Saturday, March 23, 2013

D.C. to Install Cameras on Bus Shelters Along H Street and Benning Road NE

As a means to deal with incidents that have occurred at a number of bus stops, the D.C. Department of Transportation is planning on installing cameras at bus shelters along H Street and Benning Road NE in the coming months.

A solicitation for the High Definition cameras closed last week, and DDOT spokeswoman Monica Hernandez explains that some 30 cameras will be placed at bus shelters starting at H and Third Streets NE and running down to Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue NE. The cameras will be tied to a command center at the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, where they will be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Originally we were planning to install emergency call boxes at high incident bus stops along the H Street and Benning Road corridor—yet call boxes were not feasible and thus a change was made to install cameras at some of the bus stops along the corridor," wrote Hernandez in an email. DDOT hopes to have the cameras in place by May.

Beyond these cameras, the Metropolitan Police Department has a network of close to 90 cameras located in neighborhoods across the city. One of those is located at H and Eighth Streets NE, while another is located on the 1800 block of Benning Road NE.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Luxury H Street Townhome Project 17 Solar From District Development Group (DDG) UPDATE

District Development closed on construction financing for the 17 Solar Development last week. Construction financing was provided by Washington First Bank. With financing in place, DDG hopes to break ground in May. Permits are currently underway and sales will also start in May. The project is designed by A2 Design and will be constructed by Hamel Builders.

Just east of Capitol Hill and 2 blocks south of the Atlas District, 17 Solar offers sleek interior finishes wrapped in an innovative low-rise design. The flats and stacked townhomes comprise a sophisticated mix of residences in the heart of one of the city's most vibrant quadrants: where traditional community thrives, and a bustling nightlife has emerged. 17 living at the intersection of traditional and cutting edge.The following images were provided exclusively to H Street Corridor Real Estate by the developer, Andy Botticello.

Interior Photos


Exterior Photos

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Elroy Coming to H Street NE

Karl Graham, a partner in New York Avenue Beach Bar, is bringing a new bar and tavern called The Elroy to 1423 H St. NE. He hopes it will open at the end of May.

Graham, who's also a general contractor, tells Y&H the name refers to the Jetsons character and that The Elroy will be a "futuristic bar." As for what exactly that means, Graham is keeping the details under wraps for now. He also describes the spot as "a nice little neighborhood bar where you come in and people know your name." The two-story space is located a quarter mile from where Graham grew up.

The Elroy will specialize in cocktails in "fancy glasses, really crazy cocktail glasses," Graham says. There will also be a limited bar menu with five to 10 items—"nothing extravagant."

Although Graham is transferring the liquor license from New York Avenue Beach Bar, he clarifies that the beach concept will not be reincarnated on H Street NE. In fact, New York Avenue Beach Bar isn't coming back. Hogo and The Passenger owner Tom Brown, who was also a partner in the beach bar, sold his share of the business at the end of last season.

In permits, new look for two H Street NE buildings

 Busy day of reporting ahead. Straight to the permits this Tuesday morning.
  • 1107 H St. NE: American Rescue Workers was issued an alteration and repair permit for its H Street NE thrift store. The work includes removing the security grating and canopy structure, brick re-pointing, cleaning the masonry, installing painted aluminum panels and a new canopy, putting up new signs with LED strip lighting and painting the facade.
  • 1362 H St. NE: The owner was issued permit to renovate the facade of this store, including replacement of the first-floor windows and doors, repairs to the second-floor windows and doors, installation of a canopy with recessed can light, and exterior paint. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is considering whether to list the building as blighted, which would raise its tax bill to $10 per $100 of assessed value, six times the standard commercial rate.
  • 520 North Capitol St. NW: The Dubliner Restaurant will install two temporary 20-by-20 tents on the patio between March 13 and March 19 for a weeklong St. Patrick's Day celebration.
  • 555 13th St. NW: The permit covers renovations to all restrooms on the third through 13th floors of the Columbia Square office building.

Man Shot Near H Street

D.C. Police are investigating a Saturday night shooting that left one man injured in the H Street NE corridor.

The incident happened around 11 p.m. near the intersection of 11th Street and H Street, police said. 

The victim was found conscious and breathing but suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.

No information about the suspect was immediately available, police said.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

H Street Malt Liquor Vending Machine

MPD had identified a Pepsi vending machine in the neighborhood that was actually selling malt liquor instead of sodas. The price was $3, and no one has claimed the machine.  Who says community meetings are boring?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

H Street Streetcar Project Continues Forward

Video: H Street streetcar project advances

Final Construction on H Street NE Streetcar Tracks to Start at End of March


Streetcar tracks have forlornly sat along H Street NE since 2011, running from Third Street and down part of Benning Road—but without any connections to any terminus or turnaround at either end. That will soon change.

The D.C. Department of Transportation said at a public meeting earlier this week that work will start on the western segment of the tracks—the portion over the Hopscotch Bridge and to Union Station—on March 26 and proceed through October. At the same time, work will start on the eastern end of the tracks at Benning Road and Oklahoma Avenue, where tracks will connect to an eventual training and maintenance facility on the campus of Spingarn High School. During parts of the construction traffic lanes will be closed and parking restricted.

By October work will begin on installing overheard wires along H Street, and residents could start seeing the actual streetcars tested along the roadway by November. (The three streetcars D.C. currently has will be tested at a site in Anacostia in the spring.) That means that the streetcars could actually run in 2013, but let's be fair—early 2014 might be a safer bet.

H Street Pictures

H Street Pictures

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Highly Anticipated Solar-Powered Townhomes Near H Street Corridor Moving Forward

 Rendering of 17 Solar townhomes.
It looks as though a block of 17th Street NE near the H Street Corridor could get a slew of new solar-powered townhouses by the end of the year.

17 Solar, a project from District Development Group (DDG), would bring 26 glassy, solar-powered, modern-looking residences to 17th Street NE between D and E Street (map), east of the H Street Corridor in between Rosedale and Kingman Park.

Andy Botticello of DDG said that they are in the process of acquiring permits now, and will break ground on the first phase of the project in a few months. The construction timeline for the first 18 units — two-story, three-bedroom townhomes stacked on top of two-bedrooms condos — is 9 to 12 months. The townhomes will start at $569,000, and the first-floor condos at $375,000. Nine will be set aside for those making 80 percent of the area median income.

The developer, Andy Botticello, is known for his innovative projects. Pictured below are images from Kentucky Courts, which was an award winning project in Capitol Hill.

Kentucky Courts Animation

Botticello and his development partner Phinis Jones secured financing for the development last spring, and are working with DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development on the project.

In addition to solar cells on the roof, the homes will have highly efficient systems and more insulation than a typical home. The glass-heavy facades will allow plenty for natural light and may reduce some energy usage. The project will be LEED certified, and DDG is currently working with a LEED consultant as they finalize plans.

17 Solar Animation

360˚ H Street To Begin Leasing This Month, Giant Open By May

Rendering of 360˚ H Street, courtesy of Torti Gallas.
360˚ H Street, the 215-unit apartment building coming to 3rd and H Street NE, will begin leasing this month, UrbanTurf has learned.

The Torti Gallas-designed, six-story development from Steuart Investment Company will be anchored by a 47,000-square-foot Giant supermarket, and have two floors of underground parking. The development is located on the western end of the burgeoning H Street Corridor and was built up on a formerly vacant lot.

While leasing will begin this month, 360˚ H Street won’t be ready for move-ins until March 1st, Guy Steuart tells UrbanTurf. Steuart estimates that the Giant will be open by May 1st, but perhaps sooner.

Developer Chosen For H Street Library Site


1300 H Street NE, currently. Photo courtesy of NCinDC.
Last October, UrbanTurf reported on the six proposals being considered for the redevelopment of an increasingly prime piece of real estate — the site of the R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street NE.

After putting out a request for proposals (RFP) to develop the site, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) spent the fall considering the options, all of which contained residential and retail aspects. As the RFP had requested community-serving features, proposals included public space, local business incubators, an art gallery and a police substation. (Check our previous article for the details.)

The winning proposal.
The winner? The submission from Fundrise and H Street Community Development Corporation, which includes a 30-unit condo building along with a large retail component that would include a local food market, a retail incubator for ten local merchants, and investment through Fundrise’s crowdfunding system. Six of the 30 units will be kept affordable for artists and social entrepreneurs.
As stated in a press release from Fundrise, they believe that the community investment model helped their proposal stand out.

Our readers seem to have the same taste as DMPED: in a poll comparing the six choices, the Fundrise and H Street CDC option also came out on top.

Developer Jair Lynch Pulls Plug on Plans For 48-Unit H Street Project


An early rendering for 501 H Street NE.

501 H Street NE (map) is back up for sale as developer Jair Lynch has decided not to move forward with previous plans for the building. ANC 6C Commissioner Tony Goodman tweeted the news on Wednesday morning and confirmed to UrbanTurf that H Street Development Corporation, which owns the building, is re-listing the property for sale.

In December, UrbanTurf reported that Jair Lynch was planning on creating a 48-unit residential project with ground floor retail at the site. A call to the developer looking into the reason for the change in plans was not immediately returned.

The property is located between two sizable projects. One block to the west is 360˚ H Street, a 215-unit apartment building with a long-awaited Giant Supermarket, that recently started leasing. And a 240-unit apartment project on the 600 block of H Street, also from Jair Lynch, is expected to start construction this year.

D.C. Unveils New Renderings of H Street Car Barn

A rendering of the proposed car barn as viewed from Benning Road NE.

The D.C. Department of Transportation today unveiled revised renderings of the proposed $50 million streetcar training and maintenance facility set to be placed on the campus of Spingarn High School along Benning Road NE. The car barn is one of the last puzzle pieces in the long-awaited H Street NE streetcar, which is set to run towards the end of 2013 or in early 2014.

This new design is the third that has been proposed so far. D.C. officials were forced back to the drawing board late last year after Spingarn was designated a historic landmark. Around the same time, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts wrote DDOT Director Terry Bellamy and encouraged him to offer up a simpler and more squat design for the facility than what had already been presented. The commission reviewed the design last week, and the D.C. Historic Preservation Board will conduct its own review later this week.

As envisioned by DDOT, the new car barn would be more smoothly integrate itself into the campus around it; they lopped off a full floor and pulled it back from the street, aligning it somewhat diagonally to Benning Road instead of immediately alongside it. The car barn's look isn't any more "historic" than any past designs, but is rather meant to be more discrete.

If you're curious about where the H Street NE streetcar stands and what's left to be done before it gets rolling—hint: plenty—DDOT is hosting an open meeting tomorrow where it will update residents on the work that remains to be completed on H Street. The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at Miner Elementary School (601 15th Street NE).