"The bulldozers are ready," said David Cortiella, Project Coordinator at the District of Columbia Housing Authority, alluding to the demolition vehicles that will be unleashed upon the old Capper Seniors building this coming Monday, November 5. This correspondent's preference for dynamite notwithstanding, the slow work of demolition will take place at 601 L Street, SE, lasting approximately four weeks, clearing the way for a new construction project (pictured) to be supervised by Forest City Washington, the developer behind The Yards on the southeast riverfront and the Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, VA. EYA and Mid City Urban LLC will also work in collaboration with Forest City on the site.
The DC Housing Authority has been working to prepare for demolition since the beginning of September, carefully navigating the obstacle course that is the HAZMAT abatement protocol. As of tomorrow, all of the hazardous material on the site will have been removed and the raze permits will be in effect, paving the way for the future of the site. What lies in store is a 500,000-s.f. office building on the southern half of the lot and an undetermined number of mixed-income residential components on the northern half.
The redevelopment project began with destruction of two Capper residential buildings and the construction of two new residences in their place: Capper #1, completed in 2006, as a seniors' residence and Capper #2 for workforce housing, set to begin housing residents as early as next month. The office building, being designed by Shalom Baranes Associates Architects, is the third structure to materialize in the vast 32-acre Capper/Carrollsburg Housing Redevelopment - a project which has been funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in the form of a $35 million Hope VI grant. The rest of the 32 acres will be developed in a joint effort by EYA, WC Smith, Mid City Urban and Forest City Washington and is proposed to house retail spaces, office buildings, condominiums, apartments and townhouses.