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Signing for New Homes In Capitol Quarter

The interior of the Pattern and Joiner Shop is being demolished so that the World War I-era building can be converted into apartments.
The interior of the Pattern and Joiner Shop is being demolished so that the World War I-era building can be converted into apartments. (By Jacqueline Dupree)
By Jacqueline Dupree
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ballpark and Beyond is adapted from Jacqueline Dupree's blog on development in Near Southeast, the rapidly changing area between Capitol Hill and the Anacostia River that is home to Nationals Park.

Developer EYA has confirmed that people who successfully grabbed reservations for market-rate townhouses at Capitol Quarter are starting to be brought in to sign sales contracts. Those with the earliest reservations, which go back to October 2006, started having their contracts written last week, and over the next few months all reservation holders will do so. Construction is still expected to start in the summer. Some with early reservations are being told to expect delivery of their houses in early 2009, or perhaps a bit sooner.

Capitol Quarter is the mixed-income development on the site of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing complex, in the blocks bounded by Fifth, Third and L streets and Virginia Avenue SE.

Farmers Market Returns

The Farmers Market at the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters has returned for its second year. It's scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 18. They've moved the location slightly this year -- it's now at Third and M streets SE, on the pedestrian plaza between the two DOT buildings.

M Street Office Project

The northeast corner of Half and M streets SE is home to Nats Parking Lot J these days, the Sunoco station that was there having closed in 2006. The land was purchased for $14.3 million in 2007 by Monument Realty, which has has begun marketing the site as 50 M Street, a 135,000-square-foot office building, targeting associations in the area as possible tenants. It's a "build-to-suit" project, meaning that at this point the developer will wait for signed tenants before beginning construction, unlike the other recent office projects in Near Southeast that have moved forward "on spec."

The project's M Street location means it will have to go through a Capitol Gateway Overlay Zoning Review, which includes the requirement that all the building's non-entrance frontage along M Street be devoted to retail space, and that no less than 35 percent of the first floor be retail.

As for the one-story red brick building behind the 50 M Street lot, that's a warehouse owned by the federal government, and as of now it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

A Prep for Construction

Responding to my inquiry about the windows that have recently been removed from the Pattern Shop Lofts building, long known as the Pattern and Joiner Shop, on the south side of Third and Tingey streets SE in the Yards, project developer Forest City Washington has told me that interior demolition work is underway on the World War I-era building. The interior walls, ceilings, plumbing, asbestos and other fixtures are being removed, in preparation for construction and renovation that is scheduled to begin this year. Two floors will be added to the top of the building as part of its transformation into a 170-unit apartment building that will also have 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. It's expected to be finished next year.

The Pattern Shop's neighbor across Third Street, the Boilermaker Shop, is currently out for bid, and construction is expected to begin in the summer to turn it into a 46,000-square-foot retail space by fall 2009.

Work has stopped at the 1345 South Capitol St. SW site across from the ballpark at South Capitol and O streets, after the old buildings on the site were demolished at the beginning of the year. Camden Development has been planning a 276-unit apartment building for this site, but I've been told that the company is "trying to decide what to do" with the project.

Dupree, a Post staff member, has been tracking the neighborhood's changes since 2003. For more information and photos, go tohttp://jdland.com.

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