The first round of approvals centered on Akridge’s Half Street development a block from Nationals Park. Despite a ceasefire in legal wrangling between the Akridge, neighboring developers Monument Realty and WMATA, construction on the 704,000 square foot development – which is slated to include dual office towers, a 300-unit residential building, 75,000 square feet of retail and an open-air marketplace/plaza – has yet to formally commence. The BZA’s approval clears the way for that to change, as Akridge can now clear and prep the site for its planned 2010 start date.
In a concurrent development, the BZA also consented to Forest City Washington’s plans for a second phase of construction at the so-called Yards Park. Those plans call for more than 35,000 square feet of new retail on the site, half of which will be culled from a renovation of the historic, pre-war “Lumber Shed” at M Street and New Jersey Avenue, SE. The development will also include the beginnings of a Capitol Riverfront boardwalk – the highlight of which is scheduled to be a 60-foot stainless steel monument designed by James Carpenter Design Associates. The National Capital Planning Commission previously approved the same development early last month; work on the project’s first phase, a 5.5-acre public park is already under way.