Thursday, August 29, 2013

Doggie Day Swim on September 7th

The summer pool season is wrapping up, so on Saturday, September 7th, DPR is partnering with DOH and the Washington Humane Society to host the 5th Annual Doggie Day Swim.  This year, one of the three locations will be Randall Pool, located at South Capitol and I streets. The event will take place from 12pm – 4pm and admission is free for DC residents. There will be a maximum of 75 dogs allowed at one time in the pool.

To maintain order and to ensure a safe and fun event, dog owners are asked to follow these rules:
  • All dogs MUST have and wear a valid DC dog license.
  • Dog Handlers must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Dog handlers cannot swim or enter the pool with their dogs.
  • Dogs must be sociable and remain leashed while on the pool deck.
  • All dogs must be current on vaccinations including rabies and distemper.

Public Kickoff Meeting for Southwest Neighborhood Plan (Small Area Plan)

A Public Kickoff meeting related to the Southwest Neighborhood Plan will be held on September 11th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at Arena Stage. Over the next 6 months, the DC Office of Planning will be engaging Southwest residents and stakeholders to create a community led plan to guide the changes in the Southwest neighborhood for the next 5 to 10 years. The Southwest Plan will focus on four key elements – people, parks, connections, and building.  

The project area contains a number of underutilized District-owned properties, including Randall Recreation Center, NE parcel of Waterfront Station, First District headquarters, Lansburgh Park, the DMV inspection station, and DCFD Repair Shop/Engine Co. # 7, among others. One of the main reasons for the Southwest Neighborhood Plan is to provide guidance for the future of these parcels. It was reported in Housing Complex earlier this month that a couple of the parcels that may be in play to trade for land in Buzzard Point for a new DC United soccer stadium are 1001 and 1101 Half Street, home to the DMV inspection station and DCFD Repair Shop/Engine Co. #7, respectively. 

OP has created a project website and will soon create a second website called “Engage Southwest” where community members can interact. Other ways to participate in the process include using social media (use the hashtag #SWDCPlan on Twitter, “like” posts on Facebook, etc.), submitting hand-written comments or questions at the public meetings, calling the Office of Planning at 202-442-7600, or sending an email to Melissa Bird, Ward 6 Planning Coordinator.

Southwest Neighborhood Plan coverage map courtesy of Office of Planning

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Couple Quick Items: Performance Celebrating March on Washington Anniversary, L'Enfant Hotel Sale

The vocal ensemble Shirli Hughes and Ovation! will perform a free concert called "Singing Freedom's Song" on Saturday, August 24 at 6pm to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Members of the audience will be asked to sing along to some of the freedom songs from the Civil Rights Era. The concert will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I Street.

It was reported in the Washington Business Journal that an affiliate of The JBG Companies will have to sell the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel to San Francisco-based Stanford Hotels Corp. for $48.7 million due to a ruling by a DC Superior Court Judge.

Monday, August 19, 2013

2nd Annual DC Homebrewers and Sam Adams BBQ This Saturday

The second annual DC Homebrewers (DCHB) BBQ will be held this Saturday next door to the former Kastles Stadium at The Wharf site on the 800 block of Water Street.  It will be held from 2pm to 6pm. During the afternoon, members of the DCHB will be offering demonstrations and educational presentations, including:
·         Extract Brewing with John Lutz          3:00 – 5:00 PM
·         All Grain Brewing with Jim Koebel     2:00 – 6:00 PM
·         Brew-In-A-Bag with Peter Jones         2:00 – 6:00 PM
·         2:45 - Nanomashing: Tasting Caramel Malts - Bob Rouse, DC Homebrews Club President
·         3:15 - Homebrew Outreach and Participation Sisterhood (HOPS)
·         3:45 - Yeasts Gone Wild - Jasper Akerboom, Lost Rhino Brewing Company
·         4:15 - Brewing Historical Beers - Peter Jones, Historian
·         4:45 - Beer Judging Tips and Tricks - Jim Koebel, BJCP National Judge
·         5:15 - Hops 101 - Andrei Henry, NHC Presenter

There will also be fun activities for the entire family, including cornhole, pin the tail on the donkey, and entertainment from the Washington Nationals. A raffle will also be held with several items up for bid including Uber Gift Cards, Odyssey Cruises, private dinner from CESaute, a hat signed by Danny Espinosa, a ball signed byu Wilson Ramos, Nationals tickets, items signed by Adam LaRoche, booze, beer, art, brewing equipment, and more. Some of the beers that will be available include: Sam Adams, Angry Orchard, Flying Dog, 3 Stars, DC Brau, Bells, and Duve.

Admission is $15 and tickets are available here. Kids 10 and under can enter for free. Ticket price includes admission, a plate of BBQ (vegetarian option will be available), 2 sides, hand-crafted soda, Sam Adams beer and an additional beer ticket for one of several craft beers that will be on tap. Additional beer tickets will be available for $5. All raffle and beer sales will go to Common Good City Farm and some of the ticket sales profits are going to DCHB to further education and make more events like this happen.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kastles Stadium Leaves the Wharf

In a sign that construction may begin at The Wharf sometime before next July, Kastles Stadium at The Wharf has been dismantled. The stadium has been a fixture at 9th and Water streets for the past three seasons and all that's left now are the lights and ticket window. Before the stadium opened in 2011, Hogates/H2O nighclub was located at that corner.  By 2016, the site will become an office building and an Intercontinental Hotel with ground level retail. The office building will front Maine Avenue and the hotel will face the wharf and Washington Channel.

An earlier rendering of the planned Intercontinental Hotel from Transit Pier.

Rendering courtesy of Hoffman Madison Waterfront

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Douglass Bridge Process Moving Forward

There is $622 million set aside in the District’s FY2014 budget to fund Phase 1 (Segments 1 and 2) of the South Capitol Street Corridor project, which includes a new bascule design Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, traffic ovals on either side of the bridge, and the reconstruction of the I-295/Suitland Parkway interchange.  Federal funds will also be used for the project.  The second phase has yet to be funded and will include the boulevardization of South Capitol Street from N Street to Independence Avenue, a new, at-grade intersection with M Street, and other improvements on both sides of the Anacostia River.  

The western section of the bridge.

The new bridge will have three lanes of vehicular traffic on each side as well as space for pedestrians and bikes. There will be an 18-foot shared use bike and pedestrian lanes on both sides of the bridge with connections to Potomac Avenue and R Street on the west side of the river. Ten feet will be dedicated to a two-way cycle track and eight feet will be used for a pedestrian pathway. In addition, viewing platforms will be located along the bridge. A shared use path will be located in the inner part of the traffic oval.

Lane configuration on the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge.

A change from the earlier design of the bridge is its alignment, which will now be parallel to the existing bridge. Another difference is now there will be a traffic oval on the east side of the bridge instead of a traffic circle. The traffic oval on the west side will connect Nationals Park with the proposed DC United stadium and can serve as a focal point for the area, perhaps with a new memorial.

A new traffic oval will be built adjacent to the bridge.

DDOT will released a request for proposals in the fourth quarter of 2013 and a design-build team will be selected by the second quarter of 2014. Construction will begin by the end of 2014 and completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018. During the construction period, some steps that will be taken to help minimize disruption to the neighborhood include the delivery of construction materials by water, the use of water trucks to reduce dust, designated haul routes, and no construction worker parking in neighborhoods.

Renderings courtesy of DDOT

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Wharf a Contender for Washington Post Headquarters

It was reported in Capital Business that Hoffman Madison Waterfront was one of several developers to respond to a request for proposals for The Washington Post Co., which is looking for a site for a new headquarters building for the paper (the new ownership group of The Washington Post will still need a new headquarters building). According to Matt Steenhoek at PN Hoffman, "we think it is a tremendous location for the Post that offers unparalleled visibility, access, amenities, views, and surroundings." The site proposed by Hoffman Madison Waterfront is parcel 1 at The Wharf, which is currently designated as an office building.  Parcel 1 is located to the west of Parcel 2 (Wharf Center and 2 apartment buildings), adjacent to Market Pier and would be near the rejuvenated Maine Avenue Fish Market.

View of Parcel 1 office building from the Washington Channel.

The proposed office building has been designed by KPF.  Even though Parcel 1 is planned for the second phase of development, if the Post chooses the Wharf for their new home, the developers would work quickly to get Stage 2 PUD approval and start construction on the building so it could be completed around the same time that the other phase one buildings would be completed in 2016-17.

View from the inside of the proposed WaPo HQ towards the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.

 Renderings courtesy of KPF

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kastles Win King Trophy

Congratulations to the Washington Kastles for winning their third straight Mylan WTT title with a convincing 25-12 win on Sunday, July 28 against the Springfield Lasers. After a two-hour rain delay, the Kastles won five straight sets to capture their fourth King Trophy in the past five years. Earlier in the season, the Kastles broke the record for the most consecutive wins by a U.S. professional sports team with 34 straight wins. The Kastles have played the past three seasons at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf along Water Street. It's unclear at this point what will happen to the stadium as development is supposed to get underway on The Wharf during the off season.