Archive for April, 2012

Beer and Retail Don’t Mix at the Ballpark?

Peering into the Fairgrounds.

A couple days ago, JDLand reported that Diverse Markets Management, the folks who'd been brought in to run the retail component of the shipping container bullpen known as the Fairgrounds across from Nationals Park, pulled out five days after the experiment began. Why the quick turnaround?
The company's director, Michael Berman, brought in [...]

MIT Thesis on Height Limits Backs Strategic Boosting

Where heights could increase.

One of the things that's been missing in this whole renewed round of chatter about the District's height limit has been data—or really any rigorous analysis of the available options. Turns out that back in 2009, a graduate student named Andrew Trueblood put something like that together for his Masters thesis [...]

NoMa Looking For a Few Great Public Spaces

Joining the crowd of D.C.'s next High Lines. (AECOM)

NoMa, as has been amply documented, is on fire with residential and office development. But as the new neighborhood's planners realized in 2010, they're missing something pretty critical: A central gathering place to hang out. And as sites get built out, opportunities to lock one down are [...]

Morning Links: Flawed

Zoning hysterics in Chevy Chase. [GGW]
This house is adorable. [DCMud]
The problem with Popularise. [RPUS]
The Franciscans are building a snazzy hermitage. [Architect]
Councilmembers have trouble making rent...just like us! [Post]
Probably not the most politic remark there, Mr. Evans. [Examiner]
A lot of the zoning torture he complains about will get fixed in the rewrite. [Atlantic]
Buy the Washingtonian if [...]

Hotel Workers Bring the Noise

At 7:00 a.m. this morning, members of the UNITE-HERE union started picketing outside the Marriott Wardman hotel in Woodley Park while they negotiate a new contract—and organizers say they won't go away until it's signed, or until they go to another one of the seven hotels that's negotiating with them. (Okay, they'll stop at night).
This [...]

Development From the Air, Courtesy of NASA

The flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery wasn't just an awesome mid-day gawking opportunity. It was also our chance to get updated aerial photos of the city, including sweeping views of Hill East and Northwest. Development watcher Geoff Hatchard (that's @imgoph to you, tweeters) came up with the first, and I ran with it, with [...]

Column Outtakes: Who Should Rent Control Protect?

A rusty pipe from one of UIP's buildings at 2401 Ontario Road.

There's an interesting debate embedded in my column this week about the quick rise of landlord/property manager/construction company Urban Investment Partners: If the city isn't willing to reinvest in rent controlled housing, which is by definition old and in need of substantial upgrades, [...]

Morning Links: Transitory

Inside 52 O Street. [TBD]
Fairground fail! [JDLand]
Fashion on a truck? [WBJ]
Park Service finally playing nice with pedicabs. [TBD]
459 residences and lots of retail for Hechts Warehouse? [WBJ]
How are those new bike facilities working out for us? [Washcycle]
Head-slapper at Silver Spring transit center. [Examiner]
Marines give up on private land for new barracks. [JDLand]
Sustainable design expo on [...]

UIP Rising

Arlena Chaney, president of a tenants’ association in Southwest Washington, wasn’t sure what to do when a guy from Urban Investment Partners rang last month saying they were under contract to buy her building.
She didn’t call back right away. Instead, she convened the residents of the New Capitol Park Towers at 3rd and G streets [...]

When Should a Neighborhood Ask For More?

Adding to the cascade of projects coming off the shelf, the H Street Community Development Corporation is finally trying again to build on a giant triangular lot it's owned at 4th and Rhode Island Avenue NE since 2004. The current proposal is six stories and 155 small units, all of them priced affordably for people [...]