Friday, February 29, 2008

Anacostia on the Rise

(get excited)

From the Washington Business Journal:
George Curtis III, whose family's furniture company built the 19-foot high chair at V Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, is teaming with D.C.'s Four Points LLC on a planned 1.5 million square feet of new development in the heart of Anacostia's blighted business district.

The project envisions development of 9.5 acres -- nearly eight city blocks -- on the west side of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue around the big chair, a neighborhood landmark since it was installed in 1959 and whose survival over the decades has made it a symbol of the area's resilience.

The plans include 855,000 square feet of offices, 500 residential units, 165,000 square feet of retail, an eight- to 10-screen movie theater and a grocery store.

More on this ridiculously exciting news later today...

images courtesy of the Washington Business Journal

Monday, February 25, 2008

Salvation Army Update

New rendering!
I really hope that the exterior lighting is as spectacular as they make it look here.
And look at the great roof access:

For those of you not already familiar with this neighborhood, because it is situated on a hill, most properties in Anacostia (build those roof-decks!) have breathtaking views of the rest of the city.

...and from the inside, from the top floor at the corner of MLK and Morris Rd (from January 28, 2008):

images courtesy of WCS Construction
(Why have I not been noticing these photo updates!?)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Office Tenant for Anacostia Gateway!

thank you washington business journal for being all about anacostia today . . .

It has just been reported that the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development will make Anacostia Gateway its new headquarters. This is extremely good news, because it means that Anacostia will have quite a few new customers.

DC DHCD is taking the space that the NAACP backed out of last year.

More news as I hear it.

Video about Poplar Point

The Washington Business Journal online has a video story about the Poplar Point development.

The information in it is not all that new, but it includes footage of the existing conditions of the Point, as well as an interview with Main Street Anacostia's Executive Director Yavocka Young (Click Here for story about her vision for Anacostia).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The construction fences have been taken down around Anacostia Gateway:

Now all we need are some retail and office tenants!

photo (pardon the poor quality) by DG-rad

Monday, February 18, 2008

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

According to this schedule, the riverfront trail network closest to the neighborhood of Anacostia should see major work in 2008:

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

...of course, anything that happens here in the next few years is likely to be largely changed / affected by the final Poplar Point plan.

For more information: DDOT ART Website

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I wonder how much of the Poplar Point development will take up that middle ground in my favorite Anacostia view*?

*you're gonna want to click that to see the full size

(uploaded today) by flickr user derAmialtebloede

Fenty: No Soccer Deal Yet

transcript from NBC 4 interview:

Mayor Fenty:
"To be accurate, we're working on a plan, we'd love to have a plan, we wanna have DC United here - they've been great for this city and we wanna have a stadium. We don't have a plan yet but we'll keep working towards having one."
...more as it comes.

Clark Realty Wins Poplar Point !

The Washington Business Journal reports that Clark Realty Capital has won the competition to develop Poplar Point. Mayor Fenty will formally announce the winner in Anacostia later today.

According to the article, a soccer stadium is still very much part of the discussions, although they are not releasing any further details. This is a very exciting day. Why? Potential for a deck built over 295 (woot!) and a soccer stadium bringing thousands of fans to our fair neighborhood (woot woot!) and finally the first steps toward a revived south / east of the Anacostia waterfront!

- - -

The Washington Post reports more about the soccer stadium:
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has proposed using public funds to build a professional soccer stadium in Southeast Washington that would cost as much as $190 million, a drastic departure from his stance against public financing of the Nationals baseball stadium.

In a private meeting with the D.C. Council yesterday, Fenty (D) said the District has been collecting $20 million a year in excess revenue from city taxes related to the financing of the baseball stadium, according to government sources with knowledge of the meeting.

Fenty said the city could use that revenue to pay for construction bonds for a 27,000-seat soccer stadium for D.C. United, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussion was private.
Great News, for now at least.

- - -

...and more from the Examiner, which seems to point to this whole soccer stadium thing being a done deal (?!):
In a dramatic turnaround, the District of Columbia government has dropped its long-held resistance to a stadium for D.C. United and instead will announce today that it plans to contribute funds for the construction of a 27,000-seat arena at Poplar Point, the Examiner has learned.
Wow, I guess I will just have to be patient and wait for the announcement. Wish I could be there for it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Today is the Presidential Primary. Here in DC, we don't get to vote for much in the way of Federally Elected Officials, but today we do have a voice - so let's shout.

>Find your polling place
>Register to vote (please)

photos courtesy of local flickr user rachel eisley

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Skyland Town Center Website

Although there have been a few bumps in the road, the Skyland Town Center project just up Good Hope from Anacostia is still on track.

Check out their New Website!

Latest site plan and renderings (renderings are clearly only evocative of the general look and feel of the development - Yep, it looks amazing):

click to enlarge

Click Here for Skyland Fact Sheet (PDF)

images courtesy of The Rappaport Companies
graphic by DG-rad

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Updated Library Plans

My apologies for not being on top of the Library issue. I guess the fact that this isn't my full time job is catching up to me...

Preview Image (scroll down for more)

Last fall there were two meetings regarding the design of the new Anacostia library. I attended the meeting on October 4, but somehow missed the December 13 follow-up. It will be interesting to watch this process unfold, and I expect that the designers will have even more significant renderings and plans at the next scheduled meeting on April 10, 2008.

October 4, 2007 Meeting Summary
December 13, 2007 Meeting Summary

Anacostia Neighborhood Library Project Page

(I'm trying to get some higher-quality renderings and plans, but these should do for now)

images courtesy of DCPL

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

classic Marion Barry flip flop

Until yesterday when it appeared that the majority of the public actually supports Fenty's school-closing plan, Marion Barry was Fenty's biggest rival on the issue. Thank you Marc Fisher of the Washington Post for pointing this out.

Click Here for article

Here's to better Ward 8 representation in the next election.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Grocery Shortage

The Washington Business Journal has a very interesting article today on the "food deserts" of Wards 7 and 8, and the connection between obesity and lack of food options in underserved communities.

graphic courtesy of the WBJ

From the article:

Ashbrook's research confirms what residents of wards 7 and 8 already know: There is not much good food at corner stores. Indeed, food sellers themselves are often missing.

D.C. Hunger Solutions, in a report to be released this spring, found that while 24 percent of the District's population lives east of the Anacostia River, only 15 percent of the city's 360 food stores are there.

For the city overall, there is one food store for every 1,589 residents, but in wards 7 and 8 the ratio is one for every 2,585 residents.
The statistics point to so-called food deserts in east-of-the-Anacostia neighborhoods.

"Certain areas of D.C. really have almost no access to fresh fruits and vegetables," Ashbrook says.

The lack of access to nutritional food is recognized nationally as a significant factor in obesity, and health advocates are exploring ways community planning can improve health.
How amazing would it be if we got a really great urban infill grocery store? (like CityVista, Logan Circle, O Street Market)