RiverFront Development Is Approved

By Jacqueline Dupree
Thursday, May 29, 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 now home to Nationals Park.

With a 5 to 0 vote after a brief discussion, the Zoning Commission approved the plans for RiverFront on Thursday, the 5.8-acre, mixed-use project on the Anacostia River south of Nationals Park, ending the decade-long trip through the zoning process for the site long known as Florida Rock.

Before the final vote, Chairman Anthony Hood quoted from the recent ruling by the National Capital Planning Commission that the RiverFront project "would not adversely affect" any federal interests. Remarking that the passage "says it all," Hood read: "This project is expected to bring activity and amenities to the Anacostia waterfront and is respecting the planning for the South Capitol Street corridor and the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. Furthermore, it is enhancing the connection of the Nationals baseball park and surrounding district to the Anacostia waterfront, goals supported by the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative."

A news release the next day from Patriot Transportation Holding, the parent company of RiverFront's developer, FRP Development Corp., announced the zoning approval but did not say when construction might start. When the project does get underway, the first phase expected to be built is an office building on the east end of the site and an adjacent public plaza, across Potomac Avenue from the ballpark's grand staircase.

Apartment Buildings Opening Soon

If, when going to the ballpark or driving on the freeway, you've wondered about the two imposing brick buildings on I Street SE between Half and First streets SE, they are soon to be home to the first market-rate rental apartments to open since the redevelopment of Near Southeast began.

The two buildings, at 70 and 100 I St. SE, are being developed by JPI and have been dubbed the Jefferson and the Axiom. The Jefferson is about a month away from opening its first few floors of apartments and shared spaces. Axiom, which started construction about a month after the Jefferson, will open its first units a few weeks later. Both are expected to be completed before the end of the year. Together, the two buildings have nearly 700 apartments.

Rents at the Jefferson range from about $1,600 for a studio to $3,300 and more for a three-bedroom unit. Next door, Axiom's prices are a little higher. Each building has the amenities that now seem expected in new residential developments, including lounges, fitness centers, courtyards and roof decks with pools.

Across the street at 909 New Jersey Ave., JPI's third apartment building under construction in Near Southeast is five stories out of the ground. It's expected to open next year and will have 237 units, as well as ground-floor retail for residents, neighbors and baseball fans walking to and from the Capitol South Metro station.

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

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