days and Counting Until Inaugural Match at New Kastles Stadium

In a little less than a week, the Washington Kastles will take to the court with Venus Williams against the Kansas City Explorers in their brand new stadium at The Wharf. Earlier today, the Kastles were kind enough to give me a tour of the stadium. It was a beautiful afternoon for a tour - sunny, low humidity and a bit of a breeze. Blue skies made for good photo-taking.

Seats on the north side of the stadium are higher to allow views of the Washington Channel.

The 2,570-seat facility took about a month to build and was dedicated by Mayor Gray and Billie Jean King earlier this month. The main entrance is located at 9th and Water Street and concessions are located on the north side of the stadium. There's a VIP area on the south side and the Kastles will offer season ticket holders transient boat slips at the Gangplank Marina - a luxury currently not available at any other tennis facility in the country. Tunnels connect the north and south sides so patrons have easier access to the concessions area, which is a new feature that did not exist at the downtown stadium.

Finishing touches, such as painting lines on the court, are now being done.

This tennis experience is a bit different than what you would find at the Legg Mason Classic. Live bands typically play before the match and the players come on the court to music. Crowds cheer throughout the match. There are a total of five sets per match - a women's single, a men's single, a women's double, a men's double, and a mixed double. For each match, gates open at 5:15pm and the first set begins at 7pm.  Matches typically last until 10 or 10:30pm. After each match, all fans 16 and under can get autographs from players on both teams.  

The Washington Monument is visible from the south section where table service will be available.

The Kastles will keep their stadium up year round for the next two years, unlike prior seasons when they were located downtown. During the off-season, the stadium will be used for other purposes, including a charity tournament in late July and will most likely host an event affiliated with the Cherry Blossom Festival. Eventually, the site of the stadium will become the home of Graduate School USA and a luxury hotel once The Wharf development gets underway and the stadium will need to move to a new location. The team wants to work with local youth at Amidon-Bowen Elementary and Jefferson Middle School - the dilapidated tennis courts on 7th Street by Jefferson will most likely get refurbished by the Kastles. In addition, the team is working with local restaurants to cross promote their activities and offer discounts.

Flat screen TVs have been installed near the front row on the north side of the stadium.

The season home schedule can be found here. Ticket prices range from $15 - $75 depending on the match. There are two seat types available - grandstand and chair back, with chair back seating costing more. Southwesters can get 10% off admission on July 15th for Chris Evert night by typing the code SWDC when purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster. Garage parking is available for $15. The stadium is also accessible via Metro, Circulator, American River Taxi, and Capital Bikeshare.

PUD Submitted for St. Matthew's Redevelopment

The team behind the redevelopment of St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church came before the ANC earlier this month to give an update on their plans for the site, located at the southwest corner of M Street and Delaware Avenue. Local architectural firm Shalom Baranes Associates designed the buildings and the project will be built by Trammell Crow and CSG Urban Partners. The development team submitted a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the project in early June and construction is scheduled to get underway in 2012 with completion set for 2014.

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 as seen in the above rendering. 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 about 133 parking spaces.

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. Existing trees will be maintained on three sides - 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.

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 in the rendering 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 wisteria growing from the cross, which according to Pastor Huber has several meanings:
As a missional congregation, it reminds St. Matthew’s that they are sent by God to our community; it reminds St. Matthew’s and the community that the church is alive, growing, and branching out; and it reminds us that growth and life comes from being "attached" to the cross of Christ. The vine will also act as a dynamic "church sign" - changing the view of the church as the seasons change.
There will be approximately 25 garage spaces available. The church will offer the following elements:
  • An attractive communal sacred space
  • 10,000 SF of community space & meeting rooms
  • Outdoor urban space & community gathering space (courtyard)
  • Thurgood & Cecilia Marshall Southwest DC Community Center
  • Sacred Grounds Cafe: "Coffee with a Purpose"
  • Resource Room/Computer Center for after-school programming, adult education, and job training
A set-down hearing won't happen at least until October, so the ANC will have a chance to vote on the PUD application sometime this summer.

Renderings courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Houseboat Tour Planned at the Gangplank Marina

Capitol Hill has its garden tours and Georgetown has its historic homes tour, but here in Southwest, we're going to have a houseboat tour.  On August 13th, the homes at the Gangplank Marina will be open to the public for the first time for a houseboat tour from 10am to 2pm. The event is sponsored by the Gangplank Slipholders Association, which represents the live-aboard community at Gangplank, as well as the Port of Washington Yacht Club.  Advance tickets are $11 per person ($18 on the day of the tour). Proceeds from the admission fee will benefit the Earth Conservation Corps.  According to the press release, there is a special offer from tour operator DC Harbor Cruises, which will offer a package including a 60-minute cruise and Boat-Home Tour ticket for $25 (cruise ticket prices by themselves are usually priced at $30). Available cruise departure times are 12:30pm and 2:00pm. Combination tour and cruise tickets will be $32 on the day of the tour. Tickets can be purchased here. In addition, Cantina Marina will offer a 10% discount to tour goers. More information about the Southwest DC Waterfront Boat-Home Tour can be found by visiting here or sending an email.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Station 4 is Finally Open!

After what seemed to be eternity, yesterday at 5pm was the grand opening of Station 4.  There was some initial confusion about whether reservations were needed to eat at the restaurant.  In fact, some people left when they were initially told they couldn't eat unless they made a reservation ahead of time. It turns out that those who decided to eat at the bar area didn't need reservations and could order food in addition to drinks.  Service was a bit slow, which was expected since it was opening night and the restaurant was packed.  However, the food (once it did arrive) was very good. I asked several people how their food was and the sweet & sour pizza, cioppino, crab cakes, and spicy tuna cubes received high marks. I had the duck spring rolls (see above) and they were also good. The menu by Spanish chef Orlando Amaro is now on their website.

Welcome to the newest restaurant in Southwest!

It seems that the general consensus from patrons last night was they were glad a new restaurant is in the neighborhood; however, they weren't sure what kind of vibe or audience Station 4 is going after. Jazz and Sinatra was playing in the sound system, and along with the decor, gave an aura of swankiness. I found the restroom area to be a bit odd - several people were confused about whether the restrooms were unisex since there were no visible signs of which side was for men vs. women. The paper towel dispensers by the sinks are positioned very low and the astroturf on the walls in that area were curious. 

The outdoor terrace has several tables available for people-watching.

Will Station 4 be primarily a "before the show" dinner spot for Arena Stage patrons? Will locals adopt it as the neighborhood bar, despite not having happy hour specials?  Only time will tell, but I'm sure the operators of Station 4 hope there will be a full house every night as it was on Sunday evening.  The Southwest Playground Project folks must be pleased about the turnout last night too, since 20% of proceeds went to their efforts to build a playground in Southwest.

Several Southwesters turned out for opening night at Station 4

Here's a reminder that my 3rd Anniversary happy hour has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 6th from 5:30-8:30pm at Station 4.  We will be located in the lounge area to the right of the main entrance by the bar - just look for a balloon.  I hope you can make it and there will be cake!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

King Ribs Featured on YouTube

The developers of The Wharf have put together a YouTube video featuring Southwest resident Bufus Buchanan, the proprietor of King Ribs. Most recently, King Ribs was located on the grounds of St. Augustine's Church on Sundays. Now, Bufus serves up his barbecue from 6am - 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at 7th Street Landing.  The Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team hopes to have more local entrepreneurs set up shop once the Southwest Waterfront is redeveloped into The Wharf, which will get underway by the end of 2012. Check out the video below or click on the above YouTube link.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blog Happy Hour Postponed/Station 4 to Open on Sunday

Sorry for the late notice (although I did Tweet it on Monday), but unfortunately, tonight's happy hour has been postponed since Station 4 hasn't opened yet.  The rescheduled happy hour date is Wednesday, July 6 from 5:30pm - 8:30pm.  I hope you can make it on the new date!

Update: Station 4 will have its grand opening on Sunday, June 26 at 5pm.  20% of proceeds from that evening will go towards the Southwest Playground Project.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cafe Phillips Grand Opening

Today was the grand opening of Cafe Phillips, located at the Capitol View office building at the corner of 3rd and E Street. This follows the opening last month of Pizza Autentica next door. These two retail spaces were vacant for several years after the Capitol View delivered, but as the building and Patriots Plaza filled up with office tenants, the retail space garnered more interest. The Southwest restaurant is the 8th one in the local chain to open. There was a clown giving out coupons this morning which are valid until June 24. Cafe Phillips is open Monday - Friday from 7am - 4pm; breakfast is served until 10:30am and lunch until 4pm. Some of the breakfast items served include: bagels, muffins, scones, sandwiches, omelets, and burritos.  Lunch items include sandwiches, salads, soups, and chili. Below are some additional photos from the opening.

Here is some of the seating available.

This is Mr. Yun (the owner) behind the coffee bar.

I told you there was a clown!

Waterfront Station Retail Update

If you walked down to Station 4 yesterday hoping to have a drink or grab a bite to eat, you may have been disappointed since the highly anticipated restaurant has not opened yet.  However, the restaurant received its Certificate of Occupancy earlier this week, so the opening must be imminent! The menu is still being tweaked, so it is not available yet. Below are the hours of operation and meal times:
Hours of Operation
M-Th: 11am - 2am
F: 11am - 3am
Sa: 10am - 3am
Su: 10am - 2am

Meal Times
Brunch: 10am - 3pm (Saturday & Sunday)
Lunch: 11am - 5pm
Dinner: 5pm - 11pm
Late Night: 11pm - 1 hour before close
As I mentioned last week, Z-Burger is between 2 and 3 months away from opening in their space next to Station 4. Expensive upgrades to the space have caused delays.

At Monday's ANC 6D meeting, Gordon Fraley from Waterfront Associates told the commissioners that the existing retailers at Waterfront Station have been doing well since opening up shop in 2010. Also, he mentioned that CVS has plans to make some upgrades to their space, including the addition of self-checkout lanes. It was confirmed that TD Bank will open a branch at Waterfront Station just to the north of Station 4. TD Bank has been expanding in the DC metro area and most of their branches are open 7 days a week. No timetable for when the bank will open is available. That leaves three retail spaces left to lease - the green-framed space at 1100 4th Street and two spots at 1101 4th Street next to Subway. The landlord is in discussions with a potential tenant at the 1100 4th Street space. I was told several months ago that an AT&T Wireless store was coming, but I haven't heard any more about it since.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kastles Stadium at The Wharf Ready for its Close-Up

It took a little over a month for the new Washington Kastles stadium at The Wharf to rise along the Southwest Waterfront and is just about ready for the first Kastles match on July 5 against the Kansas City Explorers. After three seasons playing in a stadium downtown, the tennis team has moved to Southwest and will be a component of The Wharf. Meanwhile, the new tennis venue hosted the 4th annual Street Soccer USA US Cup where 200 players from 20 teams gathered to play from June 10-12 to benefit the homeless.

Players practice before the start of the tournament.
On Tuesday, tennis legend Billie Jean King joined Mayor Gray to inaugurate the stadium.  Due to the stadium's location mere steps away from the Washington Channel (see photo at the top of the post), there will be limited boat parking available for season ticket holders at the Gangplank Marina - the first tennis venue in the country to offer such a luxury. Here is a quote from Ms. King about the tennis facility from a Washington Post article:
“I think about it as a player, and I just hope it doesn’t get too windy,” said King as she gazed at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf, which sits along the docks of the Washington Channel near the corner of Maine Avenue and Ninth Street. “But it just looks more beautiful and it’ll keep it cooler for the fans during the summer time. For Washington, it’s unbelievable."
In the article, Hoffman-Madison Waterfront lead developer Monty Hoffman says the stadium will stay at its current location for the next two years and then will move further east near the Channel Inn as development gets underway at The Wharf.

 Take a look at Washingtonian Magazine for some sneak peek photos of the interior. In that article, it states that the stadium will host a charity soccer event on July 31 called Celebrity Soccer Challenge 2011 hosted by Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Use of Anti-Gay Slur by Safeway Employee Unleashes Call to Action on Twitterverse

It was reported in Metro Weekly earlier today that a gay couple were victims of the repeated use of an anti-gay slur by a Safeway employee while at the checkout counter at the Waterfront Station Safeway last Saturday. From the article:
''We put our groceries up on the conveyor belt, some frozen dinner and wine, and [the cashier] said, 'Oh God, they're faggots,''' says Morgan. ''And then Brendan said, 'I'm sorry I didn't hear what you said.' And she said 'You guys are fucking faggots.'''
When the couple asked the cashier for her name, they were told it was ''D'Angela.'' Morgan adds that she did not show any remorse for her comments.
''We just couldn't believe it,'' he says. ''She didn't seem apologetic or anything. We asked her for the store manager and she just ignored us. So we ended up leaving our groceries where they were and we walked [away].''
The couple has filed a complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights. After the story was posted, the reaction on Twitter was universal - the conduct of the employee was unacceptable and an explanation was needed by Safeway. Others have gone further and suggested there should be a protest of the store. A protest of the most profitable Safeway in the city could send the message that this kind of unprofessional behavior can not be tolerated.  As of today, the Safeway employee still works at the store, evidenced by a follow-up to the Metro Weekly story where another Southwest resident went to the store today and videotaped an apology from the employee. Below is the video that was posted on YouTube.

Update: An official reponse from Safeway regarding the incident was posted on Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells' blog:
This morning, we heard from Mr. Craig Muckle, Manager, Public Affairs and Government Relations Eastern Division Safeway Inc., issuing the following statement on behalf of Safeway
"We extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Morgan and Mr. Harrington for the completely unacceptable comments by our employee. Safeway employs and serves people from all backgrounds, and absolutely does not condone discrimination or intolerance of any kind by any staff member. The company is reviewing the matter and will take appropriate corrective action."
Update #2: CM Wells' blog brings news that the Safeway employee has been terminated and another apology has been given, this time by Eastern Division President Steven Neibergall:
We were shocked and appalled to learn of the statements made to two of our valued customers by one of our employees. This incident is personally offensive to me and to the rest of the men and women who proudly represent us in our stores. This goes against everything we believe and practice in terms of serving and welcoming our customers, and in being a part of the diverse communities we are privileged to serve. We are at a loss to explain how one of our employees, even one who has been on the job for less than a month, could consider this kind of behavior to be acceptable. The employee has been terminated.
Besides investigating the incident itself, we also are looking into the unsatisfactory response our customers received when they attempted to bring this to the attention of local store management. The complaint should have been dealt with immediately and we apologize that this was not the case.
We have reached out to the customers involved to extend our sincere apology. We are truly sorry this happened in our store and are taking decisive and urgent action to ensure it does not happen again to any customer in any of the communities we serve. No one should face what these customers faced, and we are humbly sorry it happened to them in our store.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Station 4 May Open by Next Week!

It's been a momentous week so far over at Station 4.  First, the brown paper covering the windows of the restaurant was removed, revealing its swanky interior. Then, outdoor furniture was positioned in the patio area.  Now, it has been tweeting up a storm today.  A couple of those tweets reveal what Southwesters have been waiting to hear for over a year:
@GPSADC Thanks for mentions - the official opening will be next week - check back for details
@MrGChristopher oh no! Well rumor has it that Monday will be go time but we'll be here for you on Thursday #WorkHardPlayHarder
Station 4 is located at 1101 4th Street, across the street from the Waterfront Station Safeway, and is owned by the same folks who operate Ulah Bistro, Tunnicliff's Tavern, Bullfeathers, and Stoney's.  The menu isn't available on their website yet, but the restaurant will be an American bistro-style estabilshment.  Recycled materials were used to create the interior, which cost about $1 million and according to the Hill Rag, it was designed by DC-based demian\wilbur\architects with seating for 210.

I'm meeting with the owner tomorrow to go over details of the anniversary happy hour I'm planning (hopefully for next week) and I'll let you know the date once it's firm.

Update: The owner told me that Station 4 will open on Thursday, June 16. Also, the anniversary happy hour will be on Wednesday, June 22 from 5:30-8:30pm in the lounge area of Station 4 (to the right of the front entrance).  I hope you can stop by and help celebrate!

Update #2: Thrillist describes Station 4 as:
a swanky bistro serving up "global cuisine" from a chef late of Barcelona's molecular gastronomy standout El Bulli, and boasts a 40ft gold-painted bar, columns and walls shimmering with black river stones, pushpin leather couches, and teardrop-crystal chandeliers, meaning they've done horrible, horrible things to less murderous chandeliers.
Also, to answer the question about Z-Burger, the owner told me last week that it will open in 2 1/2 months and has been delayed because of an expensive equipment upgrade needed for the restaurant.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Lightman

Recap of SW Waterfront Community Workshop

Over 300 people attended the community workshop tonight at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel organized by SWNA and ANC 6D to discuss the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for The Wharf (check out my Southwest Waterfront Redevelopment page for more information about plans for The Wharf). After some opening remarks by representatives from SWNA, the ANC, the District government, and the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team, the meeting was split into five different rooms, each discussing one of the following themes:
  • Design & Public Realm
  • Transportation, Traffic & Parking
  • Maritime Plan
  • Sustainability & Environment
  • Retail & Amenities
I stayed in the main ballroom for the Design & Public Realm discussion, so most of what I'm writing about has to do with that topic.  At the end of the meeting, however, the group reconvened and major concerns from all five themes were shared with the audience, which are listed later in this post.  In addition, discussion of the first three themes listed above were videotaped and will soon be available on the ANC's website.

Stan Eckstut from EE&K Architects gave an overview of the master plan for The Wharf.  In his remarks, Eckstut mentioned that the design of the Southwest Waterfront is not an interpretation of other cities' waterfronts, but is uniquely Washington. It will be a pedestrian-friendly waterfront with vehicular access on the new Wharf Street; however, the presence of cars is just for convenience purposes and the street will not serve as a through route.
All of the parking for the development will be located below-grade, which is unique for waterfront developments and all of the buildings are designed to not cast a shadow on the water's edge. The blocks at The Wharf are designed to be 250 feet long compared to the typical length of building blocks along other corridors of the city such as K Street, NW, which is 600 feet. About 55% of the site is planned as open space and these public spaces are the focal points of the development. Eckstut also noted that the buildings were designed so there is no back side to the buildings along Maine Avenue.

About half of the buildings will rise to 130 feet (I counted 11), but will be stepped and angled to reduce the appearance of a wall of buildings along Maine Avenue. The average height of the other buildings will be 60-70 feet. Both residential and commercial buildings will have ground floor retail with a height of 20 feet; the residential buildings will be 10 feet per floor above the base level and commercial buildings will be 12 feet per floor. So, for a building 130 feet high, that translates to a 12-story residential building or a 10-story office building. 

According to zoning, an additional 18-foot mechanical penthouse is allowed on up to 33% of the surface area on top of the 130-foot buildings for a total of 148 feet. The taller buildings are concentrated in the middle of the development with shorter buildings closer to Arena Stage and the fish market. Examples of building heights in other areas of The Wharf include:
  • a 60-foot building next to the fish market slated for a re-creation of the headhouse market that once was on the waterfront back in the 1930s
  • a 45-foot condo building at the St. Augustine's Church site at 6th Street and Maine Avenue
  • 35 to 45-foot residential buildings (townhouses) on Pier 4 (the pier that currently is used by the Spirit cruise ships) along with a 60-foot architectural feature at the end of the pier 
Below are the major concerns brought by each of the five groups at the end of the meeting:

Design & Public Realm
  • Too many 130-foot buildings
  • Pier 4
  • Vistas and views 
Traffic & Transportation
  • Shared pedestrian safety/crossing esplanade zone
  • Bike path/parking (valet service)
  • Resident parking
  • Streetcars
  • Bus parking
  • ADA/wheelchairs (persons with disabilities)
  • Rush hour impact/Nats games/commuter traffic
  • Traffic study
Maritime Plan
  • What we want at the end of 7th Street Pier
  • Regular meetings with people who live along the waterfront
  • Transition plan for the Gangplank community
Sustainability & Environment
  • Public access to green roofs & community gardens (integrating design into sustainability)
  • More stormwater retention/gray H2O
  • Demonstrate sustainability externally (turn it "inside out")
Retail & Amenities
  • We want "being a local" to mean something
           - parking
           - affordability
           - jobs
           - opening a business
  • We want unique experiences in theater, food, shopping, etc.
  • We want our proprietors and facility managers to keep us, our kids, & our visitors safe.  Contribute to our community, not just make money
A word about retail - Monty Hoffman from PN Hoffman mentioned that they are hoping to bring back Jenny's Asian Fusion, Cantina Marina, and a smaller version of Phillips to The Wharf once the redevelopment is complete. Channel Inn will not be coming back.  There will be a mix of white table cloth and less expensive restaurants and cafes. No restaurant tenants have been announced, but the next anticipated announcement is a hotel anchor (HMW hired a consultant a couple months ago to help them decide on an operator for their planned four-star hotel).

The next steps in the Phase 1 PUD process is a revised preliminary PUD will be available on June 28 at the Southwest library.  Then, the ANC will vote on the PUD at their July 11 meeting and the Zoning Commission meeting will take place on July 18. Interestingly enough, the paper closure of Water Street is now in effect as of Tuesday, but the street will remain open until December 2012 when phased closures will begin. Another meeting is planned by HMW soon to discuss just the residential aspect of the development - affordable and market-rate housing. I'll let you know the meeting details once those are available.

Renderings courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SW Youth Tennis Club in Search of Volunteers

The following message is from the SW Youth Tennis Club

The SW-DC Youth Tennis Club is looking for Volunteer Tennis Instructors!

Commit 5 to 10 hours over 5 weeks this summer July through mid-August. You pick the time.

If you are an Intermediate tennis player and like kids, you have the skills we need. Most of the SW kids ages 10 to 16 will be beginners, and need help with the basics.

(Activities at Randall and King-Greenleaf tennis courts)
In addition, we're looking for a social media guru to set up our blog/TW/FB/YouTube presence focusing on our opcoming tennis activities, and a graphic designer to work on our logo and visual pieces (membersip cards for the young people, etc.).
Donations of used tennis equipment will also be accepted.
To sign up, call or email Kay Hixson (202-646-0551 or

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Few Quick Items: Shining SW Emerges, Camden South Capitol Groundbreaking, DC United Stadium Search Narrows, Waterfront Station Sale

- The Washington Business Journal offers an opinion piece in this week's paper called 'A Shining Southwest Emerges' (subscribers only). The editorial highlights recent developments in Southwest, including Waterfront Station and Arena Stage, as well as the future development of The Wharf.

- The official groundbreaking of Camden South Capitol apartments occurred on June 1 according to the Capitol Riverfront BID. I had a client meeting at the same time as the groundbreaking so unfortunately I couldn't attend and take photos. The original groundbreaking date was May 17, but the threat of rain postponed the event until last Wednesday.    The 276-unit project will be located across the street from Nationals Park, at the northwest corner of South Capitol and O Street. Leasing should begin around the middle of 2013. Rendering courtesy of Camden Property Trust

- The Soccer Insider from The Washington Post reported on Friday that the developers of the Capital City Market near Gallaudet University in Northeast will not pursue a stadium for DC United.  According to the article, the removal of the NE site from contention leaves Akridge's 100 V Street site in Buzzard Point as the most viable site in play within the District for a new soccer stadium. Rendering courtesy of Akridge
- Waterfront Associates sold its stake in the two completed office buildings at Waterfront Station to USAA Real Estate Company for $356 million on May 10 according to Forest City's SEC filing. The two buildings, located at 1100 & 1101 4th Street, are fully leased to the District government. The developers behind Waterfront Station still maintain three lots for future phases of development - the NW, SW, and SE parcels.  At least two of those parcels are slated as office and the NW parcel can be developed either as office or residential. The District owns the NE parcel and a residential building is planned for that site once the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development's office solicits developers to build on the site. According to DC records, the former EPA towers were sold to Urban-Atlantic in March for $20 million and will be re-purposed as 517 apartment units with construction slated to begin by the end of this year.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Photos from Premiere of 7th Street Landing Farmers Market

A large crowd descended upon the Southwest Waterfront on a low-humidity evening yesterday for the debut of the farmers market at 7th Street Landing. This was the kick-off to summer programming at the park, which will be activated Thursdays through Saturdays. Interim uses of the Southwest Waterfront over the next two years will include 7th Street Landing and Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, which will host its first match of the Washington Kastles tennis team on July 5. June's schedule of events for 7th Street Landing can be found here.  The farmers market will be held at 7th Street Landing every Thursday evening from 5-8pm until the end of September. There was a mix of produce from Arcadia Green Market, baked goods from Buzz Bakery, charcuterie hot dogs from Frank at Red Apron Butcher & Larder, beer and wine from the folks at ChurchKey and Birch & Barley, an Asian food station, King Rib BBQ, table tennis, and jazz music from Antonio Parker Quintet. Patrons that wanted to drink wine or beer at the park needed to have a wrist band and the entrances to 7th Street Landing were secured to ensure people didn't leave the area with their libations. Below are some photos from the market.

A list of fresh produce available at the Arcadia farmers market.

Here's a close-up of some of the produce.

Several varieties of hot dogs were available at Frank.
There was always a line at the beer and wine station.

Table tennis was available for patrons to enjoy.
The park was full of people for the premiere of the weekly farmers market.

Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells was spotted at the farmers market.
The Antonio Parker Quintet.

It was a beautiful evening to lounge around the waterfront.