Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Buzzard Point Construction Activity

A stroll down 2nd Street in Buzzard Point reveals a much changed landscape. In two years, there will be a new Pepco Waterfront substation and a D.C. United soccer stadium, but for now, the area is a large construction zone. Hardly any buildings exist from Q Street to T Street, save for the historic Dent house at the corner of 2nd and R streets, which is owned by Pepco and will be preserved while they build their new substation. The Pepco substation construction is further along – digging has reached 15 feet below grade and excavation is complete with the foundation being poured (see above photo). Construction should be complete by June 2017. 

Looking NE toward Nationals Park from S Street
Meanwhile, demolition of existing structures at the D.C. United stadium site is complete and utility work is about to begin. The District is responsible for horizontal development, so the District’s portion of the process will be complete this fall.  A demolition ceremony was held in April when Mayor Bowser helped take down a metal-clad building at 2nd and S streets. Once utility work is complete and D.C. United finishes the PUD process for the design of the stadium, the team will be responsible for building the stadium, along with implementing the environmental remediation plan the District devised. The latest estimate of when construction could begin is the end of 2016 with the stadium opening in 2018. 

Both projects are happening simultaneously, so the two are coordinating a traffic control plan with phased street closures as delivery trucks haul away dirt and bring in concrete. There will be an enforced work zone around Buzzard Point with a 15 MPH speed limit in the area; cameras will be set up by MPD; and no construction trucks will be allowed in the residential neighborhood north of Q Street. The traffic consultant from Dewberry presented phase one of the Traffic Control Plan at Monday’s ANC meeting, which involves street closures at Potomac Avenue, Half Street, and R Street.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Parcel 11 Update

Construction will be wrapping up at the new St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in the next couple of months. On Wednesday, September 24, the church will celebrate its reopening with a convocation, starting at 4pm. Meanwhile, 525 Water condos are approaching 50% pre-sold and the building is open for unit tours. Move-ins are scheduled to start this summer. These are the first buildings at The Wharf that will be completed. Infrastructure work continues at Waterfront Park, a three-acre open space adjacent to 525 Water, and construction should be completed either late this year or by early next year. The remaining buildings in phase one are supposed to be complete in the fall of 2017.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Breaking: STC and Erkiletian to Withdraw The Bard PUD Application

Erkiletian Development and Shakespeare Theatre Company announced this morning that they have withdrawn their PUD application for 501 I Street. Known as The Bard, the project would incorporate administrative, educational, and rehearsal space as well as a costume design shop for Shakespeare, as well as actor and fellow housing and an apartment building. The development team plans to resubmit the application this fall. From the press release: 
The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Erkiletian Development is committed to staying in the District of Columbia and Southwest DC, and will continue working with community leaders and neighbors on a building that meets the requirements articulated through the planning process.
Last week, the development team submitted a revised PUD with additional community benefits. Community opposition and the Office of Planning's recommendation that the project not get a set-down hearing may have prompted the PUD withdrawal.  Stay tuned...

Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More Community Benefits Added to Bard PUD

An amendment was filed last week to the Planned Unit Development (PUD) application for The Bard, a planned development at 501 I Street by Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) and Erkiletian. These amendments are the result of meetings with the community and the ANC to discuss community benefits. These new benefits are in addition to those previously included in the PUD. Below is a summary of the additional benefits proffered by the development team: 
  • The number of Inclusionary Zoning units has increased by two to 11, which is set aside for households earning up to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). 
  • Two units at 40% of AMI will be set aside for at least 10 years for top leadership and teaching talent at neighboring Amidon-Bowen Elementary School and Jefferson Academy. 
  • STC will create a long-term curriculum with Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson, including live performances twice a year at each school and after school programming twice a week. 
  • STC will bring up to 100 students and teachers to one STC production each year for free, including bus transportation.
Whether these proposed additions will be sufficient to the vocal opposition to this project remains to be seen. The Office of Planning has recommended that a set-down hearing not be scheduled for the project since the proposal is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan or the Southwest Neighborhood Plan. Those plans call for institutional uses or moderate density, but the proposed mixed use building would vary in height between four and seven stories, which is inconsistent with moderate density.

Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates