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City Extends Weekend Eastern Market Flea Market Use of 7th Street for 7 Months. But…. 

300 block of 7th Street, 7:00am, August 12, 2017

City Extends Weekend Eastern Market Flea Market Use of 7th Street for 7 Months. But….

by Larry Janezich

On October 12, the Department of General Services offered to extend the license agreements with the two weekend flea market managers, to allow them to continue to operate on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, from November until the end of May, 2018.  During the period, DGS will develop an official Request for Proposals (RFP) process for any and all potential managers of the Saturday and Sunday flea markets on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE.  Attached to the offer was a substantial increase in rent for the space.

Currently, the total rent the two managers pay the city for use of the street is $4000 a month. The new rate based on the findings of an MAI Certified Appraiser will be $6100 a month.  Currently the two operators pay a total of $48,000 per year.  Under the higher rent, the operators would pay $73,200, a difference of $25,200, roughly an additional $1000 a month increase for each flea market manager.

Barry Margeson, Eastern Market Manager for DGS, says that the Market pays DDOT $56,000 a year for the loss in weekend parking revenues for the 300 block of 7th Street.

The current licenses for operating on the 300 block expire at the end of October, upon which the flea markets are scheduled to re-locate to the newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets.  The re-opening is now projected to be the first weekend in November.

The community strongly supports continued closure of 7th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue, but there is uncertainty how the 300 block will be used, with much depending on the voices of the future retail merchants who will occupy the first floor of the Hine project.

Saturday flea market manager Carole Wright is cautiously optimistic and intends to use both C Street and the 300 block of 7th Street during the 7 month extension.  She says, “We intend to have a wraparound market ….however, we are still not able to lock in the date of completion for C Street”.  Regarding the use of the 300 block after the seven months, Wright says, “We do not know if those new stores will even want vending in that block.”

Sunday flea market manager Michael Berman says he strongly objects to the increased rent and that the extension should be at the current rent, given the lack of notice and due process.  He says, “We are not able to pass cost increases on to vendors in form of rent increase to them.”  Berman called the appraisal flawed as the result of faulty input involving a disparity in size, rent and amenities of the spaces which were used as comparables.

Berman says, that the Sunday flea market will continue on the 300 block of 7th through Sunday, October 29 – “The continuation after that is uncertain.”  Berman would like the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC)  to give the flea markets the same deal they gave the South Hall Merchants in delaying any increase in rent until a strategic plan for all outdoor vending areas under Market control is developed.

EMCAC chair Donna Scheeder held out little hope that would happen.  She told CHC “I don’t have a problem with increased rent for public space when the goal is to make Eastern Market self-sustaining and I think most members of EMCAC would agree.  I think the 300 block on 7th Street has been underpriced and I’d like to see some of the increased revenue go into an increased safety and security plan.”

That position seemed to be at odds with EMCAC’s response to DGS’s request for comment on the 300 block of 7th Street.  On September 19, EMCAC voted 4 – 3 for language supporting “DGS proceeding to have the value of this public spaces (sic) assessed and no rents, permits or contracts for occupying that space should be done until the assessment is completed. The appraisal of space used for market activities should be looked at as a whole and not in 3 individual pieces.”

The proposed rent increase did not sit well with ANC6B Commissioner Diane Hoskins, unhappy at the lack of community consultation regarding the rent increase.  Hoskins said, “This is really disappointing. This completely contradicts the will of the community to maintain the weekend flea market. The September 12 letter from ANC6B to DGS asked that DGS take no actions that would change the current use and operations. A dramatic increase in rent certainly would be a major change”.

EMCAC will consider the 300 block appraisal report at its next meeting at 7:00pm on Wednesday, October 25, in the North Hall of Eastern Market.

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CM Charles Allen Sees Little Chance for Amazon HQ on Reservation 13

Councilmember Charles Allen at Tuesday night’s Pennsylvania Avenue Vision Summit in Hill Center

CM Charles Allen Sees Little Chance for for Amazon HQ on Reservation 13

by Larry Janezich

Responding to a question at the end of his Pennsylvania Avenue Summit at Hill Center last night, CM Charles Allen all but said “Don’t bet on Amazon putting its new proposed $5 billion headquarters on Reservation 13”.  That counsel has been reinforced by news media reports which point to obstacles in the way of the proposal.

Allen said that there was no doubt such a massive project would have a substantial impact on the community and that the District is one of “6,000 cities saying ‘Pick us’”.  Allen added, with respect to the city’s bid, “There’s no meat on the bones,” referring to the city declining to disclose what financial incentives it might offer to Amazon somewhere down the line.

Amazon’s need for 8 million square feet of space gave him pause, Allen said, and made him wonder if the need is consistent with what the community feels would work for Hill East.  He noted that some Hill Easters are saying, “Let’s not shut the door…” but in terms of a reality check, estimated that the likelihood of Reservation 13 being chosen is “down in the decimal points”.

On the face of it, the proposal seems preposterous.  The disruption and divisions to the community, the dwarfing of every other economic and local governmental agency, and the demands on infrastructure and services such a development would require should cause residents to question the sanity of city officials who proposed this as well as those who support it.  DC would end up just handing over the keys to the city to Jeff Bezos.

As reported elsewhere, some of the obstacles in the way of Reservation 13 being selected include:

The entire zoning of Reservation 13 would have to be changed – a long contentious process.

Reservation 13 is the site of the DC Homeless Shelter and the DC Jail which would have to be relocated.

The adjacent RFK is on National Park Service land.  Events DC holds a lease which expires in 2033.

There are three other DC sites being offered:  Buzzard’s Point and a parcel on Poplar Point across the Anacostia River, NOMA over the railroad tracks, and a site in Shaw/Howard University.  None appear likely in light of incentive packages being offered by jurisdictions in other locations.

ANC6B Commissioners Danial Ridge and Denise Krepp took to Twitter and the New Hill East Listserv to blast the city’s lack of transparency and betrayal of trust with the Hill East community as represented by ANC6B.

Krepp said, referring to DMPED’s appearance before the ANC’s Hill East Task Force last Wednesday, “I’m appalled and incredibly frustrated that DC agencies lied to neighbors last week.  They had a plan for the property; they just didn’t want to share it with us.”

Ridge said, “I am appalled at this lack of transparency. I am further appalled that DMPED spoke to us about this plan at 9:30 this (Monday) morning and asked us to keep it from you until they released it at 10:00.

Amazon as a firm has a vision of the future at odds with DC’s best future. I think they would do bad things to housing affordability and homelessness. I think we would have difficulty fighting Amazon on taxes or jobs or development in the future if they had such an oversize influence on the city.”

In a letter to the Mayor, Ridge said, “I am always willing to consider proper non-disclosure arrangements but I hope that I will never again be contacted under embargo a half-an-hour before an announcement of such significance. It makes me a party to an opaque system in an unwelcome way.”

Bids for the project are due on October 19.  Amazon will make a decision in early 2018.

On Friday, Council Member Charles Allen holds community office hours from 8:00am until 9:30am, at The Pretzel Bakery in Hill East, at 257 15th Street, SE.

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The Week Ahead…CM Charles Allen Community Meeting on PA Ave SE Development Overview – Tuesday

Here’s a look at Antiochia Home Linens, the first retail shop to open up in the North Building of the Hine Project, at 760 C Street, SE. The outlet has been a part of the weekend Flea Market at Eastern Market for the past 8 years.

 

Owner Berna Rodman says, “While the Turkish towels will always be our specialty, I am beyond excited to expand our product line; including bedding, blankets, kitchen textiles, home decor, and more.  
Our towels are handwoven in traditional looms in the well-known textile town Denizli in Turkey.  We are proud to partner with several women foundations in Turkey who support women’s efforts to be economically independent and to improve the quality of their lives in urban and rural communities.” For more, see here:  http://bit.ly/2zb3WUH

The Week Ahead…CM Charles Allen Community Meeting on PA Ave SE Development Overview – Tuesday

by Larry Janezich

Monday, October 16

ANC6D  meets at 7:00pm at 1100 4th Street SW, 2nd Floor.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Office of City Planning – Andrea Limauro

 Capital Yacht Club:  Amendment to CA liquor license

Shilling’s, 1331 4th Street, SE: Amendment to liquor license re hours of operation

Officina Italian Restaurant at The Wharf:  Protest application for liquor license

The Wharf, Phase II – Zoning Application http://bit.ly/2yrUFdB

Forest City PUD Text Amendment – Zoning Application –

RASA 1277 1st Street, SE – Public Space Application for Sidewalk Café

Taylor Gourmet, 1247 1st Street, SE, Public Space Application for Sidewalk Café

CANCELLED:   ANC6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, NE.

Tuesday, October 17

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 request by On the Rocks (formerly Da Luft) (1242 H Street, NE) for changes to its Settlement Agreement.

1101 Convenience Mart, 1101 H Street, NE, Class B Retailer License Renewal

China House, 1601 Benning Road, NE, Class B Retailer License Renewal

DC Supermarket, 539 8th Street, NE, Class B Retailer License Renewals

J & K Market, 234 15th Street, NE, Class B Retailer License Renewals

The Cupboard, 1504 East Capitol Street, NE.

Economy Market, 1804 D Street, NE.

Councilmember Charles Allen hosts The Pennsylvania Avenue Vision Summit at 7:00p at The Hill Center.

Pennsylvania Avenue, SE from Barney Circle to Seward Square has more than a dozen major projects underway or coming on line.  Allen is bringing together all sides – the city, the developers, community organizations and neighbors – to share their vision for the project.

RSVP here for the event for any updates or changes. http://bit.ly/2gH8mf4

CHRS Board of Directors, meets at 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE.

Wednesday, October 18

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee will meet at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G Streets, NE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

1015 D Street, NE.  HPRB recommendation on the plans for redevelopment of the chapel located at 1015 D Street, NE.

CHRS Historic Preservation Café – “This Old (but great) House – wiring & safety”.  6:30pm, Northeast Neighborhood Library, 330 7th Street, NE.

Friday, October 20

Council Member Charles Allen hold’s community office hours from 8:00am until 9:30am, at The Pretzel Bakery in Hill East, at 257 15th Street, SE. 

Sunday, October 22

CHRS House Expo, Eastern Market North Hall, 10::am.  Some 30 home service exhibitors help with ideas on ways to repair or enhance your home.  Architects, general contractors, house historians, energy conservation experts, home inspectors, painters, solar panel installers, insurance agents, HVAC specialists, etc.  Open to the public and free.

 

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City Says “Unequivocally” that Reservation 13 Project Will Break Ground in 1st Quarter 2018

Sarosh Olpadwala, Director of Real Estate, DMPED (standing at left). Hill East Task Force chair Dan Ridge, (far right) – and to his right, Commissioner Denise Krepp.

Some 40 Hill Easters attended last night’s ANC6B Hill East Task Force meeting.

City Says “Unequivocally” that Reservation 13 Project Will Break Ground in 1st Quarter 2018

by Larry Janezich

Sarosh Olpadwala, Director of Real Estate, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) told some 40 Hill East residents last night, “I can state unequivocally that we will close (on the (Donatelli-Blue Sky Reservation 13 Project) by the end of the year and that we will break ground in the first quarter of 2018.”

The announcement came at a meeting of the ANC 6B Hill East Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Dan Ridge.  The meeting was held in response to a request from Commissioner Denise Krepp, who has been prodding the city to commit to breaking ground before a year-end deadline.  Krepp said during opening remarks, “We’re going to walk out of here tonight with the knowledge of when the dirt goes”.

In September of 2013, DMPED awarded the proposal to develop two city-owned Reservation 13 parcels to the Donatelli-Blue Sky Construction team.  The proposal is for a mixed use project, built as a matter of right (no Public Unit Development (PUD) process required), and envisions 353 residential rental units, 30% of which will be affordable, and 20,000 plus square feet of retail.  The latter would allow for up to ten ground level retail spaces in two buildings, with the possibility of expansion into some 8,000 square feet below grade for a retailer with additional space needs. The rental units – both market and affordable – will range from studio to three bedroom units.  The deadline for the city’s commitment to the project, having been extended once, expires at the end of 2017 without another extension.

Olpadwala said that delays in the permitting process had been the result of necessary input from multiple city agencies regarding the creation of new infrastructure – streets and utilities – for the project.  That was backed up by developer Chris Donatelli. He noted that other projects have been infill projects – “this is more complicated because there is no infrastructure. But it’s real – it’s happening. We have spent too much money for it not to happen.”

In response to a question from Krepp about when the next piece of Reservation 13 would be developed, Olpadwala said “We don’t have a certain date. It will depend on what happens on the campus and with infrastructure. Developing Reservation 13 is a major portfolio for us.  Once we get the first phase moving we want to move on the next parcel.”

Asked for reaction to last night’s meeting, Ridge said that one of his main concerns continues to be the possibility that financing for the project seems less than certain.  He had expressed similar concerns at a February 2017 meeting on the development.  See here:  http://bit.ly/2lbZIWQ “Nothing has changed,” he said, adding that “uncertainty regarding construction of a new jail on Reservation 13 could be a reason for the financing remaining soft.”

Ridge offered a resolution seeking to clarify what the prerequisites for going to closing are, and urging the full ANC to send letters to DMPED, DDOT, and DCRA urging them to complete the permitting process with all due speed.  The motion passed 5 – 0, and the full ANC6B will consider it at their November meeting.

For artist renderings, see here:  http://bit.ly/2ydCk4g

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The Week Ahead….Community Meeting on Reservation 13 and DC Jail – Wednesday

Eastern Market Metro, October 5, 2017, circa 7:10pm.

The Week Ahead….Community Meeting on Reservation 13 and DC Jail – Wednesday

by Larry Janezich

Monday, October 9

Columbus Day will be observed by DPW.  Trash and recycling pick up will be bumped to Tuesday.  Most parking enforcement will be suspended for the day.

Tuesday, October 10

ANC6B meets for the October meeting at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Interim Director Brian Baker, DC Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA)

Hanks on the Hill, 633 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Consider Protest Withdraw regarding persistent flooding issues.

326 A Street, SE, Historic Preservation Application for Concept/new three-story side & rear additions.

818 Potomac Ave., SE, Zoning Adjustment Application for special exceptions for a new 46-unit apartment house to exempt developer from providing retail    on the first floor and from penthouse set back requirement.

602 E Street, SE, Zoning Adjustment to permit construction of new building at rear of lot.

517 7th Street, SE, Zoning Adjustment to construct a new three-story rear addition to an existing one-family dwelling.

Alley Naming: Square 1043, between 13th, 14th, E and G St, SE; Proposed name is “Watkins Alley”.

Discussion of lease for ANC6B office space in the Hine Development.

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee Report

Wednesday, October 11

ANC6B Hill East Taskforce will hold a community meeting at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington (1900 Independence Ave SE) to discuss Reservation 13 and the DC Jail.

Representatives from DDOT, DMPED and other DC agencies along with the developer of the F1 and G1 parcels have been invited to attend.  The purpose of  the meeting is to find out the status of the F1 and G1 parcels.  Last year, the DC Council passed emergency legislation to allow DC agencies an additional        year to review development permits.  The agencies are still reviewing these documents and neighbors want an explanation for the delay and a better                 understanding of when construction will begin.

ANC 6B and residents of Hill East are concerned that ground may not be broken at Res. 13 before the current law expires. We are further concerned that         permit delays and ongoing public-private-partnership discussions regarding the redevelopment of the current DC Jail site may create additional                       uncertainty about Res 13 and become the reason that development fails again at Res 13.

In addition, DC agencies have received proposals to build a new jail at the site of the current jail.  Residents want to know the status of these proposals.

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

Among items on the agenda:

Brief Community Announcements

  1. Mayor Muriel Bowser
  2. Council Member Robert White

CCNV gate, 2nd and D Streets NW

1100 block of 3rd Street NE, visitor parking permit enforcement issues

Bicycle infrastructure, M, 4th, and 6th Streets NE

643 F Street NE, special exceptions for lot occupancy and penthousesetback requirements to construct rear addition and roof deck at residence.

226 Massachusetts NE, variances for rear yard, height, and off-street parking to construct a three-story office building.

512 H Street NE, special exception to permit financial services use.

522 ½ K Street NE, modification of significance to 1983 BZA order.

10 3rd Street NE, conversion of residential building to apartment building.

Hill Center Galleries Opening Reception 7:30pm – 9:00pm.

Hill Center Galleries presents the opening reception for the latest series of single artist exhibitions. http://bit.ly/2wGP1Ay

Joanathan Bessaci: Maps

Rachel Bohlander: Art of Empowerment

Karin Edgett: Truth

Michael Ford: Homeplace

Judith Peck: Gathering Shards

Scott Warren: World Views

All artwork is available for sale, and a portion of proceeds benefits free programming at Hill Center.

Thursday, October 12

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm, at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Community Presentations:

U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jesse Liu

Community MPD First District Sector Two Captain John Knutsen

Anacostia Watershed Society’s Storm Drain Murals Project – Emily Conrad

Consideration of a request for a grant for Miner Elementary School PTO grant for $899.47 for the purchase of two (2) universally accessible picnic tables to   be affixed to the school playground.

Nomad Hookah Bar.  Consideration of a protest of request for extended sidewalk cafe hours by Nomad Hookah Bar (1200 H Street NE) due to impact to         peace, order, and quiet unless Nomad has sufficiently enclosed its sidewalk cafe pursuant to the terms of its April 2017 Settlement Agreement.

619 Eleventh Street, NE:  Consideration of a motion that ANC6A send a letter of support to BZA for the request for zoning relief at the address with the           caveat that requests from neighbors be formally accepted, that the applicant provide sun/shadow studies, and that the applicant obtain signed letters of          non-objection.

629 – 635 Eleventh Street, NE:  Consideration of a motion that ANC6A send a letter of support to BZA for the request for zoning relief at 629-635 Eleventh    (11th) Street, NE, with the caveat that requests from neighbors be formally accepted, that the applicant provide sun/shadow studies, and that the applicant     obtain signed letters of non-objection

133 Thirteenth Street, NE:  Consideration of a motion that ANC6A send a letter of support to HPRB for a proposed project at the address.

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm, Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Saturday, October 14

Hill East 7-Eleven community trash cleanup day.  9:00am at the 7-Eleven store at 1500 Independence Avenue, SE.

Second Saturday Book Sale at Southeast Library, 10:00am – 3:00pm.  Sponsored by Friends of Southeast Library.

CHRS Walking Tour of Warren Street, NE.  10:00am.  Meet at corner of 14th and C Streets, NE.  Details: Beth Purcell  (202) 544-0178.

Second Annual Payne Fall Festival, 10am – 2:00pm.  Payne ES Playground at the corner of 15th and C Street, SE.

“All are welcome!  We’ll have a bake sale, cauldrons of chili, local business tables, bouncy houses, face painting, pumpkin decorating, and much more.              There will be event booths from organizations such as PAVE, DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, East City Bookshop, ASHRAE, Elliot-              Hine,  CSA Farmshares, DC SE Library, and more.”  https://paynedc.org/fallfestival/

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Eastern Market Advisory Committee Rejects Proposed Rent Increase for Eastern Market Merchants

Eastern Market, Tuesday night, October 4, circa 8:20pm. A Trader Joe’s customer walks through the Eastern Market Farmer’s Shed.

Eastern Market Advisory Committee Rejects Proposed Rent Increase for Eastern Market Merchants

by Larry Janezich

Last night, the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) stood up on its hind legs and voted unanimously (8 – 0) to reject the city’s proposal for raising rents on Eastern Market South Hall merchants and the appraisal process by which the proposed rents had been determined.  They called for the city to put a hold on any rent increase and said they want a monthly report on income and expenditures for the Market.  They also urged the city to use a holistic approach going forward to assess all components of Eastern Market to create a strategic marketing plan for the Eastern Market Special Use District (SUD).  (The latter refers to the sidewalks and public space around Eastern Market and the Rumsey Aquatic Center, 7th Street from North Carolina to Pennsylvania Avenues, and the newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets.)

Last month, the Department of General Services released an appraisal designed to determine the fair market value of stall spaces inside Eastern Market.  The recommendations would establish a new baseline substantially increasing rents for all South Hall merchants, in some cases doubling them.  See Capitol Hill Corner’s post here:  http://bit.ly/2xtEs7l

South Hall merchants spoke strongly in opposition to the proposed rent increases.  Union Meat’s Bill Glasgow said that the merchants were “shell shocked” by the proposed increase.  Michael Bowers of Bowers’ Fancy Dairy Products said that an increase in rent would come out of his paycheck since he can’t raise prices if he wants to remain competitive.  In a written statement, Tom Calomiris of Calomiris’ Fruits and Vegetables said, “I get the feeling there is a grand plan to put us out of business. The elements are there – no accessibility, increased rents, and increased competition. The appraisal makes no sense.  An increase in the baseline will put the majority of us out of business.”

EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder said that the basic problem with the city-sponsored appraisal is that it ignores legislative requirements which put limits on rent increases for South Hall merchants.  She also agreed with the written comments of EMCAC member Richard Layman and the comments of Committee member Chuck Burger that any assessment needs to consider the totality of the Market.  She said EMCAC wants greater transparency on the budget, especially expenditures, continuing, “The main reason I disagree with the appraisal is I do not understand why the city has to establish a new baseline for rents higher that the average Capitol Hill (retail) rent.”  Other Committee members spoke against the rent increases.

Jonathan Page, the Mayor’s Representative, agreed with others that an appraisal doesn’t make sense if not part of a comprehensive review.  He cited the legislative requirement limiting rent increases to a percentage of the CPI and EMCAC’s response that the methodology used to determine fair rent totally ignores the requirement.

Susan Ousler representing the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, called the rent increase “outrageous”.  She said, “You have to show me why the city needs the money.”

EMCAC will meet again on Wednesday, October 25 to discuss a second, just completed appraisal, this one involving the stall spaces on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, currently where the Saturday and Sunday flea markets set up.  Those markets are scheduled to move to C Street between 7th and 8th at the end of the month, though both flea markets have asked for an extension to their contracts which would let them use 7th Street as well.

EMCAC is the District’s legislatively established body which provides advisory and oversight responsibilities for Eastern Market and though they’re role is advisory, it is likely the vote will require the city back off on and reassess its approach to increasing revenues from Eastern Market.

Current members of EMCAC include representatives from ANC6B, Capitol Hill Restoration Society, Capitol Hill Association of Merchants, Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation, Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, a community representative, Ward 6 Council Office, the Mayor and representatives from the South Hall, Farmer’s Line and non-food merchants at the Market.

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The Week Ahead…And Here’s Info on Food-Waste-to-Compost Drop Off at Eastern Market

Here’s the DC Department of Public Works’ Food-Waste-to-Compost Drop Off at Rumsey Aquatic Center next to Eastern Market. The drop off is open on Saturdays all year round, from 9:00am until 1:00pm at 635 North Carolina Avenue, SE. David Holmes (at left), former ANC6A Chair, has been a regular contributor since the drop off point opened some three months ago.  For more information, go here:  http://bit.ly/2fCnOIn

The Week Ahead…

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, October 3

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

NEW DC WATER PROJECT – 13th St, NW, Pennsylvania Ave, NW, 2nd Street, SE and Tingey Street, SE.  Rehabilitation of sewer structures along the Low Area Trunk Sewer (LATS). The LATS is a 42-inch diameter brick and concrete conduit (constructed in 1906) which extends from 13th Street, NW and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to 2nd Street, SE and Tingey Street, SE. The 2.27 mile long project will also include the repair of approximately 33 sewer manholes. The estimated start date of construction is January 2018 with an estimated completion date of January 2020.

326 A Street, SE, Historic Preservation Application for Concept/new three-story side & rear additions. Owner: James R. Jones; Architect: Kim Jones.

818 Potomac Avenue, SE, Zoning Adjustment Application for special exceptions for a new 46-unit apartment house. Owner: Thomas Jefferson Real Estate, LLC; Architect: Murillo/Malnati Group / PGN Architects.

602 E Street, SE, Zoning Adjustment Application for Permit/construction of new building at rear of lot; Owner: E St LLC; Architect: Aaron Aeschliman.

517 7th Street, SE, Zoning Adjustment Application to construct a new three-story rear addition to an existing one-family dwelling; Owner: Jonathan and Kate Grabill .

  1. CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Wednesday, October 4

  1. ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Alley Naming: Square 1043, between 13th,14th, E and G St, SE; Proposed name is “Watkins Alley”.

Review and Comments on DC Circulator Changes to CH Routes.

Discussion and Comments on SE Boulevard & Barney Circle DDOT NEPA Study/Scoping Phase.

  1. ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee meets at 6:30pm in Northeast Library, 7th & D Streets, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

104 8th Street, NE , Historic Preservation Application of Ruth Fisher for concept approval for partial rooftop addition and rear façade alteration. Representative: Jennifer Fowler (architect).

643 F Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application of Thad Hunkins, for special exceptions to construct a one-story rear addition and roof deck to an existing one-family dwelling.  Representative: Matt Dirksen.

226 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application of Massachusetts Avenue Properties LLC, for variances to construct a new three-story office building in the CAP/CHC/C-2-A Zone at 226 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  Representative: Cary Kadlecek, Esq., Goulston & Storrs.

512 H Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application of Ace Cash Express, Inc., to permit a financial services use in the NC-9 Zone at 512 H Street, NE.  Representative: Shane Dettman, Holland & Knight.

522½ K Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application of Curt Hansen, for a modification of significance to revise BZA Order No. 13991 to permit the addition of an accessory fast food establishment to an existing retail grocery store, to expand the retail use to the basement, change the operating hours, increase the number of employees from two to seven, and increase the number of seats from zero to eighteen at 522½ K Street NE.  Representative: Curt Hansen.

  1. EMCAC Special Meeting. There will be a special meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee at 7:00pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market.

There is one agenda item, Response to the Final Appraisal Report for Eastern Market.

Thursday, October 5

  1. ANC6B Alcohol Beverage Control Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

YES! Organic Eastern Market, Inc., d/b/a Yes Organic Market, 410 8th Street, SE, Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Capit-Oh Hill Supreme Inc., t/a Capitol Supreme Market, 501 4th Street, SE, Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Hanks on the Hill t/a Hanks Oyster Bar, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Consider Protest Withdrawal.

  1. ANC6C Transportation and Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm at the Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 Second Street NE.

Agenda not available at press time.

  1. Community meeting on the Southeast Boulevard Project, 6:30pm, at 1330 L Street, SE (home of 6B07 Transportation Committee representative Kelly Waud). Southeast Boulevard Project representatives will attend for a neighborhood discussion about the plans.  The new deadline for community comments is October 17, 2017.

4. PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm in Southeast Library, lower level.

 

 

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Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s Is Open – Photo Essay & Customer Reaction

At 7:55am on Friday, September 29, the ribbon was cut officially opening the Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The store’s “Captain” is Tom Senior, at center, arms upraised.

Trader Joe’s is two levels down the escalator just inside the entrance.

Here’s the first view of the store that you see from the escalators.

The produce department, looking back toward the escalator.

Meat and Dairy

Olive oil, sauces, and frozen packaged foods.

Frozen fish – some of it wild caught and sustainably harvested.

This is about one-fourth of the wine selection.

Councilmember Charles Allen and Capitol Hill writer Robert Pohl.

You get a reminder of Trader Joe’s return policy as you leave the store.

Trader Joe’s at circa 7:10am, Friday, September 29. Evan, a Trader Joe’s fan who lives near Safeway, decided, he said, that he wanted to be the first customer. He arrived to stand in line at 7:05am.

The line for Trader Joe’s prior to opening, stretched down Pennsylvania Avenue. More than 100 were waiting when the doors opened. Councilmember Charles Allen is in foreground talking with Leah Daniels of Hill’s Kitchen.

Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s Is Open – Photo Essay

by Larry Janezich

Trader Joe’s on Capitol Hill opened at 7:55am this morning.  There line was 112 customers long when the ribbon was cut and the doors opened.  The Capitol Hillbillies, a local band, played “When the Saints Go Marching In” as employees applauded and hung leis around necks of entering customers.

The store employs 160 and many are Capitol Hill residents, according to the new Trader Joe’s “Captain”, Tom Senior.  Senior says that the store features validated parking (for about 40 spaces)  – currently for an hour, but he hopes to expand that to 90 minutes next week.  The store is open seven days a week from 8:00am until 10:00pm and has 17 checkout stations with a single line, similar to the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods.

Councilmember Charles Allen showed up early, joining the line of customers.  Asked if he was there to shop, Allen said he would probably stop to do some shopping on the way home tonight, “…refrigerated goods don’t do that well in my office all day.”  He said, “Neighbors seem pretty excited to see Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood.  Being on top of Metro provides a convenient choice for shopping.”

Capitol Hill Corner solicited reaction from customers leaving the store.  Among the comments were the following:

“I love it.  Trader Joe’s is really cheap – it’s really a great deal.  The thing I like is that Trader Joe’s all have the same layout and it’s easy to find things.  I’ll still get my vegetables at Eastern Market during the summer.  It should draw more people on the weekends.”

“It’s smaller than I thought.”

“It’s big in there – really big.”

“They don’t have sugar-free products.”

“They have a good set up and decent prices.”

“It’s great to have.  The lines are shorter than the Trader Joe’s I usually shop in.”

“I was surprised it’s underground. I like the 19 cent bananas.”

“It’s great.  We’ve been waiting so long.”

“I usually shop at Safeway.  This is much nicer.  I’ll continue to get fresh produce at Eastern Market, especially on weekends.”

“I’m thrilled to have a Trader Joe’s.  It’s smaller than I expected.  I’m surprised it’s underground.  I’ll continue to shop at Eastern Market for things like fresh fish.”

“It’s wonderful.  I like Eastern Market, but prices are high.  I love Trader Joe’s.  The prices are really good.  I appreciate there will be an easy place to walk to at night.”

“I just love it.  It has a good selection of organic foods.  It seems designed to cater to singles and small families.  It fits well on Capitol Hill.  I’m very impressed with prices.”

“I can get everything I need.  The prices are right.  The staff is super friendly and polite.  I’ll continue to shop at Eastern Market for special occasions.”

“It’s a fantastic addition to the neighborhood.  I’m surprised it’s so big.”

“I’m glad they’re here. I’ll still go to Yes! for their broader selection of gluten free and organic products.”

“I really appreciate they always carry a selection of nice flowers less expensive that other stores.”

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Ebenezer Church Development’s Parking Issues Roil Neighbors at 4th and D Streets, SE

Ebenezer Methodist Church, 4th and D Streets, SE. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The playground – soon to be the site of five townhouses.

Ebenezer Church Development’s Parking Issues Roil Neighbors at 4th and D Streets, SE

by Larry Janezich

Ebenezer Methodist Church, at 4th and D Streets, is a 179 year old Capitol Hill institution struggling to increase its membership and revenues in order to avoid closing its doors.  To that end, the church is developing five new townhouses on property adjacent to the church – currently a playground.  The five buildings will mean ten two-bedroom units for tenants, some of whom will bring cars into an already stressed parking situation.

ANCB Chair Chander Jayaraman told Capitol Hill Corner that there is strong emotional support for the church in the community but that the parking concerns are valid.  Complicating the matter is the fact that at the church’s request, the city removed the resident only parking (RPP) for the ten spaces on the Church’s side of the 400 block of D Street.  Now, anyone – resident of Ward 6 or not – can park as long as they want in those ten spaces.

Capitol Hill resident and church trustee Sam Ford, a 14 year member of the congregation, says Ebenezer is suffering from an aging membership and needs to boost revenues to maintain the church in DC, as well as draw new members in.  Ford says, “The church has to find a way to stay open or it will close its doors.  Ebenezer is not moving – it will live or die in DC.  It is trying to preserve its position in the nation’s capital.”

The townhouses are being built as a matter of right which requires only historic preservation review regarding scale, mass and design.

Neighbors are concerned that the developer hired by the church has failed to reach out to them in a good faith effort to ask for community input.  Some of them say that neighbors were not consulted nor were regular channels followed when DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) removed the resident only (RPP) parking signs from D Street.  Ordinarily, such a change would have been processed through ANC6B.

In an attempt to address parking concerns, the developer is requesting a curb cut on 5th Street which would remove two parking spaces in order to allow access to a five space parking lot behind the five new townhouses.  Jayaraman pointed out that there is no understanding that the additional parking would be for the exclusive use of tenants and that in addition the tenants would be eligible for residential parking permits to park in the neighborhood.

The church entered into a 99 year lease with the developer, apparently necessary in order for the developer to get financing for the project.  Neighbors worry that lease was executed before details of sensitive issues such as parking were worked out and that the five parking spaces will inevitably become commercial parking since the developer – rather than the church – will me managing the properties.  They cite the practice of the United Methodist Church on Seward Square in renting out its parking spaces on church property.

Ivan Frishberg, a neighbor and former ANC6B Commissioner opined that the project is not inconsistent with historic preservation regarding scale, mass and design.  He told the ANC at it’s regular meeting on September 12 that the issue is with a curb cut which will have consequences which change the nature of the block.  He and other neighbors strongly oppose the curb cut and urge DDOT to restore residential parking on the block on D Street.

The curb cut can come up again later – the developer had already planned to make the parking area a part of a second Historic Preservation Application.

The architect for the developer is floating the idea of a mechanical car elevator to provide additional parking behind the townhouses, but it seems an unlikely solution given the necessary approvals and opposition from neighbors to a noisy mechanized unit in the center of the block.

ANC6B Commissioner Diane Hoskins moved to support Historic Preservation Application’s concept design and oppose the curb cut and ask DDOT to return resident parking to the 400 block of D Street.  The motion was agreed to, 6 – 4.

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The Week Ahead….Trader Joe’s at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue Opens at 7:55am on Friday

“Session Americana” laid down a stellar performance of their hard-to-categorize music at the Hill Center’s free American Roots Concert Series late Sunday afternoon. (Thanks to Hill Center and the Capitol Hill Foundation.)  Here they are on performing “All for You.” http://bit.ly/2xtSi7I

Tearin’ it up.  Click to enlarge.

 

The Week Ahead….Trader Joe’s at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue Opens at 7:55am on Friday

By Larry Janezich

Monday, September 25

  1. ANC6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm, Maury Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room, 1250, Constitution Avenue, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Review of ANC 6A Grant Application:  Miner Elementary School for Picnic Tables and Benches

Tuesday, September 26

  1. ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the full ANC6B October meeting.

2. PSA 106 meets at 7:00pm Congressional Quarter Community Center, 5th & K St, SE.

According to coordinator Eva Walter:  “In 18 days,  the Wharf DC will open and restaurants, bars, music venues, retail, and other entertainment spaces will open for business, bringing thousands of people into the area every night.  How will all of these new establishments be kept safe?  How will the opening of this $2 billion project affect safety and security on this side of South Capitol Street?  How will police cope when a ball game, soccer game, and 6000-person concert occur on the same day?  Come find out on Tuesday, when Lt. Queen will give us an overview of what’s happening and what we should expect.”

Thursday, September 28

  1. The Historic Preservation Review Board will meet at 441 4th Street NW in Room 220-South. The Historic Preservation case concerning 418 and 420 7th Street SE, HPA 17-481, revised concept/rear and rooftop additions and new building at rear of lot 5, is scheduled for consideration form 1:00pm – 2:00pm..  The neighbors are up in arms concerning the loss of greenspace, not only for the aesthetic impact on this block in the Capitol Hill Historic District, but also because the greenspace has provided a barrier against invasion by rats drawn to the block by Barracks Row restaurants backing up to the back yards of their alley-less neighbors.

Friday, September 29

  1. Trader Joe’s opens at 7:55am, Hine Project, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

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