Monthly Archives: May 2019

Capitol Hill Residents Mourn Loss of Assault Victim Coach Bud Johnson

Berner “Bud” Johnson

Capitol Hill Residents Mourn Loss of Assault Victim Coach Bud Johnson

by Larry Janezich

The Capitol Hill Little League announced the death of one of its beloved coaches yesterday with an email to the Capitol Hill Little League families:

“It is with great sadness that I share the news that long-time CHLL coach, dad, friend, and fan Bud Johnson passed away last night, as a result of injuries sustained during an assault near his home Wednesday evening.  Bud had been a coach to many of our kids, and many of us enjoyed watching the games with him on the sidelines through the years, watching with pride as his son Bo has developed into a fine young man and fine baseball player.”

According to police reports and friends of the family, Johnson was assaulted outside neighborhood restaurant/bar – The Scarlett Oak – in Navy Yard by a group of individuals at 11:30pm last Wednesday night.  According to family friends, the assault, involving three individuals, came after a dispute arose between the victim and the individuals inside the restaurant.

Johnson sustained head injuries as the result of the assault and was transported to a hospital where he was found to have suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen.  He subsequently died about 9:00pm on Sunday.

A source close to the family says the assailants have been identified.  First District Commander Morgan Kane told Capitol Hill Corner that no one has been arrested or charged but detectives continue their investigation of the death.

According to friend Adam Meier, Johnson was known as a “thoughtful and caring coach by kids and parents, and was both admired and loved.  He was a solid and steady presence who really knew baseball.  He will be missed as a coach and a friend on the Hill.”

On Monday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer paid tribute to Johnson – a 30 year Senate employee – on the Senate floor.  See here:

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The Week Ahead….& News You May Have Missed

Fifth Generation Eastern Market Farmers Line Farmer David Fowler. 1946-2019

The Week Ahead – & News You May Have Missed

by Larry Janezich

Long time Eastern Market Vendor Dies – Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson announced at Wednesday’s Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meeting, the death of David Fowler of Sunnyside Farms. Fowler was a fifth generation farmers’ line farmer who grew up selling produce at Eastern Market. He was 73 and suffered from heart failure. Margeson credits Fowler as being instrumental in getting the Amish and Mennonite farmers to sell their products at Eastern Market. Margerson said Fowler knew just about everyone and just about everything about Eastern Market – “he was a connector who puts people together.”

New Restaurant Coming to Pennsylvania Avenue – Celebrity Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn (We the Pizza, Good Stuff Eatery, and Santa Rosa Taqueria) has leased a fourth space on the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The former Lustre Cleaners is scheduled to become the latest addition to the Mendelsohn galaxy. There’s no current info on the theme, and timing is uncertain, as the owners wait for permits to go through the city.

DC Pays Out $3 million for Sexual Harassment/Assault Settlements over 5 years – At ANC6B’s meeting last Tuesday, Commissioner Denise Krepp highlighted the fact that DC has paid out $3 million in sexual harassment settlements between 2015 and present in a proposed letter to CM Mendelsohn in support of removing a limitation on application of the FOIA in the FY 2020 Budget. Krepp said that without the broader application of FOIA applicability, residents would not have known about the $3 million in payments or the decline in parking enforcement on Capitol Hill or MPD’s policies for reviewing body camera video.

City Official Gets Grilled by ANC6B on Traffic Deaths – Deputy Mayor Lucinda Babers came to ANC6B to brief the Commission on the Mayor’s 2020 budget, and wasn’t expecting to get raked over the coals by Commissioner Corey Holman about the DC’s failure to protect the city’s residents from vehicular violence in the current auto-friendly environment. Holtzman cited the recent deaths on or near Capitol Hill of outspoken critic of the city’s road safety policy, Dave Salovesh, who was killed, allegedly by the driver of a stolen mini-van on April 19. A month later, on Saturday, May 18, an SUV struck a light pole at the intersection of 12th and K and Florida Avenue, NE, damaging the white “ghost bike” memorial placed there last month to honor Salovesh. The driver of the SUV fled the scene. As of May 14, 122 people had been killed by vehicles in the city. Traffic safety policy will be discussed at 6B Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg’s Transportation Committee on June 5, and at a meeting on June 10 of Ward 6 ANC reps being coordinated by 6B Commissioner Denise Krepp.

Insight Developers Update on Community Benefits – Sarah Davidson, of Insight Property Group, briefed ANC6B last Tuesday on the public benefit commitments Insight made in exchange for zoning adjustments increasing height and density limitations for Lockwood – their residential project in the 1300 block of E Street, SE. Those benefits include granting a lease for an existing townhouse on the 1300 block of E Street in perpetuity, for free, to Capitol Hill Village for the benefit of Capitol Hill’s senior population; working with two other developers who have similar public benefit obligations to improve landscaping at Potomac Avenue Metro; and recasting Lady Bird Park, next to Peter “Bug” Matthews’ Shoe Repair Academy. Community input is still being sought on the latter; among the ideas being considered are a community garden, a dog park, and passive green space.

New Charter School Will Succeed Caesar Chavez – Nima Farshchi, Director of Operations at Digital Pioneer Academy, announced that the charter school has applied to the DC School Board to open a computer oriented middle school in the space formerly occupied by the Caesar Chavez Charter School at 709 12th Street, SE. The school provides STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training to kids living in underserved areas of the city.

Ted’s Bulletin Liquor License Renewal Postponed – The owners of Ted’s Bulletin got roughed up a little by ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman and nearby residents, who went after the restaurant for not living up to the alley cleanliness and rodent control requirements which were contingencies attached to their liquor license. The commission postponed the license renewal for a month to give the restaurant a chance to clean up its act. (District Soul, whose license renewal was delayed last month on issues of noise, trash, and odor control, will come back before the ANC in May to demonstrate that those issues have been addressed.)

A New Southeast Library? – Finally, Neal Gregory, President of the Friends of Southeast Library, asked CM Charles Allen at Allen’s community office hours on Friday, if he would consider seeking new funds – or re-directing funds destined for the renovation of Southeast Library – to build a new library, possibly at the site occupied by the old Frager’s store on the 1300 block of E Street. Community activists Pat Taylor and Jill Lawrence have been pushing the idea of reserving the current library – the Carnegie building at Eastern Market Metro Plaza – for children, and building a new library for adults elsewhere on Capitol Hill. Gregory pointed out to Allen that after the proposed renovation, the Southeast Library will still not have enough space. Allen was non-committal, saying he would have to talk to DC Library before supporting the idea. An request for proposals for renovating the Southeast Library was scheduled to be issued this coming week.

The Week Ahead…

Monday, May 20

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Review of report from DDOT on list of high-priority safety locations.

Prepare to implement plan (approved by Commissioners at 5/9 meeting) to identify additional bike share station locations (and bike/scooter racks) and ascertain public support for same.

Prepare to implement plan (approved by Commissioners at 5/9 meeting) to create an initial list of local/local intersections where 4-way stops are desirable (but do not already exist).

Consideration of potential curb cut request at 808 13th Street, NE.

Discussion of potential tracking system for requests to DDoT.

Discussion of what role ANC can play in addressing conditions leading to recent cyclist deaths.

ANC6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm, Eastern High School, Parent Center, 1700 East Capitol Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Eastern High School Grant

Community Comments

Tuesday, May 21

ANC6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Sherwood Recreation Center (10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion of renewals of the following licenses:

Quara Ethiopian Fustion Restaurant, 818 H Street, NE, restaurant license.

DC Conscious Café, 1413 H Street, NE, restaurant license.

Gallery O on H, 1354 H Street, NE, club license.

Maketto, 1351 H Street, NE, restaurant license.

Red & Black, 1210 – 1212 H Street, NE, restaurant license.

Discussion of request for change in hours by RedRocks, 1348 H Street, NE.

ANC6B Barracks Row Working Group meets at 7:00pm, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.


Presentation: Jennifer McCahill from the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife & Culture.


  1. New Marketing Plans for the Main Streets
  2. The Marines Summer Event Collaboration
  3. Additional Ideas for Improvements

Possible Future Agenda Items

  1. How Barracks Row can take better advantage of our alternate modes of Transportation
  2. Collective Snow Removal
  3. Eastern Market Metro Park Transportation Study Review
  4. The incident of broken windows on 8th Street
  5. Updates on current projects


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Seniors Have Issues with Management of Hayes Recreation Center

Members of the Hayes Wellness Center meet with CM Charles Allen at Radici on Friday morning. Organizer Marci Hilt is at center.

Seniors Have Issues with Management of Hayes Recreation Center

by Larry Janezich

A group of eight senior citizens were waiting for CM Charles Allen when he walked in the door at Radici for his regularly scheduled community office house on Friday.  There were there, said organizer Marci Hilt, to raise concerns about the city’s privately managed Hayes Senior Wellness Center at 500 K Street, NE.   Hilt told Allen that members feel there is a lack of communication between Director Andre Lane and the membership, citing instances of miscommunication and obfuscation regarding programming at the center, which, she says is suffering a dwindling number of programs while the number of seniors using the center is increasing.  She cited the fitness programs as among those especially affected.

The Wellness Center is an adult activity center with social, recreational, and educational programs designed specifically for adults ages 60 and up. The center – housed in the renovated Hayes Elementary School – includes a cardio/weight room, computer lab, multi-purpose room, kitchen, and library.  It has been open since October, 2012, and is one of six senior wellness centers.

Allen noted that one of the challenges is that the building, which houses the headquarters of the Office of Aging and Community Living (AOCL), is using more and more and more space for administration purposes, at the expense of programming for the center.

The seniors asked Allen to host a meeting at Hayes with the Department of AOCL and Andre Lane, the Center’s Director, to resolve their concerns.  They want to see the center’s budget, grants, and an organizational chart.  Allen agreed to set up a meeting – probably in June.

The Hayes Senior Wellness Center opened on October 11, 2012. The center is one of the city’s six senior wellness centers.

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Update on Eastern Market Metro Plaza – Council Adds $7 Million in New Funds – DGS Reveals New Design

DGS’ latest concept – May 3, 2019 –  for the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Park/Plaza.  The design reflects the modifications meant to address recommendations by the Commission of Fine Arts. (click to enlarge)

This is the April 3, 2019 design which the Commission of Fine Arts asked DGS to modify.  


Arial view  of the newest concept looking across Parcel 1 to Southwest.  View indicated by small diagram, lower left.

Parcel 4, view of latest concept looking toward Northeast from South Carolina Avenue.  View indicated by small diagram, lower left.

Parcel 1, view of latest concept looking toward northeast.  View indicated by small diagram, lower left. 

Parcel 4, view of latest concept looking toward Southeast Library. View indicated by small diagram, lower left.


Parcel 1, view of latest concept looking north.  View indicated by small diagram, lower left.

Update on Eastern Market Metro Plaza: Council Adds $7 Million in New Funds – DGS Reveals New Design

by Larry Janezich

According to Donna Scheeder, Chair of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, an additional $7 million for continued construction of the redesign of the Metro Plaza/Park received preliminary approval by the City Council in a vote on the FY 2020 budget earlier this week.  A vote on final passage comes next week.

In addition, today – Thursday, the Department of General Services (DGS) received approval from the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) of the tweaks to the design plan to address concerns raised by the CFA last month when the plans were sent back to the design team’s drawing board.

And earlier this week, DGS revealed its modification of the rejected April 3 version of the plan for redesigning the Metro Plaza/Park at a pair of meetings on Monday and Tuesday.  The main recommendation of the CFA was that Parcel 1 (playground) and Parcel 4 (Metro canopy) should be treated differently but complement each other, taking into account the residential orientation of the first and the commercial orientation of the latter.   Here’s a link to DGS’ April 3 Community Presentation which includes the concept drawings of that date: DGS has not yet posted the newest concepts on its website.

On Monday night, ANC6B’s Livable Community Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Steve Holtzman, hosted a community meeting with DGS Project Manager Cassidy Mullen to give residents a chance to voice suggestions and hear Mullen answer questions about the proposed design for Parcel 4.  Mullen  heard from some 35 community members, fielded questions, and noted their concerns.

He said the timeline remains unchanged:  The interim playground funded by developers of the Hine project will be placed in June.  Construction on the redesign will proceed in phases: in Phase One, construction will begin in December on the permanent playground on Parcel 1 and landscape design changes on the eastern end of Parcel 4.  In addition, Phase One will see delivery of fully permit-ready construction drawings for the project.  Schematic drawings – actually giving definition too forms, colors, furniture – will be done late spring or early summer and presented to the community at the next community meeting in June.  In late summer or early fall, the DGS plan will go back to the Commission of Fine Arts for final approval.

The second meeting occurred on Tuesday, when The Eastern Market Metro Plaza Advisory Committee met with DGS to provide feedback on the design.  The Advisory Committee is made up of community stakeholders and representatives from CM Allen’s office and ANC6B.

Susan England of the design team explained some of the changes made in response to the CFA’s concerns.

Parcel 4 – Metro Canopy

Almost all trees the trees on the site will remain, and more will be added.

The water feature was relocated from near the Metro entrance to the eastern end of Parcel 4.

Visual relief – lawn panels and trees providing more porosity – was added to address criticism that there was too much hardscape and to address the heat island effect.  Lawn panels will be raised on one end to provide seating, and then slope to grade.

More space was added for use of Southeast Library.

The connection with Barracks Row was strengthened by making access more open and generous.

The 10’ X 10’ kiosk was moved to make it more visible and more useable as a way-finding location.

A possible location for public art was established at the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, contingent on WMATA relocating bike lockers and bike racks currently occupying that space.

In addition, Project Manager Mullen told the Advisory Team that the plan for Parcel 4 anticipates space for a bus stop on Eighth Street at the east end of Parcel 4, adding that any change in the traffic plan will depend on approval by the Department of Transportation and WMATA.

Parcel 1 – Playground

Shapes have been modified and curves added to make a more organic feel.

The bio retention area has been made more useable.

Two separate areas of the 7,300 s.f. playground have been established to accommodate two sets of equipment for two age groups.

DGS is meeting with the Capitol Hill BID to discuss a consolidated maintenance and programming role for the Plaza/Park.

DGS received some push back from the Advisory Team at Tuesday’s meeting on the concept of a kiosk that would sell food and drink.  The concerns came from businesses who could suffer from the competition, as well from stakeholder who see the potential for generating litter and trash.  Some participants favored eliminating the kiosk entirely and expanding the hardscape to accommodate a structure with the flexibility to serve as a performance platform.

Another issue involved traffic flow, specifically the route for a turnaround for the Circulator Bus, the closing of the two D Street cut-throughs (outside Dunkin  Donuts and Trader Joe’s), and moving the bus stop from in front of Starbuck’s to the east end of Parcel 4.  All of these are issues for DDOT and WAMATA, though Mullen, as noted above, said that the DGS plans will accommodate a move of the bus stop if DDOT agrees to make the change.  Some members of the Advisory Committee expressed a desire to meet with DDOT and WMATA before they make a final determination.


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The Week Ahead….Community Meeting on Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redevelopment on Monday

Union Station Portico, April 16, circa 3:00pm.

The Week Ahead….Community Meeting on Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redevelopment

by Larry Janezich

Monday, May 13

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, 1100 4th Street, SW

Among items on the draft agenda:

Public Safety Report- First District MPD (PSA 103, PSA 105 & PSA 106) Capt. Mongal, Capt. Dorrough, Lt. Lavenhouse


ABRA – Sarah Fashbaugh.

Eagle Academy Charter School – Karen Alston.

Office of the Attorney General Community Engagement Coordinator – John Green.

Department of Housing and Community Development – Director Polly Donaldson.

DDOT Presentation re “Red Top” Accessible Parking Meter Program in Capitol Riverfront/SW BID area.

Resolution Regarding WMATA late night service and for-hire ride subsidy proposal.

DDOT Update on New Jersey Ave SE and I Street SE intersection.

Letter of Opposition RE Mayor’s Resolution to Cut Grants for Commission of the Arts.

ABC Committee Report:

La Vie, 88 District Square, SW: revised/updated Cooperative Agreement.

The Grill, 99 Market Square, SW: Cooperative Agreement for new Restaurant Liquor License w/ Summer Garden.

Odyssey: updated Cooperative Agreement.

Spirit Cruises 077414 (4 marine vessels): updated Cooperative Agreement.

Spirit Cruises 098753 (8 marine vessels): updated Cooperative Agreement.

Development, Planning, and Transportation.

Half Street SW:  Public Space Application.

Letter to DDOT RE Request for Meeting with DDOT to discuss ANC 6D Transportation Issues.

Community Meeting on Redevelopment of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza (Parcel 4 – Metro Canopy)

ANC6B Taskforce on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza meets at 7:00pm at The Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Avenue, SE.


General Impressions of Metro Plaza Design.

Metro Plaza as a Crossroads: Connectivity

With Barracks Row

With Eastern Market

With the SE Library

Metro Plaza as a place to “Walk to” rather than “Walk through”

As an urban park

As a venue for special events

Maintenance Planning

Weathering the Construction Phase

Tuesday, May 14

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:


Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Project Representative: Follow-up from February meeting

DC Water presentation on lead in drinking water, lead service line replacement, and the newly passed lead service line replacement assistance legislation.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee Liquor License Renewals.

See list here:

Update on Potomac Ave Metro Plaza Redesign – Sarah Davidson, Insight Property Group.

302 South Carolina, SE – Zoning Adjustment Application – Special Exception to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing, attached principal dwelling.

717 6th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – Concept: 3 story addition.

915 East Capitol Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – demolition and and reconstruct rear addition, no change in footprint.

203 rear 3rd Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – Concept: one story addition at rear.

A follow up request given ask for the pavement ratings of all local and federal blocks in 6B.


Hill East Task Force

Livable Community Task Force

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee Report

Working Group on Barrack’s Row

Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Committee meets at 9:30am, 200 I Street, SE. 


Project Timeline Update

Schedule updates

Interim playground

NCPC Hearing – May 2

CFA Hearing – May 16

Plan Overview

Reasons for changes

Discussion of changes from first previous EMMPAT and Community Meetings

Feedback and community concerns/questions

Other Discussion Points 

Celebrate Capitol Hill

Future Meetings and Next Steps

Next Community Meeting – mid/late June

Next EMMPAT Meetings – Set firm recurring schedule

Community Attendees Q&A

Wednesday, May 15

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm, North Hall, Eastern Market.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Tenant’s Council Report on Outstanding resolutions

Rediscover Eastern Market celebration

Plans to date: Barry Margeson

Docent led tours: Monte Edwards

Market Managers Report

Status of the HVAC study

Marketing and Promotion

Lease update


300 block 7th Street

Eastern Market Mero Plaza Update

RFP for DGS Comprehensive Study – Update

Application Advisory Review Subcommittee

Tenant’s Council Report

Thursday, May 16

Sector 2 (PSAs 104, 107, 108) Community Meeting at 7:00pm, at location TBA.

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Here’s a Photo Progress Report on Seven Major Capitol Hill SE Developments

Here’s a Photo Progress Report on Seven Major Capitol Hill SE Developments

by Larry Janezich

On September 3, 2018, Capitol Hill Corner posted a photo progress report on seven major Capitol Hill developments.  Here’s a progress report 8 months later.  The seven projects will provide 1,185 residential units to Capitol Hill’s housing stock.  Below are photos of where construction stands today, coupled with renderings of how the projects will look when finished.

Frager’s, mixed use retail/residential progress is close to being finished. Units are being sold and Frager’s Hardware opened last week. View from 12th and Pennsylvania Avenue  looking Southeast, May 2.

Frager’s – The original Frager’s site on the 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, will  provide 34 condos. One, two and three bedroom units are intended to accommodate families. 10% of the residential space is required to be designated for affordable housing, under Inclusionary Zoning requirements. Frager’s Hardware will occupies 8,500 s.f. of retail space and an additional 7,600 s.f. of space will be for “community friendly” retail.  Chef Kevin Tien’s new restaurant Celine’s is slated for the prime corner spot and the buildout is underway, though it’s scheduled spring opening looks more like it will happen this summer.

Watkins Alley is under construction at 1309 E Street, SE. View from E Street, SE, looking Southwest, on May 2.

Watkin’s Alley – will provice 44 units, (uncertain whether condo or apartments) including 8 – 2 BR flats, 6 lofts, and 1 carriage house. Five units (3 townhouses and 2 flats) will designated affordable housing units under Inclusionary Zoning requirements.  This view is from E Street, looking south, and fails to capture much of the project which is in the center of the block – see next depiction.

Here’s another view of  Watkins Alley looking Northeast, showing the scale of the project.  The former Safeway is top center.  This view shows the backs of the units in the previous rendering, barely visible between the green roof tops, center and left.

Lockwood – 1300 Block of E Street, SE. View from mid-block on E Street, looking Southeast, on May 2.

Lockwood – Lockwood will provide 145 boutique apartment units: 1, 2, and 3 BRs. Thirteen of the units will be affordable under Inclusionary Zoning.

Capitol Courts is under construction at 1234 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. View from mid-block looking Northeast, May 2.

Capitol Courts – the former site of the Frager’s Garden Center – a mixed use building that will contain 119 micro apartments and a few 1 BRs. The plan includes 5,000 s.f. of ground floor retail. Ten percent of the residential space will be designated for affordable housing under Inclusionary Zoning.  This view is from Pennsylvania Avenue, looking Northwest.


The mixed use building at 1401 Pennsylvania – Blackbird – is moving right along. View from the median strip at 14th and Pennsylvania, looking Southeast. May 2.

Blackbird – A mixed use residential/retail building under construction will provide 167 apartments and 18,000 s.f. of retail. Ten percent of the residential space will be for affordable housing, with a large portion of that for family units: 4 – 3 BRs, 2 studios, 2- 1 BRs and 2- 2 BRs.  The Neighborhood Restaurant Group has announced plans for a “culinary clubhouse,” a multi-restaurant, multi-bar concept – “The Roost” – for the building’s ground floor retail space.  Developers expect delivery of the project fall of 2019.

The Safeway Development at 14th and D Streets, SE – “Beckert’s Park” – is under construction. View from 14th and D Streets looking Southwest, May 2.

“Beckert’s Park” –  Will provide 329 apartments, a new 60,000 s.f. Safeway, and several thousand additional s.f. of community friendly retail. The developer says that 70% of the units will be studio and 1 BR apartments and 30% will be two bedrooms. A number of penthouse apartments will be set back on the roof. Rents will be calculated at a cost of approximately $3.25 a square foot – meaning that a small 500 square foot studio apartment will rent for between $1500 and $2000 a month. Ten percent of the units will be affordable under DC regulations, at 60% of AIM – average median income.

The first of two mixed use projects is underway on Reservation 13. View from 19th Street near the south entrance to the Stadium Armory Metro canopy,  looking Southeast, May 2.

Reservation 13 – Two parcels are being developed. The larger south building is out of the ground as shown in the previous photo; work on the smaller north building will begin in about four months, under a phased development plan. The total number of apartments in the two buildings is 353 – 262 in the south building and 91 in the north building. 106 of the units will be designated affordable. In addition, the project will provide 22,000 s.f. of retail.


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Here’s DC Public Library’s Thinking on SE Library Renovation – The Request for Qualifications

The site and the neighborhood of Southeast Library

Here’s DC Public Library’s Thinking on SE Library Renovation – the Request for Qualifications

by Larry Janezich

The process for renovation of DC Library has been less transparent than desirable.  Community activist Pat Taylor tracked down the Request for Proposals* (RFQ) which contains a wealth of information about the proposed project.

On April 11, DC Library issued a request for qualifications from design/build teams to determine which firms have the resources for the renovation of Southeast Library.  The deadline for responses was May 1.  It is uncertain how many responses there were, but a select number of 3 or 4 firms will be asked to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP).  The RFP is scheduled to be issued May 21, and a design/builder selected by July 2.

The following language from the RFQ reveals DCPL’s thinking about the overall plan that design/build firms have been asked to consider.  Attached to the RFQ is a feasibility study from an outside firm which analyzes several possible ways to approach the renovation, including a dissection of the Barracks Row plan created by architect Amy Weinstein.

The following language from the report reveals details about what DC Public Library is looking for in the renovation.

“Renovation Project Overview”

“The existing 9,600 gross square feet (gsf), two story concrete and brick building is located in Ward 6, at 403 7th Street, SE, Washington, DC.  DCPL seeks to replace the various electrical and mechanical systems and equipment; modernize, and improve building accessibility; enlarge the bathrooms; replace the existing elevator; increase the available floor area to accommodate a large meeting room, a smaller conference room, 3-4 study rooms, lounge-style seating areas, and a children’s computer area.  Overall, DCPL seeks to add at least 5,400 gsf to the existing library (minimum library total = 15,000 gsf).  DCPL also expects the library to attain LEED Gold v4 rating.

In the fall of 2016, DCPL engaged McKissack-Hill to undertake an overview of the library’s facility condition with particular attention to the building systems and to assess, in a general way, how the DCPL could go about increasing the building useable space to meet the community’s needs.  The final report concluded that there are many constraints that limit the options to expand the library’s footprint and offered several possibilities.

The risks identified by the McKissack-Hill report are many; constrained site availability, proximity of the Metro line , traffic congestion, neighboring homes and businesses, and regulations relating to historic preservation.  Therefore, to offset these risks, DCPL expects a more through due diligence and building program and an even more comprehensive set of design/construction documents to identify and describe various risks in order to balance the allocation of risk between DCPL and the construction contractor that will, in turn, minimize the contingencies and lower the overall price of the construction contractor.

The entire McKissack-Hill report is included as Attachment J.3.

DCPL does not view the McKissack report as the only or even the preferred solution to the issues of additional space.  On the contrary, DCPL strongly desires to stretch the domain of design and construction alternatives thinking to reach a much more welcoming and less costly library to meet its overall space requirements.  For example, during the listening and learning sessions, DCPL heard from a wide community of designers and construction contractors who believe that, as a public entity – not a developer – it may be possible to achieves some regulatory relief in terms of lot coverage, or even historic preservation requirements, that will allow for a design that meets the community’s needs without resorting to the costly and unwelcoming choice to dig under the existing building.

In view of the above, DCPL seeks a Contractor that not only has extensive urban library design experience especially designing libraries in Washington, DC historic neighborhoods and has underground construction experience in urban areas and constrained sites, but will also broaden the design and construction thinking to provide the added square footage of the Southeast Community Library in a thoughtful and sensitive way.”


Here’s a more detailed timeline on how the project will unfold:

A list of attachments to the Request for Qualifications follows:

Of particular interest is Attachment J.3, the Mikissack-Hall Feasibility Study for SE Library.  It has analyses of four possible designs – the Amy Weinstein/Barracks Row design, the excavating within the existing foot print design, a limited excavation under 7th Street design, and an attic design.  The firm recommended excavating within the existing footprint design as the least expensive and the least problematic.  The attic design was not pursued in depth owning to zoning and constructions issues.

Also of interest is Attachment J.2, which has photos of the renovations of several DC Community Libraries, including, Woodbridge, Cleveland park, Takoma Park, Georgetown, Petworth, Northeast, and Mt. Pleasant Libraries.  Mt. Pleasant, Takoma Park, and Southeast Libraries are the three Carnegie community libraries in DC.

*And here’s the link to the Request for Qualifications and the attachments:


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The Week Ahead… & 9th St SE Condo Project Delayed Plus Some News You Probably Missed

Last week, DC Library received responses from design/build companies interested in renovating the Southeast Library.

The Week Ahead… 9th St SE 20 Condo Project Delayed Plus Some News You Probably Missed

By Larry Janezich

9th Street’s Proposed 20 Condo Unit delayed – Last week, ANC6B Planning and Zoning chair Corey Holman announced that the Historic Preservation Office has deferred the case at 417 9th Street, SE, because of an incomplete initial application. The move puts off ANC6B’s consideration at least until June.  CHC reported on the condo project here:

Update on Renovation of Southeast Library – Last Wednesday, the period closed for receipt by DC Library of the responses to its Request for Qualifications – a request for expressions of interest from design/build companies who are qualified for and interested in the $23.5 million renovation of Southeast Library.  DC Library is being close-mouthed about the number of responses, but they will invite some or all of those responses to respond to the forthcoming Request for Proposals.  The project’s time like anticipates the issuing of a Request for Proposals in early spring of 2019, the selection of a design/build team in the spring of 2019, design kick-off in the summer of 2019, closing for construction in early 2021, and re-opening in Fall of 2002.  The community will have an opportunity for input during the design kick-off phase.  See CHC report on the first community meeting last November, here:

Capitol Hill Group Ministry re-names itself – On April 24, Capitol Hill Group Ministry formally changed its name to Everyone Home DC.  Fifty years ago, the organization was founded as a grassroots response by several Capitol Hill churches to collectively address challenges faced by their congregants and communities, and since the 1980s, it’s been focused on meeting the needs of people experiencing homelessness. The new name reflects its core purpose: for everyone in DC to thrive and have quality housing.  The name change will be accompanied by a new logo and website, live as of Thursday, April 25, see here:

The Week Ahead…

Monday, May 6

ANC6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Kaiser Permanente, 700 2nd Street, NE.

Items on the draft agenda: 

Alcohol Beverage License renewals

Nando’s Peri-Peri, 411 H Street, NE.

Nuevo Cucino, 320 D Street, NE.

Duet,  601 2nd Street, NE.

Phoenix Park Hotel & Dubliner,Inc., 520 North Capitol Street.

Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, NW.

The Wydown, 600 H Street, NE.

Cane, 403 H Street, NE.

The Alibi, 237 2nd Street, NW.

Cafe Berlin, 322 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

Hyatt Regency Washington, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW.

La Loma, 316 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

Momoyama, 231 2nd Street, NW.

DC Harvest, 517 H Street, NE.

Fancy Radish, 600 H Street, NE.

Fare Well, 406 H Street, NE.

Hikari Sushi & Sake Bar, 644 H Street, NE.

Po Boy Jim, 709 H Street, NE.

Whole Foods Market, 600 H Street, NE.

Hyatt Place Washington DC/US Capitol, 33 New York Avenue.

INDIGO-Indian food on the go!, 243 K Street, NE.

Seoul Spice, 145 N Street, NE.

East St Café, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

Bon Appetit, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW.

Hotel George/Bis, 15 E Street, NW.

Bistro CaCao, 320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

The Monocle, 107 D Street, NE.

Courtyard by Marriott Washington DC/US Capitol, 1325 2nd Street, NE.

Streets Market, 51 M Street NE.

NOONTIME CANTATA SERIES:  Washington Bach Consort season finale – Capitol Cantata Series for St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill, 313 2nd Street, SE.  12:10pm

Cantata: Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen, BWV 146

Tuesday, May 7

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, at St. Coletta of Greater Washington 1901 Independence Ave, SE

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion of Comprehensive Plan + Conservation Districts – Director Andrew Trueblood, Office of Planning.

Update on Potomac Ave Metro Plaza Redesign – Sarah Davidson, Insight Property Group.

302 South Carolina, SE; Zoning adjustment application – Special Exception to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing, attached principal dwelling.

717 6th Street, SE; Historic Preservation Application, Concept: 3 story addition.

915 East Capitol Street, SE; Historic Preservation Application – Permit: demolition and reconstruct rear addition, no change in footprint.

203 rear 3rd Street SE; Historic Preservation Application – Concept: one story addition at rear.

Wednesday, May 8

ANC6C meets at 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE

Among items on the draft agenda:

Alcoholic Beverage License Renewals (see Monday above for list of applicants appearing before the ANC6C Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee).

40 Patterson Street, NE—Presentation of concept public space plan for mixed use development, including curb cuts, loading, bike racks, streetscape, covered utility vaults.

Verizon, 120 7th Street NE—Discussion of parking on public space with Verizon.

Dave Thomas Circle, Florida Ave Multimodal Project NE, and Vision Zero.

520 Groff Court, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application for exceptions and variances to construct a two story addition of an existing principal dwelling unit.

520 Groff Court, NE, Historic Preservation application for a two-story addition.

Logan School, 215 G Street, NE, Historic Preservation Application for concept for modernization and addition.

111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Zoning Application – Modification of a PUD revising building footprint, ground floor, penthouse, and exterior façade.

Union Station expansion—Discussion of draft Section 106 Assessment of Effects.

Board of Elections, proposed new precinct— Commissioner Eckenwiler.

ANC6B Transportation Committee will meet at 7:00pm in the Conference Room, Ground Floor, The Yard, 700 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Comments on the FY19 pave plan asking for removal of the 1300 block of E Street, SE.

 Discussion on PaveDC, the DDOT Paving Plan.  A follow up request given this ask for the pavement ratings of all local and federal blocks in ANC6B.

Notice of Intent: Installation of All-way Stop Control for 8th & A Street SE Intersection.

Thursday, May 9

ANC6B Alcohol Beverage Control Committee meets at 7:00pm in the Conference Room, Ground Floor, The Yard 700 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Alcohol Beverage License Renewals (except as noted):

7:00 PM

Las Placitas, 1100 8th Street, SE.

Taco City DC, 1102 8th Street, SE.

Tio Javier, 514 8th Street, SE.

Cafe 8, 424 8th Street, SE.

Folger Shakespeare Library, Trustees of Amherst College, 201 East Capitol Street, SE.

Talay Thai Restaurant, 406 1st Street, SE.

Tortilla Coast, 400 1st Street, SE.

Capitol Hill Club, National Republican Club of Capitol Hill Inc., 300 1st Street, SE.

Hunan Dynasty, 215 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Kenneth H Nash Post 8 American Legion, 224 D Street, SE.

Sonoma, 223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Santa Rosa Taqueria, 315 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Good Stuff Eatery, 303 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

We, The Pizza, 305 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

8:00 PM

Radici, 301 7th Street, SE.

Boxcar Tavern, 224 7th Street, SE.

Tunnicliffs Tavern, 222 7th Street, SE.

Eat Brgz, 250 7th Street, SE; New Class “CR” Restaurant Application.

Hanks Oyster Bar,  633 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

La Plaza Mexican Restaurant, 629 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Mr. Henry’s, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Acqua al 2/Suna/Harold Black Bar, 212 7th Street, SE.

Hill Center, The Old Naval Hospital Foundation, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

La Lomita Restaurant, La Lomita, Inc., 1330 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Emilie’s, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

9:00 PM

Sushi Hachi, 735 8th Street, SE.

Torai Grill & Sushi, 751 8th Street, SE.

Chiko, 423 8th Street, SE.

Ophelia’s Fish House, 501 8th Street, SE.

Finn McCools, 713 8th Street, SE.

Medium Rare Barracks Row, 515 8th Street, SE.

Ted’s Bulletin, 505 8th Street, SE.


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Frager’s Hardware Set to Open Tomorrow, Friday, May 3, on Pennsylvania Avenue

Frager’s Hardware returns to Pennsylvania Avenue on Friday.  Click to enlarge.

Employees crash to stock shelves prior to opening.

A so-far sign-less red awning marks the location of “Foliage by Frager,” one door away from the hardware store.

Kristin Sampson, manager of Foliage by Frager’s and gardener extraordinaire readies for tomorrow’s opening.

A rear door to Foliage by Frager’s allows access to the garden center which itself allows access to the hardware store through a rear door.

Over at Frager’s on E Street, SE, employees move stock to the Pennsylvania Avenue location.

Aisha Bryant, manager of Frager’s Pennsylvania Avenue outlet.  Photo credit: Frager’s.


Frager’s Hardware Set to Open Tomorrow on Pennsylvania Avenue

by Larry Janezich

Frager’s management told Capitol Hill Corner they expect to open at their new location at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, tomorrow, Friday, May 3.  The store was expected to open earlier this spring.

There will be two components of the opening – the hardware store proper, and its associated garden-center storefront (Foliage by Frager) one door away on the other side of Kabob & More.  The hardware store will be under the management of Aisha Bryant and Foliage by Frager will be overseen by Kristin Sampson.

Passage through Foliage by Frager will permit access to the garden center in the lot behind the store – which, in turn, will allow passage into the rear of the hardware store.  The entrance to the garden center on 12th Street will remain.

Meanwhile, over at Frager’s blue building at 1323 E Street, SE, a skeleton crew staffed the store as other employees transferred stock to the new location.  It’s unclear what plans building owner John Weintraub has for the site once Frager’s vacates.

Frager’s is owned by Gina and Marc Friedman’s of A Few Cool Hardware Stores – the latest of their 12 locations, and part of Ace Hardware Co-operative.  They have a 25 year lease on the store.

The iconic Frager’s Hardware was destroyed by fine in June of 2013, as reported and photographed by CHC: and here:  Perseus Realty purchased the site in for development of a mixed use building in October 2015.  Washington Business reported then the developer had paid $5.7 million for the location.


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Suspects I.D.’d In Potomac Metro Homicide – More Details Emerge


MPD 1st District Commander Morgan Kane (center) addresses resident concerns regarding the homicide at Potomac Avenue Metro. At left is Metro Transit Police Captain Steven Boehm. At right is Robert Pittman, Chair, 1st District Citizens Advisory Council.

Residents gathered at Liberty Baptist Church for last night’s crime meeting.

Suspects ID’d  In Potomac Metro Homicide – More Details Emerge

By Larry Janezich

At last night’s community meeting on crime at Liberty Baptist Church, MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane distributed flyers on two suspects who are wanted in connection with the homicide last Sunday night at Potomac Avenue Metro Station.  Warrants have been issued for the two 18 year old teens – Xavier Culbreth is wanted for homicide and Jada Smith for armed robbery.  Anyone with information is asked to call MPD Homicide Branch at 202 645 9600 or text the tip line at 50411.  There is a reward for up to $25,000 for anyone that gives police information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person/people responsible for the killing.

The victim, 40 year old Jamal Ferrell, died Sunday night as the result of stab wounds received on the down escalator at the Potomac Avenue Metro Station where he may have been attempting to flee his pursuers, not realizing that the station was closed.  The gate at the bottom of the escalator was locked, the last train having departed at 11:20pm. MPD and Metro Transit Police received a 911 call at 11:42pm.  Transit Police responded, and found Ferrell suffering from stab wounds.  He was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead after life-saving efforts failed.  Once the case was declared a homicide, MPD took over the investigation.

Kane told some 30 Hill East residents that the killing “rattled you, and it rattled us.”  She said it was not clear why the victim was running down into a locked Metro station and that police had information that there may have been an attempted robbery – MPD has video and witnesses.

The victim did not have a local address, and Kane said that there’s nothing to suggest that the assailants knew the victim.  She said she could not discuss information about the weapon.  Detectives are investigating a motive for the crime.

One attendee said she had heard screaming on Sunday night, but had not called 911, assuming it was kids.  Kane told her she should not “beat yourself up over what you could have or should have done.”

That exchange opened up a discussion exposing the tension that exists between residents concerned about over-policing and residents who follow police advice to call 911 when they see something suspicions.  One attendee said that the danger is that some people are criminalized more than others – children have been victimized – and “we need to carefully consider what the threshold is for calling 911.”

Another said that residents are told to call 911 and turn over our concerns to the police – “I want to think it’s okay to leave here knowing it’s okay to be wrong and to trust the MPD.”  A resident on the other side responded, “I disagree wholeheartedly.”

Kane said that “We have to respond when we get a call.  We always try to do it in the most compassionate way. Sometimes we get it right – sometimes we get it wrong.”  She said, “Call us and let us figure out what’s going on.”

She said she is anxious to have an eye-to-eye discussion on issues regarding the potential for over-policing, and that she is anxious to find a community partner to identify groups to participate.

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