Friday, May 30, 2008

ARCH's V Street Project

ARCH has been approved by DC Zoning to develop for-sale artist housing near the corner of V and Fendall Streets. The new project, which will be developed using green building techniques (not sure which), will provide 8 units of one-to-two bedroom condos as well as four artist work spaces. Construction is expected to start this fall.



designed by inscape studio

From DC MUD:
...the firm is finishing up their plan for V Street, which requires the demolition of the existing building, and will replace it with a three story, 8-unit, artist-housing condo. Its one and two bedroom units will range from 550 -1200 s.f., and the first five lucky buyers will get free access to each of the five work spaces located on the first floor for two years, as an added incentive implemented by ARCH in the hopes of selling the building as quickly as possible. Prices range from approximately $165,000 to $210,000 - four of the units will be affordable for households earning approximately 60% AMI, while the other four units will be sold at market rate. ARCH is currently finishing up permit drawings for the condo and plan on breaking ground in October 2008, setting up for a grand opening in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Duane Gautier, President of ARCH, gave input as to how his firm has a special advantage in neighborhood revitalization. "We believe that arts and culture can be one of the strategies that can revitalize the Anacostia neighborhood. What we're trying to do is develop a critical mass of arts and culture activities both commercial and residential, which should help to generate further development in the neighborhood. And that's what we want to see: more private sector involvement."
In case you were wondering, the reason it doesn't have to follow the Historic District guidelines is that is it just outside the boundary.

Arch also has a few more similar projects in the works, to be profiled soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

brickwork at 1909-1919 MLK

Although they are still working on tearing down the back portions of these structures, work has already begun on the facade brickwork. It looks like they are replacing / adding mortar to strengthen it, as the facades are going to be preserved in front of whatever gets built as part of Douglas Development / AEDC's Anacostia Square.

photos by DG-rad

Getting the Facts Straight

“…the city has no business paying for such a facility or grabbing riverfront parkland to build it.”
- Marc Fisher, A Stadium Plan That Won't Pay Off

Such flagrant misinformation should get a little more editing before being published. Let’s set the record straight:

Poplar Point is not parkland. It is vacant land, with a few buildings on it currently used by the National Park Service. At present, Poplar Point is planned to be developed by Clark Realty Capital, who will build approximately 6.3 million square feet on 110 acres.

So, despite what Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher argues in his latest article, this is not an issue of parkland v. stadium. The land will be developed regardless of whether a stadium is part of the plan or not.

The city is not necessarilly proposing to pay for the stadium itself. Specifically, it is proposing a cap of $150 million (DC United wants them to pay $225) provided towards the stadium development, most if not all would go towards infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc). For now, the legislation had not yet been made public, so any details on what the money would go for is pure speculation. Regardless of what is built, the city will end up paying infrastructure costs: there are costs associated with developing land that has never been built on.

I used to be pretty ambivalent about the stadium issue, but now I see it as a crucial investment in our part of town. The stadium proposal has changed dramatically since I originally wrote about my position on the topic: at that point we were talking about MacFarlane's desire to have sole development rights to Poplar Point, whereas now the stadium is (potentially) part of Clark's more integrative masterplan. If built, the stadium will be part of a major redevelopment that will include offices, townhouses, condos, apartments, retail, cultural space, deck over 295, and a 70-acre park.

And honestly, Anacostia could use some face-painted and passionate United / Freedom / Bayhawks fans walking its streets.

Click Here for Clark's presentation on Poplar Point

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

more on the stadium

turns out that the DC Council will be voting early next week on whether to allow $150 million of the excess tax revenue from the ballpark to go towards the Poplar Point soccer stadium.

pretty interesting that, after months of silence on the topic, that within hours of my post yesterday afternoon an announcement was finally made.

sources: WJLA, Washington Post, WTOP

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stadium Announcement Soon


According to Bruce Johnson's blog, the DC Council is supposed to introduce and vote on a bill next Tuesday that would bring a soccer-specific stadium to Poplar Point.
Details of the bill are still being worked out; but sources say the measure would see developer Victor Macfarlane own the stadium. One Councilman under questioning from this reporter said Macfarlane would be expected to build much of the stadium with his own financing.
Looks like this is really starting to happen. (thanks for the link, rob)

- - -

As vague as both of these sources stay on the issue, it seems that an announcement about a DC United stadium at Poplar Point is expected soon. With its integration into the larger Poplar Point context, this is a project that would do quite a lot to bring people and vitality into the neighborhood.

Mayor Fenty on Comcast Sportsnet:

DC United President Kevin Payne on

Friday, May 23, 2008

our town by the sea river

. . .

. . .

graphic by DG-rad


to Anacostia

cropped photo courtesy of flickr user Liliang

from Anacostia

photo by DG-rad (also seen in above post)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Anacostia Library Demolition

yep, that was a library, not a factory

This afternoon residents, students, librarians, and officials met at the Anacostia Community Library to officially begin demolition of the old (and already vacated) structure.

The neighborhood library's Cheif Librarian Ginnie Cooper even had the chance to to do some of the demolition. As someone who had to work in the dated structure, I'm sure her position in the wrecker's driver's seat allowed her the chance to release pent up angst about the old building.

Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, flanked by a 5th grade class at Ketcham Elementary, spoke about how great this project is for Ward 7 and how there will be more libraries in her ward than any other ward in the city (5):


...and a reminder of what the new library will, conceptually at least, look like:

photos by DG-rad

sweet houses

I mean, how great is that second story balcony?

another twin house (there are a lots of these), but this one has pretty great tall southern windows.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HGTV report card: Incomplete.*

playground that was never put together

The Bethel Christian Fellowship Child Development Center was supposed to be te recipient of a new play area behind their building at MLK Ave and Pleasant Street, but it is still just a pile of playground parts, a pile of mulch, and a fast-weathering sign about the project.

Rebuilding Together, the organization that partnered with HGTV, has assured me that the project will be completed by the end of the week.

*to be fair, it was pouring rain almost the entire time that HGTV was here, but I still had to make sure that this would be finished...

photos by DG-rad

kayaking the anacostia

tevas + a clear and sunny day + nature literally next door = perfect opportunity to kayak the anacostia:

photo courtesy of anacostia resident Drew J., taken between the Anacostia Park boat ramp and the arboretum

Monday, May 12, 2008

the U Street cut-through

Click images to Enlarge

This street needs to be rebuilt.
- the lot is already used as a pedestrian cut-through.

- construction of the through street would further integrate the areas to the east (pictured towards the right of the aerial) with the rest of historic Anacostia.

- it would provide a safer route to the elementary school.

- the new road, sidewalks, and streetlamps would place a greater emphasis on the adjacent lots.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Here are two articles from the last couple days that talk about Anacostia's potential, both as a neighborhood and a riverfront destination, to change the way Washington, DC is experienced and viewed:

Missed Potential Along the Potomac
about how the district's waterfront land could be put to better use

Looking Past the Capital City
on DC's transformation from being viewed only as a federal city to one seen also for its neighborhoods and waterfronts

Friday, May 9, 2008

yep, it's a big chair.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Salvation Army Update

The slat-siding-esque material is now on the exterior, and I am really wishing they would cover the cinder blocks with it too, as they are looking less and less appealing every day. Can cinder blocks be banned or something?

Cinder Block Castle

Am I in the minority thinking this is turning into somewhat of a hodge-podge monstrosity?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

beautiful restoration

this renovation on Maple View Place looks amazing:

rolling out the [green plastic] carpet

this was just installed in the last few weeks

Is there any specific reason to carpet exterior stairs, or is it just for looks? (trying not to judge...)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

1809 MLK Leased!

The Hospitality Restaurant Training Center has signed a 5-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 1809 MLK, directly across the street from Anacostia Gateway in the space formerly occupied by the Green Derby.

From the Washington Business Journal:
"Founded by chef Debra Butler, the non-profit that certifies participants in culinary arts, food safety and bartending is expected to move into the space this summer. It hopes its proximity to the Anacostia Metro stop will make it more accessible to students."
Next best thing to a restaurant? A center to train restaurant employees!

graphic by DG-rad