Douglas Development’s Uline arena project in NoMa.
Douglas Development has a habit of giving properties for redevelopment unusual LLC names. While most developers opt for some form of the property’s address, Douglas has gems like Jemal’s Babes LLC or Jemal’s Bulldog LLC.
The Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer has the story behind many of DC’s prolific developer’s creative business names here.
Demolition of the two northern structures on the former Buchanan School (International School) in Hill East could begin as soon as mid-December and definitely by early 2016, the project team told community members at a meeting Monday. The new development by Insight Development with designs by SK+I Architecture will bring 32 proposed townhomes and the 41 one-level condo flats to 1325 D St SE.
The historic school building on site will become condos, but two later additions will be demolished to make way for the new townhomes.
The general contractors, Moriarty, expects to receive permits for demolition in December or January and for demolition to last about two months. Vehicles removing the debris will travel south on 13th Street, SE to Pennsylvania Avenue and will travel east to the highway to Virginia–11th Street will not be used because of safety and traffic concerns.
Neighbors can expect about six parking spaces to be taken up mid-block on 13th Street to create the entrance to the construction site. Additionally the green space currently used as an informal dog park will in all likelihood be blocked off by construction fencing. Sorry fido.
Depending on permits and construction delays, the project should deliver in 2017.
The development team behind an unusual development that includes a new state-of-the-art fire station and a 214 room Hyatt Place hotel, among other uses celebrated the project’s completion with ribbon cutting this week. The new development comes on the former site of a surface parking lot at 400 E St, SW.
The unique public private partnership behind the development is a a joint project with DCFEMS, the Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Department of General Services and the District’s development partner, E Street Development Group.
The new development also includes retail space and the headquarters for local non-profit Kid Power, Inc. The new fire station for Engine Company 13, the District’s first new station in nearly 20 years, is a $10 million facility for FEMS units, according to the Hill Rag.
“Engine Company 13 has been a part of this community for more than 100 years and this new facility reinforces our commitment to stay in this neighborhood,” said DCFEMS Chief Gregory Dean said in a prepared statement. “This is a great example of how government and the private sector can come together to benefit the community.”
Could the Circulator connect Abe Lincoln to Ben’s Chili Bowl? Photo courtesy of the District Department of Transportation.
A new circulator route could connect the eastern edge of H Street to Logan Circle by way of NoMa depending on which of five proposed circulator routes emerges from the District Department of Transportation’s new route study.
Though NoMa is served by both the NoMa/Gallaudet and Union Station metro stations as well as several bus routes, DDOT is considering a circulator route because the neighborhood is the largest DC activity center not served by a DC Circulator route, according to the study website.
The route options include new connections from east to west or south to north:
NoMa to Columbia Heights via U Street
NoMa to Columbia Heights via Washington Hospital Center
The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) re-issued a request for proposals earlier this year after Mayor Muriel Bowser canceled a previous deal. The Vince Gray administration previously awarded the school to an EastBanc-led development, the Institute for Contemporary Expression (ICE-DC), to the building at 925 13th St. NW.
In August, DMPED announced five development teams would compete to redevelop the historic school. That number narrowed to four more recently.
Now four proposals are vying for redevelopment rights for the 51,000 square gross feet building in downtown (approximately 33,000 to 38,000 usable square feet).
Friedman Collaboration for the Arts: Arts, hotel and food destination. View proposal.
ARIA Development Group: Hotel, restaurant and bar. View proposal.
Dantes Partners and UberOffices: Co-working office space. View proposal.
Thoron Capital & Georgetown University: Technology, arts and media center with ground floor restaurant. View proposal.
The Commission narrowed down to two proposals, ranking the Georgetown plan first.
“The Commission felt the Thoron/Georgetown and Friedman Collaboration proposals were better suited for the disposition of a public property, use of the historic space, and provision of community benefits,” according to a post on the ANC’s blog.
DMPED told the ANC their office anticipates selecting a winning proposal by the end of the year. The winning team would then enter into negotiations for a long-term (50-99 years) ground lease.
“We were overwhelmed by the positive reaction to Huntress and are thrilled to have the same team together again to deliver a project that fits with the Capitol Hill aesthetic and showcases stunning style,” Jenna Jacobson, Esq., development manager and general counsel.
The units feature a landscaped shared backyard and a patio with a communal Viking grill.
Homes range from $625,000 to $760,000. Parking is available.
A former Diamond Cab lot near Logan Circle has been transformed into the HOLM: a 38-unit apartment building with what is being billed as a “highly anticipated” restaurant on the ground floor. Developer CAS Riegler announced completion of the Hickok Cole-designed project located at 1550 11th St. NW this week.
HOLM boasts outdoor space for most of the units, an open roof deck and catering kitchen for the penthouse to terraces and/or balconies on many of the more traditional units. Units boast features like custom built-in wardrobes, European frameless cabinetry or space-saving sliding barn doors.
“CAS Riegler is dedicated to creating unique real estate products in urban infill locations with a specific focus on residents’ sophistication and use of their homes when living in urban locations,” said C. Adam Stifel, principal, in a prepared statement. “HOLM’s sustainable, forward-thinking design will appeal to trend-setting residents who already live in the immediate area and want to stay, but are ready for a more refined design aesthetic and a location that allows them to take advantage of all the great neighborhood amenities without being surrounded by more than 200 other tenants.”
The building is now leasing. One-bedroom apartments start at $2,250, two-bedrooms at $3,200. The penthouse apartments range from $4,200 (for a one-bedroom unit) to over $7,500 for a three-bedroom. For leasing information, call 202-600-9462 or visit www.holmdc.com.
The oddly-shaped site was home to an auto repair garage and the Diamond Cab Co. offices.
NoMa is getting its very first park–an 8,000 square-foot lot at 3rd and L streets, NE recently acquired by the NoMa Parks Foundation. The land, a lot to the rear of the existing Loree Grand development that was originally slated for Cohen Siegel Investors’ 44-unit condo, will be titled to the District of Columbia government becoming District-owned property.
The NoMa BID called the park the first of “several” such additions coming to the burgeoning NoMa community, when announcing the land acquisition in a press release Thursday.
“The addition of public park space is an integral component in our efforts to transform the neighborhood and buying this land for the neighborhood is another milestone in creating this smart urban environment for people in NoMa,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, president of the NoMa Business Improvement District, in a statement.
The new park is coming just in time as the eastern edge of NoMa is on the verge of adding hundred of new residential units in several new residential and mixed-use developments planned on 2nd and 3rd Streets, NE between Union Station and Union Market.
Marinas with several hundred boat slips, docks with access for paddlers, and several miles of boardwalk promenades will increasingly spot the Anacostia River in the coming years, bringing with them a renewed vigor for the waterfront as thousands gravitate toward DC’s eastern river. Even with the recently announced year-end closure of the Buzzard Point Marina, the Anacostia River will have nearly 1,000 boat slips spread across The Wharf DC mega development, a new marina at Yards Park, and existing facilities like James Creek and the Gangplank Marina.
This article appears in The Hill Rag’s November issue, available at newsstands now.
Developers building along the Capitol Riverfront in Southeast and at The Wharf in Southwest are looking not just to land but also to water as they design and program their new residential and mixed-use projects.
Yards developer Forest City Washington announced that their 50-slip marina, designed by Moffatt & Nichol, should deliver by spring 2016. The marina will include space for short-term and long term slip usage for boats as large as 125 feet in length.
“The development of the marina will put The Yards more in touch with one of its best assets, the river,” said Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington, in a prepared statement.
The Wharf is slated to offer 550 boat slips, an increase of more than 200 slips.
As developers turn to the Anacostia, river enthusiasts see a positive impact from the influx of new buildings and people. “People who live [near the river] have a lot more vested interest in it,” said Trey Sherard, outreach coordinator/program assistant for the Anacostia Riverkeeper (ARK). “It may be a counter-intuitive example of development actually helping drive conservation.”
Kayaks arrive at the new Kingman Island docks. Photo: Tyrone Eaton, Anacostia Watershed Society.
Marinas and boat slips are not the only alterations. Boardwalks and promenades are also bringing people right to the river’s edge.
“There’s literally thousands more people walking that stretch of the river than used to,” said Sherard.
The Yards Park, completed in 2010, is the product of a public/private partnership between developer Forest City Washington, the General Services Administration, and the District government. In addition to green space, concessions, and land-based water features, the Yards includes a boardwalk and an award-winning sculptural bridge that continues the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail along a 1.5-mile stretch of the river.
Seizing on Forest City’s success, development by MRP Realty and Florida Rock Properties is also providing connectivity to the river. The developers expect to deliver the first phase of a four-phase project at a site south of the Nationals Ballpark adjacent to the South Capitol Street Bridge on the waterfront by early summer 2016. The first building to deliver, Dock 79, will feature access to a boardwalk that connects to the riverside promenade that already stretches from the Yards Park to Diamond Teague Park.
When the entire master development is complete, MRP’s Riverwalk will be 800 linear feet. The riverwalk will be accessible for paddlers from the river; no formal kayak or canoeing concession is planned. Later phases may include boat slips, though the idea is very much in its infancy, according to Kristian DeMeo, a project manager at MRP realty. MRP is also working with the Anacostia Watershed Society toward the goal of a swimmable Anacostia by 2025. “We are doing our part to make sure that our project is safe and clean,” said DeMeo.
Getting people from land and onto the water is critical and increasingly possible, according to Sherard. The concession at Diamond Teague, run by the same company operating kayak and canoe rentals in Georgetown and National Harbor, has opened water access to the other side of the city, according to Sherard.
There are also access points like the Anacostia Community Boathouse where area crew teams practice and new public kayak and canoe docks at Kingman Island, “christened” in October by the Anacostia Watershed Society, the National Park Service, and the DC Department of Energy and Environment. “It’s great to get people walking next to the river. It’s a whole other thing to get people actually on the river,” said Sherard. “It really hits people what an asset it is when they can get physically on it.”
Change does not come without cost. Live-aboard communities like those at Buzzard Point Marina have been told they will have to move their homes elsewhere. “Closing the marina is not a decision that was made lightly,” National Park Service Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail said in a statement announcing the marina’s closure.
Live-aboards at the Southwest waterfront worked out an agreement to keep their slips when the new Wharf development opens, but anticipated rent increases could have some owners looking for friendlier waters.
The return to the river is gradual, as projects like The Wharf and the MRP/Florida Rock development deliver in phases, but also immediate as new residents gather in waterside parks or rent kayaks for an afternoon. The Anacostia River is ready, beyond ready, for the attention it has long-deserved.
Featured Image: Dock 79′s Capitol Riverwalk esplanade view. Image courtesy of MRP | REALTY.