Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Half Street Digs Itself Out of a Hole


After weeks of speculation, construction is underway at Monument Realty's Half Street residential project. The site, directly across from the Nationals' ballpark, was dug in the first months of 2007, with Monument's 275,000-s.f. office project rising on the northern portion of the crater. But when the remaining 2-acre hole sat vacant as the market was free-falling and funding of residential projects evaporated, speculation ensued about its demise. The hole became metaphorical as well as literal once it was revealed that Lehman Brothers, in a hole of its own, had an equity stake in the project.

But after 18 months without activity, construction is now underway on the site. Workers now seem to be assembling a subterranean parking garage at Half and N Streets SE - presumably a component of the hotel and 340-unit residential buildings planned for the site. And while the developer will not be able to hit their original target of a 2009 completion date, it does seem that rumors of the project's death have been greatly exaggerated.

"Monument is pursuing financing for the residential projects at the corner of N and Half Streets, SE. Clearly the changes in the market have made that task more difficult, but we have not made any plans to refill the excavated hole," says Monument Executive Vice President Russel Hines. "In addition to the office building [55 M Street SE], which will finish up in January, we are also building a portion of the garage that extends under the residential buildings – so, yes, there is some construction underway at this time."

In a related item, some portions of the Half Street project could be getting a new address, if a measure before the DC City Council goes through. According to the Washington Examiner, a vote next week will determine if a three-block portion of South Capitol Street (that also happens to border locale célèbre, Nationals Ballpark) will be renamed “Taxation without Representation Street.” Among those most directly affected by the switch would be Camden USA – which just happens to have a $105 million mixed-use project in the planning stages that fronts the avenue in question. We can see the signs now: Taxation without Representation Street Lofts now available! Have fun with that one, marketeers.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

They ARE filling the hole and compacting dirt at the site. Contrary to what they might tell you at Monument.

 

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