Friday, August 11, 2017

New South Capitol Street Bridge Design

A new design for the replacement Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge which brings South Capitol Street across the Anacostia River was revealed yesterday at a press event with Mayor Bowser, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and other dignitaries. The new design is a departure from the previous version that looked more traditional and swung open to allow large boats to traverse the Anacostia. Since the display ship U.S.S. Barry that was docked at the Navy Yard was dismantled and moved, there was no longer a need to have a swing span bridge so the design was updated. According to a press release, the new bridge design includes three above-deck arches that capture the District’s arch history, two piers that will appear to float in the river, and four pedestrian overlooks. The new bridge will carry six lanes of vehicular traffic (three on each side), as well as bike and pedestrian lanes on each side of the bridge. In addition to the new bridge, traffic ovals will be built on both sides of the bridge – the oval on the west side of the river will connect South Capitol Street with Potomac Avenue and Q Street.  

Current bridge
New bridge

The bridge project is part of the South Capitol Street Corridor Project, a two-phase project that will eventually include additional improvements to South Capitol Street and adjacent streets on both sides of the river. On the west side of the river, improvements in phase II will reach all the way to the intersection with the Southwest freeway. Construction on the first phase will begin in late 2017 and will run through 2021. More images and an animated video showing the bridge project can be found on the project website.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Politics and Prose Coming to District Square

Just a few days after I mused that there were few non-restaurant retail tenants announced so far at District Wharf comes this news: it was announced yesterday that Politics and Prose will open a bookstore there this October. Per WTOP, the 2,300 SF bookstore will be located at District Square, on the ground floor of The Channel apartments. Politics and Prose often hosts authors at its Upper NW bookstore and will also do so at District Wharf. From the article: 

Among those already scheduled to appear this fall are MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Jordanian-Filipina American writer and editor Malu Halasa, national security affairs specialist Mark Perry and cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.

The grand opening for Politics and Prose is scheduled for October 12, the same day as the bulk of Phase 1 of District Wharf will make its debut.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Photo Tour Part 2: Buzzard Point

Over in Buzzard Point, progress is being made at Audi Field (the new home of D.C. United) at 2nd and R streets and construction of a Pepco substation across R Street from the stadium site. The former is scheduled to open in June 2018 while the latter is much further along. Groundbreaking for Audi Field occurred back in February, but environmental remediation started months prior. At the July ANC meeting, Victor Melara from D.C. United stated that most of the environmental remediation was complete - just one area was left to finish. Precast seating bowl installation along the west side of the stadium was supposed to start in late July. Site utility installation was also expected to start in late July. On the south side of the stadium, basement excavation is complete and grade beams are being installed.

The Pepco Waterfront substation project includes the substation structure, transmission lines, and the installation of duct banks. The substation structure is nearly complete, but electrical work still needs to be completed.  Duct banks north and west of the substation also need to be installed. Pepco is partnering with the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities to bring artwork worth $250,000 to the planned plaza on the south side of the substation at 1st and R streets near Audi Field. A sculpture designed by local artists David and Eli Hess called Flash Point will be located in the plaza. An additional $100,000 will be spent to adorn portions of the exterior of the substation with a light installation from local artists. 

East aerial view of Audi Field.
Pepco substation at 1st & Q streets.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Photo Tour Part 1: District Wharf

On a picture perfect Saturday, I decided to go around and take photos of most of the construction activity in the quadrant. First up was District Wharf. It’s hard to believe the first phase will finally open in less than two months! Of course, portions of the first phase are already complete - 525 Water and St. Augustine's Church were completed in 2016 and Waterfront Park, with a portion dedicated to DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton opened last spring. Leasing has begun at both apartment buildings along Maine Avenue – Incanto and The Channel. Meanwhile, a large share of the condo units at VIO have already been pre-sold and two of the office buildings have landed tenants that traditionally wouldn’t locate in Southwest, including a law firm. One tenant I neglected to mention previously is Washington Gas, which according to the Washington Business Journal will move its headquarters from 101 Constitution Avenue NW to 1000 Maine Avenue and will occupy at least 70,000 SF of space in two floors. The Anthem continues to line up acts for its inaugural year of operations, including Foo Fighters, who will perform on opening night - October 12. Dozens of restaurants will be opening in the coming months, although only a few non-restaurant retailers have been announced so far, such as CVS, District Hardware & Bike & Cafe, The Press, Bella Moda Salon and Spa, and Cordial Craft Wine, Beer & Spirits. Below are some photos taken from East Potomac Park:

Going from west to east (or left to right): VIO, Canopy by
Hilton and Hyatt House hotels, the gazebo at 7th Street Park
and the recreation pier.

From left to right: Intercontinental Hotel, Capitol Yacht Club,
VIO, Canopy by Hilton and Hyatt House hotels.

From left to right: 1000 Maine Avenue, The Channel
apartments, and District Pier.

Zoomed-in view of The Channel apartments and the entrance to
the Anthem, as well as the Transit Pier, with space for
Cantina Marina Bambina.

From Maine Avenue, one can see more details coming along, including signs for parking garages and entrances to buildings. Don't try to follow the parking garage signs just yet though...the garages are not open to the public yet.  See below:

Hyatt House faces 7th Street Park, which now has landscaping
and lighting installed.

A sliver of Incanto apartments, 800 Maine, and The Channel.

A portion of The Channel apartments, which has over 500 units.

View of 800 Maine, District Square, & The Channel apartments.

Pier 4 office building from Waterfront Park

A view of the first phase of District Wharf from 10th Street.