Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SS United States Conservancy Kick-Off & Silent Auction

Wharf PUD Presentation Recap

This evening's monthly SWNA meeting was a presentation of the Stage Two PUD for phase I of development at the Southwest Waterfront (called The Wharf) by the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team. The presentation was held in the Kreeger Theater at Arena Stage. At the presentation, the developers and master planner gave a description of what is planned for parcels 2, 3, 4, 11, and public places including District Pier, Transit Pier, Waterfront Park, and 7th Street Park.  The Stage Two PUD application was submitted to the Zoning Commission on February 3rd. A description of what's planned for the parcels can be found here

Monty Hoffman from PN Hoffman gave his vision for the project and mentioned some of the refinements made to the plan since the Stage One PUD was approved in the fall.  For instance, the proposed traffic circle in front of Arena Stage has been removed from the plan. At the water's edge, wooden fending has been added to wrap around the bulkhead and provide a nicer face to the shoreline, especially at the District Pier and Transit Pier. Earlier in the process, a streetcar line was proposed for Wharf Street, but that has been shifted to Maine Avenue due to safety concerns. An extra mews was added to separate the office building and hotel planned for parcel 3. In addition, the facades have been broken down at street level to have more of a human scale to them. The Hoffman Madison Waterfront team is working with Washington Gas on building a Co-Gen plant on Maine Avenue that would use clean-burning natural gas to power the rest of the development. As a result of the Combined Heating and Power Facility (or Co-Gen plant), over 1,000 coal cars per year will be saved since most of the city is powered using coal fuel. 

Pier Mews by the Intercontinental Hotel in Parcel 3b
Next up was Stan Eckstut from Perkins Eastman who gave an overview of what's planned in the development. As much attention was given to the water plan as the land plan, and in fact, the water plan was done first.  Eckstut mentioned that the only other city in the US that has a comprehensive water plan for their waterfront is Baltimore. Along the water's edge at The Wharf, there will be a continuous bench (about 2,000 feet) instead of a railing, so people can enjoy the water more easily. Lighting will be near the base for safety purposes at night, as well as blue lighting along the water's edge to serve as a way to define the waterfront that can be seen from passersby crossing the Case Bridge into the District.  

Aerial view from the water
The Transit Pier is triangular in shape and is located near Parcel 2. This is where most of the dinner cruise ships, water taxi, and charter boats will dock. Music barges will also dock here for festivals.

Transit Pier
Down-channel from the Transit Pier is the District Pier, which will serve at the ceremonial entrance for tall ships and other vessels from around the world that visit the city. The District Pier is very large - 650 feet long (more than twice as long as a football field), stretching from Maine Avenue out into the Washington Channel.  The public space created here will be larger than comparable spaces in other cities, including Covent Garden in London, outside of Faneuil Hall in Boston, or Harborplace in Baltimore. District Pier is designed to serve a variety of purposes, with permanent scaffolding along the sides to facilitate the set-up for events and festivals throughout the year. For instance, the pier can serve as a venue for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, or become a large ice rink in the winter. Closer to Maine Avenue, there will be a large water feature called Water Court next to where people will emerge from a parking garage underneath the District Pier. At the channel end of the pier, there will be the Dock Master building with a pavilion affording views out to the water and back towards the city. 

District Pier
On the land side of the development, the design of the retail space along the wharf and Maine Avenue will vary, but will be smaller format with no big box retail. Along the wharf there will include mostly restaurants, as well as kiosks, while Maine Avenue retail will focus more on neighborhood-serving retail. Meanwhile, retail along the mews will be cafes, and some entertainment venues along what is dubbed "Jazz Alley" between Parcel 4 and Parcel 5. 

Example of retail along Maine Avenue
The design of the buildings will include more masonry than glass in most areas, with the exception of the condo building planned for Parcel 4.  Buildings facing Maine Avenue will more closely resemble the design of buildings in the city, while the wharf-facing buildings will have more windows to allow views out to the water. In addition, at least 50% of the roofs will be green. Parking will all be below grade, which is rare for waterfronts in the US and will accommodate around 1,500 cars. Nearly the same amount of bike parking spaces will be provided. A second Capital Bikeshare station will be installed at 9th Street and Maine Avenue to join the one already at 7th Street (which will move slightly from its present location to be closer to Maine Avenue). 

Example of retail at District Pier
Located between Parcel 3 and Parcel 4 will be the Yacht Club Piazza, next to which will be the Capital Yacht Club clubhouse.

Yacht Club Piazza
Next to Parcel 5 (which is owned by the JBG Companies and is not a part of this PUD submission) is 7th Street Park, a more formal and quiet green space where 7th Street Landing is currently located. Adjacent to the park is 7th Street Pier, which is not included in Phase I of development.

7th Street Park
Next to Parcel 11 is the 4.2-acre Waterfront Park, the details of which can be found here.  The park will be built in Phase I despite being disjointed from the rest of the development because the ANC requested this space be completed early in the process as a concession to the existing community.

Pergola at Waterfront Park
After Mr. Eckstut's presentation, Shawn Seaman from PN Hoffman went over the sustainability measures planned for the development. The Wharf will seek LEED-New Development Gold, while the individual buildings will strive for a minimum of LEED-Silver. An elaborate 675,000 gallon cistern system will be constructed to capture the more than 25 million gallons of runoff each year that currently dumps into the Washington Channel due to the lack of permeable surfaces at present. The captured runoff will be recycled to the greatest extent possible, including the provision of chilled water for the Co-Gen plant. Solar power may also be used for lighting throughout the development.

There was a question & answer period after the presentations that lasted nearly an hour. Questions included parking concerns, types of retailers, housing preferences for existing neighborhood residents, recreational opportunities, and traffic disruptions during construction, among many others. All of the questions and answers will be posted soon on the project website

Next in the timeline is a set down hearing with the Zoning Commission in April, followed by a presentation to the ANC and vote in May. Public hearings will be held in June and July, with approval anticipated by the Zoning Commission in the fall and groundbreaking in the first quarter of 2013.

Renderings courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sky House Progress Photos

Over the past couple of weeks, demolition has been underway at the former EPA east tower at Waterfront Station.  Windows have been taken out and part of the concrete skin has been removed.  In its place will be Sky House I, a 266-unit apartment building. More details on what's planned can be found here. Below are a couple photos taken last week:

A new entrance to the building has been created facing the multicolored walkway.
Later in the week, more of the concrete skin and windows have been removed.
Update: A new website has been created for the project, although there isn't much information on it right now. There will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. A media advisory describes the apartments as containing sleek interior designs, upscale fixtures, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood flooring, and contemporary kitchens. In addition, the project amenities will include a roof deck with pool, e-lounge, resident clubroom with gaming elements, pool table and movie screening area, gym with yoga studio, and an outdoor courtyard with sitting areas, TVs, gas fireplace and grills. An official commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, March 12 at 9:30am.  Dignitaries will be present, including Mayor Gray.  It appears that construction on Sky House II with 264 units will now begin in the spring of 2013 instead of May 2012.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

SW Duck Pond Update

Over the next month or so, some major infrastructure improvements are planned for the SW Duck Pond, located at 6th & I Streets. An appropriation has been provided by the DC government to do some brick work in the park, including the coping around the water's edge, as well as the retaining walls which are in pretty bad shape.  In addition, the appropriation includes the installation of new globe lighting with outlets at the base to allow lights to be strung around the light poles for special occasions (festivals, holidays, etc). The benches will also be painted. Bids have been submitted and a contractor will be chosen next week.  

Crumbling retaining walls will be fixed.
Under a different funding mechanism, the Neighbors of SW Duck Pond have applied for a grant from DDOT's Performance Parking program instituted when Nationals Park opened to restore the underwater lighting in the pond that have long been disabled. The park is used as a cut-through for people coming to and from the businesses on 4th Street and the Metro, so the addition of underwater lighting will increase safety in the park at night. Estimates for the repairs range from $1,800 - $20,000, depending on the condition of the existing wiring for the underwater lights, but the actual cost won't be known until the contractors get to work on the project.

Last year's fountain "turning on" ceremony.
Work on both projects will aim for completion by April 7, when Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells will be on hand for the annual ceremony to turn on the pond's fountains for the season, the same day as the SW Waterfront Fireworks Festival.  Last season, the pH balance was changed in the pond to return the water to a more natural state and make it hospitable for ducks to return. As a result, the pond water turned green and maintenance was more costly since the filters had to be changed more often. In previous years, the water was chemically treated to keep the water clearer and it will most likely return to that cleaning schedule this season.   

Friday, February 24, 2012

Velodrome Lease Signed for Buzzard Point Site

The Washington Post reported yesterday that a lease has been signed to allow DC Velodrome, a local 501c3 non-profit corporation, to erect a velodrome on part of the 100 V Street parcel owned by Akridge in Buzzard Point. Last fall, the group probably jumped the gun a bit when listing Akridge as a partner on their website, which created speculation in the blogosphere that a velodrome would be built at 100 V Street.  Now that the lease is a done deal, Akridge has acknowledged the agreement.  From the article:
"Locating D.C.'s first velodrome on Buzzard Point is an exciting contribution to the vitality of the neighborhood and the diversity of activities available to the city and the region, while still keeping the site readily available for permanent development," Akridge President Matt Klein said in a statement.
Speaking of permanent development, it was reported earlier this week that DC United was close to signing a lease with the city to remain at RFK Stadium for two more years and that these talks could help spur a final push to build a new stadium for the team, the leading candidate site reportedly being 100 V Street.  Originally, the 100 V Street site was positioned as a secure federal campus, but the office market has been slow to recover from the latest recession and the GSA has cut back on leasing activity.

The article states that DC Velodrome plans to open the velodrome by late May or early June, but they are in the process of raising $300,000 to help assemble the track and provide free programming. It doesn't mention in the article the length of the lease, but according to the group's website, the portable cycling track would be up for 3-5 years, leased from Major League Cycling in Lancaster, PA. From the website:
Basic facilities, including a perimeter fence for security, small grandstands, public address/sound system, lights, portable toilets, and a snack bar/storage building of a temporary nature will be installed on site.  There will be parking for approximately 50 cars.
The next couple of years will bring some major changes to the area by the velodrome site.  Right around the same time that the velodrome is scheduled to open, Pepco will decommission the Buzzard Point Power Plant across 1st Street and next year, the U.S. Coast Guard is supposed to move from 2100 2nd Street to their new headquarters at St. Elizabeths in SE.

Rendering of the Buzzard Point neighborhood courtesy of Akridge

Hot Yala Nights Fundraiser Tomorrow

Hot Yala Nights

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

9:30 Club Operators to Run Wharf Center?

It was reported yesterday in the Washington Business Journal that the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team is in negotiations with the 9:30 Club to operate the Wharf Center entertainment venue planned during the first phase of The Wharf development.  From the article:
Bob Rubenkonig of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront said his company is working with the 9:30 Club with the hopes of bringing a music venue to the Southwest Waterfront site, though he didn't offer many details on the project while speaking on a panel Tuesday at the International Council of Shopping Centers Mid-Atlantic conference. "We think it will be a terrific traffic generator." Rubenkonig said.
The Wharf Center will be a 135,000 SF multipurpose entertainment and cultural venue on Parcel 2, located near the Maine Avenue Fish Market at 9th Street and Maine Avenue. Wrapped around it will be 494 mixed income apartment units in two towers (292 units in the east tower and 202 units in the west tower), and 39,000 SF of ground floor retail.  In addition, there will be a Combined Heating and Power Facility (CHP) that will provide all the necessary heating, cooling, and electrical power sources for The Wharf northwest of 7th Street. More info on what's planned for Phase 1 can be found here.

Rendering of Parcel 2 courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Couple Quick Items: Sports Edition

- In this week's Capital Business, there's an article stating DC United is close to an agreement with the city to extend their lease at RFK Stadium for the next two years. The article alludes that the pending lease agreement and improved budget situation in DC will allow the team and the city time to come up with a plan to build a new stadium. From the article:
"That two-year extension will then provide adequate time for serious negotiations to commence between the city, Events DC and the team about a new soccer stadium in D.C., and one that meets the needs of the city and one that meets the needs of D.C. United," [Events DC board member William N. Hall] said.
Over the past couple of years, the leading site under discussion for a new stadium has been the 9-acre 100 V Street parcel in Buzzard Point owned by Akridge, near a proposed streetcar line. If a new stadium is built there, Potomac Avenue would become a de-facto entertainment corridor connecting Nationals Park and a Buzzard Point soccer stadium. For more on the potential for this corridor, check out my post about it from last year. Whether the Buzzard Point site is still in play remains to be seen.

Rendering courtesy of Akridge

- The Washington Kastles have resigned Venus and Serena Williams to the team roster for the 2012 season.  Last summer, the Kastles had a perfect season record in their first year playing at The Wharf and won the World Team Tennis Championship. This season will take place from July 9 - 28, but the game schedule has not been released yet.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Open Discussion

What's on your mind, Southwest?  Any neighborhood or citywide issues you want to discuss? This is an open discussion where you can leave comments about anything you want (within reason, of course). Enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Arena Announces 2012-13 Lineup

Earlier this week, Arena Stage announced the lineup for the 2012-13 season, the third season since the Mead Center reopened at 6th Street and Maine Avenue.  The season goes from September 2012 to May 2013 and includes original productions as well as reinterpretations of Broadway shows such as My Fair Lady.  Below is the list of performances and dates:

One Night with Janis Joplin
Written and directed by Randy Johnson
September 28 - November 4, 2012 in the Kreeger Theater

My Fair Lady
Based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner/Music by Frederick Loewe
Directed by Molly Smith
November 2, 2012 - January 6, 2013 in the Fichlander Stage

Pullman Porter Blues
A world-premiere co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre
By Cheryl L. West/Directed by Lisa Peterson
November 23, 2012 - January 6, 2013 in the Kreeger Theater

Good People
By David Lindsay-Abaire/Directed by Jackie Maxwell
February 1 - March 10 2013 in the Kreeger Theater

Lookingglass Theatre Company's production of Metamorphoses
Based on the myths of Ovid
Written and directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman
February 6 - March 17, 2013 in the Fichlander Stage

Mary T. & Lizzy K
Arena Stage commission and world premiere
Written and directed by Tazewell Thompson
March 15 - April 28, 2013 in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle

The Mountaintop
By resident playwright Katori Hall/Directed by Robert O'Hara
March 29 - May 12, 2013 in the Kreeger Theater

Other Desert Cities
By Jon Robin Baitz/Directed by Kyle Donnelly
April 26 - May 26, 2013 in the Fichlander Stage

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Few Quick Items: CFA Meeting on L'Enfant Plaza Design, GSA Looking for Deals in SW, Another Critic of Eisenhower Memorial Design

The Commission of Fine Arts will be considering the concept designs today of one of the proposed office buildings and the glass entryway to the retail pavilion planned at L'Enfant Plaza.  The proposed office building will be located along Frontage Road and 9th Street while the glass entryway will be in the plaza. These buildings are only a few of the changes planned for L'Enfant Plaza.  More information on the renovation can be found here.

Rendering courtesy of SmithGroup

In this week's Capital Business, there was a snippet about Southwest in an article about the GSA's pending deal with Donald Trump to redevelop the Old Post Office as a luxury hotel.  From the article:
[Commissioner of the GSA's Public Buildings Service Robert] Peck said further development may come in available space on the south side of the National Mall. He said he is working with the National Capital Planning Commission to "create some building sites" there.
Perhaps he's referring to the four GSA parcels along the Maryland Avenue corridor as recommended in the Maryland Avenue Small Area Plan Draft?  What about the Department of Energy's Forrestal Complex?

Illustration courtesy of the Office of Planning

Another critique of Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial design, this time from architect and urban planner Leon Krier in Metropolis Magazine.  Krier has several qualms with the design and process, organizing his critique with the following sub-headlines: Provocation Engendering Protest, Cost of Competition, Cost of Monument, Meaning of the Monuments, Size of the Monument, Character of Context, and Style of Architecture.  From the article: 
Vocally critical, even disgusted by modernist art and architecture, if Eisenhower was apparently upset about the Air Force Academy Chapel by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, how distraught must he have been with the brave new world taking command over the Southwest quadrant. Yet that is precisely the architectural context the Memorial Commission elects as location and Mr. Gehry respects and emulates in scale, style, proportion and character: a straight, undiluted old fashioned modernism.  In my opinion his expressionist design formulae would yet effect a welcome respite from the debilitating boredom of the area.
The memorial will be located in front of the Department of Education headquarters at Independence Avenue between 6th Street and 4th Street. Maryland Avenue runs through the site.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Construction Underway at Former EPA Tower

According to Vicki Davis of Urban-Atlantic (and shown in the above photo), a construction crane arrived on site yesterday at the former EPA East tower at Waterfront Station to start removing the concrete skin of the building.  In about 22 months, the building will be reborn as Sky House I, a 265-unit multifamily building with an address of 1150 4th Street.  Its sister building across 4th Street (1151 4th Street) with approximately 252 units will begin construction in May.  Twenty percent of the units will be set aside as affordable housing.  The buildings have been designed by Wiencek & Associates, who made some slight changes to the plans designed originally by Shalom Baranes Associates (the older Baranes design is shown below). It was reported a couple months ago that the buildings would be called Waterside Metro Lofts, but apparently that was just a working name given to the project.  Ms. Davis and her colleague Alan Lederman gave an informal presentation at Monday's ANC 6D meeting and provided some additional details on the project (The JBG Companies is also involved with the project).

Old rendering of West Tower, courtesy of Waterfront Associates.

Each building will have a different ownership structure. Both buildings will have similar amenities, although the placement of some of them will be slightly different and the design will differ.  Chevy Chase, MD-based RD Jones + Associates has designed the interiors to give the common areas of each building a boutique hotel-feel. At Sky House I (1150 4th Street), the main entrance will be off of the multicolored roadway that runs past Safeway.  The entrance opens up to an open lobby area with an e-lounge, fitness center, club room and "we work" area, designed with hardwood floors and a darker color palette.  A stairway leads to the second level of common area space with a large demonstration kitchen and entertainment area with gaming.  Doors lead to an outdoor space on the second floor that sits on top of the parking garage entrance with a garden, seating area, and beyond that the green roof installed by Waterfront Associates on top of the Safeway loading dock.

At Sky House II (1151 4th Street), the main entrance will be off of the multicolored roadway that runs in front of Z-Burger. The entrance opens up to a lobby and e-lounge with a light-colored palette and limestone floors.  To the right will be a club room with a kitchen, fitness center, entertainment area with gaming, and a "we work" area.  Some of the interior common areas on the first floor will open up to an extended garden area that separates the residential building from the 1101 4th Street office building. This outdoor space will be a private, walled garden area with a fire pit, seating, plantings, and perhaps an artificial turf area. 

The average unit size will be around 675 square feet, continuing the trend of smaller units in newer apartment buildings.  Both buildings will have a small green roof and shallow swimming pool.  Panoramic skyline views will be enjoyed from the rooftops of both buildings, due to the lack of taller buildings in the area.  Each building will have 140 shared parking spaces with the office tenants at 1100 and 1101 4th Street.  Driveways will be created from M Street to connect to the multicolored roadways that already exist to create a loop of sorts.  The introduction of vehicular traffic to these interior roadways will need to be managed properly since pedestrians have become accustomed to the lack of cars, especially in front of Safeway.  The basements will have plenty of bike storage and for you pet lovers pet washing stations. The buildings will be at least LEED-certified, but the developers are aiming for a higher ranking, perhaps Silver.  A dust control program is in place by the general contractor Hamel Builders to minimize dust during construction.

It hasn't been determined yet whether the buildings will be condos or apartments, but Ms. Davis says due to market conditions, they will more likely be apartments.  With the prospect of over 1,000 apartment units delivering in 2013-14 in Southwest (including St. Matthew's, Camden South Capitol, and Sky House I&II) after decades of zero new apartments being built in the neighborhood, perhaps one of these buildings should become condos. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Monday, March 12 at 9:30am.

Interior sketches courtesy of Urban-Atlantic

Monday, February 13, 2012

ANC Unanimously Supports St. Matthew's PUD Application

At tonight's ANC 6D meeting, representatives from Trammell Crow, CSG Urban Partners, St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Shalom Baranes Associates came to the commission to seek their support for the St. Matthew's PUD submission. The PUD includes the development of a new St. Matthew's Church at the corner of Delaware Avenue and M Street, an 8 & 11-story apartment building shaped in the letter L with approximately 220 units, and a community center named the Thurgood and Cecilia Marshall Southwest Community Center.  Details on the development can be found here.  

Some changes have been made to the PUD since last year, especially the community benefits portion of the development. There will be a 1/3 acre landscaped courtyard on top of the parking garage that will be open to the public from dawn until dusk and the opening from Delaware Avenue has been widened from six feet to 12 feet. The loading has been moved from M Street to the parking garage on Delaware Avenue in an underground loading facility.  Parking concerns have been addressed by offering four electric car parking stations, 80 bike parking spaces, 2-3 Zip Car spaces, and residents of the apartments will not qualify for Residential Parking Permits (RPP), similar to the newer multifamily buildings in Near SE. The setback along M Street has been increased from 22 feet to 24 feet to provide for more open space.  Ten percent of the housing will be set aside for households earning up to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Trammell Crow will contribute towards the installation of a fence around the vegetable gardens grown at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School by Kid Power DC. In addition, a donation will be made to Casey Trees to plant trees in the median along M Street, as well as a $20K donation to the Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC) to help the organization in its support of community programs.  The CDC formed to run the proposed community center will have a board member serve on the board of the CBCC and vice versa.  

The ANC supported the PUD application, but excluded the CBCC donation in its approval. However, the donation was offered by the developer, not by the ANC, so it will still be offered as part of the application to the Zoning Commission.

Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DC Sail Events During the Cherry Blossom Festival

There are several events this spring sponsored by DC Sail.  First up is the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 7 during the five-week long National Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Cherry Blossom American Spirit Fireworks Cruise leaves the Gangplank Marina at 6:30pm and returns at 9:30pm after the fireworks show.  Tickets are $60. 

The Cherry Blossom Regatta will take place on April 21 where participants will have the opportunity to race in a DC Sail Flying Junior (FJ).  Tickets are $50 for a team of two and proceeds benefit DC Sail's youth scholarship fund. Limited boats are available. Another option is to watch the Regatta from the American Spirit schooner. That option costs $30.  Also, the American Spirit will set sail throughout the extended festival for special cherry blossom cruises.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Civilian BRAC Bill Passes House

The Washington Business Journal reports that the House of Representatives passed the "Civilian BRAC" bill on Tuesday, which would set up a commission to sell off excess or underutilized federal assets, similar to what the military did recently.  There is the potential that one of the assets that may be sold would be the Department of Energy headquarters at 10th and Independence Avenue. That would go a long way towards realizing the vision of the Southwest Ecodistrict, since the Forrestal complex blocks the view towards the Smithsonian Castle and the replacement of the headquarters would offer the opportunity to create a mixed use development at the base of the 10th Street corridor.  The bill did not include the move of the Federal Trade Commission to Southwest as a version of the bill that passed a committee had wanted. If the DOE complex is sold, though, where would those employees go...and how would the government pay for the relocation?  The bill still needs to pass the Senate and get signed by President Obama.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Southwest Resident Goes Missing

Sometime between late Sunday evening and early Monday morning, a vehicle was stolen from Delaware Avenue near the intersection with Canal Street. The vehicle was a white full-size 2003 Ford F250 Superduty pickup truck, DC tags DX2947, and it belongs to a resident of the River Park Cooperative. According to the owner of the vehicle, he had purchased the truck recently - just four months ago.  The case is being handled by MPD's 1st District Autotheft Division. The owner of the truck made a point of thanking Officers Welsh and Johnson from the 1st District Autotheft Division for their immediate response and for their great efforts put forth this far to recover the vehicle. Based on information from the Autotheft Division, another full-size pickup similar to this one was stolen recently from a residential parking lot further south down Canal Street.  That truck was abandoned and soon after recover in the Anacostia area.  On a positive note, the responding officer, B. Tabron, claimed that cars are recovered in Southwest more often than they are stolen from this area. 

This truck was stolen on Super Bowl Sunday.
The owner of the truck is asking anyone with information about the stolen truck to contact the 1st District Autotheft Division at (202) 729-3404. Also, he asks that the person who has the truck to please leave it in a place it can be found and/or call it in.  If you used the truck for a ride home after the Super Bowl all is forgiven, please just send it on its way home...

Photo courtesy of the owner

Update: Well that was fast...the vehicle was recovered late Tuesday night!

Stage 2 PUD Submitted for The Wharf

The Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team has submitted their Stage 2 PUD application for Phase 1 of The Wharf to the Zoning Commission today according to a press release.  In it, there are details about what is planned in Phase 1 of development, which includes parcels 2, 3, 4, 11, the Promenade and Waterfront Park.  I'll do a few more blog posts about the PUD, including the public spaces, affordable component, etc. once I have a chance to look through it completely. The PUD application can be found in the Southwest Waterfront Redevelopment page and a basic description of each parcel is below:

Parcel 2

View of Parcel 2 residential and Wharf Center from the Transit Pier.

View of Parcel 2 residential and Wharf Center from Maine Avenue.
Parcel 2 is located approximately where Phillips Flagship now stands, to the west of 9th Street.  In its place will be The Wharf Center, a 135,000 SF multipurpose entertainment and cultural venue.  Presumably this is where the Washington Kastles will play their matches. Wrapped around it will be 494 apartment units in two towers (292 units in the east tower and 202 units in the west tower), and 39,000 SF of ground floor retail.  In addition, there will be a Combined Heating and Power Facility (CHP) that will provide all the necessary heating, cooling, and electrical power sources for The Wharf northwest of 7th Street.  The Wharf Center will be a five-level facility while the residential buildings will rise 12 stories to a height of 130 feet. An unoccupied tower at one corner of the building facing the District Pier will reach 200 feet.  The residential buildings will be made with brick, stone cladding, precast concrete, composite metals, glass, and a painted aluminum curtain wall system.  Hoffman-Madison Waterfront will develop this parcel and the architect is Perkins Eastman.

Parcel 3a

View of Parcel 3a office building from Maine Avenue.
Parcel 3a is located approximately where the Kastles Stadium at The Wharf is currently located, to the east of 9th Street. The Graduate School USA will occupy the 11-story, 218,000 SF office building (at a height of 130 feet) facing Maine Avenue and there will be 15,000 SF of ground floor retail. A 170-foot unoccupied tower element will be in one corner of the building. Building materials include brick, limestone, composite metal, glass, and a painted aluminum curtain wall system. Hoffman-Madison Waterfront will develop this parcel and the architect is Perkins Eastman.

Parcel 3b

View of Parcel 3b InterContinental Hotel from Wharf Street promenade.
Parcel 3b is located to the south of parcel 3a and faces the Washington Channel.  a 278-key InterContinental Hotel (the other InterContinental Hotel in the city is The Willard) is planned at this location along with 7,000 SF of retail. The hotel will rise 12 stories reaching 130 feet with a clock tower at one corner approximately 159 feet in height. Construction materials include red & gray brick, terracotta, tinted glass, granite, metal, and concrete. Carr Hospitality will develop this parcel and the architect is BBG-BBGM.

Parcel 4

View of Parcel 4 residential from Wharf Street promenade.

View of Parcel 4 residential from Maine Avenue.
Parcel 4 is also located somewhat in the Kastles stadium footprint and will contain 168 apartments and 130 condos in two buildings. There will be 77,000 SF of retail in two levels, including a health club.  The apartments and condos will rise 13 stories and reach a height of 130 feet.  These buildings will have more of an industrial feel and sort of remind me of The Odyssey condos in Arlington (at least the perspective from Wharf Street). Hoffman-Madison Waterfront will develop this parcel and the architect is Handel Architects.

Parcel 11a

View of Parcel 11a St. Augustine's Church from M Street.

View of Parcel 11a St. Augustine's Church from Maine Avenue.
Parcel 11a is the site of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 6th Street and Maine Avenue.  The old church will be demolished and in its place will be a new, 15,000 SF facility as rendered above.  It will be two stories and will include building elements such as blue & gray glass, cast stone, mill finish aluminum screen, and white aluminum storefront.  St. Augustine's will develop this parcel and MTFA Architecture is the designer.

Parcel 11b

View of Parcel 11b condos from the Waterfront Park.
Adjacent to St. Augustine's will be a 109-unit condo building at parcel 11b.  The 5-story condo will be U-shaped and will line 6th Street.  Building materials include brick, metal panels, stone, wood, and glass. Hoffman-Madison Waterfront will develop this parcel and the architect is SK&I Architectural Design Group.

There will be a public presentation on February 27 at 6pm at Arena Stage and Hoffman-Madison Waterfront will most likely meet with the Zoning Commission in July. Groundbreaking is now scheduled for the first quarter of 2013 with phase one opening in 2015.  What are your initial thoughts on the Stage 2 application?

Renderings courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Monday, February 6, 2012

Juvenile Facility Coming to South Capitol Street

(h/t to reader Erik) Build-out is under way for a juvenile facility to be located in a couple one-story commercial buildings owned by Douglas Development on the 1200 block of South Capitol Street.  The Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Drop-In Center will provide community-based juvenile probation supervision and services, including tutoring, mentoring, education and prevention groups, peer mediation, recreation, and field trips.  In addition, refreshments will be provided and the Center will contain a satellite courtroom. The Center will be open Monday - Saturday from 9am to 9pm and will serve youth ages 12-18 who are either pre-trial or facing probation revocation.  The Family Court Social Services Division of the DC Superior Court have recently opened two other facilities in Southeast and Northeast.  Following is an example of activities that take place in the Northeast Center from a press release:
Monday - Friday: 9am - 3:30pm
Youth and parent(s) under Court supervision report for initial orientation following formal charging subsequent to arrest.  Youth who have been suspended from school for a period of five to ten days, and have not been assigned to an alternative suspension school will report for the entire duration of suspension. Parents will be required to go to the school to gather all educational lessons for the youth and the youth will be required to attend the Drop-In Center to complete the lessons during suspension.
Monday - Friday: 4pm - 9pm
Pre-adjudicated youth and those facing probation revocation will be required to report to the Center to participate in the following activities:
4:10pm - 5pm - Pro-social group facilitated by probation officers
5pm - 6:30pm - Tutoring
6:30pm - 7pm - Refreshments
7pm - 7:15pm - (break)
7:15pm - 9pm - Indoor Recreation: table top games, movies, etc. 
Each evening, probation officers will ensure curfews are met by conducting face-to-face checks and phone calls at the homes or court ordered placement of all youth who have court-ordered curfews. 
BARJ workshops designed to educate youth on the impact of their juvenile crime and the importance of restoration for the victim, offender, and community in which the crime occurred.  Community service will also be conducted on Saturdays.
A peek inside the Center reveals a room with several seats and a game room with a pool table and arcade games. The space was recently occupied by Gryphon Technologies, a federal contractor. On Tuesday, the director of Court Social Services will present at the First District Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) meeting at 7pm, located at First District headquarters (101 M Street).

1201 South Capitol is located next to Grand China. 
Update: At the CAC meeting, Terri Odom, director of Court Social Services and Zoe Bush, Presiding Judge of the DC Superior Court, spoke about the BARJ under construction on South Capitol Street.  The CAC meeting wasn't a venue for a debate over the location of the Center, but a meeting will be set up where  concerns over the location can be addressed. 

During the question and answer period, Odom said that there will be armed security guards on site and surveillance cameras will be on 24 hours a day.  During the build-out, additional insulation was installed to minimize noise to the nearby townhomes.  The juveniles in this program are low and medium-risk youth, while high-risk youth will not be sent to the BARJ, but will be sent to a detention center on Mt. Olivet Street in Northeast. Juveniles involved in the program have a recidivism rate of just 6%. Odom would like to set up an Adopt-a-Block program in the area of the new BARJ to help clean up from Nationals game patrons who leave litter in the residential area on their way to/from games.  Once the next meeting has been set, I'll post it here.

Update #2: The community meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 15th from 6:30pm - 8:30pm at Lucky Kabob (1548 1st Street).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Z-Burger Opens Tuesday

After several months of unforeseen build-out delays, Z-Burger finally received its certificate of occupancy on Friday and will officially open on Tuesday at Waterfront Station.  The hours of operation are as follows:
Sunday - Thursday: 10am - 10am
Friday - Saturday: 10am - 12am
About 25 employees have been hired at the store with some of them being Southwest residents. This is the fourth Z-Burger restaurant to open since the concept was born about four years ago. Other locations include Tenleytown, Glover Park, and White Marsh.  Two other locations are planned in Columbia Heights (set to open next month) and in Arlington.  Peter Tabibian, the owner, plans to open several other locations in the next few years.  Despite the added expense needed to overcome the delays (including paying rent for several months in an unopened restaurant) Peter is bullish on the success of his new restaurant in Southwest.

Below are some photos I took of the interior back on Friday.  It was really bright outside, so some of the photos came out a bit dark...

The "red carpet" leads from the front door to the register.

If you bring your children, high chair seats are available!

I think they're prepared for the masses.

A view back towards the front of the store.

Fancy soft drink machines.

Customers will be able to see their food get prepared behind the register area.

Close-up view of part of the menu, with prices.

Some seating is reserved for the handicapped.

The bathroom.
Angel wing design hung from the ceiling.

Seventy-five flavors of shakes and malts!