Today we’re introducing a new feature that will appear regularly on both the Capital Business and Where We Live blogs called “What’s Going on With . . .?”
As in: What’s going on with that such-and-such building, construction site, vacant lot or other property that is in your neighborhood or on your way to work or you see outside your car window. We hope to answer questions like: Who owns it? What is it used for? Why is it like that? Will it always be that way?
I’m sure you’ve wondered about such things in your neighborhood. Each week, I’ll tackle one of your questions about a property from the Washington region and try to get to the bottom of it. Is there a hole in the ground nearby that you’ve been curious about? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
First up: What’s going on with that new office building near the Nationals ballpark?
Thousands of baseball fans drive or walk past this building, which was built to replace the former Nation nightclub, on their way to the park. It’s called 1015 Half St. SE and it’s an interesting property not only because of its visibility for baseball fans but also because of how it has ridden the highs and lows of the real estate market, even attracting coverage from the Wall Street Journal in April.
You’re not likely to see many people coming in or out of 1015 Half Street because even though the building was newly completed in the summer, it is completely empty upstairs, all 414,000 square feet. It was built without any office leases lined up, a practice that was rather commonplace before the real estate crash but became a big problem once the economy tanked.
In this case, the original builder, Opus East, filed for bankruptcy and construction had to completely stop midway through until new owners picked it up. Now that it’s finished but still empty, the building is a candidate to host Artomatic, the local arts festival.
Whenever companies agree to rent space in 1015 Half Street, it will bring hundreds of workers to the area, which will encourage more restaurants and shops to open as well.
For much, much more on 1015 Half Street, please see JDLand.
Nearby neighborhood guide: Navy Yard
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz.